3 July, 2022


The Regressive Second Year

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“…to yourself a thing shameful but bringing joy to the enemy.” (The Iliad)

 On January 8th 2015, Lankans voted not only to elect a new president but also to transform governance. The mandate Maithripala Sirisena received two years ago was not a personal one; he was the symbol of the political culture he promised to build, one which was more accountable to the people, less self-indulgent, more democratic.

The transformational change President Sirisena was expected to work towards was fourfold – resuscitation of democracy, a more even-handed economy, a governance less corrupt and more law-abiding and reconciliation (inclusive of justice and a political settlement). From South to North, people wanted an end not just to the Rajapaksas but also to the Rajapaksa way of doing things and being in the world.ranil-maithri

In its first year the new administration lived up to this promise. There were negatives, particularly the Central Bank bond issue, but the positives were more numerous and weighty. On January 8th 2016, it was possible to look at the past year with a degree of satisfaction and look towards the coming year with a degree of hope.

2016 turned that hope to a delusion. The passing of the long-awaited Right to Information Bill and the replacement of Arjun Mahendran with Indrajith Coomaraswamy as the Governor of the Central Bank were the two sole major-positives in a year lacerated by avoidable errors and unnecessary misdeeds.

“There are times – they mark the danger point for a political system – when politicians can no longer communicate, when they stop understanding the people they are supposed to be representing,”[i] commented Ian Kershew on the state of the Weimer Republic before its ignominious downfall. In its second year, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government moved in the direction of a like condition. When a president – whose brother is a premier rice-miller in the country – maintains a baffling silence about skyrocketing rice prices, when a prime minister tries to create a ministerial-post which is untouchable by the law, when a parliament is more concerned about female attire than about the warnings of a severe drought, the omens are not propitious.

That the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration inherited a misgoverned land deeply in debt is unarguable. What is incomprehensible is the administration’s growing proclivity to exacerbate inherited problems and create new ones.

Independent Lanka’s only real and successful campaign of nationwide mass-disobedience happened over the issue of rice, the Hartal of 1953 which brought the government of Dudley Senanayake to its knees. The United Front government’s arbitrary rules regarding the consumption and transportation of rice played a key role in its epic downfall of 1977. The importance of rice (price and availability) in the scheme of political things can be ignored only by a government which is obtuse to the point of self-harm.

This official indifference – shared by both the green and the blue components of the administration – is symbolic of a larger malaise, a stupefying disregard for public opinion. Just two years on, the government is ensconced in an echo-chamber, which shuts out all dissonant notes. In 2016, it not only failed to tread the path it promised to but also embarked on a path it pledged never to take. As a result, it lost the momentum and the moral-high ground, antagonised allies without winning over enemies and narrowed to an alarming degree the critical difference between itself and Rajapaksa rule.

The Pivot to China and Other Inexplicables

2016 was darkened by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration’s willingness to emulate some of the worse Rajapaksa errors. The best case in point is a plan formulated by the UNP-half of the government – and specifically by the unelected minister Malik Samarawickrama – to handover the Hambantota port and 15,000-acre-exclusive-industrial-zone to China on a long lease. If that imprudent plan succeeds, Sri Lanka will be saddled with its own version of Guantanamo. And we the people will find ourselves in the politico-economic-military crosshairs of other countries’ battles.

As the fate of the Hambantota deal hangs in balance, it is instructive to remember that American marines first entered Guantanamo to assist Cuba in its struggle for independence against Colonial Spain. Once Spanish imperialists were driven out, Americans, instead of leaving, passed the Platt Amendment, giving Guantanamo to itself. Cubans tried to resist and failed and the lease agreement was signed in 1903.

It was a logical move for Washington. The importance of sea power in turning America into the next global supremo had been argued forcefully by one of the prime architects of an imperial-expansionist policy, Captain AT Mahan, especially in his influential book, The Influence of Sea Power in History. Grabbing Guantanamo made sense to the US; placing its imprint in its immediate region was a necessary prelude to marking its presence globally.

