‘Error of the moon’?
Posted on April 24th, 2018

Editorial Courtesy The Island


Winston Churchill famously dubbed Russia a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. How would one describe Sri Lanka, under the yahapalana government? One may call it a tangle, wrapped in a jumble, inside a muddle. Anything King Midas touched got transmuted into solid gold, we are told. The present-day Sri Lankan leaders also have a magical touch of sorts. Anything they lay their hands on turns into an unholy mess, instantly. They have a remarkable ability to bring chaos out of order.

The economy is in total disarray. The rupee has hit an all-time low, and the balance of trade woes worsen with each passing day. People are struggling to keep the wolf from the door. Adding insult to injury, government panjandrums claim that the inflation rate is decreasing! Political instability has manifestly taken its toll on investor confidence. Foreign investors are wary of coming here. The government has secured parliamentary approval for a borrowing frenzy. Parliament is in a mess. So is the Cabinet, part of which turned against the PM recently. Taxes have increased, and Citizen Perera will suffer another body blow at the hands of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation shortly.

We thought the yahapalana bungling was confined to mundane affairs. But, now, we learn that it hasn’t spared even the holy. No less a person than Anunayake of the Malwatte Chapter Ven. Niyangoda Sri Vijithasiri Thera has taken exception to the government decision to celebrate Vesak on April 29 instead of May 29. This newspaper has quoted the venerable Thera as saying that it is absurd for Sri Lanka to celebrate Vesak in April, while all other Buddhist countries are making preparations for Vesak celebrations in May. He has called celebrating Vesak, in the month of April, a joke. One has no reason to doubt what the erudite prelate says; he has, we believe, articulated the position of the Maha Sangha, on the issue.

The government has postponed the International Workers’ Day, which is celebrated on May 1, the world over, to May 07, purportedly in view of Vesak celebrations. Have the yahapalana pundits made a double blunder, as it were, by advancing Vesak and postponing the International Workers’ Day?

Is it that the yahapalana leaders, who think no end of themselves and pride themselves on their punditry, are of the view that their knowledge of Buddhism and Buddhist affairs is far superior to that of the Maha Sangha? They have a monumental penchant for meddling with religious affairs.

Why didn’t the Mahanayake Theras raise objections to the government decision to celebrate Vesak on April 29? The Maha Sangha should have voiced their concern and tried to knock some sense into the yahapalana pundits much earlier.

What do the Mahanayake Theras think should be done now? Will we have to celebrate Vesak both in April and May? (The JVP is planning to have two May Day rallies, one on May 01 and the other on May 07!)

Meanwhile, some government worthies inform us that the faction-ridden ‘unity’ government will go on for the next one and a half years. Who will benefit from the continuation of the trouble-torn political marriage is the question. One is reminded of Mike the Headless Chicken, which, reportedly, lived for 18 months after being beheaded, in Colorado about seven decades ago. Every yahapalana notable is seen running around like a headless chicken.

The present-day political leaders are behaving in such a way that one should be pardoned for doubting their sanity. How else can their bungling be explained? Is their peculiar behaviour related to the moon? We have had four full moons so far this year, and the next one is only a few days away. The famous words of the title character in Shakespeare’s Othello come to mind: “It is the very error of the moon. She comes more near the earth than she was wont. And makes men mad.”

One Response to “‘Error of the moon’?”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    very well said Sir!

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