A reply to The Economist -the latest recruit for “Sri Lanka Bashing” with its article: Rajapakse’s big cover up.
Posted on November 4th, 2010

by Charles S.Perera

The article in ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The EconomistƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  dated 28 October,2010, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ may have been ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ written by an expatriate Tamil or some one bought by the expatriate Tamils. In either case the person who wrote that article is certainly not cultivated, but lewd.

However, The Economist which isƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  supposed to be a serious journal that does not indulge in slander or defamation, seems to have fallen into the category of ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ a cheap Western gossip magazine, casting aspersions , with intention to discredit ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the good President of Sri Lanka, and his government.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

Barely clad women,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  be it frescoes on stone wallsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  orƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  in real life situations do not receiveƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  either humourƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  or disapproval, neither by the PresidentƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  nor by the people of Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The barely clad women drawn ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ on stone walls about 500 years ago fall into a different category, from photos of bare legged women as objects in advertisements ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ influenced by the West, pasted on street walls.

The paintings of barely clad women on the Stone wall at SigiriyaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  are not appreciated for their nudity which perhaps excite the libido of the correspondent of The Economist, but these precious old paintings are respected and looked at for the beauty of their executionƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  appreciation of the ancient artists who had enlivened the bare stone wall with their artistic talents.

ItƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  was not an uncommon sight in old days inƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Sri Lanka to see womenƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  with uncovered upper bodies- like in Africa or Latin America.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Those women in our cultures did not provoke humour orƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  receive disapproval , because they were a symbol of motherhood, that inspired respect, rather than arouse vulgar carnal desire.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

If it has changedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  it may be the result of ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the advent of the Western culture into ours that has backslidƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  respect for motherhood in our society, by daring to use ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ an image of a ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ barely clad woman showing her bare legs ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ on a poster ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  publicity to attract attention to an object on sale. It is in order to stop such degeneration of accepted social values ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ that the President and the government have started a campaignƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  against indecency in posters for publicity.

We in Sri Lanka have had appreciably ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ good ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ moral values, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ which have been unfortunately vulgarised ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ since ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ coming in contact with ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Western values.

In the West withƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  pornography, Xfilms, pedophile, incest, child abuse, naked or half naked dancers, images of women as a sex symbol used for publicity,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  have caused a moral degeneration despiteƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  pretentious Christian high morals, yetƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  they see the chip in the others eyes without seeing the log in their own eyes.

IsnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t that whatƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The Economist is exactly doing ? IsnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t that moral degeneration in the West a lesson for our President to take precautions to avoid such a deterioration of moral valuesƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  taking place in Sri Lanka as well ?

Therefore, it is justifiable that the PresidentƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Mahinda RajapakseƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  is bringing legislation ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ against display of obscenity in public places.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  It is not to please the West or The Economist that we should give into ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ practices ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ considered immoral or indecent turningƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  a blind eye to such contemptible acts,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  that are ruining ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the Western Society.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The Catholic Church is facing charges of child abuse. There is incest and child abuseƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  on the increase in the West though they try to pontificate to us sitting on their imaginary high horses. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

The US Justice Department recently issued a statement that 239ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 000 minorsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  who are runaway youths or thrown out of their homes and living in streets are victims of prostitution net woks in the United States . The Catholic Church , the Churches of which Duleep de Chikera is a member are absent in America to aid these young minorsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  caught in prostitution,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  and othersƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  victims of human trafficking.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

The US Justice Department says ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ that the resources needed for girls found on the street ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” such as accommodation, medical attention and therapies ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” are not available when they are brought before the courts, and a number of cases of Mexican or Central American women deceived or kidnapped and brought to the United States, are forced to work in the sex industry.

These are the matters that The Economist should write about, because prostitution and drug trafficking in the West are economic issues.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Sri Lanka after elimination of terrorism is trying to develop the country without sacrificing ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ its cultural and moral values. Therefore, The Economist cannot discredit the government of Sri Lanka which is making an effort ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ to remove false moral values incompatible with our own culture, that continue to be forced on us by ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the West.

ManyƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  film producers in the West invariably include one or two crudeƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  sex scenes into their films ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ to make the film popular. In the West the nudity ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  a woman and sexƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  are bothƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  lucrative ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ commodities. But our cultural values have still not fallen so low, therefore, what ever The Economist says about it, it is very much appreciable ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ that the President of Sri Lanka is taking necessary actions against such base immorality creeping ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ intoƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the Sri Lankan business advertising community.

The Economist is quite aware, that the ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ West is trying to discredit the Government of Sri Lanka in every way possible since the Government Forces eliminated the terrorists.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The reasons adduced for this change of attitude of the West is that there is lot of moneyƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  in any sort of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-publicityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ against Sri Lanka-UK Channel 4,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Washington Post, Human Rights Watch, and many more haveƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  cashed in, and there seems to be more awaiting for those who are ready to play the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- game of Sri Lanka bashingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.

Therefore, it may not be incorrect to assume that The Economist is also in the game, queuing ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ up to receive generousƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  distributions from the coffers of the former terrorists, now in the hands of the pro-terrorist Expatriate Tamil groups in UK, and USA.