China, the next rising power, too understands the vital importance of the sea to the realisation of the ‘Chinese Dream’. This is clearly stated in the first public military strategy white paper released by the Chinese Ministry of National Defence on May, 2015, “The traditional mentality that land outweighs seas must be abandoned, and great importance has to be attached to managing the seas and oceans and protecting maritime rights and interests. It is necessary for China to develop a modern maritime military structure commensurate with its national security and development interests…so as to provide strategic support for building itself into maritime power.”[ii] Hambantota’s place in this grand plan, given its strategically proximate location to India, is not hard to surmise

Cuba in 1903 couldn’t withstand America. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration has no such excuse. And this re-embracing of China couldn’t have happened at a worse global time. The Zeitgeist is one of political illiberalism, religious fundamentalism and ethnic-nationalism, but it doesn’t mean that all political leaders who embrace these atavistic positions will embrace each other in fraternal alliances. The incoming US president is already engaged in a twitter-conflict with China. Once Mr. Trump is sworn in, relations between the waning and rising global powers are likely to deteriorate still further. China’s recent vetoing of an Indian proposal to have the UN declare Masood Azhar, the mastermind of the 2016 attack on Pathankot airbase, a terrorist indicates that even on the issue of combating terrorism, the two regional powers can develop contradictions.

Tethering Sri Lanka to China, to the detriment of the country’s relations with both the US and India, seemed an inanity peculiar to the Rajapaksas. The current administration’s sudden move not just to emulate but also surpass the Rajapaksas in this regard is one more sign of a radical loss of self-interest.

According to the government, the industrial zone is being created to make the Hambantota port economically viable. China will relocate factories here, to produce export-goods at lower costs. That raises two questions – the impact on an already vulnerable environment (characterised by severe water-shortages and human-elephant conflicts); and the kind of employment which would be created in these factories. The Chinese record on environment and labour practices in the Third World are abysmal. If the same approaches are adopted here, the new factories will devastate environment, create jobs which very few Lankans would want and generate Rathupaswala-type situations.

A recent event in Padukka provides a timely warning. Halbarawa village is affected by a nearby quarry supplying stones to the Colombo Port City. The villagers complained to the authorities about the damage to their houses and the compromising of their environment, with no results. On 18th December 2016, the villagers entered the quarry, attacked the workers (including one Chinese national.)[iii] Such explosive incidents would become commonplace in the deep-South, if this imprudent plan to hand over 15,000 acres to China on a 99 year lease goes ahead.

Blind to Economic Distress; Deaf to Racism

A nation is not an abstract. A nation is not the state; it is the people.

A different vision of Sri Lanka was one of the key factors which animated the 2015 presidential contest. In 2016 the government displayed a distressing lack of interest in promoting the idea of a country which is open, tolerant and treats all her people as equal citizens. Though official racism remains in abeyance, key members of the government flirt with racists, sending a worrying message to minorities, without whose backing President Sirisena would have lost in January 2015. The verdict in the Raviraj murder case by an exclusively Sinhala-speaking jury not only dealt a blow to the idea of a non-partisan judiciary; it also killed the hope that justice for the past wrongs would be possible through an exclusively national mechanism.

The promised constitution (inclusive of a political settlement to the ethnic problem) seems unlikely, not least because the government’s economic inanities would adversely impact on its chances of winning a referendum. In its second year, the administration also displayed a distressing lack of courage and a disappointing inability to stand up to extremism and extremists, the two most obvious examples being the public hobnobbing with Bhikku Galagoda-Atte Gnanasara and the indifference to the need to reform the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) – at least to the extent of following the example of Muslim-majority countries such as Algeria, Bangladesh, Iraq, Morocco, Jordon, Malaysia (18 for females) and Tunisia (20) and banning child marriages.

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa greeted 2017 by proclaiming his intention to oust the government within the year. The strategy would be an obvious one – exacerbate the natural differences between the UNP and the SLFP halves of the government until they turn into antagonistic contradictions, isolate President Maithripala Sirisena within the SLFP, edge Ranil Wickremesinghe out via a change in the parliamentary balance and form a new government under the premiership of Mahinda Rajapaksa. A nationwide campaign of fear-mongering about the imminent end of an independent, single Sri Lanka is already on, and would provide the soundtrack for the planned political changes.

