Does two wrongs make a right?

In spite of silencing the guns in 2009 to end the three decades old bloody and cruel civil-war that had caused lot of miseries to them, yet the people of Sri Lanka voted out the previous regime in 2015; that was considered as ramifications of karma – Law of Cause & Effect for all the wrong done to the voiceless population over six negative peace years after the war. Though the Bond Scam has occurred under irreverent conditions to those wrong exploits of the previous regime; those found guilty shall be punished by law; yet to the Unity Government for having departed heavily from normal procedures to achieve their goals, it is bound to cause ripples till the next elections due in 2020. But the resulted absence of good governance would by the law of cause and effect bring ramifications of karma to the Unity Government, as they continue their rule without resolving persisting problems of the voiceless citizens kept skulking in the dark in the North and East Provinces – for two wrongs don’t make a right.


The law of cause and effect is termed as ‘karma’ forms an integral part of Hindu philosophy, which harps on the Newtonian principle that every action produces an equal and opposite reaction and applies equally to all and in time will bear corresponding effects. In the recent past this cause and effect cyclical generated by positive and negative actions impacted the previous regime in 2015 and their opponents whose guns were silenced to end the bloody civil-war in 2009, as both faced the consequences of karma. Later, when the Unity Government was elected in 2015, there were high expectations from the people that the President and the Prime Minister would be more transparent and that the country will benefit by it. Unfortunately, the Bond Scam resulted in the country incurring great financial losses of magnitude that is yet to be quantified; no doubt following investigations that are in progress, those found guilty would be punished by law. But it diverted the attention of the two leaders of the Unity Government, who used a failed state machinery to achieve their goals and keeping with the usual practice followed by successive rulers over past seventy years departed from procedures to delay effect of intended good governance.

Their predecessors all from the Sinhala Buddhist majority community had always differed with each other, which prevented them to find solutions to the problems of the minorities; for they were ignorant that equality is a basic tenet of Buddha Dharma, had failed to share the country with the rest of the communities and resulting karma ruined the country. Earlier all previous leaders to retain power, formed alliance doing harm to their voters; as they continued to retain power, these politicians formed an inner circle to achieve their objectives, ignorant of the basic law of cause and effect; as most population were deaf, dumb and blind to keep voted back to the legislature election after election the politicians until their last sniff. As the consequences of karma today, these voters are poor living mostly in the rural areas of the country and in seventy years the worse off and form the majority made up of all communities; while the leaders of all communities are rich and living in urban areas accumulating karma that has taken the developed country it was in 1948 to ruins by 2017.

This law of cause and effect is best illustrated from the first act by the rulers in 1949, when the government of United National Party (UNP), caused the Upcountry Tamils of recent Indian origin in the plantation sector to lose their right to vote to make them stateless. Only because, the first prime minister of the conservative UNP, reacting to the possibilities of losing power to leftist political parties, felt their voting strength would be diluted by the Upcountry Tamils. Thus UNP amended the Parliamentary Elections Act to disfranchise the Upcountry Tamils, who then had no means of electing anyone to the Parliament; were thus forgotten from 1948 to 1964, that impacted heavily on the Upcountry Tamils. Later, under an agreement between the Sri Lankan and Indian governments in the 1960s more than half the number of Upcountry Tamils were repatriated to India, while the remainder through a process that dragged on to 2003, were granted Sri Lankan nationality. Yet to this day they continue to suffer under atrocious living conditions in the upcountry plantations and the accumulated karma has made the industry to lose its place of pride as a top revenue earner for the country.

Another was a call from an elite leader to make Sinhala as the official language of the country; though a logical sequence on gaining independence from the British, who had English as the official language; but the folly of the leader in a hurry to gain power rushed through to achieve his target overnight. He founded the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), gained power was voted in as the Prime Minister and got famous introducing the Sinhala Only Language policy with disastrous consequences to the whole country, leading to communal riots to the Emergency ’58 rule. On realizing that was a hasty act without due consideration of the Tamil speaking minorities, he made a sincere attempt to resolve the Tamil Language question, only to get assassinated by a misled Buddhist monk; first of many assassinations to take place in the country, the consequence of this karma has left the country ethnically divided to this day.

Next was introduction of the first republic constitution that pushed the Sri Lankan Tamil community towards separatist tendencies with the Tamil speaking minorities in the North and East provinces for calling separation, with more negative response from the rulers, who let loose state terror on unarmed Tamil civilians leading the country to the nationwide disturbances, widely remembered as the Black July Riots of 1983; that saw hundreds of Tamil civilians killed and many more injured, with thousands displaced to the north or fleeing out from various parts of the country with unquantified destruction of properties and by law of cause and effect deprived the country of any development for many decades.

This horror impacted heavily on the Tamils making their youths with uprisings with fascist tendencies, who retaliated to begin a series of cause and effect or tit for tat violent activities on either side of the north-south border in late 1983, 84 and 85, that saw once more the North South divide on ethnic lines being fused in the country. While the poor governance by the rulers caused more problems in the south that made the rural people poorer causing several uprisings and the resulting cause and effect acts finally led the country to a civil-war that lasted three decades. Thus both rulers and the ruled by their actions earned enough karma before the war was brought to an end in 2009. Yet, the attitude of the rulers had not changed and many physical infrastructure projects were undertaken by the victorious government at a heavy cost; this state of affairs went on for the six long negative peace years, while the rural poor people, in particular those living in the north-east region of the country were yearning to get their much needed social infrastructure rebuilt, that was severely damaged by the three decades of civil-war.

The Sinhala Buddhist people as the majority community in Sri Lanka remembering the injustice done in the past by their leaders to the minority communities, who experienced the destruction of everything they have ever cared, need their pain of loss remunerated, only possible under good governance. To this end, to overcome the suffering imposed on the minority communities accept the theory of karma – the law of cause and effect, that every action produces an equal and opposite reaction that apply to all citizens, must first change their own mindset to share the country with the minorities and then work as a nation with the minority communities, who must in turn reciprocate and sooner it is done the better to enable to have proper good governance in the country that would make it a better place for all.