Monday, June 30, 2014

The Rising Inequality in Sri Lanka – A case of comparison with the US

It is worth looking at the reasons for inequality in Sri Lanka, and comparing it with recent US history as it relates to the distribution of wealth and in that the article in the New York Times by the well respected economist Joseph Stiglitz is worth a read.

In the US he states how the system favored the Banks and Institutions over the people, and this resulted in wealthy being assisted over the poorer sections, which had an adverse effect on the recovery, and if for example some of the breaks went to home owners, over the lending institutions, then the recession would NOT have been as severe, and so many people would not have been left with negative equity.

The same issues do not arise in Sri Lanka, but there are just as important if not more, issues at the heart of why inequality is growing exponentially, and there appears to be NO effort by the Govt. of putting a break on this process.

Even compared to the US, that is now insisting that US citizens, where ever they maybe are tracked and their income and bank accounts monitored so that all sources of income are ascertained and if taxes are due they are tracked and collected. So the US has high income tax rates, capital gains taxes as high as income taxes, and there is duty on the estate one leaves behind on death as well as lifetime gifts that are made. There are very strict controls in the system to ensure the tax net falls all around, and the taxes are collected. SO there is inequality rising even despite the wealthy being taxed at every corner, and I have NOT mentioned sales taxes on almost everything that is purchased.

In Sri Lanka except for taxes on essential food stuffs that hit the poor, a regressive tax, there is NO tax on the rich. Simply put Sri Lanka is the biggest tax haven on earth where wealth is not only protected, without taxation this will grow at rates in multiples to that of the US. Due to their being NO tax files on most of the wealthy Sri Lankans the overall tax net that people get caught in is negligible leading to extreme situations where the wealthy can double their assets in a year with NO tax paid during this amassing of wealth.         

Friday, June 27, 2014

Racism within the Diaspora is rife! That fallout is what we in SL suffer

I have always maintained that the success of the LTTE war was due to two factors, both having its origins abroad. One is the determination of the Defense Secretary after getting a full dose of racism in Southern California, where Sinhala people vilify the Tamils as backers of the LTTE and Tamils vilify the Sinhala as racists of the extreme kind. The other factor was the remittances from overseas by Sri Lankan workers that enabled the Govt. to fund its war, and equip the defense forces with everything they wanted in addition to the assistance given primarily by the US, Pakistan, China and to a lesser extent India. 

Similarly this extremism practiced by the Diaspora, paints a picture that is actually far worse than reality, and this is done for many reasons, one of which it to justify their existence in the host countries.

It has taken a turn for the worse, where the Muslim Diaspora have now also taken up the cudgels previously reserved for the Tamil Diaspora to paint a picture of Sri Lanka that is also far more extreme than the  reality for their personal goals.

The readers can ascertain from my blog, that I abhor racism by any extremist group and therefore am not taking the sides of the BBS and its sponsor the Govt. So when I see Muslim groups painting the Country and not just a few individuals in Govt. with the extremist moniker, I wish to defend Sri Lanka as a nation of moderate people who have lived side by side with all communities, and NOT restricted any community to ghettoes or clusters, except that it is natural that the minority communities live near a Mosque or Church for practical purposes.

The moderate elements within Sri Lanka are working hard to preserve the unity and integrity of the Nation. It is disconcerting when extremist Diaspora groups try to break that, by first damning the people as a whole as they have NO intention of returning by justifying their existence with scurrilous allegations.

The publicity related to this stance by the Diaspora is indeed hurtful to the interests of all Sri Lankans, of all races and therefore is not in the interests of all communities in Sri Lanka. The sooner the Diaspora identify the real culprits and direct their ire at them alone the better, otherwise Diaspora are effectively aliens. 

The Diaspora with very little to gain within Sri Lanka continue to engage in misinformation in their host Countries and the foreign policy so decided in those Host Countries is often detrimental to the interests of ALL Sri Lankans as a whole.

