5 March, 2024


Understanding Patriotism, Nationalism & Sri Lankan Identity: A Reply To My Critics

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

The thing about being 58 years old and having been to at least thirty countries, is that one becomes bemused at the attempts to lecture Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans on patriotism and nationalism. From the ubiquitous US flag on porches to the carved names in the mairies (municipal headquarters, town halls really) of Paris of every soldier from the locality who died in every war fought by France (including inter-imperialist and colonial wars), you see patriotism and nationalism around you. Anyone who knows the meaning of the words of the revolutionary national anthem of Republican France, La Marseillaise, which was sung as Napoleon’s armies spread the ideas of the Enlightenment through Europe, knows of the invocation of “blood” as a marker of nationhood.

When someone pontificates on Sri Lankan patriotism and Sinhala nationalism from the safety of the Diaspora, not having been through the existential experience of the fires of suicide terrorism and civil war, one cannot help but smile wryly. When persons criticize Sinhala nationalism and Mahinda Rajapaksa without once mentioning Prabhakaran or the Tigers, leave alone the appeasement by Ranil Wickremesinghe, the feeling turns to disgust. When someone criticizes Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sinhala nationalism and the Nugegoda mass mobilization without once mentioning critically (or at all) the recent 11 page anti-Sinhala, proto-secessionist, Genocide Resolution of Wigneswaran and the Northern Provincial Council, then the feeling turns to revulsion.

As for the politically illiterate assertion that one cannot be nationalist and internationalist at the same time, there is Regis Debray’s point that no revolution—with the conspicuous exception of the Russian—ever took place against nationalism and only succeeded or stood any chance of success when it went with the tide of nationalism. The history of the 20th century is replete with examples from Cuba to Vietnam, from Nicaragua to China, of heroic revolutions and iconic revolutionaries epitomizing the fusion of patriotism, nationalism and internationalism.

To give but a single example, Liu Shao Chi, the great Chinese revolutionary and Communist wrote : ‘It is clear that the genuine patriotism of the masses of the people in all countries is not in contradiction to proletarian internationalism, but is, rather, intimately connected with it. During the period of the Anti-Japanese War, Comrade Mao Tse-tung wrote: “ For us, patriotism is intimately connected with internationalism…“Patriotism is the application of internationalism in the national revolutionary war.”… Lenin evaluated patriotism as one of the most profound manifestations of the sentiments of countries in the process of consolidation after having been split up in the course of many centuries of even millenniums.’ (Liu Shao Chi, ‘Genuine Patriotism is intimately connected with Internationalism’, in ‘Internationalism & Nationalism’, 1952)

In part a mini-manifesto, my interventions on Smart Patriotism and a New Nationalism represent an attempt at an approach which is classifiable, if one may coin a phrase, as political existentialism.

Scholarly texts from ideologically diverse quarters, published in recent years, are relevant to assumptions concerning Sri Lanka’s identity and nation-building project and process, as well as its orientation in the world system.

The three texts are an essay in Foreign Affairs (March-April 2008) by Prof Jerry Z. Muller entitled “Us and Them: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism” (and the ensuing debate in the July-August 2008 issue), Prof James Petras’ online essay of June 9th on “Separatism and Empire Building in the 21st Century” and Kishore Mahbubani’s “The Case Against the West”, also in Foreign Affairs (May-June 2008).

While many liberal or progressive critics uphold India’s model of national integration as the norm from which Sri Lanka has lamentably deviated due to Sinhala chauvinism, SWRD Bandaranaike, 1956 and the SLFP, the historical facts show that admirable and worthy of emulation as the Nehruvian model was and remains, it is not a norm from which Sri Lanka departed, but a glorious exception. As Jerry Z. Muller’s essay demonstrates, the project of 1956 was the norm, not a deviation, and a norm not merely in the postcolonial world but earlier, in the West. That path of development was almost certainly not the best available option, but it was no particular perversity of the Sinhalese, or the Sinhala Buddhists, still less of SWRD Bandaranaike and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. That path has certainly been one of those that led to our contemporary tragedy, but our problem is a common one, and our search for solutions must also be from among those commonly arrived at in world history.

The two outstanding success stories of national building, those of the USA and India, must be understood in perspective. The United States is a story of migration, mobility and opportunity. Most societies such as ours have far older histories and smaller geographic spaces. This does not confer any intrinsic superiority upon Sri Lanka, as the parochial among us claim, but the specificity of the American Experience, a specificity that Americans celebrate—hence the notion of American Exceptionalism—must be grasped. Sri Lanka’s story is much closer to that of a great many others.

India’s success as a multiethnic state is largely the product of enlightened leadership but also of sheer size and scale. Secessionist movements have persisted in the far corners of India since 1947, and had the country been Sri Lanka’s size, the impact of these conflicts would have been far less peripheral and containable.

Professor of History at the Catholic University of America, Jerry Z. Muller explains “Why Ethnic nationalism will drive global politics for generations”. He argues that in societies unlike the USA, “for those who remain behind in lands where their ancestors have lived for generations, if not centuries, political identities often take ethnic form, producing competing communal claims to political power…far from having been superannuated in 1945, in many respects ethno nationalism was at its apogee in the years immediately after World War II. European stability during the Cold War era was in fact due partly to the widespread fulfillment of the ethno nationalist project. And since the end of the Cold war, ethnonationalism has continued to reshape European borders.[i]

“In short, ethnonationalism has played a more profound and lasting role in modern history than is commonly understood…Whether politically correct or not, ethno nationalism will continue to shape the world in the twenty-first century.”[ii]

While the liberal view of nationalism, also called civic nationalism, is in a normative sense clearly superior and must constitute our goal, the story of Sri Lanka and the rise of Sinhala nationalism, was not a deviation reflecting some intrinsic quirk, but the more probable trajectory. Muller writes that “the liberal view has competed with and often lost out to a different view, that of ethno-nationalism. The core of the ethno-nationalist idea is that nations are defined by a shared heritage, which usually includes a common language, a common faith and a common ethnic ancestry”[iii].

