NW Goonewardena withdraws from Thuppahi in Disgust

An EMAIL MEMO from NW Goonewardena, 26 July 2022, … with emphasis in black being his work.**

I was well aware of the meaning of the word “slander.”  But, since I am old now, my memory is not that good.  So, I decided to see the meaning of the word “slander” in various dictionaries.  A cross-section of the meaning in various dictionaries (eg. Collins, Webster’s) are given below:
(1) “Outright LIES about a person’s actions or character and can seriously harm their reputation.”
(2) “Malicious gossip.”
(3) “Make FALSE and damaging statements about someone.”
(4) “The utterance of FALSE charges or misinterpretations which defame and damage another person’s reputation.”

That would more than do.  The key meaning that is coming through is making FALSE allegations about someone.  Can you or anybody prove/show me that I have made any FALSE allegations against anybody?  Just saying so, is preposterousl.  You have to establish it with evidence (that is something, most, if not all, who comment on your website never do).
So, if you cannot show me any evidence, please don’t point fingers at me and say that I am slandering others.
Let us take an actual example.  If I am not mistaken, I said that Sri Skantha (or some name similar to that) was racially prejudiced.  Can you show me that this accusation is false?  That, Sri Skantha is an eclectic, egalitarian, and impartial person?  If you can show me evidence to this effect, then I am willing to accept that I have slandered him. If not, I think everybody should shut up.
Michael, your blog has become a common playground for expatriate Sri Lankans living within the cocoons of western countries, and in the twilight zone of their lives to have a whale of a time.  They are “experts” on everything in Sri Lanka, be it, history, culture, religion, economy, society, or for that matter of fact, anything.  I ask you to seriously reflect whether any one of them writes factually?  Whether anyone, has at least a working knowledge of what they are writing about?  Whether they just say what comes to their mind without any supporting evidence? Whether some are talking absolute rubbish?  Whether some are making use of the blog to , often indirectly, but sometimes, directly, vent their bitterness regarding matters pertaining to race, religion, and even culture?  Whether some are trying to deliberately misinterpret and mislead others regarding various aspects of our country?  Whether some are trying to show off their repertoire of the “kaduwa”,  and nothing else,?  Whether some are stating links between people and events without in anyway indicating how such links occur(ed)? (For example, some make statements like this – “remember Ranil Wickremasinghe and the bond scam?”  That is all.  There is not a single qualification or addition to that statement by them.  To drive home the point, it is like my stating “remember Michael Roberts and the anti-Covid protesters in Australia?”  What is the real issue, and where is the real link between people and people, or, people and events?.
Your blog has also become a playground for some to place their biographies, where, often, we are not in a position to know whether the content of the “biography” is true or not.  Anyway, who wants to know people’s personal characteristics, their “achievements”, and comments regarding their “very impressive” lineage?  Surely, this is not a place for such boastful comedy?  In fact, I am reminded that this person’s father, who I admit was a very good writer, had to show his resentment of the dilution of democracy in the country at one time by placing a fictitious obituary notice saying,” the death is announced of D.E.M. O’crazy, father of Liberty, etc”.  He did not have the guts to show his resentment by directly writing about the dilution of democracy in the country by his editorial or another article in the newspaper.  After he placed this “obituary” in his newspaper, I lost all regard for him, and considered him a cynical coward.
Finally, I would also like you to reflect that everybody who comments on your blog, do ONLY  post-mortems.  “This happened, that should not have happened, so and so is a crook, the golden age when the ‘suddas’ were here, our people are violent, our religions are shit, so and so should should go to jail,………,.”   The  list of post mortems is endless.  But does anybody suggest the way forward?  Does anybody even have any idea about how we can come out of our current economic crisis?  Does anybody suggest how we can achieve stability in this country?  (On the contrary, I think some of them will be very happy if the country degenerates further in to chaos so that some vested interests of theirs’ can come to power).
Basically, your blog has become a talk shop, a place for vile gossip, and a place for pseudo-intellectuals, and a few braggers.  More than anything else, it has become a playground for Sri Lankan expatriates in the twilight zone of their lives to pass judgment on Sri Lanka and its people from far, far away, and with absolutely no understanding of the ground realities.  That is the bitter truth.
N W Goonewardena
NWG is responding to this NOTE I sent him:
DEAR NALIN GOON, THE commentary in Thuppahi IS becominga slanging match and an abusive personal battle.
I request you to hold back and restrain yourself .  i have a trip to maake now so am in a rush …………………….. michael R


