Palestinians sacrificed for Israel alliance
The claim that runaway climate change has made societal collapse inevitable is not only wrong – it undermines the cause of the climate movement.
14 July 2020
As members of Extinction Rebellion and other climate movements, we have been overjoyed at the success of our movement in ringing the alarm about climate and ecological breakdown, and in applying pressure to the UK government, as well as other governments worldwide. As members of the science community, we have also found comfort in a movement dedicated to telling a truth that has for decades been obscured by corporate public relations campaigns and misinformation.
Many scientists support Extinction Rebellion or are active members, lending some immediate authority to our message of climate and ecological emergency. The need for peaceful civil disobedience has been explicitly supported by over a thousand scientists. Arrested Extinction Rebellion activists received support during their trials from high-profile scientists acting as expert witnesses. As scientists ourselves, we support our movement’s goal of halting greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss rapidly and equitably, but we also know that doing so successfully requires clarity about what science can and cannot tell us. Such clarity is especially important now. In the past few years we have seen a troubling trend: a few figures in the climate movement using science — or what looks like science — to justify increasingly dire and prophetic, but ultimately unsupported, claims about the future.
The most influential example of such climate doomism is undoubtedly Professor Jem Bendell’s ‘Deep Adaptation’, a self-published 2018 paper which holds that accelerating climate change has guaranteed social collapse within the next few decades. Hundreds of thousands of people have downloaded ‘Deep Adaptation’ and the paper has significantly impacted the ideology and strategy of climate movement organizations like Extinction Rebellion. People have changed their life plans based in large part on this paper’s predictions. It is therefore past time to show that Deep Adaptation is wrong — not least because Bendell’s brand of doomism relies heavily on misinterpreted climate science that undermines the credibility of his claims. In fact, Deep Adaptation consistently cherry-picks data, cites false experts, puts forward logical fallacies, and disregards robust scientific consensus. Bendell defends himself by offering unsupported reasons for activists and the public to distrust mainstream climate science. In all of these regards, Deep Adaptation mimics the practices that deniers of global warming have wielded for decades.
Why is it important to deconstruct Deep Adaptation now, in the midst of a global pandemic? In short, the fatal verdict handed down by Deep Adaptation brings with it a bundle of personal and strategic implications with the potential to cripple us as a movement. The flawed science of Deep Adaptation supports flawed socio-political conclusions. The pandemic makes the divergence between these flawed conclusions and the ones we ought to draw all the more apparent. Where Deep Adaptation implies that scientific understanding can no longer save us from catastrophe, COVID-19 has shown the critical importance of science-based policy. Where Deep Adaptation backs away from questions of equity and distribution in the face of disaster, COVID has shown that (in)justice only becomes more important under such circumstances. The people who have suffered most under the coronavirus will also suffer disproportionately from climate change. Conversely, the same people who oppose climate justice and malign climate science also bear central responsibility for disastrous COVID-19 responses in countries like the US, England and Brazil. The coronavirus pandemic may open a window for policy shifts to begin an equitable transition away from our carbon based economy — in which case we cannot allow a faulty quasi-ideology like Deep Adaptation to mislead us.
To be totally clear, we argue that all of the following are simultaneously true:
1. There is an unprecedented global climate and ecological emergency. If governments do not undertake enormous measures to mitigate climate change, then some form of “societal collapse” is plausible — albeit in varying forms and undoubtedly far worse for the poorest people.
2. Policymakers and society at large are not treating this grave threat with anything approaching sufficient urgency.
3. The climate crisis is dire enough in any case to justify urgent action, including mass sustained nonviolent disruption, to pressure governments to address it swiftly.
4. However, neither social science nor the best available climate science support Deep Adaptation’s core premise: that near-term societal collapse due to climate change is inevitable.
5. This false belief undermines the environmental movement and could lead to harmful political decisions, overwhelming grief, and fading resolve for decisive action.
6. Respecting the distinction between the coming hardships and unstoppable collapse clarifies our agency to minimise future harm by mitigating and adapting to climate change, whilst freeing us from moral and political blinkers.
Deep Adaptation: unfounded doomism
Deep Adaptation is just one prominent case of a stubborn class of doomist narratives. Doomism has always occupied an influential place within the western environmental movement. It was present during the first Earth Day, fifty years ago, in concern over the coming ‘population bomb’. When one instance of doomism becomes discredited or disproven, another appears, generally following a re-examination of the state of environmental degradation. The resulting dire findings are then used to justify a fatalist ideology or response.
