Executive presidency — a necessary deviland a useful tool.
Posted on September 8th, 2010

Geethanjana Kudaligamage

Rajapakse, regional politics, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Eurocentric DevelopmentalismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ and the western hegemony (Part 14-)

As I was writing this article, the 18th amendment was pending to be submitted before the parliament for approval. Other than some NGOs and some opposition political parties, there is no significant public participation in opposing this move. The silence of the public can be taken as their tacit approval for the amendment to the constitution that removes the two term limit of a person serving in the office of presidency. After witnessing the successful end of the war largely due to the power invested in executive presidency, many Sri Lankans view executive presidency as a necessary tool that can be helpful to maneuver the nation in the postwar troubled waters including development.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ As far as the presidential candidate has to seek peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s mandate each and every time he/she pursue office, I do not see a greater danger in the amendment. But for the benefit of a just society, any constitutional affair must be given proper space and time for discussion and debate. And also it is necessary to safeguard a free and fair election process and a legal system to prevent misuse of the system by corrupt politicians in future. Decolonization of the system of judiciary and law and order is utmost important for a healthy function of the society currently corrupted by colonial traditions of the past. However at a proper time, we all desired to see something entirely different to our current constitution; what the nation must consider is to get rid of this entire JRJ constitution and establish a new form of government empowering native masses at a right time. Now the question is why people think that current president Rajapaksa must be given a chance to contest more than two times? The reason can be identified as the failure of our system that is based on colonial democracy which again designed and devised to create political systems on absolute dependency ofallspheres ofideology, economics, political and social to the west.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ A compromise

From the Sri Lankan public point of view, deciding to keep executive presidency is a historic political compromise. On the one hand, they were fighting against the constitutional totalitarianism of JRJƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s constitution and its executive presidency ever since it was introduced by then UNP administration in 1978. And on the other hand, currently they desired to see their countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s development programs to be continued by a steady and powerful administration without any disruption in this post war era. In other words, fifteen years from now, they want to see that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ship of hopeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Pride of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ to be sailed from Hambantota shipyard with the manufacturer tag reading ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”This ship is proudly made in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. That is the hope of the nation. Sri Lanka is about to take a decision, which is not the best or the politically correct one, but may be a pragmatic decision of the necessity of the political circumstances aroused out of the current political jumble in Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ What is this political jumble, or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”the aberrationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢? This political jumble is nothing but the instability that is hanging in the air that can disrupt the system at any given time by our colonially inherited second hand democracy controlled by a culturally hybrid minority of Colombian bourgeoisies. In this jumble, everybody becomes politically correct only when they are in the opposition. Some will view government actions in negative perspective and do everything what so ever to undermine our national interests, if needed, with the help of external forces. They make mockery of parliamentary democracy keeping this never ending cycle of poverty of masses forever. They import incompatible political slogans time to time from their western masters, give interviews to western corporate media for the purpose of denigrating the nation while being recipients of salaries out of poor taxpayersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ money. In short, they never allow any administration to do anything that their masters in the west do not wish to see happening in Sri Lanka. That tradition of colonial democracy is the political aberration we have. That is the absolute obstacle or the design that colonial master has put in place in their former colonies to prevent us getting out of the poverty they have left behind.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ There are good reasons for the people of Sri Lanka to take risks to try different possibilities. Through their experience, they knew that they cannot realize their dream of progress, or in other words, sailing their ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ship of hopeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ due to the continual presence of, what I call, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”the external fourth dimensionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ active in our national political culture that messing with the natural and spontaneous function of our democracy constantly undermining our political stability. They also knew that this fourth dimension might have toppled the government in the midst of Nantikadal battle if there wasnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t all that powerful executive presidency in place to keep the ship floating. They also came to know that none other former presidents utilized the power of executive presidency effectively for the benefit of national security, but only president Rajapaksa had the courage to do it. And also with utter surprise, they saw that external ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”fourth dimensionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ tried every possible trick very hard to transfer that sensational bullet hole, not in PrabhakaranƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s forehead but on RajapaksaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s head, however miserably failed due to powerful presidency of the constitution. Actually if there was no executive presidency during the climax of the war, we could have witnessed some of our leaders might have ended their political carriers in the same way like RanjanWijayaratne ended his carrier. So after thirty years of opposing, battering and kicking the executive presidency for its negative aspect, at last Sri Lanka has seen a positive silver streak in this ever-perilous presidency for the first time, during the most crucial hour of need in our history. Finally they have determined to have a steady administration under the current president Rajapaksa, and to allow him to remove the two-term restriction from the constitution. Is this a wiser idea? Well, they might say that they do not have any other option, because our parliamentary system is utterly corrupt.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Colonial democracy, the rule of them, by them and for themƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

