21 October, 2017

The Dialog Of Citizens For Politicians Who Care

By Thrishantha Nanayakkara

Dr. Thrishantha Nanayakkara

Dear Aravinthan Anna,

Many thanks for your Skype call this morning. Thanks to live streaming of Sri Lankan TV channels, I could follow the election results and related commentaries from here as and when it happened. As you correctly said, people in the North have clearly expressed their will to have a representation that knows their aspirations, and that they don’t need just any model of development. The electoral outcome of Kaytes Island is a good example that there is a limit to which money can buy votes. Now Anna, as a Southerner, while wholeheartedly well wishing the new Provincial Council so strongly led by ITAC, I challenge it to show by example that it truly stands by the aspirations of the people of Jaffna. Keep pressure on them to build up a good respect for rule of law, human rights, and equality among all its residents. When I mentioned about rule of law, you asked me if the Navy Commander would hold an inquiry into why Yoshitha Rajapaksa openly participated in political campaigns during the last couple of months while he is in uniform. Well I know that the Army held a swift inquiry into why former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka was allegedly involved in politics while in uniform based on evidence given by a politicna who crossed over to the Government side. You saw how fast those inquiries moved and how they rushed to give the verdict on a day the defense lawyers were not present. So, your argument that we in the South do not have strong rule of law sort of breaks down. Anyway, lets see how the Navy commander keeps up to that exemplary record held by the Army. If the Navy Commander so wishes, there were many photo evidence given in so many media, and this note is an open challenge to him.

Anyway Anna, in addition to rule of law, keep pressure on the newly elected PC representatives to build up the education infrastructure that once held Jaffna as an example in the whole country. They could even go beyond what is expected from them in terms of helping higher education in Jaffna. Higher education institutes can be mother nodes for grassroots level innovation across the society. As we always discuss, the number of people in the North compared to the South has no much meaning. What truly matters is the productive capacity and intellectual base of individuals. Just like MP Sumanthiran can account for about 60% of the opposition of the parliament in terms of the ability to articulate and to pose effective arguments when they are needed, a stronger education and innovations promotion base in the North could produce citizens who will revive the economy and innovative culture of that part of the country to be a miracle of Asia. If proper facilities are given, a lot of foreign academic institutes will readily collaborate with those in the North out of respect for the will demonstrated by the people in the North to move forward in their own unique way.

The outcome in the South is not without new political messages. I hope Muslim Congress learnt the lesson of the century. Their leaders cannot enjoy the perks of the Government and stay without protecting the rights of Muslim citizens in the South and still expect Muslims to vote for them. I am glad Muslims gave the message that they will vote if and only if a clear agenda to protect their rights are shown and an unwavering will to stand by it is exhibited.

Emergence of the Democratic Party as the third political force should open the eyes of traditional Marxist parties who held that slot since independence. My guess is that Sarath Fonseka’s strategy of holding pocket meetings to understand the ground level aspirations of the people and showing confidence and fearlessness amidst threats and adversities gave confidence to the people that the Democratic Party would be a strong representation to express their concerns. I hope they continue to be with people than political theory books. I fully agree with you that those politicians who go to books for prescriptions lose relevance with time. This has happened to the UNP leadership too. If you sit down for a chat with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, he will quote at least ten books you haven’t read, and you will for sure be astonished to see his intellectual understanding of politics and the strategies of famous leaders. However, he doesn’t seem to relate those theories to how rural people in Sri Lanka live their daily lives. He doesn’t seem to understand that there is a rough but ambitious life behind a bracelet or a sweet SMS a youth will send to another. He doesn’t seem to understand that such youth look up at leaders with strong visions than those who look cute. Just look at what kind of movies the rural youth watch. They like impossible missions, challenge, exploration, other than just bracelets or sweet SMSs. UNP’s loss of base in the North is also sad. UNP in my view is the only party in Sri Lanka that has the right founding principles to accommodate people from all ethnic backgrounds. The rejection by the people in the North show that UNP has to re-visit their founding principle and the political culture of being grounded among all ethnicities in their daily lives.

