Posted on July 31st, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala

‘I am an entertainer, albeit one with the temerity to deal frequently with serious ideas, concepts or – as we say in the theater, where I came from – the spines” of drama. Simple things like the abuse of power, the conspiracies of manipulators, the debasers of the public weal, the sanctimonious screamers hell-bent on transforming their personal morality into everyone else’s legality, the bastards of the social contract who corrupt the agreements between the governing and the governed. Not exactly buck-and-wing stuff.’

  • Robert Ludlum (1927-2001), American novelist/thriller writer, opening his Introduction to the ‘Ludlum Triad’ published by WINGS BOOKS, New York, 1989

Issues associated with the ‘serious ideas, concepts or…….. the spines” of drama’ that Robert Ludlum set himself to deal with in his fiction have largely contributed to the evil realities that the 21 million hapless Sri Lankans are plagued with today. However, few present day Ludlum readers, if any, among Sri Lanka’s English readers might know that there is a connection between  Sri Lankans’ present predicament and the evils that the late American novelist criticized in his fiction. Even if there was such awareness among the elitist dominated English language reader minority, it might be ignored as something insignificant. The real tragedy, though, is that most ordinary Sri Lankans are still not adequately informed about the evil impositions surreptitiously made on them from outside with the servile acquiescence of a bunch of petty local Nazis and narcissists who are guilty of many offences including all those mentioned in the Ludlum extract.  

 What Ludlum next says is about his engagement with those themes in his entertainment- oriented professional novel writing:

‘Yet, although privileged to have received a decent education, I am certainly no scholar in those areas that so disturb me – nay, outrage me. Therefore, like a painter with his oils, I can only interpret my impressions and reactions with words, expressing themes through the depiction of people framed in a succession of scenes that form the stories in which they are intensely involved…’

 He adds that this may not make sense to judges of literature, but that it does make sense to him. Ludlum is not unconscious of his vulnerability to be treated with suspicion as a professional literary artist with a past theatrical background.

 ‘Then again, I come from the theater and we’ve always been suspect. They tell their demon stories with mirrors and smoke! Beware the jongleurs!” 

 He can’t help it if readers are sceptical about the authenticity or seriousness of his ‘impressions and reactions’ in respect of the social and political problems he deals with in his novels. 

Ludlum’s relevance to Sri Lanka today is obvious. I have pretty much similar things to say in this instance about my topic and my purpose, though both are different from the bestselling author’s. The serious problems that Ludlum says he tackles in his narratives, we find duplicated in the political social context in Sri Lanka today, at least forty years after he wrote them (The three novels in the 1989 trilogy were first published in the period 1978-1980). I am not writing a story, but I am going to direct the readers’ attention to a mildly entertaining, but actually disconcerting, scene currently taking place in Sri Lanka against a somber backdrop of impending doom, as reflected in the online media (on which I depend for news from Sri Lanka). Some players in what I enjoy conjuring up  as now being enacted in my country of birth that could be called ‘Janadhipati Koloma’ or ‘Presidential Masquerade’ are from diverse fields of activity including mainly the business domain, its close relative the political arena, and the lawyer community that shares a special affinity with both, education, entertainment and media. They are joined by some non-presidential buffoons as well. The last mentioned come from the media and the entertainment worlds, which I find indistinguishably mixed. Fortunately, however, the most popular young social media activists such as Iraj W and Lahiru J, have begun to identify with the emerging broad national cause of rescuing Sri Lanka for Sri Lankans.       

Nearly all of the negligible lot hinted at before, in my opinion, display most or all of the following symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) as outlined by Dr Steve Bressert ( a grandiose sense of one’s own importance, preoccupation with unlimited success, power, brilliance, etc., a strong belief that one is special” and unique,  great yearning for excessive admiration, an unreasonable sense of entitlement, being exploitative of others, arrogance, lack of empathy with others, that is, unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings of others, being envious of others or believing that others are jealous of one, being arrogant and haughty in one’s social behaviour and attitudes. Intelligent voters have no difficulty in identifying affected individuals both among the old hands in the political game, and the crowd of little known upstarts associated with the aforementioned fields, who fancy that they are fit to rule or lay down moral laws merely on the strength of their personal successes in their careers. They have no track record to show in politics or in administration; neither do they have any practical visionary plans to implement in the future. But they are able to impress a few thousand gullible voters among the millions of ordinary citizens with the help of their NPD-inspired pretentions. Neither these vain upstarts nor their silly admirers seem to know that there were far more insightful articulators of the same shortcomings half a century ago, and national leaders of proven ability since, who did a lot to move the country away from Western hegemony. 

