22 May, 2024

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The State Of Lankan Democracy: A Look Through The Australian Prism

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

I read with interest some opinions expressed in the Island  newspaper over the issue as to whether Sri Lanka can now call itself a democracy or dictatorship.

For us Sri Lankans domesticated in Australia it is opportune to join this debate at a time like the very present when General Elections are to be held on Saturday, the 7th of September. Election behavior is a good sample expression of the wider political culture that prevails in any country. Look at the situation prevailing here and one can make a comparison and arrive at a judgment about the parallel situation in Sri Lanka..

Well here, it is election day today. However, over the last six weeks  campaigns have been going on led by the two principal rivals-the governing Australian Labour Party and the Coalition comprised of the Liberal Party-National Party combine. It is Prime Minister Kevin Rudd vs. Tony Abbot.

The campaigns are defined by decency and by the conduct and strict maintenance of the Rule of Law. The law and not anyone of the ruling elite are supreme. The judiciary is independent and is available to intervene fairly and impartially over any disputes that may be brought before it. People trust the judiciary because of its long-established independence from political control. Leaders of the past have been supportive of this judicial independence and the people are oriented to frown at any attempt to tread on the judges. The overall outcome of the strict maintenance of the rule of law is peace and public confidence.

The campaigns here have been running peacefully: No murders; no kidnappings; no political bribery; no priests or monks; no pirith nool; No religious ceremonies; no astrologers; no loudspeakers blaring and slandering and disturbing peace-loving residents. No Public Meetings. Most campaigning is done through the TV and other media. There has been a public TV debate on policies run on TV between the two leaders. No posters on walls. One finds posters neatly displayed at shopping centres. Nobody is engaged in tearing or disfiguring posters of opponents. Leaders are also seen talking to people at malls, shopping centres and community centres. Opinion Polls are held without complaint of bias and published every Monday.  These are like weather predictions.

Leaders and campaigners try to attune themselves to such feedback. A few aspirants to Parliament had to give up half way when allegations distasteful to the public were expressed about the latter. One prospective MP was found to have said something unsavoury to a disabled person at a shopping centre and when the matter was brought to light he had to make way for a cleaner man.

On Election Day, today,  people have confidence that ballot boxes will not go missing or that there would be no computer ‘Jill-marts.’ This is because elections are independent.

One cannot be naïve and assert that it is all perfect over here. These processes can never be perfect as men and women running them are never perfect. There is observable media bias but that doesn’t prevent media from giving publication freely to all parties and persons that demand it. There isn’t any government-controlled media to monopolize and block other sides of expression. Journalists are never seen bending in two or three before the power of politicos who are half-lovingly called ‘polies,’ here in Australia. Pollies have rarely evoked hate from the public in this culture.

The concepts of democracy and dictatorship are essentially relative ones that have to be placed and adjudged on a spectrum. These are not absolute states. No polity can reach an absolute state of democracy. The public of a country have, however, to worry if their ruling politicians are taking their governance toward the wrong and dangerous end of the spectrum. Judging from the above description of the scenario here in Australia in a practical situation like election time Sri Lankans can find for themselves how far away they have moved from the salubrious state of a democracy.

Sri Lankan leaders carry a responsibility on their shoulders to ensure that the country is made safe for democracy. To be sure Lanka did have such leaders in the past-DS Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake, Sirima Bandaranaike and DB Wijetunge and these statesmen did their best to provide the conditions for free democratic expression and change.

Unfortunately, the great tradition that was being built was destroyed in stages thereafter. The reason is simple: leaders who succeeded (most dramatically the present one) put themselves before the welfare of the country; their egos were/are high. The latter thought that the country handed over to them by popular consent in a temporary trustee relationship, is private property over which they can overlord. In legal terminology one hears of the doctrine of implied trust when leaders are elected. The trust implied includes that the leader would protect the constitution, the rule of law and be just and fair in dealings. Such a role model will trickle down to his immediate Ministers and through them flow down via the Provincial hierarchy to the village level.

*sjturaus@optusnet.com.au

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    Elections in Sri Lanka are like the ‘Pola’ and as numerous. People too are foolish enough to run behind these politicians. Once elected we dont see the colour of these good for nothing hooligans. It seems high entertainment for the people and media to listen to these donkeys talking rubbish. Utter waste of time and money.

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    It is the same in Canada.

