Saturday 29 June 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
29 June 2019


Recently I said to a Lankan journalist that I paid my respects to Mr D S Senanayake every morning of my stay here at Galadari hotel. Then the young journalist said that Mr D S Senanayake also had favoured his son Mr Dudley Senanayake above Mr SWRD Bandaranaike who then broke away from the UNP to form the SLFP. I stated that I had no knowledge of that but that the UNP seemed more of an heir of the British system which was more easy for me to follow due to my own background. I thought about it and found the following in Wikipedia under SWRD Bandaranaike:

He (SWRD) contested for the newly formed House of Representatives in the 1947 election from the UNP from Attanagalla, winning with a good majority. In September 1947, D. S. Senanayake appointed him to his cabinet as the first Minister of Health and Local Government of Ceylon and he was elected as the Leader of the House. Effectively this made Bandaranaike the most senior member of the cabinet, after the Prime Minister. In fact, Senanayake had Sir Oliver Goonetilleke discuss with Bandaranaike as leader of the Sinhala Maha Sabha, the draft agreements for independence; which Bandaranaike received with mixed feelings. However, he did not object and the agreements signed with the Britain government making way for Ceylon to gain self-rule. As leader of the house, he delivered the address of thanks at the ceremonial opening of parliament on 4 February 1948, which marked Ceylon's independence from Britain.
During the next few years, he supported legislation proposed by the government as leader of the house. This included the Ceylon Citizenship Act No. 18 of 1948 and the Indian and Pakistani Residents (Citizenship) Act No.3 of 1949 which deprived citizenship to Indian Tamils. He initiated several projects for the improvement of health as minister of health, including the expansion of hospitals and uplifting ayurveda medicine. He attended the Third World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 1950 as Chief delegate of Ceylon. However, he found himself at odds with Senanayake administration on policy. By 1951, it also appeared that Senanayake did not intend to make an early retirement that would have allowed Bandaranaike to succeed him as prime minister.
Cross over and formation of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party
In July 1951, Bandaranaike resigned from his government posts and crossed the floor to the opposition with several of his close associates from the Sinhala Maha Sabha. Thereafter he dissolved the Sinhala Maha Sabha and formed a new party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party(SLFP) having its inaugural meeting at Town Hall on 2 September 1951.
A few months later, on 21 March 1952 D. S. Senanayake fell off his horse after suffering a stroke and died the following day. Although SirJohn Kotelawala was expected to succeed him, his son Dudley Senanayake, Minister of Agriculture was appointed Prime Minister on 26 March 1952 by the Governor-General Lord Soulbury. Dudley Senanayake called a general election in 1952, which the UNP won gaining 54 seats in parliament.]

When Tamil politicians  separated themselves from Sinhalese politicians - they were labeled ‘separatists’ Tamil militants gave credibility to such description. The breakaway from UNP to form SLFP on the other hand was accepted as being within the laws of democracy. In both - it is about ‘home rule’ based on belief. 

The above account of ‘what happened’ contradicts the ‘judgment’ by the young Lankan journalist and cleared the status of Mr D S Senanayake in my mind. I concluded that the young journalist lacked the ‘experience’ to identify with the truth. If the young journalist had respected Mr SWRD Bandaranaike as his elder - then he would have stated the parallel of my appreciation for Mr D S Senanayake. Instead by finding fault - the Lankan journalist  was taking senior position above Mr D S Senanayake. This is a serious risk with those who lack the experience but enjoy ‘freedom of expression’. 

By genuinely respecting seniors and elders - we bring them into ourselves. Knowledge without experience blocks this merger with the past. Truth is experienced. Fact is a starting point or destination of that travel through truth. To the extent Mr D S Senanayake and I believed in the British heritage - we become ‘common’. To majority Tamils whose higher education is of heritage value - the likes of  Mr D S Senanayake would be part of that heritage. Here in Colombo CBD when I go to places like Pagoda Restaurant where I had quality food but tightly budgeted - I have the positive deja vu experience. It is positive because I can now afford much more than I did as a student. But the quantity is still the same - due to my age. But the feeling of financial affordability is great. The past experience where I lived within my budget supports my current feeling of true ‘freedom’ from desire. 

Knowledge like food - needs to be limited according to the experiences we are ready to have for us to become independent of the desire for knowledge. 

The connection I identified with through the Wikipedia report was the common details between Mr Sirisena who was strongly influenced by Mr  SWRD Bandaranaike’s daughter - Madam Kumaratunga when Mr Sirisena broke away from the Rajapaksa regime to contest in the Presidential elections. Mr Sirisena was also Health Minister in the Rajapaksa regime. Like Mr  SWRD Bandaranaike, Mr Sirisena also actively promoted the Buddhist leadership. The question that comes to mind is whether Madam Kumaratunga channelled her father through Mr Sirisena ? 

In his article headed ‘How real is the challenge of jihadist attacks in Sri Lanka?’ - Dr Ely Karmon of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism states:

[According to a report by SITE Intel group, which monitors jihadi networks and forums, ISIS supporters portrayed the attacks as revenge for strikes on mosques and Muslims in general. In this author’s evaluation the attacks could be a direct revenge for the massacre in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by Australian radical right-wing terrorist Brenton Harrison Tarrant.]

What happened would be interpreted by us in diverse ways. To the extent we have the experience - as if it happened to us we would find the solution through why it happened to us. Towards this we need to feel part of one group or the other and have their experience as ours. It would be difficult for Sinhalese soldiers who had to fight against the anti-Muslim -  Tamil group LTTE - to act against Muslims so long as they are actively against the LTTE. That would explain the lack of action to discipline Muslim rebels who have become the Government’s Reserve forces against Tamil militants. A militant without belief - is the parallel of politician who promotes religion for votes. When the former is punished by the latter - both reproduce exponentially. That is the problem with using the name of belief for pleasure. It has the effect of blasphemy. Is Christchurch massacre connected to the Sri Lankan bombings? Yes - through this frivolous use of Nationalism by Politicians and Militants and Jihadism by those who have given up on the sanctity of life. 

Whether it was foreign or local force that caused the attack could be worked out by the effects provided there are clear lines of demarcation between the groups. When a government neglects its local group - they are easily adopted by the Stateless like ISIS. One who becomes international by showing international power that s/he/it has not earned - is Stateless. The true global mind would easily make them the youngest children of global village that is experienced and not seen. 

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