7 October, 2022

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The Millions Who Hurt Without A Change Of Heart

By Asoka N.I. Ekanayaka –

Prof. Asoka N.I. Ekanayaka

This article is not primarily about the woeful record of the present government. Nor is it about the abomination of governance by family oligarchy in whose stranglehold a nation groans in every part as if being slowly crushed by the constricting coils of some giant Anaconda. Rather it is about the attitude character and mindset of 6.9 million people who with their eyes open provoked this catastrophe. Before coming to that one can of course say a lot more about the dimensions of this catastrophe and point the accusing finger at bad people in high positions who to be sure will carry the guilt of their monumental crimes and misdemeanors beyond the grave into the fires of eternal hell. But to be explicit about such matters here might be both unsafe and unnecessary.

Unsafe because as some have experienced to openly accuse this government is to run the risk of being tortured through prolonged interrogation by sadistic intelligence agencies. Worse there is the danger of having to rot away under remand over some trumped up charge gratuitously denied the right to bail in contempt of the principle that every man is presumed innocent until proved guilty.

Unnecessary because media reports seem to say it all obviating the need to say any more here other than summarise the hard reality so as to set the scene for what this article is really about.

For example a distinguished former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank recently summing up the situation saying that “Sri Lanka is undergoing the worst economic catastrophe in its post independence history. The real economy is shrinking with a negative or a near zero economic growth. Inflation is raising its ugly head with food inflation running at 25%, foreign reserves are a pittance forcing the country to seek hand outs from countries like Bangladesh, (the) Rupee is under pressure for a mega depreciation,   and all essential items like fuel are in short supply making long queues for them a daily occurrence”. From the perspective of the average citizen there is the reality of a lucrative black market, the near collapse of the electricity generation and distribution systems, and rocketing prices and old people falling dead in the agony of long queues.

The final disgrace was the UNHRC Commissioner’s damning indictment in her 2022 report about the erosion of the independence of the judiciary and other key institutions, and the constriction of the democratic space for human rights advocacy, amidst a further drift towards militarisation and an emphasis of Sinhala nationalism and Buddhism in State institutions, thereby increasing the marginalisation of minority communities”.

However, the purpose here is to focus on the mindset of 69 lahks of people who deliberately conscientiously and enthusiastically of their own free will opted through the ballot to bring about such a predicament to their own detriment . That millions would of their own volition invite a cataclysm that might spell ruination for themselves and their families for generations to come is amazing. It is tantamount to an act of collective national suicide bordering on madness rarely seen in the history of nations. In retrospect the foolishness irrationality and sheer immorality of such an infernal choice should have been plain to even a little child. And yet incredibly those who made the fatal choice came from every strata of society. They included the well educated and the semi literate, the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor, learned professionals and the posh business classes rolling in money. They included pampered government officials wallowing in the perks and privileges of high office and thriving medical consultants. Nor must we forget the scholarly Ph.Ds and university professors now looking foolish with their lofty pretentions to high intelligence and critical thinking in tatters. From the sophisticated English speaking middle classes to the unlearned monolingual masses and riff raff of society , from sanctimonious buddhist monks pastors and priests who habitually pay lip service to truth and justice,  to the many millions of their simple minded adherents whom they regularly regale with exhortations to live righteous lives – all of them would seem to have blindly voted to their own destruction in the 2019/20 elections.

But now everything seems to have changed. The air is thick with the bitter reproaches of the disillusioned millions who having eagerly voted for this government now find that all their expectations have been dashed. To them the promised “vistas of prosperity” have all too soon become a mirage. Those of us in the 8th decade of life who have lived through all governments since independence can state unequivocally that no government in the postcolonial history of the country has alienated so many supporters so much in so short a period of time as this one. Indeed many feel that if there is an election today the ruling party will be wiped out by a majority as large as that by which they were elected to power 2 years ago. And they may be right. It is so hard to find folk who proudly admit to have been amongst the 69 lahks of supporters that one wonders whether they ever existed ! One gets the impression that many erstwhile supporters are embarrassed and would prefer to distance themselves from that association. Many of the disillusioned rather than having the humility to acknowledge having made a great mistake dishonestly disclaim responsibility by assuming a lofty air of self righteous disdain for all politicians.

However taking all such variations into account there is enough reason for opposition politicians to believe that support for the government has evaporated. It is natural that they should look forward to a dramatic turn around by 6.9 million disgruntled voters at the next election, in the expectation that the ruling party and the detestable family oligarchy that drives it will be wiped out. On the one hand there seems to be plenty of justification for such heady optimism.

On the other hand such confident expectation needs to be tempered by an important consideration. It has to do with the troubling question of why exactly such a large proportion of the Sri Lankan population voted as irrationally as they did in the first place ? What false values, ideological fixations , debased attitudes, entrenched beliefs and inherent assumptions drove such people to make such a monumental error ?. What deep seated prejudices blind loyalties and fatal flaws in the national character did such a bizarre voting pattern signify ? Did such madness even imply a low level of “national intelligence” (if one can imagine such an attribute) that is not easily rectified ?

Such questions are important and disturbing . Have those who are hurting today really had a change of heart ? The answers may provide a clue as to whether the current wave of anguish and alienation amongst  69 lahks of voters is a passing phenomenon or indicative of a permanent change of heart and mind. Is their current disenchantment the outcome of frustration that their narrow selfish expectations have been momentarily dashed or an indication of a radical change of heart ?

