Unrest in Wayamba and Western Provinces
Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith (L) and Buddhist spiritual leader Ittapana Dhammalankara Anu Nayake Maha Thero take part in a press conference in Colombo on May 14, 2019. (AFP)
The presence of a political hand behind the violence is quite evident
Boh sets of clergymen have given strength to the people by showing that they can look to religion as a pillar to lean on
Right now the people in the country want transparency. They demand to know what is happening in a country
Going by the recent spate of violence in certain areas in Wayamba and western Provinces one is left to think whether Sri Lankans truly value peace. There is an old saying which comes to my mind at this juncture, ‘you need two people to start a fight’. The people of this nation have time and again showed the will to take sides and fight; for very petty reasons at times. Sri Lankans have fought many wars in the past and the mother of all wars was the battle against the ruthless LTTE. The Government authorities won this war; which was against terrorism. A nation celebrated this victory and much was done in the name of reconciliation to heal ‘wounds’ and unite two communities which had drifted far apart.
This built in fighting nature is beneficial to lawmakers. This is because politicians love to adopt the divide and rule policy. The Wickremesinghe Government seemed irreplaceable even after a series of blunders and so many deals done by them being tagged with the label of ‘dishonesty’. This government survived
Now there is unrest in the country and the trickle down effect of it is chocking the citizenry. If this government is bad at anything it is with matters relating to security. The opposition forces see this as the achilles tendon of the government. There is strong opinion building up that the attacks in Wayamba were instigated by political forces who have been out of power. Many villagers and Buddhist monks in the areas affected by this violence confirmed that people from outside caused the mayhem.
The presence of a political hand behind the violence is quite evident when one sees the meticulous planning of the attackers; they focused mainly on damaging property.
This is not the ugly side of the heart taking over from the brain at times when emotion reigns. This is believed to be a beautifully planned attack carried out to unsettle the government at the expense of minority Muslims. The attackers used their brains because they knew where to hit and punch holes in the regime. It would not come as a surprise if people start suspecting whether these attacks were masterminded by politicians who are present backbenchers in parliament.
There was talk very recently that both the government and opposition forces wish to bring in a debate and prorogue parliament. Right now the government receives flack and has to answer questions from the opposition regarding their lapses in security. If there are no parliament sessions then the regime can have some peace of mind.
Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa has added to the government’s woes by stating that the people don’t believe what the regime says. Right now the people in the country want transparency. They demand to know what is happening in a country where the government authorities have requested from the media to conceal certain news segments. Media institutes have been told not to publish pictures of swords and weapons, which are captured from militants, because it might drive fear into people.
But the people should know what they are in for and with what weapons they would be attacked in the case of a worse case scenario. This government thinks it is correct to do administration behind the backs of the people who voted them into power. In fact this is a form of cheating if one were to put it harshly.
If there is anything which drives fear into this government it is social media. Why? Because it exposes the wrongdoings of the government and allows room for strong criticism
This government thinks it is correct to do administration behind the backs of the people who voted them into power. In fact this is a form of cheating if one were to put it harshly
Now we are accustomed to sudden police curfews. But how safe are Muslims even during a police curfew? There was a comment to a recent facebook post regarding the present unrest where it was suggested that the police should be given the power to ‘shoot on sight’ during an emergency. People are getting about their work like robots. This nation has become a ‘hopeless’ land. We only can be assured of the rising sun the next day. Regarding all other things its a case of ‘hoping for the best’.
On the other hand this government doesn’t know how to play to the gallery. This government’s dream nation is like a sand castle built on the beach; often getting washed away by the approaching waves. This regime can learn from the opposition and take a cue from them regarding how to closely associate with the clergy when administrating the country.
At a time when the government authorities are bungling the people have turned to the clergy with Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith playing the role of guardian angel of the nation; putting a stop to a possible backlash because the Christian community was angry due to the series of bombings in churches.
There were posts all over social media that the Cardinal should be nominated for the ‘Nobel Peace price’.
The clergy, comprising mostly Christian fathers and Buddhist monks, have brough some solace to the weary minds of the people. It’s good to see the heads of these two religions working together for the welfare of the people at a time of crisis. We saw Buddhist monks visiting damaged churches and even helping in cleaning the debris, at the scenes where bombs were exploded. Boh sets of clergymen have given strength to the people by showing that they can look to religion as a pillar to lean on when everything else collapses around them!
This is a time to walk behind the shadows of the clergy and be committed to peace and reconciliation. It is apt to remind people of a quote by Pauline Philips which goes‘ People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes’.