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    Once a pandit called arjun ranatunga said australians are descendents of prisioners and by implication inferior to Sri Lankans !What absolute nonsense ! Sri Lankans cannot even conduct an election in a small club or union without violence or corruption.Sri lankans cannot go down a street without littering or spitting all over. If you get into a bus with them you will faint for the sweat smell.If a sri lankan tells you he will meet you at 8 am you can be sure he will call you at 10 am with an excuse !But we are happy to say we are a superior culture !

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      janefonda:- please don’t insult the Sri Lankan People. The fault lies not with them, but with successive Governments who have neglected the Education of their own People. Starting with Banda, and his Short Sighted ‘Sinhala Only’ Policy we have been going backward. ‘Sinhala Only’ was meant to improve the Lot of the Sinhala Speaking Peoples of the South, but only drove them deeper into the rut of insularity. The High Caste Tamil speakers on the other hand, embraced English and Christianity, and moved to Colombo, or Overseas to greener pastures. Clinging to our ‘Glorious Past’ is not helping us in the present Global Context. The USA and Canada and Australia did not progress by sticking to the conservative ways of thinking of their Countries of Origin, but kept an open mind and accepted the emerging concepts of Globalisation. Our Politicians meanwhile, are massaging their already inflated Egos by secretly amassing vast amounts of Wealth, and Aping the lifestyles of the West, while outwardly pretending to follow the Concepts of Sinhala and Buddhist Culture, to show their solidarity with the Common People.

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        Sanjay Karuna

        “please don’t insult the Sri Lankan People. The fault lies not with them, but with successive Governments who have neglected the Education of their own People.”

        Please tell me.

        Who do you think elect the rulers?

        Who do you think elect the opposition

        Who do you think man the state institutions, including civil service, armed forces and judiciary?

        The last time I fact checked I was told it was the stupid people of this island, not aliens from a planet called krypton far far away from this tiny island.

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          Veddah:- “The last time I fact checked I was told it was the stupid people of this island,”
          Exactly my point, Veddah. Successive Governments have kept our people illeducated, and therefore ‘Stupid’ because it suits their own crooked purposes to do so!

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            Sanjay Karuna

            The political representatives reflect their people. The people elect them time and again.

            You should blame the people.

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          Native,

          Thanks for admitting that your countrymen are stupid and needs to be educated. Buy my friend sadly it is too late as you have been independent for the last 64 years and haven’t done burger all to educate them. It is a question of wont learn and cant learn. Don’t blame the politicians because it is you lot who put them in power so you have to live with it. If you think MR is a Thug a Crook or a Criminal you can throw him out but you wont because he appeals to racist like you who are in the majority. So stop whinging.

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      BREAKING NEWS:

      Tony Abbotts Liberal-National coalition sweeps to a decisive victory defeating PM Kevin Rudds Labor party at Australias general election held today.

      Former PM Rudd blames the defeat on a computer jilmart and claimed there was an international conspiracy to tarnish his image and that of his party.
      He told his supporters that he and his party would always protect the rata, jaathiya and aagama of all Australians who were the only nation on earth to have a 7,500 year old culture. He also promised to secure the rights of the ahinsaka duppath Australian janathaawa from international forces who were jealous of his parties achievements.

      New PM Tony Abbot told the nation that henceforth there will be only two kinds of people in Australia. Those who loved the country and those who didn’t love the country. When a section of his supporters started to shout Tony Abbott maha rajathuma ta jayawaywaa, he told them, “I am not your king, I am only the caretaker of Australia!”

      Sporadic election violence was reported during the run up to the elections, but in general it was free and fair said elections commissioner Michael Deshapriya.

      Long live the Australian janathaawa. You have shown the world how a true democracy functions. :) :)

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        There were some more actions which @Jilmart Percy has forgotten.

        New PM Tony Abbot told the Nation that first Australia, second Australia, third Australia and Forth also Australia while banging his both hands in his chest.

        There was a Australian Historian like Jackson Anthony who reveal Blood relation of New PM with Jesus before New PM’s speech.

        New PM also promised the Nation that he will built biggest International Port Inside the country with Chinese help and named after “Tony Abbot International Port”

        He promised the Nation that he will start a new National carrier and named “Tony Abbo Air Line”

        He also promised the nation that he will built International Airports in each and every city in the country with the help from China.

        While addressing the nation Tony Abbot promised the nation that he will take every precaution to protect the Independency of Australian Judiciary by appointing Judges himself to the Higher Courts.

