25 October, 2020

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“Unfolding In Duly Ordained Fashion”

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

If the responses to my recent columns to Colombo Telegraph have done nothing else, they have provoked responses that should give at least a few of us cause for even a small degree of optimism: there ARE people who perceive the deception and deceit that is being performed under cover of Yahapalanaya, covering the backsides of those who have done very well, thank you, under the Rajapaksa dispensation!

However, identifying the problem (not merely the symptom) as individuals is not enough, in and of itself. We need (particularly us septuagenarians who might be of fit mind but somewhat feeble body!) to rally the troops because the generations that have succeeded us are tech-savvy to an extent that few of us can aspire to. We need to keep them rolling as they appear to have done during the last Presidential election where, I understand, young people familiar with the use of community media such as Twitter and Facebook and fluent in the national languages of this country played no small part in the demise of the leader of the most violent and corrupt government this country has ever encountered. I hope that what I am about to relate strikes a chord with them and that they will expend their energies to expose simple financial self-interest parading as some kind of “freedom of the press.”

The fact that Ranil Wickremesinghe appears driven to surround himself with a Praetorian Guard of old boys of his alma mater is one of the saddest spectacles confronting this country. Apart from the fact that it appears to provide evidence of some pretty deep-seated insecurity not befitting someone with ambitions of leading Sri Lanka and while his team might well be a more “civilized” bunch than the Rajapaksa Mafia, it is NOT all that is needed to deliver the goods.

Ranil Royal ColleheI will continue to espouse the “Feet to the fire” slogan relative to Mr. W’s bunch whose primary qualification appears to be to have entered that educational institution down Reid Avenue and/or belonged to the traditional Uncle Nephew Party clique of yore. As an aside to this, may I recommend that Ruwan Wijewardene finds someone with at least minimal speech-writing skills before he next addresses such as the Kotelawela Defence Academy? There was little substance or style in what he delivered and certainly a great deal to be desired in the matter of the “facts” that he sought to detail. Those of us who grew up in that time and had the benefit of Aubrey Collette’s cartoons and Tarzie Vittachchi’s biting prose have a far better and more accurate picture of John Lionel Kotelawala than Mr. Wijewardene who probably depended on the “official line” of those who constitute the power behind the current throne – the Wijewardne newspaper dynasty of which he is a part – who NEVER distinguished themselves as champions of democracy but simply defenders of their own narrow class and business interests. One thing that can be attributed to them, however, is consistency in the matter of knowing on which side their bread was buttered, though they had often, I am sure, to hold each slice by the edges because the dairy product was so generously applied to both of the larger surfaces!

A recent example of this was the two page paean of praise to Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s private armed force, parading as a news item while, very obviously, an “advertorial.” I don’t know to which of the three armed services it belongs seeing as how it probably has connections to all of them, from the purchase of MiG jets to the use of assault rifles usually associated with the army and operating on the high seas! This ran in two of the English language newspapers to my knowledge and, while I don’t recall in which it first appeared, it certainly had a very prominent spread in the Sunday Times, without benefit (to the public) of so much as a mention of the fact that it was an advertisement for a large and sophisticated private shore/sea-based armed force without a semblance of government oversight of any description entering into the equation.

That a newspaper owned and operated by the current Prime Minister’s uncle and supposedly not the creature of the late-unlamented Rajapaksa regime should descend to such depths appears to confirm what those allegedly on the “loony left” have had to say about the two primary political configurations of Sri Lanka: they are two peas in a pod, six of one and half a dozen of another.

When I expressed my surprise at what the Wijeya Newspapers group had done, my interlocutor at the time had a very simple explanation: “The advertising rupee supersedes all other considerations, certainly those of principle or journalistic ethics.”

Perhaps, this is so. However, I believe it is up to those of us who still cling to the last vestiges of democratic practice and morality of even the most minimal kind to expose these businesses pretending to act in the public interest for what they are: simply profit centres, devoid of anything resembling principle. When the Sunday Leader was at its shrill but, nevertheless, vibrant peak under the guidance of Lasantha Wickrematunge and Frederica Jansz, these same media power brokers manipulated the annual awards to the journalistic fraternity so that their employees won even when they were not qualified to compete in the categories in which they walked away with the prizes. That such as the Sri Lanka Press Institute and The Editors Guild of Sri Lanka turned a Nelsonian eye on this kind of strong-arm journalism simply remains a matter of record. In fact, I would suggest that the first blow, against what was the “Last Man Standing” among Sri Lanka’s independent newspapers, was struck then and what followed, culminating in a creature of the Rajapaksas taking over complete control of the Sunday Leader was little more than a coda to that performance.

There have been some significant stirrings among younger writers contributing to the electronic pages of Colombo Telegraph and other publications devoted to public affairs and I hope and trust that they will direct their attention to the hypocrisy and duplicity of those who have apparently succeeded in taking cover under the Yahapalanaya blanket after making their contribution to the monstrosity that paraded as “governance” under the Rajapaksas. Both they and the money-grubbers who’ll sell their own mothers for an advertising dollar need to be exposed and so exposed that they will think twice before they indulge their duplicitous skills in support of fascism, dictatorship and private armies, no matter in what disguise.

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  • 8
    6

    “The fact that Ranil Wickremesinghe appears driven to surround himself with a Praetorian Guard of old boys of his alma mater is one of the saddest spectacles confronting this country.”

    Clear signs of annoyance that the old boys of the Hill Country Church of England Branch (Trinity College) are being ignored by Ranil in his showering of government positions to UNP lackeys!

    Start throwing brick-bats Poorten. You need only one thing – the blowing up your ego to exploding proportions.

    Pity no one including Ranil seem to take any notice of you!

    • 3
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      Ambon :
      YOU apparently have! Thank you. I must be blessed to have your attention and the other jackass who obviously recognises “wankers” ever since he looked in the mirror.

      • 2
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        Emil,

        Thanks again for a brilliant article – which begs the question, what can we do to hold to account all these rascals who masquerade under the yahapalanaya banner while assiduously defending the prior dispensation? Surely, such duplicity should not be rewarded – and the only potential way for us to do so is to withhold/redirect our vote at the forthcoming general election.

        Now this is easier said that done when we are not offered any suitable alternatives. And the choices available would be even more limited if the manaape system is done away with (rather than suitably reformed).

        So here is a suggestion: How about forming ourselves into an advocacy group for good governance, and make it known to all and sundry that our (collective) votes would not be forthcoming if fundamental issues are not resolved? In other words, what I am proposing is a collective of `independent’ voters who, despite their myriad political inclinations, can generally find common ground on some of the fundamental issues of our day. A Friday Forum of sorts, but without the elitist trappings.

    • 2
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      Emil van der Poorten –

      “I understand, young people familiar with the use of community media such as Twitter and Facebook and fluent in the national languages of this country played no small part in the demise of the leader of the most violent and corrupt government this country has ever encountered. I hope that what I am about to relate strikes a chord with them and that they will expend their energies to expose simple financial self-interest parading as some kind of “freedom of the press.”

      Still waiting for the Sri Lankan Version of the Common Sense Phamplet in Sinhala and Tamil, to be distributed to the masses.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_%28pamphlet%29

      Still no Common Sense Phamplet, Sri Lankan Version, but we have the Common (Sense) Candidate.

      Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. The pamphlet explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence in clear, simple language. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places.
      Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2] As of 2006, it remains the all-time best selling American title.[3]

      Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[4] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[5] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[6]

  • 4
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    “If the responses to my recent columns to Colombo Telegraph have done nothing else,…”

    What a wanker!

    • 4
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      Yet to read a truer a comment on these pages that sums up the writer’s personality.

      Though a bit rude sounding, no other word than “wanker” will describe the attempts of this hag to sound sanctimonious.

      His history unfortunately speaks the truth.

      Well done, S. Rodrigo.

    • 0
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      Sajin Rodrigo and Aathel, you summed it all so well I do not need to add an iota :-)

  • 1
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    Sajin Rodrigo
    I take it, you are not a fan of Emil van der Poorten. Pray tell us how did you find out? Or, is it your private secret, you naughty man.

  • 0
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    Deception and Deceit!!!

    Understatement of the age…

    Just ask the minister relevant minister how an Indian Bothal Kaaraya got judgements against him reversed…

  • 6
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    Ranil is no saint.

    But Better than all other crooks in the country.

    • 3
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      What a pathetic excuse on behalf of the non-elected (never electabe) Jon Duan Dharmapala, the curse of the Sinhala Buddhist of Sri Lanka!

    • 1
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      Nobody expect that Ranil to be a saint but at least some kind of rational human. I don’t think he is honest to his position.

    • 0
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      Jagath Fernando

      “Ranil is no saint.”

      “But Better than all other crooks in the country. “

      Ranil is no saint. He ***** his wife.

      But Better than all other crooks in the country, who **** others wives and daughters.

