Time to say goodbye to both UNP & SLFP: A new political culture, parties & people needed for Sri Lanka
Posted on May 5th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

 Sixty eight years after independence it’s time to retrospect. Has the country progressed democratically? Have the political parties expected to carry out the mandate of the people honoured them? Have these parties and the politicians that represent them protected the sovereignty of the country or themselves? The latest tussle in Parliament beckons the people to realize that the expectations from the 2 main political parties in the country has now withered and we see no future for them or for the people who are ardent fans of the party. No political party can take precedence over the needs of the country. No political party ideology can compromise the sovereignty of the country. No politician can divest the territorial integrity of the country in exchange for the assurance to remain in power. The people need to change their thinking and mind-set too. People too must learn to put country before self-interest.

The UNP

The United National Party was launched on the 6th of September 1946. D S Senanayake was its first leader and became the country’s first prime minister in 1947. Ironically, the 1947 election campaign pledged to remain as a dominion under the UK while also protecting the traditional way of life and Buddhism. Senanayake’s polices were pro-West, anti-Communist foreign policy.  UNP was known for its stand against the majority Sinhala Buddhists and its pro-Catholic policies. UNP was also accused of being party to the 1962 army Christian-coup.

The present UNP is today a member of the pro-Christian centre-right polices of the International Democratic Union (IDU) of which the present leader and PM was elected the Chairman of the Asia Pacific Democrat Union  and IDU Vice Chairman (ex officio) since 2005 http://idu.org/officers/hon-ranil-wickremesinghe-mp/

The SLFP

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party emerged after S.W.R.D. Bandaranayaka left the UNP to form it in 1951 on the strength of the ‘Pancha Maha Balavegaya’ (Five Great Forces) which consisted of the native doctors, clergy, teachers, farmers and workers. The first SLFP government was formed in 1956. SWRD was instrumental in shifting Sri Lanka’s foreign policy from pro-West to a Non-Aligned one. In September 1959, Bandaranaike was assassinated. Wijeyananda Dahanayake served as the interim PM. SLFP was taken over by SWRD Bandaranaike’s widow Sirimavo Bandaranaike who became the world’s first elected woman Prime Minister in 1960. Under her leadership the government nationalized key sectors of the economy such as banking and insurance, the Ceylon Transport Board and also all schools. She too followed a pro-East and Non-Aligned policy. Her government was instrumental in bringing a new constitution, changing the name of Ceylon to Sri Lanka and turning Sri Lanka into a republic. She served as the chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1976. After JRJ removed Sirimavos civic rights the SLFP was headed by Hector Kobbekaduwa. SWRD & Sirimavo’s daughter Chandrika took over SLFP in 1994 becoming PM and later going on to become the President of Sri Lanka under the People’s Alliance. Mahinda Rajapakse took over the SLFP in 2005 until SLFP leadership which is now under the current President Sirisena since January 2015.

Should a political party be a family party?

The UNP has been referred to as the Uncle-Nephew-Party. When D S Senanayake died in 1951 following an accident his son Dudley became Prime Minister. When Dudley resigned in 1953 after a hartal against rice rationing, his cousin John Kotelawala took over. Dudley returned to power in 1965 but lost in 1970. Dudley passed away in 1973 enabling JR Jayawardena known as the ‘yankee dickey’ for his free market policies and a pro-American foreign policy. UNP came to power in 1977 and using the 5/6 majority JRJ changed the constitution, became the Executive President and brought in a new constitution. Jayewardene retired in 1988 and was succeeded by Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa. Premadasa remains the only non-relation to head the UNP and upon his assassination in 1993, JRJ’s nephew Ranil Wickremasinghe took over leadership of the UNP in 1994 and has since remained its leader. It is pretty obvious that Ranil will hand over leadership to another relation in the UNP and no one else. So apart from the stint Premadasa had as leader of the UNP given the public popularity Premadasa was able to build up, the UNP has been led by family members. However, the question is should political parties be led by one family only?

The SLFP has been led by 3 family members – father, mother & daughter while the UNP continues to be led by family barring the only time it was led by Ranasinghe Premadasa. However what is the future of a party if they are more interested in security the family hold over it.

The JVP today is a spent force. It’s a sorry version of what its founder Rohana Wijeweera would even imagine it to be. We need to only speculate aloud that it has prostituted itself and its communism to capitalist agenda. The youth followers of the JVP must realize that their cries and wailing must come secondary to the need to educate, graduate and on the strength of their qualification earn a living. Demands and slogans cannot meet those objectives in a global village. They must wake up.

