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இந்த கட்டுரையை Colombo telegraph ற்காக எழுதியவர் போராசிரியர் அசோக எக்நாயக்கே.

சிங்கள வாக்காளர்களை 5 வகையாக பிரித்தும் அவர்களது மனநிலைகள் எப்படியானது எனவும், இப்போது ஏற்பட்ட நிலையால் போராடும் இவர்கள் எதிர்காலத்தில் இதயசுத்தியுடன் செயற்படுவார்களா என்ற கேள்வியை தகுந்த உதாரணங்களுடன் கேட்கிறார். 

ஊழல் தொடர்பான அலட்சிய போக்கு, சுயநலம் என்பன தொடக்கம் சிறுபாண்மையினர் தொடர்பான இனவாத செயற்பாடுகள் எப்படி இன்னமும் செயற்படுகிறது என கட்டுரையில் எழுதப்பட்டுள்ளது. 

இக்கட்டுரை, நாங்கள் சிங்களவர்களின் தற்போதைய நிலையை நம்பி  ஏமாறக்கூடாது என்பதை கூறுவதாகவே நான் நினைக்கிறேன். 

 

The Millions Who Hurt Without A Change Of Heart

Asoka N.I. EkanayakaAsoka N.I. Ekanayaka
2 weeks ago
 
Prof.-Asoka-N.I.-Ekanayaka-.jpg?resize=1

Prof. Asoka N.I. Ekanayaka

This article is not primarily about the woeful record of the present government. Nor is it about the abomination of governance by family oligarchy in whose stranglehold a nation groans in every part as if being slowly crushed by the constricting coils of some giant Anaconda. Rather it is about the attitude character and mindset of 6.9 million people who with their eyes open provoked this catastrophe. Before coming to that one can of course say a lot more about the dimensions of this catastrophe and point the accusing finger at bad people in high positions who to be sure will carry the guilt of their monumental crimes and misdemeanors beyond the grave into the fires of eternal hell. But to be explicit about such matters here might be both unsafe and unnecessary.

Unsafe because as some have experienced to openly accuse this government is to run the risk of being tortured through prolonged interrogation by sadistic intelligence agencies. Worse there is the danger of having to rot away under remand over some trumped up charge gratuitously denied the right to bail in contempt of the principle that every man is presumed innocent until proved guilty.

Unnecessary because media reports seem to say it all obviating the need to say any more here other than summarise the hard reality so as to set the scene for what this article is really about.

For example a distinguished former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank recently summing up the situation saying that “Sri Lanka is undergoing the worst economic catastrophe in its post independence history. The real economy is shrinking with a negative or a near zero economic growth. Inflation is raising its ugly head with food inflation running at 25%, foreign reserves are a pittance forcing the country to seek hand outs from countries like Bangladesh, (the) Rupee is under pressure for a mega depreciation,   and all essential items like fuel are in short supply making long queues for them a daily occurrence”. From the perspective of the average citizen there is the reality of a lucrative black market, the near collapse of the electricity generation and distribution systems, and rocketing prices and old people falling dead in the agony of long queues.

The final disgrace was the UNHRC Commissioner’s damning indictment in her 2022 report about the erosion of the independence of the judiciary and other key institutions, and the constriction of the democratic space for human rights advocacy, amidst a further drift towards militarisation and an emphasis of Sinhala nationalism and Buddhism in State institutions, thereby increasing the marginalisation of minority communities”.

However, the purpose here is to focus on the mindset of 69 lahks of people who deliberately conscientiously and enthusiastically of their own free will opted through the ballot to bring about such a predicament to their own detriment . That millions would of their own volition invite a cataclysm that might spell ruination for themselves and their families for generations to come is amazing. It is tantamount to an act of collective national suicide bordering on madness rarely seen in the history of nations. In retrospect the foolishness irrationality and sheer immorality of such an infernal choice should have been plain to even a little child. And yet incredibly those who made the fatal choice came from every strata of society. They included the well educated and the semi literate, the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor, learned professionals and the posh business classes rolling in money. They included pampered government officials wallowing in the perks and privileges of high office and thriving medical consultants. Nor must we forget the scholarly Ph.Ds and university professors now looking foolish with their lofty pretentions to high intelligence and critical thinking in tatters. From the sophisticated English speaking middle classes to the unlearned monolingual masses and riff raff of society , from sanctimonious buddhist monks pastors and priests who habitually pay lip service to truth and justice,  to the many millions of their simple minded adherents whom they regularly regale with exhortations to live righteous lives – all of them would seem to have blindly voted to their own destruction in the 2019/20 elections.

But now everything seems to have changed. The air is thick with the bitter reproaches of the disillusioned millions who having eagerly voted for this government now find that all their expectations have been dashed. To them the promised “vistas of prosperity” have all too soon become a mirage. Those of us in the 8th decade of life who have lived through all governments since independence can state unequivocally that no government in the postcolonial history of the country has alienated so many supporters so much in so short a period of time as this one. Indeed many feel that if there is an election today the ruling party will be wiped out by a majority as large as that by which they were elected to power 2 years ago. And they may be right. It is so hard to find folk who proudly admit to have been amongst the 69 lahks of supporters that one wonders whether they ever existed ! One gets the impression that many erstwhile supporters are embarrassed and would prefer to distance themselves from that association. Many of the disillusioned rather than having the humility to acknowledge having made a great mistake dishonestly disclaim responsibility by assuming a lofty air of self righteous disdain for all politicians.

However taking all such variations into account there is enough reason for opposition politicians to believe that support for the government has evaporated. It is natural that they should look forward to a dramatic turn around by 6.9 million disgruntled voters at the next election, in the expectation that the ruling party and the detestable family oligarchy that drives it will be wiped out. On the one hand there seems to be plenty of justification for such heady optimism.

