Lessons from President Premadasa for Sri Lanka’s current leadership
Posted on October 8th, 2012

Shenali Waduge

There are many lessons from the rule of President Premadasa that will help to avoid repetition of making the same mistakes if properly adhered to. The quality of governance has deteriorated over the years and it is unlikely to change unless the present culture of governance carried down by successive governments and politicians does not change. Let all politicians remember that all governments have ended up falling short of people’s expectations because they have removed themselves away from the people trusting in only their henchmen of advisors and no sooner government’s moves away from the masses it becomes the beginning of the end.

 The culture to depend on the underworld and goon squads have passed down from one government to the other resulting in unnecessary bloodshed and a spate of criminal activity that has brought the country into disrepute over the years. Until such time this trend to depend on thugs ceases to be we are unlikely to bring any semblance of good governance to Sri Lanka since the law of the country needs to apply to all equally and officials implementing laws should not have to bow their heads down to lowlife gangsters who thinks they can brandish a weapon and people have to worship them.

 Sri Lanka’s mobsters

Gangster rule and goon squads started with the UNP and its legacy has continued unabated. The Wikipedia has a separate of Sri Lankan mobsters starting out with Gonawala Sunil involved in a spate of activities including rape of a 14 year old girl for which he was given a presidential pardon by then President J R Jayawardena and ended up obtaining an all-island justice of peace and bodyguard to Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe then Minister of Education. Need we say more about the culture that was being slowly created. Then came Sothi Upali said to be a close ally of Sirisena C, then Minister of Housing under President Premadasa. Sri Lanka’s police had to address Sothththi Upali as “Sir”. Taking over from Soththi Upali was his arch rival Chintaka Amarasinghe who is said to have been aligned to the People’s Alliance.

His brother Dhammika Amarasinghe is said to have had a hand in over 50 murders and countless bank robberies and as is always the case when their notoriety gets too linked to their patrons they end up being gunned down to conceal that links. Then comes Kalu Ajith who killed Chintaka Amarasinghe and was killed by Chintaka’s brother Dhammika.

Next to enter is Kaduwela Wasantha who after a decade of terror was gunned down by another rival Karate Dhammika. We will all remember Baddegane Sanjeewa who was a police sergeant for President Kumaratunga. The other notorious underworld figures with fascinating names are Moratu Saman, Thoppi Chaminda,, Nawala Nihal, Kalu Ajit, Vambotta, Olcott, Thel Bala, Kimbulaela Guna, Dematagoda Kamal, Colum, Anamalu Imtiaz, Potta Naufer, Neluwa Priyantha, Kudu Lal and the latest to enter Julampitiye Amare.

 The Good and Bad of Premadasa

If no human is perfect then no leader is perfect either. In the case of a President there are certainly good times and bad times though no leader can make the entire population happy with the decisions taken.

 It is good to wonder how much of the legacy Premadasa had to deal with was of his own making. If we recall the late 1980s and early 1990s it is nothing but bloodshed and gruesome killings with a country torched from North to South. It was Ranjan Wijeratne who took on the task of eliminating the JVP which gave a sigh of relief to the people of the South though many innocent Sinhala youth perished as a result. No human rights organizations cried foul play not even the local NGO bandwagons or their mouthpieces.

 It was J R Jayawardena who introduced neo-liberal economy to Sri Lanka which Premadasa continued while also carrying out his own program of bringing the villages to a reasonable level and managed to transform the UNP often described as the party of relatives into what he termed a people oriented party. He deregulated trade, financial services and privatization, he created massive zones of small industries giving employment to women in rural villages through garments, shoes, toys and revived tourism. He had started well over 15,000 small industry-based projects all over the island.

 What no leader has been able to match was Premadasa’s passion for precision and his attention given to details. He woke up at 4a.m. did his yoga, read the newspapers and would even call his staff and ask for updates and no one could say “later”! “”…” he was behind every project personally monitoring and supervising them and never forgot a single project he started. During Premadasa’s presidency not a single Government office was spared unannounced visits and all offices were clean and staff always on alert not knowing when the President might walk in. After Premadasa, the Government offices have cared little to continue those good practices and most offices function in a don’t care attitude.

 Where did Premadasa go wrong. Coming from humble beginnings and working his way up the political ladder it was natural that he would suffer internal complexities which were manipulated by the people he kept around him as his inner circle. However those economic advisors did not want to make real Premadasa’s vision of making the poor richer and instead the rich got richer and the poor got poorer and people started to develop hate for the man they hoped would change their future.

 The lessons

A leader is brought down by his advisors and it is no different in the case of President Premadasa which reiterates the need for the present leadership to be wary of those they solicit advice from. It was the rumors the tales and lies fed into the ears of President Premadasa that turned an iconic figure into a demon distancing him from parliamentary colleagues, sane advice by surrounding him with henchmen who turned Premadasa into a dictator killing off all opposition. In a country as small as Sri Lanka once sealed as a dictator it is difficult to remove that name from people’s minds. The poster mania started with the UNP and there was never an empty wall without a picture of Premadasa, the culture of news reflecting only politicians and their daily openings is another factor that has been carried down by successive governments over the years. Street smart, Premadasa definitely was but it takes far more to lead in a world where leaders are led by greater leaders. It is for this reason that leaders need to have intellectuals who love the nation and its sovereignty advising them and certainly not intellectuals ready to hand over the nation to foreigners.

