20 May, 2022

Blog

The End?

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“The enlightenment driven away, The habit-forming pain,

Mismanagement and grief: We must suffer them all again.” ~ Auden (September 1, 1939)

“We must love one another or die,” wrote Auden in September 1, 1939, as the world slid into calamity.

#GotaGoGama and the nationwide anti-Rajapaksa struggle it pioneered and symbolized seemed to be animated by this spirit of compassionate solidarity Auden was pleading for on the advent of the Second World War.

Gota-go-game resistors prided themselves on being not just anti-Rajapaksa but the antithesis of the Rajapaksas. They made a conscious attempt to turn that nodal point of struggle into a microcosm of a different Sri Lanka, a place where racial and religious animosities were absent, the youth were heard and women could be both active and safe, a space of sanity, decency, compassion, and reason. A symbol of the best in us both as individuals and a nation, a microcosm of what Sri Lanka could be when her people embrace their best impulses rather than the worst.

As the days passed and the struggle spread, that spirit seemed to be spilling over and permeating other loci of resistance. Even when a young father of two was brutally gunned down in Rambukkana by the police, the protestors resisted the siren song of violent retaliation. Despite innumerable provocations by the Rajapaksas, sanity and peace prevailed.

Then Mahinda Rajapaksa, the political paterfamilias of this most egregious of political families, went to the ancient city of Anuradhapura. He visited a couple of sacred places, experienced the public’s ire in loud calls for his resignation, and had a powwow with his abiding supporters, solidifying plans which would have been laid days before were solidified.

Next morning, busloads of Mahinda devotees and hired thugs (reportedly at 2000rupees a day, a reflection of the economic crisis and the resultant mass desperation) were brought to Temple Trees. Mahinda Rajapaksa gave them a speech. They poured out of the Temple Trees armed with poles and laid waste to #MainaGoGama, the protest encampment outside the premises. Then, with no hindrance from the police, who would have been told to stay out of it by their political masters, they made their way to Gota-go-gama and laid waste to it. Even the makeshift library did not escape the devastating onslaught.

Meantime, the government declared a curfew effective immediately.

From that point, events departed drastically from the Rajapaksa script. The protesters resisted and overcame the attackers. Across the country, people, ignoring the curfew, poured on to streets in solidarity.

Knowingly or unknowingly, the Rajapaksas had done something more devastating than sending an army of thugs to attack the two protest encampments. They had sent a dose of their own poison along with their thugs. The unarmed protestors confronted the defeated the attackers. But not before the toxin was injected into the bloodstream of the protest movement.

As day turned into night, the anti-Rajapaksa struggle moved away from being the antithesis of Rajapaksas, and became their pale copy.

Means and ends: the old conundrum. The ruins of struggles and revolutions corroded from within remind us that means shape and colour ends. An unjust struggle cannot create a just society. Mobs are mobs, limbs without heads or hearts guided by a single compulsion, irrespective of what their battle-cry is, be it Kill Tamils or Aragalayata Jayaweva (Victory to the Struggle).

The public stripping of Rajapaksa thugs by Gota-go-gama protestors symbolise the discarding of the core-values of resistance, decency, mercy, and non-excess. The fires engulfing hated SLPP leaders are also incinerating the promise of a better Sri Lanka.

Learning from history

On 22nd October 2007, a group of Black Tigers attacked the Saliyapura air force camp in Anuradhapura. Afterwards, the Lankan Forces stripped the corpses of the attackers (including of three women) and paraded them in the Anuradhapura town: Many local people, instead of cheering, responded with embarrassment and even outrage.

Two years later, the dead body of Vellupillai Pirapaharan, was stripped down to his underpants, and displayed – to wild acclaim. There was no shame or embarrassment when pictures of captured Tiger cadres, including radio announcer Issipriya and Vellupillai Pirapaharan’s 13 year old son (a non-combatant) were publicised, pictures taken shortly before they were murdered.

In two short years, the Rajapaksas had succeeded in infecting Sinhala society with their brand of unethical ethics. Only success and victory mattered, not the road to it, or its aftermath. With this sanctification of the abhorrent, Lankan society reached a new level of brutalisation.

To heal that Sri Lanka the Rajapaksa virus has to be removed from the national bloodstream. In the month since current protests began, the hope that we are on our way to such a cure began to take root. That hope is now almost dead. When Galle Face protestors stripped their attackers, took pictures of them, and paraded them, when those indecencies were lionised and those pictures celebrated, that development held up a mirror before us. The visage is showed belonged to the enemy we wanted to depose. We might all be against the Rajapaksas now; but we have not stopped being like them.

