16 December, 2019

Blog

Anura, Your Children

By Arundathie Sangakkara

“Don’t hit children!” that is Anura’s message.

That itself is a victory.

Today, for the first time in history a Sri Lankan presidential candidate had the moral courage to that no one should raise a hand against a child of our nation.

That itself is a victory. 

Anura proclaimed that as a policy commitment he totally opposes the concept of child cruelty. 

That itself is victory. 

He spoke eloquently against child poverty.

That itself is a victory. 

“Child Curry? “

Is a child a curry on a stove?

There cannot be anything more heart rending on earth as child poverty and child cruelty. We are a nation of brutes who beat our children invoking “tradition”, “culture”, “past glory”. We tie our children with the ropes of our antediluvian minds and beat them with our hands. We compare the child who is not beaten up to discipline to the “curry (broth) that is not stirred on the stove”. Out of this society we are about to select a leader to lead this nation. And one of the candidates has the conscience to stand against the very cruelty we perpetuate. 

I believe that Anura’s anti child cruelty stance is not a just a personal victory of Anura, nor his manifesto alone. It is a victory of our humanity and our human decency.  Personally, as a mother, it is a victory of motherhood to me. 

“We Will build A society Free Of Child Cruelty” 

Sri Lanka is a country where children are beaten up across geography, wealth and social strata. It is country where child abusers, politicians and actors who sexually abuse children go scot free. 

According to the law of our land, the childrens’ charters we are signatory to, child brutality in the forms are all illegal.  It is banned by the laws of human rights. It is banned by our constitution. 

Anura sees the tragedy of the child amidst these laws. 

Listen to Anura’s words again and again.

The first citizen of our country, the president himself endorses hitting children stating that “I was beaten up too!” According to Anura “the best example of why a child should not be beaten up is our president”! 

Isn’t this the truth? 

From Royal College Colombo to small rural schools whose names we cannot recall, our children are beaten up. Even in elite international schools of Colombo, children are beaten up. What kind of an adult would this physically and mentally tortured child become? What would be the result of their crushed personalities?  

Anura’s words give a voice to our voiceless children. The voice of our children who are the punch bag to the frustrations of the adults of our society who cannot manage their frustrations and emotions. 

Let’s analyze Anura’s words further with evidence. 

“The child who is tortured grows up fearing authority. He fears all that is older, stronger, and more powerful. He learns to subjugate to authority. He loses the power to stand up to impunity and injustice. Because the very construct of his up brining is about subjugation” That child, as an adult, if tied to tree by a politician, will say that he himself tied himself. When an “exalted Jyeshta Uththamaya” strips him of his clothes during university ragging, he will comply. 

The vicious cycle of child cruelty casts a shadow on the adult life.

Child cruelty makes today’s victim in to tomorrow’s perpetrator. 

Anura has changed the political language of Sri Lanka with his fearless stance against child cruelty. 

In a society where even parents think that “we have a right to beat up our own child”, the politicians endorse corporal punishment of tender children because it is currency to collect votes from adults.  This is the reason that whilst parliamentarian Harsha De Silva stands up against corporal punishment, parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana representing the same party, the UNP, suggests that the Ministry of Education procure standardized canes to inflict corporal punishment on children! The society is, in fact full of narrow minded tormentors like Buddhika Pathirana. Only inhuman politicians can seek power treading on the slapped cheeks, perforated ear drums and broken hearts of children.  Not a single teacher will raise their hand against the child of a parliamentarian resulting in a perforated ear drum or a broken bone of a VIP’s child. Corporal punishment is commonest in less privileged schools. When a teacher raises his or her hand to a child that hand is raised not only to that child. It is also a hand raised because it’s easier to get away hitting poor child. 

The tragedy that it is still “radical” to stand up against corporal punishment in the year 2019. 

Anura, my salute to you!

“Even If You Beg With An Outstretched Hand” 

Anura is the political child born out of poverty. His speech, tinged with naked honesty about his life of selling” toffee chocolate in the train” awakens our conscience. It induces us to descend from our high horses of wealth to look at the pain of poverty in the eye.  