This means the residents in Sri Lanka have to suffer a double whammy of innuendo and allegations that must be fended, disputed, and defended, taking a lot out of the relevant parties which then fail to solve the main events of the day.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A time to rid ourselves of stereotypical anecdotes on Race

I constantly here about the increasing population amongst Muslims, and how they have large families and how some have more than one wife as permitted by their law and how large families of Muslims buy homes and build more and more floors to accommodate them. This kind of talk spreads, and creates irrational fear and prejudice amongst people of other races, and in Sri Lanka, especially amongst Buddhists who are lead to believe by some of their leaders that they are under threat and MUST do something about it!

In this background and climate we had the torching of Muslim homes and businesses in Aluthgama and Beruwela recently. There were also some Sinhala homes destroyed, but in comparison, they were overwhelmingly tilted towards Muslim suffering damage. The sentiment amongst many Sinhala people who are are easily aroused but who fail to delve any further into what is said or even rationalize the context in which it is said, is that the Muslims deserve it for being uppity. I think they mean that in the initial spark, where a three wheeler did not permit a vehicle with a Buddhist priest to pass, and the young occupants hurled verbal and then physical abuse (or that is just one of many versions of the story), that they need to be taught a lesson before they get too arrogant!

I know I am treading very carefully in these murky waters, as I can get abused from both sides in this analysis. However the point of this is that we should not get too emotionally embroiled in these fear mongering. Whilst there may be some statistical evidence to some of the facts given, we should not consider them permanent and inviolable.

As anecdotal evidence I would like to point out the time when Lee Kwan Yu of Singapore was trying to improve real economic growth there. He saw that low income families had many children, whilst the educated classes were either not having any children or were limiting them to just one. He therefore foresaw a shift in productivity, where there would be fewer people who could contribute disproportionately to this growth due to a fall in this population. He therefore encouraged professionals to have more children, by giving heavy incentives to them, and discourage lower middle class, by penalizing them for having more children. There was NO race or religion involved here.

My contention here is that in some minorities and perhaps assisted by their religious beliefs, the number of children is dependent on the economic circumstance and the perceived need for more children.
In my experience, in my interaction with many middle class friends who are Muslim, all of them I know have either two or less children, and only in three instances are there 3 as a maximum. Granted they are wealthy, but in a Country where we expect high economic growth when people move up the income ladder they will inevitably have fewer Children. Muslims being 10% of the Sri Lankan population will NOT be a problem despite all the statistics of extrapolated population growth, which we know from past experience is highly inaccurate.

One possible reason, why the Sinhala population growth is so low and currently in a declining mode, is due to the emigration of Sri Lankans permanently to western countries and temporarily to Middle East and other Countries, in search of employment. The last census DID NOT have a count of people by ethnicity, who live overseas, but who are citizens of Sri Lanka. This is fodder for the extremists in their misuse of statistics. It is time family values are stressed by Buddhist clergy.

It is possible due to the higher level of education of Sinhala people, they have decided to defer having families for longer, and when they do, have no more than 2 children, for practical purposes, such as having to divide personal property. Muslims on the other hand may feel that they can provide economic livelihood to all their children, such as a shop or business, and neither of which requires a huge investment in education, as the Sinhala parent values! they are not land lubbers!

These are all hypothetical and I am sure some sociologists are studying this issue to be able to put people’s fear to rest. I sincerely believe that instead of pointing to Muslims and their tendency to have on average more children, the Sinhala people must look at their nuclear family and question its integrity, due to the tendency to send mothers overseas and requiring grandparents to care for children. This too may adversely impact on why children brought up in these circumstances, tend also to have fewer children due to childhood traumas of upbringing. I am sure a psychologist may be better able to explain the nuances.

We must forever take out of our minds this ridiculous and mischievous rumor of Muslims encouraging Sinhala girls to take some sweets that will make them barren. It is simply the Sinhala Govt. today that is killing their own in thousands from renal failure due to the overuse of fertilizers encouraged by the subsidies given by the Govt. It is the promise of subsidies that permitted this Govt. to win the elections, and so we are now paying the price of voting on promises.

