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WHICH CAME FIRST: ARAGALAYA OR THE CRISIS?

A reminder of the question ‘Which came first: the chicken or the egg

19 August 2023 03:57 am – 1      – 314

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A reminder of the question ‘Which came first: the chicken or the egg The public uprising that shook the country last year was not an event organised by any political party or organization. It was largely a spontaneous response by the people to the unprecedented effects of an unprecedented economic crisis on their day-to-day life.

“Gota Go Home,” the main slogan of that uprising commonly called Aragalaya (The struggle) was also impulsively chosen by the protesting crowds, despite it having been floated already by some social media activists.

The millions of protesting people took to the streets not only demanding a smooth supply of essential goods such as fuel and cooking gas but craving for a secure future for their children, stability to their tumbling economy and thereby a sound income that would help them at least feed their families, an end to the mass-scale corruption, fraud and waste that have been taking place before their very eyes rendering them and their children suffer. They wanted to punish those who ruin their economy and thereby their lives and future.

Some Aragalaya activists influenced by the old leftist literature childishly dreamt of converting the Presidential Secretariat into a public library and the President’s House into a public recreation centre. All of a sudden they woke up to see their struggle that was fondly and heartily called Aragalaya even by its adversaries being brutally crushed by the new government that took office as a result of the very struggle.

Their hopes and dreams – realistic and justifiable as well as fanciful and childish – were shattered and the very corrupt gang retained the powers making a bizarre political deal with the new regime.

Against this backdrop Verité Research, the independent private think tank which provides very useful insights on political and economic issues had last week published findings of a survey of public opinion on the Aragalaya.

The highlight of those findings was that 60 per cent of Sri Lankans thought that Aragalaya did not result in aspirations of people being fulfilled. And interestingly, 11 per cent of the populace had been of the view that Aragalaya had mostly fulfilled those aspirations.

The question put to the people ‘Do you think the Aragalaya led to the wishes and aspirations of the people being fulfilled?” to get these findings is somewhat puzzling. It was a well-known fact that Aragalaya did not come to an end after fulfilling its objectives, though the main slogan was achieved.

It ended first owing to it having met with a dead end due to lack of a vision on the part of the diverse leaderships of it, once the slogan “Gota Go Home” was materialized. The brutal crackdown by or at the instance of those who pushed the people to take to the streets silenced the protesters almost totally.

Hence, as Attorney-at-Law Nuwan Bopage, an active participant of the Aragalaya had stated in a newspaper interview days ago there was no need to conduct surveys to find out if the Aragalaya resulted in aspirations of the people fulfilled.

Aragalaya failed to change the political and economic trajectory of the country. It only changed the heads. The programme involving the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the primary strategy of the current government under President Ranil Wickremesinghe to save the country from total economic destruction is in fact commenced in March last year by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who ironically broke the back of the economic camel finally. It was also under him that the international financial and legal advisors Lazard and Clifford Chance were selected to renegotiate the country’s foreign debts as a prerequisite for the IMF programme.

It was Gotabaya Rajapaksa who appointed Nandalal Weerasinghe and Mahinda Siriwardena as the Governor of the Central Bank and the Treasury Secretary respectively. The current reforms under the IMF programme could be traced in the IMF country report issued in March last year. It was the same programme that is being carried forward with the same people – except for President Wickremesinghe who is more knowledgeable than Rajapaksa – being involved.

Aragalaya had brought in two major outcomes, despite none of them having any major impact on the lives of the people thus far. They are; ousting of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the President who was mainly accused of the economic suffering of the people and the ascension of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new Head of State who meticulously manipulated the opportunities and courageously withstood the pressure from the Opposition parties and the protesters.

Only those who are satisfied with these outcomes – in the practical sense, the supporters of the United National Party (UNP) – can say that Aragalaya had mostly fulfilled the aspirations of the people, as politicians and politicized ordinary people always replace the aspirations of the people with those of their party. However, if we go by that contention, it also would have provided the UNP with an assessment of its support base in the country, only 11 per cent. The finding of the survey that the majority of people in the country believe that Aragalaya did not fulfil people’s (their) aspirations has been interpreted by many individuals according to their political affiliations and likings.

