Rubbishing Rajapaksa
Posted on July 31st, 2016

By Rohana R. Wasala

One’s own self-worth is tied to the worth of the community to which one belongs, which is intimately connected to humanity in general. What happens in Darfur becomes an assault on my own community, and on me as an individual. That’s what the human family is all about.-Wole Soyinka (b. 1934), Nigerian dramatist and poet

To want to perpetuate our own bloodline is a natural biological characteristic that we share with other animals. Love of one’s own race is a normal thing. Racism results when this love drives one to harm other races on that basis. We are not guilty of that. It is a biological aberration to hate one’s own race. It is not sanity to try to rationalize racial self-hate.

‘Giving sanity a chance’ (by Tisaranee Gunasekara/July 24, 2016, Sunday Island) begins with a piece of perverted thinking that characterizes the whole essay: ‘Racism is not the birthright of any one race.’ No sane person will describe racism as anybody’s birthright. A birthright literally means a right that you have from your birth to the ownership of something valuable or some special privilege. It is something positive, something useful, something you can cherish. Which pervert community claims racism as a birthright? Of course, we readers are sane enough to understand that probably TG is using the term ‘birthright’ ironically. Based on the general tenor of her writings that reflects her habitual antipathy towards the majority community (to which she  seems to belong at least nominally) and particularly towards Mahinda Rajapaksa whom she always maliciously identifies with that racist insanity of her own imagination, we could say that her meaning is that the Sinhalese Buddhists of the south are inveterate racists, but that they get upset if a few Tamils of the north show the same communal characteristic; that is, in other words, the Sinhalese practice racism against other communities as if it is their exclusive right to do so! This is in the face of overwhelming evidence available, if she cares to look at it, to prove that the Sinhalese are today a beleaguered race in their own homeland; they are abject victims of racist discrimination, especially internationally, rather than a perpetrator of the same offence against others. What Tisaranee does is to first assert as gospel truth her jaundiced view of the majority Sinhalese, and the only national leader who represents the interests of the whole country without discrimination against any community based on his own ethnicity, and write articles filling them with misinformation culled from different sources that are usually inimical to our country.

I feel tempted to comment on this alleged ingrained racist madness of the Sinhalese and the actual madness in others aggravated by their uninformed belief in the supposed genuineness of that charge. To do so, let me repeat a line from Shakespeare: Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t”, as the prudent and sagacious Polonius says in the play ‘King Lear’ about the king who, he believes or knows, is gone really mad; for he observes sound logic in what the king is saying, in his insanity, about his own old age. Of course, let’s not forget that this is a comedy scene in a tragic play.

I am quoting below the 7th major rock edict of Ashoka in full, as translated by Romila Thapar (b. 1931), the distinguished Indian historian specializing in her country’s ancient history, who was a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. The source of this extract is Prof. Thapar’s Ashoka and the Deccline of the Mauryans”, where her translations of the Ashoka edicts are given in an appendix. She says she has translated them freely for easy comprehension by the average reader. The full text of the Ashokan inscription is strikingly irrelevant to the subject broached by TG (irrelevant because, where’s the religious intolerance that she pretends our society to be afflicted with?). (I was prompted to do this by her selection of a stub of the same edict from a different translation to introduce her piece):

The Beloved of the Gods, the king Piyadassi, wishes all sects may dwell in all places, for all seek self-control and purity of mind. But men have varying desires and varying passions. They will either practice all that is required or else only a part. But even he who is generous, yet has no self-control, purity of mind, gratitude and firm faith, is regarded as mean.” (By ‘sects’ here, we may assume, are meant forms of religious belief/religions. There is no religious intolerance among Sinhalese Buddhists to talk about, except that created in the imaginations of the NGO mercenaries to justify their survival in the business in Sri Lanka.)

The purported relevance of TG’s reference to the particular Ashokan edict to her essay is this: she wants to impress on the reader that the religious tolerance advocated in the rock inscription by the ancient monarch who had been inspired by Buddhism has gone by default among the Sinhalese Buddhists, who, she thinks, are led by an intolerant rabid religio-nationalist in the form of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

TG’s policy seems to be misrepresentation as a weapon against those she hates for some unknown reason. A hate-filled mind cannot heal a divided society (where the division is more imaginary than real and has been artificially induced by its enemies). Isn’t this a disservice to our beleaguered island nation? (I consider all the people of my country as the nation, but they are of different races, religions etc. The Sinhalese are the majority race, and they have a right to assert their racial identity in freedom like the other races have a right to assert theirs. In ancient times, ‘Sinhale’ embraced all the people who made it their home preserving their racial and cultural identities.)