Filed under accountability, discrimination, disparagement, life stories, politIcal discourse, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, taking the piss, tolerance, unusual people, vengeance

15 responses to “NW Goonewardena withdraws from Thuppahi in Disgust

  1. One should not take this so seriously – it is not an attack on anyone but a very humorous ‘obituary’. If it was a personal attack I agree that facts should be verified before posting. These days unfortunately both social media, broadcasters and newspapers post unverified ‘fake news’.

    • N. Goonewardena

      An editor of an influential newspaper should not engage in “humor” through the obituary column. That is stuff a clerk in the newspaper office would do. There is very much more space and place for anyone to engage in humor in a newspaper.
      Please note that even if you reply, I will not be inclined to reply, nor able to respond to you in this blog from now on.

    • N. Goonewardena

      I did respond to this earlier, but it seems that it did not get posted. This was not humor at all. This was this editor’s way of showing his dissent to what he considered to be the dilution of democracy by the then government. Maybe you were sleeping then, but this “humorous” and fictitious death notice led to a public outcry and the wrath of the government towards this editor. I am not sure of this, but I think he was sacked. If the editor wanted to engage in humor, the obituary column was not the place do it. There would have been enough space elsewhere in the newspaper for him to do perform his comedies.. If his intention was to show that democracy was getting eroded in the country, then he should have openly and directly addressed it in his editorial, or elsewhere in the newspaper. His resort to expressing his feelings through a fictitious death notice is, nothing else, but the act of a coward. One could have expected this behaviour from a clerk in the office of this newspaper, but certainly not the editor of this widely circulated English newspaper in the country. To put it mildly, this was sour humor, at its worst.
      Please note that even if you or anyone else reply this post, I will not be able to respond further to you because I am permanently exiting this website shortly.

    • N. Goonewardena

      I posted a reply to this but I am not sure whether it got posted. my apologies for the repetition, if it did get posted the first time around.

      Very “humorous” to say the least, Mr. de Soyza! I have never heard of editors using the obituary column of newspapers to make “humorous” comments/views. As he was the editor he had the L.I. Berty and the space to write his “humor” anywhere else in his newspaper, as he pleased. I think you would have been sleeping when there was controversy surrounding this “death notice”, and it earned the wrath of the then government, and this editor was sacked for, I think, the third time in his career as editor of leading newspapers in this country.

      If the editor wanted to show his dissent about the way he felt about the erosion of democracy in Sri Lanka, then, he should have done it openly and directly without hiding his intentions in the obituary columns. There are lots of references to this editor being outspoken, openly critical, and so on, in a huge number of articles that have appeared and I have been able to read thanks to the Internet. But, surely, this is not the behavoiur of an outspoken, and openly critical person. To me this smells entirely of cowardism that you would not expect from a leading newspaper in Sri Lanka. I could have imagined this to be the work of an immature clerk in the newspaper office.

      I also have questions as to the originality of this “death notice”, for I have come across this same construction in newspapers in at least three other countries.

      I salute this editor for very useful and incisive contributions to educate the public on various aspects of our country. However, for me, I lost all respect for him after this maliciously intended “obituary notice” without revealing who was behind it. That is the characteristic of a coward.

      Please note that as advertised widely by Michael Roberts (and not me), my days on this site are coming to an end. So, even if you reply this post I will not be able to respond to your post.

