10 years of rule - the facts
Recently, the government's mouthpiece,
The Daily News, was like a monkey praising its own tail when
it came to celebrating 10 years of Chandrika Kumaratunga's
achievements in this country. We all know that Lake House
editors are adept at separating fact from fiction - and then
they go to print the 'fiction.' Now an essay competition for
school children is on the cards and the subject, yes you
guessed correct - it's about the prowess of Chandrika. Well
and good for budding fiction writers but there is another side
to this fiasco. We need to face the reality of this
celebration by correctly enumerating the real facts behind the
Year 01 - Imagination - Chandrika is a
master of this art - imagining that she is born to rule,
imagining she has graduated from a world-class institution she
never did step into, imagining she has total rule over the
proletariat, imagining she is a super-star politician who has
the panacea for the ills of this nation, the very ills of
which she is the architect.
Year 02 - Domination - With the
abundance of an addled brain she needs to downtrend and
dominate any person, subject or her own cabinet. Instances:
(a) dominating her mother's SLFP heirarchy to deny her
brother's shot at it's leadership (b) Going against all odds
to bury the SLFP under the PA and now dominating the UPFA with
a bunch of rebels grovelling under her spell (c) dominating
the judiciary and security heads. In fact, domination is
another form of dictatorship.
Year 03 - Desecration - Sad but true -
the social, religious and traditional values of this country
are in jeopardy. Chandrika has lost her sense of
administration. Police officers, vandals, murderers taking the
law into their hands, politicians desecrating the sanctum of
parliament, Buddhist monks running amok, religious harmony and
tolerance being eradicated by the President's insensitivity.
Year 04 - Devastation - Look around the
country - the economy, infrastructure, commerce and trading
systems, even the very land and lives of the citizens are
daily being devastated by Chandrika and her cronies. Utter
Year 05 - Depredation - With a bunch of
inefficient politicians behind her, Chandrika goes on her
bungling way, ostrich-like. Plunder and destruction of our
national assets by politicians be they government or
opposition is not her concern. Exposes of ill-begotten gains
are according to her thinking "media aggression."
Year 06 - Damnation - That's the tone
of Chandrika for our nation and it's future. It's her
political survival that matters. Law has taken a back seat -
she as Commander-in-Chief points fingers of accusation at the
very persons she has nominated as 'pagakarayas'. If she really
has a heart for the welfare of this nation, she has to shed
this mantle of damnation.
Year 07 - Procrastination - The
paramount characteristic of Chandrika as President. This
anomaly is her trade mark. Matters of state, public affairs,
meetings, conferences are usually put off or delayed or
excuses made. A classic example is the peace process that is
at bursting point. With all the moderators, peace makers,
monitors, Chandrika's attitude is yes, no, yes, no, maybe, ad
Year 08 - Degeneration - By her
actions, the entire process of economic growth has
deteriorated. Our society is reduced to "animal"
status. She has lost control of the government administration
- people know it, but they are just too lazy to be defiant and
rise up. Everyone intends to make a 'fast buck' - to hell with
the nation. That attitude reflects even on the opposition.
Year 09 - De-Humanisation - It's
self-explanatory. Political adversaries, underworld minions,
deserters, murderers, thieves, con-men all taking a terrible
toll of human life. Does Chandrika care? You be the judge.
Year 10 - Defecation - That's the end
result of Chandrika's years in politics. Everyone experiences
it, smells it, the media exposes it, the parliamentarians
wallow in it. Is there not one honest, fearless, upright
person in this land to stand up and say 'enough'? Chandrika
it's time for you to take a hike? Will our country ever be rid
of the smell of Chandrika's political jugglery? And please - I
am not lying!
federalist stance not applicable now
Suranimala of Devinuwara in his letter
in your issue of December 5 refers to a statement which
appeared in the Ceylon Morning Leader of 17 July, 1926, where
S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike had said that "the federal system
of government will be the only solution" for the country.
In relying on this statement as to its applicability to the
present situation, the writer has apparently ignored the
What Bandaranaike said immediately
after returning from England, having completed his education
at a university where Ceylon History would certainly not have
been a subject taught, can be construed as arising out of
political immaturity and ignorance of the ground realities.
