Public and Private Enemy No.1 –“JELOUSY “

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Jealousy is the feeling of anger or bitterness when someone wishes that he or she should have as qualities or possessions that another person has. Most people simply don’t understand that this personal feeling of jealousy is a very dangerous disease.  This deep feeling of resentment or loss, is indeed  deadlier than any Cancer. In fact it is such a vicious virus that slowly consumes and destroys you without you even knowing it. Yes, “Thannawen Wedanawa”. Yet it is amazing that we in Buddhist Sri Lanka of which I am a part; “Thannha” is unwittingly practiced through all sectors of society,that it has become very much a part our cultural trait.

In my wide and extensive travels through our little Island, many school leavers complain that they are impeded in their progress in the village owing to petty jealousies. Most of them succeed only after they venture outside to other locations. The shameful organized ragging in our Universities smacks of the inherently perverted jealously that prevails in our society. This sadistic ragging has caused much suffering to students, who end up in the Asylum or as a mental  wrecks in their homes. .In public service you dare not be the efficient worker; for others will resent you and see to it that you are put in your place; or as they say “fix you.” When I reached my apex in Academy, my wise father advised me to take a very low profile. His sound advice saved me from the wickedness of these social perverts. This negative behavior is the very reason that ALL our sons and daughters of Lanka, succeed and do exceedingly well, when they venture to foreign pastures; away from the reach of their scheming jealous local associates.

About a decade ago, there was a classic case of jealousy in a poor village, where a young lad got entry into Medical College (a very rare feat) and was subsequently brutally murdered by his, supposed to be three close friends. The courts found all three of them guilty of first degree murder and were condemned to the gallows.  It is a terrifying thought trying to figure out how three young people could meticulously plan the murder of their close friend and buddy. What motivated them towards this brutality was of course JELOUSLY. The only conclusion one could come to is that their basic education both at home, temple and society; had not inculcated in these boys a sound value base. Have our Buddhist homes deteriorated to a point that we do not discipline our children to a very high value base of our beloved Buddha Dhamma.? . It is the primary objective of any society or government to imbibe within its citizenry a sound value base – first and foremost to respect and revere Human Life as most Sacred. Today we hear many gruesome murder stories throughout the country where murders take place owing to petty jealousies. Since there seems to be no end to this pattern of murders; it high time that the government took immediate steps to urgently eradicate this by emphasizing and teaching this in Dhamma Schools, public lectures cum Seminars including Colleges and Schools.

At a time when the government is faced with multiple issues of National importance, it is most surprising, that it is directly interfering in the personal laws of a particular community, governing their own marriage, divorce and inheritance;  whilst personal laws of other communities such as theUp Country Sinhalese Kandyan Law and Jaffna Tamil Thesavalamai, are left severely alone. Is this a racist agenda inspired by jealousy ?. Strangely the Minister of Justice belongs to this affected community. His slip is badly showing?

I dare say that it appears as though the majority of us are inherently jealous of someone or something at some moment of our lives;  as though it is very much part of our culture. Our priests throughout our serene Island will confirm this sad but inherent trait. When I ask them, about this, they say, “that is always like that sir” (“Ahake ahamathamiamahathayo”). What boggles my mind is that at which point in our history did we learn this despicable and bankrupt culture trait. Of course there was in history the jealously of Kasiappa and Mouglana of Sigirya fame. The jealousiesthat prevailed within the places of our ancient Sinhala kings and chieftains. The jealously of the Kandyan chieftains when the British Raj manipulated their petty jealousies and became ultimate rulers of Ceylon. Also post Independent Ceylon, saw how a senior cabinet minister decamped the government; and motivated by power and position and jealousy, formed a government through a cheap rabid racist agenda; which destroyed the unity of our country which won our Independence through the united effort of ALL communities. It did not matter to him if his crooked, ugly and racist means justified his triumph. From then on racism marched boldly forward bringing along with it a religious, language and racist mindset into our daily lives. Thus throwing our Nations progress back at least a hundred years and making it poorer in all aspects life. The draconian Official languages Act of that government, jealously marginalized the minorities, depriving them of progress within all sectors of society. Being jealous of our dynamic and hard working Burgher community who made a tremendous  contributions to our Public Administration, Commerce, Industries, Police, Armed Services, Sports, Medicine and Entertainment; we drove them to Australia, which gave them very high positions In Medicine, Foreign service, University lecturers, Public Administration and law. Observing the Burgher communities success Down Under; learned people from other minority communities too left for Australia. The 1977 Government tore down this draconian and ugly racist Law: thereby opening the doors of opportunity wide open to every citizen regardless of race and religion. Subsequently Sri Lanka raced ahead in economic development and became the envy of Asia. It brought in gigantic infrastructure projects like the Mahaweli Diversion and Dam building unprecedented in the 20th Century, benefitting both Agriculture  and Hydro power generation. Foreign investment and foreign currency flowed in abundance to a point that we threw away with painful and unwarranted Foreign Exchange controls. People even carried foreign exchange with them.All sectors of the society worked together as ONE SINGLE  Nation  for the benefit of ALL. We understood that United we stand and Divided we Fall. There was no space for divisive politics during this period.

Most cases of jealously are caused by greed for riches, especially when others have it and you don’t?. As a young child if I saw a rich and prosperous person going in a beautiful car or living  in a posh house; I was taught by my beloved parents to say “ Oh God may he be happy with his riches and may he have more”. I am certain my parents will attain Nimbana for the discipline they gave me which served me well throughout my life. Indeed I am very rich within my soul and absolutely contented; which in fact has made me feel immensely rich within. “I envy nobody, no not I, and nobody envies me”– said The Miller of the Dee.

Today we see this racism take a much bolder and broader stand, through an officially declared racist agenda arising out of JELOUSLY. Our government’s ministers when abroad, shamelessly claim that we in Sri Lanka are an united lot. But when they return they put on their shameless dark racist cloak, in which they breathe extreme jealousy.  So, is this scenario of Extreme Jealously to be our final episode to be played out to destroy our multi cultural, multi ethinic, multi religious  existence of over 400 years?: where we will fight caste wars of jealously and destroy ourselves in the final phase? Oh Merciful God, kindly show us your Mercy and Grace and save us this shameful end. – Amen. D.B.S. Gunawardene, Nilamara Rd. Maharagama.

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