Avalanche of Non-News: The Morning Raid
I had been at pains to point out to international observers that if former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (Gota) resigned, and Sri Lanka meticulously followed a Constitutional path to electing a President, then by definition, that would be a full throttled achievement of the “restoration of order” everyone was clamoring for.
And indeed, that came to pass -- an election process quite distinct in the annals of democracy, peacefully administered. Many hearts sank though, when the very next day we were treated to headlines about a “morning raid” and “attacks on protestors” from the tri-forces.
Surely, no one would be so intemperate. That was a day that was to be about Cabinet appointments, perhaps some 100-day plan, a chance for restoration of vision and potential.
Already the IMF had responded promising fast action to conclude agreements, already much of the world was heaving a sigh of relief.
But by that morning, outrage was gushing. The “foreign press” was having a field day, gearing up for more days of alarmism and draconian portents. Embassies justly expressed humanitarian concern and of course found pulpits handy to sermonize from.
It has to be admitted, the communication shared by the government as to the court order issued, the protestors having been repeatedly asked to vacate, was done in a muted way. And before “shock and awe” a “front and center” communication was needed, to address local and global sensitivities.
That said, most of the chastisement was bizarrely about “allowing for free expression” and “peaceful protest.” That is a strange admonition indeed given the three months that the protestors have “occupied” public thoroughfares, and limited the access to government buildings and more.
And we’ve cheered their spirit and passion and heroism. But the charge can hardly be that their “expression” has been compromised! Or that anyone has inhibited their right to peacefully protest except on a few unfortunate days where there were significant repercussions for doing so.
Gota resigned. A Constitutional process followed. The rule of law has to eventually trump the posturing of all groups, even those whose “postures” have been admirable by and large.
Asked to leave by legal decree by 6 am, the protestors said they would leave by 2:30. At some point, the law has to reassert boundaries. We are assured “emergency powers” were not drawn upon, though technically a “state of emergency” still persists.
Many alternate sites have been identified for peaceful protests. And doubtless “execution” of the legal order could have been more graceful, and communication clearer and more compelling, and a few hours of patience perhaps more forthcoming.
But the Ambassadors summoned by the President were rightly admonished as well, not to just jump on social media bandwagons, rather than getting fully briefed first by official sources, and then indeed arriving at whatever conclusions they wish.
But they hurt rather than help by spinning tales that feed distortions about militaristic clamp downs that clearly are not the main driver here.
Re-establishing the “rule of law” applies to everyone and civil society needs a chance to rebound, especially as media porn has plenty of other agitations to relay.
In no particular order:
WHO announces Monkeypox a “PHEIC”
In other words, that declares it a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”
Now, if you have been living under a rock for the last few years, definitionally the criteria for this is
“an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.”
And hot on the heels of this classification can come the usual hypochondriacal trove of travel warnings and critique of global health protocols and whatnot.
A month ago, they abstained from such a declaration (the committee has been “deadlocked” and the WHO Director-General only now “broke the deadlock”).
WHO’s own “expert” panel therefore had voted 9-6 against emergency declaration for Monkeypox. It was the WHO chief, in his best “Darth Sidious” persona, who over-ruled the panel and decided to declare the “emergency.”
The primary change, as best we can see, has been a smallpox vaccine from the Danish pharma company Bavarian Nordic having been approved for monkeypox.
Also, there is now the usual mindless clamor for testing those without symptoms and claiming, via the same deranged PCR methodology “asymptomatic transmission” (meaning you can make it up). So, as Ukraine falls from headline favor, “COVID resurgence” and Monkeypox ride to the alarmist rescue.
Please note only 3 people have died outside of Africa from this “dire” malady, 5 worldwide in the last 3 months!
15,800 “afflicted” people in 72 countries is barely a global trickle, and virtually all are via sexual transmission from male same sex interaction. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, 95% of transmission was via sexual activity and 98% of that came from gay or bisexual men. 41% were HIV positive. Of the 528 cases in the study, none died.
And if you look at the details, this congregates among a wildly promiscuous subset of the gay community. Of course, “woke” orthodoxy will not allow any suggestion that any stigma be applied, or anyone in this category be encouraged to temporarily hold back.
While the public health “authorities” seem to be very careful about what to inhibit much less prohibit in this situation, they inhibited and prohibited with wild abandon over a respiratory illness with a 99% recovery rate and a mortality rate beyond normal life span (82 globally). There they were happy to “criminalize” everything! Playgrounds, schools, time with loved ones, the entire social existence of millions upon millions of people.
