27 May, 2018

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Three Historical Moments: Mahinda’s, Sirisena’s & Ranil’s

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Unlike King Asoka, our King Mahinda lost the Kalinga moment that would have made him adorn the annals of Sri Lanka and even world history as one of those great men-even although he reigned in a tiny island. He would have been President for life and after life also.

One of the articles I have most enjoyed writing was under the caption,”How Mahinda Lost his Kalinga Moment.” That was written during the regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa when I observed Mahinda fleeing away from a  great historical opportunity. I wrote that for the Colombo Telegraph. I think it also appeared in one of the national print papers.

Kalinga

The Kalinga war (c.262-c.261BCE) had been the only war that Emperor Asoka fought since his accession to the throne. That was between the state of Kalinga, an independent feudal kingdom located in the East coastline in the present day state of Odisha, north of Andhra Pradesh. Says Ramesh Prasad Mohapatra in his book, Military History of Orissa “…no war has ended with so successful a mission of  peace for the entire war-torn humanity, as the war of Kalinga.” This represents a great turning point for Indian history and for the personal life of the Maurya Emperor. It was one of the bloodiest wars in history. Emperor Asoka describes the situation thus in one of his famous rock edicts:

“Beloved-of-the-Gods, King Priyadarsi, [reference to King Asoka] conquered the Kalingas eight years after his coronation. One hundred and fifty thousand were deported, one hundred thousand were killed and many more died (from other causes). After the Kalingas had been conquered, Beloved-of-the-Gods came to feel a strong inclination towards the Dharma, a love for the Dharma and for instruction in Dharma. Now Beloved-of-the-Gods feels deep remorse for having conquered the Kalingas.”

The Moment for Emperor Asoka

The catalytic change was that Asoka transformed from ‘Chandasoka or violent Asoka to ‘Dharmasoka.’ And so he set out to create a peaceful and humane land through the length and breadth of his vast Empire. Every detail pertaining to the welfare and comfort of his people was attended to. There were even shady trees and water spouts by the roadside for travellers; there were hospitals for the sick; there was a flourishing agriculture. The transformation in both man and nation had been so impressive that historian HG Wells remarked in his ‘History of the World; “amidst the tens of thousands of columns of world history, the name of Asoka stands and stands alone- a star.”

Mahinda’s Kalinga Moment

It is easy to surmise that our own President Mahinda Rajapaksa, endowed with all that absolute power, had faced a fairly similar situation in Sri Lanka  after the LTTE was downed in battle at the end of a thirty-year war. Probably a difference in the quality of the two men explained the different results. Mahinda obviously hadn’t the spiritual upliftment and moral fibre to effect a similarly wonderful metamorphosis in Sri Lanka. He had all the peoples’ goodwill. He had even the backing of Western powers for transformation and reconciliation efforts.

The fact that Mahinda Rajapaksa had no intention of going on the path of reconciliation was evident when he decide to celebrate the triumph on an annual basis. Triumphalism was his path and that was incompatible with reconciliation. He made this an occasion for celebration just for the sole reason of propelling his image so that he could consolidate himself in his position of power.

From day one of the victory, Mahinda and his powerful brother, Gotabaya, set out on a series of abuses of power and privilege. Many murders and disappearances of dissentients took place under their charge and no attempt was made to investigate  them.

Mahinda invested himself with the powers of the Finance Minister, which was outrageous for a President to do. The very General who fought the war on ground was jailed under fake charges and his hard-won medals were taken away. We need not repeat ad nauseam the litany of misrule under Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The thing is that Mahinda lost the plot and failed to grasp the tide of the moment and bring peace, law and order and development to the country. Unlike King Asoka, our King Mahinda lost the Kalinga moment that would have made him adorn the annals of Sri Lanka and even world history as one of those great men-even although he reigned in a tiny island. He would have been President for life and after life also.

