Sri Lanka awaits a change

The present President of Sri Lanka, who consolidated his power after defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militarily, has spurned the pledges of ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ manifesto of the 2005 presidential elections. Now he is working mainly for the ambitions of his family, completely overlooking the common masses. While corruption and nepotism reign, people’s democratic rights including press freedom are being curtailed. No plan of action has been underway even to reduce the rising cost of living.

Having brought the present President to power, the southern polity tolerated the unbearable cost of living and even sacrificed lives of their own children. With the end of the war, they expected reduction of cost of living, solutions to their other socio-economic problems and development of the country would advance. They deemed that unprecedented prospects would open up for this to happen. However, there are no signs of fulfilling these expectations on the horizon. On the other hand, Tamil people expected a fair political outcome through the ‘All Party’ Representative Committee.

The President has ruined all these hopes.

While uttering falsehoods about imperialist conspiracies to mislead people, the President has joined hands with anti-democratic rulers despised by the civilized world. This phenomenon will have dire effects on the future, the economy and the peaceful environment of the country.

During the past three years, 34 journalists and media workers were assassinated; and ten journalists were kidnapped. Thissainayagam is still being held behind bars. Over 50 journalists live in self-exile for protecting their lives from torture and assassination.

The President has been boasting about a labour convention for a long time. However, he tried to brand all those who demanded their rights, including teachers, railway, electricity and port workers and public servants as traitors. Local industries including textile industry have slumped while unemployment has risen due to the un-futuristic foreign policy of the corrupt rule, based on maintaining an unbearably large ministry.

While the rule of law in the country has completely collapsed, the police, armed forces, gangs of thugs and state media are manipulated for political gains.

The common candidate put forward by the opposition to defeat the present President has undertaken numerous pledges such as, to abolish executive presidential powers, to restore democracy, to eradicate corruption, terror and family bandyism. There is no doubt that people, seasoned with the broken pledges of the politicians, will review these promises cautiously. The abolition of the executive presidency is not a panacea to redress all the woes of the country. Even the political parties that are backing the common candidate have taken contradictory policy positions regarding these issues. A transitional need of the day is to form a democratic framework that would allow mobilisation and exertion of pressure to resolve these issues.

  • Moving towards such a transitional state is considered possible because of the following facts:For the first time in the election history of the island, a person, who does not hold the membership of a political party has come forward as a common presidential candidate;
  • This common candidate, once in power, will need to collaboratively work with peoples’ representatives within and without the Parliament;
  • The forces who value democracy are increasingly rallying round this common candidate;
  • Those who adopted the current constitution have come forward to change it; and
  • All those who support this common candidate have agreed to transfer executive powers to the Parliament.

To utilise this opportunity to make such transitional status effective, all democratic and progressive forces need to mobilise together. People’s achievements will be decided only by the strength and vigor of such social set up. This is an unending struggle. We should not forget the experiences we have gained since 1948 on building people’s power.

Therefore, all citizens of Sri Lanka need to come forward to defeat the present anti-people rule and to build people’s power.

The alternatives we have will only allow the anti-people and corrupt rule to consolidate its power. We strongly believe that such consolidation, under the current circumstances, will cause irreversible devastating consequences to all communities.

Despite the statements of leftist leaders contesting the presidential election on what they believe to be theoretically correct, it is clear that they have failed to create the much needed practicality or the attraction to mobilize a people’s force.

If this situation is considered to be a danger to our country’s future, to our economy and to our future generations, then there should be a regime change in the country.

This opportunity is a decisive one to win back the democratic rights we are deprived of. On this occasion we all have a serious responsibility to fulfill.

The aforementioned matters should be taken into consideration in order to prudently and conscientiously exercise the vote to elect the next President in the upcoming presidential election.

  • sumane

    what do you mean by “our country” in the following sentence? “If this situation is considered to be a danger to our country’s future, to our economy and to our future generations, then there should be a regime change in the country.”

  • http://Nil Justitia

    The pledges given by Fonseka are encouraging, but will these be diluted if he gets elected, is my worry. In any case Fonseka cannot be a worse president than Rajapakse.

  • Groundtruth

    None of the candidates have stated in public their comprehensive progarmmes to tackling effectively the accumulated problems faced by “citizens”, a word well emphasised in this article. SF has emphasised he will tackle corruption, which is a positive signal, to the exclusion of other issues. For example, his solution to political governance is yet quite open, other than his taunt to MR that the latter “has not won the peace with the Tamils”, but very open ended signal of how to and what to do about it. Besides he has to reconcile his stance with what he stated to a Canadian daily that “the minorities had no rights in SL”. If he still holds on to that race supremacist idealogy deos he expect the minorities to vote for him no matter in how many Hindu temples he worshipped as inferred from his recent visit to Jaffna That is typically old style political tamashas which has been counterproductive.

