Cock and bull stories!

Have you ever seen or heard of a cart being propelled simultaneously by two different kinds of animals—a buffalo and a bull?

If not you must believe when I say that this kind of unbelievable phenomenon is visible in the contemporary social and political scene. This may be the first instance on record in which a heavy cartload of passengers, dreaming of a successful future, is being pulled by a buffalo and a bull together.

Can we expect these passengers to reach their dream destination successfully, when such uncompromising and altogether different animals are trying to perform this difficult task in unison?

As we all know in such a situation as this, the buffalo, which has an undeveloped brain and a warped mind, is only able to see and feel pools of mud, while its uncompromising partner, although governed by a similar kind of brain, is not willing to go the same path as its “friend”. Both seem to be pulling the cart in two different and unknown directions. Hence these two obdurate creatures of distinct species cannot combine their efforts to undertake the important task of carrying these dreaming passengers to their ultimate destinations. The pathetic result will be these passengers, who had been forced to choose these two animals for their motive power, will be stranded and left in the lurch.

This is what has been happening ever since the buffalo and the  bull had joined together to solve the current ,destination issue.

As the passengers have realized their folly they have let loose these two and asked them to find their own destinies in their own way.

The result as you are aware, is the current right royal battle between the two animals! It is supposed to be a fight to the end and missiles they seem to be using are mud bombs  comprising each others past mistakes and their corrupt practices. As the battle intensifies, we are reminded of the story of the two ferocious cats who were forced into a sack in order to get rid of them. When the sack was untied to free them only their tails were found inside the sack. The two cats had eaten each other. Similarly the result of this battle between the buffalo and the bull  may be the survival of only their horns.

Now we move from a buffalo and bull tale to a cock and bull story which is a  little  bit connected to our history as well as religion. As Buddhist we are believers in rebirth. We believe that once we leave this world we are reborn else where, as different individuals,  but some times with traits linked to some of the happenings during the previous birth.

A friend of mine who is a firm believer of rebirth connects this concept to an episode in the annals of Sri Lanka’s history. He mentions  that the  initiators of the soft take-over of Sri Lanka  200 years ago in  1815 are reborn among us. He further says that Sir Robert Brownrigg and John D’oyly  who lured  the divided Kandyan chiefs into  surrendering our land to the British throne have come back as different individuals to sell our valuable assets to foreigners.

Whether we believe  in my friend’s rebirth story or not is not important at present but the fact remains that what happened in 1815—200 years to be exact—seems to be happening all over again. We have been made to believe that every single  plot of land is sold to foreigners,  with the pure motive of creating a better future for Sri Lanka's citizens. The Kandyan chiefs too believed the same, when they signed the infamous agreement to hand over Mother Lanka to greedy Colonial “Masters”. It took us one and a half centuries to get rid of them, and the damage they did lives with us still. How many centuries will we have to wait to regain our birthright, sold "for a mess of pottage", this time around?

By Vijaya Ariyarathne


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