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We commemorate the eventful, momentous dawn of 2600th
Of Thathagatha Gautama Buddha, Saviour the Exalted Sakyamuni
As a unified, united nation a new phase ceremoniously begun in
Across the length‘n breadth of this fortunate nation in unsurpassing
The great serene image Gautama Buddha of Sakyan clan
The last birth on thrice blessed Vesak full moon day bedecked in
gorgeous natural elan.
To attain imperturbility the calm Bliss of Buddhahood the
For countless aeons you strove so hard alone in undaunted
The Holy Healer, peerless physician reached pinnacle of wisdom
Severe austerity struggle for six continuous years to gain ultimate
Became SammaSamBuddha shattering devilish mara’s attempts in vain.
For suffering humanity by own inherent powers claimed goal amidst
May this unique memorable year lead to legion of years to come in
We must adhere to pure Buddhistic principles in strong faith for
peace ‘n unity.
Let us resolve to abstain from vicious deeds, follow the five golden
Give priority for Loving Kindness, Tolerance without discrimination
Gained Emancipation, supreme Pristine Enlightenment, Final Triumph
in all purity
To uplift suffering mortals, epoch making events in annals of
His Teachings, philosophy abounding compassion to rid humanity of
ignorance so blind.
In every thought, every word, every deed to cultivate goodwill in
Let’s equip with virtuous deeds to reform ourselves this era, eschew
Omniscient Gautama Buddha your message for all times fills the
breeze in subtle fragrance
May this significant 2600th year of Liberation spark the divinity in
each human for much wanted unity
On this Noble Historic day in unfurled devotion we pay our
fathomless homage in piety.
Sabbe Saththa Bhavanthu Sukiththva
(May all beings be happy!)
Kumari Kumarasinghe Tennakoon
|Uncle Sam’s attempts to
infiltrate Lankan politics
Raving killed hundreds of
thousands of humans in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, the hierarchy
in the USA for some pecuniary advantage, which was more valuable to
them than the lives of coloured Islamists, calls the Sovereign
Government of Sri Lanka to come to a political solution with a
nondescript ragtag band of terrorists, who the USA too has
designated as terrorists.
The Sri Lankan President too has said that when the insurgency
and the band of arms bearing rowdies have been driven into the Palk
Strait a political solution will be put in place, while he governs.
What a political solution means to the USA and to the Sovereign Sri
Lanka, may not be the same, and will be in question. The 13th
Amendment to the Constitution, which is an Indian plant under
duress, if adhered to, will set up a Tamil enclave in Sri Lanka.
Such arrangement will be open to eternal bloodshed and warring
making both parties dependant on the USA for belligerent arms!
The Sri Lankan Constitution stipulates clearly that its soil
belongs to all its citizens, Tamils, Muslims, Malays, Burghers,
Veddahs and Sinhalese. The President will adhere to the
Constitution, freeing all citizens to roam the land and own property
anywhere on Lankan soil; unlike in Eelam that is open to Tamil
terrorists only. Will the political solution as suggested by the USA
be similar or will it foster and prepare the ground, if not
immediately but for a possible separate homeland for the terrorists
of the LTTE sometime later, through discussions and talks which many
foreign countries suggest.
Will it not be more in keeping with the aspirations and
utterances of the great American leaders who fought for Liberty,
Equality and Fraternity if Sri Lanka asks for the right to govern
our country free of foreign interference? Nelson Mandela too fought
for that right. F W de Klerk finally yielded and peace prevailed.
The sight of freedom for all Sri Lankans looms on the horizon but
Uncle Sam’s interference may unwittingly snuff it out. Anwar Sadat
of Egypt, seeing the destruction of human life in Israel pronounced.
“We accept to live with you”. Those are words of great leaders. Sri
Lankans too aspire to live similarly, having removed the LTTE, the
fly in the ointment, but Uncle Sam sees otherwise! Remember the
words of John F Kennedy in January 1961. “My fellow citizens of the
world ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can
do for the Freedom of Man.” Then why infiltrate Sri Lankan politics?
Remember America the Gettysburg address of Abraham Lincoln in
November 1863 that spoke of the ‘New American Nation’ conceived in
liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created
equal. A picture of Shiv Shankar Menon, Foreign Secretary of India
and Hilary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State to the American
President appear in a newspaper of March 13, 2009 like two peas in a
pod calling for devolution of power to the North! Sri Lanka hopes to
devolve power equally to all its citizens without interference.
I L P Samarasinghe
All the elephants assembled at the bank of a
river in the forest. There were old elephants, middle aged
elephants, young elephants and calves. They were all there to
discuss their grievances. The wisest elephant among them was their
leader and this was an old male elephant that was called
“Alinayakaya” by grown-up elephants and the young ones.
Alinayakaya’s son was called “Aliputra” and he was the second in
command of the group. There were several young she elephants in the
group and some of them were Lechmi-aetini, Malreshi-aetini,
Devika-aetini, Baba-aetini and Lucy-aetini.; there were also several
calves whom all the matured elephants called “kids” and the kids, in
turn, called the elders “Alimama” or “Alinaenda”.