At the very outset, TG writes: The clash over a dance item in the Jaffna University was not a Tiger conspiracy or even a sign of Tiger resurgence, let alone the first salvo of another war”. Who could be sure that it was, or it was not, one or more of those three frightening possibilities, without sufficient evidence? The ‘clash over a dance’ interpretation of the incident, I am sorry to say, is an outright lie, based on the simian logic: Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”, which may be interpreted in the present context as Turn a blind eye to the obvious truth that some Tamil university students assaulted a group of their mates because they were Sinhalese and still dared to perform a cultural item that marks their ethnicity”. TG’s casting about to absolve the Tamil students of blame or at least to lessen their guilt by implicating the Sinhalese students as well flies in the face of available evidence. The students who have experienced repeated discrimination at the university of Jaffna over the years have decided to talk about it only now.  To be in denial is an expedient policy for politicians to adopt, but, in the long run, it will only worsen the problem/s that gave rise to such a demonstration of racial hatred on the part of those young Tamils. (If TG has read the many analyses of the Jaffna University incident that appeared in the media after her article, she must now know that it was not a pure Sinhalese Tamil clash, and that the incident brought to light a positive trend that the authorities must seize as an opportunity for defeating separatism.)

Actually,  at first, there was no physical clash between Tamil and Sinhalese students over the Kandyan dance item. Some intolerant individuals among those who had first objected to it democratically though unreasonably, based on some ideology, started attacking the Sinhalese dance performers, as it appears in videos. The dance had probably been staged at all because the opinion of the senior Tamil student organizers who supported the Sinhalese cultural item being included in the welcome ceremony must have prevailed over a dissident view, prior to this incident; the dance item supporters must have been in the majority among the organizers, and the objectors a minority. If there was a clash, it was a clash of opinions between these two factions. But it later developed into a violent clash between Sinhalese and some Tamil university colleagues.

TG’s comparison of this incident to a recent obstruction of a play in the Wala (the open air amphitheatre) at the Peradeniya University campus is farfetched. I myself witnessed numerous instances of impromptu juvenile audience reactions to plays staged in the same venue a few decades back; her invocation of other similar episodes in universities elsewhere in the south is likewise gratuitous. Those incidents were not triggered by racism or religious fanaticism.

Right from the beginning, the Sinhalese Buddhist majority have been the real victims of racism. First the occupying British did everything they could do to harass and suppress them, because only they posed a threat to their ‘possession’ of the island. As they did elsewhere, the British enlisted the support of the unsuspecting minorities against the majority by privileging the former over the latter in education, in government service, in the professions, etc (the notorious ‘divide and rule’ strategy). This does not mean that every Tamil, Muslim or Burgher was privileged under the British, but only those who were useful to them, which included compliant members from the majority community as well. At independence, the Tamil leaders feared that they would lose the special advantages they enjoyed under the British when power passed from the foreign rulers to the native population where the Sinhalese were positioned to step into the shoes of the departing British. While the Sinhalese leaders fought for freedom from foreign rule for all Sri Lankans, the minority Tamil leaders (not all) were more concerned about preserving the status quo ante. That is why G.G. Ponnambalam proposed his preposterous 50-50 division of parliamentary seats between the Sinhalese and all the minorities put together, which even the British rejected with contempt.

D.S. Senanayake tried his utmost to reassure the Tamils that independent Ceylon (Sri Lanka) was for all Ceylonese equally, which however meant certain anomalies in governance that, though they unfairly advantaged some members of the minorities, were detrimental to the long oppressed majority Sinhalese, had to be eliminated. But this was not a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul; Sinhalese were in no way going to lord it over the minorities.  D.S. wanted his countrymen to think of themselves as Ceylonese, not as Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher, etc. Some Tamil politicians have managed to project a false image of the Sinhalese as racists. Whole generations have been gradually brainwashed to believe that the Sinhalese are oppressors. People still don’t know what rights or privileges Tamils are denied that the Sinhalese enjoy.