Lot of ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ countries in Africa and Latin America were simple, sane, civilised and contendedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  beforeƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  they were conquered by the nations of the ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ West with their Christian Morality.

To these hitherto unspoilt, un sullied countries of Latin America ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the Spanish conquerors ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ issued a Requerimiento , a proclamation to Native Americans, before conquest:

“We ask and require you to acknowledge the church as the ruler and superior of the whole world and the high priest called pope and in his name the king of Spain as lords of this land. If you submit we shall receive you in all love and charity and shall leave you, your wives and children and your lands free without servitude, but if you do not submit we shall powerfully enter into your country and shall make war against you, we shall take you and your wives and your children and shall make slaves of them and we shall take away your goods and shall do you all the harm and damage we can.”

African Continent and India, China, Vientnam, Sri Lanka etc., suffered the same fate under ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ other European conquerors, though there were no Requerimientos.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Since they introduced us to theirƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Christian civilisation things were never the same.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  These conquerors did not only steal our faith, and mutilated our cultures with the introduction of their own Christian culture, but also infested usƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  with maladies ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ hitherto unknown to us.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Thus the large-scale contact with Europeans after 1492 introduced novel germs to the indigenous people of the Americas. Epidemics of smallpox (1518, 1521, 1525, 1558, 1589), typhus (1546), influenza (1558), diphtheria (1614) and measles (1618) swept ahead of initial European contact, killing between 10 million and 20 million people, up to 95% of the indigenous population of the Americas. The cultural and political instability attending these losses appears to have been of substantial aid in the efforts of various colonists to seize the great wealth in land and resources of which indigenous societies had customarily made use.

Such diseases yielded human mortality of an unquestionably enormous gravity and scale ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” and this has profoundly confused efforts to determine its full extent with any true precision. Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of the Americas vary tremendously.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ (Wikipedia)

Syphilis and gonorrhoea were brought to ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ America and then to Africa by the Western conquerors.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  The colonisedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  countries in Asia were not an exception.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  In Sri Lanka not only deadly viruses, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ but also ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the religion, culture and theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  living conditions of the people were contaminated by theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-viruses ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- of morality, religion and the education that the Western colonialists brought with them.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

Those ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-cultural and moralƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ viruses that ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ have taken root in our society have to be eliminated toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  give new ( or to bring back the old) moral and cultural values, but elimination of the false values introduced to us by the West is not as easy as it was to ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ eliminate terrorism. It is therefore appreciable that the President of Sri Lanka is, at least now taking necessary steps to cleanse our society, of the impurities of Western culture that had been forced upon us.

The West cannot always be trusted to do what is good to our country or our peopleƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  therefore the Government of Sri Lanka has to be vigilant.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

The Economist is an example of causing intentional damage to the image of our country and the aspiration of our people, who have begun to make an effort to ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ free themselves from these fragments of colonialism still hovering over them. The Economist is ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ inventing situations to discredit our saviors , benefactors, and heroes to dominate us and stop our development .

And besides that, there are other dangers that need careful investigation.

The following is from an article in AllAfrica.Com (http://allafrica.com/stories/200907270648.html),ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  written by Dr.Sam Okuonzi:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-However, the theory that cannot be discounted or disproved is that HIV was manufactured in a US military lab by American and British doctors.It is alleged that local western doctors based in Africa were recruited to spread AIDS to Africans.

In Uganda, a local British surgeon based at Mulago Hospital, was said to be administering the virus to Ugandans. He was thrown out of the country in 1987. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-

How about that The Economist- ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the moralist that is critical of our President- who is trying to clear the poisonous atmosphere left behind byƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  white benefactors?ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Those historic events that preceded our governments after independence from the colonialists, are ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ more in line with The EconomistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s investigating correspondent, who dared to write ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the article to discredit the President of Sri Lanka Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse.

The Economist, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ should listen to our own people speaking from our own country rather than what is being prompted to The Economist by people who are strangers to our country and our culture.

This is what Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai, writing to the Lankaweb, says in an article,
ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Decency-What a price ?ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  She is not a Sinhala BuddhistƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  which is the target of foreign media, but a patriotic Sri Lankan.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-..Recently there ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ had been some efforts to bring abut a little decency into our decadent society by our president. I would like to draw his attention to a serious breach of decencyƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  in our society.

Wherever there is a function often there will be some scantily cladƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  lady dancers inaugurating it. Unlike those days where there was elegance and beauty combined with decency ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ in the dances, most of these functions nowadays consist of young girls dressed in what can be termed as an excuse for a dress, consisting often merely part of a bra and a low hipped thigh hugging transparent dress and the dance consisting ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ of just some vulgar suggestive gyrations. Some troops just keep changing their dresses, each more revealing than the earlier ones and doing the same gyrations in the name of dances.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

TheƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Economist, does not leave with its scornful criticism ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the Sri Lanka President Mr.Mahinda RajapakseƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢sƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  campaign against indecent publicity posters,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  but goes beyond to the campaign ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  stopping cuddling and kissing couples in public places which The Economist calls real life lewdness.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

These are again the influence of Western cultureƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  through films, and electronic media. It is better such behaviour is checked as one does not know to where ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ such ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-innocentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ escapades may lead. The Economist cannot be unaware that in the West, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ children leave their homes, to be independent of parental control before they are even majors.

