27 October, 2020

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The Idiotic Gene

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Despotic governments…..all follow the same logic”. Umberto Eco (The Prague Cemetery)

Economic punches and developmental disappointments might have bruised and battered Mahinda Rajapaksa’s once enormous popularity among Sinhala masses. Yet a considerable part of it still endures. There is nothing outlandish about this; despotic leaders are usually popular, for a while, before the devastating costs of their rule become manifest. Vellupillai Pirapaharan was popular in his time. So was Adolf Hitler, until the Americans’ daylight carpet-bombing of German cities and the Red Army’s arrival on the borders of the Thousand Year Reich compelled ordinary Germans to realise the inevitability of a defeat on a Götterdämmerung scale.

Mahinda Rajapaksa is popular among Sinhala masses because his promise of ushering a developmental Shangri la is believed, still. He has credibility because the 30 year Eelam War came to a victorious conclusion under his leadership. The non-appearance of the much anticipated peace dividend and the consequent exacerbation of economic hardships have dented, somewhat, the hope of a richer tomorrow. But a huge chunk of the Sinhala South still clings to the belief that the Rajapaksas can and will deliver the promised felicitous future.

The Siblings would know the importance of keeping that faith alive. They would also know that economic outrages, such as the electricity rates hike, can cause serious fissures in that belief.

The Rajapaksa development strategy is an amalgam of economic neo-liberalism and state capitalism. Their stirring populist rhetoric serves to cover a gamut of policies which are iniquitous, viscerally. The Siblings follow a tax-borrow-and-spend approach, with crucial differences. Their taxing is of the indirect variety, targeting essential goods and services; therefore a disproportionate share of the tax-burden falls not on the rich but on those clinging to the bottom half of the income-totem pole. When it comes to spending on popular needs, the Siblings are deficit hawks. But they spend, limitlessly, on megalomaniacal projects with nary a benefit to the economy at large, or to the people in general.

Mihin Air, which never made a profit in its entire existence, is an excellent symbol of the counter-developmental effects of Rajapaksa development. So is the highway craze. The Southern Highway is costing the nation an annual loss of Rs. 5.5 billion; according to Prof. Amal Kumarage of the Transport and Logistics Management Department of the Moratuwa University, “The annual revenue collected from vehicles using the Expressway is approximately Rs 1 billion, whereas the maintenance and debt service cost is around Rs 6.5 billion” (Ceylon Today – 29.3.2013). That Rs.5.5 billion could have been used to improve feeder roads, rural roads and public transportation. But the Rajapaksas are as unconcerned about popular needs as they are blasé about economic logic. All they care about is their power and their glory.

Mattala Madness

Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa Airport is a metaphor, not just for Rajapaksa development but also for Rajapaksa Rule.

The Mattala Airport was built not to fulfil a national, regional or developmental need but to satiate a Rajapaksa desire. In Rajapaksa Sri Lanka, the premier international airport cannot be named after a bygone ruler (especially since his retired-daughter remains a bit of a headache). Since the name of the Katunayake airport cannot be changed from Bandaranaike to Rajapaksa without creating some unfavourable flutters in the SLFP, the obvious way out is to build a new airport and name it after the new rulers. The long term Rajapaksa plans might include turning Hambantota into Lanka’s administrative capital (after changing its name to Sri Rajapaksa Pura). The plan to shift the National Lotteries Board to Hambantota might be the beginning of a generalised transfer of state institutions to the new epicentre.

A new capital would need a new airport.

Passengers and airlines are not exactly flocking to Mattala. But birds are. Mattale airport is close to the time immemorial flight-paths of migratory birds. Then there are peacocks – the symbol of God Kataragma/Skanda, and sacred alike to Sinhala-Buddhists and Tamil-Hindus; plus elephants and other wild animals.

Already two airlines have had close encounters of the avian kind. If the word gets around, not even the most outrageous concessions would succeed in attracting international airlines to Mattala.