For example not very long ago teachers were up in arms. It looked as if they were a major threat to the government. Then they were given their salary increase. They have been quiet ever since. The farmers have been justly outraged by the denial of chemical fertilizer amidst the president’s asinine obsession with organic substitutes . If by some miracle there is a radical reversal in policy resulting in farmers being provided plentiful fertilizer as in the past might they end up eating out of his hand by the time the next election comes round ? And for millions of others who voted SLPP now fuming and fretting away in long queues for gas and fuel, might the restoration of these basic essentials and an end to queues settle them to a point where their selfish domestic needs being met they turn back to the political vermin they once elected like dogs returning to their own vomit, and begin to make excuses for the shortcomings of their favourite government politicians ?

So the issue of a change of heart becomes paramount. And whether or not millions have had a true change of heart is grounded in the question of why millions voted as they did. Obviously there can be many theories about this. But one can make a case for five attributes that might define the 69 lahks of people who voted at the last election and explain their bizarre preference. Put in a nutshell one can hypothesize that collectively as a voting population they were characterised by being (a) fundamentally racist, (b) indifferent to corruption, (c) inherently selfish, (4) basically foolish though imagining themselves to be wise, and (5) afflicted with a malignant distorted religiosity.

That is not to say that all of the 6.9 million individuals possessed all these attributes nor that the attributes themselves were mutually exclusive. But taken as a whole one can speculate that these five attributes broadly define the mainly Sinhala Buddhist population of nearly 7 million folk who elected a strongly Sinhala Buddhist president and a dominantly Sinhala Buddhist government by a thumping majority in 2019/20.

Firstly there is the indisputable ingrained racism of the Sinhala Buddhist masses of this country amidst a chauvinistic attitude to minorities that seems to cut across the entire social spectrum. Admittedly these days such attitudes are subtle and well disguised. They do not manifest in burning Tamils alive (as occurred in 1983), arson and looting of Tamil shops and homes at regular intervals (from 1956 onwards), burning down a precious public library ( as happened in 1981) brutally assaulting those carrying out a peaceful Satyagrah in the Gandhian mode and defacing Tamil name boards in Colombo with impunity (as occurred in the 1950’s and 60’s), and the scandalous standardisation of marks to keep Tamil students out of Universities in 1971 – amongst many other examples from history.

But the negative racist attitude towards minorities today is reflected in the complete absence of any moral outrage about that sordid recent history, indulging instead the grandiose delusions of a falsified ancient history based on Mahavamsa mythology leading to the axiomatic belief that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country, to challenge which is to commit political suicide. No wonder there is a disinclination to investigate any allegations of war crimes, and violent hostility (as evidenced by incidents all over the country) to peaceful Christian conversion which is both a basic human right and for Christians an inescapable divine commission. Nor should we fail to notice the relatively placid and laid back reaction of the Buddhist majority to the Cardinal’s explosive accusation that the government might be covering up the truth about the Easter massacre, leaving the Roman Catholic Church to wage a lonely battle for justice on the international stage. True, amidst their current sufferings millions may regret voting as they did. But when it comes to the crunch that they might ever bring themselves to elect a Tamil, Muslim or Christian as President or Prime Minister of Sri Lanka is pure fantasy. The Americans may have elected a black man as President a mere 150 years after the abolition of slavery. But in Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka a Tamil or Muslim cannot dream of being elected to that office for another 1000 years ! That is the basic racist mindset of the 69 lahks of voters who now groan with discontent amidst a catastrophe which they themselves asked for. But does their mourning and groaning today denote a true change of heart ? That is the question.

Secondly, the way 69 lahks voted reflects a callous indifference or at least a relaxed attitude to the malady of corruption. This is not surprising given that Sri Lanka is a country where corruption is ubiquitous. It is said that people get the government they deserve. More likely people get governments that mirror their own corrupted nature and moral depravity. Like begets like. The late Justice Mark Fernando once clarified that corruption is not merely bribery and corruption but “extends to extravagance, waste, neglect, and every form of malpractice, dishonesty, and abuse, misuse, and unreasonable exercise of power . . . and indeed anything and everything done or left undone, which results in the rights of the People being denied or impaired”. What a magnificent all encompassing definition ! No wonder the great man was himself the victim of corruption in being denied promotion to Chief Justice which he richly deserved and shamefully bypassed in favour of one who brought that high office into disrepute !

But by this definition Sri Lankan society reeks of corruption from top to bottom. From bribery kick backs and nepotism at the highest levels to millions of workers who insist on a consideration for doing there plain duty, from those who think nothing of sending a false sick note and staying away from work, bribing ones way out of a traffic offence or a vehicle emission test, fiddling tax returns or underwriting the property value on some deed of transfer, from mercenary government doctors and teachers whose heart is in the private sector and those who abuse official transport to cart their families around, to mediocre university academics who produce garbage mountains of useless publications and have perfected the art of deftly manipulating  a point system which enables them to be promoted as professors who are now dime a dozen – from top to bottom Sri Lanka is a corrupt society. It is surely unrealistic to expect a corrupt population to vote for an honest government that might abolish corruption ! The voting behaviour of 6.9 million people might be explained by a benign tolerance of corruption by a fundamentally corrupt population. Does their mourning and groaning today denote a true change of heart ? That is the question.

