07 January 2020
NATIONAL ANTHEM IN SINHALA ONLY & FOREIGN TOURISTS ONLY
Does the Government’s karma affect the People and v.v.? When we mentally oppose the government, do we protect ourselves from such natural infections? As a member minority community in Sri Lanka, the need to Oppose becomes important so I would not be pampered nor treated as second class. Ultimately, how I place myself drives my ‘attitudes’.
The Sunday Morning article - ‘Foreigners only’: Simplistic solution to complicated problem – drew my attention this morning. As per this article:
[For several years, the Sri Lankan tourism industry has been plagued by rumours of discrimination against local tourists. Complaints had been flooding in from many of the country’s coastal regions, where locals had been refused services from establishments such as restaurants and hotels.
However, this “foreigners only” policy soon disappeared following the tragic events of Easter Sunday, which saw a drastic decrease in the inflow of foreign tourists by around 70% and had establishments depend on local tourists. However, now that the foreign tourist arrivals are gradually returning to its anticipated numbers, so are the discriminatory practices against local tourists.
Due to the rise of the latter, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) recently issued a statement warning licensed establishments against the use of policies such as “foreigners only”.
According to SLTDA Chairperson Kimarli Fernando, this move came after several local tourists complained about several establishments that did not serve them due to this discriminatory policy.
“Our Constitution affords equal right to all citizens, where no person shall, on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, or any such grounds, be subjected to any disability, liability, restriction, or condition concerning access to shops, public restaurants, hotels, places of public entertainment, and places of worship,” the announcement noted.
Following this announcement, The Sunday Morning Business spoke to several establishments in areas such as Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, and Mirissa to hear their response to this announcement.]
Law and Business are not generally in harmony when the laws are strong in mass and weak in ownership. If the above provision in the Constitution confirms the truth of majority Sri Lankans – then we would not have had the Easter Bombings. But each time we elect those who do use race, religion, language, caste, sex etc. we are voting against the repeal of the above provisions in the Constitution. Favouring one against another without merit or through belief – is unjust discrimination. Often we do not know that we are doing so. The Sri Lankan Constitution favours Buddhists through Article 9 and hence does not have the authority to have the above anti-discrimination policy in that constitution. Article 9 permits non-Buddhists to include the above as their Policy:
[The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).]
Article 10 states:
[Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.]
As per Article 9, the Government has the duty to promote Buddha Sasana. As per Article 10 the citizen has the authority to be bound by non-Buddhist principles in which s/he believes. The two do not logically belong in the one structure unless the Government expressly separates the two groups.
One who believes in the place without any contradictions or differentiations – believes in the whole. If contradictions or differentiations are by law – then that law cannot be belief based but is rather calculated. Belief renders one perfect logic. One who believes is never mentally ill.
Any Sri Lankan who practices Article 9 consciously or otherwise, separates her/himself from non-Buddhists – including those from outside Sri Lanka. Recently one of our Canadian Airbnb customers said in appreciation of our hosting that we were sharing our home with wider world. We would not be able to if we had practiced racism including by allowing others to use us as their media to practice racism.
The above article makes special mention of Australians as follows:
[To get the views of foreign tourists who would appear to be the beneficiaries of these policies, we spoke to a group of Australian travellers. They stated that they would be less likely to visit such places due to discriminatory practices, as they want to help the locals and not sideline them.]
I believe that by sharing my discrimination pain here in Australia – I also contributed to the above. I believe that when we do it for the place, it is instantaneously shared with all those to whom that place is, has been, will be, home. Hence the philosophy of ‘Thou Art That/Tat Tvam Asi’. By bringing about legal action as per my belief – I completed my experience for Australia which then empowers anyone who is truly Australian.
National Anthem is a way of developing sharing one’s belief in the Nation. It is not the only way.
In his article ‘Language of the National Anthem’ Eranda Ginige states:
[I don’t sing the anthem merely because it is the “National” anthem. I’m anyway indifferent to the non-existent, unreasonable, artificial “Nation(al) State”. I sing the anthem because its words have beautiful meaning. When those meaningful words are sung loudly my heart is filled with pride. I don’t sing it for others. I sing it for myself. The deep inspiration I gain by singing it is very personal to me.
But if I don’t know the meaning of the words, then I will not gain any of the above. It’s like how some devotees chant “Pali Sutras” without knowing the meaning of the words; empty. Forcing the Tamil or Muslim citizens who do not understand Sinhala language to sing in Sinhala is the same; empty. When they sing it in the language they understand, they will gain everything I gain. They will gain the same pride. They will gain the same inspiration. Thus the purpose of the anthem will be fulfilled.]
As per my understanding this government is not forcing anyone other than itself to sing the National Anthem in Sinhala. I chant the Kantha Sashti Kavasam on most nights because I believe that it protects me. These were written by those who forewent physical pleasures and merged with the Soul within. When we are protected by such ‘sutras’ they the Architects feel wholesome, ongoing return for their discovery. We refer to this as Perinpam / Great Happiness as opposed to sittrinpam / small pleasure. The latter is enjoyed merely through the physical and does not last beyond the body. The former is forever.
One who feels does not need to understand. Hence I responded as follows to Eranda Ginige:
[Thank you Eranda. I do not know the words in full. But whenever I hear the anthem I stand up and pay my respects. Did that recently also. Did that every week day when I stayed at Galadari and could see and hear the Secretariat staff start their day with the Anthem. It felt good. The leader I had most in my mind was the Hon D S Senanayake. To me, when we feel – there is no need for logic. I was allocated the room that had the same number as my home unit here in Australia. Any place that is home has the mother. To most Sri Lankans it is their home village or town. Those who split hairs over the language are confirming that they are yet to experience their mother.]
I feel that we Sri Lankans chose ‘Mother’ rather than ‘Father/King’ because we feel more and think less. As I say to my heirs - ‘Mothers are feelers and fathers are thinkers’. If we are locally self-sufficient – all we need is to listen to our feelings. To the extent we need to ‘show’ more – we need thinkers. Article 9 is for mothers (locals) who have the luxury of relying on their feelings. Article 10 is for fathers (global minds) who have to make money for the family.
To the extent Non-Buddhists to whom article 10 applies - are suppressed – they would either make themselves second class or rebel anyway they can. To the extent they choose to rebel as per their experienced pain – they would be supported by Natural Powers. To my mind Tsunami which is mother-disaster (Fire is father-disaster ) happened due to mothers being hurt/suppressed - by fathers – to impress and bring in unearned money and status. If mothers had placed themselves in their children – we would have found ‘confidential cures’ through feelings. The Easter Bombing happened due to failure of Muslims and Christians to follow Article 10 of the Constitution.