Some supporters of the government attempted to portray it as the majority of people have condemned the popular uprising as an unnecessary political manoeuvre. They attempt to vilify and demonize the public uprising, mixing this finding up with the crimes committed by a relatively small group that was involved in the protests.

They also attempt to find parallels between the view that Aragalaya had failed to fulfil the aspirations of the people and their perception that it was wrong. Now, for most of them, it was Aragalaya that resulted in the economic crisis, reminding us of the famous question “Which came first: the chicken or the egg.”

The answer given by the people to another question put to them by Verité Research serves as the response to this argument. Almost all who had responded to that question had demanded a departure from the current political and economic system and rejected some of the arguments of the authorities. 51 of them had suggested fixing corrupt and bad governance, while another 34 had wanted a change in the economic system. Only 15 per cent of those who answered the question approved of the government’s stance that priority should be given to stability over democratic space, which might help the authorities to review their actions if they are concerned about the current situation. The public uprising that shook the country last year was not an event organised by any political party or organization. It was largely a spontaneous response by the people to the unprecedented effects of an unprecedented economic crisis on their day-to-day life.

“Gota Go Home,” the main slogan of that uprising commonly called Aragalaya (The struggle) was also impulsively chosen by the protesting crowds, despite it having been floated already by some social media activists.

The millions of protesting people took to the streets not only demanding a smooth supply of essential goods such as fuel and cooking gas but craving for a secure future for their children, stability to their tumbling economy and thereby a sound income that would help them at least feed their families, an end to the mass-scale corruption, fraud and waste that have been taking place before their very eyes rendering them and their children suffer. They wanted to punish those who ruin their economy and thereby their lives and future.

Some Aragalaya activists influenced by the old leftist literature childishly dreamt of converting the Presidential Secretariat into a public library and the President’s House into a public recreation centre.

All of a sudden they woke up to see their struggle that was fondly and heartily called Aragalaya even by its adversaries being brutally crushed by the new government that took office as a result of the very struggle.

Their hopes and dreams – realistic and justifiable as well as fanciful and childish – were shattered and the very corrupt gang retained the powers making a bizarre political deal with the new regime.

Against this backdrop Verité Research, the independent private think tank which provides very useful insights on political and economic issues had last week published findings of a survey of public opinion on the Aragalaya.

The highlight of those findings was that 60 per cent of Sri Lankans thought that Aragalaya did not result in aspirations of people being fulfilled.

And interestingly, 11 per cent of the populace had been of the view that Aragalaya had mostly fulfilled those aspirations.

The question put to the people ‘Do you think the Aragalaya led to the wishes and aspirations of the people being fulfilled?” to get these findings is somewhat puzzling. It was a well-known fact that Aragalaya did not come to an end after fulfilling its objectives, though the main slogan was achieved.

It ended first owing to it having met with a dead end due to lack of a vision on the part of the diverse leaderships of it, once the slogan “Gota Go Home” was materialized. The brutal crackdown by or at the instance of those who pushed the people to take to the streets silenced the protesters almost totally.

Hence, as Attorney-at-Law Nuwan Bopage, an active participant of the Aragalaya had stated in a newspaper interview days ago there was no need to conduct surveys to find out if the Aragalaya resulted in aspirations of the people fulfilled.

Aragalaya failed to change the political and economic trajectory of the country. It only changed the heads. The programme involving the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the primary strategy of the current government under President Ranil Wickremesinghe to save the country from total economic destruction is in fact commenced in March last year by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who ironically broke the back of the economic camel finally. It was also under him that the international financial and legal advisors Lazard and Clifford Chance were selected to renegotiate the country’s foreign debts as a prerequisite for the IMF programme.