SPACE FOR DISSENT SHRINKING DOMESTICALLY IN SRI LANKA AND UNHRC NEEDS TO TAKE A MORE ROBUST APPROACH – JOINT STATEMENT AT HRC 44
SPACE FOR DISSENT SHRINKING DOMESTICALLY IN SRI LANKA AND UNHRC NEEDS TO TAKE A MORE ROBUST APPROACH – JOINT STATEMENT AT HRC 44
“Considering growing concerns over shrinking space for dissent domestically, the Council remains effectively the only forum where Sri Lankan civil society has the possibility to engage openly in dialogue with the Government and other States on human rights concerns in Sri Lanka and the Human Rights Council needs to take a more robust approach on Sri Lanka” says the joint oral statement dilivered at the ongoing HRC44 by international human rights organisations.
Joint Oral Statement 44th session of the Human Rights Council,
Item 3: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association /10 July 2020.
Thank you, Madam President.
As the Special Rapporteur’s report demonstrates, the space for Sri Lankan civil society is rapidly shrinking. For several months now, civil society organisations have been subject to intensified military surveillance and questioning by different government authorities.
Worryingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has been exploited by the Sri Lankan government to impose restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, resulting in the arrest and detention of social media commentators like Ramzy Razeek. Senior lawyer and minority and civic rights activist, Hejaaz Hizbullah, who was arrested and detained on suspicion of offences under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act, has now been detained for close to three months without being produced before a judge, after having been misled to believe that the authorities were visiting his house to discuss his potential exposure to COVID-19.
Since January 2020, the Government of Sri Lanka has established multiple Presidential Task Forces.
Decisions have been taken with no oversight by Parliament. The Presidential Task Force to build a “Secure Country, Disciplined, Virtuous and Lawful Society” is fully comprised of security sector personnel and given an ambiguous mandate. Sri Lankan civil society has raised a serious concern that the task force can extend military control over civilian life.
Its power can be abused to curtail dissenting voices which are deemed to be “harmful to the free and peaceful existence of society”. The increased deployment of military personal along with the police, and the disproportionate use of force against peaceful protesters, as observed recently, are also alarming.
Considering growing concerns over shrinking space for dissent domestically, the Council remains effectively the only forum where Sri Lankan civil society has the possibility to engage openly in dialogue with the Government and other States on human rights concerns in Sri Lanka, and even this space is increasingly under threat due to deepening risks of reprisals against Sri Lankan civil society actors who speak at the Council. Those human right defenders are increasingly vilified as “traitors” in both mainstream and social media Given Sri Lanka’s announced withdrawal from its commitments to the implementation of resolution 30/1, and the clear and consistent recommendations by the OHCHR that the Council should monitor progress towards accountability, the Council needs to take a more robust approach on Sri Lanka. Against this backdrop, we encourage the Special Rapporteur to continue to follow up on the situation and urge the Human Rights Council to enhance its monitoring of Sri Lanka’s compliance with international human rights law, including to ensure that human rights are protected throughout the forthcoming general elections.
We must vote to save, secure and advance the institutions of liberal democracy that we have – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara
In terms of the issues at stake, the 5 August General Election poses the same challenges as the Presidential Election of November 2019 and more. Not necessarily because of the intervening hiatus of the coronavirus either.
November 2019 was about electing someone who in the widest public perception would get a job done in sharp contrast to the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe regime that preceded it and also the front person for the Jathika Chinthanaya based ideology of a new constitution and form of governance. It was therefore a vote for clear and decisive leadership; for law and order and stability and for legitimacy rooted in the heart of society.
This was secured with a majority of over 1.5 million votes in an election, which it must be said, the opposition in effect handed over power to Rajapaksa through its own incompetence as he indeed, won it through his overwhelming charisma and appeal.
Rajapaksa therefore has the mandate to govern as he sees fit and without the encumbrance of Parliament, in the COVID era, he has effectively given reign to his militaristic impulses and established Task Forces for a disciplined, virtuous and law-abiding society as well as for archaeological heritage in the east. Moreover, the handling of the COVID virus is in the hands of those in the military and those who were in the military – a military mindset. Ironically one of the groups largely affected by the virus is the Navy! No one is asking the question as to how this has happened; the regime is certainly not telling.
