Time for Introspection
Posted on January 3rd, 2012


For a Buddhist nation, news emanating from Sri Lanka contains an awful lot of violence. And I donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t mean the recently concluded war on terror, which was a noble cause and virtuously won. What IƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢m talking about is a longstanding problem, because even before the Tamil insurrection, there was bloodshed on the island.

Opening university access to the Sri Lankan peasantry may go down in history as one of the worst decisions any government of any nation has ever made. Doing this was supposed to achieve many worthwhile objectives. First, it would win votes at the next election. Second, an affirmative action program provides every student a chance to enter university. Third, it would loosen the Tamil supremacistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ racist stranglehold on all branches of civilian power.

Ending the English-Only policy of the post colonial period ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ and allowing Sinhala and Tamil to be used for examinations ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ along with standardization, was an attempt to counter the Tamil eliteƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s practice of leaking A-Level examination papers to Tamil students, running Tamil-only cram-schools, and giving full-marks for empty answer spaces for papers marked with the infamous ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-omƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ when the studentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ethnicity was supposed to be concealed.

Sweeping aside the Tamil ethnocracy ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ that had so far presided over the university system ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ through progressive legislation also unveiled the thin veneer of respect from the faces of the low caste and low class, who, it was now apparent, had only been smiling and gracious to the land-owners because of their then lower position in society. They were not poor and undeveloped all these years because of helplessness, they were just being cunning and lazy.

While these changes did bring proportionality to student numbers at universities, the unintended consequence was the overthrow of the social order that had maintained peace and stability until then. The tiny Sinhalese upper and middle classes were overwhelmed by the frustrated and caste-conscious low-class majority. The legacy of the rushed through program of widening access is a bloody trail of death, destruction, intimidation and eroded academic standards.

What were once places of enlightenment have become the domain of the union godfathers. Middle class children are harassed, bullied, and subjected to inhumane regimes of physical and emotional torture at the hands of a large teeming mass of uncouth and uncultured, violent and depraved low-class majority. This ragging culture has become what Sri Lankan universities are world-famous for, and has simultaneously brought humiliation and derision to the country.

The university students of any nation are meant to be the best and brightest. In Sri Lanka, the standardization system has allowed the scum to rise to the top. These students are certainly not the best and brightest. In fact, they are the worst and the dumbest.

Now that the malcontent children of the peasant farmers had reached the heights of the education system ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ even infiltrating the vaunted medical school ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ thanks to the free marks of the Area Basis system, they were not filled with gratitude to their city-living benefactors. Rather, they were out for vengeance and retribution.

Guided by the philosophy of Marxism, stirred by songs urging them to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-rise up,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ and supported by foolish politicians and the notion of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-apey anduwa,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ they formed the JVP and unleashed upon the unprepared decent classes a brutal and bloody insurrection which proved to be the inspiration for the TamilsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ own terrorist campaign a few decades later. Though they entered places of learning and self-reflection, terrorism, torture, assassination and cold-blooded murder was the only outcome.

They descended from humans to a level of beast only found in the Greek myths ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ animals kill out of hunger and fear, not for fun like these ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-studentsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ but I think the Greek beasts were still not as cruel as the Marxists. Such was the resilience of the Marxists, Maoists, Leninists and Trotskyites who had infested our places of learning, that it took a military and paramilitary juggernaut from the State to crush them and restore some semblance of normalcy.

Why is it that the Sinhalese majority are so quick to resort to thuggery, beatings and murder?

Now, a day doesnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t go by without someone killing another. Without the war to focus on ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ and the certainty of Tamil terrorist suicide bombings ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ the media has time to report on civilian matters. More often than not, itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s a Sinhalese Buddhist killing one of his brethren. And the worst part is that even the most inconsequential of issues or the slightest misunderstanding brings death to one or more.

Many were shocked and disgusted by the shootout between SLFP politicians in the run up to recent elections, which led to the death of one prominent party member and the incapacitation of another. The UNP was quick to condemn the violence, which took place in broad daylight and in front of the police, but soon enough similar scenes were playing out at Srikotha.