        Also he openly Invited Opposition members to join with him to strengthen his arms by entering his Cabinet through his Saloon Door.

        He said the Nation that he is going to have recorded Biggest Cabinet in the world and now he is checking professional qualifications of his members and warned them that at least they should poses Australia Grade 8 qualification to be a cabinet minister in his Cabinet.

        Child Rapes, killing at least 10-15, experience in Drug dealing, raising countless Point of orders, Shamelessness, licking Boots will be additional qualifications to be a Minister in his Cabinet.

        He also said he is going open new Embassies in Uganda, Swaziland, Belarus, Viatnam, Burma, Iran, Libya, Sri Lanka etc. etc.

        If the New PM need help from Sri Lanka we have all kind of experts such as Nimal Siripala, Keheliya, Mervin, Dallas Allapperuma, Rattatan, G.L Peiris, Bandula Gunawardana, Paba (expert of constitution amendments), Mohan Peiris, Palitha Fernando, Sajith Premadasa, Dayasiri Jayasekara etc. etc. ready to dispatch at any time.

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          Hey Lapatiya, you have forgotten Our ‘Jack of All Trades’ Expert Gotha-Abhaya

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        Percy, Didn’t you know that Tony is an Abbo. He added a ‘T’ to his name during the days of the ‘White Australia’ Policy.

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      janefonda

      “Once a pandit called arjun ranatunga said australians are descendents of prisioners and by implication inferior to Sri Lankans”

      Arjun Ranatunga must have forgotten two matters:

      His ancestors Vijaya and 700 criminals came by Kallthonies and stole my ancestral land, similar to the Europeans stealing the entire continent.

      His sweeping stupid comment did not address the difference between my cousins and illegal immigrants from Europe.

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    “The State Of Lankan Democracy” I would be ashamed to call what we have in Sri Lanka a ‘Democracy’ !

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    Dear By Shyamon Jayasinghe,

    I love reading your Articles, as it has good meat in it. Of course you were the Pothe Gura of Maname helps as well, at least from my viewpoint.

    1. “I read with interest some opinions expressed in the Island newspaper over the issue as to whether Sri Lanka can now call itself a democracy or dictatorship.”

    Actually, this is like asking is the Sun going around the Earth or the Earth going around the Sun. According to the powerful Church, it was the Sun going around the Earth. According to the data, it was the Earth going around the Sun.

    Similarly, according to the recent data, Sri Lanka is a dictatorship, not a democracy. Your points, summarized below, supports this statement.

    2.”The campaigns are defined by decency and by the conduct and strict maintenance of the Rule of Law”

    3. “The campaigns here have been running peacefully: No murders; no kidnappings; no political bribery; no priests or monks; no pirith nool; No religious ceremonies; no astrologers; no loudspeakers blaring and slandering and disturbing peace-loving residents. No Public Meetings.”

    4. “Unfortunately, the great tradition that was being built was destroyed in stages thereafter. The reason is simple: leaders who succeeded (most dramatically the present one) put themselves before the welfare of the country; their egos were/are high. “

    DeJa Vu…

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    Australians are not obsessed with protecting a 2500 year old religion or culture…they prefer voting for individuals who will protect the constitution and democracy. This makes them civilized.
    Sri Lankans (a majority of them) vote for individuals and parties that promise to protect the majority race, religion, language and culture and they don’t give two hoots about the constitution, democracy or the rights of the minorities. This makes them a bunch of uncivilized idiots.
    Moral of the story: Australia is a developed country, while Sri Lanka remains a can’t be developed country. :(

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      Percy, The trouble is, that the ‘Brothers’ think that what they are doing is Development. Before we start that kind of ‘Development’,which could be called ‘Showcasing’, we have to raise the Standard of Education and Medical Services for the People, which reflects the Real Development of a Country.

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      Percy Jilmart,

      “Australians are not obsessed with protecting a 2500 year old religion or culture…”

      “vote for individuals and parties that promise to protect the majority race, religion, language and culture and they don’t give two hoots about the constitution, democracy or the rights of the minorities.”

      Add to that,

      Maintaining the Theravada Buddhist Monk Hegemony and the Myths.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv6U2BtdFGc

      Christopher Hitchens on Science vs Religion

      Christopher Hitchens talking about science versus religion and how incompatible they are.

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    What we now have in Sri Lanka is a pretence democracy. The real’cracy’ is kleptocracy.

