15 December, 2017

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Tuk-Tuk Drivers Are The Political Pulse Of Sri Lanka

By Rajasingham Jayadevan

Rajasingham Jayadevan

Rajasingham Jayadevan

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka, in one of his articles, referred to his father Mervyn De Silva’s comment: “the road to Temple Trees runs through the paddy fields” of Sri Lanka. In the days when politics was not overburdened by skulduggery and heavy handedness, Mervyn De Silva’s comment was very appropriate. It is a fact, even now, that the village vote plays an important part in who runs the country. Whatever constrains faced by the present day paddy field voters in their decision making, rapidly changing socio-economic circumstances are helping them to make objective assessments in a fairly broader manner.

Mahinda Rajapaskse’s regime has numbed the media by sheer force of violence, threats and intimidation. Sinhala language media is heavily constrained compared to the English media to control the opinion of the paddy fields to exclusively propagate the authorial government.

My recent two week visit to Sri Lanka gave me the opportunity to gauge the situation in a broader sense. In my ride through Colombo in the three wheelers (tuk-tuks) and speaking to people I bumped into, they gave me a fair understanding of the mindset of the people. Tuk-tuk drivers are the village people who come from the paddy fields of Sri Lanka to earn a living in Colombo to better their lives.

To understand the thinking of the village people, one need not walk through the villages these days. I found the tuk-tuk drivers who are fathers and sons from the villages were more eloquent in their observations, analysis and political articulations. They are the best opinion makers that the constrained media does not duly reflect.

With my mediocre Sinhala fluency, I always have good engagements with the tuk-tuk drivers whenever I visit Sri Lanka. This time, when I asked them in Sinhala ‘Rata Desapalana Kohamatha?’ (how is governance in the country?) the responses were overwhelming. Until I reached the destinations, I was given heavy political sermons with my intermittent murmurs to confirm my interest. Of the dozen of tuk-tuk trips I undertook, except for one, all the others expressed nail biting political comments. One exceptional tuk-tuk driver was a Muslim who showed disinterest possibly due to fear or disregard.

The overwhelming responses from the tuk-tuk drivers were highly critical of Mahinda Rajapaksa government. Almost all of them were bludgeoning the government for the unbearable cost of living conditions and serious financial corruption in the government. When I asked them about major road works undertaken by the government, most of them questioned: ‘Para Kaala api jeevitha venda puluvangthe’ (Can we eat the road and live?).

These views are a serious yardstick to measure the discontent that the ever weakening democracy does not reflect through independent opinion polls or media reporting. These tuk-tuk drivers are the pulse of the nation who stretches beyond the paddy fields to reflect the mood of the people.

The opinion they expressed overwhelmingly in support of the President Mahinda Rajapakse before and after the 2009 final war when I visited Sri Lanka was the true reflection of the way people in the paddy fields voted for Mahinda in the past. They were saying: ‘we must give a chance to Mahinda to finish off the Tigers once and for all’ and that: ‘he did a good job to finish off the terrorists’. After over five years down the line, it is not the Tigers anymore and it is the belly aching hunger and suffering that is dictating the people. Mahinda Rajapakse cannot expect a blank cheque from the village people any more however the constrained media portrays him as the saviour of the nation.

One tuk-tuk driver even went to the extent of pointing a four or five story modern office building in the heart of Colombo of the Bodu Bala Sena-the extremist monk brigade that is causing havoc for the Muslim minorities. The driver’s pointed question was: ‘from where the hell have they got the money to manage a office like this within a short time’ and in deep frustration he further said: ‘BBS is part of the game of the government to cover up the cost of living crisis facing the people’.

In their cost of living comments, most of them were cursing the government further for the high energy costs.

I had luncheon with a Sinhala family in the outskirts of Colombo. Our olden days memories to the present political situation were talked about. Of the many present to welcome us, only one was reflecting unmitigating loyalty to Mahinda Rajapakse. She was so grateful to Mahinda Rajapakse for eliminating the LTTE and bringing peace to the country once and for all. All the others were grudging critics of the government over the cost of living and undemocratic heavy handed governance that they felt are throttling the very fabric of governance. With the limited media exposure of facts in the Sinhala media, none of them understood the international pressure on Sri Lanka.

The disquiet is a worrying trend and it has started to rock the multi-horse cart rule of Mahinda Rajapakse. The rockers in the multi-horse wagon are only reflecting the cries of the tuk-tuk drivers- the real voices of the paddy fields.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    1

    Most 3-wheel drivers in Colombo are long time city residents – often from the poorer parts of Colombo and suburbs. Kumar Rupesinghe tried a stunt to organise the tuk-tuk brigade – that he estimated to be around
    2 lakhs. Wonder what happened to that resource?

    A good number of these men were responsible for the dire fate of innocent elderly Tamil visitors coming to Colombo to get entrapped in the venal net of the Police. They prided in the delusionary thought they were doing their “patriotic duty” by the Sinhala nation in placing these people into the corrupt hands of the Police. Most of these Tamils came to Colombo to try and get foreign Visas.

    Backlash

    • 3
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      Are not these the same three wheeler drivers who were hosted at Temple Trees with open doors, for the Dansalas thrown by MR himself then? Now the doors are closed at Temple Trees for all of them after their vote. Serves them right.