      Good luck!

  2. Chandra Maliyadde

    In my opinion this blog accomodates diverse views. One may like this; one may not. But it provides space to share the different views and experiences of people of all ages with different interests. In a world with diversity one cannot seek solace by getting into a shell. Innovation comes from diversity. In my opinion Michael does a thankless job with this blog.

    • N. Goonewardena

      Mr. Maliyadde, am I wrong in assuming that you were a top government official during your work days? If you are that person, I had a lot of respect for you then, because you openly called a ‘spade a spade’ in many forums that I was also present.

      I remember vividly a question you posed at a gathering (which went for a few days in more salubrious climes than Colombo)) when there was this big hype about capacity building (and many other mavericks) amongst international agencies in Sri Lanka, INGOs and NGOs, and also participants from civil society groups. You asked the speakers to show you what capacities have been built and where they have been built. I couldn’t have agreed more with you. Although there were a few words and sighs, in general, it was very clear that they had absolutely no answers to your two questions. So, I admired you for your fearless foray in to territory that at that time was dominated by these international agencies, and, their local lackeys.

      But looking at your post here, I think you have mellowed down. i guess we all do with age. But, if you think that I am being cynical about the work of the editor of this blog, I think you have read me wrong. I think he has a lot of work and he is trying his best to maintain this blog despite a few fly-by-night participants like me. Also, as stated by you yourself, I also should have the opportunity to voice my views on matters that have been posted in this blog. However, as widely advertised by no one else but the editor himself (and certainly not me), you will be spared my comments in future.

  3. Brigadier (Rtd) Ranjan de Silva

    Some time back,when I commented positively when Sri Lanka was considering going to IMF, I was slammed. I was told I did not know anything about the IMF and to stick to writing about the military. A few days later, Sri Lanka went to the IMF calling it “the lender of last resort.” Another accused me of being a drug addict when I have been a teetotaller and a non-smoker all my life. I did not care to respond. I can understand NWG’s disgust. Thuppahi must maintain standards – intellectual and ethical – to command respect.

  4. Why are these people visiting the Thuppahi blog where there is falsehood and slander when there are million blogs to visit to find the truth! Thuppahi blog serves free speach, the reason why it has a zillion readers around the world!

  5. N Goonewardena

    I can see that you cannot even spell the word “speech.” Do you even have the faintest clue as to how much a zillion is? Sorry, but you will also have to count extraterrestrials to make up your zillions. That is, if they exist at all. First learn what a billion is before you embark on counting in zillions!

  6. N. Goonewardena

    Don’t worry, Michael. I never used the word disgust or anything near it to tell you that I will be leaving your blog. As usual, in your prejudicial mind, you have coined the term “in disgust” when everybody can plainly see from my email to you that I made absolutely no such reference.

    Furthermore, Michael, I only expressed my opinion about your blog ONLY TO YOU, PERSONALLY, and I copied it only to one other person. I did not even blind copy that person, as I think you would have done. I copied directly from the email I sent you, and to this person in a manner you could explicitly see. In addition, I just made the comment in a response to some one’s post, that I would not be able to respond to any further posts by him/her, as I would be exiting the blog. That is all.

    Your crooked mind has made you misinterpret and mislead others as to my genuine intentions. I only intended to inform you personally about my opinions of your blog. I thought, that you would at least take a few of my comments seriously. Obviously, as I should have expected, they have only had the impact on you of making my comments public, despite my never having wanted to do so, and poking your sadistic “fun” at me through even cartoons. These speak volumes for who you really are, Michael, and don’t think everybody in the blog will be fooled by your theatrics.

    I never wanted to splash my feelings about the blog, publicly. I made some critical comments just to you (and another person who is well established in this blog, and is, it seems to me, your very good friend). I then, wanted to leave the blog without making any fuss, and getting on with other more important things in my life.