Frantz Fanon once said, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The slave who never struggles for freedom, who is simply granted the permission of the master, will forever remain a slaveƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. IsnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t that absolutely true in regard to Colombian mentality? Sri Lanka is suffering from this decease of mental slavery. The hybrid Colombian class shows all symptoms of this decease. Although it is said that former colonies are free of direct rule of the west, ongoing events reveal that freedom is something still to be earned. Our social consciousness still carries the burden of colonialism and it still desires remaining as mental slaves to our bygone master largely due to the absence of the above said freedom struggle. Freedom struggles not only brings physical freedom but also it brings the ideological discourse that emancipates people from mental subservience. The British colonial administration craftily offered the independence with allegorical half-baked English ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”PieƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of colonial democracy to black skinned Colombian Tom and Dicks, posturing as if they were a generous bunch of well-wishers of SL democracy. But the truth behind this offer was to bypass the anti-colonial liberation struggle of multitude, knowing the fact that the Colombian ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”DicksƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ will never have the chance of eating English ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”PieƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢freely in any such event of the independence gaining through a true liberation struggle of mass-movement. They knew that, In such a mass movement, not the Colombians but the true natives will gain power.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The recently concluded liberation struggle against western and Indian sponsored terrorism in Sri Lanka provided the opportunity for the nation to fill this void of the freedom struggle partly. Under such symbolic relationship, they saw the image of Robert Brownrigg through David Miliband. Today Sri Lanka sees her future through the bullet hole in the forehead of Prabhakaran and through which, they clearly see that the sun is spectacularly rising from the Eastern horizons. What they see through this bullet hole is a previously racially divided foggy landscape damped by racial blood of all races is getting illuminated and revitalized by the rays of the new sun. They have witnessed the usefulness of a devil to destroy another devil. Then they have embraced the executive presidency as a necessary devil capable of taking the nation through the next battlefield of progress across the Western dominated economic devils-land to the Promised-Land. Although it is risky, they invest their faith on an individual in place of a system. They firmly believe that president Rajapaksa will positively use this necessary devil of executive presidency to overcome all odds of corrupt colonial democracy to take the nation to the pledged progress.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ After all, the colonial democracy of Sri Lanka was artificially established by colonial terror. The system was still largely based on feudal power apparatus of colonial class structure. Even after going through a bloody liberation struggle, even India still suffers from the same problem.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ However, after losing so many elections, the disgruntled Anglophone mercantile class of Sri Lanka, the Colombians, play every trick to create every obstacle preventing the government to transcend from current difficulties to the next level. They play the intermediate role between external forces and the nation. And as a matter of fact, we all know that the majority of the members of NGOs are coming from or supporters of this Colombian class with colonial inheritance.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Under such condition, people of Sri Lanka may think to use an authoritarian regime to fix unfixable issues of the nation. And they also know, if there are any other nation in Asia developed in the recent history, they were developed by strong leadership of individuals who exercised enormous power to counter the adversaries that tried to disrupt the advancing forces of their progress.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ System versus individual

When systems become untrustworthy, and when they are contaminated by parasites disrupting the natural function of those systems, people tend to abandon them and begin to rely on individuals. This is what exactly happening in Sri Lankan polity today. Our system has been inflicted by many different viruses and parasites, externally manipulating and disrupting the natural function of it. On the one hand we have this leader of the opposition running around the world begging for punishing Sri Lanka; on the other hand we have externally funded entire Colombian political class working day and night for their western masters to mess with internal issues. Most of the crucial events are externally financed, like the issue of the attempt of buying a member of the parliament just before the election. The NGO parades are publicized in Western media as mass movements of our society. But all these NGOs are functioning on externally imported political slogans creatinga political atmosphere making the scene unclear to picture the true mass movements due to so many fake activists working on payrolls of external parties.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ There are so many versions of public opinions, making it utterly impossible to recognize whatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s true and whatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s fake among them. Due to externally pumped artificial slogans coupled with resources, the public opinion just has become a matter of advertising. There are assigned group of people to shout with readymade slogans coming out of shores, then there are corporate media agents readily standing by to pick them up and distribute them throughout the world. This is the made up story what is pictured in western media as public opinion in Sri Lanka today.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ On top of that, there are NGOs, function hand in hand with western and Indian espionage agencies, Western HR organizations, decrees and diplomatic pressure of western foreign offices; all these have something to do with our internal politics limiting genuine participation of the people in the system. For above reasons, the outcome of our democracy is not natural or real, but fake. They are made to be appeared real largely due to the power of western corporate media. So how can people rely on systems if they are out of control and rotten up to very core of them?