It was Gotabaya Rajapaksa who appointed Nandalal Weerasinghe and Mahinda Siriwardena as the Governor of the Central Bank and the Treasury Secretary respectively. The current reforms under the IMF programme could be traced in the IMF country report issued in March last year. It was the same programme that is being carried forward with the same people – except for President Wickremesinghe who is more knowledgeable than Rajapaksa – being involved.

Aragalaya had brought in two major outcomes, despite none of them having any major impact on the lives of the people thus far. They are; ousting of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the President who was mainly accused of the economic suffering of the people and the ascension of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new Head of State who meticulously manipulated the opportunities and courageously withstood the pressure from the Opposition parties and the protesters.

Only those who are satisfied with these outcomes – in the practical sense, the supporters of the United National Party (UNP) – can say that Aragalaya had mostly fulfilled the aspirations of the people, as politicians and politicized ordinary people always replace the aspirations of the people with those of their party. However, if we go by that contention, it also would have provided the UNP with an assessment of its support base in the country, only 11 per cent. The finding of the survey that the majority of people in the country believe that Aragalaya did not fulfil people’s (their) aspirations has been interpreted by many individuals according to their political affiliations and likings.

Some supporters of the government attempted to portray it as the majority of people have condemned the popular uprising as an unnecessary political manoeuvre. They attempt to vilify and demonize the public uprising, mixing this finding up with the crimes committed by a relatively small group that was involved in the protests.

They also attempt to find parallels between the view that Aragalaya had failed to fulfil the aspirations of the people and their perception that it was wrong. Now, for most of them, it was Aragalaya that resulted in the economic crisis, reminding us of the famous question “Which came first: the chicken or the egg.”

The answer given by the people to another question put to them by Verité Research serves as the response to this argument. Almost all who had responded to that question had demanded a departure from the current political and economic system and rejected some of the arguments of the authorities. 51 of them had suggested fixing corrupt and bad governance, while another 34 had wanted a change in the economic system.

Only 15 per cent of those who answered the question approved of the government’s stance that priority should be given to stability over democratic space, which might help the authorities to review their actions if they are concerned about the current situation.

A reminder of the question ‘Which came first: the chicken or the egg The public uprising that shook the country last year was not an event organised by any political party or organization. It was largely a spontaneous response by the people to the unprecedented effects of an unprecedented economic crisis on their day-to-day life.

“Gota Go Home,” the main slogan of that uprising commonly called Aragalaya (The struggle) was also impulsively chosen by the protesting crowds, despite it having been floated already by some social media activists.

The millions of protesting people took to the streets not only demanding a smooth supply of essential goods such as fuel and cooking gas but craving for a secure future for their children, stability to their tumbling economy and thereby a sound income that would help them at least feed their families, an end to the mass-scale corruption, fraud and waste that have been taking place before their very eyes rendering them and their children suffer. They wanted to punish those who ruin their economy and thereby their lives and future.

Some Aragalaya activists influenced by the old leftist literature childishly dreamt of converting the Presidential Secretariat into a public library and the President’s House into a public recreation centre. All of a sudden they woke up to see their struggle that was fondly and heartily called Aragalaya even by its adversaries being brutally crushed by the new government that took office as a result of the very struggle.

Their hopes and dreams – realistic and justifiable as well as fanciful and childish – were shattered and the very corrupt gang retained the powers making a bizarre political deal with the new regime.

Against this backdrop Verité Research, the independent private think tank which provides very useful insights on political and economic issues had last week published findings of a survey of public opinion on the Aragalaya.

The highlight of those findings was that 60 per cent of Sri Lankans thought that Aragalaya did not result in aspirations of people being fulfilled. And interestingly, 11 per cent of the populace had been of the view that Aragalaya had mostly fulfilled those aspirations.

The question put to the people ‘Do you think the Aragalaya led to the wishes and aspirations of the people being fulfilled?” to get these findings is somewhat puzzling. It was a well-known fact that Aragalaya did not come to an end after fulfilling its objectives, though the main slogan was achieved.