The rest of the political parties most of whom carry an ethnic label should be shunned in view of their party name itself being anti-national. No party can claim to be working towards the unity of the country if they carry an ethnic name to their political party because it is on the strength of this ethnic name that they revolve their campaign. This automatically nullifies their claims of wanting to live with the other communities because ethnic-based parties are only claiming things for themselves.

Let’s take a look at the present parliament. How many are really elected by the People? How many have come from the backdoor and even after coming from the backdoor see the manner they are behaving. How many illegal decisions are taking place and avenues closed for people to address these grievances? This is not democracy. This is not what the people want and voted for. Is the country their personal property, are the state institutes and other bodies theirs to decide to sell off for a one off payment when easily losses can be addressed by proper management and reduction of top down wastage. How many decisions have ever had the people’s consent when the constitution clearly says sovereignty is in the people and is inalienable?

After over 400 years of occupation by invaders those that took over were virtual clones of the colonials tasked to continue colonial rule with a touch of local flavor. No post-independence leaders rose to demand reversal of discriminations suffered since 1505, no demands were made for apology and compensation and instead former colonies aligned to global systems of trade and western laws that entailed enslavement under another name. Will former colonies ever be able to get out of the debt-interest trap set by the West who live off the interests given on created money? If we have come far in terms of infrastructure it is something to feel proud of but as people, have we followed values, cultures and traditions or are we always copying the Jones. We are trying to please and copying others because our governments have failed to implement an education syllabus that makes citizens proud of the nation, proud of the local heroes, proud of its history, proud of those who built the nation and proud of our heritage all ingredients required to want to defend the nation. It is those that do not know the history who do not value it and do not wish to protect the nation and defend it.

How many MPs today even read a bilateral agreement, articles giving warnings about our enemies, agreements that are detrimental to the national security etc? How many of our MPs can evaluate the terms of agreements and oppose the handover of state assets, food, energy, maritime security to foreign nations especially those that have been historical enemies and whose agreements are always one-sided tilted in their favor only. How many MPs realize that signing such agreements will remove the protective layer we have globally when strategic interests are handed over on a platter to another country simply because a party wants to remain in power.

We need a new political culture that departs from the selfish and wasteful manner current political parties and parliamentarians practice irrespective of which party they belong to which is why they have no qualms to jump from one side to the other and sing hosanna’s thereafter.

It is the people’s opinion that can bring change. Change comes not in changing one political party with another and a plethora of kangaroo jumps.

The time is now ripe for the green and blue to be replaced. They are a spent force now and have nothing to offer the people or the nation. We need a new ideology that is nation-centric and people-centric desiring to build the nation not outsource or sell everything we have for a one-off payment and lose our sovereignty and territorial integrity altogether. Change euphoria, broken promises and lies on political stages need to stop.

Both parties lack vision, lack politicians with a mission and strategy to take its voters to a promising future in a country that they are committed to protect both its sovereignty and its territorial integrity.

We need to now re-start rebuilding the nation from scratch.

Shenali D Waduge

24 Responses to “Time to say goodbye to both UNP & SLFP: A new political culture, parties & people needed for Sri Lanka”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    Agree with Shanali 100%. Both these parties are past their ‘ expiry day’ and some of the senior members have outlived their usefulness.

    Only option left for the Sinhalese is to start an armed freedom struggle to regain their birthright. Over the last 70 years we have seen that our politicians jumping over each other to gain minority votes sacrificing the rights of the Sinhala Buddhists.

    History has proven that it is not possible to gain one’s rights without armed struggles and bloodshed – something akin to what Prabhakaran did. He fought for land that was not theirs and lost. Sinhalese have to fight for land that was and is theirs and win.

    Aim of the Eelamists is to join up with Malaynadu and capture the Mahaveli Waters. Despicable Indians are aiming at making Sri Lanka their 30th State. The bridge envisaged over the Monkey Bridge is to construct a highway straight to Trincomalee the best deep water harbour in the world. ETCA is to ruin what is left of SrI Lanka economy and grab all benefits that we can get from the International Community.

    Aappaya hand in hand with Don Juan Wickramasinghe will do whatever to end Sinhala Buddhist identity in Sri Lanka. Our Ranaviruwo’s have an unfinished business to this end.

