20 January, 2021

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Untruth Is Our Crisis  

By Sarath De Alwis –

Sarath De Alwis

Political language said George Orwell is designed to make lies sound truthful, murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. 

Dr. Sarath Amunugama is the subject of this essay.

In addition to his current incarnation as a politician, he is an erudite scholar and a socio anthropologist of repute. His incisive mind’ has few rivals in the parliament that stands dissolved. 

I last met him on 30th November 2015 when he joined Professor Gananath Obeyesekere in celebrating the life and work of Dr. Stanley Thambiah  in a  panel discussion at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies. 

Dr. Amunugama paid a touching tribute to the author who made the penetrative survey of political Buddhism published under the  rhetorical title ‘Buddhism betrayed? ‘

Dr. Amunugama bid farewell to his departed colleague by reciting four Buddhist stanzas, beginning with ‘Anicca vata sankhara’ – Impermanent alas are formations, subject to rise and fall.

The learned trapeze act, at the time impressed me no end. I rushed to print in admiration. I described it as the distilled decency of the Sinhala Kandyan Buddhist ethos. 

The essential purpose of this essay is to eat my words.  

Sanskrit the language of Kama Sutra has 247 equivalents for the word love. Dr. Sarath Amunugama is far more   modest than ‘Vatsyayana’ the author of the love tract. He seems to have less than 200 equivalents for truth. A little more than 100 equivalents for intellectual integrity and around 50 for politics of expediency. 

Among political parvenu currently pirouetting in centerstage, Dr. Sarath Amunugama’s  mastery of the Bhagavad Gita is unparalleled

He has a sensitive and delicate grip on the pristine essence of the Gita – how to evade mental and emotional traps, how to create an outer life that feeds your inner life. 

He has amply demonstrated his versatility in interpreting events to suit his idea of truth, alternate truth and manufactured truth.

It is such a pleasure to write on the politics of a scholar who can recite forwards and backwards the famous tract ‘Politics as a Vocation’ by Max Weber the German pioneer of Social Anthropology.  

Weber concludes his tract Politics as a vocation with these startling words.

“Only he has a calling for politics who is sure that he shall not crumble when the world from his point of view is too stupid or too base for what he wants to offer. Only he who in the face of all this can say ‘In spite of all!’ has the calling for politics.”

On the morning of November 4th  Dr. Sarath Amunugama called on the Malwatte and Asgririya prelates. He assured them that the international community had not exerted any pressure on the country. He told them that the European Union had only requested the Government to resolve the current problem in the country democratically. 

“Although the international community could not exert pressure when action had been taken according to the Constitution, the government had given thought to the possibility of unfavourable repercussions if this situation led to violence and bloodshed. This was because the media was so powerful today that even a minor incident could be taken to the world in a matter of seconds” 

On 5th November Dr. Sarath Amunugama told Jack Moor of the ‘The National’- the Abu Dhabi based English language newspaper that the current “crisis was a case of who reached for the gun first.”

This is how the largest circulating English paper in the middle east reported it.

“Sarath Amunugama said the ousting would be finalised with a parliamentary vote in the new government’s favour and that the takeover was just a matter of “who reached for the gun first”.

On bribing MPs to obtain support in parliament and delaying a vote until it has the majority it needs, he is reported as saying “They would have done absolutely the same. They are just the guys who have not been fast on the draw.”

On Saturday 10th November Dr.Sarath Amunugama tells the Associated Press  Correspondent that the President was compelled to dissolve parliament because the Speaker   “was not planning to act according to the constitution and standing orders of Parliament “ and that  “ there was to be a lot of commotion and unparliamentary activities sponsored by the speaker.”

The report appears in the Washington Post of 10th November. 

Sarath Amunugama has presented three contrary versions- two to the world and one to the two prelates in Kandy. And he is not ashamed of those untruths.

These are times of populism and neofascism. We must learn from history. Hitler explained the secret of his success: “I will tell you what has carried me to the position I have reached. Our political problems appeared complicated. The German people could make nothing of them… I…reduced them to the simplest terms. The masses realized this and followed me.” 

The words of that monster have a sure resonance when we hear the learned Trinity educated Dr. Gobbles of Gunnepana Kandy. 

Sarath Amunugama has read Emanuel Kant. If I was writing to Wimal Weerawansa, or Sirisena the president I would not have bothered with Emanuel Kant and his teachings on morality.

The philosopher once remarked that “no man in his true senses … is candid.” When he said it, he did not outright dismiss the value of either truthfulness or sincerity in human transactions.  What he meant was that we must restrain our inner thoughts that basically express contempt for our fellow beings. 

That is precisely what Dr. Amunugama has been trying to do with his three statements cited in this missive. Emmanuel Kant recognized contempt as a dangerous thing. The danger of contempt is that it helps to dehumanize your target. 