      • 2
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        Gamini, the main problem is even if these people go on their purasaram about being a mid income nation, many of them cant see good from bad today. That is the context that the nation face today.
        Who would else vote for the idiots or idiots supporters further, if they are clear about today ‘s realities. Chinese have been abusing srilanken fool – the president in power for their long term loan projects. It is reported as Dr. Harsha de Silva ( one of today s highly educated canddidates in unp) points out, not even 3% growth per each family has achieved having been almost 20 years in power even if the roadsand other development projects are being continued today. High interest are paid to chinese for the loans taken from blacklisted authorities, due to the man’s vision and wisdom. No any other leaders made the Mahajanaya that hard up as the bugger in power has been doing.Telling something else, or passing the palatable about the issue,, they make every effort to stay in power. I really dont know whether the people would ever be able to have liberated from this megalomaniacs.

      • 0
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        Gamini,

        That is the type of society The Family is comfortable with.
        Remember the old saying “birds of a feather flock together”

        Backlash

  • 8
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    Tks. For the honest article in simple english.I am am an exsri Lanka who left more than 40 years ago.In the 50s we had a good life even to the extent to Cadillac cars,grapes etc.afterv60s we went gradually downwards.now most of the countries including china and India doing very well.we have developments on borrowed money.this have to be paid back with very high interest like 10% even more.I understand that with every project 10% or even more are collected in advance and this is factored the cost.the rich is not going pay this money its the poor and the farmers are going to pay.we use to have one of the best education systems in the 50s.at one time five high court judges in singapore were Sri lankans from Sri Lanka.now the education system is in shambles.once the famous Asian leader lee kuan yew said,you open the racial pandora box,you can never close it.how true is.I am more or less reaching the end of my life.I have given back some of my earnings and knowledge to my mother country for the free education given by visionary kannangara and free lunch given by bunis mama,Dahanayaka.all I can do is to sit and watch with lots of sorrow.people must change their mind set.everything goes according to your mind set.there is a saying a king is selected according to mind set of the people.this is the only way.KARMA IS VERY POWERFUL.IT WILL FOLLOW YOU LIKE YOUR SHADOW.

    • 9
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      @das
      “after the 60s we went gradually downwards”

      And we need to thank Bathalawathy for the beginning of this rot.

      • 2
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        The rest of amunition left from the war should be used to explode the guys of your nature to call the great woman of the nation ( first female pm for the entire world) as Bathalawathie.
        To that time, the police and all legal system of the country was better handled by Mrs B. Going back to the days in which I spent my child hoood peacefully there, I still rememeber, those were the nicest days of the country as a whole. If the system introduced by great woman ( given the priority for local products to see self sufficiency), the country and nation would have achieved lot to this day.

        • 5
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          Mrs Srimavo Bathalawathi put the foundation by introducing the Standardisation Policy against the Tamil in collusion with the Muslims. Srimavo and Badiudin went on the honeymoon implement the anti-policy.

          • 2
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            You should be an idiot or idiot supporter – of Hakeem. See the way the muslims leaders behave. It is their mental powers that put the muslim folks hopeless in today s context. Just for greedy personal gains, that ballige putha – Azwer and the one not second to him Hakeem make them a puppets b efore abusive Rajapakshes.
            What cant you achieve if you as a minister of Justice for a GOVT if you are honest to you. Hakeem stays like Kirimati gilapu kimbula to keep up his perks. And the bone licking Azwer becomes allergic against any opposition voice coming up in the parliament while the Rajapakshe idiotic ministers ( sinhalayos stay deaf and blind).

            Not Mrs B or anyone but Muslims themselves are the reason them to face all kind of harrasements by thugs like Rajaapakshes in our lanken society today.

            Universal franchise has all powers anyone to go against any kind of corrupt, high criminal candidates, but our folks regardless of race religion most of them behave as if they cant read and write – but talk big .. argue big.. even putting EU nations down… this is the reality of the coutnry today. Need of the hour is better awareness programs to outreach the masses – masses whose brains have been fed with Kakka of Rajapakshe. People wake up. Time has come you to react… send these buggers in in power go home.. or out of our sights as the lybians did once for ever…

    • 1
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      Tks. For the honest article in simple english.

    • 4
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      @Das”Tks. For the honest article in simple english.>>
      I agree it”s so honest the author didn’t try to conceal his stupidity . The article brings out his idiotic mind set.
      And the language is simple as well he chose the subject knowing his language limitation. Apologies tuk tuk drivers my comment is not a reflection on you hard working people

  • 7
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    Living in an urban environment would have vastly improved the political awareness of these tuk-tuk drivers, the ex-villagers. In the villages there will still remain the modayas and that will make a lot of difference!

    Sengodan. M

  • 9
    4

    Usually opinion writers and media people are embedded to their state, or their vested interests like Rupert Murdock’s Press in the UK pushing the owner’s interest to the detriment of the people of the UK: It was clearly demonstrated in the phone tapping saga.

    Western media is embedded too as demonstrated during the wars in Iraq and elsewhere. Sri Lankan state media which was the only one allowed during the Vanni war is obviously a biased one as Channel 4 exposed clearly.

