US BASHING – interesting feed back
Posted on October 1st, 2009

ASOKA S

I am very pleased that my simple article titled “US BASHING” provoked several interesting responses. Discussion, dialogue, reading and debate on any subject is a vital ingredient in being able to understand different perspective on the subject. This is why in great democracies, elected members of public respectfully debate BILLS before voting. It simply makes one wiser and may appreciate another’s perspective better. The current public debate on the US Healthcare overhaul is a classic example of US democracy in action. Despite the very heated public debate at times with lots of ugly words thrown even at President Obama nobody has been put in jail, nobody has been abducted and nobody has been removed from a federal job. All because of a time tested right afforded to the US public by the 2nd amendment of the US constitution, jealously guarded by the democratic institutions and the massively free press.

No, unlike a readers suggested, I did not come to US with a ton of money. Nor I was not born to privilege at all. But I did have blessing of a higher education and professional training in different parts of the world. I arrived in the US like million more before and after me with nothing worth writing home about.

Also unlike another reader suggested, US in not a hell at all. US offers the potential to be very successful immaterial of who you are under one and only very important condition. That you have what it takes to drive you to success. US gives nothing free but gives a huge chance to make you work towards success.

There is no other country like US that rewards hard work and talent. With neither of these, yes, it may well turn into a hell

Also unlike another reader pointed out, US was not founded by convicts who were deported from England, but by Protestants who were fleeing hostilities from Catholic church in England. The monument still stands protected in Jamestown, Virginia where SS Mayflower brought the 1st batch of such escapees to the hitherto unknown “new world.” Far from being convicts, there were religious escapees. I suspects the writer confused USA to another continent down under. Thus formed the 1st European settlers that started the long journey to a very prosperous and accommodating nation within 300 short years.

US has no Walawwe Hamus, Sirs, Misters ,Ladies, Mahattayas or Lords. Instead it has everyday Toms, Dicks, Harrys and Joes who just address each other as such whether you are Chairman of Microsoft or the night janitor who cleans Microsoft Campus floors. Labor is highly respected and labor rights are not afforded by rigid unions but by monitoring employee satisfaction by secret and 3rd party questionnaires from time to time. If workers are not happy the CEO might be seeing to the door

Yes, by no means US is perfect and I am not sure if any nation can ever be perfect given the way we humans are wired. Riches bring some baggage with it at times. World has witnessed the rise and fall of mighty British, French, Japanese and Spanish Empires in proceeding centuries who were brutal and shaped today’s demographic equilibrium. They sew the seeds of today’s evil problems that includes Lanka’s LTTE and South Africa’s apartheid. If we are looking for someone to blame for today’s problems, here are some true culprits.

It is an open secret that post JR Sri Lanka saw the beginning of a corrupt and a man — eat — man for money type culture that Lankans had not witnessed before. It was not the fault of capitalism but the unwise constitution that JR introduced that lacked sufficient checks and balances against political corruption which he garnished with an executive with almost absolute power. This spelt disaster. Despite well known corruption of high powered politicians and officials, not a single politician or official spent a day in jail for such for the last 30 years. Instead, we have seen a police constable or a village Grama Seva Niladhari being sent to jail for taking a mere 500 rupee bribe to imply a semblance of justice.

These are very valid and real questions we need to ask ourselves before blaming other nations. We need to take a long and hard look at our own house.

Yes, winds of change are in the air. Yes, a renaissance of a sort is up for grabs. Yes, President Rajapaksha and the forces lived up to the peoples mandate by defeating the vicious LTTE. But unless we reform ourselves politically and socially we will never reach prosperity for our people.

We can learn a lot from those who did at a lot shorter time span — like USA.

8 Responses to “US BASHING – interesting feed back”

  1. Priyantha Abeywickrama Says:

    Thank you for clearing the air. My browsing of websites has come down to single digit level now. However, I cannot deny that Lanka web is contributing to take a lot of my time because of its value-added articles. I see a significant change in your own text and wish to add the following to make more sense to my earlier comments. I may not be in a position to tell some more important aspects on our knowledge research due to obvious reasons. MY AIM IS TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION TO LET THOSE WHO WANT TO LIVE, LIVE IN PEACE AND TO TAKE OUT THOSE WHO BRING DEATH.

    It seems there is a long way for you to figure out how your new homeland (funny word used instead of fatherland according to western tradition as it happened to be someone else’s land. In the east, they call it motherland) is governed. I hope you come to terms with how they do things there sooner. Why should they bother to put anyone in the jail when the whole country is an open jail, and also all the people on both sides are just part of the same interest group funded by the same people. Anyone who is a threat to establishment is eliminated in a state-of-art technique (No, not water boarding). I cannot tell you more because third class politicians in our countries will try their best to follow it like maggots going for crap. You seem to trust things written on paper. Please tell that to natives of your homeland who signed so many agreements on peaceful co-existence before many of them were starved to death. There was an interesting article published at the island.lk sometime back written by a reputed American journalist on this specific matter.

