30 September, 2020

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The Fluid Prejudice In Writing History

By Sarath De Alwis

Sarath De Alwis

Sarath De Alwis

I can’t understand why they had to fight a conventional war. Prabhakaran could have gone underground. If I was the leader of the LTTE, I would have gone underground and I would have been in the jungles – fighting a guerrilla fight.” – Mahinda Rajapaksa in Interview by Editor of the ‘Hindu’8th July 2009

Prabhakaran died on 19th May 2009. The day after on 20th May, a triumphant President Mahinda Rajapaksa affixed his signature on a new one thousand rupees currency note portraying his mustachioed, shawl draped self, with both arms raised high in symbolic acknowledgment of the gratitude of the nation. The Central Bank then confirmed that the “decision to issue such a commemorative note was taken immediately after the completion of the humanitarian operations on 19th May, 2009.”

Thus commenced the single most successful political hoax in our history – the making of a parvenu patriot. His remarkable political success was due to his phenomenal ability to silence dissent by methods both good bad and absolutely ugly.

The caption of this article is inspired by Ambrose Bierce’s Devils Dictionary definition of history. “History is an account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.”

fonseka_mahinda_gotabhaya - colombotelegraphOn Friday 17th July 2015 the ex-president launched his return bid with the theme: “a new life to the country and a new beginning.”

Lest we forget, we who did not agree with the affable autocrat, lived in fear. We collectively surrendered our capacity for analysis of events. Fear paralyzed our will to resist. Until 8th January denial was mandatory. It is only in the past six months that we dared to speak of what frightens us.

With the looming threat of a return of the brutal ‘Bodhisatva’ it is high time that we dismantle false history.

In the five post war years of playing poker with Packer, Mahinda Rajapaksa rewrote history both modern and medieval. He developed a ‘ patriotism’ that excluded the inconvenient as propganda of the enemy. He assigned the task of sugar coating the ‘tragic’ and the ‘terrible’ to a new breed of Buddhist preachers who set up urban temples that served ‘take away’ morals. The electronic media was creatively exploited to extend the despotic regime’s control over its people. The semi-literate were seduced. The literate were either ridiculed or coaxed in to acceptance of Mahinda’s ‘sanitized truth.’

The political charlatans who wrote their own laws, undermined judicial decisions of the few judges who defied executive intimidation, now promise a new country and a new beginning. The divisive language of ‘us’ and ‘them’ is again crawling in to mainstream politics. This is Buddhist country. ‘Devadaththa’ too could aspire high!
As conceded by himself in the interview with the Editor of the ‘Hindu’, Mahinda did not win the war. Prabhakaran lost the war.

Mahinda shoud be stopped in his tracks.

Of all leaders of independent Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is clearly fortune’s favourite. Four Presidents JR Jayewardene , R Premadasa, Chandrika Kumaratunga and D. B. Wijetunge were confronted by a Prabhakaran who was demanding a piece of territory. President Rajapaksa confronted a Prabhakaran who was defending a territory with international monitors playing referee. That explains President Rajapaksa’s quandary as to why Prabhakaran was ready to fight a trench war instead of the shadow war of a guerilla.

It was also the good fortune of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to have contested the presidency when a wide swathe of territory was under the effective control of an implacable terrorist who preferred him as against his opponent.

The interview given to the Hindu is available in the public domain. That he was satisfied with the detailed report is evident from the fact that soon after the interview the eminent Indian scribe earned the “Sri Lanka Rathna “.

Wars can be won or lost for a variety of reasons. The Americans lost the war not in Vietnam but in the streets of Washington. General Giap – the Red Napoleon says as much in his memoirs.

The much maligned ceasefire agreement gave the Tiger leader the illusion that he was indeed in command of some real estate. Prabhakaran had not read General Giap. After the victory at Dien Bien Phu, Giap observed, “a strong rear is always the decisive factor for victory in a revolutionary war.”

