24 October, 2017

Wherein Lies The Fault?

By R.A. Ratwatte

R.A.Ratwatte

R.A.Ratwatte

One year since the New Government and everyone seems to be whinging and moaning that nothing much has happened, that similar nepotism and a larger degree of ineffectuality prevails. Has anyone stopped to think WHY? Has anyone stopped to think if the fault really lies with the useless people we seem to be voting into office…or somewhere else?

After all who voted these people in and WHY? We voted them based on our values and expectations and the key word here is EXPECTATIONS. Do we (and I am talking of the masses of this Country) ever acknowledge that someone can do a better job than us, or is a better person than us or do we simply vote for someone we can relate to, “ a man of the people” ? What I see is that we go for someone like us, after all the popular ballad that has been in front of our faces for decades says “ Api Okkoma Rajawaru…” we are all kings ! We never admit that someone can do a better job and some of us who do recognize that ability in people proceed to destroy these people very early in their careers ‘less they prosper and bring forth a challenge !

Let me give examples how did Premadasa win, Rajapaksa or Sirisena win? Because they are “of the people”, we all saw what ensued and what is happening now. Bandaranaike showed us just how smart he was by convincing masses that he was one of them, in spite of being an elitist educated in Oxbridge and from an aristocratic family. His rhetoric and posturing was so powerful that his wife got and his progeny continue to get the popular vote. Despite the former being a blue blooded aristocrat and latter being educated in the Sorbonne.

Why is Hirunika being taken apart….surely someone sees a parallel in a girl who has had her father murdered, who is from the “masses” and is able to give a good account of herself in public ? She could go all the way couldn’t she? Surely she must be stopped! I sincerely hope it is not drug money that is behind this as well.

Why is Ranil never able to win on his own? He is elitist, he didn’t get married early like the rest of us, he doesn’t have children…now those are arguments that have been used by detractors haven’t they? Besides he is far too intelligent and doesn’t suffer fools gladly, much to the detriment of some fools who have doctorates and others who are ministers!

It is only after we learn to admit to ourselves and realize that there are people more suited to certain roles than we are due to their upbringing, mannerisms and education that democracy will work in Countries such as ours. Believe it or not, coming from an elitist family, being aware of how the world works and being well versed in the art of diplomacy is an advantage in some circumstances! We should know how to use these people to our benefit and put them to work for us not condemn them for what they are and proceed to elect uneducated scum at worst or simpletons from the boondocks at best to govern our Country and then proceed to moan and groan that nothing is happening.

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    Rajitha

    The report card is not too bad for the first 12 months. Certainly it could have been better.

    It is all relative and honestly much better than MARA regime.

    The real issue is there are no competent people in govt to take forward the vision of RW. We all know that we have a set buffoons as Ministers but if there are competent secretaries and heads of depts and corporations much can be archived. It is a general deterioration over time and you need a complete overhaul to attract better people to govt service. At present anyone who cannot find a job joins the govt and finally they end up as senior officials.

    Look at what has happened to the budget today. Almost all proposals have been reversed and what is remaining are the words “” …. Hon Speaker…..”. A clear indication of the competency of the Ministry of Finance.

    Jagath

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      R.A. Ratwatte

      “Bandaranaike showed us just how smart he was by convincing masses that he was one of them, in spite of being an elitist educated in Oxbridge and from an aristocratic family.”

      Being stupid people bought the empty words behind Pancha Maha Blavegaya, a deceit from which this island never recovered. His Sinhala only language policy further ruined this island. It denied the level playing field for Sinhalese as well as the minorities in the globalising world where English has been the language of business, research, communication, …….

      What was his contribution to Sinhalese, minorities, the country, and the world? A trail of destruction, division, nepotism, riots, ….etc yet you believe he was smart.

      “Why is Ranil never able to win on his own?”

      As you are well aware of the fact that VP won a war and two elections for MR. He was paid a neat sum for his services to democracy by the crook.

      • 3
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        I always thought Veddah’s had a good sense of humor and understood sarcasm ?!!

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          RR

          Thanks

          “I always thought Veddah’s had a good sense of humor and understood sarcasm ?!!”

