Sarath Fonseka’s “Great Betrayal”

29/12/2009

I don’t think that there is any doubt that Gen. Fonseka said what he denied to have said to the Sunday Leader newspaper. I say this because I saw the video of the speech he made in a Ratnapura rally. Let’s call this ‘STATEMENT A’. And then, upon realising that this statement was going to result in a political fallback (it has), he clarifies the ‘STATEMENT A’. So he makes another statement. Let’s call this ‘STATEMENT B’. In this statement, he tries to modify the first statement. If someone (like the government) declares that the ‘STATEMENT A’ is traitorous, then it follows that the ‘STATEMENT B’ is patriotic, regardless of the motives of the man who made them both…Now, say there’s someone (like the goverment) who gives more publicity to ‘STATEMENT A’ than to the ‘STATEMENT B’. That means this someone gives more hype to the traitorous statement than to the patriotic statement. So what can you say about this someone? Is he a traitor, or patriot, or someone in between?…It’s just dirty politics.

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17 Responses to “Sarath Fonseka’s “Great Betrayal””

  1. stormcrow Says:

    false logic.

    A person P made a statement S of which *being made itself* is proof that P is “not X”, then P’s denial later of having made S isn’t *necessarily* a “X” statement.

    For instance, suppose that you lost your wits in an argument and called A “an asshole”. I use this to show that you are a guy who loses control. Then you see that you fscked up and say that you never meant it, and that “A is not an asshole”. This is not a statement that *shows your calm*. As long as what you said is recorded, the first show of your losing control is still a very valid case and is *sufficient evidence* that you are a guy who *loses control*.

    As for this particular Fonseka case:

    1. this isn’t the first time that Fons said about white flags. First time was a brag in Ambalangoda, (which he ALSO denied having said once sh!t hit the fan).

    2. In a Monday press conferences, Fonseka just claimed that his statement was “not a war secret”, NOT that it “was misquoted”.

    3. Until yesterday, there was no serious action from Fonseka against the journalist.

    These are sufficient grounds for a government (which admittedly does dirty politics as does the opposition) to CLAIM that Fonseka SAID what he said, and was “ready to betray” Gota. The mud is not about whether the people were actually killed or not. Mud is about whether Fonseka SAID IT OR NOT, **before realizing its disadvantage for the campaign**. Hence, as far as government goes, there’s no need to pay attention to the latter denial which could have been motivated by many other factors.

    First could also have been a lie that is motivated by many factors such as anger with gota, not merely by non-patrotism. But the government claim is that “a patriot would NEVER say that for whatever reason” (which Fonseka camp doesn’t dispute), hence if caught saying that, reductio ad absurdum applies that SF is “not patriot”. One instance “against” is sufficient to rule out any number of “for” evidence under RAA.

  2. Wince Says:

    Here some logic.

    Statement A is made. Statement A is either true or false.

    Statement A is regarded a treacherous statement.

    1. Assume Statement A is true. So you are a traitor for telling the truth.

    2. Assume Statement A is false. This allows legal action to be taken for libelous activity. Which has not been taken yet.

    Not entirely sure how this traitor/patriot logic works.

    P:S:
    Lets follow up on the second point. The government of Sri Lanka allows a potential criminal to run for presidency instead of taking legal action.

    1. Government of Sri Lanka believes in Pontius Pilat.
    2. Govenrment of Sri Lanka is a traitor to the nation its ruling.