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ People have realized that the system is rotten from its very essence of it, and therefore they seem to rely on their trusted individuals. No doubt, this is a risky political gamble. But apparently they consider that trusting individual is lesser risky gamble than the strengthening the rotten hand of the parliamentary system. They do not want to trust those ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”PagarƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ driven parliamentarians, soulless opposition, and corrupt ministers; instead they want to trust an individual. Are the people of Sri Lanka responsible for this political gamble? No, not at all. The actual responsibility goes to the western and Indian manipulations in the national political realm that led the masses to distrust and discard the whole system.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Today the people of Sri Lanka have realized that the system has gone out of their hand. Then they want to counter it through unconventional manner by investing so much power into the hand of the person they trust, and giving him as much time as he needs to fix issues as they want. Since the system has become irrational and irreparable, people have become more emotional. They are going to make a deal with an individual sidelining a system that is entirely treacherous.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In fact, in a previous article I said that, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-colonial Sri Lanka has been built on a fake structure that has been reached to its limits. In order to go into future, SL ought to demolish not only this fictitious structure itself, but also its ruins. Indeed, as political history revels, there is nothing right or wrong as such in political actions but only justified measures, justified to the given circumstance and their contexts.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Same is valid even regarding executive presidency and its restrictions. What people want to see is that president Rajapaksa demolishing this colonial structure and rebuilding the nation on a new foundation empowering historically marginalized native of the land.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ False notion of control

Like many other third world countries experiencing today, Sri Lankan democracy, have become a sham reducing the whole system into a just a comedy of elections, giving a false notion to the masses to think that they are in control of the system by casting a mere vote. But in reality this is just a part of the deceptive magic of the current version of third world democracy. We all know that the magic never created a rabbit out of the hat, but played a trick before the eyes of the audience. This false notion of control of the system by masses, as Zizek put it, is like pressing the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”close doorƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ button of an elevator. By pressing the button we tend to think that we are in command of closing the door. But in reality, this button doesnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t have anything to do with the closing the door of elevators. The door closes by itself and at its own time. Actually by casting our vote, although we have the feeling of control, we control nothing in the post-election politics.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ After the elections, in the part of representational democracy, the external fourth dimensions take control over the economic, political and social function of national politics. PeopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sovereign rights will be taken away through ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”backdoor maneuveringsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ by other forces. Economical and development policies will be taken over by international financial institutions such as IMF, WB and ADB. Structural changes being applied however they are damaging the domestic lives. Then the internal political function will be overshadowed by externally manipulated social factions working for their pay masters. In such events, if necessary, they will topple governments by just changing proportions in parliaments until they get their lackeys into power. The colonially inherited political system of Sri Lanka has been devised by internal and external manipulative parties who can conduct the system and funnel the process in such a way to fulfill their desired objectives. In order to reestablish a natural function of this political system, we must destroy the whole colonial system and rebuild it from ground zero level opening wider participation of the true masses of the land. Can president Rajapaksa do it?

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The line of defense

On the other hand, people of SL consider current government of SL is progressive only insofar as it serves as a line of defense against powerful western nationsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ dictates in every sphere of bio political life of the island. These influences have been ranged from internal and external affairs of, economic, political and ideological sectors of the nation. If we use the more popular leftist term ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-right to self-determinationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ in place of sovereignty, post independent Sri Lanka has been denied to enjoy this so-called right to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”self-determinationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ by India and the west. Current government struggles within this ambiguous field of denial of her fundamental right of determining nationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s future out of external influence. But each and every decision she makes in that direction irritates the west and at times even India. So they try very hard to drag Sri Lanka back to their sphere of influence taking decisions behalf of us. As the famous saying goes, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the right to self-determination of subaltern nations is really a right to secession from the control of dominant powersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. For most of Sri Lankans, Rajapaksa administration is engaged in that part of the struggle. For some Sri Lankans, Rajapaksa administration is subservient to India and resistant to the west.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”FirewallƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ that Rajapakse administration trying to erect up against western virus intrusions of NGOs and UN interference seeking complete paralysis of the system, is a necessary action as well as a can be a double egged weapon if hold it wrongly. The anti-imperialist policies of Rajapaksa regime do not really desired to drive away foreign capital but rather want to shun away its package of subjugation in order to establish above said ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”right to self-determinationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. In this case, the nation remain progressive only if the nation is capable to endure strictly as a fortified line of defense against more powerful external forces trying to derail the will of the nation through malicious mechanisms. Many Sri Lankans believe president Rajapaksa can perform that part effectively.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ However as Hardt and Negri points out, as much as these protective walls appear in their protective function against external forces, however, they may easily play an inverse role with respect to the internal population it protects. This inverse effect is something administration must be very careful of. What we must be careful of and preventing of happening is that the flip side of the firewall that would affect our society. The structure that resists the foreign power is itself can be a dominating power that can exert its power inopposite direction creating internal oppression, repressing internal difference and opposition in the name of national unity and security. Because this strategy of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”national protectionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is a double egged sword at times seem necessary despite its destructiveness, but for the sake of long-term strategic advantage, better to abandon it sooner than later.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The constant pressure that instigated from western countries desired to force Rajapaksa regime to take this destructive path to create a material condition for an uprising within. The only path remaining for Rajapaksa regime is to rely on masses and keeping them on its side. To keep masses on his side president Rajapaksa may have to create a people friendly socio-political atmosphere free of colonial legacies of the past.