 While we cannot forget the manner that President Premadasa stood up against India demanding that the IPKF pack their bags and leave forthwith was overshadowed by the manner he lavished arms to the LTTE which killed countless innocent civilians and troops. We will not forget the lives of 500 innocent policemen who had to give up their arms on instructions of the Premadasa Government and watch each comrade being shot by the LTTE. It is said that President Premadasa had even threatened India that he would abrogate the 1987 Indo-Lanka Agreement and we wonder why he did not. The public have had enough of threats made to only please the public. It is now time for action.

Premadasa’s tenure of leadership was certainly marked with highs and lows and the manner that people celebrated his death with crackers and fireworks does not project any of the good he did during his 5 years in office as President. It does convey perfectly to all future leaders that people forget the good and will judge only on the bad and this is a lesson that needs to be remembered and not ignored. Leaders who accept this fact with a don’t care attitude are in for greater shocks.

 Premadasa led a country in one of the most violent phases of Sri Lanka’s history. His advisors manipulated his paranoia, his weaknesses were tapped turning him into a man hated by the masses. He compared himself with great Dutugemunu and his closest confidant became the second most powerful man in the country but a man whose connections to LTTE terrorism remains to be investigated to understand how terrorism was created in Sri Lanka and why it remains a threat to this day with his connections to the Tamil Nadu “Eelam factor”.

 It is often the advisors that build up animosities amongst politicians creating political rivalries. We all remember the animosities that prevailed between Premadasa, Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake and their advisors will know how they played one against the other.

 We may also like to remember President Premadasa’s plead of innocence “You can assassinate me”¦but don’t assassinate my character”¦” claiming he had nothing to do in the murder of Athulathmudali.

 The view of most during Premadasa’s rule was that “you cannot rule a country by killing its people” though he chased out the Indian’s he did nothing about the Provincial Council system and judged the PCs as a means of generating a political base which is the same situation unfolding currently.

We are well aware that regime change is a top priority in the political scene prevalent in Sri Lanka. The strikes, the protests are all part of the ploys being used to test the type of change to be further manipulated. These are all testers before the real plan is set into motion and is meant to test how a government is able to handle situations. Governments do not help the situation by playing footsy with governance by setting different rules of laws to favored people and the malpractices building up over the years end up creating a mass of people unhappy with the type of governance not helped in the least by media which is often anti-government projecting situations far worse than what they are.

Devolving powers is not the answer

It is therefore upto the Government to face the situation realistically without functioning in a state of denial. No regime change operators will touch a country that has its masses behind its Government. This is why attempts are afoot to make the Government and the leadership to be projected as dictatorial and unsuited to lead.

The reaction is not to make the situation worse but to take measures to address these properly.

What is evident is that advisors have managed to make Sri Lanka’s leadership think that by devolving powers the war crimes probe will be swept under the carpet. This is nothing but a carrot being dangled to get the President to agree to devolution. Agreeing to devolution is to destroy the sovereignty and unitary status of Sri Lanka and it is a quicker exit for the President from power and will leave him forgotten in history as a man who defeated terrorism but destroyed the nation “”…” and it will be nothing he can ever be proud of. Therefore, it is good for the President to start to move closer to the people for they would never allow the country to ever fall into pieces for any peace that external forces are promising. In a country that has summers and springs we do not need further springs!

 

 

 

37 Responses to “Lessons from President Premadasa for Sri Lanka’s current leadership”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “Gangster rule and good squads started with the UNP and its legacy has continued unabated.”

    I think “good” should be “goon”.

    Good things of Premadasa.

    1. NO political solutions BS.
    2. Pitting LTTE against IPKF.
    3. Pitting SLMC against LTTE/TNA.

  2. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    After the 1989 Parliament election, President Premadasa appealed to JVP to give up violence and enter the mainstream politics. But the situation worsened day by day with explosion of bombs, killings of dissidents, attacks on security personnel, killing of police officers and taking their guns etc.

    On April 5, 1989 JVP announced Hartal for several days to commemorate the 18th anniversary of 1971 insurgency. Public property like buses and post offices were destroyed. Several people who defied the Hartal were killed. Premadasa reimposed the Emergency Act on June 22, 1989.

    Ranjan Wijeratne gave wide powers to the Armed Forces to curb JVP. The JVP organized a protest for July 28 & 29 to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord. Armed forces crushed the protest resulted in many deaths.
    Deshapremi Janatha Sannadhda Balakaya announced that if the members of the Armed Forces do not resign before October 20, 1989, the members of their families would be killed. There was a view that this was a ploy by Premadasa. Armed Forces acted with firm determination to wipe out the JVP. Also para-military organizations like ‘Pra’, ‘Yellow Cats’ etc were deployed to wipe out JVP.

    On information extracted from D.M. Ananda (politburo member of JVP), the leader of the JVP – Patabendi Don Nandasiri Wijeweera (Rohana) was taken into custody in Ulapane. Thereafter the deputy leader of the JVP Don Upatissa Gamanayake (Dias Mudalali) and a majority of its politburo & central committee members were also taken into custody. In due course almost all the leaders of the JVP were wiped out.

    The 1988-1989 JVP uprising was a devastating reign of terror compared to the 1971 Insurgency. The 1988-1989 JVP uprising was a ruthless exercise. It infused terror on civilians, killing many innocent civilians. The suppression of the 1988-1989 terror was equally ruthless. More than 65,000 JVP members were killed without proper judicial process.

    By mid-1989 Premadasa demanded from India the quick withdrawal of its 45,000 soldiers from Sri Lanka. In March 1990, India withdrew its last troops from Sri Lanka,

    Premadasa was sincerely committed to Janasaviya program, building 15,000 houses and opening 200 apparel centres. Dealing with the LTTE tarnished President Premadasa’s image.

