2 December, 2020

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The Mark Antony Of Nugegoda

By Sarath De Alwis

Sarath De Alwis

Sarath De Alwis

To him who looks upon the world rationally, the world in its turn presents a rational aspect. The relation is mutual.” – Hegel in Lectures on the Philosophy of History

The role of identity in the political order of our Island has been redefined by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka in his newest exposition captioned Identity & the Islands Political Order and gives it an urgency of an Existential Question.

I begin my counter with a Hegelian approach to the ‘rational’ in the hope, perhaps forlorn that we still share some of those of rudimentary Marxist notions of morality that recognizes antagonisms that are class based and not race based.

His latest treatise seems to place Dr. Dayan unequivocally in the racist variety. The Jewish theologian Rabbi Joshua Herschel points out that “Racism is man’s gravest threat to man–the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”

I would even go further and invoke Trotsky who spurned “those base means and ways which set one part of the working class against other parts…or lowers the faith of the masses in themselves and their organization.”

Why does Dr. Jayatilleka contrive so hard and so passionately to ‘lower the faith of the masses in themselves’?

His contemptuous dismissal of those who opt to abide by reason as rootless cosmopolitans and intellectual dilettanti is incomprehensible. His knowledge of men, matters and   minds is far more judicious and incisive than his present comrades Weerawansa and Gammanpila who share the very legitimate objective of restoration of their political master Mahinda Rajapaksa in office.

His characterization of Tamil nation hood displays the usual bias of a Gunadasa Amarasekera or a Nalin de Silva. The common prerogative of the pamphleteer. “No surrender. No defeat. A spectre’s haunting Main Street. [With apologies to the rock band Weakerthans]

Dayan NugegodaDr. Jayatilleka is on record insisting that both ‘Sinhala and Tamil nationalism’ must be contained as a prerequisite to build a Sri Lankan national identity and consciousness. How did he propose to do that? Again he is on record. “They can be contained only by being accommodated to some degree. Tamil nationalism can be contained only by a sufficiency of devolved power and resources. We must share power with one another so as to build a nation with and for us all.”

If that is a reasonable solution, shouldn’t he the political scientist and Guevarisc humanist be advocating a constitutional acknowledgement in these transformative times to enshrining that the “whole of Sri Lanka is the traditional homeland of its entire people and no one is constitutionally superior to the other”. No he does not.

He moves from fantasy to the absurd to the outrageous and decides that the Tamils of Sri Lanka are in denial of their status as a national minority. He thereby constructs the existential threat to the Sinhalese and the state formation on the island. Strangely Dr. Jayatilleka is arguing against himself.

I crave the indulgence of the editors of Colombo Telegraph to quote Dr. Jayatilleka the political scientist to Dayan Jayatilleka the political polemicist.

“No devolution or too little, and communities will break away. Too much devolution and they will do the same. The degree of devolution at the periphery depends on the character of the mainstream. If one implements a strictly secular Republicanism as does France, and one is a French citizen with equal rights irrespective of ethnicity, then the need for substantive devolution at the periphery is virtually non-existent (though Corsica would doubtless disagree). However, if a society insists that the culture, language and civilization of its majority must have some built-in preference, then it is unrealistic to expect that those who do not belong to that culture but are inhabitants of the country would feel themselves fully integrated and un-alienated citizens. Full integration can only take place on the basis of full equality, and a citizenship that is blind to ethnic origin, religion and language. If the State and citizenship are not blind or even-handed but biased, then it is unavoidable that there will be demands by minorities for their own political space at the periphery.” [http://groundviews.org/2008/07/30/winning-the-war-winning-the-peace/]

The presidential elections of 2015 has completely stripped the inclusive, pluralist, secular, rational, modern thinking of Dayan Jayatilleka the Mark Antony of Nugegoda. He now asserts that “there is no bi-national, multinational or pluri-national state in Sri Lanka, and there must not and cannot be. There can only be a nation–state in Sri Lanka. The only debate is which nation that is: Sri Lankan or Sinhalese. I’d say both. In a civic and diplomatic sense it is a Sri Lankan nation and a Sri Lankan national identity, the best example of which is our cricket team and the phenomenon of ‘cricket nationalism’.

