12 August 2019
Aung San Suu Kyi & Lanka’s Common Presidential Candidate
For the first time in my life I was searched by Officers before entering the grounds of Nallur Temple in Northern Sri Lanka, where we are celebrating the glory of Nallur Murugan. I was happy about it. I was satisfied to note that male uniformed officers who were mostly Sinhalese also demonstrated respect for majority rule at that place and were without their shirts in the temple. I was most impressed by Sinhalese civilians doing likewise. This is NOT a rule down South at Kathirgamam where even the Sinhalese priests are in their cultural attire which includes long top. Our prayers, language and clothing may be diverse but genuine faith is One. I felt that this ‘experience’ was the real reward for my work in discussing and debating the lack of logic in article 9 of the Sri Lankan Constitution – which requires Buddhism to be given ‘foremost’ place. In real terms it was Hinduism that was given foremost place in Jaffna where Nallur was the capital of Jaffna Kingdom. True believers invoke this power of Nallur as per their needs. Those who use that history to claim current benefits would be defeated by that very power that blesses believers.
This morning when I read the communication that directed me to the article headed ‘What Happened to Aung San Suu Kyi’ by Ben Rhodes of the Atlantic – I identified with many common aspects of Myanmar with Sri Lanka – starting with Theravada Buddhism being the dominant religion and Muslims being persecuted on the basis that they came from Bangladesh (the parallel for Sri Lankan Tamils is that they came from India). Other interesting commonness is Arakan (one driven by physical force – in Tamil) and of the category of King Ravanan of Ceylon / Sri Lanka. About this area Ava / Arakan which was known also as Ratanapura Wikipedia states as follows:
[Another theory states that it is derived from Innawa - meaning "nine lakes" in the area. The city's classical name in Pali is Ratanapura ("City of Gems")].
The commonness with Sri Lanka is the Gem city of Ratnapura.
Both governments are pro-China and are strongly controlled/influenced by the Army.
The most interesting political commonness is Aung San Suu Kyi whose Sri Lankan parallel is the combined version of Mr Sirisena and Mr Wickremesinghe – during whose regime – Muslims have experienced conflict with Buddhists. Colombo Page reports as follows about Mr Wickremesinghe’s latest statement:
[The Prime Minister pointed out that Rajapaksa regime, which was in power for 10 years, could not develop the country and although they have changed clothes and returned once again, same old ways will prevail. He asked how they could fix the economy in the next five years if they failed to do so during the ten years of their rule.]
Now that Mr Gotabhya Rajapaksa has been named as the Rajapaksa side’s Presidential candidate – economic development becomes secondary to development of armed forces. Together – Sri Lanka’s Aung San Suu Kyi (Mr Sirisena + Mr Wickremesinghe) have played politics with the common candidate position. It takes sacrifice to develop commonness. Ravana Satellite-1 was launched in April by Sri Lankans. This was closely followed by the Easter attacks.