Second phase of Independence
Dr. Tilak S. Fernando
Sri Lanka formally known by many names from Taprobane to Zeilan and finally Ceylon attracted travellers to the island from around 350 BC with her material treasures and spiritual values. Donoughmore Constitution under British governance finally gave the country an elected legislature.

On February 4, 1948 a new era dawned when ‘Ceylon’ became an independent sovereignty. A unique attribute during the struggle for independence reflected on the patriotism of a set of united political leaders, who acted in unanimity with self-respect by brushing aside all personal and political differences to save their Motherland that had been crushed under the foreign boot of Portuguese, Dutch and the British over four centuries.

False propaganda
Sri Lanka has literally gone through two struggles to achieve independence - a bloodless campaign in the late 1940s and a bloody terrorist crusade after 61 years of the first self-rule. In this context the word ‘freedom’ has meant differently to two generations.

Using coercion as a powerful tool, a terrorist megalomaniac systematically brainwashed and inculcated young minds of the Tamil generation with false propaganda. Until May 18, 2009 part of the Tamil citizenry of this country had been made to believe by those terrorist advocators, who had the audacity to boast about as saviours of all Tamil people that Sri Lanka was an ‘alien country’ and the Sinhala people were hell-bent on annexing their homeland’! Naturally the power of antagonism created in the minds of those misguided Tamil youth paved the way to a new kind of terrorist activity with added vigour and lead to indiscriminate killings of innocent people especially with suicide bombing while blowing themselves to smithereens.

Those elders who have experienced activities in the pre and post independent era will have vivid memories of six decades of encounter to relate to their children and grand children how death became a common daily occurrence once and at times witnessed decapitated human bodies burning on road-side-spikes with fetid yellow liquids draining out in the form of melting human body oil during a Southern terrorist campaign earlier to begin with.

The future generation, upon hearing such outrageous incidents will be astonished when looking back on their past ancestors’ history of violence, war, loss of life, injustice and corruption. They, certainly, will fail to understand how their own brothers and sisters were murdered and made to float on rivers and lakes during the Southern uprising by the very Sinhala youth!

Youth unrest
Equally how after 1983 Sinhala folk including Buddhist monks, ordinary innocent men and women were blasted with bombs and butchered, young children were decapitated and infants were smashed against trees in an ethnic cleansing campaign by a ruthless terrorist organisation called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

One could confidently assume that it was nothing but a divine intervention, in the nick of time, that saved this nation after 30 years of trepidation and destruction out of two calamities - one from the Southern youth unrest in 1972 and the other from the Northern youth who later managed to rip the society and the country economically, politically, socially and ethnically.

At the present juncture where the country is free from such terrorist activities, the future progress or regress will depend very much on how a ‘new generation’ will analyse the outcome of reformative programs that are in place today and conduct their affairs to shape and restore Sri Lanka’s rich cultural and traditional heritage to preserve her civilisation spanning over thousands of years.

To take the country forward towards a positive style of governance Sri Lanka needs an enunciate leader who will be able to understand the human misery and dedicate his work towards alleviation of suffering of the masses.

Spiritual transformation
Sages, however, predict a spiritual world revolution in the near future with the emergence of a ‘Golden Age’ which is going to affect worldly affairs drastically. During such a spiritual transformation Sri Lanka too will have her fair share of benefits.

Hopefully such a spiritual revolution will open the ‘third eye’ of the citizenry. True politicians could genuinely work towards harmony and peace against unintelligible chauvinists in our society who will continue to be an obscure hindrance in the name of politics, religion or racism and refrain from attempting to take the country back further and farther towards mammoth self-destruction as a nation and the very fabric of our society.

Discarding the bitter past aside, a ‘new generation’ will be looking forward to see all Sri Lankans respecting each other once again. All religions to merge to form a powerful Inter-faith lobby rather than becoming dogmatic; schoolteachers to turn professional and discharge their duties to the young in a dedicated manner rather than destroying children’s childhood insensitively.

The clergy would be expected to confine to their temples, churches and mosques in propagating their individual religious beliefs and dogmas and in their capacity to act as genuine advisers to guide rulers, as part of Sri Lanka’s ancestral heritage.

Welfare of society
During Sri Lanka’s current thrust for development in all earnestness during this ‘second independence’ what is expected will be to see much of effort being put to use by the ‘young blood’ in a constructive manner, individually and as patriotic units for welfare of the society.

Like in any civilization, it would be natural to see ripples of intermittent disagreements surfing up. After all, we all are human too and at the end of the day it will not matter who had won the game but how the game was played!

History reminds us about King Parakramabahu’s advice to make use of every drop of water before it is allowed to drain away to the seas.

It should, therefore, be every Sri Lankan’s dream to be united and enjoy the fruits of our second phase of independence to its fullest, by restoring our land to the renowned legendary paradise Isle.