On the other hand such confident expectation needs to be tempered by an important consideration. It has to do with the troubling question of why exactly such a large proportion of the Sri Lankan population voted as irrationally as they did in the first place ? What false values, ideological fixations , debased attitudes, entrenched beliefs and inherent assumptions drove such people to make such a monumental error ?. What deep seated prejudices blind loyalties and fatal flaws in the national character did such a bizarre voting pattern signify ? Did such madness even imply a low level of “national intelligence” (if one can imagine such an attribute) that is not easily rectified ?

Such questions are important and disturbing . Have those who are hurting today really had a change of heart ? The answers may provide a clue as to whether the current wave of anguish and alienation amongst  69 lahks of voters is a passing phenomenon or indicative of a permanent change of heart and mind. Is their current disenchantment the outcome of frustration that their narrow selfish expectations have been momentarily dashed or an indication of a radical change of heart ?

For example not very long ago teachers were up in arms. It looked as if they were a major threat to the government. Then they were given their salary increase. They have been quiet ever since. The farmers have been justly outraged by the denial of chemical fertilizer amidst the president’s asinine obsession with organic substitutes . If by some miracle there is a radical reversal in policy resulting in farmers being provided plentiful fertilizer as in the past might they end up eating out of his hand by the time the next election comes round ? And for millions of others who voted SLPP now fuming and fretting away in long queues for gas and fuel, might the restoration of these basic essentials and an end to queues settle them to a point where their selfish domestic needs being met they turn back to the political vermin they once elected like dogs returning to their own vomit, and begin to make excuses for the shortcomings of their favourite government politicians ?

So the issue of a change of heart becomes paramount. And whether or not millions have had a true change of heart is grounded in the question of why millions voted as they did. Obviously there can be many theories about this. But one can make a case for five attributes that might define the 69 lahks of people who voted at the last election and explain their bizarre preference. Put in a nutshell one can hypothesize that collectively as a voting population they were characterised by being (a) fundamentally racist, (b) indifferent to corruption, (c) inherently selfish, (4) basically foolish though imagining themselves to be wise, and (5) afflicted with a malignant distorted religiosity.

That is not to say that all of the 6.9 million individuals possessed all these attributes nor that the attributes themselves were mutually exclusive. But taken as a whole one can speculate that these five attributes broadly define the mainly Sinhala Buddhist population of nearly 7 million folk who elected a strongly Sinhala Buddhist president and a dominantly Sinhala Buddhist government by a thumping majority in 2019/20.

Firstly there is the indisputable ingrained racism of the Sinhala Buddhist masses of this country amidst a chauvinistic attitude to minorities that seems to cut across the entire social spectrum. Admittedly these days such attitudes are subtle and well disguised. They do not manifest in burning Tamils alive (as occurred in 1983), arson and looting of Tamil shops and homes at regular intervals (from 1956 onwards), burning down a precious public library ( as happened in 1981) brutally assaulting those carrying out a peaceful Satyagrah in the Gandhian mode and defacing Tamil name boards in Colombo with impunity (as occurred in the 1950’s and 60’s), and the scandalous standardisation of marks to keep Tamil students out of Universities in 1971 – amongst many other examples from history.

But the negative racist attitude towards minorities today is reflected in the complete absence of any moral outrage about that sordid recent history, indulging instead the grandiose delusions of a falsified ancient history based on Mahavamsa mythology leading to the axiomatic belief that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country, to challenge which is to commit political suicide. No wonder there is a disinclination to investigate any allegations of war crimes, and violent hostility (as evidenced by incidents all over the country) to peaceful Christian conversion which is both a basic human right and for Christians an inescapable divine commission. Nor should we fail to notice the relatively placid and laid back reaction of the Buddhist majority to the Cardinal’s explosive accusation that the government might be covering up the truth about the Easter massacre, leaving the Roman Catholic Church to wage a lonely battle for justice on the international stage. True, amidst their current sufferings millions may regret voting as they did. But when it comes to the crunch that they might ever bring themselves to elect a Tamil, Muslim or Christian as President or Prime Minister of Sri Lanka is pure fantasy. The Americans may have elected a black man as President a mere 150 years after the abolition of slavery. But in Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka a Tamil or Muslim cannot dream of being elected to that office for another 1000 years ! That is the basic racist mindset of the 69 lahks of voters who now groan with discontent amidst a catastrophe which they themselves asked for. But does their mourning and groaning today denote a true change of heart ? That is the question.

Secondly, the way 69 lahks voted reflects a callous indifference or at least a relaxed attitude to the malady of corruption. This is not surprising given that Sri Lanka is a country where corruption is ubiquitous. It is said that people get the government they deserve. More likely people get governments that mirror their own corrupted nature and moral depravity. Like begets like. The late Justice Mark Fernando once clarified that corruption is not merely bribery and corruption but “extends to extravagance, waste, neglect, and every form of malpractice, dishonesty, and abuse, misuse, and unreasonable exercise of power . . . and indeed anything and everything done or left undone, which results in the rights of the People being denied or impaired”. What a magnificent all encompassing definition ! No wonder the great man was himself the victim of corruption in being denied promotion to Chief Justice which he richly deserved and shamefully bypassed in favour of one who brought that high office into disrepute !

But by this definition Sri Lankan society reeks of corruption from top to bottom. From bribery kick backs and nepotism at the highest levels to millions of workers who insist on a consideration for doing there plain duty, from those who think nothing of sending a false sick note and staying away from work, bribing ones way out of a traffic offence or a vehicle emission test, fiddling tax returns or underwriting the property value on some deed of transfer, from mercenary government doctors and teachers whose heart is in the private sector and those who abuse official transport to cart their families around, to mediocre university academics who produce garbage mountains of useless publications and have perfected the art of deftly manipulating  a point system which enables them to be promoted as professors who are now dime a dozen – from top to bottom Sri Lanka is a corrupt society. It is surely unrealistic to expect a corrupt population to vote for an honest government that might abolish corruption ! The voting behaviour of 6.9 million people might be explained by a benign tolerance of corruption by a fundamentally corrupt population. Does their mourning and groaning today denote a true change of heart ? That is the question.

Thirdly today’s disenchanted 6.9 million might be defined by their innate selfishness and lack of compassion. True, they may be suffering today. But in voting as they did they were guilty of being callously indifferent to the far greater sufferings of others. Hundreds of weeping women may be pining for their husbands and sons who disappeared and were probably murdered years ago. But they were not my relations so who cares ? That’s the attitude. Those victims of ghastly prison massacres, that fine young man Wasim Thajudeen who was reportedly brutally tortured before being killed and made to appear as if his death was an accident, the ‘Trinco 5’ kids who were killed execution style, Lasantha, Ekneligoda, Keith Noyar those who used to disappear in white vans never to be heard of again, all victims of unsolved crimes – they were not my father or husband or son or daughter. So who cares? That was the attitude. That is the hard hearted selfishness that defined the 6.9 million who voted as they did in 2019/20. Does their mourning and groaning today denote a true change of heart? That is the question.

Fourthly there was something inherently foolish and grossly naïve in the way 6.9 million voted at the last election. It is almost as if for the vast majority of the population the main outcome of 70 years of free education has been little more than learning to read and write ! Otherwise what nation in its right senses would elect a family oligarchy of very modest intelligence (to say the least) to rule over them with the absolute power of a constitutional tyranny ? Academic qualifications and elite professional training notwithstanding formal education has failed to impart true discernment, good judgment, political maturity, moral discrimination and plain wisdom, all of which are components of that indefinable entity that we may refer to as “national intelligence”.

Contrast with the high national intelligence of the British population in the general election at the end of the 2nd world war when they rejected the war hero Churchill who had led them to victory in favour of the Labour leader Atlee, who they felt was better equipped to undertake post war reconstruction ! More recently the fortuitous distractions of the war in Ukraine may have saved the British Prime Minister from being thrown out over the ‘small matter’ of parties during the Covid lock down. That kind of national intelligence is a far cry from a nation which swayed by foolish emotion voted to make an ordinary “weeping widow’ prime minister in 1970 and give absolute power to a family oligarchy in 2019/20.

That is the Sri Lankan naivety that enables politicians to spit in the face of the population with impunity every night on TV with blatant lies deceptions and double speak, a fraction of which would damn their political career instantly in a more intelligent society. Perhaps Robert Knox was on the right track when he diagnosed the Sinhalese as having a low cunning which they mistake for high intelligence ! That is the ingrained folly that defined the 6.9 million who voted as they did in 2019/20. Does their mourning and groaning today denote a shift from idiocy to intelligence and a true change of heart ? That is the question.

Lastly, Sinhala Buddhists who dominated the 6.9 million voters were defined by a primitive distorted religiosity that makes a mockery of true religion. It is characterised by superstition, a reliance on horoscopes, blind idolatry, an obsession with empty ritual, and groveling before any yellow robe irrespective of the character and reputation of the sinner it shrouds. These were the docile millions who are regularly manipulated by a rapacious militant nationalistic Buddhist establishment. They constitute the base of a Sinhala Buddhist government which proudly panders to them and cares for no one else

One feels sympathy for these misguided millions in their shattered expectations and present sufferings. But does their anguish denote a real change of heart? When it comes to the crunch at the next election would they favour a party that stands for a secular society? Would they support the repeal of the iniquitous clause in Chapter 2(9) of the Constitution which gives the foremost place to Buddhism it being the duty of the State to protect and foster it, which is repugnant to minorities? Would they be amenable to abolishing the stupid full moon day holiday which makes Sri Lanka look like a nation of moon worshipers ? Would they favour legislation to debar monks from engaging in active politics? The answers to such questions will show whether their mourning and groaning today denotes a passing lovers’ quarrel with the government they elected or a radical change of heart and mind.

One hopes that the 69 lahks who recklessly voted to bring about the present national catastrophe, would in the midst of their shattered expectations bitter recriminations and suffering, stop to introspectively examine themselves and ask whether the five attributes enunciated herewith might apply to them. If so one hopes they would repent of their unspeakable folly and have a true change of heart enabling them to bear the tragic consequences of their action with greater fortitude and equanimity.

If not Sri Lanka is doomed. By a radical change of heart today’s disenchanted 6.9 million voters will not only be able to throw out those whom they mistakenly elected last time, but their transformed attitude will enable a new government to rule with justice, equity, righteousness and peace to unite a divided nation. On the contrary if the prevailing public disquiet only denotes a selfish reaction to some immediate material deprivation rather than a radical change of heart, then the words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s 1974 valedictory to the Russian people would apply to us Sri Lankans :

“And if from this also we shrink away, then we are worthless, hopeless, and it is of us that Pushkin asks with scorn : Why should cattle have the gift of freedom? Their heritage from generation to generation is the belled yolk and the lash”

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-millions-who-hurt-without-a-change-of-heart/amp/

Edited by பிரபா சிதம்பரநாதன்
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11 hours ago, பிரபா சிதம்பரநாதன் said:

இந்த கட்டுரையை Colombo telegraph ற்காக எழுதியவர் போராசிரியர் அசோக எக்நாயக்கே.