But there have always been Tamil politicians who work with Sinhalese and other community leaders as national leaders. Tamils, like Muslims, have always been represented in every government in responsible positions. Even the highest positions in the land are as open to them as to the Sinhalese and to others.

(Mr. Rajapaksa lied. There was no incident of a Sinhala-Buddhist child being raped by a Tamil/Muslim/Christian, then or now.)” TG adds parenthetically, while referring to an interview with  President Rajapaksa broadcast on Al Jazeera TV in 2013. She says that the president lied in saying that a certain attack happened when a girl of 6 or 7 was molested: the implication was that enraged neighbours or relatives of the victim were probably involved, and that this escalated into a major incident. He was only responding to a question of the interviewer, and was obliquely referring to an isolated incident that might have triggered the later incidents. It was only a casual example of what can usually happen in our society or anywhere else. His meaning was that we have look into the background of the incidents/attacks etc, before drawing conclusions, and take remedial action. I revisited that interview on Al Jazeera, after reading TG’s article. The president was not lying about anything. Interviewer James Bays from Al Jazeera, like many typically arrogant, prejudiced Western media men and women, demonstrated that he wanted Rajapaksa to be exposed as a corrupt, authoritarian, intolerant third world tin-pot dictator. But it was a Rajapaksa who was rightly confident of his legitimate achievements after four years in office on his second term that emerged from the interview. He authoritatively dismissed as propaganda all the allegations that James Bays repeated before him  based on senile Navi Pillai’s extremely biased post-tour-of-Sri Lanka report, asking for his response.

TG asserts that the present rulers are only marginally better than Rajapaksa in ‘corruption, nepotism and venality’; she is asserting that the former two are not tainted with racism, while Rajapaksa is. She must be a more generous fair-minded person to see the truth. There is evidence for her to look at if she wants.

Had the Rajapaksas been in power today, the army would have been sent to the University of Jaffna and a hysterical campaign against ‘LTTE resurgence’ launched islandwide with imprisonments and abductions galore”. What nonsense, TG?

Under Rajapaksa rule, religio-cultural differences were turned into political problems and every little incident of racial/religious disharmony turned into an existential crisis. Issues were manufactured, when none existed. The best case in point is the anti-Halal campaign conducted by the BBS with toxic ferocity. The anti-Halal appeared from nowhere, occupied the centre stage and vanished, all in just three months.” Balderdash. Nothing like this happened under Rajapaksa. The exact opposite happened. We saw on TV news an exhausted Rajapaksa rushing straight to Aluthgama, without going home, to pacify the people there after a grueling 8-hour flight from Latin America. The halal issue was amicably settled through peaceful and clear sighted interaction between reasonable Muslim leaders and the monks without the interference of anti-national agent provocateurs who indulge in their sadistic schemes instead of pouring oil on troubled waters.

As D.B.S. Jeyaraj, a veteran journalist based in Canada, recently pointed out, it was after 2009 that the Jaffna University (created during Mrs Sirima Bandaranaike’s United Front Government in 1974) again began to admit students from all races and regions in the country. This was due to the process of reconciliation made possible by the defeat of terrorism under Mahinda. Last year, there were 1600-1700 Sinhalese students studying there (30% of the nearly 6590 students enrolled there). They got on very well with their fellow Tamil students. Of all the students now studying in the Science Faculty (where the welcoming ceremony fracas took place), Sinhalese students account for 52%. Some 1763 Sinhalese students are to be or have been accommodated in the university this year.

Had Rajapaksa been in power today, such a disruptive incident wouldn’t have happened in Jaffna. Interactions between the north and the south would be proceeding more smoothly. Restoration of normalcy started under Rajapaksa. The absence of his leadership is telling on the country today. TG, just look at the tens of thousands of ordinary people agitating against the oppressive policies of the government in the massive Pada Yatra under Rajapaksa’s aegis. Are they all insane?

8 Responses to “Rubbishing Rajapaksa”

  1. anura seneviratna Says:

    Thanks to Rohana for this tremendous blog with rational discussion in revealing things as they are.

  2. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    MR is too good for the Sinhala modayas. He saved the country from catholic west and catholic tigers of tamil
    drealam. Same time he transformed the country from the bottom of the pile to a high standard of living for
    people. Sri Lankans wouldn’t have seen a motorway for another 50 years if it hadn’t been for him. He would’ve
    taken the country even more forward during the past 2 years.