Contrary to the view of many Sri Lankan intellectuals and academics, not only is ethnonationalism not a vice limited to blighted spots like Sri Lanka, it is also not peculiar to “backward” societies of the Third World. As Muller reminds us “The ethno nationalist view has traditionally dominated through much of Europe and held its own even in the United States until recently. For substantial stretches of US history, it was believed that only the people of English origin, or those who were Protestant, or white, or hailed from North America, were real Americans. It was only in 1965 that the reform of US immigration law abolished the system of national –origin quotas…” [iv]  

Even our myopic policies of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, have a fatalistic logic to them: “Economic growth, in turn, depended on mass literacy and easy communication, spurring policies to promote education and a common language—which led directly to conflicts over language and communal opportunities…Ethnic groups with largely peasant backgrounds… found that key positions in the government and the economy were already occupied… Speakers of the same language came to share a sense that they belonged together and to define themselves in contrast to other communities. And they eventually came to demand a nation-state of their own in which they would be masters, dominating politics, staffing the civil service, and controlling commerce.”[v]

The processes that affected the Ceylon Civil Service were part of a larger international phenomenon. In the debate that ensued over his essay in a subsequent issue of Foreign Affairs, Jerry Muller refers to Chinua Achebe’s 1960 novel No Longer at Ease about a young African civil servant torn between the norm of impartiality and the collective expectations of his community which regards the bureaucracy as “a form of group property”.

Muller concludes by blowing holes in the outlook of left–liberal social scientists. “Contemporary social scientists who write about nationalism tend to stress the contingent elements of group identity—the extent to which national consciousness is culturally and politically manufactured by ideologists and politicians… It is true, of course, that ethnonational identity is never as natural or ineluctable as nationalists claim. Yet it would be a mistake to think that because nationalism is partly constructed it is therefore fragile or infinitely malleable. Ethnonationalism was not a chance detour in European history: it corresponds to some enduring propensities of the human spirit that are heightened by the process of modern state creation, it is a crucial source of both solidarity and enmity, and in one form or another, it will remain for many generations to come. One can only profit from facing it directly.”[vi]

It is at this point that the second essay, that of one of the world’s most famous Marxist intellectuals (and one of my old professors from upstate New York) James Petras is utterly relevant. In a lengthy contribution, densely packed with historical and contemporary evidence he argues two points:  In any country in which the Empire building project “cannot secure a stable client regime, it resorts to financing and promoting separatist organizations and leaders using ethnic, religious and regional pretexts”[vii]. (They don’t have to be as heroic as Cuba to be a target; nor be like Cuba to possess the legitimate right of resistance or to be judged fit to be solidarized with!) In this, the Empire is repeating an old historical pattern and practice of divide and rule. Petras pays particular attention to the destruction of former Yugoslavia, right up to the secession under outright Western patronage, of Kosovo, the de-facto separate existence of Kurdistan in Northern Iraq, and the agitation in and over Tibet. He spotlights the use of global human rights propaganda campaigns to “weaken the central government”.

His second point follows from the first. Petras cautions against federalism, pointing out with concrete examples, that “the shift from ‘autonomy’ within a federal state to an ‘independent state’ is based on the aid channeled and administered by the imperial state to the ‘autonomous region’, thus strengthening its ‘de facto’ existence as a separate state”[viii].

Conflict transformation and nation-building must develop a third track, and constitute a policy triad. It requires an appropriate external policy, and this is where the third scholarly essay comes into view. While James Petras argues that the West is prone to support or be sympathetic to secessionist strivings and therefore belies the notion that our international line must take as primary our relationship with the West, Kishore Mahbubani goes further. The Dean of the widely respected Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, and that country’s former ambassador to the UN in New York, a post in which he was as controversially outspoken as his distinguished predecessor Tommy Koh, Mahbubani argues in the pages of Foreign Affairs that a great ‘power-shift’ in human history is underway, moving the global epicenter from the West to the East. In his appearances on western TV including BBC’s Hard Talk, he takes the offensive on the issue of human rights, pointing out that Asia is in advance of the West at a comparable stage of historical development, and arguably even today in certain theatres of western military engagement. Mahbubani concludes his Foreign Affairs essay, which in turn is adapted from his latest book The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East, thus: “The West is not welcoming Asia’s progress…Unfortunately, the West has gone from being the world’s primary problem solver to being its single biggest liability.” [ix]

Kishore Mahbubani’s well-developed argument easily dovetails with the thoughts of our martyred Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar whose 2005 speech at the opening of the new BCIS building most clearly reflected his line of reorienting the centre of gravity of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy towards the rising East rather than one which privileges partnership with the West.

[i]Muller. Z. Jerry, Us and Them: The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism, Foreign Affairs Magazine, March-April 2008.

[ii] ibid.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] ibid.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Ibid.

[vii] Petras James, June 2008, Separatism and Empire Building in the 21st Century, Centre for Research on Globalization, available at http://www.globalresearch.ca/separatism-and-empire-building-in-the-21st-century/9246

[viii] Ibid.

