Twelve tips for Mahinda Rajapaksa
Posted on March 3rd, 2011

MahamahaRaja

 Sri Lanka stands at a key moment in its history, thanks to crushing Tamil terrorism once and for all in 2009. The nation, its people, and its political leaders have reached a pivotal stage, which must be capitalized to ensure future prosperity. Against our march to progress and development stands a vast array of enemies, both local and foreign, hell bent on our destruction and disintegration. Here, current and future problems are identified, and possible solutions are offered.

 Having secured his position in power through overwhelming electoral triumphs, along with giving a huge boost to his political allies in the process, and having dealt repeated, devastating blows against our enemies both near and abroad, President Mahinda Rajapaksa would not be criticized for being quite contented. But, as has been seen by numerous development projects which have been initiated both during and after the victorious war against Tamil terrorism, he is not one to rest on his laurels.

 The implementation of a prudent economic development program by his brother Basil Rajapaksa, far-sighted urban and military development programs by his other brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, and astute economic stewardship by the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Cabraal, shows that the president and all his chosen men are doing far more than merely relying on war victories to maintain their power. They have realised that they must develop the country now, and prove to the nation that they are more than just war leaders.

 Here are twelve areas that Rajapaksa and his team must focus on to ensure their hold on power, which going by the appalling treachery of the opposition parties, is the only safe route to the development of the country. 