    Sf is also terribly short on economic development from what one reads in the media. Also, as pointed out by Bopage, a return to the ‘rule of law’ is so vital against the background of lawlessness especially by the so-called law enforcement Authorities, which has demolished people’s rights and their lives while so many have suffered even toture and death. Will he remove the PTA which underpins lawlessness for so long and rehabilitate the ‘rule of law’, habeas corpus and other freedoms, including that of the press, of civic rights including security to life and of property, all so vital to ordinary citizens ? Only the so-called Rulers and their henchmen have enjoyed these basic freedoms openly to the exclusion of others, especially the minorities.

    Election time is a very suitable time to build up a momentum for ‘people’s force’, a point well emphasised in the article. Until the BASICS are set right quibbling about Constitutional Amendments and All Party Conference are secondary issues. There is much ado about the 13th Amendment when even the use of Tamil Language as an official langauge of communication and administration even in the north and east under the Constitution remains unimplemented since 1972.!

    First things first, in other words PRIORITISE!

  • No Frames

    “Thissainayagam is still being held behind bars”

    He is, and he should rightly be. He was tried in open courts and even can appeal

    “However, he tried to brand all those who demanded their rights, including teachers, railway, electricity and port workers and public servants as traitors”

    Mr. Bopage’s is trying to shoot thin air. These “traitors” who are eligible for postal votes polled over 75% for the current president. Either war president says is true, and govt. servants except that or Mr. Bopage is dishing out a big, fat, filthy lie. It’s up to readers to decide.

    It’s evident that Mr. Bopage is licking boots of the General.

  • Observer

    Mr. Bopage, kade badu labada?

    I love the current UNP (coalition of the willing! ;-) ) election strategy for the wrong reasons. Portray General as a lesser of an evil. Subconsciously acknowledging that he is an evil.

    “To utilise this opportunity to make such transitional status effective, all democratic and progressive forces need to mobilise together.”

    It’s a shame that these PURE “democratic forces” have to hide behind an ex general because they don’t have a worthy civilian candidate! Who are you kidding? Votes SF gets will be because of his war efforts not democratic efforts. If you think the latter is true, then you’re not in touch. In other words using SF for democratic reform is a gross deception of the public. Not all of us are fools!

    I actually poll every 3 wheeler guy I get and the ones who said they’ll vote for SF said the reasons as being his war efforts. One guy even said how he heroically said how he will enact revenge on Prabakaran while in hospital bed after the bomb attack. These myths are the reason. Nationalism is still the big votes grabber. So no wonder that SF presidential campaign grossly miscalculated the impact from his statements to the SL. He has potentially damaged the main reason people rallied behind him.

    I challenge these “democratic forces” to ditch SF and come independently if they have the courage.

  • Dhiraj

    Why does there seem to be so many people who are rushing forward to polish Fonseka’s boots now that he has joined the opposition? Why are Sri Lankans such slaves to their political “leaders”?

  • Concerned Person

    Above corruption and nepotism, law lessness in the country is very dangerous and everyone should be concerned of that. It reminds us 88-89 era. Those days there were a armed group who were practising anti democratic activities. Now the current government encourage laws lessness just to perform it’s heinious acts against democratic forces of the country using its henchmen. If the incumbent President is re-elected this situation will be definitely aggrovated and we all certainly will experience another black era post Prabakaran under Rajapakshe.

  • http://www.groundviews.org Sam Thambipillai

    A democracy exists insofar as its ideals and values remain. What democracy is cannot be separated from what democracy should be. The ideals and values come from an overflow of life, by being at peace with self and others.

    Democracy as practiced in Sri Lanka(SL), has failed to produce an overflow of meanigful life, to enable the manifestation of the needed ideals and values.

    With totalitarian intent, solely to enjoy the benefits of power, oppress and frustrate others, and be the elite in the island; the SLFP and UNP politicos and “Budhist” priesthood, abused Buddhism for the past six decades to create a “state within the state” of SL.

    The Sinhalese masses, unknowingly, made these political and religious zeroes into heroes. The able Tamils, close to a million, picked up their bags and left this “Buddhist” country, to be in exile, in Christian countries.

    During the third week of December 2009, the “Buddhist” monk in charge of Mahiyangana temple, thrashed Mr T.M.Wijeratne, a veddah aboriginee, mercilessly. The monk shouted out abusive words and a junior monk kicked off Wijeratne to the ground with a “football kick”. The public and the police were helplessly watching this ugly storm of “monk rage”.

    The police refused to record the complaint of Wijeratne and the magistrate refused to grant justice. The monks probably felt that if they threw a few flowers at the feet of an idol of Buddha they were alright !!

