Meet the spindoctor Dayan Jayatilleka trying to make Navi Pillay look a fool

(Lanka-e-News-21.Oct.2013, 3.30PM) At the end of her recent week-long visit to Sri Lanka, UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay sharply criticised the government of Sri Lanka’s human rights record saying she feared the country was becoming increasingly authoritarian. But spin doctor Dr Dayan Jayatilleke has picked on the words of Ms Pillay to fool Pillay and his target audience, clearly the West, to suggest President Mahinda Rajapaksa was not a dictator but a true democrat and he was not the person to be blamed for the evils of the regime. But the opposition calls President Rajapaksa a dictator and many Sri Lankans who live in exile call him “Idi Amin”. During provincial councils’ elections, Mr Rajapaksa asked in the rallies, like a saint, “Why people call me a dictator…?” During her visit Ms Pillay may have gathered enough information and evidence as to why people call President Rajapaksa a dictator. Provincial council elections were at the top of the his political agenda to divert the world’s opinion about worse human rights records under the regime, as he had been preparing to address world’s leaders at the 68th UN general assembly in New York last month and has been preparing to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2013 in Sri Lanka in November. In his recent article ‘Authoritarian Impulse’, the spin doctor Dayan Jayatilleke presents a ridiculous theory about Sri Lanka’s former dictators such as late prime minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, JR Jayewardene to whitewash President Rajapaksa’s tyranny. He writes to English audience in ‘Greek’ and brings theories from ancient Greece, using indigestible words such as authoritarianism and totalitarianism etc., which is Greek to ordinary readers. According to him, none of the leaders was responsible for the dictatorship rule but some other person in each consecutive government was: In 1970-77 it was Felix Dias Bandaranaike (advocate of “a little bit of totalitarianism”), nicknamed Satan, rather than Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike; in 1977-88 it was Minister of National Security Lalith Athulathmudali rather than President JR Jayewardene. In 1989- 92 it was Ranjan Wijeratne rather than President Ranasinghe Premadasa (readers should note the Deputy Defence Minister Ranjan Wijeratne was assassinated March 2, 1991. Dayan has extended his life time up to 1992 for Mr Premadasa); in 1994-2005 it was Gen Anuruddha Ratwatte rather than President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga; and today it is Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. When it comes to Gotabaya, Dayan finds a scapegoat so-called military bureaucracy: in his view: “The danger in Sri Lanka today is military-bureaucratic authoritarianism, in which the military bureaucracy becomes the dominant element in the State’ In other words neither President Mahinda Rajapaksa nor his brother defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa should be blamed for recent bloodbaths in the country such as Welikada prison massacre and Weliveriya Rathupaswala army shooting on the

unarmed protesters as ‘the military bureaucracy is beyond their control.” With the theory, Dayan, the clever opportunist, not only whitewashes Rajapaksa regime but also tries to wash blood in his hands. He was a trusted advisor to President Premadasa.

Readers should not forget executive president of Sri Lanka is the supreme commander of all armed forces. Dayan’s theory is valid only for weaker and parachute leaders like late Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike and late President D.B. Wijethunga but not for powerful presidents like JR Jayewardene (JR), Ranasinghe Premadasa and Mahinda Rajapaksa. JR, even after his twelve year tenure, had unofficially controlled the UNP government including the armed forces giving commands to D.B.Wijethunga. After the war victory over Tamil Tigers in 2009, Mr Rajapaksa flexed his muscle to the military by imprisoning former army commander Gen Sarath Fonseka and forcing to resign or retire hundreds of high ranking army officers. Sri Lankan military have been loyal to any elected president. When President Premadasa strengthened LTTE with sophisticated weapons the military was silence.