(To be continued)

6 Responses to “Executive presidency — a necessary deviland a useful tool.”

  1. Sunil Vijaya Says:

    Geetha – on one hand MR shows his defiance to external pressure however in some aspects he too buckles down probably to his THINK TANK and murderous Colombons, inspired by his former education minister Susil. I am dumbfounded why this man too advocates the MEDIUM of instruction to be English in our dilapadated education system in SL, which would be the disaster for rural folk, which is the majority in SL. These fools eventually will lay the foundation for the demise of Sinhala language as everyone will begin to speak in Mad Cow’s English, including Buddhist clergy (I have repeatedly written about this topic) He has consulted Indians to teach English in SL – good lord do you honestly believe Indians can teach English to Sri Lankans, what a joke? And our politicians too believe that English is the panacea for our ills. Why aren’t the Hela or some Sinhala group agitate on this issue or is it too late as I read some news of Universities are almost there. By the way I prefer to use this name, rather than Vijayapala a traitors name, who let down Buddhists in SL and left the shows to live in Portugal. At least Vijaya brings some pride. Actually both my seeyas are de Silvas, another Portugese crap!

  2. Sunil Vijaya Says:

    left the shores not shows! this bloody inconsistent English language, capitals!, spelling crap!

  3. Siri Says:

    This is a response to the comment of Mr. Sunil Vijaya – You talk like a frog in the well. Have you ever been outside Sri Lanka? If you have you will realise that we Sri Lankans can still get around the World and hold our own because of our good command of the English language. You do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. I agree with you that we should maintain Sinhalese as the Official language. I am educated in Sri Lanka and have been living and working in the USA for the last 30 years. I meet a lot of young Sri Lankan University graduates who have obtained their PhD in the USA and are teaching at the Universities here. I bet there are an equal number of Sri Lankans in many other countries doing very well in many different fields. Some of these students are from rural areas of the country. If your suggestion is followed these students will never have this chance of getting ahead in the world, but will have to limit their living to Sri Lanka only. For you information all the Buddhist monks in New York speak fluent English. Some of them even drive around in their temple vehicle. I am glad that we have a knowledgeable and smart President who undestands and appreciates the advantage of multiple languages. Teaching Sinhala, Tamil and English to all school going children will go a long way to bridge the ethnic divide in Sri Lanka and bring the communities closer. This should have been done long ago. For higher education (above GCE O – Level) english is a must. From your command of the english language, I think you are a Colombo educated individual doing very well for yourself in life because of your knowledge of english and are trying to deprive the poor village children the chance of a better future. Please do not be a hypocrite.

