20 January 2019
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Victor Navorsky

newrovskyA man came to NY JFK Airport
From a distant land of Krakozhia
He carried two bags and a tin can
They called him Victor Navorsky

When the entry visa was denied
Navorsky was stranded at the airport
He had no friends or next of kin
Became solitary among thousands of people

Now he is many miles away from home
Could not return home due to heavy fighting
Had no salvage what so ever
Until he met a flight attendant from the United Airlines

Navorsky was waiting
So as the flight attendant Amelia
In the long run
Everybody is waiting

The Republic of Krakozhia
May be a fictitious land
Or victor Navorsky never lived
But one thing is sure
Life is waiting



V.I. Lenin: The Compulsive Revolutionary

"There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen"--
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D.

Lenin was born Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov on April 22, 1870, in Simbirsk, Russia. Until 1901, he was known as. Volodya or Vladimir Ulyanov. In 1910 he took the political alias of Lenin. He was a political genius and also the main architect of the Soviet Union. Lenin’s theories became a major part of the Communist worldview. He transformed the Russian Empire in to a Marxists state.

According to the newly revealed actualities Lenin’s childhood has been scrutinized. These reports indicate that he was a problem child. He displayed a number of childhood neurotic behavior. Little. Volodya used to go in to hyperactive and hysterical behavior and sometimes used to bang his head on the floor. He was a neurotic child with tantrums. He experienced more psychological distress than other Ulyanov children probably due to insecurity. Constantly Volodya needed his mother’s attention and his father’s approval.

However he was not his parent’s favorite child. Lenin’s elder brother Aleksandr Ilyich Ulyanov became the central attraction in the family. He was an eloquent intelligent and a gentle child. Everyone adored him. From the early days Volodiya (Lenin) had a resentment and jealousy towards Aleksandr or Sacha. However things changed dramatically when Aleksandr Ulyanov was arrested by the Police for an assassination attempt on the life of Alexander III of Russia. Later He was hanged.

Young Volodiya (Lenin) experienced two family tragedies which changed his life drastically. One was the death of his father Ilya Nikolayevich Ulyanov (1886) and the second - execution of his brother Aleksandr in 1887. Both events transformed him to an emotionally numbed radical character. Sacha was his competitor as well as his role model. Sacha‘s departure created a deep void in him. Until Sacha’s death he was not interested in politics. He was mostly reading the works of Mikhail Lermontov and Alexander Pushkin. But after Sacha’s death he entered in to underground politics. He began his active revolutionary work in 1892.

Sasha’s death haunted Volodiya relentlessly. He began to study Marxism and became an orthodox Marxist He became a Compulsive Revolutionary. Revolution became an obsession for him. Lenin once said Revolutions are the locomotive of history. Bolton (2012) states that traumas in Lenin’s youth did provide the catalyst for his life’s course.

Lenin was an excellent orator and a propagandist. His writings were incomparable. He had the ability of analyzing political events radiantly. He was charming and a charismatic person. He had outstanding organizational skills. He was becoming popular among other revolutionaries. His slogans attracted a large number of followers home and abroad.

While working as a revolutionist and living in exile Lenin published his philosophical work titled Materialism and Empiriocriticism in which he argued the human perceptions and the objective external world. In his 1901 political pamphlet What Is to Be Done? Lenin insisted that Marxists should form a political party, or "vanguard," of dedicated revolutionaries to spread Marxist political ideas among the workers (Martin, 1994). Lenin believed that capitalism was doomed by its inherent contradictions, and would inevitably collapse.

In January 1905, the massacre of protesters that came to be known as Bloody Sunday took place in St. Petersburg, sparking the civil unrest known as the Revolution of 1905 (Rice, 1990). Condemning this bloody event Lenin used Bolsheviks to cause violent unrests against the Tsarist establishment. Furthermore Lenin attacked Chornaya Sotnya or the Black Hundreds - an ultra-nationalist movement in Russia.

When the First World War broke out Lenin remarked that it was an annexationist, predatory, plunderous war. In 1917 he wrote: Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. He was against the war. Lenin and his supporters encouraged the retreating Russian army soldiers to cause unrest in Russia. In his "Aprelskiye Tezisy", (April Theses) written in 1917 Lenin called for Soviet control of the state.

On March 15, 1917 the Czar Tsar Nicholas II abdicated the throne. When this event occurred Lenin was in Switzerland. Much of the revolutionary activity were organized by Leon Trotsky (Lev Davidovich Bronshtein). He was the guiding force behind the October Revolution. When radical changes were happening in his home country the German authorities helped Lenin return to St Petersburg. Lenin led the Bolsheviks in the overthrow of the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky. Although Kerensky was his childhood friend Lenin wanted to arrest him. Kerensky narrowly escaped from Bolsheviks and escaped to Paris. Lenin became the chief commissar of Russia. He signed an armistice with Germany and ended the Russia’s involvement in World War I which infuriated England and France.