The president and the prime minister on occasion indulge in the delusion that each can survive without the other. The truth of the matter is that neither can survive alone. If the president withdraws his support, the premier can be unseated; if the premier withdraws his support, the president can be impeached. President Sirisena will not be president for a long, if Mahinda Rajapaksa becomes the PM. Premier Wickremesinghe will find himself back in the opposition – possibly after a short stint as the acting president – if Maithripala Sirisena is impeached. The only way one can survive is if the other survives.

But neither will survive, if they fail to acknowledge and alleviate the growing public discontent. If disillusion becomes generalised and a majority of the populace loses confidence in the government, the SLFP parliamentarians currently supporting Maithripala Sirisena are more likely to shift back to Mahinda Rajapaksa. It doesn’t need a crystal ball to predict that they will be joined by some UNP parliamentarians, especially those disaffected by Ranil Wickremesinghe’s leadership.

Two years after the presidential election of Jan 2015, the political battle lines remain unchanged. There is no alternative to Rajapaksa rule other than the current administration. There is no alternative to the current administration other than Rajapaksa rule. The one crucial change, which might decide the coming electoral battles, is that those forces which enabled the defeat of the Rajapaksas are fractured, disillusioned and demoralised.

President Sirisena has failed to recreate the SLFP as a modern democratic party, immune to the siren song of the Rajapaksas. Premier Wickremesinghe seems to be succumbing to the hubris which brought the administration of JR Jayewardene to grief. If Mahinda Rajapaksa’s New Year wish comes true, it will happen not because of his virtues, but because of the weaknesses and failures of his two main opponents.

[i] Hitler

[ii] https://news.usni.org/2015/05/26/document-chinas-military-strategy

[iii]Lankadeepa – 21.12.2016

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Latest comments

  • 17


    Long awaited article coming out just now. But, my contention is, if MARA THE ACE ROGUE AND MURDERER is investigated properly for murders and state plundering, all these problems could be solved.

    It is just as simple as that and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist or political analyst to know this.

    May be I am too naive and not see things in the right perspective. It is sad to see even after two years of sending this ACE ROGUE,CRIMINAL AND MURDERER back to Medamulana, we are still talking of our beloved country falling back to the hands of this ACE ROGUE AND MURDERER.

    • 6

      Grow up! Looks like there are no murders and plundering ..fairy tales..

      But there is evidence of bond scam and hoax- wagon

      • 15

        Listen to Rajitha’s interview on ITN.

        All evidence available, it’s only a matter of time,if proper investigation instituted without executive interference.

        No protector of Bond Scan too. Need to investigate James Bond too. Two wrongs does not equal to right.

        Let’s all grow up mate.

      • 13

        @ words: None so blind as those who have their heads still stuck firmly up the Rakapakse ass!

        • 1

          And yours is up ranils? ?..yeah.. definitely his style!

          • 6

            @ words: That sounds desperate! What exactly leads to this assumption?

            For your information, although I have no respect (or excuses, or justifications) for Ranil’s actions I wouldn’t compare his actions to those of your idol’s.

            Now let’s see what you think about the “fairy tales” that you spun during the previous regime.

    • 5

      Dear Tisaranee Gunasekara

      RE: The Regressive Second Year

      Thanks for the write up. Yes, expose, expose and expose, and the agitate, agitate and agitate.

      1. “…to yourself a thing shameful but bringing joy to the enemy.” (The Iliad)

      So, the Greeks has foresight on the actions of the Paras, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      2. “On January 8th 2015, Lankans voted not only to elect a new president but also to transform governance. The mandate Maithripala Sirisena received two years ago was not a personal one; he was the symbol of the political culture he promised to build, one which was more accountable to the people, less self-indulgent, more democratic.”

      Yes.. That was the expectation of the 6.2 million who voted for the Common Candidate, who happened to be Sirisena, and it was not personal to Sirisena.

      3. “The transformational change President Sirisena was expected to work towards was fourfold – resuscitation of democracy, a more even-handed economy, a governance less corrupt and more law-abiding and reconciliation (inclusive of justice and a political settlement). From South to North, people wanted an end not just to the Rajapaksas but also to the Rajapaksa way of doing things and being in the world.”

      Yes.. That was the expectation of the 6.2 million who voted for the Common Candidate, who happened to be Sirisena, and it was not personal to Sirisena.