    Wijeratne and many other Sinhalese have had the bitter taste of terror by the “state within the state” of SL, silently, which the Tamils have faced with agony and multiplicity of problems for the past six decaeds, on a corporate scale.

    Real Buddhism says “let all beings be happy”. But the “Buddhist” priesthood “blessed” the soldiers and instigated Human Rights violations and war crimes against Tamils, and have themselves become war criminals.

    Real Buddhism believes the physical world as an illusion. But the politicos and “Buddhist” priesthood, driven by greed for Tamil land, powered by anti-Tamilism, grabbed land by force, without paying any compensation whatsoever.

    They wilfully colonised Tamil homeland with Sinhalese, to mark down, humiliate and subjugate Tamils. This paved way for Human Rights violations and genocide.

    Spiritually, Sri Lankans have decayed and democratically SL has fallen apart.

    Replacement of totalitarianism with freedom; injustice with justice; and war with political peace are essentials to instil democratic values.

    And, the people of the island need to put on the canopy of love, and wellness to others, to come right spiritually.

    Then, the ideals and values of democracy will come from an overflow of life at peace with inner self and others.

    Life is not to get the worst or second best, but to get the best.

  • Observer

    Sam Thambipillai, banging on Buddhism is barking up the wrong tree. I can tell you that far far less damage has been done to humanity in the name of Buddhism than Christianity or Islam. In fact it was a Christian coalition that nuked a Buddhist state (Japan) not once but twice to end a war killing and maiming millions. Even today Christians are on a crusade against Islam ruining the middle East. Please don’t ever get started on Buddhist rampage. I’m glad it’s limited to a “football kick” as opposed to institutionalised child abuse in Churches which is only coming out now after centuries of silence. Religious bashing is easy but cheap. I had to be cheap to show that. Please find the right tree to bark up!

  • Dhiraj

    Agree with Observer. Actually I think it is time for Tamil Hindus to look at their own community instead of trying to attack the Sinhalese Buddhists. Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus have given the world most of its suicide bombers. Now when did Tamil Hinduism find it ok to give a big supportive tick to suicide bombers, child soldiers and bombs on buses, trains and planes, attacks on Muslim and Buddhist places of worship? I don’t think any other Hindu group has been as violent as Sri Lanka’s Tamil Hindus, or sent pregnant women to blow themselves up. I guess what I’m trying to say is that people who live in glass houses really shouldn’t be throwing stones.

  • Heshan

    Observer:

    Pot calling kettle black. In case you have missed it, Sam is explicitly referring to Sinhala-Buddhism, not “real Buddhism.” Militant Sinhala-Buddhism has given a bad name to Sri Lanka. There is no point denying this; in this day of the electronic media, everything is known, everything is documented, and everything is transmitted everywhere very quickly. The sooner that Sinhala-Buddhism comes to its senses, the better for everyone. Once again, no point denying.

    You mention the atom bomb. Millions of people did not die; the figure was closer to 200,000. In any event, had the atom bomb not been dropped, millions would have died indeed, as a land invasion with the Japanese (who were willing to fight to the death) would have been drawn out over several years. Your lack of historical knowledge is rather unfortunate; you simply quote of context, at random.

  • Heshan

    By the way, Observer, you forgot to mention the 90,000 Chinese women whom the Japanese raped at Nanking, and all the hundreds of thousands of civilians the Japanese murdered in their crusade to capture all of Asia. That’s right; your Buddhist/Shinto Japanese friends were ALLIES with Hitler. They (Japanese) did not bother with nice gas chambers like the SS…. they chopped, decapitated, hacked, bayoneted, etc. at point-blank range.

    By the way, what do you think would have happened if the Japanese had captured Ceylon? Be glad that a Christian superpower like the USA was able to save you (or your loongi clad grandpa who probably didn’t know how to load a shotgun).

  • yapa

    Dear friends;

    I have a small story to tell you. An old folk tale. It goes like this.

    Once a lion lived in a jungle saw the beautiful daughter of a Gama Couple who lived in a village near the jungle and the lion had a liking for the daughter take her as is wife. The lion went to meet the Gama Couple and let them know his desire. Gama Couple said to the lion that it was an unprecedented fortune to have the king of the jungle as their son in law.

    However, they said their beautiful daughter was afraid of his sharp teeth and nails, and they would be happy to give their daughter in marriage to him if his teeth ans nails are removed. The lion went to a dentist and got his teeth and nails removed. Happily he went to see the Gama Daughter.

    Do you know what happened? Gama Rala and Gama Mahage, armed with “hathare- hathare pollas”(two big clubs) thrashed the defenceless lion to death.

    This is what these people are plotting for us. Buddhism is the nails and teeth of Sinhalese. They are trying to remove them by ourselves, not by a dentist, without even anesthesia. These people want Buddhism be removed from Sinhalese.