Allied Intervention and the Russian Civil War occurred during 1917 to 1922. Allied military assistance intensified the civil war. The Civil War had wreak havoc on the country. In 1917 the Russian Empire disintegrated. The Soviet Union was formed in 1922 from the Empire’s rubble, without Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and parts of the Ukraine and Belorussia. The Central Asian territories of Khiva and Bukhara were formally incorporated in 1925 (Markevich & Harrison, 2011).

In September 1917 Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and that is to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army. Lenin's militarization of Marxism involved a substantial shift in the place of war in socialist ideology. War, while previously seen as a social evil imposed upon the working class, had never stood at the center of Marxist analysis of capitalism. Lenin put it there. He emphasized the inevitability of wars among capitalist states in the age of imperialism and presented the armed struggle of the working class as the only path towards the eventual elimination of war (Kipp, 1985).

The State and Revolution (1917) by Vladimir Lenin, described the role of the State in society, the necessity of proletarian revolution. Suny (1983) indicates that the Bolsheviks came to power not because they were superior manipulators or cynical opportunists but because their policies as formulated by Lenin in April and shaped by the events of the following months placed them at the head of a genuinely popular movement. Lenin believed that mass terror as a necessary weapon during the dictatorship of proletariat and the resulting class struggle.

According to Dr. James Ryan Lenin used terror against classes soon after the October Revolution. He considered mass terror a strategic and efficient method for advancing revolutionary goals (Chaliand & Arnaud, 2007). Lenin projected the responsibility of his brother’s execution onto entire social classes (Bolton, 2012). Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) was of the view that the Russian Revolution was an invasion and conquest over the Russian people. He used the term revolutionary genocide and claimed that it swallowed up some 60 million of human lives. One of the gruesome acts of the 1917 Revolution denoted as the killing of the Russian Imperial Romanov family. On the 17th of July 1918 the family of Russia's last Emperor, Nicolas II and his family were killed in Ekateringburg in the Urals. The Emperor Nicholas II, his family members, and persons in their attendance and the Prince Alexey’s pet dog were brutally murdered by Yaakov Yurovsky and his firing squad.

Although it was is claimed that a telegram giving the order to execute the prisoners on behalf of the Supreme Soviet in Moscow was signed by Yakov Sverdlov - chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, Lenin knew and approved the deaths of Romanovs. The murder may have taken place in order to prevent the royals from being liberated by approaching White forces as well as It may have been to avenge what the tsarist regime had done to his brother.

After killing of the Romanov family Trotsky wrote: the decision [to kill the imperial family] was not only expedient but necessary. The severity of this punishment showed everyone that we would continue to fight on mercilessly, stopping at nothing. The execution of the Tsar's family was needed not only in order to frighten, horrify, and instill a sense of hopelessness in the enemy but also to shake up our own ranks, to show that there was no turning back, that ahead lay either total victory or total doom (Pipes, 1990).

Lenin was against the class system. In 1901 he stated: If democracy, in essence, means the abolition of class domination, then why should not a socialist minister charm the whole bourgeois world by orations on class collaboration? (Lenin, What Is To Be Done? “Dogmatism and ‘Freedom of Criticism’”) Lenin approved terror tactics against classes. In 1918 Yakov Sverdlovsk - officially announced Red Terror. Sverdlovsk always took orders from Lenin. After the October Revolution mass executions of people took place and killings were based not upon their actions but their class origins and beliefs. According to Stewart-Smith (1964) estimates that the total number of people killed in the Red Terror range from 50,000 to over a million.

Pipes (2014) points out that although pre-Stalin gulags have been ignored by historians the Soviet concentration camps first came into existence under Lenin and Trotsky. Nonetheless when Stalin came to power the slave labor camps reached their pinnacle. Many leading Bolsheviks were of the view that human lives are expendable in the cause of building Communism. In 1918 Grigory Zinoviev said: To overcome our enemies we must have our own socialist militarism. We must carry along with us 90 million out of the 100 million of Soviet Russia's population. As for the rest, we have nothing to say to them. They must be annihilated (Leggett, 1986).

Cheka (the Extraordinary Commission against counter-revolution, sabotage and speculation) or the Soviet state security organization was created on December 20, 1917, by Vladimir Lenin. Cheka was headed by Felix Dzerzhinsky who had a tormented childhood and probably suffered from Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dzerzhinsky conducted a large number of summary executions. Dzerzhinsky declared: We stand for organized terror - this should be frankly admitted. Terror is an absolute necessity during times of revolution.

