15 August, 2020

Blog

The Opposition’s 20th Amendment Dilemmas 

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

It’s the arithmetic, stupid! A no-confidence motion against the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Sampanthan, is logical and legitimate, neither because he is a Tamil nationalist nor because he propped up Ranil in the no-faith motion on the bond scam, but because he, unlike his TULF predecessor in the same post, Mr. Amirthalingam, by no means commands the largest number of seats in the Opposition benches, while Mahinda Rajapaksa does. 

Talk to anybody on the street. Listen to anybody in the agora, the public space/s. Citizens talk to me because they recognize me from my fortnightly Sinhala language TV show on Sirasa and my interviews in the Sinhala newspapers. They are sick to the pit of their stomach. They are disgusted, frustrated, and mad as hell; gritting their teeth, clenching their fists and waiting for the chance to end it. 

They feel they were swindled in 2015. The mood among the majority of the citizens is radical, militant. It is radical in a populist sense. I find myself trying to defend the ‘SLFP Sixteen’ from youngsters who respond “did it take all this time for them to figure out that this government was bad?” What there is, is a mounting intolerance of the 2015 political Establishment and power elite. 

The SLFP’s CBK faction is busy stitching itself up as the shortened tail of the UNP elephant. The only ‘new look’ the dying ‘Unity’ government will sport is that of embalming. 

We know who loses at the end of this story. Even if there is a change in the UNP leadership, that party can reduce the margin of defeat, but a party which has not produced a President for almost a quarter century, may be out of that office for quite a while longer.

Meanwhile the JO-Pohottuwa is plainly not of one mind as to whether the JVP’s 20th amendment should be conditionally supported. 

The Yahapalana strategists hope to tempt MR into supporting abolition and then double-cross him in the final reel. Almost all in the JO would prefer Mahinda as the country’s ‘once and future’ leader but many would also stop short at the thought of supporting a move to abolish the Presidency and flatten the apex of the system to bring it within his reach, because many in the JO correctly suspect a UNP-TNA-JVP booby-trap within the ‘abolition’.

The JO senses that the UNP-JVP-TNA ‘reform’ would be rigged to target/neutralize the Rajapaksas as a collective, thereby decapitate the Opposition and keep the January 2015 outcome going by any means necessary. This is why Vasudeva Nanayakkara who is no fan of the Executive Presidency, also has no intention of falling into the JVP’s trap! 

Of course there is a problem for the Opposition and within it. But that problem is not with the likeliest or most suitable personality as candidate at a presidential election. It is with a segment of his constituency. However, a problem with a segment of a potential candidate’s constituency cannot be a decisive factor in opting for a candidate! Nor can it be a reason for flattening a political system so that a candidate with such a sub-constituency within his coalition cannot contest!

Any candidate with a Sinhala Alt-Right support base within his constituency could raise apprehensions that the country could be plunged into a Dark Age of xenophobic, fundamentalist domination. No society can look developmentally forward and culturally backward. No East Asian society ever entered or accelerated modernity under the archaic cultural hegemony of a policy-prescriptive, mono-ethnic, mono-religious social stratum or power-elite. The East Asian leadership model is mainly secular, with national integration and rapid modernization based upon meritocracy, eschewing ethnic or religious biases—not enshrining them! 

If the Sinhala Alt-Right becomes politically and ideologically dominant in the State, there could be three violent flashpoints of conflict: an Islamic militant revolt, a Tamil Kashmir, and a far-left Southern youth rebellion. Dreams of a golden era of rapid modernization may turn into ashes. 

But these apprehensions, however fanciful are not going to stop an anti-Establishment candidate from sweeping to victory late next year. The 2015 Yahapalana experience, replete with the fraud and travesty of an Opposition which has a paltry 16 seats while the Southern opposition has over three times as many, has turned the Sri Lankan neoliberal experiment into a nightmare similar to the ‘lost decade’ that Russia spent in a Twilight Zone under Yeltsin. The Russians never want to go back there again. In Sri Lanka, the people’s backlash against neoliberal globalism and its rootless cosmopolitan elite will determine next year’s outcome.

In the terminology of my field, Political Science, the upcoming choice is between a progressive Populist government and an Alt-Right government, i.e. between a progressive, patriotic populism and a reactionary Alt-Right populism. The decisive factor will be Mahinda Rajapaksa and the leadership of the Joint Opposition, which comprises a leadership core with decades of experience in the anti-UNP struggle.  