[ix] Mahbhubani, Kishore, The case against the West, Foreign Affairs Magazine, May-June 2008.

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Latest comments

  • 50

    Dear Dayan,

    You have no cricitcs.Only devotees just like you following the leader worshiping him in hope of job in a Sinhala Budhist country that’s sell women to the Middle East.

    • 37

      Dayan has lost his credibility to ZERO to this day. He sits with dogs and the days when he would face the problems of ticks is not far away.
      Alone to sit with Wimal Buruwanse et al is a greater threat and betrayal to the educated communities.

      Alone the UNHRC report getting put off until September – is seen as a failure by Wimal Buruwanse et al though almost every right thinking ones would feel that should be held valid – since MR regime only bred crimes and crimes during the few months.. so nothing like a fair report about the country could be submitted to UNHRC in March.

      • 8

        Looks DJ is really hurt seeing the sheer amount of criticism promoting MR cult. -:)

      • 9


        However much you use your knowledge to further your ends, the fact remains: There is no such thing as Sri Lankan patriotism.

        When the name was changed to Sri Lanka, was it a consensus from all the peoples of the island? Didn’t the Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism rammed it down the throats of everybody?

        Even the Sri Lankan constitution was drawn up to make Tamils and ‘others’ disadvantaged.

        From 1948 onwards this was the pattern: The hegemony of the Sinhala Buddhist majority built up everything in their favor to marginalize ‘others’.

        It is clearly evident to an objective observer that no attempt was ever made by Sinhala politicians in power to forge a common Sri Lankan identity.

        All your high flown theories, quotes and dogmas are mere bull shit.

        There is no scene of togetherness and belonging among all communities in the island. If State sponsored pogroms were let loose on Tamils periodically, do you think they will ever feel that there is some thing called Sri Lanka that will protect them.

        Your articles amply demonstrate the Sinhala Buddhist supremacists intent of making for all to submit to the Sinhala Buddhist hegemony over the island.

        The more you write, the more you expose unwittingly or not that you are one of them and not one who could bring the communities together with heart and soul.

        Right now by joining the Mahinda mafia gang, you make your your intents crystal clear.

        You can fool some people for some of the time, but not all the people all of the time.

        Before you get disgraced retire gracefully from His Master’s political propaganda.

        You are a pure and simple political shenanigan.

    • 10

      Sir We salute you. None of these socalled critics or pundits foresaw this huge rally in support of MR.. These pundits for ever making predictions, and A letter to all, A open Letter to your conscious etc etc .. They all failed To see this Mass rally in support.. Maybe its time they examine their flase hoods.

    • 32

      I never thought DJ the guru of lanken politics/self prolaimed number one would ever sit with NFF and those leftists with no backbones. But MR has made them become so….. thanks go to MR his oligarchs.

      Anyway, we are all Gonthadiyas (5.7 mio voters across the country) to have voted for Mahinda last time… not considering the gravity of abuses his reign deliberately made to the nation.

    • 17

      Dayan ‘s [Edited out] – dayan is gone to mad to loose his conscience. He behaves more or less like a free runner – amok runers of his nature can only made it worst not giving any chance people to get closer -heading to sustatinable solution to the ethnic problem.

      • 1

        supun, you fruit salad, have a life….solution to ethinic problem is to geneocide tamils and muslims.

        • 9

          Nishantha De Silva

          “supun, you fruit salad, have a life….solution to ethinic problem is to geneocide tamils and muslims.”

          Its a very good idea. Why didn’t I think about final solution to “Tamil Problem” first?

          If indeed its a solution then you may have to kill nearly 20 million of them living in this island. You may have to invent very good cost effective killing machines, better than what Germans had in the past.

        • 8

          Nishantha De Silva

          Silva, Sapatu/Zapato (spanish)

          You stole the `De` at the 1970 cultural fashion show but then you could not change the DNA of your South Indian hair.

          Gautama has hair and the skin heads don’t ever make sence.

          Heyna Crocuta the saffron coloured one as on your stupid flag.

          The Brits got their lion from its colony – the head quarters of west India company abutting the indian ocean.

    • 7

      DJ DeSilva,
      Buddha taught that ‘I’, ego is a delusion, reducing ones ego will lead to happiness. Hinduism teaches that we all are same organisms and realise the unity, Jesus said that we all are children of almighty God (Nature), we all the same. Same message from all wise men, reduce your egos and realise unity, separation is a delusion Patriotism & nationalism are egoistic values which usually leads to destruction… DJ, stop spreading hatred and separatism …remember, we all Love you.

    • 9

      Dayan, by all accounts you are certainly nearing the end of your shelf-life. Your only hope of being on the front-burner (and landing a job) is by churning out all this pseudo-intellectual garbage day in and day out.

      What arrogance you display by your sweeping statement that “The thing about being 58 years old and having been to at least thirty countries, is that one becomes bemused at the attempts to lecture Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans on patriotism and nationalism.”

      Reaching nearly three score and having travelled to 30 countries is no special qualification. By the way, I have crossed three score and ten and have been to nearly 50 countries, but never had occasion to be “bemused” by my fellow-countrymen for whatever reason. I have found that we are simply normal citizens with normal aspirations, and react normally to both normal and abnormal people and situations.

      As far as I can discern, the problem with you is that you have burnt your boats with both Ranil and CBK, hence no chance of a job with either of them. Therefore, although MR kicked you out unceremoniously you continue to grovel and bootlick him with the fervent hope of getting a lucrative posting some day.