  4. Sunil Vijaya Says:

    Thanks Siri – highly enlightened comment. However your deductions are as way off as your arguments. I have survived and still surviving and EXISTING in 3 fabulous countries, one being to your North. I exploited English to my advantage and never venerated it as some pathetically educated CONDITIONED people do. May be you have just read this comment and missed all my articles over the years published in variuos journals. English in my opinion and of highly enligtened people like the writer of this article, needs recognition as a TOOL to be used for education where it holds relevancy. Sinhala language, classed as a primitive language, can be of immense value(literary wise too) as it can be used to CREATE another language. Whereas English is a highly inconsistent language and boldly I can state its the PROSTITUTE of all languages, with a very bad mix of all languages. But I agree prostitutes are far more popular than decent moral women. When we struggled to understand principles in Chemistry, Physics etc. in English and had very average results at ‘O’ and ‘A’ level exams over many years in 50s, 60s and 70s, the moment they switched to mother toungue, most students, from rural as well as urban, faired very well and 8 Distinctions became very common. True, for expat children mother tongue being English(?), Buddhism or any subject should be taught in English, and if you follow the same in Sri Lanka it would be the biggest joke of the 21st century as we are the proud inheriters of Pali and Sinhala and as I have read many translations of Buddhist books, the words of translations to English, as Ven. Punnaji states, mislead the readers and we need to be very careful as that means UNDERSTANDING too is affected. Funny thing though when English appreciating Sinhala people fight for English in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, in the State of Victoria in Australia Sinhala Language is recognised as a qualifying language for Uni Entrance!. Hispanics in States compel Anglos to learn Spanish for their own survival, which is bitter taste for English pushes. We have been ‘conditioned’ to believe in ‘without English there is no survival’ by the greatest propagandists on this planet the Anglo Saxons, my favourite topic. Even Shakespere (or alias Francis Bacon or vice versa) was not much of literary excellence, but was an expert in English manipulation to marvel audiences, compared with Shaw, the great Irishman or Tolstoy or Gorky or Chekov or Bretch who were masters of literacy. This statement might come as a shock to you and many readers but this is my candid opinion. You have the right for your opinions and you may take that to your grave. Our people excelled in other lands with mastery over English but did it help to develop our country we dearly love. Even Buddha has mentioned the merit of learning in mother tongue and one of the reasons he avoided Sanskrit was it was considered a scholastic language and he used Maghadi or Pali the common man’s language. Now tell me Siri what’s the use of being a frog outside the well as you haven’t grasped much of English propaganda?

  5. Siri Says:

    Thanks Sunil for the response and explanation. I am sorry if I misjudged you or hurt your feelings. From your style and command of the english language, I gathered that you were no rural boy. I studied in Sri Lanka and was in the first batch of students who had to answer the syllabus A and syllabus B papers for the SSC exam in December 1957. I realize the benefit of Sinhala in Sri Lanka, but you need English as a necessary evil to get along in foreign lands or even in Sri Lanka at managerial level. We cannot deny this to the future generations of Sri Lankans. We have climbed to the top of the ladder using our knowledge of the English language. Let us not kick down the ladder after using it to go to the top, so the others cannot follow us. I still maintain that the President was right when he said that English education should be given to all students. Sinhalese is only spoken in Sri Lanka. English is spoken in many parts of the Western world. Language is a medium of communication. We need a popular medium of communication such as english if Sri Lanka is to develop like Singapore or even better. As you say in the States hispanics compel Anglos to learn Spanish. I know a sprinkling of spanish to get hispanics to do menial tasks for me such as house cleaning and cooking. These hispanics will not go beyond that stage unless they learn english. Sri Lankans with no knowledge of english will end up the same way.

  6. Sunil Vijaya Says:

    Medium of instruction is the problem. English as a subject is fine, I always did advocate that. Once you have a grasp of English, you can do any reference on any subject. This doesn’t mean you need to teach subjects in English, of course with very few exceptions. SWRD(being a Thomian and Oxdord man) attacked the English worshipping people, especially the murderous Colombons (we too underwent this ‘English’ conditioning at some stage in our life time, I must say), by introducing the Swabasha Act. My Professor(a Thomian) too believed in bi-lingual education and we followed lectures in both Sinhala and English in Science. The Swabasha Act was not directed at Tamils, which is the common belief, which paved way for rural folk to enter Unis, whether Tamil, Muslim or Sinhalese. and excel in their fields. Imagine learning Sri Lanka history or Buddhism in English! in Sri Lanka a draconian idea. When I worked at Valachennai in early 70s, no one in courts in Batticalo or any goverment office spoke Sinhalese. Even Sinhalese lawyers had to learn Tamil for their survival. I reiterate what I have said and all along for the past 30 years. English push is for the benefit of Anglo Saxons as it would be easy for them to exploit the world, which they did for the last 200 years. Europeans didn’t/don’t give a damn about English as they wisely didn’t see any merit in learning English to developed their countries, so were Japanese and Koreans and many more. Only people with subjugated, subservient mentalities like Sri Lankans, Indians do get caught to the bait. In my opinion at all world forums people should speak in their mother tongue, like Mahinda did some time ago so that the translation can be heard not in English but in ones own mother tongue, be it Chinese, Spanish or Greek. I think we will leave at that. Thanks again Siri.

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