It was 1987 that I remember the first time Sri Lankan experienced a Bomb blast in Pettah. I have no very clear memory but this year continuously referring in our family over tragic death of one of my cousin sister. She died over Romantic Fever in the same year at the age of 14.As per my aunt my cousin sister lost continuous medical care because the Colombo general Hospital got really crowded with the victims and the dead bodies. In a way my aunt could be correct with emergency situation negligence over some patients could be occurred on priority basis. I vaguely remember the funeral of my cousin sister, I remember I was playing around some other children while my mother and others aunts continuously weeping.
Later I found the year 1987 made lot of people crying because of the bomb blast. Death does not make anything to the end. It could be a start or new beginning of life time deep sorrow and sadness.it is a life time wound to the people who living.
Till 2009 bomb it was an often event attending to a funeral of someone who died in either at war bomb blast. I n Sri Lanka we have traditional village formation with tank fed paddy fields ,the temple and the houses dwellings of the villagers.We called it “Vawai -Dagabai”.Mainly this sort of villages can be seen mostly in north central province.
This village formation is dead now. There are still paddy fields, rain fed tanks, but the village what we had is not there anymore. Paddy farmers killing each other to sell their crop. Large consumption of alcohol addiction, domestic violence, and poverty wrapped with their lifes.During the civil war the young generation of this type of village mainly occupied in Sri Lanka forces. What comes next the dead bodies first monthly, then at the peak of the war daily. These villagers actually never worried about of dying someone at war, rather they happy about the compensation money because it leads the other family members a better future. Now war is over. If we walk through those villages they have there are two elements being added.That the cemetery with lords of soldiers’ tomb stones and a small bus stop memorizing the lost soldiers.
My personal choice when I m dead is the common wealth war cemetery on Trincomalee.This is on the Trinco- Nilaweli road.First time I went there with my father during the cease fire in 2002.when i said that i m glad if i could buried there when i m dead my father said it a good choice,but wrong profession.Because this cemetery was dedicated to the Second world war veterans in 1945.
Also the LTTE had their large cemetery of those who dead in the war.there is a rumor this was designed by Russian Landscape Architect.But for me there is something missing.the tomb stones were heavily built.It does not look like someone rest in peace,More like someone trapped in peace.Anyway the military cemeteries need to be regimental,but should it feel as regimental?
I have been to this place also during the 2002 cease fire and with my beloved father.It was on the Madu road.The cemetery not their any more as well my father not any more.
We are good at living with dead….
We Sri Lankans have great bearing capacity of losing our loved ones tragically. For me it started in1987 but there are children who have lost even their parents before they were born. I will tell a very sad story. I know a beautician who has some successful saloon in my home town Ingiriya. She even worked in Singapore, Saudi Arabia etc. and opened this saloon with her husband. Her husband was a graphic designer. Both of them were running their business happily and daughter of age of 4.the husband of that family does not ride even a bicycle. He did not drive for everything they hire a cab or a three wheeler. One day he was sick and went to the hospital by a three wheel. On the Ratnapura - Pandura road unfortunately they met with an accident.
Somehow the driver escaped, but passenger died. After the one month of the funeral she realized she is pregnant and doctors said child is due on February. I was thinking are there anything could be worst to a child than this? But this child is not the first as well the last one.
In Sri Lanka per year we are losing 2000 people due to accidents and mostly the victims’ are passengers or pedestrians.This is like a continuous war on the road. Even I have lost friends over accidents in their young age. The reason for most road accident in Sri Lanka no one really care the traffic law. Obtaining a Driving License in Sri Lanka is very simple procedure, the test drive with the inspector most cases not more than 100 meters.
As Buddhist we believe death is a part of the life and it’s the only definite thing in life. In Buddhism life is a cyclical process. We believe in rebirth according to the previous good and bad done in life. So most cases General Buddhist do so much hoping for the in return good.
Lord Buddha never made the death alive like Jesus Christ.But lord Buddha convinced death is only a phenomena where we have to face and accept.
The western thinking is very different from our part of the world. But when Isaw victims of the Paris attack I felt everyone have the same feeling of losing loved ones. It’s true we expressing in different way, but we all share the same feeling.