      The fact that MR, his family and henchmen have wreaked havoc in this country by blatant theft, corruption and nepotism seems to have absolutely no place in your blinkered vision and voluminous essays. The people have suffered tremendously under the yoke of MR’s autocratic kleptocracy, and your are apparently not bemused about this.

      Your pathetic histrionic performance reading out MR’s message on stage last Wednesday honestly made me want to puke. What sorry depths you have descended to. I recollect that one CT reader commented recently that your iconic father would be turning in his grave.

      Dayan, stop being bemused with us and get a life!

    • 7

      I just found out that famous Panadura Wadaya (debate) was in between Migettuwatte Gunanada monk and Rev. DeSilva. why were we not taught the recent SL history at school…. We were taught about DutuGamunu who lived 2000 years back…
      This could be continuation of DeSilvas destroying the future of this tiny island…. Wake up DJ DeSilva… Do you think you can make your forfathers happier by destroying the future of this island….. Ask them again..

    • 4

      Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

      There are two types of Dogs and People. Stupid Dogs and stupid People: And Dogs with Common sense and People with Common Sense.

      People with Common sense Voted for the Common sense Candidate Mr. Mairipala Sirisena, and he won, but ignorant people with Common sense Voted for Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa.

      Now The ignorant people with Common sense are learning the facts, and reducing their Foolishness, just like the dog below. Are you smarter than the dog?

      It is called the learning curve.
      You can too, along with the MaRa Shills and Whitewashers.

      [Edited out]

    • 4

      Dayan this is what your HERO Wimal and his wife is upto.. SHAME ON YOU FOR IDOL WORSJIPPING WIMALE… HUTAN

      Former minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife Sashi Weerawansa who is alleged to have obtained diplomatic and general passports by submitting birth certificate with forged names and dates of birth, has reportedly fled her home according to the CID team assigned to arrest her said.

      The special CID team which arrived at her residence in Kaduwela said they could not find her there. The team had also searched several other houses believed to be possible hideouts according to the police.

      At the meeting held in Nugegoda on February 18 Wimal Weerawansa questioned why the arrest of her wife was delaying and challenged that they were awaiting the police. A senior police officer said he might have said so knowing her wife’s plan to escape.

      He said the police would however take Sashi Weerawansa into custody within the next few days.

      Police said she had obtained a general passport in May last year furnishing an application with the name of Sirja Uyanthi Weerawansa and date of birth as 01.02.1967 whereas she has given the name as Randunu Mudiyanselage Shehasa Udayanthi and the date of birth as 03.02.1971 in the application she submitted to obtain the diplomatic passport, police said.

      Seven police teams have been deployed in Kandy , Gampaha and Colombo to search and arrest Sashi Weerawansa police said.(Indika Ramanayake) – See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/64331/shashi-on-the-run#sthash.bFvmA9Yd.dpuf

  • 36

    Dayan wonder if you read Kishore Madubanis famous book ” Can Asians Think” where he describes spineless brainless personas like you educated beyond your brain capacity vomiting the poisonous logic of the past ?

    • 2

      So here is the refference half educated Dr.Dayan for “Can Asians Think ?” http://www.amazon.com/Asians-Think-Understanding-Divide-Between/dp/158642033X

      Mahbubani clearly characterises devotional pseudo intellectuals like your self as forming the bulk the Asian intelligence able only to repeat “His Masters Voice” Anton was one you another.

      In future dont quote people who describe you so well.

  • 30

    I am sorry this guy is completely bonkers. Success of India is to do with them establishing their vision of indian identity. This is evident in everything about india including their national flag. They did not push a Hindi national identity like in Sri lanka. Basically, you are a complete loser full stop; no matter how much you write to justify your illogic, you have duck a massive hole for yourself. All you will do is to dick deeper and deeper and you will never got out of it. Now you have friends for life in Wimal Weerawansa, Nalin De Silva, the BBS Gang and of course one contributer here called such!

  • 29

    Dayan is a mediocrity who is a Roman Catholic unable to take Holy Communion given his divorcee status but still distrusted by Buddhists. He is peripheral to the Sinhalese cause that he champions given his minority caste and religious status. But all this does not stop him from being a self-opinionated and self-inflated trumpet.

    • 3

      Irfan – are you sure you didn’t mean self-inflated “strumpet” and not “trumpet”??

      ‘Strumpet’ suits DJ to the core!

  • 8


    Sinhala nationalism raised its head in recent times for obvious reasons. Sinhala people are quite liberal normally.

    The version of nationalism that was propagated by Mahinda Rajapaske is quite crude. It was crude enough to end a medieval war.

    After the dust is settled and no more medieval enemy standing Mahinda Rajapaske stood there quite exposed with his crude nationalism for all to see.

    “Smart Nationalism” is indeed called for. Although I do not think its something Mahinda Rajapaske or any of his acolytes can deliver.

    • 2


      Your point is correct – MR’s crude nationalism which was based on “Ado Api Sinhale Api katada baya ” kind of thinking

      He based his foreign policy also on the same line — and selected guys who are capable of drumming up the same line as his foreign policy advisors — The end result – we became a laughing stock in the international arena – If MR had the ability to select guys who could advise him differently we would not have been in the current mess

      However there are no Smart Nationalistic movement in the current political arena – the closest is the Crude Nationalistic movement represented by Rajapaksas – so the intellectual community of this country should get hold of this movement and guide them on correct path

  • 25

    “The thing about being 58 years old and having been to at least thirty countries”
    You should be thankful to the people not leaders as you travelled and lived in luxury on the peoples dime.

