Does She Bring Bad Luck to the Nation and Those Around?
Posted on March 28th, 2016

Dilrook Kannangara

This was a hot topic from 1995 to 1999 discussed mainly in pro-UNP media. UNP coined ‘always breakdown’ to refer to the unfortunate calamities during that time. However, since 2010 the UNP has come to venerate her for political gain. As the nation is once again going through bad luck, calamities and misfortune, it is an opportune time to revisit the topic. This will not discuss personal relationship calamities (which are many) and only focus on publicly available matter.

Sri Lanka as a nation was utterly unfortunate from 1994 to 2005 due to the things that happened during this time. The 2004 tsunami is the worst natural disaster in history and it happened under her rule. According to official estimates close to 40,000 people perished. It caused the world’s worst train disaster when an estimated 800 passengers of the Samudra Devi (Ocean Goddess) died. In 2000 strategically important Elephant Pass army camp was overrun by Tamil terrorists, which remains this country’s worst military disaster in terms of army casualties and the loss of a strategic camp. Tamil terrorist attack on Mulaitivu camp in 1996 come a close second. Negative economic growth (or shrinkage) in 2001 was the worst this nation has gone through. Tamil terrorist attack on the airport (2001), Central Bank (1996) and oil refineries (1995) closely compete for the top three spots for the most devastating terror strikes on economic targets in South Asia. The 1998 attack on the Temple of the Tooth is the worst terrorist attack on a religious shrine. It all happened during the rule of Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

Electricity shortages of 1996 and 2001 are the worst in history and the launch of GST in 1998 was the worst introduction of a tax on commodities of the common man. Within days of assuming office in 1994, two peaceful protesters were killed at the Export Processing Zone and by another few weeks dead bodies of slain youth started to appear from drains and lakes. Although it was blamed on the continuation of UNP tactics and a paramilitary force was blamed and removed from Colombo, the events were never investigated. Within weeks of her assuming office as Prime Minister in August 1994 the largest ship of the navy (‘Sagarawardana’) was sunk by Tamil terrorists. Within just two months, the bloodiest terrorist killing of politicians occurred in which a number of parliamentarians were killed. That incident remains the only time an Opposition Leader and a presidential hopeful was killed. From 1999 to 2000 all military gains since 1995 were lost to Tamil terrorists within months, which remains the worst ever military reversal of South Asia. Since 1995, a record number of military aircraft were lost killing scores. The most lucrative small industry at that time was making coffins.

It was not her fault when her father was killed when she was just 14 and her husband was taken away from her when she was 43. The architect of her infamous ‘political package’ was killed in 1999 and the man behind the Western Provincial Council administration of 1993 that propelled her to national politics – Moris Rajapaksa – died suddenly in 1995. Most pioneering men of the SLMP (Sri Lanka Mahajana Party) were gunned down in violence and Ossie Abeygunasekara was killed by Tamils in 1994. Her close aide CV Gunarathna was killed in 2000 while scores of her close political supporters were bombed in 1999 by Tamils at a fateful election rally. One of her closest aides, Lakshaman Kadirgamar was Foreign Minister when he was gunned down by Tamils in 2005. Iconic Muslim leader MHM Ashroff was a key minister of her Cabinet when he perished in a helicopter crash in 2000. The fate of Anura since coming under her wing can only be described as tragic. Of course she never meant anything bad for any of them and did everything she could to protect them.

After a decade, bad luck has a new address – Sri Lanka. Bad luck has returned to the Sri Lankan economy, politics and defence. A number of pioneering personnel of the 2015 regime change campaign with her are no more in active politics. Some dead, some on deathbed and others kicked out of parliament. The economy is in a much worse shape than in 2014 and disruptions to day-to-day affairs of the public have increased. Power cuts, water cuts, job cuts and frequent protests have returned. The stock market is on a downward slide just as it happened during her first term in office. The prime minister today is no more effective or healthy than the prime minister during her first term.

Vultures once again circle the island and if the economic predictors are anything to go by, misfortune has befallen Sri Lanka again in a big way. What must be emphasised is none of this has any bearing on the weeping widow. They just come to pass whenever she is associated with governance of this nation. In a country where astral beings determine most marriages, election dates and all religious days, people do talk of the association. Whatever that can save the nation from misfortune is a good thing.

28 Responses to “Does She Bring Bad Luck to the Nation and Those Around?”

  1. Cerberus Says:

    Dilrook, I could not agree with you more.The one eyed bandit queen is bad luck for all right thinking people of Sri Lanka. She as a patron of the SLFP should NOT be batting for a UNP candidate. It is an act of treachery. She must immediately resign from the SLFP party or be removed. She is as bad as MY3 who left the party, ran for President then after he won became leader of SLFP but is batting for Ranil W and the UNP. What a pair!