Again, Anna, please don’t allow your newly elected leaders to go back to their cozy politics. Keep them challenged with clarity of expression. In that regard, I expect academics like you to spend at least ten minutes a week to go beyond books to see what the people need.

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Latest comments

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    Dr Nanayakkara can rest assured that the tamil people are no longer in a mood to let their elected leaders to do as they please after 30 years of terrible trauma at the hands of both their elected and unelected leaders.

    The massive electoral verdict in favour of the TNA clearly indicates their expectations as the voters had to brave severe threats and intimidation to exercise their democratic rights. But, as has been made clear before the elections, the unelected military man as the Governor has the power to reject any good deed the elected TNA council wishes to do for its people. In reality will this democratic exercise of the people be foiled by the Governor’s actions? It is very likely that the devious and dastardly Rajapaksa regime will do that for sure.

    As for our uncle Douglas his loss of Kayts and loss of face is a severe blow. His claims of being the leader of the tamil people is in tatters. Will Mahinda kick him to the kerb? I don’t think so as he needs lapdog Doglas to carry out his thuggery in the Northern Province through his murderous gang. But, what is heartening is the public humiliation both Mahinda and Douglas suffered at the hands of the tamil people.

    Lastly, I hope the TNA politicians don’t disappoint the people who elected them by unreasonable and unobtainable demands. Their behaviour in the first three months will have to show that the South can trust them to be responsible and not wind up the Sinhala racists. I wish them well to do a decent job.

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      Piranha,

      Just two observations:

      1)We don’t have to wind up the Sinhalese Racists in the south as they have been wound already and spinning out of control for the last 64 years.

      2)But, as has been made clear before the elections, the unelected military man as the Governor has the power to reject any good deed the elected TNA council wishes to do for its people. In reality will this democratic exercise of the people be foiled by the Governor’s actions?

      No he wont as he is history and this is an agreement between India & Sinhala Lanka. I don’t know if you listened to Mr.Chithamparam and he said yesterday that the elected Northern Assembly Representatives have to tell the Indian Government how they wish to spend the money being given by India as aid for development.

      If you have a Tamil friend get him to translate it for you

      [Edited out]

      We are sorry, the comment language is English – CT

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    Asking for Yoshitha Rajapakse to be courtmartialled is very brave of you.
    Not asking for the army to refrain from interfearing in civil matters shows your cowardice.

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      Isn’t that obvious? Army’s interference with civil administration intimidated many civilians and in fact it is one of the reasons why people wanted to go out and express. The blame should go to those who command the army. I have done my bit in that regard before on CT itself.

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    Third forces in Sri Lankan politics varied from time to time. After 1960 “left”was the third force till 1964. After 1977 it was the left including the JVP. After 1984 it was Mahajana Party of Vijaya Kumaratunga. After 1983 it was DUNF of Laith -Gamini. Then again the JVP became the third force after 2005.Now it is Democratic Party ,but remember they need the will . They should try to be the main opposition party.

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    You are dead right saying that

    “If you sit down for a chat with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, he will quote at least ten books you haven’t read, and you will for sure be astonished to see his intellectual understanding of politics and the strategies of famous leaders. However, he doesn’t seem to relate those theories to how rural people in Sri Lanka live their daily lives. He doesn’t seem to understand that there is a rough but ambitious life behind a bracelet or a sweet SMS a youth will send to another. He doesn’t seem to understand that such youth look up at leaders with strong visions than those who look cute. Just look at what kind of movies the rural youth watch. They like impossible missions, challenge, exploration, other than just bracelets or sweet SMSs. UNP’s loss of base in the North is also sad. UNP in my view is the only party in Sri Lanka that has the right founding principles to accommodate people from all ethnic backgrounds. The rejection by the people in the North show that UNP has to re-visit their founding principle and the political culture of being grounded among all ethnicities in their daily lives”.

