It is indeed a great and a relieved feeling that gets to you, seeing
a country like Sri Lanka with its limited resources defeating terrorism.
Regaining Kilinochchi after so many years is definitely a reason to
celebrate knowing the fact that much stronger countries have yet to
A tribute to the Army Commander and his brave officers and soldiers.
People of Sri Lanka recognize and congratulate the Commanders of the
Navy, Air Force and their personnel for a job well done. The Police, the
IGP and all others who have been engaged in operations and security are
also the saviours of this nation.
For what the country has been going through for over 25 years,
obviously people who looked forward for peace, prosperity and
sovereignty are overwhelmed lighting crackers, dancing on the streets to
the tune of ‘papara bands’, enjoying the victorious moments. I would not
However, I understand all Sri Lankans are more intelligent than that.
Our behaviour should not be on par with that of a celebration winning a
cricket match, as the sensitivity of the issue concerned is much greater
In my view, this is a victory of all communities and we should all
dedicate this victory more to our brethren of the Vanni, as they are the
ones who have been affected the most by this bloody war, for the past 25
years or more, immaterial of religion or ethnicity, innocent children
are born to this world with no malice, vindictiveness, hatred or
As they grow, they are driven in different directions influenced by
society. Such children who have been born in the Vanni would not have
seen or experienced the world as the children living in other parts of
We have to accept the fact that they are the most affected lot, of
course, due to war and terrorism. Some of them have been obviously
either forcibly or misleadingly bundled into the terrorist groups.
s human beings, the feeling of defeat is something that can shatter
anyone. In my view, a large majority of the Tamil community is now not
for Prabakaran and his terrorism.
However, although not expressed, there may be a quite a few of them
who would still feel sorry for their brethren who got killed during the
war. Could be due to family ties, friendships or relationships but the
very same Tamilians may not endorse terrorism. Like all religions say,
it is important to respect one another, extend loving kindness and win
I guess one should accept the hoisting of the National flag, sending
messages of appreciation through the electronic and print media and
engaging in religious ceremonies evoking blessings on the Forces and the
President for taking up the challenge of defeating terrorism in spite of
large-scale international and local pressure.
The President’s brother, the Secretary of Defence must be praised for
his vision, commitment and strategic planning that boosted the morale of
the Forces. The genuine desire, dedication and the commitment to look
after wounded soldiers and comforting their kith and kin is highly
commendable and that has paid back the country in the longer term.
I was moved listening to the President addressing the Nation after
the recapture of Kilinochchi. He expressed “this is not the victory of
one ethnic group over another, but a victory of all communities against
terrorism”. He further extended solidarity assuring the Tamil people of
the North, East and the Vanni, not only to look into their needs as the
President of Sri Lanka, but also to pave the way for a better tomorrow
for the children and generations to come.
Taking a cue from what the President said, I think this can be the
beginning of a long-term program. Perhaps defeating terrorism may be the
first stage of its journey. If so, we as citizens of Sri Lanka, have a
much bigger role to play in the future, bringing all communities
together with responsible behaviour than just partying on streets.
We should all be appreciative and celebrate the victory of
Kilinochchi and even the victories to come in the near future in a very
peaceful and humble manner, without expressing chauvinism or
superiority. Our behaviour in victorious celebrations should not in
anyway disturb the minds of Tamil brethren. This would be the key to
peace, prosperity and sovereignty. Time has come for all communities to
care and respect each other’s feelings.
We have fought and suffered enough, let’s think equal, put the
country forward “together we will make it” for sure. It is on that day
that all of us irrespective of caste, creed or religion, together should
party on the streets.
It will be a righteous action of the Government to close down all
taverns by introducing legislation in Parliament to ban drinking alcohol
in the country.
All religions prohibit drinking alcohol of all varieties. Then, why
can’t the State ban that irreligious practice? Buddhists, Christians,
Hindus and Muslims will appreciate the Government’s legal action against
If this drinking habit is legally banned, a drastic change will take
place in social activities among the people.
The drunkards who disturb the tranquillity of social movements will
be legally nabbed and punished for their anti-religious practices in the
Courts of law.
Religious leaders who persuade the boozers from touching liquor will
find it difficult to stop this bad practice at once. Religious leaders
who are legally reinforced by Courts will be able to curb the drinking
May the religions closely linked in the legal authority put an end to
the functioning of taverns and boozing clubs.
This is a brief report of the 3rd Bi-annual International Conference
on Buddhist Studies, conducted by the Buddha Shravaka Bhiksu University
(December 8-10) and the Sri Lanka Association of Buddhist Studies
(SLABS) in Anuradhapura.
The conference began in the traditional manner to be followed by the
first item, a keynote speech by Prof. D. J. Kalupahana of the University
of Hawaii. The lecture was titled ‘A case for non-theism, a perspective
from the Buddha.’
His talk dealt with the creator concept beginning in the idea of
permanence (Sammuta-ditthi) and annihilationist (Uchedda-ditthi), which
was present in Bharatha at the time of the Buddha, its equivalence in
Western thought led to materialism and idealism. He briefly describes
the middle way, finally followed by Siddhartha which led to his final
Kalupahana makes an interesting connection between faith sans reason
and faith based on reason (akaravati saddha). He finally states thus,
‘All the above evidence seems to contribute to the view that the
Buddha’s doctrine is neither a form of theism nor of atheism’. An
intriguing thought on the middle way.
There were many valuable papers presented during the proceeding two
and a half days, a selection of the themes raised is all I can present
here. Since there were experts in Mahayana, Vajjrayana and Theravada,
the question was raised as to whether Buddhism could be ever dogmatic,
that is, whether developments in Buddhism stopped with the Buddha and as
such whether latter development could legitimately follow the
Parinibbana of the Buddha.
There were interesting sections on the Vinnaya (ethics), Environment,
Soteriology and Buddhist approach to counseling and psychotherapy.
Organisations and events at this conference were done by SLABS and
should be attributed to Prof. Premasiri - President and Prof. Asanga
Tillekeratne and Dr. Somarathne who were Joint Secretaries of SLABS. We
need to thank them for their excellent work. I did observe them working
till late into the night, looking after our needs and dealing with
organisational matters at the conference.
There were many other events such as planting of trees, photographs
and processions which added colour to the conference. Certificates were
handed to all those who presented papers. The organisation of the
conference was a complex event, which was made to look simple to the
participants. Participants came from India, Burma, Thailand, China and
as far away as Vietnam. This made the conference truly international.
We stayed at the Miridiya Lodge and the Ashok Hotel, overlooking the
Miridiya Lake which has an ancient heritage, the tranquillity of the
surroundings is what I remember.
For bungling the Mathematics paper II, those officers who are
directly responsible for it should be definitely punished. If they are
‘unidentifiable’, the Examination Chief should immediately resign taking
responsibility for the unforgivable callous blunder.
The Teachers’ Unions who launched strikes refusing to teach the very
students for whom they shed crocodile tears today and refrained from
marking answer scripts are crying in anger to cover their own deplorable
acts. They never thought of the students when they were totally moved by
their selfish demand for higher wages, promotions and elimination of
Lastly, it serves no purpose to keep on blaming each other as the
students should not be allowed to suffer any more. Suitable steps should
be taken early to remedy the mistake. For example, they could mark the
rest of the paper ignoring the two faulty questions and average the
aggregate at per cent. Under normal circumstances 40-50 per cent of the
students fail in the maths papers; therefore, that is best possible
solution instead of holding a fresh examination.