Sri Lanka is neither Egypt nor Libya



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By Nalin de Silva


The elections to most of the local bodies are over and the people have again voted for the President and his nationalistic policies. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa continues to win elections while Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe continues to lose. Nobody is bothered to keep a count of the elections lost by Mr. Wickremesinghe and it is very very unlikely that he would win a future election even if the cost of living soars exponentially. It does not mean that young Mr. Sajith Premadasa would win an election for the UNP in the near future. This country has become very much nationalistic and unless the UNP finds a leader who is more nationalistic than Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, I am afraid, the UNP cannot think of winning elections for some time.


When the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Bahrain fell there were some pundits who thought that the axe will fall on Mr. Rajapaksa as well without realising that the brand nationalism of those countries is different from that in Sri Lanka. As we have said a number of times Sinhala Buddhist nationalism is dictated by the bottom layers of the society in the sense that it is the common man who decides the path that nationalism should take. In contrast, the Tamil nationalism is decided by the leaders and is imposed on the people and as a result it ends up as racism against the Sinhala Buddhists with, of course, the blessings of the English led westerners. The best examples in the Sinhala and Tamil societies in this regard are the politics of Bandaranaikes (not Bandaranaike Kumaratunga) and Chelvanayakams. Mr. Bandaranaike had to follow Sinhala Buddhist nationalism whereas Chelvanayakam moved by his anti-Sinhala Buddhist attitudes and instigated by the English had to create a Tamil nationalism among the masses almost from scratch in the late forties, more than 60 years ago. Prior to that Tamil racism was confined to the English speaking Tamil Vellalas in Colombo. Mrs. Bandaranaike, too, understood the phenomenon of Sinhala nationalism though her children never learnt anything from their parents.


The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)is the party of Sinhala nationalism in the sense that sometimes in spite of the leaders it is the masses, not necessarily being members of the party, who influence the party. The SLFP was formed as a liberal party by Mr. Bandaranaike, but very soon the Sinhala Buddhist masses who had wanted a political party ‘acquired’ the party. It was a kind of ‘peoplisation’ of the party and those pundits who imported Chandrika Kumaratunga from her self-exile in England to change the policies of the party and establish a federal state in the country could only postpone history by about a decade. If Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa had been made the leader of the party instead of Chandrika Kumaratunga Nandikadal would have happened in the twentieth century itself. Mr. Rajapaksa coming from Medamulana understands Sinhala Buddhist nationalism by instinct and his anti colonialism is in his blood, so to say. In this regard he is the successor of Mrs. Bandaranaike and the SLFP is in safe hands.


The nationalism and anti-colonialism of Sinhala Buddhists stem from the Mahavamsa and that is the very reason that the western intellectuals and their third rate imitators in Sri Lanka who masquerade as professors, thinkers, researches, intellectuals and what not are afraid of that book. Sinhala Buddhists do not need Marx to be anti colonialists as their nationalism inspired by Mahavamsa does not consider economics the most important entity that determines the history of the nation. It is the preservation of Sinhala Theravada Buddhism that is of paramount interest to the Sinhala Buddhists, after king Gemunu, the hero of Mahavamsa. In a sense Mahavamsa can be considered the book of Gemunu, and after its publication there has been no need for red books of Mao or even green books of various authors. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa does not need even a new blue book as blue is the colour of God Vishnu, who has been entrusted with the preservation of Budususana by Shakra Devendra himself on the advice of the Buddha. I am told that the colour of the party was selected based on this fact, and the Mahavamsa could be easily considered the blue book. The Mahinda Chinthana reminds the reader not only of Mihindu Maha Rahathan Vahanse but the Mahavamsa as well.


Neither the Marxists nor anybody else had to instruct the Sinhala Buddhists on anti colonialism as the latter had fought against three European colonialists continuously and consistently. The struggle against colonialism is continuing under the leadership of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. The westerners are determined to send Mr. Rajapaksa to the guillotine but even with the support of all the western diplomats, western media such as Channel Four, western intellectuals, the NGO personnel in Sri Lanka, have failed miserably, as the overwhelming majority of the Sinhala Buddhists with experience of struggle against colonialists for five centuries are with Mr. Rajapaksa.