    CBK’S destroyed the Sinhalese, some of it quite inadvertently. First her father SWRD brought in Sinhala Language Act (1956) to make Sinhalese the Official language overnight. It was not a bad thing o the surface of things. But what it did was it gave Tamils and even Muslims freedom to choose the language of education while the Sinhalese HAD TO study all subjects in the Sinhala language. This would have been somewhat acceptable if there had been a great deal of preparation and entire libraries of translation done in many subjects into Sinhala language and new research made possible using the Sinhala language. But that was not so. It was Sinhala overnight, almost. People had no time to adapt to the new situation, both Sinhala people and others.

    As a result our people, the Sinhalese, got handicapped. What made matters worse was that he then made Tamil a National language in 1958 which was unnecessary just to appease the minority of Tamils. This was like putting a welcome mat for Tamil Dalits in Tamil Nadu who are oppressed by the caste system and will do anything to get out. They started coming in droves. Our children should have got a good grounding in Sinhala language with a strong knowledge of English also, so that they had access to the world of commerce and business.

    When SWRD was assassinated by Somarama, his wife became Prime Minister and she made matters worse. With all the Marxist academics as her advisors such as NM Perera she brought the Land Reform Act (1972 ) which decimated the Sinhala land owners. Traditionally Sinhalese were not traders. They were mainly farmers and landowners. There was a good relationship between the villagers and the land owners with land owners looking after the villagers and vice versa. Many of the Sinhala landowners lost all they had and some of them committed suicide. It takes a long time to develop plantation estates and many of them had inherited the estates from their ancestors and had put in a lot of effort and money to develop them. The emotional attachments to their land and connections to the villagers were removed overnight. Overnight it was all taken away. The land owners no longer could support the villagers.

    Net result was that the village youth felt unsupported and decided to revolt. The JVP launched a military type attack to take over power by force. Mrs. SWRD Bandaranaiyake should have at this point invited them for a discussion to look into their grievances. Instead she ordered the Military to kill JVP. The military and police were merciless. More than 60,000 Sinhala youth are estimated to have been killed. Many were completely innocent youth who were just rounded up by Military and asked to dig pits and then shot so that they fell into the pits which were covered up.

    The UNP came into power with Premadasa as President and he did the same. Ranil W was put in charge of the youth. He did not help the youth but set up Batalanda where either with his knowledge or without his knowledge JVP people were tortured and killed. Then when SLFP came into power and CBK became President with Ranil W as Prime Minister they bungled the entire military operations against the LTTE. She appointed her uncle as Minister for Defence and her nephew Rohan Daluwatte as the Military commander. This man had no military experience and would run off to see Sai Baba whenever there was trouble. She kept the war with LTTE dragging on and thousands of our Sinhala soldiers were brutally killed by LTTE. She had a preset idea that it was not possible to beat the LTTE along with Ranil W. Ranil W kept trying to hand over the North and East to appease Prabahakaran. Ranil even stopped a crucial military operation in 2001 where the army knew the exact location of Prabahakaran and were ready to take him out. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZWO5fWDikQ

    She recently in January engineered the downfall of the hero of the nation President Mahinda Rajapaksa by using the think tanks of the West and telling the people lies which have subsequently been proven to be baseless. She is so full of hatred and anger that it distorts her face where she looks like a Yakshani when she talks about MR. She may be harboring anger towards Sinhalese since her father and her husband were killed by Sinhalese. The Bandaranaiyake family has been a blot on the Sinhala people. It is a curse we have had to suffer for so long.

  2. mario_perera Says:

    Dilrook’s article heralds a new wave of thinking and a radical deviation from the hum-drum ‘beating the dead horse’ approach that some regular writers adopt.

    Dilrook’s writing is a probe into the psyche of an individual, a scion of an ancient political family, who made it to the top. Her family background was the major factor in her ascension to the presidency. The rest was what light and colour are to a painting. They enhance the substance endowing it with a halo and a glow that capture the imagination of the observer.

    SriLankan politics is ridden with the personality cult. Race and caste were later introductions. Just think of Sri Ponnambalam Ramanathan contesting the Colombo seat and defeating the majority candidate Sir Marcus Fernando. The Tamil Ponnambalam’s personal halo was more compelling than that of Fernando.

    Then the political scene was inundated with family rivalries: the Senanayakes and the Bandaranayakes; the Senanayakes and the Jayawardenes; the Jayawardenes and the Bandaranayakes…in more recent times the Bandaranayakes and the Rajapakses (a feud that is still continuing).

    Sometimes these family feuds spilled over to the international scene, like the friendship between Sirima and Indira and the animosity between Indira and J.R.

