All are not concerned about the sinking boat. Just eating and drinking and enjoying will not take the country forward. The whole of the Sinhala race is in a sinking boat. This is not of recent origin but has been so, for a long time. Without the help of minority parties the major parties cannot manage on their own. The election is on the 17th. At least we expect the major parties to succeed without the help of the minorities.
On the 02nd of August last, through the Sunday Lankadeepa, I placed before everyone including intellectuals, a few thoughts. I believe it is important for those who remember the past and are looking forward to the future with some vision. The country is like a boat that has been hastily repaired. So it is a highly dangerous journey that we have undertaken.
No one should forget the JVP insurrection of 71, the 87-88 era and the 30-year separatist war. If we take our minds further we must not forget the Chola, Pandya, Portuguese, Dutch and British periods. Though the children are aware of a little history, some are keen that children should not know history. Isn’t it proper for the growing generation to know history? To be taught history? Or are we to discourage its study by them? We must stop and ponder on these.
When an election is announced people, even now, want to raise issues regarding the ethnic problem, religious and caste differences and personal issues.
Everyone must cast aside petty things and appeal to one’s intellect. We should cast our vote to those who can take the country in the right direction. If that is not done, not only we, but the future generations too will suffer. History is full of such tales. Even the Archbishop issued a statement admonishing people to vote for the good of the country without being influenced by ethnic, religious and caste differences. We must appreciate such sentiments.
I am a US Citizen within the dual system. I had the same status once as a British citizen. I have even voted for Ted Heath the Prime Minister. During the time when Nixon was President and the American economy was suffering, I organized a recitation of Pirith for one whole year at the Simamalakaya to bless America. At the time there was a cartoon in the Ravaya paper showing President Nixon giving me a parcel of American dollars.
On another occasion when the American economy was not doing well the US Ambassador Robert Blake who retired from his post to accept a secretary’s post came to Gangaramaya to receive blessings. At this visit I opined that it was time to rectify the economy of USA. Americans waste everything from food downwards. As an example I told him that Americans buy a large quantity of provisions every week which is more than necessary. They store these in refrigerators and at the end of the week cast away much that is unused. They only consume a quarter of what they purchase. Since they have large refrigerators I advised him to levy a tax on them so that people could get used to smaller refrigerators. Since only a smaller quantity of provisions can be kept in smaller units they would learn a little frugality. As I spoke Robert Blake was happy and clapped his hands at what I said.
America bombed Japan. Japan used nuclear power and started industries and these industries were destroyed by the nuclear energy in return. England too invaded other countries and the results were disastrous. Big countries hold smaller countries to ransom. Now there are threats to the Canadian President from terrorists. He did not take part in the CHOGM event held here. But terrorists do not distinguish whether it’s a small country or a big country. All of us must unite against terrorism whenever and wherever necessary.
Big powers are not always looking towards our welfare. Therefore it is alright for the UNP or the UPFA to seek help from big powers. But we must not sacrifice our identity for their goodwill. We must remain always free. We had to beg for GSP. Because of the withdrawal of GSP, industries started by us suffered. Other countries reaped the benefits from these industries. We should in fact be compensated for the losses we suffered, due to the withdrawal of GSP.
We have two main political parties. The major community belongs to these two parties. Instead of going through the newspapers, TV, radio and websites, decide on the suitability of each of the two as a citizen. Decide on who is better to work for the country. Did you suffer under a previous regime? Cast your vote to a party under whom you and your children will not suffer. Do not over -trust the promises made by the parties. If we are sailing in a damaged boat we do not have very many options. Agriculture has collapsed. We have to import even the needle from abroad. The country is on the road to even import common salt. People living in such a country must not believe in dreams.
At the rate the country is moving if one major party does not get a majority they have to go begging behind smaller parties. Small parties came into existence because of the fault of the major parties. If you get the help of the smaller parties you have to entertain their requests at all times. There is no use in keeping power if you are bent on satisfying the whims and fancies of another. It is a blind philosophy. If the two major parties can come together after coming to power it will be a great blessing. If the two parties can get together like they did when they wanted to pass the 19th Amendment, the country will flow with milk and honey. We may have to experience the benefits we lost due to the 19th Amendment.
Presidents lost their lives due to bombs in this country. Ministers too lost their lives that way. Chandrika became disabled losing one eye because of a bomb. Because of this, whatever said and done, we must not forget the past. During Chandrika’s time peace was lost, and so was the economy. Even though Ranil won the election at the time Chandrika gave him the premiership with reluctance. Though the premiership was given to Ranil he was not allowed to effectively govern the country. She changed ministers according to her whim and fancy.
Within two weeks she dissolved Ranil’s government. Now she says that she has come forward to take the country out of the mire. What we are saying is who pushed the country there? Chandrika has to answer that question.At least now let us protect the major party that we respect and take measures to bring both the major parties together so that we may resurrect this sinking ship and get the country to be a stable entity. This is our duty by the country that is getting battered all round.