Colombo Telegraph

Kill Not Be Killed

By Jagath Asoka

Dr. Jagath Asoka

How you interpret the title of this article depends on where you put a comma. So, given the current situation in Sri Lanka, where would you put a comma; where would you pause? Would you say, “kill, not be killed,” or “kill not, be killed.” I am not trying to promote violence. When the lawmakers of a country commit violence openly in their parliament, attack their own members, attack policemen, and commit crime with impunity, while the entire world is aghast, what would the citizens do? What would the lawmakers do to stop it happening again? How can you attack your own colleagues?  

I am going to borrow the words from several historical quotes, and most of you will recognize them when you read this article.  

If you are a member of the Sri Lankan current parliament—the supreme legislative body—what would you do when you see the asinine, beastly, belligerent behavior of your colleagues? Would you remain calm when someone pulls a knife or throws a chair at you? What is your breaking point? If you are physically attacked, what would you do? If your life is threatened, what would you do? Sri Lankan Parliament is in shambles. When I say it is in shambles, so far, it is just a mess; soon, it will be a place of mass slaughter and bloodshed; perhaps the entire country cannot escape its destiny. What would be the denouement of this lawlessness and vulgarity? 

Does violence beget violence? Are you going to put your sword back in its place…for all who draw the sword will die by the sword?

Would you say, we must meet the forces of hate and violence with the power of love? Would you say our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the thugs and murderers of our society, but to win their hearts, friendship, and understanding? 

What would you say to those who believe that of all that is written, love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.

Does natural justice or natural injustice exist? Do you really believe that the the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice? 

Do you think that the criminal type is the type of the strong human being under unfavourable circumstances: a strong human being made sick?

Cain killed his own brother Abel, which concretized that our human nature is gratuitously cruel. Sri Lankan lawmakers have become thugs, murderers, and executioners. Cruel societies are cruel in every single layer: individually, within the family, within a village, and it is the same everywhere; it is not the leaders, it is the individuals who elect the leaders. Whatever the pathologies that each individual carry in his or her destructive little soul, whatever the element of Cain deeply imbedded in you, will manifest at every waking moment of your miserable existence. Each one is the archetypal manifestation of Cain; for destructive people, Cain is their Savior. If violence is a weed that should not be watered, what would you do, when you are physically attacked by your own colleagues? How are you going to protect yourself from the trap they have set for you? They will keep provoking you, until you reach your breaking point. How are you going to fight against the tyranny of the minority and mob rule and majority’s timidity?

Are you individually guilty, or guilty collectively? It seems like most of Sri Lankans are not involved in the real crisis; it seems like most intellectuals are fiddling with themselves and their stupid theories while Sri Lanka is beginning to burn. If you are ambivalent of tyranny, just talk to a Sri Lankan for five minutes, and it will be evident how a charismatic demagogue can easily and successfully make Sri Lankans support a benevolent dictator.  

When a book was thrown at you, you picked it up, kissed it, and left it on your desk. When chili powder was thrown into your eyes, you washed it off. What are you trying to prove by these responses? Are you are better than them? What is next? If a person pulls a knife, what would you do? Is there a procedure to punish these perpetrators, or as always, a crime can be committed in Sri Lanka with impunity, especially in the parliament?

If you cannot figure out what your leaders are doing, look at the outcome and infer the motivation. If the outcome is violence and bloodshed, then the leaders were aiming at violence and bloodshed. If the leaders are aiming at bloodshed, where would you pause: Kill not be killed?

Sri Lankans continue to compromise their morals and where would it end?

The latest incarnations of Parakramabahu and Dutugemunu—well, that is what these lunatics and their minions think of themselves—have made murder, corruption, thuggery, extortion, and rape legal in Sri Lanka. Do you think that that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible? But in the end, they always fall. Always? It seems like Sri Lanka has become the land of their reincarnation. 

Remember a thug is always a thug and a murderer always a murderer, whether he is the President, Prime Minister, a member of the parliament, or an ambassador.

Rejoice, the beloved country because the citizens of Sri Lanka will reelect all these thugs and murderers, again and again. When, where, and how will this lunacy end?

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