But need we be so surprised when the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-innocentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ civilians are no better?

Recently there was the case of a doctor who was shot dead by hired mercenaries after he opened a medical lab which would have taken customers from an established bigwig. There was another story of an army veteran who butchered his sisters and his in-laws over a property dispute. Having done this he handed himself to the police, saying that he doesnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t care what happens any more, now that his sisters arenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t around to get any of the property! Even worse, high school pupils are also taking part shooting each other with alarming frequency.

And just a few days ago, news broke about the hospital intern ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ the most junior of doctors ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ threatening the Director General of health services when he was told not to interfere in the tender process for surgical equipment. This intern, emboldened by being a relative of a Cabinet Minister, had said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Outside this office [the DG] is just Ajith. I am from the South and I know how to deal with him.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Such disgusting and violent personalities are unprecedented both here and abroad, but his words do shed light on the true state of affairs in the country. Legalized threats to life are seen only in failed states like Afghanistan, and it looks like Sri Lanka is heading that way too.

In these disturbing cases, the victims and the perpetrators were Sinhalese Buddhists. This sort of thing happens far too frequently in such a small population to be ignored as random, inevitable events. There is an endemic problem of a propensity to violence among the Sinhalese Buddhists which needs to be faced and resolved.

If such news spread around the world ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ something that hasnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t happened yet, but IƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢m sure the NGO crowd are cataloguing all these cases ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ the Tamil supremacistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ claims about being treated as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-second class citizensƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ will be vindicated. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-If this is how the Sinhalese treat their own flesh and blood, just imagine the sufferings we as minority Tamils have to go through!ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ they might exclaim, with tear-filled eyes. And frankly, anybody would believe them.

All such cases of barbarism, from Sinhalese ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-BuddhistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ politicians all the way down to Sinhalese ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-BuddhistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ doctors, veterans, students, farmers and peasants does nothing to help the plight of the Sinhalese in the international arena. They only serve to lower Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s standing, reduce the already tiny population of Sinhalese, and prove the so-far discredited ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-justificationsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ for the TamilsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ terrorism. The end result will be the partitioning of Sri Lanka by an international force, and the implosion of the Sinhalese as a people and civilization.

And the Sinhalese really are in a precarious position: they are a tiny minority of the world population with just 15 million individuals, living in a poor and undeveloped country, surrounded by enemies, and without a single nation to which they are connected through blood or religion to call on for support. IraqƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Shias have IranƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Shias. JordanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Sunnis have Saudi ArabiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Sunnis. Japan and South Korea has America. North Korea has China. Serbia has Russia. Canada has America. Palestinians have all of the Muslim world. Need I go on? Will Thailand come to our aid? Will Nepal? Can Burma help, even if they wanted to? And actually, would China or Russia really want to support such a blood-thirsty people?

Indecent, undisciplined, disorganized, irreverent, disrespectful, ill-educated, arrogant, rude, crude, selfish, violent, sadistic, murderous: behold, the modern-day Sinhalese! One wonders now, was British Governor Brownrigg so wrong when he described Sri Lankans as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-semi-barbarians without discipline and but little courageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚? I think he was wrong ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚ his timing was off. Back then, they were noble. Today, they are barbarians through and through, no need for the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-semi.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚


7 Responses to “Time for Introspection”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    It is not confined to the Sinhalese. It is a problem common to ALL Sri Lankans.

    By nature the majority is Sinhalese and therefore MOST crimes are committed by them. If Sinhalese reduce their crimes, MOST crimes will reduce.

    Proportionately the others are equal. For good or bad reasons, newspapers don’t publish the ethnicity or names of criminals in most cases. But if you follow up these you can see criminals belong to ALL ethnic groups. Some MAJOR RECURRING violence by non-Sinhalese include.

    1. Grease devil nonsense – These totally BARBARIC violence was mostly committed by non-Sinhalese. It threatened to make SL another Talibanistan or Tamil Nadu where these acts are very common.