    Premadasa administration was detested by many when UNP MMC of Dehiwala Lakshaman Perera, a who played a major role in staging a drama which was a satire on government with Richard de Soyza, in the lead role criticizing the government, were brutally assassinated.

    In September 1991 big wigs of the UNP, Lalith Athulathmudali, Gamini Dissanayake and M.G. Premachandra played a major role in the impeachment motion to oust Premadasa. After the failed impeachment bid, 12 UNP MPs including Lalith Athulathmudali, Gamini Dissanayake and M.G. Premachandra were expelled from the party. Thereupon Lalith Athulathmudali, Gamini Dissanayake and M.G. Premachandra formed DUNF – Democratic United National Front.

    In 1992 Chandrika Kumaratunga re-joined SLFP and in due course became powerful. With the ascendancy of Chandrika, Anura Bandaranaike left the SLFP and joined the UNP.

    At a Provincial Council Election propaganda rally of the DUNF held at Kirillapona on April 24, 1993 co-leader of DUNF Lalith Athlathmudali was assassinated. A week later Premadasa was also killed by a LTTE suicide bomb on May Day.

    In 1994 and Chandrika was elected as the Vice-President of the SLFP while Mahinda Rajapaksa who revived the SLFP from 1989 to 1992 organizing a long walk and Jana Gosha against the iron rule of Premadasa was relegated to the background.

  3. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    What the present President lacks is right control over his retinue and processes. He pleases both his friends and foes, both internal and external. The internal foes became friends and put on Ministerial positions which led to wrong control over governance of the country. Those people expecially abuse new found power as seen in recent incidents of cowboy gun sligging approach to settle disputes, like in the old American west. He has no right control over corruption as his own kith and kin are involved in abusing power to get things done. If the President is strict and committed to wipe out corruption, most problems in Sri Lanka will be eliminated. When the leadership fails the whole country fails. This is a pathetic, sordid situation and the country becomes vulnerable to external vultures who are hell bent to destroy the country we Sinha+ hela people built. the tone of Lankaweb has certainly now changed. Although we dread Colombons, if the rest of the country vote on same lines as Colombons, this government will fall and pave way for the slimy, sleezy Ranil to grab power and restore everything to pre-UPFA era. That is unimaginable. So my argument is which devil is better?

  4. nandimitra Says:

    Are we better off today than we were in 2005 when Rajaapkse took over the reigns of the country. If we are then it is better to stick with the the known devil , if we are not then it is time he goes for the sake of the country. The decision is yours

  5. Naram Says:

    His Excellency MR can take few leaves from RP strategy – one is getting public engagement on the need for Divineguma not leaving into lawyers. The guy used to talk sense or not for hours and hours and was seen at every public function coming in early hours to ensure good organization and stage management which ultimately led to his death by the suicide bomber.

    From a distance I can see meny vital reasons wht such a bill is required. I sawsome object to the confidentiality clauses it demands from government employees as if it is a scrilege. Surely that is no different from private sector – we have not heard stalwarts of Maharajah or John Keele, say directors washing mouthing their differences with the chief Executive and the financiers ver the many strategic decisions they are taking in their businesse on unhealthy products or poor customer care in their services. In the business world employees know well who butters their bread and keep the mouths shut where as in the public sector employees are poorly paid, careers are secure though transferable and decisions are often known to all and sundry through a whole network. But that is not the case in a place like Singapore or Japan where public sector isalaries are very competitive and strategic planning decisions are in government hands. Forexample, public transport is very good and motor car dealers cannot get governments to lower tax regime to aid their car sales.

  6. Dilrook Says:

    Divineguma Bill will determine the future of the government. It must be passed and implemented. 13A is an Indian remote controlled detonator. Without revoking or undermining it, nothing good can happen. Russia introduced an act to investigate INGOs and NGOs. After investigations they found USAID is undermining Russia. Consequently USAID was expelled. Divineguma Act must confine NGOs and channel all development and related funds through the Divineguma Ministry which will be equitable to all. National development must follow a national plan not provincial plans.

    Going by the result of the Eastern election, TNA will surely win the Northern Provincial Council. TNA will be supported by India, Tamil Nadu government/persons, USA, EU, Japan and Tamil Diaspora to carryout development work that bypasses the central government which will lack fairness and equity. It will further strengthen TNA’s sole representative claim.

    If the government cannot revoke 13A as it seems the next best thing is Divineguma Act for now.

  7. Dilrook Says:

    There is another lesson from the lives of Premadasa and Prime Minister Bandaranaike. Both were assassinated by Indian connected groups for aligning more with China at times when tensions rose high between these two countries. Tension in late 1950s led to open war in 1962 and war involving India, Pakistan and China was averted in early 1990s. Their relations are even more tense today which means India will not tolerate any Chinese alignment in Sri Lanka.

    However, the lesson is not to dance to the tune of India but to defend the nation and leaders from Indian economic, political and military attacks.

  8. jayt Says:

    sunil,

    before, going to debate about SL president’s and their good and bad, Sl expats have to find a country to move this website from UK to express without fear of reprisal. Sinhalese themselves will have to leave UK starting from now for their safety.

    Canada’s Montreal is the ideal place the websit to be moved. UK friendship with Sl was never good. The reason mainly the Tamil. SL war have nothing to do with British. Of course, British connected to it not today or yesterday by then by Bringing Tamil labourers and by refusing to bring them back to Tamil Nadu which is A. and B is by Bringing Tamil To Colombo and give them power to rule Singhalese affairs.