Before responding to this clever correlation with cricket it is necessary to ask Dayan what he thinks of cricket. Is it a sport or a game? Let’s skip over the fact that cricket is also an industry replete with a P & L and ROI courtesy Brothers Ranatunga whose saga is as fascinating as that of the Brothers Karamazov. It reminds me of a passage from Brothers Karamazov. Says Fyodor Dostoyevsky “Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”

Dostoyevsky was the literary realist who explored the irrational dark motifs, dreams, emotions and visions. That Dayan has turned a political Dostoyevsky in our post war post Mahinda phase is no surprise. Watching the antics of Ranil Wickeremesighes 100 day’s opera it is reasonable to assume that Gothic fiction is far less complicated than Sinhala Politics. Heroes and giants turning in to zombies is far too real in our present day politics.

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  • 2
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    Sarath De Alwis

    RE: The Mark Antony Of Nugegoda

    “The role of identity in the political order of our Island has been redefined by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka in his newest exposition captioned Identity & the Islands Political Order and gives it an urgency of an Existential Question.”

    This is another way of packaging Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinism and Racism, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

    Existential Question, of the Dravidian Paras from South India in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho. The are generally called Para-Sinhala and Para-Demala, by each other, and the others are also called Paras.

    The Vedda Tribe

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

  • 2
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    Sarath De Alwis –

    “The presidential elections of 2015 has completely stripped the inclusive, pluralist, secular, rational, modern thinking of Dayan Jayatilleka the Mark Antony of Nugegoda. He now asserts that “there is no bi-national, multinational or pluri-national state in Sri Lanka, and there must not and cannot be. There can only be a nation–state in Sri Lanka. The only debate is which nation that is: Sri Lankan or Sinhalese. I’d say both. In a civic and diplomatic sense it is a Sri Lankan nation and a Sri Lankan national identity, the best example of which is our cricket team and the phenomenon of ‘cricket nationalism’.”

    Is ignoring Dayan Jayatilleka, an option? why not? Have you considered that?

    Have you thought of barking dogs, that bark at the moon, thinking that it is a dog or a rabbit? the moon doesn’t care for barking dogs. Just curious.

  • 3
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    Dont waste time constructing rational arguments against this mutt.His onky eay out is to invoke the deamons.He recons he can do that easily with the Sinhalese.

  • 5
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    Excellent exposition of the naked exploitive nature of DJ’s character – a political chameleon to say the least, not unlike his brother in arms, Weerawansa. Another common factor the two of them share is the changing of their names – probably for similar reasons. Two cunning (and sometimes effective) exploiters who seem to have reached a dead end in their quest for power by clinging to whatever material the leader trails behind – in this case the satakaya.

    Both of them should quickly crawl back under whatever they emerged from before the tar and feathers are brought out.

  • 4
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    Sarath has exposed Dayan’s polemicism. DJ is a character who is increasingly frustrated and has now turned to linking with Rajapakse politics. He will write anything to suit his changing agendas. He once wrote for Eelam when he was in the EPRLF. What a traior he was to join EPRLF of Varadaraja Perumal. Now he claims to be a new patriot.
    Sarath there is nothing operatic about the new government’s 100 day program. It is well focused and is achieving planned targets

  • 1
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    Isn’t it a bit futile to engage in a high sounding theoretical rebuttal of DJ who uses words but whose true motives are far grosser as this writer quite obviously perceives?

    • 1
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      can u please enlighten us on his true motives?

      • 1
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        Seeking personal publicity and obsessed by vainglory.
        Crafting loud but hollow theories to justify the Rajapaksa era.
        Hoping for a Rajapaksa comeback and a job for himself.
        Too thick to see that he is making a comedy of himself.

