Future cannot be built on the failed past of minorities
Posted on July 4th, 2020

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Managing a democracy in normal times is bad enough. Managing it in times of crises can be a horripilating nightmare. Choices have to be made between confronting imperatives demanding urgent and unpalatable decisions and the popular will that will invariably opt for the comfortable and the least painful way out. The choices available for the drivers steering the wheel of state are risky either way. To begin with, no one likes the changing of gears which disturbs the settled position in the seat at a time when you are cruising smoothly on the surface of a flat road. Besides, it tends to build a kind of resentment against the driver who is doing his best to navigate his way forward through the bends and over the bumps. The driver who is at the wheel of the state is always trapped in this predicament. In reality he doesn’t have much of a choice. The choice available in trying to lie down at the end of the day is between a bed of thorns and porcupines.

President Gotabaya Rajapakse is the current driver in the seat. He has been driving the state since November 19, 2019. To arrive at his destination, he has decided to go down Dharmapala Mawatha. That is the meaning of November 19, 2019 – a date which is going to be as meaningful as 1956”. At no time in the post-independent period has the Sinhala-Buddhists decided to act collectively as a united political force as on November 19, 2019. There is, of course, 1956”. That was different. It was the year in which the colonial dam burst. The natural flow of history was dammed for nearly five hundred years and the accumulated forces were rearing to break loose in 1956. It could not be contained any longer behind any wall. The increasing pressures of the critical mass of historical forces waiting to breakthrough was too overbearing for any obsolete colonial dam to hold back.

Besides, by 1956” the tsunamic waves of anti-colonialism had swept across Afro-Asian nations overthrowing Western institutions and values. On the surface there was the change of guard. On the surface the Brown sahib replaced the White sahib. But beneath that political façade were the grassroot forces sweeping away the cultural remnants of colonialism.

The waves were just not political. Overthrowing the alien cultural dominance that came with Western imperialism proved to be more difficult than just sending home the Western masters.  At independence Sri Lanka was ruled by 6% of the English-speaking elite. Of this, the English-speaking Vellalas held a disproportionate share of jobs and power in the British bureaucracy.   More than the class division it was the cultural division – the English-speaking kultur elite versus the Sinhala-speaking yakkos – that separated and alienated the people from the state.

So, by 1956” the trends had developed and strengthened at all levels for the people to reclaim the nation they lost to the West. It was a historical inevitability.  It was the momentous year in which the historical imbalances caused by alien rule were readjusted and restored to their legitimate place. It was the first flowering of the grassroot forces that were suppressed for nearly five hundred years of colonialism. It was the dawning of a new era for the people who understood it their way and expressed it in the very simple slogan: Api-ta tha-na dun-na!” (We were given our due place!) They were referring to the place their ancestors lost five hundred years ago.

I was there when the over-joyed masses swarmed into Parliament and occupied the well of the House. The feeling in the air of having regained the precious heritage that was lost for centuries was infectious. Overwhelmed, some even shed tears of joy. It was a moment to remember for the rest of the living days.

S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike who came from Oxford had the foresight to identify and go along with the irresistible and overwhelming forces of history and win. He was chosen by history to lead 1956”. Stephen Spender’s splendid lines in ”I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great” describe his stature most aptly:

Born of the sun they travelled a short while towards the sun,

And left the vivid air signed with their honour.”

He didn’t die when he was assassinated. Like all great historical figures, he was reborn in the memory of the people whom he served. To this day he lives as a determining force in the memory of the people who define and pursue their own destiny. 

Gotabaya Rajapakse’s victory on November 19, 2019 is a return to 1956” but with new characteristics. If 1956” was a clear rejection of colonialism – a movement that was defined, refined and led by self-sacrificing activists like Anagarika Dharmapala — , 2019” was an unequivocal rejection of fascist minoritarian politics threatening the majoritarian way of life inherited from the first steps taken by the nation-building pioneers who put their roots down firmly, unlike the other itinerant migrants, and opened up the virgin land to make this island a fit dwelling-place for men” (Mahavamsa) – one of the finest political ideals of all mankind.