If further evidence was needed, it came in the form of a series of tweets by journalist Roel Raymond, published in Newswire. Ms. Raymond was doing her job as a journalist, recording the public protest at the back gate of the Temple Trees. The protestors objected to their doings being recorded by her. “Watched men stripped naked, beaten and bloodied being brought in, some carried by hands and legs. Terrible scenes. Same crowd would have turned on me had I not been taken out by friends,” she wrote in her first tweet. Two minutes later, the second one, “Tear gas just now shot at protestors there so I am glad I got out in the nick of time. Had actually feared I too would be stripped and beaten…”

She ended her tweet by saying “Rajapaksas you did this.” There is no argument that with their brutal attacks on Galle Face and Temple Trees protestors, the Rajapaksas paved the road to this calamity. But was it inevitable? Why did non-violent protestors allow Rajapaksas to push them into violence? Why did ordinary human beings let Rajapaksas turn them into rampaging mobs? Do we have no will of our own? Must we always react, and rush like driven cattle?

What is the difference between this reaction, and other reactive actions such as Black July or the LTTE’s Anuradhapura massacre? Must we always pile wrong on wrong, respond to violence with violence, become like the enemy we oppose?

Don’t we have minds of our own to make different choices and the courage to activate them?

When Black July erupted, individual Sinhalese helped individual Tamils, but as a society we failed to take a stand against the crimes being committed in our name. The same thing happened vis-a-vis the LTTE and the Tamil society (with some courageous exceptions like Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama). It was the same story during the second JVP insurgency, the Eelam War (especially the fourth one) and the various attacks on Christians and Muslims by Sinhala mobs.

This unwillingness to criticise our own side, intolerance of such criticism to the point of equating it with enemy action continues.

Stripping and photographing one’s opponent, parading them around sans clothes is not resistance or heroism. It is brutality, cowardice, and thuggery on par with the Rajapaksas. Those who attack and burn houses and destroy vehicles are not protestors. They are mobs. We failed/refused to see these differences in the past. If we are still unable/unwilling to make those distinctions, if we are still reluctant to criticise our own side, how can our national future be any different from our national past?

The solution to tyranny is not anarchy

Ignoring the rule of law, replacing the rule of law with the law of the rulers is a Rajapaksa trait. Now we, their opponents, have taken a leaf from their book, replacing the rule of law by the law of the mobs.

This way, even if the Rajapaksas go today and go willingly, their tyranny will not be succeeded by democracy but by anarchy.

This embracing of violence, illegality and indecency can lead to one of three outcomes: the Rajapaksas aligning themselves with the military and imposing a reign of terror; the military capturing power and imposing a reign of terror; mob rule imposing a reign of terror. Always, and each time, a reign of terror, with no peace or stability, no justice or tolerance.

There is still time to stop, turn back, take a less devastating path, realise the promise of the first phase of the struggle. Politicians of all stripes have lost credibility and relevance. But there are others who can still provide a reasoned, just, and democratic leadership to the leaderless resistance. Lawyers led by the BASL, doctors led by SLMA (and not the GMOA), a few religious figures, some trade union and civil society leaders can still come forward to educate, explain, and guide the struggle away from the looming abyss. Similarly the leading activists of Gota-go-gama should condemn the ongoing violence and plead for a cessation.

The Rajapaksas must go, not one or some of them, but all of them including President Gotabaya. Maybe the chief justice can be an interim president until the executive presidency is abolished. Maybe a group of experts, sent to parliament via national list, form a cabinet, and implement urgent economic and political measures until an election is held, perhaps in six months. These measures may not be strictly constitutional, but the alternative is the constitution either being suspended under military rule or becoming irrelevant under mob rule.

In the Iliad, when god Hephaestos devised a new shield for Achilles at the request of his mother, he adorned that instrument of war with scenes of peace. Perhaps it was his, and the poet’s way of reminding humanity of what it loses to violence.

The memories of the first Gota-go-gama, a haven of peace, a place of promise, its images recorded for posterity, is like the Shield of Achilles, a reminder of what we could be if we, in our just anger, don’t give into our worst impulses. There is still time to stop, to change track, to stop being like Rajapaksas, to abandon their ethos, to cleanse ourselves of their toxin, to be not just against the Rajapaksas but opposite them.

The Rajapaksas created a moral wasteland and called it patriotism, and damned anyone not succumbing to it as traitors to the nation. In that desert, anything could be done to the enemy, anything; law, morality, ethics, decency, pity, mercy, compassion, reason were all banned in that space.

The anti-Rajapaksa struggle is in the process of creating a similar moral wasteland, calling it Aragalaya (struggle) where anything goes, so long as it is done to the Rajapaksas and their supporters.

How can a different Sri Lanka, a better Sri Lanka come into being in such a place?

Don’t try to teach Gota-go-game protestors; just learn from them was a popular saying in the resistance space. There was much to learn from Gota-go-gama protestors. But they too had – and have – much to learn from history. And one key lesson is that attempts to create utopias end in dystopias, always, every time.

Violence, intolerance, indecency, these are all habit forming. And once the habit is formed, escaping is harder. Political devastation will worsen economic devastation. No aid, no trade, no investment, no production, nothing to consume, more want, more poverty, more anger, more violence, eventually turning on Tamils, on Muslims on other Sinhalese, the worst vicious cycle, endlessly repeated.

We can stop that degeneration. Still. If we depart from the false turn, now.

Tomorrow will be too late.

