You crazy and unpatriotic politicians, declare Poson Poya Day as our Annual National Day, to awaken the grown up and inspire the younger generation to prepare them for nation building at least now.
Posted on June 18th, 2022

Dr Sudath Gunasekara Mahanuwara

Every nation, some founded only a few decades ago, have a national day in their calendar, celebrated with pomp and glory to mark their nationhood and inspire their people, particularly the younger generation for nation building, even if they don’t have any longstanding heritage to commemorate.

But isn’t it a pity and a tragedy too, that we, in spite of the fact   of having an unusually a long and illustrious history of more than 2500 years of a glorious past as a great nation, don’t have any national day celebrations, as if we are a nation without any history or civilization? The ill-effects of this lethargy have a tremendous impact on nation building as they inhibit all inspirations that should be injected for the younger generation for nation building as a future robust and a vibrant nation in the world.

Talking about national days, generally, it may be the founding date of a nation or the date of independence from foreign rule , of becoming a republic and of becoming a federation. The national day for every country is often a public holiday. Denmark and the United Kingdom are said to be the only two countries without a national day.

We, in this country, while still maintaining blind allegiance to the British Empire, that has robbed our national wealth and destroyed the age- old pristine heritage, continues to celebrate it on the 4th of February, calling it the day on which we are supposed to have got independence from British rule, although we are still tied down to the colonial clutches of British colonial rule.

In 1972 May 22nd after 24 years of so-called independence from the British yoke, under Sirimavo Bandaranayake’s Government, we declared ourself as an Independent Republic.  Since then, we celebrated the Republic Day as the national day (although it was not called so) on the 22nd of May each year up to 1977.  The unpatriotic government that was elected in 1977 again reverted this to Feb 4th the next year. Even the SLFP government that came to power under Mrs Bandaranaike’s own daughter in 1994 not only continued to celebrate feb 4th as the national day but also invited the aging Crown Prince Charles as the chief guest of the occasion displaying the mental servility inbuilt in her head as the leader of the nation, which is a common trait that has infested the heads of all our political leaders. Her successor Mahinda Rajapaksa who owes his entire political achievements to Mrs B, also continued with the same servility and had the national Day celebration on the 4th pf February. The pro-Western UNP Government that followed continued the same slavish mentality and celebrated the national Day on the 4th of feb, calling it the Independence Day, an independence we never got up to date. Nevertheless, if our politicians wanted to celebrate independence say as the National Day they should have done it more appropriately AT LEAST on the 22nd of May, the day we got real political independence by becoming a fully Independent Republic. All politicians who seek power in this country should at least now cease to play the role of proxy mercenaries of the West and change-over to be fully pledged patriots of their Motherland.

As for me personally I don’t agree for having the National Day, even on that day as it was only a transitory event of minor importance when we look in retrospect at the line of great events in the annals of this once glorious nation for over a period of over 2500 years.  Of course, you can celebrate it as the Republic Day.   

Of all historical events in nation making in this country including the founding day of the Sinhala Nation in 543 BC, I rate the Poson Poya Day dawned on 307 BC as the most important and culturally significant Day in the entire annals of history of this Island nation as that was the day on which Buddhism was officially introduced to this country.  It was the advent of this Greatest religion, man has ever heard and inherited on this earth. Thus, the Sinhalese became the custodian Nation and Sri Lanka the repository of the Supreme Wheel of Dhamma, a religion, that was irreversible and never heard before or preached in this world by any Brahmana, God or Maara or no one else for that matter. It was the greatest and the deepest doctrine and philosophy ever known to man on this earth and the unparalleled religion the world ever knew, the perfections and mysteries of which no other religion or scientific research in this world has been able to reveal up to date.

Since the birth of the Sinhala Buddhist Nation” had begun with this unique and unparalleled religion, and Buddhism had formed the solid hallmark of the entire fabrics of what came to be called the Sinhala Buddhist civilization in the years that followed, I consider that event not only as the most significant and important and most appropriate event in the formation of the Sinhala Nation but also as the most supreme legacy that we have ever received from Bharath Desh.

It is in this backdrop I take the liberty to name it the most important event in the formation of the Sinhala Buddhist Nation on this planet.

Poson Poya Day in 307 BC revolutionized the nationhood of this Island by laying the firm foundation of the Sinhala Buddhist Nation in this world. Thus. a new Nation called the Sinhala Buddhist Nation was born on this Day, on this soil under the reign of King Devaanampiyatissa with the noble missionary and blessings of Arahath Mahinda Mahaa Thera.  That pristine nation hood was jealously guarded and effectively protected by our Kings and ancestors up to 1505, that marked the watershed of destruction and devastation of a model of an advanced, prosperous and peaceful human civilization on this earth.

There after it was destroyed and vandalized continuously by three Abrahamic colonial powers up to 1948 the year when handed over the government and administration to a brainwashed and denationalized set of local lackeys of the former colonial masters as their proxy mercenaries who continued to follow suit  by meekly carrying out the agenda set by their masters since then, for their personal gain, sans any understanding of their own past  heritage and completely destroyed a glorious nation that was in par with all ancient civilizations like Roman, Greek. Indian and Chinese almost beyond redemption.

The best example I can quote here is their attitude on the National Day. They all continue to celebrate the so-called Independence Day fixed by the British, when they left their colony on 4th Feb 1948 as the National day of this Great Nation as if we were an uncivilized barbarian tribe civilized only by the three Western nations in the post 15th century, Portuguese, Dutch and the British.

 I have been agitating in vain for years demanding the governments to declare Poson Poya Day as the National Day of this Nation for the past so many years. But it has fallen on deaf years of all Governments. Nobody took any notice of that solitary call. It is no wonder that all the governments and the general public take no interest in such patriotic calls as we have ceased to be a patriotic nation long time ago, thanks to the nefarious anti national activities of the three successive Western colonial invaders, Portuguese, Dutch and finally, the British as from 15o5 onwards up to 1948.

Isn’t it a big tragedy that none of our political leaders who were supposed to have ruled this country since the so-called independence in 1948 appears to have known that this country had a well- developed nationhood millennia before most of the present- day nations were even found? In fact, when we were at the peak of advanced civilization most of them were uncivilized barbarians unknown to the rest of the world.

 I wish that the government that will be there next year at least will declare the Poson Poya Day as the National Day of this Island Nation and restore the lost pride and dignity of this motherland and the Sinhala Nation and lay the foundation for national resurrection.

Now that they have completely destroyed the once self- sufficient Sri Lankan economy, I call them to ignite a new life to our national consciousness at least now, so that the posterity will again build up the Sinhala nation, which was once a pride of the whole world.

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