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    The cultural norms and practices drive the political dynamics of any nation.

    In SL “nekath times” and astrological stars play a critical role, and though one may disagree with this practice from an Australian prism, that is how most Sri Lankans conduct their affairs be it politics, birth, jobs or marriage.

    In Asia family politics is the accepted standard. Look at India, Bangladesh and Pakistan (even Singapore).

    In SL the Senanayakes, Bandaranaikes, Rajapaksas continued this great tradition of perpetuating dynastic rule. By the way, Sajit Premadasa waits in the wings!

    In the so-called western democracies there are entrenched “lobbies” which are the equivalent of family dynasties.

    People may not have an issue with family or business lobbies, but what is galling is the measure of the progressive kleptocracy and the resultant poverty and damage caused to the economy by incumbent rulers and their cronies.

    Therein lies the dilemma of Sri Lanka. It is this psyche we should lobby to change.

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    In the second last paragraph of your article you need to remove Sirima Bandaranaike’s name since she extended her term by two years undemocratically in the mid 70s if I could remember.

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    It hasn’t been long since the ‘White Australia’ rule was ‘abolished’ and they started letting in the rainbow colours, who went inspite of the aussie record against their own aborigines. Give it a few more years and Australia under Sharia will be a true utopia.

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    You do have just such a role model, his name is Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran. Please support him and put him in the position to lead Sri Lanka out of this mess…. Thanks for this piece. I will post it on my friend’s Facebook wall since he cannot access the CT from Sri Lanka anymore….

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      Wyatt K

      “You do have just such a role model, his name is Hon. M.A. Sumanthiran.”

      He is a Tamil and a christian, by default he is LTTE supporting Tamil terrorist seeking to establish a Tamil homeland ghetto, though not in deeds but in his thoughts.

      Why should you trust him with the entire island? Is he the new Tamil Mosses leading the people out of this island and to a promised land?

      I doubt it.

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    Are parlimentarians elected to continue the madness of building viharas all over the island or to develop the country sustainably?

    http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=36627
    Lands seized for Buddhist vihara in Trincomalee Muslim village
    [TamilNet, Friday, 06 September 2013, 21:14 GMT]
    Sinhala Buddhist extremist elements have seized 50 acres of land to construct a Buddhist vihara in Chelvaa-nakar GS division at Thoappoor Akkarai village, known as Neena village, which is a Muslim village, according to former parliamentarian M Mouroof.

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    Mr. Shyaman Jayasinghe:

    It looks you are not still grown up man.

    Australia ?, How old it is, Sri Lanka ?, It has at least over 2600 years old civilization.

    You, earlier, wrote articles as a Rationalist. You lost in it. Now, you are writing this BS.

    Just reflect what you are doing and until you reach the solution. Then you understand where the problem is.

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      I totally agree with our friend @Jim Softy. We are a Proud Nation that has more than 2600 years of Civilization. He forgot to mention that we are a nation that defeated world no. 1 Tamil terrorist’s and going to do the same thing for Muslims and then Christian’s and Hindu’s. We do everything in the name of “Jaathi Aalaya”.

      It will take Australia another 2500 Years to offer live bullets instead of clean Water for it’s General public as Australia doesn’t have a leader who has devoted his life to protect Human rights like ours.

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      Jim you stupid fool,

      What is your point mate. It is you who don’t know what you are talking about. If Australia being a young Nation has a matured and a civilised Democracy you should be ashamed of the shambles your Country is in with a 2600 years Civilisation.
      You should be teaching the World instead of being a laughing stock.

      Grow up man and get your facts right before you open your mouth and make a fool of yourself.

      “Just reflect what you are doing and until you reach the solution. Then you understand where the problem is.”

      What a load of rubbish

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      Jim Softly, What you have said really applies to yourself. Please read and digest.

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    Shyamon Jayasinghe, You have contrasted the state of affairs between Ausralia and Sri Lanka. The president in Sri Lanka can buy MPs to change the constitution and impeach the Chief Justice if the ruling goes against his wish. The civil servants are employed in government run media to hide its wrongs and anything right done by the opposition. Not only they but the so called independent media also censur anything happened in north and east if the news item is disliked by the leaders. There have been numerous attacks on a national Tamil daily and its journalists in the north but the Colombo media both English and Tamil chose to ignore.

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    Thanks for this description of a well functioning democracy in Aussi.