        • 0
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          If he is seeking publicity he would be writing to CT hailing TNA, LTTE and tamil racism and what sort of a moderate Wiggie, Sumanthiran is….

          He is already a public figure in SL.
          Yes he supported MR and support MR. He is doing it based on his own convictions. He is not expecting anything in return otherwise he would be praising the present government.

          And he talks against 19A because he sees the danger for SL in it. IF he simply want MR in power, he would rather have supported it as it makes MR a powerful PM

  • 6
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    The fool is no Mark Antony. He read somebody else’s speech haltingly. He is an idiot who cannot rationalise his own thinking, having gone through so many phases depending on which position will get him some instant recognition. So, now he has transmorphed himself into a Sinhala hero, not knowing that such positions will not get him anywhere. When realisation dawns, it can be guaranteed he will change again. He is a clone of that other slimy snake, GL Peiris. Wonder what is happening to him now. Is he hanging after somebody so that he can stage a comeback?

  • 1
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    Sarath Alwis says,

    “If that is a reasonable solution, shouldn’t he the political scientist and Guevarisc humanist be advocating a constitutional acknowledgement in these transformative times to enshrining that the “whole of Sri Lanka is the traditional homeland of its entire people and no one is constitutionally superior to the other”. No he does not.”

    This is the same claim that every Sinhala leader from 48 made whenever the question of tamil homeland came up. And the then UNP government said the same thing to LTTE during Thimpu talks. LTTE outright rejected it.

    The tamil separatists and even normal tamils reject your claim. They talk about an exclusive tamil homeland not that all of SL is the homeland of all of SLns..

    It is abundantly clear Sarath does not understand this whole conflict, but wants to give advices..Please sarath go back to class.

  • 0
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    Who is who Sarath Alwis background of Education?

    Did he obtain degree of any University of Ceylon?

    Or he was travel and tourist man?

    What about his knowledge of History of Philosophy?

    Did he is well verse in Marxism?

    Or he is speech writer?

    • 1
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      To answer yr questions

      1) do not believe he has a degree from a Sri Lankan university as such though he had studied overseas
      2) Among many things he did ,he was once a Journalist attached to Lake House as a political correspondent
      3) He spent most of his professional life in Travel/Airline fields
      4) His knowledge on History/Philosophy and Marxism certainly seem to be much superior to that of most readers like us
      5)His experience surely could qualify him as a Good Speech writer

    • 0
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      Milroy does it matter what his back ground is? What matters is what he had said.

  • 0
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    4)Sarath de Alwis..Marxism certainly seem to be much superior to that of most readers like us ! Well is may be good form t him associated with guidance of Marxism ………………………………

    Has to read more on Marxism, but Dayan well verse in Marxist theories; I have no an Idea his practice.

    The politics is complex science of class struggle between mainly two classes and different social forces .
    Sri Lankan is concern there are few politicos remain in political
    arena.
    Majority elites had been misled by Trotskyism of LSSP and Anarchism of JVP.
    Mixed notion and feeling of Marxism that confused by Trotskyism in an island.
    Marxism has nothing do with Trotskyism.
    Trotskyism serve for reactionary class in power in the vested interest of the Bourgeois State.
    Sorry to say class level Political thinking tanks are ZERO!
    Political manipulators are large in size.

    A ” The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State ” by
    Engels.

    B “The Condition of Working Class in England” by Engels.

    C These Thesis of Marxism, will give additional knowledge to Sarath to study State and background of so-called Hipcoracy Republican Constitution.

    • 0
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      DJ is a normal person.Very opportunistic, he is playing his cards on the basis that racialism will MR back and MR will gift him with a place in the sun, even with a bit of shade. He differs from Weerawansa, Vasuideva and Gamanpila in that they will accept any bit thrown off the MR’s table while DJ hankers for a diplomatic appointment – may be again Geneva

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