The Cheka published an article on the 18th of August 1919 in Krasnyi Mech (the Red Sword) newspaper: "We reject the old morality and ‘humanity’ invented by the bourgeoisie in order to oppress and exploit the lower classes. Our morality does not have a precedent, our humanity is absolute because it rests on a new ideal: to destroy any form of oppression and violence. To us, everything is permitted because we are the very first to raise our swords not to oppress and enslave, but to release humanity from its chains... Blood? Let blood be shed! Only blood can dye the black flag of the pirate bourgeoisie, turning it once and for all into a red banner, flag of the Revolution. Only the old world’s final demise will free us forever from the return of the jackals."

The Cheka was intended to inherit the security responsibilities of the dissolved Military Revolutionary Committee (MRC). The Bolshevik-controlled Sovnarkom charged the Cheka to investigate and liquidate all attempts or actions connected with counter-revolution or sabotage, whether they were domestic or foreign in origin, and were expected to deliver the ‘criminals’ to Revolutionary Tribunals to face trial (Lewis, 2007). According to the Russian historian Sergei Petrovich Melgunov Cheka's executions estimated at between 100,000 and 500,000. Felix Dzerzhinsky;s methods were never questioned and Lenin always defended the work of Dzerzhinsky.
At times Lenin was uncaring. Richard Pipes an emeritus professor of Russian history at Harvard University highlights that during 1891 Volga famine Lenin opposed raising aid for the starving masses. His argument being the death of the poor would destroy the old peasant economy and pave the way for the Marxist revolution that was imminent.

In the early years Lenin used Stalin to full fill hard tasks for the Revolution. Stalin was involved in the 1907 Tiflis bank robbery. Some of the stolen money was delivered to Lenin when he was living in Finland. This money was used to fund revolutionary activities. Lenin had little regard for Trotsky's judgment on important matters and relied heavily on Stalin (Pipes, 1999). Leon Trotsky never trusted Stalin and he was called by the nickname of Mountaineer.

After the Bolshevik Revolution Stalin detained a group of Red Army officers who were loyal to Trotsky and they were kept in a barge. However the barge snaked killing all the officers. Trotsky suspected a sabotage that was planned by Stalin. Although Trotsky urged Lenin to take stern actions against Stalin the matter was dropped. Lenin was soft on Stalin. However gradually Lenin grew to distrust him and criticized Stalin’s crude nature.

On May 25, 1922, Lenin suffered a stroke and his health started to deteriorate. He had to go for semi-retirement and Stalin gradually started strengthening his possession as Lenin’s successor. However after Stalin verbally swore at Lenin's wife Nadezhda Krupskaya Lenin demanded an apology. In addition in his testament Lenin recommended that Stalin be removed from his position as secretary-general of the party.

After Lenin's third stroke in March 1923 left him paralyzed and unable to speak. According to the official version, Lenin’s illness began in 1922, although the first signs and symptoms were probably manifested many years earlier (Learner et al., 2004). Lenin died in January 1924, aged 53. Lenin’s autopsy revealed cerebral calcification. The reason for his premature atherosclerosis has yet to be explained. He had a family history of cardiovascular disease and, therefore, is suspected of having had an inherited lipid disorder. Stress too might have had a role in the progression of his atherosclerosis (Vinters, Lurie & Mackowiak, 2013). The left brain hemisphere was seriously suffered as a result of the vessels damage of atherosclerosis origin ( Adrianov et al.,1993 ).

After Lenin's death Stalin elevated Lenin as a demi god creating a cult of worship of the deceased leader. Against Lenin's wishes, he was given a lavish funeral and his body was embalmed and put on display. Stalin promoted Lenin in quasi-religious fashion (Cawthorne, 2011). But he abolished Lenin’s New Economic Policy which granted more economic freedom for the peasants and promoted agriculture.

Lenin stands out as one of the revolutionary thinkers of 20th century. He brought a highly influential ideology. Lenin considered "moral questions" to be "an irrelevance", rejecting the concept of moral absolutism; instead he judged whether an action was justifiable based upon its chances of success for the revolutionary cause (Service, 2000). Indeed he was a dedicated revolutionist. As Bolton (2012) states that the rest of the life of the once apolitical youth who became Lenin was fanatically devoted to avenging his brother’s death, and ‘Lenin’ was the persona that was adopted for the purpose. He became a compulsive revolutionary.


1) Dr. James Ryan Lecturer in Modern European (Russian) History School of History, Archaeology and Religion Cardiff University

2) Dr. Richard Pipes, Baird Professor Emeritus of History at Harvard University

3) Professor Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca- Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.