Poverty is a vicious cycle. It is usually the poor who become poor. Traditionally we are taught that famous Sinhala poem glorifying tenacity to education in spite of poverty. 

“Even if you beg with an out stretched hand feeding on tasteless scraps

Even if you lie on leaves, sleepless in pain

Even if you are covered in filth, clad in rags

Keep the eye on future success and learn with love”

(අල්ලට සිඟා වත්  රස නැති කැවිලි කකා

වල් කොළ බිම ඇතිර නිදි නැතිව දුක් තකා 

කල් ගිය රෙදි වැරලි ඇඳ දැලි කුණෙන් වකා 

ඇල්මෙන් අකුරු උගනිවු  ඉදිරි වැඩ තකා)

But what is our reality? 

In the real world, children with the out stretched hand do not devour education. Even if they love learning its not easy if you are poor. 

Those clad in rags have a hard time in schools. The poor feel less like going to school. They cannot afford an education they love. 

However, there are those who rise like a lotus from the mud of child poverty. It is the exception and not the norm .For everyone child who blooms in spite of child poverty, there are thousands of other children who are destroyed by it. We do not see them till we meet them as unemployed adults, pick pockets, anti-socials in back alleys. 

Anura is speaking of that child poverty. 

As he reiterated in the video above, he does not view child poverty as something that can be solved by giving away free glasses of milk or a bag of grocery to the child’s parents. Rather, he views it for the complex social problem that it is. 

Quoting the data from the Department of Census and Statistics, Anura Kumara Dissanayake stated that there are 3.5 million children between the ages of 5-14 years. 

Of them 11.3% (nearly 4 00000) children live beneath the poverty line. 6.2% of those 400 000 children don’t go to school. According to statistics, the probability of a poor child leaving school is 8 times higher compared to a non-poor child. 

Where are those children?

Where are they living? We must look for the data beyond Anura’s statement. 

The majority of the poorest children of Sri Lanka (79%) live in rural areas, followed by estate sector (13%) and the rest in the urban areas. Child poverty is most prevalent in the following districts in descending order: Mullaitivu, Mannar, Batticoloa, Monaragala, Badulla, Killinochchi, Rathnapura, Nuwara Eliya, Jaffna and Trincomalee. 

Embodied Inequality 

We are taught in our childhood that if we strive hard at education, education itself will enthrone us. Whilst there is an element of truth in this theory the larger reality is not so. The sinister effects of poverty are transmitted inter-generationally. Poverty triggers biological processes that make children prey to chronic diseases as they grow up. 

The inequality created by poverty is more dangerous than poverty per se. Inequality tortures a child’s heart. The physical and psychological stress of inequality is so grave that is known to even alter the gene via epigenetic mutations. Scientists and medical professionals call this embodied inequality. The world renowned professor Nancy Kreiger dedicated a large part of her work to the study the scourge of embodied inequality and to advocate policy reforms to the USA government to tackle it.  

In the yellowed teeth of a child suffering from fluorosis in Anuradhapura, in the low body weight of an estate child in Nuwara Eliya or in a 13 year old pregnant child from Killinochchi we see the powerful tragedy of embodied inequality. 

The reason that politicians do not speak about this tragedy is because children do not have votes!

Anura is speaking on behalf of our children who do not have a vote. 

That itself is a victory.

The tragedy of our nation’s children cannot be ameliorated by a free gifts of milk, uniforms or tabs. It is not soothed alone by giving children an education or a university degree. Regardless of the outcome of this presidential election, Anura is the winner of our nation’s conscience for bringing an intellectual and political discourse to this problem. 

Anura has embraced the bitter tragedy of child poverty and child cruelty with the equanimity and with the ease as if he were inhaling the fragrance of flowers. 

Anura, these are your children.

And you are theirs’. 