Thus the launching of a new ‘humanitarian operation’, to turn Mattala into a bird-and-animal-free-zone. It includes plans to closedown waterholes and destroy feeding-grounds in the area which have sustained the bird and animal populations for millennia.

The animals, crazed by hunger and thirst, will venture into human settlements. The human-elephant conflict (which has caused so many human and elephant deaths and is threatening to wipe out the already dwindling elephant population) will intensify and become a human-animal conflict. Sinhala farmers, struggling with innumerable problems – including that of severe water shortage – will be confronted with a new menace.

Ordinary humans and ordinary animals would suffer and die in increasing numbers so that the Rajapaksas can embark from and disembark in an airport named after them.

There is nothing pro-people about Rajapaksa economic policies. On the contrary they can be best summarised as counter-Robin Hood; they take from the poor/middle classes and give to the rich. Consequently Rajapaksas economics will enrich the rich, pauperise the poor and cause the middle classes to become mired in debt (including credit-card debt) to maintain their living standards. This trend is indicated by the fact that Sri Lanka’s HDI for 2012, when discounted for inequality, falls from 0.715 to 0.607; this loss of 15.1 is due to ‘inequality in the distribution of the dimension indices”, according to the UNDP. (It cannot be accidental that the poverty/inequality figures for Sri Lanka are unavailable).

The recent electricity hike which imposes punitive increases on low-end and mid-level uses while shielding high-end consumersi should suffice to prove to the Sinhala masses that Rajapaksa economics cannot bring about the richer tomorrow of their dreams.

If the Rajapaksas are to retain their Sinhala base, they must prevent the Sinhala masses from focusing on economics and drawing logical conclusions. So long as the Siblings can retain their Sinhala base, they need not to use generalised violence to win elections or generalised repression to maintain order. And so long as the Rajapaksas can manage with targeted violence and repression, they can keep some parts of the democratic façade intact.

That is where the minority-bogey in general and the Muslim-bogey in particular become indispensable.
The old myth of rich Tamils preying on poor Sinhalese, of Tamil students from privileged homes hogging the universities and professions while Sinhala students from underprivileged homes languish in unemployment has been recast to suit the new Muslim bogey. Today it is the ‘wily Muslim’ standing in the way of Sinhala prosperity; the ‘fecund Muslim’ conspiring to occupy Sinhala lands and monopolise Sinhala resources; the ‘violent Muslim’ readying to turn the Sinhalese into a cowering minority.

Creating minority-bogies is a standard despotic ruse. Its purpose is to create a target into which the just Sinhala anger at the growing economic predicament can be displaced; to make the Sinhalese masses forget the real authors of their suffering and focus their hatred on the Muslim scapegoat.

Are we inane enough to fall for that lie, again? Is our national trajectory to be determined forever by an Idiotic Gene?

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Latest comments

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    People from Hambantota could be carrying the Muslim Gene, hence the name of the Town!

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      Brilliant Thisaranee! Keep up your great work!
      Hambantota is indeed an environmental disaster zone as I have seen, but wonder why that moron Sajith Premadasa is so studiously silent about the costs of the environmental destruction to the local people who are farming and fisher communities?!
      Rajapassa is following the military business model – a la Pakistan and he can look forward like Parvez Musharaff to being arrested on the orders of the court sooner than later.

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        Thisaranee please translate your excellent article into Sinhala so that the Sinhalaya modayas who vote for Rajapassa may be enlightened!

        Electric price increase shows that if you consume more you are rewarded, and you are penalized for consuming less!

        Its all about “economies of scale” – the neoliberal “development” project of the Asian Development Bank and World Bank that is giving so called “AID” to build highways – so the Japan can sell more cars in third world military dictatorships like Lanka… This is why donors are funding construction of useless highways for Namal Rajapassa’s sports car races!

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      pol pot… just another pea brained and loose tongue remark. Hambantota was a very vibrant multi ethnic town and a serene one at that before the adventure of the current reigning Rambos’.