    How many 1000s of lives of Sinhalese, tamils, mussies, police, forces personnel etc etc. he saved by stopping the war. Sinhalese
    being famous for modayas proved to be traitors as well since they quickly forgot all the good things he did for a few mega
    pachas of catholic-run UNPatritoic party YAMA PALLAN. THEY EVEN QUICKLY FORGOT ABOUT THE BHEESHANA
    SAMAYA OF THE UNPATRIOTIC PARTY.

    This is the Sinhala modayas for you. They have proved them to be not just modayas but jaathi dhrohiyas as
    well. MR is the best leader Sri Lanka ever had. He is a compassionate, patriotic man. He looked after all the people
    of the country. He didn’t develop just the south where he is hailing from. He developed the whole country. He
    simply transformed the country within a short space of time. Current YAMA PALLAN CAN’T EVEN BUILD A TOILET
    LET ALONE DEVELOPING A COUNTRY.

  3. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Please use the following links to see what UNPatriotic party YAMA PALLAN good at.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_eJ1gX_fuU

    http://ltte-christian-ties.blogspot.com/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV6_o9txURc

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2015/08/05/christianizing-of-sri-lanka-unps-betrayal-of-buddhism/

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/05/27/ranil-wickremasinghes-new-unp-3/

    http://www.lankagrid.com/soma-thero/

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Those people who hid in the woodworks when the LTTE ran amok have now crept out to write gross untruths against local Heroes, perhaps for $$s ?

    What shameful people !

    One wonders why such a lack of Patriotism ?

  5. Dilrook Says:

    TG has always written against Mahinda. But is she alone? Her closest ideological twin is with Mahinda. One praises Mahinda while the other criticises him. But if you take out party politics, both say the same thing. They are probably working together in both major political camps for a common agenda. This is what we fail to see.

  6. NAK Says:

    Why waste so much time on TG who is mentally disturbed and should have been placed in an institution.

  7. Cerberus Says:

    Dear Mr. Wasala, Well said. You have brought out all the facts. Unfortunately, the Lanka Web is read only by a few people who have computers. Most of the Colombians do not read anything against Ranil. The masses do not read this since they do not read English. It is important to get this type of article translated and put into one of the Sinhala newspapers along with the comments. I realize the most of the media is now under the control of the Yahapalanaya. However one must try.

    My3 broke the law when he appointed RW as the Prime Minister while the Parliament already had D. M. Jayaratna. In turn, Ranil changed the Cabinet and appointed his own henchmen. He brought the Finance Ministry under his control and then appointed Arjun Mahendran as head of Central Bank while he was still a Singaporean citizen. He also appointed Paskaralingam whose bad reputation is well known by all Sri Lankans, as head of Treasury. Arjun then did the Rs. 5,000 million insider trading bond scam. Nothing has been done to investigate this matter to date.

    Even in the August Parliamentary election, My3 broke the law. First, My3 brings a court action to prevent the CC of UPFA from the meeting. Then he gets information from National Intelligence that UPFA is going to win 113 seats, according to his own words. In order to prevent his own party from winning and to ensure that UNP wins, he writes a 5-page letter to MR telling him that he will not be appointed as Prime Minister under any circumstances. He then goes on tv and reads it out to the public to reinforce his letter. He then sacks the General Secretaries of both parties (UPFA & SLFP) and appoints his own. He also sacks 13 members of the CC and appoints his own. All this was done during the period where the Election commissioner has said there should be no electioneering. Was this not electioneering by My3 for the UNP during that period? All these actions confused our voting public. On top of that many have pointed out false ballot papers, counting errors etc. Democracy is a laugh in Sri Lanka. Nowhere else in the world will the party leader work for the opposition so strenuously. The election in January was flawed due to an unbelievable number of voter increase in North, East and Nuwara Eliya. As far as I can see both elections have been cheated. See: http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2015/08/25/i-wrote-that-letters-sacked-secretaries-because-i-received-intelligence-reports-that-upfa-is-on-the-verge-of-winning-president-%E0%B6%BD%E0%B7%92%E0%B6%BA%E0%B7%94%E0%B6%B8%E0%B7%8A-%E0%B6%BD/

    Prof. Nalin de Silva proves that My3 only got 40% of the Sinhala vote. See: http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/01/14/press-conference-of-chinthana-parshadaya-held-on-13th-january-2016-on-the-new-constitution-and-theravada-kathikavatha/

    You missed a couple of items against RW and CBK. Here they are as a reminder.