This brings us therefore to the importance of Parliament and the General Election. In any functioning democracy or any society with the pretensions of being one, the three basic pillars of government must operate i.e. the executive, legislature and judiciary. One of these pillars should not have the power to lay down the law to the others in a variation of Vattel’s definition of the balance of power.
Moreover, the basic functions of the three pillars is that the executive would be responsible for the implementation of the laws that the legislature debates and passes – these could be laws that the executive proposes in the first instance. Parliament is essentially a deliberative body and debating chamber; it is not about implementation but it is about the allocation and accountability of resources for the implementation of policies it agrees upon. The judiciary upholds the rule of law and interprets the actions of the executive within the framework of the constitution.
Since the second of March dissolution of Parliament this system could not operate. Was not allowed to. The Supreme Court held with the executive on this and from the second of June until the next parliament meets, there is really no authority for the raising and expenditure of public finance. The hallowed and if not also hackneyed adage about parliamentary authority over public finance – No taxation without Representation – has been thrown overboard.
Whilst the management of the COVID virus spread is being seen as a relative success, there is the economic time bomb ticking away and the increasing authoritarian majoritarianism of a regime and chief executive who arrests lawyers but does not bring them to court and pardons ex-army officers for the most horrendous of crimes for which, conviction has been handed down by the highest court in the land.
Economically we have been downgraded by the rating agencies to B- and back to lower middle-income status. It is estimated that over the next five years we will have to pay back in debt repayments approximately $ 4 billion a year. Some estimates are higher. International lenders are presumably waiting for a new Parliament to start negotiations on relief. Some money is being given to small and medium business relief and money from China has been pledged.
The Japanese have suspended discussions on debt relief. The ridiculous and it appears, deliberately misleading controversy over the Millennium Challenge Account grant of $ 480 million is further damaging. What happens when the toll of unemployment in the garment sector, the hospitality trade, migrant labour, and small and medium businesses begins to bite and bite harder?
Consolidating the dynasty
The General Election for the regime has always been about securing a two-third majority in Parliament to consolidate the dynasty. For the President, specifically, it is about the people’s mandate constitutionally sanctioned by an election to create a system of government and governance to his liking. He clearly likes the unfettered room for manoeuvre afforded by the 1978 Constitution and it will be no surprise therefore if he moves fast, two thirds granted directly to him or not, to return to it without the restrictions of the Nineteenth Amendment and what he and his supporters see, as the costly irrelevance of the Thirteenth.
This could happen against a rising tide of discontent on the economic front and the use, yet again, of the constitution for instrumental purposes – defence of national security, stability and law and order – a defence against those both local and international who fall on the wrong side of the patriot/traitor divide. Yet the economic consequences of the virus may outlive the euphoria of populist and authoritarian constitutional reform. It all depends in how badly it is going to hit was has so far been the Rajapaksa constituency in the population. If it is going to be bad and going to evoke a ham-fisted and heavy handed response form the regime, we will be back to fighting for basic human rights, basic civil and political rights.
There is the issue of what the voter should do in this election – that is the voter who does not have a fixed partisan affiliation. It appears too that there is the disaffection with the choice of parties and candidates available and therefore a decision not to vote. In the event, if voting is decided upon, to spoil the ballot. Whilst this might appease individual consciences, this will also enable the mandate to be based on a smaller proportion of the total national vote and in order to secure fundamental rights and duties, institutions and processes of a functioning liberal democracy no one side should be so powerful as to be in a position to lay down the law to others. Checks and balances are the order of the day – both institutional and procedural. We must vote to save, secure and advance the institutions of liberal democracy that we have.
Either way, inside Parliament and out, no liberal democracy is worth its salt without a strong opposition. What we are presented with is dismal – on the street they say that one faction of the UNP is with the President and the other with the Prime Minister. There is therefore no real choice – no real champion of a Sri Lanka founded upon the idea of Unity in Diversity and committed to protect and expand it at all costs. This leaves the section of civil society who had its heyday in October 2018 to return to the fight of explaining the importance of the constitution and democracy to the everyday life of the peoples and their country.
Were the Democrats to win the US presidency in November, there is the chance of a more human rights and democracy friendly international environment taking hold.
However, the point is simply that the design and trajectory of political, economic and constitutional developments for Sri Lanka should be the primary responsibility of Sri Lankans – we are the stakeholders and the country is the site of contestation and struggle.
