by Dr. P. H. D. H. de Silva, Rajagiriya
“Raja Bhavatu Dhammiko.” The government should be the first to set an example to its citizens by abiding by the verdict of the court that is supreme in this country. Prior to this verdict the government by selling a litre of refined petrol at Rs. 122 was imposing government and fiscal levies amounting to over 180% of the actual value of a litre of refined petrol.
By the Supreme Court verdict this has been reduced to 100% from 180%. It is about this substantial tax that the government is crying about and defying the apex court.
Lord Buddha made — according to the scriptures — immense sacrifices both during his life time and in the long journey in sansara. He extolled that example was better than precept.
On Sirasa TV news a few days ago a Buddhist monk admitted that he bypassed the long petrol queue of vehicles, removed the metal barrier and obtained all the petrol he needed. The reason he gave was that this is a Buddhist country and that Buddhist monks do not join queues. What followed next at the petrol shed is now a matter to be dealt with by the law enforcement authorities.
In other countries the petrol pump operators irrespective of the person, would never have entertained anyone who jumped the queue.
How laudable would it have been if the monk joined the queue and patiently awaited his turn sharing the same anxiety, difficulty and tolerance with the others in the queue?
The benefit of the petrol price reduction was to the average citizen of this country. But the government continues to remain stubborn as if in defiance and is acting against the public interest.
No Buddhist monk with honorific titles spoke out for the average citizen of Sri Lanka. Instead they identified themselves in government protests against the Supreme Court verdict. How sad and disgusting.
A letter to the editor, appearing on the Wed Dec 31st edition of themoringleader.lk