    Sri Lanka today is a MILITARY DICTATORSHIP with FACADE OF DEMOCRACY. There is a DEEP STATE or “State within a STATE”, run by Gotabaya Rajapakse (modeled on Turkey and Pakistan military business models) who is the real power behind the thorn – with a FACADE OF DEMOCRACY provided by brother Mahinda Rajapassa and his gigantic Cabinet of corrupt clowns. This is the sad state of democracy in Lanka today. Meanwhile, the opposition under Ranil the other shameless dictators is divided and useless.
    Paranoid Gota who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds and who fears to face a WAR CRIMES TRIAL IN THE HAGUE sees enemies all over and is tuning Lanka into a military cantonment. His policy is DIVIDE, DISTRACT the Sinhala majority by spreading Sinhala Buddhist racism and attacks on minorities (e.g. Balu Sena attacks on Muslims, Christians and Tamils), DESTROY opposition and RULE the people and consolidate his military dictatorship.
    The DEEP STATE or state within a state, with the military and select officials in the judiciary (Mohan Peris) and administration (Lalith Weeratunge) run the show will the Parliament of Clowns maintains a FACADE OF DEMOCRACY. What a circus – this DEBALCE OF ASIA! NO DEMOCRACY IN SIGHT!

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    Thanks for this description of a well functioning democracy in Aussi.

    Sri Lanka today is a MILITARY DICTATORSHIP with FACADE OF DEMOCRACY. There is a DEEP STATE or “State within a STATE”, run by Gotabaya Rajapakse (modeled on Turkey and Pakistan military business models) who is the real power behind the throne – with a FACADE OF DEMOCRACY provided by brother Mahinda Rajapassa and his gigantic Cabinet of corrupt clowns. This is the sad state of democracy in Lanka today. Meanwhile, the opposition under Ranil the other shameless dictator, is divided and useless.
    Paranoid Gota who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds and like Macbeth cannot sleep because he fears the GHOSTS of the dead, also fears to face a WAR CRIMES TRIAL IN THE HAGUE. He sees enemies all over and is tuning Lanka into a military cantonment and military dictatorship. His policy is DIVIDE, DISTRACT the Sinhala majority by spreading Sinhala Buddhist racism and attacking minorities (e.g. Balu Sena attacks on Muslims, Christians and Tamils), DESTROY opposition and RULE.
    Gota’s dictatorship functions though a DEEP STATE or ‘state within a state’, with the military and select officials in the judiciary (Mohan Peris) and administration (Lalith Weeratunge) run the show will the Parliament of Clowns maintains a FACADE OF DEMOCRACY. What a circus – this DEBALCE OF ASIA! NO DEMOCRACY IN SIGHT!

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    Sound piece,Shyamon. In Srim Lanka it is ‘hondin nethnam narakin dinanna.”
    Even when given out leaders don’t go

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    The problem in Sri Lanka is that decent people do not come to politics. You do not find decent people leading political parties in Sri Lanka either. Almost all the party leaders to a greater or lesser extent are corrupt and power hungry. These Sri Lankan party leaders groom thugs to do their dirty works. Mervyn Silva who is a Cabinet Minister in President Rajapakse’s government is a shining example to the prevailing political culture of Sri Lanka. No other civilized country in the world would have a Cabinet Minister making a marriage proposal to a highly respected lady like Navi Pillay who is the head the world human rights body. Even after Navi Pillay reportedly took up this issue with the President, the latter only made an apology and has allowed this thug to continue as a Cabinet Minister in his government. Then there this Duminda Silva, a government MP who has been accused of killing a fellow politician from the same ruling party. He has been allowed to escape detention and he continues as a Member of Parliament. In Australia when unsavoury sexy text messages of the Speaker of the Federal Parliament were revealed he had to stand down and later resign from the position.

    How can you expect decent politics in Sri Lanka when you have a thug as a Cabinet Minister and an accused murderer as a Government Member of Parliament.

    In contrast, in Australia, the Independent Commission against Corruption has made findings of criminal conduct and corruption on the part of some Labour government Ministers and party operatives. You will never see this happening in Sri Lanka.

