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Prof. Hudson McLean has got it all wrong

R. Chandrasoma

I have read with astonishment the diatribe directed against me by Prof. Hudson McLean. Let me assure him - if, indeed, he is open to persuasion on this score - that I do not belong to 'a small but fanatical extremist group trying to create a new excuse for civil unrest'. It is the fanaticism of the Eelamist Tamils and the subversive role of the Institutional Christian Church in fanning the flames of this fanaticism that I tried to highlight in my article. I quite agree that the mass of ordinary Sinhala Christians have no truck with the duplicitous knavery of those in positions of power in the ecclesiastical organizations of which they happen to be members. Many patriotic Sinhala Christians have written to the Newspapers expressing their vehement displeasure at the chicanery of those they are compelled to accept as their spiritual leaders. I unreservedly applaud the honesty and bravery of such fellow-citizens.

Allow me to advert to a few other matters that I find quite perplexing in the article by Prof. McLean. First, there is the somber proposition that 'peace is about to dawn' and that we should not 'rock the boat' given the delicacy of the equipoise between war and peace. This - so it appears to me - marks a U-turn in the fortunes of a professorial writer given to lambasting everybody in sight on the 'Ranil-Prabhakaran Affair' Be that as it may, one must welcome his new-found meekness in the larger interest of social harmony. There is a caveat, however - peace for the Sinhala-Buddhists cannot be 'purchased' by a self-effacing surrender of their historic prerogatives and claims on a motherland that they have called their own for over two thousand years. Sri Lanka is not Uganda and the autochthons of this ancient island are not at the mercy of alienated elites who may abandon ship if they are not allowed to lord it over the natives.

These are matters only obliquely relevant to what was stated in the article. I stated very plainly (some may have found the language florid at times) that:

(1) The Christian ecclesiastical establishment was hand in glove with the Terrorists.
(2) The Media were managed to kill every vestige of patriotism in the majority Sinhala-Buddhist constituency.
(3) The powerful Business Community had thrown in its lot with the Sinhala-Bashers and that huge forces were now ranged against the struggling vestiges of Sinhala-Buddhist power.
(4) That the political leadership was engaged in a despicable game of Cheating and Deceiving - pretending to bring peace while selling the land - or part of it - to a maniacal killer.
(5) That public opinion is now so enfeebled that 'Sangeethakarayas' (cheap third - rate musicians hired by Christian ' peace ' brigades) insult openly figures long regarded as national heroes e.g. King Dutugemunu, Anagarika Dharmapala and other members of the Buddhist Revival Movement

These are not idiosyncratic views. The vast majority of the Sinhala-Buddhists who have the leisure and good fortune to pause and to reflect have no qualms on any of these matters. To equate such people with Muslim Militants is laughable - it is not an aggrieved minority that is complaining. It is the majority that finds it self in a topsy-turvey world where they are asked to surrender land, to abnegate their religious and linguistic predominance and to play second-fiddle to minorities that purposefully do not practice what they preach. To defend the interests of Sinhala - Buddhists is to risk being accused of being a ' chauvinist ' or ' racist ' by people of the calibre of Professor McLean, whose own people ( this is no secret ) practised nothing but racial discrimination and enslavement of the poor Asians and Africans during the heyday of Western Colonial rule.

A few concluding words - I do not have dictionaries around me when I write. Nor do I have a 'local library' to run to when lexical difficulties arise. It is, perhaps, the view of foreigners that natives can write English only with the help of these valuable aids to good writing. They are sadly wrong.


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