26 September, 2022


The Ranil-Mangala Model Is A Throwback To The Esmond-Nalini Line

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

It is by no means a lack of (Christian) charity, but rather a simple lack of academic and professional competence that makes me unable to help alleviate the four afflictions that Sarath de Alwis so clearly manifests–afflictions that may themselves be symptoms of a deeper malaise– incomprehension, illogic, blind prejudice and partiality, and literary apoplexy. 

He commences by attempting to challenge and contradict my statement that I have never opposed globalization, by quoting a sentence from me which does not even contain the word globalization! I fail to understand how a sentence which does not contain the word “globalization” could be proof of my objection or opposition to globalization!

He then proceeds to quote from my Introduction to Dr. Pulsara Liyanage’s significant and marvelously written recent book ‘Holding Out’, and extracts a sentence in which I speak of Jayewardene administration’s arrogant authoritarian attempt to impose the economic model of East Asia during the Cold war.  Again fail to see how this can be a smoking gun. If it is one, it is a smoking gun of Sarath’s inability to comprehend. Let’s unpack this shall we?

I was the first accused among 23 persons, including K. Pathmanabha, Dayapala Tiranagama, Ram Manikkalingam and Pulsara Liyanage, indicted on 14 counts under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Emergency Regulations. None of the charges were of “vilification” of JR Jayewardene, but rather of “conspiracy to overthrow the state through violence” and 13 other charges relating to acts in pursuance of that objective.

The introduction to Pulsara Liyanage’s book from which Sarath quotes, lists the motivating factors that made us, many of whom came from a privileged backgrounds and/or possessed solid academic achievements and prospects, opt for armed rebellion. Of the factors listed, the attempt to arrogantly impose the East Asian Cold War economic model was only one, and was indeed the last named. In and of itself, it wouldn’t have triggered such a response either from the JVP, the Tamil Left (EPRLF, PLOT, EROS, NLFT, and PLFT) or from us.  It was the politics that was the radicalizing factor.

But let us not stop at that, and zoom in instead on the economic factor itself. I refer to the attempt to arrogantly impose the model. If there wasn’t such an attempt, the model itself may not have been that polarizing a factor, but that too is not my main point. As Sarath’s quote from my introduction to Pulsara’s book shows, I specifically refer to the East Asian Cold war model. Now how on earth is that relevant to, or a contradiction of, what I am saying today?

The East Asian model I refer to in the context of the JRJ administration, is specifically that of the Cold War, that is to say, the model that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe’s parents, Esmond and Nalini, tried to impose in 1965-1970 together with, and through, Minister of State and Tourism and the UNP’s Deputy leader JR Jayewardene and was stiffly resisted by Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake, head of Planning Dr. Gamani Corea and his able deputy Godfrey Gunatilleke. This was at the heart of the famous Dudley-JR battle in the late 1960s, which was also played out in the corridors of Lake House.

All this may have escaped Sarath de Alwis, but not me, because my father was the leading English language journalist of left-liberal, anti-UNP, anti-imperialist persuasion in Lake House, writing article after article in support of Non Alignment, the Vietnamese liberation movement, the May ’68 student uprisings in Europe (we were there at the time), Che Guevara etc., and was persecuted by the Esmond-Nalini duo, in an ideological battle that continued when he was Editor Daily News and Editor-in-Chief of ANCL in the early 1970s.

During the 1965-1970 UNP administration, Esmond Wickremesinghe and his foreign economic advisors advocated Taiwan and post-coup/post-Sukarno Indonesia as models. This economic model arose in East Asia as a counterrevolutionary response to the revolutionary model of Communist China under Mao and Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh. It was precisely during the days of the Vietnam War and the US-led SEATO, which Esmond Wickremesinghe was attempting to orient the UNP and Ceylon towards. (In a published lecture Mervyn de Silva argued that the Bandaranaike victory of 1956 barely prevented the UNP’s attempt to join SEATO).

It is Esmond’s East Asia Cold War model and project that made Wijeweera’s fledgling JVP begin to collect arms because he feared that as in East Asia, the imposition of the model would mean that no election would be held on schedule in 1970, and that Prime Minister Dudley Senanayaka may himself be deposed in a CIA-backed putsch.          