    One side is taking Singhalese land, on other side bringing more Tamil to Colombo and powering them against Singhalese. This two things is done to provoked Sinhalese to create a war in the future and to back to Indian Subcontinent.
    I am not against British at all doing business with Indian and SL by letting go of colonial past but there were many civilized ways to win friendship and do business rather than repeatedly doing same thing what they did in colonial time

    How can you make friendship with SL, British have been repeatedly and viciously attacking Sinhalese and have been spying on Sinhalese to downgrade Singhalese especially by directing tigers locally and internationally against Singhalese.

    I never had anything against British but British and their partners continuously propagating against Sinhalese in order to get rights to get involve.

    Second, When Singhalese counter respond by just a news article British cannot take it and respond viscously in many ways. downgrade Sinhalese.

    Sinhalese came to UK thinking they were a nation but they never a new nation.

    I am never afraid to tell good side of British if they disconnect from Tamil and come forward to open faithful
    friendship still doors are open.
    Good side of British is that they are expert on business trade and they can turn Sri lanka to a excellent Business centre, however, I am afraid that British ever going to give up Tamil and already British done second time historical
    harms and detail of this harms can any time come to surface once investigation or international probe begin.

    War crime charges against Sl is not An American. American had better friendship with SL and never attempted to harm or deny Sinhalese history. more recently, american came up with many thing against sl because they lost
    friendship with sl due to their unwanted interference

  9. LankaLover Says:

    Mahinda Rajapaksa is increasingly being unpopular because of his own acts of turning blind eye to massive fraud, mismanagement, thuggery, and racketeering in the country.

    We all respect what he did to end the war. However, his acts of turning the blind-eye to gross violations of the country’s laws, morals (tell me about corruption and embezzlement of public funds), and human rights by his alleys, government servants, politicians, and thugs is a point of question. He acts completely incompetent. It seems like he does not want to upset any apple carts, as long as they are with him. This blindness digging his own grave.

    Gota, whom we had lot of hopes keeps beautifying the Colombo city while corruption, thuggery, drug dealing, money laundering, theft, daylight extortion, and bribery becoming rampant throughout the Island. What’s wrong with him???

    After doing all the hard work of eliminating local LTTE, they duo going totally the other way compared to the expectations of the countrymen.

    What went wrong with them suddenly? People who love the country feel like they have lost T-20 when its come to the political and socioeconomic climate of the country.

    There are about six dozens of “Presidential Advisers” and what not are there – they seems to be dumb, blind and crippled as well or have no substance in their brains to ‘advise’ on where these two are heading.

    When the top is inactive, the bottom go to town in every unmoral aspect. Good roads will not develop this country, but elimination of waste and corruption, equality of law, and education will.

  10. jayt Says:

    little bid about how president family were tricked to get a tamil business man into his family. this was a sole plot by tigers against
    sinhalese, prez Rejapakze and brothers who destroyed tigers. So this and an everlasting avenge on president and Sinhalese and military by Tigers. And this is clearly a British style used in all over the world.

    Tigers have been working with support of foreigners for a long while. Tigers wanted
    avenge Sinhalese in their lowest form to insult severely. we still investigate yet but many groups involved(local and international) I do not want name any group yet. but tigers tricked all Sinhalese public and arranged intermarriages to get access to Colombo and other part of sl to hide and bomb.

    also, Western spies use tricks like discrimination in order to get sinhalese public frighten and open door for more tamil spies to come into mainly Colombo

    There are more to this. President was pride himself by celebrating his grant parents who fought British.
    Second, He convicted British colonials who convicted of kandian arotrocrats of crime against British colony. Hi did it in a ceremony in kandy.
    So, this offended the section of British and prez rajapakse did not watch out that there a British section waiting to avenge. British are not Portuguese, Spanish or french.

    There are a british section who are angry of losing British colony.
    They went deadliest war with american to keep it as colony

  11. jayt Says:

    Israel hold all information of this and many others related tigers and their supporters. now is good time to ask them tell everything they know. I know israel told little bid of like how tigers spied on sinhalese in uk ,toronto, and in sl through intermarriages.

  12. jayt Says:

    Now prez Rajapakze and his brothers live in deep well of war crime charges. so, his brothers will not give dam about drugs rapes and many crime: all they care all about to save from war crime. So, sl expats duty rescue them. if any body try arrest them, they know what will happen next. I do respect to them but not other govt people who abuse their status.

    anyhow, arresting them mean beginning of long third war. European know it

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    Colonists of any country never quite let go. We ought to remember that America was a British Colony, as was India & Sri Lanka. Britain lost her colonies due to WW II with consequent loss of wealth to govern an Empire.

    The old “divide & rule” scheme was used everywhere that the Brits ruled their colonies. In Sri Lanka, it was Tamils vs Sinhala people.

    Sri Lankans should take only the useful ideas left behind by all Colonists and throw out the rest. Evolution is happening everywhere – let’s run with it !

    As for good governance in Sri Lanka, the UNHRC was used to hang an unjust War Crimes charge on GoSL, and these charges appear to have weakened the whole of Lanka. However, we can use the situation to strengthen the entire country. It is bringing us all together to help Sri Lanka. Balance will be restored.

    Re the Tamil people of Lanka: Sri Lanka should ask every Tamil person whether they want to be Sri Lankan or go to Tamil Nadu. If remaining in Sri Lanka all Tamil people should take an Oath of Allegiance to Sri Lanka, same as the rest of us.

    At this point in time, what should be done with the criminal elements in the country ? Who is encouraging criminal activity in the country ? Identify them and expose the truth. Criminal elements should have their property confiscated/impounded by the authorities and property restored only with good behavior.

