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Suicidal government, divided opposition, distorted Aragalaya




If pressure is manifestly building up in a boiler and the safety valves stay shut, then an explosion is inevitable. The ruling party or should I say ruling party+1, the plus being Prime Minister Wickremesinghe are keeping the safety valves shut. A Cabinet reshuffle with a sprinkling of SLFP and SJB defectors does nothing to outrun the coming explosion.The ruling party had the chance of a confidence-building measure aimed at a consensual dynamic in Parliament. It could have made the gesture of voting for Rohini Wijeratne Kaviratne as Deputy Speaker. It did not. By rejecting that option, it enhanced the rhetoric of confrontation in Parliament.


The ruling party may well continue on this path, on an issue that is far more crucial, and that is the 21st Amendment. That amendment is the very last chance to show that anything positive and accommodating of the Aragalaya demands, can come from this Parliament. It is perfectly alright for the SLPP to enter negotiations with all other parties over the text of the draft resolution but those negotiations must have a tight deadline, because a clock is ticking outside. The SLPP must not be or be seen as the deal-breaker. It must agree to whatever all the others agree to.

The new Prime Minister, who is also the very old Prime Minister, not only in age but also because it is his sixth go round in the post, is compounding the problem. In the first place, it was a wrong choice. If Gota didn’t want to appoint the Opposition Leader because the latter had attached too stiff a price tag, the next best choice when facing a YOUTH REVOLT, would have been his own party colleague Dullas Alahapperuma, who shares in part the same ideological formation as the young rebels or rather the parties that back them.Not only was Ranil the wrong choice, Ranil has or Gota-Ranil have yet to do the right thing. What is that right thing?

The deep and deepening Sri Lankan economic crisis requires the very best brains we can muster, just as a complex surgery would require the finest surgeons handling it. What and where is our A-team which is handling the economic crisis and also negotiating with the world system? Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe is definitely a huge plus, but where are Dr Nishan de Mel, Dr Dushni Weerakoon, Dr Deshal de Mel and of course Prof Howard Nicholas (who has worked with the Vietnamese government)? These stellar talents have to be on the frontlines of the economic war, not in some backroom advisory group.


Now to the Opposition. I think that Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa should have responded faster to President Gotabaya’s last speech, which provided an opening. The speech was in the evening, the reply, even the same reply should have gone in early next morning. Timing is essential in politics. The response should also have been somewhat more nuanced than it was. The stress should have been on the President’s remarks on the 19th Amendment. That should have been nailed down. The exit issue should have been flagged but worded more diplomatically; not quite so ‘in your face’. The approach should have been what the Cold Warriors used to call Soviet ‘salami tactics’, i.e., a slice-by-slice incremental approach to taking power and displacing the existing governmental leader.

Today, the most glaring lapse of the Opposition is its divided character. The main Opposition is too heavily tilted towards one side of the Opposition spectrum, i.e., the TNA, and too far away from the centrist group with the larger numbers; the SLFP-led 11-party bloc of roughly 40 MPs. The main Opposition party should be more even-handed and equidistant in the opposition space if it is to get the arithmetic right. if not it will have to inhabit a liberal enclave, with the JVP-NPP growing on the ground, outside Parliament, and posing a serious electoral challenge.In the face of galloping quasi-anarchic radicalization, no Opposition formation can make it alone. It is only—I repeat, only—a progressive centrist re-groupment; a new Center-Left, that can rebalance the democratic system and save it. That means the SJB plus the SLFP; Sajith Premadasa plus Maithripala Sirisena. Nothing else would be sufficiently broad-based.

The chance is coming up with the 21st Amendment. The SLFP is not for outright abolition of the Executive Presidency. The SJB has recently converted to abolition. Either the latter can remain politically fundamentalist and lose the vote, or it can arrive at an agreement with the SLFP and secure a solid vote for abolition of the 20th Amendment and its replacement by a version of the 19th. In my personal view as a political scientist and ex-diplomat (rather than a lawyer, accountant or banker), the most responsible and correct view on the Executive Presidency is held by the SLFP, the 11-party bloc it leads, the 43 Group of Patali Champika Ranawaka, and Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka the chairman of the SJB.


