The social dimension of the work carried out by this human being (Podi Hamuduruwo)transcends media or even that of an empire. Therefore, when someone does something with compassion and kindness it should be duly published at least in the media, since it is the duty of the media to lead the country in the right direction.
Podi Hamuduruwo came to Colombo at the age of ten from a remote village and since then the Thera who was his Teacher became blind after his ordination at sixteen, Podi Hamuduruwo had to shoulder the responsibility as the Chief Incumbent of the Temple. At the time of his arrival in Colombo, he knew nothing about Colombo; but today, he knows so many things about Colombo. He has seen many changes taking place, many rulers being replaced and while stationed in Colombo he has been able to tour the country.
In this context, Ven. Galaboda Gnanissara Thera, Chief Incumbent of Gangaramaya, Hunupitiya, now reveals a new story about Colombo.
“The terrorists achieved a great victory with the assassination of President R. Premadasa. Their other achievements were killing several Ministers and President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga losing an eye. Arrangements were made for the final rites of President Premadasa to be conducted with full state honours.”
On this occasion, Ven. Galaboda Gnanissara was given the opportunity to address the nation. It was a rare opportunity he received to address such an occasion when other Mahanayake Theras and religious dignitaries were not considered. Ven. Gnanissara Thera said the terrorists could have caused huge destruction without resorting to new weapons by just using a match and a bottle of petrol. He then went on to emphasize the importance of unity among all nations and religions.
The then Colombo’s Archbishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis addressed the gathering afterwards but he made no reference to what he had prepared and added some points to the speech made by Ven. Galaboda Gnanissara Thera.
On Republic Day, the only priest’s sermon was also delivered by Ven. Gnanissara Thera and during his speech he told Mrs. Bandaranaike:
“Don’t repeat old mistakes. If something is good, implement it without considering the nation, religion or caste. Accelerate the slow moving activities; otherwise your seats in Parliament will decrease to eight, like the UNP.”
At the time of Chandrika’s regime, Parliament had to be dissolved suddenly due to disruption in the administration of the country and Ranil automatically stepped in as Prime Minister. Though Ranil had a majority in Parliament at that time, most people were not happy to see him become Prime Minister
It was not long before Mrs. Bandaranaike fell from her exalted position. Following this, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe became Prime Minister, through a sudden void which had to be filled by a suitable person.
At the time of Chandrika’s regime, Parliament had to be dissolved suddenly due to disruption in the administration of the country and Ranil automatically stepped in as Prime Minister. Though Ranil had a majority in Parliament at that time, most people were not happy to see him become Prime Minister.
On that important day, Ranil visited the Gangaramaya Temple and at that time, Podi Hamuduruwo delivered an Anusasana. He made a hard hitting speech recalling all the mistakes that had been made by everyone in government. What Podi Hamuduruwo said was correct and Ranil should have adhered to his advice.
Subsequently, Ranil became the Opposition Leader and Mahinda Rajapaksa became Prime Minister and went on to become President on two occasions. He ended the thirty-year war but world leaders branded it a great crime. Finally, the honour received for defeating terrorism became a dishonour.
During this time, Podi Hamuduruwo made arrangements to meet both President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and advised them to work together. He further stated that all problems could easily be settled by dialogue; but other opportunists disagreed with his suggestions.
The most difficult tasks which could not be resolved those days due to power, wealth and conflicting ideas are now being implemented smoothly due to the foresight of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The combination of SLFP’s Maithripala Sirisena and UNP’s Ranil Wickremesinghe is unique for our country. The administrative body comprising all communities and all religious groups is a blessing for the development of the country. All amenities and necessities can now be equally distributed.
When President Maithripala Sirisena arrived at Gangaramaya Temple for the Buddhist rituals soon after his swearing in, Podi Hamuduruwo reminded him of a seemingly insignificant matter, which he said is ‘rest’ and ‘stress.’
If someone has sufficient rest, he can solve the problems of the country. The second important thing is equanimity. If you get angry, your target might change. Therefore, go forward on the path of real development forgetting differences and exercising kindness and compassion. Eradicate waste, destruction and corruption.
The Ven. Thera also exhorted them to think carefully about the Sinhalese Society in which marriages are shattering rapidly and diminishing the resources of children. He added that it was necessary to cultivate and improve agriculture with new technology. He reminded them further that extremist attitudes in people must not be allowed and they should be guided in the path of religious qualities. Fighting among nations, religious groups and parties should be discouraged. The new government is a good example to all.
Go forward on the path of real development forgetting differences and exercising kindness and compassion. Eradicate waste, destruction and corruption
We have to cease the import of unnecessary things and this requires the immediate attention of the Minister of Finance. We should take an example from the Governments of Myanmar and Singapore who never allow the import of unwanted items.
The President proclaimed recently that pure drinking water would be supplied to the people. However, there is something which should be done before that - the polythene used for wrapping meal packets should be done away with. Substandard polythene is used countrywide and when hot foodstuff is put into it the chemical composition starts to change. Even in remote Indian areas people don’t use polythene to wrap their meals.
We are not aware of how good the small layer of polythene rubber is that is used to wrap sausages. If we are sufficiently aware, we can identify that these are some of the reasons why people and children are getting sick often. Elephants and deer die eating polythene. People die because of the polythene used for wrapping meals and eating them. Though it seems to be a trivial factor it will affect the entire nation.
If we accomplish our duties in three groups such as minor, middle and superior, it would be easy to finish everything without evasion. If this method is followed, Ministers will have a rest. However, officers should also do their duties devotedly and Ministers must do the supervision.
When we look at the import of Jasmine flowers and Mukunuwenna, we can see that our country has fallen very low if we need to import essentials that can be grown on our soil. The government should be careful not to import unnecessary things, then we can save money.
To solve the housing problem, the construction authority should be vested in the Housing Ministry as well as with a company. Housing complexes on stilts could be built over certain areas of marshy land. These lands are freely available in Colombo City. Muthurajawela located near the expressway can be turned into a cosmopolitan world city, provided careful environmental assessments are made to achieve an ecological balance.
The clergy and the people should be keen to foster development activities and no one should disturb these good works. Everyone should give their blessings to the new government.