  3. lefroy Says:

    Yes. But my post wasn’t about whether Fonny said it or not (he did). And it also was not about whether Fonny’s a traitor or not. Nor was it about whether what Fonny said about happened or not. It WAS about the government is patriotic or traitorous or somewhere in the middle…Einstein is f.cking a woman when you enter the room. Einstein loses his temper and calls you an asshole. Next morning you enter his room to tell him that you’re really hurt, and that he’ll never see you again. But now, he’s not f.cking a woman, and is calm. So he says, “hey buddy. Sorry about last night. I shouldn’t have said that. You’re not-an-asshole.”…Now I don’t care what Einstein’s (Sarath’s) motives are in saying one thing and denying it later. I don’t care whether he really thinks you are an asshole or not. I don’t care whether you are an asshole or not. What I DO care, is what you would tell Newton if he asked whether you are an asshole or not. Now imagine, the only things you can use in establishing you are an asshole, or in establishing that you are not an asshole, are those two comments Einstein made about you. Also imagine, that Newton knows about both those comments and, for the sake of the argument, that he do not prefer either of them over the other. Would you tell him that Einstein said you ARE NOT an asshole, or would you tell him that he said you ARE an asshole?…Now again, this is not about what Einstein really thinks about. Also this is not about who you really are. This is about CONVINCING Issac NEWTON that you are NOT an asshole. Now IF you WANT to convince him that you are NOT an asshole, you would tell him the second comment EINSTEIN made. Of course, Newton would ask about the first comment since he knows about it. But you SHOULD try to invalidate the first comment by the second comment, unless you want to make him think that you ARE an asshole. Say you did it. Of course, the government IS telling that to the UN….And then you go home. Newton WILL hear whatever you say at home (don’t tell me the American Ambassodor office can’t read Sinhala). Now your mother asks, what did Einstein think about you. Remember, Newton hears. If you DO want to convince NEWTON that you are NOT an asshole, then you would definitely tell her the second statement Einstein made. If you tell her about both the comments and say that you think Einstein’s first comment is the genuine one, now what? Since you perfectly know that Newton hears you, that means you want to convince Newton that you are an asshole (traitor). Say you had forgotten about Newton and just wanted to convince your mother that Eistein thinks you are an asshole and therefore he is an asshole (dirty politics). Even then, you are doing something that would lead Newton to believe you ARE an asshole (a traitorous act). If you are doing something traitorous, are you a traitor or not? I don’t see anything patriotic here.

  4. lefroy Says:

    I don’t make the other argument that to say someone betrayed something, is to say that something does exist, since it has been made by others, including politicians.

  5. lefroy Says:

    Please note that above two comments I made are in reactiont to the comment stormcrow made

  6. lefroy Says:

    Oh shit. I screwed up the betrayal argument in the second comment. Whatever. This isn’t about it.

  7. stormcrow Says:

    If Fonseka’s retraction was voluntary, your second argument could have applied. But when he was given a chance on Monday, he stood by his comment, which means *even after seeing how the paper published it*, he still didn’t think that it was “misquoted”. However once it was shown that it harms HIM more than Gota, he just said all the disclaimer stuff. This isn’t a “patriotic” motivation according to government, hence their claim despite the retraction.

    Taking your own example, this is like Einstein seeing that if you complained, **he could have lost his job**, and acting quickly to make you calm, rather than apologizing because you “were hurt”.

    Did you notice that he says EVEN NOW that he is ready to save the army, but “not ready to save Gota” who issued “stupid commands”? He doesn’t say what these commands are.

  8. lefroy Says:

    @ stormcrow….Again, this isn’t about what Einstein’s motives were, or what he thinks about you, or what kind of man he is, or whether or not you’re an asshole. This IS about how will you act IF you want to convince Newton that you are not an asshole…So this isn’t about Fonny’s motives, or about whether he said it or not, or whether he’s a traitor or not and so on. This IS about what should the government do, IF they really want to convince the UN and all the powerful white guys that those so called war crimes never happened. As I have argued above, if they really do want to convince those guys that the war crimes never happened, then what they are doing is the exact opposite of what they ought to do. If, as they claim, those westerners pose a great danger to this country, they are helping them by doing what they do. Now isn’t that traitorous? Now say Fonny’s a traitor. If you are a patriot, how can you do something traitorous, even if all you do is bashing a traitor?