    In Sri Lanka today there are two types of media: One parroting the Mara junta, the other muzzled beyond imagination by murders, and white van threats.

    Leaving the media and the writers on one side, let’s take a look at MPS and politicians from foreign lands. Fourteen MPS from the ruling Conservative party of the UK take lavishly paid trips freely given by the Sri Lankan state to the island, and in return they vehemently support theSri Lankan regime in the parliament. There are possibly several politicians from the Congress and the BJP of India, with rampant corruption, taking similar lines.

    In Sri Lanka we have Douglas Devandnada, who is anti-Tamil since long time, is always with the Sri Lankan state, whoever is in power. There are many such Tamils bought over by the Sri Lankan state to propagate the Sinhala racist views of the regimes in power. THere are mnay Muslims too in this category.

    Before the Good Boy, jumps at me for not sticking to the subject let’s look at it: You can feel the pulse of the tuk-tuk drivers or the tok-tok heartbeats of the Muslims in mortal terror of state sanctioned BBS terrorism, but it’s like the blind men feeling the elephant and saying that they have found the truth of an elephant.

    The point is: How do we know the writers are vending opinions with vested interests or not? I don’t have to tout my degrees, whether it be a BSc, PhD, or even a DSc to impress the readers, but we must establish without doubt whether the opinion is biased or not. If not we fall victims to the opinion moulders with ultimate motives.

    From the author’s anti-LTTE stand it is easy to decipher where he is coming from, if you have been reading his articles. I don’t have to state it explicitly to be accused of being uncivilized!

    I for one, will take his sensational views with a sack of salt.

    • 6
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      Thiru
      I have stopped reading responding to this authors post. he admits he can’t converse in fluent Sinhala on the same time he admits to have understood the complex political leaning of the tuck tuck drivers. Perhaps he literally checked their pulses and made his own judgement. Three fast beats and the tuck tuck driver is anti Mara and three slow betas the tuck tuck driver is pro MaRa. How many tuck tuck journeys he made in two weeks?
      Last time he went to Sri Lanka he resolved some land grab issue
      This time he Sussed out the tuck tuck drivers.
      However in Colombo most of the tuk tuk drivers I cam across are Tamils who speak fluent Sinhala. And when I tell him in broken Sinhala he clarify back Tamil

      • 1
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        Well done Rajash.

        Thanks for distinguishing between ‘conversing’ and ‘understanding’.

        Why don’t you meet me directly or phone me to get a thrash in Sinhala.

        My article confirms how many tuk tuk visits I have undertaken.

        Unfortunately, you are remote to the experience I go through every time as you are only good at speaking through your posterior.

        I have not finished writing my experience with the tuk tuk drivers. There is some more to come. Please be patient.

        Get ready for the next round of arm chair bashing and there will be something for you to hate monger.

        • 6
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          RJ-“I have not finished writing my experience with the tuk tuk drivers. There is some more to come”>>>oh my god!..CT please spare us the torure. We dont want to read “Jeyadevan the pulse of Sri Lankan tuk tuk drivers”

    • 3
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      Thiru:

      When Harry Truman stood for re-election, virtually every opinion poll cast a shadow on his re-election. The odds were heavily stacked against him. Yet, proving all those, he still won. Then take the case Churchill. He was THE Prime Minister who won the war for Britain. Yet in the ensuing election he lost. Even the “devil knows not the intent of man”.

      While Jayadevan’s analysis/conclusions drawn from his experience with the tuk-tuk drivers’ may not be the right sample to draw far reaching conclusions, the two above examples would also show that nothing is simple after all. On the eve of an election, generous handouts may tilt the balance against some perceived foregone conclusion. It can be a very fluid situation but within the parameters he had presumably defined, Jayadevan has, I believe, done a fair job of his job. The LTTE gave the Rajapakses their reason to win elections but now new ghosts are being nurtured to retain power. MR is on shaky ground, but not shaky enough to unseat him.

  • 5
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    The point is that for Thiru every Tamil is suspect, if he is not pro LTTE and Eelam.

    • 3
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      Paul,

      Do you know that hordes of Sinhalese worked for the Portuguese and the Dutch against Sinhalese kings? My be some of your ancestors were among them.

    • 4
      3

      Paul

      You are right.

      Thiru is unable to accept even the tuk-tuk drivers comments about the LTTE. His comments are always outside the articles and are personal attacks on writers whom he detest for not reflecting his pro LTTE views.

      Like us, why cannot he express his views in the democratic writers forum of the Colombo Telegraph by publishing articles. He has to reveal his identity by proving his full name and photograph.

      Unfortunately, Colombo Telegraph has become a forum for him to ambush persons. Such a gutless, inwardly attitude only confirms his limitation to move further than hero worshipping LTTE stand.

      • 3
        2

        Rajasingham Jayadevan,

        Isn’t it fair that I merely suspect that your views as being biased, not neutral or objective, either? I am not against you personally, but only I have serious doubts that your views are neutral. If you can assume that I have pro-LTTE views, it’s only fair that I can say that you don’t have objective views, to say the least.

        About being outside the articles, are you the one to judge? Let the readers judge.

