A brilliant article  by CV Wigneswaran current MP, former  Chief Minister of the North and former Supreme Court Judge.

A brilliant article by CV Wigneswaran current MP, former Chief Minister of the North and former Supreme Court Judge.

I thank Lorensz who was my contemporary at Royal for speaking out.

Let me commit the Kalama Sutta of the Venerable Buddha to be considered when such controversies arise.(Vide Annexure).

The spirit of the Sutta signifies a teaching that is exempt from fanaticism, bigotry, dogmatism, and intolerance. Any attempt at deviating from the secularism that has been practiced for quite some time at our alma mater would only lead to the downfall of this hallowed institution. Royal is not Ananda nor Nalanda.It is not St.Thomas nor St.Josephs.It has always been secular but interested in learning all the religions of the world. I was the winner of the Mackeen Memorial Prize for Comparative Religion in 1957.We learnt all religions though we belonged to our own religion.The Buddhist Brotherhood would celebrate Buddhist functions. So would the Hindu Students Union, The Christian Brotherhood and the Islamic Majlis.When we were invited to those functions we attended them forgetting that we belonged to a particular religion. The idea was to learn about the others. Learning about others gave us a sense of understanding and tolerance. Secularism did not mean we shunned religions and religious studies in preference for science and worldly studies.We understood what Buddhism taught.; what Hinduism taught; what Christianity taught and what Islam taught. Because of our secular though religious background we fitted into any environment.We were not dogmatic,bigoted,fanatic nor intolerant.Today our Parliament has the President, Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition all Royalists.

Please let not Royal become Sinhala Buddhist – a contradiction in terms! I remember Philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurthi asking IMRA Iriyagolle , a Minister at that time, as to how he called himself a Sinhala Buddhist which was a contradiction in terms. If you follow the Buddha’s teachings you are no more committed to the parochial category of a Sinhalese.If you are a Sinhala Buddhist that means you have not understood the universality of the Buddha’s teachings!
Let Royal be a beacon to other educational institutions. Let us be secular but not merely worldly.Let us know each other’s religions. Let us not foist our religion on others even if 99.99% of the students belong to one religion.
Let more Old Royalists of the golden era, follow Lollo’s example in speaking out their minds. Lollo, the son of Professor EOE Pereira, was a Royalist par excellence!
Justice C.V.Wigneswaran