“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.” is a basic perception fair rulers follow to give good governance; yet even with such acquired knowledge past Sri Lankan rulers have divided the nation for their own survival. Though Buddha the great teacher had said peace comes from within and not to seek it without; the inner peace eluded the run-of-the-mill majority community legislators, who were left to uphold the values of their religion. But they as rulers failed to do that, instead began supporting majority community’s expression of disrespect and even hatred toward their own countrymen; thus developed an unbridgeable gulf between the two main ethnic communities that led the country to civil-war. As the greed of the corrupt leaders grew, with the civil war ending in 2009 the people living in the former war zone were denied of normal life. What started at the time of independence in 1948, as a process of dividing the communities, have led to a civil-war and progressed gradually to divide their political parties and have disintegrated today in 2018 to split them into smaller entities, with each offshoot blaming the other for the devastation thus caused in the country.
Citizen of any democratic country follow the perception “United we stand, Divided we fall” and yet the Sri Lankan Unity Government in power since 2015 has failed to unite the different ethnic and religious communities and country stand divided even after almost a decade of ending the civil war. The leaders of unity government must take full responsibility for this sad state of affairs, who are unable to shake out of the mentality set by the majority community led past governments that have ruled without adhering to the concept of “All for one and one for all”. Earlier prior to gaining independence, with Buddhist Nationalism introduced into politics, had enabled the Buddhist clergy to comfortably and intricately get into the political currents of the country. Thereafter most Buddhists rulers, ignored the fact that the country was made up of multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, as there was no space in their mind to develop collective consciousness and with time lost it all together to dominate the minorities. Successive government overpowered unarmed countrymen by unleashing state terror on them, resulted in uprisings from youth leading to the civil war, which was brought to finish in 2009, utilising the full strength of the state’s tri-forces. With divide and rule mentality prevailing, the full strength of the tri-forces were retained to give six years of negative peace to oppress the countrymen living in the previous war zones, until the change of wind forced by foreign intervention brought unity government in 2015. With change of government, people expected changes, but with three years of unity government, they had neither love nor peace to experience in their life and are still continuing to be disturbed by the uncertain events unfolding daily around them. With no love and peace bulk of the other religious and ethnic minorities are deprived of complete and full life in their own country; while the corrupt rulers continue practicing religious rituals at their places of worship to impress and to keep their followers with them.
The situation prevailing was discussed at a recent event that took place in the peninsula involving a minister from minority community in the unity government, said her people were living in fear, compared to how they lived prior to May 18, 2009. While the extreme majority community legislators ganged up to roar fowl in the legislature against the minister; she told there was a limit on what she can speak against her government admitting she had violated the rules of the house and had crossed the limit, while voicing concern on the plight of her people and voluntarily resigned her post, a rare occurrence in Sri Lankan parliament.