But the merest hint that promiscuous gay men might pull their exuberance down a few notches, seems beyond the pale. Being human could be readily stigmatized, as could traveling, running a business, but not when it comes to widescale anonymous sex?
THE COVID NON-RESURGENCE!
COVID headlines are back, mercifully not widespread yet in the developing world. And in Sri Lanka they are just in time to make it more likely, unless we deploy our wits, that we undermine any chance at a tourism revival in response to no excess mortality.
We should rather be proceeding sanely by treating symptoms and not once more investing in a mad “testing” campaign that is irrelevant and unreliable, and which we can’t afford anyway.
UK “COVID cases” tripled in six weeks! How unfortunate that without masks or limitations, it is now clear this has nevertheless already peaked, and indeed across most of Europe too.
How unfortunate that mass vaccination seems to track resurgent infection and even higher death rates. New Zealand is currently proving that conclusively, as did Australia just before it. Whereas Haiti with 1.5% “vaccination” continues to have no COVID to speak of, ditto most of the African continent. South Asia is doing just fine too.
While “cases” (tests of undetermined accuracy without symptoms necessarily) have popped up in China and India, that would be akin to getting rattled that there is a new “cold virus” each year. We don’t test there, so those don’t take over headlines. “People who tested positive” is statistical poppycock for propaganda purposes.
US death numbers are mild, UK is peaking, and the terrible symptoms of this “sub-variant BA.5”? Wait for it… sore throat and hoarse voice! Oh, and to top up the terror? Night sweats and trouble getting to sleep! Stop the planet! These "symptoms" are especially terrifying in the middle of a European and American heat wave or indeed a menopausal spike.
Another mutant! BA.2.75, called “Centaurus”. They had to jump over “pi” says Kit Knightly, as a “Pie Variant” wouldn’t be scary enough. But what else does this marauding new variant offer? It “may” be more infectious, and it “may” be more severe.
But it definitely can help the virus “escape from antibodies elicited by the current vaccines.” But this was already happening!
President “Sleepy Joe” Biden, touted to have had 4 masks, 4 boosters, gets afflicted again, just after Fauci was infected and re-infected for two months due to the complete failure of the public health witchcraft plus the Pfizer medicines (Paxlovid after which his COVID “rebounded” by his own admission). Doesn’t that fill you with confidence in terms of “following the science”?
Fauci has just confessed,
“The Covid-19 virus won’t be eradicated (we all knew that, except the public health people two years ago, due to animal reservoirs) and even those who are vaccinated will keep getting it.”
This was Fauci on the 21st of July. Great reason to keep getting “vaccinated” through “vaccines” that don’t work.
So why is the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) in Sri Lanka pushing everyone there to have these expiring useless mRNA “vaccines” that were designed for the original Wuhanese variant? No plausible explanation has been proffered, other than they are "expiring."
If the Ukraine policy fiasco and failure (Russia is richer than before, Ukraine cannot win as the West will not directly engage, and staggering amounts of money that could bail out most of the distressed nations afflicted by a “lockdown economy” are monthly shoveled into the black hole there) and inflation and recessionary noises are getting uncomfortable, you pull out your “ageing rock band” (COVID and crowd) to do encores, after, as Kit writes,
“…the audience has snored through their experimental new album.”
The Crackpots Continue
“At present, there is no direct evidence (from studies on COVID-19 and in healthy people in the community) on the effectiveness of universal masking of healthy people in the community to prevent infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19” - WHO, June 2020
“The pooled results of  randomised trials did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical/surgical masks during seasonal influenza” - Jefferson Et Al., 2020
“We did not observe association between mask mandates or use and reduced Covid-19 spread in US states" - Guerra & Guerra, 2021
Beyond the simple logic of virus size (~0.1 microns) versus the mask pore size (~19 microns), obvious leakage and poor handling of masks by the general public, there is ample evidence demonstrating that masks are ineffective at reducing community spread and cause a range of ill effects (malaise, increased CO2 inhalation, contamination, reduced cardiopulmonary function…). Furthermore, a false sense of security resulting from a false belief in mask effectiveness may lead an infectious individual to wear a mask and mix with genuinely high-risk people, putting them at serious risk of potential infection and illness.
The reflexive “put masks back on” is a silly Pavlovian reflex, akin to sucking on a public health lollipop. How are masks supposed to help you and others when the virus passes through them and most of the face is exposed? And no one would let you in a surgery with cloth masks, and even surgeons with a virus are not allowed to operate with a surgical mask as no real protection is afforded.