Finally, for the Aragalaya. Before the Aragalaya and even before Mirihana or the candlelight vigils on the sidewalks, there was the peasant unrest. The peasantry got it right, when it said “never since 1948 has there been a leader like Gotabaya who devastated us like this”. Some said it had happened earlier under the British, others demurred, saying not even under the British.The candle-light vigils, the Mirihana demonstration and the Aragalaya all got it right: Gota Go Home, because he was the one responsible for the catastrophe and he was the very worst we had ever experienced. His was a freak presidency.

The Gota Go Home/Gota Gotta Go slogan corresponded perfectly to Mao Zedong’s definition of the correct line or what he called ‘the mass line’; ‘from the masses, to the masses”; the cognitive cycle from the perceptual knowledge of the masses to the conceptual knowledge of the revolutionary intellectuals and reinserted in its refined version, into the mass consciousness.This was working fine, as manifested in the spectacular demonstrations in the Sri Lankan Diaspora.Where are those now? What has happened is the struggle has shifted, been diverted, cluttered, adulterated, confused.

How can anyone square ‘Gota Go Home’ with ‘down with all 225’, ‘shift power out of the Diyawanna Parliament’, ‘overthrow the system,’ etc., which, if at all, should come ONLY AFTER the ouster of Gota? Fidel Castro and Che Guevara said none of this while fighting to oust Batista. The Iranian mass movement that ousted the Shah never raised these divisive issues during the successful struggle; they only came up later. The Filipino movement which ranged from the Catholic church, and the Liberal to the Maoist CPP-NPA-NDF, never raised these slogans within the mass struggle to get rid of Marcos.How on earth can one say, as the peasants rightly do, that no one has ever been as bad for agriculture and food security as Gotabaya, and also say that this has been going on for 74 years?

How can one logically say that the 20th Amendment created an autocracy and then say that things have been lousy for 74 years? How can one rightly assert that the economy has never been worse and then say that the years in which Ceylon/Sri Lanka was a model of welfare, as well as those decades in which we had a high growth rate—including an average of 5% during wartime—all belong to 74 years of doom and gloom?

How can a rational mind accept that the truth that Gotabaya’s 20th Amendment makes for an autocracy, and then jump from that to the conclusion that one should abolish the entire Executive Presidency rather than surgically remove the 20th Amendment—and in the case of the FSP-IUSF, abolish Parliament as well?

How can one justly accuse Gotabaya of having usurped all power through the 20th Amendment, thereby creating a powerless Parliament and Prime Minister, and then go on to lynch Parliamentarians for not changing the situation? How can one justly target an autocratic President and his oligarchic clan as concentrating power and wealth in their hands, and also attack the Parliament and parliamentarians?

These divisive slogans were imported into the original struggle firstly and mainly by the JVP-NPP and later, with more Tabasco by the FSP-IUSF, or should I say, IUSF-FSP.Then there is the question of violence and the character of that violence. The idea that it is somehow justifiable to lynch supporters of the government or even its opponents like Kumara Welgama, because Mahinda Rajapaksa’s thugs attacked demonstrators on Galle Face Green is bullshit.Liberal Party leader Benigno (“Ninoy”) Aquino was assassinated, shot in the back of the head, as he was getting off the plane in Manila, having flown in from the USA to lead the anti-Marcos struggle. Where was the rioting and lynching of Marcos supporters in the subsequent struggle? The massive, inclusionary demonstrations led by widow Cory Aquino (who later became President) and powered by the university student movement, especially of the University of Manila, was determined, militant, massive but non-violent. If there had been even the slightest lethal violence would the military have been neutralized and Defence Minister Juan Ponce Enrile broken ranks, thereby ending the rule of Marcos, forcing him to fly into exile?