Thirdly today’s disenchanted 6.9 million might be defined by their innate selfishness and lack of compassion. True, they may be suffering today. But in voting as they did they were guilty of being callously indifferent to the far greater sufferings of others. Hundreds of weeping women may be pining for their husbands and sons who disappeared and were probably murdered years ago. But they were not my relations so who cares ? That’s the attitude. Those victims of ghastly prison massacres, that fine young man Wasim Thajudeen who was reportedly brutally tortured before being killed and made to appear as if his death was an accident, the ‘Trinco 5’ kids who were killed execution style, Lasantha, Ekneligoda, Keith Noyar those who used to disappear in white vans never to be heard of again, all victims of unsolved crimes – they were not my father or husband or son or daughter. So who cares? That was the attitude. That is the hard hearted selfishness that defined the 6.9 million who voted as they did in 2019/20. Does their mourning and groaning today denote a true change of heart? That is the question.

Fourthly there was something inherently foolish and grossly naïve in the way 6.9 million voted at the last election. It is almost as if for the vast majority of the population the main outcome of 70 years of free education has been little more than learning to read and write ! Otherwise what nation in its right senses would elect a family oligarchy of very modest intelligence (to say the least) to rule over them with the absolute power of a constitutional tyranny ? Academic qualifications and elite professional training notwithstanding formal education has failed to impart true discernment, good judgment, political maturity, moral discrimination and plain wisdom, all of which are components of that indefinable entity that we may refer to as “national intelligence”.

Contrast with the high national intelligence of the British population in the general election at the end of the 2nd world war when they rejected the war hero Churchill who had led them to victory in favour of the Labour leader Atlee, who they felt was better equipped to undertake post war reconstruction ! More recently the fortuitous distractions of the war in Ukraine may have saved the British Prime Minister from being thrown out over the ‘small matter’ of parties during the Covid lock down. That kind of national intelligence is a far cry from a nation which swayed by foolish emotion voted to make an ordinary “weeping widow’ prime minister in 1970 and give absolute power to a family oligarchy in 2019/20.

That is the Sri Lankan naivety that enables politicians to spit in the face of the population with impunity every night on TV with blatant lies deceptions and double speak, a fraction of which would damn their political career instantly in a more intelligent society. Perhaps Robert Knox was on the right track when he diagnosed the Sinhalese as having a low cunning which they mistake for high intelligence ! That is the ingrained folly that defined the 6.9 million who voted as they did in 2019/20. Does their mourning and groaning today denote a shift from idiocy to intelligence and a true change of heart ? That is the question.

Lastly, Sinhala Buddhists who dominated the 6.9 million voters were defined by a primitive distorted religiosity that makes a mockery of true religion. It is characterised by superstition, a reliance on horoscopes, blind idolatry, an obsession with empty ritual, and groveling before any yellow robe irrespective of the character and reputation of the sinner it shrouds. These were the docile millions who are regularly manipulated by a rapacious militant nationalistic Buddhist establishment. They constitute the base of a Sinhala Buddhist government which proudly panders to them and cares for no one else

One feels sympathy for these misguided millions in their shattered expectations and present sufferings. But does their anguish denote a real change of heart? When it comes to the crunch at the next election would they favour a party that stands for a secular society? Would they support the repeal of the iniquitous clause in Chapter 2(9) of the Constitution which gives the foremost place to Buddhism it being the duty of the State to protect and foster it, which is repugnant to minorities? Would they be amenable to abolishing the stupid full moon day holiday which makes Sri Lanka look like a nation of moon worshipers ? Would they favour legislation to debar monks from engaging in active politics? The answers to such questions will show whether their mourning and groaning today denotes a passing lovers’ quarrel with the government they elected or a radical change of heart and mind.

One hopes that the 69 lahks who recklessly voted to bring about the present national catastrophe, would in the midst of their shattered expectations bitter recriminations and suffering, stop to introspectively examine themselves and ask whether the five attributes enunciated herewith might apply to them. If so one hopes they would repent of their unspeakable folly and have a true change of heart enabling them to bear the tragic consequences of their action with greater fortitude and equanimity.

If not Sri Lanka is doomed. By a radical change of heart today’s disenchanted 6.9 million voters will not only be able to throw out those whom they mistakenly elected last time, but their transformed attitude will enable a new government to rule with justice, equity, righteousness and peace to unite a divided nation. On the contrary if the prevailing public disquiet only denotes a selfish reaction to some immediate material deprivation rather than a radical change of heart, then the words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s 1974 valedictory to the Russian people would apply to us Sri Lankans :

“And if from this also we shrink away, then we are worthless, hopeless, and it is of us that Pushkin asks with scorn : Why should cattle have the gift of freedom? Their heritage from generation to generation is the belled yolk and the lash”

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Latest comments

  • 26
    1

    Marvellous analysis.
    Question who is the charismatic leader who could help to make a change 9n the thinking. Do we have a Lee Quan Yu. Sajith pathetic. Champion no chance. Anura not sure

    • 16
      2

      Champika No chance

      • 3
        12

        No point blaming the ignorant people who are struggling to get by. There are powerful external actors backing the corrupt politicians in the PP-SLFP-UNP.