        When Tamils, Muslims and Christians are in mortal fear (of the BB) for their lives, livelihood, properties, religious places, their businesses and their women being raped, you want commentators to stick to – “Who will be the next president?” How do you call such a stand?

        My friend, you might have credentials to insist on your academic prowess, while others might not, but being street-wise we have to look at the bigger picture of Sri Lanka and its governance, not just the next election. Do you want us to be frogs in wells while you get your views imprinted on unsuspecting readers?

        “Like us, why cannot he express his views in the democratic writers forum of the Colombo Telegraph by publishing articles.”

        The above statement reveals your undemocratic mind set: I can’t dance to your tune and write articles. One does not need an identity, or a photo to express views democratically.

        Don’t I have the right to rebut views if democracy is to prevail over the CT?

        Come on JR, be sportive, and don’t get angry when your views are refuted democratically.

        You have the right to write and please let us have the right to criticize: Sure criticism hurts you as well as me so why do you take it personally?

        “Unfortunately, Colombo Telegraph has become a forum for him to ambush persons. Such a gutless, inwardly attitude only confirms his limitation to move further than hero worshipping LTTE stand.”

        The above is mere emotional outburst in frustration: I am not ambushing, but the Sri Lankan state, which you support blindly, has the military might, and you don’t fear their white vans, but many of us do.

        Don’t you know that many a writer wrote with pen-names till long after their death their identity was known?

        So, nothing wrong with that, let’s look at matters logically, if you please.

        • 2
          2

          Thiru

          If you had given logical comments without personal attacks this forum could be healthy. Unfortunately, you are abusing the democratic freedom to go frantic and make unwanted personal statements about the writers.

          You state: ‘I am not ambushing, but the Sri Lankan state, which you support blindly, has the military might, and you don’t fear their white vans, but many of us do’. Your accusations like this are unwarranted and you make this harsh comment without the full knowledge of facts and in anonymity and it only can lead to legal consequences one day.

          I value the Colombo Telegraph for providing a yeomen service to uphold democracy. Unfortunately persons like you are abusing the constraints under which CT is operating to harp on the writers.

          I have no objection to expressing your counter views to any articles without making personal attacks. You will not have the guts to do this with your full identity.

    • 5
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      Paul,

      For your ilk also every Tamil is a LTTE suspect and an Eelam supporter other than KP, Karuna Aman, Pillayan et al. Is it not?

  • 1
    11

    This writer is an example how long left for Tamils to come out the wilderness into anything resembling civility.

    Everyone the guys sees is relative to this culture. Being “selfless” without the sophistication of Buddhist thinking must be hard.

    I recommend Tamils to see other people as people without ethnic or caste labels.

    This is known as “narrow mindness” in other cultures. Tamils should Google “broadmindedness”, learn it and try to pass it onto their children so that same mistakes are not repeated.

    • 3
      3

      Vibushana – Please dont judge that Tamils and for that matter the tuk tuk drivers by this authors utterance. When some diaspora Tamils like him come to Sri Lanka from white Western countries they have this sense of superority and in fact think and behave like white colonial rulers. You have indeed noticed this in his writting.

      • 1
        1

        [Edited out] says
        “With my mediocre Sinhala fluency, I always have good engagements with the tuk-tuk drivers”

        but he also says.
        “”There is no drama in revealing the fact that he is Muslim and I speaking Sinhalese. I leave that to you tell the Sinhala people …”

        While , Sinhala =Language; Sinhalese are the people.

        This kallathoni should have said -auto-rickshaw.Rather than putting his paw in kolaba Bajjar eke.

        In China these UK returns are known as Henry Pooey.
        At lanka they should be called Jaya Gooey.

  • 1
    0

    But the problem is even if anyone I met with would leave their aggressions against Rajapakshes, many in rural areas would not make any efforts to change the current situation. This we saw by their voter turnout in lately held elections. That is the nature of srilanken people. They just talk but do nothing to achieve what the country needs imperative right now.
    Not many a times I hired tuk tuk bbut the few times I spoke to them, I got to know peoples angers are there, but how many of tuk tuk drivers leave us the cross section view of the totally manipulated/brained washed nation ?

    What we need right at the moment is awareness programs to feed the rural masses with facts and figures of the current rule. To keep away them from the real figures as Dr. Harsha De Silva points out, have made them even more stupid but that led the political consolidation of Rajapakshe admin. Today many are not intersted in facts and figures but just undignified life styles.. That is the culture that the ruling thugs have sowed in the coutnry today.

  • 1
    1

    “With my mediocre Sinhala fluency, I always have good engagements with the tuk-tuk drivers whenever I visit Sri Lanka. This time, when I asked them in Sinhala ‘Rata Desapalana Kohamatha?’ (how is governance in the country? One exceptional tuk-tuk driver was a Muslim who showed disinterest possibly due to fear or disregard”

    Jeya, knowing that this driver was a Muslim, why did you speak to him Singhalese? Or are you trying to dramatise your story to tell the readers that you you speak Singhalese? Can you explain this to readers?

    “She was so grateful to Mahinda Rajapakse for eliminating the LTTE and bringing peace to the country once and for all.”

    Did you tell her that you too is grateful to Mahinda Rajapaksa on the same issue?