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Latest comments

  • 30
    7

    AKD is best candidate. yet, why Sinhalese do not vote for him?
    Compare Gota and AKD. Gota is scared to come to any debate? what kind of leader is he? he can not talk, he can not debate, and he can not argue. What do you expect from him. Why some stupid Sinhalese want to vote for him.
    It is nothing but to loot public money?

    • 3
      16

      Lankan,
      Arundika says that the motto of AKD is: “Don’t hurt children”! Fine, but is it OK for him to lead them to false theory of Marxism and thereby to destroy the whole future not only theirs but also of the whole nation? There isn’t a big difference between hurting physically and hurting emotionally. The frustration in minds for not being able to accomplish what they believe as correct during the inquisitive & rebellious young age is no different from the mindset of an adult abused as a child. Just look at the behavior of Uni students led by FSP!

      • 5
        2

        FSP is the outfit of the break away fraction PERATUGAMEE PAKSHAYA. They are supporting Sajith Premadasa.

      • 3
        0

        The NPP is a movement which consists of some thirty odd organisations and has no links whatsoever to the FSP which is a breakaway faction of the JVP. AKD is the representative of the NPP.

      • 1
        0

        D.P.
        *
        Gosh! The struggling Masses don’t have anything of the future you are talking about. That priveledge of futuristic aspiration is what your exclusive 1% has had under successive Capitalistic govermnments. Cannot be selfish. Money has to be distributed.

        • 0
          0

          ramona,
          Keep repeating Marxist nonsense like a parrot. It is unfortunate that you can’t see what happened all over the world to those who went after Marxist utopian dream! Kumar David, one of the the biggest intellectual supporter of the JVP now confesses that JVP under Wijeweera was wrong and he was also a racist. They can keep confessing for their mistakes but what about the lives of faithful cadres?

          • 0
            0

            D.P.
            *
            Indo-China, Cuba, Scandinavia, China (capitalized socialism)….all doing honorably……Canada..

    • 0
      15

      lankan
      “AKD is the best candidate yet why Sinhalese don’t vote for him”.

      Well, lankan please do your duty without talking about other’s duty.

      “Gota is scared to come to any debate”

      Gota has given reasons for not going to debate with sajith, though not a keen supporter of Gota, I like it.

      It’s not easy to argue with stupids; haven’t you ever tried it.

      I like it if Anura refuses too, to debate with both Gota & Sajith.

      Some people can’t talk but they can work.

      But some can talk but can’t work.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Real Revolutionist,
        .
        You specialise in laying traps for us who want to get rid of the corrupt Rajapaksas, don’t you? Speaking for myself, I’m not too keen on Sajith, either, but he’s less dangerous.

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-timidity-that-shrinks-from-public-debate/

        • 0
          0

          As for D. P. (above) he goes on about how every Marxist is bad.
          .
          His sole religion seems to be “Anti-Marxism”.
          .
          None of these people will ever come to a debate, nor will they read anything that we suggest.

    • 0
      0

      Lankan,

      “Gota is scared to come to any debate? what kind of leader is he? he can not talk, he can not debate, and he can not argue. What do you expect from him. Why some stupid Sinhalese want to vote for him.”?

      Mean IQ 79. There are a lot of imbeciles.

      However, hopefully are are quire a few with common sense.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfC16XhrTZs

      අවසානයේ දිනන්නේ මෙයා තමයි වික්ටර් අයිවන් කියයි

      In the end he (Sajth) will win, says Victor Ivan.

      Who killed Ekliayagoda? What about the 11 Children. Was Gota involved?

    • 0
      0

      Yes, lankan, Arundathie Sangakkara has been writing a series of fine articles on Anura Kumara. He is the best candidate.
      .
      I’ve volunteered for him, tried to go house to house for him in Bandarawela. Most of these JVP types today are honest, decent and peace-loving people. They are not responsible for some horrible things that the JVP themselves did in 1988-90. Many fear them for that reason – and that is understandable.
      .
      What they , unfortunately, lack are solid supporters who are Tamil speakers. This has hampered their campaign in Tamil areas, I fear everywhere in the country. This has also affected all the “serious Alternative Candidates” none of whom are racists.
      .
      At the core, both the UNP and the SLPP are racist, but both groups are rich enough, organised enough, and established enough to be able to overcome this problem. So they are able to put out sufficient Propaganda Material in Tamil.

