Answer to Sri Lanka's Curse
by Dr. Tilak S. Fernando reporting from London

On the 1st of January Tamil Member of Parliament T. Maheshwaran was gunned down in cold blood inside the Mutuwal Hindu Kovil during a Hindu Puja right in the 'presence of gods'. That, however, was an utter waste of an innocent life, whatever political ideology he harboured. Press report in a Sunday newspaper suggested that it could have been the high price he had to pay for disregarding LTTE warnings about his shipments of food cargo to the suffering Tamil people in the North by three of the vessels he owned !

His murder was followed by a series of allegations against the Sri Lanka Government by those who are waiting to point a finger at every incident. Such unfair accusations were made despite a suspect being hunted and wounded by a security officer assigned to the late minister at the incident. After the assailant being treated at the General Hospital for gunshot wounds and interrogated, confirmation has come from the IGP that the killer as a LTTE terrorist. Several verbal shots and salvos fired from the parliamentary complex immediately after the murder of the MP were later heard and seen on television exposing some members of parliament as an incorrigible bunch school kids from a junior class room.

A week later, Minister D.M.Dassayanayake was killed with a claymore mine, allegedly by the LTTE. That was another waste of a human life at the hands of a deranged murderer. However, there was a stark difference between those who protested and made a spectacle about the killing of a Tamil member of parliament from that of an innocent government Sinhala minister who was blasted by a terrorist only a few days after! When the late minister's funeral was telecast on Rupavahini and ITN showing hundreds of weeping mourners, a TV channels notorious for its anti government propaganda chose to show an English film ( with Sean Connery ) with sub-titles in Sinhalese!

For far too long the people in this country have lowered themselves and gone beyond animal level by killing their own kind, maiming and destroying property. The distrust displayed among Sri Lankans has enabled us to be called as a nation of jokers! Can ten Sri Lankans get together and work in harmony and for how long? Why are we pre-occupied and become green-eyed, inquisitive and gossip ? Haven't we got anything better than to engage in tittle-tattle and skulduggery? Why are we prepared to do give 'the knife from behind' rather than a helping hand to our own people?. These are million dollar questions that need positive answers! Then, has something radically gone wrong with our genes? Or have the Sri Lankan Nation being cursed? As some astrologers put it, has our island been subjected to malefic planetary affects for centuries?

This situation takes us to an interesting old fable which hails from time immemorial involving King Vijaya and Kuveni, the Yakkini princess, the consort of the Prince Vijaya. History reveals that Kuveni bore two children, a son named Jivahata and the daughter as Disala. When King Vijaya betrayed Kuveni's oath by giving her up and taking a princess from Madhura as his queen consort and ignored Kuveni's compassionate plead and resolved to marry the Madhu princess of his own choice, Kuveni scorned him with words of wrath and cursed Vijaya and Sri Lanka. Thus, this curse is believed to have permeated right down the Royal lineage and has overflowed to each and every nook and corner of Sri Lanka and enwrapped her people over the centuries.

Vijaya's successor, Prince Panduvasudeva, had been afflicted with some incurable, deadly disease after Kuveni's death. At that time Panduvasudeva's illness was directly linked to Kuveni's curse of Lanka in repudiation of Vijaya having had breached his oath.

There are other fables through the length and breath of Sri Lanka to say that other females such as Gajaman Nona, as reincarnation of Kuveni, killing her own son born out of her first marriage to satiate her husband's murderous desires.. The 20th century tragic episode of Mariakade Hamine, due to man's vengeance, has also been associated with Kuveni and her curse. Therefore, are we to assume that the betrayal of Vijaya which followed the inevitable curse was not only on Vijaya but the descendants of Hela People as a whole!

Looking at things in a different perspective some believe there is no relief from Kuveni's curse. The rationale behind such beliefs are that Sri Lankan people are not united with each other. They are always hell bent on doing harm to one-another instead of helping each other. Some Sinhalese, including high-ranking officers of the uniform, and political leaders betray their own race and country during the fight against terrorism, which has become a scar tissue in our society and the economy of the country and become exposed as traitors? A section of Tamil people has turned to be terrorists and started killing indiscriminately even their own kind whom they boast about fighting for a 'Tamil cause'? Do all these have any bearing on Kuveni's curse?

There is also a captivating story about a tiger cub taking refuge on Kuveni's lap at the very moment Kuveni cursed Vijaya when he deserted her. In certain superstitious circles it was thought that the emergences of the cub (symbol of the LTTE terrorist movement) as a result of Kuveni's curse which has grown into a ferocious Tiger today.

Probably these fables have had some bearing on Sri Lanka significantly for three decades as the splendour and unity of this beautiful island had to be in the grip of LTTE (Tiger) terrorism. Could it be possible then that all these terrorist activities be attributed to the alleged 9Deividosa (curse of the Tiger) which Kuveni wished on Vijaya and the country while the tiger cub leaped on her lap at the time she was abandoned by her very husband Vijaya?

Kohomba Kankariya may have helped Prince Panduvasudeva to recover from his incurable curse or disease at the time through exorcism, but what could expel the long seated effects of Kuveni' s curse on mother Lanka today?

Looking at the way the tigers' powers are diminishing day after day, there is a ray of hope for peace and harmony in this country due to the onward thrust by the gallant security forces to tame the tigers and eradicate the menace. Observing and reading the daily situation reports coming from the North about the onslaught on a daily basis by the Sri Lankan fearless security forces and how they fight off the tiger cubs and eliminate their top leaders on a gradual process, one is inclined to assume that the end of the curse is only just round the corner.

What Sri Lanka needed all this while was a formidable exorcist to reverse this evil long seated curse. The time is ripe now that Sri Lanka, her people and Kuveni's life become almost interwoven and the Peace Kuveni hoped, with an almost fervent determination, return to her land after all this time.

To achieve this goal Sri Lankans need to unite putting their petty politics, differences or selfish agendas aside and join hands with the President and Defence Secretary's firm stand to eradicate terrorism for ever from the Sri Lankan soil and turn our homeland once more into a beautiful island full of peace, hope and glory . Then only all communities can live in harmony by proudly calling the Defence Secretary as our modern day exorcist who expelled the devil and the long seated curse out from this paradise island.