rom age to age in our undefiled heritage, one of the principles relating to Human Rights has been found in the hallowed Middle Path. With enlightened eyes, we see there an inseparable connection between rights and responsibilities. Only to the extent we fulfil our responsibilities are we entitled to our rights – wherever it be in the family or community, in the country or in the world. That means to the extent we fail in our responsibilities, to that extent we forfeit our rights.
On this day of the innocents, when we commemorate the day on which a wicked king ordered the massacre of innocent children below the age of two, we need also to reflect on how and why such catastrophes are taking place even now though in sophisticated or subtle ways.
Worldwide poverty – created by the selfishness and greed of a largely self-centred or wicked world -is one of the main areas where innocent children are the most vulnerable victims.
War is another area where innocent children are massacred. With wars and terrorist violence raging in areas such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan the most vulnerable victims are innocent children.
More than 2,000 years ago a Bethlehem cattle-shed saw the birth of a child, who went on to change world history forever. In a different way this year also it was the face of a child that changed the attitude and approach of a violently wicked world as the Syrian three-year-old child Aylan Kurdi came to be washed up dead on a beach in Turkey on September 2.
Aylan’s distraught father, Abdullah Kurdi, tried and failed to hold on to his wife and two sons after their boat to the Greek island of Kos capsized.
The father had reportedly said his only wish was to return their bodies to their home town of Kobani and then “be buried alongside them”. This eye-opening picture which opened hearts and minds of the world was taken by Jenan Moussa, a journalist with Dubai’s Al Aan TV.
One of the other areas where millions of unborn and voiceless children are put to death is abortion. A selfish world wearing the sanctimonious cloak of misguided liberalism, often describes this issue as a battle between pro-life activists and pro-choice activists. We here little or nothing about the rights of unborn, voiceless children. Indeed there are grey areas where we need to be understanding and merciful. In Sri Lanka, for instance, if a teenage village girl is raped by some scoundrel, it is often the innocent girl and the child, who suffer more than the rapist. Our society is often orthodox. As a result the girl and the child are cast out of the family and society. Left with no option they are often forced to commit suicide.
But such tragedies apart, abortions are a criminal offence in Sri Lanka though they have become common, largely because of sexual promiscuity, provoked perhaps by the negative or destructive side of the World Wide Web revolution. With the press of a button anyone, including children, teenagers, youth and even old people have access to more than one hundred of the worst possible pornography sites.
With such filthy garbage going in to the minds regularly it will come out in different ways including savage gang rapes and incest, where fathers allegedly rape their daughters.
Available statistics reveal that around 1,000 abortions are performed daily throughout Sri Lanka and the annual figure is estimated at more than 350,000. In blunt but truthful terms that means a wicked society, like that wicked king of yore, is killing more than 350, 000 voiceless and innocent children every year. It is a bloody disgrace to all the major religions we are expected to practise.
Worldwide poverty and wars may be difficult to address, but responsible mothers and fathers can take steps to stop this massacre of the innocents now.
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