TamilWeek, May 14 2006
The price of South’s reluctance to accept reality

The book “The Revolt in the Temple” was printed and published by the
Sinha publications with its first edition in April 1953, to commemorate the
2500 year (Buddha Jayanti) in 1956.

By G.Mahen.P.Siriwardena

T
his monumental work has been compiled by D.C.Wijewardana.

He says, “The purpose of this work is to commemorate a great and unique
event of modern times, namely, the completion of 2500 years, of a three fold
history.”

This history is that of the Buddhist faith, of the Sinhalese race, and of the Land
of Ceylon.”“Thus the Mahavansa synchronizes the death of the Buddha with the
founding of the Sinhalese race; and therefore, in 1956 will occur the unique
three-fold event- the completion of 2500 years of Buddhism, of the life of the
Sinhalese race, and of Ceylon history”.

In Para four in the introduction he says-“ Another tradition that is current
amongst the Sinhalese is that when Buddhism shall have completed 2500
years, a prince named Diyasena will establish a Buddhist Kingdom in Ceylon.
Then, it is said, the faith will shine forth in glory and be a beacon to the whole
world, and Lanka itself will be prosperous and joyous.

This prediction, which originated from a verse in a poetic work, written during
the reign of Parakrama Bahu V1 of Kotte- the last period of brilliant achievement
of the Sinhalese- has been a source of hope and consolidation for the
Sinhalese during the vicissitudes of the past 500 years”.

Coincidentally another significant event was to take place in 1956.-three years
after the first publication of the “Revolt in the Temple” –of the year of the
Jayanthi

S.W.R.D Bandaranaike assumed power as the champion of the Buddhists and
proclaimed the Sinhala only language policy and decreed that Buddhism would
be the state religion.

Was he the Diyasena described in the poetic works during the reign of
Parakrama Bahu V1.? Nevertheless, the events since that day fifty years ago
have been a nightmare for the Nation. For it is in peril not only to survive as one
nation but as a progressive race.

The blood let has been continuous and the Nation is at the crossroads to total
disintegration.-

Is the prophesied Diyasena yet to come?

Dharma- Vijay a (Triumph of Righteousness) “The Revolt in the Temple” is
considered a trilogy. Namely, Nidana Katha- Visuddhi Magga and the Rajjan ca
Paja ca.

I would quote the first and third of the trilogy for it seems appropriate-“The
Introductory story,” contains the story of the Sinhalese race, felicitously written
with touches of unmistakable realism. In it a forgotten world is brought back to
life.

One is astounded to find how much of the past is yet hidden from us, and how
much more we know but vaguely. Yesterday’s heroes and their doings,
changing great nation- to read these things is to see, passing before one’s
eyes, the cavalcade of Lanka’s history.

The third of the trilogy namely the Rajjan ca Paja ca, the book refers to the
“Man and State”, in which it states thus; - “It is here that the author translates
the Buddha’s doctrine from its common interpretation of “pie in the sky after you
die” to happiness here and now in this actual human world.

This has not happened in the last fifty years and, therefore lies the tragedy- Has
Buddhism failed the state or that the State failed Buddhism?

Interestingly the readers may ask or wonder, whither wisdom? Or better still
Where is Vishnu?- In Para two the author says thus-“ On receiving the Buddha’s
command, Sakra summoned Vishnu; “ Do thou, O lotus-hued one, protect with
zeal Prince Vijaya and his followers, and the doctrine that is to endure in Lanka
for full five thousand years.”

The endurance in the past fifty years after 2500 years needs to be examined by
scholars and the erudite as to its failure.

In page 7 Para two the author says-“The world is faced to-day with the rapid
advance of a new doctrine-Marxian communism. Christianity, for nearly four
decades, has been fighting a losing battle against it.

But now Buddhism also faces the same issue. How will the Buddhist world meet
this challenge? China, a Buddhist country, will soon have to decide this
problem. Will she, like the Christian countries, submit to this new doctrine?

Or will she, keeping to her tradition of absorbing her conquerors, absorb
Marxism into her system and give to the world a new way of life?”

I believe this is the reality to –day in modern Sri-Lanka. Not only is there
confusion in which way to go but also for the leaders of political parties, whether
it be UNP-SLFP or other to a balancing act between Buddhist ( the clergy) and
the pseudo Marxists viz the JVP, JHU and some others of the left movement to
accept the realities in the North and East.

The hard line of thinking that the LTTE must be crushed militarily, is a pipe
dream. Two decades of war has proven that point. The strength of the LTTE
lies not in their strong- holds in the Wanni but in all world capitals. They not only
have influence but also the lavish cash donations contributed willingly or
unwillingly by the Tamil Diaspora.

The clergy, the JHU and the JVP in particular are living in their own time motions
that, either India, Pakistan or China would give us enough aircraft to carpet
bomb the NE and get rid of the LTTE, once and for all.

Even if it was remotely dreamed by MR, then he would know now, that it is just
not posssible. There was condemnation even for the limited air raids in Mutur,
post- assassination attempt on the army commander.

The LTTE‘s think tanks have been consistent in their demand for a separate
homeland or Ealam.

It knows full well the confused minds of the Sinhalese and the inability of the
southern politicians to gather around to agree to such a demand.
Understandably, it is political suicide. And there lies both the problem and the
enigma. To offer at least limited autonomy.

“We want to talk peace”. They say, which means in other words for the security
forces to Get into barracks in the North and East as the first step. Then we talk
to give us our piece of land and then we negotiate a peaceful co-existence- One
country two identities. – Or something a little better. It must be said of them, that
they have carried out every threat, and made good their promises, right or
wrong- the conflict drags on and on, with no end in sight?

Unfortunately, the south has been far too preoccupied to seriously consider the
determination of the Tamil People. Claymore mines, hand grenades and a
series of civil disobedience acts in the NE daily, are only reading matter.

After all it does not seriously affect the southerners or they wouldn’t bother.
What bothers them more is the train to catch and the price of fish in the market
place! However the gravity of the current situation has to be addressed
seriously by the government and civil societies now, or the nation would be lost
for ever; in ashes.
[Source: DailyMirror]
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