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Latest comments

  • 19
    1

    ON THE WAY HOME

    Temple tree he used this premises to envisaged evil spirits inviting Rajapakse supporters 8 busses with with weapons targeting peace process and toxic speech by Johnston F having in back of the mind creating trouble how many days it took to plan most of Rajapakse circle knew this violent agenda, When the busses were travelling where is the police intelligent, The Crowd that came with support to Rajapakse and speech given temple made the crowd possess mischievous satisfaction that you have destroyed someone on the way. Did the President know in advance about the trouble, This a proof he has used this people on other events that happened in history this Lies and secrets, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind

    • 13
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      My dear sensitive friends,
      .
      I repeated, that truths will always succeed. Fake public perception made for their criminal politics ended up as we predicted.

      I am against any kind of vandalists, but people s angers can be comprehensible.

      But our youth should not destroy public properties.

      God bless srilanka !

      • 5
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        Dear LM: “criminal politics ended”. Not really and yet. More tough work to be done to end that CULTURE of “Criminal Politics” by “Rajapakse & Co.”. No public property has been destroyed. All that was lost so far belonged to the “CRIMINAL GANG” of Rajapakses. Some more to go. Let it continue and be on record for all politicians in practice today and tomorrow. Let this be a NEW BEGINNING.

        • 1
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          Tisaranee: How come the Protestors at Gota gama support the IMF?1 How come these protests are not at Independence Square as all previous protests have been? why are they at the same place targeted by the CIA owned ISIS claimed Easter Sunday attacks 3 years ago?
          Who was behind the Anonymous social media organizers of Gota Gama? Sonic Sonic? If these protesters had protested against the past 2 years of Covid 1ockdowns Lanka would never have come to this. But they followed the Covid-19 fear psychosis narrative and hid. The DARPA Covid biowar and Lockdowns and the social media narrative bled Lanka’s economy even more than the Rajapaksas did and benefited big Pharma and big tech and US Digital colonialism. Are not the protestors staging Gota Gama being used via social media controlled by anonymous external actors just like the Easter bombers were ..used??

        • 1
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          SIMON Mahaththyo, you made my day. I was very worried of not hearing for so long. It was me the only person who questioned your absence. I thought criminals might have hurt you etc… thanks.. I will add mine later, I am on highway heading to sthe south. Be blessed…. my fight was nothing else but to stand against Rajapakshes…. now it is being made….. I dont respect those who demolish houses. tbc.

          • 0
            0

            My Dear LM: Thank you for your concerns about my safety. I am keeping well and more energetic than a few weeks back. I missed meeting “Sinhala_Man”. I now know he is in Maharagama. Two days back I passed through Maharagama on my way to Boralesgamuwa. Will try next time. Thanks again. Keep up the good work for a CHANGE>

    • 7
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      Shades of Gaddafi, Ceaușescu ………… the usual ultimate fate of tyrants ……… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqyTCgmNIvE

      Native, get ready with your buckets and towels ………. I gave you ample warning ………..

    • 2
      4

      Of course the US citizens Basil, Goat and bro. MR must go! But we need to stop following the gamed narratives and Pied Pipers on Social Media and demand return of the Yugadanavi Power plant sold to a US company and their assets in LA.
      Who is leading the Protestors and trade Unions to further destroy the Lankan economy NOW? Facebook was used to spread hate and divide the county by CIA bots and tolls in Myanmar and Ethiopia and in the Arab Spring regime Change operations in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Frances Haugen the Face book Whistleblower has revealed how social media is used to game elections etc.

    • 0
      0

      Sinhala intelligence at its best.

      Api Thami Hondata Kella.

  • 1
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 21
    1

    Correct nothing will change unless the mindset of the people and the politicians change. Everyone should be equal with not chosen people. Otherwise, you are exchanging one set of racist opportunists with another and the same old story continues with new faces.

    • 19
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      Mindless organized violence seems to be a tradition in the South of SL. 1958, 1983, 1989, are all good examples.
      Both Mahinda’s goons and their counter-protesters were well organised. Mahinda’s lot were transported, paid, and fed. They were wound up by MR and Johnson. The counter-protesters who pushed buses into the Beira and burnt politicians’ houses were certainly not the middle-class crowd from Galle Face. They mysteriously materialised at strategic places like highway entrances. They almost certainly were organised by a hidden hand, and not driven by lofty principles. This is all too much like 1983. These are the sort of volatile young fellows who might find another target soon enough. Vigilantism is not a good thing, even if the odious Rajapaksas are the targets.

      • 0
        0

        Fools never learn.
        Mindless organized violence seems to be a tradition in the South of SL. 1958, 1983, 1989″

        Army and police were indoors when innocent people were attacked even under emergency. Now that the people have woken-up the narrative have changed to enforcing the law and calling everyone one nationals.
        Military is the next threat to the country all these guys have made fortunes using Gota and they are going to support him to the hilt.

  • 23
    0

    violence is not the answer. The Aragalaya has to continue peacefully. WE need constitutional change to ensure the sucess of Aragalaya. We cannot trust any politicians or even the masses reaction. if we donot change the system it will bring back 2019 in another format. we will be again fooled. Donot rush take time. make sure changes are in place before going for an election.