    1. When 1000 soldiers were cut off without water at Elephant Pass, CBK, and her nephew Daluwatte did nothing to help those men who died of thirst. She could have done so many things to help these men. Instead as Chief Commander, she did nothing !! This is unforgivable. Also, read about CBK’s robbery. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/081012/News/sundaytimesnews_20.html

    2. RW kept trying to hand over the North and East to appease Prabhakaran. He even stopped a crucial military operation in 2001 where the army knew the exact location of Prabhakaran and was ready to take him out. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZWO5fWDikQ

    3. Gonawela Sunil was in jail for 10 years for rape of a doctor’s daughter. As soon as JR came into power, on the advice of RW, he released G’Sunil. After that wherever RW went Gonawela Sunil went too as his “bodyguard”. Sunil was collecting “kappam” from the bagging plant operators at Fertilizer manufacturing plant. Was he sharing this with RW? Since he was protected by RW he must have, at least to buy voters ?

    He was also involved with Batalanda murders of mostly JVP lawyers, I believe, from what I heard. At the Fertilizer plant housing scheme one of the houses was acquired by RW for interrogating suspected JVP members. Many people apparently heard the screams from this house in the middle of the night when people were tortured. People also used to see bodies floating down Kelani river. The Batalanda Commission report recommended that RW’s civil rights be removed. As usual, in Sri Lanka, nothing happens to Colombians and those with memberships in International Organizations. See Maithri talking against RW in 1994: http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/01/10/batalanda/

    Gonawela Sunil also managed to drill into a pipeline from the refinery which was sending gasoline to Kolonnawa. He was sucking it up and selling it on the black market. Again who protected him from prosecution? !! Finally, a rival gang member shot him. That was the end of the strange relationship between Gonawela Sunil and RW.

    Today these people rule over Sri Lanka.

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    Sri Lanka POISED to become a TRANSPORTATION HUB announces Ranil on whom ENLIGHTENMENT has FINALLY DAWNED!

    When the Yamapalanaya agitators were trying to OUST the MR/UPFA government, and during the 1st year of their mis-governance, they MOCKED the INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS, like the Hambantota Port and the Mattala International airport as vertable White Elephants!

    Having DESTROYED the momentum behind those ventures, and having REALIZED that the Western Powers who EGGED them onto REGIME CHANGE are not going to GIVE THEM A DIME for National Development, they are NOW TOUTING the SAME VISION of the MR/UPFA GoSL they DEMONIZED without batting an eyelid or ADMISSION of their STUPIDITY. SHAMELESS!

    These TRAITORS have DESTROYED and/or DELAYED Sri Lanka’s EMERGENCE as an ECONOMIC POWER like Singapore, all to HOIST themselves into POWER!

    HOW SHALL WE PUNISH these SHAMELESS CORRUPT TRAITORS; Draw, Quarter & Hang them in the Independence Square perhaps?</i?

    ……………………
    Sri Lanka will be made a sea-air hub, Prime Minister says
    Mon, Aug 1, 2016, 11:28 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Aug 01, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says the government aims to make the island a sea-air hub as the government has realized that its main focus has to be a hub not only for aviation but also for sea cargo to ensure the maximum amount of transshipment of cargo and of persons takes place when transferring from airport to port or vice versa.

    Speaking at the 53rd Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation of Asia and Pacific States in Colombo today Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said there is a crucial role the Aviation Sector has to play in the development of the country.

    Commenting on the fate of the national carrier the Premier said the government hopes to make the national carrier more efficient and will call for public-private partnerships to efficiently make the carrier profitable again.

    He said the government’s policy at present is to protect and expand the country’s national carrier, despite it affecting the development of the airport. The colossal debt incurred as a result of losses at SriLankan Airlines would have contributed towards the construction of three technology institutes to the standards of MIT.

    The Prime Minister said that first priority is to improve the Katunayake Airport. Discussions are being held with the Japanese Government and the Japanese funding agency JICA to enable Sri Lanka to do a feasibility study on a Colombo air sea hub.

    Second goal is to revamp the Mattala Airport in order to make it a profit venturing entity. The government will give priority to any person who can bring up the capacity to one million passengers in five years’ time he said adding that it will be a part of the larger development of Hambantota.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2018 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress