A Patriotic Member Of The Buddhist Clergy Expresses Sentiments About Returning To 'Battle' !

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Indulging in no euphimistic reservations or subtleties, according to the Assosiated Press in a news Item appearing the Seattle Times Nov.18th 2003 under the caption"Peaceful Monks Back Battle In Sri Lanka", prominent Buddhist Monk The Ven. Athuraliye Ratna has perhaps uttered a truism more relevant to Sri Lanka than all the meanderings and bifurcations of the Present Peace Process, in quoting by interpretation that " despite the desperate need for peace in Sri Lanka, the distance to which pacifism can be extended has its limitations" in an interesting dialogue which if put into perspective exposes some of the futilities surrounding the Peace Process and gnaws at the dignified consciences of many who tend to ponder upon the respected monk's philosophy and its implication on the wasteful bickering and olive branch waving that has accompanied the signature tune of the Administration towards pacifying the LTTE while they fortify their resources and continue to make impossible demands.

He has emphasized the importance of self defence and its relative application to Sri Lanka's Sovereignity where it has been alluded to that "a Peaceful Society might not necessarily be built on rhetoric and high flown eloquence alone " while urging a renewal of Military Operations against the Liberation Tigers Of Tamil Eelam the LTTE , in an emotional and sincere yet ominous sounding expression of thought built on the concept of self preservation which makes the more discerning mind reflect upon a time when to all intents and purposes there were indeed situations during Sri Lankan Military Operations when the enemy were close to annihilation yet suppressed by the Administration as shades of the Major Gen. Janaka Perera led Operations and the intense campaigns of the late great Maj.Gen.Kobbekaduwa come to mind which were mysteriously called to a halt and the inroads created towards eliminating the LTTE threat to the Sovereignity of Sri Lanka snuffed out together with the lives of vast numbers of conscripted sons and daughters of Sri Lanka who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of their Motherland's freedom seemingly wasted! If missed opportunities were to be emphasized relative to the circumstances within Sri Lanka today, these should best be remembered as purely being missed opportunities which can never be re-enacted with no further aspirations ever to return to meaningless conflict that could ever replace the tranquility which prevails in Sri Lankan today.

If realistically one of Sri Lanka's prominent Buddhist Monks the Rev. Athuraliye Rathana has called for a halt to the Peace Process as reported by the Associated Press urging the renewal of Military Action as an alternative to dialogue at a time when the ongoing Peace Process despite its impasse involving the Administration and the LTTE has returned tranquility and calm to the Island Nation and lifted the hopes of many of its citizens towards the future, the message it conveys needs implicit examination especially if used as an analytical observation of a patriotic intellectual also a member of the Buddhist Clergy who has probably recommended an application in a worst case scenario and the Peace breaks down where nevertheless the imposing question must be asked with all due respect "Is Sri Lanka Prepared For Such An Eventuality and Are The Risks Worth Taking Towards A Renewal Of Military Action" where surely the answer has to be a voluminous NO!! Never Again!! while acknowledging the concerns which have prompted the proclamation and the vision of its creator which would then point towards a fortification of Sri Lankas Defences if necessary.
A Peaceful Society as implied, within Sri Lanka can and must be built through dialogue and negotiations incorporating all her citizens and leaders from all quarters as an aftermath to the military struggles of the past which in the best interests of the Nation have to be buried and contained to history and their futilities remembered together with reverence for those who gave up their lives for the struggles as the need to go forth in unity and harmony imperative towards the Nation's progress into the future. The President's call for Reconciliation and Re-construction through a United Government suddenly becomes dimensionally gigantic!

In the words of the Buddhist Clergy Rev.Athuraliye Rathana who represents a powerful Buddhist Lobby within Sri Lanka, a great deal of emphasis has been given toward the expression of fighting, quote "We Should Fight Against Unjust Activities,Yes We Should Fight!" end quote and indeed the absolute need to 'Fight' against wrongs and injustices in a broad sense prevalent within Sri Lanka for which there is a Constitution and a Justice System in place whose accords must be implemented without confrontation and conflict unless inevitable which hypothetically the call to arms by the respected Monk circumvents and needs considerations towards whether or not any further fragmentation of the Sri Lankan infrastructure, its economy and the lives of its people necessary, which would seem disastrous. The prudent choice and pointers towards more peaceful alternatives through dialogue and mediation within the norms of Democracy while retaining Sri Lanka's Sovereignity and Integrity being the better option although their lies within the core of the LTTE, elements who definitely need to be brought to justice as demanded by the International Community.
It must however be remembered in retrospect that Sri Lanka has always been a Nation given to conflict where the confrontations of Party Politics which have seen many diversities of thought and propagated much political differences leaving a proviso for contrasting interpretations about what's best for the Country by definitions not necessarily true and has also presented opportunities for insurgent groups motivated towards objectives unhealthy towards the Nations Sovereignity and Territorial Integrity and their attempts to carve out an independent existence for themselves which the " enough is enough !" dogma of the Ven. Athuraliye Rathana has unconditionally pointed out recommending a return to 'Battle' evoking his patriotism for Sri Lanka and commendable.

But as to whether this would be the real alternative to Sri Lanka remains a matter for interpretation in the minds of many analysts who would rather promote the cause of peace through peaceful means rather than return to armed conflict.



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