சிங்கள வாக்காளர்களை 5 வகையாக பிரித்தும் அவர்களது மனநிலைகள் எப்படியானது எனவும், இப்போது ஏற்பட்ட நிலையால் போராடும் இவர்கள் எதிர்காலத்தில் இதயசுத்தியுடன் செயற்படுவார்களா என்ற கேள்வியை தகுந்த உதாரணங்களுடன் கேட்கிறார். 

ஊழல் தொடர்பான அலட்சிய போக்கு, சுயநலம் என்பன தொடக்கம் சிறுபாண்மையினர் தொடர்பான இனவாத செயற்பாடுகள் எப்படி இன்னமும் செயற்படுகிறது என கட்டுரையில் எழுதப்பட்டுள்ளது. 

இக்கட்டுரை, நாங்கள் சிங்களவர்களின் தற்போதைய நிலையை நம்பி  ஏமாறக்கூடாது என்பதை கூறுவதாகவே நான் நினைக்கிறேன். 

 

The Millions Who Hurt Without A Change Of Heart

Asoka N.I. EkanayakaAsoka N.I. Ekanayaka
2 weeks ago
 
Prof.-Asoka-N.I.-Ekanayaka-.jpg?resize=1

Prof. Asoka N.I. Ekanayaka

This article is not primarily about the woeful record of the present government. Nor is it about the abomination of governance by family oligarchy in whose stranglehold a nation groans in every part as if being slowly crushed by the constricting coils of some giant Anaconda. Rather it is about the attitude character and mindset of 6.9 million people who with their eyes open provoked this catastrophe. Before coming to that one can of course say a lot more about the dimensions of this catastrophe and point the accusing finger at bad people in high positions who to be sure will carry the guilt of their monumental crimes and misdemeanors beyond the grave into the fires of eternal hell. But to be explicit about such matters here might be both unsafe and unnecessary.

Unsafe because as some have experienced to openly accuse this government is to run the risk of being tortured through prolonged interrogation by sadistic intelligence agencies. Worse there is the danger of having to rot away under remand over some trumped up charge gratuitously denied the right to bail in contempt of the principle that every man is presumed innocent until proved guilty.

Unnecessary because media reports seem to say it all obviating the need to say any more here other than summarise the hard reality so as to set the scene for what this article is really about.

For example a distinguished former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank recently summing up the situation saying that “Sri Lanka is undergoing the worst economic catastrophe in its post independence history. The real economy is shrinking with a negative or a near zero economic growth. Inflation is raising its ugly head with food inflation running at 25%, foreign reserves are a pittance forcing the country to seek hand outs from countries like Bangladesh, (the) Rupee is under pressure for a mega depreciation,   and all essential items like fuel are in short supply making long queues for them a daily occurrence”. From the perspective of the average citizen there is the reality of a lucrative black market, the near collapse of the electricity generation and distribution systems, and rocketing prices and old people falling dead in the agony of long queues.

The final disgrace was the UNHRC Commissioner’s damning indictment in her 2022 report about the erosion of the independence of the judiciary and other key institutions, and the constriction of the democratic space for human rights advocacy, amidst a further drift towards militarisation and an emphasis of Sinhala nationalism and Buddhism in State institutions, thereby increasing the marginalisation of minority communities”.

However, the purpose here is to focus on the mindset of 69 lahks of people who deliberately conscientiously and enthusiastically of their own free will opted through the ballot to bring about such a predicament to their own detriment . That millions would of their own volition invite a cataclysm that might spell ruination for themselves and their families for generations to come is amazing. It is tantamount to an act of collective national suicide bordering on madness rarely seen in the history of nations. In retrospect the foolishness irrationality and sheer immorality of such an infernal choice should have been plain to even a little child. And yet incredibly those who made the fatal choice came from every strata of society. They included the well educated and the semi literate, the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor, learned professionals and the posh business classes rolling in money. They included pampered government officials wallowing in the perks and privileges of high office and thriving medical consultants. Nor must we forget the scholarly Ph.Ds and university professors now looking foolish with their lofty pretentions to high intelligence and critical thinking in tatters. From the sophisticated English speaking middle classes to the unlearned monolingual masses and riff raff of society , from sanctimonious buddhist monks pastors and priests who habitually pay lip service to truth and justice,  to the many millions of their simple minded adherents whom they regularly regale with exhortations to live righteous lives – all of them would seem to have blindly voted to their own destruction in the 2019/20 elections.

But now everything seems to have changed. The air is thick with the bitter reproaches of the disillusioned millions who having eagerly voted for this government now find that all their expectations have been dashed. To them the promised “vistas of prosperity” have all too soon become a mirage. Those of us in the 8th decade of life who have lived through all governments since independence can state unequivocally that no government in the postcolonial history of the country has alienated so many supporters so much in so short a period of time as this one. Indeed many feel that if there is an election today the ruling party will be wiped out by a majority as large as that by which they were elected to power 2 years ago. And they may be right. It is so hard to find folk who proudly admit to have been amongst the 69 lahks of supporters that one wonders whether they ever existed ! One gets the impression that many erstwhile supporters are embarrassed and would prefer to distance themselves from that association. Many of the disillusioned rather than having the humility to acknowledge having made a great mistake dishonestly disclaim responsibility by assuming a lofty air of self righteous disdain for all politicians.

However taking all such variations into account there is enough reason for opposition politicians to believe that support for the government has evaporated. It is natural that they should look forward to a dramatic turn around by 6.9 million disgruntled voters at the next election, in the expectation that the ruling party and the detestable family oligarchy that drives it will be wiped out. On the one hand there seems to be plenty of justification for such heady optimism.

