In perspective: Gota factor, Gota project, then and now
Posted on March 15th, 2017


March 12, 2017, 9:43 pm
The impact and landmark nature of the Viyath Maga annual convention is discernible in the coverage in the country’s top business paper which has a wide corporate readership, the Daily FT, owned, I might add, by the Wijewardene family, hardly backers of the JO or the Rajapaksas. (–Professionals-for-a-better-future).

As for the politics of Viyath Maga, if the choice is between the Rajapaksas– especially an MR+GR slate– and Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was described on TV a few days ago by his Oxford educated cousin Prof Rajiva Wijesinha as “a slimy crook” and “a disgrace to his grandparents”, I think Viyath Maga has indeed made the right choice and I am happy to have done so too, within and outside their company and well before their founding.

Following my speech at the Viyath Maga Annual Convention at which Gotabhaya Raapaksa played a prominent role, at least two well-known journalistic commentators, one early middle aged the other a senior citizen; one bilingual, the other writing solely in English, have resurrected my 2014 critique of Gotabhaya. That doesn’t require investigative journalism– indeed a more extensive version of my critique of Gotabhaya’s excesses is available in my full length book, “Long War, Cold Peace” (VijithaYapa, 2014 edition).

Whether it is Gotabhaya or Mahinda or anyone else, when they do something wrong I have criticized it then– unlike some who remained silent, in fear or for personal gain. On the other hand when I think they have overcome their mistakes and are infinitely preferable to those in power or about to take power, I support them. If they are better in power than those in Opposition, I support them then too– which is why I supported President Premadasa.

What’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong, though often one has to choose between the lesser wrong and the greater wrong. Gota, then and now, was always better than Ranil and CBK, the traitors. But even patriots make mistakes– which I criticized at the time.

If not for incidents like Weliweriya we wouldn’t have lost the Catholic vote in Gampaha and therefore lost Gampaha, which impacted on the whole election.

If not for the moronic mistakes that the previous Government made, with the Sajin Vaas Gunawardena as Presidential Advisor on International Affairs (something that Gota had little to do with) we wouldn’t have lost three times in the Geneva arena where we won almost a two-thirds in May 2009.

It is those mistakes that opened the door for Mangala’s treachery in 2015 and today. The petition against the Weliweriya shootings was drafted by three of us who had fought against the west in Geneva: Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam, Prof Rajiva Wijesinha and myself. Tamara was anti-Ranil in 2015; Rajiva was pro-MS but swiftly returned to an anti-RW stance, and I fully supported MR in 2015 January and August elections.

While I retract none of what I said, that critique was embedded in a concrete context and is rendered outdated and therefore largely irrelevant for four reasons.

Firstly, as I argued in my writings throughout the second term and on TV and public platforms during the 2015 campaign, MR’s and GR’s mistakes—which I had robustly criticized—were greatly outweighed by their respective and joint merits. Their pluses outweighed their minuses.

Secondly in 2014 at the time of writing, the dynamics that prevailed were regime dynamics. From 2015 to 2019/2020, the preponderant dynamics will be movement dynamics, in which the composition and ideology of the Joint Opposition (JO), a populist center-left formation, will be a crucial determinant. Thus a Gotabhaya Presidential candidacy will resemble 1956, 1970, 1988 (Premadasa) and 2005, much more than it will 2014.

Thirdly, as a former critic of Gotabhaya, I have seen at close range how he has changed positively; evolved for the better. His background as a decorated combat officer who has been educated in several military academies, and as a highly successful developmental bureaucrat of the sort that Premadasa and Sirisena Cooray would have prized, has made him a more thoughtful strategic Realist in all things. This is a man who has matured to the point of being able to rescue and uplift his country if he is elected leader. GR potentially, is our Deng Xiao Peng, Putin or Raul Castro.

Fourthly, I recall Trotsky’s point about opting even for “the devil’s grandmother” in certain circumstances. Even if everything critical I said about Gotabhaya in 2014 were as relevant now as they were then and were to come true under a GR presidency, I would unhesitatingly choose Gotabhaya over Ranil-Mangala-CBK and the treasonous disaster they are visiting upon this country, just as the Russian citizenry unhesitatingly referred Putin to the national disaster of the Yeltsin policies, the Filipinos preferred Duterte, the Turkish preferred Erdogan, and the Indians, Modi.

People can change for the better and the worse. Gota has changed for the better but even at his worst, he was and is better than Ranil Wickremesinghe, the man who, according to ex-Sandhurst instructor Prof. Paul Moorcraft’s book, called off a Special Forces LRRP hit on Prabhakaran and is therefore responsible for every life and limb lost in the war since that moment!

