Thursday, February 22, 2007

mahinda buffalo the big brother?

it seems that assorted peaceniks have developed the notion that mahinda buffalo is similar to the big brother in orwell's '1984'. read any of their recent articles and posts anywhere. given some of their erroneous references it is doubtful they have ever read the novel but let us assume they know what a totalitarian leader is like. to read them we are in propaganda filled, warmongering, genocidal, repressive, authoritarian, one party state run by a leader, whose opponents regularly disappear.

is it really true that current president is a totalitarian monster? are we living in totalitarian state? are we being subjected to one sided propaganda? are we being brain washed through 'newspeak' and ‘doublethink’? does the war exist mainly to keep us silenced? is it true that ltte is ready for a peace that guarantees freedom, human rights, justice and democracy at anytime and is merely fighting for liberation of tamils? were all the terror attacks figments of our imagination, concocted by the mcns, or work of those who want the war to continue? are journalists and opponents who give dissenting views killed, 'disappeared', and arrested? is there no difference between buffalo and kim jong-il?

i am certainly no fan of buffalo (you may search for words 'buffalo and 'mahinda' in above search box and see for yourself) but i have to disagree, and unlike most of them i will give my reasons as to why i don't think this government is anywhere near big brotherish

censorship and propaganda

unfortunately for the peacenik's notions, a person just have to walk to any newspaper seller's stand to read most damaging allegations against the president, made by opposition, former ministers, peaceniks etc. same goes for any media. even pure terrorist propaganda from tamilnet, jbs jeyaraj, or even straight from the pussies, are given national coverage. state media is certainly extremely biased against the opponents of the regime and probably censors opponents, but then some of the private media (such as sunday leader, sirasa/mtv) does the exact opposite. most media outlets stand somewhere in between. that is as it should be in a capitalist democracy.

someone might argue that the use of state media for pro government activities is unethical. agreed. i would be extremely happy if they were privatized. anyway it is a question about abuse of public property and corruption. an abuse btw which politicians of both sides including peaceniks have amply used when they are in power or were friendly to those in power. it does not prove we are in a totalitarian state.

government engaging in propaganda (or spin) itself is not a symptom of a totalitarian state but part of democracy. just look at any democracy. it may be distasteful but if lasantha wickremanayake ( who is an active participant in political decisions btw. only people who do not know what goes on think he is a mere editor ) uses his newspaper to print 'slanders' against government ( not to mention the slanders against the military by dbs jeyaraj) he should expect 'slanders' in return. is that anymore undemocratic than attack ads in american television or a british tabloid any day? imo no. as far as one sided propaganda goes ranil wickremasinghe's government in 2001-2003 was certainly more near it than the present one. then the control of media reached almost singaporeans levels, still way too short of totalitarianism

peaceniks also assume that general public is stupid and uninformed. this is one of their most common mistakes. that is also why they disdain democracy, unsurprisingly since most of them are former marxists and have so far failed miserably to connect with public. another related mistake is their overestimation of power of media. sri lankans are very adept at reading between the lines and seeing through the slanders, allegations, bias, and propaganda, more than most other people. in the unlikely event someone miss any of that there are enough people to point those out. most here have lived under one sided media environments ( though again never near totalitarianism) in seventies and late eighties, but they were able to get to the truth then and they are able to get to the truth now, cutting through the mass of words spun by both pro and anti government hacks.

deaths and disappearances

there is no doubt that some disappearances are taking place. all evidence however indicate that most are due to fighting between terrorists and former terrorists, with some criminals mingled in. while government should look into it and suppress the terrorist activity there is no evidence whatsoever for a conspiracy to kill and disappear its opponents. surprisingly number of disappearances (and the number put forward by peacenik include all disappearances) are very low compared to other countries (even ones at peace). after the recent child lost and found cases in united states i was surprised to read that annual child disappearances there alone ran into tens of thousands. similar proportion here would mean thousands in colombo not the less than hundred.

the credibility of data provided by the self appointed politically motivated 'observers' is highly questionable. in one case recently they gave publicity about the disappearance of a student from a leading school. who unfortunately for the said credibility reappeared, having left home for various private reasons. free media movement too decided to further lower their non existing credibility by protesting against the alleged 'abduction' of left wing ltte affiliated terrorists who posed as journalists. all they had to do was to make some official inquiries from the legitimate authorities instead they decided that eggs look better on their faces. these are the people who make claims about totalitarianism.