    MR isn’t doing much either. His speech at the May Day rally was incoherent and not a prepared speech for such a gathering. People who come in their tens of thousands will eventually get tired if only this type of “media circuses” are to follow.

    If he is a patriot, he should show that motherland is more important than him. For this he should leave the SLFP and form a new party, just like his father did. He must try more to identify with those who supported him through and through.
    As long as Sinhala Buddhists are deprived of their due recognition in favour of minorities there will be unsettled politics in Sri Lanka. The end result is in favour of the minorities.

    In Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhists are neglected big time. Like lambs to slaughter they are becoming silent witness of their own demise. Very soon they will not have any land to call their own. Minorities are attacking systematically and in an organised way with funds to boot- the North, the East, the Hill country and all economic centres.

    The time to look at saviours is at an end. Sri Lanka needs a mass movement to prevent it from becoming another Sudan, another Yugoslavia, another Libya, another a Iraq, another Afghanistan, another Syria and another Ukraine. Individuals have left us askance at the end. We expected much more from MR after the war. He simply wasted many strategic initiatives, which he should have taken after the war – including keeping the LTTE front the TNA from taking part in popular elections.

  2. Dham Says:

    We don’t need a “parliament” or “politicians”.
    Select a council( of public servants) to run the country by electing ministers from a suitably qualified pool of disciplined candidates.
    There shall be few basic rules/laws not negotiable.
    1. Asking for ethnic based divisions, regions or favours more than the ethnic percentages of the island.
    2. Mentioning of homelands or self determination ( which is already provided fully)

    However, what is difficult is to do the clean up. At the moment minds are so corrupt good has become bad and bad has become good.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    Ex-Colonial forces at play in Sri Lanka together with “married to the Democratic Union/Commonwealth” Ranil.
    CBK is “married” to Britain.
    MS is led by CBK.

    So, Yahap is led by Ranil/CBK >> Democratic Union/Commonwealth/India/Britain, and so on.

    The Armed Forces of Lanka are having a Special Advisor from Britain now (signed in by MS last year).

    Is there any real Democracy in Sri Lanka ?

    ——–

    MR was cornered with the War Crimes charge very early after the War ended with the LTTE.
    When the War started, the whole country was with MR & his govt.
    After the war ended, various politicos & media were bought over to the other sides, and ‘games’ were started in earnest to ‘get rid’ of MR in politics.

    No, Lanka has no rest. Neither has MR, even having achieved the impossible task of eliminating the LTTE.

    Suggestion : Lanka should be governed by 5-8 able, trusted, experienced and educated people in a proper Governing Council, with the balancing factors of a pared down Parliament, & Judiciary.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Remember when MS chose RW as Exec PM, he said he did it “because the west wants it so”.

    What more, folks ?

  5. AnuD Says:

    Easiest way to do this is via Military take over. Military leader should have only the very best hopes for the country and nothing else.

  6. Dham Says:

    Personal bondage aside I agree with Fran’s idea of a “Governing Council” but all names mentioned by Fran are not qualified to be in it. Need more than 5-8 people.

  7. Dilrook Says:

    Thank you Shenali. Please add the Joint Opposition as well because over 85% of MPs (and nearly 100% of PCs) of the JO are members of either the UNP or the SLFP. The problem is most voters are stuck with a political party and in the case of Sinhalese a favourite dynasty too.

    We need a set of principles, not a party. Dynasties must be shunned as these are cartels against the people. A principles based gathering must promise to do the following.

    (1). Annul Indo-Lanka Peace Accord that specifies the north-east to be areas of Tamil traditional habitation (a diplomatic way of saying Tamil Eelam).

    (2). Abrogate 13A.

    (3). Annul ETCA if signed.

    We have not seen the full force of 13A. Wigneswaran is the best and mildest NPC Chief Minister we will ever see. He has worked with Sinhalese all his life and have close Sinhala relatives. However, he is an ultra Tamil extremist. Just imagine how much worse his successors will be if the mildest ever NPC Chief Ministers is as bad! For instance, had he not won the election with the highest number of votes, Ananthi Sasitharan – the widow of a LTTE terrorist leader – would be the Chief Minister today. After the death of Wigneswaran, either she will be CM or someone far worse. It is foolish to think Wigneswaran is the only problem whereas the problem is 13A.

    Sinhala voters must act with more dignity and outright reject so called patriots if they are unwilling or unable to deliver these demands. A self proclaimed patriot cannot be one if he/she compromises on these. It all starts with the voter.