NPD brings suffering to the affected persons, and might cause some inconvenience to their close associates. At the individual level, however, there is nothing to worry, for it can be tackled by consulting relevant specialists when the persons become aware of it and decide to take treatment. But when people who aspire to play important public roles such as giving political leadership to the country, or projecting  it as a sovereign nation to the outside world, or managing the religious identities and freedoms of the diverse communities, or educating the young, and offering them moral advice, etc. are afflicted with NPD, the potential harm it could cause to millions of people need not be elaborated, as evident to any Sri Lanka observer at this juncture.

Like Ludlum did about American politicians of his time, I express here my sense of distress and disgust at the disordered tragic-comic display  put up by this motley crowd of middle-aged or old male individuals in the current Sri Lankan political theatre who are probably suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (But I don’t include all contesting politicians, media persons, and social activists in this crowd.There are many honourable exceptions). This is no time for  clowns and jokers. Yet, they seem to be taking centre stage at the present moment at least in the media. What is unacceptable is that their antics draw undue attention while the real burning issues are relegated to the backburner and the potential saviours with the necessary experience, vision, and love of the country are patiently waiting in the wings until Democracy, that is being temporarily suppressed, allows them to enter the stage. It is my fervent hope, as it is sure to be that of all patriotic Sri Lankans, that the narcissistic nincompoops will be pushed to the periphery in due course. They will simply be forgotten along with the unsolicited comic relief they have already begun providing, when the serious contest for president is hopefully over in less than four months’ time. 

Readers who differ, please bear with me. These are only my personal opinions for what they are worth.


  1. Dilrook Says:

    Safe to say all candidates will be sufferers of either Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Megalomania.

    The whole world will see the fragmented country on the presidential election map. One main candidate winning only in Sinhala majority areas while the other winning in Tamil/Muslim majority areas. No national leader (who can win both the south and the north); only sectarian/tribal politicians.

    This is the tragedy of presidential elections.

  2. Mario Perera Says:

    The word ‘UNITARY’ with regard to Sri Lanka is totally devoid of meaning.

    The word ‘UNITED’ does not hold even as a facade.

    To call Sri Lanka a Sinhala-Buddhist nation is complete eye-wash.

    The National Anthem now sung in “Sinhala and Tamil, will soon be sung also in Arabic.

    The Sinhala, through their corrupt backbone-less leaders gave the Tamils and the Muslims ‘head space’ inside their tent. Now the camels have taken over the tent.

    Mario Perera, Kadawata

  3. samurai Says:

    I find it hard to disagree with what Mario says

  4. Vaisrawana Says:

    Vaisrawana responds to NAZIS, NARCISSISTS, AND NINCOMPOOPS/Lankaweb/August 1, 2019

    I beg to disagree with Dilrook. I don’t understand why he says that all (prez) candidates ‘will be’ suffering from NPD, PTSD, or megalomania. As far as I know, there’s no reason to make such a prediction. To include all potential presidential candidates in that category would be wrong. Sri Lankans are not that unfortunate. When they are given a chance, they will elect a suitable candidate of sound mind, who is free from these personality defects. I can make that positive prediction.

    However, personality disorders are not limited to government politicians, they are found among many individuals currently active in many other fields including the media, education, entertainment, business, and what not. A few conspicuous examples are Sajith, Nagananda, Champaka Ranawaka, Dhammika Perera, Dudley Sirisena; Sirisena and Ranil are affected by different forms of criminal megalomania; media -man Chapa Bandara is also a potential or real NDP sufferer; baila king Sunil Perera is a funny kind NDP victim; Ranjan Ramanayake is a born idiot with NDP symptoms, who has been unfortunate enough to be exploited by Ranil to hoodwink the public or to attack those whom he wants to persecute.

    Contrary to what Mario Perera thinks,the presidential election will actually unite the North and the South, as it happened in Mau 2009. The winning candidate will be favoured by the overwhelming majority of the multiethnic electorate. Only ‘Colombians’, with no desire or way to know the ordinary Sri Lankans (the vast majority)’s mind and what they know about their plight plus what they think about every politician blemished with their association with the disastrous Yahapalanaya who contributed to their predicament, believe that the electorate will be divided along ethnic lines. Ordinary Sri Lankans are equally fed up with the Nazis, narcissists, and nincompoops of the government.

