14 November, 2018

Blog

The Choleric Age

By Grusha Andrews

“If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant” ~ Sun Tzu, The Art of War

The aftermath of the incident of Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, defense attaché at the Sri Lankan High Commission in the United Kingdom, gesticulating throat slash to pro-Elam protesters in front of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in the UK on the 4th of February 2018 has become a mirror to a potentially dangerous shift occurring in the psychological profile of the Sri Lankan society. This incident fuelled by anger, consternation, opportunism and quasi-patriotism memed in to ejaculations of wrath, particularly on social media.

Seventy years after independence one may argue that the emotional insignia of the nation is that it is easily provoked, readily retaliatory to the point of being choleric. Sri Lankan society appears to be largely divorced from reality, with little insight in to the impact of such incident on peace building, sustenance of peace and its oxygenating effect on uniting a divided Tamil diaspora. Even in the most personal recesses of reasoning, out in the places of work, in fora of intellectual discourse, in social media spaces, on the internet and with each other- it appears that Sri Lankans have truly entered the choleric age.

From president to peasants

The Fernando-Eelamist saga touched a spectrum of citizenry from an angry spewing president to professionals, politicians and peasants incensed with ‘patriotic-pyrexia’. Other notables were military personnel and alumni of D.S. Senanayake College, Colombo, and alma mater of Fernando. It is reliably reported that fuming president threatened the sacking of the Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the recalling of Fernando following the throat slit gesturing saga. Equally reactionary were the Tamil polity where the chief minister of Northern Province Wigneshwaran cried for a de-ban of the LTTE within Sri Lanka. The FernandoEelamist saga has only given a reference photograph to emblemize the choleric age. Fernando’s cocky smiled finger pointing image framed and adorned thousands of Facebook profiles igniting the controversy, assuming a life of its own. The larger discussion that this phenomenon opens is the lack of serious political and intellectual discourse among the people of Sri Lanka with a reported literacy rate of 92%, the highest in South Asia. It also sheds light to the anger that continues to mar the emotional ambience of a nation subjected to chronic violence, terrorism, loss and dispossession in an environment of war, suicide bombers, crony politicians, jingoistic politico-religious barterers, servile journalism and ethnic polarity on politics. The similarity of the reaction of the president and the peasant ring even louder alarm bells driving home the importance of healing the society of its endogenous anger. 

The psycho- forensic basis of the ‘throat slash’ gesture

The throat slash is a gesture made by moving one’s index finger, thumb or entire hand, held straight and with palm down, horizontally across one’s throat imitating the cutting of a person’s throat with a blade, indicating strong disapproval, extreme anger, or displeasure with others or with oneself. The actual act of cut throat can be homicidal, suicidal or accidental. Homicidal cut-throat is a well-recognized method of killings in settings of violence, honour killings and as a tool of war crimes. Emotionally driven murders are committed by mothers in newborns, intimate partners of heterosexual or homosexual relationships, etc. From a psycho-forensic point of view ideation, insinuation, gesticulation, implementation of a crime in the form of cut throat does not fall within the norms of ‘social’ conduct. Needless to say, the gesture, amounting to digital vitriol, provocative and menacing, certainly does not fall within the prescribed guidelines of diplomatic conduct by any measure.

Choleric opportunism

The passionate support that Brigadier Fernando received from politicians was vivid. The usual suspects such as Keheliya Rambukwella, Susil Premjayanth, Wimal Weerawansa , Udaya Gammanpila seized the moment. More disturbing perhaps was the hypocrisy of the middle aged aspirants of leadership of the UNP, namely Ruwan Wijewardene and Navin Dissanayake who came out of their liberal and genteel closets to expose their racist nakedness of being  soldiers of the choleric age. If any of these politicians were feigning wrath, the reality becomes even more complicated where the choleric age of racial politics will be compounded by ‘a dose of  deceit more than usual’. Semi-hilarious and totally worrying were the brush off remarks of the de facto leader of Sri Lanka Podujana Party and once a former president of the country , Mahinda Rajapaksa who tried his best to trivialize and add jocularity to this serious issue stating Fernando was “merely scratching his neck!”