  14. Dham Says:

    Fran,
    To do this, you need a new president, outside political mainstream ( not ponnaseka ).

  15. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    Jayt – I still wonder why people use their Nicknames in this elite forum – this is mind-boggling, although that’s their prerogative. Why don’t they reveal their names and locations? You need to write to my dear friend in private, who is the Editor of Lankaweb – your suggestion of moving this journal (this is not merely a website pl. remember) out of England. We both worked at Valachchenai (Valashena) Paper Mill and had a trying time with Jaffna Tamils. He may agree for you to takeover. I wonder from where you get your info. certainly interesting reading about especially spies. I too met a CIA man in Buffalo in NY state. He was working for a no-existing US company in SL. Well this was mid 80s where our governments were pretty naive of external influence. In fact a US embassy is a CIA operation – from the ambassador down to the security personnel – all spies. Over to you my friend.

  16. jayt Says:

    sunil, what you are telling is true. I did suggested to move this web to another country for security of everybody who take parts in the forums. In my experience, UK is not a country that is safe for particularly for Singhalese nor safe for anybody. They are not the democracy as they claim. they have one thing on surface and many secret that are not suppose to be secret.

    I have evidence that I or someone from SL express to counter UK propagation, there have been many attack on UK Singhalese including killing Singhalese lady and attacking Singhalese business, and hostility from British politicians
    British states who suppose to protect their residences and people who preach the law and order, freedom of expression in other countries practising dictatorial rule in their country.

    There can be international probe and charges possibly can follow or there can be hostilities towards Britain. or many international incidents can take place without a notice as a result Of British support to Tamil. Therefore, it is my opinion for Singhalese not only move this forum but all Singhalese move out of UK.

    Muslim in UK is a huge community but there are persecuted because they resist Brits for invading islamic countries with false reasoning . This will explode into a global level where Muslim will target Brtis in other countries and Britis will target Muslim and others in UK. therefore, it is the most unsafe place on earth in the future

  17. HussainFahmy Says:

    Fran Diaz – You have my vote, perhaps you should contest the next General Elections. Seriously, The country needs a balanced approach to solve its issues and a leader who can lead all its citizens with Human Dignity and Respect. It can be done only through education and unity. SL leadership has a lot of outside pressure more than we can imagine. It’s Wild World out there. The circumstances of our lives actually matter less to our happiness than the sense of control we feel over our lives.

  18. Fran Diaz Says:

    HussainFahmy,

    Agree with you re : “It can be done only through education and unity. SL leadership has a lot of outside pressure more than we can imagine.” Yes, see the number of our leaders who have been killed to satisfy various outside forces, plus trying to solve Tamil caste based problems in Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu grows Caste on a daily basis, but no one questions that.

    Right now the HR violations & war crimes charges, both unjust accusations are hung over GoSL & our leaders. All because the previous govt. under CBK/RW combo let the ltte grow almost to a de facto state, Eelam level – a dangerous & stupid move to placate external forces and ‘solve’ Tamil caste problems. The present GoSL had to get rid of the menace of the terrorist outfit ltte and for their pains they are charged with war crimes and HR violations.

    Question: Why do we allow outside forces to experiment in Sri Lanka ? We should have our own solutions to our own problems. We can listen to them, but the actual solutions should be our own.

    Also, you say : “The circumstances of our lives actually matter less to our happiness than the sense of control we feel over our lives”. Very true. I might add that it is also a sense of control we have over ourselves (senses).

    —————–

    To gain a sense of peace about the country itself, the 13-A must be removed. After that, a general Clean Up of the country in every way, can begin.

    If anything is worth having peaceful public demonstrations for, it the removal of the 13-A. If we are serious about Peace, the 13-A must go. If India is serious about Peace in Sri Lanka, India would agree that the 13-A is unsuitable and must be removed.

  19. HussainFahmy Says:

    Fran Diaz – The regional Bullies have an upper hand on the control of Sri Lanka’s Governance. THIS IS A FACT. The weak is overpowered by the strong. I reckon, in reality GOSL had to give into the Bullies song and dance (eg. 13A) so they turned a blind eye to overcome the Tigers. These Bullies voted against us at the UN to keep the pressure on. The Citizens know very little what goes on behind the scene. Have to recognise ground realities and work towards a solution. This requires a complete, peaceful overhaul of Leadership at the highest level. Politics now; is a commercial venture. An investment return of 10 times or more. Unbelievable corruption by those in Power. Their overseas assets will one day be confiscated just like Gaddafi’s God Willing. Personally, MR is a good man, (people around him is another story) loves his country. Looks like his hands are tied up to take matters further. His time in power is almost up. Credit is where Credit is due. The solution is to strengthen the social fabric; followed by the economy and thus restore our sovereignty with patience and prudence. Indeed a Tall Order and it can be done if all communities can unite and find a way to put the country first in development.

  20. Lorenzo Says:

    ஹுசைன்,

    இன்று இஸ்லாமியம் சேதமடைந்துள்ளது. உங்கள் இஸ்லாமியம் மீண்டும் Saudi எடுத்து.

  21. Fran Diaz Says:

    HussainFahmy,

    Thank you for response. In a nutshell, yes, I agree that the 13-A must be removed, as it was imposed under Duress and is therefore null & void. It was imposed on Sri Lanka because during the Cold War times, JRJ leaned too far west. We must be mindful at all times that we have to have to honor feelings of security for the Region, while being friendly with all others. India is in the same position. India was used to impose the 13-A on us.
    In retrospect, we can see that the 1983 Riots were also whipped up artificially, first with a call for Separatism through Violence (Vaddukoddai Resoln, 1976, which set the stage for the 1983 Riots). Tamil problems of the North have a Caste war base.

