Oscar Fernando

Kiri for Gama and Kolamba-Kakiri for dessert – by Oscar E V Fernando

Oscar FernandoJack, disillusioned with restrictions on movement asked John-why so-John explained the reasons-so obvious and said-that some are stressed out and some ponder as to what hit them and how they could face this-new normal-till a new order is so ordained

what is that asked Jack-John then continued to say that with wide and ramified consequences-he will confine to the rural and urban youth communities-that are being destabilized and stressed-while comparing it to a period when all peoples including youth thrived and beamed with satisfaction with an agricultural system that tilled the land well enough-to have earned -our country the epithet-granary of the east

what happened thereon asked Jack

we cannot deny that foreigners who at a certain stage colonized the country-destabilized society-leaving a trail of-good bad and the ugly with which we must come to terms appreciating the good and embracing the rest in a state of compulsion-charity-forgiveness and peace-knowing fully well there is no alternative to develop and progress from the throes we are facing

how and what we could do to swim and/or sink-asked Jack-recovery is many sided-said John-but let us view this from the angle of youth-wherein lies the future and promise for any country

let us look at the hopeful situation where our 2021 budget has a wide allocation in the range of 650B for rural development-and with such hope let us trail back and then forth-up to the present plight

in this pandemic situation faced by the whole world-people seem to gravitate into new beginnings and let us see the drift taking place in our own country

we are beginning to realize we must be self-reliant-seemingly with no alternative to hang onto-what with FDI’s-foreign direct investments on the decline or hard to come by

at the point of colonization-the land was tilled for crops such as paddy-in the lead-and with coffee tea coconut and other veggies

land management then changed hands with the foreigners introducing the mercantile system-to manage crops such as tea rubber and coconut in the hands of large mercantile firms-who perhaps were unwilling to dabble with ritualistic and deep rooted paddy cultivation-thus leaving it  in the hands of local cultivators with old systems of ploughing-sowing-marketing and storing-that came down from the rajajariya system of old-ending with a sad trail of suicides due to many a frustrated endeavor-unable to meet the new trends consequent to new technologies

to make a long story short the progeny of these cultivators-a part of the present unemployed youth-and who drifted from rural to urban in a hopeful search for  much greener pasture-are now seen disgruntled when the pandemic restricted their lifestyle-facing travel bans on inter-district movement and disabling visits to loved ones-and with some facing the prospect of losing income-seen drifting to the rural in search of pasture which now they think will be greener than in the urban-thus leaving behind the chummery type of frustrated living

this is the opportune moment-said John-to encourage and retain these youth and also attract the urban youth to drift to the rural-luring them with modernized agricultural tilling of land

this perhaps is down the pipe line with the massive allocation in the 2021 budget for rural development-this will certainly make the youth feel-that the grass is now greener on that side of the fence

implementing new schemes by way of rural development John told Jack-was our favorite topic of discussion way back in 2020 and even earlier-when in May of that year we adverted to this on the media-stating that the following schemes would reduce vagaries faced by rural cultivators and would give hope to all potential cultivators

with this allocation in the budget many schemes could be implemented rapidly-taking the Mahaweli-Project as an example-what with the Tri-Forces to the fore

construct cold storage plants to face vagaries of weather-cut off the middle man to maintain a fair price to the producer-introduce information technology-IT and WIFI shops for swift communication and banking-attract youth to the rural by constructing venues for-musicals-dance floors both oriental and western-gymnasiums-swimming pools-open universities both local and foreign-introduce rapid teaching of English for operation of IT and communication with the outside world to attract foreign direct investments-whist not neglecting oriental languages and cultures-introduce modern irrigation methods such as drip irrigation and tube wells-open foreign and local universities and hold seminars in the villages

these suggestions are only a drop in the mighty ocean-compared to a wider ocean of possibilities once the rural is opened out to other technological advancements

a vital problem to overcome said John is the age-old problem of land tenure in villages which perhaps has been faced from colonial times onwards-and these are-nindagam-temple-Dewalagam lands and those cultivated on ande basis

being socio/economic problems connected to politics-politicians have perhaps turned a blind eye to this vulnerable problem-a problem-if tackled boldly and with a little bit of totalitarianism-will turn our economy-upside down for certain

in view of the radical nature of revamping-it is hoped that it be carried out by PPP’s-private public partnerships by SME’s

Oscar E V Fernando
February 2021

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A Message from The Great Beyond By Oscar E V Fernando

 

Oscar Fernando

Topics bordering the beyond-considered as beneath the fashionable-intellectual and macho level of attention-now appear in the social media-inhibited only by the modernist taboo-of the writer being dubbed-a goodie-goodie-observed John

Is the new attention a covid syndrome-asked Jack

perhaps-perhaps it is -said John-what with search for vaccines-and even the lowly honey bee not being left alone

however-thoughts of the beyond-other than astronomy-science-finance and technology-are indulged in by those stranded in the realms of logic-but also searching for contentment within

stop that cacophony of which I have had a full in ear and eye-a whole decade through and go ahead with the theme that seems to-en-balm-my soul-sickened with the show of pomp-pageantry- rivalry-hatred-power-wealth and glory-seen all over society and in the world at large said Jack

