22 April, 2024

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Why The Shock Over IMF’s Diagnostic Report? 

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

IMF’s 128 pages diagnostic document released after auditing Sri Lanka’s economic performance over the last 12 months since receiving the first tranche of IMF’s $2.9 billion EFF has been received with shock and awe by different segments of local political groups and intelligentsia.  But to those who had been studying closely the history of political economy and governance of this country since independence the only novelty about the report seems to be that it comprehensively lists in technical language the ills of the country’s system of governance with an underlying warning that if those ills are not attended to with urgency and removed within a certain time frame IMF’s continued assistance and economic recovery would be thrown into jeopardy.  Therefore, the task that lies before the nation is nothing more or less than a wholesale and paradigmatic change of the prevailing socio-economic structure and its political culture. To call such a change revolution may be unfashionable these days, but is there a better terminology than that to describe the scale and nature of the change needed? 

After listing those ills, which had created a poly-crisis of which economic bankruptcy is the most prominent, the report has this to say about those ills: “These weaknesses and vulnerabilities highlight several broader governance themes that need to be addressed for planned reforms to be sustained.  Problematic structural issues that shape governance dynamics include the compromised independence of key government institutions, critical gaps in the legal and regulatory infrastructure for managing and overseeing public resources, limited fiscal discipline and transparency, and a disorganized regulatory and legislative process that provides for insufficient review and engagement”.  All this could be summarized in one word: CORRUPTION. It was the endemic corruption that sapped the vitality of state institutions, it was corruption that bankrupted the economy and sunk it in an ocean of debt, and it was corruption that allowed more than $50 billion according to one minister to fly away from the country.  (That minister is now suggesting to grant amnesty for a limited period to encourage dollar hoarders to bring that wealth back to the country. That tactic was tried even before during Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s presidency without success when his handpicked CBSL Governor Prof. W. D. Lakshman encouraged money laundering to attract hoarded dollars to be brought back with no questions asked).  

But there is one important factor which the report misses to emphasize, and that is the ideological foundation and the architectural shape of the country’s system of governance. The entire state machinery that exists today and the human power that operates that machinery are driven by the ethnoreligious ideology of Sinhala Buddhist supremacy. From the time when political Buddhism emerged as an unchallengeable force in the 1950s it enabled its supporters to highjack all institutions of democracy and make them subservient to the hegemonic ideals of political Buddhism. That ideology provided social licensing without accountability for those in power and positions of prestige to exploit the state apparatus and resources to whatever purpose/s those powerholders deemed fit and necessary. Even the institution of judiciary was subverted to fulfil that objective. Constitutions were made, unmade and remade to entrench the hegemony and power of political Buddhism. The ultimate objective of that ideology is to convert the heterogenous polity of Sri Lanka into a homogenous one and that exercise was couch under neutral objective called national development. Without building a unified nation to start with and describe the growing inter communal dissension and disparity as national development is contradiction in terms. And if any crisis manifested in the course of realizing that hegemonic objective the nation’s minority communities became the scapegoats.  What the country witnesses today is the end product of a systematic and systemic misrule. In that perspective, Sri Lanka’s post-independence history has been one of internal decay with occasional external glitter. Thus, IMF’s findings are nothing to get shocked. It was a technically couched presentation of what is already known to the public.  

There is no more evidence necessary to demonstrate the prevailing hopelessness and despair that is engulfing the country than the unstoppable exodus of its professionals, academics, experts and the entrepreneurial.  It was more the push from inside than pull from outside that had set the pace of this brain drain. In terms of textbook economics that outflow is said to continue until the marginal revenue equals the marginal cost of emigrating.This exodus of the able and talented, if anything, is a public vote of no confidence on President Wickremesinghe’s braggadocio about transforming Sri Lanka into an outward looking high-tech export economy miracle.  

Even in terms of economic achievement the IMF auditing team has its reservations. Apart from the usual plaudits about the regime’s determination and commitment to IMF’s agenda, its mission chief Peter Breuer was concerned about an expected revenue fall of 15% by this year’s end. What this means is that either the tax rates should be raised or tax collection has to become robust or both. Tax collection is a perennial problem not because of tax minimization which is legitimate but because of illegitimate tax evasion unchecked by official tax collectors. IMF wants public revenue be raised to 12% by the end of 2024 from its abysmal 8.8% in 2022.  But officials from the Finance Ministry and CBSL had met the Minister of Finance who is none other than President RW and told him in no uncertain terms that the people cannot be taxed anymore and that there are other reasons why revenue had fallen. They failed to elaborate however, what those other reasons are. In that context, the 2023-24 budget is going to be a challenging one and it would decide the fate of IMF’s second tranche. But fall in public revenue is only one of a myriad of problems confronting the nation.  CBSL’s limited achievement in creating an atmosphere of monetary stability with low inflation and foreign currency accumulation through remittances and tourism is only temporary until the whole economy is open to free market forces.  To be more precise, the solution to the economic crisis has to include reforms outside the economic arena. It is in that sense the IMF diagnostic report reflects the need of the hour.      