    However, I feel that MR has to work with the political ‘material’ he has at hand, some good, some mediocre, some downright damaging. It is the same in most Democracies. He also has to clear his good name of an unjust war crimes charge & GoSL of HR violations before he can safely vacate his position.
    The world’s Fiscal system is rather wonky to say the least – the most cunning seems to gets the most. However, there are honest businessmen & politicians too. In a Democracy, it is up to the ordinary people to boycott bad business as well as politicos.

    Do Sri Lankans really understand Democracy yet ?

    Also the Core Teachings of the world’s religions are not adhered to. Religions have become like some sort of Club. We have forgotten our humanity – that we all get born, live, seek happiness and die and that we all want to feel Secure with some happiness is forgotten. Instead, for some it is power mongering & accumulation of wealth by stealth. Some people try to accumulate wealth thinking it will give them comfort & security. Not so. It is better, as you say, to improve the social fabric of Lanka, or for that matter, any country.

    To improve the Social Fabric, apart from modernizing the infrastructure, providing better food, clothing & shelter (basic needs), which factors the GoSL is already attending to, what else do you propose ?

  22. Fran Diaz Says:

    P.S.: Of course, then there is Tamil Nadu and their Separatist aspirations from India which were brought to a halt by PM Nehru when secession was made unlawful through the Indian Constitution. Tamil Nadu Separatist aspirations were transferred to/copied by Tamil leaders of the North of Lanka, who saw an opportunity to stop the Caste wars there.

  23. HussainFahmy Says:

    Fran Diaz – To regain our sovereignty, we have to First establish a position of social and economic strength. At times wealth talks. All communities in Sri Lanka who have lived for generations must contribute for this cause and all must give their allegiance to ONE COUNTRY, with the freedom of each community to practice their own faiths and we all respect it. That takes care of the social harmony and the next to revive the local economy, take stock of the natural resources and put in place a fiscal policy to generate a market economy and restrict imports on luxuries not through taxes but through educating the masses. Promote local industry with incentives and tax concessions. Let’s learn to live within our means. Thanks for your input. Regards

  24. Fran Diaz Says:

    HussainFahmy,

    I agree with some of your ideas. Here’s my take on what you have stated :

    Most of us pay in taxes, and that covers our contribution to the welfare of the Nation.

    You say : “To regain our sovereignty, we have to First establish a position of social and economic strength”. I agree. However, I think Social Strength comes from Individual Strength, since Society is a collection of Individuals. Individual Strength comes from Self Respect and Self Conquest, man or woman. I do not know how other religions view this, but in Buddhism each of us must take responsibility for our Thoughts, Deeds & Actions. The Strength of the Individual adds to the Collective Strength of the Nation.

    Re Economic Strength : This is a massive topic. Do we measure Economic Strength (GDP) or Wellbeing of a Nation, or both ? Measuring the Wellbeing of a Nation will bring us into an area without absurd competition re possession of money, goods & services. The Physical Quality of Life Index (PQLI) is one such way to measure the Wellbeing of a Nation. PQLI as shown on the net :

    “The Physical Quality of Life Index (PQLI) is an attempt to measure the quality of life or well-being of a country. The value is the average of three statistics: basic literacy rate, infant mortality, and life expectancy at age one, all equally weighted on a 0 to 100 scale.
    It was developed for the Overseas Development Counci (USA)l in the mid-1970s by Morris David Morris, as one of a number of measures created due to dissatisfaction with the use of GNP as an indicator of development. PQLI might be regarded as an improvement but shares the general problems of measuring quality of life in a quantitative way. It has also been criticized because there is considerable overlap between infant mortality and life expectancy.
    The UN Human Development Index is a more widely used means of measuring well-being.
    Steps to Calculate Physical Quality of Life:
    1) Find percentage of the population that is literate (literacy rate).
    2) Find the infant mortality rate. (out of 1000 births) INDEXED Infant Mortality Rate = (166 – infant mortality) × 0.625
    3) Find the Life Expectancy. INDEXED Life Expectancy = (Life expectancy – 42) × 2.7
    4) Physical Quality of Life = ….. ”

    I assume we can create our own PQLI indices and have a healthy ratio between PQLI & GDP.

    Also, I personally believe in Self Reliance in every way, for the Individual and for the Country, as much as is possible. We all have to take that Oath of Allegiance to Sri Lanka.

    What ideas do you have for the growth of the human psyche so that we VOLLUNTARILY lead lives within our means ?

  25. Fran Diaz Says:

    P.S.: Also, I cannot emphasize the importance of the two child family, and subsidized/free birth control material, to keep a healthy balance in the numbers : resources ratio.

  26. Fran Diaz Says:

    correction: ” I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the two child family, …… “

  27. HussainFahmy Says:

    Fran Diaz – Full Marks for your academic analysis. Absolutely right; Individual rights converts to collective power. The so-called dirty word Jihad is actually means SELF STRUGGLE TOWARDS PIETY, RIGHTEOUSNESS AND A PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE, TO DEFEND ONES HONOUR AND PROPERTY. Belief is like a thermostat that regulates what we accomplish in life. Faith can move mountains. Mind is indeed a thought factory. Only we could make it either a destructive or a creative tool.

    I strongly believe Accountability to a Higher Power plays a major role in the Human psyche. Fear and Hope molds the Humans to care, to be responsible, to be honest, to be trustworthy, to respect each other and the environment. If we take away accountability we have ‘free for all’, do what we want without any consequences. This results is the Chaotic rules and Devil takes control.