  • 34
    1

    The following scoundrels should be arrested immediately. 1. Mahinda Rajapakshe. 2. The IGP 3. Basil Rajapakshe we know where you are send in a team to the penthouse (Highest floor) of the Shang grila Hotel 4. Johnston Fernando 5. The prison officials involved in supplying prisoners to beat up protestors. One named Samaranake was mentioned. 6. Any known SLPP minister who supplied goons such as Renuka Herath and Sanath Nishantha. The so called president must be removed from office. Expedite the case filed by Nagananda regarding his nomination and finish him off legally. Parliament is null, void and useless. The speaker of the house also should be sacked for conspiring to adjorn parliament and talking out of his ass about standing orders All SLPP politicians, Rajapakshe family members and high ranking military and government officials like Niverd Must be BARRED from the airport. A list of these scoundrels must be issued to all air lines using Colombo Ratmalana or Mattala Airports not to issue tickets or allow them aboard their planes. No visas should be issued. All foreign nations must be requested to refrain from admitting anyone on this list into their territory

    • 5
      1

      T
      There is a 200 word limit on CT. There are 250 in parliament alone.
      Your list will never be complete.

  • 30
    1

    Tisaranee,
    “Ignoring the rule of law, replacing the rule of law with the law of the rulers is a Rajapaksa trait.” is only partially correct. They are not the pioneers of not strictly enforcing the rule of law. It started with D S Seneanayake, SWRD and most of the important rulers that followed.
    DSS let loose Sinhalese thugs on Tamils in Amparai to drive them away from their homes and be replaced with Sinhalese settlers. During the satyagraha in Galle Face by Tamil MPs when Sinhalese mobs attacked them, the police didn’t arrest the attackers and SWRD enjoyed with pipe-smoke what happened to the Tamil MPs!
    Later more violent state terrorism were committed by Sinhalese armed forces, and when Sinhalese thugs dcommitted anti-Tamil pogroms the armed forces aided abetted the rioters.
    In Mullivaaikkaal when Tamils were massacred en masse by the armed forces Sinhalese people celebrated with kiri bath and fire crackers.
    The point I am making here is that the rule of failed for the Tamils long ago. The same treatment is now applied to Sinhalese who are protesting against the mass-murdering rulers.
    Another point I like to make is that democracy in many third world countries have been hijacked by demagogues appealing to the base emotions of voters.

  • 14
    0

    “The visage is showed belonged to the enemy we wanted to depose. We might all be against the Rajapaksas now; but we have not stopped being like them.”

    I have long said that the rabid hate towards the “Rajapakses” was a black mark on those who promoted that hate, and a mirror of the thing they wanted to destroy.

    Sri Lanka politics is hate-politics. It is divisive politics, and adversarial, confrontational politics. It is tribalism. Yesterday was a holiday for all right – thinking religious people, apparently, unless their religion consisted of beating people up. The end of hate-politics begins in the homes and offices and other public spaces and it should begin now.

    I look forward to the day when people will no longer vote in numbers because the country is so peaceful and harmonious that voting will not be interesting anymore.

  • 8
    1

    All Rajapaksa’s, the IGP and the known politicians that came with the crowd should be arrested before and investigation.

  • 8
    8

    “The Rajapaksas must go, not one or some of them, but all of them including President Gotabaya”

    This is the kind of subversive, extra-judicial and unconstitutional thinking that must go. There are provisions in the constitution but damn them all, you want to remove by force the duly elected President and all of Parliament to boot. If damage to the country is the issue, then, I am not sure if many of our previously elected Prime Ministers and Presidents would have lasted their first term, but that is a moot point really.

    This kind of gutter-democracy is what people should distance themselves against, and the start of entire movement echoing the “Mahinda go” mantra of Ranil Wickramasinghe in Jaffna in 2014 was the start of a naked power grab by the ironically named SJB. It leads to violence ultimately.

    We can first start by recognizing that opportunistic power grabs do not help the country. In any case, the Movement has negatively impacted the economy at a time when it needs support. That itself is robbing the country.

    How about changing that constitution to put an article in: “The President, if some people think is damaging the country, will have to resign based on protests on Galle Face Green and JVP -controlled Union hartals? Like that amendment ? Let’s call it the 99th because that will be the last one.

  • 2
    1

    Why do we not ask the question that the response to pro-government thuggery went in the direction that it did?
    The worry seems to be that violent struggle can take unpredictable directions, much against certain calculations of interest groups.
    *
    I think that their fears are not well founded.
    The state machinery is far too strong and has not abandoned its class loyalty.

  • 8
    0

    A brilliant article at the correct time for one and all to emulate.
    A worthy quote to ponder, ” The visage is showed belonged to the enemy we wanted to depose. We might all be against the Rajapaksas now but we have not stopped being like them”.

  • 10
    1

    This is not the end. There are lots to learn. 75 year history comes to an end very soon. The challenges are still huge and it is not simple as we think. Opportunists still around. We need politics to run this country, We need institutions to function. We need unity among communities, religions, languages, and races. We need peace too. It is time to think and act how to start, how to continue?

