24 July, 2024


Ravi Karunanayake Knows The Sri Maha Bodhi Cannot Give Us Rain

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

God or Nature?

Shyamon Jayasinghe

I guess, Ravi Karunanayake, the Sri Lankan Minister in charge of the subject of energy is amused by his own antic of praying before the Sri Maha Bodhi asking for rain. Surely, he is an educationally accomplished character! Rain pours down given natural conditions and ceases to do so in the absence of those conditions. It is the Paticca Samuppada working and, hence, no serious Buddhist will pray like this.

Buddhist Religiosity

Why, then, does Ravi pray?  So fervently like an infertile young woman asking for a foetus?  He wants to display-mind you, before the camera- his Buddhist religiosity just to impress the ignorant masses that our island nation possesses in abundance. Ravi Karunanayake has to be pulled up for spreading myth and encouraging the people to feed on myth. Myth boomerangs on political leaders.

We haven’t seen any yahapalanaya politicians breaking coconuts before the Seenigama Devale; I thought these set of fellows-although also a luxury- car -greedy lot like their predecessors- are more modernised in their outlook. Ranil Wickremesinghe leads a modernising force. We will pardon the leader’s regular visits to the Tripathi Deyyo as a simple and harmless idiosyncrasy.

Some Areas that Ravi Should Work On

Has Ravi Karunanayake done anything positive towards the resolution of the country’s power crisis? Its seesaw ride between floods and drought? As the Minister, the nation would like an immediate report from him and I hope he does deliver that in the next few days or so.

There is a great deal of over-consumption of oil and gas on the snake-long vehicle lines Colombo has been experiencing over the last two decades-each year getting worser and worser. This is daily colossal wastage of petrol. Has Ravi given attention to this?   I know much of such causes are beyond his control; but has he not alerted the government? Had Mahinda Rajapaksa spent his Chinese loans to relieve the traffic problem instead of misallocating to an international airport, an international stadium in Hambantota, or even on a port in Hambantota we would have blessed him thrice. To do him justice he, at least, built some useful highways. However, given his canny ability to get around the Chinaman, the former President could have done more.

The luxury car permit game should also be put an end, too, even if that means parliament will also end. With the kind of MPs we now have, the sooner parliament ceases to be the better it would be.

The wastage of power is seen in other areas: Poor distribution infrastructure has been a critical factor in Sri Lanka. Distribution in the areas outside Colombo is in the hands of Regional Councils and local bodies. Most of the latter are broke and cannot allocate money to replace outworn cable networks and other elements of the distribution. The revenue from electricity bills local bodies use as a convenient cash flow. I knew that first hand when I worked as Special Commissioner Dehiwela Mt Lavinia Municipality.

Then, has Ravi given attention to the dire need to educate users about simple things like switching off fans and lights when not in use, using maximum daylight, walking instead of driving for short distances, using CFL instead of traditional bulbs, proper insulation for leakage of energy and so on? Most government Departments don’t bother to switch off or turn of water when offices close for the day. These items appear small but taken together can mean a big ocean of wastage control. Building plan approvals must cover proper insulation methods.

Renewable Energy Sources

The most important of all measures, is to focus on renewable energy sources: steam, solar and wind power systems. What has our Ravi done in these areas? Has he drawn up a plan for this complex subject or is he merely continuing the same Ministerial behaviour as that of his predecessors?

We like to know. Forget the Mahabodhi prayer and let us know, Mr. Minister.

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Latest comments

  • 11

    Shyamon Jayasinghe

    “Ravi Karunanayake Knows The Sri Maha Bodhi Cannot Give Us Rain”

    Don’t you think Sri Maha Bodhi could give some votes and provide cover for crooks?

    • 11

      In the first place, Ravi is a Catholic, not a Buddhist. So he should know better than to worship trees. Leave that to devout old ladies who think they are practicing Buddhism.
      The roots of the power crisis lie in the proliferation of air-conditioned monstrosities called apartments in urban centres. These are designed for cold climates, but when they are duplicated here, they guzzle up huge amounts of energy. Buildings MUST be designed to be compatible with the local climate .Also, the mindless concentration of apartments in Colombo must end. This contributes to the horrendous traffic in the City. Surely there is enough empty land within 20 miles? Shyamon is wrong in stating that LG bodies handle distribution. They did up to the 70’s but no longer.
      Then there is the foolish belief that we can supply all the energy from our own power stations. Countries in Europe and the ME have their grids interlinked so that a temporary shortfall doesn’t cause power outages .Our best option would be a link to the Indian grid, which is just 20 miles away. Remember J.R. once upon a time proposed to export power to India? It’s the other way around now. But then, there is little scope for commissions in this case.

    • 6

      Shaming Jayasinghe,

      Did Minister Ravi Karunanayake follow the proper protocols for asking favours from Sri Maha Bodhi, such as describing the problem written in white piece of cloth, tied to a branch of the tree, go around the thre several times, offer Dhana, offerings to the monks, make financial contributions ( he is used to taking money out, like in the bond scam) etc.