Drug addiction , and ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ sexual impropriety among the youth are problems that concern the political and religious leaders of the West, though The Economist, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ is being critical of what our President is doing with regard to the same problem, though it is still not as acute as it is in the ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ West.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

Often in the West these youth lost to their parents become victims of rapists and psychopaths who pursue young women, and children, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ in parksƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  and lonely stretches of roads, sometimes ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ leaving behind their victims as cold corpses.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

Therefore the campaign against ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-real life lewdnessƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  as The Economist calls it, of the President of Sri Lanka is meaningful and should be appreciated, not treating it with the sarcastic lightness in which The Economist treats it in its very undignified article not worthy of a journal which seems to be respectable only in its title.

These actions of our President may even help the West to put right corrupted sexual practices, and for other developing countries to help the youth to be more caring of their parents, and pursue activities more useful and helpful to the society.

Love and sex have their proper place and time, without havingƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  seek such gratification in public places, in parks ,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  behind trees and bushes.

The Economist , if it is on a moralising campaign , there is much work to be done in the West where The Economist is published. It is better,ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  if ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The Economist as a journal on economy is ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ seeking other fields for its investigationsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  remain ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ in its own home ground., the culture of which The Economist understands, more than that of the far away Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has a predominantly Buddhist culture and the actions of the President Mahinda Rajapakse to prevent the deterioration of our cultural, religious and social values will be backed not only by the Buddhist Priests, but also by the other religious leaders and people- be they communal wise Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim- who understand the values we uphold in Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

The Economist– what have your really against Sri Lanka, be frank – if being frank is really in your vocabulary ?

We may not be able toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  recover Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s cultural purity, which existed before any of the Western conquerors laid their dirtied soles on this blessed land of ours, but nevertheless it is worthwhile trying to bring back at least a fair amount of thoseƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  valuesƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  to make Sri Lanka a truly unique Nation of all the communitiesƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  it harbours. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ And that The Economist, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ is what our President Mahinda Rajapakse is making an effort to doƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦.and thatƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  you will find difficult to understandƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  being a stranger to our cultural perspectives.

The Economist, please do not be misled by a handful of people ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ganging together to pay you to publish articles in your once ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-respectedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  journal to discredit Sri Lanka, because they are outsiders- mostly expatriate Tamils, and not speaking even for the Tamil people of Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

In Sri Lanka there are economists and students of economy, who would like to read your magazine but who may be dissuaded because of these anti Sri Lanka articles you had been writing to discredit the President, who is ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ respected and admired by a larger majority ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  the people of Sri Lanka.

Please believe me I know better, there was never as good a President before him, and there may not be another for quite some time after him.

4 Responses to “A reply to The Economist -the latest recruit for “Sri Lanka Bashing” with its article: Rajapakse’s big cover up.”

  1. Siri Says:

    Great article Mr. Charles S.Perera. Congratulations on confronting these misguided hypocrirtes. Most of the US Magazines that were good and impartial like the Time, Newsweek etc. have been reduced to common rags for want of more money to exist in this age of the internet where reading news from a magazine is becoming obsolete. These magazines are fighting a battle for survival in a diificult era. They will grab any chance to make a buck without being aware of the consequences of their actions. However it is not worth throwing the baby with the bath water. They still have a few good articles which are worth reading. Sometimes their articles tend to get blurred when they try to put a twist to the facts instead of just publishing only the known and verifiable facts in the right perspective.

  2. herman Says:

    Sri Lankans better get use to more articles from the west, In the name of democracy, these “witch doctors” will cast their evil spells as SL progresses and develops and here SL should learn lessons from Singapore where the govt had taken some leading European and American magazines, newspapers and journalists to courts and made them poorer by the millions including the economist magazine.

  3. Kit Athul Says:

    Excellent analysis of Economist publication. We must also recognize that there is a small section of the populous that lives in the pre May 19th 2009 era and their appetite for such articles has to be fulfilled. Pepole who write these articles probably live in Sri Lanka and get big money once it gets published. At the last count, I found out that Raj Rajaratnem had a big stake in it. May be other Sri Lanken publishing houses might have financial partnerships with it. I bet the next article in the Economist will be: Sri Lanka MUST slow down the economic growth (there was one such article on Lankaweb few weeks ago) and implement the 13th amendment to satisfy Tamil Nadu Tamils, whereby there will be eternal heavenly peace as envisaged by Robert Blake.

  4. cassandra Says:

    I have read the ‘offending’ article in the Economist and cannot help feeling that your article is something of an over-reaction.

    The Economist article reflects a flippant bit of writing, and protesting against it only serves to accord it some sort of recognition it does not deserve. I believe the best way to treat such trivial and worthless writing is to simply ignore it. Let’s not be upset by such shallow journalism

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