That is the precise travesty Dr. Amunugama commits with Speaker Karu Jayasuriya. He has unscrupulously made speaker Karu Jayasuriya an intrinsically gentle creature with a subdued character in to a monster that he could never be. 

Partisan politics has a disregard for truth and a virtual commitment to convenient untruths. But Sarath Amunugama must not entertain the illusion that gross falsehoods can add up to a constructed truth or even a half-truth. He should not be so quick to contemptuously dismiss our capacity to discern the truth- that he is an ordinary inferior human being successful beyond his worth.  

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Latest comments

  • 19
    2

    “Dr. Sarath Amunugama is the subject of this essay”
    Correction, he is now “Harak Amunugama”

    • 11
      0

      Mr. Alwis,
      Sarath Amunugama was in the UNP long ago. At the time he came across as intelligent and outspoken. On one occasion he appeared on a TV talk show and trashed Astrology and other mythical certainties of our people.
      However, he is a politician in the final analysis, and an old one at that.
      As someone said, “A politician is someone who always willing to lay down your life for his country”.

      • 0
        1

        Sarath Amunugam is just another local politician as they come in our country and he can’t hold a candle to his nephew when it come to policy and principles.
        How ever, here, Sarath is selective and unfair in his criticism. The speaker initially promised to abide by the standing orders and that’s when Sarath made his earlier observations and when Karu started somersaulting every which way he too had to change the song accordingly.

  • 20
    1

    Well,all his intellect notwithstanding since the day he entered politics,all what he has been doing is singing for his supper .What a comedown for a so called erudite scholar

    Morality perhaps is a term that Dr.Amunugama uses when only lecturing others

    • 6
      0

      It is not only Sarath amunagama but also many other so called doctorates killed their conscience in order to get financial benefits (even ministerial appointments considered as financial benefits) from Mahinda Family. Even the so called Naseby did the same.

  • 13
    1

    A scholarly summation of a Sarath Amunugama that he is not. Untruth and Hypocrisy are of the same coin. With astuteness the writer Alwis has laid it bare. To this commenter hypocrisy is a more stringent description and he has used this word always to explain the malady that pervades the country and embodies the crisis.
    Two millenia ago a Tamil said “Never move with those who have one thing in their mind and speak differently outside”

  • 8
    1

    I thought all this was because someone was plotting to kill Sirisena and Gota !

    At least they should get their lies straight!

    Or is it how low they think of the SL people ………….. and their intelligence?

  • 10
    1

    Sarath De Alwis , The more you write – the more I read – more my admiration for you grows.

    • 0
      0

      Thappu, Sarath is ready to acknowledge his mistakes and that’s what’s admirable about him but sadly he seem unable to correct his mistakes.
      thappu thang!

  • 7
    0

    Sarath, shameless Shitsena and his goons are doom. See MR and cabal gave them a kick in their asses. They by hook or crook got an election with state power to boot. Within days, they deserted Shitsena and his goons, and ran to the Pothata by burying SLFP for good. Like that, never Ranil or UNP did to them. Now Shitsena and his goon are on the reverse. Their situation is like that of the woman left the husband for the king, the king left her, and later nor king and nor husbands. They are real leeches, even if one keep them in the mattress, they run to the grass. There going to be more to come, and these lowly ones would learn a lot.

  • 4
    1

    Mr. de Alwis,

    In the link to your original article, I had this to say:

    “Most of us know Sarath Amunugama as yet another party switching politician who served the Rajapaksa regime with all its evils. Your superlative words ring hollow to me given that context.

    “As for Dharmapala, many people with time on their hands will quote chapter and verse about why he was so bigoted. Can revisionist history gloss over all that?”

    Not only is Amunugama going back to his ‘evil’ian antecedents, but ‘revisionist history’ is all around us.

  • 5
    0

    This is a repeat of the comment I made only yesterday in the CT article titled, “Illegal Govt Mounts Diplomatic Offensive To Blame Speaker For Dissolution Of Parliament.”
    “Sarath Amunugama is no different to Mahinda Samarasinghe and G.L. Peiris. He has been working in the background all these days but now that he has been sent to the front he is forced to reveal his true colors.”

    • 0
      0

      Man could be identified by the people he associate.To me Amunugama appears as
      one big lump of TVP.(Textured vegetable Protein) It is tasteless, and it takes the taste of the other ingredients added to the curry.Originally he followed AR & FR.Then he followed JR. Then MR . Like wise he can blend with any Curry
      What Mr Alwis did was to take the TVP out of the curry and showed his nakedness to
      the readers.
      Keep on writing

  • 5
    1

    Fro m the time of crossing over to the SLFP Sarath A. has been unashamedly singing for his supper along with G.L.. The “intellectual dishonesty” displayed has brought them to the same level as Wimal, Vasu and the motely crowd who call themselves “Honourable”

  • 2
    5

    Untruth my Word…
    Yahapalanaya came into being by total Untruth.
    Golden Horses , Lambordginis, 18 Billion USD in Arab bank which Dr Rajitha & Son have Eye Witnessed.
    Namal & mom helped to kill the Muslim Rugger Player.
    Gota bought Hyatt and Apollo with Government money.