        US citizens run this county which is a EURO-American colony at this time.
        Sri Lanka must like India act at in the self-interest of its people and buy oil, gas, jet fuel from Russia NOT follow Euro-Ameican dictats and Sanctions regimes and succumb to EU GSP removal threats.
        Actually, GSP and GSP Plus, FAKE Trade and AId concession have kept Sri Lanka Business community, policy makers and politicians colonied and in the Paris Club and Washington consensus debt trap – following IMF and WB dictats rather than craft independent development policies.
        GSP is a trap and in instrument and exemplar of how colonial development policy works in dependent developing countries.This is what Victoria Nurland is coming to enforce in Sri Lanka – the US sanctions regime. and Washington Consensus Debt trap…

      • 5
        2

        Champika Ranawaka is one major reason why Sri Lanka is in such a mess today. He was solely responsible for bringing these rotten yellow robes into the parliament in 2004 under ‘Jathika Hela Urumaya’!
        And the one who scripted bloody ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’ in 2005!!
        Let him be the leader of this country??
        Avoid at any cost!!!

    • 18
      5

      There are younger leaders who are capable of making a change. For example Chanakyan of the TNA or Harin Fernando or Eran Wickremaratna of the SJB. But the stupid masses will only vote for Sinhala Buddhist crooks.

  • 38
    1

    With this one article in its entirety, the author has genuinely and splendidly encapsulated all that is of malaise, rotten to the core and stinking in the body politic of Sri Lanka. The question he poses is of paramount importance: will the mindset of the majority of the people of Sri Lanka will change at least now to usher in a changed attitude for peace and harmony and rejection of the corrupt, or will be swept away again and again by the wind of chauvinism, hostility and bigotry for crumbs that would be dished out by those corrupt at the helm , but reserve the cake for themselves, their family and their cronies and sycophants? – that is the question.

    • 13
      0

      “the troubling question of why exactly such a large proportion of the Sri Lankan population voted as irrationally as they did in the first place ? What false values, ideological fixations , debased attitudes, entrenched beliefs and inherent assumptions drove such people to make such a monumental error ?.”
      It has all to do with education. For at least 10 years, children are brainwashed with stories of a 2500 year old civilization destroyed by Indian invaders. Students aren’t taught critical thinking, otherwise the smart ones would have asked why there don’t seem to have been wheeled vehicles until the invaders introduced them? Or why water wheels were not used for grinding grain in this “granary of the east”?
      Children are fed a culture of reverence for authority, be it ignorant monks or rapacious politicians. In colonial times, independent schools existed, which moulded the pupils to think and not swallow everything they were told. But all that changed in the 50’s.
      Until we have an education system that is free of bigotry, and teaches actual history, warts and all, there will be no change.

      • 3
        3

        It seems the tide has turned. Sri Lankan Kallathonies are fleeing to India to escape starvation.
        https://www.newsfirst.lk/2022/03/22/six-sri-lankans-fleeing-to-india-rescued-by-indian-coast-guard/
        Where is our glorious Navy which protected us from Indian Covid carriers just two years ago?

        • 0
          0

          They too are standing in queues for food and fuel.

      • 6
        0

        OC, well said! My guess is, it is not just the last 10 years but since 1956 ‘Buddha Jayanthi’, our people had been fed with bloody Mahavansha fables and our fathers and fore fathers all fed us with that crap so it is quite hard to get away with this ‘superiority’ feeling being a nation with 2500 years with DNA from a bloody lion??? We are an island nation in the Indian ocean where all our neighbours are following the same bigoted extremist religious rituals and practices. All countries around the Indian Ocean are infested with superstition, bigotism and corruption. When your neighbours are as blind as anybody else in the region, you will never see the light at the end of this tunnel.

  • 27
    4

    Brilliantly writ, Prof. E !

    Yet who knew that the Rajapaksas were supra-Oligarchs, with money of the suffering Lankan Masses held inCrypto in Russian vaults, now awaiting WW3 and the Nuclear Bomb on America?

    No, the 6.9 lakh voters were afraid of the Ranil land- bridge to India (although the Rajapaksa $$$1-billion Indian loan will surely bring about that).

    No, they thought that Gotabaya was the tough one who would consolidate any remaining country wealth and make it work for the Masses. Nooooo……he did the opposite and concentrated the wealth on top for the Lankan Oligarchs in Putin style.

    He may attempt to go the other way now, but it’s too late. Lankan Oligarchs are not going to give back their wealth to socialize with the Masses. In any case, it is all stuck in Crypto with places like the US trying to cajole and prize out. He missed his chance to be honorable towards the Masses, that no other Capitalistic government will be able to correct for many decades to come.

    It’s time to go with the long overlooked, much needed Socialist-Communist party : The JVP-NPP!

  • 39
    6

    Why waste so many words? …….. You could’ve just said the “Sinhalese” are not very intelligent ………. Is there any argument?

    • 7
      2

      What about the cunning fox who signed and agreement with India,
      and later allowed India to fight against LTTE, and still charmed the
      Tamils of Wellawatte to elect him!
      What about the master mind Mahinda to have given millions to LTTE for the northeners to abstain from voting for Ranil and then killed him!
      2 Mangoes in one stone throw!
      They are Super Intelligence pretending as fools!

      • 6
        1

        Ah! …….. You made things easy for me!

        JR and Mahinda are not Sinhalese …. they are Muslims with a “Sinhalese-Buddhist” makeover!


        You are a true “Sinhalese;” and true to character, proved my point yourself! :))

        See, what I said about the “Sinhalese” being not very intelligent! :)))

    • 4
      0

      Forget to mention, how mahinda was the undisputed king for nearly
      decade and half, his brother G is the dictator now, and after that B will
      there for another 6 years, then the Royal Prince N will be ruling for another 12 years, followed by his son, So M will be longest ruling
      royal Rajas in the history of Ceylon.

    • 7
      0

      nimal fernando

      Did you attend the rally and protest in front of Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday?
      I understand you were in mufti, wearing Vesti and forehead full of holy ashes, carrying a placard and piously reciting “Our Leader Prabaharan. We want Prabaharan, Prabaharan for President, … “.

      If true what has happened to you?
      You are trying to replace one psychopath by another.
      The net effect will be the same.

      • 7
        1

        Native,

        Don’t dis good ol’ Prabakaran. He is the greatest Sri Lankan of all time!

        You are incapable of recognizing greatness ……. your mind is racially/ethnically segregated.

        • 1
          0

          nimal fernando

          “You are incapable of recognizing greatness”

          Maybe maybe not.
          However I am capable of recognising psychopaths earlier on in their killing missions.

          “your mind is racially/ethnically segregated.”

          Maybe true. I want both Tamil and Sinhala speaking people to leave this island. Both could and should return to their ancestral homeland in South India.

    • 2
      0

      Nimal,
      Robert Knox said it long time ago about Sri Lankans mistaking, their low level of cunning to high level Intelligence?
      Be that as it may, I was convinced otherwise, never thought that they could be fooled by such loose talk and promises during the election campaign,
      My thinking is that they cannot be fooled and that they are clever.
      That was on the basis of their changing the government at every election until 1977, until “Foxy” had the referendum, people got confused with the POT and the LAMP.
      They were bored to death with the POT and LAMP ditched the incumbent, welcomed the lady to the fore and her term was over decided on the guy who gave the Calendar for the forthcoming year, with the cherubic face, ignoring the Tsunami misdemeanour!!!
      So we ended up with the current issue of limitlessness of essential supply confined to the ‘Maha Gedera’ and the masses to a limited supply of essentials or none!!!
      Have been proved miserably wrong and now this mess?

      • 6
        1

        M,

        No one fools anyone. People fool themselves. One fools oneself.

  • 37
    1

    Prof. Asoka Ekanayaka

    1) Thank you Prof. Asoka Ekanayaka for your excellent article. The article beautifully captures the real position in this country. It is truly thought-provoking.

    2) Although I hate to say this – I believe that the country is almost in a hopeless situation at least for the foreseeable future.

    3) What hope can we have when a large section of our professionals, ‘captains’ of industry and commerce and media for the most part portray what you describe – particularly in regard to CORRUPTION. Even influential sections of the ‘minority’ have been ‘playing ball’ for their selfish interests. AM

    • 3
      1

      AM,
      “Particularly in regard to CORRUPTION. Even influential sections of the ‘minority’ have been ‘playing ball’ for their selfish interests.”
      CORRUPTION is a means of furthering Selfishness, which is inherent in Humans in different degrees and only controlled by individual circumstances, Family background, Education, upbringing and socio-economic status and background.
      The country one resides matters and CORRUPTION differs. Christmas Gifts (not hampers) to millions of $ in local and foreign bank accounts!!
      However, CORRUPTION does not distinguish itself whether, you are Majority or Minority community!!
      Having said that would dare to wager, that minorities are more culpable in and as participants in CORRUPTION than Majority community, due to existential circumstances and discriminations!!! Means to overcome discrimination!!!
      I may be wrong but that’s my perception through past events.

    • 5
      0

      …Although I hate to say this – I believe that the country is almost in a hopeless situation at least for the foreseeable future…..
      The Advisory Committee appointed to assist the National Economic Council of the President has presented five proposals on 21 March 2022.
      The proposals submitted by the committee are as follows:
      1. Immediate appointment of a Technical Team consisting of officials representing the Central Bank and the Treasury to formulate programmes proposing international financial assistance.
      2. Appointment of a financial advisor immediately and a legal advisor.
      3. The Technical Team should immediately come up with a reform programme to propose international financial assistance.
      4. Identify an expert team to assist the Finance Minister.
      5. Focus on confidence-building measures after solving supply related issues.

      What a joke.
      The National Economic Council to be advised is full of Ministers, some with no Adv Level education. Johnston, Mahindananda etc.
      The Advisory Committee of business people are clueless as they only ask for MORE advisors/experts in points 1 to 4. They are not economists.
      Point 5 is a vague statement with no real recommendation of specific value.
      As usual we are going round and round trying to catch our tails.
      What hope have we ?

  • 30
    2

    Dear Prof. Asoka N.I. Ekanayaka,
    You have correctly identified the attributes that contributed to our decay, namely,
    (a) fundamentally racist
    (b) indifferent to corruption
    (c) inherently selfish
    (d) basically foolish though imagining themselves to be wise
    (e) afflicted with a malignant distorted religiosity.
    .
    I might have weighted some more than others.
    _______________________________________
    You went on to say, ‘these days such attitudes are subtle and well disguised’. I salute you for that.
    _______________________________________
    People get governments that mirror their own corrupted nature and moral depravity, is a sane observation.
    .
    Thank you for being so brutally honest.

    • 6
      0

      By the eay we have a evil here ( is it just him ??? ) and plenty hidden ones who meets all 5 criteria.

      • 2
        0

        Wow, here is one of the hidden ones who types ” I am standing in the middle looking at right and wrong and I support Russian killings because of their kindness in vetoing and supporting our/ Lankan killing”.