So let us call a spade a spade and lay the whole blame on the destruction of the Sinhala race on the Mahinda Rajapakse Govt. and have them held accountable!!   

Frankly this is another case of the Govt. trying to lay blame on an outside party, they are even dreaming up international conspiracies, instead of merely looking at the mirror to find the culprits! Another case of fooling the masses to hide one's own inadequacies.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The issue is settled. The Govt. cannot be believed at any cost – what next?

Can I find anyone in Sri Lanka who believes anything that is said by any spokesman of GOSL, especially from any member of the family? and now even the Media Minister who is the laughing stock and butt end of jokes as the frivolity of his remarks and the stupid things he says, makes any uttering on his part on behalf of the Govt. not something that even gets the media.

Under these situations, it is surprising that the Country actually operates, but as there is a core constituency who does not think (kalpanakranna nathi) they are able to get away with proverbial murder. In the case of the President as he is not even liable to prosecution for murder under our flawed constitution, he can even murder in cold blood and not get prosecuted.

We have to sideline the Govt. from now on, as they are no longer reliable. So who is? Can we turn the Media into thinkers and rationalists from sycophants? At present we cannot rely on the media as they only report what is said, and don’t analyze if there is ANY truth to what is said! In that respect we have to sideline the media until we are able to get a good Newspaper to report as it is, and NOT as the GOSL would wish it to be!

The people are thus fed on courses of lies, and we may have to revert only to Social Media to get some idea of what is happening. In that regard, another dangerous phenomenon results, namely the procreation of lies of a different sort, meant more to enhance a particular idea and in that context there is a high probability of exaggeration and inflammatory proclamations, aimed at destabilizing the equilibrium. We have seen that of late, where extremists have recently taken to the internet, to send messages of hate, and lies to further exacerbate an already delicate situation, where emotions are easily aroused, and irrational actions take hold.

What does all this portend? How can we avoid this calamity? Simple – just get rid of the GOSL. Using this simple logic, before we can even look at the alternatives, where they may be better or worse, we must first remove an administration that cannot be believed. There are no ifs and butts as many people fear the unknown, and prefer the devil we know. If we take that attitude we don’t ever have a chance of getting rid of the devil and have to live with the devil as that is the preferred alternative, as many people in Sri Lanka have profited from this devil worship that they don’t believe that they could ever be harmed.

I hope it is clear to ALL that it is OPEN SEASON. Anyone is fair game, no one is safe. So do what is natural to avoid being hunted, get rid of the HUNTERS.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Let us re evaluate the believability index of Govt. pronouncements

In my earlier blog entry I tried to bring to the readers’ attention, how far apart pronouncements by the state differ from reality, and the incidence of how it is taken at face value by the masses even though incontrovertible evidence emerges of their being complete figments of someone’s imagination.

Many years have passed since the President’s statement of there being NO minorities in this Country, as all are treated equally. Is there any doubt now that the vast majority of the minority communities in Sri Lanka DO NOT believe a word of that? To add insult to injury he only stated yesterday in a widely reported speech that quoting from our National Anthem, that we are all children of ONE mother!

Tell me who believes that except his core Sinhala Buddhist constituency. It is further ignoble of him to state that he has instructed the Security Forces to strictly enforce the law, and that he will NOT tolerate anyone taking the law into their own hands.

In a Country where there is NO equal application of the Law to all citizens as clearly shown in the past week, these words are merely speech writers’ dreams, and even in delivery, the President for once even SOUNDED insincere. What hope have we of believing anything that is said?

It is IMPORTANT TO RE-ESTABLISH THE RULE OF LAW AND ORDER, nothing more nothing less. The future of Sri Lanka depends on that. We must all have faith that the law applies to us equally, and that Justice is color blind. Until then nothing said or done is meaningful.