    I think you made this preemptive strike of making my comments public fearing that I would make a sensational exit, publicly, from your blog. Sorry, Michael, that may be the way your crooked mind works and the way you would have exited,, but I am certainly made of better stuff than that.

  7. N. Goonewardena

    Dear Michael,

    I am still shocked and unable to come to terms with your totally unnecessary publicising of my impending exit from your blog with decorations of your own words like, NG withdraws “in disgust”, and further decorated with satirical cartoons. Why did you do this to me? I have not said one word bad about you publicly, or privately. I have only stated my opinion on the contents of your blog. Even in that, I made no personal criticisms or comments regarding you. Furthermore, my comments were made privately to you. I never publicised that email that I sent you. It is you who jumped the gun and preemptively publicised it in your blog. If you get offended, just because I use the phrase “in your blog” when I criticized the contents of your blog, then I think you are behaving very childishly, and showing stark immaturity.

    I never wanted to confront you at any time. That is well known to my own conscience which is all that matters to me. But, Michael, don’t take me for a sucker. If you have, you are sadly mistaken. Sometimes, people climb over my shoulders. Irritating as it is, I even allow some to climb over my shoulders, knowingly. But, I send out a very strong warning signal to you. No one, absolutely no one, has, and will be, able to climb over my head. If anyone tries that, I know how to respond (and have responded) in a manner that will make that person repent his intended actions for the rest of his/her life. Hollow threats? Let’s see!

  8. N. Goonewardena

    Michael, it seems you have even blocked my ability to post comments here on this particular issue. I hope not, but I will know for sure, if there is no message from you asking me to confirm my post. I will have to see.

    • Mr GOONEWARDENA you need to take note of THE TIME DIFFERENCES in the different parts of the world and not chage at windmills like the infamous Don Quixote. All comments in Thuppahi have to be approved by me…. and, as it happens, my EMAIL Account is unundated these days .. so the time lapse can be considerable.

  9. By the way i thought you had withdrawn from THUPPAHI about three or four days back!

    • N. Goonewardena

      Dear Michael,

      You are always stating in public, and assuming things I never said. First, I would like to remind you that I did not decide to leave your blog “in disgust” as you publicly claimed. If you read my email properly you will see that I only said something to the effect that there is nothing more useful to my knowledge in the Thuppahi’s blog, and nothing left to appreciate. Therefore, that I have decided to unsubscribe from the blog. The reference to leaving “in disgust” is your own fabrication of something that I never said. In this respect, I hope that you will not indulge in such petty and immature jibes at others, ever again.

      Second, you are now claiming that you “thought” that I had left the blog 3 to 4 days ago. “Thinking” is one thing, Michael, but reality can be different.
      I never gave you a definite timeline by which I was unsubscribing from your blog. Not even a tentative one. I only said something to the effect, that it will be soon. But no fixed or even approximate timeline was given to you by me. Once again, you are fabricating evidence that one would not expect from a mature person of your background.

      Once again, I say, that, in addition to other such stories, you have again fabricated two stories regarding me and have placed them in the public domain. They are both completely false. (1) You have fabricated that I was leaving the blog “in disgust.” (2) You have fabricated another story that I had given you reason to believe that I would leave the blog “in three or four days time.” If you have not fabricated these two stories, show me and other subscribers of the blog that you did not fabricate these stories, and that they were stated by me? Please do so, if you can? Otherwise, it is indication that you are acting both maliciously, and irresponsibly.

      I also note that despite your “thinking” that I had left the blog three to four days ago, you have sent me material to my email address on the 29th, 30th and 31st of July. That is, you have sent me these after (past) the days you were “thinking” that I had left the blog.

      Am I to consider all this, comedy, or tragedy!

      For all practical purposes, I would like to remain in the blog for another 8 days, or so. However, I do understand it is your blog and that you have the prerogative to jettison me earlier. If you are doing so, I will be grateful if you could inform me in advance the date on which you intend jettisoning me.

      N W Goonewardena

Leave a Reply