Ainayakaya began to talk, “you all know why we have gathered here
to discuss our grievances. Do you all know the great service done to
people by elephants? From the ancient past our ancestors have helped
man in construction work.” The little kids were gambolling about
here and there without paying attention to the talk. Alinayakeya saw
this and swished his trunk in anger. “I want all the kids to listen
to my talk.” Then the little calves stood still. “Take the dagobas,
temples and tanks in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya”,
Alinayakeya resumed his talk. “It’s true that these were built by
men, but who helped them to build? Our ancestors.”
A small elephant raised its voice. “What did our ancestors do,
Alimama?” “I’ll tell you. In the past, there were no tractors and
cranes to carry or transport huge rocks to the worksite. Our
ancestors carried them.” The elephants in the gathering nodded their
heads. “Yes, yes, there were no tractors in the past,” chorused the
rest of the female elephants. “Do you know Lechmi-aetini” questioned
Alinayakaya, “today there won’t be Ruwanweli Saeya, Abhayagiri and
Tuparamaya without our ancestors.” “Our ancestors have done so much
to man (meaning people).” “So, why is man an enemy to us?”
questioned Malrashi-aetini. “Yes, it’s surprising to me.” remarked
Devika-aetini. “It’s because we’re been taking life easily. We’re
the biggest in the jungle and still we have to work for small man,
Aliputra expressed his opinion. “What should we do Aliputramama?”
some of the kid elephants asked simultaneously.
“We must all unite. We have the size, strength and power.”
replied Aliputra. At this time the kid elephants became restless;
they entwined their trunks with one another and played about. Seeing
a vast number of elephants stationary at one place, the monkeys on
the trees began to chatter, piercing the ears of the elephants while
the twittering of birds lent the air. The restless kid elephants
began to frisk about. The restless kid elephants began to frisk
about and once again Alinayakaya admonished the kinds. “I told you
all to stand still and listen to me.” “What about the service our
ancestors did to kings?” Aliputra reminded Alinayakaya. “Yes, yes do
you know Kids, ‘Kandula’?” The kids did not know; so they remained
“Now listen to me,” remarked Alinayakaya, “Kandula was king
Dutugemunu’s elephant. When the Tamil King Elara invaded Sri Lanka,
King Dutugemunu rode on Kandula in the battle and slew the invading
king. So, our ancestor Kandula helped the king”. “So in the past,
Indian Tamils had given problems to our country?” Baba-aetini and
Lucy-aetini questioned. “Why not?”
We had Tamil invasion, Portuguese invasion and thereafter, the
Dutch and the British invasion.” explained Aliputra. “But Elara was
a righteous king and helped in the cause of Buddhism,” said
Alinayakeya resuming his talk. “King Parakrama Bahu could not have
built Parakrama Samudra without our ancestors help to transport
rocks.” “Alimama, tell us why people capture elephants?” Some small
kids raised the question. “When elephants are captured man trains
them to work for him.
Today, elephants are trained to perform in circus and participate
in peraheras. There’s elephant dance in the Dehiwela zoo. Do you all
know who carries the Sacred Tooth Relics in the Esala perehera? A
majestic tusker. So these elephants are captured from the forest and
trained to work for man.” He paused for sometime and looked at
Aliputra. “Man does illegal things in the jungle.” said Aliputra.
“He cuts big trees and uses elephants to carry the timber to the
lorry.” “So elephants do good things to man but stil he kills
elephants. Why?” questioned the kids. “Man is selfish and greedy,”
replied Alinayakaya, “he kills elephants to get their tusks.” “So
can’t we stop man coming to the forest?” one kid asked. “We must all
get together to fight against man.” brother kid said. “Then I’m sure
we’ll win,” a third kid said.
“But man is intelligent. He has guns and tranquilisers.” remarked
Alinayakaya. “What’re those? We don’t understand.” some of the small
kids said. “A gun is a weapon to kill elephants. In the past, I had
got a gun shot injury. I suffered a lot from that injury before
recovering,” explained Alinayakaya.
“Who shot you, Alimama?” “Who else? Those men, who come in jeeps to
get our tusks. Do you all know Erik Swan? I’m sure the young
elephants will not know.” “No, we don’t know.” said Baba-aetini and
“Erik Swan was a Lake House photographer more than fifty years ago.
At that time I had a festering wound on my shoulder and this caused
me great pain. He came to the forest with some others.”
“Why did he come, Alimama?” some kids raised the question.
“Maybe to kill us.” As soon as I saw him, I was furious and
approached him hastily because one of his kinds had shot me before.
Seeing me trotting towards him, Erik Swan quickly got his gun and
was in the point of loading the bullets to kill me. But before he
could fire at me I reached him and trampled him to death.”
“Alimama, you’re great,” some kids said moving their little trunks
this way and that way.