Ruwan Wijewardene educated at St Thomas Preparatory School Colombo and University of Sussex UK has shown that dynastic political privilege of being the great grandson of D.S. Senanayake does not quite protect one from the tentacles so of racism. Navin Dissanayake educated at Royal College Colombo and University of Sussex UK, and a barrister no less, has shown the same political immaturity and ignorance about the political sensitivities of the Fernando fiasco. Understandably, it must be difficult for Dissanayake to be even minded about the issue, given that his father Gamini Dissanayake was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber in 1994. However a man who cannot leave aside profound, personal and harrowing tragedy to achieve statesmanship will have little hope of emerging as a national leader in the future. However the collective anger or, worse, its pretence by politicians trickling from president downwards shows that not only is there a present void in the deeper understanding of issues pertaining to a proactive foreign policy, peace building and racial cohesion, but there will be a greater void that may widen in the future which the aspirants of political leadership in the country will not have the maturity to fill. 

The Eelamist protestors implemented the wisdom of Sun Tzu in provoking choleric rage in the choleric age. Not only Fernando, but an entire cross section of politicians appears to have willfully fallen in to the snare, entangling them in anger and opportunism that may not serve them well. .

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 11
    3

    This Jingo Should call out the so called BS Liberal Ever Preaching British MP,s and UK Government for allowing and supporting terrorist group to go all out in the UK.. The west and Jingos such as this are the fake proponents of the Choleric age, I am sure this Jingo will be the first to condemn and call the west to destory Islamic terrorist and supporters in the UK, over here preaching a different story. Enough of this BS

    • 7
      2

      Very soon this Horiya (Soriyan in Tamil) will be expelled from UK to bring this matter to a close. UK government is not prepared to dance to the tune of Sinhala racists. JVP which committed terrorism in the past is allowed to function freely in UK.

      • 6
        4

        Dr. Gnana,
        What’s your bet that the warhero will be expelled from the UK? British authorities have got lot to answer for letting those highly dangerous known LTTE terrorists come so close to the Sri Lankan diplomats and the high commission. British authorities put the Sri Lankan diplomats in great, great danger.

        The other worst thing that British police did was , letting chant the name of Nandikadal Prabakaran who was the leader of the LTTE terrorist organization which recruited se x slaves, child soldiers, suicide b0mbers, etc and killed thousands of innocent Sinhalese. How would the British public if someone chanted and praised the name of a chi1d abuser, a serial killer or a terrorist (Prabakaran was all three in one) from one of those her majesty’s prison?????????

        • 2
          2

          John you are detached from reality due to your biased mind. UK which cherishes democracy permits free expression and peaceful protest. So what LTTE did was not unlawful in UK. LTTE was proscribed for its actions and not for its political goal, and since LTTE had not committed any offence for the past 08 years, they have been taken off the list of proscribed organisation by EU, and therefore deemed not dangerous as what you are trying to portray. Just because bigoted persons like you want UK government not to permit LTTE any opportunity of expressing dissent, they are not willing to dance to your tune. Police let LTTE to carry on with their action, as LTTE protest was peaceful on that day with no threat to SL diplomats. In fact SL diplomats by coming outside the premises had posed in an intimidating manner. This army officer ashamedly had made threats only because he knew that LTTE protestors will not resort to counter violence. If you care, ask the Sinhala racists living in UK, how brave are they to face LTTE.

  • 9
    4

    Grusha Andrews

    “gesticulating throat slash to pro-Elam protesters in front of the High Commission of Sri Lanka in the UK “

    What compelled you to believe the entire protesters were composed of just pro-Elamites and no one else?

    Please define pro-Elam protesters.

    Your perception and paranoia are no substitute to truth.

    • 5
      1

      What compelled you to believe the entire protesters were composed of just pro-Elamites and no one else?

      AMMMMMMM

      They were Chanting Prabakaran Name, Carrying Prabakaran Image , Chanting The LTTE chants Carrying the LTTE Flags.

      If It barks Then it is clearly a Dog,

      Logic is not your strong Point as usual

      • 1
        2

        Malik Kafur of Sultanate of Delhi

        “They were Chanting Prabakaran Name, Carrying Prabakaran Image , Chanting The LTTE chants Carrying the LTTE Flags.”

        Did all of them chant VP’s name? I too watched the clip intensively.
        Don’t give me your usual bull.

        “If It barks Then it is clearly a Dog,”

        Stupid is as stupid types.

        “Logic is not your strong Point as usual”

        I am happy with my common sense.

        Are you the newly appointed official b***s carrier to super smart ass patriot Priyankara?
        Dr Gota (DSc) the national hangman may need one. Go apply for the job.