    In all these feuds the subconscious minds played a much more dominant role that one would concede. For example the deprivation of Sirima’s civic right was closely linked to her treatment of Ravi Jayawardene in prison (offering him food on a tin place…).

    These political personalities brought along with them their dark sides. That is for sure. A preset day example is the reciprocal hatred between Chandrika and MaRa. The Rajapakses rose to fame from within the shadow of the Bandaranayakes. I recall Anura taking along Mahinda on his foreign trips.

    On assuming power Rajapakse did everything to throw off his Bandaranayake umbrella. He even got rid of SWRD’s statue overlooking the Galle face, and put SWRD in second place to his father.

    All through our political history it has been a case of ‘Mamai Raja’. It has been a question of imposing one’s image and getting rid of those behind whose image they emerged to the limelight. Some climbed a preestablished ladder which other kicked off the ladder on which they climbed to the top.

    Behind the scene forces (the occult) continue to govern political thinking in a big way. Rajapakse’s reliance on his star gazer is a case in point…so too the dashing of coconuts and roaming around devales and temples to boost one’s sagging image.

    Dilrook’s analysis of the ‘behind the scene forces’ of Chandrika is therefore very much an eye opener.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  3. Dham Says:

    Here Dilrook says “Whatever that can save the nation from misfortune is a good thing.”
    Yesterday he said “Voting for the “least bad” option cannot help Sinhala interests.”

    Is he accepting “least bad” option is “better than nothing” now ?

  4. Dilrook Says:

    @Dham

    Can the least bad option save the nation from its misfortunes (some are the doings and associations of Chandrika and some are not)? I don’t think so. It will be the continuation of the same under a different chinthanaya. In other words, saving Sri Lanka requires much more than saving it from Chandrika although she is part of the mess.

  5. Dilrook Says:

    Thank you Mario for the comment. The focus here is not the accuracy of those beliefs (obviously no known basis) but the fact that a large percentage of people believe in it.

    On a related matter, a recent scientific study of Lankans’ reliance of the ‘unknown’ has found a large number of Lankans of all religions, particulalry the cityfolk, rely on these things. Aparently the number is far greater than the researchers expected. Even Muslims and Christians were found to keep faith in these.

    Even in the 21st century a large number of marriages, house construction and other important events, setting election dates, etc. are guided by the ‘unknown’.

  6. Christie Says:

    I am sure she brings bad luck to Sinhalese that brings her loads of money.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    SWRD Bandaranayake had SINHALA OVERNIGHT.
    Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranayake had LAND REFORM OVERNIGHT.
    Now, Podi Du, Chandrika Bandaranayake wants to have RECONCILIATION OVERNIGHT through Appeasement, once more.
    And also claim her ‘heritage’ to the SLFP too, Overnight. For Lanka, if Traumatised Chandrika kept out of Politics in Lanka, it would be far better.

    These “Overnight folk” have been very costly to the People of Lanka.

    Political and Development Plans which first ought to be well thought out, debated in Parliament and in public forums, published widely in different media, ensure positive growth for all, etc., should never be ‘Overnight’.

  8. Dilrook Says:

    Thank you for the comment Cerberus. I agree with it except the part about SWRD Bandaranaike’s “Sinhala Only” in 24 hours. It is the best thing that happened to Sri Lanka. The Official Language Act contained provisions for reasonable use of Tamil language, which is also good. However, elevating Tamil language way above its due place was wrong. More resources should have been given to Tamils to master Sinhala. Chelvanayagam’s family hired best Sinhala tutors to teach themselves. But that was not available to ordinary Tamils. Tamil was not made a national language formally until December 1988 (15A) (just days to go for the 1988 presidential election) which was an election gimmick of Premadasa to win the support of the SLMC and CWC.

    Tamils and Muslims were not offered English that was not available to Sinhalese. Only 4% of the population could speak English in 1956. The collapse of English medium teaching was not due to the Official Language Act but due to economic and colonial reasons. Christian missionaries (who introduced and dominated English medium in schools) started to leave Sri Lanka since 1920s for newer Christian fertile grounds in Africa and other parts of Asia. That is what gradually collapsed English education in the north and the south. Buddhist schools were created by westerners to counter Christian domination. They too left as there was no ‘fight’ anymore. Hindus had already resorted to Tamil in schools by then. There is no argument people must be armed with English fluency which must be done within a framework of Sinhala official language.

    If Sinhala was not made the only official language, the 1971 JVP insurrection would have succeeded. Most people would have supported it as they would have felt neglected from governance. Agree with failures of Sirima. Building the Jaffna University was one of the most unwise acts of her and in close proximity to a Sinhala archaeological site. It provides the academic backbone to the Tamil Eelam movement. We are yet to see the full potential of this.

    I don’t see any trace of Bandaranaike in Chandrika. She is completely different in her policies. The association of bad luck with Chandrika is obvious (not her fault except for a few).