Let’s cut to the chase. If one wants to know what the educated urban middle classes which provided the crucial swing vote that brought the new Government into office in 2015 think currently about RW, MR, GR etc. read this report by a credentialed researcher and scholar:–125168.html

Bottom line: Ranil has never ever won a presidential election, and judging by the official SLFP’s stance he isn’t going to be able to abolish the presidency either. So, come December 2019 it’ll be a Presidential election, MR cannot contest, and if it is RANIL vs. GOTA who do you think is gonna win? Would the CPA dare to do a public opinion poll?

I think that Mahinda as PM and Gota as President is the best possible leadership combination the country could have in the foreseeable future— though I must admit that I hope Kumara Gunaratnam can make it and usher in a progressive and socially just Sri Lanka devoid of racism and religious chauvinism, turning this island peacefully into the Cuba of Asia, within my lifetime.

12 Responses to “In perspective: Gota factor, Gota project, then and now”

  1. Christie Says:

    Dayan you thought Gota was bad and now he is good. But Gota was Gota from birth to death. (I do not think his name will change and will be known as Gota what ever he does or happened to him)

    Well an Indian Colonial Parasite will not change where ever he is, what ever he does and what ever his name is.

    Your admit and hope “Kumara Gunaratnam”, Kumar Mahaththaya, Daskon, Daskon Muddiyanselage Dayalal. Noel Mudalige, Premakumar Gunaratnam, Gemunu and Karunaratna etc etc will give you heaven like Pol Pot.

    This guy was Wijeweera’s body guard to make sure Wijeweera did what India directed him to do. His family lived off the poor people of Kegalle and made sure Sinhala youth of the Plantation areas were butchered.

    If Indian plans go ahead Most of Ceylon will be under minority Indian Colonial Parasites (Eelam and Malaynadu). What ever left for the Sinhalese will be headed by your idol Prince after butchering as many Sinhalese (Buddhists, Christians and Muslims) as possible like under Pol Pot in Cambodia.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    So now we know who petitioned the UNHRC against Sri Lanka and Gotabhaya. I don’t call it “smart patriotism”. Let’s not mince words here. It is disloyalty. TNA and TGTE also did the same. All three (Dayan, Tamara and Rajiwa) had very good relations at the UNHRC as they represented Sri Lanka there. They misused those networks against Sri Lanka. LTTE Rump went to town on this. Sirisena to his credit rejected the trio.

    Although the excesses in Kelaniya are wrong and led to the collapse of the former regime (no SLFP led government had won an election losing Gampaha District), it was purely an internal matter. Making it international is disloyalty. It also fuelled the anti-Gotabhaya campaign globally and project it to show he is anti-Tamil, anti-Muslim and anti-Christian which is not the case. Further Gotabhaya bashing can be found in Dayan’s book “long war cold peace”.

    I may kindly advise Gotabhaya to be extremely careful of his associations. The last paragraph gives me shivers. Cuba, Iran, Rwanda and are pariah states of failed economic policies and crazy ideologies that ruined them. Cuba is trapped in a 1950 time capsule. I don’t wish Sri Lanka to end up like any of them. Rwanda is an extremely dangerous case. Since 1994 it has gone through a transition for the better but for most part it was ruled by the minority backed by a neighboring powerful country! I’m extremely worried about Dayan’s further disastrous designs for Sri Lanka as if 13A disaster is not enough. These disruptive and anti-Sinhala ideologies thrive because Sinhalese are divided between the UNP and the SLFP. Anyone blasting the UNP and Ranil is automatically venerated by foolish Mahinda supporters without regard to hidden agendas. The converse is also true. Sirisena and Ranil supporters foolishly join any terrorist if they blast Mahinda. When will this madness and divide and rule end and Sinhalese learn to separate chaff from wheat?

    In 2011 Gotabhaya openly called the 13A a white elephant and demanded its removal. If Gotabhaya has “changed” as Dayan hails into accepting 13A, then he has no use for the patriotic camp now. This is the hard and bitter truth that must be understood. No patriotic leader can win the critical mass needed to win a presidential election without promising to abrogate 13A.

    I have defended the former defence secretary in media many a time and I pity Gotabhaya if he falls for this type of people.

  3. Ratanapala Says:

    These people know that the idiotic Sinhalese have short memories. Having done enough damage in unseating Mahinda Rajapakse, now they are trying again to hoodwink them and the masses again. We can forgive but never forget. They all have their hidden agendas and patriotic people must be mindful – it is like walking in the woods – just being mindful there are snakes in the grass!They are very good at worming their way into unsuspecting political bandwagons only to divert attention and change direction.