We have had massive large-scale events, Wimbledon, Grand Prix, concerts, political rallies, protests, the truckers in Canada, Sri Lanka protests, Pakistan rallies, protests in France post Macron’s alleged victory, the Dutch recently, no correlated surge anywhere. US States with or without mask mandates have had no difference in outcomes. This is a theology not a medical prescription at this stage.
And virtually no instance of outdoor transmission, so forget them outdoors. The face nappy fetish is beyond absurd even indoors, unless people are literally “packed in” and even there, ventilation matters more.
Then the “jabs.”
Alex Berenson, reinstated on Twitter (after Twitter had to concede his earlier Tweets were in fact “not” misleading when he took them to court) writes about the mRNA confusion as follows:
“Let’s be clear: the mRNA experiment is now truly in uncharted waters. Never before have governments encouraged hundreds of millions of people to take what they call 'vaccines' multiple times a year – even as they admit the shots can’t stop the disease they were meant to halt.”
“The fact that these shots consist of a biotechnology – modified RNJA – whose long-term impact is unknown and which had never been approved for human use outside experimental trials before 2020 only adds to the insanity of this experiment.”
“Meanwhile, excess mortality in Europe is now far above average for the third year in a row – and among young people is much higher this year than in 2020 or 2021. Is this what you thought would happen when the vaccines were unveiled? Is this what they promised you?”
How about this as a crazy secret? Knowing you are not at risk from a mild respiratory virus and that there are numerous protocols for early treatment that categorically eliminate the risk to virtually zero, relax and deal with it if you need to.
“Did you get Covid?” Who knows, who cares? If you have symptoms and are around someone at risk (above 65 and/or with multiple comorbidities), exercise the same caution you would with any potential disease around the immuno-compromised.
This is wearyingly overhyped as a topic of discussion, or concern, much less any basis for applying the brakes on life and living. Time to re-empower our immune systems and our own hardiness and resilience.
Back to Sri Lankan Basics
Dynastic rule let Sri Lanka down. Sri Lanka pays far too much for a military that arguably isn’t needed anywhere close to that extent. Close to 50% of every dollar spent on the government goes to the military. There is a highly expensive, highly inefficient and demonstrably ineffective government bureaucracy – the worst of all worlds.
Provide enough stability and improve the positioning and delivery of higher end tourism, let fertilizer renew upcoming harvests, find ways to incentivize migrant workers and the diaspora to use banking channels for inward remittances, make Sri Lanka an attractive operating base for top companies and talented people, and the flywheel will start turning again, decisively and quickly.
The almost jovial “takeover” of the President’s residence and the more sobering destruction of the then Prime Minister’s house, provides a surreal juxtaposition. Gota’s flight to Maldives and then the flight (the “most tracked in the world” on that day) to Singapore, the awaited “resignation” needing to be validated after receipt… this is heady theater.
But these are lives involved, and futures, and far more than theatrics. Its time to reinstate solid expertise, and commitment to reality, and create a vision of national recovery and breakthrough and enlist and enroll allies and stakeholders to deliver it and benefit from it.
Sri Lanka, like other nations in this period, needs a resurgence of not just national pride but national standards. They need to seek not external “aid” but to leverage internal capabilities and competence, in collaboration with others.
The courage shown on the Galle Face protest site and elsewhere should not be misdirected at bogeymen now. It should focus on the inner demons that made Sri Lankans fodder for plunder. The beautiful people of this remarkable culture deserve better and must demand better, of their leaders, but also of themselves.
The world is not what we were led to believe. The economic homilies were lies, the lifestyles unsustainable, the medical prescriptions ridiculously disproportionate. And so we are left locally and globally, with questions, of what genuinely will work for nations and their people. And those question marks need to be “digested” not as sources of alarm, but as nourishing occasions for real growth.
I miss very little when spending time in my adopted second home of Sri Lanka. But I genuinely miss, at this time of year, not being where I had been every year pre Covid since 1997, at The Shaw Festival in Canada, immersed and involved in the Governor’s Council. This year, the Festival, making a slow but sure comeback is showcasing Shaw’s fantasia, Too True to be Good.
It is a series of declarations of outlook, and the first character to speak is a microbe! I can’t get further into that here; it deserves its own attention. But a reflection on this performance gets our predicament just right.
Written in 1932, it foreshadows the insanity that was about to engulf the world.
“With a cavalier disregard for the unities of time and place, the play takes us on a surreal journey into the heart of the outdated public and private prejudices and errors that would soon be swept away – or would they?”
Or do these just return, in new disguise, to persecute us anew? We must experiment more boldly, we need to experience more fully, and we must commit more deeply -- and we must seek a new and more invigorating sense of individual and collective self in this new world struggling to be born.