Mahinda Rajapaksa is to Sri Lankan electoral politics what Russia is to the Syrian civil war and the future of Syria. There is no outcome in which Russia is not the predominant variable– only a moron would try to bypass or neutralize it.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, there is a glaring contradiction in your article.
    ~~~
    You say: “They feel they were swindled in 2015. The mood among the majority of the citizens is radical, militant. It is radical in a populist sense. What there is, is a mounting intolerance of the 2015 political Establishment and power elite.”
    ~~~
    What you are claiming here is that the majority of the citizens are hungry for a change and can’t wait to see the back of the present “Unity” government. If the cry for such an outcome is insurmountably strong – as you seem to be suggest – then nothing can stop the majority of the citizens from bringing about the downfall of the “Unity” government democratically. So how can you then go on and say:
    “The JO senses that the UNP-JVP-TNA ‘reform’ would be rigged to target/neutralize the Rajapaksas as a collective, thereby decapitate the Opposition and keep the January 2015 outcome going by any means necessary.
    ~~~
    You must not take CT readers for fools Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka!

  • 8
    4

    How can a corrupted murderer racist MR can become an opposition leader? MR is a mp from SLFP, not from SLPP? JO is not a political party? This is a simple mathematics based on facts. Any child will understand this mathematic but psychopath Dayan cannot understand this.

    • 9
      3

      Don’t waste your time trying to make sense of what this parasite writes. He can cry until he dies he is not getting another foreign posting either.

      • 4
        1

        Don’t use the word Parasite and insult them. This rascal is worst than a Parasite.
        He writes GARBAGE on behalf of Garbage like Sirisena Cooray, Murderer M.R., Mass Murderer Gota, Viagra Vimal, 100 Gommanpila, Sorrysena etc

    • 2
      0

      What a boot-licking imbecile!

      People won’t so easily forget the “Animal Farm” regime of the “Big Brother” marauding Rajapaksas.

      And neither will the CT readers forget Dayan’s apologist drivel, singing hosannas praising the mafia family!

      Still desperately seeking that elusive overseas diplomatic posting, huh?

      Dayan De Silva, dream on!!!

  • 3
    1

    It is the JVP that fought against the combined North and East; fought a court case. Because of them we have less noise from eelamists. At that time, Ranil was silent so did SLFP headed by Mahinda Rajapakse, CBK I suppose. so, I still trust JVP. Losing EX would not be the end of the world. that is amidst so manhyy problems sri lanka has.. another pont is I do not think EP existed even during the Mahinda Rajapakse times because, MahindaRajapakse had to buy MPs and declare that he had a national govt with 3/rd power. Maithripala sirisena with a crooked 19th amenment showed that EP is really a weakling.

    • 3
      1

      Don’t you know Jim, that JVP which responsible for de-merging NE was dead and buried years back? AKD’s $-base JVP is no more a force to count but a farce.

      • 3
        0

        max

        “Don’t you know Jim, that JVP which responsible for de-merging NE”

        Dr Rajapaksa was determined to win the case “by hook or by crook”
        JVP (two racists Somawansa and Wimal Sangili Karuppan) and JHU colluded with Sarath N Silva and won the case, only by depriving North East inhabitants the right and opportunity to put forward their side of the argument.

  • 1
    2

    Sri Lankan politics is very different from what we assume. I heard, Because Srilanka is a well known for developed buddhist tradition, Hilary clinton Wants to visit Sri lanka and this time she wants to mingle with Sinhala People and not recovering tamils. some how her focus is to lay the foundation stone for Evangelist church in the North.

    • 5
      1

      “Srilanka is a well known for developed buddhist tradition” what is that tradition?
      Killing innocent Tamil civilians from 1958.

      • 1
        1

        ” what is that tradition? Killing innocent Tamil civilians from 1958.”

        No, suicide bombers, human shields, the slaughter of innocent Sinhalese and child soldiers.

        • 1
          0

          Dyan Jayatillaka
          “, the Tamil Diaspora is of course a Sinhala extremist creation. It is the direct product of the anti-Tamil riots of 1958 and 1983. If not for those attacks, the Tamil middle and upper middle classes would not have wished to migrate and the doors of the West would not have been opened for them. “
          Tisaranee Gunasekara
          “Without the Sinhala Only, the Tiger may have remained unborn. Without the Black July, the Tiger may not have grown exponentially. If the B-C Pact and the D-C Pact did not miscarry (thanks to the midwifery of Sinhala extremism), the LTTE, even if it was born, would have remained a fringe group.”