Maithripala Sirisena, too, may be regarded as having had his moment in history. That was when he was elected as common-candidate-President by the broad masses under the leadership of Sri Lanka’s largest single party, the United National Party. For the first time, Sri Lanka had a movement by civil society  organisations that backed Maitri as the common candidate. That had been an extraordinary moment. The passionate call among the sixty- two lakhs of voters was for the re-establishment of normal governance procedures and systems that had been ingloriously uprooted by Mahinda Rajapaksa and his men. There was also a demand for making the criminals of the dispossessed regime face court and punished. The 8th of January, 2015 saw a silent revolution for a decent society where human dignity is preserved.  A lot has been achieved by both the President and the Prime Minister and their teams. Maitripala Sirisena’s  role at  this historical moment is to continue that record and offer leadership to usher in the expected changes and restore the country to a normal development coarse. President Maithripala Sirisena has to be the great historical restorer. There has been some unfortunate developments during the local government election campaign that could undermine this role. The President must stand above the fray and lead everyone and not only a party.

The conspirators of the Opposition camp have utilised some of the cross-overs from the MR camp to poison the President’s mind and give him illusive baits. Sirisena has only got to see some of the videos going viral in social media where he is reviled, insulted and spat at by some of these cross-overs during the 2015 election campaign. Minister Susil Premjayanth (a sissy cross-over) outrageously says that, “the people have had enough of this government and that there has to be a change soon.” Susil Prem is obviously having worm problems in his stomach.

Ranil’s Moment

Ranil’s moment is more coming than having come. It has come already in the sense that he is required to play a formidable role as peacemaker in this unfortunate  current crisis with the President. He is doing his job with considerable understanding, political sagacity and patience. He ensures the matter is not escalated. Ranil – the most underestimated political leader in our country – has exhibited gargantuan resilience against setbacks and he has come out triumphant in the end. Have we not witnessed how he kept his party together while in opposition for twenty long years and despite all the undermining. However, the Ranil moment may have yet to come in the sense he has plan B in case the crisis goes out of hand. Simultaneously, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken charge of the economic drive of the yahapalanaya government. He talks nothing but economics these days-except for Wifi the other day. Wifi is also important for development and it can be regarded as part of soft infrastructure that the island needs for rapid and efficient communication.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    4

    Brilliant Shaymon,

    Come Feb 11th Hand, Betel and Flower Bud will have to consume cyanide. The people are getting fed up of SLFP intra party rivalries. Also the poison bottle is also on stand by gifted by Dilan Perera.

  • 13
    2

    “Ranils moment is more coming than have come”????

    Are you serious.??? Lol… he has been in politics for as long as I remember and his moment is still coming???

    Just admit that he is a rotten hopeless failure and he is PM only and only thanks to Hopper Sirisena

    Your moment as a serious writer is obviously ” Not coming” and looks too like ” never coming”!!

    You really are so pathetic in your adulation for this hopeless PM who has faced defeat after defeat at elections and has no patriotic bone in his body

  • 14
    0

    Servility is ugly whether it is Dayan worshiping MR or Shyamon doing it to Ranil.

    Both are grown men and it is a shame indeed our nation has come to this.

    You then wonder why politicians take the masses for asses!

    • 2
      0

      To be honest Shyamon, this is going a bit over the top, isn’t it?

      On how many occasions has Ranil soft-pedalled when unhindered Law enforcement was desperately called for?

      Are we to believe that we went ahead and changed the Rajapakse led government because we swallowed a whole lot of untruths that were spoken about them?

      By the looks of it, that very well seems to be the case, isn’t it?

  • 5
    1

    Three of them will take the country to another disaster..
    As C.B case and economic disaster.
    Vote JVP to free the country.

  • 10
    1

    It is true that Mahinda had an opportunity to be the head of this Nation forever but I doubted from the start that his characteristics and actions are not fit for a charismatic trustworthy leader. He is a kind of person who will wash your back if he wants to get something out of a person or he will even kill his child if that benefits to him. He did not hesitate to order the murder of one time ally & friend Lasantha or abduct his another friend Tissanayagam and put in the jail for 20 years (then pardoned). His intention was power, not peace or nation or Sinhala.

  • 11
    1

    None of this rubbish will save your (backbone-less) hero P.U.K. Ranil. He is going to lose this election like the 29 he had lost until 2015 when he piggybacked on Sirisena with American and Indian help. But his backing of the bond thief Mahendran showed once again his lack of political judgement like when he signed a peace treaty with the war criminal Prabhakaran. It is only ass lickers like you left now to support him. Wait till 11 February before you write again!

  • 4
    8

    President Rajapakse was not rejected by Sinhalese who were grateful for what he did by eradicating Tamil terrorism and bringing peace that did not exist in the country for three decades. President Rajapakse won in seven provinces but lost in North and East because of ungrateful Demalu and Thambis.

    • 8
      2

      Eagle eye,
      Srilanka population stat:
      Sinhalese = 75% Others = 25%.
      Sinhalese had the power to decide the victory. Tamils or Muslim jointly or separately can defeat a Sinhalese leader without major contribution from Sinhalese. Sinhalese people did not believe that LTTE was defeated by Mahinda only. There are lot of people contributed or participated in defeating LTTE. Mahinda lost because he wanted to get extra ordinary personal benefit using that victory for himself. There was no peace during his regime in this country. Thanks to those brave Sinhalese who evicted a murderous dictator.

    • 4
      3

      Eagle Blind Eye

      “President Rajapakse was not rejected by Sinhalese who were grateful for what he did by eradicating Tamil terrorism and bringing peace that did not exist in the country for three decades. “

      It was Hindia which with huge help from VP won the war for Dr Mahinda. Full stop.

      “President Rajapakse won in seven provinces but lost in North and East because of ungrateful Demalu and Thambis.”

      You sound like the public racist Dayan.
      Let me get this right, Sirisena failed to get a single Sinhalese vote in the 7 provinces however he won just with votes of Demelas and Thamis.

      Are you saying there are more Demelas and Thambis put together than total number of Sinhala/Buddhists?
      When did the Sinhala/Buddhists stop producing?

  • 0
    0

    Shyamon It is correct Mahinda Rajapakse could have been a true king. He screwed up it big time. Now he understands it. some times he tell himself that his children and people around him desrteoyed. but, it is he is the one with at that time 50 years of experience who kicked the ladder. SIMPLY SLPP, AKA POHOTTOUWA AKA POROPPAYA SHOULD BE HISTROY. Ranil is not a good guy at all. He did a planned theft. Even todate his gzang of theives are defending it. I heard, MAITHRIPALA SIRISENA SAYING THAT HE FEELS VERY SORRY FOR RANIL WICRAMASINGHE THE WSY HE CRIES INFRONT OF HIM. THAT IS WHY RANIL IS STILL THERE. Ranil says he is going to prove that he was coprrect. When he proves that what he proves is that he is/Was a PAMBAYA. Pambaya is saying let me do it now and I know what to do it. and see what he is saying for elelction. he si going to give WIFI to everybody by 2018. So, good ammunition for opponents. Beczuses, sri lankan computer usage is only 28%. Ranil is closed and he is hiding things. I heard CBK is also criticizing. Ranil. On the other hand, Mangala Samaraweera wants to be the next prime minister. BUT EVEN AUSTRALIA DOES NOT HAVE BOTH PM AND PRESIDENT. So, we can have a really powerful executive president who should obey the laws only when it is not affecting the country’s security and sovereignity.

  • 2
    0

    Resilience and hanging like a Leech are two different things. In comparison to number of bulls that Ranil had, He should be a boss of some think tank in Sri lanka. But, the leech is hanging their showing that he is not the same gentleman that he is showing with his attire and talk. With respect to talk, tell me anything that he has done or has been successful. In comparison to Ranil MAIthripala Sirisina is better. He is working difficult environment full of vultures and sharks. Besiddes, no where inthe world, a PM and a president are running the coutry. SO, PResident should run the country without a PM and should show that he can work for another term. JVP is the best party at the ground level. All other three partieis should be made to one by eliminating thieves.

  • 0
    0

    If the president can get rid of the national list because he has advisors too. IF he can get rid of 94 uneducateds which can not make a decision. Parliament becomes NOT SO TOP heavy and preesident wins a humongous support. President should feel the nerves of the general public. Anyway, If he comes another terms by this way he establishes a legacy that Mahinda Rajapakse and CBK could not think of. At least people will give him the best recognition that he ever can earn.

  • 0
    0

    Mr. shyamon Jayasinbhe: I heard it is bond scam Ranil who said tht Arjun Mahendran wouldbe Brought back from Singapore. I heard, He has told ravi the LAIR, when asked, No Arjun Mahendran is in the country and ARjun Mahendran is not talking to Bons Scam Ranil but informed it to MAITHRI the betterhalf that he is inside the country. This is All I heard. IT is true, Ravi the LIAR would give evidence that Pitipanana committee was asked, by Ranil, only to read and comment and noting else.

