Poson piety: Metta and gambling lives for the vote


With the words of Most Revered Mahinda Thera, son of mighty Emperor Asoka and invited guest to Lanka reverberating in our calmed minds, we spend today, Poson Poya, again locked down but in silent veneration and meditation.

On meeting King Devanampiya Tissa in Mihintale, the monk from India introduced himself and the five accompanying him. "Samaṇas are we, O great king, disciples of the King of Truth (Dhammarāja). With compassion are we come hither from Jambudīpa".

The next most wonderful part of this historical story is that Mahinda Thera decided to stay on in Lanka after converting the king, his family and court and the people of the land to Buddhism. In answer to a request made by the females of the royal family in Anuradhapura, he got down his sister, Theri Sanghamitta, a short while later. Mahinda Thera lived in Mihintale with a huge complex of kutis for monks, refectories and even a hospital, till a ripe old age.

Metta to all living creatures;

and questions

Cass’ heart has limits whether it be of the milk of human kindness or the acidity of the bile of faulting, hence she read about the unique black leopard being caught in a trap in Walamale in Laxapana Estate, Nallathanniya, with a mixture of anger at the poacher, deep pity for the creature and thanks the animal was saved but as a foreign-resident Sri Lankan who had followed the story skyped her, the injured animal was dragged by his tail by the Wild Life Dept good Samaritan. How could it die due to an injury that seemed minor? The animal died during treatment at the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe. His attended to remains are to be given to the Colombo Museum, which has a separate natural history section.

A repeated query by wild life enthusiasts is why the Bill presented by Rathana Thera as a Private Members Bill – Animal Welfare Bill - in 2010 has still not been passed as a Animal Rights Act. It was passed by the Cabinet of the previous government and is not controversial, so why the delay in the Act being enacted? We still go by The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance 13 of 1907 amended several times to 22 of 1955. "This Ordinance details Sri Lanka's animal cruelty laws. It also provides provisions for starving animals, using disabled or ill animals for labor, killing animals with unnecessary cruelty, and permitting diseased animals to die in the street."

Another batch of sick cows

to be imported?

Page 1 news item in The Island of Saturday 30 May titled "Aussie cows dupe Sri Lanka again" sent Cass’ blood pressure soaring. About 3,030 high yielding pregnant cows were imported from Australia with the glad tidings to farmers they were quality milk high yielding heifers. So the Aussie cows were snapped up by private animal farmers at high prices. However the result? No milk and worse, the cows were diseased and most of them died. This was some time ago and we read with alarm mixed with disgust at what the government had done: definite cheating and embezzlement. Maybe not the government per se but the Minister of Agriculture has to be blamed as he would be at the apex of the importing team. It would be difficult for even healthy cows to be transplanted from the grasslands of Aussie land to our tropical land, but worse to have most of them unhealthy, nay positively sick and dying and the others not living up to the name of milch cows. What about the calves born since the cows were brought over pregnant? So many questions unanswered.

Now, the thundering plan to repeat the expensive blunder. The news item I quoted continued: "We are surprised to hear that the present government had taken a decision to import cows again from Australia" and wonders whether it is from ‘"the same companies that shipped the previous batch of cows." Hardly believable until The Island of Tuesday 2 June reports on its front page that at a press briefly chaired by G L Peiris, Chairperson of the SLPP and National List nominee of the party had the cow question being asked again: why 2,500 dairy cows are to be imported from Australia and from the same source. "National List nominee Sagara Kariyawasam defended the decision. The Attorney–at–law pointed out that tangible measures had to be taken to meet the national requirements of fresh milk. Such a project couldn’t be abandoned because of negligence during the previous administration. Presidential enquiry revealed shocking irregularities in the project during the previous regime." Prevarication galore! Thus, we have the import of cows from the same source as the 3030 sick ones, approved by the SLPP and government. Reminded Cass of the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk smelling blood: "Ho ha hum! I smell the blood of a human". Cass, on this venerated day of Poson also has her suspicious nose assailed (most mercifully not by Covid 19) by the sickening smell of black money, commissions et al and let the country pay for some enriching themselves. Otherwise why the persistence with the project of cows from Aussie land? Why can’t a fraction of that money be spent on improving conditions and fodder etc for our local cows. At least they are born to our tropical conditions and health assured from calf stage. Absolutely sickening of how we the people are taken for rides. Fresh milk from imported cows: my foot! Burden the taxpayer for commissions et al. Taking the male of the bovine species into consideration Cass spits out her galling bile with a stinging Bull sh..!

A carnival of a state funeral

Watched with amazement, shock and fury how all lockdown and basic social distancing rules were thrown to the winds by not only Tamil plantation workers but political VIPs too at the three day long funeral of Cabinet Minister A Thondaman. This grandson of the much respected elder Thondaman who cared for the plantation workers and helped to improve their condition, was different. He goes to his death comparatively early in life. And what results? He is visited by government and other VVIPs in a suburban hospital late at night with a curfew on at 10.00 pm; the Prime Minister is hugged and kissed by the son and promised his father’s post. His body is corteged from here to there and knowing full well how the Tamil plantation workers would react - unrestrained and running berserk - he is given a state funeral in his fiefdom. All government VVIPs rush over there amidst all that crush. The C Virus would sure have got attracted, in spite of people like Dr Anil Jayasinghe, the health workers, the Prez and army commander giving of their years of life to keep that ‘thing’ in abeyance, and we ordinary folk cooperated by making light of being locked-down and shut-in for more than two months. Then comes the sight of the VOTE and a state funeral is ordered and rush to pay respects. As one woman said, "Are we to be seeing 225 state funerals and more as each MP and government VIP kicks the bucket?" Her justified derision was in that last bit of common parlance. No fear, dear! It is only if the departed carries a considerable vote base.

Cass quotes from a foreign press article sent her as parallels are sharply present.

"Donald Trump saw the crisis almost entirely in personal and political terms. Fearing for his re-election, he declared the coronavirus pandemic a war, and himself a wartime president .... America in 2020 has stunned itself with a collapse that’s larger and deeper than one miserable leader."

Cass earnestly hopes the peace of this Poson Poya carries you through the week to come. She writes and sends in her weekly comment before the all important SC verdict is given Tuesday afternoon.

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