Bolton, K.R. (2012). Vladimir Lenin: Syphilitic Mattoid Motivated by PTED. Retrieved from http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2012/05/vladimir-lenin-syphilitic-mattoid-motivated-by-pted/

Cawthorne , N.(2012). Stalin: The Murderous Career of the Red Tsar.Arcturus Publishing Limited.

Chaliand,G., , Arnaud,B. (2007). The history of terrorism: from antiquity to al Qaeda. University of California Press.

Kipp, J. W. (1985). "Lenin and Clausewitz - the Militarization of Marxism, 1914-1921." Military. Affairs 49(4): 184-191.

Leggett, G. (1986).The Cheka: Lenin's Political PoliceOxford University Press.

Lerner, V., Y. Finkelstein, and E. Witztum. “The Enigma of Lenin's (1870–1924) Malady. (2004). European Journal of Neurology. Vol. 11. pp. 371-6.

Lewis, O. (2007). How much did the Bolsheviks need the Cheka and how well did they make use of it? Retrieved from http://www.e-ir.info/2007/12/02/76/

Markevich, A.,Harrison, M .(2011). Great War, Civil War, and Recovery: Russia’s National Income, 1913 to 1928. Retrieved from

Martin, M (1994). The Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia, 1917–1991. New York.

Pipes, R (1990). The Russian Revolution .Vintage.

Pipes, R. (1999). Unknown Lenin.Yale University Press.

Pipes, R. (2014). Lenin's Gulag. Academic Research Journals.Vol. 2(6), pp. 140-146.

Rice, C. (1990). Lenin: Portrait of a Professional Revolutionary. London: Cassell.

Ryan,J .(2012). Lenin's Terror. The Ideological Origins of Early Soviet State Violence, London and New York: Routledge.

Service, R. (2000). Lenin: A Biography. Harvard University Press.

Stewart-Smith, D. G. (1964).The Defeat Of Communism. London: Ludgate Press Limited.
Suny , R.G.(1983).Toward a Social History of the October Revolution .The American Historical Review, Vol. 88, No. 1, pp. 31-52.

Vinters H, Lurie L, Mackowiak, P.A. (2013). Vessels of Stone: Lenin's "circulatory disturbance of the brain". Hum Pathol. 44(10):1967-72.



K Jayathilaka - The Great Literary Icon and the Political Visionary - Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge

K. Jayathilaka 0222
Many adorers of Sinhala litrature have identified K Jayathilaka as a great writer. His literary skills were known to everyone. He was one of the exceptional creative writers of our time. But his involvement in the Sri Lankan politics was not sufficiently discussed . Although he did not play an active role in the Sri Lankan Politics, never been a , promoter or a fanatical supporter of any political party , K Jayathilaka was a meticulous observer and an analyser of the Sri Lankan political dynamics. He deeply analysed the Sri Lankan politics and often presented it through his novels. Many of his novels conveyed a profound political message that was hardly grasped by the literary critics.

Jayathilaka was a some form of a political historian. He observed and analytically revived the socio political evolution of Sri Lanka. Then he documented these dynamics in an artistic form. Jayathilaka closely worked with many politicians with different social - educational backgrounds , but never became an acolyte to any of them. He pretty well knew that the politics was a dirty business often played by renegades inconsistent with their principles. But its social impact and social evaluation was an important factor for him. He studied the impact of political dynamism on urban and rural societies. He knew up to what extent that the communities were affected by political decisions. In a country where everything is politicized Jayathilaka became an impartial annotator. Jayathilaka claimed that his novel " Delovak Neti Aya " was one of the comprehensive political novels in the Sinhala literature.

K. Jayathilaka recognised that D. S. Senanayaka had a strong pragmatic leadership but at the same time D.S had personal ambitions over the national politics. D.S's instincts told him that the the British colonial rulers would be leaving soon and he there would be strong competitors like Sir D.B Jayathilaka. D.S never trusted Sir D.B Jayathilaka who was a popular National leader. Obviously D.S knew that Sir D.B could be a potential threat to his future political ambitions. D.S activated an internal conspiracy that enabled him to abridge Sir D.B from the National politics. Sir D.B was requested to go to India to serve as the Sri Lankan high commissioner. He agreed to go to India without realising the after effects of his decision. But in later years Sir D.B realised that he was misled by his colleagues. Sir D.B Jayathilaka was utterly disappointed and died in India. D.S made another radical decision after he became the Prim Minister of Ceylon. When D.S appointed Dudley as his successor Sir John and SWRD became extremely disappointed. This decision caused a major division in the UNP.