The question that faces the nation now is who or which political group is going to undertake this massive task. Without change in the system the economic recovery agenda as scheduled by IMF is not going to achieve its objective.  As a matter of fact, none of the existing political parties except NPP has taken the challenge seriously.  Because, none one of them is prepared to confront the advocates who hold the foundational ideology sacrosanct.  There is no more evidence necessary to prove this cowardice than the unholy silence of all political leaders to express their disgust and condemn openly the growing communal tumult in the north and east of the country spearheaded by demagogues of political Buddhism.  With the economy demanding united action, commitment and sacrifice at a national level this tumult is leading the country towards another communal showdown. In the meantime, RW who carries the credit for getting the IMF involved in repairing the economy, is now finding politically incapacitated to implement the reforms required by the report, because those reforms would put him also on the dock. Hence, would he exploit the growing tumult to cancel all elections and continue to remain in power while promising to fine tune the current system to satisfy IMF? There need to be continued resistance from the masses against such manipulation. That resistance has to be sustained until those reforms are undertaken and implemented by whoever holds the reins of power.  Unfortunately, the poplar mindset of Sri Lankan voters is not tuned to such a prolonged struggle.  Changing pillows alone is not enough to cure the headache. Therefore, the rot is set to continue.     

*Dr. Ameer Ali, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University, W. Australia       

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Latest comments

  • 25
    0

    Ali has hit the nail on its head. It is not just economic statistics that drives the malaise in our country.For seventy five years, successive tyrants have practised the politics of hatred. They outdid each other in their fervour for Sinhala Buddhism, keeping minorities out of power through violence and keeping their own people in ignorance through Sinhala Only education (while their own children went abroad). The “Maha” Sangha colluded in this and continues to support the crooks as the recent visit of Mahinda R to the Mahanayake shows. All you have to do after murder and mayhem is to go with a tray of fruits to the Mahanayake and there is redemption. Until we move out of such a state of affairs, we cannot think of progress. The IMF’s couple of billions will not help to feed our children. We have to end corruption and get the loot back from foreign countries. We have to ensure that the crooks don’t come back to power

    • 18
      1

      For 30 long years, Sri Lanka has had only one major problem that has caused most/all of its ills: Ranil.

      If he has not made it abundantly clear to people by now ……. what more has he got to do?

      Wait till 2000000048 ……….. for the penny to drop?

      From 1994 ……. him, systematically neutering the opposition/UNP …… started the rot …….

      Some SLFP-side of pols have been ministers ……. all their lives!

      There was/is no effective opposition ……… one major reason for corruption to get so entrenched …….

      Finally Ranil has found his true home among the crooks ……. Now, he is in his element!

  • 22
    1

    Yes, Dr. Ameer Ali has hit the nail right on the Head.
    Not Corruption but Racism, – the ethnoreligious ideology of Sinhala Buddhist supremacy, that is at the root of our ‘ills’. Economy included.

    • 0
      13

      Mr Nathan, let us try to save minorities living among the ethnoreligious Sinhala Buddhists.
      Any idea how we can do that?

      Soma

      • 12
        0

        soma

        “Mr Nathan, let us try to save minorities living among the ethnoreligious Sinhala Buddhists. Any idea how we can do that?”

        Please forget the minorities for a moment start thinking about saving the Sinhala/Buddhists from themselves, saffronistas, crooks, police and armed forces, ….

        Next time around when the going get tough do you think your cousins in Tamilnadu would feed you again? In addition to Sinhala/Buddhists, saffronistas, crooks, police and armed forces, …. consider the climate change, freak weather, drought, tsunami, rise of food, and oil prices, …. …

        Start worrying about the above factors, leave the minorities they will find their own devices,… I am worried about you and your extended family. Take care.

      • 12
        0

        soma

        Are you ready to receive Hindians by plane loads and ship loads through the north and east? Now that ferry services are being introduced to KKS and Mannar and flights to Palaly, and the proposed bridge between Rameshwaram to Mannar, petroleum and electricity pipelines from South India, …


        Where is Surgeon General Shavendra?
        It is strange many patriots are keeping themselves to themselves why?

      • 7
        0

        Mr Soma, are you forecasting that history will repeat itself?… i.e., Black July of 1983, Anti-Tamil riots of August 1977 (Anuradhapura), to name a few historical anti-Tamil violence courtesy of you know who.

        Upon Black July, I recall thousands fleeing their southern residences and finding safety in the North; many of those folks stayed on for a while before ever returning or leaving the country.

      • 1
        0

        Soma, Address me, ‘Nathan’, should you wish for a response, please.

        • 6
          6

          Hon.Nathan
          You called me odd, wierd, senile and all other words in your online synonyms book telling me that you are a suprior human.
          Please allow me to address you ‘Your honour’ to placate your swollen head.

          Soma

      • 2
        10

        S
        “Any idea how we can do that?”
        Who are we to do anything for a people who are not under our influence?
        People make mistakes, learn from them and the process goes on. Eventually something clicks.
        One can only inform people of options and their implications.
        But one cannot decide for them.

        • 0
          10

          SJ
          That is why we should allow them to decide for themselves and proposed a referendum among the Tamil speaking people.
          Everyone here wants upper caste political class in Jaffa wants to decide for them.
          Sad.

          Soma

          • 0
            10

            S
            I think that you are overplaying the caste card a little too much in this matter.
            Caste issues are there at another level and they are addressed politically by the left in Jaffna. (One instance was the maintenance of a Hindu crematorium in the middle of a settlement. The people fought and have won the battle, but the upper castes are trying their best with the courts to reverse reality.)
            *
            National oppression knows no gender, caste or religious difference.

