14 July, 2020

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The Narrow Corridor: Liberty & Democracy In Sri Lanka

By Harsha Gunasena

Harsha Gunasena

Liberty is an individualistic concept. Although we talk about it and appreciate it very much, in Sinhala we do not have a word to express its meaning accurately.  In Sri Lanka, the people embraced democracy at the initial stages as a tool in the hands of suppressed masses against their social suppression.

A book was written about liberty and how to achieve it by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson in September 2019. The book was titled The Narrow Corridor- States, Societies, and the fate of Liberty. They were the authors of international best seller Why Nations Fail. The authors argued that for liberty to prevail the state as well as the society should be strong. If the state was too strong they called it a Despotic Leviathan ( Leviathan- they have taken the name of a Biblical sea monster) which would suppress the masses, and when the society was too strong they called it an Absent Leviathan which would  lead the country to anarchy. They argued that the state and the society should run together with neither getting the upper hand and in the run, they should maintain their positions. This constant struggle between the state and the society would create a Shackled Leviathan which would ensure the liberty of the society.

According to the authors, attaining a Shackled Leviathan is not just about constitutional checks and balances or clever institutional design. Society is critical. In this thesis, they challenged the western idea of creating a well-defined constitution would ensure the liberty of the people.

This Diagram of the authors of the book shows how the Shackled Leviathan is created by the balance between the Power of State and the Power of Society. If the Power of State is stronger it would lead to Despotic Leviathan and if the Power of Society is strong it would lead to Absent Leviathan. The Tiv are a Nigerian ethnic group. They had no administrative divisions and no chiefs nor councils.

USA

The Bill of Rights in USA was introduced to the constitution after many were concerned that a strong national government was a threat to individual rights and that the president would become a king. Therefore, there should be a balance of power between the state and the society.

Black people did not have any right whatsoever at the time of passing the constitution. In the US declaration of independence, slaves were not considered as men and authors themselves owned slaves. After 89 years of passing the constitution in 1865 they brought an amendment to abolish slavery after a civil war over the issue. 

A century later in 1960s the civil rights movement was active. One strategy of the struggle was mixed-race groups riding interstate buses violating the Southern segregation laws.  When mobs attacked freedom riders in 1961, Robert Kennedy, Attorney General sent US Marshals to protect the freedom riders. These struggles paved the way for 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. in 1968 by the time of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. black people yet had visible discriminations. However, in 2009 they elected a black president.

After 232 years of signing of the American constitution and after 228 years of amending the constitution with Bill of Rights, US citizens today had to demonstrate in the streets for the rights of black people.  This proves the argument of the authors that the liberty will not be granted in a platter and it is an outcome of a constant struggle between the state and the society. American society had this struggle throughout the history. Struggle for liberty for all continues between the state and the society.  

Congress and the Senate are trying to bring legislation to combat excessive use of force and racial discrimination by the Police. Proposals also suggested to make it easier to identify, track and prosecute misconduct. This is a notable federal intervention in respect of the rights of the citizens in recent history of USA. It is imposing a shackle, caused by the struggle of the society, to the leviathan.

Struggle in UK forced the authorities to remove statues of the colonial masters and the slave traders erected centuries ago. One  such statue in Bristol was forcibly removed the protestors and dumped in the city’s harbour.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, the Frontline Socialist Party recently organized a protest campaign in front of the US Embassy. In other democracies  these protests received a wide support. Even in USA there were several instances where the members of the Police took a knee along with the masses to express solidarity. Several embassies of USA in other countries also disapproved the police brutality and sent Twitter messages. The Democratic world did not think that these actions were directed against the American state considering it as an enemy. Those were democratic rights to disagree and to protest. 

The Sri Lankan courts issued an order preventing them protesting near the embassy of USA. However, the US embassy  said that they have not requested the government to prevent the protest. We have seen that it was a peaceful demonstration exercised keeping a good length among the protestors. The Police disobeyed the quarantine regulations at the time of arresting of the protestors. The protestors at the Town Hall, protesting keeping a distance, and  were not under a court order also were arrested. Therefore, these arrests were anti- democratic.  In USA, people demonstrated in front of the White House as well.