In 2019 the minoritarianists were all out to rewrite the pages of history by devaluing and denigrating the very forces that opened the doors of the land and welcomed them when they too landed as migrants and had nowhere to go. But by 2019 they had grown to a point where they could take to aggressive politics challenging the very foundations on which they thrived. After they found their feet — with the help of the majority, of course — they decided to dislodge the majority and take over as king-makers, hiding behind various imported theories and rights.

Minoritarian power, which included anti-Sinhala-Buddhist NGOs, had reached its peak. By 2019 they were ensconced in a position to dictate terms to the Yahapalanaya regime. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s 19th Amendment was the noose that was tightening round the neck of the majority. As if that is not enough, he sent his emissaries to UNHRC to promise his buddies in the West that he is prepared to do their bidding, even if it means sacrificing the heroic soldiers who saved the nation. Together with the arrogant minorities and his NGO partners he was lustily ringing the death knell of the Sinhala-Buddhists.

The desperate Sinhala-Buddhist majority had no one to stand up for them. No saviour, no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel. The helpless majority knew that Ranil Wickremesinghe and his anti-Sinhala-Buddhist gang had to be stopped. But who was going to do it? It was in these frightening circumstances that Gotabaya Rajapakse emerged as the tried and tested man. He has proved his worth by leading the longest and the biggest military campaign from a commanding height. He was the power behind the forces that crushed the deadliest enemy – the invincible enemy — of the nation with the bullet.

On November 19, 2019 he went to battle with the ballot in hand to fight the new enemy at home. His victory shocked the pundits by winning the unwinnable electoral battle. Conventional wisdom had concluded that no one can win without the minority votes. Gota proved that he can win unwinnable battles both with the bullet and ballot. Besides, earlier Field Marshall Fonseka failed to win with the ballot despite collecting the votes of the minority and the majority. Gotabaya won only with the votes of the majority. Gota has rewritten the political textbooks by proving that it is possible to win without the minority votes – a force that was considered indispensable for any electoral victory

This should convey a new message to the minority which is in total disarray, particularly with their UNP patron with two heads not knowing which head to follow. The Tamil minority played their last card at Vadukoddai by declaring war against the majority and they failed. Failed miserably! They tried international pressure but that didn’t take them to the goals they aspired. They tried regional pressure but that boomeranged on them. Or to change the metaphor, they killed the goose that was expected to lay the golden egg for them. With the killing of Rajiv Gandhi Tamils have proved to be better experts than the Japanese in committing harakiri. Their last hope was in the ballot. After the failure of the Vadukoddai bullet it was considered to be their most indispensable weapon. They relied on their myth that the Sinhalese cannot win any electoral battle without their vote. But Gotabaya won this unwinnable battle too with the votes of only the Sinhala-Buddhists. This victory is as stunning as the victory at Nandikadal. 

His victory has pushed the minorities to a dead-end. It means that the  minority can push the majority only sometimes and that too only up to a point at all times, unless they get another Ranil Wickremesinghe to do their bidding. As usual he was self-sabotaging himself with his incalculable missteps. But why should the nation pay for his stupidity? He had to be stopped.

On November 19, 2019, Gotabaya Rajapakse did just that. The majority that backed him to the hilt signalled that enough is enough. On November 19, 2019 the majority declared in bold headlines that there are limits to minoritarianism. They went quietly to the polls and without throwing hand grenades told the minorities that the future is in peaceful coexistence, as they had done for centuries before, and not in identitarian violence that destroys them more than the majority. It was not a move by the majority to put the knee to the neck of the minorities and choke them. It was a predictable reaction to the minorities stepping over the limit with an unwarranted arrogance.

