The sacrifice of the innocents!
Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister!
Sirs, in January 2015, you were given a mandate and appointed the custodians of this nation by its people for the safety, security and prosperity of Sri Lanka. But the horrendous tragedy that unfolded on Easter Sunday has brought to light the nature of a hugely dysfunctional government.
The 258 innocent people butchered on Easter Sunday were the sacrificial lamb for the apathy, incompatibility, infighting and greed for power by a grossly incompetent leadership. Families were annihilated; catastrophic losses and lives changed forever. The shocking security lapses and cringe worthy excuses that are bantered to shift the blame of a carnage that was avoidable is reprehensible. The two leaders of this Nation must take responsibility for this massacre that happened under their watch. We, as a nation, demand accountability. It is human to err Sir, but it takes strength of character to admit failure, the substance that leaders are made of! Heads will have to roll but not of ‘scapegoats’; if not natural justice aka ‘Karma’ will deal with those responsible for the ‘sacrifice of the innocents’.
Mr. President, as Minister of Defence you were solely responsible for national security i.e. the protection of its citizens, to create the right climate to earn our daily bread, to travel freely from A to B without fear, the ‘stability’ of our members in parliament and even ensure the quality of the air we breathe! Sir, it is deemed that the leadership has failed miserably with divisive politics that confuse and polarize your own command; a scourge that has filtered from the very top to fracture and fragment it’s people.
Mr. Prime Minister, “you took it sitting down when you were deliberately kept out of meetings of National Security since the October coup and even that (coup) you didn’t know was coming?” You were even ignorant of the law in place to prosecute returning Sri Lankans of having engaged in terror abroad? This is a preposterous admission coming from you, Sir!
The private war and vendetta between yourselves for so long has exacerbated the suffering of its people. It has only proved to punish them in a country rife with corruption, exhaustive cost of living, an alarming drug menace, mismanaged resources, orchestrated power cuts and God forbid the mafias that beleaguer this nation, thanks mostly to politicians who are neither educated nor honest! In October 2018, the world at large witnessed to our utter shame the deceit and thuggery in the nation’s hallowed parliament; our law makers metamorphosed into despicable law breakers and yet again there has been no accountability to date.
The fallout from the heinous crime on Easter Sunday will be colossal in terms of Sri Lanka’s economy and its reputation as a secure and stable nation. Only time will tell. The police lethargy and inaction in numerous church attacks for many years now, by extreme elements have gone unpunished. These extremists have rampaged freely without fear often with political clout; they have now reared their ugly heads to bite the hand that feeds the nation.
Sirs, we do not want you to go down in the annals of history as an imbecile government who allegedly feathered their own nests, liars who robbed its people, vandalized and plundered rainforests, allowed persecution and massacre of Christians, involvements in drug cartels, laundered money, fabricated assassination attempts, the list goes on! If only the rule of law was enforced without political patronage and pressure not safeguarding your own positions of interests! It is still beyond belief to watch the self-righteous, egocentric leaders standing their ground and refusing to do what is best for the country at this hour concerning law and order. Is this not tantamount to treason, Sirs?
The need of the hour Sirs is not bullet proof cars for the vanity of the leadership nor sojourns abroad at crisis time reminiscent of Nero fiddling whilst Rome was burning! But the need is of a battle hardy, fearless and brave man with expertise and without prejudice for the role of Law & Order; to dig down deep and hard to find and eradicate the ‘real enemy within’ and not the perceived or the hyped. Therefore, it is vital to contain the chaos that is ensuing in the aftermath clearly to undermine the recovery and rebuilding process! Law and Order must tackle the alarming criminal activities and collusion with drug barons, Jihadism, Buddhist extremism, Eelam and any other rot that challenge our peaceful co-existence.
The radical activities of Jihadists in the East even though tipped off by civic conscious moderate Muslims who were alarmed, have gone unheeded for so long. It is in this de facto ‘Arabised’ state where a highly controversial billion dollar, privately owned, unregulated Sharia University is now taking shape! A thirty year bloody war had to be waged to rid the North of Eelamists, but it is alleged that Hizbullah and his cronies with dubious links and a billion dollars had a ‘cake walk’ into monopolizing the East whilst our leaders turned a blind eye! Are we afraid to do what is right to safeguard its law abiding citizens Sirs, or are we hand in glove and sleeping with the enemy for our own selfish gains? The writing on the wall is very clear and that is, by the actions and admissions of the leadership, they have already sealed their fate!
Last but not least, let us hope that these innocent victims of Easter Sunday did not sacrifice their lives in vain. In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, let us build a fitting memorial to the tragic human loss. And for this reason alone, we demand a ‘genuinely’ united leadership sacrificially to come together, to honour those sacrificed, maimed and bereaved by this horrendous tragedy. Sirs, would you please put aside your breathtaking arrogance and crippling divisions and come together with repentance to govern with humility, honesty, truth and justice? Then only will Sri Lanka rise like a phoenix from the ashes, united in grief to build a tolerant Sri Lanka to embrace all ethnicities, religions and cultures without fear or favour. Only then would the people of Sri Lanka be able to muster at least an iota of respect for their elected leaders in governance.
Sirs, the time is now to accept responsibility and accountability for atonement; lest we become a ‘pitied nation’ as the poet here describes.
(Pity the nation by Khalil Gibran)
Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion. Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave and eats a bread it does not harvest.
Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.
Pity a nation that despises a passion in its dream, yet submits in its awakening.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except among its ruins,
and will rebel not save when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.
Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler,
and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking
Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting, and farewells him with hooting,
only to welcome another with trumpeting again.
Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strongmen are yet in the cradle.
Pity the nation divided into fragments,
each fragment deeming itself a nation.