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    I think you hit the nail on the head, Tisaranee. It has to be genetic for our masses to keep continuously being idiotic when it comes to the vote. And with the advent of the siblings and their outrageous actions, the ‘idiotic gene’ comes more into focus than ever before!

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    Tisaranee:
    Thank you, once again, for exposing the reality of the Miracle of Asia. We can now look forward to the idiotic babblings of those who are too stupid to see what is staring them in the face, something reinforced by their being paid handsomely to denigrate brave and independent people like you.

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    It (The Idiotic Gene) is a moral arguments in the International
    relationships but we need to understand who the enemy is!

    Why a zombie of neoliberalism – and which political power lies in love.
    When we speak of the end of neoliberalism, we mean it like ten years ago when we talked about the death of U.S. unilateralism.Neoliberalism is a zombie comparable. Zombies run around and produce horrific devastation, but in them is no more life. This is a recurring image in horror movies.

    In the last scene of the zombie stretches his hand out of the grave and grabs you one last time.Neoliberalism is dead in the sense that in his ideas is no more life. But he is still walking around a while and cause destruction.

    Most people seem to economic or military power structures with which they are faced, indomitable. Create swoon. We insist on the possibility of change. Therefore, we focused on the potential. A better world will emerge not necessarily, but it is important to show that we can fight for it.

    The philosopher Slavoj Zizek said, obviously it is easier nowadays, the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism as we see all these movies about the end of the world. That’s an interesting observation. Hollywood is a kind of mirror image of certain hegemonic and ideological structures that make it difficult for us to design a new and different social order.

    Regards,

    P.V.Sri Rangan

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    Tisaranee:”The Idiotic Gene”

    The question isn’t who is going to let the tyrant;

    it’s who is going to stop the idiotism.

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    Ms T seems to have an Edurance Gene, to keep up this Sinhala Buddhist and Rajapaksa bashing for nearly four years , since Nathikadal.

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      “Ms T seems to have an Edurance Gene, to keep up”

      So you are close to the clan and are busier than cats trying to cover the shit.

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      ammatasiri sumane! still going on with the arse-giving to the rajapakses eh? “sinhala buddhist bashing”? lolololol, you weak minded, easily led sheep. where in this article does she bash the sinhalese or the buddhists? unless you’re equating the rajapakses with buddhism, in which case i must now run to the dhammapada and find the verse where Lord Buddha made Mahinda Rajapakse his representative.

      Keep making asinine comments, sumane. Keep making them until the bills themselves choke you with their weight.

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    Perception ‘CONTROLS’ Genes. Environment ‘SHAPES’ Genetic Code. Therefore, Perception ‘REWRITES’ Our Genes. Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back into our hearts. Love is the essential reality, and one of our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1shfqw_ROo#t=10m19s

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    K.A Sumanasekera

    “Is our national trajectory to be determined forever by an Idiotic Gene?”

    I have been stating my discovery of this stupid gene which is shared by Tamils of Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka and by Sinhalese for donkey’s years.

    Has Tisaranee Gunasekara plagarised my deeply held view, with minor adjustment?

    Let us hear from you, the self appointed spokes person for the majority inhabitants, or 75% stupid people.

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      ignore sumane, Mr. V, he’s a bit simple minded and thinks his flagrant defense of a near-dictator will get him some kind of reward… Reminds me of religious people :)

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        kp

        Don’t worry he is my sparring partner or you could say a punch bag.

        I am sure he enjoys being both.

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          No sweat mate,

          After copping what your Idol Praba dished out, we are pretty immune now.

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      Dear Native,

      If Ms T’s genes detrmine our tragectory, it will be Eelaam in the North with open borders to Seemon Tigers and the LTTE Rump.

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        K.A Sumanasekera

        My ancestors were very kind to Kallathonies from all over the world and they did have very liberal policy on immigration. That was a mistake. We have been paying for it ever since they started arriving on our seashores.