    It is also beyond me how the feudal system (nepotism) still survives bigtime in highest places of national politics after over a century from the events of Gamperaliya. People must take a stand against nepotism (feudal system) and dismantle it from politics. By the next national election, 40% of voters will be Generation Y and younger. They must root out nepotism by defeating sons, brothers and nephews (of former Lankan presidents and prime ministers) aspiring for the two top posts. Nepotism is the mother of corruption, incompetence and servitude.

    Poverty stricken North Korea is a good example of what nepotism does to a country. Sri Lanka is not too far away from North Korea’s poverty unless nepotism is rooted out.

  8. mario_perera Says:

    This is probably one of the BEST Lankaweb pages that I have read.

    YES, the system is rotten.The existing political motto is: live ON the country and not live FOR the country. the country has been turned into a carcass on which vultures feed at their leisure and at their pleasure.

    The existing political structure CANNOT in any way change the corrupt system. The people have to think and act OUT OF THE MOLD. But people cannot do so unless they are LED to do so.No one from our civil society can puton that mantle of leadership. He does not have the power. He does not have the might. He does not have the force.

    who can do it? No one else but the military. But the military is the humble servant of the system. so there we go in circles once again. The military cannot be endowed with the necessary power by the people as their only avenue os through the existing system. So the question that arises is: who can empower the military in the name of the people? Is there any ‘body’ vested with sufficient strength and authority that can represent the people without going through the existing system? YES there is. It is the Maha Sangha. It has done so before. It can do it now. I am thinking of the Sangha leadership that paved the road to the Panadura debate. I am thinking of the Kelaniya Declaration. I am thinking of the greatest of pre-colonial figures: the Anagrika Dharmapala

    The path to be followed to overthrow this pernicious system is already set out in our history. The path must be paved for a great debate regarding the destructive nature of the present system. Out of that debate must arise a ‘Declaration’. Out of that Declaration must arrive the LEADER. All this has to be initiated and achieved by the Sangha. Once that is done, the Sangha will call our to the military, the armed wing of the ‘sons of the soil’ to do their bidding.

    To my mind this is the only way. There is not other.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  9. aloy Says:

    Thank you Shenali. We need more of this.

    Our country is in the hands of minorities. They have taken over by deceptions and that has to end. The try forces should act independently without taking instructions from politicos as their aim is to stay in power what ever happens to the country.

    Fully agree with Mario

  10. Ananda-USA Says:

    What should be the BASIC ATTRIBUTES of a good System of Governance by a group of leaders?

    1. That they are REPRESENTATIVE of the people
    2. That they are ELECTED by the people
    3. That they ACT for the people for their best benefit.

    In his Gettysburg Address dedicating the Gettysburg Battle Cemetery President Abraham Lincoln gave a pithy definition of such a system when he intoned that the soldiers buried there have “given their last full measure of devotion to their country so that this government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth.”

    I have not found any better definition to guide us in devising a system of representative government, for it includes who should govern, how they should be selected, and for whose benefit should they govern.

    Having thus defined the goals in the broadest possible way, we must confront the task of specifying the details, such as the responsibilities, the authority given to carryout those responsibilities, provision for exercising oversight, balancing power to preclude the rise of despots, and the means of dissolving governments, holding the leaders accountable, and giving the people the opportunity take corrective action through elections. SInce frequent elections would prevent a government from implementing their electoral mandate over several years, the time between elections under normal conditions must also be defined.

    The structure of government must be setup to achieve goals that are often contradictory such as responsiveness versus stability. British style parliamentary systems are more responsive to the voters, but is rather unstabld leading to frequent changes of government and inability to respond to security threats. That is why the French and the United States developed the Exexutive Presidential forms of government, albeit with division of powers between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government.

    No system of representative government is perfect. Over the centuries both the British style and Executive forms of government have evolved and been fine tuned to meet the needs of the day. In Britain, the monarchy has lost all power and the monarch is just a figurehead, while the House of Lords, designed initially to placate the nobility, has also lost power. Most of the power is now vested in the House of Commons and in the person of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet of Ministers. However, in the Parliamentary system decisions can take forever, be delayed by interminable parliamentary debates, and the government can fall on the failure of a bill by a simple majority vote.

    In contrast, in the US Presidential system, the President can, and often does, survive the failure of his bills to pass in Congress, and can take emergency measures to protect the country and deploy troops, even though only the Congress has the constitutional power to declare war.

