Message of Faith & Unity

Message of Faith & Unity

A Message of Faith and Hope – Faraz Shauketaly

It’s that time of year once again. A time that is traditionally the preserve of goodwill, love and a renewal of Faith.

Sri Lanka is traversing through yet another annus horribilis and our small yet hauntingly beautiful nation has not been on its own.

The shocking human carnage that is ongoing in the Gaza and Israeli borders and the de facto pogrom of genocide against the people of Palestine has awakened the conscience of the free-thinking world. Fairness and Justice appears to have taken a sudden departure.

A grim statistic of innocent children being killed at the rate of six per second has not moved the world’s strongest nation, the United States of America from bringing to an end the suffering and genocidal actions against the people of Palestine – even more ironical in that the ethnoreligious group of people known as Jews, were themselves subject to a genocide in the past, and know too well the truest meaning of genocide with all the attendant horrors and pain of mind.

For Sri Lanka, reeling fourteen years after the end of our own war, from accusations as yet unresolved, of allegations of war crimes and genocide, the actions in the form of inaction by the USA is a tough chew.

At home several unresolved challenges have continued to haunt the ever-smiling Sri Lankan people. Departures from due process and the continued use of torture by no less than our own Police department has continued to trouble our people and shocked the conscience of our apex court, the Supreme Court, in two well reported cases of a new low in Police methods and action.

That the Supreme Court was frank and pro-active in this fight against corruption and a wonton disregard of our agreed obligations to international treaties and our constitution, gave the sovereign people of our country a renewed faith in the independence of our Supreme Court.

Several matters remain unresolved as does the fundamentals of our economy. Our law makers continue to try and pull the wool over our collective eyes only to be beaten back at almost every turn thanks to the advances in technology and the dissemination of news and information.

The fact that the government in Sri Lanka has moved towards controlling the constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech, expression and publication is sadly what this past year has been.

The first element of this individual liberty is the freedom of speech; the right to express and communicate ideas, the right to recall parliament and the presidency, to their duties and obligations; it is the right to affirm one’s membership and allegiance to society – to humankind, with whom we share our land, our heritage and our children’s future.

Freedom of speech is synonymous with the power to be heard – to share in the decisions of government which shape our lives.

Everything that makes man’s lives worthwhile – depends on the decisions of government; all can be swept away by a government which does not heed the demands of its people, as President Gothabya Rajapaksa will amply attest to.

The humanity of man can be protected and preserved only where the government must answer – not just to the wealthy; not just to those of a majority religion, not just to those of a particular race; but to all of the people.

Every government by the consent of the governed, must be limited in its power to act against its people: so that there may be no interference with the right to worship, with no interference with the security of our homes, of our country; no arbitrary imposition of pains or penalties on an ordinary citizen; no restriction on the freedom of people to seek education or to seek opportunity of any kind, so that each citizen may become all that one is capable of becoming.

The Easter Tragedy of 2019 was audacious as indeed it was horrendous. Yet, our political authorities have displayed a little more than a passing interest to have an effective independent full and frank investigation apart from engaging in an endless spiral of a blame game.

There appears to be a lack of political will perhaps in the fear that the truth will reveal the desperateness and perverseness of politicians and their agents within intelligence agencies. The people’s Faith and Hope may once again manifest itself in the form of a new Aragalaya in the event that the burden of living with some modicum of comfort and peace of mind, is disturbed.

This Christmastime is the perfect opportunity to reflect on what we want, how we will achieve that want and quite what help our elected leaders will provide to help each of us achieve our aspirations.

No matter that recollections may vary and that Gentlemen are never in a hurry, it is our Faith that carries us through these turbulent times.

May God bless each and every one of you.

Faraz Shauketaly – SMS / WhatsApp +94772300305