      • 0
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        Amare mate,

        How can you be so sure…..

  • 3
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    Ranil Wickremesinghe should know better – As Prime Minister he should not be waving a flag for his alma-mater, race or religion JUST SRI LANKA. Period, full-stop! The fact that Royal College wanted to invite their alumni to an event is fine. The PM should have shown up as PM of the country not as an old-boy. As for the rest – no body cares!

    A side question. Did all these families REALLY live 4 miles from Royal? These chaps were learning to violate regulations before they knew how to say Royal College…actually their parents did it on their behalf.

    Ranil has to play with the team he has. He cannot discard the clueless and the useless because in Politics everyone has a base. And, when the UNP is ruling without a firm base (as yet), he has to take a few deep breaths and let things slide. His intellect is towering above the rest of the genii he is surrounded by. That is a fact even the Rajapakses will be ready to acknowledge in private.

  • 2
    1

    Emil Vander pooten…… has he lost his writting potency and ideas as it appears even the third umpire appears to be not interested..

    Better get onto Tiger Flag waving rememberance that took place at Mullaivaikkal.

    Next time Dalles Allahapperuma too might carry a Tiger Flag to the demonstration at the BC Office and he’ll be safe from Court prosecution

  • 1
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    Pooty

    [Edited out]

    Cheers

    Abhaya

    • 2
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      bla, bla blAbhaya

      Yes we are listening

      Cheers for [Edited out]

      • 0
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        its is a sad day for liberty when the scion of free speech in Sri Lanka the Colombo tamil telegraph will censor a question about a fruit tree .

        Cheers

        Abhaya

  • 2
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    Was this the Kothalawala who was called Bandung Buruwa?.

    Because my elders tell me there was one who was a real dill, who became the PM, under the then Elite, Anglican and Vellala Power.

    He was going after the Buddhist Monks threatening to cover their heads with Bitumen and de robe them in public, obviously in Colombo..

    If this Poorten piece is about him,the Kotalawala clan members who are now in control, thanks to our Bodhi Sira and Chandrika this time , may be watching our Buddhist Monks closely to see whether they need any dressing down too..

    Poorten himself says that one clan member who is now in charge of our Defence is not much chop either going by his speech to the latest bunch of Kotalawala graduates.

    Wonder who put this most important institute of the Nation in his name?..

    • 1
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      K.A. Sumanasekera:
      Marginally less malicious (if one can understand what you are trying to say) but confirming, once again, the need of an “English Tuition Teacher,” nevertheless.

      • 1
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        @Emil please be patient with this wing nut Sumanasekeram, he is a dull little boy. His parents should have planted a tree instead of making him. He needs elders to tell him what to think even at this age. It looks like even his elders have abandoned this rascal and gone to Angoda for treatment as this punk has driven them insane.

      • 3
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        Emil van der Poorten

        “(if one can understand what you are trying to say)”

        Even K.A Sumanasekera never bother to understand what he has been typing all these years.

        I never wanted to understand his typing nor what his “noble causes” are. He types. I comment. There has never been a meeting of my mind and whatever he possess. Parallel lines don’t meet. He lives in a parallel universe.

        The young kids we meet on the street have better grasp of many things happening around them.

  • 0
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    Van de Poorten [Edited out]

  • 0
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    Cowards die a million times even reading the truth!

    • 2
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      peter casie chetty

      “Cowards die a million times even reading the truth!”

      Cowards do not know what is truth and what is lie.

      Its a miracle that MR, Gota, and all those war criminals and crime deniers survive to this day after their death of more than million times.

    • 0
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      casie-chetty:
      If that was the case you must be blathering from beyond the grave. Way, way,way beyond!
      Don’t you think you’d best return to the usurious undertaking that your name speaks to?

  • 1
    1

    Dear Native,

    Nice to see a Native sucking up to a conquistador like hell, and getting on like a House on fire.

    Did they convert you too….

    Or just Pro Bono work to save this pathetic coalition of crooks,NGOs,Cameron, Harper , Kerry, CBK, Surendran , GTF, UNP London , Modi Clan and not forgetting our Bishop in Colombo who only sing to the Elite.

    One thing which I thing I notice is old Poorty is no fan of our Anglican Ranil, while you suck up to him big time..

    May our readers, I mean the Natives here if any , know why….

    • 0
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      Sumaney oh Sumaney!
      What WOULD we do for (poor quality) entertainment without you?
      Honesty doesn’t require membership of any fan club but that very fact should preclude you from knowing that.

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