      Unfortunately, Sirisena showed the characteristics of Sinhala “Buddhism” and the Para-Sinhala “Buddhists” who follow, the corrupted Sinhala “Buddhism”. What are those characteristics? want to understand? Read the recent history of Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah Aethoo, occupied by the Paras. unfortunately, the past year is also being tainted, despite the aspirations of the people.

      Who is Sirisena? He has earned and transformed is a Turncoat, Traitor, Gona* (Colloquial Sinhala), Mala- Perethaya** and Sevalaya*** to the 6.2 million voters who voted for him as the Common Candidate.

      Shouldn’t Sirisena be impeached? After all, the South Korean Prime Minister was impeached for far lesser crimes.

      What about the French Revolution? Do we need one to clean up the rascals and killers?

      Gona* (Colloquial Sinhala), Whore, selling body and principles for money.

      Mala- Perethaya** : Eating off the people who were dead, killed, by the Rajapaksa and cronies, for their stolen public funds.

      Sevalaya*** : a Sleazy person, corrupt, immoral, unsavory, disreputable; informal shady, a sleazy politician.

  • 11

    Screwed by the MR & Co, people thought enough is enough, at the least we have got to have a good sleep without the fear of white vans, grease devils, Gnanasara rampage and the like. Result was MS’s win, which was as TG says not a personal victory but the victory for all those who wanted SL to march forward as a nation every one to admire. Only thing needed was to solve the national issue which is acceptable to every one and restoring good governance which is free from corruption. The cost of fighting before 2009 was enough to feed millions, so what was the complaint, that money can be better spent. Unfortunately, being a unity government represented by both major parties, RW-MS Govt. couldn’t do much as they promised. People expected those who took the law into their hands in the previous regime will be brought to justice, which consequently fix all the wrong doings and set the scene for a good governance, but RW put an end to it with hours from their victory in Jan 2015 by giving a promise to MR. Other blunder RW did was, which is totally unwanted, nominating his friend as the Governor of CB. What did he get in return?.

    As far as MS is concerned, he was a likable and simple person at the beginning, promising a good future to SL. As time goes his kith and kin get the better of him, which showed with his son accompanied him to the UN, and lately his night club thrashing. So were his brothers and other corrupted SLFPers who surrounded him. Now, he wanted referral of cases concerning service men who charged for crimes committed during the past regime before they be produced before the courts. His lecture on this matter struck a chord with the judges since we have been witnessing verdicts being given by judges. A case in point was Raviraj’s day light murder in the capital of SL, but all those suspects were set free. They are ready to commit the next crime, just a minor pause until MR or his men take control.

    As TG says, a year of hope, a year delusion and… a year of disappointment, a year of frustration and then years of fear and agonies, which innocent ones have to get used to.

  • 11

    This the story of Appe Aanduwa for 67 years!

    Mahinda will be the next the Trump – from Sri Lanka of course – now fake news is taken as gospel truth by ignorant and emotionally unintelligent voters the world over.

    Sirisena and Ranil are no better – they duped the well wishers for good government who brought them to power only to do what they want for their benefit.

    Now Mahinda has all the know-how from Brexit to Trump, let alone his own cunning to spin stories out of lies and make believe the masses.

    I won’t be surprised if he comes back to power with a land slide majority and the turncoats of the present government – most of them anyway – will jump ship and join Mahinda’s racist authoritarian leadership.

    The emotionally stupid masses will suffer as the parliamentarians will enjoy increased salaries, perks and pensions.

    Now this will be Appe Aanduwa Trumputin style!

    • 1

      Modi is no different!

    • 2


      “Now this will be Appe Aanduwa Trumputin style!” If and when Medamulana Meeharaka comes back to rule, he and his “lowyer” son Namal will grab women by their … Trum-putin style!

  • 7

    Given that corruption is endemic to Sri Lankan the paper is an excellent exposition of the current political situation. Bensen

    • 0

      Tissaranee Gunasekara has no idea of what politics is. She does not know in what direction China is for Lankawe. She is foolishly describing China as the winner and America the loser. In the 1970s, when I was in Lankawe, I had read a Sinhala Economist writing (in English translated into Tamil by Verakesari) based on UN’s statistics that China will lead on economy by 2025. What is the new on her blunt winner-loser umpire job?

      Policyless Tisaranee Gunasekara who drifts from SLFP Chandrika to Ranil to Chandrika wrote :“Cuba in 1903 couldn’t withstand America. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration has no such excuse. “. What a comedy? What does she mean by that? Ranil failed to fire the Laser Bombs on China from the satellites her Old Royals’ Sons Princes have on sky? Did she know the Chinese ambassador was dragging the finance guy on the Colombo streets, kicking butt, but Lankawe pleaded excuse for that from China? Did she ever hear a word like computer hacking in her entire journalism carrier? What Lankawe can do against China after the pacts are signed by Old Royals? Not Just pundit Tissaranee, anybody? Lankawe use its veto in UN? Rubble rousing stupidly at its peak!

      She knows well to twist politics and history but does not know that in International trade. She has blasted one full essay but had not inscribed one word in that how to solve the $8 billion loan. That is how her PhD in trade.

      If she really know something, if she truly put down a solution to the Lankawe loan I guarantee that UNP will hire her today. I challenge her to come out with a solution to the current problems instead of her fake political blasting.

      Aren’t these the Sinhala Intellectuals made the Sinhala Buddhists disillusioned?

  • 6

    As usual, Tissaranee has made a very sound analysis of the situation. This administration has turned out to be a damp squib after the huge anticipation it evoked. It has returned Sri Lanka to its usual fate of corruption and communalism.

    The Arjuna Mahendran situation has tainted Wickremasinghe. The fact that he did not kick him out fast enough indicates grounds for complicity that will paint him as corrupt. Sirisena has also blotted his copybook. He is either inept or is too happy with power to want to take decisions of the right sort.

    Selling Hambantota to the Chinese for 99 years is unforgivable. It opens a front for anger that the Rajapakse faction will exploit. The buddhist priests will have a field day exhibiting their athletic prowess in stone throwng, running from water cannons and showing their armpits when they raise their hands in anger. Inability to rein in these thugs pretending to be religious is the bane of Sri Lankan politics. They are the frontrunners of racism. The government has not been able to deal with these priests though they are on Facebook uttering the most unspeakable words in Sinhala and threatening murder. Instead of shoving them in prison, Sirisena seems to be wanting to placate them.

    We will go on being in a sorry state unless we can be rid of religious and communal politics and unless we get rid of the existing bunch of corrupt politicians.

  • 3

    On the matter of Hambantota deal, some protests have already been started but am not sure if that is good enough to stop them from going ahead with the deal. What is the benefit of this deal for SL, just running the port, which itself an white elephant born out MR’s ego. However, if the protests and agitations are to prolong, the beneficiary is none other than MR. Because, it will eventually bring down RW-MS coalition, when MR starts chanting hosannas like the motherland at risk and going to be grabbed by an occupying force. Yet, another opportunity for him to rescue the country, this time South. Not sure what strange logic gives the duo (RW&MS) the sense that it is a good thing giving China legitimacy to have a foot hole in SL. Do we need this?. Have they got the mandate for this in the last election?.

    Sharing the land with its minorities is not acceptable to majorities but leasing a piece (15000 acres) of land to a foreign country, which would emerge as a super power in near future is perfectly alright. The Govt. should expose the real deal behind it. I think this is the issue MR is aiming to bring down the current Govt. and I think he is right. And, when he wins he will see his old foes, western countries including USA that were behind to bring down his Govt.were backing him this time, enemies’ enemy is a friend. Particularly when Donald Trump is in control of the world, he wouldn’t find anything strange that MR does, after all he is at ease to bring his family members into his administration. It seems to be the time of demagogues, but their coming to prominence was not due solely to their capability but the weakness of the leaders whom they challenged— David Cameron, Hillary Clinton, and our duo MS-RW. In our case, the President himself accused MR and his family of many wrong doings that include murders, corruption etc. but, all only during the election campaign. Once comes to the power what we have been seeing all pussy footing, at best Basil instead of going behind bars, detouring to well looked after hospital.

  • 4

    Ansar: I saw and heard what Rajitha said at that ITN programme. As a Senior Minister, he should be ashamed and bear responsibility for the “Mess Up” of the Investigations conducted by the Authorities set by the Government. He also said how the President granted permission to Yoshitha to travel to Dubai to obtain medical treatments for a “cramp” sustained while playing rugger. Then the President regretted for giving that permission after he came to know that Yoshitha made that trip to attend to some “Bank Matters”. Continuing, Rajitha explained how he is in possession of very vital documents relating to the “Bank Balances” held in Dubai Banks and even went to the extent of giving the exact amounts held in US $ in “Billions” and he was so enthusiastic to emphasize the word “B”. However, I must thank him, in a sense, for making us aware what the Government has and how such important investigations have been bungled. Those “Revelations” were good enough to make an overall “Assessment” of the “Dismal Failures” of this Government in cracking down on the “Mega Corruption Deals” and “Money Laundering” cases that were directed at MR’s Regime. What more evidence needed to make that conclusion than what was stated by this Senior Minister, Mr. Rajitha Senaratne?

  • 2

    Sirisena is only thinking of surviving his term and to enjoy the perks of his windfall and hopefully ride the yahapalanaya & UNP for anothr term.

    We are as it is being driven to being a sorry state with a toothless President at the helm.

    This is where the Ivy league advisers failed no wonder they failed by Hillroy as well. Democratic politics in the USA doomed. Where is Samantha, Kerry, Biswal, Manolowski & atal heading ? The same way as the SL as a country?

  • 6

    Coming from Thisaranee this is the beginning of the end of this Gonpal palanaya. The ardent fans of the regime has now turned against them. MR return not how it is when.

  • 4

    Tisaranee Gunasekara is very readable as always and hits the nail right on the head. It would do well for all political parties to listen to her.

  • 0

    “…handover the Hambantota port and 15,000-acre-exclusive-industrial-zone to China on a long lease. If that imprudent plan succeeds, Sri Lanka will be saddled with its own version of Guantanamo.”

    Handing over such large extents of land to any foreign investor on long lease is unwise. But the government has chosen to open the floodgates for worse to come by easing restrictions on foreign ownership of land in the country.

    However, the analogy with Guantanamo is weak. The historical parallel is flawed since Guantanamo is a left over from US occupation.
    The Chinese bid involves investment for development and has no military aspect to it.
    To oppose the move is correct; but let us oppose it for the right reasons.

  • 3

    We can count years, terms, individuals. YEt it is the repeating of the same tricks by the same indivials.

    System is as goos as the individuals who run it. they have changed the system in order to make it easy for them to plunder the country and amass wealth.

    Writers and journalists live on that mayhem.

  • 0

    Tisaranee Gunasekara –what’s your take on 3rd year?

    aggressive !

  • 0

    Napoleon Bonaparte has returned from self-imposed exile of Elba, St.Helena. Alash ! The entire Europe is shivering now!

    One of two biggest King Kongs of CT, Tissaranee Gunasekara (other useless writer is Thero de Silva) is casting her shadow, the fiery face of the dragon, once more. (Earlier Prof. Kumar wrote on CT that Gunasekara like writers having trouble having their essays published because media editors are afraid –that kind of fiery)

    But on what?

    It is always her usual Blah blah ………………………….

    “Akkarai Maddukku Ikkarai Pachchai”.

    She wants back the Old King. Maaddukku Maadu Sonnaal Keelaathu. Manikaddinamaadu veenum. She is back a full round.

    Our Great Knight Gunasekara’s punches are so strong to block, so accurate to miss the target, but sadly always punched into thin air, an utterly useless job.

    She split and tore off every thin hair but sadly came to the conclusion ” There is no alternative to the current administration other than Rajapaksa rule. “ What a pity? Didn’t we the common told so that time?

    If had watched Her Majesty TissaRanee performing during the election time and her roaming all around Lankawe setting with fire, even the Human, who flies with fireball on his tail would be wanted to kneel down in front of her and beg “Her Excellency excuse us; Could you pardon this beautiful Island with this?”

    She lived on and Cherished on her theory of “Leader Pirapaharan had appointed Old King” to the throne. But she personally wanted to have the son of the British mercenary Albert, the white flag fame, New King crowned on the throne by her, while her fingers feeling the shining gold of the crown. She never wanted to tell us who crowned worthless racists DS, SWRD, Sirimavo, JR, Richard and Chandrika.

    Puswedila thamai!