  • 0
    1

    Go back and look how long took to admit to give the opposition post to TNA and how many Dillemmas JO made it and former Speaker MR’s brother didn’t have the balls to say it dragged around for while and all the young and stupid who doesn’t know politics wrote comments for a while

  • 4
    3

    Dayan the racist.

    He is trying to bring Kothapaya.

    • 0
      1

      ” He is trying to bring Kothapaya ”

      I don’t think Thero is saying anything about that. Yes we used to write a lot on that subject; But not anymore. Because it is the Cuban Communism’s arch enemy America is the one, now, trying to bring in this Kothapayal. After America got into that Thero quit from it.

      You may want to see here how Thero is distancing him from sponsoring Kothapayal anymore.
      Of course there is a problem for the Opposition and within it. But that problem is not with the likeliest or most suitable personality as candidate at a presidential election. It is with a segment of his constituency. However, a problem with a segment of a potential candidate’s constituency cannot be a decisive factor in opting for a candidate! Nor can it be a reason for flattening a political system so that a candidate with such a sub-constituency within his coalition cannot contest!
      What Thero saying here is “Sumanthiran or even NPC CM CV is better than this CIA agent Kothapayal.”

      • 0
        1

        Malle Urine, you all knowing idiot, didn’t I tell you NOT to use hypertext?

        • 0
          0

          I just tested you if could stop the italic. Same on you! The robes prescribed are not sticking on the bald heads’ waists. So 100,000 of new robes going to be distributed as three per each for 20,000 Bald heads. I wonder if you could stand with them and get one to hide yours too.

  • 5
    4

    Dayan, what do you do for a living? Dreaming of the return of Mahinda during day time and of Gota in the night? You have no credibility as a journalist, you Rajapaksha stooge! We are not fools. You are wasting cyberspace. Sinhala racists listening to your Sinhala harangue in Sirasa is not representative of public opinion. Jamjaya

  • 1
    2

    They are doing their best campaign to strengthen the Evangelist-Wahabi campaign.There may be an article against Champika Ranawaka too. Adikalanathan had said that definitely they are waiting to present a Tamil presidential candidate. The sole demand of TNA is leave our electoral seats untouched.

  • 2
    1

    since he has no other way of living he continues to write his racist stuff
    everyone knows MR is supported by the alt right so whom is he trying to fool
    sirasa is anti ranil so he is given a tv program like shaukat

  • 3
    1

    Dyan Jayatilleka
    “It’s the arithmetic, stupid! “

    Yes you are a liar and a stupid. You did not know the difference between ZERO and 40,000

  • 1
    0

    “The SLFP’s CBK faction is busy stitching itself up as the shortened tail of the UNP elephant” Quite an expression! There is no CBK faction though; it would have been more correct to say ‘faction including CBK.” If the writer wants to include her in the article. If his referrence to “Alt-Right” denotes an extrimist Sinhala faction he is deeply misleading and fantasizing. There is no place for such a faction in our society, even though the elite and the bankrupt political parties try to create a bogey of racism, even trying hard to associate MR in the prccess, with the support of external paracites.

  • 2
    1

    Sometimes my agoraphobia can be a blessing. But I can visualise the crowds –common as muck – mobbing our Nugegoda Man to complain bitterly about the shortcomings of the present government. Par for the course. Well, I wish they would be complaining about the has-beens and their devious clinging on in office to continue fleecing our public coffers. What is with MR (and others) that he cannot find the grace to rise above the scrum and cement his place as elder statesman. He did his bit; in May 2009, in the immediate aftermath he could walk on water. Who can forget the drive down south when people prostrated themselves in his presence. Some elevated MR to godly status. Dr D J often appears to whisper sweet nothings to the Great Liberator, how about a gentle word extolling the virtues of an elder statesman. What a damning indictment of our budding younger politicians, still waiting for their chance to bring higher standards to public office. AND, this does not apply to MR only.

    Change will surely come, but MR will surely NOT be the answer.

  • 3
    0

    Dayan,

    What’s Plan C?