        That was how ancestors of both Sinhalese and Tamils swamped our island misusing our hospitality and open door policies on immigration. The earliest lot mostly thugs came to this island seeking asylum. My people did not suspect the new arrival. In fact they economic migrants fro North and South India.

        In hindsight, I think my ancestors should have exercised stringent/tight border control preventing bogus tourists and asylum seekers who misused our benefit system for about 2500 years. Almost all of them were work shy long term scroungers.

        “After copping what your Idol Praba dished out, we are pretty immune now.”

        Could you tell me the difference between your thug Vijaya and your brother thug Praba?

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    i was really feel sorry about this writer. one can clearly see her hatred towards rajapakshas’. so pathetic.

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      She represents the masses – days are counted for MR regime : Jayawewa for the right thinking lankens :)

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    In HAMBANTOTA, we have an INternational Air POrt! We have an International Sea Port! We have an International Cricket Stadium! We have six lane roads! We have Elephents and birds and other animals in the jungle there! But we only have few thousand civilians!

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      …and a very few civilized ones!

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    The issue of social degeneration as seems to be occurring in Sri Lanka has intrigued me for quite awhile.

    Political opportunism aside, ordinary people seem to have progressively lost their good values and beliefs, instead substituting them for fake idealism and symbolism as never before.

    For example, one incessantly hears chanting of Buddhist pariththa deshana over loud speaker systems; many motor vehicles sport tiny Buddha statuettes on their dashboards; Buddhist colours are displayed on windscreens; the Dhamma chakra is worn prominently.

    But the main defilements as described by the Buddha seem to prevail, in that raaga, dweysha, moeha (lust or greed, hatred or ill-will, ignorance or foolishness) are consistently on display.

    Is this a state of society that will be sustainable? What will be the nature of moral standing of the next generation?

  • 0
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    Everyone knows about Mihin Airlines and the high cost of electricity. [Edited out] Tisaranee need not consider herself clever for revealing what is taken as common knowledge. [Edited out] Tisaranee might also want to invest in a real economics book. As an economy grows, a certain amount of inflation is to be expected. As for these “megalomaniacal projects” that [Edited out] Tisaranee refers to, she should know that Sri Lanka/Rajapakses are not unique in this regard. The defense budget of the USA is greater than the combined defense budgets of the next ten nations with the biggest militaries.

    The animals, crazed by hunger and thirst, will venture into human settlements.

    Poor Tisaranee is missing her other target of journalistic venom, the LTTE. Now she has to bring wildlife into the equation. Tut, tut.

    Today it is the ‘wily Muslim’ standing in the way of Sinhala prosperity; the ‘fecund Muslim’ conspiring to occupy Sinhala lands and monopolise Sinhala resources; the ‘violent Muslim’ readying to turn the Sinhalese into a cowering minority

    I challenge Tisaranee to post the census data for the three major demographics on the island. Let’s see which group is growing exponentially.

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      pro·phet·ic
      /prəˈfetik/
      Adjective

      1. Accurately describing or predicting what will happen in the future.
      2. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a prophet or prophecy.

      As I have always said, censorship is for weak minds. :)

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        No offence cover and half yet you better go into cover 2 defence.
        Let’s all see your thread mate.

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          What? Use standard English.

          • 0
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            Let’s have an objective article from you on rational ethics for SL or as a divided land.

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      Thank all our “gods”; Scientology, Agnostics, Free thinkers, other powers whoever they are that there are only a few like Lester in this wonderful world of ours.

      His wakeful hours are wasted hating Muslims. I know he doesn’t care for other communities either; but Gauthama Buddha has some for him to ponder just as hits his bed having hated all an sundry

      Hate is like holding a hot coal and hoping the other fellow would burn!- Gauthama Buddha

      Go on be yourself; hate for the sake of hating. You hate means nothing to us

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    Excellent article. Hope the Rajapakse family will have the inclination to read this article and understand what the author is trying to say. Some times ability to read does not translate to the ability to understand. Although junior Rajapakse is a Royalist I am not sure he has the ability to understand what is written in this article.