The issue is that the behaviour of the Police which was backed by the government was not met with a stronger protest by the Opposition and by the people at large. This tendency of the opposition and the people would diminish the power of the society to struggle against the despotic tendencies of the state. This struggle only, according to the authors, would create a shackled leviathan.

In Sri Lanka rulers do not consciously engage with the society to change the behaviour of the people to the positive side in the case of racial discrimination. They allow the racial tensions to increase, align with the majority and try to get the votes of the majority at the elections. This tactic was used by the current Indian government as well. Even the political leaders who do not agree to this trend do not voice against racism fearing that they would lose the votes of the majority.

The situation is quite different in other democratic countries. Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister New Zealand in 2018 walked in a gay pride parade in support of LGBT community who were marginalized by the society. When she addressed the UN in 2018 her opening remarks were in Maori language, spoken by 16% of the population. After the attack of Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, she managed to change the gun laws of the country within a month and her heartfelt support for the Muslim community won praise around the world.  The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently took a knee in a public protest organized to show solidarity with black people.

Apart from racial or religious discriminations the country is moving towards a Despotic Leviathan with the increased military involvement in the civil affairs by the President. The Society has not shown enough strongness to counter this trend.  This will end up in narrowing the corridor further. 

Democracy

Democracy was developed in the Western countries against the tyrannical rule of the autocrats. Democracy is to appoint a government of the people by the people for the people.  However, it can become a tool against the suppression in the hands of the masses if that country is having a considerable gap in relation to power between the rulers and those who are ruled.

When universal franchise was introduced in Sri Lanka in 1931, most of the elite class of people opposed it. When free education was introduced by C.W.W. Kannangara in 1945 senior politicians and the elite class opposed it. 

 In May 2014 during the time of previous Rajapaksa regime, I have written an article to Daily FT titled Why isn’t the Western form of democracy effective in the EastThere I discussed the concept of liberty and argued that in collectivist eastern cultures, liberty which is an individualistic concept, would not be respected. “Societies which value liberty respect the rights of the others and the behaviour of the members of such society is rule based. Authority of the law is prevalent. Sri Lankan society comprises of groups, large or small. They are hostile to the out-group members. They break rules very often and things happen based on relationships. By creating political parties under the Western form of democracy, an additional in-group was created. When they support a political party, they defend the wrongdoings of that party even though those have devastating effects to the country. The political party which is in power necessarily would be hostile to the members of the political parties which are not in power.”

Authors of The Narrow Corridor nicely put this situation as purportedly expressed by the Brazilian president Getulio Varges : ‘For my friends, everything; for my enemies, the law.’

I argued that in these types of situations, “democracy would be diminished to the level of tyranny of the majority which means autocracy. Majority and the minority do not have a sense of liberty so that minority will wait until they get the power to do the same in retaliation. On the other hand, political parties which are not in power would try to get power using whatever means. They might try some destructive methods even though those are against the national interest. This is the point one would say that autocracy is better than democracy.” 

I concluded “Therefore implementation of democracy in the collectivist Eastern cultures would either create autocracy if the majority rule is powerful or create anarchy if the opposition is powerful. Sri Lanka is an example of the former and Thailand is an example of the latter.”

This was in line with the argument established by the authors of The Narrow Corridor. 

In Sri Lanka, the word liberty is an alien concept. As I mentioned still there is no proper word for liberty in Sinhala. Therefore, in Sri Lanka not only the leviathan but also the struggle of the society against the state is also shackled. However, it is not too shackled to get it weakened to the extent that it would pave the way for a despotic leviathan. In certain instances it went out of control to unleash armed struggles against the state.

The authors argued that neither the width of the corridor nor stability in the corridor can be taken for granted. The width of the corridor is bolstered by democratic, participatory institutions. If these institutions loose people’s trust, the corridor narrows and the ability of society to handle conflicts is diminished.

Paper Leviathan

The authors identified a scenario in certain countries where there was strong, lethargic, and corrupt bureaucracy.  

“evidence shows that the Argentine state was greatly personalized: if you did not get involved personally, there was no chance of getting services; that was the point of being ‘patient’ – you have to build a personal relationship with a bureaucrat in order to expect anything.” 

There were ‘ghost workers’ who are supporters of the ruling party in Argentina and get paid without showing up for work. In Liberia, the President had his relatives in all the important positions of the government. 