On the other hand such confident expectation needs to be tempered by an important consideration. It has to do with the troubling question of why exactly such a large proportion of the Sri Lankan population voted as irrationally as they did in the first place ? What false values, ideological fixations , debased attitudes, entrenched beliefs and inherent assumptions drove such people to make such a monumental error ?. What deep seated prejudices blind loyalties and fatal flaws in the national character did such a bizarre voting pattern signify ? Did such madness even imply a low level of “national intelligence” (if one can imagine such an attribute) that is not easily rectified ?

Such questions are important and disturbing . Have those who are hurting today really had a change of heart ? The answers may provide a clue as to whether the current wave of anguish and alienation amongst  69 lahks of voters is a passing phenomenon or indicative of a permanent change of heart and mind. Is their current disenchantment the outcome of frustration that their narrow selfish expectations have been momentarily dashed or an indication of a radical change of heart ?

For example not very long ago teachers were up in arms. It looked as if they were a major threat to the government. Then they were given their salary increase. They have been quiet ever since. The farmers have been justly outraged by the denial of chemical fertilizer amidst the president’s asinine obsession with organic substitutes . If by some miracle there is a radical reversal in policy resulting in farmers being provided plentiful fertilizer as in the past might they end up eating out of his hand by the time the next election comes round ? And for millions of others who voted SLPP now fuming and fretting away in long queues for gas and fuel, might the restoration of these basic essentials and an end to queues settle them to a point where their selfish domestic needs being met they turn back to the political vermin they once elected like dogs returning to their own vomit, and begin to make excuses for the shortcomings of their favourite government politicians ?

So the issue of a change of heart becomes paramount. And whether or not millions have had a true change of heart is grounded in the question of why millions voted as they did. Obviously there can be many theories about this. But one can make a case for five attributes that might define the 69 lahks of people who voted at the last election and explain their bizarre preference. Put in a nutshell one can hypothesize that collectively as a voting population they were characterised by being (a) fundamentally racist, (b) indifferent to corruption, (c) inherently selfish, (4) basically foolish though imagining themselves to be wise, and (5) afflicted with a malignant distorted religiosity.

That is not to say that all of the 6.9 million individuals possessed all these attributes nor that the attributes themselves were mutually exclusive. But taken as a whole one can speculate that these five attributes broadly define the mainly Sinhala Buddhist population of nearly 7 million folk who elected a strongly Sinhala Buddhist president and a dominantly Sinhala Buddhist government by a thumping majority in 2019/20.

Firstly there is the indisputable ingrained racism of the Sinhala Buddhist masses of this country amidst a chauvinistic attitude to minorities that seems to cut across the entire social spectrum. Admittedly these days such attitudes are subtle and well disguised. They do not manifest in burning Tamils alive (as occurred in 1983), arson and looting of Tamil shops and homes at regular intervals (from 1956 onwards), burning down a precious public library ( as happened in 1981) brutally assaulting those carrying out a peaceful Satyagrah in the Gandhian mode and defacing Tamil name boards in Colombo with impunity (as occurred in the 1950’s and 60’s), and the scandalous standardisation of marks to keep Tamil students out of Universities in 1971 – amongst many other examples from history.

But the negative racist attitude towards minorities today is reflected in the complete absence of any moral outrage about that sordid recent history, indulging instead the grandiose delusions of a falsified ancient history based on Mahavamsa mythology leading to the axiomatic belief that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country, to challenge which is to commit political suicide. No wonder there is a disinclination to investigate any allegations of war crimes, and violent hostility (as evidenced by incidents all over the country) to peaceful Christian conversion which is both a basic human right and for Christians an inescapable divine commission. Nor should we fail to notice the relatively placid and laid back reaction of the Buddhist majority to the Cardinal’s explosive accusation that the government might be covering up the truth about the Easter massacre, leaving the Roman Catholic Church to wage a lonely battle for justice on the international stage. True, amidst their current sufferings millions may regret voting as they did. But when it comes to the crunch that they might ever bring themselves to elect a Tamil, Muslim or Christian as President or Prime Minister of Sri Lanka is pure fantasy. The Americans may have elected a black man as President a mere 150 years after the abolition of slavery. But in Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka a Tamil or Muslim cannot dream of being elected to that office for another 1000 years ! That is the basic racist mindset of the 69 lahks of voters who now groan with discontent amidst a catastrophe which they themselves asked for. But does their mourning and groaning today denote a true change of heart ? That is the question.

Secondly, the way 69 lahks voted reflects a callous indifference or at least a relaxed attitude to the malady of corruption. This is not surprising given that Sri Lanka is a country where corruption is ubiquitous. It is said that people get the government they deserve. More likely people get governments that mirror their own corrupted nature and moral depravity. Like begets like. The late Justice Mark Fernando once clarified that corruption is not merely bribery and corruption but “extends to extravagance, waste, neglect, and every form of malpractice, dishonesty, and abuse, misuse, and unreasonable exercise of power . . . and indeed anything and everything done or left undone, which results in the rights of the People being denied or impaired”. What a magnificent all encompassing definition ! No wonder the great man was himself the victim of corruption in being denied promotion to Chief Justice which he richly deserved and shamefully bypassed in favour of one who brought that high office into disrepute !

But by this definition Sri Lankan society reeks of corruption from top to bottom. From bribery kick backs and nepotism at the highest levels to millions of workers who insist on a consideration for doing there plain duty, from those who think nothing of sending a false sick note and staying away from work, bribing ones way out of a traffic offence or a vehicle emission test, fiddling tax returns or underwriting the property value on some deed of transfer, from mercenary government doctors and teachers whose heart is in the private sector and those who abuse official transport to cart their families around, to mediocre university academics who produce garbage mountains of useless publications and have perfected the art of deftly manipulating  a point system which enables them to be promoted as professors who are now dime a dozen – from top to bottom Sri Lanka is a corrupt society. It is surely unrealistic to expect a corrupt population to vote for an honest government that might abolish corruption ! The voting behaviour of 6.9 million people might be explained by a benign tolerance of corruption by a fundamentally corrupt population. Does their mourning and groaning today denote a true change of heart ? That is the question.

