If the dream of true independence is to be a reality, the genuine contribution of all citizens is felt vitally important
If the dream of true independence is to be a reality, the genuine contribution of all citizens belonging to all walks of life including the clergy, intellectuals, educationists and politicians is necessary
After the invasion by Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, we lost our sovereignty as they not only interfered in the internal affairs, but forced us to live and behave in their way
This year we are commemorating the 73rd anniversary after gaining independence. Hence it is high time for us to contemplate as to whether we have made all efforts to make the best use of our Independence which our forefathers have won with much struggle. Independence is not a gift or donation from colonial rulers. It is something we have wrestled from them. (Colonial rulers). A gift or donation is something which is offered to someone who needs it by someone who possesses it. Foreigners were not the owners. They had snatched our country and our independence from us who are and who were the legitimate owners. Thus as we are the owners of our land and Independence we should preserve it and make the best use of it.
What is Independence?
The definition given in the dictionary for an independent state or an independent country is as follows: “a state or country which is free and not controlled by another country or state.” Hence if a country is independent, it should be called a sovereign state. Hence, one country should not interfere in the affairs of another country. Ultimately as a last resort sovereignty is the Constitution itself.- the Constitution which is the efficient and formal course of the association which brings it into being , which forms and defines the organs and methods of its operation and may form and define the purposes and operations . The impersonal scheme of the Constitution is permanently present.
Day by day and year by year it acts continuously and without interruption as the paramount control of the whole operation of the State. Secondly, however, subject to the ultimate sovereignty or the Constitution there is the body kingdom which makes the ordinary law. In this context we may consider whether Sri Lanka had achieved this state when she gained Independence on February 4, 1948 and if so how she achieved this status and if so how she achieved this status and if not what should be done to be fully independent. However, after the invasion of Westerners, initially by Portuguese in 1505 followed by the Dutch and the British, we lost our sovereignty as the invaders not only interfered in the internal affairs of the country but also forced us to live and behave in their way.
The British fomented a revolt by the Kandyan aristocracy against the Kandyan monarch which resulted in the 1815 Kandyan Convention whereby the whole country came under the British rule. The struggle against the Colonial power began in 1817 with the Uva rebellion when the same aristocracy rose against the British rule in a rebellion in which the villagers participated. They were however defeated. An attempt was made again to rebel when the Kandyan peasants were stripped of their lands with the Waste Lands Ordinance and the enclosure movement which reduced them to penury.
Country to be rebuilt
In spite of gaining independence, the country which was exploited by Western rulers remains to be developed socially, culturally and economically. During the post independent period Sri Lanka lost the opportunity to build the country. During a period of about twenty five years out of the 73 year-long post independent period Sri Lanka had to engage in a war to suppress the separatists – Tiger terrorists. Further Sri Lanka had to suppress the youth who fought for liberation. Sri Lanka also had to face natural disasters such as Tsunami.
Also our country had to face disaster situations such as floods, landslides and droughts. During the whole period of last year - 2020 the whole country had to suffer from COVID-19 infection. Islamic extremists played havoc recently. Furthermore the country has to control the drug addicts and all of these instances stand against the development of the country. However, we should make all efforts to develop the country and enjoy the bliss of Independence in spite of all these impeding factors. This is the 73rd commemoration to hope for the dawn of a new era of development during which the ordinary citizen of the country look forward to true independence politically, socially, culturally and most importantly economically.
If the dream of true independence is to be a reality, the genuine contribution of all citizens belonging to all walks of life including the clergy, intellectuals, educationists and politicians is necessary.