    • 2
      3

      Mahes

      When he introduced him as Muslim I spoke to him in Tamil. He is from Matale. There is no drama in revealing the fact that he is Muslim and I speaking Sinhalese.

      I leave that to you tell the Sinhala people with your anonymity of ‘Mahes’.

      We have enough of Kanthan, Poothan and Vethans in the Tamil community to be heroic in anonymity. Please go and do a self assessment first before trying to be a gutless hero.

      • 3
        1

        Jayadevan,

        As for the use of pen name and writing in anonymity, I would have thought that you of all the guys, you who write so profusely about the Sri Lankan issues, and you who want to convince us all that you have such expertise in analytics, will have some basic understanding of the at least the ground realities. What an enormous disappointment you turned out to be?!

        Taking a most recent incident to give you an eye opener (unless keeping the head buried deep in the sand is a habit of necessity), do you know how many children and their parents from Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya are shivering in their boots (and slippers) even as we speak after the children openly expressed their objection to the recent Royal dance at their school?! Are you truly unaware why many (including that Muslim tuk-tuk driver you met) would rather not stand-up and identify self with a dissenting view, dissenting with the regime’s views?

        Many including Dayan, DR.RN, Off-the-cuff, David Blacker and a host of similar servile contributors have brought this “less-of-a-hero” defense when (and only when) they found themselves in want of a legitimate one.

        Here is my advise – if you think writing in anonymity and use of pen name is a cowardly way to respond, why don’t you ask CT for a an explanation and request CT that they cease that provision, if CT cannot justify why they allow the use of it. You respect CT enough to do that – don’t you?

  • 2
    0

    During my last visit to Sri Lanka, after sometime, during my pow-how with the Three-wheeler drivers and several others engaged in small busnesses to earn their living, I took heard similar views from them. I did my interior journeys in and around Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia on three-wheelers. The drivers very often complained about the neglected status of the roads and on occasion one driver had to say this “Mahaththaya, magey vaahneye kaatavath eyagey kondata mama vaga kiyanney nah”, meaining “Sir, I am not taking responsility for the back-bone of anyone travelling in my vechile”.

  • 2
    2

    While you were riding the tuk-tuk listening to them bashing MR, why didn’t tell them who you are and what you did in 2001 — that you tried to give legal status to the LTTE in the UK in the midst of war! You would have got a good tok-tok and would have had a hard time finding a tuk-tuk! You would also have understood that there is a difference between bashing the government for cost of living, BBS and a host of other matters and siding with those scumbags colluding with LTTE and its numerous reincarnations.

    You should have asked the tuk-tuk drivers whether they believe you should have been given a VISA to enter Sri Lanka?

    Before trying to find about what tuk-tuk drivers think about MR, you should have tried to find out what they think about YOU. Didn’t Hinduism teach you anything?

    • 1
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      Catapult Navin.

      Since I have been to Sri Lanka many times there were occasions I have told the drivers who I am. I found them more friendlier than you project. Even the hired drivers for long trips have wonderful exchanges with me.

      Please hold the catapult towards the target not the other way around to hurt your own face.

      • 2
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        So you didn’t tell the tuk-tuk drivers that you worked hard to give legal status to LTTE in the UK in 2001! WHY?

        I thought you had no problem with telling anybody that. One cannot expect tuk-tuk drivers to read HRW reports.

        I don’t know whether you have dual citizenship but you should never have been admitted to Sri Lanka.

  • 2
    2

    Dear Jayadevan,

    It is interesting that wrote “When I asked them about major road works undertaken by the government, most of them questioned: ‘Para Kaala api jeevitha venda puluvangthe’ (Can we eat the road and live?).”

    May I please ask you if your brother, the “Dr. RN” had any reaction to this.

    In an tete-a-tete with him possibly an year ago, Dr. RN assured me that the Jaffna people are all happy and walking aronund with a wide smile in their faces in appreciation of all the construction work the regime had so generoulsy bestowed on them (all done with Southern labour). Dr. RN further assured me that, on account of his Veterinarian training, he has developed an extraordinary ability to read peoples’ mind that the rest of us, the lesser mortals, are not priviledged with.

    Wondered how you would now measure your Brother’s wisdom against that of these “most of the tuk-tuk drivers” wisdom of “Para Kaala api jeevitha venda puluvangthe”!

    Just curious – perhaps we may even hear directly from DR.RN on this.

  • 2
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    Rajasingham Jayadevan is A [Edited out]. Now he is upset and jealous about the development in Sri Lanka. Go back to White man wash White man’s [Edited out] and that is what you were brought to Sri Lanka by White man from India. Sri Lankans love the present government of MR and poll results for the last 10 years shows that.

    • 5
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      bun:

      What development are you talking about man . The WHITE MAN has been replaced by a YELLOW MAN from whom you have borrowed over 600 billion. Your GDP is only 67.18 USD Billion in 2013 and a record low of 1.42 USD Billion.
      How are you going to pay back what you have borrowed from building roads and TOLETS.
      MR has pocketed most of it. Gotha the delivery driver who returned empty handed from US of A has built a White House in the heart of the city. Have you asked him where he got the money from. Let me tell you it is from the LOOT.