    “When persons criticize Sinhala nationalism and Mahinda Rajapaksa without once mentioning Prabhakaran or the Tigers, leave alone the appeasement by Ranil Wickremesinghe, the feeling turns to disgust.’
    That is because in your old age you have turned into a racist. Speaking of others did it ever occur to you unlike some of the chosen ones that appeared in Nugegoda people have to earn their living and look forward to a better future without the ability or intent to loot the state. So for them the war is over all they want is to put it behind and look forward. Your living in the past and spreading hatred.

    If you thought I did not read beyond this point. Your right because you disgust me.

    • 2

      Dayan..FYI.. I have traveled to 27 countries on VACATION with MY SMARTLY NOT hard earned money (^-^)….. and not the taxpayers money.. why would u want to boast about where u went and what u achieved? what an egoistic Megalomaniac of an educated dumb nitwit?

  • 7

    The frustration and worry of the 100day My3/Ranil/UNP Colombo gang is pretty evident. Didn’t expect Nugegoda rally to work, didn’t expect it to produce a result like this.
    Big trouble for this lot and its only natural in their frustration and ever deepening worry they lash out, not to mention search for “relief” when they read seek out all kinds of stories designed to make them feel better.

    40 days in and the UNPs time is already out, they can only continue to hold power illegally (they after all grabbed it through lies and fraud anyway, so whats the harm in the UNPs eyes holding onto by force? -Here’s the real coup plot by the UNP. LOL)

    • 6

      White Flag – your name says it all ! Dayan, you and the lot are left with a White Flag or Cyanide Capsules !

      No one is worried of the 100,000 drunkard mobs in Nugegoda. They were fed, bribed and brought 212 buses. No one came voluntarily.

      See what happens at the general elections. Your MR will not contest. He has been in politics for too long to know that he is finish. Kaput !!!

    • 3

      White Flags, what is the big conspiracy and plot you are talking about? Better ask your boss MR why he listened to Kendare Sumane and held elections before time. THAT is indeed the plot, to conspire and try to hold on to power by hook or by crook.

  • 26



  • 23


    They have nothing else to sell

  • 20

    Shyamon Jayasinghe has given DJ the right response to his delirious account of the Nugegoda rally. The mobilized rally is long over. People are back in their homes as atomic individuals. The rally effect is gone and people are now free to watch daily on TV and media all the roguery that MR has done with his cohorts. Maitri went to India in an ordinary commercial flight while MR always got a chartered flight and went with a crowd of about 300 minimum.

  • 9

    Dayan is an Elite who has a feel for the Dalits.

    His feelings for the poor and the less advantaged have become stronger, after Rajapaksa was kicked out by the Tamils and the Muslims with the help of the Elite, Anglicans and the Vellalas in Colombo.

    As he rightly says, Dayan has travelled and worked long enough to experience the Western Agenda first hand.

    West doesn’t care about the Dalits. Because they have no money, no skills ,not sophisticated and have no use as Business partners or as a source of migrants to enrich Western Economies.

    West always want to divide nations in to Ethnic enclaves , in order to help the Elite which is a minority in part of the Developing World the upper hand to rule the masses.

    Srilanka is a top priority in their agenda.

    They not only want the Elite to be in power in Srilank,a but they also want to give the Diaspora their Eelaam.

    And eliminate any opposition to the Elite Rule.

    UN Investigation was put in place to finish off the only Opposition to the Elite,the Rajapajsas.

    Patriotism and Nationalism are only good for people who put the Sign of the cross in the West.

    But it is bad for the Sinhala People to call themselves Sinhalese, or Buddhists or Srilanka is their country.

    • 8

      K.A Sumanasekera

      “Dayan is an Elite who has a feel for the Dalits.”

      He suffers from Dissociative identity disorder hence a part of Dayan may care for the Dalit but Jayatilleka (Silva) crave for attention, dying to be part of the Sinhala/Buddhist establishment.

      Once an aspiring revolutionary, then a Tamil Eelamist, war monger, again a war monger, believed himself as the indispensable statist ideologue, a closet racist, war crime denier, an used condom, lover of despots, now a public racist and smart ass patriot.

      Now tell me which identity of Dayan cares for the Dalits?

  • 7

    “Dayan is an Elite who has a feel for the Dalits.”

    Dal(eat) IT` Dayan is a control freek Parripu Preeek Preeek Preeeek!

    You said it : the prick was a misfit at Paris and all his foreign were Russian, Indian pakistani.

    He bluffed On CT about his romantic nature- he is just a school terrorist teacher.

    You may have to tame BBS to let the prick in to your bunker at Wella Gardens.

    • 0

      Javi mate,

      Dahl Eaters > Dalits , I mean Parippu is the common staple for both Hindians and us ..Right..

      I mean the Dalits.. brilliant !!!

      Is Syntax Poorten your English Tutor in Scarboroogh….

      • 1

        K.A Sumanasekera

        It definetly is Dalit protin diet even in the west.

        Fortunately, I was born in the city and always live in the centre of the countries I reside and Scare_me_ borough is out of Toronto.

        I never needed Poorten because I studied IT at Leuven (on exchange) the Oldest catholic Uni and by far better than Ox or Cam- you are still under the influence of Old blighty because of rotton old farts like GL and other tam`ill` who lost to Cambridge the last time at the UNHRC.
        I am never in short of syntax- I think therefore I am.