          • 10
            0

            soma

            “That is why we should allow them to decide for themselves and proposed a referendum among the Tamil speaking people.”

            1. LTTE diaspora has been demanding for a referendum on North East unsettled matters.
            2. What exactly is your Referendum question?
            3. A body of Veddahs to be called the Voice of Veddahs, may make representations to the Parliament, on matters relating to Veddahs, to be approved in a referendum, with certain Veto powers. Will you prepare to this question in your referendum?

            • 0
              12

              NV
              1. Kindly let the readers know their referendom question.
              .
              2. Simple:.
              “Do you agree for a seperate unit for Tamil speaking people in the North East and relocate yourself accordingly?”
              .
              3. I agree to whatever veddah people desire.

              Soma

              • 0
                0

                So far there are zero thumb ups and 11 thumb downs while Native Veddah remains silent showing that if a referendum is held Tamils will say NO. . Never I felt so happy.
                I was planning to actively campaign among the Tamil speaking people in Sinhala majority provinces pleading them to say NO and continue to live among us.

                Soma

  • 2
    0

    Why The Shock Over IMF’s Diagnostic Report?

    The planned reforms to be sustained is lacking in the prescription presented to IMF Operation Objective to improve transparency and operational processes governing monetary and financial policies. Expect guidelines from IMF.

  • 14
    16

    “Why The Shock Over IMF’s Diagnostic Report?”
    .

    1) How anyone can take the IMF seriously beats me. This question alone by the author indicates how out of tune he and most people in this country are on the ground reality of corruption in this country.
    .

    2) Despite the IMF being created to promote “global macroeconomic and financial stability”, it was unable to even anticipate the magnitude of the 2008 global financial crisis. Even its response to the crisis was uninspiring.
    .

    3) It is not surprising that the IMF has overlooked some of the KEY drivers of CORRUPTION in Sri Lanka. This includes:
    .

    i) Nexus between the private sector and politicians

    ii) Corruption in regulatory bodies overseeing professionals – particularly CA Sri Lanka (Auditors/Accountants) and BASL (Lawyers)

    iii) Will the IMF tell us where on earth other in Sri Lanka will the Chairman of the leading business chamber be the head of a leading audit firm? Duminda Hulangamuwa who is the
    Managing Partner of Ernst & Young in Sri Lanka is also the Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce! How can an auditor be INDEPENDENT when coalescing with business chambers? Why is this not a problem to anyone?
    .

    4) While fighting tooth and nail for media freedom, it is necessary to bring media regulation under the aegis of a truly independent ‘Constitutional Council’.
    Amrit Muttukumaru

  • 22
    2

    Dr.Ameer Ali has clearly expanded on the Diagnostic report of the IMF.
    It would be easier for President Ranil.W. win the Wimbledon Title next June, rather than implement the necessary changes as pointed out by the IMF. Political Buddhism is entrenched. There is no way for a new beginning.
    Changing Pillows alone is not enough to cure the headache. The bed,bedsheets and the whole works need to be changed.
    Aragalaya is the way forward………..

    • 4
      14

      “Changing Pillows alone is not enough to cure the headache. The bed,bedsheets and the whole works need to be changed.”
      Interesting proposal to cure a headache!

  • 15
    0

    SL citizens welcome the IMF Diagnostic report and hope the GoSL will act on it.
    The Government should encourage and support those who genuinely wants to see a plural society in a united country where the law will apprehend the crooked and not allow any of them to enter the parliament.
    GoSL should GIVE prominence to the Buddhist CLERGY who promote harmony and peace. The other unruly ones needs to be de robed.
    The Judicial/ defence appointments should NOT be influenced by the politicians.
    There had been State organised criminal activities over several decades and which resulted in armed conflicts that brought our economy DOWN.

    • 3
      13

      One cannot be selective in giving prominence to clergy.
      For every sane clergyman there are tens or more of insane ones.
      Let us leave them alone.
      Let them not abuse their position as preachers of ethical values and humane practices.

  • 17
    0

    Dr. Ali says :”As a matter of fact, none of the existing political parties except NPP has taken the challenge seriously. “. But again , he says: :
    “There is no more evidence necessary to prove this cowardice than the unholy silence of all political leaders to express their disgust and condemn openly the growing communal tumult in the north and east of the country spearheaded by demagogues of political Buddhism.”
    Has anyone seen the JVP “expressing disgust with political Buddhism “? On the other hand, it has its own Bhikku peramuna, and its leaders are seen getting blessins from the foul mouthed likes of Gnanasara.

    • 10
      0

      Dear OC,
      .
      “Has anyone seen the JVP “expressing disgust with political Buddhism “?”.
      .
      Entire world became clear that SENIOR CANDIDATE (Lalkantha) of JVP (NPP) got tied a ” pirith chanted thread” around his “somewhere” by being close to that the most despicable man in robes (Ghansara aka Gandasara) lately. However, JVPrs worked diehard to cover this abusive rendevous of LK.

      Cyber army soldiers of the 89-92 rebel group made every effort to justify the incident and however that was dodged again as they are not trained to respond to such questions in public.
      Even our most sacred/scared NPP Parrot (by name Panini Edirisinhe without “g” in his surname) did not have the audacity to take it serious and paid the blind eye as usual.
      :
      With this being the reality about hidden ties with Sinhala Buddhist Monks, Dr Ali to get misled is just normal I would say.. This so called academic has never come with any positive thoughts about how lanken experts in ECONOMICS have to do, even if he became dahling writer of OUR BANDARAWELA sychophant. Anyway, for PANINI to become close first prerequisite is anyone that bashes RANIL and in the same time loves NPP or JVP.

