Human nature is basically selfish and we humans tend to pursue progress at the cost of accepted norms and values. The progression of human civilization seems to be at an exorbitant cost and the connectivity engineered through that sadly leaves us so much alone. We have only to open our newspapers to see the unending destruction of lives through absolute and utter carelessness. Ten dead in one accident, the cursed need for speed takes so many precious human lives in a split second. Insignificant increases in fines and punishments seem to be of no avail; there should be heavier penalties and cancellation of driving licences involved. Does expediting progress mean taking a human life progress? In their misguided perception of being lauded for speed, the futility of it escapes them.
Children in a digital world
Progress has generated solitude and increased an avid thirst, particularly among the youth, for the possession and use of technology. We hardly see children playing games these days, unless of course, it is cricket or football. But the games we used to play as kids, the innumerable pranks we got up to, none of them is around, very sadly. The instruments of technology are constantly in their hands; their little minds are focused on iPhones, iPads, laptops or such high-tech devices. Our children have no childhood any more. They are already adults and often teach their parents and elders how to use this infernal technology.
Easter carnage could have been averted
We cannot even begin to pen epitaphs for freedom because of the horrendous manner in which assaults were launched on churches, hotels, individuals and institutions that sought to protect freedom. The government has to demonstrate responsive condemnation and initiate action to allay fear and suffering of its people. It cannot merely propound change from platforms and remain static; it has to recognise the inalienable right of the people and seek to rebuke such dastardliness without fear or favour. THE BURNING QUESTIONS ARE: WHY WERE WE NOT TOLD? WHY WAS THIS SENSELESS CARNAGE AND LOSS OF PRECIOUS HUMAN LIVES NOT AVERTED WHEN THEY COULD HAVE BEEN? WHO HAS TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS INHUMANITY? WILL WE EVER KNOW? From all that we read, Minister Harin Fernando is the most culpable. HOW COULD HE IN ALL CONSCIENTIOUSNESS HAVE KEPT MUM AND ALLOWED SO MANY INNOCENT PEOPLE TO DIE, ESPECIALLY ON EASTER SUNDAY? I AM SURE THE GOOD LORD MUST HAVE FELT HE WAS BEING CRUCIFIED AGAIN! DID HARIN HAVE NO CONSCIENCE, HUMANITY, COMPASSION, IF NOT AS A CHRISTIAN AT LEAST AS A FELLOW HUMAN BEING? HE DISPLAYED NO SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY WHATSOEVER! WHAT A HEINOUS CRIME! ARE THESE THE MINISTERS WHO SERVE US? WHO WE HAVE PUT INTO POSITIONS OF POWER? THIS MONSTER SHOULD HAVE RESIGNED IMMEDIATELY; HIS CONSCIENCE SHOULD HAVE MADE HIM! BUT THEN, THAT IS IF HE HAD A CONSCIENCE! IF HE DID, THIS SENSELESS CARNAGE WOULD NOT HAVE OCCURRED! As Minister Rajitha Senaratne rightly said, the IGP should resign without being asked to and so should OTHER MINISTERS who knew about this! Sadly, however, they have no pangs of conscience or self-respect; after all, it is not their people who died, so WHO CARES?
Political leadership need of the hour
It is human nature to be selfish and think about ourselves only; but since all religions in this country have taught us the value of loving kindness and compassion to all human beings, who then can we point a finger at for these dastardly acts of cowardice, violence and desecration? WAS MONEY THE BOTTOM LINE HERE? IF SO, TO WHOM? HAVE WE DEVIATED FROM OUR SELFLESS CULTURE AND EVOLVED INTO MORE PRIMAL AND SELFISH HUMAN BEINGS? THE OVERWHELMING RESPONSE OF THE PEOPLE TO EASTER SUNDAY’S TRAGEDY FAILS TO JUSTIFY THAT! WE CAN ONLY CONCLUDE, THEREFORE, THAT IT HAS TO BE THE HORRENDOUS ACT OF A FEW! PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR CLEAR, COMMITTED AND CONVINCING POLITICAL LEADERSHIP. THE TRAGEDY IS WE ARE NOT GETTING IT! Did the recent crackdown on drugs trigger this senseless carnage? It seems a little too coincidental that this should have occurred when drug barons were being brought to Colombo. Was it a blatant display of POWER, a WARNING, perhaps, saying ‘KEEP OFF! DON’T TRESPASS ON MY TERRITORY!’
Prez should’ve been first to resign
With all the religious, cultural and heritage values enshrined in this nation, it is inconceivable that we would have allowed such heinous carnage to be perpetrated and it is precisely because these values are enshrined in us that we, as a nation, rose to help our brethren who fell victim to this senseless carnage. As it says in Our Daily Bread and I quote: “There’s something endearing about compassion shown to the least of these. It takes a big heart to make room for the smallest creature.” It certainly does and if Harin Fernando had even one iota of compassion, he could have saved so many people — men, women and children – and the destruction among others of one of the most beautiful Catholic edifices of our time, built to honour a world renowned saint who is revered by people of all faiths. Sadly, none of this meant anything to someone as self-centred as Harin, who was intent only on saving his own hide. We hope Harin will remember that Jesus said the Kingdom of God was made of not just movers and shakers but mainly the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame; so when Judgment Day comes, we wonder what Harin will boast about when he stands before God! If he would want to be born again to his father after sending hundreds of people to early graves? Wonder if he can still live with his conscience, that is, if he has one. If Pujith Jayasundera and Hemasiri Fernando have in fact resigned, it is the best thing that could have happened to this country. ALL ELSE REGARDLESS, SHOULDN’T THE PRESIDENT HAVE BEEN THE FIRST TO RESIGN? PERHAPS, THAT IS WHAT HE WENT TO TIRUPATI FOR; TO ENSURE HIS PRESIDENCY, NO MATTER WHAT! THE SAME QUESTION CAN BE APPLIED TO THE MINISTERS WHO KNEW. HOW CAN THEY STILL REMAIN SILENT? AS MINISTER SARATH FONSEKA SAID: “IF THIS HAD HAPPENED IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY, THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE RESIGNED.” BUT THEN, THIS IS SRI LANKA!
Search ops in Slave Island church
This article would be incomplete if I did not give due credit to the police that arrived instantaneously at the Slave Island church and conducted a search in the place of worship while the mass was ongoing. They did it so respectfully that no one could fault them for doing their duty in the interests of the people!