Another proven fact in the last election is that the majority is willing to place their trust in the Rajapakses leadership. It is partly because there is none in the horizon to give an alternative leadership. But more importantly, it is the trust placed in the quality of the leadership to take the nation forward. Our politically bankrupt pundits, as usual, are blaming the Sinhala-Buddhists

The total bankruptcy of the thinking of this gang is in the inane statement of Prof Quadri Ismail who wrote: There cannot be peace in Sri Lanka until the Sinhalese come to terms with their bloody history, and disavow majoritarianism.” — A critique of (Tamil) Self-determination. (10/7/2013 – Groundview, Centre for Policy Alernative). This is typical of the minority blaming the majority. In any case, why should only the majority come to terms with their bloody history, and disavow majoritarianism”, eh Professori? Shouldn’t the minority too come to terms with their  bloody history of persecuting  and oppressing  their own people for centuries  and their crimes against humanity in the Vadukkoddai War and  disavow minoritarianism? This racist tactic of blaming the Sinhala-Buddhists has been going on since G. G. Ponnambalam denigrated the Sinhala-Buddhists in 1939 which caused the first racial riots. Where has it taken them? And for how long can they go on repeating the same anti-Sinhala-Buddhist mantra that has led them only to Nandikadal? Since all minoritarian gambits, including violence and international pressures, have failed should not the minorities seriously consider their next move on a rational basis with the aim of securing the good of all concerned?

Isn’t it time for them to revisit their failed past and consider how they can rephrase their rhetoric and their agenda to achieve peaceful co-existence as there is no space for disproportionate power and territory in the future?

5 Responses to “Future cannot be built on the failed past of minorities”

  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Minorities don’t have a failed past, it’s the Sinhalese who have lost most. While traitor foreigners gaining more
    and more ground Sinhalese are losing all. Since parangi invasion Sinhalese, Sri Lanka and Buddhism are being systematically destroyed by all the parties. After colonial menace left, the destruction was carried out by anti
    Sinhalese, anti Sri Lanka, anti Buddhist, minority worshiping (for their votes), Mother Lanka dismembering, lying,
    murderous (Sinhalese Buddhists only of course), thieves of the GooandPee aka UNPatriotic_rats. Architects of
    this is traitor alugosuwas (to Sinhalese Buddhists only) thambi mudiyanselage jr@, lk porisadge R@, and traitor
    chief die hard catholic token Buddhist bay gal karaya mega thief mega thakkadiya Batalande wa(n)dakaya
    Pol Pot r@ni_leech wickrama Sinhala killer. Still Sinhala modayas haven’t realised Batalande wa(n)dakaya
    is a more dangerous virus than Covid19!

    Parangis brought their religion of convenience to divide the Sinhalese and a lot of converted and became
    alienated from their race and try to put down their own for the sake of their religion. The dutch rascals did the
    most damage by bringing tamils from tn who have become real haters of the Sinhalese and are hell bent on destroying us all while living all over the country comfortably and enjoying more benefits than the native
    Sinhalese. They can go to any uni writing in tamil, marked up by tamils (uni through back door?) while
    Sinhalese in their own country are not supposed to live in the N&E or go to any university there. Is their any
    race on the planet in a sorrier state than this to ruled by foreigners? Then British brought more tamils to work in
    tea plantations and today they all are aspiring for a greater drealam.

    Meanwhile, mussies after multiplying like …. getting ready to kill us all and have their own mussiesthan. Mussies
    turned old Buddhist iran, afganisthan, pakisthan, bangladesh, malaysia and indonesia within a few hundred
    years of their arrivals with baby machine wives. Now their numbers are high and we have to be ready to sacrifice
    100s 1000s of Sinhalese lives to defend our country. Traitor anti Buddhist, anti Sri Lanka, anti Sinhalese,
    minority worshiping (for their votes), Mother Lanka dismembering lying, murderous (Sinhalese Buddhists only)
    GooandPee aka UNPatriotic_rats thieves have made Sinhalese pariahs in their own land by over promoting
    tamils and mussies. Sinhalese are the only race on the planet to groom their murderers. Traitor foreigners tamils
    and mussies don’t want to co-exist with us and won’t stop until the Sinhalese are totally wiped out from the island.
    Even if they get their exclusively them only kingdoms, the traitors will be fighting border wars to expand their
    territory and Sinhalese going to be refugees in their own land. Do any Sinhalese want that, apart from the
    samanala gang who doesn’t have any off spring plus jaathidhrohee vermins’ party aka jvp? Of course not.
    We don’t want to sacrifice 100s of 1000s Sinhalese lives fighting these foreigners we never brought to our
    country.