    The two child policies could have severe population depletion consequences in the future. The Islamic economists increasing believe the co-relation between population control and economic prosperity is false due to the fact that new technology will discover new resources to affordable food and energy. However the major obstacle is a lazy and unproductive population which will add poverty and economic stagnation. End of the day, we all measure success through HAPPINESS.

    I want to thank you for keeping this conversation informative and respectful. Exchanging of views with mutual respect is a gift to sanity. I sincerely believe, you have the capacity to make a difference to self and our country. The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labour and his leisure, his mind and his body. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.

    Take care and look at the positive side of life. Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.

  28. Fran Diaz Says:

    HussainFahmy,

    Thank you for your wise and also for appreciative words. I too wish you all the best. Our two communities have much in common. In fact, all of Humanity has this common goal of Survival and the Pursuit of Happiness.

    I do agree that Poverty comes with Laziness and Apathy. How do we counter that ? Till the day we overcome a Lazy attitude, which may be result (in Lanka), of some 500 yrs of Colonial rule or even rule by a king/queen who may acquire all that is built up by an individual, we ought to strive for the smaller family. Also, in modern times, modern medicines have removed some of the plagues and natural causes of death of hundreds of thousands of people, and the populations everywhere are increases by leaps and bounds. It takes only 9 months to create a human child who may now live 70-90 yrs and must be cared for and protected by family, others and governments, and who in turn should care for others too.

    Re FOOD : Gene modified foods are supposed to overcome famines etc. but are these foods healthy ? I can tell you with some certainty that they are tasteless and proven not to carry the usual health giving properties of food. With climate change, food production will certainly drop all over the world.
    All other needs of a human being will diminish in quantity and quality with too many people in any given area. In almost all species, including human beings, frustrations develop when overcrowding happens (physiological/environmental reasons) and this has nothing to do with religions, but needs of survival & wellbeing.

    Re SELF REALISATION : From what little knowledge I have gathered over the years, I know that there is a Creative Force in the Universe, usually called GOD (Generator, Operator, Destroyer = G.O.D.), known in other religions by different names. In Buddhism, known as “Truth”. In Hinduism, known as Brahma. Buddha said “Truth is Within You” and Meditation is emphasized for Self Realisation (as in Dhana, Seela, Bhavana (Meditation), and in Raja Yoga Meditation (Hinduism) it is the same.
    Jesus spent many years in the desert in Meditation. He said “the Kingdom of Heaven is within You” and “be Still and Thou shalt know Me” & “He leadth me beside the Still Waters”, indicating that the Godhead is also within us. I am supposing that Sufis of Islam religion have a similar approach. Please tell us more about Sufism, as there lies common ground and Hope of a peaceful and prosperous future for us all.
    The “Leela” (Play) of God must serve its purpose, with peace & prosperity for all.

  29. HussainFahmy Says:

    Fran Diaz – Thanks again for your thought provoking response. One of Humanities greatest folly is wastage of food and wealth. Family Financial Planning is a great way to achieve maximum benefits on ones earnings. Family financial Debt is on the rise through easy credit. Rather than restricting the size of the family, the approach should be towards an affordable number of children within ones means to provide the quality of life. Unfortunately, most families in Sri Lanka cannot afford to comply with this criteria. There is no known cure for laziness and no relation to ones Gene. Laziness is a self inflicted disease.

    Genetically Modified food is not natural and thus could cause harm to ones health in the long term. Research is still
    inconclusive. Organic cultivation is do-able and cost effective in the long term as this cuts down on Medical Bills. A
    healthy lifestyle is very cost effective.

    Religion/Philosophy is a way of life we all choose to live our lives and we should tolerate each others methodology. One must have the freedom to worship whatever one pleases. What’s right and wrong is the business of the Creator to Judge at the end of ones life. There is no reason to argue or fight about, pointless debating the pros and cons or comparing and contrasting with others nations or beliefs. Either one accepts it or rejects it and is prepared to face the consequences of their choice. There also no reason to get worked up if one were to disagree with others.

    Islam; like most religions have split into various sects and schisms. All these are man-made and or Devil instigated to capture power and control. The message of Islam is simple, straight forward and in its essence promotes Peace, Harmony within communities, Protects Human/Animal/Honour/Property Rights, Punishes the Evil and rewards the Good. There are those who adhere and those who do not. We cannot and must not judge Islam with those who do not adhere to the message. The Islamic Laws are Divine, Just and applicable at all times and for all ages. So there is Islamic legislation on Ethical Economics, Social Governance etc. The Creator is aware how His creation should successfully pursue a life of happiness and this is revealed to every nation in the form of scriptures. To this day most people misinterpret it or corrupted the message to suit their selfish purpose for short term gains. I personally accept the rights of all people to seek Truth and follow their Heart; be it right and or wrong method.

    Sorry, if I am harsh at times, Just Human Passion, No Harm Intended to anyone.

  30. Fran Diaz Says:

    HussainFamy,

    I agree with some of the things you say here.

    Some other points to think about :

    * Sri Lanka having been under some 500 yrs of foreign rule, has to now adjust the Law of the Land to suit the needs of the present day people, such as getting rid of the 13-A etc.

