Who wants Sri Lanka’s History removed & why it should not be allowed
Is it ironic that those who laugh at Sri Lanka’s history, marvel at the history & traditions of our colonizers, going so far as to shed a tear for their dearly departed. While every nation must preserve its history & heritage, no external forces or internal stooges of external forces can be allowed to dilute a nation’s history. What makes this exercise cumbersome is when invaders are today the rulers and political elite, whose funds dictate how history should be written. These former invaders suffer a major complex, primarily due to the atrocities they have committed over 500 years which has resulted in invaded nations having their history, culture, traditions annihilated. They do not wish to own up to their crimes and instead take pains to either cover their crimes or re-write history from their lens only.
When a country forgets its roots – the people become simply zombies or gypsies. The attempts to denationalize people is with the motive to remove the bond that attaches them to their motherland. People who value the history & heritage of their motherland treat these as treasures belonging to their mother. They want to pass down these treasures from one generation to the next. This is why well-funded attempts are afoot to completely change the values that have been passed down from generation to generation. The trend to promote notion that practicing customs and traditions is not fashionable enough is one campaign that is well funded and spread amongst school children, university goers and adults. The precious hand-me-down historical snippets of our elders are often laughed at without grasping the beautiful messages they provide.
Sri Lanka’s History has been tampered with since colonial rule but it is interesting to know how & who engineered its removal from school syllabus and why consecutive governments kept mum without attempting to reintroduce it. Did foreign funds have anything to do with this silence? Is removal of history part of a larger sinister long-term campaign to create a pridelesss, valueless society & generation without any sense of patriotism which provides an excellent opportunity to manipulate, exploit them to accept & embrace imperialistic ideologies!
I would like to suggest to include a para to question as to why and whose need the subject History was removed from the school curriculum.. and consecutive governments didn’t take any effort to reintroduce it. Is it a part of a sinister long-term campaign to create a prideless, valueless generation who have no sense of patriotism and can be easily manipulated, exploited to accept imperialistic ideologies.
International agencies are quick to fund Government education programs and cultural initaitives primarily to dictate how history should be written as per their rules and not how it should be written.
Historians and academics are equally to blame as personal scholarship opportunities overseas most often to western climes ensure their promotion of historical truths are filtered to what the West want.
Educationists are equally guilty for also agreeing to write history as per the funding that come their way and controversial translations end up with students learning parallelly conflicting history.
To get US citizenship, people spend months reading the history of the US and memorizing & are proud to take the oath of allegiance committing themselves to put US first. Plenty of Sri Lankans are citizens of US, proud of US history. If Sri Lankans can be proud of the history of another nation, why can’t they or why shouldn’t they be proud of Sri Lanka’s history?
While every citizen must value and cherishe the history of the nation they are born to, this cannot erase how histories of some nations have been unfairly erased. All but a handful of countries escaped colonial invasion & occupations. All of these invaded countries were subject to a plethora of crimes that in todays context of UN Treaty’s would be declared grave offences against nations & their people. US, South America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand were nations robbed from their natives, where natives were stripped of ‘citizenship’ tortured, murdered and continue to suffer discriminations. While the invaders now proudly dictate the history of these lands, the natives continue to fight for justice. However, the true history is never acknowledged. Victors history prevails. Until recently, US even had a holiday for Columbus and only now people are beginning to learn about the horrendous crimes he committed.
The West did not even exist when kingdoms of Asia, Middle East, Africa, South America prevailed and these were rich and civilized as against the ‘white man’s burden’ often presented to the world that they came to ‘civilize’ people.
Sri Lanka’s history is rich, we are the only nation to have proud man-made irrigation and reservoirs, our cultural heritage continue to be a tourist attraction. The manner our kings defended the nation needs to be passed down and shared even among military strategists and foreign ministry. Children and youth need to know the marvels of our past and be proud of them. It is only when we are proud of our past that we want to preserve it for the future and beyond. A well-funded campaign is attempting to ridicule our past heritage, present it as not fashionable or worthy to remember and this campaign is taking great pains to take their message far and wide with the ultimate aim to denationalize people and create people with a mentality of not wanting to defend their nation. Only those who are proud of their nation will bravely come forward to defend it. This is what our armed forces did. They came forward to defend the land, defend the Buddhist ethos of the nation and prevent the separation of Sri Lanka.
It is upto the citizens to do the same. They can only do so, only when they are proud of their nation and feel that they have a role to play in defending what needs to be preserved. However, when programs are out to negate that feeling of pride, there needs to be a counter program to instill pride in the nation’s history & heritage. While the Govt, by constitution is bound to do so, it is also praiseworthy to have numerous national organizations launch a national campaign for this.
Ideally, the school syllabus should be the first place. History must be properly reintroduced to the school syllabus and made mandatory for public, private, international school children. Numerous cultural visits to sites should be included. A patriotic team of historians must relook at the history and re-write the version as per what is right by the country not to please international agencies funding education projects (these funds are given intentionally to prevent proper history reaching our children)
Look how proudly the British were following customs & traditions. Ours is way older and instead of looking down at our history & heritage, it is time we became proud of ours before we take pride in others!
Its all about removing the Buddhist ethos and Buddhist history & heritage of Sri Lanka & replacing it with another. Everything is associated with this historical objective. Only those who realize it try to prevent it because they value the history & heritage.
A country that does not respect its own history & heritage has no future!
Shenali D Waduge