  • 15
    1

    Tisaranee Gunasekara – When I watched the video of the mob stripped of their shirt they were not naked, my mid also flashed back to the parading of the naked bodies of dead LTTE fighters men and women. And I also was thinking Karma have made full circle. But I was wrong.

    There is a great difference between parading naked dead bodies of male and female LTTE fighters, tortured to death, you cant imagine the suffering they may have gone through to what happened to Rajapaksa mob in #GotaGoGamma

    These mobs were beaten and then arrested and then questioned to find out how they got there, wh hired them who paid etc etc

    None of the mobs were tortured none of them were killed.

    Renting a mob for few rupees and arrack and a packet of biryani to unleash them on Muslims , Tamils, political opponents is a common practice.

    This needs to stop!. Only way to stop it is teaching the politicians a lesson.

    Namal Rajapkasa tweeted a selfie of himself with the mob …the mob shouting lets go to Galle Face!

    The Namal tweets again appealing for all sides to keep calm and to refrain from violence.

    He thinks he can fool the people.

  • 7
    2

    “Mahinda left Temple Trees.” (Doesn’t it sound familiar?) What is next? There are two possible outcomes.
    1. Mahinda will be reappointed as the PM as no other MP can muster the majority in Parliament. As there is a Constitutional requirement for the post of PM, the President has no power to appoint the PM at his discretion.
    2. Has the incredibly stupid Rajapaksa offspring conspired with his uncles to remove his father from office? Paid mobs have been mobilized to raze down and ablaze properties, including that of the Rajapaksas to demonstrate “fake outrage” against Mahinda. Since last year, large amounts of money has been paid to “fake prophesiers” to predict Mahinda’s demise or removal from office and also to imply that the incredibly stupid Rajapaksa offspring will become the PM. In 2015, Mahinda’s own brothers conspired to oust him. In 2022, did Mahinda’s son follow in the footsteps of his uncles?
    On February 25, President Biden ordered U.S. air forces to drop seven 500-pound bombs on Iraqi forces in Syria
    , whereas my Novorossiya has only 8 oblasts.

    • 0
      1

      Oh no no what? The last two paragraphs starting from “On February 25” ending with “8 oblasts” should be excluded. While waiting for a new article to appear, I made some notes on Russia’s strive to restore complete peace in Mariupol. My heartfelt congratulations to President Vladimir Putin for the most memorable and most spectacular roaring military parade on Russia’s Victory Day. It is very important to preserve Russia’s unique culture. I believe that soon there will be a ‘Liberation Day’ for Novorossiya, too. President Putin seemed to have ‘disappointed’ the West in his speech at the Victory Day by not declaring war against Ukraine! Now that all the civilians trapped in the Azovstal Plant have been evacuated, maybe they expect Russian forces to give one final 24-hour warning of surrender to Ukrainian forces and follow in the footsteps of President Biden in Syria.!!! I still say it is not safe for Russian forces to storm the plant as there is a radio-activated bomb field among other surprises. Having said that, it is highly likely Russian forces close the Azovstal chapter within the next 2-3 days.

      • 0
        1

        My comment is not relevant to the article. However, [Edited out]

  • 8
    1

    The protestors at Galle Face could shout until they were hoarse, or sing lustily from impromptu stages, but the tyranny was not defeated. It took the old Mynah’s use of his old book of tricks to ignite the fire of a true revolution. Yes, violence is ugly; dead bodies stripped of their self-respect, strewn on the streets is horrible; but thousands of innocents die every day as a direct result of this family’ corruption and unprecedented mismanagement debacle. Those dead bodies, often for want of basic life-saving medicine in hospitals don’t appear ugly; no one feels sorry at their sight except the bereaved; no one hears about them on popular media…yet, thousands of preventable deaths are as a direct result of the actions and policies of those whose houses are now burning. The taste of fear, of existential threat, must pervade the lives of those oppressive elements that have snatched away the futures of our children and their children. These are not Rajapakse attitudes; they are mere human nature. One can stand and watch their families dying slowly, for a limited time; then they will risk death by govt bullets in seeking revenge. It is easy to preach peace, law abiding decorum; yet, has the terror of the state been law abiding? Do they even respect non-violence?

    • 0
      0

      well said Lasantha. it is easy for people like the writer of this article to condemn the violence of the protesters against the violence of the paid thugs, from whatever safe place she is writing from. there is a big difference between revolutionary violence and reactionary violence. Did the author expect the protesters to do nothing when their peaceful encampment was destroyed. What kind of message would that have sent to the murdering Rajapakshas? That they can do it again. Instead of sitting in judgement we should find ways to find grassroots activists to give leadership to the people. A united front of the JVP and tamil and muslim leaders might be a good first step

  • 6
    0

    The GotaGoHome project had its beginnings on March 31st. About 6 weeks ago.
    The drama that has unfolded since then, to the point of houses of MPP being torched, seems to be too fast,too coordinated and too professional. From where is the fuel coming?
    Are we to assume that Gota,Shavendra, and Kamal Guneratne are cluelessly waiting and watching?
    Law enforcement is deliberately not having a GO at the MOB when they run wild.
    And Gotas deafening silence!

