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A serene Sunday shattered by a calamity unforeseen


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 12 July 2017 01:13


Another good man bites the dust. One would think good men are superabundant at the rate we dispense with them.

This time it is a sturdy upright, ethical and virtuous soldier who served his time with dignity and honour.

Sadly this Sunday’s paper says that he was beaten (metaphorically) black and blue. He couldn’t stand it and so he gave his retiring letter like the gentleman he is and departed like the gentleman he is.

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The papers go on to say, according to this soldier, Col. Sunil Peiris, what happened to him. He was summoned by the President for a meeting of SriLankan, where this Government appointed him a director.

At the meeting two Ministers of Parliament broke in upon his dignity and spoke to him very disparagingly. Sunil goes on to say that the accusations levelled against him were “diabolical lies”. He was not given an opportunity to explain matters.

Obviously the two honourable Ministers at the meeting must have been infuriated with the goings on at SriLankan. Everybody is, with SriLankan, because of alleged colossal mismanagement but this was in the past. Sunil came in with this Government.

The public is anticipating that past misdemeanours which the Weliamuna report highlights will be addressed. The Ministers must be anxious to do so. It is however difficult to comprehend why a director they appointed is first to be castigated. It must be examined whether the two Ministers were somewhat hasty in their action.

Both Ministers are honourable men doing an honourable service for the State. The Health Minister reduced costs of medicines and has seen that none go sans healthcare. The Regional Development Minister’s reputation is high in that the President wanted him appointed to another high office recently.

Both these gentlemen have had an excellent Buddhist education at Ananda College where they promised to “Lakehi bo anande pathura Ananda therun se lo weda salasa”.They have been doing just that making Ananda and all her teachers proud. However this instance of sudden and quick anger therefore is quite jarring.

Consider what Phra Rajavaramuni Payutto recipient for the UNESCO prize for Peace Education 1994 said: “According to Buddhism all men are equal in that they are all subject to the same law of nature. All are subject to birth, old age and death. The law of Karma is binding on everyone. Everyone reaps what he sows and the world keep on going after the karma activities contributed to by everyone.”

That probably is why a child at Ananda is inspired by verse 21 of the Dhamma pada: “Appamado amata padam.” They are urged to seek Nibbana without delay for delay is mata or death.

The Director attended a school by the sea built upon the religion of Christ. Christ came, as He said, “not to be served but to serve”. His whole life and indeed His death is evidence of this. He washed the feet of His disciples as a symbol of His servant-hood. So those who learnt of wood and stone have imbibed the principles the school stands for. They would have the school to be forever. They have taken the last words of Paolo Sarpi, a Venetian theologian and a mathematician spoken for his beloved Venice, ‘Esto Perpetua’ and translated as “Mayest thou endure forever,” as their words of inspiration.

Sri Lanka cannot afford to lose good men; nor can we delay our Ministers’ journey. In order to accomplish both these in one fell swoop, can we please have the Ministers re-summon their director to talk over and so make a real difference not to SriLankan, but to their lives and to our lives, and be an icon of hope for Yahapalana and her legitimate sister Sanhindiyawa?

Upali Ratnayake


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