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The Mystique of Christmas Joy – by Oscar E V Fernando

 

“Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values”

Thomas S. Monson

Oscar Fernando

What is Christmas asked Jack from John-why does it make people happy-joyfully enthusiastic-with silver bells and stars in a Christmas tree-making it so much a mystique 

Mystique john said is food for the heart and soul to enable love and forgiveness and enthusiasm is-God within-so defined in the dictionary

Jack continued to say that only turkey and wine could induce this happiness and enthusiasm in Christmas-John said-it is so for those not aware or made to believe that Jesus is no God

why do you say Jesus is God asked Jack

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Christmas Joy – by Oscar E V Fernando

Oscar Fernando

What is Christmas asked Jack from John-why does it make people happy-joyfully enthusiastic-with silver bells and stars in a Christmas tree-making it so much a mystique

enthusiasm is-God within-so defined in the dictionary-said John and Jack continued to say that only turkey and wine could induce this happiness and enthusiasm in Christmas-John said-it is so for those not aware or made to believe that Jesus is no God

why do you say Jesus is God asked Jack

read the bible both old and new with the mind’s eye open-follow teachings of the ‘Jesus instituted church’-to know Jesus is God-while some others woefully attempt to deny this and insist, he is only man-but more of that later-just for now-why this Joy at Christmas-said John

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The ethnic issue and fear of power devolution – By Oscar E.V. Fernando

 

Source:FT LK

Communities in this country consisting of Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers that stood together for the cause of independence in the thirties, became estranged and some of the disgruntled, left out shores.

What put them apart? History, that is often opinionated with probable views, was the probable cause for parting of ways-and history will not bring rice to the table!

Some say this, pointing out to reams of papers – and some say that, by pointing out another set of papers. We may argue and debate this history till the cows come home – but if both sides stick to their guns, it will only end in fisticuffs – or more likely gun battles – for hate will not cease with hatred-only love and forgiveness will conquer!

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The happy isle that was – By Oscar E V Fernando

Oscar FernandoReading a piece of Des Kelly, editor in chief of E Lanka Journal of Australia-on the internet, carrying very interesting articles poems etcetera bringing nostalgia to some of us remaining in this fair isle and to those who reluctantly migrated in search of pastures green to satisfy their unsettled psyche.

Des Kelly had referred to some epithets familiar to us that were in use in the good old days where we were able to laugh at ourselves-some of these were-lansia karapotha-goigamalansia etc-these were humorously and or derogatively used depending on who used it and for what.

I can add a few more-parangia-kalathonia-nana-humbeya-thambia-kalu suddha-muss veddha and some sayings as-lansi gedera banku kakula-thambige toppia bambuwa warge-karakenakota sembuwa warge and topped it all by sihalaya modaya kavun kanta yodaya

Yes we really enjoyed the days that were-dancing to the tunes of-lansi gedera banku kakula-thambige thoppia bambuwa warge-sinhalaya modaya.

Even before this era there is evidence the isle was happy and contended with the likes of andere-keeping all entertained.

Can we say this was because all communities that inhabited the isle were salt of the same piece of earth Sri Lanka!?

Communities in this country consisting of Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers that stood together for the cause of independence in the thirties, became estranged and some of the disgruntled, left out shores.

What put them apart? History, that is often opinionated with probable views, was the probable cause for parting of ways-and history will not bring rice to the table!

Some say this, pointing out to reams of papers – and some say that, by pointing out another set of papers. We may argue and debate this history till the cows come home – but if both sides stick to their guns, it will only end in fisticuffs – or more likely gun battles – for hate will not cease with hatred-only love and forgiveness will conquer!

Bowing to the majority views, some left the shores peacefully for greener pastures and some have remained to fight another day – and so they fought: they are sure to fight till end times – for hope springs eternal in the human breast!

It can be said that the shadow of a majority inevitably falls on any minority of a country; that is an unstoppable and, unavoidable occurrence. 

But jeopardizing the rights of a minority will only increase the animosity of a minority or a set minorities, and the shadow of this animosity will fall upon the majority in more ways than one-as we see now happening – from inside the country and out!

It is possible that a boat load of people, settled in foreign soil, may face onslaughts on their rights – for a limited time. But eventually with increase of the progeny, they get used to birth rights on this soil. It can be conjectured that in this island two sets of peoples began to grow in large numbers on two sides of the divide. One side grew into a majority and the other became a minority. 

With reams of disputes both communities claim this island as their motherland – leaving the indigenous Veddhas in apparent slumber!

There were amply coded papers of power devolution pacts, agreed upon by Parliament over the years – but we know these papers were torn to pieces in public, due to the influence of extremists, that swayed political voters!