  1. Keep your house in order: Rajapaksa has had to put his brothers and close relatives into positions of power because he knows that most Sri Lankan politicians are self-serving crooks, who would not hesitate to sell themselves and their nation for a fistful of dollars (Sarath Fonseka being a poignant case in point). And his judgement was correct “”…” his family, especially his brothers, have proven to be both the president’s and the nation’s greatest asset. Without “the Brothers”, we would not be enjoying peace and an economic boom now. However, power corrupts even the most noble, and it is paramount that Mahinda and Gotabhaya ensure arrogance or corruption does not creep into the family. Think of the future also, where in less favourable times family-based imagery like the scarf may be construed as a symbol of difference from the common man, becoming a focal point for denigration, ridicule and hatred.
  2. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer: our enemies span the length and breadth of the world. An even more frustrated, ruthless and merciless Tamil diaspora is actively hunting, searching and agitating for the destruction of Sri Lanka. They have pulled out all the stops, and are working hard lobbying in foreign capitals using blood money from on-going international terrorist businesses in human smuggling, drug running and arms trafficking, to buy influence among already hostile governments. At the street level, terrorists and their sympathisers have built a formidable media and NGO propaganda network to influence public opinion. The recent global economic crisis has affected the west badly, so this is of little use at the moment, but times will change and with it, the attention of the foreign public will also shift. Rajapaksa and the government must cultivate foreign relations with those trustworthy allies who have proved themselves over the past three decades, but he must also actively work to diffuse and dismantle the false propaganda, and disorientate and disarm those who propagate it, in western nations. We must convince western law makers that it will be mutually beneficial to cooperate and build consensus than oppose each other as adversaries. Sri Lanka has a lot to be proud of, both in its conduction of war and its rehabilitation efforts afterwards, and this must be broadcast loud and clear. Part and parcel of this is that inadequate diplomats, who populate most of our foreign missions, must be recalled and replaced as soon as possible. The UNP and other opposition groups have no limit to their criticisms, from the floods to food prices they have some abuse to hurl at the government. What they are short on is actual solutions. So encourage them to put their money where their mouth is by providing detailed, fully costed alternative proposals, which can be audited and judged as to their utility and effectiveness by an independent panel of experts, and enacted if deemed worthy. Democracy is about sharing power, so let’s share any future blame too.
  3. End corruption: when people are undergoing hardships, they seethe with anger when they see connected individuals zoom past in luxury vehicles, heading to opulent homes. The treacherous UNP, DNA and JVP, devoid of relevant policies and providing no good reason for people to vote for them, are waiting eagerly to exploit the resentment, detachment and sense of injustice which are a product of perceived inequality, and to use it to encourage people to vote against the government. More than any other, internal corruption has been the force which has destroyed every empire in human civilization. For Rajapaksa and the UPFA’s political empire to avoid this fate, they must demonstrate a willingness to, and carry out, the identification and punishment of corruption, at every level. We understand that it is difficult to achieve this when the sine qua non of party loyalty today is not ideology but rather personal profit. However, Lee Kuan Yew managed to get Singapore’s politicians under control, and Rajapaksa can do the same here in Sri Lanka. Where there is a precedent, there is no excuse.
  4. Crush the unions: union actions have cost this country greatly. From abandoned infrastructure projects, to murdered intellectuals, to lost educational opportunities, billions of dollars have been stolen from the economy by militant union actions. Currently, the newest form of this ruination is in the education sector, with JVP thugs in the guise of “students” making war zones out of places of learning. This must be stopped forthwith. Those who are organizing, spreading and controlling the anti-educational campaigns of terror are attacking not just the innocent students who are trying to learn and improve themselves, but they are also carrying out a deliberate attack on the future of our country, using terror as a weapon. This makes them terrorists and traitors, and they should be punished as such. Those students who are found to be causing violent mayhem on campuses, endangering both public and private universities, and those in professional organizations who back them, should be tried for treason. Education is the foundation of future prosperity, those who endanger that are traitors. The LTTE and the JVP are one and the same in my book. Powerful unions who behave like terrorists, can be defeated just like the once powerful LTTE was, we need only look at Singapore for inspiration.
  5. Strengthen our security apparatus: as an island nation, we can be attacked from every conceivable direction, both physically and virtually “”…” the Indians could invade us, foreigners could write lies about us, Tamil terrorist diaspora could hack our computer systems, and illegal immigration from Tamil Nadu is a perpetual threat. The Sri Lankan military establishment must be upgraded through training (perhaps involving friendly foreign militaries), procurement of advanced warships, aircraft, tanks and other hardware, and the setting up of military bases across the country. Our coast guard must be expanded to better monitor the nation’s entry/exit points, protect against poaching and piracy, and importantly, to combat illegal immigrants. We must also upgrade and enlarge our continuous monitoring and attack capabilities “”…” our fledgling unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) division must be expanded with the procurement of more advanced, more deadly flying machines, which can stay aloft longer. This last area would in fact be a prime opportunity for local research and development, and unmanned nautical vehicles could also be developed to patrol and monitor our vast seas. These machines are far more cost-effective for a small island nation such as Sri Lanka than fielding a large military, and have been used extensively by Israel. That being said, our military should be able to punch well above its weight, and make the cost of any conventional attack so high as to deter our enemies from even thinking about it “”…” again, Singapore’s military is a great example to follow. Along with all this, we must also develop an effective intelligence apparatus, which includes a foreign intelligence service, spy satellites, and a cyber-security division incorporating social media. In this case, Israel is an awesome guide.
  6. Divide and rule: following on from point 5, the nation’s two main enemies, the opposition and the Tamil diaspora, are in a state of confusion, rife with internal conflict. Let us turn the weapons of our oppressors against them! Both their leaderships are divided, and their supporters demoralized. This is an advantage for peace-loving Sri Lankans. Rajapaksa should place before these two enemies two tailored gauntlets which puts them at each others’ throats within their respective groups, and distracts them from their goal of destroying our country. With the time afforded by this, the government should strengthen and harden our nation and its people, so that even when the enemies have stabilized themselves, they will pose no real threat to Sri Lanka. Another area where this policy can be applied is India. The Indian nation, an artificial construct, serves only one purpose, which is to give a brown face (with an Italian tinge) to continued colonialist meddling and interference in the region, safeguarding and perpetuating hegemony over south Asia. Through its actions as a state sponsor of Tamil terror, India serves as a destabilizing force in our region, but is a paradox in that the country is itself perpetually on the brink of falling apart due to its multitude of entrenched divisions in race, language, religion, caste, class and most recently an ever widening rich-poor gap. Like a piece of deformed modern art, India is a grotesquely misshapen, unstable porcelain vase constructed by the British from a jigsaw of unnatural smaller pieces. It is a failed state held together by a weak glue of foreign funds, oppression of its people who are only pacified by the blinding lights of Bollywood and the illusion of economic growth, and a democratic faƒÆ’†’§ade behind which corruption permeates every institution and politician. But even the slightest nudge can shatter this vase. Each of the divisions amongst its people are weaknesses in the state, and should be exploited comprehensively but covertly to ensure that India’s neocolonialist Raj is so preoccupied with internal affairs as to no longer have the time to bully and harass her smaller neighbours, as it has been gleefully doing since the day the British left. This will take a concerted and united effort on the part of the rest of south Asia, but will be well worth it in terms of the freedom and prosperity which India’s fragmentation, or at the least its neutralization, will bring about. 