    Now you tell that you are a migrant. I know there are three types, those seeking refuge, overstaying qualification seekers and skilled professionals. Obviously I got nothing to say about refugees except wishing them good luck for the short journey to heaven. Having migrated as a skilled migrant, I belong to the group that knows the pros and cons of both worlds. However, I like you to tell me why you think this way because every Tom, Dick and Harry I met belonging to the qualification seeker group are those who neither know about Sinhale (Lanka), nor their host country. They look like salmon packed into cans from the farm stock and know nothing beyond the walls of the education institutions.

    When you say that US is not a hell, unfortunately you did not get it right. I meant hell is better. This was a judgement originally made following a true story of a European migrant to your homeland I viewed in 1993. Now I can multiply this claim million times with info gathered later. I see that you are over the moon when you claim that in US, there is potential to be very successful for anyone no matter who you are, rewards hard work and talent and in case neither it will turn to a hell. How many of you belong to this group? How many of your children, or your grand children will belong to this group? That is why I said it is worse than hell. Going to hell is ok because we have done something wrong. But putting our future generations into such a situation is much worse. If you think, all your future generations are the best and the brightest, I do not have any point to make. If it was the case, Sinhale’ could have been at the top even today. Personally I agree with you that I could have earned money beyond your wildest imaginations if I offered just two more of my discoveries. Already, one of my early works is upstaged by them like from many others thanks to a Tamil resident in your homeland and I am aware that they have spent more than two billion dollars in a trivial pursuit to implement its application in just one particular military project. I should thank that moron for taking them for a ride by stealing someone else’s knowledge. Sorry, I owe every bit of my knowledge to my people. They are not for sale to bring death, only to give life.

    When you talk of English history, you are very creative. You better learn the whole history related to the English empire from its inception to expansion and disintegration (next disappearance into oblivion). Your US was part of the English colonies administered by the imperial monarch for a long time before the famous uprising. If the other side won the war with French abstaining from supporting the rebels, you could be still a part of the commonwealth just like neighbouring Canada. Any English speaker including you and me is a bloody convict hiding behind beautiful phrases. We do not need deportation to enter these lands of opportunity, but wait begging until authorities open the doors to enter. Only Africans had to be forced in chains. By that time all the other subjects from whatever background was tamed enough to follow eagerly when told to do so.

    Let me create the true version of the history. The barbaric, uncivilised and inhumane Native Americans invaded Africa and brought Native African slaves in chains and used them as hard labour to develop their country. Then they used African slaves to invade England, the land of the innocent, law abiding, intelligent and prosperous nation on earth and enslaved many of its citizens that live in US today.

    Let me tell you another version of future history. Great Tamil nation who ruled the world were the creators of this great nation that belongs to Tamils only. All the others including Native Americans came from nowhere and should be slaughtered to maintain our Tamil purity.

    Only in US, everyone is treated equally. Anyone can kill anyone at anytime no matter how just/unjust it could be. Whether they are employers, workmates, classmates, friends, criminals, innocents, abled/disabled, enemies or family. It is true. They hold the record for equality. I wonder what kind of equality we try to promote among the worst of murderers known to the humanity.

    Unfortunately you have no experience of the life before the eight-hour day won by American workers by sacrificing their lives. What more we can say about the powers enjoyed by the union and employer groups in US. This is the country where hire and fire concept, and top to bottom command are practiced 100%. How humane is that?

    It seems you agree that every empire has its day. But yours has the shortest record in how it was achieved. The first empire (do you know who) appeared as a natural expansion of humanity after surviving the near extinction. Then came the civilisations including those you identified through pure cruel means. US developed cruelty to 100% to achieve its unfulfilled dream of ruling the world now crumbling before our own eyes. They have the record of the steepest climb and fall starting with the end of the Second World War.

    You say there are many things we can learn from those who did it at a lot shorter time span — like USA. It is one of the very reasons why I came out to make my comments. There is absolutely nothing that should be adopted from their way of doing things. Obviously, I know a lot more than what I am prepared to say about how they became rich and powerful, and the means used to achieve their place. My main interest is to see ways to protect my people. We do not want to go down in 300 years, not in thousand years, not even after infinity years. That is where Sinhala people differ. In fact, we must avoid everything they did to achieve our goals of living forever.

