The Tallest Christmas Tree Saga continues
Posted on December 17th, 2016
Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . K1J 6G1 . Canada.
16 December 2016
Hon. Maithripala Sirisena
President of Sri Lanka
His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo
Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Re: The Tallest Christmas Tree Saga continues
Dear President Maithripala Sirisena:
Well…well…well….did you read the news item in the December 11, 2016, the SUNDAY TIMES, ‘Christmas tree builders erect Rs.12m private cash defence’. This comment from me is the second on this subject. The other I sent to you by e-mail on December 14th. I hope someone briefed you on it in case you didn’t have time to read it.
You know what Mr. President, whichever way the Yahoopalanaya lot wants to cut the Christmas Tree Saga Pie, it comes out as a waste of money when you all could have done better using that money distributing Christmas hampers to the poor and bring Joy to their hand-out VAT scrimping world.
Each hamper could have had a coconut, a loaf of bread, a small bottle of cooking coconut oil, a packet of salt, a small packet of rice, a small packet of dhal and a small packet of curry powder. Just seven items of a token gesture of ‘Christmas time Christian happiness, a Christian spirit of giving’, and that would have made thousands and thousands of people of all denominations living in thakaran roofed adobe huts smile That colossal Christmas Tree was about Religious harmony you all said. I don’t get it. That Christmas Tree Religious harmony needs some logical explanation. That vacuous statement to me is a heap of dried patties of cow-dung.
You know what Mr. President, your Yahoopalanayos still think that the Sri Lankans are a bunch of idiots, don’t you.?, You all keep lying to the people and pulling wool over their eyes.
I wonder whether Mangala Gunasekera, the Chairman of the Christmas Tree Construction Committee really understood the symbolism of the Christmas Tree. It has nothing to do with any other religion. At least the other three major religions in Sri Lanka – Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. And he talks of “Religious harmony” What stupidity!
That news item says “Construction Committee Chairman says, the tree was to promote religious harmony and promote tourism.”
You know what Mr. President, that foolishness made my stomach do summersaults with Ha!….Ha!… Ha!…laughter … saying “What a load of crap!”
The symbolic meaning of the Christmas Tree originates in pagan culture, where the evergreen represents life, rebirth and stamina needed to endure the cold, freezing winter months. The Scandinavians and Norse traditionally honoured the winter solstice (December 25) by decorating evergreens. This tradition also marked the end of the old year and the beginning of a new year. Where does the “religious harmony” come into play, Mr. President?
Please….please…..ask your Yahoopalanayos not to challenge the intelligence of the 21 million of your people.
Pagan lore indicates the time between December 25 until about early-mid January are some of the coldest days of the year. The lore believed that evil spirits were at their strongest during these months. So to thwart the ‘ red-eyed-Booo-nasties’, everygreens were brought into their homes as a symbol of protection. And they were lit with candles to light up the darkest and the coldest days and shooing out these nasty spirits. So where does the “religious harmony” come in. Stop lying and cheating your people, Mr.. President.
The nineteenth century Christianity absorbed the bright, cheery symbolism of a Christmas Tree. The Christians know their symbolism well, as they added candles and apples to their indoor Christmas trees. These candles, generally white, represented the light of Jesus Christ. The apples symbolized knowledge which spawned man’s original sin according to Christian belief. Here we see the light of Christ absolving the “fall of man” within the immortal; symbol of the Christmas Tree. So where the hell, does ‘religious harmony’ come into play, may I ask Mangala Gunasekera, the Chairman of the Construction Committee of the humongous Christmas Tree?
Mr. President, enough…is….enough. Stop cheating your people, and painting them as bunch of idiots.
And what your Yahoopalanaya crowd ought to know is that there was never a Christmas Tree in Bethlehem. Ask Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, and he will say so.
So you all decide to build the tallest Christmas Tree and think that you can bring religious harmony between the major religions in Sri Lanka – the Christians, the Buddhists, the Hindus and the Muslims. For Jesus sake, don’t throw buckets of Hog’s-wash on the 21 million of your people to bathe them with your unconscionable stupidity.
The present day Christmas Trees are decorated with all sorts of ornaments and coloured lights You name it, its all in Christmas Trees – chains of coloured beads, glass baubles, silver stars, flying silver birds, sleighs, little toy animals, an angel at the apex of the tree, et cetera. Not sure what all these symbolize, but this is how they decorate the Christmas tree.
But, if your people want to salvage the embarrassment of the Yahoopalanaya decadence, whether the Christmas Tree was built with Government Tax Payers money or money from the sponsors, it is not too late to cover your orangutang red behinds, by threading the Christmas Tree to represent ‘religious harmony’ by hanging religious symbols on your tallest Christmas Tree in the world in Galle Face Green like the – Dharma Chakra (Buddhism); Sacred cow or the Omkar’ (Hinduism); Cross (Christianity); Star and Crescent or a Minaret (Islam); Sikh Khanda (Sikhism); Zoroastrian Faravahar (Parsee); Star of David (Judaism); Pointed Star (Baha’is), Yin and Yang (Taoism) et cetera. That certainly will have a sensible thread of ‘Religious harmony’. But you will have to get permission from the religious hierarchy, whether they wish to participate in this decadent foolishness.
These mock religious symbols will have to be large all weather proof Christmas tree decorations.
Mr. President, here is where your Yahoopalanayo deliberately confused your people. The cost, of constructing the colossal Christmas Tree would be a 12 million rupee show case with 300,000 bulbs, decorated with two million pine cones, a Santa and a sleigh are also part of the installation, they announced.
This Christmas Tree will be exposed to the Test Cricket abandoning inclement weather, where there will be a horrendous hidden cost for maintenance. Do you know how much it is? Of course, you wouldn’t as they would certainly like to hide the cost from the eyes of the people.
They say it is a tourist attraction. Come again Mr. President. Whom are you kidding. Dream on, Mr.President….dream on! You certainly won’t have tourists in plane loads flying into Colombo to see this Yahoopalanaya foolishness. Dream on…. Mr. President!
The Christmas hampers of a coconut, a loaf of bread, a small bottle of cooking coconut oil, a small packet of rice, a small packet of dhal and a small packet of curry powder, would have lit the skies with smiles of coconut-kernel white teeth of poor mothers, fathers and kids, who would have sung to you in union –
“I see skies of blue/ and clouds of white
The bright blessed day/ the dark Christmas night
With Christmas hampers in our hands
and I think of myself/what a wonderful world.”
My plea to you Mr. President is, it is time your Yahoopalanaya crowd stop cheating and lying to the 21 million people. For Jesus sake, stop underestimating their intelligence, Little wonder when I asked 24 Gamme-minissu, “Kohomadaha aluth arnduwa?” They all said, “Oya okkoma hora yakku. Mahaththaya!” That was the pulse of the poor folk last February across your beautiful
Island, and I am not lying, and my heart sank with disappointment.
And now this tallest Christmas Tree in place and no Christmas hampers!
It is tough to understand the Yahoopalanaya charity on the days of Christian goodwill.
Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr.)
(former Head, Thematic Research of the National Museums Corporation, Ottawa, Canada;
former Head of Exhibits of the National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottawa, Canada;
former Head of Exhibits, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Ottawa, Canada;
The designer, and producer of the 30 thousand square foot exhibition, ‘Hidden Face of the Oceans’, Pacific National Exhibition, Expo 86, Vancouver, Canada and
The designer and producer of the 30 thousand square foot exhibition, ‘The Oceans’, at the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, 1997)