    I don’t know much about Dr Amunugama..
    All I know is Dr Amanugama must have whole heartedly agreed d with the above to join the Yahapalana government.

    After forming a Special FCID and paying 3 & 1/2 years of over time, the Cops could find even One Quarter Dollar in Rajapakasa Bank accounts.

    So the inhabitant population the 70% who are the battlers ,now have a clear picture of what is the Truth & What is the Untruth.

    BTW that Anicca Vatha is a bit confusing .
    I have heard it as Anichcha Vatha Sankara when the beloved ones passed on…. May be Yahapalana Sinhala even is different…

    • 5
      0

      KAS, what a creepy creature you are! Either that, or you have got it all ass-backwards.

      Over the past few years Amunugama has proved to be a contemptible switcher of sides – anything that would benefit him and his – nothing to do with morality or for the good of the country. He should give you a good run for your money in being contemptible! ?

    • 3
      1

      Sumanasekara,
      You are providing live, instantaneous evidence to prove Sarath de Alwis is dead right. Most probably you too are singing for supper as the other Sarath.

  • 1
    1

    Sarath De Alwis is promoting Sajit. Be aware.

    He detests Ranil.

  • 3
    0

    Amunugama and his son are in it for the money. Gobs and gobs of money. The intellect is a useful tool to bend into amazing shapes and knots to justify the moment as long as it serves the ultimate objective personal wealth and power. All the hangers on of the Rajapkashe era are after that. The sooner the public understands this the better.

  • 1
    7

    Readers of this rubbish (foolish enough to continue after the first para) need to bear in mind while reading:

    1. This is an angry vitriol of an anti-Buddhist mafia member of the Henry VIII cult who is seeking revenge from all patriots who took part in disposing off their champion (fake Buddhist, committed protestant) PUK Hamu.

    2. These conspirators should be told that their deception will not work this time around, no matter how much they try to pose as intellectuals, and they should consider spending their remaining time lying in the coffin, waiting for the grim ripper’s arrival.

    3. Protestants are wriggling now like cut-snakes, without anywhere to go after this development, and they should seriously consider ‘6 feet under’.

    4. Any bastard trying to tarnish the good name of a man like Dr Sarath Amunugama need to note that he is in the history of Sri Lanka as the person who documented the anti-colonial activities of Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala, and our nation is forever grateful for his work.

    5. ‘De Alwis’ needs to consider changing his ‘paradesi’ name to some thing sounding more Sri Lankan if he needs respect, and change his allegiances from the Henry VIII cult to a true religion if ne needs acceptance.

    * As he stands, he is invalid currency in this country!

    • 5
      1

      Truth hurts isn’t it ?

  • 2
    0

    This is what Lankan politics is about. Leaders of some stature too turns out be self serving and power thirsty. Most of them say things which they dont mean and end up doing things which they never said . Irony is at the end they come back to the public with distorted facts and full of lies to justify their devious thinking. I remember this guy, Vasu and few others started their carrier being on the right side and ended up the way they are now. There is no one person who has walked the talk.

  • 1
    1

    Ananda wants Sarath to change is name to either Ananda or Dharmapala to accept him as Lankan. This is exactly we are discussing here Mr. Ananda. How do you feel if we Lankans request you to do so say from Ananda to Sarath.?????

    • 1
      0

      What a stupid question. Are all you converts to foreign values similarly brain dead?

  • 1
    0

    No Ananda we are still struggling in maintaining our sanity where as you are not because you do not have anymore . By the way what is your Lankan values????? Is there any?????

  • 0
    0

    Sarath, the Yahapalana misadventure that you and your 62 lakh co-passengers undertook has cost this country dearly.
    Hope you’ll not deny that.
    Isn’t it, therefore, is the time to come up with some thing to rectify and recoup at least some of losses rather than being angry at yourself for making such terrible mistakes.

    • 1
      0

      NAK

      “Sarath, the Yahapalana misadventure that you and your 62 lakh co-passengers undertook has cost this country dearly.”

      Imagine, if the 6.2 million hadn’t undertaken that particular route how much more could have cost the people in terms of life, financial cost, ……………… ?

  • 1
    0

    NAK

    “Sarath, the Yahapalana misadventure that you and your 62 lakh co-passengers undertook has cost this country dearly.”

    Imagine, if the 6.2 million hadn’t undertaken that particular route how much more could have cost the people in terms of life, financial cost, ……………… ?

    .What was the costs to this country?

  • 0
    0

    Sarath De Alwis’ writings have an undercurrent that he wants Ranil Wickramasinghe gone. Is he a stooge of Sajith Premadasa? It is Sajith Premadasa who works in hiding to remove Ranil and jump to that position. Ranil is the only and best leader we’ve got now.

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