Due to the actions of the Security Forces including the Police and STF, the non-Buddhists have NO faith in the Forces. Of the 70% Buddhist Population, gradually many sections have lost faith in this too. The JVP for one. Then the Democratic Party have come out unequivocally on the same belief. Of the UNP there is a large proportion who have also taken that stand as they are NO longer convinced that words are followed by actions that are congruent.

I therefore come to the conclusion that the President NOW only represents or is believed by less than half the community in this Country. It is time his advisers pointed to that fact. Unless he understands that his words NOW SOUND HOLLOW, he will not take corrective action, and merely live in dreamland whilst his motherland just breaks apart in front of him on his watch. TRAGIC HA!        

Saturday, June 21, 2014

There is a serious credibility problem in GOSL statements

It is now quite apparent that no one overseas believes what is issued from a GOSL source, and least of all what is uttered in a Presidential speech or saying! The reason for that is 5 years of saying one thing and doing another has eroded the believability of such proclamations. The GOSL plays deaf to this allegation~!

That being said, there was a time the statements issued by the GOSL were believed by the majority of the public in Sri Lanka, which was what really mattered to the GOSL. Further with a very powerful and directed publicity campaign to stress the believability of these statements, the public took it at face value as that was what they saw and heard time and time again, with little or no contrary opinion.

This unstinting faith in the process where ONLY the GOSL point of view was expressed due mainly to a ban on an opposing view either through self censorship or active participation by the GOSL of buying up the journalists directly with money, or indirectly with threats, and carrots, one opinion only was mouthed, and hence believed. To an audience unable to debate an argument this is fact.

In the advent of social media, what has been said has now proved to be just words, with very little substance to back it up, and even worse deliberate lies. This has suddenly woken up the doddering Neanderthal sycophants into realizing that they have been had. They are quickly trying to find excuses for their insistence on accepting the GOSL side. I concurrently accept extremism and hate explodes here.  

With the complete and forced blackout of news in the printed media, and also TV and radio, it has been left to social media, to take up the cudgel and delve into the facts in depth and come up with reasoned and logical explanations for many of the incidents and we are now in a position of ascertaining what is happening, and who is responsible for what.

The final straw that broke the public’s faith in the GOSL came this week, when the President came to Beruwela and assured the nation, that ALL the people responsible for this mayhem will be arrested and dealt with the full force of the law, and that he would protect all property. Those were the famous last words of the Dictator in Chief hoping for a last gasp of believability. It fell completely flat on his face when the arrested people were bailed out only to be recalled to court in future, and the No Limit store in Panadura torched deliberately, with CCTV evidence, for the GOSL to say it was an electrical fault seen in poor light.

It is now open season for who is the butt of jokes to determine who is the funniest! Tragically the President of Sri Lanka has lost ALL credibility as he cannot utter any words anymore, with a majority NOT believing what he says. Consequently the Government in Sri Lanka has now become a farce.

The public mere spectators to it, and the Country worse for wear! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

If what has been reported in the press is accurate then we have a problem!

DBS Jeyaraj, who has recently turned his writing to now being empathetic to the GOSL point of view wrote about a Cabinet meeting yesterday, 19th June 2014, which if true, is a serious admission of failure on the part of the GOSL itself in preserving the unity of the Country, and instead, being instrumental in an inevitable  break-up of the Nation, due to their respective actions. That clearly defines them as traitors, who MUST be held accountable.

If true therefore Rishad Badthuideen is seen as a sponsor of the fundamentalist cause as he has obtained funds from such sources to expand his powerbase, thus the encroachment of the Wild Life Refuges is one example of that. At the same breadth, the President being accused in front of his colleagues by one of his cabinet, that HE must take full responsibility for the mayhem in Aluthgama and Beruwela, and further that he is ONLY the President of the Sinhala people and NOT of all the citizens of Sri Lanka. It is clear from all the evidence gathered so far, that the GOSL only defended the Sinhala interests, and worse were directly involved in the torching of Muslim property with STF assistence.