reality of war

even among peaceniks only the extreme nut cases will be stupid or naive enough to claim that terror attacks were planted by government to create a war mentality suitable for introduction of totalitarianism. in fact as i have pointed out many times government and military went out of its way to show restraint in the face of provocative attacks from december 2005 to april 2006. for those who had eyes (yes i know peaceniks prefer to cover them when big pussy is connected) there was no doubt who was really planning for a war in 2005 (as i said then) by enforcing the election boycott. nor is it possible to deny unless they are in total denial the very real attacks in east, closing of mavil aru, on jaffna forward defense lines, attacks on infrastructure, civilians, and vips, killing of tamils opposed to terrorists etc. in all cases loss to the government (physiologically and physically) was or would have been far greater than any advantage. most prominent peaceniks are known to keep a guilty silence about those incidents if some idiots want to believe such conspiracy theories let them because they are real idiots and will not matter anyway.

less stupid peaceniks are reduced to accepting the reality of terror attacks carried out by ltte. so they are forced to justify the ltte and condemn the government, by claiming ltte as freedom fighters, provider of security to tamils and above all as representative of tamils. anybody who can seriously claim that ltte advanced the tamil cause should look at their present state of suffering. in fact while ltte was ruining them supposedly in their behalf, other minorities who were worse off or equally discriminated against were gaining significant victories through democracy .( one example from tamils in the hill county ( so called indian tamils) will do, over one million people gained citizenship in a country of 20 million). what actual tamils think of ltte's ability to provide security can be judged from the number of people who have moved to government controlled areas from ltte controlled areas. their claim to be sole representative is purely based on killing other tamils leaders.

to claim that buffalo's war against terrorism is a repressive nationalist genocidal campaign directed against tamils after all those facts, is in fact a statement of support for the terrorists and their killing and oppression of tamils. peaceniks are doing exactly that.

evidence and motivation of peaceniks

so unless they can come up with real evidence to back up their claims most people in sri lanka (including myself) are not likely to agree with peaceniks claims about buffalo.

fact is peaceniks have demonstrated a total oblivion to the real 'big brother' in sri lanka who really do exercise a stalinist control on those still under hum: prabahakaran. peaceniks' primary motivation in their actions is dictated by their dependence (sometimes actively cooperative dependence) on ltte to create situations (per example internally displaced persons in camps) that can be exploited to obtain donors funds for their ngos. anything bad for ltte is bad for them. and buffalo (probably advised by some who have more sense) has been coming down hard on ltte ( though much less hard than some other democratic countries have come down on other terrorists) using a pragmatic strategy suited to the resources of the country as he was democratically mandated to do , hence peceaniks' vociferous allegations of totalitarianism

their all too ready equating of mahinda with premadasa ( their own disconnectedness is demonstrated by their belief that such a comparison is injurious, completely misunderstanding the public evaluation of president premadasa) indicates a secondary motivation; their own pseudo elitist insecurity from the realization that people from outside their cocooned colombo circle have gained political power. anyone with sense would have realized long ago that after 1948, 1956 and above all 1977, this was inevitable and long accomplished. as i said they are slow to come to grips with reality.

in the end peaceniks claims about "mahinda the big brother" cannot be backed up with evidence. such claims only demonstrate merely the expression of the above mentioned motivations of the peaceniks and their resulting resentment at any increase in the self assertion of ordinary democratic sri lankans. that self assertion will continue long after buffalo has gone, so they are attacking the wrong target, but then they can only attack the right one, the ordinary sri lankan who value democracy, human rights, justice and freedom only through proxy; the terrorists


one peacenik at groundviews found a billboard with words 'big brother' with an image of sri lankan president with indian prime minister ( another country that is under threat from terrorists) ironically relevant. admins there found the following two comments by me worthy of censorship (i will as i said publish the periodic fuller list of censored comments later).