        • 2
          0

          The same international expert claims Russia is taking a slow approach because they too want ZERO CASUALTY , as Silly Lanka.

  • 8
    0

    A 29 Page expose termed The corruption decade” is being circulated that states the Rajapakses have looted USD $54 billion from the sinhalas. This is a good result for the 6.9million Modai Sinhala who voted and danced in the streets when them Rajapakses’ won the election. May the Rajapakses loot some more with the blessings of the Buddha that them sinhala beggars GO CAP IN HAND TO HINDUSTAN for more loans that facilitate more financial looting by the Rajapakses. KARMA

  • 5
    0

    Prof Ekanayake,
    Very well presented and detailed in simple language.

  • 4
    0

    Mr E

    You have described the average Sinhala Buddhist mentality to a T. Racism & religion has always been trump cards for SL politicians & 6-9m poor sods believed in a ‘no nonsense’ war ‘hero’, despite red flags indicating abuse & massive corruption. The ‘patriotic’ Sinhala Buddhists were eternally grateful & readily ignored the corruption charges. & as for human rights abuses, it was either Tamil propaganda or collateral damage. A good friend of mine told me that it was the ‘brother’ (MR) who was corrupt, maybe thinking the same brother, who would be the obvious choice as PM, would be kept in a leash by the patriotic war hero who came back to save the country.

    I am not saying everybody is corrupt & I am sure there are many honourable citizens, nevertheless, it describes, not only the average man on the street, but even some who have sought greener pastures abroad. Maybe, its the hard times that drive people to desperation or maybe the influence of self serving, shameless, corrupt politicians but when eminent professionals & academics also prostitute their integrity, what can be said about the average man on the street?

  • 2
    0

    Nathan, Prof. ANI point no.5 distorted religiosity, to which you add as a mirror of their own corrupted depravity. is exactly what will not change the vote bought with arrack, lunch and a gift. Tragedy is not even real buddhism.. Even the Mahanayaka proposals say no corruption but who understands that when money given.

  • 7
    1

    Very true Prof. This country is totally ruined by two. One is the dirty, selfish, illiterate, crooked politiciand and the second the rabidly racist buddhsit clergy that have no idea at all about what buddha had preached. In fact both categories are one and the same. Sinhala Buddhist supremacy is the foundation for total ruination of SL. The gullible were deceived by bogus, fake, cooked up history that never existed at all. Sinhala buddhsim is a fiction, invented for politcal reasons. Mahintha who laid the foundation for the ruination of modern SL depended exclusivly on rabid racism and religiomanical mind set. His recent visit to Jaffna only ended up in disturbing the peace that existed there. His vihara project at Kandarodai is to expand his racism and to please the sinhala masses that he thinks still could be hood winked. Kandarodai no doubt where buddhsim flourished one time when the religion was embrased by tamils even before the so called sinhalese. But this vihara is not about buddhsim but SINHALA buddhsim and that is why non buddhists hate these projects. Gota came to power on the same platfrom and today the entire family stand naked in public and their cunning plan exposed. It is now up to the 6.9 million cheated people to sort it out in the best way possible.

  • 7
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    AE, thank you for addressing the safety issues and those people who question many of us using pseudonyms. Today the driver of Minister Loku was hacked to death.

  • 0
    4

    No point blaming the ignorant people who are struggling to get by. There are powerful external actors backing the corrupt politicians in the PP-SLFP-UNP.

    US citizens run this county which is a EURO-American colony at this time.
    Sri Lanka must like India act at in the self-interest of its people and buy oil, gas, jet fuel from Russia NOT follow Euro-Ameican dictats and Sanctions regimes and succumb to EU GSP removal threats.
    Actually, GSP and GSP Plus, FAKE Trade and AId concession have kept Sri Lanka Business community, policy makers and politicians colonied and in the Paris Club and Washington consensus debt trap – following IMF and WB dictats rather than craft independent development policies.
    GSP is a trap and in instrument and exemplar of how colonial development policy works in dependent developing countries.This is what Victoria Nurland is coming to enforce in Sri Lanka – the US sanctions regime. and Washington Consensus Debt trap…

  • 5
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    I have little difficulty agreeing with the six plaudits (out of the seven comments) displayed. nimal fernanado will always insist on playing the cynic. Never mind; we all know that even he agrees.
    .
    If I have one observation to make it is this; most reading this would not, genuinely, be among the 6.9 million who contributed their votes to make this disaster inevitable. Please see my comment (begun yesterday, completed today) that appears here:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sustaining-democracy-for-three-more-years/
    .
    Some people in the opposition were also to blame for putting consideration for their personal fortunes ahead of the national weal. Warning to readers: when reading the preceding sentence, do not substitute “All” for “Some”. It gets done automatically, subconsciously. Such careless reading is all too common. Who is to blame? Language teachers like me!
    .
    “Mea culpa”.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

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    Thank you Prof. Asoka N.I. Ekanayaka for your brilliant article. Also it’s interesting you have picked 21 March for the article, the United Nations International Day against Racism.
    ~
    Do the mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers of Sri Lanka have the wisdom to change course even in this late hour before the country plunges into a state of ever serious anarchy?
    ~
    https://www.un.org/en/observances/end-racism-day

  • 5
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    This explains how under pretext of DEMOCRAZY , Lanka managed to have 75 years of corrupt family dynasties culminating in tens of family members representing the ruling government. What can be more funny than seeing Lankans ridiculing other countries, having heated discussion on racial discrimination elsewhere, in depth analysis on international matters/crisis, criticizing IMF, when no one in their right mind will loan to Lanka. When immorality, denial, stupidity , racial hatred become hereditary ,transmitted over generations , unabated, there is no hope whatsoever for this failed , dysfunctional, bankrupt nation.