    You are even short on what happens in Sinhale’. Our troubles began long before you could imagine. I made a note above indicating to this fact. However, things turn much worse after the rise of animal worshippers, those who refused to depart with natural animal ways (Hinduism) culminating Seeta’s saga (a single woman). The turning point of our history with alien domination began with the betrayal of Kuweni (another woman) who took the side of Tamil speaking devil called Vijay Kumar, the popular heir to our nationhood (my foot). Quite contrary to popular lies, the real demise began when we became the compassionate extremists after the arrival of suicidal, antihuman and anti-sex religious cult with the help of Vijay clan that ran the country for nearly three millennia. Then came the monkeys who ran amok in the north. Meanwhile we got the beasts under the guise of traders. Finally, we were conquered by the cannibals (believers of blood drinking and flesh eating religious cult of Jewish origin) who maintain their hegemony to this day.

    When you say JRJ and 1978 constitution, you are correctly referring to the latest part of our history. One of the most stupid political concepts I came across is the so-called Constitution. This concept made US and in due time it will unmake it. How sad to get tied down in a fixed time zone for an eternity. But you forget that English empire was much smarter than you think. They are much crueller than you can ever imagine. They picked the poorest of the poor and produced their offspring by raping them with the lure of food that later became their heir apparent, the curse of our country. Obviously, being Sinhala, we know the solution to every problem that we face and have what it takes to meet any challenges. Let me paste the other part of a comment made a long time before your articles that I used in my previous response to tell you that we know more than what you think and how your homeland became so rich. “… Lanka can drive them (US & Co) to oblivion by using white van concept to eliminate locally grown up and educated pathetic migrants going there with the stolen local knowledge. So-called super power status driven by theft of knowledge and occupying someone else’s land would not be there if these local mongrels were given the white van treatment before reaching Katunayaka airport…”

  2. Ram2009 Says:

    Asoka S is quite right in saying that the USA was not started by convicts (I presume he is comparing the USA to Australia). However he must not be allowed to gloss over the facts of how it came to be. The original Mayflower immigrants (did you say they were fleeing religious persecution) not only became the killers of the indigenous people (called the Indians, later the redskins and by various other derogatory names) who had fed them through hard times, but apparently resorted to cannibalism to get through the winter. These people may not have been convicted criminals when they left Britain, but they certainly became criminals on arrivals, whatever their religious persuasions were.
    May I also remind Asoka S that the “redskins” were depicted as savages not simply because the new arrivals wanted their land, but this also salved their conscience after killing them. Another example of the said savagery as depicted in comics that we read as youngsters, showed them as “scalping” their victims, without of course telling us that this was something that the British army taught them (to bring the scalps of the French for payment of a small stipend).
    I would to ask Asoka S. whether he thinks the USA and its citizens have changed from those times? To my mind mind their behaviour and actions in the recent years show that hey have regressed into those dark days, this inspite of the fact that there were civilizing influences like your good self landing on those shores. They are experts at preaching, but very bad at following them.

  3. Ram2009 Says:

    Do excuse the few gremlins that have crept in to the above.

  4. cassandra Says:

    It seems to me that, in summary, your article is given to a rebuttal of some of what respondents to your last article had to say and to ask that we take account of “valid and real questions we need to ask ourselves before blaming other nations” and “to take a long and hard look at our own house.”

    In rebutting the arguments of your previous respondents you go on to re-iterate the many virtues of the US way of life. This seems to me to detract from what is perhaps the central point of your article – that Sri Lanka’s future is in its hands and will not be secured by blaming other nations for its ills. Few would quarrel with that sentiment.

    You have said much about the great things about the US and some of your respondents have seen fit both to counter your statements and point to alleged ‘evils’ of the US. I find most of this is neither relevant nor helpful.

    For instance, whether a country was founded by convicts or free men is neither here nor there. What matters is how a country is conducting itself today. Prince Vijaya, traditionally acknowledged as the founder of the Sinhala race, is said to have been banished by his father because of his infamous conduct. Are we to assume that, given that background, a nation founded by him is in some way superior to one founded by convicts? This sort of comparison simply makes no sense. Nor does a discourse on the relative merits and demerits of life in the US and in Sri Lanka have a real relevance to the point at issue.

    You have mentioned the alleged harm caused by JRJ’s Constitution. Maybe, JRJ has much to answer for but I do not believe that he is entirely to blame for Sri Lanka’s current ills. Others who also have chosen to shamelessly exploit the provisions of that Constitution – in some respects, even to a greater extent than he did – are no less culpable.

    You have rightly pointed out that “US bashing” is not going to solve Sri Lanka’s problems, and that makes sense. As I said in my response to your last article, mindless ‘bashing’ of the US or any other country and intemperate outbursts will avail little and could indeed be counter- productive.

  5. samn Says:

    I agree with you Asoka S. and like you I am a Sri Lankan who live in USA and achieve a lot because of it. In Sri Lanka I was rejected a chance to have a education to become and Engineer but I was one of the lucky few who had some money enough to come to USA to study hard and become an Engineer. It was an very expensive and difficult to survive and to get an good education for foriegn student. Nevertheless, this country proved to me that with right effort, I could become what I couldn’t in Sri Lanka. And I am greateful for USA for that. Today, I spend my money and my time to help and mentor kids in rural Sri Lanka who would hardly have any chance under the Sri Lanka system.

    Yes, USA is not perfect. There are so many things, I do not approve what USA does. But there are so much more greatness that this country has that we should embrass. I recently went to a health care townhall held by a republican congressman and was able to dispute his false claims without having to be taken in a white van or ended up in a jail cell. That is the democracy we do not have in Sri Lanka today. In this country, leaders are elected to serve people where as in Sri Lanka people are expected to serve leaders, accept whatever they give and be satisfied with that. You are right to say that here we have no masters or lords. I go to lunch with my boss or sometimes disagree with my CEO without getting smacked and fired. And I truely enjoy that sense of equality that a typicall Sri Lanka would never experience. For that I am greateful for a chance to live in USA.

    USA has come a long way, from a imperfect set of colonies to a much more perfect union of states. From a people who enslaved african Americans to a people who elected on of them as their president. USA is by no mean perfect, but it surely made progress starting from a set of colonies to take worlds economic and military leadership. Still USA has a long way to go in many fronts. I have confidence that USA will get their sooner or later.

    With that context, I would ask where Sri Lanka stands now compared to where we were. What progress have we made as nation to better our selves socially, economically and politically. Society has become more corrupted and cruel and has lost respect for life compared to the society I saw when I was a child. Politicians has become more corrupted and cruel and lost respect to the democracy of governance. Economically, we are in huge debts more than ever in the history of Sri Lanka. Our dependance from other countries have gone up. So we must ask ourselve before bashing others who have made progress, what we as a collection of people who call Sri Lanka our motherland have done to make it better for its future generations.

    We can blame on our past, we can come up with consipiracy theories, we can blame others for our problems. But we will not make progress until we decide to point finger at us, take the responsibility for our plight and think progressively to do something about it.

    I see in this lankaweb web site, each and everyday, we praise the current Sri Lankan government, bash others, talk faults of others and make good conspiracy stories good for hollywood. These discussions will not get us anywhere. It is time to change the direction, identify where we have faultered and think about what we must do to correct that. May be instead of bashing USA we can learn some lessons from them from their successes. If we do that may be we will have a better Sri Lanka in the future. Otherwise in years to come we will be talking and bragging about how great we were 1000 years ago and how capable we are and how we can become better than any other nation, and nothing would happen to Sri Lanka other than further going down economically and socially as a nation.

  6. George Says:

    I completely disagree!

    I wouldn’t call it “Bashing”, but “creating awareness” rather than keeping quiet and bowing our heads!

    For generations,Sri Lanka has been quiet about anything and everything the west (including the US) decided upon us,for their benefit.This has not helped any country in similar situations as ours.Its is about time,we unite and voice out our concerns and be free and independent as a nation.

    No matter which political party we support in Sri Lanka,we must support our current president who I feel is a great,assertive leader who does not bow his head down to any western hypocrisy….After all,who are ‘The west” and “The Americans” to decide upon our home?…..we maybe not as rich or powerful, but we DO have what’s called “Dignity”!

  7. Priyantha Abeywickrama Says:

    I love to see ordinary feedbacks to articles written by erudite personnel. I am also fully aware of migrants’ soft corner for their new lands of opportunity, wherever, every time they keep changing. Please type “Convict history in America” and google it. Being graduates, masters and doctors in repeating exactly in the same way what we were told, we tend to repeat what others use as cover to hide their true faces. English natives are the best in the world to use language and many other tools to hide the worst and to appear as the best in the world. A small thing dangling in front of your eyes with wide publicity and continuous repetition can hide huge mountains from your sight.

  8. Jerald Owens Says:

    It is quite interesting to read opinions of various commentors.

    Not trying to be personal Mr. Abeywickrama definitely sound like an educated lazy Sinhala Sial Dat (know-it-all) idiot who was thrown out of US or had to leave the US as a disgruntled human being, because he had to do a day of honest work for his daily bread, which most of them back home do not.

    Asoka S, I am positve is a hard working Sri Lankan who beleives in hard work. And as most real Sri Lankans do, they have gratitude to who ever & where ever they make a living off of. So his simple article to Lankaweb to be more tolerant was in such a context. This sadly has brought up a barrage of rather wicked personal attacks on him (or her). Pity and Sad! Jeral Owens, USA

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