well it takes a certain kind person to imagine the similarities between leaders of two democratic countries with orwell's big brother. congratulations on your active imagination.
my previous censored comment on this thread was not at all ironic, when i congratulated the author on his/her imagination for imagining two leaders of democracies as similar to orwell's big brother. it was sincere. i really do value imagination highly. honest!
far be it for me to assume that moderators here have so low taste as to ever touch their palate with irony( or allow their reader's palates to be spoiled by it either, given their err ....sisterly concern), even if they allow posts that contain words like 'delicious irony'.
btw i live in sri lanka and agree with just mal in on this. (ameen you cannot dismiss a rational argument bc other person is not in the same place.there may be a slight validity in your contention if everyone in that place agrees with you, but if anything most ppl in sri lanka will disagree with you.).

as far as i can see there is evidence ( as opposed to imagination ) for only one real 'stalinist' or 'big brotherish' regime in sri lanka and it is in kilinochchi. as just mal says some of its supporters do find the present government's actions 'tough' even though it is in fact doing what other democratic countries are doing ( imo far less) in same situation.


Anonymous said...

Tamils is Colombo live today in absolute fear. There is large scale arbitrary arrests, disappearances, kidnapping and ransom, extra judicial killings largely with the involvement of security forces. This is fast becoming a law less country. Till Mahinda makes a genuine effort to win the hearts and minds of Tamils, he is fighting a lost cause. A few years from now, the country will realize that Mahinda is the worst thing that happened to Sri Lanka.

sittingnut said...

anon at 2/22/2007 7:22 am
i would greatly appreciate if you can come up with evidence for the allegations you make ( esp about the involvement of security forces). otherwise its just propaganda

Till Mahinda makes a genuine effort to win the hearts and minds of Tamils, he is fighting a lost cause,
are you in effect saying that tamils support ltte? quite apart from the racisms of that statement, it is clear that tamils in fact fear ltte more. that is why they always prefer the government controlled areas. so it dosn't follow that whatever insecurity they feel mahinda is fighting a lost cause.
however i do agree mahinda can do much more to win the hearts of tamils.

Voice in Colombo said...

//peaceniks also assume that general public is stupid and uninformed. this is one of their most common mistakes.\\

Very true!

Most of them representing "peaceniks" and "NGO's" are from 6 figure monthly income class, who never travel on bus or train. Who never stop by a paper boy to buy the paper (Instead they get it home delivered). So, how could we expect them to know the pulse of the general public? Therefore, they falsely assume what they (and rest of their class) think is what the general public think.

One good example is last presidential election. Reading the blogs, news web sites and listening to the work colleagues (who were born, educated and raised in Colombo), and watching all the private news channels, I thought Ranil's going to be the next president very easily.

But, just 2 days before the election I met a 3W driver. I asked him, what is his opinion about who's going to win Colombo District.

He said, except for Central/East Colombo electorates, all the other electorates will be won by Mahinda. Colombo District will also be won by Mahinda, with a huge majority from Kaduwela & Maharagama.

At the end of the day, the 3 W drivers prediction was so accurate about the election, than those predictions by the mass media, bloggers, and so called political scientists. (I remember one blogger did a statistical calculation to say, even if the north & east boycott the election, still Ranil will win)

The current situation is not much different.

The "peacenik" class (As you identify them) thinks "Mahinda is messing up things". But, we (I) know that's not what the general public of this country think. And mind you Sri Lanka's general public is not that stupid as in India, Venezuela or Brazil. Thanks to free education, every one can read newspapers. People watch news on TV, not only movies and soaps. (Only Peaceniks watch soaps!). So, they are "educated" and "informed". You can't cheat them as you wish.

Anonymous said...

I know one of the things that disturbed the tamil community - especially the businessmen - was the CBNSat affair. There was an example of the Rajapakse family, via their cronies, blatantly using the ethnic issue (never mind wasting the time of the CID and other state services), to further their economic ends. It's one thing to be corrupt (the new airline for example), it's another to to abuse the ethnic issue like that.

Also I don't know who your sources are and you have no reason to believe mine, but just about every Tamil senior businessmen I speak to says the abductions are by the Karuna faction aided and abetted by Rajapakse influence.

Obviously rich Colombo Tamils aren't representitive of how the masses feel, but there's a fear of the Rajapakse clan that I have't seen from these people before. And according to them and their dealings with the family, they are blatantly racist. It's easy for them to target the rich Tamils at the moment but they firmly believe as a race, Tamils need to be "put in their place". Followed by English speaking Colombo types of all races no doubt.

