Posted on July 26th, 2010

By Garvin Karunaratne, Ph.D.

Patriotism is something that is abounding in the United States of America. The people stand united and with one force are tacking the problems they face. In California where we landed in May, the people were supportive of the Government with one voice. Touring through the rural hinterland of Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississipi, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, finally arriving at California it is clear that the people are facing the recession with one voice. They are not worried about who was responsible; instead they are thinking of what can be done.

 The USA is a land where the sovereignty was usurped twice by George Bush. In 2000 George Bush won the election by stopping the counting of ballots. To someone who had functioned in charge of the conduct of parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka including the conduct of the election as well as counting the ballots, what happened was hilarious- where the Secretary of State vacillated in decision making enabling the matter to be taken up in the Courts and the Supreme Court ordered the stoppage of the counting of ballots in key Counties in Florida. There was a deadline to meet and the Supreme Court order was timed so that once the counting was stopped, the winner had to be declared with the ballots that were already counted. It was an absurd method of winning an election, which made me write a book: The Administrative Bungling that hijacked the 2000 US Presidential Election.(The University Press of America).

 That was not all. In the 2004 US Presidential Election the electronic voting machines malfunctioned in favour of George Bush. That the machines malfunctioned in earlier elections was well known. In the Presidential Election of 2004 too it was documented again and again but there was no paper documentation to check the veracity of the totals coffed up by the voting machinery. George Bush became the winner again and I documented the full details in my book:The Electronic Stealing of the 2004 US Presidential Election(

 Despite the fact that the throne of the USA was stolen twice by George Bush, the people be they Republican or Democrats stood by him; they were never divided. Many people are losing their jobs due to the recession and the shops offer bread free to the people. The shop keepers donate a portion of their bread and cakes to be given free to the needy and they are many- even in their hundreds. The shopkeepers greet and donate the bread to anyone irrespective of their political affiliations. Political differences were only during the election; in the aftermath they stand united to face the problem of unemployment and the recession.

 Not so in Sri Lanka, a sad country where the people stand divided top to bottom on political party lines. In actuality I am of the opinion that the political party system of democracy was foisted on us by the British to make our people stand divided for ever. The GSP plus battle has been totally lost and now a tax is imposed on our exports- not only on garments but even on porcelaine goods. It is said that the opposition of the country was instrumental in getting that done by influencing the EU. That is not all. The Opposition and some Members of Parliament are supporting the attempts by the International Community to charge members of the Sri Lanka Administration and the persons in charge of the armed forces for war crimes. They are actively supporting the International Community to charge the saviours of the country- the saviours who saved the country from the jaws of the LTTE. They have forgotten the fact that the leaders of the country who led the battle against the LTTE were acting on a mandate from the country obtained at an election to rid the country of the ruthless LTTE that had wrested almost a third of the country by the power of the bullet. The people have totally forgotten that the LTTE was attacking people everywhere- even in the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi at Anuradhapura the LTTE killed over two hundred pilgrims who were worshipping and went on the rampage in adjoining villages upto Wilpattu with a carnage of over five hundred dead. The Sri Lankan leaders at that time were so scared of the LTTE that they said that only two hundred died. Sinhala and Tamil people including monks were killed like flies

 Why are we so divided at this crucial hour. If not for the leadership shown by President Rajapaksa and his brother the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya and the Armed Forces- the Land Force, the Navy and the Air Force, we would be a divided country today. I have no doubt about this. There would have been an LTTE State in the North and the East and at its heyday this included a portion of the Anuradhapura, Hambantota, Moneragala and Polonnaruwa Districts. That could have been a half of the country.

In the annals of modern history it is difficult to find any leader who has done so much for one’s country as much as President Rajapaksa and in any other country such a leader would have been made the Leader of the country for life. Other such leaders usurp authority to rule but not President Rajapaksa who has faced elections and has derived his power with a mandate from the people.

 Earlier Presidents never gave proper directions to the Armed Forces, they were scared of the LTTE. President Jayawardena was more interested in paving the path for his UNP to rule for ever and with this aim even changed the Constitution. Former Speaker Lokubandara has admitted this fact. President Kumaranatunge was more keen on entrenching her cohorts with financial reward as proved in the Supreme Court Decision on Water’s Edge where she was fined. No one confers financial reward for nothing. She even supported the LTTE in the ISGA- the administrative arrangement between the sovereign government of Sri Lanka and the terrorist LTTE where she proposed implementation committees that had a majority of LTTE representatives and the sovereign government was reduced to nothing. She had sold the country to the LTTE and carried out the dictates of the international community, especially Norway. It was only President Rajapaksa that took the bull by the horns and solved the problem by defeating the LTTE and its leader Prabhakaran within the small period of three years- a task that had defied other Presidents for over two decades. Who is the patriot and who acted against the country’s sovereignty is for the people to decide.

