COMBINING ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS IN THE PROPOSED NEW CONSTITUTION AS A SUCCESSFUL SOLUTION TO ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS PROBLEMS IN SRI LANKA PART 3
Posted on November 19th, 2021

By EDWARD THEOPHILUS

When analyzing Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem, nobody can ignore that the problem is fuelled by outside elements, which might be identified as Western forces including America, Britain, and others, however, Indian and Chinese intelligence services may involve with it because they have an interest using Sri Lanka for political purposes, The Western forces want to use countries like Sri Lanka and Myanmar to control Muslim expansion in Asia and finally making markets for their products and services these countries have a contribution and in history, it observed that creating problems in underdeveloped Asian countries is a way of tactics used. India and America want to protest against Chinese influence in the Indian sub-continent and the best strategy is to use the inherent issues. It is a part of international politics than a real problem of ethnic and religious unity in Sri Lanka.

Regarding the recorded Kandy incident between Sinhala and the Muslim community,  the emergency law and Police curfew highly supported to control the situation, and the constitutional provisions that making illegal for discrimination would further support controlling ethnic-based violence. However, America, India, and the UN may want to quickly remove such measures and ordinary people of Sri Lanka doubts whether these countries wanted to push the problem to a serious situation. The drafting constitution should consider this situation with a positive approach.     

To resolve the problem now, it is needed to forget the past and introduce anti-discrimination laws rather than a divisive new constitution. Under the anti-discrimination laws, each citizen in the country is equal irrespective of any ethnic and religious differences. Racial verification law in Australia applied to every citizen in the country and nobody can even talk about race. Sri Lanka’s situation is completely different, it is allowed discriminating minorities by words of mouth because the constitution does not indicate it is illegal. Why the government cannot stop this discriminatory environment by encouraging a strong united Sri Lanka without differences. For the minority to accept Sri Lanka’s government action, it needs government decisions on ethnic issues, which are transparent to everybody.  If the government plays a double game with the issue, it would not be successful. The drafted constitution should not allow the government to play double games and the government should prosecute either Buddhist monks or any other religious clergy to prosecute if they discriminate against others.

The government needs to especially address religious leaders and tell them directly and sincerely that they are supposed to prepare people to achieve haven or nirvana rather than working against achieving it through preaching for hate. 

Lord Buddha clearly stated that hate will not be removed by hate, but not hating and promoting love will remove hate. In this situation what Western countries introduced anti-discrimination laws will be useful to Sri Lanka.  B. F. Skinner, a famous psychologist, expressed that the concept of human nature and moral society through a cultural design are the foundations of human behaviour.  Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem was created by human behaviour which has been influenced by the environment that is supporting to discriminatory feelings of the minority. Human beings are both controllers and controlled. When the government creates a suitable environment through a good cultural design, ethnic and religious problems could be eliminated forever and ever. The constitution must be an instrument creating good behaviour

Politicians in Sri Lanka are corrupt irrespective of whether they are in government or opposition, whether they are socialist or capitalists. Tamil politicians are more corrupt than Sinhala politicians and they discriminate against their own Tamils based on various factors such as caste, regions, family backgrounds, educated place, and many other factors using. Sinha and Muslim people use educated schools to discriminate against using educated schools.  I had experience in Sri Lanka when I was working and writing in English they discriminated against me.  When I published articles in English they discriminated against me and a chief executive threatened to sack me from the job if I publish articles in the English language. When the current government was elected soon it wanted to introduce anti-discrimination law but it was withdrawn without giving any reasons.  It seems that the government does not want to solve the problem but wants to continue the problem like a beggar’s wound.

How to create a good society or good environment in the country without discriminatory elements, B.F Skinner indicated that a good society could be created by a cultural design, so the society should introduce laws, rules, and regulations. For this purpose, the constitution of the country should provide a foundation.   Controls are essential to make people more sensitive to the consequences of human conduct. In Sri Lanka’s society, human behaviour is too open regarding sensitive matters, such as religion, race, caste, and many other things. Cultural design means rules, regulations, and procedures in society. Sri Lanka needs to introduce anti-discrimination laws and a variety of rules and regulations like in Western society to control human behaviour and eliminate discrimination feelings of minority ethnic and religious groups in the country.

 The division of Sri Lanka’s land, creating ethnic-based provinces would not support change the human behaviour or discriminatory feelings of people.  Sri Lanka’s political parties are still not considered a cultural design for uniting the country. It has already experienced that so-called ethnic solution under the provincial government, but it was not successful, it has created serious financial problems for the country increasing spending and creating a huge budget deficit and pressure to spending process of the country.  So far, we can observe that ethnic solutions coming from the West are too divisive and they have in mind that a federal system would be a solution to the problem but it is a mirage, a small country needs a unitary administration system with well-designed laws, rules, and regulations.  If any ethnic solution would be a long-term economic burden to the country, such solutions would need rejection because the economy is the fundamental base of existing all the communities of the country.

Many Western countries, India, and Tamil politicians do not talk about cultural design for uniting Sri Lankan communities.  They talk and support for dividing Sri Lanka for increasing hate and strategies for extravagant problems in the future.  Leaders of Sri Lanka must have a base of thinking that any solution, which is a challenge to the economic progress of the country that should be rejected, and the unitary status of the country should be an essential condition because it would help successful implementation of economic projects of the central government.

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