Confused (අන්ද-මන්ද වුණ) Sinhala Buddhist Leaders!
Posted on February 23rd, 2015
C. Wijeyawickrema, LL.B., Ph.D.
Why is that Sinhala Buddhist leaders are so confused with regard to the political drama taking place in Sri Lanka now in 2015? One drama was over, another one to begin. In the past, after 1924, in the political sphere, began a phenomenon that could be identified as the treatment of Sinhala Buddhists as kind-hearted women, which the new movement Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) started discuss and reveal openly since May 2012 (Confused items and persons/groups are marked by a number within parenthesis below).
After Ven. Gangodavila Soma’s tragic demise in December 2003 and with a (1) confused Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) embracing the interfaith concept and the multi-ethnic principle after May 2009, Sinhala Buddhists fell into a leaderless black hole with three frontal aggressions, Tamil separatism, Christian unethical conversions and Sharia Islam Wahhabism.
These three aggressions have direct or indirect association with the American-Chinese power struggle for the supremacy in the Indian Ocean. This is the latest of the old power struggle, between the British Empire and Russia, where Russia was looking for a warm water harbor in the Indian Ocean via Afghanistan.
In addition to these aggressions, the general moral declines in society and the widening gap between the rich and the poor, and the economic divide between Colombo versus the village areas, had more than a fair share of adverse impact on the majority Sinhala Buddhists.
BBS and the emperor’s clothe
Thus, BBS came to protect the orphan, the Sinhala Buddhist, and its message spread like wild fire, prompting Wijedasa Rajapaksa to present a private member’s bill in the parliament to prohibit Buddhist monks getting into politics. Some others like C. A. Chandraprema of Gota’s War fame, wanted thugs to go an attack BBS meetings with stones! Reminiscent of the “protestant Buddhism” in a previous era, an Asian militant Buddhism became the need of the hour for a country still controlled by a class of Sinhala, Tamil and Christian Colombo black-whites.
While some Sinhala Buddhist leaders were (2) confused about the message and the messenger of BBS, a shrewd group of Christians and Christian-Marxists including the Pilipino American Ms. Michele Sisson, thought of utilizing the militant Buddhist power (Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha) to remove Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) from his family-owned dictatorship. They knew that unless the Buddhist power was diluted by splitting it, Ranil-CBK siblings cannot expect a comeback. This is the famous divide and rule method. Buddhist power was such that Ven. Aturaliye Ratana was able to roar that MR will be removed from power by any (legal) means. Historically, only monks were able to challenge modern “emperors” like JRJ, RPremadasa or MahindaR. In the case of CBK, the silent challenge was from the late Ven. Soma.
Confusion over Executive Presidency (EP)
Some SB leaders are (3) confused over the issue of EP. The actual need is to abolish the JRJ bahubootha constitution and develop a new one with people’s participation; introduce the principle of separation of powers and the rule of law; make EP and all subject to law and order. Instead, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha was (4) confused, and became a victim of the Christian and Marxist agents. If the LankaCnews report is correct, now finally, the Ven. Monk has realized the need to save the post of EP. The problem is not the post, but the holder of the post.
Retirement of Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR)
So many Sri Lankan SBs are (5) confused on the subject of sending MR home. Ten years is more than sufficient for a person to be the EP. Just like the other EPs, there should be no confusion in any SB’s mind that MR abused power. Sending him home was the best thing that had happened to him, his family and the country. I believe, some divine power guarding this island made the change of power from MR to MS at this critical juncture. The anti-SB forces knew the best SB to defeat MR was MS.
MR lost SB votes due to his surrendering to the three aggressions against SB’s mentioned above. He even prevented the application of archeological law to Kuragala ancient Buddhist site! He did not re-settle the Sinhala people displaced in Jaffna. These are just two examples from tons of such items. Then the most significant was his support for the 13-A. By his action, he has nullified the defeat of separatism in May 2009. Ironically, he laid the foundation for an Eelam in Sri Lanka!
Nugegoda half-million-abolition of 13-A
Who could say Vasudeva, Wimal Weerawansa, Dinesh Gunawardena and Udaya Gammanpila are confused, in asking MR to come back? No, they are not confused. They are fighting for political survival. If the three (minus Vasudeva and Dayan Jayatilleke) are for SBs then they should have declared that they want a reformed MR to remove 13-A. Because removing 13-A is not an ethnic or racial issue but protecting Sri Lanka as one-country issue.
One can understand why this 13-A was a hidden or prohibited issue at the presidential election, because the number one issue was sending MR home. But now, 13-A has become the number one issue for the next parliamentary election, because of the behavior of Ranil, CBK and Mangala S of the Sinhala Commission Report-dustbin fame. Even Paskaralingam, the Prabakaran mole in R Premadasa’s office is back! Why did he leave Sri Lanka less than 24 hours of Premadasa killing?
Maithripala Sirisena (MS)
SBs are so (6) confused in not understanding the historic importance of electing MS as EP. He prevented Sri Lanka becoming a family dictatorship under MR. He prevented 13-A becoming the basis of dividing the country under MR’s mismanagement of everything. Simply because he became the common candidate, he does not become a Ranil-CBK agent. He is his own man, if SBs who voted for MR look at him from who has the better chance of removing 13-A. Ranil and CBK have already displayed that their aim of selecting MS as the common candidate was a federal Eelam on which MS has given no commitment. If Vasu, Dinesh, Wimal and Udaya are genuine they should disclose what MR will do if he comes back to politics again.