What the pundits do not understand is that even two thousand two hundred years after the defeat of Elara Sinhala Buddhists still honour the memory of Gemunu and the nationalism of Sinhala Buddhists is not going to give up Mr. Rajapaksa two years after Nandikadal for a coconut or any other nut. Mr. Wickremesinghe is no match for Mr. Rajapaksa. Mr. Sajith Premadasa is neither here nor there as a nationalist and he does not have much of an appeal. Even his father was not considered a nationalist by the Sinhala Buddhist masses though through his populist politics he played the role of a nationalist against the villain J. R. Jayewardene, who was called Yankee Dickey for his loyalty to the Americans. The JVP has been reduced to a three wheeler party and, if not for the Proportional
Representation system, it would not have won a single seat in any of the local bodies. The JVP is strong as long as it follows nationalistic policies in a coalition with the SLFP, and the moment it embraces Marxist policies it becomes another ‘revolutionary party’ without any mass base. We repeat, the Sinhala Buddhists do not need Marx or any western intellectual to fight against colonialism, as they are inspired by Gemunu Raju, one of the greatest characters in world history though not recognised as such, mainly because those who matter in the west hate him from the bottoms of their hearts.


The UNP has no future under Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe but there does not seem to be an alternative. Mr. Sajith Premadasa would be supported by a section of the JVP while the other section of the party will gravitate towards the Trotskyite parties as they had been previously, thus splitting the ‘revolutionary party of Sri Lanka’. There is no need for a so-called revolutionary party for the Sinhalas and the Sinhala Buddhists would not even say sabbe sankara anicca over the split and the party ending up as another three wheeler party.


It should be clear by now that the west has been trying to oust Mr. Rajapaksa by using many models. Serbian model was the first they tried using Tamil racism that has been passed on to the lower rungs by the upper crusts of the Tamil society. The west wanted to frame charges of war crimes against Mr. Rajapaksa as well as Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa using Sarath Fonseka but they have failed miserably. It is also clear that their NGO agents in Sri Lanka are not doing a proper job for their masters and mistresses but are only collecting cheques for massive amounts from western embassies. Even if they had done a proper job they would not have been able to oust Mr. Rajapaksa and it is to the despair of the west that none of the methods have yielded the intended results. In Egypt the west used anti-government forces to oust Mubarak, who was one of their former allies, before it got worse. In Libya they want Gadhafi ousted not only because of oil but because the Libyan President is against the Christian west as well. It is not only economics that is at work as the western Christian modernity has its cultural colonisation programme as well. The pundits who can only quote others ignore that western Christian colonialism has three interdependent components viz., economical, political and cultural.


The west claims that Gadhafi bombed his own people though there is no evidence for that. If we remember the allegations made against Mr. Rajapaksa one would understand the meanings of the words used by the westerners. There appears to be a rebellion against the Libyan President in Benghazi but the west says that Gadhafi should have negotiated with the so-called rebels. On the assumption that Gadhafi did not negotiate with the "rebellions" and attacked his own countrymen the west is now firing missiles to Libya without any negotiations with Gadhafi or any warnings given to the Libyans! There is no rationale behind this move and as the security council consists of the biggest thugs the US, the UK among others, it is our duty to tell the west not to engage in any more activities in Libya as the Libyans can look after themselves. At the same time especially America, England and France have to be warned not to engage in military exercises in other countries in the name of humanitarianism or right to protect or what not as irrespective of the name used it amounts to colonialism as long as there is no symmetry in the process. For example Sri Lanka, Libya and say Myanmar and Iran cannot take action against England for not treating the non Anglicans on the same footing as the Anglicans or against Israel for bombing Palestine. I know that our demands to England, France and USA would fall on deaf ears as they still have the power not only of politics and economics but of knowledge as well. It is not we who create knowledge but the westerners and they will justify their action with terms such as right to protect democracy, freedom of expression, human rights etc., concealing the fact that these terms are loaded in favour of the west, and they think of human rights etc., as having some absolute values though these rights are only relative to the western Judaic Christian culture.


The west would have loved to send troops here and arrest, not Prabhakaran, but the Rajapaksea, and to make Sarath Fonseka their puppet ruler in Sri Lanka not because he comes from Ambalangoda, but because his policies suit the west. Fonseka would have been preferred to Wickremesinghe as the former could have been projected as the Sinhala Buddhist leader of the army. Their ambitions did not materialise due to the correct political leadership of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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