ECONOMYNEXT – Parliamentarian Harin Fernando’s now-famous speech delivered last week was, in many ways, a reflection of the deep anguish religious and ethnic minorities are dealing with the overtly discriminatory attitudes of the authorities.
In his role as the enfant terrible of the Samagi Jana Balavegaya, Fernando spoke primarily of the fallacy of the government’s slogan of “one country one law” and drew the ire of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa himself.
But Fernando also went on to make a more important point that the religious and ethnic minorities have to accept a subject-hood under the Sinhala-Buddhist majoritarian rule in this country.
He told Parliament that “when (Cricketer) Fairooz Maharoof hits a six, we all applauded, when Mutthiah Muralidaran took 800 wickets we lit firecrackers, but could either of them be appointed captain of the national Cricket team? The answer, he said is ‘No, because of their ethnicity.”
“We are all Sri Lankans who have different beliefs. I am a Roman Catholic Sri Lankan and (pointing to Justice Minister Ali Sabry) you are a Sri Lankan Muslim.”