Limping back to normalcy after being double whacked


Vesak lanterns made by Buddhists and Catholics

Cassandra boasts that she has been rather true to her ancestor of Grecian times by having forecast doubts about a nasty happening. She did not cry, "Blood! I see blood" as Cassandra of around 1250 BC did seeing in her clairvoyance the murder of her patron Agamemnon who brought her to Mycenae from Troy. No. This Cassandra doubted the origin of the attack on innocent Muslims by mobs and foretold it had to be instigated and engineered for the political benefit of some. To prove her point Cass quotes from her cry that appeared in last Friday’s The Island.

"To Cassandra’s beady eye and suspicious mind, this retaliation was NOT an impulsive uprising of revenge. If it were the naturally arising burst of anger at the carnage perpetrated by some Muslim radicals, the attack on Muslims should have come much earlier, soon after the suicide bombings. An additional puzzling point is that most of the destruction and attacks were said to be by men arriving in a town who were not of the place. Strangers to the attack! So as expressed by those who know, who can feel the pulse of the people well, even bird brained Cassandra sees a hidden evil hand behind the recent sporadic acts of violence. Who is instigating these? Someone or a group who will benefit. How? Perhaps by destabilizing the country further and discrediting more the present persons in power."

Hands manipulating the strings of racial and religious discord

Cass’s point was proven by many journalists writing in their newspapers on Sunday 19 May, the recent reprisals against innocent Muslims minding their businesses was by a destabilizing hand at work. The riots which were almost lynchings were not angered people indulging in hot retaliation but instigated outbursts to disturb the peace and discredit the govt. One or two columnists almost spelled out the name of the Party privy to this and having its loyals plan and execute mayhem by riff raff.

In the extreme, this sort of behavior is even worse than outright suicide bombings and terrorism. Why? Because the motive is self preservation, self power and as suspected in this case of certain towns being turned into lions’ dens for Muslims, a ruse to return to power by destabilizing the present government before the vote can do so. And even, even worse is that leaders who at least know about the near lynching if not instigating it, spout goody goody advice about being tolerant and showing concern. They go to schools and pronounce it is safe to get back to studies, all for show as we used to say as schoolgirls. Thus Cass’ echoes the slogan much in use now: damn politics, damn the politicians.

Further proof that votes are the most important consideration as of now, is the inexplicable velvet gloved treatment extended to such as Hizbullah and Bathiudeen who are alleged to have had connections with the extreme radical Muslim organization that indulged in the suicide bombings, thus almost destroying the fabric of the country with its many weaves of economy; religious and racial harmony; and the well being of its citizens.

Positive outcomes

Cass as usual saw the glass half full even in the massacre of churches and hotel breakfast rooms. Don’t get her wrong. Utterly shocked and dismayed she was, but prophesied some good had to come of all the destruction and suffering. Most heartening sight was seeing persons, undoubtedly Christian, stringing Buddhist flags and lanterns along the drives leading to churches and Muslim clerics too engaged thus in their own premises. An email went round where a resident of a lane described how all races living in close proximity came together to fly Buddhist flags and decorate the lane and then shared food together. That is the spirit of being harmoniously multi-racial and multi-religious; stemming from the idea and recognition that all in this country are Sri Lankan.

Another positive is that this year Vesak was as it should be, of course with the exception of temples having to abandon their usual sil programmes. Cass refers to the sure concentration of thought to being tolerant and spreading loving kindness and fellow feeling. The Buddha’s teachings were heard more and listened to by many more than usual. The best was that illuminations were less garish and thus aesthetically pleasing and as Vesak illuminations should be. The fun of whistles and masks and the noise of crackers were almost nil. A friend piled Cass and a couple of others in her car and drove them illumination-seeing. So pleasing was the well lit Hunupitiya area with the Gangaramaya seemamalakaya fully clothed in white electric lights. Piety and dignified simplicity overrode commercial overpowering.

Pohottus visit certain schools

The Island of Wednesday 22 May carried a front page photograph of Mahinda Rajapaksa accompanied by Bandula Gunawardhena, Mahindananda Aluthgamage and others visiting schools to encourage children to attend classes. Cass drooled saying: How sweet! How charming! What concern! Then barged in the thought, the Leader of the Op is supposed to be a targeted man, hence his tight and heavy security. Coming to a school would actually endanger the students. Suppose a suicide bomber targeting him decided to explode while he was on such an errand of mercy and concern (never mind the votes). How would it be for the school?

The same newspaper had a letter to the editor in which the writer mentioned what we need to be grateful to the President in all this blame game of ours. Sirisena has emerged black recently. But as the letter writer points out he did some good. Appointed Dr Coomaraswamy as Governor of the Central Bank after two previous disasters. Also he went a-hunting after drug dealers. But cannot he redeem himself even slightly by appointing the Field Marshall as Minister of Law and Order? Here again self before country. No need to spell that out; so widespread and blatant that disease is now.

Cass leaves you with a thank goodness we Sri Lankans are breathing a little easier now, with confidence in religious leaders and the Head of the Army who stepped out to save the nation.


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