This writer has many reservations about Mr. Ranil Wickremesighe. The CFA may have been deeply flawed. Yet, it is the cease fire agreement of Ranil Wickremesinghe that entrapped him in a situation where he had no ‘strong rear ‘.

The Ram interview published by the Hindu in three parts makes interesting reading. There is a revealing intervention by Lalith Weeratunge.

Says the secretary to the President “When in April 2006, when they tried to assassinate the Army Commander, the President said – this was in the next room – “as a deterrent, just one round of bombing, then stop it.”

The great redeemer and warrior President tells Ram “Yes, I said: Just go once.” We were very careful. We did our best to find a way out through talks.”

Mahinda Rajapaksa did not win the war. He stumbled on victory. That explains the jailing of the General.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    11

    I, leader [Edited out] and my followers in the foreign financed anti-Rajapakse movement are in a bit of a spot after witnessing the strength of the Anuradhapura gathering in support of him.

    This time we can’t accuse him of using government resources to assemble people. So we are now resorting to re-writing history.

    This item is a shaky startby a [Edited out]
    disciple Sarath de Alwis – to say that “Mahinda did n’t win the war, but Prabhakaran lost it”!

    We are laughing with our backsides!

    • 9
      3

      PM,
      Mahinda still hold billions worth of money stolen from public during his term in office. A person who loves this land and its values will not focus on his self image by naming his name for Airports & buildings, spend billions on erecting his posters and buying UNP, Muslim Congress, LTTE members, drug dealers, arms smugglers paying billions of public money and giving ministerial posts. SLFP had an opportunity to come to power and 3rd President in another years time. But the greedy Mahinda did not want another SLFP man becoming President. He did not want to support another SLFP man becoming a President becuase his focus was on power, not party, not people, not country. Time has not gone. Can he nominate another person from SLFP for PM post and campagin for that candidate? The answer is definite NO because he is very selfish.

    • 7
      2

      PM

      “We are laughing with our backsides!”

      Indeed you are laughing with your backside while clan and cronies are laughing all the way to foreign banks.

      Watch out soon you will be laughing without your amude.

  • 3
    2

    ‘Affable autocrat.’ What a fitting description.

  • 2
    1

    Mr. Alwis,
    Then, what was the big bourha of granting FM status to FM ?

    Were’nt there any International referees during the terms of Late JR/RP/DB and CBK?
    Why only during MR’s time only?
    ” Mahinda did not win the war. Prabhakaran lost the war.- Hindu”
    Then NO VICTORS……..

    HERE TODAY, YOU BLOWING HOT AND COLD WITH THE SAME BREATH.
    Why quote journalists. Did we not see or hear?
    Can not clap with a single hand.

    What was the real reason Prabakaran lost the War????????
    Did the International referees & external forces let him & the LTTE down?

  • 5
    4

    Sarath De Alwis –

    RE: The Fluid Prejudice In Writing History

    “Thus commenced the single most successful political hoax in our history – the making of a parvenu patriot. His remarkable political success was due to his phenomenal ability to silence dissent by methods both good bad and absolutely ugly.”

    That is deception,. That is marketing.

    Sarath Fonseka who was the true hero was sidelines and jailed, so that Mahinda Rajapaksa could continue with the deception, Why?

    Because the IQ of the Modayas, Mootals and Fools is below 79?

