“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King JrIt is said that the silent majority is a bigger enemy of democracy than the violent minority, in the recent past this trend was clearly visible in Sri Lanka. Then the silent majority left public space for a select few to grab the agenda and control the terms of public debate. Fortunately, the voice of the civil society led by a true Buddhist Monk triggered a wind of change that caused a ripple across the country to provoke the silent majority into action and the rest is history.

Today once again the majority has gone back into its shell and is silent. The situation was made worse by the vote trading activities that have enlarged the number of ministers and deputies at the center. This is causing concern among the deprived minorities in all corners of the country who realize that this development cannot protect their interests in representative democratic bodies such as legislatures and sense that direct democracy with the present constitution does not offer such protections. Under these circumstances, the minorities are seeking protection in the new constitution that is to be drafted by the newly formed Constitution Assembly.

The National Government invited the public in the process of developing the new constitution. The representatives of minorities are in various stage of developing their proposals for inclusion into the new constitution. Unfortunately, few vociferous legislatures who were allowed to fill the opposition space in parliament are seeking to satisfy their thirst for power by sowing the seeds of bitterness and hated in the country. The silent majority in the country should rise to the occasion and direct these disillusioned legislatures to follow the campaigning of late Martin Luther King Jr., who as a non-violent activist in the Civil Rights Movement in the United States of America, had said “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”