  7. Make the people feel richer: we need roads, harbors, airports and trains. We need better planned towns and cities, cleaner streets, and the neatness and organization of urban and rural areas like that seen in Japan. We also need to make sure that all people in the country feel better off. Buddhism teaches us the impermanence of material wealth, but we have to be realistic “”…” people like to own stuff. It is the government’s duty to make sure that this is possible, not through a wasteful, inefficient, bloated public sector, but through investing in and facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship. In short, we need our own Facebook and Google. Another part of this is making the people more comfortable, and for this we need energy security, so that abundant and cheap electricity can bring air conditioning, high-definition wide-screen TVs and super-fast next generation broadband to all. Perhaps more important than these material comforts is the ability of parents to feel confident that they can provide a better future for their children, leaving behind a country that is more prosperous. This entails first and foremost a proper education for the youth, which means improving the standard of English education and use in day-to-day life, teaching them the history of the terrorist conflict so as to never forget their people’s glorious past and the amazing war victory, encouraging them to actively take part in their nation’s democracy as patriots, and providing sufficient university placements for them including through private universities. Just as any nation can gain some measure of energy security through using a diverse range of fuel sources, so we can ensure high quality of higher education in sufficient quantity through the availability of a mix of public and private institutions to choose from.
  8. Ensure equality for all, but prevent favouritism for minorities and don’t forget the origin of our war against Tamil terrorism: minorities must be treated as equals in our country, but remember that the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance. Many previously quiet voices of ethnic division are slowly coming out of the woodwork, with the reduced attention on treason now that the war is over. Sinhalese, Muslim, and of course Tamil irritators are once again writing in newspapers that the root of the war was “discrimination” or the fault of the “Sinhalese,” and that the diaspora hate Sri Lanka because the Sinhalese “killed them and drove them out.” These lies are terror-propagandising at its worst, and is not tolerated anywhere else in the world. Our problem was nothing to do with rights, it was to do with a small Tamil and Christian elite trying to hold their illegal, ill-gotten grip on power over the Sinhalese. This must be taught in every school in every language. Furthermore, we must not let certain groups demand to be more equal than others, and we must be careful in our pursuit of fairness, not to sleep-walk into a position in which the Sinhalese majority must tolerate a return to Tamil minority-dominated political apartheid in order to prevent a groundless fantasy-based secession. All peoples must be allowed to settle and work wherever they want in the country, with the necessary police and military presence to ensure their safety. This will require roads and other transport networks to allow the free flow of people, as well as a sufficiently large military, and it appears that the government is already taking the necessary steps to ensure this. All that remains to be done is the clear articulation of the fact that all citizens regardless of race or religion have a right to live in and use all parts of this country, and that this will be guaranteed with the full weight of the law and even force if resisted. Access to education, jobs or land must never again be allowed to be race-based, as it was in the colonial and early post-colonial period.
  9. Use our resources: Sri Lanka may not have oil, gas or coal, but we have jungles, forests, gems, a prime location on the world map, thorium ideal for nuclear power, and vast tracts of empty land. Hundreds of thousands are homeless, while huge areas in the north and east are populated only by trees and foliage. Skilled, educated, intelligent people are unemployed. The solution? Build, build, build! Construct new farms, factories, houses and cities, thereby easing overcrowding in southern provinces by moving people northwards, in the process creating thousands of jobs and developing our country. Above all, Rajapaksa and the government must be resolute in their actions and carry them through to fruition “”…” without letting vested interests, environmental fascism (as opposed to reasonable environmental concerns), or political expediency obstruct the path to progress.
  10. Watch the NGOs: as a developing country, we require the assistance of outside organizations to deliver certain facilities and amenities to some of our people. Be that as it may, the role of the non-governmental organization is to work to remove the factors for their requirement, not to perpetuate those factors as a means of maintaining their luxury lives in our tropical paradise isle, as has been occurring in recent decades. For over 33 years, unchecked NGOs were running amok, actively aiding terrorists by providing them with equipment, transporting wanted men and suicide bombs in their diplomatic vehicles, propagandising for terrorists by providing fabricated “evidence” for non-existent “discrimination” against minorities, and engaging in ethnic cleansing and demographic alterations to fulfil criteria for secession. In all these crimes, Norwegians have been the worst culprits. In addition, NGOs get their name from being separate to governments and it is because of this status that they are allowed to set up and work in developing countries. However, in this day and age, and especially given their past crimes against the Sri Lankan state and its people, we are well within our rights to ask them to show us their sources of funding, prove that they are not working for foreign interests, and prove that they are actually doing what they say they are. Transparency International is one such group whose behaviour and actions are in total contradiction to its name and its much publicised “principles”. All NGOs should provide to the government details of where they get their money, how they spend it, who they spend it on, and show us Sri Lankans what they have achieved with it. If they are unable or unwilling to do so, they should be asked to leave, forcibly if required. I hope the Act which pertains to the NGOs will be amended to reflect these reasonable demands.
  11. Improve personal safety: petty crime trains aimless youth in basic criminality before they move on to commit far worse crimes. The government must do everything required to catch, punish, and meaningfully rehabilitate those who commit minor crimes like burglary. Those who commit serious crimes like violent robbery, torture, rape, murder, paedophilia and drug dealing should be severely punished, whoever the criminal is “”…” pigment deficiency should not be a reason for subverting the course of justice, especially as the principle perpetrators of the last two crimes I have listed come from this group of people. 
  12. Beware Greeks bearing gifts: foreign tourists provide a major part of our national revenue, but we must ensure that our nation, our people and especially our children are not used or abused by them. In addition, selling of prime real estate to foreign conglomerates may be the only way to get prestigious companies into our country, but be careful not to undersell our beautiful land or create exclusive, gated “foreigners only” zones as was common in Shanghai in the 1930s. Development should be inclusive of all, and not simply provide pleasure domes of debauchery for the wealthy. This applies equally to local businesses “”…” though we value their role in uplifting our nation, they should not exploit our people or our country, and laws should be enacted to prevent this. Otherwise, we will end up with businessmen and bankers paying themselves gigantic bonuses to the tune of billions of dollars for dodgy deals, while the country goes bankrupt as a result of their actions “”…” exactly what happened in the west, causing the financial collapse of 2008.