  • 4
    3

    Grusha Andrews

    Ask yourself a question, all these years according to my friend the old codger a keen observer of protests against the Sri Lankan state though not a pro Thamil Eelamist, never experienced such incident in his previous 40 years of living in the UK.

    Therefore you should turn Sun Tzu’s tactics around and apply it to the security services of this island. Why was the army man sent to provoke the protesters?
    Though you are trying to seek explanation to the Military man’s predicament you are still beating around the bush. Why?

    At the end of the day are you trying to absolve this super smart patriotic military man from crimes generally committed by security forces here and abroad?

    I have no problem with your judgement given the limited amount of facts available to you or anyone else however I need to question your intentions.

    Nothing personal.

  • 1
    0

    dr dayan
    first class in political science what do you have to say

    • 0
      1

      Let me check with Mahinda because lately I am following him

    • 0
      0

      nalmen – Die-Yarn will say “that is my same shit but different day.” !

  • 3
    4

    The video is fake. The LTTE terrorist who videoed the alleged incident, edited by repeating ‘the pointing at throat gesture’ several times in order to make it ‘ a throat cutting gesture’, has been recognized and also the terrorists who did bad editing and circulation of the video. And the whole incident has been misinterpreted purposely to demonize the warhero brigadier.

    The so called protesters are actually well trained LTTE killing-machine terrorists. British police put the highcommission and the Sri Lankan diplomats in great danger by letting those barbaric LTTE terrorists come so close to the highcommission and the diplomats, against which Sri Lanka must take legal actions immediately.

    Although LTTE terrorists approached hundreds of British MPs, they could buy 3 or 8 MPs.

    Ruwan, Navin, Gammanpila, and other patriots, THANK YOU !!!!

    • 2
      1

      “The video is fake.”
      Yes, little Johnny, absolutely fake. The terrorists armed (with Photoshop) and dangerous (to the heroic brigadier, being better educated) have cleverly converted a throat-scratching gesture into a throat-cutting one. I will bet they used a fake Photoshop copy too.
      This Brigadier is only carrying on the traditions of the same army which DID NOT rape and murder the true-blue Sinhalese Premawathie Manamperi. Look it up if you have forgotten

    • 1
      0

      Johnny
      As always your brilliant analysis will shut up once and for all these Eelamist Tamils who are deluded into believing that the gesture by our war hero was ‘throat cutting’. It was nothing more than chasing a fly that had sat on the war hero’s throat.
      I am sure you were not blind to that compassionate expression of the Brigadier while gently chasing that fly, he was anxious not to swat it, simply wanted it to move away from his neck.
      He is a kind and compassionate man who has been needlessly demonized by this Eelamist Tamils!

  • 1
    4

    Actually what the warhero Brigadier Fernado meant by the gesture was that he was going to take the cyanide-capsule-necklaces off LTTE terrorists’ necks.

    • 0
      0

      John
      Someone should poke a cyanide capsule up the rear orifice of Sakkaralingam, I know he is going to enjoy it immensely.
      He only objects to the throat slit but does not object to forced castration,tongue cutting, removal of eye balls and such other worldly pleasures taught by Lord and master Velu Prabakaran.

      • 2
        0

        Percy you seem to be an expert on rear orifices, after gaining experience in middle east lending yours to Arabs, and licking theirs with your tongue.

    • 0
      0

      Johnny Baby

      The cyanide necklaces gone out of fashion.
      Instead the they now wear ‘kurahan satakaya’ (millet colour shawl) at times it comes very handy.

  • 2
    0

    The Tamil protestors were not pro-Eelamist so much as pro-LTTE. They were chanting slogans and wearing T-shirts glorifying the terrorist Prabakaran. The brigadier gave a well-known Masonic gesture, though he is probably not a Mason himself. It is not to be taken literally.

  • 1
    3

    Tamils of all shades supported the barbaric terrorism of the LTTE. Those who were protesting in front of the Lankan embassy were obviously LTTE supporters as seen by the Tamil Elam flag and Elam emblazoned dress. Brigadier Fernando, who had the courage to face these Tamil terrorist monsters should be commended for his bravery.