Some idiots take Dayan’s articles as a Political Bible of Sri Lanka because he has a PhD in political science. Doctorate titles have been notoriously exploited by former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranathunga and current President Mahinda Rajapaksa as professional make-up and a democratic mask. For example G.L. Peiris was the public face during Mrs Kumaranathunga’s election campaigns. Current President Mahinda Rajapaksa uses G.L. Peiris to speak on behalf of him on the world stage about his commitments and dedications to ‘democracy’. Dr Jayatilleka held various ambassadorial roles under the Rajapaksa government including having been ambassador to UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and Sri Lankan ambassador to France. At his speech at the UN 68 session Mr Rajapaksa condemned the mall terror attack in Kenya Nairobi. Had the world leaders seen the recent military and Special Tasks Force (STF) attack on unarmed prisoners in Colombo Welikada prison they would have thought, it was as, one of the worse terror attacks they had ever seen. For a civilized nation it is beyond imagination. The state-terror attack killed more than 30 unarmed prisoners in cold blood and injured more than hundred inmates. It was the government message to the nation: ‘SHUT UP OR GET KILLED’. The people who ignored the message faced the consequences in Weliveriya: In last August’s barbaric military attack in Weliveriya, on unarmed protesters, killed three people, including school children and severely injured more than 40 villagers. They were protesting against Dipped Products PLC for contaminating their ground water by discharging chemical waste to the ground. People in the local area use well water for drinking but the water became poisonous due to the chemical waste. Since the end of war in 2009, hundreds of extrajudicial killings have been reported; many were murdered in police cells or while under police custody. When a Deputy Inspector General of police (DIG) Vaas Gunawardena was arrested by the CID for his alleged involvements with contact killings having received millions of rupees from millionaire businessmen and politicians, it sent shock waves to the government. Underworld criminals who carried out the murders had confessed to the CID about the murder contracts they had received from Vass Gunawardena. Despite the previous media revelations of his criminal activities, including the abduction of university student Nipun Ramanayeka and extrajudicial killings, the government had promoted him to such a high rank in the police. When we think of police corruption in the country, the former DIG is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Dayan continuously attacks opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe for his failure to win elections and unite United National Party (UNP). But the truth is, it is not the failure of Ranil Wickramasinghe. People still have fresh memories about the barbaric UNP regimes under the elected dictators J.R. Jayewardene (1977-1988) known as JR alias Yankee Dickie and Ranasinghe Premadasa (1989-1993). JR abolished all democratic rights of citizens on the pretext of protecting democracy. People were controlled at gunpoint. In the North, people could not even celebrate their weddings, worship at temples peacefully; military, STF and police hunted even members of recreation clubs. People had no option rather than taking up arms for their self-defence. In addition to the LTTE many other rebel groups such as PLOTE, TELO, EROS, and ENDLF took arms against the government. Thus the war began in the North. In the South too, similar situations continued. Elections were postponed, trade union rights were abolished, and even well respected academics like Professor Sarachchandra and Buddhist monks were brutally assaulted. Members

of opposition had been hunted down at gunpoint thus creating another war in the South. He highlights the experience Vijaya Kumaranathunga had with Ranil Wickramasinghe. But who actually killed Vijaya, the late husband of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaranathunga? Chandrika claimed it was Ranasinghe Premadasa not JVP. When Maj Gen. Denzil Kobbekaduwa was assassinated on August 8, 1992 the opposition pointed the finger at President Premadasa, not at LTTE; when Lalith Athulath Mudali was killed on 23 April 1993, the opposition pointed finger at President Premada not at LTTE. When the minister Ranjan Vijerathna was assassinated people suspected President Premadasa. During a crackdown on the People’s Liberation Front’s (JVP) uprising, more than 100,000 Sinhalese people were killed including thousands of innocent civilians and members of opposition political parties. It was the time people did not want to drink water pumped from the rivers due to floating dead bodies killed by the armed forces. It was the time when people did not want to eat sea fish when they found human body parts in the fish on sale. The memories still haunt Sri Lankans. As long as people remember the UNP’s past, Ranil Wickramasinghe or no other UNP leader could lead the party to gain political power in the country. President Rajapaksa is still so popular among vast majority of Sri Lankans for ending the decade’s long brutal war. I remember in the aftermath of Lalith Athulathmudali assassination, President Premadasa said: “When you point a finger at me do not forget three fingers pointing at you” the same thing I have to say about Dayan. He was stripped naked at Lalith Athulathmudali’s funeral at the Colombo cemetery by some angry mourners who manhandled him when Dayan went on a spy mission for the Premadasa government. Dayan was a Director, Conflict Studies, Institute of Policy Studies (1990-94), functioning as Advisor/Consultant to President Premadasa (1989-93), now a leading spin doctor for Rajapaksa regime. Dayan comes from an upper middle-class background and has no sense of suffering of poor people; the only child of a well-known journalist and editor, the late Mervyn de Silva. He was an undergraduate of Peradeniya University in the late 70s and was a key figure of Social Study Circle of the university. When there were talks in the art theatre he came with a lot of quotations from Karl Marx, Lenin, Friedrich Engels, and Mao Tse-tung to show off his knowledge about those theories. He never wanted to take a risk for others although he wanted to be seen as a pure Marxist. At Peradeniya University, he was known as ‘Onta’ among the students: The nickname ‘Onta’ means ‘On Tow’. Dayan was seen all the time with his girlfriend pulling her gently with one hand as he was walking while holding a shoulder bag with other hand which contained Marxist books and quotations, and a bottle of boiled water. He did not like to drink water other students had in the university. During the historic students’ struggle, in 1976, against the tyranny of university president Professor Vithanage and the Sirima Bandaranaike government, clever Dayan disappeared from the university. Students who knew him said ‘Dayan behethakatawath hoyaganna ne’, meaning Dayan vanished without trace. When everything became normal he emerged with his girlfriend and the shoulder bag. He was badly embarrassed to see others who became victims of the brutal police attack. Since then students never allowed him to talk bullshit in public. About 2400 years ago, Greek Philosopher Plato had described democracy as “a governance of fools” when his teacher, a great philosopher, Socrates was sentenced to death by the majority of the Jury. Socrates had been teaching the truth about the society and politics. Dayan knows how

to play with fools. Go on Dayan! By Nalaka Rupasinghe from The London evening post

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