    • 1
      1

      “What’s Plan C?” Hide in the bedroom closet. That is all what Old King doing these days. During NCM, he was standing and watching outside of Parliament, fearing to go inside, like there was murder or rape taking place inside the parliament. Then, how can he get the Lankawe out of Ranil’s hand? Of cause the Appa eating Judas, New King, can do to Ranil what he did to Old King. What Old King expects is Ranil to put together a dream team of China and Russia to fight against India and America in Lankawe. If Ranil wins against India and America and put the dream team he needs, Old Fraud will come out. Otherwise one may have to, in a later day, clean the bones of the hungry man left alone in the closet.
      Entire world knows Kathirgamar, as service for his mistress Chandrika, put America-Russia, India-China, Israel- Iran, Pakistan-Japan……… (a 32 nations Consortium) together to fight LTTE. Just like Lenin grabbed the Farmers Revolution, Old King captured the opportunity, wiped out Kathirgamar and finished the war. If Ranil is success in putting the new Dream Team, if the opportunity comes again, he will come out of the closet. That is what called Plan C.
      Putin is Yeltsin’s product. Gorbachev and Yeltsin created the current Russia; Russia no longer going back to Lenin’s Communism. Putin may become a Stalin, Old King like murderer dictator, but will never return Lenin’s communism. You can see how Thero duping on that too.
      Thero preaching about: Any candidate with a Sinhala Alt-Right support base within his constituency could raise apprehensions that the country could be plunged into a Dark Age of xenophobic, fundamentalist domination. No society can look developmentally forward and culturally backward.

  • 3
    1

    feathers of the same flock gather together. Who ever talks to this fool DJ must be the same kind clenching teeth ect like that mad nalin silva and BBS yellow robe thug they are all the same racist kind. who are frustrated in life in general. They need some one to throw their anger at, the same instinct prevails in the thugs who involve in religious and racial attacks. DJ has studied in the university but sadly was nit educated.

  • 4
    1

    you can see DJ is slowly changing colours. He has not mentioned Gotas name here, now he realises that MR will not support gota. Now MR wants power, he has gone to the mahanayakas to try and make 20th amendment a success so that he can again ride in power. Poor DJ has not realised that as yet. Dj doesnot realise that the Sinhala Buddhist have lost their say in selcting the President in the future.

  • 1
    1

    DR. DJ: In para two you said: “Talk to anybody on the street…..recognize me from Sinhala Language TV show on Sirasa …… They are sick to the pit of their stomach. They are disgusted, frustrated and mad as hell, gritting teeth clenching their fists and wishing and waiting for the chance to end it”. YES. Very True. They are mad not only with YOU but SIRASA too. I appreciate your “CONFESSION”. I have, together with my neighbour “Jamis Maama” (the Bakery guy) watch that programme. You should have listened to him – (Jamis Maama) In addition to what you stated above, he comes out with some “JUICY” stuff that cannot be written here. Please keep writing and that would certainly help the people to KNOW the GOONS who are promoting that despot “MR & Co.”.

  • 1
    0

    Dayan Jayatillaka is at it yet again.
    Here we are mourning the situation of having to choose between two bad teams. Dayan says one team is better because was only one scam – the bond issue. Dayan is also promoting the canard that TNA saved RW.
    All this from a Dayan who was a minister in a short lived EPRLF government!
    Tell us Dayan as to why we must forget WhiteVans.

  • 0
    0

    What we need is a people selected PResident or PM but both votes can be at the same time so the money is saved. On the other hand, we get a people selected executive and not the parliament selected and not definitely only by the 31% selected executive.. the attempt is for that becuse the parliament can be bought. Even JVP knows that.

  • 0
    0

    Dyan as a political scientist, you should realize (by the way those who call you racist may be the same people who watched eagerly the LTTE press conference in 2003 – but thats ok to listen to Terrorists and not to racists.)

    You should realize that Sri Lankan political thought is the very incarnation of schizophrenia. Here is a country that banned then un-banned the Terrorists, and bemoans the hopes and aspirations of the majority Sinhanlese – that can’t be right. But aspirations of the Tamils – that is legitimate.

    Each political parties wishes the other death. Witness the treatment of Mrs B in the 1970s, never mind SF, and the treatment of the previous government officials by this one.

    This is not a democracy, never has been one.

    As I said. if you don’t want an opposition, vote for a dictator.

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