 If the above steps are followed, I have no doubt that the country can develop quickly and easily, and that Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government will be in charge for a long time to come.

 The road to economic development and national stability has already been laid out for us by other countries, large and small, which have lifted themselves out of abject poverty and into world-leading riches. A few frustrated enemies in the form of foreign meddlers, terrorist backing diaspora members and a divided, weak and self-serving opposition, are no major obstacle to our own bright future, as long as the patriots are allowed to lead the country.

 All we must do is tread the same path to prosperity as other countries, while always aware of and ready to defend against the dangers that lurk in the shady undergrowth that lines this road.

 This essay, also found at thambiraja.wordpress.com, is intended as a brief overview of some pressing issues which must be dealt with to protect the future of our country. In subsequent articles the areas covered here will be discussed in more depth and detail.

3 Responses to “Twelve tips for Mahinda Rajapaksa”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    I couldn’t have put better words on paper. You have spoken like a true patriot. However you have missed out one important element that works like a cancer from within to destroy all our achievements – The Christian Church. We have to be very careful as their tentacles are all over the current administration. Initially they campaigned against the Rajapakse Presidency vehemently and now they seem to be very close to him.

    It is the Christian Church that aided and where possible and funded the Tamil Tiger Terrorists throughout their terror campaign. Tamil Catholic priests headed by Rayappu Joseph openly supported and promoted the terror campaign. Now the new Cardinal is saying that there shouldn’t be settlement of Sinhalese in the North and East. They have a far reaching agenda to divide the country and evangelize!

    These vermin have now crept into the 2600 year Buddha Jayathi Celebrations on guise of religious amity. Sinhala Buddhists must realize that there is no dialogue possible with these religious predators. They are out to devour and destroy other creeds like Hinduism and Buddhism.

    Rajapakse Presidency must realize that it is due to the Sinhala Buddhists that Sri Lanka was able to defeat the terrorists. It breaks one’s heart to see that since of late – Friends are becoming enemies and enemies are becoming ‘friends’! Much of this is happening because of the idiocy of the Buddhists priests led by the Mahanayake’s of the Malawathu and Asgiriya who are famous for taking sides on politics. They have forgotten their role – that they are their to advice – Arthayen Dharmayen Anusasana Karannata.

    It would stand us in good stead to be aware of the hydra headed monster that is the Christian Church. Since that unfortunate happening 500 years ago, they continue to do harm to our nation.

  2. gunarat Says:

    I look forward to reading the evidence and documentation pertaining to each of your highlights outlined in this essay.