    2. Violence is the order of the day in Maligawatte, Slave Island, etc. Rival underworld gangs and drug dealers regularly kill each other. Almost on a weekly basis people are killed, assaulted, etc. They have now started to kill police officers and high court judges too.

    3. Beating up and even killing wives, daughters, school girls over absurd allegations is on the rise as in Taliban controlled Afghanistan.

    4. Violence against “non-compliance” in voting, strikes, rituals, participating in political rallies, community work is very common in plantations. The ULTRA powerful trade union uses beatings to punishment rape to get compliance from plantation workers. As a result no one dares to go against totally useless unionist politicians.

    5. Violence between TNA and EPDP political activists is very common in the north and TNA and TMVP in the east. Bomb attacks, abductions, physical fights, injuries, murders, threats and killing pets are done by ALL THREE groups. In most cases they go unreported because that is beneficial to BOTH sides.

    6. Violence between two powerful middle eastern religious sects is continuing throughout the country. Given the very powerful middle eastern countries involved the government is scared to take action.

    Some of these are impossible to correct. They are structural.

    Accidents are another major problem on the rise. Mainly due to negligence and no morals in the society.

  2. nandimitra Says:

    Sri Lanka is fast becoming a lawless society. There is a lot of guarded discussion in the media giving the impression of a fear psycosis. In this mayhem one would like to hear the opinion of the moral leaders of our society.
    What has happened to the voice of the Mahanayaka’s , Cardinals etc . Have they gone Dumb?

  3. mjaya Says:

    Please don’t stereotype rural people as “they were just being cunning and lazy.” Try to go to a place like rural Anuradhapura, Monaragala or Hambanthota and live there tor one month….. without taps, without tiled bathrooms, without a ceramic plate to eat from. Life in rural Sri Lanka is tough. People don’t eat pumpkin leaves because they are lazy, its the only thing that grows in that kind of harsh environment without proper irrigation.

    **Opening university access to the Sri Lankan peasantry may go down in history as one of the worst decisions any government of any nation has ever made.**
    So does that mean they should remain forever in the dark? This is the typical attitude of the former Wallawe Hamus of Sri Lanka who sucked up to the British and wanted the common people to be their servants forever. Everyone deserves an education and an equal and fair opportunity to get a better life.

    It is true the JVP is a blood thirsty political party who despise everyone with wealth regardless of how small it is. If were to own a motorcycle and your JVP neighbor were to own a bicycle, you would be a “Danapathiya” by default. But are all rural people JVPers? The election results of 2010 show that support for the JVP from rural areas is minimal.

    I don’t disagree to the fact that Sri Lanka is increasingly becoming a lawless society. But who runs the underworld of Sri Lanka? Why can’t the law prevail? Can you blame a rural Appuhamy for the murder of Baratha Lakshman Premachandra?

    As Lorenzo has pointed out all ethnic groups engage in violence. It was not a Sinhalese mob who flogged two girls for visiting an internet cafe in Katankudy.

  4. RanjithD Says:

    Mahamaharaja obviously is a remnant of the now defunct ‘Hamu Mahattaya’ class and wants to lay blame for the surgence of violence on the peasantry – and their siblings in universities.

    See the evidence:

    1. He calls himself MahaMaharaja: A Psydonym taken to satisfy his ego. It is surprising that he stopped with two maha maha. He needs a lot more maha maha: a kind of sound that peasants use in the paddy fields to lead buffaloes.

    2. He sees giving access to the Sri Lankan peasantry as one of the worst decisions: 80% of Sri Lankans were / are rural peasants. So where does his logic come from to keep them away from higher education, if not to keep them as slaves of the ‘Hamu Pelentiya’.

    3. He talks of peasants as low-caste and low-class: meaning that the urbanites and others were high class and high caste. Well my friend, that era is gone – you live in an imaginary world.

    4. He characterises the pesantry as cunning and lazy. Anthropologists have shown that Sinhalese peasants were innocent and hardworking. They were exploited by the ‘walawwa class’ and land owners. He is obviously lamenting this loss.