    Sinhalese should petition the Government to send these undesirables to where they came from. It is the only
    way to stop eternal bloodbaths and eventually Sinhalese being totally wiped out. Sinhalese have lost the plot
    since 1505, it is time we should claim our country back. After all Mr Modi opened the door for tamils to come
    home. Mussies can go to 80 mussie countries they boast so they don’t have to kill any Sinhalese to get halal,
    multi wives, burka, goni billa dress (high fashion in hell among ghosts), sharia, buria, child brides etc etc. and
    they can live happily ever after. Any person with brain cells >0 will accept this to be the best solution to save the
    Sinhalese race, Sri Lanka and Buddhism and avoid eternal bloodbaths.

  2. Nihal Perera Says:

    The era of minorities dictated terms to majority is over in Sri Lanka.

    The attitude of the majority has changed. The never ending demands by the minorities and their bleeding heart western supporters should realize that we, the Sinhalese majority, will no longer put up with the bullshit of HR violations and so called ethnic grievances, which was fabricated to promote their agenda of a separate state for the Tamils.

    The minorities already have and enjoy the same rights that of majority. No country in the world has done for minorities like Sri Lanka has.

    Just look at the USA and see how they treat their minorities, especially Blacks for the last 400 years. This the self-claimed world leader who preaches the rest of the world about HRs, freedom, democracy and rule of law.

    Has a Sri Lankan policeman ever killed a Tamil or a Muslim by putting his knee on a victim’s neck, the way they do it inhumanly in USA?

  3. Nimal Says:

    Mahindapala and AS
    My sudda Buddhist friend was very shocked to read your two articles which is very unbuddhist .I am a convert to Buddhism and we set up our own Buddhist society which is for our own interests. I see no tolerance and kindness but hate in the article.
    As Gotabaya said recently that we must think out of the box and I have being doping that from my early age.I grew upwith burghers,suddas and with two or three Iranian families all in SL.
    I think some religions are practised in a decisive way the reasons for present conflicts well exploited by major powers to cause chaos and rob the wealth and resources of that poor country.
    I am a great supporter of our past colonials who have done so much for us and their system is so advance and just likes of Mahindapala had gone there to study and live and bring missary to the suffering people the country of my birth.
    SWRD after getting his education at Oxford did the same.He was responsible for missarable culture we have to live with,one could judge the company he kept that cause his demise.I have beemn to Rosmead place to see him and Mrs B with my eldest brother who is married to the Ratwatte family in Bandaragama.I forced my self to be with my brother and I did not like the company he kept,like Buhhah rakkita,Ossie Corea.Last toime we went there we met Mr W.dahnayaskeMPwho was a family friend of our parents who lived few doors next to them Galle and he was the English teacher of my eldest brothers at st Alosuious in Galle.He to;ld my brother that he was not too happy with people who were there.
    During our last visit to Rosemead place we met Chevanayagam who had come to visit PM and his driver was scared to come there to take him home and MR W.D asked my brother to give him lift which we did.While he was driven toward Wellawatta my brother pointed out the burning Tamil shops which he was responsible for stirring the pot by tarring the Sinhalese name boards.He was dumfounded and shocked and never uttered a single word and thanked my brother in Sinhalese.
    SWRD made a mistake.perhaps innocently to allow CV in to the country,knowing that he tried create tensions in Singapore,Malaysia and even in India.
    SWRD and his Mrs did much harm to the high achieving Sinhalese.They took our land,excess houses,anhilated the business of the Dry fish mudalalis from the south.Took over our busses from the owners sadly one or two we knew committed suicide.
    Recently a Sinhalese owned Cylinco was decimated and owner was put in remand and his assets were stripped.
    It was stated the 500years of colonial rule had ruined the Sinhalese and the culture which is utter nonsense. With the Kandyan convention for the first time we were equal with another by the English law.
    Portuguese gave us our cloths, which we now call Kamisa,Sappathu,etc then mesa(table),Kasada(marrage) etc.
    We never had such civilized culture where our para kings of davidian in nature supressed us.We innocent Sinhaklese include the President’s clan was sectioned in the south but staring from the Portugese they conquered these invaders and settled us the Sinhalese.Our families were brought to Baddegama where some of our ancestors inter married with them
    They turned the devals intotemples.They moved the elite of the Sihalese like my people,the Arigalles to Kotte and mirihana where they cleared the dravidan settlements, where the Majhadevale in Kotte was turned in the Raja Maha Vihara.They did this allover the country and one such place was Kandy the Dravidian Malgawa was turned in to a place of worship for the suffering Sihalese,so were the 5 devalues in Kandy and to bring Joy and happiness to us Sinhalese they created the roads and the perahara.
    Our particular family was given over 100,000 acres in Talawa,where the British Army put the first Railway station.Myfather was born at Talawa under very difficult medical condition,sadly his mum and his twin brother died at child birth and my father was saved by Miss Karni who lived there and died there. She was responsible for erecting the first Buddhist temple in Ralapanawa,there first school and the first hospital.
    Sadly the former Colonials are under the influence of uncle sam is trying to interfere in our countries and we will be open to such abuse if we are devided among ourselves and this article just help the vile cause.But I still think the good colonials must come back and put our countries to the levels of the developed democracies where we all want to settle.We can turn sl into another developed country where our passport is accepted without a fuss.
    Sorry for anmy errors as I am very busy in London,too many(business) irons in fire.

