The Last Chance
Posted on August 9th, 2019

By Dr. Tilak S. Fernando Courtesy Ceylon Today


Sri Lankans born after 1948 must be the most unfortunate folk living on this planet, despite many narrations indicating, according to Buddhist belief that, Sri Lanka is a blessed country and several Gods have sanctified this nation”. Could it be the reason why this Island was once known as the Dharma Deepa?


When the Portuguese arrived in Ceylon in 1505, they introduced beef eating to the natives which then became a common habit, even among Buddhists, mostly influenced by Christians and later backed by the Colonial rulers. Anagarika Dharmapala, as a defender of the Buddhist faith, cautioned  people by going from place to place and displaying a prominent  banner,  Gavamas nokan (don’t eat beef), when consumption of beef had become a habit,  because a pound of beef at that time was thirty cents.  


(Aryadasa) Ratnasinghe- 2001 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd).

Harmony

During the colonial regime (prior to 1948), there were campaigns calling upon the public not to eat beef. It is often said that our forefathers lived in complete harmony and being kind to each other. During foreign reign and even during Colonial rule what was remarkable, as we read in history books today, is how even Indian kings who ruled this nation and later the British rulers respected Sinhala culture and showed reverence to Buddhism. The British specifically had refrained from consuming beef at public ceremonies as a mark of respect to Buddhism as well as to the pious people of the land. It was a time when the late Singaporean Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, after visiting Ceylon, commented how he wished to emulate the Ceylon module to Transform Singapore into self-sufficient standards, akin to  Ceylon!”

Complete

But today, can we say the same? Perhaps it would be complete harmony to quote what he later uttered:   There were two options for me, either I got corrupted and place my family in the Forbes List of the richest people in the world, or leave my people (for which I was elected the Prime Minister) among the countries listed in the list of the best ten economies in the world! I hasten to say that I chose the second option.”


If the same questions were to be posed to our current crop of politicians in Sri Lanka, probably they would come with: ‘There were two options for us too, but the second option was already taken by the Singapore Prime Minister, so we had no other alternative but to seek the first option!”   Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore’s first Prime Minister and architect of the tiny city that he converted into a global trade and financial centre.


This obviously summarises the citation that, Sri Lankans must be the most unfortunate folk living on this planet”, because from the time the British left good old Ceylon, after handing over the responsibilities of running the country’s affairs to locals, Lord Solebury, who headed the Soulbery Commission, had this to say:  Sri ‘Lankans are not ready to govern their country.”


Sri Lanka was known as Dharma Deepa once, but it has turned 360 Degrees today to be explicitly called as ‘Adarma Deepa’ (a perfidious nation), because of rampant corruption that takes place from top to bottom in society.


Politics has transformed into a modern industry and parliamentarians and administrators equally, who are being elected and selected to serve the nation, have become corrupt and corrugated to the level of stinking to high heaven.
After achieving independence from the British, a few of Sri Lanka’s elite, who appeared in tail coats and top hats, began to emulate the British, rather than adopting a suitable policy that suited the local culture  that  any future Government could work on the basis of a structured policy.

Divide and Rule concept

By imitating and adapting British policies and behaviour, the new batch of politicians in Ceylon, automatically became accustomed to the British style of ‘divide and rule’ that gave rise to the formation of different political parties, under diverse hues, marking a division in society. Naive persons began to split into such groups, for their personal gains, akin to chewing gum adherence, with emotional affirmations such as ‘Kapuwath Api’ UNP, SLFP or Communist and LSSP supporters!


This trend transformed into a contagious state when the head of the family supported any particular Party, the rest of the family too blindly followed suit.
Society automatically became segregated due to various boons offered to the people such as giving employment opportunities to party members, while ignoring the other members of society; similarly, entrepreneurs contributed to both parties – the ruling as well as the opposition – playing it safe.

Exposure

This trend continued for 71 long years, until the public began to recognise politicians’ nudity in many a form, including politicians of the ruling and ruled parties and how they have allowed the country to go downhill economically, industrially, scholastically, educationally and scientifically, leaving the poor villages and villagers to suffer immensely. What the politicians should have done all these years are now being done  by various TV companies as humanitarian campaigns.

Sad situation

It is such a, therefore, the word ‘politics’ today has turned into a ‘play game’ where  some of the prominent members of the Government display egocentric tendencies rather than serving the people who have elected them to serve the country. Sri Lanka is on record as the only country where a politician, after ‘hanging on to his parliamentary seat’ for five years, qualifies for a pension for life whereas the hard-working people have to sweat for 30 to 40 years to qualify for such a privilege and at the end of the day they are shocked to find that their EPF money too had been expended on the Government on massive frauds such as the scandalous Central Bank scam!


Despite all the perks by politicians and qualifying themselves for a special allowance to attend parliamentary sessions, most of the time Parliament has had to abandon its sittings due to the absence of a quorum! Even if they were to be present, some Ministers, akin to kindergarten children, are seen coming out with flippant answers to questions raised by members of the Opposition to purposely transform the August assembly into a clowning gallery; some keep on nodding and were seen falling asleep in their comfortable chairs as if they hadn’t had a wink of sleep the night before! What a comedy!