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    In 1994 many were clamouring for a change from the UNP showcasing Corruption. CBK who succeeded promised to end the Dooshanaya and Bheshanaya. Yet CBK did not get a majority to form a govt. Gamini Dissanayake after using his influence over India, requested Ranil Wickremasinghe to form a Govt. with the support of the Tamil parties. Ranil Wickremasinghe the Statesman he is, refused to hang on and packed his bags and left the Temple Trees. CBK and all others hailed RW as a Gentleman, but not for long till they started to lambaste and ridicule RW. This is like How Dudley Senanayake was insulted and ridiculed by the Sirima’s UF govt only to be thrown out by the people afterwards for the destruction caused to the country. It appears the same is to be repeated to the MR govt for what they have done to Ranil Wickremasinghe and the country.

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      @ gamini
      Lets hope so. But my gut feeling tells me RajaPox bought in the 18th amendment not for him or his family to pack their bags and go home. Silly Lankans will never be able to get rid of him through an election. The only way will be through a revolution…but if that happens Attila the Goat has the military backing him. The military has a lot to lose if the RajaPox family is kicked out. Unless the outside world helps us it looks like we are stuck with a dictator and his despotic family for life.

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    Shyamon Jayasinghe-You have followed in detail the Sri Lanka government’s antics and disspointed.Hence your article.
    Unfortunately these type o letters do not reach the villages.
    Mervyn’s question to Navi Pillay was to entertain the ‘southern crowd’ and keep them in a happy frame of mind.!He is a clown and the entertained are fools.
    Unfortunately he has not been thrown out by MR.Planning to murder someone else round the corner.
    We do have an eroded and failed Justice system meticulously planned by the domocrazy Rajapakse brothers.
    The Rule of Law is a joke.The people are confused which Law to follow.
    The countries MR runs to is a clear picture with whom Sri Lanka is wining and dining.
    One by one the supporters went down,the wine turned sour and we are left with Belarus.
    Jaws of the rocks are waiting near the Hambanthotta Port.Chinese have informed ‘you only asked us to build the port’.MR has no money to blast the rocks so where are the ships and the jobs he had promised ?
    Mattala has no fuel on the premises.Bird sanctuary is ruined.Like the people they are desperate and dying.It is impossible to fight the good fight.
    On this thread you have heard it all.Adios and Thanks.

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      Hannah Rajaratnam:-
      “Chinese have informed ‘you only asked us to build the port’”.
      World News Headlines today, say that China is building huge new Cities all over their Country. They have become ghost cities because no one wants to live in them. They have been built with no demographic Planning! Just as Hambantota is being built with no thought of who is going to live there, all in the cause of ‘Helping Hambantota’.

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    In most so called western democracies, i.e. U.K., U.S., France, Germany etc. the situation is quite the same as Australia. I suppose that even NZ, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, and most developed democracies are the same.
    We boast that we have a super democracy (not rpt not dictatorship as some try to degrade us) and see what we are showing the world how an election should be held. What do they no of proper elections. We have a 255+0 year history and they (the western democracies) have a lot to learn from us. What is the use of a dynamic election campaigns when there are no thuggery, killings, destroying posters and other election material of opposing candidates, use government resources for the fullest for the ruling party candidates, show our hospitality by having ‘Dansalas’ to entice voters to vote for certain candidates etc. The politicians in those so callaed western democracies still do not understand that by throwing money in the campaign, money could be earned many fold by getting elected, and if one is unlucky to sit in the opposition they should understand how to cross-over to the governing party. If assistance is needed there are more than five dozens of those who are quite experienced in such crossing-over to provide. If there are takers we could could have good business and increase our foreign exchange providing advise. They should realise that they have a lot to learn for our politician.

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    By reading what Mr. Jayasinghe has stated it is quite clear that they are still in their infancy in election campaigning. They should have send some fact finding mission to Wayamba nd Central to see how vibrant and well we conduct our campaign. Reading this I find that this must be a boring election campaign. We have all the adventure, thrill and excitement and even ones life is at stake. Who wants to see such a lacklustre electioneering. We are more advanced in that regard. Mr Jayasinghe should write to Australian papers and tell the Australians how interesting our elections are. We are miles ahead than the Aussies in this regards, since we are a real democracy. (Did I hear someone say autocracy? Don’t belittle our motherland. It’s not fair.)

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    SHYAMAN JAYASINGHE HAS TALKED ABOUT SELECTIVE DEMOCRACY.

    HOW ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINES AND THEIR LIVES.

    IS THIS IS THE AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRACY ?

