Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Funeral Orators...........




“Romans, countrymen, and lovers! Hear me for my cause, and be silent, that you may hear: believe me.............
For mine honor, and have respect to mine honor, that you may believe: censure me in your wisdom,andawake your senses, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of ....................
Caesar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his. If then that friend demand Why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: 

Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved.Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men? As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honor him: but, as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honor for his valour; and death for his ambition. Who is here so base that would be abondman? 
If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak;
For him have I offended? I pause  ! for a reply....................”


I don’t think Brutus Himself came up with such nice words, what we seen in William Shakespeare Julius Caesar But this speech considers as a one of the most powerful funeral speech in history. Brutus defended himself in front of the Julius Caesar’s dead body. It is not easy to defend an assassination by its own murders in front of thousand gathering. Brutus must be very confident man and the Romans must be very rationalist.


Apart from Shakespeare drams the other funeral speech what I heard was Dr.Carlo Fonseka speech at the funeral of Dr.Edireewera Sarathchandar’s. There Dr. Carlo Fonseka quoted Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s famous lines that” for a country to have great writer is like a second government .That is why no regime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones”.


Alexandr was a Russian novelist, historian, and outspoken critic of the Soviet Union, especially its totalitarianism, who helped to raise global awareness of its gulag forced labor camp system. He was allowed to publish only one work in the Soviet Union,In 2008 Russian president  Vladimir Putin made a historical visit to writer home. The same year Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn died.







Dr. Edireweera Sarathchandra was not only a great writer, he was a social commentator, senior lecturer at the University of Peradeniya for many years pioneers of Sri Lankans stage drama, a musician more than that he was a beloved father of five children. But as Dr.Carlo Fonseka said at his funeral none of government did not like. 

At lease CBK’s government did not beat him. But UNP government beat with him bicycle chains while he was addressing a meeting at the age of 72.More importantly when the victimized party decided to make a complaint at Police, the police refused to accept it.By that time Mr J.R.Jayawardena was the president he who said that people responsible for their own security  and  present prime minister was the minister of youth and education.


I’m not very certain but in my limited knowledge Sri Lankans are very enthusiastic about speeches at funerals. Even in a very poor village funeral there is an agenda. Most cases there is a rhetorician. The rhetorician often retired school head man or some government retired officer. He presents as the venue and help to the organizing of funeral. The Buddhist monks doing their rituals and delivered some Lord Buddha’s point of view about the death. After that starting speeches by representing several parties. For a instant if this dead person worked in an office then a speech from office. If he married from a speech from in law’s .Then another speech from representing friends. Also another speech from neighbors. Likewise there are several speeches .Also some promised in front of the dead body to help the family or good qualities of the dead person. Some stories are not true.

After the funeral most cases no one coming back to help the family, some occasions the dead person is a most notorious person in the village,during his life span he has done worst things to the society. But orator delivering splendid speech over the death person. So that funeral programme continues at least 5-6 hours.

When my father passed away   there were volunteered orator came to the funeral. They even without our consent tried to make the agenda of the funeral. I was in my hot tempered twenties and I ignored their agenda. My father was born as a Buddhist, but he did not die as a practicing Buddhist. Also he spent his own way of not following five fundamentals of the Buddhism. Till his death he very much enjoyed the liquer.He was a sweet liar. He did fishing hunting in time to time plus he enjoyed the company of beautiful women but he stole my mother’s heart for life time. Still my mother weeping on occasion thinking of my father. He was very interesting person and I had very friendly relationship with my father. That time believed I knew more than anyone about my father. But later I came to know I knew very little .But my father’s funeral day I feel very confident and qualified to make a speech about him with the vote of thanking.

So I did but I screw up telling that my father did not wanted to have Buddhist ceremony at his funeral and this was only listing to elders of the family. But I did promise in front of his dead body that I will look after my mother as he did for thirty years.But my few words made very tensed situation in the funeral as well among our relations.They criticized saying that  I have  showed the moronic youth attitude.Now i think this may be correct at some extent,I should not have  open my Fathers personal believes when no one there to safeguard me.I should have tell when my father was alive not when he he was passed away.
But for five years I have been keeping my promise looking after my mother, I may not good as my father, but I’m trying.

In Sri Lanka the politician’s funerals are so different from the others. When a politician is dead could be natural cause or an assassination the widowed wife most cases enter in to politics after saying that she will make the better changes that her husband died for. The Bandanayeka family had many successful stories our ex-president CBK made her promise doing some stretching exercise in front of her assassinated husband’s dead body. But she unable to keep any of her promises when she was in power.

The other funeral speech was from young politician Duminda Disanayake at the moment he is the Sri Lanka freedom party secretary .When his father who was a very preferred politician by CBK died from long term illness he gave a speech of sympathy.At his father’s funeral he explained how his father suffered from long term mistreats by EX –president MR. He further said that ex-president CBK help as a mother. Somehow this funeral speech was an indirect reason of toppling the MR’s government .Minister Duminda Disanayake was very first few politicians who joined with the “Good Government” in this year January.

This all came to my mind when I was passing through Parliament Ground yesterday. President Mytheepala Sirisena delivering his calm voice in Front of Maduluwawe Shobhitha Thero’s Funaral.President addressing the funeral assured he will use his all strength to abolish the executive presidency.at the moment we have to hope for the best. But my worry is I have heard many funeral speeches and promises like this that they never become into reality. Most of the time they were only good funeral orators.

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