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      I like her Articles no doubt about that. But I wish she could bring become more constructive in her articles. If anybody would be that against to the prevailing systems, they also have to add the options.

      Right at the moment, stupid masses are overwelmed by all forms of tactics of MR and clans. They are being fed by innacurate info about the great performance of the leader, while all foreign media are loudly criticising MR rule. IC reiterates, had MR been wholehearted with LLRC implementations, he would have achieved more during last 4 years. Just being swollen by the WAR VICTORY not only his but also the energies of army, navy and previous govts deserved the due credit, he tried to show cold shoulder to the peace process.

      So, the writer should also be able to add options how those BRAINWASHED masses can be won by feeding them with ground realities. Just attacking MR again and again, we cant achieve anything than.. sounding as hate mongers the majorty of sympathisers still support him.

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    Our grateful thanks for another wonderful and perfectly targeted article by Tissaranee. Mahinda Rajapakse, his siblings and his government of cronies cannot bluff their way too long as ground realities are emerging at long last.People will soon realize they have been taken for an expensive ride. A fraudulent superstructure has been built under various guises.
    Can someone offer to translate Tissaranee into Sinhala, as suggested already?

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    “The Idiotic Gene”

    Once again very well done and do please keep-up the good and great work. Some genetically as well as structurally brain deformed imbeciles and idiots will keep barking and supporting like the eight thousand odd people still r revering Hitler, the NAZIs and singing of their old Nazi songs on a daily basis in front the NAZI flag as per a recent documentary that I watched having been filmed mainly in country USA; there are bound be such people for VP & MR and their mental clones as well.

    A book has been recently written by a criminologist cum psychologist and psychiatrist in the USA which brings to bear new and greater evidence of the biological basis for criminality other than the usual Genetics, Epigenetic, womb hormonal secretions and other brain software related problems and the recent viral mematics . Despite the great flexibility and plasticity of the brain to reorder and regain many functions as from early brain damage and encephalitis and thereafter function above an average person; There are some other related brain hardware deficiencies and malformations to a lesser or greater extent in some if not all the of these extreme born to be criminals. There is evidence even in the fluids of the brain. Defects of poor neuronal connections in the white matter of the brain even if the consequences based censor like decision making pre-frontal cortex appears to be normal.

    The negative side to this is that criminals will claim lesser responsibility and it will be true but the real direction and aim of these studies is to help in early observation and predict and detect such people and give them remedial treatment without waiting for a serial killer to be caught after 60 murders after which his brain and others like them were dissected and studied. How good it would have been to stop Rohana Wijeyaweeras, Velu Pirapas and those presently at the helm from reaching those giddy heights of power and authority which they are loathe to give-up at any cost even if millions of lives have to be sacrificed for their survival and thrival.

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    Wisely analysed Report,only the Srilankan Intellectuals would understand, i wish this would be published in other mass media’s, so the the normal average peasant could know this dilemma.

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    You continue to hit the nail on the head. Well done !!
    Bur be aware of what happened to Lasantha, Fredrica Jansz, Tissainayagam, and many others.

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    Is it “Idiotic Gene” or “Idiot Gene”?
    Having voted in:
    i. Mrs. B on the promise of “Rice from the moon”,
    ii. CBK for a second term after her brilliant performance in her first and
    iii.MR after the disappearance of the 84 million rupee Tsunami aid funds,
    it sure looks like the Sri Lankan voting population is cursed with an “Idiot Gene”!

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    Thank you Tisaranee for a wonderful piece of analysis.

    But I still wonder how you talk about an Idiotic Gene when the Rajapakses are Genetically linked to Lord Buddha and King Dutugemunu.

    The next assignment you should undertake is to find the Lord Buddha, King Dutugemunu, king Gotabaya to Mahinda Rajapakse Genetic link.