The Oxford educated SWRD knew that his chances were limited. His father Sri Solomon Dias was an unpopular arrogant person hated by many aristocrats. Many blamed Sri Solomon Dias for his role in the Predris affair. Sri Solomon Dias had a long years of rivalry with the Pedris family and eventually he was able to take the revenge. Following the alleged incitement of racial riots in 1915 Capt. Duenuge Edward Henry Pedris was sentenced to death by a firing squad. It was a known fact that Sri Solomon Dias supported the Colonial rulers executing this fatal decision.

Young SWRD Bandaranayaka had an eager mind. He was indeed heading for power. SWRD realised the extent of the National emotions soon after the Post Colonial period. The Sinhala language was a commodious vehicle for SWRD. He used Sinhala Only slogan to gain support of the Sinhalese people. Perhaps he forgot how Indians resolved the language issue soon after the independence. One of SWRD's favourite politicians - Jawaharlal Nehru once stated : Hindi is important but the unity of India is more important. Perhaps SWRD was blinded by the power that he was about to experience. Jayathilaka realised that SWRD was purely using Sinhala Only slogan to gain power. Jayathilaka knew the short-sightedness of this political game that later erupted in to an unresolved racial tension.

K Jayathilaka closely worked with Dr. N.M Perera and Colvin R. de Silva. But soon he understood that these two leaders needed blind followers not supporters with a political consciousness. Describing Dr. N.M and Colvin , Jayathilaka later wrote "they were like condors that fly high in the sky , when they needed something from us (the public ) they reach out to us. , after grabbing whatever they wanted again they went up high in the sky. We had no way of reaching them". Jayatilaka sympathetically wrote the gap between these two Red leaders and the general public.

K. Jayathilaka had a bitter experience with Dr N.M Perera when he tried to self learn Marxism in English and then to have a theoretical discussion with his mentor. Dr N.M disregard Jayathilaka's attempt as an amateur learner in Marxism and ridiculed him. Dr NM Perera's sarcasm hugely affected Jayathilaka.

In late 1960s Jayathilaka observed the youth unrest in our society. He admired the dedication of the young people who worked against social injustices and for a revolutionary cause. In the same time he knew that they were inexperienced and lacked political insight. The 71 uprising was crushed within a few months. Many youth who participated in the 71 uprising had a very little knowledge in Marxism and in International Politics. The irony was many participants of the 71 uprising realised that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were two people not one only at the rehabilitation camps. Jayatilaka viewed these disparities with a great empathy.

K Jayathilaka had worked closely with the Janatha Lekaka Sangamaya (The Association of Public Writers ) to develop the Sinhla literature. Event though he was partially benefited by the Janatha Lekaka Sangamaya there were some disagreements between Jayathilaka and the association. Jayathilaka stood against the Janatha Lekaka Sangamaya when it tried to dance according to political tunes. Jayathilaka did not agree with some of their political idol worshiping habits and when the association did not agree to accept his recommendations , Jayathilaka worked separately from them. He did not write any novel according to their standards and expectations.

K Jayathilaka analytically viewed the Sirimavo's regime. The regime was distancing from the public. Felix Dias openly abused his power. The Ministers like Somaveera Chandrasiri demanded sexual favours and gave appointments in rest houses. The unemployment ruined the youth spirit. There was a scarcity of food items. Food related sanctions created deep frustrations among the people. JR Jayawardane used all these weak points of the 1970 regime to his benefit. JR won the 1977 election with a huge majority. Then he introduced the open economy policy which created a drastic changes in the political- socio economic face of Sri Lanka.

Jayathilaka observed the pros and cons of JR 's social and economic reforms. He saw beginning of a new era and the the rising of a new generation with wealth and power. But these new socio economic reforms caused severe social injustices and degradation. The summation of these events created another youth unrest in 1988 and the entire Sri Lankan society was covered by violence and chaos. JR was losing grip and his successor R Premadasa became the new head of the state.

Jayathilaka knew Ranasingha Premadasa from early days. Although Premadasa loved and admired literature Jayathilaka realised that Premadasa sometimes misused the novelists and poets. Premadasa's artistic plagiarism of Dolton Alwis's song " Sigiri Gale Kavi Livve was a well known story. As a sardonic response the leftist journalist Sri Lal Kodikara wrote : Sigiri Gale Kavi Livve Dalton etc. Premadasa was troubled by his roots and proclaimed that he studied at the St Joseph’s College Maradana. Even some of the clergy of the St Joseph College accepted this version. But Jayathilaka didn't. After many years of Premadasa's death K Jayathilaka revealed that R Premadasa studied at St Joseph Night school (not St Joseph College Maradana) with him. Jayathilaka knew that sometimes the truth cannot be revealed at inappropritae times.

