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Saturday, 30 January 2016

The Prediction that went totally wrong




Yesterday, I had a chat in FB with one of my close friends in Sri Lanka. 

"Chandima, Can you remember what you predicted in 2005. It has gone totally wrong, hasn't it?" he started laughing...........

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I used to make good predictions about local and global scenarios since I was quite young. 



When former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev launched the policies of “perestroika” and “glasnost", I told several of my friends that soon this gentleman will be stranded as "The Leader of No-country". This was simply an educated guess as any nation that has been automated with iron hand rules for nearly 8 decades cannot withstand the abrupt opening of "Democracy" floodgates without undergoing splitting into pieces. 

And that happened.



In the early 90s, USA launched an assault on Iraq, after President Saddam Hussein was foolish enough to attack Kuwait. As the American juggernaut was rolling towards Baghdad, we in Sri Lanka were so much excited and heated up (usually Sri Lankans worry much about other people's problems than their own). I was in the second year of the university. Usually 90% or more of university students in SL are anti-American. And there was Dr. Nalin de Silva (later became professor) who was firing at US policies at all corners during his lecturers. 

As usual, Dr Nalin developed his own imaginary theory. If US forces march any further the whole Arabic world will stand against them. Then US will attack these countries destroying all oil wells. This will lead to a huge energy crisis in the world. There were some nuclear attacks also in the story. Finally, as we all have to start the civilization from the right beginning Sri Lankans could easily rise up with so called "Jathika Chinthanaya" and "Sinhala or Hela Technologies" that were diminished a millennium or two ago. 

Many students in our batch were fascinated and started commenting on many fancy concepts and possible outcomes. Then Dr. Nalin turned towards me (one of his most popular targets at that time) and asked "Thamuse mokada kiyanne?" (what do you say?)

I immediately said that within two weeks US will capture Baghdad which will be the end of Saddam and none of the other Arabs will raise a word against the whole operation. 


Not only Dr. Nalin even his followers in the batch were mad at me and branded me as a "Yankee foot licker" (this was on top of the CID label that Dr. Nalin had already pasted on me).

Again, a very easy guess. The leaders of the whole Arabic-Middle East, at that time were enjoying the flow of dollars through their sales of oil (or drain of oil) to US, so that why should they self demolish themselves. The only option in the region, Iran, had a long-term dispute with Saddam, so that why should they worry about the demise of their enemies. 

Irrespective of the popular expectation of our people, what I predicted happened with a slight modification; Baghdad was fallen within one week, not two.


November of 2014 started with many speculations in Sri Lanka about the presidential candidate from opposition that will contest against the then President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksha. Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe was the obvious selection for many. Then came the names of Ven Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thero, Mr. Sajith Premadasa and Mr. Karu Jayasuriya as well. Several times the names of Mrs Chandrika Kuamaranatunge and General Sarath Fonseka were also popped up. 

During this period, Chiranjaya Nanayakkara (popularly known as Chiro), one of my old school buddies, posted an article in his FB, which stated that KJ is almost confirmed to be the candidate. A sequence of comments followed stating that MR victory is imminent as KJ was no match at all to him. The debate was only about the winning lead. Then, on November 9th, I made the following comment. 


"Most probably the final candidate will be some one that no one may guess...... Keep your fingers crossed".

Just after a couple of weeks, the totally unexpected Mr. Maithripala Sirisena broke away from the ruling party to become the presidential candidate. 

This time my guess was little complex but not very tough.

The point that many people have forgotten is that whoever be the candidate, he should get the green light from RW to get UNP support. May be the shrewdest politician since late Mr. J R Jayawardena, RW may have known very well that despite his intelligence and other skills, he is way behind MR with respect to the charisma in the country. Additionally, he has to go against all odds; state power, media support, organization and networking etc. 

RW would never have given the chance to a fellow UNP leader as if such person wins all RW's leadership strengths are gone out of his hands. CBK would have been an equally threatening force to RW as if she gets into power, all SLFP forces + anti-RW elements in the UNP camp will rally around her.

RW and the whole UNP had to taste the bitter pill after appointing SF during the previous presidential election due to the aloof attitudes of the General, thus, SF was out of the equation. A Buddhist Monk was never in the UNP card as such move could drive away many UNP supporters, especially from the minority. 

Hence, the only viable option was to take someone from right inside the ruling party; who could get some chunk from the party but not strong enough to stand on his own feet. MS was an ideal fit. 

There are several other stories of my "correct prediction"......

And then it went all wrong.

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About 10-12 years ago I told my friends that internet is the “Master of Knowledge” and this master will surely make the whole world a much better place to live within a decade.


For centuries, people lived in isolation, thinking that their religions and races were the best. Thus, they tried to spread what they thought the best, most often by force. The result was mass murder and torture, destruction of wealth and resources, spreading of mythical concepts that adversely affected the human race as well as the animal kingdom.

For several millenniums people believed that the earth is the center of everything while the sun and the moon are there to serve human needs. In some extreme cases, people thought that all these things are specifically made for the benefit of their particular race or religion. This made them crazy and barbaric as they could not tolerate seeing other people utilizing or consuming the same.



In the 18th and 19th centuries, thanks to the scientific boom, the world, especially the western sphere, understood that earth is just a teeny tiny spec on an enormous universe. Even with limited communication modes available at the time, this conceptual transformation made a massive impact on the human society. Gradually people started respecting one another, started thinking about human rights, then animal rights then environmental conservation etc. etc.

This is what we call “Civilization” today.

With some ups and downs, the world turned to be a better place to live sans the stupidity of few individuals such as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.  Since the Second World War the rate of civilization accelerated at a rapid pace. Power of intelligence, tolerance, psychological freedom, right of questioning and freedom of expression replaced the formerly established concepts; power of muscle, rigidity, psychological imprisonment, denial of questioning and suppression of the right of speech.

However, most of these characteristics of civilization were confined to the countries where the access of knowledge was well facilitated. The inability to access knowledge kept some communities in darkness making them practice the same “uncivilized” deeds for the last many centuries or millennium.

And then the Internet started bringing the knowledge just on to everyone's lap. And I thought that this may be the "savior of man kind" mentioned in many religions and even by Nostradamus.

Today...after a decade, that prediction has gone insanely wrong proving that my analysis were simply illogical and senseless.

The internet has turned to be the “Master of un-intelligence”. It has not only limited to the spreading of  myths and false or pseudo knowledge, but has also become a huge source of hatred, vengeance and cruelty as well; the most uncharacteristic features for the very “civilization” that we were talking about. It is simply destroying the human psyche, little by little. Starting from one’s very own-self, then family, community, country and world…… internet is poisoning the entire human race.

I think I have grossly overlooked a famous adage in Sri Lanka before I made my prediction.

“Good news do not even have legs whereas bad news have wings”. 

The same applies to “intelligence” and “stupidity” as well.


3 comments:

  1. Chandima, May be we are not mature enough to utilize a so resourceful and amazing invention as Internet wisely. With all incredible advances in technology deep inside I think we are still savages running after animals in wilderness.

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe! - Albert Einstein

    And I would add Another….Three things are infinite: the universe , human stupidity & human cruelty; and I’m not sure about the universe!

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  2. Apparently you have gone wrong in this case. Probably, you have considered knowledge in isolation, ignoring other forces that dominant the Internet today. With them, the Internet has become jack of all trades including hatred, vengeance, and irrationality, without being the master of knowledge, as you predicted.

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  3. This is simply the human nature. Irrespective of what good will find, the bad will always be there to follow up. Human race will never be able to entirely diminish the bad inside within themselves.

    ReplyDelete