    Let the Tamil terrorists unite and fight back in Lanka. This will give the Lankan forces the next opportunity to annihilate them using the most lethal weapons available to mankind. China can test some of their latest weapons of the highest destructive power on real live targets by having Lankan forces use them against Tamil terrorists. Also, Lankan military will get another chance to do actual fighting without becoming docile and lazy with slow moving post war ennui. Lankan leaders can also apprehend remaining terrorist sympathizers in Colombo and incarcerate them for treason and once again the Sinhalese can unite under a patriotic leader. Yes, there will be casualties on both sides and collateral damage. But the eternal wheels of karma will always move in the favour of the Sinhalese, the nation that built the hydraulic civilisation of the country, the people who shed blood over and over again for 2500 years to protect Lanka. Make no mistake, if the Tamil terrorists attack again, it will be the best opportunity ever, with the whole world united against terrorism and leaders like Donald Trump leading the US and applauding fight against terror all over the world.

    • 2
      0

      “Sinhalese the nation that built the hydraulic civilisation of the country” – Do not twist the truth Was the Polgolla dam built by Sirimavo, the Kotmale dam by Gamini Dissanayake or the Victoria dam by JR. They were only commissioned by them, but built by foreigners – Polgolla by Ingra of Yugoslavia, Kotmale by Skanska of Sweden and Victoria by Balfour Beatty of UK. Similarly all the hydraulic civilisations in Sri Lanka were only commissioned by Sinhala kings but built by Tamil Nadu architects and engineers. Concept of damming rivers for irrigating agricultural fields belong to Dravidians seen from Mesopotamia through Indus valley to South India. Attempt by Sinhalese to destroy ancient civilisation of Tamils in Sri Lanka which is over 10,000 years old appears not to have been successful, with unearthing of new evidence. Please remember next attack will not be by Tamils but by an international force with blessings of USA, West and India to liberate Tamils from Sinhala terrorism. It is a shame for Sinhala racists that UK government preferred shouting of the name of Prabaharan as a hero to the gesture of this Horikadaya by expelling him from UK.

  • 0
    0

    Just to avoid any confusion/attack (as suppose to exchange of thoughts) I qualify myself as a one nation man who has suffered/survived the “nations confused state of affairs” on religious/race/language/cast/class/terrorism in its all forms and by all parties/riots after riots after riots politics since (In)dependence. So much for the spirit of “wanting to be free” we have been literally liberating ourself by killing each other ever since independence (Tamil by Tamils, Sinhalese by Sinhalese and vis versa and there are so many other combination I could think of I personally observed in the category I mentioned earlier and do not need to list). Perhaps this may be related to the highest spirituality status we all feel with all the top end religions preaching “love for all” as we all are very “religious” people in our land??It is also not so strange that our Soldier also has decided to pay tribute to his country his highest responsibility/honer by his action as a part of diplomatic mission to the world too on our Independence Day was very appropriate I need in line with our well established tradition. Seventy years of maturity as freed people from the bad old colonialist showing the world what a inspired people we have become following the independence?………in fact the Soldier has summed up where we are today in our journey/quest for cohabitation in a most dignified way as progressive people appropriately to the world arena specially after our motherland has lost arms/lime and life of her children for all what has transpired ever since Independence…….it is somehow still someone else fault perhaps???

  • 0
    0

    Is this the end of the story?
    “The Minister Counsellor (Defence) attached to the Sri Lanka High Commission in London, Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, has been recalled to Sri Lanka by the Sri Lanka Army.
    Accordingly, He will arrive in Sri lanka today or tomorrow, said Army Spokesman Brigadier Sumith Attapaatu today (21).”

    ARMY OVERRIDES THE DIRECT ORDER OF THE COMMANDER-IN-CHEAP. lol

    Or is it?
    “The United Nations (UN) has blocked the deployment of a Sri Lankan military officer to Lebanon for peacekeeping operations.

    UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said that following questions raised, the deployment of Rathnappuli Wasantha Kumara Hewage has been suspended, Innercity Press reported.
    “We were asked last week about a Sri Lankan officer who was scheduled to deploy to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL. I can confirm that the officer’s deployment is on hold pending a review of the matter. A decision regarding deployment of this officer will be made once the review is complete.”

    • 1
      0

      “Is this the end of the story- Yes. This Horikadaya will not only be given a diplomatic visa to come back, but also no visa to enter as tourist in future. He will never be accepted for diplomatic posting by any country valuing human rights. I think the best thing for SL government to send this Horiya to Korea to save face.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.