Guttila-Musila Re-enactment
Posted on December 27th, 2009

Dilrook Kannangara

The Guththila-Musila story is a popular Buddhist Jataka story. Guttila was a musician par excellence serving king Brahmadatta in the North Indian city of Benares. Musila was an ambitious young man keen on learning the Veena. But when Musila approached Guttila, he was refused. Undeterred, Musila stays in Guttila’s house and attends to his blind parents. Consequently, Guttila agrees to teach him. At first Musila faithfully learns. However, once he attained competency he challenges not only Guttila but also his career. Instead of performing at his native city of Udeni, Musila decides to perform in Benares, Guttila’s own city. Without stopping at that he demands from the king that he should replace Guttila. The king arranges a contest. After an epic performance Guttila emerges the better of the two. Along with it people come to know how ungrateful and narrow minded Musila had been and evict him from the kingdom. As Buddhist teachings are eternal, the relevance of this Jataka story is also everlasting. In fact the Guttila-Musila drama is re-enacted in Sri Lanka today!

 It was HE Mahinda Rajapaksa under the instructions of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (his brother) who appointed Sarath Fonseka to the post of Army Commander in 2005 just 12 days to go for his retirement. It is said that at first the President had objected to Gotabaya’s recommendation because Fonseka had a multitude of offences concerning morality. However, after his brother’s repeated instructions, the President had agreed. Before long, Fonseka displayed his inadequacies. While the President was trying hard to sustain Indian support for the war, which was critical, Fonseka made a scandalous comment against some senior Indian politicians. At the height of the war, he called Tamil Nadu politicians jokers. It was such an unintelligent statement and the government had to immediately apologise on behalf of him to retain critical Indian support. He didn’t stop at that. He made another unwise statement to a Canadian newspaper. He said that he believed that Sri Lanka belonged to the Sinhalas. His statement was widely criticised as being racist but the government stood by him and cleared his name and the good name of the nation while the war was raging.

 The President went out of his way to help Fonseka both in his professional life and in family life. It was never the practice to handover land to army commanders. But considering the plight of Fonseka, a large extent of prime land at the heart of the Colombo City was allocated to him. His allocation was subsequently increased after considering his family requirements including that of his daughters.

 In addition the President arranged financial help for Fonsekas daughters’ education in another unprecedented move. This was in spite of them living in the richest country in the world – the USA! President’s help was also seen at the wedding of Fonseka’s eldest daughter. Not only the Fonseka family was financially assisted, the President agreed to stand a witness to the marriage too.

 Fonseka had passed his retirement age by three and a half years in mid 2009 and a new army commander was appointed. By this time the war had ended. Fonseka was elevated to the post of Chief of Defence Staff, a position that makes strategic defence plans for all the branches of the military. Previous holders of this position served the nation enormously with dignity. One example is Donald Perera. They were intent on their work. Powers of the position were widely enhanced before appointing Fonseka. However, despite holding the post for four months, Fonseka failed to produce a single report let alone anything more. Then abruptly he resigned stating various reasons. However, the real reason for his resignation was to contest for the post of the president.

 The incumbent president could have easily rejected his resignation letter until the nominations day was over. That would have deprived Fonseka the chance to contest the presidential race. However, as promised his resignation letter was accepted within a day by the President.

 Without stopping at that he now levels unsubstantiated spiteful allegations against his own superior who gave him every opportunity and privilege. Fonseka has joined the sworn enemies of the President and he invents hate stories every passing day.

 This completes the Guttila-Musila re-enactment. 

 Today it is the men and women of this country who are the decision makers. They must decide who deserves victory and who deserves defeat.

 The executive president although elected by the people is not responsible or answerable to the people, the parliament or to the courts. This is how the 1978 Constitution has created the post of the executive president. This leaves the possibility of an elected president behaving in a manner detrimental to the people. If the elected president has a proven record of ungratefulness, it is certain that he will take the people for a ride after his election. One who is ungrateful to his appointer will surely be ungrateful to his electors.

2 Responses to “Guttila-Musila Re-enactment”

  1. aravinda Says:

    We all know what happened to ” Musila”, one day we elders can tell our grand children what happens to those who are ungreatful by pointed to the Story of Mahinda, Gotabaya and Sarath. Sri Lankans are stunned by Sarath’s dependancy on people like Mano Ganeshan and Rauf Hakeem who are known only for their treason.

  2. Parakum Says:

    Well said, Dilrook. I fell these type of articles should appear in print form for general public. Can I suggest that this is sent to “ISLAND” newspaper and they will probably include this in the “FEATURES” or “OPINION” column.

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