By C. V. Wigneswaran –
I am happy personally that Sajith Premadasa has been picked upon. He is young and had a liberal early education at Royal College. During his time the classes were divided linguistically unlike in our time where all communities were in the same class with one language binding us (English). But I am sure basically he has an attitude of Live and Let Live nurtured by Royal College Education and Buddhism and may be also his London School of Economics’ Education and his stints elsewhere too.
He did well with Youth through his Tharuna Saviya apart from Jana Suwaya and Sasunata Aruna.
He has a strong Buddhist background which is to be welcomed.
But there are two or three matters which may have conditioned him against us the Tamils. His father falling victim to violence identified with the Tamil Militants. The other is his possible difficulty in separating organisational Buddhism from actual Buddhist Teachings. I have been saying the Constitution should have included Buddha’s teaching into the Constitution in some form or other and but not given Organised Buddhism its foremost place. Organisation of Buddhism is different from the teachings of the Enlightened One. Bodu Bala Sena’s latest antics in Mullaitivu is an example of how organisational Buddhism can be disastrous if not criminal.
Further his strong conviction that this Country is Sinhala Buddhist can be a bar to the resolution of Tamils’ political problems. He should realise this Country does not belong to the Sinhala Buddhists. From pre Buddhistic times this Country was Tamil Hindu (Saivite), Buddhism was introduced among Hindu (Saivite) Tamils only and the Sinhala language came into being much later in the 6th or 7th Century AD. What remains today as archaeological remains of 2000 years ago were those left during the time of the Demala Baudhayo. (Tamil Buddhists)
Of course now the majority may be 75% Sinhala Buddhist but the North and East are almost 85% Tamil speaking. We prefer to be secular since we respect each other’s religions and Hinduism the major religion in the North from time immemorial has preached that “Truth is One; but Sages call it by different names”. That is why the North Eastern Tamil speaking are asking for self determination within one country.
If Sajith could be as pragmatic as his father whom I knew, he might prove to be the exception to the Reign by so called Nationalist Patriots who have proved to be lacking in sensibility and sensitivity. If he could come out of the cocoon he may have created around him he could well prove to be an excellent President for all communities despite President’s powers being clipped by Law in recent times.