      Anyway, this is a good political move to get the low IQ populace to show that he is doing something, like many of them do, when they want relief and seek divine help.

      Of course, should have a plan, educate the masses, and consider many alternatives including micro grids and distributed Energy.

    • 3

      Bro Native u spot on man, any how happy days ahead for Tamils….as long as these bold head sinhla yellow ropes fool sinhala budhist ….

      • 5

        Jamis Muthu Banda

        Long time no see.
        What are you planning for the 10th Mullivaaikkal Remembrance day?

  • 5

    Mr . Jayasinghe
    Your ‘ educationally accomplished ‘ minister has imposed power cuts on the entire island except Colombo – the highest consumer of electricity . If this happened down under where you are safely domiciled, he would have been hung and quartered .

  • 8

    Men in yellow robes can do miracles!

    …..from attacking places of worship of minority religion….to creating rain from no where

  • 6

    Shyamon Jayasinghe: Ravi Karunanayake knows that the Sri Maha Bodhi cannot be bribed to give us Rain.
    The natural spit is no answer.
    Switching off a bulb or two may not help overcome power shortage. But switching off AC will.

  • 7

    PENT HOUSE Ravi Karunayake as soon as he came he tried to buy electricity in advance for the future. That was not allowed. Then this electricity cut came. Sri lanka had bad three years which did not have rains. Yet no one thought of buying electricity. Now, suddenly, they have electricity cuts and want to buy electricity from private buyers. They say it is mafia activity. Some how they accuse the previous govt for not setting up new electricity generating facilities. Sri lanka complains saying no new investments, how come then electricity needs increased. All lies.
    Another story is that there some new private electricity providers who do not have licences and they need to be given licenses. So, this cut was needed.
    Further to all these, Water resources board (Jala Sampadana) says they are not getting lot of money, so they also have to get into the electricity business.
    Bhikkus and temples are the Foot balls for Sri lankan politics. Bhikkus helps any crook that comes to the temple and allows photo ops.

  • 8

    Alcohol addicts living in cosy and sinful world knows better., Karuwalanayake as a non Buddhist must be ashamed for seeking intervention of divine forces in a Sacred Buddhist place. He may hoodwink the gullible lay fellows but not our most venerated Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.

    • 3

      Raven Kumar,

      You raise an interesting question.

      Is it only Buddhists, or only Sinhala Buddhists who can ask for favours and divine help at Sri Maha Bodhi, and tradition and inference from Buddha. Where in the Dharma or the Tripitaka, it says that non-Buddhists cannot seek or ask for salvation?

  • 2

    Solution to Energy problems in particular and other problems in general such as water problems to certain areas of Sri Lanka, economic problems etc. need not only the attention of the subject specific Minister but the nation as a whole. I commend Shyamon for writing paragraphs under the headings of “Some Areas that Ravi Should Work On” and “Renewable Energy Sources” in the comforts of his adopted land. But remember today the politician of Sri Lanka has to be “culturally aligned” to the society in offering prayers to the “powers that may be”. If not he is not considered to be in the mainstream. How many indigenous people in the colonial past of this country changed their religion, attire and even the speaking habits to synchronise with the colonial master? So, Ravi K gracing a “pooja” or offering, in my view, appears to be to keep in touch with the ordinary folks appreciating their sensitivities, after all he was absolutely insensitive when he had a fine time in a penthouse leading to his resignation. From a strictly a rationalist perspective, Yes! Ravi was wasting his time in performing and “abracadabra” instead of tackling the bull by its horns. Culturally and politically IT IS ANOTHER STORY.

  • 5

    Penthouse Ravi was preparing to mix Kasippu to Mendis disteillery plant that Aloesius/PTL bought. Now the politicians are safe, businesses and Officials are in jails.
    Some PTL/EPF were doing investment frauds even in 1997. EPF always had president/PM appointed bosses.

  • 5

    Buddhism is closer to rationalism than any other religion. It does not believe in a personal god who is looking after human beings and others. Primitive humans found selves in a dangerous and hostile world, the fear of wild animals, of not being able to find enough food, of injury or disease, and of natural phenomena like thunder, lightning and volcanoes were constantly with them. Finding no security, they created the idea of gods in order to give them comfort in good times, courage in times of danger and consolation when things went wrong. To this day, we notice that people become more religious at times of crises, you will hear them say that the belief in a god or gods gives them the strength they need to deal with life. During the 30 years old war, people started to renovate and conduct poojas of dilapidated temples. This is because people felt that they are increasingly exposed to danger, shelling by the army, bombing by the airforce, abduction and killing by para-military outfits.
    Of course, we hear people who believe in god claiming they prayed in time of need and their prayer was answered. All this seems to support that god-idea is a response to fear and frustration. The Buddha taught us to try to understand our fears, to lessen our desires and to calmly and courageously accept the things we cannot change. He replaced fear, not with irrational belief but with rational understanding.
    The second reason the Buddha did not believe in a god is that there does not seem to be any evidence to support this idea. There are numerous religions, all claiming that they alone have god’s words preserved in their holy book, that they alone understand god’s nature, that their god exists and that the gods of other religions do not. Some claim that god is masculine, some that she is feminine and others that it is neuter.

