In appreciation of T.Gamani Perera -Mr. T. Gamini Perera who protected the just rights of the Sinhala Buddhist majority.
Posted on June 2nd, 2010

Lt Col (Retd) Anil Amarasekera.

Mr. T. Gamini Perera known to many as TG, died one month ago, leaving behind a void that is much felt by those in this country who are working with much dedication to protect and preserve the unity and territorial integrity of our nation and also its Sinhala Buddhist heritage for posterity. Efforts Gamini took to protect the rights of Sinhala Buddhist majority while being a member of Success Colombo, the Dharmavijaya Foundation and many other Buddhist and national minded organizations is well known to many.

India, the birth place of the Buddha is no longer a Buddhist country and it would have been so in our country too had not been for dedicated Buddhists like TG who were born from time to time to prevent such a calamity taking place. The great king Gamini who had the same name as TG, but better known as Dutugemunu, when he declared war against the invaders from India had said, “This exercise of mine is not for the purpose of enjoying the comforts of a king. It is for the purpose of protecting and preserving Buddha Sasana  and the Sinhala race for posterity.“ This saying in fact became an unwritten Constitution and was followed by subsequent rulers of our country. TG in his own way was following this unwritten Constitution to the letter. As a wealthy man that he was, he too could have lived in comfort like a king, but instead spent his time, energy and wealth for the purpose of protecting and preserving the just rights of the Sinhala Buddhist majority for posterity.

When an issue arose that would have adverse consequences on the Sinhala Buddhist majority in this country and there was a necessity to create a public opinion against such adverse consequences, TG would be in the forefront. He would often be the person to organize a delegation to meet with the venerable  Mahanayake Theros or the Minister concerned. It was he who would initiate a draft letter on various issues detrimental to Sinhala Buddhists, circulate it among other activists and after incorporating their suggestions too, he would send such a letter to those in political power or release it to the press. He was instrumental in forming the Joint Committee of Buddhist Organizations (JCBO) to present the Buddhist point of view to those holding political power. One of his last efforts through the JCBO from virtually his death bed was his letter recommending to the President a list of names of eminent Buddhists to be appointed as Members of Parliament through the national list, to protect the rights of the Buddhist community in our country. He would have indeed been very happy in the last days of his life to have seen some of the persons suggested by him being made appointed Members of Parliament by the President.

On certain issues that arose in the past there was a necessity to cross swords with the then government in power. There were many, who were worried about the consequences that would result by clashing with those in political power, but among the few who would stand up and fight to protect the rights of the Sinhala Buddhist majority, irrespective of the consequences, TG was a shining example.  Therefore after living an exemplary life for eighty years, protecting the rights of Sinhala Buddhists, TG in his death bed like Venerable Sariputta had the right to say,

“Not fain am I to die nor yet to live,

I shall lay down this mortal frame anon

With mind alert, with consciousness controlled.

With thought of death I dally not, nor yet

Delight in living. I wait the hour

Like a hireling who hath done his task.”

With the death of TG we have indeed lost an irreplaceable personality who spent his lifetime to protect the Sinhala Buddhist heritage of our nation. The best we can do in his memory is to continue the work that he was doing in the national interest.

May he attain Nibbana.

Lt Col (Retd) Anil Amarasekera.

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