    Since only the Congress has the power to levy taxes and raise funds, the President is usually forced to defer to Congress at some point in time to get the funds to implement his programs.

    Short of IMPEACHMENT for a crime, as Nixon nearly was and forced to resign, a US President cannot be OUSTED from office before the end of his 4-year term, nor can ele tions be called early. If he dies or is IMPEACHED and leaves office, the VP and the Speaker of the House are sworn in as President in that order of precedence. Over the years, the US Presidency has accumulated more and more power at the expense of Congress, and accompanying that the Federal Govt has become more powerful infringing on the power of the States. There is now quite a bit of pushback against the power at the center and the Presidency, particularly by Republicans in Congress.

    With regard to war powers, the Congress declared war against Germany in WWII sopporting the recommendation of FDR, but war was NOT DECLARED against North Vietnam even though that war lasted nearly 20 years and killed over 50,000 US troops and millions of Vietnamese.

    Shenali and some others say all political parties are corrupt in Sri Lanka and therefore we should throw them all out and revise the system of Governance from bottom up.

    My own view is that the STRONGER & MORE STABLE Executive Form of Government is ESSENTIAL for Sri Lanka, just emerging from a 30-year war, that threatened to disintegrate the country. If JR had not crdated the Presidency in Sri Lanka and a Parliamentary form of government prevailed, Sri Lanka would now be a patchwork of Babtustans. Without the Presidency under Mahinda Rajapaksa, we would not have been able to hold the country together and win the Final Eelam war.

    Certainly, 13A should be repealed and the Provincial Council System REPEALED, but the Presidential form of government should be retained INTACT for Sri Lanka is NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET!

    Shenali and others bemoan NEPOTISM as the bane of Governance in Sri Lanka. However, let us remember that this apparent nepotism is not limited to Sri Lanka. Look at the US with its Roosevelt, Kennedy, Bushes and now Clinton clans. Look at India with its Gandhi clan. Politics is in the blood of many political families, just as it was in the blood of Royal Families in the histories of many countries including Britain and Sri Lanka.

    The RELEVANT question should be not whether they belong to a single family, but whether those individuals are qualified, suitable, and capable, and whethet their involvement is ultimately of benefit to the nation.

    When a political party loses its focus on the reasons for its popularity, like the UNP has, it should fade away. When a political party has been decapitated by an internal coup-de-etat and no longer serves it’s supporters, like the SLFP/UPFA has been, the supporters of the party should prevail on the leaders who still remain true to its principles to break away and form a new party that UNAMBIGUOUSLY articulates it’s original principles.

    That is why I say that MR should form a separate party encapsulating the original principles of the SLFP and lead us PATRIOTS to victory again.

    But, trying to recreate a new representative democratic system of Governance to replace the current Executive Presidential System is a FOOLS ERRAND and is the WRONG thing to do. Every new system you propose, like Fran Diaz’ gang of 5, will only confront the same issues and suffer ffom the same compromises that the Parliamentary and Executive Presidency forms of government have already addressed. Let us fine-tune the existing system if we need to, but not rehash the same issues ad infinitum, ad nauseam!

  11. Kumari Says:

    I love the idea of doing away with party politics. irrespective of the calibre of the candidates you need to win the seat to govern the country. As most of the western created ideologies DEMOCRACY is open to corruption.

    Without wasting time and resources we should look at chinese system. Under any system there are dissatisfied people, but the average chinese love their government. Most of the dissatisfied voices we hear are those amplified by the west. Let some patriotic brains steer the country to prosperity and harmony. I don’t care for the make up of the counci, which communities comprise the council, let them work for the good of all.

  12. Dham Says:

    Dilrook has brought up the importance to see venomous 13A in the paragraph “ We have not seen the full force of 13A. ……..r someone far worse. It is foolish to think Wigneswaran is the only problem whereas the problem is 13A.
    Who removed army rule, reduced army presence and let the NPC flourish, greedy of commonwealth leadership and to hell with consequences ?
    I am sure everyone agrees we could have been continued with Army rule until even the thought of “Tamil homeland” does not arise any more. It can be done and could have been done by now. I don’t want to drag MR again but since his Chinataya ( actualluy belong s to his close acquaintances) is still loved by some people, I would stress that REMOVAL OF 13A AND THE TAMIL HOMEHALND CONCEPT IS ACCEPTED BY MR AND WILL NEVER BE REMOVED UNDER HIS LEADERSHIP . GONME ARE THE TIME HIS LISTENING TO NALIN AND THE LIKE.