  • 0
    0

    THUS I HEARD. When asked Ravith the LIAR has said it is not Kili Maharaja, beczuse of my PAVITU MITHURA that I am in this place. Ravi the LIAR even has scolded Bond Scam Ranil in filth. One samarawickrama and Arjuna kno it. Hemantha Varnakulasooriya als know more because he lives nearby to RAVI THE LIAR.

  • 0
    0

    Mr. shyamon Jayasinghe: YOur beloved bond Scam Rnil is connected to more Scams I heard. some of those are just supporting to Western companies. Ranil wanted Customs taxes transferred without auditing I heard. Ranatunga refused it and that created that Petrol shortage because they were not given tanks in Trincomalle. you know the rest. Then the other thing he wants to dissolve Minor export crops department. You know they bring low quality pepper and something else and down grade the sri lankan exports. The target was they wanted to grow fruit trees instead of Tea. RAVI THE liar WOULD TALK MANY OF THESE STORIES EVEN THOUGH HE DOE SNOT LIKE EXOSiNG HIM. CBK (Madam ?) IS ANOTHER.

  • 5
    2

    Mahinda Rajapakse is a despicable thief; stealing combined with corruption is in his blood. So are his brothers and children too. Stealing money and wealth which is the profession he is born to practice got shaped from the practice of stealing tiny library fines charged at Vidyodaya University when he was working as a library assistant there and bloomed fully with Helping Hambantota – the project he set up with Willie Gamage’s help to steal 800 million Us Dollars of Tsunami Funds. Sarath Silva publicly announced that he saved Mahinda from this proven case.

  • 2
    1

    The Pohottuwa-headed by Mara and his bro the “ten per cent Basil,” and with Gota waiting outside is a band of criminals. The names of all the pohottuwa leaders are mentioned as guilty of serious financial crimes in the Presidential Commission Report now before Parliament. The thieves of Pohotttuwa keep shouting in Parliament and outside to drown their guilt. Did you watch Wimal Weerwanse-the thief in Parliament?

  • 1
    0

    Maharage Nimal: If you Read te KAsun Palihena’s article, there had been similar 13 bond scams, prior to one happened during the 100 day govt. during those bons scams, EPF money had beeen bought one share for Rs 94 and had sold back to EPF for Rs. 119. Ranil came to investigate those and established FCID. What did he do. I heard, he is part of that too. Besides, dO you know w3hy Plantations were important to the Foreign minister and why Lottery board was important to Foreign minster was. I wrote about plantations. Rnil has taken money from Lottery board too. What happened to that money. there are many unknown parts.

    • 1
      1

      Jim Softy,
      Obviously, Mr. Clean Ranil is corrupted too, but when it comes to stealing, MaRa, GoTa, Basil, and their sons are unprecedented. Who would steal Tsunami funds to deprive the last chance of rebuilding the lives of those folks devastated by Tsunami. Just for the same of making billions of dollar commissions through corrupted deals with Chinese government corps, who would drag the country into the most unrecoverable debt trap in our history. All politicians in this blessed Sinhala Buddhist island including Ranil, MaRa, Ravi, SB are well known corrupted thieves, but the question is who is worse or better than the other.

  • 5
    1

    Mr Clean Dr Ranil is like a dead rat in the middle of the road stinking to High Heaven, after his silly attempts to cover up the Bond Heist of his mate and old school buddy Dr Mahendran..
    Now his Deputy from Bloemendhal with friends in the Underworld calls him a Conspirator in front of Dr Ranil i himself in Parliament.
    Soon after Sira’s step bro Minister Amare from Hambantota alleged that Basil Rajapaksa was at the house of a Big Wig UNP Minister’s House in Borella ,conspiring to assassinate Sirisena.
    Sirisena in turn tells his Pollonnaruwa subjects that he is fed up of crooks and cheats and robbers in his Government. And he does not want to Govern with them anymore.
    JVP Prince Anura blasts Dr Ranil. accusing him of being the biggest rogue in the history of Lankawe’s Westminster Parliament.
    And threatens to divulge Dr Ranil’s Golayas who went to visit Aloysious and Palisena in Welikada.
    Which in fact did upset Mallika so much that Mallika replied to JVP Anura in English.
    And Mr Jayasinghe is telling his loyal subjects that everything is Hunky Dory, and Dr Ranil is the best….
    I don’t think even our kinder kids would think so….

