By Hema Senanayake –
Venerable Mawarelle Baddhiya humiliated Hemasiri Fernando, the former secretary to the Ministry of Defense, for telling the foreign media immediately after April 21st suicidal bomb attacks on luxury hotels and churches that the Ministry of Defense would not provide security to hotels as those were profit making ventures and must look after their security by themselves. Venerable Baddhiya rightly denounced his comments as stupid (“Mugdha”). Why he denounced it so forceful and with bitter verbal attack?
Because Ven. Baddhiya might have had a strong conviction even though he is not an economist that Sri Lanka’s prosperity and the future of younger generation is very much depended upon the inflow of non-credit based foreign currencies. In this regard, tourism industry and foreign direct investments are two important economic activities which activities are in turn depend on the government’s promise on security in general. Acceptable level of peace and calmness have to prevail in the country if we wish foreigners to visit our country and make investments. Possibly, this is the kind of understanding Ven. Baddhiya has had when he condemned Hemasiri Fernando for uttering those words that would out rightly discourage the tourist industry and foreign direct investments. I respect Ven Baddiya for that.
Yet I have a small problem. A couple of days ago, Venerable Athuraliye Rathana, M.P. made a similar or far damaging statement, surround by unpatriotic goons, staying on the road, in front of the Teaching Hospital in Kurunegala. He said that henceforth it was not the Cabinet that governs the country but it was them who governs the country from the street. Now, let me ask a very simple question from Venerable Mawarelle Baddhiya. Will the foreign tourist and foreign investors come to a country if the country is governed by goons from the street? How do you rate Ven. Rathana’s above statement? Is it stupid (“Mugdha”)?
Ven. Rathana went further step. He started to fast unto death (hunger strike) in front of the sacred Temple of tooth relic. His demands are directly related to governance; he began to govern from the lawn in front of the Temple of tooth relic. If Asath Sali and the Governor of Eastern Province are ISIS agents they must be dealt with severely, their removal would not be just enough. Unfortunately, Ven. Rathana is not demanding the law enforcement agencies to act impartially. Instead he actively tries to govern the country from the “street.”
Many presidential hopeful “rascals” are talking about their plans, security, economy, education, math education, artificial intelligence and about everything that we can think of and even on things that average citizens cannot understand. But I would say that all those plans and promises would not be realized if the above said parameter which is the non-credit based inflow of dollars is ignored. Those presidential hopefuls are not talking about it. And they do not concern about it. If they do they must begin addressing it, right now even before the submission of their respective nominations. If they do, then they must ask Ven. Rathana to stop those nonsenses.
True harmony among various ethnic and religious communities is what is needed for the country today. This includes the abstaining from the voluntary segregation of larger Muslim community mainly by Sinhalese and Tamils. Do shopping as you did before. Uphold your virtues. Muslims would love it than ever. Help them (Muslims) to isolate extreme elements from Muslim community. They can do it better than us, I mean the Sinhalese and Tamils. This is the only winning strategy to defeat terrorism and to ensure economic prosperity. Why the presidential hopefuls are not telling this to the nation? May be they are “rascals” than true leaders. Sri Lanka’s future will be very bleak, if we do not learn to believe everything that can be believed and only suspect what should be suspected.