    • 14
      1

      OC: Yes, that “Jathika Bikku Peramuna” is affiliated to JVP.

      I too had doubts about this “Bikku” affiliation with JVP. But as I have explained in another comment on this page, my doubts were cleared when I heard AKD in a key-note address to this “JBP” (a seminar attended by nearly 1000 Bikkus) said: ” A Government of NPP will not mix religion in Governance and no special treatment to any religion”. He went on to explain this “Policy” in detail and I do not take space to write it here.

      As far as “Gnanasara” matters. Did you listen to this “Thug’s” media show held six days back? The headline was ” Gnanasara JVP Pathuru Gahai” (Gnanasara stipped JVP) The link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BR0yezqGZfo

      I don’t know if this video is still available. However, he directed a scathing attack on JVP producing a recorded speech of Bimal Rathnayak. For your info. this “Thug” Gnanasara has no connection whatsoever with JBP. I have checked this fact and it is true.

      • 8
        1

        Douglas,
        “A Government of NPP will not mix religion in Governance and no special treatment to any religion”. He went on to explain this “Policy” in detail and I do not take space to write it here.”
        Politicians should be judged on what they do, not what they say. Did the JVP say anything about the Dr. Shafi affair? Did it say anything about comedians being locked up?
        As far as I can see, the JVP, like any other Sinhala party, is not keen to annoy the Buddhist clergy.

        • 9
          0

          old codger

          Did JVP/NPP say anything about lot of things, recently
          land grab in the north east especially by saffron clad thugs?
          when Gagendran Ponnampalam was illegally arrested under Tiran’s law?
          when police did not arrest the saffron paedophile, young girl and her mother under the same Tiran’s Law?
          when a Tamil MP was attacked by thugs in Trincomalee under the same Tiran’s law?
          ….
          ….
          ….

        • 5
          0

          OC: Thanks. Didn’t you notice that the statement made by AKD at the JBP, if needed would have annoyed the Buddhist clergy? I saw them approving it and so far no other Buddhist Institution has gone against it with the exception of Gnanasara’s Bodubala Sena.

          I agree that politicians should be judged on what they do. Have we tried that experiment with NPP? No. We have tried all others for more than decades and what they have done to ruin this country. Why not try the NPP we have not tried?

          You have missed or volunteered to miss what NPP said about Dr. Shafi at the last election time. They told the people in simple language not to believe the type of falsehoods spread by the Media (Divayina); Rathana, Dr.(?) Channa Jayasumana and Wimal Weerawanse. Unfortunately, it was too late for the people to realize the TRUTH of what NPP said. For your information, they told the people of the “Nagaya” that came from the waters of the Keleni River. Again it was too late for the people to know the truth. But not this time. It would be different.

          • 2
            0

            Douglas,
            I am sorry if I missed something that the JVP said about Dr. Shafie. But can you point me to a video or news item?

            • 1
              0

              Douglas is more advanced compared to our self-proclaimed GURU from B Wella, nevertheless he failed to provide us with an explanation yet on “greater difference between NPP/JVP INTERLLECTUALS AND VIYATHAMAGA SET”.
              .
              Let s hope the good man or someone else would focus on this 🤔crucial and long awaiting question.
              .
              As added somewhere else, Sinhala man 👨will abuse our time and write something more about his family tree, instead. Commenters seem to be not taking things serious yet today. Alas srilanken affairs 😉😉😉😉😉😉😉
              .

            • 3
              0

              DEAR Douglas,
              .
              May I ask u to respond to the questions OC raised lately somewhere else please. .?
              .
              **************************************************************************************
              Douglas,
              Would you care to explain what this bond scam was?
              1 Who lost money?
              2 How much did they lose?
              3 Who made a profit?
              4 How did they make a profit?
              5 Is it a crime to make a profit?
              Maybe you can answer these questions which nobody so far has answered?
              ******************************************************************************
              .
              THANK U😉😉😉😉😉

              • 3
                0

                OC: Sorry. I am unable to provide the links you have asked me. But that does not mean what I said about Dr. Shafie is false.

                I was at two meetings, one in Weligama and the other in Matara. At both those meetings Sunil Handunetti talked extensively about this Dr. Shafie affair and I thought it would have been to show his solidarity with the Muslim voters. These two places are inhabited by a large number of Muslim voters. After two days of those meetings, the Bodubalasena had a meeting and lashed at Sunil H and portrayed him (Suni H) a “Traitor”.

                After those meetings of “BBS”, I knew for sure that Sunil H would be defeated by Matara. voters. This same fate fell on Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa.

                I cannot give any other link other than my own conscience. You know NPP never got “Media” coverage. All these led to that merger’s “3%” vote.

              • 3
                1

                Dear LM: You are asking me to produce the Two Forensic Audit Reports put out by two International Audit firms of repute. In addition, those details are in several Court cases too.

                Sorry. I cannot do that.

                Your challenge, I presume must be based on the “Book” written and published by the then MP Sujeeva Semasinghe. (if I remember the name correctly) I have read that too.