    These people want us to go an indulge in spiritual activities prescribed by the Lord Buddha. They want Buddhism to be separated from politics.These things they present to us as marriage proposals.

    Be careful! What they are more interested is what they don’t like most, what is most annoying to them.

    Theruwan SaranaI!

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    “These people want Buddhism be removed from Sinhalese.”

    Who are these people?

    “They want Buddhism to be separated from politics.”

    I’ve questioned this assertion before and you have not provided an answer. I am no longer quite sure what sense of fairness you have or what view on democracy you hold to believe that what’s good for the Sinhala-Buddhists is what’s good for everyone else, so I would like to have some clarification in that regard. Part of being a democracy is not just blind majoritarian rule at the expense of the minorities. Preventing a “tyranny of the majority” is a direct responsibility of the majority, and only thinking about protecting the interests of the Sinhalese just isn’t good enough.

    Towards that end, I believe the fair thing to do is to have a secular state, so that no single religion is privileged in any shape or form. It is up to the believers of that religion to uphold its traditions. Or do you expect the law to uphold it for you?

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    “These people want Buddhism be removed from Sinhalese.”

    Who are these people?

    “They want Buddhism to be separated from politics.”

    ———

    Definitely I have not included you in this category. This was not pinpointing at an individual, but I am criticizing a popular notion of some western political ideologies thrust upon our heads without considering the specific and innate ground realities we have here. I consider the above notion as a blanket and gross generalisation of an idea born in a different environment and a different context.

    I don’t think there is any particular reason to take it as it is in our context. I reasonably believe that there are enough reasons for us to deviate from the above blanket notion. What are your reasons for advocating such a notion? Can you fully justify it? Even if it is a good theory don’t you think it can have exceptions?

    One more thing I have to emphasise. My argument is not based on the assumption that “what’s good for the Sinhala-Buddhists is what’s good for everyone else,”, but the other way round. Against the notion that what is good for others is good for Sri Lankans. That is the order of the day notion. Is there any particular reason why we should not stand against such a totaltarian notion?

    I have clearly indicated that my effort is in the defence, not in the offence. I think I have reasonably pointed out this stance, in the posts addressed to you.

    I will remind you the background why I am firm on the stance, by quoting some of my posts appeared in various threads of this web.

    To be continued…….

    Thanks!

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Sam Thambipillai,

    “They wilfully colonised Tamil homeland with Sinhalese, to mark down, humiliate and subjugate Tamils. This paved way for Human Rights violations and genocide.”

    That’s an extract from your post of January 4, 2010 @ 6:58 pm.

    I understand that a land owned by a Tamil is Tamil Land wherever that is situated within SL, as much as land owned by any other community member is their own irrespective of ethnicity. But if you are talking of Govt owned land within SL, could you please explain how it became Tamil Land?

    I am writing on the premise that what you mean by colonisation is settling Sri Lankans in areas developed at govt expense using massive loans that has to be paid back by every Sri Lankan.Could you please explain how that paves the way for Human Rights violations?

    What is your assessment about the part played by the LTTE w.r.t Human Rights and Genocide?

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    I did not take anything you said personally, but am seeking clarification.

    “I reasonably believe that there are enough reasons for us to deviate from the above blanket notion.”

    What are those reasons?

    “What are your reasons for advocating such a notion? Can you fully justify it? “

    As I mentioned earlier, the main reason is fairness. This country belongs to all its citizens. As such, the fair thing to do by all would be to separate religion and politics. I believe religion to be a personal matter and best kept that way.

    Quite frankly, I’m not overly concerned about the relationship between Buddhism and the state as it is in the constitution right now. However, I’m more worried about what the Sinhalese/Buddhists think about the rest of the people in this country. If it’s the General Sarath Fonseka attitude of “Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhalese”, then I must strongly disagree.

    “Even if it is a good theory don’t you think it can have exceptions?”

    Not really, no. I haven’t yet seen a convincing reason why it would be more fair to have a non-secular state.

    “I have clearly indicated that my effort is in the defence, not in the offence. I think I have reasonably pointed out this stance, in the posts addressed to you.”

    And I agree with your assertion that there are many people here who are out to vilify Sinhala Buddhists out of sheer prejudice and/or for propaganda. I welcome your efforts to shed a different perspective. However, I do not believe that defending Buddhism against false accusations (as Off-the-cuff has been doing) and believing that Buddhism and/or Sinhalese people are somehow special to deserve special treatment (which is something I disagree with and I believe Off-the-cuff does too) is the same. It’s the latter with regard to which I would like some clarification.

    What is your version of an equitable society in Sri Lanka?

