| by Shenali Waduge
Views expressed in this article are author own
( July 5, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Lascarins (or Lascareen or Lascoreen or Lascarine) (Sinhala: ලස්කිරිඤ්ඤ laskirigngna) is a term used in Sri Lanka to identify indigenous soldiers who fought for the Portuguese during the Portuguese era (1505–1658) and continued to serve as colonial soldiers until the 1930s. In other words Lascarins are those who fought on the side of enemy against their own people. There was also the term sepoy used for natives who worked for the colonial army. Lascoreens and sepoy are loosely used to describe people who went against their nation to serve the enemy for money and other perks. They were often known for their servitude to the white man. The call to decolonize colonized minds draws from the need to break away from thinking that the world’s solutions lie with only the white race, worshipping the white race and the realization that to build up one’s own country one needs to first feel proud of it, to not only feel proud to be a native but resolve to serve the nation not to surrender one’s nation. The challenge to the Sinhale nation is to make sure Sri Lanka does not become a South Korea or Maldives both nations formerly Buddhist.
Thriving civilizations fell when search for trade discovered land. Desire to acquire land became violent leading to nations being colonized and people becoming indentured servants or slaves. It was from the sweat of these natives and the resources stolen from their lands that the wealth of European nations was built. None of the rights that these nations preach to us were relevant when they descended on our lands and took away by force what was ours. Years after, these nations that have built their empires impoverishing nations while introducing policies that have kept nations in systematic debt and plagued with conflict pretend they had no role in what these countries suffer. Not only have they ruined nations but they have through the systems they introduced nurtured generations of people drawn to and drowned in a mentality that makes them think there is no better race than the white man.
When foreign colonial invaders landed in Sri Lanka a strategy quickly adopted was to hire locals to defend the Portuguese interests. There were people who worked for the enemy in the same manner as now. Almost all of the Lascarins were Catholic converted Sinhalese and some were Tamils. These lascorins were given ranks – Mudali, Mohandiram, Arachchies, Kankanis. There were also instances of lascorins changing sides. The famous battle of Gannoruwa can be given as an example. Lascorins had taken part on both sides during the Dutch-Portuguese war as well. The British empire was also built upon the Indian sepoy army performing the similar role to what the lascorins played in Sri Lanka. Indians volunteered to fight on behalf of the very nation that colonized them and made up the biggest volunteer force during World War 2.
Fast forward to the present we can see that land and profit are again the components that are driving the same Western nations to give handouts to purchase natives and get them to betray the nation. It is a case of history repeating.
Essentially, many of the voices seen today with locals chanting Western slogans of human rights, democratic norms, secularism, multiculture etc are from mouthpieces that have dollars and pounds tied to them. They are simply empty rhetoric attempting to fish in troubled waters when the foreign elements not only fund dissent but they are also fund the other side in what is a clear case of fictitious ‘concern’ for the people.
We will never know if the first stone thrown in Aluthgama was actually funded or whether similar other spontaneous incidents have all been planned and there is every reason to suspect given that these foreign nations out to overthrow and completely destabilize nations are upto mischief riding on the theme of democratic values and freedoms.
When we are told to follow diplomacy and decency these very western nations shake hands with leaders and behind the scenes fund organizations that are handsomely paid to buy over locals and brainwash them and incite them to create mayhem. We see these events happening before our very eyes. We become susceptible as a nation because there are people who would do anything for money. It is easy to tap people who have no morals, who have no love for the nation and no love for its people. They care only about themselves and are selfishly inclined to work with the enemy. We do not need to go far or be prompted to know who these people are.
Sri Lanka is at a crucial juncture. As a nation we can be proud that we have amongst us people patriotic enough to defend the nation. They defended the nation then throughout all attempts to invade Sri Lanka and they defended the nation against the LTTE. There are some Colombians who find it difficult to fathom why the country are so indebted to the ranaviruwo primarily because their focus is only on themselves and because they see nothing good in Sri Lanka and nothing that they wish to protect.
At this crucial time wherein it is obvious that even the UN is today compromised it is no time for petty politics and desire to politically take power. The advice is relevant for both ruling politicians and those in opposition as well. They must at all times remember that money disbursed to political parties, politicians to help them overthrow ruling governments is not because they love them any better but because they think that their choice of politician and political party would give to these foreign powers the much wanted access to the country for them to control along their agendas. We know how far the CFA betrayed the territory of the nation and such should not be repeated just to remain in power.
Politicians with lack of education and knowledge may not be able to understand the political scenarios taking place globally but they should realize that they need to all get their act together to ensure that the country does not fall because of their personal agendas, their lust for power and money and their desire to please the white nations of the West.
The Sri Lanka press has erred, its editors have failed to guide the nation, newspapers never championed the defeat of the LTTE, they never took up causes on behalf of the nation and today we see how far the Sri Lanka press has been compromised. The External Affairs ministry and key officers have fallen prey as well. Their slogan is always to follow a bayagulla policy, one of appeasement and never to take a forthright stand for the nation. We have scores of politicians ready to even divulge the names of Sri Lanka’s intelligence just to fill a bank account. There are even public officials working from the pockets of the West.
We cannot go on with the blame game. We know who the agents of the West are, we know how handsomely they are being paid to betray the nation. We can also contemplate the tactics they would use in Sri Lanka as these destabilizing operations all follow a common template. A good study of how the West operates will divulge exactly what is in store for Sri Lanka.
What we now need to do is to ensure that the country does not fall. In order to do that the GOSL must show clarity in governance. There are some areas that the GOSL has lacked leadership in, there are statements that need to be made and facts that need to be clearly stated. It is because things that need to be said and cleared that are not said and left ambiguous that all the cats and dogs are now demanding pieces of Sri Lanka for themselves. This is where the foreign agents know that differences prevail and what they are doing is only to manipulate an already unresolved issue. All foreign destabalizers succeed because the rulers fail to address and solve problems and issues that need to be solved but are not solved because politicians make personal remunerations from them.
We need to now set stories straight. We need to realize that the country is facing the biggest hurdle in history. We need to now stand together as a nation. The minorities need to also realize that the majority have been magnanimous to them far more than Sri Lanka’s majority has been treated in other nations. It must also be held that this nation was built by a Buddhist civilization and the ethos of the Sinhale Buddhist in a Sinhale nation must prevail. Politicians that rule a nation for a term cannot for personal compulsions, power politics change that status quo, neither can external parties that introduce new concepts and insist countries adopt them. There is a heritage, history, culture, ethos that needs to be maintained and fostered. It is the prerogative of the custodians of power to ensure that these aspects are not diluted, not compromised, not destroyed and not bargained in exchange for their personal glory and power.