                • 1
                  0

                  Douglas,
                  I don’t know how many times I have said this here, but the fact is that NOBODY has quantified any “loss” from this bond scam. The problem is that most people who make these accusations have no idea what a bond is.
                  Basically, there was NO state money involved, because the state was BORROWING 10 billion from Aloysius. The interest rate was increased by 2 percent, and that is where corruption came in. But that is hardly anything compared to the rates today. I hope this will convince you not to keep flogging dead horses which don’t exist.

            • 3
              0

              OC: Sorry. I am unable to provide the links you have asked me. But that does not mean what I said about Dr. Shafie is false.

              I was at two meetings, one in Weligama and the other in Matara. At both those meetings Sunil Handunetti talked extensively about this Dr. Shafie affair and I thought it would have been to show his solidarity with the Muslim voters. These two places are inhabited by a large number of Muslim voters. After two days of those meetings, the Bodubalasena had a meeting and lashed at Sunil H and portrayed him (Suni H) a “Traitor”.

              After those meetings of “BBS”, I knew for sure that Sunil H would be defeated by Matara. voters. This same fate fell on Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa.

              I cannot give any other link other than my own conscience. You know NPP never got “Media” coverage. All these led to that merger “3%” vote.

              • 0
                0

                Douglas,
                “I cannot give any other link other than my own conscience. “
                Well, if you expect people to believe what you say, at the very least you should produce even a JVP press release . After all, the JVP itself operates its own social media channels.
                Still, I have done your homework for you, and found a link on CT itself about the JVP supporting Muslims in 2014. You really must keep up to date.
                https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/buddhist-monks-and-jvp-fight-for-besieged-muslims-rights/
                But this was long ago, and the JVP was also supporting Ranil!

                • 1
                  0

                  OC: Thank you. Your advice: “You really must keep up to date”. Thank you. I will.

                  That “Link” is another opinion. Isn’t it?

                  Have a Nice Day!

    • 5
      15

      oc
      Dr A likes dreams.
      Dream after dream slipped through in silent disappointment.
      He is now caught in a daydream about the NPP about which he willingly ignores ugly truths.
      I wonder what his once admirers would say.

  • 12
    0

    This so-called “Diagnostic Document” of IMF is nothing but the “Deamand” of the “Investor Group” whose funds are channeled through Institutions like the World Bank, IMF, etc.

    As I explained in an earlier comment these “Diagnostic Tools” have been made public and no secret to anyone. One such tool is: “ESG Certification” meaning (1) E -Environment (2) S – Social and (3) G – Governance. The “16 Point” Diagnostic Document presented to our Government is drafted within the above-mentioned parameters. I doubt how this Government is ready to respond and comply with all or even many of the propositions. As explained in this article, many of the propositions are based on Transparent, Responsible, Accountable, and Jurisdictional GOVERNANCE. This “Qualitative” narrative of “Governance” in the country is absolutely “FOREIGN” to the very authority that runs the governing functions. But interestingly, of late, people have “Diagnosed” that deficiency as evidenced by the “Social Unrest” ( e.g. Aragalaya, Brain Drain, Exit of young and able) that is visible and experienced in all segments of the population. This has led to a huge scale of “Social” unrest and discontentment. Within this “Environment” and with no meaningful action plans in place to arrest this deeply sunk situation, it is unimaginable how this Government will respond to IMF DEMANDS.

  • 12
    0

    I’ve no crystal ball …….. but should I take over ol’ Sumanadasa’s job ……. now, that blind boy is arrested? …….. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/there-is-no-an-alternative/

    The first 2 acts have finished. …………. Now, the last act is playing.

    nimal fernando / December 6, 2015

    Three extraordinary figures have emerged in the last few decades, all to the great misfortune of Sri Lanka.

    • 15
      0

      cont

      1. Velupillai Prabhakaran – A man with exceptional talent to build an organization from ground up and direct it with single-mindedness and utter brutality to try and achieve an objective. People now forget how Prabhakaran held sway the fate of SL for more than a decade. Of all the SL political figures that have emerged in my life time – of people I can make my opinions first-hand without depending on histories or other people’s opinions/writings – there is no one I have higher regard for than good old Prabhakaran (please understand, I am an objective realist; not a Singhalese zealot.) This is not to say I hold him in any high regard but to show how much regard I have for the rest of the clowns. No other Lankan political figure – in spite of their chest-beatings and grand Brandoesque-acting (oh boy!) – would have sacrificed his family for a cause he believed-in, the way Prabhakaran did. And I raise my hat to him for that.

      • 13
        0

        cont

        Although there is no shortage of people lining up (not for truth but for the benefits that it entails) to take credit for the defeat of the LTTE, the main factor that defeated the LTTE is time. People forget that, the 70s SL was a very closed society/country and the only recourse people had against bad-governance was revolt. Don’t forget the Singhalese (JVP) revolted first before the Tamils. The revolts were borne out of sheer hopelessness; that people had to stay-put and cop it for the rest of their lives. When in later years the world opened up and ordinary (not just the educated class) Lankans could emigrate and escape bad-governance the reasons for revolts diminished – not that SL all of sudden became a better place. Most of the Tamils had escaped and were financially supporting the war from overseas and Prabhakaran was left to kidnap children to fight his battles.

