Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera says misguided Sinhalese Buddhists in Sri Lanka who wear their ethnicity and religion on their sleeve and who claim blood relationship to a lion as related in the mythical history of the Sinhala people, the Mahavamsa, are the one’s who fear India the most.
He also urged India to be vigilant to the needs, hopes and aspirations of ordinary Sri Lankans, so that recurring issues, like the bottom trawling crisis in the North of Sri Lanka, which not only affects the livelihoods of thousands of poor families and results in dangerous environmental damage to the rich seafloor of the Palk Straits, are resolved and do not give cause to anti-Indian feeling.
Samaraweera, speaking at the Sri Lanka-India Society, said that the last year has been an excellent year for further cementing the friendship between India and Sri Lanka.
“We had the opportunity of welcoming the Prime Minister of India to Sri Lanka, while the President and Prime Minister were accorded a warm welcome in New Delhi. My friend and counterpart, the Hon. Sushma Swaraj, will be making her third visit in a year and we welcomed the Indian Foreign Secretary a fortnight ago,” he said.
The Foreign Minister said that as India marches on to become a super-power of the 21st Century, Sri Lanka too has embarked on a Tryst with Opportunity that will undoubtedly be a catalyst for Sri Lanka’s resurgence and development.
He also noted that misguided Sinhalese Buddhists in Sri Lanka who wear their ethnicity and religion on their sleeve and who claim blood relationship to a lion as related in the mythical history of the Sinhala people, the Mahavamsa, are the one’s who fear India the most.
“It is true that most races have founding myths recounting the origins of their races, but these myths are designed to inspire and are not meant to be taken literally. Yet the neo-fascists of today’s political climate are claiming blood relationship to an Indian lion (there are and were no lions in Sri Lanka). But the danger of taking the Mahavamsa literally is then we must believe that the Sinhala race is a race created through bestiality, patricide and incest. These neo-fascists seem to see an Indian under every busy and live in eternal fear of Indians swarming into Sri Lanka. Whenever a bridge over the Palk Straits to connect our two nations is proposed, they get into a paranoid frenzy that all of India is waiting drive over that bridge and make Sri Lanka their home, when trade agreements are discussed they see swarms of Indian doctors and barbers coming across to flood the Sri Lankan market. Now they claim that their IT specialists are all waiting to come and take the jobs of Sri Lankan engineers. This is when Indian IT engineers are some of the most sought after in the developing world,” he said.
The Minister said that with the proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement Sri Lanka will build on the Free Trade Agreement to put in place a rules based framework for services trade, enabling the services sector, which accounts for 60 percent of our economy, to benefit from the same market access and dynamism other sectors enjoy under the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement. (Colombo Gazette)