Jayathilaka observed and grasped the social and political essences of our society and used it as raw materials in his work. Many of his books narrate the socio political history and the political dynamics of Sri Lanka. He was one of the pioneers of Sinhalese realistic novel. As a creative writer, he exhibited his talents since early 1960 s. his novels and short stories represent the ironical social perspectives and had a profound impact on Sinhalese literature. K Jayathilaka demonstrated talents that could be compared to that of the greatest literary genius Martin Wicramasinghe.

He wrote a wide range of literature from novels to short stories as well as children’s literature. K Jayathilaka had authored nearly 12 children’s books and he added some of his childhood experiences to these books. His autobiography that narrates his childhood – Punchi Palle Gasavena reminds us the first book of an autobiographical trilogy by Maxim Gorky – Deistva (childhood). In Punchi Palle Gasavena autobiography Jayathilaka expresses some of the social injustices that he experienced as a child.

The children’s books of K Jayathilaka vibrantly describe the relationship between the environment and the child. His children’s books enhance the stable concepts as well as mental reasoning and magical beliefs in children. His books especially Irunu Balla (Torn Cat) , Oralosuwa ( Timepiece) help the children to recognize logical relationships in elements and improve the ability to view things from the perspective of others. These books are truly facilitating children to use logic in the concrete operational stage. (As the Child Psychologist Jean Piaget stated, by the concrete operational stage, children are able to use logic and this ability can be improved by the external support)
As a shot storyteller, K Jayathilaka proved his talents enormously. His short stories were influenced by Anton Chekhov, Edgar Allen Poe, and probably by Joseph Conrad. In his astonishing, work Punaruppattiya – a collection of short stories Jayathilaka recounts numerous characters that can be found in the contemporary society. However, some of the characters were no exception to the rule and have unique characteristics. One of the characters that was portrayed in Punaruppattiya was a desolate man in a rural village named Mudumaya.

Mudumaya was a cynical character who had voyeuristic impulses. He was excommunicated from the village and led a secluded life. Mudumaya had gifted artistic talents no one had ever known. His paintings were discovered many years after his death and revived by the experts. They found incomparable artistic attributes in his paintings. Posthumously Mudumaya was named as Pandit Mardamana.

In one of his short stories (Yakadaya) Jayathilaka narrates of a queer character who is physically strong and psychologically fragile. Yakadaya is an able bodied man strong as an ox but he is extremely afraid of his frail wife. The power disbalance between Yakadaya and this woman dates back to their childhood. One time Yakadaya was a domestic servant of her father who was a wealthy farmer. After the wealthy farmer's death the family faces financial constraints and insolvency. The farmer's daughter had no dowry for the marriage and she eventually becomes Yakadaya's wife. Even after the marriage she treats Yakadaya as her servant often humiliating and demeaning him.

Jayathilaka broadly wrote about the ethnic harmony. Jayathilaka knew that the politicians of this country mismanaged the racial tensions and used these turmoils for their advantage risking and sometimes destroying the social fabric. He witnessed the social violence cause by the ethnic unrest. His short story Mee Amba (Mango) describes the friendship between a Sinhalese boy and a Tamil boy who found a common ground not via the language but with the help of a mango tree. Through some of his writings, he conveyed the message of co existence. The metaphors that were used in Issaraha Ballano (those who look foreword) recounts similarities in the North and the South and emphasizes the fact that both Sinhalese and Tamil people could live without a conflict.

SWRD's 1956 political transformation brought drastic changes in the Sri Lanka society. The social and cultural impact of 1956 were significant and Jayathilaka profoundly discussed about these changes in his novels. With these changes cultural conflicts surfaced. Obviously culture is an essential part of conflict and it shapes perceptions, attributions, judgments, and ideas of self and other. As an analytical novelist K Jayathilaka broadly wrote about cultural conflicts and how it affected the individual. His novels such as Parajitayo and Aprasanna Katavak reveal conflicts associated in multi-layered culture that is constantly in flux.

As a novelist, K. Jayathilaka exposed the social dynamics in the Western province. K Jayathilaka ’s famous novel -Charita Tunak analyses three brothers who bore three different characters. Born to a lethargic gambling farmer, three brothers and their sister struggled to survive. The eldest son Isa realized the family hardships and tried to find a way out by becoming a hardworking farmer. His efforts were ridiculed by his father who took no effort to work energetically. The parents and the neighbors demotivated Issa when he tried to cultivate a massive land named Kokilana. But he was determined in his plan and eventually cultivates the Kokilana. Then he was accepted as an effortful farmer and gained respect.

The main character – Isa ’s personality has some similarities with the Chinese farmer Wang Lung – the character that was created by Pearl S. Buck in her Pulitzer Prize wining novel – The Good Earth. Isa and Wang Lung were hard working farmers and both had ties with the land. K Jayathilaka had portrayed the character of Isa as an introverted self-punishing and egoless character. But Wang Lung was an extrovert who was energized by being around other people.

Isa was disappointed in his second brother Sana who was a drunken vagrant. Sana’s resentment towards Isa was destructive and a number of times Sana took revenge from Isa by harming his crops. Sana was an aggressive and a disrespectful person with a lot of negative characteristics. Sana could be described as the opposite pole of Isa.

Sana had a drastic impact following the negative parental style attributed by his father. Sana’s unhealthy life style (gambling, drinking and quarreling with the villagers) were the results of vicarious learning. Debra Umberson of the University of Michigan more scientifically explains this phenomenon thus.

The effects of marital and parental status on mortality are usually attributed to the positive effects of social integration or social support. The mechanisms by which social support or integration is linked to health outcomes, however, remain largely unexplored. One mechanism may involve health behaviors; the family relationships of marriage and parenting may provide external regulation and facilitate self-regulation of health behaviors, which can affect health. (Family status and health behaviors: Social control as a dimension of social integration D. Umberson – Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 1987 – JSTOR )

The third character Ranjith is more convoluted and profound. As a young child, he realized the impact of poverty that was hounded by his family. The education was his escape route. His got his freeing through the free education system that was introduced by the education reformer C.W.W. Kannangara. After becoming a teacher Ranjith’s ambition grows and he buys land and consented to an arrange marriage that offered him a large dowry. At the end of the novel the readers come to a conclusion that Ranjith was a self-centered egoistic character powerful than Isa who had the strength to confront Sana.

Professor Sarathchandra was highly influenced by Jayathilaka’s novel -Charita Tunak that discussed the innate connection between man and the earth. Professor Sarachandra headed the Peradeniya literary fraction (Gurukulaya) and writers like Gunadasa Amarasekara, Siri Gunasinghe backed him. Professor Sarachandra gravely criticized the novels of Piyadasa Sirisena and W.A Silva. K Jayathika held the view that these two authors did their best to uplift the Sinhala literature and their work were the precursors of the Sinhala novel. K. Jayathilaka gave due respect to these great novelists.

K Jayathilaka' s conflict-ridden novel Rajapaksa Valavva describes the inferiority complexes of an administrative officer who was oppressed by the village cast system. In Rajapaksa Valavva K Jayathilaka deals with a taboo subject that was not deeply touched by Martin Wicramasinghe , G.B Senanayaka or other great novelists.

Although the cast related oppression in Sri Lanka is partially submerged and not visible like in India it has caused deep frustrations in the rural communities. The caste oppression was one of the contributing factors of the 71 and 88 insurgencies. This factor was common to the Northern part of Sri Lanka too. The rebel leader Prabhakaran was able to recruit the low caste Tamil village youth who were marginalised by the Jaffna Vellala community. (According to P.J. Antony - a Social activist the Vellala caste, is the most dominant caste in Jaffna. Nalavar and Pallar work as toddy tappers and labourers in gardens. Parayars beat the drums at funerals. Vannar wash clothes and Ambattar work as hairdressers).

According to Jayathilaka' s Rajapaksa Valavva the main charactor - Kamalsiri was banished by the village cast system and he witnessed the harassments caused to his family. His primary education was disrupted following cast related violence. This incident gave him an opportunity to enter to a Catholic school in Colombo. At the Colombo school, he does not face any cast problem but other social issues like poverty, intensely troubled him.

The youth who were suppressed by the village cast system during Kamalasir ’s era launched a revolution to change the society. But Kamlasiri had far more goals in his life and never became a part of it. However, in a way he became a rebel and supported the movement that dealt with the acquisition of the Catholic schools. After the acquisition, he became disappointed when he realized that the new system did not serve his educational purposes. When most of the fine teachers of the college joined private, education institutes, his education was partially disrupted. Kamalsiri had no money to pay for private tuition. Therefore, he could not peruse science subjects and compelled to do art subjects for his university entrance.

Kamalsiri’s cast issue emerged again when he entered the university. His first love ended unexpectedly when his girl friend came to know about his family background. After the university education, Kamalasiri becomes an administrative officer. Although he becomes a senior government officer, in his entire professional life, he struggles with this cast issue. His inferiority complexes affect his professional judgments and Kamlsiri narrates his unpleasant experiences in the following manner.

" When someone visits our house, my father insists me to come out and talk to him. Often these visitors are Grama Niladaries or petty government officers who are insignificant elements in the administration. When I am at the office these characters are shivering and have extreme fear to reach me. But in the village everything has turned topsy-turvy. The cast becomes the key factor – the element of respect "

Kamalsiri hates the village life pattern and his native community. He decided not to visit his sister’s wedding in order to avoid the relatives and friends. More and more he becomes a remote character disconnected from the rest of the family and the village.
The real hero of this novel is unseen. Kamalasiri’s father -the laundry man who underwent immense humiliations, harassments and oppression, never became a slave to the system. He challenged the system as a silent protester. He raised his son to disintegrate the village cast system by giving him a high education and a higher social position. But Kamalsiri never lived up to the old man’s expectations. Kamalsiri who had no such a spirit as the old man, used numerous defense mechanisms when a cast related issues emerged.

Rajapaksa Valavva represents several episodes of the Sri Lankan social history. The end of the semi feudalism, rise of the new business class connected with the political power, and the children of the free education who became the administrative class of the country.

K. Jayathilaka reveals the plight of the children of the free education via Kamalasiri’s character. Most of these children came from the village schools. They were studious and hardworking. After finishing their higher education, most of them joined the government service and started living in big cities. They gradually adapted to the city life. But for people like Kamalasiri who were cast conscious, their origin and roots troubled immensely. Some took deliberate measures to hide their past social strata that exceedingly affected their personality. They could not function as their predecessors who had the command and control. The government officers like Kamalasiri made the public service dishonorable by licking the boots of politicians.

K Jayathilaka profoundly analyses the rural family dynamics in his two novels, Punchirala and Punchiralage Maranaya that illustrate the destiny of a hardworking farmer who had spent his entire life on children and eventually dies as a disappointed man. Punchirala who was an over protective father raised his children with utter financial difficulties. For Punchirala raising his children Nandana and Suvimalee was a some form of emotional investment for the future, but he does not receive the expected results. Punchirala suffered old aged depression and died as a disenchanted man.

In these two novels, Jayathilaka shows us the naked realities of the Sri Lankan villages that are filled with sarcasm and jealousy. Although many novelists portrayed the rural villages as unspoiled naïve and romantic places these two novels, reflect the actuality of the Sri Lankan village life.

Jayathilaka discussed the sexuality of the Buddhist rural society in some of his books. For instance, Kalo Ayam Te that was published in 1968 reviews the sexuality in the Sinhalese society and how it was affected by the Victorian morality.

K Jayathilaka discusses the inner psyche of an aged man in his novel Mahallekuge Prema Katavak. This novel exemplifies the repressed sensual desires of an old man who was physically and emotionally touched by a young girl. The old man’s life instincts were active for a little period and then the death instinct becomes more prominent. The outlawed relationship ends with a fatal outcome.
The novel Mahallekuge Prema Katavak reminds us the relationship between Pablo Picasso and the beautiful young girl named Jacqueline Roque. K Jayathilaka vividly describes the psychological conflict of the old man when he was trapped in an unorthodox relationship with a young girl.

The age disparity in sexual relationships has been discussed in the Jathaka stories as well as in Vladimir Nabokove ’s famous novel Lolita. Jayathilaka ’s novel Mahallekuge Prema Katavak may have had certain degree of influence by Vladimir Nabokove ’s Lolita – a girl who was the object of desire of an old man.

K Jayathilaka was a gifted author who has contributed a vast amount of publications to the Sinhala literature. His creative writing represents an important hallmark in Sinhala novel and short stories. He was a silent observer of the dynamics of the Sri Lankan political system. K Jayathilaka was a greatl Literary icon and a political visionary.


A Misfit

misfitWhen Stalin forced me to worship his idol
I turned my back on him
Then his men said I was a saboteur, enemy of the people
I was given 5 years in a labour camp

When Hitler deported Jews
I refused to spit on them
NAZI s told that I was a traitor
Then punished me with a whip

I was banished
Wherever I went
I was a misfit
Because I got a mind of my own

I became tired
Worshipping cult personality
While others paid their homage
I was speechless and numbed

When they said turn to Right
Everybody turned except me
When they said turn to Left
Everybody obeyed except me

They knew I had a problem
I was closely monitored and segregated
They rejected me just like plague
Always pointed their finger at me

They took my freedom
They took my loved ones
But they couldn't take my pride

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge


Joseph Stalin - Psychopathology of a Dictator - Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D.

transyJoseph Stalin was one of the main architects of creating a collective trauma in the Soviet Union. His actions and policies brought immense suffering to the people. The aftermath of Stalin’s repression still impacts the post Soviet Society. However despite all the negative consequences Stalin is still remembered in Russia as a great hero who saved the Soviet Union from Hitler’s Fascist aggression and transformed the country in to a super power. The Stalinist past still shapes the Russian society today (Gouldner 2009). A survey commissioned by the Carnegie Endowment in 2012, suggested that Soviet dictator Josef Stalin has remained widely admired in Russia and other former Soviet nations (The Moscow Times, 2013). Read more...

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