    However, Chandrika had her good traits as well. Her fearless stand by the people (1991-94) must be commended. It ended a worse problem than the war. Premadasa’s terror killed over 40,000 Sinhalese as opposed to the war (35,000). 1971 insurrection killed a maximum estimate of 20,000. Sadly, today Sri Lanka has no leader to stand by the people without fear. If anyone wants to topple the UNP regime today he must copy how Chandrika campaigned in early 1990s – without any fear and undeterred by family tragedies all caused by UNP regimes. Otherwise, the UNP will continue to thrive in power for another 17 years as the others will be divided and cowardly.

  9. mario_perera Says:

    I must say I enjoyed reading Dilrook’s article as well as the learned and educative commentaries that followed.

    Whatever be the positives of the Language Act of 1956, it was nevertheless the ‘turning point’ of Sri Lanka’s post independence history. The thrust for the Language Act came from the masses kept silence and powerless under colonial rule and under the “post colonial pro-colonial rule” built around the personality cult of a few select Sinhala and Tamil families which were really a Sinhala-Tamil-Britjsh mix through inter-marriages.

    The Language Act of 1956 was always on the cards, and turned out to be the trump card. Fate willed that it was SWRD who dealt it. It eventually became the “corner stone” of modern Sri Lanka but also the “eye of the hurricane” that eventually engulfed the country.

    What went wrong? To my mind it was the vacillation and in determination, first of SWRD and subsequently of everyone who followed him at the helm. What caused the ruin of the country was the ‘bending the back policy to please the Tamils’. Wha ultimately happened was that the majority was made to assume a minority complex and the Tamil minority was endowed with a majority complex. That was the beginning of the bitter end…and we have not yet seen the last of it.

    The Sinhala who rightfully became a vociferous majority in the lead up to the 1956 election were turned once again by the very leader (who rode on their backs to victory) into a silent and powerless majority. What this meant in practice was that nothing really enduring came out of the 1956 revolution which was mainly meant to be the Language Revolution. The Revolution boomeranged on those who ushered it in.

    This “psychological minority complex” has once again become the bane of the Sinhala nation. It is all .due to the gutless-ness, spineless-ness, and utter in-determination of the Sinhala leadeers. As SWRD bent his back so much backwards to assume un inverted ‘U’ the silent majority decried it. Well known declarations of that period were ‘Bandaranayake-ta pana nehe…Bandaranayake-ta pita konda nehe…and even the very extreme “Bandarayaka-ta P..YYA nehe”.

    Every leader who took over the leadership mantle from SWRD assumed that very self destructive trait. Even MaRa who rode on the back of a turned tide to crush the LTTE, later succumbed and assumed that very DNA trait of Sinhala leadership. To use rugby terms, he did not convert his victory run. He miserably failed to remove the 13A to the dustbin of history, and to resettle the Sinhalese in the north. He failed to dismantle the Northern Block, and that was his undoing. It was that Block that dealt him the lethal blow at the presidential elections.

    Indeed “‘Bandaranayake-ta pana nehe…Bandaranayake-ta pita konda nehe…and even the very extreme “Bandarayaka-ta P..YYA nehe”…Replace Bandaranayake with the names of every subsequent ruler and you have it all in a nutshell. The inverted ‘U’, the ruler’s stance in the face of the minorlty Tamils, has become the downfall of Sri Lanka.

    Mario Perera
    kadawata

  10. Dham Says:

    I was too young to hear ” ‘Bandaranayake-ta pana nehe…Bandaranayake-ta pita konda nehe…and even the very extreme “Bandarayaka-ta P..YYA nehe”.”

    I agree he must have made a big mistake by stepping back. In that case MR made even a worse mistake by completely running in opposite direction.
    One of his main mistakes was LLRC. ( Using Lorenzo’s terms LLRC=LTTE)

    Whether he intended to use the recommendations or not, as a leader , he should have made sure betrayal would not happen under ANY other future ruler. He thought he was invincible and made merry.

    However, I don’t agree with Mario’s claim that Sinhalese are suffering from “psychological minority complex”. Big NO based on my own experience.

    22 years ago I was telling my Singaporean Chinese friend that “you, the Chinese Singaporeans are suffering from psychological minority complex”. This was because they behaved in a very protective manner we Sinhalse never behaved. probabaly we may have developed it by now, but I don’t think so.

    Actually what we need now is to develop “psychological minority complex” further in a manner to make sure our deserved majority privileges are achieved. We should therefore learn from Singaporean Chinese.

  11. Dilrook Says:

    Other populist moves of Bandaranaike ruined the economy. These include “nationalisation” of buses and some other industries and cattle welfare act. These things should not have been done as he was already popular. His personal friendship with CHelvanayagam also affected the country badly.