    * In modern times, it is a fact that the poorer the people, the larger the families. In the old days, farming families of all agri -based countries had larger families to help tend the land. This practice has dwindled down with mechanisation of farming tasks, and small/corporate land holdings. Now it is the poorer sector that has larger families, not the wealthier people as you suggest. Also, the more educated a people are, the smaller the family. It would make sense to provide family planning & birth control material subsidized or even given free, to prevent huge clumps of poverty ridden people, and encourage the smaller family. The the case of our neighbor India – of India’s one Billion plus people, how many live in relative comfort & security ? How many live below the poverty line ? According to statistics on the net, 61%-80% earn less than $2 per day. India herself says that 32% are poor (Tendalukar Commission). Those are high figures. Sri Lanka has 6%-20% earning less than $2 per day. There is no real romance in dire poverty.

    * We all ought to have Preventive Laws stopping religion, ethnic and other group based violence. Religious violence is the most dangerous form of violence, and can stem from many reasons. But there ought to be adequate Laws to prevent it manifesting in Lanka and other countries.

  31. Fran Diaz Says:

    In my earlier posting, I ought to have said ‘….. and the Pursuit of Happiness in a socially responsible manner”. The Human Mind is a strange thing, and can be trained from very young days to accept certain socially dangerous practices as acceptable.
    For example, it is just one tiny shift away from animal sacrifice, if accepted, to human sacrifice !. Another is forbidding abortion via religion even for a victim of rape. Another is Sri Lankan attitudes toward Illegal Migrants (IMs). The earlier tolerance of IMs has to go, fast. All IMs ought to be deported. There are more items that have to be unearthed.

    Our guardians of the Law will have to go through our Laws of the Land with a fine toothcomb and make changes where necessary to suit modern times, so that all citizens here will feel a sense of security and wellbeing, as far as is possible. Sri Lanka has suffered too much for too long.

  32. HussainFahmy Says:

    Fran Diaz – We can also agree to disagree on issues in order to have an open and frank exchange of ideas. No objection If the wealthy wishes to have a small family, however my point is the size of the family should always depend on personal choices and not through any form of coaxing. Those who cannot afford should think twice. The RIGHT OF CHOICE.

    13th Amendment is pain in the neck and beyond. If you had read why India voted against Sri Lanka in the UN, Mr. Manmohan Singh’s response was ‘The preservation of the Rights of Minorities’. (We know they do not practice what they Preach) It is a fact there is a tiny percentage of Sri Lankans and some are very vocal in the Lankaweb forum as well of curbing these rights. Sometimes, I wonder if they are really Sri Lankans. The hatred they have bottled up with false information (Specially Islam) is so scary and this could pose a danger to their mental health. We know; they will not succeed in banning the freedom of worship; even if it were to happen the educated minorities will have to find an alternative place of residency.

    Violence is a result of not observing the rights of ones Honour and Property. If one were to take this by force or through legislation; Peace and Prosperity will be a distant dream. I am a Strong believer of accountability. Through out life; have witnessed oppression and the oppressor’s disgraceful downfall. The Muslims are permitted to slaughter animals for food consumption and also Islam values life and there are exceptions to abort; depending on the circumstances. BRAIN DRAIN. Educated Sri Lankans fleeing the country is a bigger threat than those come in for economic reasons.

  33. Fran Diaz Says:

    HussianFamy,

    The Right to Choose re Family Planning should be accompanied with good Education (the Educated almost always have small families), and freely available birth control material, either subsidised or free. Or else, the Right to Choose will end up in huge populations > poverty > unrest, anger, envy, jealousy of ‘haves’ > riots > loss of life > open to foreign take over etc.

    Violence has many faces, not merely loss of rights over ones Honor & Property.

    Re Food : slaughter of animals through humane methods for Food is acceptable. Having said that, I personally would like to see a wide variety of health giving soy products in the market, such as soy milk, soy burghers, soy cheese etc.

    Brain Drain will always happen, and in the long run proves useful for Sri Lanka. Those who come in for economic reasons to Sri Lanka : I have my reservations on that point. Sri Lanka is a very small, poorer country, and can ill afford those who come in for economic reasons. If Lanka were a large country experiencing an economic boom, then we can afford those who come in for economic reasons.

    Thank you for your views.

    I hope Shenali will bear with us, and with these extensive write ups ….

  34. Fran Diaz Says:

    Re ” … those come in for economic reasons” :

    I am referring to people who come into Lanka in large numbers seeking employment here assuming that is the sector you are referring to. Such people never go back to their countries of origin. They are usually illegal migrants or fishermen from Tamil Nadu area or even the Maldives. Even a constant trickle of people coming in from outside can, over a short period of time, destabilise the ethnicity/religion ratios of the country quite easily, as Lanka is a small country. That should not be allowed to happen.

  35. HussainFahmy Says:

    Fran Diaz – The economic reasons, I was referring to those who come in to the country as Investors. Border control for illegals is the right of every nation. If one were to focus on ethnicity/religion one has to to sacrifice economic prosperity. Asian Cooperation Dialogue Summit currently held in Kuwait which is to promote a better standard of living to its people. Either Sri Lanka opens up or keeps it’s door shut.

  36. Fran Diaz Says:

    HussainFamy,

    As you may be by now aware, I am not for sacrificing Security for the Economy of Lanka. Sri Lanka has suffered too much for too long.
    I am for the genuine Investors coming in, provided Sri Lanka has proper Rules & Regulations in place. Sri Lanka is notorious for being laid back re Rules & Regulations or not following through of the R&R. Unscrupulous Investors can play mayhem in this small country if care is not taken. With bribery & corruption on the rise, GoSL had best be very careful about Investors.

    Thanks for your views and input – it was a good exercise.

  37. HussainFahmy Says:

    Fran Diaz – Definietly, security of a nation is of paramount importance. It was a pleasure to have had this conversation. Thanks and Regards

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