  4. Nihal Perera Says:

    Nimal says: “My sudda Buddhist friend was very shocked to read your two articles which is very unbuddhist”

    Your love for Suddas, and for a defunct, bankrupted British Empire is not going to bring any prosperity to our country any time soon! The Brits can barely manage their own affairs these days. Brexit and Corona Virus proved that these bankrupted colonials are no longer capable of fixing their own problems, let alone helping countries like Sri Lanka.

    As a matter of fact SL has done very well handling situations like Corona virus, compare to many western nations.

    The last thing SL needs (or any country for that matter) is for these colonial assholes to come up and mess up our country, as they did before.

    NO THANKS!

  5. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    This nimal guy can’t be a Sinhalese. Before the colonial menace got to Sri Lanka we had a 1000s of years of
    civilization. If you are in doubt go to Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa etc and see. They were not built after 1948. So
    your very civlized, so advanced did so much for us and brought the worst tenants who killed 100,000+, mainly
    Sinhalese and now getting ready to kill again to get their tamil drealam. I’m sure suddha worshiping you over the
    moon. That’s not all parangis brought religion of convenience with mythical gods (read Darwin’s Theory of
    Evolution, his book, The Tree of Life, Theory of Natural Selection, NASA’s discoveries which shows the earth size
    is a grain of sand in the vast vast vast vast universe) and divided Sinhalese who value their mythical gods than
    their country and race. We can go on and on.

    Ask an Aborgini, New Zealand’s Myori, native Indian, native Mexican who they feel about your suddha master.
    We would settle down for pre parangi era any time without the roads they built. We would’ve had eternal peace.
    You should be really ashamed of yourself for praising colonials who made Sri Lanka a melting pot to fight
    eternal wars with the imports from India.

    What The Buddha preached has been proved to be true again and again by science. He preached health is
    wealth. How appropriate it is for covid19-scared world?

    All the crimes (sins) any two legged creature can do anywhere under the sun:
    1 killing (animals included? of course only in Buddhism)
    2 stealing
    3 sexual misconduct
    4 lying
    5 alcohol/drug abuse
    The above is the penal code in every country under the sun while refrain from them is Buddhism’s Five Precepts.
    Do we need to say any more about the only true religion in the world? What colonials did can’t be reversed
    now. The least they can do is help these destroyed countries to get on their feet or if they don’t want to the
    decent thing leave them alone. What they did with the gun, they doing with the money, technology now. That’s
    why the this uncaring, crafty, selfish world need Buddhism more than ever. Buddhism disappeared from its birth
    place since it didn’t fit the society with caste systems, animal sacrifices etc. etc. and people quickly reverted back
    to religions of conveniences which don’t regard sins as sins.

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