    Bandaranaikes had nothing much to offer the people after 1957.

  12. Dham Says:

    Dilrook,
    I don’t think that “Nationalisation Busses” ruined the economy.
    CTB was one of the best services ever present in Asia. It was ruined by politics by employing people unnecessarily rather than running like a business. It was the subsequent terrible mismanagement that ruined it and hence became a burden to economy.
    If I am not wrong even LKY took our model in creating SBS ( Singapore Bus Service).

    I remember, those days , in 60s we had a bus going to every corner of Sri Lanka under a proper timetable. Bus service blended into our society nicely , compared to earlier days of S De S Jayasinghe’s private busses.
    Buying Indian made busses was another terrible mistake and it is continuing even though Indian Busses have improved now.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    Questions to ask :

    (a). Why do Tamils from Tamil Nadu pour into Sri Lanka, inspite of all the so called troubles for Tamils in Lanka ?

    (b). Why did the LTTE decimate the UNP leadership & other leaders in the 1980s & 1990s ?

    (e). The Tamil Language (Sp Prov) Act of 1958 (SWRD) : What are the repercussions for the Others in Lanka, with some 70 plus Million Tamils next door in Tamil Nadu ?

    NB : Please take into consideration the fact that Tamil folk (especially the converted ones), were the favored darlings of the Colonists.
    During and after nearly 500 yrs of Colonisation, Sinhala Buddhists were in the low rungs of society in their own country, and massacred in thousands too, during the Cold War and political ideology.

    It is high time the vast majority in Lanka claimed their Right to Life.

  14. mario_perera Says:

    You are right Fran,

    But how can it happen with prime ministers and presidents who are ‘sevalayas’…gutless, spineless, cowards, doing the inverted ‘U’ turn before the Tamils?

    In this country we have a minority that is usurping majority rights, and a majority vainly basking in mahavamsa glories of race and religion lying supinely on its back while the Tamils walk over them.

    The need of the hour for the Sinhala nation is a local version of ROBERT MUGABE.

    Coming to think of it the Blessed One handed over this country to a dreamer-Vishnu.

    So have we the voters done, handed the country to be managed by dreamers whose dream, like that of Vishnu, is creating wealth (personified as Lakshmi) for themselves.

    The most classic recent example was MaRa and his hosts. Mara, no doubt his energies spent out by the war, SLEPT thereafter while his hosts created their own Lakshmis and plundered the country’s wealth.

    With ‘sevalayas’ as leaders of the Sinhala nation what else can we expect than being run over by the Tamils?

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  15. Fran Diaz Says:

    Re CBK :

    – She came into power AFTER Pres Premadasa had flattened the JVP into oblivion in the late 1980s. The JVP second uprising was due to INDIA imposing the 13-A on the JRJ (UNP) Govt. NO TALKS WERE HELD. No foreign country or UN bodies protested or tried to stop the JVP massacre.
    So the nasty work was completed by Pres Premadasa and CBK came into power. In fairness to her, we have to say that the aftermath of the Cold War which officially finished in 1991, was almost as bad as the Cold War times. She had to contend with many post-JVP problems too. Did she fair well with the LTTE ? Did she identify the core issues ? Did she find lasting solutions to both communities ? What did she achieve with the Peacekeeper Norway ?

    – Now she is back AFTER the MR govt. finished the war with the LTTE. Same story ?

  16. Cerberus Says:

    Hi Dilrook, CBK is fearless since she has USA, U.K, and India on her side. She is doing their bidding so she has nothing to fear. She is also now with UNP. She speaks for the UNP. So who can stand up to her and her Yahapalanaya? Even though MR has enormous popularity on his side they are postponing LG elections to suit Yahapalanaya. Even if joint opposition wins and if MR comes into power the US, UK, India group will ensure that he is not allowed to govern unless he cuts a deal with them. Sri Lanka has to recognize that India is our worst enemy and in turn India is being wagged by powerful countries. Powerful countries want to have total control over all resources.

  17. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dear Mario,

    Please permit me to be frank.

    It is not ‘Sevalaya’ leaders that bother Lanka. We have had very brave and loyal to Lanka leaders, from both communities. MR is an exceptionally brave leader.
    Some of our past brave leaders have laid their lives down for Lanka. This covers both SLFP & UNP, the two main parties.

    Main problems :
    * We never got real Independence from Colonists. The ‘divide & rule’ principle still goes on. Part of that is due to the political PARTY SYSTEM which appears to create natural enmity and wasteful competition when human energy should be directed toward creative solutions to human problems.
    * Proximity of breakaway sub-state of INDIA, Tamil Nadu with their 3,000 yr old Caste/poverty problems.
    * Outside influences from powerful countries as in Cold Wars.