  • 1
    18

    So JVP Prince Kumara has fixed everything.. Now he wants the parents to be kind to their Children ,,
    How cool is that?.

    I used to get beaten up for not paying Schools fees .
    That was by a Monk who ran an English School for underprivileged Kid
    But we survived.

    I used to get beaten up at the normal School as well, because I couldn’t remember where Vladivostok is in the World Map.
    I don’t think the schooling now is that bad..

    Children needs a good smack in certain circumstances..
    But parents I don’t think go out of the way to be cruel to Children, although it may occur again in certain sad circumstances , which I have seen even in the first world.

    JVP Prince Kumra needs to focus on more important things like eliminating poverty in Lankawe,

    UNP Candidate himself is going around saying that there are 40 Lakhs who are earning less than LKr 400 a Day .
    And another 20 Lakhs the UNP Candidate wants to put on the Samurdhi Dole.
    And that Candidate is representing the cream of the Crop , the Elite , Anglicans and the Vellalas in Lankawe.

    Prince Anura ,I have never heard talking about our poor for the last four years .
    All Anura has been doing is protecting Dr Ranil’s UNP while the UNP ripped the guts off the Country and its poor Inhabitants..

    • 3
      0

      So now we know one reason for why you have turned out the way you have!

    • 7
      0

      To the Sadists (KAS)
      If a child lives with Criticism, they learn to Condemn,
      If a child lives with Hostility, they learn to Fight,
      If a child lives with Ridicule, they learn to be Shy,
      If a child lives with Shame, they learn to feel Guilty,
      If a child lives with Tolerance, they learn to be Patient,
      If a child lives with Encouragement, they learn Confidence,
      If a child lives with Praise, they learn to Appreciate,
      If a child lives with Fairness, they learn Justice,
      If a child lives with Security, they learn to have Faith,
      If a child lives with Approval, they learn to like themselves,
      If a child lives with Acceptance and Friendship,
      They learn to find Love in the world.

      • 1
        0

        Agreed. Definitely a code humans should instill in their societies. However let us not forget that this heightened crusade for zero tolerance on any form of violence towards children took root in the USA because they have their gun industry to contend with.

      • 0
        1

        Sisira , mate.. You are a genius..

        These fit to a Tee with the current lot who are getting ready to give the suckers the second dose of Yahapalanaya..

        Dr Rajitha , Mangala Samare , Thalatha, Kabir Hasim, Mallika, Kandy Kirra, Uncle Johhny,,Jokes Ranjan, Thevrappaerume,, Ponseka, Bathudeen, Rauf Hakeem and of course Dr Ranil who is the real deal…

        May God Bless Lankawe..

        BTW, Did you see Sunil Aiyyas latest chart buster “Banku Hora” ?.

        If not down load i from the Net..

    • 2
      0

      KA Sumane
      Now I got you!
      I have always said it that you are talking negatively due to trauma you must have suffered as a child. You see the world in a very negative and dark way. You are a Sadistic person who wants all to suffer, hence your love for beast like Gota who will terrorize and punish all with pleasure.
      This is exactly why children should be protected, cared for and given the very best parents can afford. So the kids will not have baggage when they grow up and contribute positively to a progressive world around them.
      I feel very sorry to attack your weakness, but this is the truth, it has to be told.
      Besides its not too late, KA Sumane, please let go of your bitterness, forgive those that wronged you, be positive, be optimistic, embrace a more open and progressive path. You are a buddhist you know what I mean.

    • 1
      1

      KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

      “I used to get beaten up for not paying Schools fees .”

      What did you do with money your mum gave you? Did you you spend it on Brylcreem, Beedy, Three Roses, Ganja, toddy, Kasippu, cinema, …… at Dosa Kade?

      “That was by a Monk who ran an English School for underprivileged Kid
      But we survived.”