It may be God’s grace that people in this country have awoken to find what a mockery politicians are upto at last and the word ‘politician’ has become the most despicable word spoken, as they have been manipulating the masses with all kinds of bull during election time in order to come to power and once elected are hell bent on seeking luxuries in life such as getting tax free car permits, duty free petrol and all kinds of allowances. Sri Lanka has to be the only country on this planet where an ordinary citizen has to pay millions just to buy a family car!  
Today this Island, has become a ‘debt-den’ according to political connoisseurs, who state that even our future generations will have to pay millions in the form of taxes! Politicians and rulers have had their heyday for 71 long years, taking the ordinary folks, who they consider to be naïve, stupid and mere idiots, for a ride, but the upcoming elections, which are around the corner, could see the suffering masses give a positive verdict, to send the so-called ‘old age pensioners’ home and bring new blood into Parliament as they offer a fresh start and will serve as patriots.

Inferiority complex

The major drawback for the past 71 years has been the citizenry’s inferiority complex that was carried forward from the Colonial time by calling the very representatives they elect to serve them ‘honourable members’ and worshiping them by bending into two when approaching them as if they are descended Gods, but what people forget is the fact that MPs have been appointed by the people to serve people and they are ‘technically servants’ of the people.


The  mentality of Sri Lankans was (and  still is) that they  seem to consider themselves inferior due to their mediocracy, because unlike any other developed country Sri Lankan mentality has been to look down upon the job one does for a living, due to the division of labour introduced by the Chinese from time immemorial. So, they automatically seem to think they are ‘inferior,’ without understanding the fact that there is no difference in any job one does except the variation of the responsibility one carries!  After all, human rights are given a prominent place in the world, and there are international institutions to deal with human rights violations. Therefore, it is high time that every Sri Lankan begins to think in terms of a human being who has an equal right in society and not to be discarded as a mass of human flesh!

Think sensibly

The time has come for every citizen to think sensibly as the elections are around the corner to identify and elect those who are educated, selfless, and compassionate and only those who feel the pulse of the people and not to send businessmen, thugs or rapists to Parliament.

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3 Responses to “The Last Chance”

  1. Nimal Says:

    All the past colonials did much for the people. Portuguese gave us the cloths to wear,except for the para leaders we were half naked and that is evident in our Sinhala language.
    Shirt we wear is from them,Kamisa.Shoes we wear is called Sappathu.We never wore foot wear except for our Dravidian leaders. We never had tables in our homes and they presented it to the humble people which we call mase which is Portuguese for table. Instead of living the casual life among us, they called the cultured marriage Kasada,which is Portuguese.If you go to south our southern poetess Gajaman Nona wears a Portuguese dress and if not for them she would be nobody wearing hardly anything. They gave us posh names too.
    British gave us our lands which was occupied by the South Indian Dravidians and they turned Hindu devales into Buddhist temples and encourage the Dravidians to be Sinhalese.They gave us the Wesak celebrations and made it mandatory for government departments and the rich to be generous during the Wesak where the dansalas were created and pandols were erected. I saw this to my own eyes where I saw the high ranking Colonial police officer was inspecting the food given free at the then Mirihana police station in Station road and he moved into the very big dansala at Gansaba junction where he was seen tasting food that was made for the poor. It was mandatory for people to put water pots along the roads for people to drink and the local sudda,in our area on MR Green who lived of the lane off Jublee post used to inspect the water pots for purity.
    Then the colonials brought Mara seeds and planted in thousands along the roads so that poor people could walk barefoot on the hot tarred main roads. Those mara seeds with avocados were brought to our island from Latin America.
    I saw to myself in 1947 a Sudda was making Buddhist statues in Bihrawa mountain in Kandy and he too had a nursery of mara and avocado plants in his premises. Hugh army trucks were used to move the statues to Devales that include the Maligawa and made them Buddhist. Sir John ‘O doyle and Manning created the first Perahara for the humble people to enjoy but it is turned into a divide and rule fast and a con.Today the town of Kandy is closed to the traffic that is the life blood of the town while few rascals are given privilege passage, which is a degusting divide and rule policy.
    When the first perahara was performed the usual leaders who were real rascals tried to prevent innocent people taking part as spectators and the British fad to get down 1800 Malay troopers to protect the people. Those divide and rule times are coming back and we need the likes of British to rule us, perhaps the writer had good reason to love in UK.
    We make fake people in to Heros like Darmapala who was a Christian,educated in a Christian school was asocial misfit who just couldn’t sit at the same table and even dance with the colonial types,unlike me who could rock and rool,sing and dance and ate and drank with the colonial types, so he withdrew himself to seek shelter in the cultures in India, utter failure made into a hero. In history heroes are created though they do not qualify.Too busy to go on….
    Don’t forget that soon after 1815 the created the first school in 1819 and built the First established known School the Christian collage kotte in 1822.My great great grandfather was involved in the first known school at Gotanmbi in Kotte that was subsequently move do make the CMS in Kotte in 1822.We want the right type of colonials back to put our countries back and this the wish of people in many third world countries where uncaring rouges running their countries, reason why many want to migrate to the countries of the colonial types. So be honest.

  2. Nimal Says:

    Sorry for few grammatical and spelling mistakes as I live a very busy life and had no time to check.

  3. samurai Says:

    This is the same cockeyed, biased, stupid argument we have been hearing in defence of European colonialism we have been hearing for years (not very different from the false claim that the white man came to the East to ‘civilize’ Asians).

    Since it is a waste of time replying to this nonsense I am giving below the following links

    https://mahavansa.blogspot.com/2006/01/record-of-portuguese-in-sri-lanka_19.html

    http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=13665

    http://www.lankalibrary.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=2904

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