Don’t excuse the lethal mob violence by reference to harsh economic conditions or the privileges of MPs. There has been considerably militant, even violent street agitation, in recent years in Latin America, against the terrible economic hardships created by the neoliberal model and its crisis. There was shooting, even lethal shooting, by the State. Examples range from Chile to the town of Medellin in Colombia. Chile has elected a leftwing president while a left populist is front-runner in Colombia’s election. Where was the mob violence against parliamentarians and the lynching to death of any of them throughout Latin America?

The stuffing of slogans and the justification of violence has blurred, even distorted the profile of the Aragalaya and caused cognitive dissonance among its impressively broad support movement and mobilization in the diaspora.

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Our long-forgotten friend can help mitigate impact of fuel shortage



The importance of the bicycle as a mode of transportation is seemingly re-emerging in Sri Lanka. This sudden drive is mainly attributable to the ongoing economic crisis the country is faced with. The forex crisis, together with ever increasing fuel prices, has made the Sri Lankans remember their long-forgotten friend––the bicycle.

We see more and more people taking to cycling today for their daily activities out of desperation more than anything else. However, this trend needs to be encouraged not only for its economic benefits but also for its health, environmental, social (and many other) advantages.

The benefits of promoting cycling


– The economics of transportation has become a major woe. The main energy source used today in transportation in Sri Lanka is fossil fuel. This amounts to 2,081 Mn USD (or 64 % of the total fuel cost of the country) a year. In terms of percentage spending of the total foreign imports, this amounts to a whopping 10.3 %. (Source: Kumarage AS, Repositioning Sri Lanka’s Transport and Logistics Sector to lead the Economic Recovery in Sri Lanka, Organization of Professionals’ Association Journal, April 2022). By promoting the use of bicycles, we can expect to reduce a sizable amount of this colossal expenditure.

Cycling is also known to be conducive to the small-scale trader, as he comes in contact with the cyclists more often than the motorists. Thus, cycling will positively influence the small-scale economy of the country as well.


– A number of studies have shown that cycling reduces the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as Acute Myocardial Infarction, Coronary Heart Disease, Cerebro Vascular Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, stress and many psychological diseases. Cycling, while improving the overall health of the people, will also reduce the healthcare costs, appreciably in the long term.


– Increased use of fossil fuels for transportation has in turn become one of the leading causes of environmental pollution, global warming and climate change, the world over, three of the major calamities the world has come to be plagued with today. By cycling we can reduce air pollution by reducing the noxious gases, such as carbon oxides, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, benzene and particulate matter. It also reduces noise pollution, and helps in mitigating global warming and climate change.


– Cycling is also known to promote social interactions among people by encouraging networking and collaborations between them. This will influence the social health of the community positively.

The activities proposed

– The programme to promote cycling should be implemented, as a pilot project, with the participation of the state sector employees in some selected districts. Depending on the success thereof, it could be extended to the other sectors and districts.

1. As the first step towards promoting cycling nationwide, we propose that it be promoted among the state employees as their main mode of travel (to work). In this regard, we propose that they be paid an incentive in keeping with the distance they cover.

2. Bicycles could also be used by those who live far away from their workplace; they can cycle to the main bus or railway station. In both these situations, the cyclists should be paid accordingly.

3. Cyclists should be provided with facilities for bathing and changing at workplaces.

4. The government should take all measures aimed at making travel, safe and hassle free for cyclists. New laws should be made for this purpose, if necessary.

5. To lessen traffic congestion and increase safety of the cyclists, one-way traffic for the motorists in parallel roads should be encouraged wherever possible.

6. Cyclists should be provided with facilities to purchase bicycles, spare parts and accessories at discount rates.

7. Encourage production of bicycles, spare parts and accessories in Sri Lanka. Promote bicycle repair services countrywide.