The authors said that this type of situation leads to Paper Leviathan and  that paper leviathans are found near the bottom left corner of the diagram, on the side of the Despotic Leviathan- little societal power, little state power, but still despotic. “This Paper Leviathan has some of the worst characteristics of both the Absent and Despotic Leviathans.”

In Sri Lanka in 1970s during the time of Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, political authorities were established above the civil administration saying that the civil administration was not effective. Minister Lalith Athulathmudali introduced Exporters Forum coordinating various government institutions with the exporters to find out quick solutions to the problems of exporters. President Premadasa has taken the officers of all the ministries to the provinces on different days to give quick solutions to the problems of the people. Recently President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has taken the officers of the Central Bank and the Department of Prisons to task. These are various ways the different leaders of the country addressed the issue of Paper Leviathan. Methods applied may be correct or wrong  but addressing the issue in whatever the manner is essential.

Therefore, in conclusion we can say that the Sri Lankan democracy is not in a good shape.  In one hand it needs to get rid of the certain characteristics of the Paper Leviathan which needs a strong state. That may be the reason for the popular demand for a strong state. In order to counter the power of the state the country needs a strong power of the society to achieve a desired democracy and liberty to all. This very vital point is missed by many. Society should be politically matured, alert, and strong. Liberty is absent in a society where there is wide-spread state sponsored racial discrimination with the tacit approval of the society. The country has not progressed well in the evolution process towards these objectives even after 72 years of independence.

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Latest comments

  • 14
    3

    Harsha, Thank You so much. ” The country has not progressed even after 72 years of independence”. Absolutely true. This article and the other written by Lionel Bopage sums up the future of Lanka. Ganasara told PCol “extremism can be eradicated only by banning”. Arent we lucky to have an extremist advise on how to get rid of it.

    • 6
      2

      Srilanken Democracy:
      .
      You please listen to the following video – that will open your eyes. The levels of democracy – would become glass clear…. please add your thoughts… this is why they cant stand against corruption in this country. Corruption in all form is ramphant in our country – curse ot Rajapakshe bitch s sons.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7EBeme4Cck

      Country s defence secretary speaks on public stage, as if he is not the defence secretary.
      :
      Gallery is gaping at him, to the very same manner, even a Pseudo monks# preaching would be welcome by “loads of SADU SADU”:
      .
      Kamal Agunarathne – is an another bone licking dog, who would do anything and everything to please his masters…. how dare these bitch s sons be real authorities in this country…. all these men are like – flies being found in the medamulan overflowing toilet pits.

    • 4
      0

      [Edited out] Persistent trolling will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.
      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 4
      0

      black life matters. … tamil life matters. muslim life matters. every life matters. .. but this does not seem to go to the average mind set in our war torn country. if born to a country, he or she should be blessed with same and equal rights by being the law and order similar to each community. anyone that violate should be subjected to rehab programs.. addiction to drug and alcohol and addiction to racism and extremism are no different. Madhumadhawa ARAWINDHA, iraj weeraratne or the like artists in srilanken soil, more violate the lawas and try to become ULTRA racists in order to win the hearts and minds of racism supporters. Racism is the dangerous weapons above all- should be made clear to the nation adequately before the looters grab the votes through political hedgemonic actions.

      … all these should be gone to the hearts and minds of the majority of people, that ignore the crucial factor for permament peace in this country. eXPERTs in the fields should be university professors and higher researchers that could start up the process for rebuilding the nation. Artists that send the message across the country, making them sinhala supremacists, should be arrested and be subjected to rehablitiations programs.

      CONTD

      • 4
        0

        Nobody should have the right to be above and be sought impunity. Be them former presidents or anyone should be brought before the courts and be investigated if done wrong during their tenure. If Rajaakshe in power would succeed this only, people’s thoughts and mind would become normal and be filled with respect and dignity.
        sOME PARTs of the country is decorated for their political gains. These are very common in tribal africa where leaders as mumppets of the west, did nothing for their own folks over the decades. Today things have changed a lot for example in Ethiopia which was once upon a time the poorest country in the world. There are roads being restored where they have a voter base. Whole lot of people in rural north, south, uva and other provinces, live under poverty line. These are not reported by local media. Local media institutions are run by crooks set by malicious, vicious, rascal minded . So long their charges are paid, they can turn black into white. Most living in poor conuntry struggle for their next day living. Politicians are on a race to steal funds by becoming so call parliamentarians.
        we have fought wars that killed innocient people of both sides.