  • yapa

    COTINUATION FROM THE POST OF January 5, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

    Dear SomehatDisgusted;

    1.If you carefully go through my posts began initially as a response to ” Sri Lanka: the waning Liberalism” and subsequent comments under different discussions in the web, you will understand the core objective of my writing. I persuaded to believe that there is an organized (may be informally) effort in place to undermine local values, mainly Buddhism and its culture. I noticed many people with different religious identities making second rate criticisms against Buddhism and its followers, quoting a piece or two of verses from Buddhist philosophy (eg:- In Defense of Buddhism). I firmly believe that one should have some respect to other’s sentiments. I also found that some people who are ardent advocates of Liberalism justifying and appreciating British invasion in Sri Lanka as a rare fortune, despite obvious facts available and presented. I don’t know how anybody could justify a forcible occupation of a country against the will of their people. For some writers liberalism is a faultless divine principle to judge everything. I think such things are against basic ethical principles.I think this is cynicism. One must be sensible about the consequences of their writing. They not only should advocate “freedom of expression” but also should advocate the “responsibility of expression”. In this background only my writing came into being.

    Further, my original intension in the first post was to advise the critics mentioned as above to abstain from unethical and unreasonable criticisms over local culture and its value system. I wanted to tell them that western ideologies can not directly be applied to other societies, as they are not perfect theories, which are true only in certain contexts. To show this relative nature I said that western idiologies has a clash with science. If they had a courtesy to pay a little bit heed, not to hurt others feelings by criticising others’ religions I wolud never have touched a religion in a public forum. That is how my original intension diverted to this end. However, with the querries arisen afterwords, I suppose I have to continue in the same line for some time.

    2.November 18, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

    Dear disgusted, somewhatdisgusted;

    Once a cat caught a rat and started playing with it joyfully. It threw the rat up, got hold of it before it hit the ground. Then the cat bit the tail of the rat and gave out a joyful sound. However, to his astonishment the cat noticed that the rat was grinning,snarling and not helping to continue the game. Then the cat asked the rat ” Why are you not helping me to play this game. Then the rat answered ” It may be a matter of game for you. But it is a matter of life for me.

    Moral:- You can not expect rats to behave in the same manner as cats.

    Thanks

    3.November 19, 2009 @ 5:29 am

    Dear disgusted/somewhatdisgusted;

    It was non of you I was referring as cats in the parable. I apologise if I hurt your feelings. But still I believe there are senseless cats.

    With regard to your earlier comment, disgusted, I do not think that anyboy has unlimited freedom to say or whatever he thinks correct. That is one of the facts in my view, that pushed the country to the unfortunate situation we faced during the last 30years. Sinhalese tried to prove all their points and Tamils too did the same thing. See, what happened to our society.

    Diverse views are fantastic for a healty socity, provided they are just and fair. Otherwise, I feel, it can be counter productve.

    When words fail war begins!

    4.Moral:- You can not expect rats to behave in the same manner as cats.”

    We all have things which we consider as valuable for us. One’s own house,car and house hold items are some of the material valubles. Our children, spouse, siblins, relatives and friends are dear to us, may be on the emotional basis. For a community or for a nation too there are much valuble things, sometimes they consider as worth more than their lives. I think culture, heritage, value system….etc are revered worth as life in our society. I think these are included in the “sphere of automony” of a nation, which considered unethical to be tampered with for simple reasons. Savage attacks inflicted on these treasured things of our society may be a matter of play or a game for some people like Niranjans and Heshans. But it is a matter of life for us. So we can not utter a joyful purr….purr…. to them in repond to their games. They don’t understand that language. They deserve different treatments!

    Now I suppose the connection of the parable to the presnt discussion is clear to you.

    Thanks!

    5.
    Even most modern political theories of the west are based Judeo-Christian tradition and ideology. Though they have absorbed some scientific thinking after the renaissance, it is still lagging behind even the Newtonian outlook of the world. Now even the Newtonian outlook is outdated and the modern outlook of the western science is based on Quantum Theory and the Theory of Relativity. Modern outlook is a total paradigm shift. Newtonian worldview has totally been shattered by this modern outlook. Any Social Science including Political Science has no slightest knowledge about this sea change in world outlook. Still, liberals, whose political theory is based on an ideology even much older than the Newtonian era, are very bold to boast and insult a person calling “You are an illiberal”. What a pity! Many don’t know anything more than what they are taught! Ignorance is bliss!

    6.yapa said,
    November 23, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

    Dear Niranjan;

    Before questioning the culture and society you live in, please question yourself. Please evaluate yourself. Do a SWOT analysis about yourself. If you do not know what a SWOT analysis is, just give me a ring.

    I love you to be a good boy. Don’t be naughty. Thanks my dear. Tata!

    6……………………………………..yapa said,
    December 3, 2009 @ 4:10 am

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    Thanks for the comment. I can well understand your dislike towards my conclusion of the last post, i.e., “Therefore some of the concepts found in the east is alien to west and the west has no capacity to understand them”. A person with some concern over the welfare of the mankind is reasonable to hold such a view, as this conclusion could be misinterpreted to discriminate people on an unreasonable ground. Hitler did it, on the ground that Germans are a Superior race and justified killing of inferior races, to avoid the superior nation getting spoiled by mixing with the inferiors. Result was the Second World War and the killing of millions of innocent people. It is said that Nietzsche was the philosophical culprit, who “spoiled” Hitler with this unbecoming ideology.

    SomewhatDisgusted; It is proper you opposed the above notion. I salute you in the name of humankind. However, let me explain the reasons for me to differ from your humane point of view.

    Let me postpone the proof of faultlessness of my conclusion, until we get rid of your honest fear/suspicion of my conclusion. Until then let me assume my conclusion as a correct one.

    My view is people all over the world are not homogeneous and they have various differences and Hitler too have identified this notion correctly.In my opinion what went wrong was, that Hitler wrongly attributed these differences to genetic nature of the people. He thought Germans are genetically different from Jews and others, which is not true. Once I can remember great humanitarian Dr. E.W.Adikaram, saying there is no difference between Sinhalese and Tamils as there is no difference between the blood of Tamils and Sinhalese. We must respect his good intention towards the mankind, but we should not sway away with emotional the idea that Tamils and Sinhalese have no differences.

    They have differences, but not genital!

    Man is not just a genetic animal. According to Aristotle, man is a political animal. He is also a cultural and social animal according to my belief. People changes on the above factors too. However, according to my belief the main factor contributed to the differences in people is their world outlook. Germans were different from Jews not on their material difference, but on their differences in mental factors; the way they perceive the world. Material world view of then West did not identify this fact and attributed it as a (material) racial difference. Result was the destruction.

    Just because some idea could be misinterpreted, are we to throw away that idea ,in spite of its accuracy. Are we to build up our theories on emotionally good fallacies?

    According to my view what we should do is to uncover “naked truths’ and ensure their proper interpretations, without swaying away with emotionally pleasant ideas. India did it. India has correctly perceived the differences in their people and their motto of the governance is “Unity in Diversity!”

    OK! now to my “selfish objective”: to argue for my conclusion.

    If you look at my whole argument, to so conclude you will realize that the methodology I used in this process is “Deductive Inference”. Please see what theory says about Deductive Inference.

    “When an argument claims that the truth of its premises generate the truth of its conclusion it is said to include deductive inference”.

    Further, a conclusion to be correct the promises of the arguments should be true and the arguments should be valid. I don’t see any flaws in either of them in my argument. I don’t know, I might have mistakes I have not noticed, if such a mistake is pointed out I accept my conclusion as fallacy. Until then I think I have the right to hold the view that my conclusion is true.

    Further, in support of my view I would like to draw your kind attention to ” Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples: India – China – Tibet – Japan by Hajime Nakamura. Sinhala Translation by Professor P.B.Meegaskumbura is also available.

    7.
    SomewhatDisgusted said,
    December 3, 2009 @ 6:01 pm

    Dear Yapa,

    Thank you for the clarification. I am not objecting to your argument because I would feel emotionally better by doing so. That should not matter, because the truth is not something that necessarily makes you feel good.

    Instead, I would like to point out several possible flaws in your reasoning. You’ve asserted that people are fundamentally different based on world outlook. That assertion itself is clearly problematic. There are a great deal of factors which unify humanity, starting with our basic biology. I think you’ll agree that most people have the same basic feelings regardless of race. So how exactly have differences in world outlook changed these fundamental biological features? Are we not motivated by the same basic human emotions? Are they really that different?

    Secondly, culture and outlook continuously change and merge. For example, the culture we have in Sri Lanka now has been influenced by western culture. American culture (through TV) continues to influence us. Our world view is changing every day. The reverse process also happens as people mix us more. So what is this world outlook? It changes every day. So to assert that we are fundamentally different based on world outlook is again falsified by such change.

    Finally, based on that assertion, you’ve also drawn the incorrect conclusion that person with outlook A cannot understand person with outlook B, which is a non sequitur. Having differences in word outlook does not necessarily mean that we are incapable of understanding a different world outlook.

    So my critique was based on those points.

    (Deepavali Dilemma)

  • Observer

    Heshan, the millions include all the Japanese casualties due to the entire bombing raids carried out by Allied forces. Japan had to ally with Germany due to geographical reasons. Japanese was a race that put death before honor. They simple could not surrender and they made a grave mistake there. But the allied bombing raids were totally unjustified and most experts looking back agree. Yet they were never tried for war crimes! It was USA that decided to drop the bomb. Keep on white washing USA!

