By Cassendra Doole.
“Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
Sri Lanka is a country that bled for nearly three decades due to a civil war. Hundreds of men, women and children lost their lives regardless of their race or religion. Racism became another religion in Sri Lanka as soon as the war ended.
Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another; that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. It is a concept that has now become a fully fledged industry. It was first started in 1956 by S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike with the introduction of the Sinhala Only Act. Presently, political parties are not the only stakeholders/beneficiaries of this business.
With the end of the war, peace reigned for a few months, until these so-called Sri Lankans became bored without war, and started inciting riots and clashes with the rise of the Bodu Bala Sena.
“I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world because they’d never expect it” – Jack Handey
Very recently, another movement was launched on the most predominant platform on Social Media – Facebook. This particular movement claims that all Sri Lankans who share ‘Lion’s Blood’ are a special group and are true Sri Lankans. In other words, if you’re Muslim, Tamil or Burgher (the other three races of Sri Lanka) you’re not a true Sinhalese, according to this extremist group.
This is not all, similar to the Bodu Bala Sena, which became a prominent force on the political platform, and formed their own party – the Bodu Jana Peramuna – this particular group too has now formed their own party.
‘Sinhale – Sinhala nation’ – SJB
The Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa (SJB) explained that the ‘Singha-le’ trend that has gained momentum must responsibly be taken forward in a positive and progressive manner in view of bringing all factions in the country together to one place.
General Secretary of the SJB, Ven. Madille Pagnaloka Thera said that Sinhale was the term for the country, presently going by the name of Sri Lanka.
It is only if the main Sinhale race survives like a giant tree that the other ethnic, religious, communal, cultural and linguistic groups can live in its shade, without being submissive but all in a state of assimilation, he pointed out.
However, very recently, several of those belonging to this so called ‘Sinha-le’ defaced the walls and gates of residences occupied by Muslims in Nugegoda and Kotte.
“We will work with the authorities to apprehend those who did this to create racial tension and have a broad plan to prevent such ugly incidents in the future,” Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva said in a statement on 4 January following the incident where the name of this extremist group was spray painted across walls and gates.
On a post on his official Facebook page, de Silva claimed that he had sent his staff a local member of the council to visit the owners of the three Muslim homes whose walls and gates were vandalized by this particular racial group in Nugegoda.
“I conveyed to them that this kind of racist behaviour will not be tolerated in my electorate where all communities live in harmony. I invite all to work with me to achieve the objective of creating a ‘Sri Lankan’ identity to unite us instead of ethnic identities that are dividing us,” he added.
‘Nothing to do with Lion Blood’ – SJB
However, speaking of this condemning act, the General Secretary of this latest racist group said “The massive Sinhale trend that has attracted nation-wide attention through stickers and the social media is not a mere happening. Certain opportunists including politicians have attempted to criticize it from a very narrow viewpoint. Some have attempted to dilute the significance of the movement by defacing walls and gates of houses and by way of tattoos. Others have tried to reverse the movement or make it go wayward or destroy it by misinterpreting the ‘le’ in ‘Sinha-le’ to mean blood, and thereby asking for blood or seeking vengeance. This is garbage.”
The platform on which this entire fiasco began – Facebook – also has many commenting against this latest movement which has become another reason to incite violence and hatred among Sri Lankans.
Dasun Ranasighe, updating a post said “There were several three-wheelers that had the sticker ‘Sinha-le’ and I asked them what it meant. Their response was ‘I don’t know sir. Everyone did it, so we also got it done.’ This is the reality of this situation.”
Akashi Senanayake says “At first this entire ‘Sinha-le’ concept was just a fad like almost every other lame hashtag projects that go rampant on social media. And then, as is the norm with us Sri Lankans, it went a little too far and violence and racism began to bloom. The sad part is, these ignorant idiots don’t realize that if we cut open any human whether they are Sinhala, Muslim or even Canadian, we all have the same blood. Red Blood.”
Dulanga Jayasooriya added his comment on various posts stating that “Even Hitler thought his blood was superior to the blood of the Jews, and look where that got him. Why is it that we can’t just enjoy the peace for crying out loud? Is it that torturous for us Sri Lankans to just live in peace?”
However, the General Secretary of this group added that they condemn all acts of violence committed in their name and that they had nothing to do with the sticker and tattoo campaign.
Now, the question isn’t who or what this latest group is, but what exactly they are planning to do. Will Sri Lanka have to suffer another Black July, or another civil war? Will Sri Lanka never know true peace and harmony?
“Our true nationality is mankind.” – H.G. Wells