 Today the Tamil Diaspora- the LTTE that fled overseas is gunning to win over what Prabhakaran lost in battle and the people have to stand united if Sri Lanka is to be saved.

 There are two languages in the USA. English is spoken by the majority. Spanish is the language of the people in South Texas, in the South of Florida, in the South of California, in New Mexico. It is important to note that Texas, New Mexico and California were wrested from the Mexicans. In many areas in South Florida, New Mexico, South California and South Texas, there are many who cannot speak English and the majority can speak only Spanish. Yet Spanish is not accepted as a national language. Neither do the Spanish speaking people demand that Spanish be recognized. They stand united in a country that has only English as a national language.

 This also illustrates that the thrust of Tamil as a national language enforced on us by our accepting the Thirteenth Amendment has far more ramifications. It is a part of a strategy leading to the demand of a separate state. The Spanish speaking people in the USA do not demand a separate state.

 Patriotism is etched even into the business community in the USA. In my Papers I have been extolling the role that our Marketing Department played in controlling the cost of living till 1977-by purchasing vegetables and fruits from producers at fair rates and retailing essential goods at cheap rates keeping a very low margin. This system was abolished by the UNP and today the private traders keep a fantastic profit margin of over a hundred percent. The Marketing Department kept only 15% and that too not as profit but as the margin to cover expenses. The private sector is making mints of money and I have advocated the re establishment of the Marketing Department mechanism in some form or other to bring the cost of living down. As I wrote in 2003: We have to resurrect the Marketing Department and get it working. Talk of any development in agriculture without this infrastructure and we are talking nonsense.(From: How the IMF Ruined Sri Lanka and Alternative Programs of Success(Godages) I hope this will be done very soon because this is the only method of bringing the cost of living down.

 In the USA, certain companies in the Private Sector have taken upon themselves the task of keeping the cost of living down. The Wallmart shops offer essential goods at cheap rates and thereby really control the prices at which the Supermarkets can sell. Not so in Sri Lanka where the Supermarkets charge fantastic prices for produce, thus fleecing the consumer. Patriotism among the Private Sector in the USA is something that deserves to be emulated by the Private Sector in Sri Lanka. Certain Supermarket chains like John Keels are said to be owned more by foreign shareholders. It is up to the locally owned companies to act in the national interest.

 The patriotism in the people of the USA stands as a guide to us to unite to face the common enemy. To the American people politics is only at election time. At all other times they are Americans, standing together.

Let all citizens of Sri Lanka stand firm together irrespective of political affiliations at this crucial hour when the wolf- the Tamil Diaspora is knocking at our door beseeching us in various guises- all aimed at establishing a separate State on our sacred soil. Their plan is two fold- on one hand they say they will invest to develop- God only knows what they will develop- it will inevitably be a separate State! On the other hand they are funding Congressmen and NGOs to get the saviours of our country charged for war crimes and for that they have the support of the International Community.

 Patriotism stands essential to ensure our very existence at this hour.

 Garvin Karunaratne
Former Government Agent, Matara District
25/7/2010 at San Diego, USA

One Response to “Patriotism”

  1. Siri Says:

    Very good article Mr. Garvin Karunaratne. What you say is correct. I have lived in the USA for the past 30 years and am a citizen. I voted in the US elections you mentioned and the the fact of the matter is that most people after casting their vote only wanted to know who had won. They were not interested in the details. They were prepared to accept the winner as announced by the relavent authorities. It is funny that these same people and mostly their media go round the world crticizing other countries of rigging elections. I have even been told by visiting Sri Lankans that the Sri Lanka Presidential elections were rigged. The person who told me this was a Colombian with vested interests who cannot be taken seriously. He had voted for Gonseka. Sri Lanka has to develop a spirit of patriotism if she is to progress in this age of dog eat dog. These stupid opposition supporters do not realise that by running down the country and spoiling it’s good name will not benefit them or the country. Patriotism has to be taught in school from an early age. I meet a lot of LTTE supporters and sympathisers in the USA who are former students of Royal College. This is a state institution supported by taxpayers money. The government should look into who the teachers are and what they are teaching their students.

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