  • 4
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    Jayadevan:

    “the road to Temple Trees runs through the paddy fields” of Sri Lanka”

    It might run through the Paddy Fields of Sri Lanka picking up all the dirt but is washed ashore in the affluent parts of Sri Lanka where it is harvested.
    You were extremely lucky to have met a few Tuk Tuk Drivers and have wined and dined with some Sinhalese. These Tuk Tuk Drivers were I would say riding “Kada Kada Loda Loda Vandi” and therefore have everything to be scornful.

    My friend the pulse that you read was taken by hand but to gauge the real pulse of the Sinhala electorate you should have used used a Stethoscope.
    Mahintha is a president for life as he speaks the language of 99.9% of the Sinhalese who are born RACISTS who will never change unless we carry out a Gene Mutation.

    • 1
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      kali-stani

      Countdown: 12 more days to go for the big day.

      • 3
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        Grandad:

        You senile fool the countdown has stopped after the pervert Mahintha has called for forgiveness in the following terms. Have you seen the posters in Tamilnadu with both hands up in the air ” Ayo Amma Mannichukol”. In fact he should have said ” Ayo Kali Ammal Kumbuddu kerkiran Mannichukol”.
        WHAT A CLIMBDOWN. When are you going to accept defeat. But then it is not your natute is it. Commonwealth Games finished without the Bride. The Chair was empty because the Bride was suffering from PILES ( bones sticking out from backside).

        • 1
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          Kaliban – the tamilban.

          Until 9/11 Hindia was the `unfair trading partner`.- rouge state sort of .
          now with the stupidity of the wars its riding the donkey khyber pass.

          From monkey guard to commonwealth games Glasgow sex’graft
          According to the report, Malik arrested for alleged sexual abuse while Mehta arrested for alleged drunken driving in Glasgow.

          UNICEF to India: `TAKE YOUR POO TO THE LOO.` your longevity is at stake.
          Quite a phew- hindian culture!

          Quality of life does not come by …..hindian.

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    Although the Colombo TUK TUK pilots are the wrong source to gauge the voting intentions of the Villagers,this Diaspora member at least had the nous to do a mini Election Poll.

    Probably his residence permit has brought him up to speed with Western tools and tactics to fight elections.

    In contrast the Rejects and the Recycled in the Rainbow Regiment are not the sharpest tools in the shed. Re they?..

    That is why they are always way off the mark when it comes to making sensible judgements to chaallenge the Government and convince the Electorate that they have the goods.

    Rather than barracking for Miss Jeyalalitha, Miss Pillai and Cameron , Harper, Obama troika and beg for sanctions against the inhabitants.

    Pity Rainbow Ranil didn’t worked hard to get these dudes the Duals after Nanthikadal..,

    Just imagine how many votes the Rainbow would have got if they had the Duals.

    Plus the talent , Rainbow Ranil would have drawn from the Diaspora to sit on his front bench, along side the other Vellalas from Wellawatta.

    Few names to mind are HR guru Kirubaharan, Rev Emmanuel and even PM Rudrakumaran if he is happy to take residence in Mulivaikal.

    By the way Jayadevan should have told his naive TUK TUK driver that the the 3 Storey HQ was probably part of the Atapirikara, the Norwegian devotees offered to the BBS Sanga after the Alms Giving in Oslo.

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      Jayadevan – dont take this person seriously.

      This Gnanakone from USA.

      He cannot write any comment without attacking someone personally.

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        Oh Gnanakone

        He can’t write anything without attacking Rudra, Usha, Kirubaharan, Fr Emmanuel and others in US

        He and his late brother Charles are special products.

        As far as they are concerned, they are the best, right, proper and all others unwarranted in this earth.

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          Sritharan & Ponnuthurai

          Hope your revelation is correct.

          I thought Donald Gnanakoon walked away from unnecessary hostilities with me. In 2005/06 it was direct exchanges revealing his name. Why should he take cover under a Sinhala name.

          If the revelation is correct, I wish him well. Let him pursue his one man crusade of discharging hate on those whom he differ.

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            Dr Jayadevan and others

            No this is not Gnanakone but K A Sumanasekera (LEELA) who is a paid coolie of the state to write propaganda he used to write a lot of trash on Transcurrents website those days and also very active in Lankaweb

            Dont take him serioulsy

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    .mr.jayadevan, pl.do not venture into writing this type of articles because your sample is small. looks like a convenient sample. do not claim that you have done a research because that is a different thing. there are 4 hundred thousand three wheelers. if it is 10 percent sample it will involve 4000 tuktuk drivers. you need a good funding and assistants.your observations could not be generalized and cannot be taken seriously as a survey.i am strictly telling in a nutshell from the view point of social science research.
    sundram

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      sundram

      I am surprised that you take this guy’s artice seriously. I doubt that he understands sampling , sampling size, standard deviation etc.
      This guy is a show off and every time he holiday in Sri Lanka he wants to tell the whole world.

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        Rajash

        Is it your northern paramilitary ambush. Illegal Mangumban and Kudathanai sands appears to be drying out and now have ventured into CT to get some thrill.

        Good luck to you.