All the hard evidence to support BOTH contentions is there for all to see, and so we have a failed state, where both parties to an ethnic conflict reside in the same GOVT, which purports and harangues us that they will NOT tolerate such.

This is a VERY serious allegation, which needs to be addressed and the people of Sri Lanka apprised of it, so that the moderate majority tackle both sides head on. The Muslim community MUST tackle the fundamentalist issue in their ranks, if they are NOT to be held responsible for some actions of provocation. At the same time, the state security and encouragement given to BBS and other extremist, dare I say fundamentalist forces, MUST stop forthwith, and the indirect support they achieve from the State MUST stop, and even better publicly neutralized.

Sri Lanka CANNOT afford provocation, as that is simply what all this is from both sides, testing the waters as to how far each can go before they face the wrath of madness, and irrational destruction.

No matter what pontification we engage in, both communities MUST reign in their extremists, as well as the incendiary attitudes in social and other media, that have put fear into ALL communities, and destabilized the equilibrium. WE cannot wash our hands of this as someone else’s issue, and take it as our own and do something.        

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sexual Violence in Conflict Conference in London – Sri Lanka one of the few counties NOT to participate

The reason why Sri Lanka a country implicated on sexual violence in conflict will not participate at the above conference to be held in London on 10th June 2014 is not clear despite being invited to participate alongside over 100 countries. This would mean that the participants who have accused SL of this will be able to charge Sri Lanka, and therefore the GOSL of complicity!   

A Sunday Island article explains the reasons as – link -  “Sri Lanka has to give undertakings prior to attendance and those may compromise their obligations under UN treaties, and be open to not just accusations, but also prosecutions!! 

In short the UK sponsored declaration which is intended to commit the participating countries to take action to prevent sexual violence in conflict, a noble gesture that could go a long way at preventing the spread of and hopefully begin the end of such, but for countries under the spotlight, which should really be included, it may be an uncomfortable stance to take, as it may imply self incrimination!

The Foreign Secretary of the UK William Hague, not a particular friend of the GOSL will be co chairing this along with Angelina Jolie, the Actress, representing the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

In my opinion, it would be best for GOSL to send a delegation, and not Shavendra Silva, who was a Commander at the final battle to end the terrorism of the LTTE, who was mooted to be sent according to the article referred to above.

We don’t fight wars outside our borders. All our wars are internal and whatever action we commit to is for the benefit of our citizens. t is therefore incumbent upon the GOSL to safeguard our citizens in whichever way possible, something they seem to forget. It is important for the people of Sri Lanka to understand that GOSL has a duty to ALL Sri Lankans, no matter what position they hold personally with regards to it, their behavior and what needs to be done about.

We must stop blaming everything on a Western plot, and imply this to criticize GOSL! This is a very important subject that will eventually make it to the UN charter in some form or other, and we will be part of it, so we must give our input.   

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Who says we will NOT cooperate with the Kofi Anan investigative team?

After 3 resolutions at the UNHRC condemning SRI LANKA, it is futile for the Govt. to continue to be uncooperative, as the Investigative team will attempt to come to Sri Lanka shortly. Whilst I understand that it will be headed by the former UN Secretary General, and well respected (as the Govt. will say a lackey of the West) Kofi Anan, refusing entry will be moot! Something that will backfire against SL. Once they arrive refusing to cooperate, and refusing to give immunity to the witnesses who have hitherto been prevented from giving evidence out of fear, will further exacerbate the already tense situation.   

I know the two main Groups within the UPFA that demand the prevention of an investigation on our shores at all costs is the JHU, maintaining wrongly that it is Country Specific and must apply to all countries equally and also wrongly that it should apply to all atrocities committed during the period of the conflict; and the NFF of Wimal Weerawansa who seems with just 2 MPs to get more attention by the Regime than to Rauff Hakeem who has 8, and who is threatening to leave if they are NOT allowed to participate.

