Beware the God(s) bearing Gifts!
By Gamini Weerakoon (Sunday Leader)
Dear Mr. President,
A property at Malwana… very soon very much of Sri Lanka would be state owned!We are not using honorifics to address you in accordance to your request when you assumed office such exalted titles as Your Excellency should not be used .So like Americans we will address you as, Mr. President.
Mr. President, we are a new organization – Non-Owners of Doubtful Property Balavegaya – to protect Sri Lankans from a law exploited by some with political agendas to violate our fundamental human rights. This law – the Declaration of Assets Law and as you will realize goes against our Sri Lankan culture, ethos, long standing traditions and practices and is an international conspiracy of those Western neocolonial neoconservatives to destroy the sovereignty of this nation.
Consider this Declaration of Assets Law. Politicians are called upon to declare their assets they had before they took to politics and the amount of loot they have collected while in it and explain how they did it.
This, Mr. President is grossly unfair. Most politicians when they take to politics have nothing to declare but their underwear despite hypothetical claims of being descendents of monarchs of yore and being from modern Walauwas. After a few years in politics they are asked how they acquired their luxury houses, vehicles, dozens of minions in the household, sent their brood abroad, quite apart from vehicles and other items which they say are luxuries. Is this fair?
Of course they made some of it in politics that being their only occupation. But if they say they made it in politics those jealous journalists without a cent in their pocket will scream, politics is to serve the people, not to fatten politicos, etc.
It’s unfair to say that that all politicos are pick-pockets or massive swindlers. We will cite a story of Sil-va (BA) one of our leading members, a very religious and pious politico often seen on TV carrying trays of flowers along with his relatives. He meditates at home and once meditating on a mat in his room while concentrating so hard to alleviate poverty though schemes like Raise Life (Divi Neguma), he slipped into a higher state of meditation.A Deva manifested before Sil-va and asked how he could help him to help the poor. ‘Give as much as you can’, was his response and Sil-va fell into deep slumber on his mat. When he woke up he went to his bed and found on it deeds to houses and land worth billions – some by beautiful flowing rivers, others by the emerald green Indian Ocean. The Deva had kept his promise.In order to increase the value of these lands he gave it to his friends and relatives to develop them, the purpose being to sell it off and give the money to the poor. He never claimed the properties to be his nor did the friends and relatives.Word spread around that poor Sil-va had bought the properties by playing out the money of the poor.When the Bribery sleuths pounced on him he said it was the gift of the gods and not his property and he had given it to his friends for poverty alleviation. They told him: Go tell it to the Marines. And Sil-va said: Marines? I had nothing to do with the navy – those Avant Garde Johnnies. The sleuths guffawed at him and is threatening legal action.
Gifts of gods
Mr. President, this is a deeply religious country and a great majority believe in and pray to gods. They make vows and make offerings in gold to the deities. Collectively per annum their offerings in gold are by the ton. They walk the burning embers, are suspended on hooks through skins for long hours and pay penance in various ways. The gods reward them with gifts unseen but the Declaration of Assets law does not recognize gifts of the divine to their devotees.
We say there is a political agenda because long years ago some politicos claimed that their newly acquired wealth was the result of some Baba who plucked blue sapphires, emeralds and other precious stones from the air and gave it to them. This was not the Chinese Ali Baba now giving the Americans a run in business and marketing globally but a Baba of the Indian variety.Mr. President, Sri Lanka is a god (rather gods) fearing country. True it has been reported that some custodians have looted the sacred places of worship. Already it is apparent that divine justice has been delivered. Dittha Dhamma Vedeniya Karma, they say.But what happens when the gods bestow gifts on the devotees and the Bribery sleuths don’t believe it? Are we to sound like the Trojans: Beware the Greeks bearing gifts (Greeks who were warring with the Trojans delivered to their highly guarded citadel, a wooden horse packed with armed soldiers in its belly)Are we to say: Beware the gods bearing gifts? Are these divine gifts loaded with dirty money and/or state funds meant for the poor?Now Sir, the legal procedure is that these god given gifts become the property of the state when none claim ownership. Since most possessions of Sri Lankans, especially politicians, appear to be ‘god given’ should they become the property of the state? If so, very soon very much of Sri Lanka would be state owned!Isn’t this the Marxist ideal which revolutionaries fought and died for? Is this a diabolical international communist plot?