    Japan only bombed SL due to allied presence. Had they invaded 1st they would have setup base just like the allied forces and attacked the other side.
    Of course I am glad it was the allied forces since it was not an option to take the Nazi side like the Japanese did. But the force that was used, was not proportionate and amounts to a war crime. Had it been a Christian nation the allied would have never Nuked! Especially in a RESIDENTIAL area! That’s all I’m saying.

  • Observer

    Heshan, try reading this…

    In any event, had the atom bomb not been dropped [had the SL army not counter shelled], millions [thousands] would have died indeed, as a land invasion [brutal civil war] with the Japanese [LTTE] (who were willing to fight to the death) would have been drawn out over several years [an eternity].

  • Observer

    So what is it Heshan? War crimes charges have 2 standards? One for the rich and powerful and one for the poor and powerless countries?

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    As I mentioned I understand your motivation and don’t question that. But I would like to know
    1. What do you see as an equitable society in Sri Lanka?
    2. What are the rights of the minorities in relation to the majority? Are they different?
    3. Do you believe in forming a plural society?
    4. What role would Buddhism play in politics?

    Would appreciate some clarification to the above questions, as I currently do not have a clear picture on your stance on the above. I believe I have a reasonably good idea of Off-the-cuff’s stance, as he/she has explained them on several occasions.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    I have not yot completed justification of my stance. I forgot in my last post to mention it. Please let me post a few moe posts before answering your questions.

    Thanks!

  • Heshan

    Observer:

    Here is a total list of Japanese combat casulaties:

    1,555,308 from 1941-45 in the Pacific War.

    1. Against US – 485,717
    2. Against UK/Netherlands – 208,026
    3. In China – 202,958
    4. Against Australia – 199,511
    5. French Indochina – 2,803
    6. Against USSR – 7,483
    7. Other overseas – 23,388
    8. Japan proper – 10,543
    9. Navy 1941/45 – 414,879

    Here is a list of casualties from the dropping of the two atom bombs:

    Casualties from the Atomic Bomb

    Hiroshima: 70,000 dead, 130000 wounded

    Nagasaki: 20,000 dead, 50,000 wounded

    Here is info regarding casualties from air-raids on Japan:

    “The United States strategic bombing of Japan took place between 1942 and 1945. In the last seven months of the campaign, a change to firebombing tactics resulted in great destruction of 67 Japanese cities, as many as 500,000 Japanese deaths and some 5 million more made homeless.”

    Here is a list of casualties from the Nanjing Massacre that Japan perpetuated on China:

    300,000 (dead) Chinese, approximately 80 – 90,000 Chinese women raped

    What about the number of Philipino’s, Cambodians, Laotians, Vietnamese, Koreans, Indonesians, and Burmese whom the Japanese killed, in addition to the Chinese?

    The historian Chalmers Johnson has written that:

    “It may be pointless to try to establish which World War Two Axis aggressor, Germany or Japan, was the more brutal to the peoples it victimised. The Germans killed six million Jews and 20 million Russians [i.e. Soviet citizens]; the Japanese slaughtered as many as 30 million Filipinos, Malays, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Indonesians and Burmese, at least 23 million of them ethnic Chinese. Both nations looted the countries they conquered on a monumental scale, though Japan plundered more, over a longer period, than the Nazis. Both conquerors enslaved millions and exploited them as forced labourers—and, in the case of the Japanese, as [forced] prostitutes for front-line troops. If you were a Nazi prisoner of war from Britain, America, Australia, New Zealand or Canada (but not Russia) you faced a 4% chance of not surviving the war; [by comparison] the death rate for Allied POWs held by the Japanese was nearly 30%.[18]

    Unfortunately, Observer, the above statistics indicate that only 500,000 died from the firebombing of Japan, and only 100,000 died from the dropping of the two atom bombs combined. Whereas, the Japanese slaughtered 23 million Chinese civilians during WWII. My advice to you: find someone else to defend, the Japanese are not a good choice.

    I would also like to point to you that not only was Japan firebombed, so were many European cities. E.g. Battle of Britain, bombing of Dresden, etc. How many Soviets died from the siege of Stalingrad?

    As for the atom bomb, it was an international effort. While the US coordinated it, the Manhatten Project had scientists from all over the world, including Albert Einstein, Hans Boethe, and Enrico Fermi (all Nobel Prize winners). If these refugees from Nazi Germany like Einstein and Boethe had not been chased out of Germany, chances are they would have done atom bomb research for Germany, which is exactly what Werner Heisenberg (another Nobel winner) was doing in Nazi Germany. If the Italian scientist Fermi had not figured out nuclear fission, atom bomb research would not have occurred at all. So every time you assert that the atom bomb was the idea of the big bad USA, you are wayyyyy off the mark.

