– By Ernest Perera –
The nation will not deny the role played by Mahinda Rajapakse as President of Sri Lanka in flaying the odds to adamantly bring to a finale the headache of terrorism built upon a false notion of self-determination. It is now time to put to rest these false notions. The GOSL cannot delay addressing them. It is because the GOSL has not articulated clearly to the Sri Lankan and to the rest of the world that the country is subject to diplomatic and political warfare. As a nation we should not have to be humiliated internationally.
There are some hometruths that the populace of Sri Lanka needs to be told even bluntly.
1. Declare Sri Lanka is a Buddhist nation: Like it or not this fact needs to be conveyed and once articulated and legally upheld, people will begin to respect that. If left delayed or ignored the Tamils will continue to demand a mythical homeland and soon the Muslims are likely to seek autonomy too. There is no argument that the Sinhalese as an ethnic race has a clear majority (consistent through history) and that Buddhism remains the clear majority as well. Two major reasons to contribute to the argument that Buddhists have every right to call Sri Lanka a Buddhist nation. I have no qualms about Sri Lanka being declared a Buddhist nation as minority religions have freedom to practice their faiths. Minority religious leaders are not appointed to destabilize the nation and people of minority faiths should not join this uncouth agenda. Religions are meant for personal salvation. I can understand and empathize with the unrest of Buddhists because they have seen that the political establishments are denying Buddhism the rightful place because the Buddhists do not have the financial ability or the sophisticated refinery that members of the other minority faiths have to lure politicians to their side. That is not how minorities should function and it is a shame that politicians are gullible to monetary entrapping’s. By declaring Sri Lanka as a Buddhist nation, the Government would address a plethora of issues and inadvertently silence a lot of people – the Buddhists will finally be happy and the rest of us will know that our faiths will be given its due place and that is what should matter – not what the religious leaders of the other faiths think. Moreover it must be clearly conveyed that Sri Lanka’s military can be placed wherever the Sri Lankan Government sees fit – no political party or foreign government can object. Why is the Government not enforcing the 6th amendment/Article 157a to silence every individual/ political party /organization from attempting to separate Sri Lanka?
2. Demand evidence of Tamil Homeland: The Tamil politicians must be asked to produce historical evidence to prove a Tamil Homeland existed if not they should keep their silence without leading people astray – this would nullify all myths completely and put an end to the self-determination drive. It is becoming a nuisance to have had 30 years of terrorist self-determination and now be subject to political self-determination to satisfy other people’s agenda. Can some country please give Tamil people a nation to call their own if India is unwilling to give Tamil Nadu. I do not want my grandchildren to also suffer through these fictitious self-determination chants.
3. Message to minorities especially their leaders: minorities are the faiths of Christianity/Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam etc…. – what matters is to be able to go to Church, Kovil or mosque and offer prayers, involve ourselves in festivities associated with our religions, celebrate annual events etc. I cannot think of one example that we have been denied this. Therefore, it is wrong for us to falsely accuse Buddhists of being “militant” and use so many foul languages to denigrate them as I see happening on a daily basis in both print and electronic media. Why are authorities asleep – is it fair to flog the Buddhists but becomes a crime when the Buddhists retort back? Let us be fair in judging situations. As adults we need to be far more mature than we are. Politicians of these minority faiths are doing tremendous harm both to the nation and to us and it is time we tell our leaders to stop this nonsense and allow us to get on with our lives without filling our minds with hate against other religions just because it serves their best interest – most of these people are being paid to say and act as they do anyway and I personally have no respect for them.
4. Deal with unsavory politicians / thugs and law and order : our problems all stem from the behaviors of our supposed to be elected representatives. The people need to seriously be taught how and who to vote. However, wastage, corruption, nepotism reliance on thugs and goon squads have not helped to keep law and order. People are happy in a stable country – were the people who should be punished get punished and the people who shouldn’t don’t end up behind bars. Though there are some inconsistencies – those that are violent campaigners against the GOSL have nothing happen to them given the argument of lack of lawlessness but some unheard of persons get missing and then comes the human rights champions…there is something amiss here. However, we need to have faith in the legal system and we need to trust that the law enforcements function without favor – this is an area that needs a lot of attention.
5. Policy of non-alignment : the readings on the wall declare that the GOSL has given to India virtually the entire nation and the people are not happy. The readings on the wall also declare that GOSL is also ready to give more. Has “giving” or “giving in” given us friends? Looking back it is the housewife Mrs. B that won friends. She maintained cordial relations with India, she won the friendship with Pakistan and it is that gesture that continues to be quoted by Pakistan, in her time Chinas gifts to Sri Lanka were free unlike now….today nothing is given free and the ugly practice of taking things from nations by compromising our nation must stop. There is no free lunch – has the issue with Muslim mosques arisen because these loans come with the clause that mosques must be built and loans are actually steered towards only Muslims? So if India gives loans also only meant for Tamils what about the rest of the country? The GOSL needs to restructure their policies, strategies and get their act together.
6. Your advisors are misleading you: It is blatantly clear that those that provide the GOSL are purposely leading the country astray and the President must realize that he does not need a Phd in International Affairs to know what is right by the country. In matters of legal issues it is best to get the opinions of more than one and consolidate amongst a trusted few to derive the strategy to move forward. It is best not to depend on just one or two because that chemistry has not worked for Sri Lanka.
Finally, as ordinary people all that we want to do is to live in peace. The armed forces have given us that peace. The politicians should not create situations that would compromise victory given at the sacrifice of many lives. Money and power are two evils that people need to overcome with maturity. Politicians need time to reflect because it is their acts that are creating the confusions that we ordinary people are suffering from.
Please do not lead the country astray – this golden opportunity will not come again. Put the anomalies straight and take the country forward then only one’s name will be etched in history. Presently that victory achieved in 2009 is getting tarnished. I believe the above solutions will help tinker the situation until such time the GOSL can come up with a proper country plan with a country mission and vision.
Good luck to you,
A very ordinary citizen of Sri Lanka but proud Sri Lankan