It is a simple question but holding a wealth of meaning & essentially answers and distinguishes those that naturally come forward to defend the nation & those who chose not to. Some leaders are born, some are made by circumstance & rise to the occasion but inherently they do so because somewhere embedded inside their being, they regard the nation as their motherland. Just as a mother lovingly raises her child, turning blood to milk, nurturing the child in the formative years and together with the father instilling values, culture & good qualities, the same is passed on from the child to his/her child & the circle continues. It is the handful of people who treat the land as their mother, who come forward to safeguard & protect that land. There is no doubt about this. Sadly, it is those who cherish the land & who come forward to defend it who end up sacrificing their life & are unable to serve the nation further. Those that don’t cherish the land, remain to do more damage. This is the irony & challenges the nation faces. This land should only belong to those who love & defends the land & who cherish the land to be nurtured for the future generations.

When South Indian invaders attempted to take over the land – it was those who regarded this land as their motherland who came forward to defend it.

When Western Christian invaders landed with Bible in one hand & sword in the other – it was again those who regarded this land as their motherland who braved their weapons to engage the enemy & died sacrificing their life to safeguard their motherland.

When JVP, LTTE took up arms against the land, it was brave sons & daughters who enlisted to fight for their land & defeat the enemy. This they did in May 2009 but not without sacrifice. Their proud parents who have lost their loved ones take solace in the fact that their child fought for his motherland & became a son of the soil. Those of us who did not adorn the uniform but also feel for our motherland, every time a soldier’s sacrifice is being commemorated share that pang of pride alongside his parents. It is a feeling that those who don’t love their motherland can never understand. It is those who love their motherland who even living oceans away & return to their home, feel a sense of belonging and feel to take part in acts of kindness & generosity towards others who are less privileged. That thought to help automatically emerges from their love for their motherland. When they depart to return to their other home, they leave with a heavy heart because their real heart is in their motherland. Only those who love their motherland can understand the feelings of such people.

Those who love their motherland always think of ways they can help or ways their motherland can be improved. They don’t think twice about coming forward when the nation needs them. These are the special people who make a nation meaningful. In the past these great sons of the soil created our civilization, built marvels & left us what we term our heritage. This heritage is what tourists arrive to see and it is to protect this heritage that those who love this motherland file cases to safeguard the sites and appeal to fellow citizens to join their cause. From doctors, professionals, lawyers, accountants, engineers, armed forces, police, farmers, teachers to even the roadside cleaner there are those who love this land as their mother & those who regard this simply as a place they were born into.

Who are those who were born on this land & they feel nothing beyond their name on the registration form or birth certificate. They feel no affinity to protect or defend the land they were born in because they feel no emotional attachment. It may be as a result of their upbringing, the environment they grew up in, their schooling or simply because it is not in their DNA. These are the handful who become easy prey to external elements who fish for people to lure to their initiatives to destabilize Sri Lanka. The lack of affinity makes them not care to defend the nation, they are not bothered who takes over the resources & assets, they view these as unimportant as they have no emotional attachment to them. They become the mouthpieces for external forces inside Sri Lanka. There are another lot of chest beaters who claim they “love their motherland” but this lot are equally dangerous as those who do not love the land.

Those that feel nothing beyond being born in Sri Lanka, will not line up to join the police or armed forces to protect the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. They may decide to join believing it is their right to join but not with intention to serve the nation. Such people are not bothered to fulfil their duties to the nation, they will only make demands for their personal rights and these demands will be endless. Nothing makes them happy, they simply demand more and more. They do not even feel a pang of guilt that they are not fulfilling their duty to the nation, they simply believe that their birth is sufficient for them to get the maximum out of the country for themselves. Such is the mentality of people who share none of the sentiments felt by people who feel this land is their motherland.

Those who feel for their motherland are today worried – they know their land is under threat. They fear the outcome of the sale of national assets & resources, they foresee the dangers of foreigners taking over the airports, ports & harbors as well as even state buildings. They understand the outcome of illegal immigrants from unmonitored sea-rail-road links with a nation that helped birth & foster 30 years of terror. They realize how education system has been compromised to denationalize our people and programs to make sure children & youth who love this land are not nurtured by teaching false history & bogus “reconciliation/multicultural themes’.

Those who love their land are ever ready to defend it, that feeling flows in their blood, their adrenalin pumps when patriotic songs are heard, they take joy when our sons & daughters gain local & international fame (for the right reasons – not those who win accolades for going against the nation) and they worry over the future. These are the unsung heroes & heroines of this land but the divine forces that protect this nation know who they are & will protect them. They must be identified & given more prominent roles because it is only they who can rebuild this nation.

Those who regard this land as only their birthright – should never be given any stake in this land because they have done no service to it, they have not defended it, they have not protected it & they do not care to nurture it for future generations.

Have you identified which category you belong?


Shenali D Waduge


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