In this ironic game, THE SLMC of Hakeem appears to have provided evidence of HR abuses directly to the UNHRC, much to the chagrin of the UPFA partners, but still appear to remain within the Coalition, which is quite an anomalous position. That is no doubt because the President will be hoping for SLMC cooperation in a future election, especially for President, where he is apparently trying to prevent a block vote going against him to one rival candidate.

Added to the UNHRC visit, the new session of the UNHRC will begin in Geneva on June 10th going on till June 27th and is likely to be last one presided upon by Navi Pillay (to the delight I am sure of the administration, who consider her biased due to her ethnicity, a wholly ridiculous position given the oath of office she takes, and the professionalism with which the office is credited with). I understand that her likely replacement will be Jordan’s current UN Ambassador, who is likely to be tougher, a shock to our amateurs in Colombo, as he will relinquish his Country’s position when he represents the UN body in toto. The unyielding position as stated by the new Indian Administration is another spoke that the old tried and tested strategy playing to the gallery, by blaming it on the LTTE Diaspora, will not work any longer. 

Don’t judge me incorrectly, I am  not in favor of all these unseemly interferences from overseas, and abhor the way the Govt. (GOSL) have played their cards on this strategy, all to the cost of Sri Lanka and her reputation, and that is coming from me who is intrinsically opposed to the 13th Amendment in the first place. In short the GOSL has been pussyfooting for 5 years, and lost breathing room.

In short GOSL SHOULD NOT have given heed to the JHU and NFF, and extremists, pointing to the Sinhala Buddhist block vote as the hostage. By doing so, it has strengthened the feeble excuses of the TNA, that will be believed ONLY BECAUSE the of GOSL non-corporation. Even if they are completely wrong in most of their arguments, they seem right due to the GOSL stance.

In short all allegations should have been faced head on as the GOSL have nothing to hide. ONLY if they have something serious to hide will they be procrastinating and refusing to cooperate. Playing to the gallery locally has its limits and they have been reached.

Apart from the SLMC and TNL of the minority parties, there are the Democratic Party and JVP. They have both come out strongly against the continuing culture of HR violations occurring daily in Sri Lanka, so it gives further confirmation of the guilt of the GOSL in its earlier allegations up to May 2009, the period covered by the investigation.

The MR Govt. is just caught between a rock and a hard place and don’t know where it will turn, but it will continue in the same practice of denial, as to do otherwise will let down the gallery who have believed in their reliability intrinsically. When you lie too much and believe them, there is just no getting out of it. Now they have lied so much they even believe their lies and even the sycophants of the GOSL also believe these lies. It has worked wonders electorally for the survival of the GOSL, but they are ALL based on lies!

With no wriggle room, and a silent main opposition, as they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t and so say nothing, the GOSL has ONLY one option, and I believe the best option and only option available to them. Simple. Immediately rescind the 13th Amendment. If you don’t, then the GOSL is only delaying the inevitable as they HAVE NOT implemented the basic provisions of the Constitution and so have no legitimacy in prevarication and procrastination.

Once the 13th is abolished, as the majority of the Country despise it, they must take it further, by devolving powers to all 25 districts equally, and impose a compulsory tri lingual curriculum in schools, permitting people to express themselves in any one of three languages, which at a stroke, removes most of the today’s language related anomalies and discrimination. We can start afresh and history will prove Rajapakse as the person who finally solved ALL the roots of the current crises, as only he with his 2/3 majority can do and will never be possible in the future.

Patently he is misinformed, does not understand a legacy, and bent on destroying Sri Lanka, so he is unlikely so to do.

Simply put - A traitor!           

Thursday, June 5, 2014

It is time we use Cricketing parlance and logic in our own internal affairs!

My previous blog entries yesterday, were adding my two cents to the controversy over what is right, and what is morally right! in the cricketing incident.