8. Plant and maintain trees on the roadside for the benefit of cyclists. This will also help reduce air pollution and ambient temperature.

9. Liaise with major cycling associations in the world like the World Cycling Association, the Dutch Cycling Embassy, etc, in order to update knowledge and skills relating to promoting cycling in the country.

10. In keeping with the principle of “polluter pays” a dedicated tax could be imposed on motor vehicles, and the revenue therefrom used to promote cycling.



Consumers & Customers Union

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Catastrophe that has hit Ukraine



The coup, or revolution, in Ukraine in 2014, as a result of the Maidan Square uprising, enabled extremist forces to take control of Ukraine. Many of them have Fascist ideology even to this day. In 1945, Russia had chased the German Nazis back to Berlin at a terrible cost in Russian lives. Now, people with this same mentality have taken power in Kiev with the devilish help of the American CIA – and they are hostile to Russians in Russia and even Russian-speaking Ukrainians, who number about a third of the total population of 60 million Ukrainians.

This minority of Russian-speaking people are mostly located towards the East of the country, with many centred in the towns and cities known as the Donbas. These people did not want to be subjected to Nazi, Fascist unpleasant treatment, so they agitated to be independent. They formed their own militias, men from the army defected and brought weapons from the army! The army and the militias fought each other to a standstill. In response, the Ukrainian army-built lines of trenches and other defences along the Donbas, especially near towns with important or vital industries.

Over time, relations deteriorated and the army started indiscriminately shelling the Donbas – they were killing their own people! This tragedy occurred for a period of eight years. About 14,000 civilians were killed by illegal random fire. No reporting on this in the “morally correct” west, and this story was ignored. Fascist thugs made Mariupol steelworks their headquarters in the Donbas. Early this year, 2022, the Ukrainian army was seen massing nearby for a full-scale attack on the rebels of the Donbas. Around 200, 000 of the best fighting men of all the Ukrainian army were to be used to finally crush the Russian-speaking rebels of the Donbas.

At the same time, the US was gearing up to take some land in the Donbas area – possibly in Crimea. The US considered Ukraine as their backyard, and they wanted to control the Black Sea and pin down Russian access to the sea – more devilish ideas to undermine and weaken Russia!

Russian ‘Special Military Operation


But Russia was watching, and on 24 February, it launched its ‘Special Military Operation’ to counter the hostile actions in the Donbas. The first thing they did was to destroy all the ground radars, rendering the Ukrainian air force incapable of targeting accurately. Then came a great parade of propaganda and lies about Russian failures and losses, all fictions and distortions which were untrue, but were misleading to those without access to the facts. President Putin had so many ailments he alone could fill a hospital! All fiction. The west’s propaganda war is a remarkable feature of this military excursion.

At the outset of the Special Military Operation there were many similarities between the Russian and Ukrainian forces, and their equipment. But there were some glaring differences, too.

Russian forces were full time, professional soldiers, well trained in the specific tasks they were responsible for: they were a fully professional, competent army operating advanced equipment. They had high-tech equipment and knew how to handle it and use it to its fullest, to its best.

Each aircraft, battle tank, drone or radar station carries electronic equipment. This creates a node forming part of a computer network which exchanges information. The information fed into this network is processed by powerful computers. The result is that the targeting of enemy positions is exact, resulting in highly efficient warfare. It is efficient, not least because the Russian army wants to avoid targeting civilians. In the Donbas, all the people were related kinsfolk, being Russian speakers.

This required much caution in targeting, as the Ukrainian army was hiding among the civilians. The Russian army was obliged to advance slowly, so as to do as little damage as possible. This targeting efficiency also had the benefit of using ammunition economically. It was a progressive, brutal de-militarization of the Ukrainian army in Donbas using the combined military forces of Russia.