          I do not blame your thinking process which I think is your prerogative.

          Have you ever made an effort to verify with them?

          By the way, sarcasm doesn’t translate very well in print.

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    Elitists and common man are labels used by the ‘clever’ when it suits them. A true common man never bothers to identify his station in life and neither does a real aristocrat.

    The label users are the frauds and of course there has to be a gullible audience for the trick to work.

    Mr. Ratwatte , any chance your cousins will reimburse the missing money from Entrust investments? Or is that a topic too hot for your plate!

    • 0
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      Upul I am not my Cousins’ keeper !

  • 1
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    Elitist JRJ? total silence on how he ruled with a brutal iron fist.
    Why this selective commentary exonerating your party Appo? JRJ and Ranil in that elitist Royal college 5th Lane Cabal introduced a monster constitution and it wasn’t the Sarong johhnies speaking Sinhalese who were responsible for those seminal genocidal anti tamil 1983 bloody riots. JRJ had people fooled thinking he was Dharmishta. He extended the life of the Parliament 5/6th majority with the most disgraceful referendum in history. When you are part of the privileged elite and an insider you cannot see anything wrong with anything undemocratic, corrupt or evil from your own people; This is what is going on with the Rajapaskes like the people in Pinochet’s camp in Chile or Nazis. When one if one of one political Party ideology you ONLY focus on criticizing the other side even if those are warranted criticisms. No one cared a damn for JR when he died and hardly anyone attended his funeral. He was arrogant and aloof and destroyed constitutional democracy in Sri Lanka. Batalanda? Was that not a product of elitism? none so blind as those cannot see. Very good arguments but very one-sided because it exonerates the UNP crimes and their period of dooshana and beeshana because you were a beneficiary of that period.

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      This reply from YS reminds me of a certain professor I know who has a hatred for Ranil that is only surpassed by his hatred for JR.

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      I don’t think I can ever make sense to someone who believes in the BBS !

  • 2
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    R.A.R.,

    What you write is absolute nonsense. You conclude by saying, “It is only after we learn to admit to ourselves and realize that there are people more suited to certain roles than we are due to their upbringing, mannerisms and education that democracy will work in Countries such as ours.”

    So who are these elite people that you suggest rule over us. JRJ really stuffed up the country. SWRD that you deride also falls into the elitist category also stuffed up the country.

    You really don’t make any sense at all.

    Can you clarify please.

  • 3
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    Native Vedda is perfectly right about the following:
    “Being stupid people bought the empty words behind Pancha Maha Blavegaya, a deceit from which this island never recovered. His Sinhala only language policy further ruined this island. It denied the level playing field for Sinhalese as well as the minorities in the globalising world where English has been the language of business, research, communication, …….

    What was his contribution to Sinhalese, minorities, the country, and the world? A trail of destruction, division, nepotism, riots, ….etc yet you believe he was smart.”

    This myth that Sinhala only was good for “the people” is still believed in by some people. It was a clever attempt on the part of the English speaking elites to eliminate from competition the vast majority whose access to English was through the medium of instruction. With English as the medium of instruction gone, every profitable avenue of employment was handed over on a platter to the small elite whose children spoke English at home. The children of the poor were left with Sinhala only, and even when a tiny minority managed to get into to the universities, their competence was confined to arts subjects that had no employment and advancement value. Besides, with no access to world literature, and any (unlikely) reading confined to the narrow religious literature available in Sinhala, the minds of the Sinhala only generation became narrower and narrower, and sitting ducks to narrow ideologies like Jatika Cintanaya.

    At a broader level it brought back on centre stage the “Sinhala Culture” replete with its murderous culture of politics, nepotism, corruption, abductions and so forth, a culture that has mercifully been inactivated under the democratic and modernist late colonial rule.

  • 0
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    Rajitha:
    Thanks for that interesting analysis. Unlike some of your critics, I know you well enough to discard concerns about purely personal advancement in your lifestyle and opinions.
    That said, I think some attention has probably to be paid to the matter of a true Marxist interpretation of what you’ve described. A few names come to mind on that score, Kumar David, Balasingham Skanthakumar among them. Any takers?!

  • 0
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    RR/ When i am choosing my president, i will look for someone who obviously have some national interest. Some who loves the country and it’s people. I prefer him more than the very efficient, very elite and very diplomatic (your) guy if i feel that he has no real love for his country and the religion he is suppose to protect. In another word, i will hate a guy who will bend backwards to please any one with a white skin. I can already visualize your reply. You will say that i am a commoner or a godaya and it’s people like me who is stopping the country from development it richly deserve. Yet, i will not trust your guy.

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    God Vishnu is there to protect Buddhism…or are you one of these new fangled Buddhist who don’t believe in the Gods ?

    BTW Priyantha WHO IS YOUR CHOICE ?

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    BBS are thugs. You make excellent arguments but a remiss in whitewashing crucial periods in SL’s democratic turbulence; namely the JRJ period of rigged referendums, slamming people in jail, firing union workers(Reaganesque) but please do not take umbrage. A lot of what you are saying comes from the same sort of anger a lot of us feel. JRJ was the man who had the sinhala only march when weak and expedient politician SWRD proposed Federalism and Swabasha. We can argue tenfold but emancipation of the vernacular class Tamil and Sinhala with access to higher education came with that but the short sightedness of it was quite clear in two decades. A lot of those blokes who benefited from it are millionaire doctors in the West now. They would never had been able to go to Medical school from Polonarruwa or APura or Jaffna if not for that. But if we make a case we cannot make sweeping statements exonerating one’s favored whilst excoriating others. SWRD was an expedient politician. JRJ too cunning for his own self. RW has great traits I admire. HONEST and also very intelligent and not being too greedy for power the way he gracefully left Temple Trees in 1994 and then again in 2004 is testimony to that. NO I have absolute contempt for JRJ because we have been victims of his absurdities such as the virulently anti Indian outlook and foolishly looking to join ASEAN a geographic impossibility. The other is 1983 genocidal riots his party engaged in. Sorry if you got bothered by trolling. RW has many sides and many fear the previous incarnation. But right now MS-RW is the best and possibly ONLY option for SL to get out of a morass as you correctly say, I repeat correctly say “whose fault is it?”. BBS represent the worse of fascism. However sadly if there is freedom of speech as there is for you and I to write for without fear to CT, there are trade offs. As Voltaire said “I may not agree with what you say, but I defend to my death your RIGHT to say it”. Just examine different periods from the absurdities of socialist food queues and rations to iniquitous land reform policies to nationalization and thereby ruin of tea estates etc are really good arguments but so is Batalanda period of massive disappearances and not just the elite like Richard De Zoysa who was mentioned once. Many students disappeared. Let me reiterate, out of fear and concern the Internet allows a bit of anonymity but what you say is mostly correct albeit a bit selective but I enjoy reading them. Not sure where you think any many mention of BBS is made by anyone. They are absurd theatrical clowns and sexually repressed goons.

  • 0
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    Just look at most of the comments ! Everyone has assumed that because of my sir name I am a supporter of the Bandaranaike’s and a co conspirator of every Ratwatte who has ever done any “wrong”.

    This is a clear reflection of what has given rise to the very nepotism you ‘ll condemn. I should have put my comment on Banda in inverted commas but if anyone with a modicum of a sense of humor,cared to read the entire paragraph they may have got at the sarcasm….

    SO I am “branded” as a “bad” Ratwatte and a supporter of the Bandaranaike’s and above all else an advocate of “Sinhala Only” ! OMG !

    This is what drives people to flock to the powerful people in their clans for if they do not support the notorious and the famous, not only do they get ex communicated by their families, the general populace goes for them as well !

    It is our society , all the way from the grass roots to the so called intellectuals who have to change their way of thinking and the ONLY thing this Yahapalanaya can achieve if at all, is to teach the people to be more broad minded and judge a “elitist” by his behavior and nothing else.

    After all is that not what the Lord Buddha said ?

  • 0
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    Sorry it is a really unkind mean thing for anyone to brand anyone like that. Indeed. You are right and I wholeheartedly support that.

    People get what they deserve even in the USA. I watched the entire comedy of the Republican debate last night. Gosh Mr. Ratwatte, we have a bunch of assholic clowns and racists here in far greater numbers than in our motherland.