    Question:

    How to safeguard all the citizens of Lanka in the midst of all these problems ?

    Suggestion:

    That Sri Lanka has a proper Governing Council, (not like the present one), but with trusted and proven leaders from all spheres of life in Lanka. The GC will see to it that the rules of the Constitution are carried out.

    Another Question :
    The fact that the Parliament will become a Constitutional Assembly on the 4th of April. What happens to the duties of the Parliament ? Today, the Exec PM is like an absolute Dictator in Lanka.

  18. mario_perera Says:

    Fran,

    the issue you raise are:
    We never got real Independence from Colonists
    Proximity of breakaway sub-state of INDIA, Tamil Nadu
    Outside influences from powerful countries as in Cold Wars.

    All these issues you raise as being paramount broil down only to ONE. And that is the so-called TAMIL PROBLEM

    All our leaders have either BACKED AWAY or BACKED DOWN from this problem.

    Every other problem the country has faced is IRRELEVANT in comparison with the TAMIL PROBLEM

    Now the Tamil problem is a minority problem. It concerns 13 or 14 % of the population. Ratio wise the Sinhalese count for 75% of the population.

    What does this mean? Simply that Sinhala leaders with the backing of 75% + the majority of Muslim votes as well have allowed themselves to be steam rolled by 13 or 14% of the minority Tamils.

    SWRD was undermined by the Tamils.

    J.R was undermined by the Tamils and signed the infamous 13A.

    MaRa paid pooja to the 13A speaking even of a 13A + (!!)

    All other leaders wriggled and wiggled within the Tamil problem.

    This country was undermined – held shackled to poverty and powerless-ness – by its minority Tamil population.

    All fanfare and trumpeting of our leaders in this regard came to naught.

    Remember what MaRa said on his first pronouncement in parliament after the war? He said, the country belongs to all, and that all can settle wherever they wish. Up to now has one single Sinhala village been established in the north??

    The mighty Mahavamsa Sinhalese with their glorious cultural and religious past (so often vaunted in these columns) has been subjugated by a minority race of Tamils and shackled to poverty and powerless-ness.

    I fully stand by my statement regarding the ‘sevala leadership’ of the Sinhala nation. Their cowardice is summed up for all practical purposes by the insidious number 13A. The 13A are the handcuffs that have bound our leaders hand and foot to the three issues you raise and which I have pin-pointed above.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  19. Fran Diaz Says:

    Mario,

    I agree with you that the main problem is the so called Tamil Problem. I have always said so myself.

    However, you have ignored HOW the Tamil Problem was brought/exported to Lanka. The History of the matter is important to recollect, every time we debate.

    Colonisation of nearly 500 yrs bringing in over one and half million Tamil Dalits as Indentured Labor :

    This was brought/exported to Lanka by the Colonists. It began with a numbers game for cheap slave-like indentured Labor. The Dutch brought half a Million Tamil Dalits for tobacco plantations in the North. The British brought over a million for the tea plantations Upcountry.

    Next came the Cold War times : The Cold War times were supposed to be over by 1991, but the aftemath seems to go on endlessly.

    INDIAN INTERFERENCE : Happens in overdrive whenever the UNP comes into power. INDIA was colonised earier and they do not intend to get re-colonised through breakaway Tamil Nadu and ultra pro-west UNP in Lanka. The 13-A you want removed (so do we – we agree with you the 13-A must go !), was imposed under Duress during Cold War times.

    Present situation, in a nutshell :
    Now the Tamil Diaspora together with the west (which areas are holding nearly a million Tamil ‘refugees’ artificially created by the trumped up 1983 Riots), are trying to carve out a separate Tamil State, Eelam, using the 13-A which was imposed under Duress by INDIA.

    SOLUTION : As you say, Sri Lankans want the 13-A removed so that the call for Tamil Eelam is dropped.
    It is the right time for the YAHAP GOVT with all powerful ultra pro-west Ranil & CBK do just that.

    The MR Govt have done their part and removed the LTTE. Now the YAHAP must remove the 13-A. That is the right way to go as the 13-A was imposed under Duress during the JRJ UNP govt. Now the UNP must remove it.

    I think the local leaders have done wonders given the tough times they faced with INDIA and the International community, the JVP & the LTTE.

  20. Dham Says:

    Some arguments are truly hilarious !
    According to this argument,

    1. We were under colonisers until 1948 – so we cannot do anything.

    2. Since 1948 we are under “cold war” and “Indian interference” – so cannot do anything

    3. From 1991 – 2015 we are still under “Indian interference” ( he did not directly mentioned but a new aggressor “International Community” appeared from no where – so cannot do anything ( although MR removed LTTE)

    So, now it is Ranil’s duty to get rid of “Indian Interference” and “International Community interference”.

