Category Archives: politics

What if by Ron Paul

Ron Paul is one of those rare politicians who make sense more often than not but find it hard to make a big enough impact to actually change the status-quo. Why? I don’t know, maybe this whole democracy thing is a delusion, maybe you always need some special interest group behind you to win an election.

I found this speech by Ron Paul, a very thoughtful speech indeed.

These are the most interesting points I found in the speech.

  • What if we wake up one day and realize that terrorist threat is a predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others.
  • What if conservatives who preach smaller government wake up and realize that our interventionist foreign policy provides the greatest incentive to expand the government.
  • What if we as a nation came to realize that the quest for empires eventually destroys all great nations.
  • What if Christianity actually preaches peace and not preventive wars of aggression.
  • What if diplomacy is found to be superior to bombs and bribes.

Ahmadinejad’s win

Contrary to the hopes of West and anyone like me who would not mind a saner regime anywhere in the world that maybe, Ahmadinejad have won the Iranian presidential election and in a landslide too. There are stories of vote rigging and many malpractices but you should always think twice when Western media report on Iran. Whatever the malpractices that were supposedly took place, the win is convincing enough for me.

What I was thinking was actually who would welcome Ahmadinejads win?Of course other than the public of Iran. Ultra nationalist Zionists of Israel could keep using Iran’s nuclear threat to come to power and keep refusing any reasonable middle ground regarding the problems of Palestinians. Neocons in USA who don’t want to see any dialog between USA and Iran would find a very good excuse. Then of course is the religious conservative, terror loving, ruling elite of Tehran, who could keep ignoring reforms and modernity for Iranians and continue on their imaginary revolutions and destabilization of their neighbors. It is very interesting how hardliners in opposite sides of the line could rely on each other for their survival.

The bright side of story? Looks like the majority behind the reformist opposition had been youth and students. Would the next generation be able to take Iran, a country with a wonderful History that had done so much for the human civilazation on a more secular, modern path? Time will tell.

Time for privatization again

We have a popular government at the moment. A government that keep on repeating that it doesn’t believe in privatization and that privatization is bad in general but a government that doesn’t believe in any of that. Those are just rhetoric to come into power and to stay in power. I firmly believe that when the need arises and when the hard reality hits these malfunctioning brains they will start with privatization. That is what should happen, and by looking at recently passed CEB bill and negotiations with the IMF for a whopping Rs 210 billion it seems like that is exactly what is happening.

Privatization is not bad. It amuses me when some people tell that private enterprise is good and the engine of growth is the private sector but that privatization is bad. How come that be? If private enterprise is good, handing the ownership of state enterprises to private sector should also be good. Having said that government retaining the ownership of some enterprises is ok. It should be case by case rather than privatizing all and everything or the complete opposite. If the ownership of the government doesn’t make any sense privatize them, those that have a direct impact on the public, retain the ownership but make them independent corporations. Have the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) which is managed by the government had any positive impact on the public? No. Have the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) had any positive impact on the public? Indeed yes. Have the privatization of Sri Lanka Telecom had any positive impact on the public? Of course. So why can’t we come into an agreement that corporations such as SPC  would not be privatized by any means but something like the petroleum sector would be liberalized and more competition be attracted and if the CPC cannot compete let it go bust. That should be one objective of privatization, getting inefficient businesses out of the market.

This government is in a historic position to challenge popular beliefs and take the country in a new path. If they have the will, they can convince the public that privatization is not so evil (as they also painted it some time back), open economy is the only way forward for a tiny market as ourselves, economic reforms are a must for an economic revival, our state sector is way too big and those cheap talks about an agriculture based economy were not very serious. They can declare they will privatize these institutions because of these reasons and they will not privatize these ones for these reasons. I see no better time for that than this. So gentlemen in the government, my vote is always open, dare to grab it?

Message by Lanka Dissent

LankaDissent which was an alternative news site is closed down about three days ago. I am sure most of the readers are aware of the closing down of LankaDissent but I am writing this as LankaDissent is giving out a very important message to us, of course if we are willing to look in the mirror. This is the reason they say that prompted them to close down the web site.

In USA, which doesn’t have a 2000 year old history which is at least theoretically a secular society and which doesn’t have a great culture(according to our cultural supremacists) Monica Lewinksy is still alive. I provide this example not because it is relevant to our current situation but because it is something we all know but ignore to ponder a little bit about. Politicians are corrupt wherever(in different scales of course) but how can our ones escape so easily? I think it is just a matter of how the public react to these things. I laughed my head off in the last few days seeing how easily we allow our corrupteds to escape by providing all the foolish arguments our self.

Of course some would say that lankadissent is on a agenda to tarnish the image of ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ or some could say it is a part of the ‘international conspiracy’ against Sri Lanka. Or there is something better, accuse me of something because we are very good at shooting the messenger. Whatever you accuse me of, don’t let it be the one that goes on the line of ‘you are a colombo elite who don’t want to see the power been transferred to a rural Sri Lankan’ because I am ten times more rural than most of you and your politicians you protect. Also it is ridiculous to call President Rajapakshe a rural. He is an old boy of Thurstan College and is the son of a Sri Lankan Minister. Power got temporarily transferred in the times of president premadasa and prime minister Wijethunga but here it is again, right in colombo. Again it should be best man for the job. Who cares if the president is from colombo as long as the country is in the path to prosperity. Any way I am writing down the message of Lanka Dissent because I think it is something we should seriously give a thought about.