Thirdly today’s disenchanted 6.9 million might be defined by their innate selfishness and lack of compassion. True, they may be suffering today. But in voting as they did they were guilty of being callously indifferent to the far greater sufferings of others. Hundreds of weeping women may be pining for their husbands and sons who disappeared and were probably murdered years ago. But they were not my relations so who cares ? That’s the attitude. Those victims of ghastly prison massacres, that fine young man Wasim Thajudeen who was reportedly brutally tortured before being killed and made to appear as if his death was an accident, the ‘Trinco 5’ kids who were killed execution style, Lasantha, Ekneligoda, Keith Noyar those who used to disappear in white vans never to be heard of again, all victims of unsolved crimes – they were not my father or husband or son or daughter. So who cares? That was the attitude. That is the hard hearted selfishness that defined the 6.9 million who voted as they did in 2019/20. Does their mourning and groaning today denote a true change of heart? That is the question.

Fourthly there was something inherently foolish and grossly naïve in the way 6.9 million voted at the last election. It is almost as if for the vast majority of the population the main outcome of 70 years of free education has been little more than learning to read and write ! Otherwise what nation in its right senses would elect a family oligarchy of very modest intelligence (to say the least) to rule over them with the absolute power of a constitutional tyranny ? Academic qualifications and elite professional training notwithstanding formal education has failed to impart true discernment, good judgment, political maturity, moral discrimination and plain wisdom, all of which are components of that indefinable entity that we may refer to as “national intelligence”.

Contrast with the high national intelligence of the British population in the general election at the end of the 2nd world war when they rejected the war hero Churchill who had led them to victory in favour of the Labour leader Atlee, who they felt was better equipped to undertake post war reconstruction ! More recently the fortuitous distractions of the war in Ukraine may have saved the British Prime Minister from being thrown out over the ‘small matter’ of parties during the Covid lock down. That kind of national intelligence is a far cry from a nation which swayed by foolish emotion voted to make an ordinary “weeping widow’ prime minister in 1970 and give absolute power to a family oligarchy in 2019/20.

That is the Sri Lankan naivety that enables politicians to spit in the face of the population with impunity every night on TV with blatant lies deceptions and double speak, a fraction of which would damn their political career instantly in a more intelligent society. Perhaps Robert Knox was on the right track when he diagnosed the Sinhalese as having a low cunning which they mistake for high intelligence ! That is the ingrained folly that defined the 6.9 million who voted as they did in 2019/20. Does their mourning and groaning today denote a shift from idiocy to intelligence and a true change of heart ? That is the question.

Lastly, Sinhala Buddhists who dominated the 6.9 million voters were defined by a primitive distorted religiosity that makes a mockery of true religion. It is characterised by superstition, a reliance on horoscopes, blind idolatry, an obsession with empty ritual, and groveling before any yellow robe irrespective of the character and reputation of the sinner it shrouds. These were the docile millions who are regularly manipulated by a rapacious militant nationalistic Buddhist establishment. They constitute the base of a Sinhala Buddhist government which proudly panders to them and cares for no one else

One feels sympathy for these misguided millions in their shattered expectations and present sufferings. But does their anguish denote a real change of heart? When it comes to the crunch at the next election would they favour a party that stands for a secular society? Would they support the repeal of the iniquitous clause in Chapter 2(9) of the Constitution which gives the foremost place to Buddhism it being the duty of the State to protect and foster it, which is repugnant to minorities? Would they be amenable to abolishing the stupid full moon day holiday which makes Sri Lanka look like a nation of moon worshipers ? Would they favour legislation to debar monks from engaging in active politics? The answers to such questions will show whether their mourning and groaning today denotes a passing lovers’ quarrel with the government they elected or a radical change of heart and mind.

One hopes that the 69 lahks who recklessly voted to bring about the present national catastrophe, would in the midst of their shattered expectations bitter recriminations and suffering, stop to introspectively examine themselves and ask whether the five attributes enunciated herewith might apply to them. If so one hopes they would repent of their unspeakable folly and have a true change of heart enabling them to bear the tragic consequences of their action with greater fortitude and equanimity.

If not Sri Lanka is doomed. By a radical change of heart today’s disenchanted 6.9 million voters will not only be able to throw out those whom they mistakenly elected last time, but their transformed attitude will enable a new government to rule with justice, equity, righteousness and peace to unite a divided nation. On the contrary if the prevailing public disquiet only denotes a selfish reaction to some immediate material deprivation rather than a radical change of heart, then the words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s 1974 valedictory to the Russian people would apply to us Sri Lankans :

“And if from this also we shrink away, then we are worthless, hopeless, and it is of us that Pushkin asks with scorn : Why should cattle have the gift of freedom? Their heritage from generation to generation is the belled yolk and the lash”

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-millions-who-hurt-without-a-change-of-heart/amp/

நன்றி….பிரபா….!

மிகவும் தெளிவாக, ஆனால் கொஞ்சம் காரமாக ஆய்வாளர் ஆராய்ந்து எழுதியுள்ளார்…! இவை தான் உண்மையான காரணங்கள்…!

சிங்களம் இதய சுத்தியுடன் இதை வாசிக்குமா என்பது தான் எனது கேள்வி….!

 

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On 7/4/2022 at 09:13, புங்கையூரன் said:

நன்றி….பிரபா….!

மிகவும் தெளிவாக, ஆனால் கொஞ்சம் காரமாக ஆய்வாளர் ஆராய்ந்து எழுதியுள்ளார்…! இவை தான் உண்மையான காரணங்கள்…!