        • 12
          0

          cont

          2. Mahinda Rajapakse – Immensely talented charismatic conman that can con a vast swath of Sri Lanka. He cannot tell a truth even if his life depended on it. Great ability to twist everything to his advantage and sell it utilizing body-language, facial-expressions, modulated-voice and all the other tools of the trade. These people are born; never made. His siblings or offsprings can’t do what he does; will be laughed off the stage. His son Namal has got the lying/twisting part down pat but he doesn’t have his other attributes and never will. I don’t condone what he does but I admire the man’s extraordinary talent which no other SL politician posses. In these relative-morality shindigs, where do you start and where do you end? Like my Italian buddy frederico nichelinni sad “Life has not been devised by morality: it wants deception, it lives on deception — but wouldn’t you know it?” Gotta hand it to the man; he does it with great finesse!

          • 12
            0

            cont

            3. Ranil Wickramasinghe – The most inept extraordinarily leadership-talent-less leader. I hold Ranil equally responsible for Mahinda and his merry-men’s excesses. No other leader of opposition would have let Mahinda get away with what he did for such a long time. But give the devil his due. He is the only current SL politician who has even a bird fluttering in his brain about the modern 21st century world; the other’s mind-set is pure medieval. He is the only one, in his own way, trying to drag SL kicking and screaming, at least in to the 19th (if not 21st) century. Knowing Lankans, I don’t know if he will be successful, but I have to acknowledge his effort. My doubts are raised because Lankans are blessed with a special foolishness; without having a plan and implementing it they go and ask others for help. It’s Lankan man’s way of passing the responsibility to others. When he went to Japan and Singapore to ask help my heart sank.

            • 11
              0

              cont

              JR went to Lee Kuan Yew to ask to release a Lankan pilot working for Singapore airlines to start a Lankan airline and appoint him as the CEO. And Lee Kuan Yew was thinking how a good pilot is going to be a good CEO and run an airline! We Lankans have a special trait/gene of wisdom that is shared by no other.


              I still think we are just analysing the symptoms and not the cause. Our problems at subterranean strata is anthropological – what happens when an advanced culture is imposed on a primitive culture and withdrawn? Do people evolve in to the advanced culture? Do people revert back to their primitive culture? Or do people wallow in a hybrid-purgatory of the two cultures?

              I wish someone like professor Gananath Obeyesekere take time off from the safety of wine and cheese circuit safe-academic exotica and do the motherland a real service by honestly examining our anthropological quagmire.

              • 14
                0

                Nimal , you are absolutely right on the money. A country and people, like no other. Primitive yet unique. Do you think it’s just anthropological or is it moral / ethical quagmire. Otherwise how on earth can anyone explain 75 years of COLLECTIVE madness / stupidity
                ????

                • 13
                  1

                  Think about it ???? It just took few minutes of a person to expose who real Ranil is ( any Lankan politician ) So called years and years of political image building came crashing down in minutes. Happened with GR , MR , JR ….. Do Lankans care????

                  • 12
                    0

                    chiv,

                    It was written way back in 2015, I just cut and pasted my old post ………… nimal fernando / December 6, 2015 ………. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/there-is-no-an-alternative/


                    I’m bored stiff; I know where the country is heading ……… back then, like most everyone, I too had some hope.

                    I will not mention Ranil’s name (or any other pol’s name,) ideology, religion, ethnicity, gender, ……… what-have-you ……….. it prevents people’s clear-vision. :)))

                    It boils down to how we perceive truth.

                    All the articles, writings, comments, arguments here ……. are about how people interpret truth.

                    They say, Kant pretty systematically proved there is no absolute truth – an absolute truth we can have. …… We can’t be sure, if our senses give us the truth. Some animals (dogs?) are color-blind: that’s the limit of their truth. That’s how they see the world around them. It’s the same idea as Pato’s Cave https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_cave …….. the world for them is nothing but shadows on a wall …… For OC, it might as well be Ramona’s Cave! OC has never seen real Ramona: his vision of Ramona is from some photographs on the web! :))))))

                    • 11
                      0

                      cont

                      Then some dude said, there may be no absolute-truth but there is objective-truth. ………. Then another dude came along and said ……. wait a minute …… are we capable of seeing the objective-truth or do we make it into a subjective-truth by letting our human shortcomings/frailties distort it.

                      It’s fascinating for me ……. to observe ……… how people …….. distort the objective-truth …….. into their own version of a subjective-truth. …….. That’s what happens in the forum, 99.95% of the time.

                      Is there any point of all the experience, knowledge, education, intelligence, ……… if in the end, people use all that to do nothing but deceive themselves?

                      What makes people so incapable of facing the objective-truth?

                    • 6
                      2

                      Nimal I went back to that 2015 link just to refresh my memory. Some of Native ‘s responses are absolute gems ( especially to that Sumane guy). Seems Native has mellowed with time. Do anyone know where Emil . P is ????

              • 10
                0

                Very thoughtful Namal

              • 3
                0

                Lye low to leap high.

              • 0
                10

                Nimal F
                Someone said study of white man is sociology and study of black man is anthropology. You seem to be going with the Westminster tradition. අපි කලුද?

                Soma

              • 4
                0

                nimal fernando

                “I wish someone like professor Gananath Obeyesekere take time off from the safety of wine and cheese circuit safe-academic exotica and do the motherland a real service by honestly examining our anthropological quagmire.”

                Professor Gananath Obeyesekere is (well) settled in Kandy.
                He still delivers lectures and publishes books.