      Was it Gnanasara’s grandfather, another saffron clad thug? They were/are usually found to be narcissistic sociopath with sadistic personalities.
      You survived with damaged brain, thinking, behaviour, …………..

      “I used to get beaten up at the normal School as well, because I couldn’t remember where Vladivostok is in the World Map.”

      Simple, according to Achchige Patali Champika Ranawaka’s world view Vladivostok was the Battoekottemeerkoe before HLD M found Vattukkottai.
      Congratulations for you too found a way to drop names.

      Aren’t you going to celebrate 18 Nov 2019?

    • 1
      0

      Kiribanda .A. Sumanasekera,

      “I used to get beaten up at the normal School as well, because I couldn’t remember where Vladivostok is in the World Map.”
      “I don’t think the schooling now is that bad..”

      Gota used to kidnap , beat up and kill opponents. They also kidnap, get ransom and kill students.

      Kiribanda, you are lucky, when you were going to school, the Rajapaksa Mafia and Gota were not in charge.

      However, hopefully are are quite a few with common sense, who will not elect him.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfC16XhrTZs

      අවසානයේ දිනන්නේ මෙයා තමයි වික්ටර් අයිවන් කියයි

      In the end he (Sajth) will win, says Victor Ivan.

      Who killed Ekliayagoda? What about the 11 Children. Was Gota involved?

  • 2
    14

    Look who is talking about morals of the society. Isn’t this the same guy who made his aunty ( Punchi Amma) pregnant and then had to marry her after trying to run away.

    AKD is a disgrace to great leader of JVP – Wijeweera. He will do anything to get dollars to buy another mansion overseas.

    • 0
      7

      OMG !!!!!!

    • 1
      5

      Couldn’t he make do with the comfort of an estate bungalow like the ‘great leader’ Wijeweera?

    • 0
      6

      Anura

      Whether right or wrong I disagree with you for mentioning it in public.

      There’re examples that true & genuine love comes in such bizarre form.

      Give love its deserved dignity.

    • 6
      1

      You are spreading and perpetuating a lie. You are sick. Do t show your sick calibre. When you insult the relationship between a man and woman whom you do t even know, you just show your poor upbringing.

  • 7
    0

    Good one. Thank you Arundathie Sangakkara

  • 8
    1

    Beautiful recommendation for Aura Kumara Dissanayake. Violence in general and towards children is caused by social inequalities. The poorer the family, the greater the stress upon them, and hence the violence. Rabid Capitalism in a poor country like Sri Lanka creates a mass underclass. Socialism will even the playing-field, create egalitarianism, and calm and tame the hearts of the suffering Masses. AKD says that it will be a better Capitalism [Neo-Marxism]. Vote JVP!

  • 3
    3

    This initiative in itself is laudable.

    Today, we are facing a Presidential Election. The reality is that AKD will not win the election. Only one of the two main candidates will win the election.

    Voters, each one of you, please prepare a list of 5 issues that are most critical, important, decisive and paramount to you. Then decide, which candidate is most likely to realise your desires. if it’s a candidate other than SP or NGR, then do vote for that candidate, but ensure a 2nd / 3rd preferences are also noted with at least one of them to SP or NGR, if you wish to have your vote to contribute in determining the ultimate winner. If the initial vote is either for SP or NGR, a 2nd & 3rd preference will be superfluous and not be counted (as they are likely to end up the first two in the count).

    Here are your choices:

    1) SP – if you wish for a change of guard and a ‘young’, energetic, efficient seasoned Politician with no ‘baggage’, and with a clear vision (whether one agrees or not) and runs on the board. If you wish for ‘Social Democracy’, freedom (of speech), rule of law and basic human rights.
    2) NGR – if you wish for an ‘old’ alleged criminal who has no clear vision or experience in active Politics with a lot of ‘baggage’. If you wish for a fascist, autocratic, authoritarian and dictatorial family rule where freedom (of speech), rule of law and basic human rights are at stake – his past deeds (2010 to 2014) are plain to see.
    3) Any other candidate if you do not wish to give the 1st preference to either SP of NGR.

    Voters, please use your franchise judiciously, wisely & aptly.

  • 3
    2

    I agree that Anura’s policies are theoretically good and practically feasible if the people of Srilanka fully corporate with them and they stand with what they say. Unfortunately, they were not able show some productive results in any of the local, provincial or parliament elections. We all know that left movement was powerful in the early days of independence but almost left moment were surrendered to racism and religious fundamentalism and now they are nowhere in politics. It is sad that most of the people today are polarised towards fundamentalism. So, at this point, for Tamils and Muslims there is a real threat of loosing their identity and existence in this land and they have to do much to avoid that threat. It is up to the Sinhala majority to save this land going into the hands of dictatorship or fundamentalists. Once it is safe, definitely there is a great opportunity for JVP becoming a major national party.

  • 3
    3

    I agree that no harm should be committed to children.

    Anura can stop child abuse by banning medieval practices such as the following:

    Child marriages.
    Circumcision – for religious purposes or not circumcision should not be allowed for either male or female children.
    Mass child production. Recently there was a story of a scoundrel having produced 27 children.

    If AKD is serious about preventing child abuse he can elaborate on how he plans to enforce the above 3. If not, no one needs to take him so seriously.

  • 0
    1

    My darling Arundathi,

    Are you anybody of Kumar?

    Many thanks.

  • 5
    2

    Long before election fever hit the Sri Lankan media, I have followed Anura Kuma Dissanayake’s analysis of various socio-economic and political debates in parliament. He is perhaps the best analyst of national issues that far surpasses those of the leading contenders who merely perform their marketing roles on the cusp of elections with only the election as an objective, whereas AKD has been consistent in his exposition of speaking truth to power. A great example for others to follow..!

  • 0
    0

    NEw faction of JVP, what ever the name it is , was created to demolish JVP. Even the Brutal ragging in the university are part of that. IF you are from the village and if you have socialist mindset you will be taken as JVP and is ragged, Thus I heard. Otherwise, JVP says, they are not affiliated with any one. Some political group created NEw JVP.

  • 3
    1

    AKD is Physics Hons:
    Gota is White Van Hons:

    • 0
      0

      Plato,

      Did he have a Physics Hons, when he made love to Punch Amma?…

  • 4
    0

    Please be patient until the Presidential election is over and then watch how AKD uses his skills to prepare for general Elections.

    JVP will come up with a modern formula that is much neeeded by Sri Lanka , a system, that is trully soicial – Democratic and just like their new alliance name people power,but with a effective mechanism that will manoeuvre the new system.
    by 2025 The New vision JVP aka Peoples Power , will migrate fully to form not just alliance but a party named peoples power and am more than sure all ethnic,religous minority along with all orther small parties will become part if them.
    They will form a government in 2025 and will produce the best results ever.
    🤛🤛🤛🤛🤛🤛🤛

    • 0
      0

      I have sent a second e-mail, and checked. This logo of yours, showing two medieval knights also appears.
      .
      So, there ought to be two emails from you in your Inbox (or spam!) which both contain two of my telephone numbers.
      .
      As for what you have said about AKD and the JVP, I too share your hopes.
      .
      However, my observation is that their rank and file in the villages are very sincere and committed, but lack sophistication. Also, they are mainly Sinhalese. Their stance on ethnic issues is such that they ought to be getting minority votes, but it is not possible to find fluent Tamil speakers to go house to house.

  • 0
    0

    Never mind the noise made by the JVP in the 80’s after India invaded. Anura is a snake, he will give federalism to the Tamils. Federalism, of course, is a misnomer for separatism. Make no mistake, that is all they want, an independent, ethnic Tamil state where only Tamils can live. That is why so many Tamils are rallying around this JVP bugger, if not that other loser, SP. We TRUE patriots of Sri Lanka should do the opposite of our enemies, which means vote for GR. For those who thought separatism would go away after 2009, no. There are still forces contriving to divide the island. What these forces lost on the battlefield, they are now trying to gain through politics.

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