The containment of Covid spread in Sri Lanka relative to other countries, including its immediate neigbours, put the government on a strong footing to face the general elections on August 5. The recent disclosures that the virus may have spread more widely than previously believed is not likely to change this perception in the short term. The general public perception if that this government is one that is capable of handling challenges as it is the same government leadership that scored victory over the LTTE. The confidence of government leaders in the support of the electorate is so great that they have been campaigning for a victory that would give them a 2/3 majority in parliament. This is a feat that has eluded all previous governments since the proportional system was introduced in 1978.
Since the curfew and lockdowns ended in mid-May there has been a major relaxation of tension within the country regarding the Covid virus. Even government leaders began to take the matter lightly, as evidenced in the funeral arrangements for a former minister which saw tens of thousands of his party supporters jostling at the funeral which was attended by the most senior government leaders. In particular the president’s firm leadership and use of the security forces to lead the battle against Covid has given the general population the confidence that difficult decisions can and will be made as and when necessary. As a result the warnings by health authorities that continued precautions were necessary was widely ignored in the return to normalcy.
In this context, the identification of a new cluster of Covid infection centering around a rehabilitation centre in Polonnaruwa might have been taken in its stride. When the discovery was first announced there was not much public agitation. The discovery of a similar Covid cluster amongst navy personnel who were part of the security forces effort in leading the anti-Covid campaign was dealt with effectively without causing panic. The decision of the ruling party to halt its bigger election campaign activities for three days can be viewed positively as a message of care given by government leaders that there is a serious health crisis and they are giving priority to the people’s health over their electoral activities. The government’s decision to close all schools this week is a similar message of care in view of reports that young schoolchildren are amongst those infected.
At a time when rumours with political motivations can take the centre stage it is important that the government shares the true situation with the people. The recent news report that a national university decided to stop its Covid testing as its positive cases were not being counted, and been rejected, needs to be investigated and clarified by independent authorities. There has been an undercurrent of suspicion that the full spread of the Covid virus was not being disclosed for political reasons. The elevated status recently given by Russia to Sri Lanka as only one of 13 countries that is successful in managing Covid spread and to which Russian airlines could fly to is an exception. Neither has the EU or UK given Sri Lanka such a positive assessment nor has Sri Lanka been acknowledged as a success in managing Covid by international agencies.
The sudden spike in Covid infection can be politically damaging to the government. Its ability to contain the virus formed the basis of its election campaign to demonstrate success in governance. The success of Sri Lanka in keeping its Covid casualty figures extraordinarily low in comparison both to its neighbours and to more developed countries has been greatly appreciated by the electorate who have been witnessing the ongoing tragedies unfold in other parts of the world. The government will need to win back the confidence of the people with regard to its success in Covid management in order to reach its ambitious target of parliamentary seats at the forthcoming general elections.
In recent weeks the government has come under pressure due to a number of factors that could have electoral implications. One is its position on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant of USD 480 million from the United States. This grant became a major campaign issue at the presidential election. The present government leaders bitterly opposed it and claimed that it would be to the detriment of the country’s unity and national sovereignty. However, after the US ambassador stated that a decision on the agreement will be taken after the Parliamentary election in August the issue of the government’s actual position on this grant has surfaced again. The issue over Japanese and Indian investments in Colombo Port, and in relation to the already existing Chinese role, needs also to be resolved.
A wide swathe of supporters of the government have also been disconcerted by the government’s unwillingness to take action against former LTTE commander Karuna who is now a political leader and campaigning for the government. He recently claimed to have killed 2-3,000 soldiers during the war in attempting to boost his credentials with the constituencies in the Eastern province which was formerly a war zone. This has generated a major controversy with many government supporters demanding his arrest and punishment. International human rights organisations, including the UNHRC, have issued calls for an investigation into his claims which fall into the category of war crimes. It must also be remembered that he was deported from the UK citing human rights abuses, including the recruitment of children into combat.
However, even more significant than these ideology and emotion-ridden issues is the continuing deterioration of the living standards of people due to the Covid-induced crisis. Many thousands of businesses are in jeopardy and tens of thousands of workers have been either laid off or are in danger of losing their jobs. This is coupled with the problem of the expatriate Sri Lankan workforce wanting to return to the country due to inhospitable conditions abroad. Many have lost their jobs and are at risk of Covid infection and are pleading to get back to their country, and the slowness of the repatriation process is a matter of humanitarian concern. Hundreds of Sri Lankans living overseas flocked into the country to cast their votes at the Presidential Elections and would be feeling betrayed at their country’s reluctance to take them back when they need its refuge.
