Prestige comes when you feel you have done something well, but Honour comes when others feel you have done something well”!!! This is so relevant in the context of today’s living when we are looking at elections ahead, turmoil in our lives, division among our Heads of State, unsolved murders, conspiracies and drug abuse cases, bond scam perpetrators walking free, it just never ends!!! In the midst of it all, we are in two holocaust anniversaries – the third month anniversary of 21/4 Easter carnage, and Black July!!! I feel that the most important lesson of Black July is that we sincerely unite to work towards a truly Sri Lankan identity; regardless of whether we are Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim or Burgher – unity in diversity is the crying need of the hour, it is the most imperative need among those who govern us – they are so badly disconnected, so disjointed that they can hardly come up withanything of substance!!!
We have not yet been told who the actual culprits of 21/4 are – they have not been named and instead, Hemasiri and Pujith have been taken in as the Fall Guys!!! As this column said before every single politician from the President down is responsible for this carnage and accountable to the people of this country!!! We haven’t seen this happening yet, instead, we are told that inquiries are being carried out, three months into the carnage and nothing substantive has been arrived at; I guess the underlying reason is that they are too frightened to name ALL those who are really guilty!!!
In the midst of it all, we are in two holocaust anniversaries – the third month anniversary of 21/4 Easter carnage, and Black July!!! I feel that the most important lesson of Black July is that we sincerely unite to work towards a truly Sri Lankan identity...
We pride ourselves on being a ‘great’ nation but are we really ‘great’??? Our politicians are eternally at war with each other; they continually portray the other parties as to the enemies and leave the people disillusioned and wondering whom to trust!!! Our politicians simply cannot survive without the oxygen of conflict, of disparaging repartee; but how can we, the citizens of our country, learn to live right when they do not have any example set before them by their leaders!!! Isn’t it about time we rejected the politics of hatred and division and began to live in the oneness of brotherhood???
We also need to address the growing trend of inequality, which is a sad story in our country; because the lifestyles of the rich are getting richer and it seems like they don’t know when and where to stop!!! Enough is never enough, as Prof. Carol Brown said: “What do the rich achieve with their extravagant consumption? Not much from a social welfare or happiness viewpoint, as Buddhist economics explains, while a person shows off their self-importance, they are still wanting more because another rich person has an even longer yacht or a bigger house, the valuation of consumption rests on comparing ourselves to one another”!!! While dissatisfied people like this continue their futile quest for more, we were delighted to hear about another branch of concerned human beings, as carried in our newspapers, who hope to work with field officers, community leaders and the youth in different districts of Sri Lanka. They are a group of the easy-going, flexible, tolerant and adaptable set of lawyers poised to address violence against women and children as it is one social issue which is poorly highlighted and addressed!!! These Sisters-At-Law strive to bring Legal Literacy to the public!!! What an amazing humanitarian task and what a beautiful way to engage in catering to the absolutely needy, to the dregs of humanity!!! With more conscientious, giving people like this, we could really begin to call our country Paradise!!!
We have another voice of compassion from Ven. Galkande Dhammananda Thera who says and I quote: “In a land where Theravada Buddhism is supposed to spread compassion and love for everyone, zealous warriors from the Buddhist Sangha are spreading hatred, and the language they use in public is so uncultured and un-Buddhist, which makes one wonder whether these monks actually belong to that noble Buddhist order. ‘Slapping,’ ‘Stoning,’ Expelling’ and ‘Exterminating,’ for instance; are terminologies certainly not those of Siddhartha, whose universal message was Compassion, Tolerance, Peace and Love.”
We wonder when our people will learn not to just cultivate the tenets of Buddhism but to practice them in their day-to-day lives to make the world a better place and everyone in it!!! Our country is blessed with the charisma of so many other religions as well; it is almost like a national franchise that we refuse to acknowledge and hence we often function as hooligans with absolutely no morals!!! We tend to ignore the needs of the underprivileged, the marginalized, the destitute, and the homeless!!! We refuse to understand the ethical and moral rationale behind the grievances of the minorities!!! We are sycophants like our politicians who refuse to accept the stark realities of life, and will bow, scrape and grovel to get a vote!!! We must stand by our principles, for what we believe in; Not for getting something we do not deserve – THE VOTE!!!
We have another voice of compassion from Ven. Galkande Dhammananda Thera who says “In a land where Theravada Buddhism is supposed to spread compassion and love for everyone, zealous warriors from the Buddhist Sangha are spreading hatred
LEAVING YOU WITH A WORD OF CAUTION:
The donkey said to the tiger, ‘The grass is blue.’ Tiger said, ‘No grass is green.’
Then the discussion between the two became intense. Both of them are firm in their own words. To end this controversy, both went to Lion – King of the Jungle.
In the middle of the animal kingdom, sitting on the throne was a Lion. The donkey started yelling before the tiger could say anything. “Your Highness, the grass is blue, isn’t it?” Lion said, ‘Yes!
The grass is blue. ‘Donkey, “This tiger does not believe. Annoys me He should be punished properly.”
The king declared: “Tiger will be jailed for a year. King’s verdict was heard by donkey and he was jumping for joy in the entire jungle. The tiger was sentenced to one-year jail.
The tiger went to the lion and asked: “Why Your Highness! The grass is green, isn’t it?
Lion: “Yes! The grass is green.’ Tiger said, ‘... then why am I sentenced to jail? ‘
Lion said, “You did not get punished for the grass being blue or green. You have been punished for debating with that stupid donkey. Brave and intelligent creatures like you have argued with a donkey and have come here to get a decision” Moral of the story....
In 2019 give your vote to the best candidate....just don’t debate with donkeys or you will be punished for the next 5 years.