    But actually it is well known that India and ICI are the forces brought Ranil to power.

  21. Dham Says:

    Look, we have no control over aggressors and external forces. More and more will appear in the future. New problems and challenges will also appear.
    But if we are UPRIGHT we can defeat any foreign power and solve any problem with little difficulty.
    Problem is us. Problem is the “sevalayas” that Sinhalayas keep on electing and trusting.

  22. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dham,

    I was having an exchange of views with Mario, and you butted in. I find it difficult to do the same with you because last time we had an exchange you stated that you expect very high standards from Lanka leaders, and I said you seem to want PERFECTION from any Leader/s of Lanka (earlier notes with you, remember ?). Now you want UPRIGHT voters. Are you being pragmatic here ?

    The Problem of imperfect “us” will always be there. It is there all over the world. Also, what has happened is done and finished with. Events of the past is to learn from, however unpleasant.

    Re INDIA : Together with some of the foreign countries, INDIA wants control over Lanka, so that ‘pesky Lanka led by the UNP’ will not bother INDIA.

    Anyway, if you find these near PERFECT LEADERS & UPRIGHT VOTERS in Lanka, kindly go ahead and get them to partake in politics in Lanka. And do let us know who these people are.

    Personally, I am rather proud of our leaders (especially MR), that in spite of all the negative events from outside, the country called Sri Lanka is still whole. I hope the RW/CBK duo will not spoil matters further.

    Who knows, you may enter politics and set everything right, eh ?

  23. Dilrook Says:

    Dham, actually Ranil will ‘do’ it through another party the UNP will finance. Just for clarity, lets name it ‘Save Sri Lanka, national anthem and Buddha Sasana from ETCA, 13A, LLRC and war crimes front’. They will take a bold and extreme stand on ETCA, 13A, LLRC, hunting monks and war crimes the Joint Opposition has not taken yet. They will win enough seats on an outright superior policy basis over JO and also on ‘least bad option’. UNP will win as the opposition is fragmented.

    This is why it is crucial that Mahinda stopped playing it safe and be the man to do all these.

    UNP and JHU tried to bring Janaka Perera to contest the 2005 presidential election. Had he contested, Ranil would have won very easily. We would not hear about Rajapaksas. Thankfully, Mahinda took a bold stand to finish off the LTTE at the Dalada Maligawa to Venerable Ellawala Medhananda, Wimal Weerawansa and Venerable Elle Gunawansa.

  24. Dilrook Says:

    Cerberus, so many bad things are associated with Chandrika but her courage from 1991 to 1994 is unseen from any (emphasised) opposition politician with the exception of her father in 1956.

    Chandrika was courageous only from 1991 to 1994. This type of courage is needed today but sadly is not available from any party leader. Thereafter, she lost her courage. If she had India and USA behind her, Mahinda should get China and/or Russia behind him. If he cannot do so, that is his inadequacy. Excuses are not going to work with voters. Anti-India action is needed, not just blaming UNP. I have not heard it from Mahinda and Dinesh, yet. If only Wimal and Udaya say it (as we saw at Hyde Park) the joint opposition will split.

    In 1994 Chandrika beat the JVP (contested under Sri Lanka Progressive Front) on its home turf by vowing to ‘hang’ those behind killing youth in 1989 in Batalanda, Sooriyawewa, Weerakatiya and Wawulkale and dig out those graves. Had she just blamed the UNP, SLPF would have amassed those votes and PA would not have won.

    She also ruined the MEP of Dinesh totally by the same strategy. MEP had 3 seats in parliament (1989-94) but failed to take up the plight of Sinhala youth as she did.

    DUNF could not contest as a third force as she (with her usual uncontrolled anger) threatened to ‘lash’ the corrupt with a sting ray tail and destroy them. She boldly spelt out the names of the corrupt and their adventures. No one dared to do it by then. It diluted the DUNF and forced some of them to join the PA. Knowing well Gamini can get EPDP (9 seats), SLMC (7 seats) and some SLFP MPs and form a temporary government until presidential elections, she absolutely destroyed him over corruption allegations.

    Sadly she didn’t keep any of these promises. However, her bold stand at a time when the UNP government was killing tens of thousands, including her father and husband, and, politically eliminating others (including her mother), it was real courage. Voters rewarded it. I honestly don’t think Mahinda today is as courageous as Chandrika during 1991-94. I love to be proven wrong. Abrogation of ETCA, 13A, LLRC, war crimes trials and ending (and punishing those responsible for) hunting down Buddhist monks are sufficient agendas that go begging.

    The danger is if Mahinda doesn’t take an extreme stand on these, a third party (with or without UNP help) will boldly take up these issues and ruin Mahinda’s chances of winning. That is what I fear most. No point blaming voters thereafter.