    • 0
      0

      Democracy under the hypocritical regime is dangerous than a true Dictatorial regime. At least we know where we are.

  • 10
    4

    Democracy restrict only holding the elections and get elected.
    :
    No election promises made on public stage prior to PE such as
    .
    Fertilizer Conscession – not even fertilizer is available today for farmers- they have to beg for manures as no times in the past.
    .
    Thousand rps of pay hikes for plantation tamil srilankens – was just one another lip service
    A Gift bag filled with all the relief rations to the poor as that most abusive mouth piece of Rajaapakshe clan- Wimal Buruwanse and Gonthadipila recited on the election campaign- is fully forgetten
    Butthe very same RASCAL will come with another fairytale to the very same gallery

    If not people who can make a tangible change by sending these bitch s sons home forever ?
    Any govt that will come to power should take all the high costs of security to MADAMULANA TRIBAL LEADER Mahinda Rajapakshe and with that funds, they should build huts for the destitute. If anyone would come forward to do this, we can support them by standing the good parties. No matter if it JVP, UNP or any othhers. We stood by srilanken at the time TSUNAMI waves destroyed the country, and we can also do lot more good, if good politics would be dawned to the country.

  • 11
    3

    Harsha Gunasena,
    You are right that this country has not progressed even after 72 years of independence. I doubt this country will ever progress for another century from its state because of the Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism and family authoritarian rule. Of course the country need a strong leadership to strengthen democracy such as rule of law, justice for all, and the courage to take actions against anyone who violates rule of law whether it is a Buddhist Monk or Christian priest or Hindu Priest or Islamist Priest or Military leader or President. Unfortunately, now everything is done other way round. Criminals are protected, corruptors are protected. innocents and weakened societies are punished.

    • 4
      9

      Ajith,
      “… this country has not progressed even after 72 years of independence.”

      This country did not progress because of the rotten political system that we followed allowing Rohana Wijeeweera, Velupillai Prabhakaran and Saharan to play hell using ‘Wal Booru Nidahasa’. JRJ tried to change the system but poodles who licked the boots of British Raj from 1858 to 1947 came like Bull Dogs and sabotaged his attempt.

  • 16
    1

    To add to my above comment today Karuna claimed he killed 2000 to 3000 army personal just in a day in Elephant pass and more in Killinochi. (he even exaggerated by comparing with total Covid victims) If elected he will be seen sitting next to MR in the parliament. Arent we lucky to have such members in government.

  • 4
    4

    Democracy is now dead in this sad sorry island.
    The rajapuka’s with whom I am told that I have an obsession about their rear ends have little by little since the 16th November 2019 by bringing in the world-famous military mass murdering of the innocent’s goons or thugs as they should be classified as.
    =
    Since January 2015 Democracy revived itself, the courts functioned without fear even the president had judgements given against him.
    =
    On the 5th August 2020 the now no food to eat no money to buy it no schools to send their children no jobs to go and to cap it all being ruled by obnoxious military uniform-wearing or in their burning suits gannankarrayas to whom taking a life is a daily pastime.
    =
    Even since 1960 the SLFP led by the iron socialist but living a capitalist lifestyle who was leading the now-defunct SLFP and now the SLPP of the hora boru criminal murdering of the innocent’s in cold blood the sordid rajapuka clowns or jokers have to be legally overthrown by the vote or by the democratic freedom-loving civil societies even with help from foreign sources.
    =
    When I was a teenager one fine day there was a paid death obituary notice which very nicely stated that Mr Democracy has passed away under tragic circumstances.

    • 5
      6

      rj1952,
      “Mr Democracy has passed away under tragic circumstances.”

      If Ceylon put that obituary notice in 1948, this country could have been better-off.
      Because of ‘Wal Booru Nidahasa’ that came along with the Democracy imposed by Brits, separatist racist Demalu played hell by demanding a separate State for the descendants of Dravida slaves brought by Portuguese to Yapanaya using a bogus claim ‘Traditional Homeland’ and launched a terrorist campaign to slaughter Sinhalayo to create Elam. As a result, this country lost 30 years out of 72 years of Independence.

      • 6
        2

        Our government slaughtered Tamil Bretheren and we are looked down upon by the whole world as Criminals
        Do not talk through your arse

      • 1
        1

        Eager-less P.?
        why is that you have an uncanny fixation with the ex-colonial masters and the Demalu slaves.?
        =
        I am astounded as to how your long period of time matrimonial alliance with the para demala meenachi is surviving.?
        =
        As you must be an Aussie citizen or residence permit holder you are entitled to 6 visits free of charge – gratis per year by the Australian government’s Medicare system.
        =
        Why don’t you avail yourself of this much-valued freebie and endeavour to become a better quality respected by a few living two-legged human beast.?
        =
        If you have issues with getting to these consultations, I am in a position to help you out with free of charge to the concubine of a fellow member of the Tamil community.

  • 5
    2

    Thanks, Harsha Guneratne for writing yet another decent article in the English Language which probably matters little in influencing the outcome of the elections. At least you are trying!
    .
    Dharisha Bastians used to write well – it looks as though she’d better look after her own skin. Ahimsa turned herself into an activist for love of her father, but must now realise that she can’t do much more; let’s hope that she focuses on living a meaningful life, forgetting past horrors. Professor Kumar David continues to write sense, but it looks as though he’s despairing about the effectiveness of it.
    .
    You wrote a great and much-needed article here:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/ratnajeevan-hoole-a-legend-of-our-times/
    .
    It so happens that owing to Dr Rajan Hoole and me having schooled together more than half a century ago, I have some acquaintance with Jeevan. When your article appeared he didn’t know who you were, and possibly still doesn’t. Very few, unfortunately, write disinterestedly as you do.
    .
    See what nonsense Mahinda Rajapaksa says about the Thondaman funeral in the fourth paragraph before the end in this article:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/parliamentary-election-2020-how-do-we-do-it/
    .
    We all know what a farce “social distancing” became during the funeral.

  • 5
    1

    PART TWO
    .
    Yet, so much contempt does he have for us, and for our ability to reason that he insults us by saying that “the people of that area cooperated.” I don’t blame those ignorant people, but readers, beware the contempt in which the Rajapaksa hold us all. This is the man who built a reputation for objective concern for injustice by claiming, as a young man, that he was concerned about Palestinian rights in Israel.
    .
    There’s so much more to be said about hypocrisy and foolishness. Will our people ever think for themselves?
    .
    There are idiots of other sorts like rj1952 who don’t realise that it’s better to keep silent and thought to be fools, rather than write in such atrocious language as to alienate many sensitive people. We exchanged quite a few emails. If fellows like that have left our shores and live in a land (Australia) which cannot be anything except ashamed of its treatment of its black people (and they do express shame), can’t they just shut up? He’s probably so much of a joke Down Under that he wishes to make a nuisance of himself here. The fellow can write tolerable English.

    • 4
      3

      Sinhala man,
      So now I am an idiot and a joke down under.
      =
      All because I did not oblige you in calling the rajapaksa’s as they have been rightly addressed as rajapuka’s for their villainous conduct in cheating the people of Sri Lanka.
      =
      As we are participants in 100% democratic forum, I read and accept your inferiority complex with a pinch of salt’
      =
      The likes of you can throw stone after stone at me but I just brush it off with a pinch of salt.
      =
      Regret that being a man with rigid principles I will not dance to your draconian one way street dictatorship orders.

      • 6
        2

        rj
        I think Sinhala man is correct. He has described you as an idiot and a joke based your idiotic and silly comments.

        Soma

        • 1
          1

          Soma, now that is you being quite generous towards me – especially because you know that at voting time it is my vote rather than yours which Rohan Johhnpillai is less likely to disapprove.
          .
          I’m sure that you realise two things about this paragraph that Johnpillai has written.
          .
          “On the 5th August 2020 . . . is a daily pastime.”
          .
          Villagers know that there are uncouth Colombo guys who think like this. That awareness will swell the vote for the SLPP, which you support, on the 5th of August.
          .
          You also know it better to win without people having acquired as bitter and nasty an attitude towards civilisation as rj wishes to inspire.
          .
          What he says is in nobody’s interest – but he probably doesn’t care. He’s got undeserved safety in Australia.