    There is a lot of truth embedded in what they say, but then that is their ploy!

    Their bosom buddy Asaranee Gunasekara has been relatively silent having done grievous damage to Mahinda Rajapakse Administration.

  4. Nihal Perera Says:

    Cut-throat, dirty politics is the name of the game in Sri Lanka. I only trust Gota and Mahinda. The rest are snakes hiding in the grass, regardless of their party affiliation.

    When are our dumb and ignorant Sinhala population going to learn that politics is dirty, and politicians are opportunistic bunch who will do anything to stay in power.

    Sinhalese please: next time when you vote think of the country and its future, not your stomach and what can you get free from the government…!

  5. Ratanapala Says:

    Well said Nihal!

  6. Ananda-USA Says:

    Golden words, Nihal! Well said, indeed!

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dayan, please get off your EGO-CENTRIC PODIUM hurling brickbats at PROVEN PATRIOTS and ACT IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST!

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    Egotistic Faint Hearts, like Dayan, destroyed the MR/UPFA government by undermining the Patriots when we needed them the most!

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    I 50% AGREE with DJ.

    “It is those mistakes that opened the door for Mangala’s treachery in 2015 and today. The petition against the Weliweriya shootings was drafted by three of us who had fought against the west in Geneva: Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam, Prof Rajiva Wijesinha and myself.”

    I SAID when it happened RATHUPASWALA will be the END of MR. Some fools failed to understand it and SHOT THE MESSENGER!! Now they CRY defeat and try to feed NEEM leaves to Singhalese to DEPOPULATE them.

    But there is a CATHOLIC CONSPIRACY here. Just because the VICTIMS were CATHOLIC the 3 CATHOLICS – TAMARA, DAYAN and RAJIWA – went to UNHRC and VATICAN against SL. This is SECOND 1962. What madness is this!!

    It is very easy to FOOL SL people.

    Look how RAJITHA and CBK fooled everyone. They used FILTH to blame each other. But underneath they were BEST FRIENDS and they co-ordinated very well. By the time MR came to realize they were PLAYING A GAME it was too late.

    DAYAN is playing the same game.

    CBK and RUN-NIL are DAYAN’s best friends. They are 13 amendment GUARDIANS.

    Don’t believe his ON THE SURFACE ATTACKS. ENDIA unifies them ALL. Now Dayan is kissing Gota’s hand he wished to cut MANY TIMES.

  10. Lorenzo Says:


    GR – YES
    MR – NO

    There is a HUGE difference between the 2.

    GR – WANTS TO SCRAP 13 amendment
    GR – NO relatives are dragged
    GR – married to a Buddhist, follows Buddhism, Manoj (son) is a Buddhist
    GR – NOT a politician
    GR – NOT a Thirupathy stooge
    GR – MORE with INTELLECTUALS than Mervins
    GR – MILITARY discipline, MASTERS degree, RWP, RSP, won the war

    MR – KEEPS SCRAP 13 amendment
    MR – ALL relatives are dragged
    MR – married to a Catholic, follows Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism, only 1 son is a Buddhist
    MR – A politician
    MR – A Thirupathy and Vatican worshipper
    MR – MORE politicians than INTELLECTUALS
    MR – a LAWYER

    SL needs GR.

    They worked as president and defence secretary but they CANNOT work together in POLITICS.

    ALL Rajapakshe supporters support GR so no need to get BOTH. The PM candidate should be someone who can bring MORE ADDTIONAL VOTES that would otherwise NOT come.

  11. Christie Says:

    Dayan Jayatilaka promoting an Indian Colonial Parasite raises many questions about his integrity and his mental status, specially an Indian agent who may be installed by India as a leader of the Sinhalese like Sirisena.

    Dayan should ask his Prince (Kumar) where does he gets money from?

  12. RohanJay Says:

    Sri Lankan voters should have re-elected MR and Gota in Jan 2015. I knew that. But I can now why MR and Gota lost. When you have Dayan Jayatillaka and their ilk in the mainstream media during the Mahinda Rajapaksha years. Instead of taking the long term more stable view fro Sri Lanka. They go for cheap shots and criticism, when the six years of MR 2009-2015. Were some of the best for Sri Lanka. Lets hope MR and Gota run for office again and are voted back in. Otherwise the good times of peace and stability of 2009-2015 will be just a memory. I can’t believe Sri Lanka voted for the current psychos in power over MR and Gota. Sri Lanka what went wrong in Jan 2015?

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