Now, is the alternative model of globalization I advocate today, the same as that which I opposed in the early 1980s, which in turn has some (but not all) of its roots back in the Esmond Wickremesinghe model of 1965-1970? How could that even be the case? The model I opposed in the 1980s was the East Asia Cold War model, and the one I advocate today is primarily the Chinese alternative of (NOT alternative TO) globalizationwhich is precisely a post-Cold war model pioneered by Deng Hsiao Peng, and is on a continuum with the East Asian model of the post-Cold war era, specifically the Mahathir model and his conduct in 1997 in the face of the East Asia crisis.

We now move on to a painful issue of logic and reason. When I criticize B in relation to A, and term it very different from and far worse that A, only an irrational person could think that I see no faults in A or that A is my ideal type. I simply prefer A to B, if those are the only choices. When I said that Mangala’s model was very different from and far worse than JRJ’s, I did not mean that the latter was my idea of what was best for the country then or now. Plainly, what I mean is that it was infinitely better than what Mangala is seeking to introduce today. 

As for preferential options it can hardly be a secret that my strong, settled view, is that the best development model for Sri Lanka is not that of JRJ but that variant of a globalized Open Economy strategy as fashioned by Premadasa as President, the roots of which run through his years as PM, Cabinet Minister, Opposition MP and Municipal Councilor (he wrote a book after visiting Russia and China in 1957) right back to his time as the teenage founder of the Sucharitha Movement. It is the Premadasa model that I find most congruent with/on a continuum with the Chinese alternative model of globalization.

That said, I also argue that the JR Jayewardene model, or more accurately the JR-Ronnie model of the Open Economy, which I find inferior to the Premadasa model but have always found far superior to the Sirimavo-NM model of the closed economy, is also infinitely superior to the Ranil-Mangala economic model which Sarath de Alwis prefers and supports.

I argue that the Mangala model, while infinitely inferior to the Premadasa model of the Open Economy, is also qualitatively inferior to the JR-Ronnie model, and is a throwback to the Esmond Wickremesinghe economic model of the 1960s, just as the Ranil-Mangala foreign policy is infinitely inferior to that of both Premadasa and JRJ, and is a throwback to Esmond and Sir John’s Bandung 1955 model, where Esmond’s departure from the Afro-Asian consensus and his pro-Dullesian advice earned Sir John the domestic appellation of ‘Bandung Booruwa’. Mangala’s Geneva 2015 is Esmond-Sir John’s Bandung 1955.

In economic policy, Prof. Razeen Sally, member of the Mont Pelerin society, is Mangala’s John Exter, whose advice to JRJ as Finance Minister triggered the Hartal of August 1953.    

Still for all, JRJ’s economic model was vastly different from and infinitely superior to the current Ranil-Mangala model. The most authoritative evidence comes in a recent interview given by Pradip Jayewardene, who was very close to his grandfather. He makes a damning indictment that “the core values of the UNP are eroding”.  I shall end with this quote:

“My grandfather was of the view that State control had to be maintained in the liberalization process, of the economy, to guarantee a social safety net…There is no argument that private sector should run business, but State control and regulation of key areas is vital…”

Conclusive, I should think?

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Latest comments

  • 7

    Sarath de Alwis

    The windbag is at it again.
    Do you really think this war monger understood the many economic models he is typing about?

    • 3

      The ageing revolutionary is clearly enjoying his hiatus churning out reams that few read and fewer understand. These days the windbag holds forth doing his best to bring back the Great Liberator who dreams of a renaissance. Mangala on the other hand basks in the limelight that comes from being elected; something that DJ can only dream of. Mangala is charged with getting something workable for the here and now.

      God help us if DJ’s dreams come true and his lord and master returns.

      • 0

        Spring Koha,
        Good one! It would appear that Spring Koha’s thinking faculty is been sufficiently nourished by the Lamprais packet that he is seen collecting often from the Dutch Burgher Union at Thunmulla Junction!Cheers to our Burgher folk for that !

        • 2

          Burger Witness

          You have seen Spring Koha collecting Lamprais packets from the Dutch Burgher Union is half of the story. What is the rest of the story? Hasn’t he been passing every of those lump rice packets to your family?

          Be grateful to him.

      • 1

        There is no point wasting words over various political models.
        Just answer one simple question.
        When was this country in its best condition?:
        1. Pre-1956
        2. Post- 1956
        Well then, for God’s sake, let’s stop tinkering and go back to the model that worked.

    • 2


      Please just ignore the bugger, he has been now kept in a cage in colombo for the last 2.5 years.
      He has always been a person sought to be above the others.

      There he explains on and on how he did.. how he was told the Shakespeare stories at his by bed sites. How fantastic his background has been.
      But my question is, a man of that nature, not to have sensed the harm being done by Rajapkshe clan to this nation.
      Why him to back extremists rather than moderates sinhalayas that seek but peace for their future generations ?
      I have the feeling even Thisahamy is moderate thinker than this windbag.

    • 0

      Sarath de Alwis,
      Please don’t waste your time or valuable public Internet space to educate or help this scum..g. Dr. Dayan.
      Here is how this foolish Dr. Dayan Jayathilake trying to explain his kind of logic using “A” and “B” (like some real smart people do :-) )… …… He says he analysed/criticised B in relation to A. .. Then this “dumb A.. Hole” says ‘A’ is infinitely better than ‘B’…… How foolish one could be to analyse “A” in relation to “B” if they are “infinitely” far apart…
      I guess I am the biggest fool here trying to explain the flaw in his logic… how could our Dr. Dayan understand what I say here…

      • 1


        Or is it Ramsfeld’s logic, ” There are known knowns, Known Unknowns, Unknowns unknowns, …………………………..

    • 1

      Your wording inferior, superior, anterior and posterior would not bring anyone this clear Mr.
      Please mind your own business. Do something valuable to the nation than making every efforts to rabble rouse the nation being supportive to nation s most abusive bunch.
      Not many would get what you have been uttering. You have been just devious andmalicious by every moves. I really dont know why the men already in early 60ties
      yet have not sensed it. If this is what you repeatedly want to give to this nation.
      It is better you be away from lanken political analyses.
      On and aon, you come with no words against most abusive bunch how come ? Are some cells in your rotten head, inactive or what ?

  • 2

    Yes, only way out would be lanken Mugabe -Greedy Rajapakshe or the like to be brought back.

    There you DJ and the self proclaimed political analysts can finally get posted to go for your kind of selffish gains.

    DJ wake up please, let alone today, you should be able to see it right.
    If Balligeputha rajapaklshe continued , the nation would have to face the same what Zimbawian is brought to this day.

    Please sense it man, if not today, how many more years you will have to lick the balls fo those men, just because you want them to post you for an another place appeasing your agendas.

  • 2


    Buddy, thank God that theoreticians do nothing but theorize …… the politicians politicize ……… and the businessmen/industrialists run the real economy out there. Just imagine where we would be if the former two had also run the economy!

    What amazes me is the resilience of the SL men/women who run the day to day economy …….. that, in spite of the “best efforts” of the theoreticians like NM and politicians too numerous to mention …….. they are still standing and battling on.

    And my admiration for the resilience of the country is even greater ………….. just look at the industrial-strength bastards, down the decades, who have taken their best shots to ruin the country ……….. all of them have eventually fallen by the wayside and the country is just merrily chugging along ……………..

    You too will just strut and fret your few minutes upon the stage ……….. and then heard no more ………a poor player, the audience had to suffer …….

    If you are writing for a living, then that’s fine ……… but if you really believe what you write …… Oh boy!

    We had a teacher ……… the students quickly learned that he only read the beginnings and the ends of the long essays we had to write ………. so in the middle we padded them up with Hail Marys and love letters to gals and all sorts of crap …….. I feel you are doing the same, to placate your paymaster.

    Man, don’t take too seriously the crap you have to write daily; just type them out ………… and go and learn to enjoy life ……… you don’t have much of it left.

    For starters ……… pinch a bottom or two ……….. now that harassment is in vogue …………. and see where that gets you ……..

  • 2

    Pradeep Jayawardena’s trying to protect his grandfather is understandable.But JRJ is on record uttering the infamous words “Let the robber barons come” in regard to welcoming UNBRIDLED foreign direct investment from theives, crooks fraudsters etc.Pray tell me what element of “state control in the liberalization process” that JRJ’s wicked statement contains?

    Dayan seems to be prepared to even quote the devil,in this instance an emotionally blinded grandson, in a feeble idiotic attempt to score a point.If Ranil throws a bone at him DJ will lick it in a trice.

    Dayan please remember CT is not read by OL qualified people like your gods Mahinda & Gota Rajafucksa.

    • 1

      Neville J

      Please remember Dr Mahinda Rajapaksa (LLD) is a qualified lawyer of course a scheme was devised by the weeping widow to make her law makers and later law breakers look good, and qualified.

  • 2

    I can only say that Dayan has become gray in many areas.

  • 0

    Unp is not capable enough of handling huge neo liberal economies . Unp is the people like Jr or Premadasa who have never handled an economy biger than 15-20 billion usd.the unp style economy based mostly on rural and high tech. The modern slfp led by mahinda are the architects of this huge economy. When this modern Slfp took the srilankan economy in 2005 it is only less than 25 billion usd but they converted this economy in to more than 75 billion usd modern high tech neo liberal economy in just 10 years.the modern slfp led by mahinda was entirely different of swrds slfp. Mahindas slfp is a business party which has the support of the entire business community in srilanka.they are the people brought new business culture in srilanka with high co operate and blue chips.i am in the finance field for last 14 to 15 years in srilanka .there business peole who maintained an monthly turn over of 20 million rs during mahindas period now suffering to maintain an turn of 5million rs per month in srilanka under this unp government.we have understand a truth whether we like modern mahindas slfp or not they are the only capable people of doing this huge business economy. Premadasa Jr type unp or chandrika type slfp utterly fail in doing this huge economies. Unp is good for democracy but economy part they are utterly fail.and they do not have any business community support like mahinda has other than small scale business people in pettah. Unp is sin they were in opposition for long time and suffered a lot from brutal slfp administrations .we do not have any problem with them ,they are the party brought independence to srilanka under the Ds senanayaka. But unfortunately the economic management and high tec development ability is poor when comparing with the mahindas modern slfp. Under the unp government the business communithy and upper and middle class population suffering like nothing with economic and business clashes. This is middle class always voting for mahinda is the highly benifited group of population during mahindas modern slfp period.

  • 0

    These boys are engaging in a micturating contest in this Blog which appears to attract Sri Lankans living outside more than inside. Sarath and Dayan are playing “my woo-woo is bigger than your’s” . It is of no use. Dayan never admits to being wrong and Sarath needles him and he falls for it. Sarath also make factually incorrect statements.

    So many including Dayan(not Sarath) are like the Pipes of the Scotish Highlanders with leaks in the the bags that hold the reserves of air that is needed to play tunes. This constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag is full of leaks vis-a-vis Dayan, Lateef, Vishwamitra(the UNP bagpipe who pretends to be neutral) and so many others who really desperately trying to impress us of their relevant irrelevance.

    have you big ego Lankan males be they Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala who write here, had your prostate examined? If are now over 60 years(50 is what is suggested) of age. you need to get it done. Prostate cancer is the second biggest killer of men; and also Colon cancer. We nationalists do not seem to bother too much with basic preventive health tests. I guarantee you, once you get a probe up your ailmentary canal, you might lose a lot of that air of intellectual smugness. I think Kumar David also should get it done soon. Colon cancer has killed some top gentlemen diplomats like WT Junior too. So beware.

  • 0

    Logic and Reason

    Compare apples and oranges and what is your conclusion?

  • 0

    Dayan tries everything to stay relevant. Has he succeeded?
    Whatever model he presents and whichever line he takes, he ends up with his signature tune “Bring back MR”.
    Wait for his explanation of the Gintota incident..

  • 0

    Oh my God. It’s the silly DJ again.
    Waste of valuable media space.

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