In these circumstances there is a call for the postponement of elections on the grounds that the country is facing a dangerous situation in the wake of COVID-19. However, this would lead to a continuation of the status quo in which the caretaker government is making decisions on huge economic investments and loans that are morally and legally beyond the scope of a caretaker government. In addition, difficult decisions are not being made because all parties are thinking about the elections to come. At the present time only President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has the mandate from the people in the context of a dissolved parliament and a caretaker government with caretaker ministers. A government formed out of a parliament with a fresh mandate from the people will have the legitimacy and be adequately representative of the present balance of forces to take the considered and difficult decisions to cope with the manifold problems that beset the country.
- Intelligence officials say that the bombs were to be transported to Mullaitivu to stage an attack to mark the Black Tiger day on July 5
- Australian Tamil Congress was previously listed as a banned LTTE entity by the Sri Lankan government under UN Security Council resolution 1373
- Sri Lanka can look into measures adopted by countries such as Singapore against polarizing ethnic discourse
Intelligence officials say that the bombs were to be transported to Mullaitivu to stage an attack to mark the Black Tiger day on July 5. The accidental explosion foiled the plot. The ex-Tiger was acting on the behest of an LTTE member domiciled in France.
On July 5, an emerging Tamil fringe, led by MK Sivajilingam, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and Sivagnanam Shritharan commemorated the Black Tiger day in Nelliady Madhya Maha Vidyalayam. The very location, where the first Black Tiger, Vallipuram Vasanthan, known in his nom de guerre, Captain Miller drove an explosive-laden truck 33 years ago, killing 40 soldiers. Another night vigil was held at Jaffna University. In Sydney, Australian MP Huge McDermott attended a Black Tiger commemoration event organized by the Australian Tamil Congress. The event was presided over by ex-LTTE cadres, Salkillai and ex-Sea Tigers’ training teacher, Vetharasa Dinesh, both lit up the memorial flame. Garlanded photos of 346 slain suicide cadres were in display.
The government is reportedly considering the relisting of these groups. The idea of de-listing these groups by the Yahapalanaya was that it would facilitate the reconciliation process. Some of the members sought to cooperate with the government. Yet, the essential anti-Sri Lankan narrative of these groups remained intact. The new administration seems to believe a better way to deal with these groups is taking the high road. However, it would still help if it does not push diaspora members who desire genuine reconciliation to the shadows.
The premature explosion in Iyakachchi, however, is a concern. It echoes another overlooked early warning sign: The discovery of bomb-making materials in Wanathawillu leading up to the Easter Sunday attack in January 2019. This government is better equipped in personalities and outlook to safeguard national security. However, the Black Tiger day bomb plot was laid bare only by an accident, and not by an active intelligence operation. That may also reveal a lacuna in security measures. This does not mean to call for ultra-intrusive intelligence and military activities, which could backfire.
Tuesday, 14 July 2020
The coronavirus-borne disease is not the only pandemic afflicting the world. It is accompanied by an infodemic of disinformation that is making a scientific response challenging. Anti-vaxxers may cause serious harm when a successful vaccine has been developed and is being administered to people across the world. Beyond all this is a pandemic of political leaders seeking autocratic powers. The World Health Organization is helping coordinate the response to the first two. We are on our own with the autocracy pandemic.
Hungary and the Philippines are examples of autocracy achieved through formal means. In Hungary, Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister since 2010, got the legislature to cede all its powers to him in the name of the coronavirus. He will decide when to give them back. Duterte of the Philippines got the legislature to give him three months of emergency authority and keeps asking for extensions. There are informal methods too. In India, the legislature was prorogued on 23 March on account of the pandemic and has not met since. Still within the law, but people are beginning to worry.
One may think that this is a reasonable course of action. Parliaments can be seen as distractions. Why listen to speeches from the opposition when there is work to be done? Parliament is all talk. What we need now is action.
But this is an overly simplistic and counter-productive perspective. The quality of decisions taken by autocrats who have dispensed with parliamentary oversight is poor. Announcing decisions and walking them back in days and weeks is not optimal. Failing to consider collateral effects of policy changes and having to scramble with patchwork solutions to remedy unintended negative outcomes is not the definition of efficiency.