It ended first owing to it having met with a dead end due to lack of a vision on the part of the diverse leaderships of it, once the slogan “Gota Go Home” was materialized. The brutal crackdown by or at the instance of those who pushed the people to take to the streets silenced the protesters almost totally.

Hence, as Attorney-at-Law Nuwan Bopage, an active participant of the Aragalaya had stated in a newspaper interview days ago there was no need to conduct surveys to find out if the Aragalaya resulted in aspirations of the people fulfilled.

Aragalaya failed to change the political and economic trajectory of the country. It only changed the heads. The programme involving the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the primary strategy of the current government under President Ranil Wickremesinghe to save the country from total economic destruction is in fact commenced in March last year by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who ironically broke the back of the economic camel finally. It was also under him that the international financial and legal advisors Lazard and Clifford Chance were selected to renegotiate the country’s foreign debts as a prerequisite for the IMF programme.

It was Gotabaya Rajapaksa who appointed Nandalal Weerasinghe and Mahinda Siriwardena as the Governor of the Central Bank and the Treasury Secretary respectively. The current reforms under the IMF programme could be traced in the IMF country report issued in March last year. It was the same programme that is being carried forward with the same people – except for President Wickremesinghe who is more knowledgeable than Rajapaksa – being involved.

Aragalaya had brought in two major outcomes, despite none of them having any major impact on the lives of the people thus far. They are; ousting of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the President who was mainly accused of the economic suffering of the people and the ascension of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new Head of State who meticulously manipulated the opportunities and courageously withstood the pressure from the Opposition parties and the protesters.

Only those who are satisfied with these outcomes – in the practical sense, the supporters of the United National Party (UNP) – can say that Aragalaya had mostly fulfilled the aspirations of the people, as politicians and politicized ordinary people always replace the aspirations of the people with those of their party. However, if we go by that contention, it also would have provided the UNP with an assessment of its support base in the country, only 11 per cent. The finding of the survey that the majority of people in the country believe that Aragalaya did not fulfil people’s (their) aspirations has been interpreted by many individuals according to their political affiliations and likings.

Some supporters of the government attempted to portray it as the majority of people have condemned the popular uprising as an unnecessary political manoeuvre. They attempt to vilify and demonize the public uprising, mixing this finding up with the crimes committed by a relatively small group that was involved in the protests.

They also attempt to find parallels between the view that Aragalaya had failed to fulfil the aspirations of the people and their perception that it was wrong. Now, for most of them, it was Aragalaya that resulted in the economic crisis, reminding us of the famous question “Which came first: the chicken or the egg.”

The answer given by the people to another question put to them by Verité Research serves as the response to this argument. Almost all who had responded to that question had demanded a departure from the current political and economic system and rejected some of the arguments of the authorities. 51 of them had suggested fixing corrupt and bad governance, while another 34 had wanted a change in the economic system. Only 15 per cent of those who answered the question approved of the government’s stance that priority should be given to stability over democratic space, which might help the authorities to review their actions if they are concerned about the current situation. The public uprising that shook the country last year was not an event organised by any political party or organization. It was largely a spontaneous response by the people to the unprecedented effects of an unprecedented economic crisis on their day-to-day life.

“Gota Go Home,” the main slogan of that uprising commonly called Aragalaya (The struggle) was also impulsively chosen by the protesting crowds, despite it having been floated already by some social media activists.

The millions of protesting people took to the streets not only demanding a smooth supply of essential goods such as fuel and cooking gas but craving for a secure future for their children, stability to their tumbling economy and thereby a sound income that would help them at least feed their families, an end to the mass-scale corruption, fraud and waste that have been taking place before their very eyes rendering them and their children suffer. They wanted to punish those who ruin their economy and thereby their lives and future.

Some Aragalaya activists influenced by the old leftist literature childishly dreamt of converting the Presidential Secretariat into a public library and the President’s House into a public recreation centre.