  • 1

    “Rain pours down given natural conditions and ceases to do so in the absence of those conditions”

    True, but how those conditions get created? With the prediction of those condition with the help of modern technology and equipments, meteorology departments advanced countries say it will rain, but in most cases, it never rained. How that can be possible? – (take it has a side note, though I completely understand what this article is all about)

  • 6

    Shyamon: “We haven’t seen any yahapalanaya politicians breaking coconuts before the Seenigama Devale”
    But But But!:”Ranil Wickremesinghe 70 Years On – A Kindly Reflexion On His Leadership Style”
    Seenigama Deviyo is not powerful enough for the “Leadership Style” so, has to seek the blessings of South Indian Deviyos.
    Thank you Shyamon for your wisdom.

  • 7

    Ravi K is SUPPOSED to be a Christian, and Anglican. So by his worshiping at the Bodhi he has broken the FIRST of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS: “You shall worship the Lord your God and you shall have no other gods but God”. But obviously RK does not really care, his only concern is the perks and the prospects of being a Sri Lankan minister!!

    • 1

      ‘The fear of the LORD is the begining of wisdom.
      But fools despise wisdom and instruction’.( Proverbs)
      How low can one stoop?

  • 5

    I thought Shaymon will put Dr Ranil’s photo with that worn out look ,sitting on the Mat with the hands clasped and waiting for divine Intervention from Lord Tripathy through Foreign Poosaris to stay in TT for now and until l 2025.

    Will Lord Tripathy help Dr Ranil?…

    Galleon Ravi who is Christian is acting like Dr Ranil’s other mate, Grade B Grade actor Ranjan.
    Obviously Ravi is not stupid .
    Otherwise how can he buy a Luxury Condo with Black money and put the Vendor in Welikada and get back his Minister Gig from Dr Ranil.

    Anyway wonder whether Shaymon joined his old fellow Elite mates to seek divine help. and guidance from one of those Dollar Churches in Colombo where the Western Attired Poosaris even make quadriplegics walk on stage on Sundays..

    • 3

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “Will Lord Tripathy help Dr Ranil?…”

      You mean the Keralite Thiruvengadam Vellupillai Prabaharan, who helped Dr Mahinda, why not the wealthy Telugu, Kolami, Kannada, Tamil, Tulu, Urdu …. speaking lord of Tirupati. It appears Lord Tirupati now speaks Sinhala as well.

      Will your demigods (MR, Nalin, Gnanasara, ……… ) consider making Sinhala the only official language in and around City of Tirupati as lots of Sinhala/Buddhists believe in the power of Sri Venkateswara, whose blessings help attaining Nibbana, Top Office, Wealth for 100 or more generations, Free from Prison, good life, …. after visiting the holy city and then declare it a sacred city, plant Sinhala/Buddha statues, sent in Archaeological department, …..

      Man you got a lot of work to do.

  • 7

    Why does Ranil go to South Indian temples every month ?

    Why does Ranil fly out so often to western countries ? To worship or enjoy the good life ? What has the country got from him junkets ?

  • 2

    I can remember having an argument with my parliamentary friends who were so convinced that those rainmakers from Thailand could find answers to our droughts. I am sure they get the money to do the job and now we are praying for the rain.

    It’s a joke, not for those who are suffering.

  • 0

    You can not have power and a cut in power except under conditions like
    natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes ! If you can not manage
    your existing capacity then the question is why increase new supplies ?
    Power cut is in existence since about seventies and so nothing new !
    This is just another of many other problems that are beyond our capacity .
    Only a few understand that we spend without earning . Electricity supply
    is one such development without a management mechanism in place !
    Light for everybody and also darkness for everybody , what a wonderful
    vision ! Up until early eighties , large majority of villages didn’t have power
    supply and people didn’t cry for it and so was not an item in the agenda of
    politics ! But it’s different now ! Everybody wants everything no matter how !
    It’s the politics that has misled the people to live beyond their means and the
    trend keeps growing and growing while the purse is getting emptier day in
    day out ! The country now is full of fans and air conditioners and once out ,
    it’s boiling ! Country’s environment has changed not only due to global climate
    change but also due to uncontrolled urbanization in the name of development.
    Even in eighties and nineties generally cars didn’t require air conditioning
    that much but today it’s completely different on urban travel ! People have
    been roped into a false development spree by rival politics in the country
    and now don’t run after Temples or Churches that you believe in only for
    your personal and family benefits ! Find a practicable solution from the right
    sources !

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