  • 1
    0

    I heard, some time ago, One vietnamesee guy asked for a big Tax brteak, Rs 500 milion, for importing second had cars. Rani//Ravi refused it and then they offered it to one of their henchmen and asked some money for them too. there are many scandles. Bond scam is not completely exposed. But, there are people to praise these thieves. further to that, I heard RAVI the LIAR is grieving as is saying I give everything I have If I can escape a Jail term. Only thing is I cannot separate my assets came from parents. Mahinda Rajapakse thinks the same. Country is a mess. there are people who heard what they were talking. They are all over the island. I think one in Asutralia may be more.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 1
    0

    Shyamon, Mahinda Rajapakse says if all the scams of Ranil are exposed, Parliament has to be closed. Understand the depth of the statement. He is OK if some one says he said that. I heard, Ranil is connected to some scandle with Ceylon tobacco also. There are many more like that. Maithriapala also has said I know I am not playing OLINDA KELIYA HERE. Ranil (?) has some lands in Tissamamaharama. If you ask he says “NO”.

  • 1
    0

    Jim Softy why don’t you go to a dating site and check on some Filipino damsels?

  • 0
    0

    Great writing. Thanks

  • 0
    1

    The historic moment of MR was defeating LTTE. It is historic within Sri Lankan context as well as historic in a global context which defied the prevailing counter insurgency, anti terrorist warfare theories and doctrines. A servile mind like Shyamon’s may never acknowledge it though the world knows it. MR would have won a durable peace if he was not prematurely deposed by an internationally backed coup. In that sense deposing of MR is an historic moment for Sri Lanka and it’s people in a negative way.

  • 1
    0

    Maharage Nimal: I totally agree with you!

  • 1
    0

    100 per cent with Nimal Maharage!

  • 2
    0

    There are few historic moment for Ranil, not one. Batalanda as stated in the commission report is one. Kneeling SL in front of the biggest terrorist VP through CFA is another. Masterminding the bond scam is the latest. Still retaining old/retarded servile minds to lick his back is Ranil’s greatest achievement.

  • 1
    0

    HELA and other Rajapakse stooges can only mention Batalanda-forty years ago- and nothing else about Ranil. This shows how bankrupt they are in trying to find fault with Ranil. What they don’t want to mention is that there had been a Presidential Commission on Batalanda and Ranil was never cited as culprit.
    Ranil is a very decent and civilised man coming from great stock. Mara and family were robbers and murderers. Tsunami money-remember HELA?

    • 1
      0

      Leelananda, Batalanda was part of 60,000 murders and disappearances. Do you call it trivial? Ranil lived in Batalanda complex during that time. The commission mentions about a politician who is none other than Ranil. You could be in self denial…not us. I mentioned about CFA Ranil signed with Prabha which is the greatest betrayal of Sri Lanka to date in which Ranil got the govt to formally accept LTTE as a recognised army, controlling large part of the country. He did not present it to the parliament, nor to the security council nor to the President who is the commander in chief for scrutiny or acceptance. LTTE used it as the justification of status of parity in dealing with the state of Sri Lanka. This is the stuff of a great stock you talk about. Then the latest crime…….the robbery at the Central Bank. Ranil’s public behaviour and actions including his statements in parliament and elsewhere are ample proof of his culpability. I wouldn’t go into his other achievements including freeing the serial rapist and thug Gonavela Sunil and granting him a title as an island wide justice of peace etc in detail nor his economic credentials. Because they are so much nauseating. Great stock…huh?

  • 0
    0

    Now that the election results are known ( Economy Next says “landslide”) how does it feel to be quite so stupid, Shyamon?

    • 0
      0

      Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

      “Now that the election results are known ( Economy Next says “landslide”) how does it feel to be quite so stupid, Shyamon?”

      Are you demanding both Ranil and Sirisena to resign and hand over both offices to Dr Mahinda Rajapaksa and Dr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa respectively?

      Many of us believed it was local government elections.

      Shyamon Jayasinghe where are you?
      Can you tell us if that was a referendum on Ranil and Sirisena.

  • 0
    0

    Now what do you have to say you sycophant mesmerised by the class difference between Ranil and you. A toady such as you would have in any other country been lynched. I suppose you are now in your corner indulging in some self abuse.

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