29 July 2022
GOTA GOIGAMA WAS SENT HOME
Various reasons have been published for the economic collapse in Sri Lanka. To the extent they are belief based, they would all be right. That belief needs to be in Sri Lanka as well as in the measure being used. Intellectual analyses by global experts rank after such expressions of belief, as do the reasons provided by those who stand to profit from the exercise. In democracy, believers rank foremost. True elders tend to speak through their belief
A Sri Lankan community elder wrote ‘The country got messed up because the minorities had been discriminated against’
I responded as follows:
‘I am not able to make a connection between racial discrimination and economic wellbeing in Sri Lanka. Tamils wo accepted ‘junior’ status – be it under the British or Sinhalese were economically better off than Tamils who never left their ancestral homes. The latter would not have known the difference in relative terms and v.v. Those in multicultural areas had to learn the ways of majority culture to live and develop their ‘homes’ – just as we are doing as migrants in Western nations. But the ‘productivity’ of those living in ancestral homelands is greater in areas such as farming – native to that place. They are empowered by their ancestors. In contrast, those in multicultural areas need to learn lateral skills towards going global. IT skill is an example of this. English of current style is useful in this regard.
Had minorities accepted ‘Sinhala’ as a working language and Buddhism as working religion’ we would have been politically stable and this would have attracted foreign investments and the capital that comes with it.
But there comes a point when the belief based ‘internal’ pictures become more important to us that the economy based external picture through which we are ‘seen’ by others. Young rebels tend to ‘show’ this to get credits and hence the insurrections by armed youth.
To the extent they sacrificed what was theirs, they get the maturity and have positive value of mental satisfaction. But majority in the rebel groups are often from disenfranchised sections of the community and they are in it for better economic life. Hence the longer the rebellion lasts – the better it is for them. Hence the JVP involvement in the current protests.’
Thinking further about it, I recalled how the then president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, passionately stated around December last year, that he was Goigama. Goigama is presented by Wikipedia as follows:
[Goigama is a Sinhalese caste found in Sri Lanka. They form approximately half of the Sinhalese population and are traditionally involved in agriculture. The term Goigama became popular during the last period of the Sinhalese Kingdom of Kandy. Its members have dominated and influenced national politics and Sinhalese Buddhism.]
With about 75% of Sri Lankan population being Sinhalese, the withdrawal of fertilizer subsidy, would have had a strong impact on the Goigama group
On 24 November 2021, Reuters reported as follows:
[Sri Lanka rowed back on its goal to become the first country to fully adopt organic farming on Wednesday by removing the ban on the use and importation of chemical fertilisers after months of mass protests by farmers and a surge in food price inflation.
The government had completely banned chemical fertilisers when it unveiled a new agricultural policy in April.
Explaining the U-turn at a cabinet briefing, Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said only the private sector would be allowed to resume imports, which would be expensive as a subsidy for chemical fertilisers would not be reinstated.
"As a country that is sensitive to the people, because farmers have asked us to do this, cabinet decided to voluntarily rescind the gazette notification banning imports," he added.
The ban on all chemical fertiliser, pesticides, weedicides and fungicides was implemented on April 26, prompting thousands of farmers to protest and demand the government adopt a hybrid policy to allow organic and chemical fertiliser.] https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/sri-lanka-rows-back-organic-farming-goal-removes-ban-chemical-fertilisers-2021-11-24/