By Suranimala Umagiliya –
We are back to square one. The die is cast and Sri Lankans have once more shown that the inherent latent base tribal instincts are alive. None of the moderate, enlightened and a humane voice is heard, other than within the converted. When Robert Knox said “the Cingalese are a cunning lot who mistake the low-level cunning they possess to be a high level of Intelligence,” he was not wrong by far.
Easter Sunday attacks by terrorists are three weeks away. The principal targets were the Catholics at prayer. The high-end hotels were attacked for maximum attention. The terror group ISIS identify the Catholics with the West and therefore belong at the top of the pile of Infidels. Yet they undoubtedly are terrorists. Quite rightly the Muslims in Sri Lanka from the highest to those Muftis, spread across the world condemned the attacks. The Muftis and the Mullas were categorical that the Quoran was misinterpreted by the terrorists. They went further. No Muslim burial was to be accorded to them. How much more can be said or done to condemn the attackers by their own community and religious leaders?
Take a quick peek at the scorecard of Sri Lanka since Independence. The Sinhalese by virtue of numbers have been the ruling right through. It is, therefore, the Sinhalese who must take the credit or blame for the state of the country. I leave it to you to peg our country vis a vis others for the physical quality of life successive Sinhalese governments have rendered to us. Sinhalese-Buddhist, was coined by politicians with a low level of cunning to dupe the Sangha and the masses to believe that they were a special breed. They forget that in such belief they have nothing much to show for it. Not even the purest form of Buddhism preached by Gautama Buddha, which too has over time politicised into a hybrid version in practice by the Sinhalese.
Let us cut to the chase and discuss the core issue of this article. The hounding, assaulting, vandalising of Muslims who have nothing to do with terrorists, has begun. Please check the video where this Buddhist monk is praising the Catholic Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. He has not understood the essence of the appeal of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. He only takes one sentiment and that too out of context, either because he lacks comprehension and or is foolish, or is cunning enough to use such for his advantage however, misplaced it may be. The monk leading the mob paying tribute to the Cardinal quotes him by saying the Cardinal acknowledged that Sri Lanka is the land of Sinhala Buddhists and the other minorities will do well to understand that. He stuttered but did not go so far to say the minorities will live by that edict but the body language conveyed it.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s message was to overcome hatred through love. That was the message from the Holy Bible Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith conveyed to his flock. That was a symbolic pronouncement which his flock followed. Did the Maha Nayaka’s follow suit? Nay.
The violence unleashed on innocent Muslim brothers and sisters seems to be the work of politicians. The foolish will believe that they are government politicians. It is those who have fostered and feasted on constantly reminding that the Sinhala-Buddhists need an enemy, who stands to gain.
Sri Lanka will keep repeating the same mistakes. The majority in the villages and other hangers-on around corrupt politicians do not have the capacity of thought and the good men keep silent.
What is the prognosis? The Tamils were chased in 1983. They were accepted in droves by Uk, Australia, Canada, Italy, USA, France and other developed nations. They have done better for themselves than staying behind in Sri Lanka. Their children have gone on to become Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers and Accountants. They have bought Houses, Cars and enjoy high-level medical care. In other words, all the modern conveniences that are but normal in such countries. Why did they not achieve such in Sri Lanka? Sri Lanka does not have a robust economy and extend equal opportunity. Corruption and graft are endemic.
With such attacks on Muslims, it is but natural for developed countries take them in as refugees. They too will have a better life and their next of kin will go on to become Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants and Engineers whilst the Sinhala-Buddhists will be left to run Sri Lanka exactly like they have run it since Independence.
The only appeal to the Sinhala-Buddhists (I am one too) who do not seem to have the capacity nor intelligence to respect humanity and separate the criminal element from the innocent, is to delve deep into another inherent emotion. Just as Robert Knox said if the low level cunning cannot be used they must respond to the other emotion – Jealousy. If you do not attack innocent Muslims they will not be able to go and live in developed nations as refugees. Thenceforth their next of kin will not have equal opportunity to become Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers and Accountants. Try that.
Will we do that or continue to fall into the well which we fell in the night, at daytime?