  • 5

    Hey Dayan,

    We will all learn of “Smart Patriotism” when details of the embezzlement of wealth surfaces, tracked down to Seychelles, USA , India, etc. Would it be “smart patriotism” to detest the West and still find that as the best place to hoard the loot?!

    As for the Nugegoda showdown, if only the reverse had taken place (say, if after a Mahinda victory, an impressive gathering of the opposition had taken place), you, the same Dayan DeSilva-Jayathileke would have been the first to proclaim and drum-beat “what a show of democracy my leader has demonstrated in allowing such free-speech.”

    Don’t mistake the responses as criticism – rather, they are outright revulsion!

  • 4

    Well I am critical of DJ but at least he is still backing the same horse – the ardent Sinhala nationalist to the end. Fortunately those he supports are no longer in power and Sri Lanka has an opportunity to move forward. Hopefully the new government will seize the moment.

  • 4

    Read the first few lines and realized how pathetic this writer is. What if we all skip this writer’ s articles? I think he is just entertaining himself by writing nonsense. Good copy&paste job with some totally unnecessary personal details. Who wants to know his age and how many countries you travelled. I am much younger and have travelled many more countries and places, speak 7 languages… SO WHAT?

  • 4

    Certain national issues need to be addressed in Sri Lanka. We cannot run away from them or hide behind convoluted arguments. Nor should we fabricate conspiracy theories and complicate national issues, resorting to unacceptable divisive behaviours, that pit one community against another. What Weerawansa and his group are now effectively doing is just that.

    Dayan Jayatilleke has once again written a piece which for all it’s content, is pretty superfluous. Do the issues persisting in Sri Lanka need to be addressed through negotiation between the various parties as one would expect in this day and age, or do we need to allow the ultra-nationalist racist elements to once again stoke communal ill-feeling and force the country down a path of destruction?

    “When persons criticize Sinhala nationalism and Mahinda Rajapaksa without once mentioning Prabhakaran or the Tigers, leave alone the appeasement by Ranil Wickremesinghe, the feeling turns to disgust. “

    If you want to hear it DJ, Prabhakaran was a monster as he resorted to murder and terror and dragged a whole nation down. No sane person would ever condone the acts of the LTTE. He was the enemy and we are glad he and his organisation no longer exist, at lease in a militaristic sense.
    So do we defend Prabhakaran? No, No and No!

    However, that doesn’t mean that what MR and his government of criminals had done to the nation over the last few years subsequent to the war has to be ignored or pardoned – corruption, nepotism, lawlessness, cronyism, nurturing hardline and racist groups, etc.

    Then why do you try to portray those critcising MR, as having been mum about the LTTE leader. i.e as being LTTE supporters? Once again it just comes down to the fact that you have no real ammunition to back MR’s conduct, and are resorting to the old bogey of the LTTE/western conspiracy. Both MR and Prabhakaran are/were monsters. The latter, obviously more so, agreed.

    Do we really need a corrupt leader like MR to be resurrected? I don’t think so. And the likes of Weerawansa are not fit at all to be leaders are they? How can anyone be on the same stage as such a person, without there being an ulterior motive? Or are you so intolerant as to not desire a future where all ethnic groups could identify as proud Sri Lankans?

    Therefore, the solution that you present is no solution for the country at all. I am Sinhalese, and I do not want the tensions that have prevailed ever since independence to be fueled further at this juncture.

    The defeat of MR is a great opportunity to rebuild the nation and its social fabric, just as the end of the war in 2009 was. That opportunity was so selfishly squandered by a wrong leadership. Let that not happen again

  • 2

    Dhyan it is waste on write to the entire essay. Let tale first paragraph, that is an example.

    “When someone pontificates on Sri Lankan patriotism and Sinhala nationalism from the safety of the Diaspora, not having been through the existential experience of the fires of suicide terrorism and civil war,” Come man dope shouldn’t confuse you that much. Diaspora in comfort and you suffered hearing the bomb sound? Do you know they one proverb in Tamils they say. “aaduththa veedilai utal iddika intha veeddu pompliakku kai kopplichchuthaam!” When the worker was grinding on the motor on the next house, boils started to appear on this house Nona’s hand. You not good enough to become even a buffoon.

    When you dope goes high, you always forget history. Don’t tell “Napoleon’s armies spread the ideas of the Enlightenment through Europe”. That is proving you are a dumbass. Napoleon is atom to atom matches to your boss, but a courageous solider, unlike your cowardice boss. Europe struggled to get rid of him. Nelson and Wellington did it, at last. Your boss at the last minute, fell on the leg of the Ranil and changed the story and escaped. They both are alike on brutality, falsifying the truth, demand sacrifice from his citizens, let them die in millions(when he was handing over hungry cold soldiers to Mikhail Kutuzov he exactly matched your boss going back to Colombo bulldozed the dead soldiers with the story of missing in action and denying the pension), Crowning themselves as Kings. without any reason initiating military action of the peaceful nation…..If can not understand the difference between oranges and apple find out a child and ask it to explain it to you.

    “When persons criticize Sinhala nationalism and Mahinda Rajapaksa without once mentioning Prabhakaran or the Tigers,” let us put aside your concocted story of Piraphakaran. You are so worries that your grandee did not name you as Dutu Dhyan. Let me ask you a question. What kind of story you having to mentions about Ellarlan when you talk about the dutu king? He was most decent, gentle manned king Lanka ever saw. You are in, reality worse than the dutu king who wanted to fight with Ellarlan.