No-body knows when peace will arrive in Ukraine. It seems likely that, after going to all this effort, Russia will continue on and conquer the port of Odessa, and may even continue onwards to link up with Transnistria.

Note that this death and destruction could all have been avoided if Ukraine had implemented the Minsk Accords. They acted in bad faith and now suffer the consequences of that dishonesty.

Wild speculations are made in the West about the dangers of nuclear war. But these generals, colonels and western elites should know, as a matter of personal professional pride, that the official “Russian Military Doctrine” spells out in sections 26 and 27 the criteria for the use of nuclear weapons. This will happen only when outside actions pose an existential (real) threat to Russia. Russia will react with Nukes either: if Russia is hit by a nuclear explosion or if an army invades and approaches the centre, say, Moscow.

A Professional Army using High–tech Equipment:

For this success, Russian soldiers had to be well educated in maths and physics, and because of the extreme complexity of modern war, they must have a serious attitude. They had to know all about military science: operational art and planning, informational nodes, and net centric warfare. The Russian army engages in reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, surveillance, and targeting. Radar can give targeting information in 23 seconds, requiring defence alertness and readiness.

It is unlikely the Ukrainian army is so well educated and trained. Firing indiscriminately on the Donbas and killing people and the use of prohibited cassette munitions as seen on world news sites, does indicate a lack of discipline. This unprofessionalism has cost them dearly.

The Ukrainian army gives losses at approximately: 20,000 killed, 64,000 missing in action, and perhaps 30,000 men wounded. Russians give about: 5,000 men in special Russian holding camps and 2,500 men in Donbas holding camps.

Legal experts in Russia, and Donbas experts, are, even now sifting through all the cases of the detained men. Normal soldiers will be given trials and sentencing for any wrongdoing, but those with a background of supporting Fascism will be shipped to Siberia for further investigation. One of the stated aims of the Russian establishment is to de-Nazify the Ukrainian army.

The Role of Education in Development of a Country

: Throughout their lives Russian children get much more science, physics and mathematics (STEM) than schools in the west. The standard set by the best Russian college entrance examinations is high, putting the American schools and colleges in the shade. There are no multiple-choice questions, answers are either right or wrong. These best Russian schools are attended by many bright, thirsty minds, each waiting to drink up the education offered.

This careful selection and development of bright scientific minds has enabled Russia to develop really advanced weapons and rockets, way ahead of the USA. For example, it launched the orbiting Sputnik into space well before the Americans. This act alone sent the US administration into a panic. They, in response, developed the high altitude U2 spy plane to go and see what the Russians were up to! Recently, because the US Shuttle was out of service, Russia was providing the Americans with a shuttle service to the international space station. A group of young engineers, all under 30 years, designed the SU 57, a highly successful fighter. Russia has designed and successfully tested hypersonic weapons – which the USA is struggling to catch up with.

In truth, the main war between East and West is being played out at the school desk, and Russia is winning!

See Larry Johnson’s film on YouTube – in English


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Save us from our govt.!



When watching daily news bulletins, on several local TV channels, one could observe two significant matters.

One is how Gotabaya Rajapaksa shamelessly meets foreign diplomats and officers of international organizations, who are well aware of the grave situation of the country, and also the prime reason for it.

Remember, as kids, how we hide from our parents, or teachers, when some small mistake happens – that is because we were ashamed, and afraid of punishment. And ther, too, it would have been only our own mistake, not by the whole family of ours!

Next is how the Police and armed forces are let loose on the men, women and children who have been waiting in queues for hours or days. The authorities are not finding ways to stop queuing or at least maintain some order at those places, but chastise the people, for electing as Basil Rajapaksa had said, a stupid, clueless president and an incompetent government.

The greatest disasters we have faced since Independence are the JVP insurrection, the LTTE war and the tsunami in 2004, and during those times the people were protected by then governments; now Sri Lankans have to struggle against the government, which is steadily throttling them to death.


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