Again, simply reporting what friends and people I do business with tell me.

Voice in Colombo said...

Oh! John Logie Baird Syndrome again! ;-)

Hey "Anon" (I Repeat. Anon) CBN Sat is a peanut issue compared to the things this country gone through last few decades. I know you are so angered by missing your favorite late night soaps. But, don't look at every thing from a Satallite Dish.

Anonymous said...

It's not about TV you simpleton, it's about that fact that at a time of war, the President and his brother's misused the:

1) Supreme court
2) The CID
3) Tried to drive a legitimate Tamil business out of business by using his race against him

to feather their pockets. Is this the message you want to to send the Tamils of this country? If you are successful but won't give the Rajapakse boys a cut, we'll accuse you of being LTTE and drive you out of business? It's a issue which people are reading a lot into in terms how this nation is perceived.

Isn't this what the whole war is about? That Tamils can expect a fair, just deal, from a Sinhala Colombo government? Try to find a serious Tamil (and a lot of Muslim) business men who believe that with this government.

sittingnut said...

thanks for the comments
i agree about what you say.
btw even i thought ranil will win and wrote about it (may be the post you refer is mine).but there was no doubt that mahinda would win by a huge margin in most places in the south .

anon at 2/22/2007 4:02 pm 2/22/2007 11:33 am
again you fail to come up with any evidence for any involvement of rajapakes or military with deaths and disappearances. you are of course free to believe propaganda if you want to. that more tamils move into government controlled areas including colombo is a fact. increase in ppl in those areas as ppl in tiger areas goes down and recent events in east are two pieces of evidence.
i can find lot of tamil businessman who do not think as you do. they think what is probably happening is that bc of the carckdown on tigers their money collection network from tamils in colombo( mostly through intimidation) has failed and many others including karuna and criminals are moving in to that space.

you are free to consider cbnsat affair about (which you do not seems have any clear idea) as significant. problem with your conspiracy theory ( as with all conspiracy theories )is that you have been forced find everybody (supreme court , cid etc) at fault in oder to maintain it. in other words everybody who do not agree with you is in the conspiracy and you are the only source of truth. dream on.

Anonymous said...

The CBNSat matter and the abuse of power is a widely acknowledged fact in Colombo business circles. If you lack access to those, it's pity it might enchance the quality of your posts. I'd love to know btw, why you think I don't have a clear idea on the matter. I hope you don't mean the "license" issue because that would be just well...funny.

It is a matter of public record that the business was accused - on absurd grounds - of having an LTTE connection. The relationship of rival cable providers to the Rajapkase brothers is also well-known. Given your concern about national security btw, I aren't you worried Dialog handed over $5 million to a man the CID thinks has LTTE backing?

Also I find it a bit rich being lectured to by you on conspiracy theories.

Anonymous said...

This is the same anon as of 2/22 @7.22PM. There has been over 95 recorded tamil dissapearances in Colombo and suburbs. Largely the victims are Tamil businessmen. There is a lot more that have not been recorded with the police. To date the cops have done absolutely nothing on this matter. I can't actually get from home to office without getting stopped at some check point. It is really amazing to me that these white vans get around Colombo picking up ppl with such ease undetected. Some of the victims have pointed out that they were picked up by security forces for ransom. Most of the time the abduction news doesn't even make it to the English dailies whereas it is all over the tamil press.

Rajapakse is not a popular man among tamils. Even the Tamils who don't support the LTTE do not support Rajapakse.

sittingnut said...

anon at 2/23/2007 9:32 am
since you claim access to "Colombo business circles"(:-)) why not give some evidence for your so far (in spite of repeated requests)unsubstantiated allegations. in fact your comments indicate that you do not have a clear idea of the matter. if you find that "funny" laugh away .:-)

btw i do find it funny that all you can come up with is a broken link to media center for national security(mcns) and a sunday time's tv times article about "SATnet" .i suppose you want to imply some connection between the fact that lakshman hulugalle director general of mcns, is also a chairman/managing director of satnet. that is an open public fact but does that mean there was a conspiracy involving supreme court, cid, etc? you have to do better than that . your remark about dialog, a very respected company that has millions of customers and a new satellite tv business, says a great deal about your "all competitors are conspirators " mindset.