    Your entire essay is only a good lesson to continue the story of the dutu king to the Mahawamsa Modayas.

  • 3

    “Genuine Patriotism is intimately connected with Internationalism” Don’t fool others with you Humanitarian Rescue Mission story after murdering 150,000 thousand. Don’t tell us you are fighting war for peace. Every child knows your convoluted explanations. UN, in education, human rights, trade… in many aspects defying the borders. Tell me, if it is so, when your hatred war supposed emerge and you show your ISIS patriotism? Trade laws are becoming one. Geneva convention is biding countries to take in refugees. America took the Vietnamese in. European countries who invented that rubbish idea, now hugging each other, instead of murdering each other with that rotten idea. Where in now the Napolian’s patriotism? Countries have learned better lesson not fight with the name of rubbish talks. When a Christian talk about a dutu king’s Buddhist war over Hindus as it was patriotic action, not taking about hikkadua or Wellaweria, it is simply the overflowing hatred in his heart is doing that. Mahanama did not know why the war was fought.

  • 4

    Just two observations Dayan,

    1. Mahinda’s political existentialism is not equal to Sinhala political existentialism or Sri Lanka’s political existentialism. Mahinda’s is purely self-serving. Remember using Hambantota Tsunami funds for his political mileage….When did he care about 30,000 lives lost within minutes..

    2. ‘Conflict transformation and nation-building must develop a third track, and constitute a policy triad’. Fully agree. Mahinda did not do conflict transformation and nation-building. Just ask Mr. Ten Percent or visit Aluthgama, Beruwala or Dharga Town.

  • 5

    He is the only one who is 58 years old, visited 30 odd countries and therefire he is the only one understands patriotism, nationalism, etc. How stupid he is coukd be understand from thus statement. He is a racist and nothing sort of that and smarting MR did not win the elections on January 8th.

  • 5


    Please ponder the following:

    Nationalism and patriotism, as alluded to by you in recent times are manifestations of paranoia, obviously caused by your progressive drift into the Rajapakse camp. Being in the MR camp is your political choice, but as a political analyst and academic, you should not lose your objectivity and of course wisdom.

    Further, nationalism and patriotism frequently become the slogans of cads and scoundrels. In Sri Lanka, it is very much so. Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel! Such patriotism is historically associated with a virulent , narrow and regressive nationalism.

    Bernard Shaw, acerbically said , ” Every man over forty is a scoundrel”, because he compromises his principles at the alter of expediency and self interest. Some do so more than the others and to the detriment of a country.

    National identity is our collective identity defined by our values and character, that manifests through the values and character of a majority of our people. It is our common bond, regardless of how we label ourselves. It is definitely not the Sinhala-Buddhist identity you promote and confound with our national identity, It is not the Tamil, Muslim or other identity either. Should thuggery, corruption, nepotism, barbarism, cruelty against fellow men , mis-governance, religious pretence and intolerance define us a people and country? Should Sri Lanka and being Sri Lankan mean these? Are you being fair by the majority of Sri Lankan citizens?

    Dr.Rajasinghan Narendran

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 1


      Listen to Rajasingham when he says “should thuggery, corruption, nepotism, barbarism, cruelty against fellow men , mis-governance, religious pretence and intolerance define us”

      Good advice from a guy who just came out of that same camp that you are getting deeper into!

      The question then is how come Rajasingham pontificates now, whereas previously he himself chose to go into that same camp with wide open eyes against exactly that same sage advice from many around him? Was he motivated by just ignorance, or was it avarice as well? Rajasingham refuses to answer that. He owes to!

  • 4

    First of all, Dayan, lets thank the Maitripala/Ranil government for not using their political clout to stop the Nugegoda rally.
    Today you are able to spew patriotism and all the crap that comes with it is ,because we have a fairly decent democratic government in place,!

  • 3

    DJ sadly continues on his downward spiral, meandering through the works of myriad writers that are mostly irrelevant and obfuscating.

    As a champagne socialist who freely quotes the great Springsteen, DJ now has an unfair go at the Diaspora. Where were you DJ when the hot torches of the Sinhala ‘patriots’ were busy transforming the demographics of this land? Yes, the experiences of those dark days spawned the birth of the ‘suicide terrorism and civil war’ that you wear as a badge of courage.

    The curse that afflicted our blessed land was brought about by the rabid opportunist politicians who made the ‘patriotic’ majority believe that Sinhala-Buddhist dominance was the key to future happiness (forsaking what the Buddha taught).

    Our redemption as a nation will come the day that we stop talking about who arrived here when, and whether it matters where we worship (or not), and, when we, creatures of circumstance, learn that key to happiness is treating each other with respect and fairness, and forging a common Sri Lankan identity drawing on all the positives that our constituent communities possess.

    DJ, 58 years old and 30 countries? As the chanteuse Shania Twain warbled ‘that don’t impress me much!’.

  • 5

    Ane Manda Dayan, with all this profound wisdom you couldn’t foresee the defeat of MR. You couldn’t do the simple math. And now you are sitting with Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila out of all people. You may quote quantum theory to prove political facts but a simple conclusion is you are no intellectual nor are you very bright. Sad place to be for a man who is 58 and traveled to 30 countries.

  • 3

    Sitting and joining with Buruwansa is the classic proof and authentication which Dayan has no principles and policies but just only finding opportunity and possibility to hold a post to steal public money.

    Mahinda Rajapaksa enormously had given numerous opportunities for both Buuruwansa and Dayan.

    Unfortunately now time was expired and opportunity was gone.
    Now both of them are in a desperate situation like mad dogs.

