During ancient days Sri Lankans were divided as up-country and low-country each having a foolish proudness to say that they are from Kandy or from Galle etc. With the progress of the nation, this divide was reduced and now no one says that he/she is an up-country or low-country person in public, except in some marriage proposals – but both parties identify themselves as Sri Lankans.
On the morning of 15th August, at 6.30 a.m. a certain FM news channel said that the Chief Custodian of the Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic) Nilanga Dela Bandara has decided to remove ‘Goyam Netuma’ and ‘Wewel Netuma’ from the Kandy Esala Perahera, on the grounds that they are low-country dances and are not fitting to be in the most important event of the up-country event – the world famous Kandy Procession.
People think that this move will again start division of the country as up-country and low-country, thus creating a rift within the Sinhala community itself, which is almost extinct now. If the so called low-country administrators decided to remove up-country dances from their low-country processions and events, what would be the situation?
A procession or perahera or a public event, is a national event covering entire Sri Lanka and should embody all forms of dances and rituals of Sri Lanka, of all nationalities and identities, to show unity among our people
A procession or perahera or a public event, is a national event covering entire Sri Lanka and should embody all forms of dances and rituals of Sri Lanka, of all nationalities and identities, to show unity among our people.
Currently we are trying to promote and improve relationships between the Sinhala and Tamil communities by the reconciliation process. Therefore, Mr. Nilanga Dela Bandara’s decision is not a wise one.
We hope that top government administrators and Buddhist Prelates of Kandy will think twice before implementing this harsh anti-social and anti-national decision of Mr. Bandara.
Sumith de Silva