Colombo Telegraph

Sobitha Proposals, Ranil, Mahinda And The BBS

By Lakshan Wanigasooriya

Lakshan Wanigasooriya

Abusus non tollit usum  – Wrong use does not preclude proper use.

As a Christian Sinhalese Sri Lankan , University educated by the Sri Lankan tax payer and also as a person who has used this knowledge in the fight against the anti democratic forces that plague Sri Lanka, I take great joy in the actions of Ven Sobitha thera and the NMSJ especially at a time when some of his fellow colleagues have taken to the streets to take offence with the Muslim and Christians. Sobitha thera has used his influence and the influence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka to bring forth what is important to our society today hence the above Latin phrase. The Buddhist clergy and doctrine have a role to play in the governance of Sri Lanka but what is sad is groups such as BBS and other similar groups have basically got the wrong end of the stick! rather than using the doctrine by the en lighted one to enhance our position as nation and country within and outside our shores they are using this influence to isolate and to destroy our nation.

What they have failed to understand which Sobitha Thera and the NMSJ has understood is that it is when all of our rights are protected that our individual rights will be upheld a truth that not only the BBS but LTTE and its proxy groups of today don’t seem to understand. There is a saying that “mountains will labour and a mouse will be born” which is what all these groups can achieve even for their core support base; history has shown nothing tangible is achieved by these groups even to the core group whom they confess to represent; Hitler the German people, LTTE the Tamil people.

The post independence political journey of our country is fast coming to the point of  “no return” where the pilot of the state has no option but to continue by hook or by crook; leaders with vision and who heed to good advice soon realise this and are quick change course before they reach this point thus avoiding being sent into political wilderness and taking the whole population of the country sometimes with them. Recent world events show how leaders get to this point very quickly and have paid sometimes with their lives.

Sri Lankan’s have always put trust in people rather than in a system to deliver justice, development, peace ,stability and fair play in the distribution of wealth; however each passing term of government from post independence have abused this trust and the only current way to turn this tide is to support a system that offers a very meaning full alternative which is based on a “system” rather than a person; the proposals by the NMSJ has offered all of us Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Burgers the principals of forming a united front to bring about this change this front is not UNP, JVP, TNA or UNFP it is a system which guarantees the rights of every one.

As a student of politics and as a campaigner in the West for the rights of all Sri Lankan’s I am indeed proud of the proposals put forward by NMSJ of course these proposals are nothing new, we all know them because this what politicians have promised us over the years at each and every election we also know the objections as these are the same lame reasons which they give us at the end of each term as to why they did not keep to the promises.

The proposal aim to break the culture of absolute power and absolute power as we see and know corrupts absolutely. I think we all agree at least the normal hard working people of Sri Lanka that we need to resolve the issues of corruption, naptiuism and Lawless of this country it is only then that transformation can earnestly begin to re-address the economic issues that underpin and act as the fuel for the above evils, otherwise the so called development will be nothing more than a doted set of white elephant projects; the proposals put forward offer a very quick way of breaking the current political cycle that is plaguing and draining the country of its life blood. I am confident that if Ven Sobitha Thera and NMSJ is able to see this plough through and give leadership to it long enough they will achieve this, they have too as this is the only way!

Great freedom fighters always fought for others as they realised very quickly that is only through the preservation of others that one is preserved. Dr King in one of its speeches says this “All I’m saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated. And we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny — whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. For some strange reason I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality”

Rewind back to 2005 president Rajapaksa at his inauguration speech had among other things this to say ;

“Political power is not a privilege but only a temporary trust. I am not the master but the trustee of the country. I pledge to defend by all means the country you entrusted to me. I will act according to this pledge. From now on Mahinda Rajapakse as President will not be a leader that belongs exclusively to any single party or group. I will not discriminate against anyone on the grounds of politics, colour, race or religion. My political policy from now on will be the rule of law and protection of human rights”

Honestly looking at this in 2013 have we not fallen sort of the above standard? of course we have but for this is it only President Rajapakse to blame ? or does the system not allow for such high standards of government?  How is it that a system of government allow when people talk about human right failings that we should call them terrorist or unpatriotic? when as above the political policy of the president is the protection of human rights? Not only under this government but under the previous government President Rajapakse himself was called a traitor when he travelled to Geneva in 1988 to bring to the attention of the same world body the details of the missing Sinhalese youth for this president Rajapaksa was called a traitor by the UNP MP’s in parliament .

I wonder if Mr Wickramasinghe, John Amratunge and Lakshman Krialla objected to him being called this? if they have not are they also not guilty of the same crime of preventing the course of international justice with they accuse president Rajapaksa of today? It is very clear the social, political, economics and justice problem in Sri Lanka lies fairly and squarely in the system the government has the power to change it but it will only happen if we the masses cry out for it.

As a nation that loves teledrams the script for the political teledrama has not seen a script change for a long time only the actors have changed the current tragedy is that the actors have also not changed. The solution their fore is only one; which is to change the script the proposals for NMSJ aim to do just this

The only way to proceed from a point of no return in terms of establishing good governance and democratic rights would be a full overhaul starting at the top this means the executive presidency. If not the only thing we could reap would be what we will need to sow to keep the system running which are the seed of suspicion, divide and rule use violence in trying to control as much as possible of the lives of population this was the same under the British as it is seen today; Support and patronage to groups such as BBS is also part of this extremist groups are undoubtedly part of this act of divide a rule.

In the Merchant of Venice, Shylock asks: “Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means… as a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed?” We all know in our hearts of hearts that their is no basis to divide on race color or religion yet we do so because it human nature to blame someone else for one’s problems we do this as individuals communities and countries. A proper system will allow us to move away from this culture and take responsibility as country, community and individuals for our lives.

If we are to rediscover our country we need to re-start the fire of this of common humanity; to all community leaders I beg you work towards rekindling the common humanity and spend less time in trying to be patriots to your own community. The proposals by the NMSJ I think offers all of us this opportunity. 


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