            • 6
              0

              nimal,
              Usually you jest. Today, your fibre is in full swing.
              ‘I hold Ranil equally responsible for Mahinda and his merry-men’s excesses’.
              This is the truth that very many wish that they didn’t know!
              .
              ‘the main factor that defeated the LTTE is time’.
              I beg to disagree.
              The Sinhalese leadership was more steadfast. Prabhakaran was weak on that score. His penchant for revenge overtook him.
              A failing in Prabhaharan that I find impossible to forgive.
              .

            • 3
              1

              So, nimal fernando, bogus name and all, we finally agree. The time is 09.59 am.
              .
              The Internet in the whole of Bandrawela had gone down about 4.00 am, just as I was about to submit two comments which I had carefully processed on my HDD. Reported, and finally put right two minutes ago.
              .
              I will submit the two comments at the bottom here. Dr Ameer Ali knows that they’re on the way.
              .
              At 4.05 am, I checked my WhatsApp connections. Who would be up at that time? Ameer, of course. He’d been active a few minutes before. I have messaged him at 4.07 (that’s recorded clearly) and rang him soon after.
              .
              But he’s no great talker, so I allowed him to get back his TV news, which, he said was giving a lot about Israel-Palestine. However, that was after I told him that I had two comments on Ranil vs Macbeth saved on my HDD – even the bold and italics had been done, when I discovered that my fibre optic was down.
              .
              Panini Edirisinhe

              • 2
                4

                nimal fernando, my boy,

                This is from the “hora” (illegal) Windows 7 computer.
                .
                Ado, LM, apith duppathkama nisa indalahita hora weda karanawa.
                .
                old codger, don’t you ever again suggest that I angled to receive chocolates from your fellow arse hole. I refused the fellow’s lap-tops when he wanted to send them, realising (even if LM himself wouldn’t have realised it) that there were conditions implied.
                .
                You’d better start acknowledging pure altruism in my telling the truth from within the realm of the tyrant. I think that I still exist because the despot knows that English comments don’t really matter, especially if submitted by guys displaying some education.
                .
                Now, if I, too, began to use “broken English” like Ranil and “leelagemalli”, then I also may be considered a “terrorist”.
                .
                What a “world”! Imperfection everywhere, but LM has particular hatred for all coloureds. Now he’s faced with a real problem. Whites clearly hate Ranil’s doings!
                .
                Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

                • 2
                  4

                  How does the wider world see us?
                  .
                  https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/28780/sri-lanka.pdf
                  .
                  nimal, you’re usually much better at telling us than this “iskole mahattaya”.
                  .
                  Btw, there have to be elections of sorts at S. Thomas’ in early 2024. Signs are that some knaves are getting ready to cheat again.
                  .
                  What I have said in a dozen comments at the end of this article is not cheating:
                  .
                  https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/chelvanayakams-124th-birthday-the-need-to-honour-him-with-transparent-cms-administration/
                  .
                  However, if I start writing about all that, I will need your help – thumbs and (much better), comments.
                  .
                  Employing the “unqualified” persons is also something that should be excoriated, but isn’t.
                  .
                  However, most readers will find my comments there more “interesting” – the sort of gossip that LM deals in.
                  .
                  Panini Edirisinhe (BA Hons, etc), the younger son of David Nicholas de Alwis Edirisinhe, who was an excellent teacher in two schools – one in Tangalle, the other in Bandarawela. I wass the first in the family to be born in Bandarawela.

                  • 3
                    0

                    Late Mr DN Edirisinhe may be an excellent teacher according to u. But were u a good teacher. I DOUBT VERY MUCH. I can’t even differentiate the topics of the articles we are up to discuss 😐on CT.
                    .
                    URS IS TRULY PATHOLOGICAL, please kindly find another platform where family gossips are kept above.?
                    .
                    If I may ask u why on earth u got to waste our times explaining about ur father s teaching? Did anyone ask u about that ? BTW title of the article is” why the shock over IMF s diagnostic report “
                    .
                    All I can say ” get well soon” 😉😉😉😉😉😉😉

                    • 2
                      0

                      U can’t even differentiate the focus of the article – koheda yanne malle pol answers. Gutenberg Besserung !!!!!!

                    • 4
                      0

                      Me being on my way back home , my keyboard is somehow not in order. It should be Gute Besserung ( get well soon).
                      .
                      I wish good commenters could help sinhala man, poor guy and his hatreds seem to be getting worst than I ever guessed before.

                • 2
                  0

                  Joker Panini Edirisinhe,
                  Believe or not many did not even mention RW s dialogue with DW lately in EU press.. Some German news papers interpreted it as president of sl should be in catch 22 situation in his presidency with RAJAPAKSHE hedgemonists and various other poisonous reptiles in disguise 😉 in that beautiful island 🏝. The ground realities of the society is becoming clear, if anyone with some sanity would 😉read Panini’ s comments, even school going children would see it easily. He is the best example for ” a poisonous reptile in human disguise “. How many times this guy mentioned about my small gift to him? If I knew his favourite would been PUNNAKU, I could easily replace it. Somuch is about giving some gifts 🎁to some. I m so hurt.🙃. My mother warned me of real snakes in human disguise in our society than anywhere else.

            • 1
              0

              Nimal,
              Are you in a verbal diarrhoea competition with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named ?
              But you need to brush up on your Shakespeare.
              I hear it is 4 am in some places.