if cbnsat failed it was partly their own fault( if the accusation was absurd as you say they had ample opportunity and lawyers to prove that ), partly a result of 'crony capitalism' ( may be) as i said at the time ( see my comments on some posts dealing with this in other blogs at the time). it would be better if connections do not pay a part in business success but they do, not only here but everywhere. ( if you don't think so you are not in real world). so while hoping for a completely level playing field we have to come to grips with reality of unevenness of the ground. don't blame others, take responsibility yourself, for your own failure.

in any case as i said in the post there is corruption ( bane of sri lanka through the years whatever the government)but does that mean mahinda is running a totalitarian state ? no imo. as voice_in_colombo said you are suffering from "John Logie Baird Syndrome".

"Also I find it a bit rich being lectured to by you on conspiracy theories."
:-) you are free to think as you do, but it is clear who was flogging a conspiracy theory here.

anon at 2/23/2007 1:57 pm
as before you are making allegations without any evidence.
why not publish the details. the list given by some politically motivated peacenik 'observers" from which you probably got the 95 figure include ppl from all communities. it also include the student who 'disappearance' and reappearance due to private reasons i mentioned in the post. there are similar absurd cases there. several of the cases were investigated and some ppl are in fact in jail. as i said in the post there are disappearances ( though actual numbers are comparable to any other country even ones at peace) due probably to fighting between ltte ( whose so far unopposed money collection networks are being weakened) and other militant groups and criminals. i agree that police should clamp down on all of them, and they do try.

that "white van" expression says what is wrong with your theory. do an experiment: go to any public place and observe the color of vans. then you will find that almost 80%+ of the vans are white . so if abductions take place by whatever group they will be more than likely to be from a "white van ". that does not prove it was the same group every time . you are free to give credence to such an absurd theory about "white vans"concocted by ltte propaganda.

as for ineffectiveness of check points, may be you think government explodes the bombs too ? after all how can they miss the terrorists? huh?

as for the claims of 'victims'; if they are so sure about the details why don't they publish them. after all while some newspapers are pro government others are anti government and criticize the government at the drop of a hat . but there hasn't been any credible stories only allegations like yours about "while vans" and other absurdities .

"Rajapakse is not a popular man among tamils. Even the Tamils who don't support the LTTE do not support Rajapakse."
who said they should? they prefer the government(the whole thing, including the opposition, the laws etc.)as evidenced by their actions mentioned before, to the ltte. that is all that is needed for this war to defeat terrorists to be successful (instead of being a "lost cause " as you said). they may elect who they wish as other minorities do to fight for their rights. that is the whole point. only ltte prevents that.

Voice in Colombo said...

And this is the Anon who wrote the Book #6 in my Top 10 list of Books by Sri Lankan Bloggers on Kottu.

Maestro said...

Mahinda can forget about winning an election in future. Without the JVP and the SLFP rebel vote he's doomed... Voice in Colombo you must be joking when you say that Mahinda will win Colombo.... He'll lose in every single electoral division in Colombo except Kaduwela.... Since the bulk of the middle class feel the pinch of the rising cost of living they are bound to vote for the UNP......Moreover he'll lose a lot of votes once his deal with the LTTE comes to light. Who knows he might even be forced to resign!!!!!!

Surath said...

Of course Ranil lost and Mahinda won the last Presidential election.. Thanks to the LTTE. You hypocrites hate the LTTE so much but inside your conscience you have that inner love for the LTTE for helping Mahinda Rajapakse win the election.......I agree with anonymous's contention that Mahinda is the worst thing that happened to Sri Lanka.....

sittingnut said...

you are free to live in a fantasy and believe in unsubstantiated statements of politicians. most ppl in sri lanka, as proved by history, do not.
only half valid point you raise is the effect of a separately contesting jvp. all indications are they will get less votes which is good for buffalo.

you are a typical example of a person who value party over country. and think others do the same. how wrong you are to do that, and what i thought of buffalo's victory, can be found out by reading my posts at the time.

can you point out specifically why you think mahinda is the "worst thing that happened to Sri Lanka"? give details.