Mahinda Cinthanaya has been polluted with the cinthanaya of many others to the extent of it losing its originality with the end of the war, states a letter written by Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) head V. Anandasangaree to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The letter in full:
His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa,
President of Sri Lanka,
There are a lot of matters I wish to bring to your notice. I am so sorry to say that Mahinda
Cinthanaya had been polluted with the cinthanaya of many others to the extent of Mahinda Cinthanaya losing its originality. With the end of the war, people expected many changes to take place. But unfortunately for them, nothing happened to their expectations. Their way of life has not changed. They did not see the promised land of hope. But contrary to this they faced only disappointment.
They claim that you promised to get them all what they lost. But they hardly got anything. They lost all their possessions and many of their dear ones. But so far the Government has not bother to take an inventory of all what they possessed and lost. The Government has not yet prepared a list of persons killed during the war, the cause of death and what they had left behind.
Announcements were made at the IDP centers asking everyone who had undergone training even for a day to surrender, with a promise that they will be released, after inquiry. All of them are detained for long periods. The parents who were promised immediate release of their children are thoroughly disappointed that the Government had failed to keep its promise. Some of those detained as LTTE cadre are the sole bread winners of the family. Some had followed various courses in the university and other educational institutions. Some of them are the only child to the parents. They are compelled to live in pigeon-hole type tents for months. Some for more than a year. Many live like nomads and beggars but they are shocked to see some persons in authority inviting heads of many voluntary organizations and trustees of temples and giving away large sums of money.
Under what budgetary provision this is done is what the people want to know. Can this happen under your Government?
What is the Development going on in the North although ministers and officials come and go frequently? I hardly see anything worthy of boasting. More than 150,000 houses were destroyed in the Vanni. How many have been renovated? Long ago I requested the
Government to pay a pittance to enable the IDPs to make small purchases like salt, onions etc. Since no such allowance was paid, they had to sell some of the dry provisions and as a result forego many meals. It is unfortunate that this was not brought to your notice, although some officials and volunteers had been making a lot of money in various ways.
There is one more serious and very sensitive issue which I am sure you are not aware of. The days in which religious beliefs were forced upon the people with the power of weapons are no more. Let not such things be repeated in this country after a lapse of 200 years. Permit me to bring to your notice the adverse comments I hear from various people at various places and at various levels. The whole country is aware how devoted I am to Buddhism. You are not unaware of this fact. I have lost count of the number of visits I paid to Mahiyangana, Nagadeepa and Kelaniya.
Although I am a Hindu, I had paid homage to Lord Buddha s Sacred Tooth Relics several times. I got the blessings of the Mahanayake Theras on and off. Therefore I have a moral duty to point out to you what the people here think and talk about. They are not anti Buddhist. They take pride in saying that Sangamitta Therani landed with the Sacred Bo-sapling at KKS in Jaffna. What they are now talking about is the manner in which Buddhism is forced on them in an area under military control, where people will not dare to talk.
I had said more than once that on the humanitarian side, their contribution is wonderful. I have seen it myself during my rounds in Jaffna. People are very appreciative of the conduct of the army but seem to be objecting seriously the manner in which Buddhism is propagated in the North. Let the Government leave it to the clergy to propagate Buddhism and not to the forces.
The way it s done will boomerang on the government and will certainly not have the desired effect. On the contrary, if the Government had decided to propagate Buddhism compulsorily, I do not think that such steps are advisable. Placing Lord Buddha s statues at places where hardly a single Buddhist lives will be considered as an insult to Lord Buddha and his preachings.Furthermore, this will give opportunities for chauvinist elements to create unnecessary problems. The people are not in a mood now to say yes or no against it openly. But the general feeling is that the hard won freedom will soon end up in another form of dictatorship. This may be the work of some innocent persons or person without any malicious intentions. Ff your Excellency does not step in at this stage and advise the concerned parties to stop forthwith any action taken to disgrace Lord Buddha at a time there is no peace in this part of the country and that anything unusual should wait till normalcy is restored, the country s future will be bleak.
V. Andasangaree, President, Tamil United Liberation Front.