Unthinkable and unspeakable can happen

Saturday, 9 September 2023 00:10 –      – 146

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So, if history is of any help, the unthinkable and unspeakable indeed can happen – Pic by Shehan Gunasekara


The great French novelist Emile Zola who captioned his last novel as ‘Verite’ observed, “When truth is buried underground it grows, it chokes, it gathers such an explosive force that on the day it bursts out, it blows up everything with it.”

In his Philosophy of History, Hegel remarked that people and governments have never learned anything from history. The observation is crucially relevant to the times we live in.

The Channel 4 video has succeeded in its purpose. It has provoked a fresh inquiry into the Easter Sunday carnage.

The Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has called for an impartial investigation with international assistance into revelations made by the Channel 4 documentary on the 2019 Easter Sunday carnage.

The seventh executive president Gotabaya Rajapaksa has captioned his response with argumentative finesse. He calls it “The latest Channel 4 film on Sri Lanka.”

His response ignores the yet unresolved broad daylight killing of ‘Lasantha Wickrematunge whose brutal assassination is shrewdly woven into the preamble of Channel 4’s Easter Sunday story.

His press release seeks to dismiss Channel 4 allegations as ‘fabrications’ and ‘plain nonsense.’ He explains the deplorable and humiliating transfer of the CID’s top investigator as an imperative dictated by his sense of governance propriety.

As per the media release no one called someone a ‘dog’.

A ‘Viyath Maga’ stalwart in a passionate defence of the former President said on TV that the idea of a few Islamic fundamentalists blowing themselves up to make someone else win the presidency was simply and ridiculously inconceivable.

That indeed is a valid point. But this is where Hegel’s remark of our incapacity to learn from history comes into play.

Who could have imagined that Velupillai Prabhakaran would impose a boycott of the 2005 Presidential election paving the way for a Mahinda Rajapaksa presidency?

So, if history is of any help, the unthinkable and unspeakable indeed can happen.One may agree or disagree about its motives and timing. That said, the simple truth is obvious. The Channel 4 video is cinematography mocking at the Rajapaksa dynasty’s brazen attempt to weaponise ‘pride’ and ‘patriotism’.




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