Can the worth of a human being be reduced to a piece of paper? Isn’t their human dignity a point to be considered? Bur however;

It significant to note that there was a call for devolution of power named Tamil Arasakatchu in the good old friendly State Council of the thirties: this call was certainly not due to the grievances subsequent to euphoria fifties nor was it due to abrogated power devolution pacts of the fifties, sixties and seventies!

Why then, this call for an Arasakatchu in the thirties?  Was it not the proximity of Tamil Nadu to our northern shores that spurred such a call? Was it not a clear prospect for a future demand for a wider Tamil Eelam by the then latent Tamil extremists!?

Is it not this very same proximity that is at the bottom of the southern psyche to fear power devolution? A genuine fear that the south will become a regional minority! 

Without proper discussion of these fears and taking suitable steps to eliminate such fears objectively, aren’t we not just shadow boxing over pieces of paper?  

Yes: there was intense crisscrossing on this patch of sea between our north and TN, during LTTE gunrunning and, in a lighter vein, even before that – with the northerners taking a boat ride of an evening to see a film in TN and returning for a good night’s sleep! 

However, we see that countries geographically smaller than ours like, Belgium and Switzerland having power devolution: what prevents us from this exercise, other that the fear of being a regional minority? 

Much waters have flown under the bridge subsequent to such sordid operations down this stretch of the Red Sea, while some southerners were blissfully unaware!

Now the Navy is guarding the island’s border right round. There should be more vigilance over the Red Sea border – adding the Army and Air Force too – and perhaps also get the assistance of New Delhi as in the Indian Peace Force exercise of yore – until the ‘umbilical cord’ over the Red Sea is finally cut; or will it need eternal vigilance for a wider scope for peace? 

With this behind us, is it not time to forget the pre-global era Elara battle and also the grievances over the years, to consider cautious power sharing – in a unitary state – where power once devolved can be revoked by the Central Government, as per this writer’s understanding: it is also conjectured that flimsy revocations may not be feasible under the present global vigilance! 

With both political forces in the country now in a common objective, this may be the last chance to open our eyes!

None so blind as those who stubbornly refuse to see – but keep on clasping ethnic prejudice – a dangerous game to play in this global era! 

When will both sides ever learn to shed pride for Nelson Mandela-styled love and forgiveness!?

Oscar E V Fernando

November 2020

COMMENTS

 

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Plants animals and peoples – By Oscar E V Fernando

Oscar Fernando

Jack always the curious asked John-how and why should we humans interact with plants and animals-are these not there for consumption admiration and for game hunting pleasures alone

No said John-all is of one creation-having the environment-our common home-as good Pope Francis says-and the study of this home is called ecology

ecology! screamed Jack-does it bring bread to the table

man does not live by bread and bread alone-there are those other values to live by-social-cultural and spiritual-need for which we have faced many a time in life-and ignoring which has brought this enormous

environmental crises-such as tsunamis-floods-earthquakes-forest fires-pandemics and the likes-no end

what can the matter be and what oh what shall we do to avoid such catastrophes-asked Jack




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Rock of Ages – by Oscar E V Fernando

 

Oscar Fernando

Opinions-opinions-dull the world with no opinions-to ponder-opinion defined as a view held as probable-said John

Jack said-the world is muddled up with opinions- making it more and more complicated and baffling

both agreed-physical and spiritual sides of man need a two tracked control-giving Cesar his dues and God His

and for this many an empire with wealth-power-pelf and glory-stalked the earth but a wee while in the span of a double millennia-John said

What and where lies the tower and power for peace-asked Jack

you are knocking on a door where angels fear to tread-the chosen venture and fools rush in-said John-and made bold to skim the surface of this illusive-and evasive thought




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Ceylon then-Sri Lanka now-a Void so Wide – by Oscar E V Fernando

 

Oscar Fernando

A subject volatile needs a rope so tight with opinions sensitive and also wide

then-flowing in milk and honey-now-in pools of blood so frequent-sad and despondent-here and in the world resplendent

blood and bombs outside-a subject too tricky for us to handle-let us to the local scene be confined

a tapestry of colorful design and taste with communities all living in peace and joy-veddhas-sinhalese-tamils muslims-burghers and the malays-a spicy tasty pickle it was-though foreign

they gave their might to make the country free from the yoke of foreign rule and their continued fleece-lo and behold the submerged desire to shake off the shackles of shame caved in to a wild desire to went upon the less in might and brawn who happened to share spoils then




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Living in the Present – by Oscar E V Fernando

 

Oscar Fernando

Rhythm! a boring repetition-a quirk of creation to be bourn as a burden from womb to tomb-or an eternal melody rendered to thwart a humdrum existence?
a matter to sit and ponder-the sun rising and setting day in day out and why so the moon too
a bore for some-not for those that dream dare and die-nothing ventured nothing gained and those accepting gloom will lament and lament alone till the day of doom to froth and fume-like all others who may ask-why this and not that-the stubborn rhythm will last forever and for ever
let’s behold the beauty and glory of each passing day with no weighing thought of the past-nor imaging a wishful dream of a bloated future-a future that only awaits a concrete plan with lessons learned and positively thought-laid out for its disposal to last




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