    But I still believe if UNP could join hands with villages by providing them the truth of murderers in Rule today, UNP would win the hearts and minds of those people. This is not easy to make, so long RW would not change his way of being bound to books as you say.

    Today the majority folks would not respect any lernt ones, but just anyone who may have the talents to leave them lies entertaining them. That is what Dayasiri did, I think his opportunistic tactics seem to have worked on him getting elected soon.

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    Having lost the 18th time, it is high time RW accepted responsibility and said goodbye. UNP needs a new look with a genuine southern touch clothed in Arya Sinhala dress and speaking the language of the peasants and patriots. Karu would be a good choice for the interim until a new leader emerges from amongst the youth.

    SLMC has seen its vote base eroded and may not be accepted any longer. Muslims are fed up with communal politics and politicians who dont work for the community.

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    As an admirer of M.A. Sumanthiran, I appreciate the nice reference to him in the article. I wish others would see his talents also and make him the president of Sri Lanka. If the best person for the job of president were elected, he would be the man…

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    Trishantha- are you giving advise to Aravindhan as to how TNA should behave? Cut the crap dear.

    Further,do the Tamils care NOW what Yoshitha did or Sarath Fonseka did?.
    All gone.
    The resounding victory by the Tamils of the north tell you much.It is better for you to listen – just simply listen to what the Tamils will say in the future and stop your 2 cents worth of your

    THEY DID NOT TAKE YOUR ADVICE when they went to vote.AND LEAST OF ALL FROM THE GOVERNMENT who threatened them that if they did not vote for them all development will be stopped – nothing will be given.

    The tamils gave their answer.

    Is this waht is called ‘riling up the south’ or riling up the north.

    The TNA are on the ground,they understand their people’s aspirations.The people understand them fully- you have the results.

    Start writing and advising the south.Looking at the results in the south etc – you guys are in big trouble.At Provincial council meetings there will be infights in filth,gun totting members,continue with the mayhem.

    There is not a hum from you regarding the prescence of the army.Why don’t you write to the governement about removing the prescence of the army in the NORTH and let the people live in peace.

    Do this for your great friend ARAVINDHAN ANNA.

    and— where does ANNA live?

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    Dear Trishantha Nana;

    In reality, to tell you the truth;
    as TNA won the Election, In north,
    the Governance and The Dogiya of EPDP with the help of Forces
    will definitely try to take revenge from the INOCENT CIVILIANS ,
    for not voting for them,
    in the north and east, it is very easy to manipulate the law as they wish, as before.
    Any how, To My belief, northerners did what they have to do wisely.
    Further more;
    Navy Commander would NOT hold an inquiry into,
    Asking, why Yoshitha Rajapaksa openly participated in political campaigns during the last couple of months while he is in uniform.
    Because,
    As you know that, He is the Son Of the F I r, king of Sri lanka,

    If He go for asking,Navy commander will end up in a Welikada, in a Cell, wearing a JUMPER Short
    But Army held an urgent inquiry into,
    why former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka was allegedly involved in politics while in uniform?????,
    based on evidence given by a PATRIOT politician, who crossed over to the Government side.
    He had / has a Back bone to Not to agree for crimes he had not done.
    So that is the differences of those two incidences.

    as a Buddhist Sinhalese living in the middle of this Tamil brethren,
    with the blessing of The Triple gem
    I wish them and you all a good political atmosphere in future with new leadership.
    with regards to your Kids,
    JULAMPITIYE AMARAYA

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    Emergence of the Democratic Party…understand the ground level aspirations of the people…

    You are a royal … to continue to believe that SF knows any more democracy than MR.

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      hello! how can I contact you

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    Julampitiya- my thanks for the encouragement to the Tamils and your understanding to a better democracy in Sri Lanka when all can live peacefully.

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    Thambi Nanayakara,

    Pardon me for eaves dropping and I have been listening to your conversation with Aravinthan Anna.
    Thanks for your advice Dr. Thambi and we have turned the corner and don’t worry we can look after our affairs and we are heading full steam ahead to our Promised Land.

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