    UN accuses Australia of ‘entrenched racism’ towards Aborigines
    Inquiry finds restrictions imposed on Aboriginal community breached country’s international obligations on human rights

    Australia breached international obligations on human and indigenous rights by imposing radical restrictions on Aborigines during a crackdown on child abuse in Outback communities, a United Nations expert said today.

    James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous human rights, said a 12-day fact-finding tour of Australia revealed that the Aboriginal minority still suffers from “entrenched racism”.

    His comments came as the government launched its latest attempt to address the inequality, ill health and poverty among Australia’s 500,000 indigenous people that have dogged the country since white settlers arrived more than 200 years ago.

    The government said it would set up a national representative body this year to advise it on policies relating to Aborigines.

    Aborigines make up about 2% of the country’s 22 million-strong population. In recent decades, billions of dollars have been thrown into community programmes, housing and education. Yet Aborigines remain the poorest, unhealthiest and most disadvantaged minority, with an average lifespan 17 years shorter than other Australians.

    Anaya, a University of Arizona human rights law professor, said he was particularly concerned by restrictions imposed on Aborigines in the Northern Territory in response to a 2006 government-commissioned report that found child sex abuse was rampant in remote indigenous communities.

    The government suspended its own anti-discrimination law so it could ban alcohol and hardcore pornography in Aboriginal communities and restrict how Aborigines spend their welfare cheques. The restrictions do not apply to Australians of other races.

    “These measures overtly discriminate against Aboriginal peoples, infringe their right of self-determination and stigmatise already stigmatised communities,” Anaya said.

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    Results are out. Tony Abbot, Liberal leader, has trounced to victory.Mind you he was considered unelectable. Same with Ranil Wickremasinghe who is Sri Lanka’s only genuine and honest leader who goes about with tie and coat and not with the ‘kapati suiote.’

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      Ariya, you mean Arya No Sinhala Kapati suite?

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    According to Jim Softy, Australia and Sri Lanka are in the same boat. Both violate rights of minorities. Now we know why Australia supports us so much as we are birds of a feather.
    Now we can understand why the Australian Prime Minister (Julia Gillard) did not fall in line with the Canadian Prime Minister in boycotting CHOGM. We should be thankful to Jim for bringing this to our attention.
    Jim, you stated “James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous human rights, said a 12-day fact-finding tour of Australia revealed that the Aboriginal minority still suffers from “entrenched racism”.
    If Navi Pillay makes such a statement in Geneva after her visit here, you, some others and the government will go to town attacking her in most degradable language.
    That’s the difference between Australia and Sri Lanka.

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    Yes the Australian Federal Election is over and the opposition leader Tony Abbott has won the right to form the next government in Canberra. Defeated Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who destabilised the Labour government led by Julia Gillard for nearly three years, has bowed out and Australians think he will not make a comeback again. That is good news for Australians. His actions in dismantling the successful policies of the Howard government to thwart boat people led to thousands of economic migrants landing on the shores of Australia in the guise of refugees. Many uneducated and unemployed Sri Lankan youths (almost all are Tamils) who arrived in these boats were let loose in suburbs where Tamils live. They have become a nuisance and white Australians have expressed outrage when a couple of these Sri Lankan youths were charged for committing sexual assaults. Australians have now punished him for this and for the disunity and infighting among the Labour leaders. What is remarkable is that the change over to a new government in Australia was a peaceful democratic process. There were no electoral frauds, no booth capturings or stuffing of ballot boxes. There were no election rallies,no violence and there were no attacks on opposition supporters. Nevertheless there is no shortage of clowns in Australian politics. Clive Palmer, who is a billionaire mining magnate, and who entered the fray under his Palmer United Party, formed only a few months ago, provided some amusement. Strangely he managed to capture a decent percentage of votes Australia-wide and is likely to get elected to the House of Representatives with a further possibility of capturing one or two Senate seats for his party. Thankfully he is not a thug like Mervyn Silva.

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    Gamini. Yes I mean the Sinhala Kapati Suite. Bandaranayake started it. It is the dress of opportunists. Don’t trust any politicos in that suite. One must also be careful about trusting Buddhist monks in the sivura.All rascals

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    Jeyasinghe,

    You are living in a dream world. Sri Lanka is a Democracy in all but name and you cannot compare Sri Lanka to Australia.
    Although Sri Lankans are Democrats by nature Sri Lankan democracy has been complicated by a number of factors.