    Something brewing BIG………………VERY BIG…………..
    Myanmar or July 1983…………………

  • 5
    1

    There are some questions as to whether the attacks on SLPP MP houses done by the anti government protestors.

    If no then the anti govt protestors are only guilty of humiliating the goons that came in by removing their pants.

    I do not think this was wholly inappropriate. It was clear who were the oppressor and the oppressed. It is moral and right to fight to defend yourself against oppressors.

    The humiliating was also necessary as it would act as a deterrent against future similar projects. In any case this was a lot cleaner and nowhere near the humiliating and killing of Tamils done in the 80s.

  • 2
    0

    Elegant – and passionate – as ever from TG. But there’s also a hint of conflation in her main argument here. Regular GGG protestors and the angry crowds that beat up Mahinda’s SLPP goons bussed up to Colombo for the day to ‘do the needful’ are clearly not synonymous with each other, even if it appears there is some overlap. Accordingly, TG’s fiery admonitions suggesting that the GGG protests have more or less passed over to the Dark Side as a consequence of yesterday’s violence seem overdone, overstated. But perhaps that’s only one side of her message. Nothing is (yet) written in stone, a final chapter to the GGG saga is yet to be written – as TG final sentence also clearly suggests.

  • 2
    0

    ‘ THE END?” – NO……..NO…..No. Not until this “Rajapakse & Co. Inc” BASTARDS are made to ROT in Jail.

  • 2
    0

    What we see could well be just the first phase of a well thought out plan!
    It does NOT make sense to consider what happened (across the country) as a response to the violence at the ‘Aragalaya’ premises.
    Is this the beginning of yet another blood-bath?

    • 2
      2

      Sunil
      The protest initially had no stated plan or programme, but sending Gota home.
      It was spontaneous, and gathered momentum mainly in Colombo.
      That is not to overlook vested interests playing their hand to carry forward their own agenda.
      The protests enjoyed public support in the face of months of avoidable suffering that the public was put through, mostly in the urban areas.
      The government avoided state violence to counter the protest, but the acceleration of events went outside government control. The desperate and cynical use of thuggery by MR led to the current plight, rather unexpected at the weekend.
      *
      There are forces in waiting to destabilize the country to serve which interests we cannot be sure. These forces who were ready for the eventuality of a violent turn of events executed with military precision certain attacks on targets, about which the public may not be too angry in the context of the suffering of several months.
      There may not be a well planned strategy yet, but there is serious danger of this trend leading to more senseless violence and plunging the country into chaos from which recovery is hard.

      • 1
        0

        SJ,
        Thanks for the response.
        I entirely agree with you that the ‘Aragalaya’ has been spontaneous.
        Yes, government sponsored thuggery was unleashed on the peaceful protesters by MR and his henchmen while the police actions were somewhat muted.
        I am struggling to characterise the scale (countrywide) and the intensity of the public reaction to thuggery as spontaneous. It takes a lot of effort to cause so much destruction – let alone the means to accomplish it.
        This is the reason for thinking that the ‘reaction’ may have been planned ahead!
        These are fertile conditions for a military takeover and finish the uprising and democracy. We have a history of killing our youth and allow old farts who are gullible to live.
        Are we in the middle of a military takeover?
        There is a rumour that Yoshitha Rajapaksha is in Toorak (a high-end suburb of Melbourne).

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        “That is not to overlook vested interests playing their hand to carry forward their own agenda.”

        Who are they? Was it based on facts?

        “The desperate and cynical use of thuggery by MR led to the current plight, rather unexpected at the weekend.”
        Is it the first time? Is it a family led or only MR?

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    TG’s plea has to be listened to. But her attempt to equate past events mentioned to yesterday’s are not entirely fair. The reaction by the Aragalaya was necessary in a situation of survival. A strong message had to be given and was given. Would MR have gone if his Goons had succeeded in their plans ? Definetely not ! This was an important turning point of the struggle that was made possible to be rid of MR and hopefully a whole system of dynastic politics.
    Like in war an element of resistance and show of strength is required to overcome a bad situation. The reaction of the Aragakaya was akin to that. One cannot expect a very clinical response in a time when emotions are aroused under attack. It is very easy to write about the ethics of conduct from a cozy chair in an air-condioned room as TG may have. However, her point is taken and yes now is the time to heal the wounds of hatred spewed on the innocent public for their selfish gain. We need to bring in that system of change for good governance devoid of politicians. If we fail then the Aragalaya would have achieved nothing and importantly they should be a stakeholder in that process.
    Long live our country and down with dynastic politics.

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    It is historically recorded for instance that tortured become the worst torturers.

    It is a pity, but true not only of torture, but all kind of crime committed by man against man.

    Humans are very complex species and it is very difficult to understand and rationalize.

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    As always, an article by Ms Tisaranee Gunasekara to stir our hearts, make our minds think and this time to heighten our ethical sensitivity.