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      Sundaram

      1. Public opinion surveys are conducted on a much smaller sample base- approximately 1800.
      2. What I have highlighted is the opinion expressed by some auto-rickshaw drivers, which was collaborated by others I came to contact with. This is an impression.
      3. A large number of auto-rickshaw drivers are from the provinces unlike before. This too is an impression.
      4. Why do many commentators in CT call the all the Sinhala-Buddhists as racists and followers of Mahawamsa-Buddhism? Is this a statistically confirmed fact?
      5. Has the truth of what Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke says about the Sinhala villagers and the Sinhala-Buddhist majority a statistically proven fact?

      Please also refer to comment of Mr Marzook who too had similar experience. I have been to Sri Lanka many times since 2003 and travelled around in tuk-tuk and could fairly analyse the trend of thinking of the drivers.

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        RJ>”I have been to Sri Lanka many times since 2003 and travelled around in tuk-tuk and could fairly analyse the trend of thinking of the drivers. “

        That explains your post here in CT some time back that Tamil Nadu should annexe NE of Sri Lanka. Did you come up with that idea after being inspired by the currrent thinking of the tuk tuk drivers

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          Rajash

          Please go to Mulleriya for a response.

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          Tamil Nadu should annexe NE of Sri Lanka. Did you come up with that idea after being inspired by the currrent thinking of the tuk tuk drivers…

          That cannot be. Tuk-tuk drivers are a lot wiser than this.

          This is another thing that he should have shared with the tuk-tuk drivers. That he believes N/E of Sri Lanka should be annexed to Tamil Nadu…. I wonder how many tuk-tuk’s would have stopped for him then.

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            Navin

            “This is another thing that he should have shared with the tuk-tuk drivers. That he believes N/E of Sri Lanka should be annexed to Tamil Nadu….”

            Rajasingham Jayadevan is completely wrong.

            However Hindians believe the entire island is the Sinhala/State of Akhand Bharat.

            I take it you have no problem with that.

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            Navin

            if he had asked that question the tuk tuk drivers footwear may have ended up on his face.

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        Jayadevan,
        You can back-track now saying it is just an impression, but that is not how you presented your observations. You claimed you were following up on De Silva’s wisdom that the pulse of the nation can be read from the paddy farmers, and justified your sample selection as “originating” from paddy farms, even if they are presently in another occupation. In fact you explicitly stated “These tuk-tuk drivers are the pulse of the nation.” You end the article with “tuk-tuk drivers- the real voices of the paddy fields”

        Jayadevan, it is quite a stretch if not gravely misguided to use an impression from this handful of tuk-tuk driver chats to “gauge the situation in a broader sense” as you claim! Your holiday-break tuk-tuk venture is a far cry from an informed assessment that De Silva had in mind.

        De Silva’s wisdom was based on the reality that at that point in time, as it was often paraphrased, “the primary preoccupation of the largest segment of Sri Lankan population was paddy cultivation!” The heavy dependence of the paddy sector on Government support (irrigation, price support and input subsidy, trade protection) on the supply front and rice as the staple on the consumption side added to the significance of the voter base dependent on paddy. How dependent do you think the nation is on tuk-tuk drivers?

        Your extension that on account of Silva’s claim, the tuk-tuk drivers who may have come from paddy provinces are an appropriate instrument to “gauge the situation in a broader sense” is outrageous. If you had merely stated your article was mere impression you gathered from tuk-tuk drivers (possibly a fair representation of lower-income urban dwellers), that would be fair. But trying to gauge the pulse of the nation full of paddy farmers by interviewing a handful of tuk-tuk drivers, who may have come from paddy provinces, is indeed laughable – ask any social scientist.

        What you are doing is absolute quackery – you have no expertise in this, and you want to establish credibility by aligning with a known expert, namely De Silva! Frankly, that is in line with the quackery that you brother presented too about the Happy & Smiling Jaffna population – hedid that as lately as mid-2013! Please see my other comment in this blog.

        Your article is full of similar questionable, if not imbecilic assertions. For instance, may I ask you to clarify your statement:
        You state “tuk-tuk drivers who are fathers and sons from the villages were more eloquent in their observations, analysis and political articulations.” More eloquent than who? Mothers and daughters? How do you know?

        One thing I can say for certain from your article as well as your responses is that your mediocrity in fluency extends way beyond just Sinhala.

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    Kumar R

    You always like to grind by conditioning yourself with prejudices.

    You are entitled to your opinion and if your wisdom is to ridiculing the writers for expressing their views it is not the way forward. But you can enjoy your freedom to do so.

    Mervyn De Silva was our family friend who associated with my father in the media very well.

    Neither me or my brother have to come to this form to respond to your quaky claims and we ask you to do your home work without demanding us to explain things in forms that are not related to the issues raised.

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      Rajasingham(s),

      Your discomfort arises not from my ridiculing you, but rather from your waking up to the fact how ridiculous your own propositions and postulations turned out to be.

      Do you now understand how ridiculous was your conclusion that “cries of the tuk-tuk drivers are the real voices of the paddy fields” just because, in your “impression,” they may have come from the paddy provinces? Unfortunately, you keep digging deeper –just think: how exactly is the fact “Mervyn De Silva was our family friend who associated with my father in the media very well” a defense for your ridiculous conclusion? Now I know of two fathers turning in their graves!