“Now my tusks have grown longer, some wicked men must be eyeing for
“So this elephant man conflict is an old problem.” said
Just at that moment the foliage in the forest rustled. The elephants
saw a group of men standing near a jeep some distance away. They had
guns and one of them was pointing at Alinayakaya. The small kids
were frozen with fear and crawled under their mothers’ bellies, the
elder ones sank in to silence; some retreated to the interior of the
jungle. The majestic tusker Alinayakaya awaited his fate.
A F Dawood
writer Piyadasa Sirisena
Piyadasa Sirisena, a national
hero was born on August 31, 1875 at a village in the South
Atturuwella in the South of Sri Lanka. His writings and way of
thinking had a profound effect to change opinions, gain political
opinions and gain independence and restore our Buddhist and Sinhala
culture, which was destroyed by foreign missionaries. He started a
weekly Magazine Sinhala Jathiya which became so popular and it was
widely read and its contents moved our people to restore lost
national pride. Some of his novels are Maheswari, Tharuniyakuge
Premaya (Maiden’s Love), Chinthamanickkaya, Anthima Kemaththa (Last
Will), Yantham Gelavuna (Just Escaped) and Dingiri Manike. Dingiri
Manike became a hit and so popular that it was made into a film.
He was named Pediris Silva. As he detested foreign names he changed
it to a respectable Ariyan name as Piyadasa Sirisena. After leaving
school he was employed as a clerk in a mercantile firm. He was the
only poet to be imprisoned with other national leaders - D S
Senanayake, F R Senanayake, G A Hewavitharana by the British. He was
a very active member in the Temperance Movement and fought tooth and
nail against the tax imposed in 1912.
He passed away a satisfied man on June 26, 1946 having done his duty
by his mother country Sri Lanka.
V K B Ramanayake
Unauthorised eateries have sprung up along the
coastal belt within the Beruwala Pradeshiya Saba limits.
It is reported these eating houses sell unhygienic foods to the
public which is a health hazard.
For the sake of public well-being these places should be either
banned or inspected by health authorities regularly.
C M Kamburawala
Prof. K. Balasubramaniam
He promoted a people centred
When a mutual friend telephoned me to tell me about the untimely
passing away of Dr Bala, my mind went back to the first time I met
him at Peradeniya. He and his family used to be regular visitors at
the Peradeniya University Sri Lanka National Christian Council
Chaplaincy. What I discovered about Dr Bala, when I was Chaplain at
Peradeniya was underlined when I met him at St Paul’s, Milagiriya.
Dr Bala in his own style was a committed Christian and for him the
Blessed Sacrament was important. Therefore, because of his and
Kamala’s illness, it was my joy to visit them regularly and break
bread and share the cup in their dining hall.
Looking back at Dr Bala’s life, to my mind, Dr Bala in his very
strong manner continued the Senaka Bibile tradition in promoting a
health policy that was people centred. Thus he along with a few
other committed persons campaigned against the Multi Nationals
marketing drugs with certain brand names and making the sick and the
poor buy them. His regular interventions in the press were looked
forward to and when his writings became a stumbling block to the
Mafia marketing certain drugs the press had to stop his
So, whenever I used to meet Dr Bala amongst other matters, we used
to discuss about our common hobby of being writers. When I went to
his Bambalapitiya House to be with the bereaved I saw a notice on
the apartment board handwritten by Dr Bala asking people to join his
bridge club. Then I was reminded that loneliness is the number one
killer today. Though Medical Science has prolonged the life span of
human beings, at least some of them do not know how to handle life
when they are senior citizens.
In this tribute to Dr Bala having known him during the last few
days of his life, I would like to ask the question as to what family
life means? Has God created human beings to be lonely? What then is
the role of children and grandchildren? Therefore, I wish I had the
time to have spent more hours with Dr Bala.
However, his students at Peradeniya and all those who worked with
him in his area of Medicine will, I am sure, would like to thank God
for a life well lived in that it was people centered.
Kamala, the children and grandchildren and all family and friends
can be assured of our prayers. May his soul rest in peace and rise
in glory! Amen.
It was announced over the Sinhala
service of the SLBC that a series of programmes has been planned to
mark the 2600th Sambuddhatva Jayanthi. A commemorative coin is being
issued and several commemorative stamps are being released to mark
this event. It was also mentioned that Havelock Road will be renamed
Sambuddatva (or was it Sambudda?) Jayanthi Mawatha.
Whilst welcoming the renaming of this road to mark an occasion of
this nature, I would like to recommend that the former named also be
retained. The authorities handling the name board should have the
old name, maybe within brackets and below the new name. This should
be the case with the Guilford Crescent in Colombo 7 which was
renamed Archarya Premasiri Khemadasa Mawatha not very long ago and
all the other roads/lanes where the names have been changed. One
reason is that it will be easy for road users to locate the place
who may be not aware of the new name and the other is, it will
remind us of the old name as well.