    “The memories of the first Gota-go-gama, a haven of peace, a place of promise, its images recorded for posterity, is like the Shield of Achilles, a reminder of what we could be if we, in our just anger, don’t give into our worst impulses. There is still time to stop, to change track, to stop being like Rajapaksas, to abandon their ethos, to cleanse ourselves of their toxin, to be not just against the Rajapaksas but opposite them”.
    Yes indeed, we need to abhor their injustice, corruption and the greed for power and seek the opposite. But here, in Sri Lanka the ground reality is such that maybe the moment needed a forceful manner to deter others from similar future situations

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    Mahinda Rajapaksa may have resigned to quell protests against the government, but he is still the leader of the ruling party. Therefore, he should be given due protection.
    It should be noted that the President is not a member of the ruling party or any other political party currently in Parliament. It is Mahinda Rajapaksa who still controls the majority MPs in Parliament.
    It is pretty ‘suspicious’ of Namal Rajapaksa briefing foreign news agencies while Mahinda Rajapaksa is hiding. Why didn’t protesters target Namal? And, why did Namal disclose the place where his father sought protection? It is obvious that he wanted protesters to gather outside Trinco Naval Base too. (Namal sent his wife, child and in-laws out of the country at the beginning of protests.)

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      I am too lazy to repeat my previous comments. On March 31 itself, I said there will be violent riots instigated by the government itself and that paid mobs would be mobilized to attack places.
      Who brought pro-government crowds and paid mobs to Temple Trees and directed them to attack anti-government protesters? That decision was not taken by Mahinda, but ultimately it gave the leverage for paid mobs across the country to unleash terror and justify their violence. Who is behind the attacks on anti-government protesters and properties across the country? Who else, other than Namal and his uncles.
      I vehemently condemn MP Sumanthiran and some other paid cowards calling for Mahinda’s arrest. Sumanthiran, who has been an arch supporter of LTTE terrorists, entered Parliament through open vote rigging at the 2020 Parliamentary Election. He should be in jail first, before Mahinda.
      Mahinda may have many faults, but, he gave unparalleled leadership for Sri Lanka to defeat barbaric LTTE terrorists. Therefore, he should be protected as long as it is necessary.
      If the Emergency Law is in place, why wasn’t the Military called to restore peace? Is the Army Commander waiting for a “Flying Peacock Mission”, or what?

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        All leaders of anti-government protests, including the Reverend Archbishop of Colombo, are free to join an existing political party or form a new political party and contest elections. Sri Lanka WILL NOT follow the examples of other countries where democratically elected leaders were assassinated or forcibly removed to fulfill certain agendas leaving the country anarchic.
        We must remember that it is our Sinhalese Buddhist ancestors who gave their lives to protect our beloved motherland. While countries such as Ukraine had to pass a legislation that prevented all men in fighting age (between 18 and 60) leaving the country and forcing them to fight against Russia, our Sinhalese Buddhist villlage boys in eighteens and twenties voluntarily lined up in hundreds of thousands to join the army in the last phase of war against LTTE terrorists and willingly sacrificed their lives to eliminate LTTE terrorists completely. We must remember that if our beloved motherland becomes anarchic, it is we, the Sinhalese Buddhists, who will be the losers, not anybody else!

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          Champs what a load of crap. If LTTE is terrorist so is the Sri Lankan state, for what they did to the Thamizh from the time of independence up to now, all in the name of Chingkalla Buddhism. What do you say to the documented war crimes that were committed on the innocent Thamizh civilians by your so-called Chingkalla heroes and golden heroes in May 2009 and what is happening in the north and east now?

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            Pandi Kutti
            War crimes? What war crimes? Are you talking about Channel 4 style war crimes? Oh, I saw them busy in Bucha too, trying to prove war crimes with odourless, bloodless dead bodies, dead bodies with moving fingers, spot clean body bags pulled out from ‘mass graves’ and Azov Nazi style killings. Elsewhere, I saw a restless dead body busy adjusting his body bag several times before finally Rest In Peace. In order to authenticate Channel 4 style war crimes in Bucha, Ukrainian snipers had tried to make an exactly similar scene in vain in Mariupol too. Fortunately, Patrick Lancaster has recorded statements from eye witnesses on the spot with their names and addresses.
            LTTE terrorists committed war crimes for nearly 34 years with the approval of the UN, UNHRC and HR bodies. Foreign countries which passed resolutions at the UN against Sri Lanka were the same countries that supplied weapons to terrorists. During every ceasefire, they rearmed terrorists and after our military annihilated terrorists, they accused us of committing war crimes.

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    This whole thing remind me of past riots and 1971 Chequara attack. The best place the MPs and politicans can be safe was all Tamil areas in 1971. The Government could not even trust its own police, military etc. Now Mahin is in Trincomalee. The protesters are blocking the naval base where Mahin is staying. Welcome back to Tamil area all South Politicians for safety. I hope the protesters will follow them where ever they go. I was shocked how fast and how well coordinated attack on MPs houses. Well Hope Gota got the message. He got to go. Now the defense ministry given orders to shoot to kill is not good. Well My friend Sampanthan said Karma has come to Sri Lanka and the curse of the 40,000 innocent died Tamils. They were cursing SL and Rajapakshas before died. When Karma comes it is hell. The Americans say pay back is hell. So Hope the new generation will establish a system that is equal and honest and fair to every SL citizen. Abolish the dual citizen running the Government and running in an election. Buddha is not looking happy with SL and all SL Buddhist monks. Pray for the nation to cure itself.