    Buruwansa’s mouth is not a human mouth. We can not compare with animals too.
    It is horrendous than toilet pit.

    How This horrible Dr. sits with this Buruwansa who does not know even basic numeracy and literacy.

  • 6

    Dr Dayan J Silava,[ Useless Doctorate].

    Sorry Mate, I did not waste my time to read your toilet paper notes.

    Only thing that O/L educated I got to understand from the heading is, that;

    Your Patriotism,=
    Even your Patron /Mentor is a looter, Heroin dealer, rapist or rascal thug, You approve those deeds and Say , “Yes sir, no sir three bags full sir”,

    Your Nationalism =
    Even You or your patron, parasite Buffalo, bribe the terrorists or serial killers to get into power, and sell part of Sri lanka to You approve those deeds and Say , “Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir”,

    Sri Lankan Identity:=
    From What angle did you see the Sri Lankan Identity,
    Malaccan Muslim/ christian Mahendran percyval Jarapassa angle,
    BBS Gandassaara Angle,
    Hothambaya angle,
    Carlo fonseka angle,
    gundaasa amrasekara angle,
    Hiwal Moda wangsa angle,
    Great historian Jak ass son Antonoy’ angle.
    As every body’s says, Why not Sinhala Buddhist’s angle.

    We consider You as a moronic crazy doctor like Pee Risk Who knows every thing But Does not know any thing about the Ordinary Sri lnkan Minds. and a member of a Vultures Gang, who says ” Vaasi peaththta Hooyiya”.

    And Says ,”Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir”,.

    By the way, You are not a Sinhala Buddhist?.
    We Buddhists, Sri Lankans Sinhalese, think that you do not care about and don’t have any Understanding of Patriotism, Nationalism & Sri Lankan Identity.

    Sad and sorry to say that, You are Fool and Sadist.

  • 2

    DJ, so you think being 58 years and visiting 30 countries makes you an expert on patriotism? You can be 80 years, go around the world and still talk crap like your recent bedfellows, the likes of Gunadasa Amarasekera, Nalin de Silva and Vasudeva! You have finally ended up in the gutter which is where you belong. I tell you it will not be easy to come out again.

  • 3


    Eliminating LTTE does not give licence to Rajapakse and his brothers and relatives to bludgeon the country, its people and resources indefinitely.
    Don’t shed tears- if someday Mahinda comes to power he will reward you for being his best vandibattaya.

    LTTE is no more. There is no threat to divide the country now. What is needed is good governance and inclusiveness.

    You must be the most articulate fox and the wolf among the contemporary writers.

    • 0

      @ MJA

      “Don’t shed tears – if someday Mahinda comes to power he will reward you for being his best vandibattaya.”

      Dayan, till then keep on sniffing MaRa’s loin cloth. He will never forget his “NGO Boy”.

  • 2

    DJ in his 1st analysis throwing in many forms of Patriotisms, DJ proclaimed that he practices Smart Patriotism and thus ONE UP than other patriots. He must revisit that in CT.

    DJ even categorised Lakshman Kadirgamar as an inferior patriot than him.
    LK has served Mother Lanka under Chandrika regime with distinction. DJ never advocated in the past and tried to convince the majority of the SB , that LK wwas the superior patriot than MR to be the Prime Minister or President under SLFP regime.

    DJ have the audacity to talk about SEA countries to gain support to bring back MR regime.What DJ has learnt about good governance , secularism , pluralism from SEA countries like Singapore ?
    Why not he talk about the honesty and integrity of the Political Leaders of Singapore ?

    Why does not DJ talks about the corruption in SL under MR regime after 2010 ?
    Winning of the SL civil war with the help of International community was over in 2009 so it is time DJ quote ideas from internationally accepted Statesman like Nelson Mandela why he wants MR regime back in SL. As a self proclaimed top most political Scientist can DJ write about the Truth Commission and Reconciliation that will be helpful to MS team and Mother Lanka.

  • 3

    I have read Dayan Jayatilake’s poltical analyses since 1990, when he wrote for the Sunday Observer under Mahindapala’s editorship during the Premadasa regime. But I don’t believe that he was an employee of Lake House. So I have never met him. But as an employee of Lake House in the early ’60s, I knew who his father Mervyn de Silva was. Mervyn was a pompous Anglophile who thought it was beneath his dignity to associate with the hoipolloi.

    Like father, like son. Dayan is educated in Western literature and philosophy though he tends to favor Western pundits with a leftist bent–the post-modernists in particular. He thinks he can be a Sinhala patriot with no knowledge of Sinhalese literature and Buddhist philosophy. Of course, one doesn’t have to be a Sinhala Buddhist to become a patriot of Sri Lanka.

    Over the years, I have seen sudden changes in Dayan’s thinking. Once he was vociferous on supporting Wigneswaran as the ideal person to be the chief minister of the NPC. Now, he is denouncing him. HIs views on MR have turned from mild negative to extreme positive.

    Dayan is a supreme example of the three symbols of existence–dukkha, anatta and anicca. The rapid flux of his Five Aggregates (panca skandha) is very clear. He has the capacity to adjust himself to ongoing changes well aware that no one has a static self/soul. He has intuitively understood this as the way to alleviate life’s unsatisfactoriness.

    • 0

      ” Once he was vociferous on supporting Wigneswaran as the ideal person to be the chief minister of the NPC. Now, he is denouncing him “

      So do a lot of others. He is now exposed for what he is, a tiger in a sheepskin.

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