Sri Lanka: to be or not to be?
Posted on June 10th, 2019

Mario Perera Kadawata

Never in this country’s history has a government sunk to such a level of degradation as this MS-RW government.

Venerable Rathana’s history making walk to Mavil Aru, the roadway that all feared to tread was the act that led the way for the government forces to unleash their might against the LTTE. He was the trail blazer. By deciding on his fast unto death, he has focused the eyes of the Sinhala majority on another trail to be exploited for this country to be freed from the chains with which it is enmeshed. That trail is well expressed by the word REVOLUTION. That fast unto death shook the entire Sinhala majority from its accustomed complacency. The spirit of revolt was spreading fast by the majority community siding with the Venerable Thero. The government engaging in its customary procrastination tactics was shaken to the core. And suddenly things happened. The demanded resignations took place in the blink of an eye.

To my mind what that fast unto death brought about was something similar to what happened by the Marxist revolution of 1953 that sent Dudley and his cabinet running helter skelter into hiding in a British war ship. Had the expected resignations not taken place, then the lot of the Sirisena-RW government could well have been the same.

All major revolutions in this country, mainly against foreign rule, were led by the Sangha. Just think of the Panadura debate, and the Kelaniya Declaration. The monks have always been the custodians of the aspirations of the Sinhala-Buddhist nation. It was this role the Venerable Rathana successfully took on himself.

His eminence the Cardinal was accused by various quarters of inciting religious and communal hatred by his visit to the venerable thero. His visit to the monks was a sign of compassion and solidarity. He did not use the occasion to cast aspersions on the Muslims but on the government. He had in fact protected them at the risk of his own life at a time when a tsunami of righteous rage threatened their lives. The thrust of his message was that the government held office on TRUST for the nation.  His words resonated what Mahinda Thero told Devanam Piyatissa. You are only a Trustee. You hold office for five or six years said the Cardinal. The country does not belong to you but to the nation.

This nation is chained to Western values, among which is a system of democracy that is totally inappropriate and unsuited to our condition as a multi-lingual, multi-religions, and a multi-ethnic country. And then there is the sword of ‘human rights’ that the West holds over the country’s head. The Cardinal had on previous occasions decried the notion of human rights as the lens through which we were looked at by the west. The Cardinal pointed out that our religions were sufficient path indicators to the nation and that they were in practice long before the West discovered the idea of human rights. The Cardinal has repeatedly warned, even as late as this very evening, that our system and practices of governance has brought our country to the brink of self-annihilation.

The venerable thero had by his act opened the gates to a popular revolution. It would be a revolution that ushered a new system of governance. This country is one with a Sinhala majority, be they Buddhist or Christian. But since independence it is the minority communities branding themselves with ethnic, religious and linguistic branded names that hold the majority to ransom. This system of parliamentary democracy is meant to divide and destroy the majority community. It is a system that gives absolute leverage for the minorities over the Sinhala nation.

This system cannot be changed by the very system that has enchained it. Only a revolution can do to. That revolution will not be a military one as the military itself functions within the same subjugating system. That change can only come through a revolution. That revolution can only be a RELIGIOUS revolution. Such a religious revolution can only be set in motion by religious leaders This was the crux of Rathana Thero’s unto death fast. By his presence at his bed side, the Cardinal was assuring the monk of his support. We will walk towards such a goal side by side, holding each other’s hands as we are now doing, was what he said through his actions.

Ratana Thero’s fast unto death and the Cardinal’s pledge of solidarity and support MUST open a new era in the Sinhala nations thinking. This government must go. This parliamentary system must go. Its institutions must go. In short the British inspired constitution must go. What we need most of all is SECURITY, not the democracy model that caters to minority ambitions and power stakes, and to western aspirations and power politics as frequently warned by the Cardinal. The Sinhala majority is a helpless community caught by the tail that is its government, and wagged at the will of minorities (openly flouting their religious, linguistic and racial identities), for their purposes and benefits. What the Sinhala nation wants is a Revolution which will be a Revolt in the Temple with which the country’s far sighted Cardinal has joined hands.

Mario Perera


One Response to “Sri Lanka: to be or not to be?”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Very true.

    But like the military, the clergy are politicized too. They will not unify. Some support Rajapaksas, some UNP, some Mangala, some Sajith and some even other elements.

    Even the noble act of Venerable Rathana was ridiculed by politicians on both sides and other Buddhist monks.

    The Sinhala Nation is in freefall, and pardon me to reveal the bad news, will not survive this way.

    Fr Charles Thomas made this observation at a “Kandula” event with Gotabaya, Godahewa, etc. in the audience. He said he was a baila singer in his young days specialized in singing Anton John’s songs of tragedies. People would dance and demand him not to stop singing. Little they care about the tragedies detailed as long as they can dance.

    This is Sri Lanka. The Sinhala nation dances its way to extinction. It will be a great loss to humanity and the region.

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