    When you write the elaborations, please build in responses to the following concerns:

    1. You advice MR to keep the house in order, and asert that “it is paramount that Mahinda and Gotabhaya ensure arrogance or corruption does not creep into the family.” How do you prove that nepotism or “family bandyism” has benefited the country” more than if easily corruptible outsiders had taken the positions of “the Brothers”? I have seen very few exceptions to the rule that “power corrupts.” Talent is available in the wider community, It is not the preserve of “the Brothers.”

    2. Your advice “to keep the friends close and the enemies closer” is sound. But very often friends and enemies are indistinguishable. Is the United States a friend or an enemy? How about Britain? A friend on one issue can be an adversary on another?

    3. You advice MR to end corruption by identifying and punishing “corruption, at every level.” This is difficult to implement by a government of 100 or so ministers who are more interested in getting commissions and bribes for their own welfare than that of their constituents. The starting point is defining what corruption means. What is the code of ethics that every public servant must follow in relation to their clientele?

    4. Next, you advice MR to crush the unions. This may offer only a short-term solution favorable to political dictators who presume union action is economically disruptive. In an economy run basically on the principle of “exploitation of labor,” union activities have helped the workers to make economic gains. More importantly, suppression of unions also amounts to suppression of free expression. Rather than crushing unions, a better way to prevent thuggery and violence of putative unions is to unleash the normal laws of the country against the violaters.

    5. I have no gripes on your advice to strengthen the country’s security apparatus. Fine, I see all the advantages of our small country transforming itself into another Israel. But you don’t mention a single word about the massive cost a project of the proposed magnitude would cost in relation to the country’s GNP or any other economic indicator.

    6. Next, you advice MR to implement the “divide and rule” policy, both internally and externally–advice also given by Kautilya and Machiavelli. You say that SL should connive with other countries to dismantle India into its brittle fragments so it would cease to be our bully. I say a more important task is to apply this rule for the quickest demolition or fragmentation of the current world-system dominated by the imperialist West. We need India’s economic power to achieve this goal.

    7. You go on to advice MR to make the people feel better by presenting a facade of material improvement. In short, you want a facade, not the actual improvement. You say, “Buddhism teaches us the impermanence of material wealth, but we have to be realistic – people like to own stuff.” Thus, you blame Buddhism as an obstacle to promote this facade. You imply that we should discard axiology–morals and ethics–and adjust ourselves to be opportunistic materialists like the secular West.

    If this materialistic atheism is what matters to you, then why advocate the elimination of corruption, which is another dimension of materialism?

    As the saying goes: You cannot eat the cake and have it too.
    Please pardon me for bringing my concerns to your attention.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    All in all, a worthy article. We agree with a lot of the advice written by Mr MMR, and we thank him for this article. It will make us THINK as what to do restore our Lanka. Some points raised by Messrs. Ratanapala & Gunaratne are very valid too.

    In times of Peace in a poor country, it would be wise for ruling party people and the moneyed people to be one with the common people of the land, and appear so in public without too much extra frills & fanfare to show wealth & power. Any show of wealth & power would be a self inflicted & automatic ‘divide’.

    Here are points we like to add re maintaining a healthy Economy :

    * Germany, the country that created for WWI&II, is today the leading economic power in Europe and a fine economic example to all of Europe. How did this come about ?
    It was because US President Harry Truman, together with his team of advisors, put together the Marshall Plan for Germany & Europe as a recovery program. Through this Plan & the German Constitution, Germany has to by Law, have Trade Union member representation on the Board of Directors in every company. As a result, no Board Member was able to stuff their pockets with company money (investors), and worker rights were maintained for a satisfied work force. No Union strikes, etc.

    * Also, during the recent monetary crisis in Europe, the German government actually paid part of workers salaries where companies were going bankrupt (as opposed to American style of bailing out ailing companies by giving money to CEOs). This enabled companies to carry on with no workers laid off, and also the workers had money to purchase locally produced goods, so that the economy was kept rolling.

    * In USA, worker owned organisations are becoming popular, where workers share profits directly as an extra addition to their pay cheque. Worker owned businesses flourish as hardly any cheating takes place. Every worker takes care of the business as they are co-owners. Friction in the workplace is rare too.

    * Form Co-operatives not just for the retail trade, but also for farming and other activities, will give a sense of working together for the common good.

    * It is not a good idea to sell land outright to foreign Corporations, particularly as Lanka is a small country with not much land to play around with. It is a good idea to LEASE out land for ventures. Anyone pulling of the Lease should have the right to sell the leased property, so that they can recoup invested money. (Hong Kong was leased out to the British on a 99 yr lease).

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