23 January 2017

Congratulations US President Donald Trump for an inspiring & patriotic inaugural address & declaring war on Wahhabism – den of ‘Radical Islam’

On 20th January 2015 the world witnessed an historic inaugural address. It was the shortest speech since 1977. President Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. He did not follow standard rhetoric, it was full of emotion and patriotism and never forgot the people who supported him. He stood with the people and pointed fault at the establishment whose former leaders were seated behind him. He chastised all those around him - “We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining but never doing anything about it,” His America First was echoed in the lines Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.” “We will rediscover our loyalty to each other,” he said. “When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” Trump takes over an Obama legacy that has added nearly $8 trillion to the national debt, adding nearly $900 billion in costs to the economy and 8 years of over 3000 regulations. The national debt increased from more than $10.6 trillion in January 2009 to $19.6 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2016. There is much that Sri Lanka needs to take from this speech.

The speech was historic for several reasons. When Ronald Reagan took oaths in 1981 his speech centred around taxes and the deficit, the role of government, and freedom, when George Bush Senior took oaths in 1989 his speech was on democracy and freedom, the Soviet Union, and the deficit, when Bill Clinton took oaths in 1993 his theme was American renewal, democracy and the collapse of communism, and global commerce, George Bush in 2001 spoke of poverty, America’s allies and enemies, and community and when Obama took office in 2009 his theme was wars overseas, the economy and health care. Donald Trump took a different turn – his speech centred around transferring power back to the people, making America Great Again, and not imposing America’s will on other nations. “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. Jan. 20, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.” “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first.” “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.” It was a speech full of populist undertones. It reminded of Reagan’s signature lines “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” It was the most AMERICAN speech any President has delivered. It was also a speech that for the first time sidelined and mentioned a specific religious segment of people vowing to defeat them. How many of Sri Lanka’s leaders can match this?
President Trump echoed what leaders of other nations should themselves be declaring
“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now.”

What the Sinhala majority in Sri Lanka can share with President Trump is that he was voicing the sentiments of the majority of the populace who had begun to feel cornered, left out, pushed out with the whims and fancies of immigrants taking over. This was what led to Brexit and what has infused the rise in nationalistic sentiments across Europe.
In taking the side of the American people, President Trump must also understand and empathize with the fact that Sri Lanka was never Sri Lanka until 1972, and Ceylon was never Ceylon until the colonial rulers named it so and this island nation was for thousands of years known as Sinhale/Sinhaladweepa. Obviously if anyone today is ignorant of this fact, it is the fault of the education system and politicians who have not made this very clear to the citizens.

The primordial identity of the island is Sinhalese and the state religion on which the foundation of the civilization was built was Buddhist. There is no Sri Lankan identity because there is no language to identify Sri Lanka with. Sinhale identity is identified by the Sinhalese language and Buddhist religion. These facts are hard to swallow for some which is why they are trying out all types of tricks and manoevres to remove the place of Buddhism in the constitution and replace it with ‘Buddhist philosophy’ which can be interpreted as anyone likes. The foundation of a country is not an experiment in exercise by a handful of people dabbling in words plugging in terms and conditions with the sole intent to wipe out Buddhism. The emphasis Trump afforded to God & Christianity in turn solidifies the argument that the Buddhist heritage of the island cannot be changed or diluted.
This was the first occasion that a US President in his inaugural address identified a religious extremist group. He has assured to wipe out radical Islam. It would be good for him to openly name that radical Islam – British created Wahhabi Islam with the dual role of dividing the Muslims and creating hatred for Muslims among non-Muslims.
The American people are too angered that their hinterland is being infiltrated and they are being made to take the back seat. This radical Islam is funded to cause dissent. Growing numbers of Americans and even Europeans are openly coming out in anger against rising numbers of mosques as symbols of power which are being built next door to traditional historical institutions and these entities use all the fundamental rights terminologies to demand their right to disturb proceedings. The message they deliver is quite simple “we are powerful because of our money – stop us if you can – we dare you to”.
George Friedman says that Trump took the side of people who had been silenced by a false notion of ‘political correctness’ and were angry that they could not articulate traditional values and cultures they had been taught as children and passed down from generation.
Sinhalese majority has much to share with the American and European majority.
Let the Trump administration take note that Trump is a natural ally of the Sinhala Buddhists for these reasons and let us also remind that the majority of Tamils openly supported Hillary, and Tamil political leaders going so far as to break over 1000 coconuts to appease the Gods and appeal to the Gods to bring her to power.
No doubt he has taken a leaf from Norman Vincent Peale “Change your mental habits to belief instead of disbelief,” and Trump’s speech was full of positive thinking. The backdrop to his “buy American and hire American.” were simple statistics - in 2000, US had 17.18 million manufacturing jobs. In 2016, the number was down to 12.28 million manufacturing jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Some statistics
·         When Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. government was 10.6 trillion dollars in debt.  Today, the U.S. national debt is currently sitting at a staggering total of $19,842,173,949,869.58.
·         Republicans now hold the presidency, both houses of Congress, 33 governorships and control of both legislature chambers in 32 states
·         Democrats only control both legislature chambers in just 13 states.
·         percentage of families that own a house dropped from 67.5 percent, when President Obama first took office in January 2009, to 62.9 percent in November 2016
·         as of November 2016 - 5.5 million unfilled job openings — double the number in the month Obama took office in 2009.
·         Nearly 7 out of every 10 Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.  That means that about two-thirds of the country is essentially living paycheck to paycheck at this moment.
·         46.5 Million on food stamps – 13m have joined since 2009
·         5.5 Million fallen into poverty since Obama became President in 2009 (US Census)
·         401,000 construction jobs/ 321,000 manufacturing jobs lost since Obama became President (US Labor Bureau)

With the inauguration behind him, Trump is now challenged to put words into action. Saying he’s anti-establishment is one thing but actually putting together a team and a plan that is ready to challenge the system that has grown in itself is a whole new piece of cake. We understand that it is not an easy endeavor and we should not expect miracles but we do want to see action especially in the areas of foreign policy.
US will "not go abroad in search of enemies,"
US will be “always happy when old enemies become friends, and when old friends become allies."
“We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow,”
Nobel Peace laureate Barak Obama dropped 26,171 bombs in 2016 alone - 93 percent, or 24,287 of them, fell on Iraq and Syria while the rest were on 5 other countries – Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia. Even after promising to deliver democracy to both Iraq & Libya after getting rid of their ‘dictators’ both countries are worse off than they were under their supposed ‘dictators’. Excessive bombing of nations, creating fleeing citizens, importing jihadists and arming them have created more enemies than the US would like to count. It is in the backdrop of this that Trumps words that US would in future not seek to impose US way of life on anyone by force is welcome.
From the spectrum of positively taking President Trumps policy statements in placing AMERICA FIRST and concentrating on building up America and Americans before setting out to deliver democracy to the world will certainly make America Great Again and in turn will make the Rest of the World will then proudly follow.

Sri Lanka’s present leaders have much to take from President Trumps speech. We too want to see our leaders put our Island first and assure to protect its historical past and identity while not caving in to the whims and fancies of external parties out to cut a proud nation to pieces. We do not vote for leaders willing to follow the policy of appeasement.

Shenali D Waduge