      Or, in light of the tuk-tuk driver wisdom of “para kanda puluvanthe,” that you so astutely unearthed, does DR.RN still continue to believe that the ground reality in Jaffna is that the population is walking about happy and smiling, appreciative of the regime for all the non-participatory construction heaped on that province? Is DR.RN still of the delusion that his veterinary training gave such an edge in mind reading as he claimed a year ago?

      I realize you both are incapable of even trying any objective validation of your propositions and so would rather resort to hiding under the rather skimpy skirt of unsubstantiated generalities such as accusation of prejudice, grinding, quaky claims, what-have-you, unable to point out even one single incidence of that. As such, I don’t expect any useful response from either of you. However, that will not stop my “grinding” in the future should you pursue similar short sighted, half-baked, if not outright ridiculous propositions under misguided presumption of intellectual thought or insight.

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        Kumar R

        Carry on your campaign from USA under different names. You have nothing better to do except for going on the rant and vituperation. Being one man crusader, you were exposed by two other readers for writing under different name.

        No wonder your life and activities have gone so bongos. This not the forum for you to blackmail.

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          Jayadevan

          You are making a mistake by replying commentS written by a Dog in the mengel.

          “In 2005/06 it was direct exchanges revealing his name.”

          This person is leisured and suffering from complex.

          You know what it is?

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          Jayadevan,

          What a wimpy copout?

          You just keep digging deeper. First because you happened on an opportunity to meet with a handful of tuk-tuk men, you want to convince everyone the tuk-tuk messiah’s are somehow the singularly blessed ones with the nation’s voice. Similarly, couple of random torch-bearer testimony is sufficient for you to establish my identity and my agenda. You couldn’t be more wrong on either of these asinine assumptions!

          You merely choose to believe in what suits you best. First you try to leverage a non-consequential chat on your tuk-tuks to get some pat-in-the-back recognition from unsuspecting readers. Once you get exposed of that stupidity you want to now pretend to accept the nonsensical testimonies of random torchbearers who have no more information than you have, because that makes it so much easier to swallow the bitter truth about being exposed as a fraud.

          If you truly have even half the integrity, intellect or courage that you believe you have, you would address the issue rather than skirt around with flimsy irrelevant accusations.

          You put forward a viewpoint that “cries of the tuk-tuk drivers are the real voices of the paddy fields”, and your basis for that is they MAY have come from paddy provinces. I will let pass such stupid assertions if they came from politicos and their henchmen – because that is how they make a living, hoodwinking unsuspecting masses. But, when you claim intellect and education credentials, and then come up with such ludicrous conclusions, that is a lot more damaging – a true “devil in disguise!” Now you know my agenda – you don’t need to guess!

          If I am wrong, tell me why. The original Mervyn Silva wisdom had rational substantiation – rice farmers were the back-bone of the nation, and, in turn, their livelihood was so entwined with prospective Government policies and programs. Thus, De Silva made that very valid and lucid conclusion.

          Your assertion that tuk-tuk drivers MAY have (“impression”) come from paddy provinces cannot be extrapolated to fit anywhere close to your conclusion let alone the proposition. Possibly along with tuk-tuk drivers, factory workers, maids in the middle east, and whole heap of others may share the very same concerns about our country’s poor governance, but by no way do tuk-tuk drivers uniquely qualify as voices of rice farmers as you try to make out. Your intellect follows more the path of the Kelaniya Mervyn rather than the original Mervyn that you cite!

          You were obviously in need of a pat-in-the-back and in that hope penned this nonsense trying to pass it as a studied conclusion. That is absolute fraud – ask any social scientist, or ask some well meaning friend, if that is indeed an option.

          If you still want to hide under skirts, mini-skirts actually, that is becoming “mini-er” by the minute, be my guest – I am convinced you have neither the substance to contribute rationally, nor the courage to concede, perhaps an inadvertent error. You can continue to pretend you know who I am or what villainous intentions I have – but all what you are exposing is impotent you are in addressing an issue head-on.

          Hopefully you would show greater restrain when that itch for a pat-in-the-back returns!

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            Kuma R>”Your intellect follows more the path of the Kelaniya Mervyn rather than the original Mervyn that you cite!”

            Brilliant line

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          You know the trouble maker well.

          Find a way to take legall action to this pest.

          This is a P.A to everyone.

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      [Edited out]

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    Mr. Jayadevan, I admire your naive-vity for a man who had travelled the world.I am no flag carrier for any of the political party operating in SL. There is hardly anything to choose among the UNP/SLFP/MEP/JHU/LSSP/CP/ and the two wheel party of Vasudeva.

    I too travel a lot in three wheelers and have heard the same story.I have had two interesting experiences.(i) Prior to the WP provincial council elections,a three wheel driver whose services I use regularly use to utter the same sentiments you heard.After the vote he told me that he voted with a particular man because he gave him a spectacle free of charge.( specs valued at about Rs 2500 he said).

    I was at may home at Matara, when a person who visit me regularly told me that a particular priest had died. We knew that the priest was insulting the preachings of Buddha.Both of us despised him.When he informed me about the funeral, I told him that I am not interested in going for the funeral.He told me that he was going and as an excuse he said that priests are required to perform the last rites.

    That is Sri Lanka – accept what they say with a pinch of salt.

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