We should now take a leaf out of that controversy, and apply it to our everyday lives and most especially to the National Question, on how we should proceed. So in my opinion, we must also be prepared to accept the same medicine we doled out to our opponents there. Otherwise we would be damned as hypocrites.

As regards the National Question, let us turn to our relationship with India, and the new Government of Narendra Modi. We have been warned time and time again to implement the 13th Amendment. (one that I don’t particularly agree with on a personal level) The Govt. instead of expressing what the National desire for its outright abolition (do away with the PCs at a stroke and go back to square one) have told India that they will implement it and if that was not enough go further calling it 13 Plus! So apply the law now, as the multiple resolutions at the UNHRC have been warnings! Now they mean business.

The delaying tactics so far will not be tolerated any further and we may have to face the consequences of them not being implemented at the earliest opportunity. We then like the bleating English, can’t complain like sheep being taken to slaughter, as that was caused by the very procrastination or lying to the gallery, whichever alternative point of view one holds.

In this lesson, one should either change the rules, (namely the laws to suit us if we don’t like the existing ones) or adhere and uphold the law, as it is now in place. The delaying tactics MUST stop, and decisions, however unpalatable to the ruling coalition must be taken, as being those of keeping the promises.

In Conclusion, it is best to remember that what goes around comes around, and the sooner we resolve the pressing issues with homegrown solutions, the better it is before we are forced into implementing laws or procedures that are NOT of our making. We can’t be foolish like the Media Ministers statements, saying we will not give visas to the visiting delegations, just to excite the local gallery with his famous last words. He is  just a clown. This is serious business.

The time for action is now. Implement the recommendations of the LLRC at least, as they were from appointees of the Govt. and one needs to have the decency to live up to one’s own recommendations before being forced to carry out others’.                 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What has Morality got to do with the “Game of Cricket?” – ‘Mankading’ incident!

Cricket is an enduring game, which few who are not from Cricketing nations understand, and many in that category are in awe of especially a game that can last 5 days and not end in a result!! There is something called the Spirit of the game and it was something my Grandfather, who used to drag me to the Gopalan Trophy matches at the Oval (as the P Sara stadium was called then and the only real grounds for a classy cricket match in those days) as a kid, and sat for hours watching the slow action of batsman bowlers and fielders in white flannels, and meltonian white spiked boots, insisted was unique, graceful, and gentlemanly!

It is with this past, that the context of the phrase “Its not Cricket” entering the English language to mean unsportsmanlike behavior or bad form, is meant to highlight the ethics and conduct of the game, when compared with other sports.

It is in this light that the accusation of the British Press, and particularly its current cricketers, is just galling. They appear to be indulging in one law for them, and another for others! In my opinion, the English who introduced the game to their Colonies, suddenly found themselves outsmarted in the game they introduced.

I don’t know if it was a blot on their patriotism, or their frustration, that they chose to react to this, not by improving the game themselves, but by sheer aggression and the nasty way they play the game. I was at a British Public School, and there was NONE of what was to follow in my day, but when the game of Cricket became a means to an end, and Sports took the direction of a means to fame and fortune, and NOT just recreational and camaraderie, that the need to win at all costs, took over and intimidation of players of the opposing camp became par of the course.

To me that was the day when the Spirit of the Game disappeared forever. Sri Lanka was always at the butt end, and many will remember how intimidating the Australians became and the use of threats and abuse on field, were meant to wear down the psychological and mental frame of mind of the opponents, us!

It was apparent therefore that at the One day international at Lords, when Sri Lanka analyzed the number of twos that the England side took, it was clearly abusing the advantage of being outside of the crease to get a head start to the other end when a ball is bowled. That clearly WAS calculating, and it was England that had completely broken that spirit and HAD to be stopped. I am glad this issue has been brought back into the fore, so that a loophole of abuse could be prevented. It was England that created the abuse, and it was Sri Lanka that attempted to stop it!