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    There is a huge treachery going on in Sri Lanka. The Rajapaksa traitors themselves have funded and organized fake protests against their own government, bribed fake patriots to create a fake conflict inside the party and created fake long lines for household gas and fuel to cover up the treachery.
    Any fool can see that it is the US which is behind the treacherous US$1 billion aid package signed between India and Sri Lanka.That is why a high level US delegation is coming to Sri Lanka. India is a country that should never be trusted. India plays double games with other countries too. This package is not about energy, it is about the lands in the North and the East. I have written about this many times. I normally protest against Basil, the traitor. I didn’t write anything against it this time for two reasons; one, Gotabhaya violated the election law when contesting the Presidential election. If his appointment is annulled, all the agreements signed during his tenure of office will have to be signed again. Second reason is, if there is a war, all the lands that are included in the aid package will be destroyed including Trinco harbour.

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      Sri Lanka should make arrangements to evacuate people from the Trinco harbour area and coastal areas towards the KKS at a short notice. I don’t see any other areas under threat. An attack on Trinco harbour is inevitable when WWIII erupts.

  • 0
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    Prof ANI, Excellent analysis, but majority do not understand that the jews will be driven to Israel from the worldwide scattering as they will recognise Christ in his return as their messiah to the mount of olives as he said he would. It is the same resurrected, ascended, glorified Jesus once again in his kingdom rule with his coheirs. Rev. 19,11 says he judges and makes war. Satan is bound. Amen, come Lord Jesus.

  • 3
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    A fine piece Prof:Ekanayake.

    Your line………..
    ………..However, the purpose here is to focus on the mind-set of 69 lakhs of people who deliberately,conscientiously and enthusiastically of their own freewill opted through the ballot to bring about such a predicament to their own detriment……………..

    The mindset was simply this: Push the Minorities up the wall. The target group was the non Sinhala Buddhists in the country..The composition of the Viyath Maga is a reflection of that mindset.
    The April Bombing, which even the Cardinal has come round to believe is the murderous drama enacted to sway the voters to the main political philosophy of the Rajapakse cabal.

    But, there is a BIG BUT, ALL PLANS OF MEN AND MICE INVARIABLY GO
    AWRY…………………..

    Would those stupid 6.9 voters learn their Lessons with fresh thinking firstly about the Rajapakses and secondly about a Secular Srilanka?
    They have dragged the rest of the population to utter misery ALONG WITH THEM!

  • 2
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    OOPS! It should read as 6.9Million …….

  • 5
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    “One hopes that the 69 lahks who recklessly voted to bring about the present national catastrophe …”
    *
    Should we not pause a moment to think of the reckless 3.2 million that gave the UNP a 5/6 majority in 1977, and the reckless 3.45 million who elected JRJ president in 1982 after witnessing his anti-democratic performance for five years? What recklessness made 3.14 million enable the deferment of elections by a referendum held a few months after presidential election? In all cases there was absolute majority with a convincing lead.
    Massive majorities were the result of frustration with a former government in 1977, 1994 and 2019/20.
    Even the vote in 2015 was driven by frustration.
    *
    Even the supposedly educated electorate responds in knee jerk fashion at elections.
    Recklessness is a harsh verdict on a people who responded to poor performance of a government.
    There was a war, whose memories have not faded on all sides affected by it.
    What options did the UNP have to offer in 2019/20? An absolute lackluster campaign did more to help the SLPP victories.
    Had people voted back the “good Governance” regime, would that not have been reckless?
    *
    We have before us parties that offered no alternatives when the governed made a mess of things.
    Are they capable of placing before the public a serious alternative programme?
    *
    Almost all voting I fear is reckless, for people vote for the unknown.

    • 4
      3

      correction:
      We have before us parties that offered no alternatives when the government made a mess of things.

    • 3
      1

      SJ

      “Almost all voting I fear is reckless, for people vote for the unknown.”

      They used to vote for imported free rice moon.

      ” Massive majorities were the result of frustration with a former government in 1977, 1994 and 2019/20.”

      Wasn’t it Siri Mao who won majority (91+19+6) in 1970 and ruled with iron fist between 1970 and 1977? What were the reasons for frustration that forced people to vote for UNP in 1977?

  • 3
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    The Rajapakses and their racist supporters on this forum, overseas, and throughout the island, can now state that every cloud has a silver lining, due to their policies. Thamizh from the island have again started to flee to South India to escape starvation and abject poverty. Most Chingkallams will be happy to hear this, despite the fact they too are facing the same conditions and will say Long live, they again started to chase the Thamizh away. Or will be indifferent as they really do not care about the Thamizh, as seen in the comments section for this piece of news in the national newspaper. No comments. Unlike other news items with regards to this government which is full of comments, this does not, as they really do not care what happens to the Thamizh or for that matter the Thamizh Muslims or other non-Chingkallams. Most probably happy that this now happening to them, thanks to their hero War criminal president, whom most of them elected, just for this purpose. To finish the Thamizh off. Blind Eagle from Australia will be happy, the fake Viking from Croydon will be happy. Little Willy who goes around many forums to spread his lies and racist misinformation will be happy. Choma will be happy. Thamizh are starving and have started to flee, Rajapakses are great. Does not matter if we also starve in the process and live in abject poverty. Proving what the author of this article states is correct. from the time of independence, this has been the story and they will never learn.