    1) Greed for Power and Money.
    2) The Racial Element. Any one who plays the Race Card will be guaranteed of Victory as the same thing also applies in Australia but not in the same manner.
    3) Lack of Separation of Powers.
    4) Lack of Respect for Rule of Law.

    Sri Lankan Democracy is on par with the Democracy in Zimbabwe under Mugabe.

    Comparing Australian Democracy to Sri Lankan Democracy is like comparing a Decent Housewife to a Vice Girl.

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    One thing that absolutely surprised me is how the Sri Lankan government has been dealing with public protests and journalists, while the UN High Commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay was about to visit the country, and being the host country for the CHOGM. It shows the government’s madness. As a political writer, I never seen, heard or read such a madness due to bloody arrogance and stupidity. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka is in a strategic location, but the leaders are not smart enough to handle it. Therefore, it will be on going struggle for Sri Lanka. The Mattala Airport and the Hampanthota harbour are good example how the Chinese want to control Sri Lanka, by making the Rajapaksa brothers rich, and place the country under the huge financial burden, in order to rule the country. The Chinese didn’t bother whether the Mattala Airport and Hampanthota Harbour projects are going to make profit or not; if they did they would have done proper analyses before starting the projects. The Chinese only wanted to have a foothold in the country. It is very clear Sri Lanka is under the firm grip of China. Slowly, but surely Sri Lanka is becoming a little North Korea. The country is heading towards dictatorship. This is a huge worry for the world, especially to India, Japan and South Korea. The UN clearly understands this, therefore I expect an adverse report by Pillay in September at the UNHRC meeting. Her adverse report will have a negative impact on the CHOGM in November. I am expecting an unsuccessful CHOGM, after that the Foreign Minister’s resignation. Most properly Sri Lankans will go to polls for the general election next year. Playing against the world is a suicidal move, listening to the dragon always is not a wise choice either.

    Not a single Sinhala leader is prepare to place himself as a Tamil who live among the army in the North, or as a Tamil who live in the foreign countries. The government is saying that the Tamils are comfortable with the army in the North, after thirty years of brutal war. You wouldn’t live among the LTTE in the South, therefore you shouldn’t expect Tamils to live among the army. War is over, hardcore LTTE members are in prison. Whoever has been released went through a rehabilitation. So why you can’t bring the police to take care of the civil affairs.

    Gota ran to the US to make money and got dual citizenship, but denying dual citizenship to the Tamils who left Sri Lanka to secure their lives. I believe most of the government leaders are hardcore Sinhala racists. You shouldn’t talk unity while openly discriminating Tamils. The leaders have been encouraging communalism to keep their power for generations, the hatred is in everyone’s blood, therefore uniting the country is impossible, unless hardcore leaders change their racist attitude and make inclusive policies.

    The Rajapaksa brothers thought they are the smartest. They thought they will live happily ever after as long as they keep Karuna and KP next to them. They have ignored all the smart Tamils who are well educated and talented than Karuna and KP. The government has missed lot of brain power due to this action. The government even refused to process Tamils’ dual citizenship applications. There isn’t any political intellectual in a decision making level who has the ability to examine the underlying problems. This is the reason the country has been fighting since the independence. Currently, you all are underestimating the dragon. The Rajapaksa brothers have China’s blessing to control media and people, even the UN High Commissioner was blocked from scattering flowers on the Nandikadal lagoon in memory of those who had lost their lives in the last stages of the war. They were shooting the people who demanded clean drinking water, even though they knew Madam Pillay was about to visit the country within weeks in relation to war crimes. They even harassing the people who spoke with Madam Pillay. What does it tell you all these incidents? The country is under China, the Rajapaksa brothers don’t give a damn. They are enjoying all the perks and benefits which came from the Chinese investments. If you think Madam Pillay’s adverse report to the UNHRC or the Sri Lanka’s elections will bring the change then you have underestimated the crazy dragon and its partners in crime the Rajapaksa brothers. It took considerable effort to remove Prabhakaran; it will take huge effort to remove the Rajapaksa brothers, because the Rajapaksa brothers have more power and backups than Prabhakaran. It may cost thousands of innocent Sinhalese and Tamils lives to remove the Rajapaksa brothers. This is not the end, it is just a start, sit back and prepare yourself for unexpected shocks, because much more to come, the dragon has fooled the Rajapaksa brothers beyond your political understanding.

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    Rajapakse will never go. People will have to drag them out with the Satakaya

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