With the passage of time and after he matured, and having been
well informed of the history of the country, he did what he
thought was best for the country, by introducing Sinhala as
the official language. After all, in India, with a Tamil
population of nearly 60 million, the only official language is
Hindi and any communication with the centre has to be in
Hindi. Based on this fact, Bandaranaike's decision in 1956,
can certainly be justified. Of course, it must not be
forgotten, Tamil too was given official language status
If anybody is in support of federalism,
he/she should give his/her own reasons in support thereof,
without relying on the dead to support their stance.
IN lighter vein I wish to state the
following incident regarding S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike:
When SWRD who brought about a
revolution through his Pancha Maha Balavegaya was asked why he
kept more often than not the company of those who belonged to
the Salagama caste, his reply was;
Govi hathakam - karala pehenakam;
Kevul hathakam - wela goda enakam;
Dura hathakam - labba pirenakam;
Haali hathakam - pana thiyanakam.
Fund to help poor Buddhists?
Much has been discussed and written
about the unethical conversion of Buddhists to other
As a Buddhist I wish to suggest that a
Trust Fund be established in Sri Lanka where each Buddhist
will contribute a minimum of Rs. 100 to this fund which is to
be administered by honest and trusted Buddhists who have a
clean track record.
These funds are to be utilised to help
poor Buddhists who are likely to be the target for evangelists
who are trying to convert them.
R. De. Silva
out for vultures while channelling aid
The recent disaster could have been an
act of God to unite the communities which were getting
communal minded day by day creating hatred against one
Today we are happy to see the valuable
services rendered by all communities in whatever possible way,
assisting the affected no matter whatever community, caste or
creed and we wish and pray this unity will prevail in years to
We have to be grateful to the countries
that have come forward to extend a helping hand at our time of
distress and our brothers and sisters in foreign soil putting
all their efforts to help their motherland and we must
consider ourselves privileged to have a tremendous response.
I earnestly appeal to the government
and members of parliament on behalf of the citizens of our
country to utilize these funds that are pouring in a proper
manner bearing in mind that they have been donated towards the
affected and not utilise them for the personal and political
Upto date we saw unity that prevailed
over our media and today we observe cheap publicity stunts by
members of parliament posing themselves at sites, showing they
are concerned and posing for the camera as if the donations
were being made out of their pockets not realising that they
look jokers, and that the people cannot be fooled always.
Where were all these MPs at the time of destruction? And dear
members, please don't take advantage
of this situation for your personal gain as some day
you too could be a victim of such happenings.
I repeat, channel the funds obtained
concentrating on all those who were affected, shedding aside
all differences and please do not misuse these funds and make
this look like a political business as the contributions
received could easily uplift the destroyed, provided they
utilise them truly, not trying to make a quick buck or fatten
the supporters of each member or electorate.
We hope the NGOs and the relevant
diplomatic missions get themselves involved in the development
projects as this will eradicate the vultures who are looking
forward to gain their objectives over a situation like this.
In conclusion I wish to state a saying
of our Prophet 'let not your left hand know what your right
we hand over Sri Lanka to a bunch of frauds?
For over 50 years, under the pretext of
democracy, Sri Lanka has been misruled by Sinhala dominated
political parties propped up by self-seeking minority groups,
to the detriment of the innocent and gullible people of this
Politicians and their families
(including their brats), and political stooges all supported
by their goons (mainly from the state agencies) and underworld
thugs, have fattened and enriched themselves at the expense of
Is this democracy as envisaged by the
ancient Greeks where only the citizens (the educated elite?)
and not the slaves, had the right to vote? In Sri Lanka the
majority of the voters are simple and gullible village folk,
without any political wisdom, who only know hunger and
poverty, and will blindly accept any vote catching rhetoric
like 'rice from the moon,' 'taking from the rich and giving to
the poor,' 'Sinhala Only,' 'foremost place for Buddhism' etc.
The latest bit of rhetoric is 'Do not
divide Sri Lanka!'. This is mouthed by the UNP, SLFP, JVP,
Hela Urumaya, the Sihala Urumaya and the self proclaimed
leaders of Sinhala Buddhists - the Maha Nayakes. I too will in
my small way agree but would add that the 'Undivided Sri
Lanka' should not be handed over to a bunch of frauds who have
proved themselves so over the past years.
Therefore, let us hand over Sri Lanka
in its entirely to Pirapaharan who might do a better job.