              • 8
                0

                OC,

                It was written way back in 2015, I just cut and pasted my old post ………… nimal fernando / December 6, 2015 ………. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/there-is-no-an-alternative/

                I will not write such long posts now: I know where the country is heading …….. I too had hope, way back then. :))

                Sorry to have hurt your feeling, OC! ……. I know these are very difficult times for you …… and I always take that into account when I comment!! :)))

                Thank Buddha …….. Native has no feelings ……. one can let fly!

                • 3
                  0

                  Before it becomes scorns and scones again …….. at 4.03am in the hill-country :))

                  feelings —-> feeling


                  OC surely has more than just one feeling towards his idol.

      • 3
        0

        nimal fernando

        “Velupillai Prabhakaran – A man with exceptional talent to build an organization from ground up and direct it with single-mindedness and utter brutality to try and achieve an objective. “

        Of course he had exceptional talents to massacre innocent people, destroy a to z, … helped enemy win two elections and a war, helped many enrich from war, helped to imprison innocent people in internment camps for many years, … destroy their assets, ethnically cleansing Muslims from North, robbed their cash, jewels, .possessions … …. another million people were driven out of the island, …. helped stupid people to reach top posts, Generals, Admirals, ….. Ministers, Diplomats, strategists, …. If not for VP these fellows would have at best joined the clerical services, worst took up clowning, ….

        “would have sacrificed his family for a cause he believed-in, the way Prabhakaran did.”

        Actually he was expecting US intervention to stop the war and a ship is to evacuate him and his family from Mullovaaikkaal. Hindians objected to American move. Your hero was offered an Hindian deal which was neither accepted nor rejected by VP who didn’t trust Hindians. It is not that VP sacrificed his family he was hoping US intervention even at the last minute. (Please ignore the usual Mao’s man). I gathered these information from various sources over a long period of time. May be right maybe wrong.

        • 6
          0

          Native,

          “helped stupid people to reach top posts, Generals, Admirals, ….. Ministers, Diplomats, strategists,”

          If that’s not the case …… then you have to believe VP’s objective/aim was to help the Sinhalese not destroy themselves! :)))

          Look at the state of the Sinhalese today …….. VP achieved his objective even beyond his wildest dreams!

          Then, of course, he had a lot of help from Ranil !

          You’ll be the last to see it. :)))))

          What VP has achieved is objective reality: the country is bankrupt! …….. Ranil’s achievements are open to your subjective conjecture.

          And life goes on …………. :))

  • 1
    4

    Whom the Gods Wish to Destroy they First make Mad.
    .
    That is how I interpret this outburst by Ranil Wickremasinghe. An interesting comparison would be with Macbeth in the Last Act of the eponymous play by Shakespeare. I know that they are from quite different backgrounds and occupations.
    .
    Occupations? No, not necessarily. We cannot dismiss all those stories of Batalanda, and of how he now regards the Aragalaya. That is evil that has been displayed over decades, but himself dressed in white.
    .
    The early Macbeth that we meet after defeating Macdonwald has hardly been gentle in dealing with the traitors, but must, himself, be regarded as having been loyal in the service of Medieval Scotland, and of King Duncan.
    .
    By the end, it is clear that both “have supp’d full with horrors;
    Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts
    Cannot once start me.”
    .
    https://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/views/plays/play_view.php?WorkID=macbeth&Act=5&Scope=act&pleasewait=1&msg=pl
    .
    Quoting the final soliloquy here would be trite.
    .
    “bear-like, Ranil must fight the course.”

    • 1
      4

      Continuing ……..
      .
      But wasn’t even Macbeth in the final stages somewhat the better man? Productions vary, but even the words make it clear that he recognised how much he had wronged Macduff. However, in this two-minute clip he succeeds in disarming Macduff; on hearing the damning prophesy, however, he hands back the sword to Macduff, who remains confident that the day is his.
      .
      I saw this wonderful article almost as soon as it appeared, but I put off responding to my friend, Ameer, whom I have never met. He writes with intelligence – and feeling. It is terrible for him; and terrible for me – in somewhat different ways.
      .
      For “leelagemalli”? He’d be sad when this is all over, and Lanka is rid of both Rajapaksas, and Ranil. LM will have nothing to do in life.
      .
      Otoh, the once brilliant G.L. Peiris is sorrowful and weary:
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jhbq5TqBluE
      .
      Twenty minutes which Ameer will not understand; all the more wonderful for him to write these articles when he cannot understand the language.
      .
      Blessings on you, Ameer,
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

      • 3
        0

        If 89-92 murderers are 100% sure about their abilities, they should come forward and tell the truth to the world that they will tame yellow pets once they grab power on their hand. Their hypocrisy can only mislead stupid masses again. They should be free from their hidden ties with temple living thattamamala, paedophile and various other disguised criminals.🤔🤔🤔🤔

  • 1
    9

    “Unfortunately, the poplar mindset of Sri Lankan voters is not tuned to such a prolonged struggle. Changing pillows alone is not enough to cure the headache.”
    As long as people have faith in a system they will go on the way they did with it.
    But there are undercurrents that often pass unnoticed that may change things– for better or worse.
    *
    Look at the country that lectures the world on democracy and even forcefully changes the pillowcase in places.
    Does not it seem to head dangerously towards choosing between two badly soiled pillowcases?

  • 0
    0

    We all know very well that Ranil is a crook… starting from the 1983 riots when he was a Cabinet Minister, Batalanda Murders, the Central Bank robbery, and his actions before and after with regard to the Aragalaya!

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