Feb 7, 2018
Right of reply
Firstly, I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to Dr. Wijewardena for sharing his thoughts about the YouTube videos I posted revealing the open-dialogue conducted in a closed room at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura. However, I am also sincerely troubled by the possibility that as a ‘conventional’ intellect he has either failed to grasp the entirety of that dialogue or has chosen to selectively interpret segments of the content to aid his misdirection of the readers of this Monday’s issue of the Daily FT.
Stuck within the parameters of his interpretation, Dr. Wijewardena is unable to perceive that I was encouraging the students to challenge, probe, and criticise the so-called intellectuals as advised by its founder Soratha Thero, some 60 years ago.
Spotting a factual error, I would like to clarify that the two lectures were presented to two batches of second-year students instead of first-year students as mentioned by him. Did he want to misinform that I addressed ‘freshers’? I wonder.
If Dr. Wijewardena understood that my ‘old’ political economy perspective is historically true up to now, I don’t believe that he would have been an accessory to the trapping of the Sri Lankan economy as a long-serving Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
The dialogue I presented at USJ explored the historical timeline of the current global economic disaster. On this global historical journey, USA was a critical talking point of mine but it was not the focus of my expounding. However, it does not take an intellect to note the blatant defence of US politics by Dr. Wijewardena in his writing. Should the students not challenge, probe, and criticise him?
On this ‘we’ and ‘they’ argument, Dr. Wijewardena has not understood that this is how the natural world works. It is as human as it is animal and is malleable to the context it is seen in. In the context Dr. Wijewardena puts himself into, ‘we’ for him seems to be USA as the ‘master of the universe’ and I wonder who ‘they’ are? Once again, I am baffled that Dr. Wijewardena is unable to perceive how my long tirades at USJ were all focused on how to bring Sri Lanka to a win-win situation globally. We are not in any state of win currently.
Historically, factually, and theoretically, Dr. Wjiewardena’s fallacy about globalisation saddens me. Travelling merchants is not the globalisation movement; multi-national capital sharing is the globalisation movement!
Knowingly or unknowingly, Dr. Wijewardena continues to spread misinformation for deception. The pricing of water has nothing to do with the king’s or present Government’s taxes; the unit pricing of water is similar to the method used to price oil is my analysis. I would like to openly invite Dr. Wijewardena to engage in a public dialogue about this with me or maybe simply read my book, ‘Jala Rakusanta Erehiwa’.
Another factual error – there is no such institution named IWMA, shouldn’t it be IWMI? Unless the institute has become a secret authority and Dr. Wijewardena is in the know.
I suggest that USJ students should not get consulted by but teach the ‘intellects’ that water management should be the protection of the natural environmental systems guarding the water cycle and not the pricing of the water that is leftover.
I urge the University of Sri Jayewardenepura to host an open debate between Dr. Wijewardena and me with the same batches of students in the audience. I also welcome the Daily FT to cover this eventful event.