  9. lefroy Says:

    @ stormcrow….Although I do not think that determining what Einstein thinks is important (since what want to do is demonstrating how YOU should act if you really want to convince Newton that you are not an asshole), I would like to talk about this as well…Alright, now, since Newton is not Einstein, all he can do is guessing what Einstein really thought about you..Fonny made two statements, the second denying the first. But both these statements were made by the same man. Now since he DID make the 2nd statement, that means he cares more about winning the election than he does about revenging Gota or something like that (He DID make the 1st statement. So no one can say he cares about more about truth than everything else). If the election is all he cares about, how can you trust his 1st statement? If he made the 2nd statement for political gains, how can you say that he didn’t make the 1st statement just for political gains as well..I must stress the point that this is not the point of my post. I wasn’t talking about how to convince westerners. I was talking about what should GOVERNMENT do if it really wanted to convince the westerners that they didn’t commit those so called war crimes, and what should we call them if they do the exact opposite.

  10. stormcrow Says:

    When the government wants to handle UN (hopefully) they will do it in a different manner. What the government is doing *right now* is to point out to the public that SF “had said” such a thing, despite the later retraction.

    **** This isn’t an endorsement of what SF said. ****

    Pointing out that Einstein lost control doesn’t endorse that you are an asshole.

    I think if this isn’t clear by now, any amount of writing would make it any clearer to you, so I’ll stop here.

  11. lefroy Says:

    @ stormcrow..As I said, if you do want to convince Newton that you are not an asshole, you will definitely try to tell him that that is what Einstein really meant. Government IS doing this. However, if you go home and tell your mother about the 2 statements Einstein made, and tell her that you think the 1st is the correct one, knowing full well that Newton hears whatever you say, they I can say that you care more about bashing Einstein than you care about convincing Newton that you’re not an asshole. Here, Einstein’s 2nd statement is something that helps you, no matter why he made it. You lose your ability to use it if you say the 1st one is the right one. If to convince Newton that you’re an asshole is a traitorous act, then you are doing something traitorous…Pointing out Einstein lost control doesn’t endorse that you are an asshole. You are right. But pointing out Einstein lost control validates the 1st statement and invalidates the 2nd.

  12. stormcrow Says:

    “But pointing out Einstein lost control validates the 1st statement and invalidates the 2nd.”

    No it doesn’t. That’s your logical fallacy.

    One could call a statement *traitorous* without accepting that it’s *true*.

  13. lefroy Says:

    @ stormcrow..prove how it doesn’t happen. You go home and tell your mother that Einstein’s 1st statement is the honest one. So the 2nd statement is dishonest (It doesn’t matter what’s the true one). Now, it becomes impossible for you to use this 2nd statement in trying to convince Newton that that you are not an asshole. Because you have said that the 2nd statement is dishonest and therefore, whether it is true or false, it becomes invalid in trying to convince Newton that you are not an asshole. (I think I should have stated my valid, invalid comment more clearly. There, validity or invalidity of a statement doesn’t mean it’s whether it’s true or false. It just means whether it is valid or not to use a certain statement in trying to prove a certain point. There, validity and invalidity has nothing to do with the truth or fallacy of a statement. I thought you won’t take those 2 words out of context.).

  14. lefroy Says:

    And oh. Whether the first statement is true or not is a separate question. Whether Fonny was honest or not in making that first statement is a separate question. Whether the second statement is true or not is another question. Whether Fonny was honest or not in making the second statement is another question. I’m questioning why don’t the government try to use Fonny’s 2nd argument to invalidate the 1st (here the word invalidate means invalidating the 1st statement itself). If they want to do it, what they ought to be doing is strengthening 2nd statement, or using both the 2nd statement and the 1st statement to prove that the man who made both of them would say anything for cheap political gains. Instead what they’re doing is hyping up the 1st statement and calling it betrays the country..To explain this act (to say Fonny betrayed the country), I’ll have to use the argument I didn’t want to make since others already had. So I ask you, what’s the fundamental difference between a ‘lie’ and a ‘betraying statement’? Obviously a lie is not true. If what Fonny says is not true, it is a lie. Then Fonny’s a liar. However, to be a betrayor, he need to betray, to point out to something that IS there, that IS true..Say you are at school. Your best friend is B. Be tells the teacher that you stole a pen. Now, if you hadn’t stolen a pen, he’s just lying, and will be punished. But if you had stolen a pen, as he’s your best friend, he is betraying you, and YOU will be punished… Man I’m tired. We got to stop this. You have the last say.