Message by LankaDissent

Sinhala Buddhists who believe this land belongs to the most compassionate Lord Buddha and constitutionally calls it the “Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”, sing with pride “In wisdom and strength renewed / Ill-will, hatred, strife all ended / In love enfolded, a mighty nation / Marching onward, all as one / Lead us, Mother, to fullest freedom.” as their National Anthem.

And….. in this compassionate, democratic Buddhist land enfolded with love, in wisdom and fullest freedom, media is forbidden to raise a dissenting voice. Media is forbidden to criticise the “law” of the ruling regime. The media is forbidden to speak for the people.

Many who thought they as the media have a right to freedom of expression, they have a right to information, that the people also have the same right and that it is a fundamental right in a modern civilised society, have been told very bluntly and at times most brutally, that it isn’t so in this land of the compassionate, democratic republic, run by a “patriotic” regime.

The Tamil media in the North were the first to have been told this bluntly and ruthlessly while the Colombo media did not want those dissenting voices in the North, heard elsewhere. They had to learn that lesson, first hand.

And….that was a lesson learnt by some, who are not with us to tell their story. That is a lesson learnt by some, who don’t have the right to say it, because they have a right to live some time more. For a lot, it was their station “Sirasa” that went ablaze with that lesson. It was their station that was smashed and set on fire to teach a lesson.

For Lasantha Wickramatunge, an editor with a passion for uncompromising media professionalism, it was a challenge to face. A challenge he never minced words, in meeting. He had his own aggressive style in meeting the challenge. Admired and respected but left alone without political backing.

And….. he, therefore, could not surmount this challenge, all by himself.

A lesson learnt, that needs no repeats to learn. This compassionate Sinhala Buddhist land does not tolerate “dissent”. Those who would not want to learn that living, would have to learn that in death. We who live, would come back when “dissent” comes back as a democratic right, accepted and enjoyed in a modern land of compassion.

Till then, good bye!

Editorial Board
Lankadissent

why do some democracies fail

This is written after coming to the conclusion that our parliamentary democracy lags behind other major democracies. This is not about ignoring the progress we have made but about concentrating on the things we have missed out. So why is that some parts of the world have successful democracies while some parts
are struggling to make progress?

The only reason i can think of is our people were not ready for a parliamentary democracy. At the time when we got this democratic system our people did not demand for such a system nor did they fight for one. Only the western educated leaders at that time lobbied for democratic reforms. The only thing the  ordinary man wanted was to get rid of the alien ruler. So the thing that happens when you get something you didn’t demand and you don’t understand happened to our democracy, people misused it. Whole ideas of democracy were originated and evolved in the west through many struggles, debates and uprisings. When our countries were transformed it should have been done in a slow and iterative manner.

This is the theory i could arrive at after all those times of thinking. As far as i can see most of the countries that were given a model of democracy by colonial rulers were slow to adapt to it(in some cases it was a disaster) while those countries that were transformed slowly by themselves made steady progress.

Is a ban on Sirasa TV on the cards?

Watched news on SLRC for the past few days and every single day there was this news item about the wrong footages shown by Sirasa TV regarding that bomb attack.   Is it normal Sirasa bashing that everybody loves or are they laying the groundwork for a ban on STV? The so called National Television has always been more than happy to do the dirty work for the party in power. 

Sure STV is shamelessly biased but this shutting down of every dissent voice is more dangerous than that biasness. And why should a democratic country offer the power to the government to decide who should get the licences for broadcasting and who should not? There should be a national policy and a seperate regulatory commission for this task. Otherwise it is just politics.

One thing that worries me is that recently everybody has started to think and talk in the same way. Others are tagged as unpatriotic. I will end this with a favourite quote of mine.

Where all men think alike, no one thinks very much – Walter Lippmann

They said that I am a libertarian – who would you be?

There is this political quiz which is supposed to be the worlds smallest political quiz. It has 8 simple questions which are divided into personal matters and economical matters. Once you have answered the 8 questions it would show you your points and list your political ideology. This is really nice you should try it out.

Ok then it comes to my libertarianism. I was said to be a libertarian by the quiz. I don’t identify myself as a libertarian. No way. I would place myself between liberalism and libertarianism. I believe in the individual liberty. I believe that what humans do with their lives and property is their individual right. I believe in a society where people tolerate the behaviour of others and accept that the society could be different from the way they like it to be. I believe that the free market economics would deliver us prosperity.

But I’m not naive enough to think that taxation by the government is theft, I’m not stubborn enough to believe that the government is always bad in business, I’m not self deceiving enough to believe that the society is equal in opportunities. Ron paul once, in a ‘google candidate interview’ came up with the idea of abolishing the income tax. No wonder the Navy man won the candidature(I have high respect for Ron paul, probably would have supported him if I was an US citizen. I support obama considering the historical aspect).

Anyway the libertarians managed to get me into their side, in the quiz that is. What was your result?