  • 1

    There has always been a below-the-surface feeling of prejudice about India among most Sinhalese starting from the Anagarika Dharmapala years but more so in recent decades. It is also the Buddhist clergy that, over the years, that gave rise to this growing prejudice that the racial JVP was to take to new “heights” in those difficult days dominated by them in the late 1980s when anti-Indianism was high in their agenda. Many a times, we have heard the whispered wish among Sinhala activists “we must bring in China and teach the Indians a lesson” When Sarath Fonseka, still in uniform after May 2009, was asked why he wanted the army numbers to be increased to 400,000, when the war is over and the LTTE is vanquished, is reported to have said “there is always the possibility of an attack from Tamilnadu” – which is nothing but pure nonsense. But nonetheless this perception has a market in Sinhala politics. Mahinda Rajapakse, in the same interview recently where he vowed to oust the Maitripala-Ranil administration, referring to the Indo-Chinese spat centered on Sri Lanka did not hide his feelings when he said “why is India keeping silent” or something to that effect. Indian diplomats serving here as well as leaders and policy-makers in New Delhi are all too aware of this hidden and yet growing prejudice. The political visionary and man of many parts in the mid-1940s K.M. Panikkar feared a time would come when smaller independent States around India may join India’s adversaries to form alliances inimical to India’s security interests. Several Indian political analysts have poined out to this in their more recent analyses. We will be fooling ourselves if we believe India has implicit trust in all our leaders to be considerate to India’s security. We will only fail ourselves if we ignore India’s fears of a 100-200 years lease of sensitive real estate to China less than a hundred miles from India’s Southern shores. The fact several thousands of Chinese workers will be physically here in this forthcoming project underlines the sensitivity of the matter. Why India demanded and secured the right to have a Consular presence in the Hambantota hinterland a few years from Mahinda Rajapakse now becomes clear.

    By all accounts our political leaders of recent times have managed to muddle up not only our internal politics vis-à-vis the Indo-Chinese rivalry but its external dimension as well. It is still not too late to change course.

    R. Varathan

  • 5

    Dear Tisaranee Gunasekara,

    An excellent over-view, and the apprehensions about the Hambantotoa harbour are felt by us all. You have also spoken of lesser things like some quarrying in Padukka.

    Focus on the Uma Oya Scheme and the damage that it will probably end up doing to the area around Bandarawela. The drought throughout the country has also been unprecedented. Let us hope that these things don’t turn out to be as bad as they look now. It may be that if you highlight some of these things, we can lessen their impact:


    Let us hope that both President and Prime Minister begin to see that when we have environmental concerns of this magnitude, they cannot be pampering parliamentarians present, past and future. The details of what has to be done have to be worked out by those whom we have elected, but we have to be vigilant to ensure that these issues are sensibly discussed.

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    Tissaranee Gunasekara saying “There is no alternative to Rajapaksa rule other than the current administration. There is no alternative to the current administration other than Rajapaksa rule.”

    Richard. P sought peace with to fight with IPKF. He paid lot of money and provided arms to LTTE. Once IPKF was sent out Richard P started tore the “pact” with them. LTTE had written another deed in 2002 with Ranil. Ranil used it to split LTTE. LTTE withdraw from supporting any candidates in 2005. Sinhalese selected Old King. American Ambassador went even JVP’s houses so determined to defeat LTTE. He drew in 32 Countries to help. He defeated LTTE. If Ranil was elected or Chandrika was elected for third term, it would have been the end for LTTE by American Ambassador.

    Old Royal followed the rope of Kanangra’ Rice Rubber pact, Sirima’s BMICH and Chandrika’s Norochcholai and amassed a fortune from China. They used Murali to dupe America and Murali put Dole out of NCP. America returned back it to Old Royals. It was not Lanakawyans election, but Secretary Kerry chased him out of Temple Tree house.
    In 2015 January Foolishly Tissaranee Gunasekara claimed she crowned New Royals but Pirapaharan crowned only Old Royals. Her small brain does not understand that New Royals were crowned only by Americans. Tissaranee Gunasekara has no share in that. In 2015 January, if Secretary Kerry was not there, by now, Lankaweyan might have over taken North Korea as the most graceful Kingdom in the world. That is how the Modayas elect their leaders.
    After being throne, New Royals doing to America all what Old Royals did to America after winning war. But one can believe Gunasekara’s New Royals won’t go far away before Americans turns back. We need to see yet America’s response.

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