Sri Lanka has had Buddhist leaders ruling the country for over seven decades, yet how many of them did understand the great relationship preached by Buddha; perhaps one at most two of our past leaders are the exceptions and it is not strange that these two leaders the first was Dudley Senanayake and the second was Ranasinghe Premadasa both from the grand old party are to this day respected by all the ethnic and economic minority communities.
There was Emperor Asoka who promoted Buddhism in India, never imposed it, he followed Buddha Dharma and was the ruler of whole country and not of the Buddhists only. For a great relationship is according to the teaching of Buddha is based on two principles, first is to appreciate our similarities and second is to respect our differences.
There is no denying that it was the failure of Sri Lankan rulers to respect differences between its ethnic and religious communities, that divided the island nation. Regrettably none of the present leaders of the two ruling political parties, who play to the gallery in parliament and public outside to show out of the way that they are Buddhist leaders and have failed in the past four years to demonstrate that they understand the preaching of Buddha on a great relationship. For whatever reasons they have both failed to unite the country, that remains divided even after the civil war was brought to finish almost a decade earlier. In spite of various excuses given by the rulers for the civil war, it was the absence of a good relationship between the rulers and the ruled that caused it. The importance of this good relationship for good governance cannot be overstressed, sooner the leaders realise it the better.
Sri Lankans wanting a united Sri Lankan nation to call it as their motherland should find new leaders to takeover the leadership of these two major ruling political parties. Fortunately both parties have capable leaders among its membership to replace the present leaders, all that is needed is the will of the membership to make the change. Sooner it’s done the best for the multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation that is Sri Lanka.