    • 1
      2

      Pk, I agree with you in that, almost 10 years ago, I said SriLankan mentality is such, “when their house has caught fire they still ignore ,taking pleasure looking at their neighbor,s hose fully gutted”. For that they rush to deny, act naive, give excuse, do compare and contrast studies, quote examples in other countries, blame others for their sins, act stupid and childish, manipulate, exploit, quote mythology, do in depth analysis on who came first and after, do extensive research between bad and ugly (never good), minimize/normalize the wrongs, shed croc tears, boast their pseudo patriotism/ nationalism/ 2500 years of civilization credentials and then wonder “how we failed and became bankrupt.

  • 3
    2

    Colombo-based Sumanthiran is dancing the tune of India and the USA and will soon sell the Tamils and take them for a ride and Sampanthan is too old. They achieved nothing for the Tamils during the last regime and gave Ranil full support, just like the way the west and India wanted and Ranil took them for a ride.
    https://www.tamilguardian.com/content/racist-sinhala-only-flags-paraded-buddhist-temple-colombo

    • 4
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      Rohan25: “They achieved nothing for the Tamils during the last regime”

      True, but then, who has achieved anything of significance or worthy of mention for the Tamils in any regime?, I wonder.

    • 2
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      Rohan25

      “Colombo-based Sumanthiran is dancing the tune of India and the USA and will soon sell the Tamils and take them for a ride and Sampanthan is too old.”

      Thanks for your observation.
      In return what would Sumanthiran receive from USA and Hindia?
      What do the Tamil possess after 2009 which could be sold by Sumanthiran?

      Remember it was VP who sold everything to Hindia initially, then to Sri Lanka/Premadasa, then to the West, then to Rajapaksas, and later won the war and two elections for Rajapaksa clan.

      VP also rewarded Gota, his clan and his gang by leaving cash and gold in his Fort Knox.

      Do you think Sumanthiran did all of the above?

      I envy your short selective memory.
      Where on earth you did you this stupid idea that Sumanthiran has Tamils’ whatever and he is going to sell? What is he going to sell?
      Is it VP’s legacy (Amude, underpants) that Sumanthiran going to sell?
      Shavendra/Kamala have VP’s amude.

      By the way tell us who benefits from your fake campaign?

      • 2
        1

        Rohan25

        Hope you are not a member of the “Our Leader Prabaharan – We want Tamil Eelam” Bajan Group. You know there are thousands of such Bajan groups exist all over the world.

        • 1
          1

          Yes VP did all this not deliberately but due to his short-sightedness, foolishness, and not able to think strategically. However in my opinion Sumanthiran is deliberately doing this. Just like the way GG Ponambalam did. Both lawyers are educated and very good lawyers but taking Tamils for a ride. However, to be fair to Sumanthiran most probably he thinks no other option, as Tamils are now in a very bad position. Actually, my comment was much more. Two comments in reality but only the small second part has appeared and the first vanished. Do not know the reason. Therefore when read by it self seems highly distorted

          • 1
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            Stated basically all southern Sinhalese partied major and minor, support Sinhalese Buddhist racism and fascism and denying minority rights, language, land, religion. As shown in the link at the Gangaramaya Pererhara in late February this year, Openly displaying large Sinhale flags in front of Mahinda Rajapakse and Ranil Wickremesinghe who were the chief guests. Note the British foreign secretary came here and paid homage at this temple. Speaks volume and not this open racism is being displayed at a so-called religious festival and both leaders not objecting proving, with regards to the Tamils and other minorities, there is no difference amongst all these southern Sinhalese parties. India and the west also know this and therefore for their own strategic and selfish interests on the island, they think the Tamils are the easy targets, as they are now very vulnerable and are now twisting the Tamil parties to do the bidding of these Southern Sinhalese parties, under one unitary state with hardly any devolution and get crumbs from the Sinhalese table. They have also noticed most Tamil leaders do not have any backbone and can be easily manipulated and twisted. Prabhakaran was the exception but he was not strategic and also they did not like him, so helped to defeat him and finish him and the LTTE off, but in the process strengthened Sinhalese racism and China. Hope this will be posted.

            • 0
              1

              Sorry, now this open racism and not this open racism. I am no member of any Bajan group but to sign Hindu Bajanai . I do not have to Sinhalese racism and Islamic opportunism and extremism will ultimately deliver Eelam. It May is not in my lifetime and most probably it will be in the north and coastal Trincomalee Batticaloa district and coastal Amparai up to north Kalmunai.

  • 1
    1

    Salute you Professor for being so honest. These articles must be translated into Sinhala and Tamil in the same spirit revealing the harshness of the painfully naked truth about us. A drastic change of our mental frame and thinking is essential for any hope of the realisation of this truth.
    Educating the nation, to look at life more inclusively, respecting the life, the right to life of the other, the humanity of the other; this has to precede any chances for a change of mind.
    A change of heart; of our very soul life, to embrace, respect and uplift the other, is a fundamental, vital requirement for any change. Do we see it happening. What will promote it?? Who will initiate such a discussion and programme??

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