3 October, 2023


We The Donkeys Or We The People?

By Hemantha Jayawardena

Hemantha Jayawardena

Hemantha Jayawardena

As someone who detested the former regime and voted for a change on 8th January, my critical thoughts on the current regime, a month after the historic election.

Summary: some steps in the right direction (I refuse to say “genuine”, which is almost polar opposite to “politician”), BUT performance in general is inconsistent and not to my (very high!) expectations. I also sense that the people & civil society organizations have gone to sleep (again!) – we the people MUST demand our whole pound of flesh on good governance, justice to all & transparency as promised by the current regime, on the dates promised. If we the people go to sleep, there is every possibility that this regime will be no better than the former – if that happens, I would start using the phrase “we the donkeys” instead of “we the people” in the future!

Some specific things that I am disappointed about the current regime:

  1. I am against the “election budget” that had a number of “election gundus”. Yes, I too benefit from price reductions, but as in the past, current regime can use these to hoodwink the people (donkeys?) to win the general election in 2 to 3 months. I hear some people (donkeys?) say “They have to win the next election, and without giving goodies, they can’t. People (donkeys?) expect it!”. Hopefully what “we the people” voted for a month ago was a significant improvement in the democratic institutions in the country and not handouts. If the majority thinks otherwise, I threaten to use the “donkey” word!
  2. MaithriWhere is the code of conduct for politicians? 22nd Jan is long past, despite a Minister (who I think has verbal diarrhea) saying that it is ready and no one would want to run for office when the regime presents its code of conduct for politicians.
  3. I heard the premier saying something like “good things are being done even though late” in parliament – not good enough! Live up to what you promised on the dates you promised, unless you also think we are a nation of donkeys!
  4. Different individuals / parties in the current regime are acting for their own political agendas. Yes, it is a coalition of different hues, but that is no excuse! People (not donkeys!) voted for significant improvements in good governance within a time period, and nothing short of that is acceptable, different hues of the coalition notwithstanding.
  5. Disappointed about some of the appointments to high posts in government – NO to relatives / cronies / those who have a track record of singing hosannas to the rulers for personal benefit! And why are some real nut-heads from the past regime still in office? I must admit that there were good appointments too, but even one bad one is one too many. Like I said before, I had very high expectations from the present regime.
  6. Retrospective laws to punish individuals are an absolute NO-NO even if they are meant to correct a past injustice. Yes, I am referring to “Mansion Tax” & “Hybrid Tax” – no, I don’t have a “mansion” or a “hybrid on order”. I object because it sets an extremely dangerous precedent and contrary to natural justice.
  7. Too many “media shows” on wrongs of the former regime – yes, the guilty should be punished but I feel that these are/can be/ will be used to cover up the shortcomings on the current regime. File charges in court and let the law prevail – no need to hang anyone in the media (or “white vanned”).

In the interest of brevity, I would not elaborate on the good things so far by the current regime – I take those for granted as every citizen (not donkeys!) should.

To the current regime – if you do not live up to your promises on significant improvements in institutionalizing true democracy in Sri Lanka within the time frame you promised, you will be chased out too by the people soon – if not, you can thank the donkeys!

To the people – don’t force me to call you donkeys! Stay awake! Hold the current regime against the wall to deliver its promises on good governance.

To conclude and just to be absolutely clear, I do NOT wish to revert back to the former regime! For me, they were a terrorist group (just like the LTTE that they took all credit in defeating in a “humanitarian war”). The difference is that the former regime had official sanction (as a government elected by “we the donkeys”) while the LTTE did not. Never again to that regime! Never again to a similar regime!

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  • 4

    Hemantha Jayawardena –

    RE: We The Donkeys Or We The People?

    “As someone who detested the former regime and voted for a change on 8th January, my critical thoughts on the current regime, a month after the historic election”

    My guess is that thee are fewer Donkeys and Muuutals (மூடல்ஸ்) in 2015 than in 2010.Hopefully, evolution will work to Sri Lanka’s Advantage.

    Do the IQ Test. Here is some guidance. Test the IQ of the Donkeys and We the People.

    Given below are some data from previous studies.


    National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

    The intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

    28 Guatemala 79
    28 Sri Lanka 79

    • 2

      Being a person lived in a number of countries, I could see the IQ rankings are just foolish. Some so called “scientists” cook such results with questionable statistical methods.

      • 3


        “Being a person lived in a number of countries, I could see the IQ rankings are just foolish..”

        Actual field data is more dependable than theories.



        Notice how GDP is positively correlated to average IQ. The correlation coefficient is 0.733, IQ explaining 54 percent of the GDP variance. Values this large are rare in social science.
        Forgive me if I seem patronizing, Estraneo, but a correlation coefficient (correlation for short) is a quantity that reflects the strength of association between two variables. Its values range from -1 to 1. If variables are independent of one another, their correlation is zero. If they are perfectly correlated their correlation is 1 or -1. Positive coefficients mean that one variable gets larger when the other gets larger, and negative correlation the opposite. The fraction of the variance explained by the independent variable is simply the square of the correlation coefficient. The regression line is the line that best fits the data.