    5. He talks of the tiny upper middle class and middle class having been overwhelmed by the low-class majority. He is just lamenting the loss of power and authority to control the poor and the peasants; employ the young men for menial work, and young girls as ‘wedakara geni’ in the kitchen, and rape them quitely which is what those Hamu Mahattayas did in those ‘good old days’.

    6. He claims that the students are the worst and the dumbest, which is just his imagination, and possibly comes from the jealousy and disppointment that perhaps his children could not get to the university. Present university entrance is determined by a well-founded balanced system, that takes into account all circumstances, which is only fair.

    7. Mahamahamahamaharaja’s anti sinhalese pesantry rhetoric sees no bounds: its a callous and vicisous outburst of a hypocrite of a dying class. Look at his characterisation of the Sinhalese: indecent, undisciplined, disorghanised, irrelevant, disrespectful, ill-educated, arrogant, rude, selfish, violent, sadistic, murderous !!! what a lot of crap he has in his mind.

    It only shows who this Big Raja is. and how insane his mind is.


  5. geoff Says:

    A Sri Lankan who had misappropriated Rs.17.8 million from Sri Lankan properties belonging to popular Hollywood actress of X-Files fame Gillian Anderson, was remanded till January18, by Colombo Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne after taking into consideration the seriousness of the offence.

    Shame shame shame Sri Lanka.

  6. geoff Says:

    Lankaweb should only publish articles from verified writers. They should have a proper name, address and qualifications.

    Otherwise Lankaweb is becoming like the parliament.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    The article above by Mahamaharaja slandering the present day Sinhala people in general does not take into account some 500 yrs of Colonial rule in Sri Lanka. He coolly lands the entire problem on the Sinhala people and sounds somewhat like Gov. Brownrigg (of Uva-Wellessa massacre fame) ! By the way, the then British colonists were displeased with the Sinhale as they did not agree to be slave labor to the British. Colonisation brings with it a downing of self respect, and a break down of ancient local moral culture, and lowering of morality & ethics on the whole, for those under colonists.

    Here are points to think about :

    * There was no ‘barbarism’ in Lanka prior to Colonial rule. In fact, prior to Colonization, Lanka was upheld in SE Asia as a highly civilized Buddhist Nation. There were occasional lapses during periods with inept kings & kingmakers, but on the whole Lanka’s history is one to be proud of until the advent of Colonialism. Colonists came for their own advantages of spice & trade route ports, and slave type labor, and they also brought with them new forms of governance, new values, ideas about life and living, education, & new religions, plus some One & half Million slave type labor from Tamil Nadu area. Illegal migration from Tamil Nadu has increased rapidly after Colonisation of Lanka.

    After some 500 yrs. under Colonists, we are have yet had only 63 yrs of independence. After independence, all Colonised countries all over the world have been left in disarray and confusion reigns. It is pertinent to point out that even America was a colony of the British. I would say that in spite of a long period of colonisation, in Sri Lanka, there are a great deal of more good acts done than bad. Free Education for the masses is one such act we can be proud about. ‘Ragging’ in Universities is a imported British trait. It is called ‘Hazing’ in America. Our ancient Buddhist Universities of Lanka had no such sadistic acts.

    * Also, the world has got rapidly Globalised. There has been little time to adapt to changing circumstances. A large mass of people of different ethnicities in Lanka are confused as the old ways & VALUES are giving way to Money & the Market Place.

    Right now, it seems to me, that there appears to be mostly organised crime, organised hooliganism, indecency, going on in a planned manner to give GoSL & Lankans a bad name.

    * What we need today is Development with Ethics & Morality. If Ethical & Moral behavior are rewarded in society as prior to Colonial days, then we will have less problems. Also, the Law of the land has to be upheld without political interference.
    There is a wish now for old societies to appear “Modern” & “Developed”. Just what does ‘modernisation’ mean ? In my book, it means Development with Ethics & Morality.

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