  13. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    As Bandula Jayasekara Says in Comrade Bala on the May Day hijack (Island 05052016);

    In Sri Lanka the United National Party is not United. People’s Liberation Party (JVP) is not liberated. Old LSSP and CP are lost. Plantation workers are suffering and the leaders of Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) are having a jolly good time. Vasu and Bahu have become old street fighters. There is no Freedom in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. One day they all will go to hell. But, it will be too late for our workers.

  14. Fran Diaz Says:

    So long as the large and powerful countries are armed to the teeth (phenomenon after WWI&II), Cold Wars will prevail. Cold Wars or imaginary Cold Wars will always dictate terms to small countries like Lanka. Obey or be annihilated are the likely terms from the Big Boys !

    Lanka needs a powerful & ethical group to handle this type of problem.

    Can’t help but feel that a Group of 5-8 able, trusted, experienced & educated leaders will probably provide the answer for Lanka re the forced present Leadership vacuum. They can be from the proven Political field, and proven Army. I cannot for the life of me, include Ranil & CBK in this venture. These two people are only good at being ‘doormats’ to the foreign countries, especially west.

    As Mario suggests, the Clergy, led by Buddhist clergy, can formulate and state the ideals of leadership for Lanka, providing sure Security & Safety, and ideals for Development.

    Removing the 13-A a must.

    Let us Get Together to Save Lanka !!

  15. Fran Diaz Says:

    Once the 13-A is removed, suggest that we ought to go back to the District System (Mr Neville Ladduwahetty’s many previous articles to L’web refer to this aspect).

    All Administration of Districts ought to be done via the SLAS (SL Admininstrative Service). This is how India manages inspite of all the confusion there – India is managed through the IAS (Indian Administrative Services).

    After Colonisation of some 500 yrs, ruining Lanka was done through the ILLEGAL 13-A, which brought in too much politico run administrative units (Prov. Councils), as opposed to an islandwide, uniform Govt. Administration run by the well educated and savvy SLAS.

  16. anura seneviratna Says:

    Bouquet of flowers to Shenali for the timely account of the country in peril ONLY due to the people who run it. Indeed a new political culture is urgently needed.

    There are valuable suggestions to cure it. But the main obstacle is the unnaturally ingrained twisted mind-set of the Sinhela politicians and populous to reject their natural national identity of Sinhela nation and heritage. Strangely and sadly the so called nation of Sri Lanka is non existent, instead we have a clear cut separate nations with constitutionally granted separate national rights, violating the sovereignty of the indigenous Sinhela nation. Nation of each country will evolve but should not dissolve as part of the world heritage. The origin of this upside down political system was purposefully established to dissolve the ONLY nation of the island country.

    Until this misled mind-set is corrected, it is difficult to find a national leader or leadership who escaped this trap. Naturally, when one’s rightful nation is suppressed as a bad word, people resort to extreme self centredness and that’s what we see from the so called Sinhala politicians!

  17. Dham Says:

    Fran,
    “So long as the large and powerful countries are armed to the teeth “

    We have the most powerful tool of all, Buddhism.

    Since, for you, Buddhism=All other religions, you may feel powerless.

  18. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dham,

    Go ahead and use Buddhism. No one is stopping you, least of all myself. Anyone is free to use good ways to bring peace and harmony. Use all means possible to bring balance to Lanka in every way possible. I am stating my own ideas too. Use whatever can be used and put aside the rest.

    No need to get snarky about religious similarities. The Core Teachings are the same to anyone who understands that all the Masters stated the same ideal. However, the trimmings around the Core Teachings differ, greatly so in some areas.

  19. aloy Says:

    I pondered why this article at this time after writing so many in favour of MR. I hope it is not something in desperation as the last resort.
    The Sinhela people seems to have a problem in selecting a leader. We as a nation take decisions on sentiments. When SWRD was killed we turned to his uneducated wife to lead our country. She was mislead by a bunch of self centered socialists who mismanaged our economy and blocked our path to development. After winning world war 2 the British rejected their war winning hero Churchill as they knew he was unsuitable to lead them to prosperity. I hope our Sinhela people have one tenth of the cunningness of the English. Although the general impression of everybody is that they are a lost power if one looks carefully we can see that they are still in control the whole world. They knew all along who created the 9/11 but pretended not to know and wined and danced with the culprits. The perpetrators gave a life line for their economy. That helped their people to drink beer, play football and produce nothing yet live comfortably. All the troubles in the world are created by them and they enjoy the bombing that go on in ME. They film them and show to the world with a subtle message.
    I think RW is a clever man. We should give him few more months. After all he and the team have been able to get enough cricket for us to enjoy.