  25. cassandra Says:

    Mario,

    Could I hark back to your comments of 28th March where you said, among other things, the following?

    “Sri Lankan politics is ridden with the personality cult. Race and caste were later introductions. Just think of Sri Ponnambalam Ramanathan contesting the Colombo seat and defeating the majority candidate Sir Marcus Fernando. The Tamil Ponnambalam’s personal halo was more compelling than that of Fernando”

    You imply that race and caste were not considerations in the election which saw Sir Marcus Fernando defeated. I have heard a different narrative. I have been told that caste was very much a factor in that election and the fact that Sir Marcus was from the karawe caste – not considered a high caste – went against him. Apparently, at that time, a high caste Tamil was considered preferable to a lower caste Sinhalese.

  26. mario_perera Says:

    Dear Cassandra,

    So nice to see you back. In fact I was wondering what had become of you. There is a commentator called Cassendra Doole appearing in the Colombo Telegraph, but I suspected it could not be you. Cassandra could not be Cassendra.

    You are right. As you say: the fact that Sir Marcus was from the karawe caste – not considered a high caste – went against him.

    I knew this. What I meant was that the person pitted against him (against Sri Marcus) was NOT a Sinhalese of the high caste, but a TAMIL with a personality HALO around his head.

    It is true that Sir Ponnambalam was supported by Sinhala leaders of the high caste, the Goygama, and that Sri Ponambalam was a Vellala which was for all purposes was an ‘assimilated Goygama’ of that period. Yet the fact remains that Sir P.R was himself a Tamil and obviously not a Sinhala high caste. Hence I surmised that it was not directly a high caste versus a low caste match, but a man with an elevated personality halo against a Sinhala with no such shine.

    A further interesting point is that the preponderant segment of the Sinhala voters who helped to oust Sir Marcus were of lower castes in the Sinhala caste hierarchy.

    It is all his that made me opine that it was the ‘personality cult’ and not the caste factor that was in play at that election. It is my belief that the Sinhala high caste, the ruling caste, made use of Sir P.R’s personality, supplementing it with their own high caste aura to down Sir Marcus.

    It is also interesting to note that the Karawe caste stigma of Sir Marcus subsequently was not a barrier to him being elected to the Chairmanship of the National Congress a short while after, which was the highest Ceylonese ruling body of the pre-independence days.

    It is also suspected that the elevation of Sir Marcus to that high office squared up matters between him and Sir.P.R. It not only squared his the caste status question, but is implied to have resultedi n Sir P.R.bowing out of the Ceylon National Congress and forming the Ceylon Tamil League in 1921. It is suspected that it was Sir Marcus, the prime factor in Sir P.R.vacating his post.

    I admit I expressed myself with imprecision, even incorrectly.

    With every kind regard to you Cassandra

    Mario

  27. Dham Says:

    “psychological minority complex”

    This is a mental habit of minorities getting together, always trusting their own and suspecting others.

    A good example are a Tamil trader in Wellawatte employing “Tamils only”. Muslim mudalais employing Muslims only and even some traders from down south trusting people from Galle Matara only. Actually only Sinhalese who suffer from this metal condition are a small group of people beyond “Bentara Ganaga”.
    Most Sinhala Buddhists do not have this decease.

  28. Fran Diaz Says:

    Comment on how Sir Ponnambalam won the confidence and the vote from the Sinhala leaders and people :

    Sir Ponnambalam was probably supported by the Sinhala leaders and people because when after the 1915 (Muslim protest inspired) Riots, and the Sinhala leaders were incarcerated by the British, Sinhala villlages shot without questions asked (no traslators available to plead their case to the British rulers), young William Pedris who was an able officer in the BRITISH ARMY was also shot as a collaborator under trumped up charges, it was Sir P who pleaded with the British for the Sinhala leaders and the people.

    There is also an account of Mr E.W. Perera (a lawyer from Kotte), who travelled to London with a signed plea for release signed by DS Senanayake and all the other Sinhala leaders of that time, & Others who were incarcerated by the British – he had carried this piece of paper hidden in one of his shoes, for fear of its discovery prior to accomplishment of his mission. Mr Perera did accomplish his mission and delivered his note to Queen Victoria.

    It is likely that Sir P’s plea got attention from the British. He had a knighthood from the British and Tamil leaders were favored then. It was Sir P’s mission that got the attention. Therefore the vote for Sir P by the Sinhala leaders and people.

    Moral of the story : Never let colonisation ever happen in Lanka again. Colonisers rule ruthlessly – proven many times. Colonisers are there for personal gain, not for gain of the local people.

    Simple lessons from the past should never be forgotten. Lessons forgotten means death & despair for the Sinhala people and even for Others in Lanka.

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