    Also you may have to study about a disease called Genetic Disorder which goes from generation to generation.

    Since President has the Most Prestigious award ev er given to any leader in Sri Lanka by the Kandy Buddhist preletes, obviously there should be a link for him to Lord Buddha for him to do these HOME GROWN MAHINDA CHINTHANA WONDERS IN SRI LANKA.

    PRESIDENT RAJAPAKSE SHOULD GET THE SUPREME VISION AND THE WISDOM FROM GENETICALLY CONNECTED LORD BUDDHA TO DO THESE WONDERS IN SRI LANKAS HISTORY EVER.

    THE ONLY CLUE IS BORROWING MONEY FROM CHINA @ RATE OF 6 TO 9 PERCENT INTEREST TO COMPLETE THESE PROJECTS WHILE MAKING BILLIONS AND BILLIONS OF LOSSES TO OUR ECONOMY.

    We are ever waiting for Lord Buddha cum Mahinda Chinthana Wonder to happen anytime soon, where we are going to be par with USA and Japan where everybody will be driving Lamborginis and 1000CC Harleys in our newly concrete carpetted streets.

    Rajapakses are taking the whole economy on TESTED AND TRIED RAJAPAKSE CHINTHANA HOME GROWN W2ONDER PATH. Few of the are……

    From Norochcholai, to road construction to Hambanthota Harbour,cinema village, cricket stadium, Mattala Airport….all are constructed with no prior environmental tests or research been carried out but only according to Mahinda chinthana idiri dekma.

    First Mattala soil is a virgin soil where no crops been planted before with 100% soil nutrition is available that could grow commercial crops with minimum fertiliser been used for many years.

    But Rajapakses covered this closer to 400 acres of virgin soil with 3 to 4 feet of thick Concrete where no way of using this land for future agriculture.

    Now all over the world Airline Industry is not anymore a Profit making industry where governments are highly subsidising to stay afloat. Infact many airlines are running at losses with Govt and private subsidy only as a means of providing employment and service to it’s Citizen.

    Colombo Katunayake airport can handle upto 7.5 million visitor traffic….But according to last years figurs only approximately 5 million arrivals and departures were made. So what’s the use of another airport in Mattala.

    Also each Transit landing and take off in Mattala burns 4000 gallons of additional Jet fuel loosing 2 million rupees to the Airline.More over there is ground handling costs, logistics, pumping more fuel etc are extra costs plus the inconvenience and delay of the journey to the rest of the passengers. Also Fuel is been transported from Colombo to Mattala costing 20,000 rupees each round trip.

    Therefore how many passengers are dis-embarking and boarding in Mattala to cover this extra costs. Also Mattala Airport over head costs, utility cost,administration and technical and logistic costs could easily top 22 million rupees per day.

    The worst is the environmental disaster of covering over 400 acres of green plantation with concrete. Already Hambanthota is a dry area with less water supply and constant drought.

    Building an airport in an already dry land will bring untold amount of environmental catestrophe. This also effects the wild life and bird sanctuary in Hambanthota weeravila area.

    Already an alarming number of Elephants and other animals are been killed due to High voltage fenses been installed. Therefor in future our elephant population could extinct in one generation.

    I wonder why Govt. don’t make plans to bring these elephants to Pinnawela elephant sanctuary for their safety and from being extinct.

    This is only for one project and the rest of Rajapakse’s home grown projects are also doomed to fail, bringing disasters to the country’s already flagging and limping economy, culture, environment, political and social life.

    RAJAPAKSE HOME GROWN CHINTHANA EDIRI DEKMA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IS A POLITICAL VOLCANO THAT COULD ERUPT ANYTIME WITHOUT ANY NOTICE.

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    You should send your question to colombotelegraph@gmail.com – CT

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      This is a legitimate question… why do some writers have their photos published and specific one’s do not?

      The Answer is; some like and some don’t – CT

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