சிங்களம் இதய சுத்தியுடன் இதை வாசிக்குமா என்பது தான் எனது கேள்வி….!

 

உண்மைதான்.. சிங்களவர்கள் மட்டுமல்ல தமிழர்களும் இதனை உணருவார்களா என்பதுதான் என் கேள்வி.

ஏனெனில் இப்பொழுது நடைப்பெற்று வரும் சிங்களவர்களுடைய போராட்டதில் பங்கேற்கும் தமிழர்களின் எண்ணங்கள், சிலவற்றையும், இந்திரஜித் குமாரசுவாமி நியமனம் பற்றி வரும் சிங்களவர்களின் கருத்தையும் வாசித்த பொழுது மனிதர்களின் அடிப்படைக்குணம் மாறாது என்றுதான் நினைக்க தோன்றுகிறது

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    • இணைக்கப்பட்ட பிராந்தியங்களை அமைதியாக அபிவிருத்தி செய்வதாக புடின் உறுதி! ரஷ்யாவால் புதிதாக இணைக்கப்பட்ட நான்கு பிராந்தியங்களை அமைதியாக அபிவிருத்தி செய்வதாக, ரஷ்ய ஜனாதிபதி விளாடிமிர் புடின் உறுதியளித்துள்ளார். ரஷ்ய ஆசிரியர் தினத்தில் ஆசிரியர்களுக்கு ஆற்றிய உரையில் புடின் இந்த கருத்தை வெளியிட்டார். ரஷ்ய ஜனாதிபதி கடந்த வாரம் லுஹான்ஸ்க், டொனெட்ஸ்க், ஸபோரிஸியா மற்றும் கெர்சன் ஆகிய பிராந்தியங்களை ரஷ்யாவுடன் இணைப்பதாக உத்தியோகபூர்வமாக அறிவித்தார். ஆனால், லுஹான்ஸ்க் மற்றும் கெர்சனில் உள்ள கிராமங்களை மீண்டும் கைப்பற்றியதாக உக்ரைன் கூறியுள்ளது. இது மற்ற இரண்டு பிராந்தியங்களின் குறிப்பிடத்தக்க பகுதிகளைக் கட்டுப்படுத்துகிறது, மேலும் டொனெட்ஸ்கில் சமீபத்திய வெற்றிகளைப் பெற்றுள்ளது. எவ்வாறாயினும், இழந்த எந்தவொரு பிரதேசத்தையும் ரஷ்யா மீட்டெடுக்கும் என்று கிரெம்ளின் செய்தித் தொடர்பாளர் டிமிட்ரி பெஸ்கோவ் கூறினார். ஊடகவியலாளர்களிடம் இருந்து சமீபத்திய இழப்புகள் பற்றிய கேள்விகளை எதிர்கொண்ட புடின், இழப்புகள் மீட்கப்படும் எனவும் உக்ரைனிய துருப்புகள் திரும்ப அனுப்பப்படுவார்கள் எனவும் தெரிவித்தார். உக்ரைனியப் படைகள் தெற்கிலும் கிழக்கிலும் வெற்றி பெற்று வருகின்றன. லுஹான்ஸ்கின் உக்ரைனிய ஆளுனர் செர்ஹி ஹைடாய், இப்பகுதியில் உள்ள ஆறு கிராமங்கள் மீண்டும் கைப்பற்றப்பட்டதாக கூறினார். கெர்சனின் தெற்குப் பகுதியில் உள்ள மேலும் மூன்று கிராமங்களை உக்ரைன் விடுவித்துள்ளதாக ஜனாதிபதி ஸெலென்ஸ்கி பின்னர் கூறினார். டேவிடிவ் பிரிட் என்ற மூலோபாய முக்கியத்துவம் வாய்ந்த கிராமம் உட்பட, முந்தைய நாள் கெர்சனில் தொடர்ச்சியான மீட்புக்குப் பிறகு இது வருகிறது. https://athavannews.com/2022/1303121
    • இலங்கை குறித்த பிரேரணை – ஐ.நா. மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையில் இன்று வாக்கெடுப்பு! ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் சபையின் 51ஆவது மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையில் இலங்கைக்கு எதிராக சமர்ப்பிக்கப்பட்டுள்ள பிரேரணை மீதான வாக்கெடுப்பு இன்று (வியாழக்கிழமை) நடைபெறவுள்ளது. நல்லிணக்கம், பொறுப்புக்கூறல் மற்றும் மனித உரிமைகளை மேம்படுத்துதல் என்ற தொனிப்பொருளின் கீழ் இலங்கை தொடர்பான பொருத்தமான பிரேரணை மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையில் சமர்ப்பிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளதாக தெரிவிக்கப்படுகிறது. பிரித்தானியா, அமெரிக்கா, ஜேர்மனி, கனடா, மலாவி, மாண்டினீக்ரோ மற்றும் வடக்கு மசிடோனியா உள்ளிட்ட பல நாடுகளின் முன்முயற்சியில் இந்த பிரேரணை முன்வைக்கப்பட்டதுடன், குறித்த பிரேரணை இதுவரை சுமார் 30 நாடுகளின் ஆதரவைப் பெற்றுள்ளது. இலங்கை தொடர்பான மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையின் புதிய தீர்மானத்தில் முன்னர் நிறைவேற்றப்பட்ட தீர்மானங்களின் விடயங்கள் மற்றும் பல சரத்துக்கள் உள்ளடக்கப்பட்டுள்ளதாக தெரிவிக்கப்படுகிறது. இராணுவச் செல்வாக்கு அதிகரிப்பு, அரசாங்க நிர்வாகத்தில் வெளிப்படைத்தன்மை இல்லாமை, பாரதூரமான மனித உரிமை மீறல்களுக்கு தண்டனை வழங்கப்படாமை போன்ற விடயங்கள் குறித்த பிரேரணையில் உள்ளடக்கப்பட்டுள்ளன. பொருளாதாரப் பிரச்சினைகளுக்குத் தீர்வாக, சர்வதேச நாணய நிதியத்துடனான பணியாளர் ஒப்பந்தத்தை குறித்த ரேரணையை  வரவேற்றுள்ளதுடன், நாட்டின் மனித உரிமைகள் நிலைமையில் ஊழல் மிகுந்த பாதகமான தாக்கத்தை ஏற்படுத்தியுள்ளதாகக் கூறப்படுகிறது. எனவே, மனித உரிமைகளைப் பாதுகாத்தல் மற்றும் ஊக்குவித்தல் மற்றும் ஊழலுக்கு எதிரான போராட்டத்தை வலுப்படுத்த வேண்டும் என அந்தப் பிரேரணையை சுட்டிக்காட்டியுள்ளது. அமைதியான போராட்டங்கள் ஜனநாயக அமைப்புகளை வலுப்படுத்த உதவுவதாகவும் பயங்கரவாதத் தடைச் சட்டத்தில் திருத்தங்கள் சேர்க்கப்பட்டாலும் அதன் கீழ் மக்கள் கைது செய்யப்படுவார்கள் என்றும் அந்தப் பிரேரணை மேலும் கூறியுள்ளது. இது தொடர்பான பிரேரணை தொடர்பில் கருத்துக்கணிப்பு கோரப்பட்டுள்ளதாக வெளிவிவகார அமைச்சர் அலி சப்ரி தெரிவித்தார். எனினும் இந்த பிரேரணையை இலங்கையால் தோற்கடிக்க முடியாது எனவும் வெளிவிவகார அமைச்சர் குறிப்பிட்டுள்ளார். https://athavannews.com/2022/1303112
    • வசந்த முதலிகேவின் உயிருக்கு ஆபத்து – நாடாளுமன்றில் சஜித் பிரேமதாச வசந்த முதலிகேவின் உயிருக்கு ஆபத்து இருப்பதாக எதிர்க்கட்சித் தலைவர் சஜித் பிரேமதாச நாடாளுமன்றில் தெரிவித்தார். வசந்த முதலிகே, கல்வெவ சிறிதம்ம தேரர் மற்றும் ஹசந்த குணதிலக்க ஆகியோர் பயங்கரவாதத் தடைச் சட்டத்தின் கீழ் கைது செய்யப்பட்டனர். இந்நிலையில் வசந்த முதலிகே சிறையில் இருந்து இரவு நேரங்களில் பல்வேறு இடங்களுக்கு அழைத்துச் செல்லப்படுவதாகவும் செய்திகள் வெளியாகியதையும் சுட்டிக்காட்டினார். நாட்டிற்கு எதிரான மனித உரிமைப் பிரேரணைகளுக்கு உத்வேகம் அளிக்கும் வகையில் அரசாங்கமே செயற்படுவதாகவும் சஜித் பிரேமதாச குற்றம் சாட்டினார். https://athavannews.com/2022/1303040
    • ஐ.நா. மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையின் தீர்மானத்தை நிராகரிப்பதாக யாழ். பல்கலைக்கழக மாணவர் ஒன்றியம் தெரிவிப்பு! ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் மனித உரிமைகள் பேரவையின் இலங்கை மீதான தீர்மானத்தை நிராகரிப்பதாக, யாழ்ப்பாண பல்கலைக்கழக மாணவர் ஒன்றியம் தெரிவித்துள்ளது. யாழ்ப்பாண பல்கலைக்கழக மாணவர் ஒன்றியம் இன்று வெளியிட்டுள்ள ஊடக அறிக்கையிலேய இந்த விடயத்தை குறிப்பிட்டுள்ளது. இத் தீர்மானமானது தமிழர் பகுதிகளில் நிலைகொண்டுள்ள இராணுவ வீரர்களினால் தமிழர்கள் மீதான அடக்குமுறைகளையும் கொடுமைகளையும் ஊக்குவிக்கும் விதமாகவே அமைந்துள்ளதாக மாணவர் ஒன்றியம் கூறியுள்ளது இத் தீர்மானம் குற்றம் இழைத்தவர்களை பொறுப்பு கூறவைப்பதற்குப் பதிலாக, அவர்களின் சர்வதேச குற்றங்களை வெள்ளை அடிப்பதுடன், அவர்களை பிணை எடுப்பதாகவே அமைத்துள்ளது என மேலும் தெரிவித்துள்ளது. மேலும், அந்த அறிக்கையில், ‘இலங்கை தொடர்பான ஐ.நா.வின் உள்ளக ஆய்வு அறிக்கையின்படி, போரின் இறுதி ஆறு மாதங்களில் சுமார் 70 ஆயிரம் தமிழர்கள் கொல்லப்பட்டுள்ளனர். சர்வதேச உண்மை மற்றும் நீதித் திட்டம் பெப்ரவரி 2017இல், தமிழ்ப் பெண்கள் பாலியல் அடிமைகளாக கையாளப்பட்ட இலங்கை இராணுவ பாலியல் வல்லுறவு முகாம்கள் பற்றிய விபரங்களை ஐ.நாவிடம் ஒப்படைத்தது. மேலும், இலங்கை அரச படையினரால் கைக்குழந்தைகள் மற்றும் சிறுவர்கள் உட்பட ஆயிரக்கணக்கான தமிழர்கள் காணாமல் ஆக்கப்பட்டுள்ளனர்’ என தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. https://athavannews.com/2022/1303082
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