        • 1
          0

          Some,
          Being a thick-skinned baboon, I like being remembered as a joker of an idiot.
          =
          This Sinhala – Man is angry with me as I dared to disobey his autocratic order of not being a contributor to this illustrious webpage expose him as a closet rajapuka loyalist and as I write facts about them or anybody else I do not care two hoots as to what any? thinks.
          =
          Who on earth gives a tuppence as to what the likes of himself think of me, I do not live on feeding my obnoxious self by eating your food or off your pockets.
          =
          You two buggers must be very well aware of the saying in the English lingo which goes as – the dogs can and may bark but the caravan rolls on.
          =
          Therefore you two mesdames better put your typing fingers to a better use.?
          If you need to know as to what they are, just ask and your command is my humble desire to please you two to the best of my ability.
          =
          They also say one man’s meat is another’s poison.

      • 1
        0

        rj1952,
        “All because I did not oblige you in calling the rajapaksa’s as they have been rightly addressed as rajapuka’s for their villainous conduct in cheating the people of Sri Lanka.”

        Can you please tell us how Rajapukas cheated the people of Sri Lanka.
        As far as Sinhalayo are concerned, Mahinda Rajapakshe is the only leader who fulfilled the promise given to people. He promised to eliminate Tamil terrorism and he fulfilled that promise.

        • 1
          0

          Eager-less P….y.?
          Are you telling the fellow readers of this website including my rotten self that ever since 1970, the rejapuks brand name has a clean slate.?
          =
          Except for the elder brother Chamal the rest of the unsavoury gang even including mahindan’s concubine who had made hay whilst the sun was shining on her widespread bottom greedily gobbling money illegally and even including the taking of the innocents who dared to come into the path of her sons.
          =
          Even their three sons produced out of this unholy criminal alliance have no clean sheets to lie on.?
          =
          Helping Hambantota etc with the tsunami funds for which your mate mahindan should be rightly behind bars till to date and many other sordid dubious transactions which made the rajapuks one of the corrupt wealthiest crime oozing from all their pores family dynasty’s who are making the psychopathy Buddhist philosophy a bigger international joke.?
          =
          I can boldly state that you are one of the blindly loyal to the parasite family in the whole wide world to dance the cha-cha to appease these multi-faceted fingers in many a dubious pie low lives. who are better off living in hell than continuing to pollute this wonderful planet of ours.

    • 3
      0

      rj1952,
      .
      You quite understandably don’t like being called names. Please, therefore try to write more thoughtfully and with greater clarity. Do you actually have to be told something as obvious as that?
      .
      I note with some concern that you have managed to use that”obnoxious and meaningless “rajapuka” word once, but I’m glad to note that the decency level of the rest of your comment has improved. If you stopped using words which conjure dirty connotations most objections would disappear. Learn from the goodness displayed by “Buddhist1”. I may still disagree with him about Namal’s potential, but we would be discussing constructively.
      .
      I may still point out that your imagery ought to be employed more consistently, but I’d be doing so with more kindliness and good humour. After all, if I’m throwing stones at you, you wouldn’t be able to “brush them off with only a pinch of salt”!
      .
      Please use the link given on this very page to Harsha’s Hoole article, and see for yourself how the ambivalent views expressed by you there earned the undeserved wrath of Harsha. SJ and I had to rescue you, and Harsha was generous.
      .
      Democracy doesn’t mean the freedom of the wild ass.

      • 1
        1

        So-called Sinhala-dude,
        If any mothers daughter or son desires to call me by any name or two it is like pouring water on ducks back.
        =
        I take it as a compliment.
        =
        I never interfere in anyone’s writing style, unlike your interfering bad-self.
        =
        The powers to be at this website have accepted my style of expression.?
        Who on earth are you to try to threaten me and calling me an idiot.?
        =
        You write in any style of format whilst I will continue to Chugg along in expressing myself in a decent manner that I have been taught to.?

  • 10
    0

    For any country to progress the first requirement is “equal rights”. Equal rights not only to all races, but to all religions, languages, classes and above all to genders. Unless and until Sri Lankan politicians, especially the Rajapakse family understands and accepts this concept this country will not progress. Why Rajapakse family. In today’s political environment when all the other political parties, including Muslim Congress supports these concepts, its the Rajapakse family that tries to divide the country using these as tools for their own personal benefit. Those other parties that are with the Rajapakses are not strong enough to stand on their own as their voter base is negligible. Only way these fringe parties could survive is by hanging on to the “sathaka pote” of the Rajapakses. Hence, in short the progress of Sri Lanka is today hindered by one family, that is the Rajapakse family. If this family falls in line all the other extremists will automatically fall in line as they will not have a “God Father” figure to protect them. Can Namal pave the way for this progressive approach?

    • 8
      1

      Dear Buddhist01@

      if you live in SL, please open up your thought with your own circles on the requirement of “equal rights” – there i have no doubt, you would be attacked by your circles because they dont care about others but their sinhala supremacy. I hate to see nothing is in progress in the line of improvement of awareness of the people.

      This happened to me during my last visit paid to Slanka (last February). I noticed it myself being in a heterogenous gathering crowded with various walks of the attendees (teachers, doctors, uni dons, engineers, and all). This was a “dana” ceremony of a relative of mine. Since my thoughts and minds are far from theirs, I was compelled to fall on to “silence mode”: One retired female teacher who was said to be ” a strong buddhist” questioned me aggressively as to why I take the side of the minority. – Can you imagine ? I know you guys are familiar with the kind of arguments while living in that country. The kind of sinhala buddhists are unfortunately, the majority of them. They are just followers of the next door. I have met myself with real good buddhists in CA and Europe. Most of them focus on the neucleus of the buddhism (meditation – and how they improve the mindfulness).

    • 2
      2

      Buddhist1,
      “For any country to progress the first requirement is “equal rights”. Equal rights not only to all races, but to all religions, languages, classes and above all to genders.”

      It is mostly Demala racists who come out with the charge that there is no ‘Equal Rights’ for minorities and blame Sinhala majority. I think ‘Equal Rights’ for all races is not a major issue as highlighted by racist Demala politicians. What is lacking is ‘Equal Rights’ for all castes within the Demala community. Although a large majority of Demala people in this country are descendants of slaves from Hindusthan, Malabar Vella Ala Demalu have established a ‘HIGH CASTE’ status and still treat certain low caste Demala people as slaves.
      Although we talk about ‘One Country One Law’, Vella Ala Malabar Demalu use a Malabar customary law called ‘Thesawalamei’ to keep land they grabbed after colonial rulers left within that caste.
      These Vella Ala Demalu who talk about ‘EQUALITY’ do not want to remove the distinction ‘Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian Tamils’ although all Tamils have Indian origin.

      • 4
        0

        Eagle Evil Brain Dead Ultra Racist@

        In any population, there exist ultra racists, racists or lower grade racists, but what matters is the number of them in a population. As is the case for any issue, what matters is the quantity. I am telling there can be racists of your nature also among muslims and tamils.
        That we can t avoid because it is the nature of homo sapiens. Among them, there are racists that cant repair their racial thinking even if they would have been rehablitated in special camps. The very examples are you yourself and Madhumadawa aravindha, Iraja WEERAATNE and the like men in the srilanken lime light being close to Rajapakshe racals.

        to be continued.

        • 4
          0

          To tell you the truth, if you go to EAST GERMANY provinces, there are whole lot of racists, so as is the case in Midland area in the UK. Also there are racists and xenophoia promotors also in France, Spain, Italy and several other countries. But their percentages are not that high in each of the countries. –
          .
          Unfortunately, the numbers of racists in our WAR TORN country are really high. These are the facts that anyone cant reject today.

          I have discussed this with various walks of people back in home country over the last 10 years – each time travel back home was connected with meetings in a form of DANA, Pirith ceromony… and the like on and on, there I collected myself a whole lot of loads of info.. to the very same manner Mr Ranjana Ramanayaka did. That is why I am an anti-racist – of ULTRA nature today. I dont promote or support anyone with racial agendas but would not backward to publish them in the web, whenever I found them on the spot. be them former country leaders or their profiles of the day would not care… please add your thoughts.. thanks.

          • 5
            0

            And EE,
            .
            not to forget, those DANA pirith ceromonies most I met with were – so called SINHALA BUDDHISTS/BUDDHAGAMA buddhists okay ? They never thought twice before killing the mosquitoes on the spot, even if the preaching so called buddhist monks were at ” PANATHIPATHAA WEERAMANI SIKKAA PADHAM SAMADHIYAMI – I SWEAR THAT I WILL NOT KILL ANY LIVING BEING”

            Even many known to me while observing sil on poya day, stay exchanging more about gossips than doing it the manner it should be… that is how those buddhists 99% behave in that country. :
            :
            Ironically they wear PIRITHANOOLE in a thick form, to show that they belong to buddhist community – but even a contract killer does so… the message being passed to others – buddhism of srilanken nature- is now a life style forgetting the great teachings of LORD BUDDA…
            .
            Thanks should go to OUR MR megalo maniac MAHINDA RAJAPAKASHE… the KING Thakkadiya of the nation::::

            With all these hypocritic thinking in mind, our so called BUDDHGAMA promoters move forward… so how can we expect a society ever be NORMAL ?
            .

            • 5
              0

              If Real BUDDHISM to the manner LORD BUDDHA taught would have been established in that country, we dont need to rely on LAW AND ORDER.
              .
              As of today, PINGONAS littering in the Kelaniya WIHARAYA or other temple premises are more respectful than the chief monks of each temple.
              :
              Let s be very factful on these issues. I have enough INFORMATION if anyone would want to discuss these issues.
              :
              The name of SRILANKEN BUDDHAGAMA, they have been misleading the nation.

      • 3
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        Eagle Brain Dead Blind Eye

        My friend just asked me if he could borrow or buy a copy of Rousseau’s “The Social Contract”, where he discusses ” “Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.”.
        Could you advise me.

      • 5
        1

        Eagle Eye,

        You call them Demala. Let me ask you this question what is the origin of the Sinhalease? Did it not start with a “para foreigner” Vijaya or do you believe that the Sinhalese were already in Sri Lanka as a pure race after the Princess mated with a Lion and a child was born as the first Sinhalese? If you answer this question the Sinhalaya is also from India like the Demala.

        There should be an end to stupidity – for your info I am a Sinhalese you stupid.

        • 3
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          Buddhist –
          History has proven that the Yakko clan were forcible shipped out of Orissa due to their criminal doings.
          =
          We the tamils came from the southern part of India.
          =
          Therefore we both communities are basically having Indian roots.
          The Yaks due to their criminal inferiority complex think that they are god’s gift to the world and they are nothing but superior human beasts.
          What a fallacy.?

          • 1
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            Rj1952@

            I believe those YAKA then should be multiple times milder than those of today.

            Rajapakshes and their kith and kin represent YAKA community of current SL.
            .
            Shamelessly they spend state funds for thier B’day takings while poor of the poor stay biting nails not being able to think of their 3 meals.

            May I add you a line here – Mr. If you really want to contribute your part, why you call you a tamil… why not SRILANKEN… the fact is we all came from India. Even if our Evil Eye wouldnot know it, .. facts would not change, even if the kind of born racists would make every effort to manipulate them.

            My best buddies were tamils And I will never forget them in my life. Now bitch s sons with various kind of racial mindset attack me just because they cant respect my views. I dont care about the nationalities from my childhood times on. Nor would I repsect anyone go after racism: Be it in Europe or in home country.

  • 0
    2

    Liberty is a luxury for the poor class whose children are suffering from malnutrition.
    Take me to two village schools, one in India and the other in China, my heart will instantly tell me which society has more ‘liberty’ as defined by the author.

    Soma

  • 5
    0

    somass

    “Take me to two village schools, one in India and the other in China, my heart will instantly tell me which society has more ‘liberty’ as defined by the author.”

    We all know you are freeloader.
    In order to have free trips you are hooking others to pay for it, albeit in the name of proving a irrelevant assumption?

    Get real.
    Go get a job.
    Work hard.
    Safe enough.
    Pay for the trip.

    Or you may be able to visit both countries after your planned, clinically executed, …. next riots with tremendous support from saffron, khaki, olive, ….. brigades.

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