  15. lefroy Says:

    This is the gist of everything I said..There’s a man named Fonseka (F). He makes 2 statements A & B, in such a way that B denies A. Statement-A accuses the government (G) of war crimes. Statement B says that such war crimes never happened. There’s a community named Westerns (W). W hears A and accuses G of war crimes. G denies it, and accuses F of betraying the Country (C). Concentrate on what G is doing from now on……..First, G accuses F of betraying C. That means that G agrees that the statement A is true (because of the fundamental difference between a betraying statement and a lie). But it also denies the A. So G is agreeing to, and denying the same statement at the same time. This doesn’t make sense (Aristotelian Logic). If we assume that anyone who betrays the country is a traitor, then it follows that G is both a patriot for denying a statement that betrays a country, but at the same time a traitor for claiming that this statement betrays the country, since it’s an acknowledgement of the fact that there is a truth to this statement. This is just one argument, the one you forced me to use……Moving on to the other argument, what G is supposed to do is convincing W that it didn’t commit war crimes. In doing so, it doesn’t matter whether the statement A is true or not. It doesn’t matter whether B is true or not. It doesn’t matter whether F was genuine in making A. It doesn’t matter whether F was genuine making B. The most important duty that has befallen upon G, is to convince W that the war crimes did not happen (in other words, to convince W that it is the statement B that is the true one, and not it’s opposite statement A), since there is no way G could let F betray C. Defending C must be more important than bashing F, and so, if G has to strengthen B in order to save C, it must do it. Now you might interrupt and say, strengthening Statement-B isn’t what needed, but to strengthen the idea that is represented ay statement-B (that G didn’t commit war crimes). True, except I would argue that this cannot be done without strengthening statememt-B itself. As to why, the idea represented by B can only be true if A is a lie. This statement A hs what triggered all this (W seriously accusing G of war crimes). But the statement A isn’t the only thing that caused it. There have been many other reports of war crimes, and it’s (I believe that you believe as well) that W was looking for something “good enough” to charge G of war crimes. That means this statement A is the “good enough” reason W hast in order to investigate G for war crimes. What W has to do is to prove that this statement A is true, and G its opposite. To prove A is true, must be easier than to prove it’s false (Otherwise what’s the point. If war crimes really didn’t happen, all these UN and US investigations would be harmless. If so, no one needs to worry about what F said. G is certainly not in this view. They do say F betrayed the country & the army). Oftentimes, proving something is there is easier than proving it isnt there. Say what you want to prove is that no man died yesterday. All you got to do is to find a funeral. Say what you wanted to prove was that no man died yesterday. How are you going to do it? So how is G going to prove war crimes didn’t happen (without letting them investigate)? Here’s the only way I see. The best evidence W possesses to start investigations into war crimes is F’s statement A. Obviously, as I have shown, saying F betrayed the country isn’t going to be helpful to G. Claiming F says anything for cheap political gains isn’t going to be helpful either, since if G claims that, W would counter argue that if F really do that, perhaps he said the truth for cheap political gains. Of course, truth has a high demand. But if you say that statement A isn’t what he really meant, and that the classification is what F meant, there is an argument, however unconvincing that is (with the video).

  16. lefroy Says:

    Wait a minute. So did someone take me seriously? Unbelievable. Even I think of myself as some guy with a dirty mind.

  17. Bardo Says:

    The problem is, if there are any moves to prosecute him after he loses the election (and yes, he will lose the election), he will testify against Gotabhaya at a war crimes tribunal.

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