    They want war with Iran; they want to hate immigrants and there is a lot of fear mongering. I am sorry about nasty attacks on you simply for the “curse” of having a surname. That is mean and nasty because all who know and appreciate you know you dont give a damn about who is who and you have written stuff I really enjoy reading. That sort of attack comes from people with inferiority complexes.
    It is so true. Same sort of people who could not stand Obama becoming president.

    Buddha said the following. Najjaa wasalohothi, Najjaaa hothi Brahmano; Kammana wasalohotih; kammana hothi brahmano.

    I will always remember the life lessons from the Dammapada thankfully to my amazing religion teacher at Royal; Mrs. Liyanage. Do you know Cuz, that once she blasted me in 10th grade and said “I say Ratwatte, thamusey katawagannawa, thamusela deyshapaalana waasiyata aagama maarukarapu ewung”.

    I was flabbergasted. I was being a loud dick in 10ABC with my friends and that is why she got angry. So a friend of mine, PP Anura from Kollupitiya watte(a slum town and a wonderful loyal friend) immediately came to my defense saying “Miss oya Bandaranaikelagey wada walata meyaata baninna epa”. Never shared this in a public forum but it was an attack on the hapless Ratwattes or Hotgardens as S.Leader labeled everyone because the common belief in the UNP circles was that SWRD changed his religion for political purposes. The jury maybe out on that still who knows and who cares? That was long before our time right? When does a name become a sin? who knows? But that is the beast.

    Keep writing even if we can disagree and then perhaps have a laugh over a pint of Carlsberg at CR&FC.

    People get the leaders they deserve no matter what and the feudal or semi feudal structure will not break. No matter who wins, people want favors and want this or that and if you do not oblige you lose the next election. Same in a different larger scale in the US. Here it is all about bringing home the Pork (hence pork barrel politics) to their constituents and district. Very few do not do that. So they swindle public money with all sorts of bullshit projects.

    Sorry If I ranted.

    “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
    ― Carl Sagan

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      Thank you MR, I know where your passion comes from !

      Rest assured that the trouble you took to write this reply will keep people like me going, in our often futile efforts to effect CHANGE !

      I also had the privilege of being taught by Mrs Liyanage and her second son the notorious Ghadda, is a good friend of mine.

      I look forward to that beer.

  • 0
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    Is it ever possible for us to leave religion out of political policy discussions? The Buddha, Christ, Muhammed and all other deities have had nothing to do with the prevailing circumstances in Sri Lanka.

    On the other hand their teachings have been hijacked by the most crass, un-educated, good for nothings, to justify their thoughts.

    Just like a parent tells their child, ” what will people think of us” to give the child a sense of guilt, gullible Buddhists are being drawn into a thought process over language, faith and lifestyles, which some are not even using.

    Sinhala only was a disaster when it was implemented. OK. We get that! What the hell as successive governments done ever since except solidify the status quo?

    And, what has been the response of the country itself? More unregulated International schools in every junction. How well can Sinhala educated ‘Engish’ teachers teach children of English non-speaking households. When you listen to anyone from the sub-continent above us speak, you know they never learnt how to pronounce in the English language. The same fate awaits our current school going generation.

    This generation is going to be making every one else a scape-goat when the shortcomings in their “international” school education make them ill-equipped to handle the global standards. A cross-section of CT commenters are their parents, already feeling the deprivation and are desperate for a standard bearer, who will protect them and persecute the oppressors. Mirrors must be in short supply.

    What has happened cannot be changed. We can only change what WILL happen, IF we can make something different happen NOW.

    As always, the well-connected and well-established can sit back in their heated homes in more salubrious climes, and pontificate how the rest of us should manage affairs. If the sun shines on their corner, milk it to the max; if it rains, use someone’s umbrella to keep dry and act like you are doing them a favor by using their umbrella, and if all hell breaks loose, blame the others..

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      Indeed Upul, since you are referring to me as “well connected ” I can sit back not even bother to look in the direction of where you profess to live.

      However I choose to write and try to make difference and COP ABUSE FROM THE LIKES OF YOU, why ? That must be some umbrella..blown inside out by the wind.

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