  • 16
    3

    Although initially many thought that all three, Mahinda, Gotabaya and General Fonseka were equally responsible for the victory against the LTTE, for any rational unbiased observer each passing day since the end of the war makes it very clear that General Fonseka was the main architect of the military victory. If Mahinda and Gotabaya had conducted the war in the inept imbecilic manner they have conducted the affairs of the country since sidelining Fonseka, there would have been no end to the LTTE. Unusually for a Singhalese, General Fonseka is a man of some ability and competence, not the greatest General in the world (let us not get carried away here, great military leaders overcome forces that are vastly superior to their own through tactical brilliance. LTTE was no such force, in every measurable criteria the LTTE was vastly inferior to the Sri Lankan forces.) The fact that the LTTE was able to last 30 years (until Fonseka appeared on the scene as the chief of the army) points more to the sheer incompetence of the GOSL (which is amply demonstrated now, in the running of the country) and its military establishment. In Sri Lanka, General Fonseka’s competence is his curse, a man of ability does not like to live on handouts (which most of the Sri Lankan inept politicians, lackeys and sycophants have no qualms about.) The Rajapakses have elevated handing out handouts in every sphere (including justice) to a new art form.

    When all this ends, the country would be very lucky to be left only with some colossal white elephants (if one day he doesn’t wake up and realize that he was not just the president of Hambanthota but of the entire country.)

    After 30 odd years of mayhem the greatest damage that Prabakaran may have unwittingly done to SL is imposing Mahinda as the president. Physical destruction takes a short time to recover – Germany, Japan after the war – but this type of destruction of the moral (whatever that was left of) fabric of the country takes a long while, if not ever. Starting with JR, it is another lower step in a downward spiral.

    How have we mindlessly ended up paying homage to a dumb brute for getting rid of another brute, when the emergence of the brute Prabakaran who was gotten rid of, is a result of the foolish politics that the other brute Mahinda was a part of for 40 years, and still is.

    “No-one knows, or even feels, that anything is a defect, until he is at the same time above and beyond it.”

  • 8
    3

    “Mahinda JaRaapaksa did not win the war”.

    We people Won the WAR.

    Mahinda Rajapaksa SOLD the war!.

    And
    Mahinda JaRaapaksa still SELLING the war

  • 3
    1

    Why do we want to talk any more of that “War” and dish out its success among those who were in the forefront? That “War” was over and, isn’t it worthwhile to make an assessment of what happened after 2009 to 2014. No doubt, the MR regime took cover under the “success” of war and got engaged in building a “Hegemony” centered on his “Family” and “Cohort” using all the resources of the country and on borrowed funds hedging the national wealth. He and his cohorts managed to successfully “coat” all those projects as “development” and DECIPHER the major portion of the benefits to their own “welfare”. In order to do that “MR Regime” also built a “Mafia” style administrative set up both in the Public and the Private Sector. Therefore, isn’t time to speak, debate and make the public AWARE of the DAMAGE that “Regime” willfully imposed upon us? It is in the absence of such a discussion MR is once again embarked on a “war wining” and “development” slogan to “blindfold” the voter. So let us talk and debate over the “Large Scale” financial frauds(visible); the Huge Unpaid Bank Loans that have been dished out and not a Single Installment has been repaid yet; the “Cosmos” empire that was built with State Funds; the “Publicity Projects” that were signed with USA based companies and how funds were dispersed both by the External Affairs and the Central Bank; the “Expenses” met on State Funds to fight the Presidential election etc… etc…. These and many more matters of “visible” frauds, mismanagement of State Ventures by this “Hegemony” and the “Mafia” built under its protection have not been “Put Across” into the public domain and as a result MR & Co. has steadily got engaged in “Black mailing” the voter. This is what the so called “Intellectuals” must do NOW to prevent this “Monster” rising his ugly head.

  • 7
    2

    I disagree with the writer vehemently, I believe that Mihinda Rajapaksa won the war decisively, we cannot give credit to past leaders for chipping away at the façade, that was their job! He gave the leadership and the authority against overwhelming international pressure (towards the latter stages) to end the war. He also has to carry the cross for whatever happened during those last days but whatever he did, guaranteed us a complete wipe-out of the LTTEs military wherewithal. This is why I believe that we as a Nation, must protect the man and all involved from all the international hounds trying to parade them in an international court……lest we forget!!!