  20. Dham Says:

    aloy,
    RW will run the full term , we can’t stop him anyway.( MR may stage a coup with the help of his Army followers). But I disagree Ranil is a clever man. He is a Royal Dropout.

  21. aloy Says:

    Dham,

    I really do not know whether RW is a dropout but it seems he has some talents, if not how the hell he survived twenty odd defeats and still remained to be the virtual ruler of the country today?. I know he will not be allowed to go too far astray as JHU, Welvidane and them are there.
    Speaking of the dropouts, we must not write them off completely. Who is the richest man of the world?. He (Bill Gates) too is a dropout. So are Steve Jobs who created the worlds most valued company Apple with a turnover of over $ 60 billion and the creator of Whatsapp, Jan Koum (which they sold for $18b).

    I know you are kidding, but we must look at things seriously as many with Phds are taking Sinhalas including some in this forum for a ride.

  22. Ratanapala Says:

    A political role for the Armed Forces

    It is our armed forces that go to defend the country under the command of our politicians. They have to advance, retreat, hand over won over ground, become hostages of the enemy, face torture in their torture chambers and get humiliated by the enemy by performing escort to the enemy at the whims and fancies of the politicians. The have sacrificed their lives in thousands, and there are thousands who are maimed and disabled. Today they are charged with committing war crimes, while terrorist who committed mass murder are being released without having to face any charges. TNA the LTTE rump sits in parliament occupying the lofty heights of being called the official opposition and the Sambadan, the TNA leader is the Leader of the Opposition.

    When things get out of hand due to sheer political mishandling it is the armed forces who are called to face the enemy. LTTE became a force to reckon with only due to initial mishandling of the initial build up of terrorist forces and blundering by the politicians. They have to go to war not out of their choosing, but to placate the sometimes blundering and idiotic wishes of the political party in power. In the battle field facing terrorists, who follow no rules, not under any obligation to follow the Geneva Conventions on War, they have to think about all the conventions in conducting the war. Any little deviation is highlighted as violations of the Geneva Conventions and war crimes. None of the politicians had ever in their miserable but luxurious lives had to face such split second decisions which concerns one’s own life, those of their comrades as well of others including civilians. All this, while serving the country for a paltry remuneration and being retrenched once the hostilities are over to face life alone, unsung and as of now vilified as criminals.

    Over the last 30 years due to bungling commands issued by politicians and those who made a business out of war, thousands of our war heroes perished under most appalling circumstances – Mullaitivu, Pooneryn and Elephant Pass come to mind.

    Sri Lanka and other similar countries does not have the luxury of developed countries where Armed Forces can be kept separate from the political process. They have to find their place at the Legislature the Parliament to voice their opinions and concerns regarding matters of security of the state and war. If it is they who have to face the music when all hell loose, let them at least have their say where laws and other matters concerning their work, conduct and welfare are discussed.

    Currently in spite of the growing threat of terrorism and illegal migrants some of whom could be terrorists from across the Palk Straits our Armed Forces are being made to abandon strategically located bases and fortifications. It must be noted that the State has the right to take over and occupy any land to further the common interest after due compensation.

    For the Armed Forces it is just a one way street – follow orders – don’t talk back! For how long are they to remain just cannon fodder at the disposal of the politicians? Their voices must be heard. Best place for this is at the Parliament – the Legislature where laws are made!

  23. Jag Says:

    Brilliant stuff….

    “Only option left for the Sinhalese is to start an armed freedom struggle to regain their birthright”

    As Ratanapala says, this is the absolute reason for us to seek a new way of governance in our country..

  24. Fran Diaz Says:

    (1). METHOD TO BE USED FOR FREEDOM FROM TYRANNY OF SEPARATISM : A type of ‘armed struggle’ by the People can amount to BOYCOTT of certain institutions, businesses, politicos, etc.

    (2) QUESTION TO YAHAP: Do Yahap folk have the guts to remove the 13-A ?

    That is the ONLY thing that will make their “existence by force” at present worthwhile, and all their cheat & deceit to get power and stay in power.

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