There will certainly be no strikes or bribery and corruption.
power by altering constitution
In 1994 the presidential candidate of
the PA gave a written undertaking to the lone member of the
JVP that she would do away with the 'bahubootha' constitution
of JRJ within one year of assuming office.
Here, it must be pointed out that the
mother too, in her greed for power, extended her tern of
office by two years without any reference to the electorate.
Likewise, the daughter was celebrating
10 years in office, with tamashas all over the country, having
taken the oath under the 'bahubootha' constitution twice, (or
is it thrice?) which confers untrammeled power. Having enjoyed
the power, now she wants to perpetuate it by altering the
In the meantime, the JVP with all the
rhetoric and threats at street corners, have been given a
slice, and are kept busy, oblivious to the earlier promises,
which they even do not mention. What hypocrites!
on places of religious importance
You have, in your issue of November 7,
2004 spotlighted an attack on a church, in a specially written
article, along with photographs etc. You are, perhaps, unaware
that very recently, a Buddhist monk who was the sole occupant
of a temple in Eravur was killed and the land belonging to the
temple had been forcibly occupied by non-Buddhists.
In another incident in a place close
by, a Buddhist monk in a temple had made arrangements to dig a
well for the benefit of the pilgrims visiting the temple and
he was prevented from doing so by a section of the
non-Buddhists in the area Some papers carried the relevant
news reports recently without giving much prominence.
The gravity of the two incidents
referred to is hundred times more than the incident reported
in your newspaper of November 7. In the circumstances, this
writer would very respectfully request you to spotlight these
two incidents, in the same manner, so that your newspaper will
not be accused of being partisan to a particular religion.
The Scriptures tell us that "we
must be like the stars lighting up a dark sky" and Jesus
specifically says we must be the "light of the world and salt
of the earth." A true Christian must light up the way for
others, not just through dogmatic and doctrinal assertions and a
flair for regularity of practice, whether it turns out to be just
routine or meaningful, but through the witness of an illumined life
which makes God re-born in the society of his time and especially in
the sphere of his being and living: family, workplace, dependability
among friends and a refusal to be judgmental and a flair for
forgiving and forgetting. Many of us, so called religious people in
religious garb and formal fa‡ade, just don't measure up to the
definition of a true Christian gentleman. That is the tragedy of
institutional religion today and little wonder that it is on the
Annan was a regular churchgoer: all the
more credit for his being a genuine human being and a Christian
witness to his faith. His church going didn't ossify him into
routine, meaningless practice. Whenever he chose to be a little
critical, it was redeemed by a constructive and positive approach.
Generous to a fault, he had the knack of showing interest in
anything a friend was involved in. He was an unsensational supporter
and nourisher of all my religio-musical projects whether concerts or
CDs or any other venture.
Many a time, his contributions were
financial as well. He was, until recently, when he turned over the
full management of Thompson Associates to his elder son, its
managing director and proprietor. It was further proof of his not
wanting to cling to authority and power: another Christian
attribute: that he was familiar with self-emptying and happy to see
others take over and be in control. It must have made his passing
easier and less trammeled with mundane concerns.
To the best of my knowledge he was
gentle with his employees, without compromising on standards.
Although in advertising, a necessarily competitive area, he remained
simple, detached and without the urge to turn everything into a
profitable or money making venture. Today, indeed, the dividing line
between gentlemanly business and unscrupulous manouvering is very
thin and many there are who unwittingly cross the almost
imperceptible dividing line.
His family shared his convictions,
principles and priorities. His wife, Wendy, has refreshingly
preserved the better traditions of her Methodist upbringing and
infused her practice of Catholicism with an inspiring evangelical
dimension. There is a rare genuineness about their way of living and
moving and being. If that is the legacy Annan has left to this
society, country and church, he isn't 'dead.' He lives in their
genuineness and is perhaps their chief inspirer. We who believe in
resurrection, because of the unique resurrection of Jesus Christ,
are blessed to have known people whose resurrection is already a
living, though invisible, force; all the more because Annan seems to
have been prepared for the call that came to him, suddenly, for
those who were unfamiliar with his final days.
God seemed to have rewarded him for his
goodness with a kind of premonition of his passing. He seemed to
have seen his master beckoning him to his eternal reward. Death came
to him, not as a thief in the night, but as a friend. He embraced it
as a way to a better and fuller life. May the light of God's
countenance shine upon him and light up our way as well.
Fr. Claver Perera