    Mihinda Rajapaksa is however no statesman, when he had popular support in 2009 to do whatever he wanted, he did not strive to unite the communities, instead, he went about silencing critics, strong arming his opponents, placing inept relatives in important positions, making our Foreign Service an international joke, robbing the coffers with kickbacks from large projects. In the span of 4 years, we became a banana republic, cronies became overnight billionaires. He failed to realize that Tamils did not fight for 6 lane highways and uninterrupted power……they fought for basic dignity! I suppose in hindsight, this does not speak highly of Richmond College, Nalanda College, Thurstan College and the Law College.

    We are now at a crossroad; facing a corrupt despot against a failed opposition leader/PM and a weak President. We have to be pragmatic and choose between the better of the two evils. I believe that Ranil Wickramasinghe and Mithripala Sirisena make a good combination for the future of our Country, our Children, our grandchildren, our fellow tamils, Muslims and various religious minorities……we are NOT a Sinhala Buddhist country, we are a secular state, we always have been. We need Ranil Wickramasinghe and Mithripala Sirisena in the driving seat………why? because the alternative is unthinkable!!!

    • 0
      0

      Diluk Desinghe

      “This is why I believe that we as a Nation, must protect the man and all involved from all the international hounds trying to parade them in an international court……lest we forget!!!”

      On the contrary now is the time for people to protect the nation from the man.

      One old seaman told me “everyday you eat fish one day fish eats you” if you are a mariner. Perhaps this is the right time for the fish to eat the man.

      ” I believe that Mihinda Rajapaksa won the war decisively,”

      The war was won by VP for MR with support from Hindia and USA. Even both evil brothers said it on the record, that without Hindia’s support they would not have won the war.

  • 3
    3

    Received the following information via email just 5 minutes back:(SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION THAT THIS ISN’T A MR LIE )RW has class and is too dignified to be a,Hambantota thug.

    Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Hon. Ranil Wickramasinghe had visited H.E. Maithripala Sirisena the President yesterday in his office. As he entered the office he had instructed all including the security personnel to leave. Having closed the door behind him, the PM had berated H.E. the President severely for allegedly insulting the PM in a public speech saying that H.E. had instructed the PM to discontinue the services of the Governor of the Central Bank and that H.E. had dissolved the Parliament to save the PM from an emabarrasment of being impeached in Parliament through a Motion of No Confidence for Ayahapath Palanaya. The PM started throwing things around in anger leading to such noise that the PSD personnel opened the door to ensure the security of H.E. 
    At that point one PSD personnel had witnessed the PM slapping His Excellency the President and shouting absolute filth in English.
    On seeing the PSD guard, the PM had dashed out of the President’s office.
     

                                                                                                

    • 1
      0

      Absolute rubbish……..did the power do out at your home last night to think up such fanciful nonsense?

    • 1
      0

      This is imagination running wild. Anyone who knows Ranil closely is aware how mild mannered and non confrontational he is!
      This description fits someone else we know very well. This must be a case of mistaken identity!

  • 2
    4

    Disappointing…This analyst can do much better.

    • 2
      0

      Yes definitely better than you Dear DR

  • 2
    0

    An excellent analysis.
    For those who knew the facts of the war and are honest enough to accept it, this is an old fact.
    Must thank Sarath for being bold enough to proclaim it unlike some of the so called analysts like DJ who changes his cry from day to day to suit his dreams of clinging on to a new politician like a flea.

  • 9
    0

    Won the war ? 300,000 soldiers vs 20,000 tigers who fought conventionally ! We sri lankans are no soldering types nor are we good analyst of wars.When you look at an average sri lankan does the word soldier come to mind ! A lot of things in this country happen by chance or circumstances. But many people claim ownership later.In the hands of some one else our history would have been very different. But we only can produce the likes of SWRD,JR, Ranil,Chandrika,Wijeweera,MR ,Prabakaran etc. Their collective contribution is what we see before us. This has nothing to do with school of caste. They are all simply mediocre and selfish but full of themselves. Big egos but small minds and mean hearts.Sad guys sad.

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