Managing the economic fallout
The virus and the actions being taken to manage it are having massive effects on the world economy. According to the latest IMF World Economic Outlook: “Global growth is projected at -4.9% in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below the April 2020 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast. … In 2021 global growth is projected at 5.4%. Overall, this would leave 2021 GDP some 6½ percentage points lower than in the pre-COVID-19 projections of January 2020.”
The Great Recession of 2007-09 is not comparable. What is comparable is the Great Depression of 1929 that stretched through the 1930s. I grew up thinking it was a distant event that led to the rise of fascism and the rescue of democracy in the US by Franklin Roosevelt. But the repercussions had been felt strongly in the less globalised and much smaller Ceylon (population of just over 5 million) of the day. Research by M.R.P. Salgado showed that even back then, we were vulnerable to demand collapse in export markets. The per capita GDP which was $ 80 in 1926 came down to $ 33 by 1932.
The impacts are expected to be severe in Sri Lanka’s present-day principal export markets, the US, UK and Europe. With unemployment likely to reach depression levels in those countries and Keynesian support payments tapering off, the prospects are not good for the recovery of demand for high-end apparel and tourism in these markets. These industries will have to pivot to new markets. Income and employment from labour exports will be radically destabilised.
According to Verite Research, 45% of households were affected by loss of daily wages because of the curfew. Severe effects were felt by 37% of households. How the combined effects of the curfew, the return of expatriate workers, the reduced remittances and pay cuts will play out remains to be seen. A shock such as the sudden lockdown of the entire country, enforced by a curfew, is likely to have exhausted the reserves of many daily wage earners and pushed them below the poverty line.
The collapse of demand in the apparel and tourist industries will cause even those with more stable income streams to be frugal, resulting in depressed demand for goods and services of all sorts which will continue to impact all sectors in the economy and push more of the near poor into poverty. Lots of people will lose jobs. The return of thousands of expatriate workers will reduce the spending ability of many households that relied on remittances and will drive down the price of labour.
In all, we will be looking at 1929-1940 type economic conditions, described by Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller as an economic downturn that was followed by a prolonged malaise. How best to manage the malaise?
Decision makers must have available to them multiple streams of information. Democracy, in addition to its many familiar attributes, is an information mechanism serving decision makers, be they political authorities or officials. As we pick through the causes of the delay in the reporting of the emergence of the pandemic in China’s Wuhan city, it is becoming clear that the lack of democracy in China was a contributory factor. The incentives governing the actions of the regional authorities resulted in a delay of days in reporting. The central authorities did not have good-quality information to act upon.
This is a narrative that helped explain the collapse of the central planning model implemented in the former Soviet Union. What happens at ground level is known to officials lowest in the hierarchy. They are subject to various incentives in terms of what they report to their superiors and what they do not. Do they get rewarded for high numbers or low numbers? How long will it take for falsifications to be discovered? Because of garbage data coming up, the Soviet state ended up a victim of garbage decisions.
Creating space for multiple streams of information is easier than creating the right incentives for officials. But this gives rise to the problem of assessing the quality of the information, of separating the wheat from the chaff. An internal culture of discussion, debate and information seeking is essential. Many see this as unproductive and time-wasting. But in conditions of imperfect information such as those we now live in, there is no alternative. Not just an active Parliament exercising its oversight functions diligently, but public hearings and consultations are needed. Active efforts to get out of bubbles and echo chambers are important.
Democracy, especially of the kind that we have in our country, is not perfect. Information flows within the state are distorted and incomplete. But the alternative based on task forces dominated by military mindsets is worse. These are the choices before us as we face the multiple pandemics.
Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA)
Free Media Movement (FMM)
Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum (SLMMF)
Sri Lanka Tamil Media Forum (SLTMF)
Media Employees Trade Unions (METU)
Young Journalists Association (YJA)
- Arts have been suppressed by politics
- JVP lost its morale after it formed an alliance
- The NPP is a progressive political force
I don’t have an intention to enter Parliament, but want to add strength to the national list. In fact I have had an interest in politics from a young age.
- One of them is that artistes don’t have the freedom to do a production of their choice
- If that happens we will go in for a dictatorship, but we don’t need that
- They say we have to save the country from other Sinhala Tamils, Muslims, Catholics and Burghers. But none of them wants to save the country from American and Chinese influences
- The politics that I’m engaging in doesn’t follow such principles. This is why people need to elect newcomers to Parliament