    And the last point, Germany was trying verrrrryyyy hard to build an atom bomb. Had they been successful and passed one on to Japan, I doubt you would be alive today (hint: your loongi-clad grandfather would have been the 23,000,001st casualty).

    Heshan, the millions include all the Japanese casualties due to the entire bombing raids carried out by Allied forces. Japan had to ally with Germany due to geographical reasons. Japanese was a race that put death before honor. They simple could not surrender and they made a grave mistake there. But the allied bombing raids were totally unjustified and most experts looking back agree. Yet they were never tried for war crimes! It was USA that decided to drop the bomb. Keep on white washing USA!

    Japan only bombed SL due to allied presence. Had they invaded 1st they would have setup base just like the allied forces and attacked the other side.
    Of course I am glad it was the allied forces since it was not an option to take the Nazi side like the Japanese did. But the force that was used, was not proportionate and amounts to a war crime. Had it been a Christian nation the allied would have never Nuked! Especially in a RESIDENTIAL area! That’s all I’m saying.

  • Heshan

    Observer:

    Try reading this:

    In any event, had foreign countries like India, Pakistan, USA, UK, Libya, Israel not contributed money and weapons to the Sri Lankan Begging Bowl [had the SL army not counter shelled], so many [thousands] would have not died indeed, as a land invasion [of the Tamil homeland] against the [LTTE] (who were willing to fight to the death) would have ended much faster.

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    I have an interim question arisen from your comment datedJanuary 6, 2010 @ 4:55 am, before my next post.

    In the above post you say;

    What are your reasons for advocating such a notion? Can you fully justify it? “

    As I mentioned earlier, the main reason is fairness. This country belongs to all its citizens. As such, the fair thing to do by all would be to separate religion and politics. I believe religion to be a personal matter and best kept that way.

    ………………………

    Can you explain me how fairness is ensured by seperating religion from politics?

    Thanks!

  • Please read

    Navy pays Rs. 200 lakhs for President’s son Yoshitha’s scholarship

    2010-01-07

    One of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s sons, Yoshitha Rajapaksa had followed the course at the Royal Darkness Naval Academy in violation of Navy regulations.

    Although it was stated that Yoshitha was granted an opportunity to follow the course as he was the President’s son, the Sri Lanka Navy has had to pay a large sum of money amounting to Rs. 200 lakhs for the course.

    According to Navy regulations only a commissioned officer who has completed the fundamentals of the course could be sent to follow the course. However, Yoshitha had studied the fundamental course only for about two weeks. The Darkness Naval Academy awards

    a scholarship to provide training to a Sri Lanka Navy officer every two years.

    Sources from the Navy said that the scholarship was granted to Yoshitha by the Sri Lanka Navy spending a large sum of money and in violation of Navy regulations following an order received by higher authorities.

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    RE: Your comment on January 6, 2010 @ 4:55 am

    You say;

    “Even if it is a good theory don’t you think it can have exceptions?”

    Not really, no. I haven’t yet seen a convincing reason why it would be more fair to have a non-secular state.

    ……………………………………………..

    If I ask somebody, how much is one plus one, he will definitely laugh at me, saying ” you don’t know such a simple thing”? But you must have heard that Bertrand Russell, had taken a book of about 500 pages to prove that 1 + 1 = 2.
    Except for a few of us, many really don’t know that 1 + 1 = 2, but we take them for granted. We don’t know to prove it, but thousands of day to day evidence we experience don’t contradict it, and therefore consider it as a theory. However, even a million of non contradicting evidences do not ensure the accuracy of the theory. However, one single contradicting evidence breaks the whole theory into nothing. That is the nature of any theory.

    There is no perfect theory. A theory is just a model constructed to represent some reality. When a theory is closer to the reality it represents, that theory said to be a better theory. Usually theories cannot be proved except in the case of Pure Mathematics and Logic. In Pure Mathematics, theories which can be proved are known as “Theorems” and Pythagoras Theorem and Apollonius Theorem are example. Even the Theory of Gravitation or the Laws of Motion of Isaac Newton are not theorems. Therefore on the basis of a theory you cannot be 100% assured that an outcome of a theory is correct. None can say that it doesn’t have any doubt about it. That is why the saying “Every law has its exceptions”.

    In the case of theories of Natural Science, the doubt is comparatively law. But in the theories in Social Sciences, this doubt factor is comparatively very high, and therefore the certainty of an outcome is comparatively law.

    This is the theory about theories.

    But in your comment to my post you are assertively say that there cannot be an exception for the Political theory, which says “Religion should be kept out of Politics”. I don’t know whom to tell?

    Thanks!