Eelam hurry of Ranil-CBK-Mangala
It is a blessing in disguise that MS appointed Ranil as PM and gave Ranil and CBK a kind of free hand. We see their true colors so soon, so clearly, before the next parliamentary election. While Ranil was talking about a Lichchavi rule, CBK was telling Thiriyayi Muslims that she will put Bodu Balu Sena, in a dog cage! All those Ranil-CBK past regime agents and servants are back in all important posts including Paskaralingam! A Kabir was appointed higher education minister and Rajiv Wijesinha, a 13-A supporter, an anti-BBS man but an honest gentleman (which means he could be convinced to change his views by discussion, unlike Dayan jayatilleke who a slippery snake), told us how these Kabirs are going to run a yahapaalanaya. Ranil will begin what JRJ and RPremadasa and what he himself did, if he can get a majority of parliamentary seats at the next election. The way to prevent this is strengthen MS’ hands with the power of Sinhala Buddhists.
So, those SBs (7) confused about MS’ as EP have to open their eyes an see whether MR coming back will change anything except the same old policy and sets of yes men. For the next parliamentary elections, from SLFP a new person, possibly from outside current MP/CM crowd, and not Raajitha, not Nimal Siripaala, not Susil Premjayanth, not Vidura Wikramanayake, not Prasanna Ranatunga, should be the PM candidate.
If he declares publicly that he will remove 13-A, this PM candidate could be Dinesh Gunawardena, who has an excellent chance of winning under UPFA ticket, even though he was a one hundred percent MR yesman. Dinesh’ father did so many political blunders and Dinesh should not make the same mistake at a critical juncture of Sri Lanka’s future. He should give up Wimal and Vasu for the country. Another suitable such candidate is Champika Ranawaka. Remember in 1956 SWRD contested using the MEP symbol and not the SLFP symbol.
Yes, people are getting worried about what Ranil-CBK-Mangala is doing, and that was the reason for the Nugegoda gathering, but people are not for a MR and Dayan Jayatilleke show again. Even if 10% of the corruption charges proven, at a general election, without the state power that he had, MR will have a hard time getting votes by the electorate.
13 Amendment and the next election
At the last election MS did not solicit TNA or Muslim votes. They came under his tent because they had no choice. That does not mean MS is going to betray SBs. The fact that Ranil and CBK are anti-Sinhala Buddhists, does not mean their using MS or MS using them for political strategic purpose could erase 47 years of rural political experience of MS. MS knows no SBs want to harm or discriminate against non-Buddhists. The correction of past discriminations against SBs does not mean taking the human rights of others.
This time the post-election attacks were so few because for the first time there was a friendship between UNP and SLFP Sinhala voters. Despite Ranil’s plans or Ravi Karunanayaka-John Amaratunga plans, village –level UNP voters do not support 13-A or division of the country. Those MR-kissing SB politicians need to understand that Ranil-CBK plans could be defeated only by strengthening MS’ hands and not by breaking SLFP into two.
MS will not and cannot work against UNP and the confused voters need to understand this. But MS is in a position to derail any attempts by Ranil-CBK-Mangala to divide the country.
Change election law
Next election must not be held without changing the election law. Any adjustment to give minority parties a place in the parliament taking into consideration their national total vote or other solutions such as a Senate are possible in this context. If needed MS should come out of the time prison of 100 days. The breaking of that rash promise is not a big deal compared to the national importance of doing the correct thing right.
What next after 13-A
This demand to remove 13-A is not an irresponsible demand by some crazy SBs. 13-A did not help people. As suggested by the LLRC report people at the lowest level must be empowered. MR government accepted this idea recommended even by the APRC of Tissa Vitharana and created a department of Director General of Jana Sabha. The large number of GSN units (RPremadasa increased them from 4,000 to 14,000) must be redrawn with ecological boundaries and each new GSN unit must become a Jana Sabha with ten members elected on non-partisan basis. They must be empowered by the constitution, like in the case of the Indian Panchyathi Raj, to handle their local civil administrative affairs. This way Tamils and Muslims could achieve their aspirations at local level, without becoming a threat to the Sinhala people and especially, the Sinhala Buddhists.
In order to help those confused SBs (including Nalin de Silva, HLD Mahindapala and Gunadasa Amarasekera) to understand the silly nature of blind faith support to anybody who is not willing to abolish 13-A, I have prepared the following table.
Table – A
Column 1= Sinhala Buddhist leaders supporting 13-A
Column 2= SB leaders opposing BBS
Column 3= not known as either 1 or 2
Name Col. 1 Col. 2 Col. 3
Ranil Wickramasinghe x x
Chandrika B. Kumaratunga x x
Raajitha Senaratna x x
Maithripala Sirisena x
Mahinda Rajapaksa x ?
Dinesh Gunawardena ? ?
Wimal Weerawansa ? ?
Udaya Gammanpila ? ?
Nimal Siripala de Silva
Champika Ranawaka x
Ven. Madudluwawe Sobhita x
Ven. Aturaliye Ratana x
Nalin de Silva x
Gunadasa Amarasekera x
(Please note Christians such as Rajiva Wijesinha or Dayan Jayatilleke are not considered here)