If nations have their origins in civilizations, derive their nationhood from a civilizational premise, the only ethnic group that is entitled to claim the term ‘nation’, is the Sinhala ethnic group responsible for the creation of a civilization-the Sinhala Buddhist civilization. No other ethnic group can make that claim, though they have contributed to its evolution at different periods. It is time we admit this fact without resorting to hiding behind the vacuous bogus hypocritical notion of a ‘Sri Lankan nation’.
That hypocritical stance is not going to take us to reconciliation or anywhere else. It could only provide a façade for politicians to hide their ulterior motives.
The SLFP came into being to represent the Sinhala Buddhist Civilization of this country. Though the UNP still gets the support of a substantial section of the Sinhala Buddhists it cannot claim similar representation. It has forfeited its right for such a claim with its pro-Western, capitalist anti-Buddhist stance right from the inception of its Ceylon National Congress avatar.
If the SLFP is facing dissolution, it is justifiable to assume that the civilization it represented as well as the Sinhala nation is facing the same predicament. That is why it should be of utmost concern to all of us.
It is now almost an established fact that the victory of the yahapalana regime was a result of a conspiracy by America and the Western imperialists with some contribution from India. Unfortunately while the rest of the world is fully aware of it, it is the people of this country who seem to know the least about it. It is the arrogance, lack of awareness and the foolhardiness of the Rajapaksa regime that are responsible for this situation.
In an essay written in 1987 I insisted that this terrorism had nothing to do with a so called ethnic problem, but was the outcome of a conspiracy by foreign powers to destabilize this country. The NGO gang labeled me as the originator of this ‘theory of a conspiracy’. Hence a recent exposition by one who has very little sympathy with my views, who also cannot be labeled as a Sinhala chauvinist may be useful here.
Prof. TissaVitharana came out with a graphic description regarding this conspiracy in The Sunday Island (August 30, 2015):
‘Ashok Metha, retired Indian Army General and now a noted defense and political analyst writing in ‘The Hindu’ soon after the Presidential election let the cat out of the bag. He clearly says that the result was the culmination of a conspiracy that began 18 months earlier in London (implying that not only Britain, but that America too was involved), and passed through Delhi (implying India’s involvement) and was implemented in Sri Lanka, with the leadership being provided by Ranil Wickremesinghe, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Mangala Samaraweera, Rev. Maduluwawe Sobhitha, Jayampathi Wickramaratne and Kumar David.’
Mehta states that Maithripala Sirisena was brought in during the last two months. However the groundwork for the latter was prepared months earlier when he was invited and felicitated in the USA and given a special award for his ‘great contribution to the upliftment of health service in Sri Lanka’.
The main objectives of this conspiracy were to oust Mahinda Rajapaksa and thereafter destroy the SLFP which was the rallying point of the nationalist forces. Both these have been achieved now.
Nearly thirty years ago, when I delivered the Bandaranaike Memorial Oration, I made the observation that the SLFP had become a kavandaya (headless body). Instead of cultivating a head, the party attempted to graft a Marxist horse head and a liberal donkey heads to it. Today the party leadership has forsaken and betrayed that vast body and sunk to the lowest depths of moral degradation. Its leadership thrives on deceit and lies. The behavior of the present leader, how he left the party to become the leader of another party, sought the backing of the UNP and the minorities, took over the leadership of the SLFP and after that somersault, violated the Constitution several times, is not in keeping with that of a national leader, but that of a tinpot dictator subsumed by inordinate ambition coupled with moral idiocy.
The moral degradation that sets in prior to decomposition has already begun to seep into that vast body the constituency. This explains the apathy, the indifference of the SLFP voter at the last general elections.
We need to ask whether this is a recent development within the ranks of the SLFP leadership, its power struggles and rivalries, or were the seeds of this dissolution there right from the inception?
A highly perceptive observation was made by a Thai intellectual associated with the Buddhist Socialist movement in that country. He concluded that there were three countries that had the potential to go back to their civilization foundations prior to foreign rule, and formulate a governance model suitable to modern times based on that foundation: Burma, Cambodia and Ceylon. According to him U Nu of Burma was successful in evolving such a model and was able to rule for ten years till he was overthrown in a military coup. Prince Shihanouk of Cambodia did not get a chance. When the Sinhala Buddhists of Ceylon voted Bandaranaike into power in 1956 this was what was expected of him. Bandaranaike with his head full of Western liberal ideas could not comprehend this.
The only leader I believe who realized this potential was Anagarika Dharmapala. Going through his writings, especially the English, one can see how he was able to point out the broad outlines of such a modern day civilizational state. Not being a politician, he was not interested in spelling it out in political terms. The rest of the leaders we have had have been either Marxists or liberals and incapable of going beyond their imitative thinking. The irony is that we are still burdened with them.
If the earlier generation which was morally and intellectually more competent and more acceptable to that body could not do it, how can the current bunch of opportunists and degenerates provide a head to the kavandaya? A good number of them were rejected by that body at the last elections (how many of those MPs who have not joined the Jathikaa anduwa will remain so is anybody’s guess).
However unpalatable it may be, one will have to accept that the SLFP has outlived its historic mission. It has even forfeited the right for a decent burial.