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      Yes, agree. Made life hell for the Tamils living in Tamil areas, using the occupying Sinhalese armed forces, various government departments like Archeology, Forestry, and Maheveli to concoct fake history and use flimsy excuses to steal Tamil lands, for future Sinhalese settlement and to convert ancient Hindu temples to Buddhist, and build new Buddhist temples, where no Buddhist existed. Tortured, raped, and killed thousands of them, burnt their homes looted their belongings, and made them run for their lives, overseas or to other parts of the island. All in the name of Sinhalese Buddhism and was considered a great saviour and hero by the Sinhalese. He and his brother were elected by the very same Sinhalese to do more of this to the Tamils and to their former allies, the Muslims.

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        Now what irony is the very same Sinhalese, who considered him, his brother, family, and friends as the saviours of the Sinhalese and elected them are now hounding him, his brother, and family and close supporters and giving them the same treatment, that they gave the Tamils and them in fear are running for their lives either overseas or to the very same Tamil areas, where they ironically made life hell for the Tamils. If people do not learn from this and stop being racist and curb religious extremism and opportunism Buddhist and Islamic. Nothing will improve. Institutionalized racism and privileges for one ethnoreligious group should stop immediately. Everyone is equal and the island belongs to all, not to just one lot of people only, who use are unfairly using their majority, and a book that is a mixture of fables and history and also now concocting history, to claim the entire island as theirs and exclude others, when it never was. 75 years of this state-sponsored Sinhalese Buddhist racism, especially against the island’s Tamils, who also have an ancient history and homeland on the island and now see the result. The Rajapkses are the worst. Now seeking refuge in Tamil Trincomalee. What an irony, after what the Tamils suffered under his and his brother’s government.

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          The Rajapkses are the worst. Now seeking refuge in Tamil Trincomalee. What an irony, after what the Tamils suffered under his and his brother’s government. Even if the UN, the west, and India did not punish this man, his brother, and all those responsible for what happened to the Tamils in May 2009 and the horrible war crimes that were committed against them, the tears of 145000 killed and disappeared, has not gone in vain.

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    Part 1
    Tisaranee,

    This is not the end for the country or the people. We have a long way to go for a way out.

    I had also made some similar comments in the CT for an interim arrangement with the Chief Justice as the interim President and to have 12 No technocrats as Ministers who are not politicians, but honest trustworthy, dedicated individuals who are expected to accomplish certain tasks preferably within an year.

    The Terms of Reference TOR could include measures taken to reform the economy and bring the country out of the present crisis.

    The TOR includes passing necessary constitutional amendments to bring radical changes to the present constitution so that power and authority will not be in the hand of a single individual, but among the cabinet as a whole with Parliament playing the role as in a Westminster type constitution.

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      Part 2
      The next item in the TOR could be to build up new institutions with necessary cheeks and balances so that no politician or any public official could manipulate the system for their own individual financial bnefits and Parliament with powerful oversight committees will ensure rule of law, transparency and accountability and all elements of good governance.
      The advantages of having technocrats over politicians is that they could take unpopular but correct decisions without worrying about the next election to ensure economic recovery and to have a bipartisan constitution without any ethnic, racial or political bias and for people to pay allegiance and ownership will rest with the people as a whole.

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    To take a leaf out of EEs vein of comments all those who attacked the RAKSHAPakses were merely defeated by the Rajapakses, defeated by destroyed economy, defeated by no medicines, defeated by no fuel, defeated by no milk, defeated by a useless toilet paper sri lanka rupee and other defeats and then this resulted in defeating of the RAKSHApakese!!!! themseves.

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    It will take decades for sinhala land to get out of this mess. The world will benefit as it can ;look forward to a constant supply of sinhala toilet cleaners!!!

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    Is the Family performing Pansakula for Lasantha, Wassim, Prageeth, Sivaram and scores of others they sent out from this world?

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    Please, do not get offended for saying, I am saying this with good intentions. I had to take a few deep breaths to get the courage to say this.

    All communities fought shoulder to shoulder with lot of enthusiasm and hope to get freedom from colonial rule prior to 1948.

    We all succeeded in our struggle and got independence on February 4th 1948.

    But we all got soon divided from 1956 with the Sinhala Only bill being passed, and we saw through so many riots and violence, and all communities got divided and polarized.

    So fighting shoulder to shoulder is not something new and special to this time, it was displayed prior to Independence too.

    The point I want everyone to consciously note is that soon after we get these Rajapaksa rascals out we should not forget all what was said during this struggle, and to be conscious that it should NEVER be another 1956 anymore.

    So our success is not just throwing Rajapaksas and their suckers in parliament but to ensure equality to all irrespective of race and religion . It is this that will be the victory to all, otherwise will be just Rajapaksas being replaced by another set of rogues.

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