        Data of Lynn and Vanhanen
        Country Avg
        IQ real GDP
        per cap
        (1998) Regression
        Hong Kong 107 20,763 19,817
        South Korea 106 13,478 19,298
        Japan 105 23,257 18,779
        Taiwan 104 13,000 18,260
        Singapore 103 24,210 17,740
        Italy 102 20,585 17,221
        Austria 102 23,166 17,221
        Germany 102 22,169 17,221
        Netherlands 102 22,176 17,221
        Sweden 101 20,659 16,702
        Switzerland 101 25,512 16,702
        Belgium 100 23,223 16,183
        China 100 3,105 16,183
        New Zealand 100 17,288 16,183
        U Kingdom 100 20,336 16,183
        Hungary 99 10,232 15,664
        Poland 99 7,619 15,664
        France 98 21,175 15,145
        Australia 98 22,452 15,145
        Denmark 98 24,218 15,145
        Norway 98 26,342 15,145
        United States 98 29,605 15,145
        Canada 97 23,582 14,626
        Czech Republic 97 12,362 14,626
        Finland 97 20,847 14,626
        Spain 97 16,212 14,626
        Uruguay 96 8,623 14,107
        Argentina 96 12,013 14,107
        Russia 96 6,460 14,107
        Slovakia 96 9,699 14,107
        Portugal 95 14,701 13,589
        Slovenia 95 14,293 13,588
        Israel 94 17,301 13,069
        Romania 94 5,648 13,069
        Bulgaria 93 4,809 12,550
        Ireland 93 21,482 12,550
        Greece 92 13,943 12,031
        Malaysia 92 8,137 12,031
        Thailand 91 5,456 11,512
        Peru 90 4,282 10,993
        Croatia 90 6,749 10,993
        Turkey 90 6,422 10,993
        Colombia 89 6,006 10,474
        Indonesia 89 2,651 10,474
        Suriname 89 5,161 10,474
        Brazil 87 6,625 9,436
        Iraq 87 3,197 9,436
        Mexico 87 7,704 9,436
        Western Samoa 87 3,832 9,436
        Tonga 87 3,000 9,436
        Lebanon 86 4,326 8,917
        Philippines 86 3,555 8,917
        Cuba 85 3,967 8,398
        Morocco 85 3,305 8,398
        Iran 84 5,121 7,879
        Fiji 84 4,231 7,879
        Marshall Islands 84 3,000 7,879
        Puerto Rico 84 8,000 7,879
        Egypt 83 3,041 7,360
        India 81 2,077 6,322
        Ecuador 80 3,003 5,803
        Guatemala 79 3,505 5,284
        Barbados 78 12,001 4,765
        Nepal 78 1,157 4,765
        Qatar 78 20,987 4,765
        Zambia 77 719 4,246
        Congo 73 995 2,170
        Uganda 73 1,074 2,170
        Sudan 72 1,394 1,651
        Jamaica 72 3,389 1,651
        Kenya 72 980 1,651
        South Africa 72 8,488 1,651
        Tanzania 72 480 1,651
        Ghana 71 1,735 1,132
        Nigeria 67 795 -944
        Zimbabwe 66 2,669 -1,463
        Guinea 66 1,782 -1,463
        Congo 65 822 -1,982
        Sierra Leone 64 458 -2,501
        Ethiopia 63 574 -3,020
        Equatorial Guinea 59 1,817 -5,096

  • 11


    I am irked by your comparison of humans, especially the Sri Lankan humans to donkeys.

    We humans get easily carried away by sweet talk. Donkeys are steadfast and cannot be swayed.

    We humans promise one thing and do another. Donkeys are reliable and stick to their job.

    We humans are liars through and through and donkeys never deviate from what they are.

    Donkeys are steadfast and stand their ground in nobility while we humans especially the Sri Lankan humans immerse ourselves in the ‘wakutu veyang’ culture, worshipping anything and everything in a white arya-sinhala suit or charlatans dressed in saffron robes.

    Ah the list goes on. I am sure you get the point.

    So you know why I get irked when comparing human beings to the noble donkey or vice versa.

  • 0


    Writers write and commenters comment; but do readers read? Do the powers that be ever note? Have certain arms of the govt. designated a few officers to make a synopsis of important criticism and suggestions and to submit to those who decide?

    Absolutely doubtful. Except to entertain, fora and media are as bad as dysfunctional or being non existent.

  • 3

    We are the DONKEYS, and will be proven again and again.

    It is more than thirty (30) damn days, and we, even the “DONKEYS” can see where we are going.

    When MR comes back to power with the help of crooks still in power, and the with the absolute inaction of those brought to power by us DONKEYS, it is going to be the end of SRI Lanka.

    We the damn “DONKEYS” have forgotten the golden sinhala proverb “SINHALAYA MODAYA, KAVUN KANDA YODAYA”.

    Get fooled by these politicians of all shades.

  • 10

    A good write up.

    No doubt the new govt is running late.

    Let’s give them a few weeks and hopeful that they will deliver on most of them.

    I agree that the interim budget is an lectins budget. unfortunately the majority of voters are economically illiterate and and cannot understand the big picture such as the impact on subsidies and the impact of debt and hence such give always are required to get elected.

    We are a nation who believed that building highways and ports and airports is development. Don’t forget that.

  • 1

    I think Hemantha you are confusing us. We the donkeys both Tamil and Sinhalese like and support our own donkeys VelluPilai and Percey. The we wonder what these donkeys are doing to us ?

    Bless the burgers – they buggered in time. They are the only non-donkey Sri Lankans.

  • 2

    “We The Donkeys Or We The People?”
    Good question.
    The Answer?
    Silly Lankans get taken for a good ride by their politicians.Keep voting, all you Somapalas.

  • 0

    There are donkeys and there are people too. If you want to govern you have to feed the donkeys as well, and remember that the donkeys are in the majority.

  • 0

    We have to note that the “current regime” mostly consists of a leadership we the people outrightly rejected. So a “regime” therefore seems to be not about individuals. So sometime in the future we the people may vote in a “new regime” consisting of old individuals not part of the current regime. Remember what’s promised is “good governance” (yahapalanayak) not a “progressive vision” (pragathisheeli darshanayak). While good managers can be found in abundance and can be created Powerful Visionaries have to be born and a rare breed!

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