All of a sudden they woke up to see their struggle that was fondly and heartily called Aragalaya even by its adversaries being brutally crushed by the new government that took office as a result of the very struggle.

Their hopes and dreams – realistic and justifiable as well as fanciful and childish – were shattered and the very corrupt gang retained the powers making a bizarre political deal with the new regime.

Against this backdrop Verité Research, the independent private think tank which provides very useful insights on political and economic issues had last week published findings of a survey of public opinion on the Aragalaya.

The highlight of those findings was that 60 per cent of Sri Lankans thought that Aragalaya did not result in aspirations of people being fulfilled.

And interestingly, 11 per cent of the populace had been of the view that Aragalaya had mostly fulfilled those aspirations.

The question put to the people ‘Do you think the Aragalaya led to the wishes and aspirations of the people being fulfilled?” to get these findings is somewhat puzzling. It was a well-known fact that Aragalaya did not come to an end after fulfilling its objectives, though the main slogan was achieved.

It ended first owing to it having met with a dead end due to lack of a vision on the part of the diverse leaderships of it, once the slogan “Gota Go Home” was materialized. The brutal crackdown by or at the instance of those who pushed the people to take to the streets silenced the protesters almost totally.

Hence, as Attorney-at-Law Nuwan Bopage, an active participant of the Aragalaya had stated in a newspaper interview days ago there was no need to conduct surveys to find out if the Aragalaya resulted in aspirations of the people fulfilled.

Aragalaya failed to change the political and economic trajectory of the country. It only changed the heads. The programme involving the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the primary strategy of the current government under President Ranil Wickremesinghe to save the country from total economic destruction is in fact commenced in March last year by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who ironically broke the back of the economic camel finally. It was also under him that the international financial and legal advisors Lazard and Clifford Chance were selected to renegotiate the country’s foreign debts as a prerequisite for the IMF programme.

It was Gotabaya Rajapaksa who appointed Nandalal Weerasinghe and Mahinda Siriwardena as the Governor of the Central Bank and the Treasury Secretary respectively. The current reforms under the IMF programme could be traced in the IMF country report issued in March last year. It was the same programme that is being carried forward with the same people – except for President Wickremesinghe who is more knowledgeable than Rajapaksa – being involved.

Aragalaya had brought in two major outcomes, despite none of them having any major impact on the lives of the people thus far. They are; ousting of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the President who was mainly accused of the economic suffering of the people and the ascension of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new Head of State who meticulously manipulated the opportunities and courageously withstood the pressure from the Opposition parties and the protesters.

Only those who are satisfied with these outcomes – in the practical sense, the supporters of the United National Party (UNP) – can say that Aragalaya had mostly fulfilled the aspirations of the people, as politicians and politicized ordinary people always replace the aspirations of the people with those of their party. However, if we go by that contention, it also would have provided the UNP with an assessment of its support base in the country, only 11 per cent. The finding of the survey that the majority of people in the country believe that Aragalaya did not fulfil people’s (their) aspirations has been interpreted by many individuals according to their political affiliations and likings.

Some supporters of the government attempted to portray it as the majority of people have condemned the popular uprising as an unnecessary political manoeuvre. They attempt to vilify and demonize the public uprising, mixing this finding up with the crimes committed by a relatively small group that was involved in the protests.

They also attempt to find parallels between the view that Aragalaya had failed to fulfil the aspirations of the people and their perception that it was wrong. Now, for most of them, it was Aragalaya that resulted in the economic crisis, reminding us of the famous question “Which came first: the chicken or the egg.”

The answer given by the people to another question put to them by Verité Research serves as the response to this argument. Almost all who had responded to that question had demanded a departure from the current political and economic system and rejected some of the arguments of the authorities. 51 of them had suggested fixing corrupt and bad governance, while another 34 had wanted a change in the economic system.

Only 15 per cent of those who answered the question approved of the government’s stance that priority should be given to stability over democratic space, which might help the authorities to review their actions if they are concerned about the current situation.

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