| by V.N.Giritharan
( October 1, 2013, Toronto, Sri Lanka Guardian

This is my humble request
to the bellicose rulers
of the world.

Do you know Ashoka?

Ashoka the great,
a great Indian emperor
who ruled the country
two thousand years ago.

He, a warmonger
became a great
peacemonger.

He , a warrior
became a great
pacifist.

He fought a bloody
war in Kalinga.

A war of destruction.

A war of
great human tragedy.

Ashoka the great,
a great Indian emperor
witnessed the human
tragedy which he himself
caused.

Witnessing the
war and its effects,
affected him
profoundly;
changed him
forever.

Ashoka , a man of war
became a man of
love ; a man of
peace.

Two thosand years ago
a war changed him
into a peace loving
man, a Buddhist.

You Demagogues,
You Hypocrites,
You warmongers,

how many wars
Have you, rulers
of the modern world,
waged
in the name of
peace;
in the name of
language;
in the name of
religion;
in the name of
nationalism.

My humble request
to you, bellicose rulers
of the world, is
this:

When are you
going to learn
a lesson
from the past;
from the story
of Ashoka,
a great Indian emperor,
who ruled the country
two thousand years ago?

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