    Who is uniting them? The monks. Do you know that many ordinary Muslims in Kattankudy in the East, and in other districts of the country approach them for protection from NTJ atrocities and Sharia-caused harassment against them? This trend has grown after April 21. Hindus and Buddhists are the common primary targets of the Wahhabi murderers; Catholics and dissident fellow Muslims are their secondary targets. So, all these communities will like to stand by a candidate who is strong enough to protect them from Islamic extremist terrorism. There is evidence for this in the uncensored social media. Common Muslims blame their traditional opportunistic politicians like Hakeem, Hizballah, Badiuddin, and them for their lot today. Remember that ordinary Muslims are intelligent enough to appreciate the fact they flourish in business – which they have been following as their main occupation for centuries among the Sinhalese majority, without being discriminated against on grounds of race or religion. These poor Muslims fear to speak in public for fear of reprisal from the extremists among them. The Wahhabi extremists are sponsored by the Saudis, and are being used as a cat’s paw by the world’s only Super Power and Satan. Still the monks have not indicated that they are going to support any particular potential candidate, though people might think they will support Gota. But the Rajapkasas are vary of any explicit association with the monks for fear of alienating the minorities (an unfounded fear). This, Time will resolve. This much can be predicted: the leader who is favoured by the majority Sinhalese will be favoured by a large proportion of the minorities.

    The great fear, however, is that the 2015 conspirators, led by Ranil and Sirisena, have not given up their mission yet, though they feign an internal division, just to becalm an apprehensive population. Let’s hope, they won’t try to postpone or even do away with the presidential election.

  5. Vaisrawana Says:

    Postscript to my previous comment:

    Gotabhaya is the best ‘common’ presidential candidate that the whole country (i.e., the sensible but silent majority of the population) will overwhelmingly support at this juncture. If he is fielded for the presidential election, he will most probably represent the SLPP; but the common people will not care which party he is made to appear for; he will be treated as a virtual party-less contestant. They are fed up with the abused party system which divides the majority Sinhalese, but unites the minorities against them.

    There is nothing wrong with any community being internally united; what is wrong is when a particular community’s unity is inspired by its (engineered) hostility against another. The opportunistic Tamil and Muslim piliticians change their allegiances from time to time in order to remain in the governing party or alliance by rousing communal passions among their people speaking in Tamil, while at the same time hoodwinking the majority Sinhalese by paying lipservice to communal harmony in Sinhala (as a plain speaking MR pointed out recently).

    Otherwise, ordinary Tamils and Muslims are not anti-Sinhalese. Anti-Sinhalese Buddhist Christian and Islamic fanatics are a grudgingly tolerated marginal presence in the Christian and Muslim communities respectively, although they might seem more powerful than their numbers would suggest because of the international sponsorship they enjoy and the money they receive from foreign sources. Under an administration run by an honest disciplined and and courageous leader like Gotabhaya ordinary Muslims and Tamils will shed their fear of the few fanatics among them and the opportunistic communal politicians who deceive them by allowing the few fanatics to terrorise them for foreign money.

    The April 21 terror bombings brought all the peace loving communities together, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists as adherents of different religions, and the Sinhalese and Tamils as races, or in other words, the Islamic terrorist attacks on April 21 drove them into one another’s embrace for protection. The same thing happened in 2009 under LTTE reign of terror. We must also beware of certain sly senile Christian fanatics who wish that Tamil Hindus and Sinhalese Buddhists remained divided for ever to ensure their mutual destruction, which they hope will facilitate their own proselytizing of the two communities, a useless exercise because religion, the most destructive superstition of all time, is on its way out for good.

    The Nazis, narcissists, and nincompoops including the erstwhile ‘Mahindian’ Kumara Welgama, and self-styled ‘senior-most SLFP veteran’, but who are mostly found in the anti-SLPP camp will intentionally or unintentionally serve, though in vain, to divide the pro-Gota vote bank to the gain of the opposing party or alliance.

  6. Dilrook Says:

    Quote- …….the presidential election will actually unite the North and the South, as it happened in Mau 2009. The winning candidate will be favoured by the overwhelming majority of the multiethnic electorate.

    Completely untrue.

    I would like the writer to come to face off in a challenge with me on this.

    The north and the south will be very seriously divided at the 2019 presidential election. We don’t have a national leader to unify the north and the south at the election (at least). Only sectarian/tribal leaders at this stage. One of them has the support of minorities but rejected by the majority while the other has the support of the majority but totally rejected by the minorities.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress