Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

There’s No Place Like CounterPunch

There's no place like CounterPunch, it's just that simple. And as the radical space within the "alternative media"(whatever that means) landscape continues to shrink, sanctuaries such as CounterPunch become all the more crucial for our political, intellectual, and moral survival. Add to that the fact that CounterPunch won't inundate you with ads and corporate propaganda. So it should be clear why CounterPunch needs your support: so it can keep doing what it's been doing for nearly 25 years. As CP Editor, Jeffrey St. Clair, succinctly explained, "We lure you in, and then punch you in the kidneys." Pleasant and true though that may be, the hard-working CP staff is more than just a few grunts greasing the gears of the status quo.

So come on, be a pal, make a tax deductible donation to CounterPunch today to support our annual fund drive, if you have already donated we thank you! If you haven't, do it because you want to. Do it because you know what CounterPunch is worth. Do it because CounterPunch needs you. Every dollar is tax-deductible. (PayPal accepted)

Thank you,
Eric Draitser

Sri Lanka on the Knife Edge


“When a dog howls at the moon, we call it religion. When he barks at strangers, we call it patriotism.”

— Edward Abbey

Another howler has emerged from Sri Lanka. And, neither laughing nor crying will make any difference. In reply to the recent attack on Buddhist monks in Tamil Nadu, by politically motivated extremists, has proved once again the range of the howls by those holding unquestionable power and enjoying all the privileges in Sri Lanka. Secretary of Defence Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has been quoted by a pro-Rajapakse daily in Colombo this morning saying that any Dravidian coming from Tamil Nadu would be taken into custody and punished.

Published in Divaina, a newspaper owned by the Minister’s brother, is a statement by Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that Sri Lanka will not have any dealings with Tamil Nadu hereafter and maximum penalties will be invoked on Tamils coming from Tamil Nadu, in retaliation to Sri Lankans being attacked and harassed in Tamil Nadu. A former Sri Lankan army lieutenant colonel, Mr. Rajapaksa has been breaking all the rules that should be obeyed by any Defense Secretary. The damage he has done to this country is bigger than anything he might hope to achieve. That said, as someone able to control ‘everything’, he can always blame the reporter later for ‘misrepresenting’ his comment.

It was only fairly recently, when Indians were attacked by Australians in Australia. But none of the Indian politicians howled like how our Secretary of Defence has done over the recent attack on the Buddhist monks in India. There is no doubt  that the attack is wrong. The Indian government has to not only arrest perpetrators and prosecute them quickly, but also prevent such incidents happening in the future.  Maintaining a comprehensive diplomatic communiqué between the two countries is more important than expressing destructive emotional feelings in foolishness.

However, while this comment may be aimed at fooling the people in Sri Lanka to keep a ‘patriotic’ image alive, it will damage Sri Lankan needs at this crucial time. Acting like another Tamil Nadu politician is nothing other than the Secretary showing his true colours, while putting his country in danger. This kind of silly patriotism will not be able to give oxygen to the authoritarianism already at death’s door.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is on his way to conclude his notorious political game in the country; it may take a little more time unless the opposition is able to get rid of the follies we have seen during the last few years. However, nothing can be stop the fall of the Rajapaksa regime, perhaps Rajapaksa has already walked out beyond the control of his own conscience. In fact, he may later, like former President Chandrika Bandaranayake, understand the blundering steps he was forced to take in the last couple of year, killing the primary institutions of the state. He has fallen into a boiling pot like a crab, where he dances with his family members, oblivious to the country having become a volcano about to erupt.

The UN Human Rights Council has passed its second Resolution against Sri Lanka, with 25 member states in favour, including India. Eight members abstained, while 13 voted against the Resolution. As predicted, the Government of India voted for the resolution. It seems that India is using a big stick against the present regime, which is habitually assassinating personal liberties and freedoms in the country. This is another historic event in the country’s arrogant diplomatic mission to eliminate the country’s image internationally.

Terrorizing diplomacy is a common practice that the government of Rajapaksa has worked hard to perfect in many ways in recent years, to aid which the President appointed military leaders as top level diplomats following the end to the bloody civil war in May 2009. At the same time he evicted most of the seasoned, rational, diplomats who could have protected the country from diplomatic catastrophe.

It is as if ignorance has become a central idea to the government’s decision making. It is its strategy, its motto. Such a strategy can work in local politics, but it will never work in international politics. It is clear that none of the Rajapaksa brothers have any idea what diplomacy is. They are deliberately ignoring what this country needs, concerned only with their personal benefit.

While being a cunning fox one can easily attack Tamils in Tamil Nadu, in the same way that the Rajapaksa puppets insulted the lady Chief Justice after tabling the impeachment motion in Parliament.

The country and its people have to suffer due to acts of these individual extremists.

“I can runaway to the United States if it’s no longer safe here”, the Secretary said at the start of the war, remember.

Let us applaud the howls of the ignorant extremists as we stand on a knife-edge, not glad, but in acknowledgement of the bad, sad, mad gifts that the Rajapaksas continue to offer us.

Nilantha Ilangamuwa is journalist and editor of the Sri Lanka Guardian, an online daily news paper based in Colombo Sri Lanka. He can be reached or 


Nilantha Ilangamuwa is Editor of Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives. He also edits the Sri Lanka Guardian, an online daily newspaper. He is the author of the recently released non-fiction books, “Nagna Balaya” (The Naked Power), published in Sinhalese, and “The Conflation”, published in English. 

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians