The classical Puranas divide the world history into yugas (ages) and the general understanding is that Kali Yuga the age of strife and conflict is what is said to be running now and it the time of warfare, murder, mayhem, social disintegration, enslavement, degeneration, poverty, death and destruction.
At the time of independence in 1948, Sri Lanka was then called Ceylon had a secular constitution and though it was effective up to 1972 the rulers made up of hardliners, radicals and fundamentalists never missed the opportunity to work around it and finally took that fateful step to replace the secular constitution, to give a special place to Buddhism; for political convenience, at a time when economic considerations were paramount for the people.
Bitter Truth is it created a minefield for Sri Lanka and the rest is now history and today marked the twelfth anniversary of ending the civil war in 2009. This year saw many people mourned their loved ones or victims known to them, conforming once more that Sri Lanka is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic country.
However, with independence has a multi-party system and politics is dominated by power-hungry political groups. Most of whom are inseparably knotted to corrupt extreme elements. They have failed to acknowledge that the island is made up of diverse communities. These communities with diverse cultures, whose ethnic and religious identities are deeply overlapped.
Though bulk of the Sri Lankan rulers have been Buddhists; are ignorant of the teachings of Gautama Buddha. Lord Buddha has said “Never try to defeat people, just win their Hearts”. Thus the rulers have repeatedly failed to respect the differences between its ethnic and religious communities; has divided the island nation.
Earlier in 2015, with a wind of change presented to the rulers a rare window of opportunity to unite the divided communities. They were to work with moderates and progressives of all communities to isolate and weaken the hardliners, the radicals and the fundamentalists.
The task was set for the rulers to produce a constitution fit for all communities living in this multi-ethnic and multi-religious country.
Unfortunately, the danger today stem from that unforgivable failure of then government. The tragedy is rulers frittered away that opportunity and it is of great concern to the people of this island nation.
Accordingly, it is fair to say that Sri Lanka is presently in the worst age of Kali Yuga. As majority of the present rulers are Buddhist, on this Wesak Day it is the wish of the ruled that their rulers follow the teachings of Lord Buddha by putting to practice Buddha Dharma to prevent the country from deteriorating any further.
In this scenario, it will be beneficial for the country if all Sri Lankans make this 2021 Vesak a time to reflect on the actions of their rulers; to make their findings known directly to the rulers at the earliest, to enable them to rebuild a unified nation fit for all communities living in the island!