Monday, December 28, 2009

Guttila-Musila Re-enactment - One who is ungrateful to his appointer will surely be ungrateful to his electors.

Dilrook Kannangara

The Guththila-Musila story is a popular Buddhist Jataka story. Guttila was a musician par excellence serving king Brahmadatta in the North Indian city of Benares. Musila was an ambitious young man keen on learning the Veena. But when Musila approached Guttila, he was refused. Undeterred, Musila stays in Guttila’s house and attends to his blind parents. Consequently, Guttila agrees to teach him. At first Musila faithfully learns. However, once he attained competency he challenges not only Guttila but also his career. Instead of performing at his native city of Udeni, Musila decides to perform in Benares, Guttila’s own city. Without stopping at that he demands from the king that he should replace Guttila. The king arranges a contest. After an epic performance Guttila emerges the better of the two. Along with it people come to know how ungrateful and narrow minded Musila had been and evict him from the kingdom. As Buddhist teachings are eternal, the relevance of this Jataka story is also everlasting. In fact the Guttila-Musila drama is re-enacted in Sri Lanka today!

It was HE Mahinda Rajapaksa under the instructions of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (his brother) who appointed Sarath Fonseka to the post of Army Commander in 2005 just 12 days to go for his retirement. It is said that at first the President had objected to Gotabaya’s recommendation because Fonseka had a multitude of offences concerning morality. However, after his brother’s repeated instructions, the President had agreed. Before long, Fonseka displayed his inadequacies. While the President was trying hard to sustain Indian support for the war, which was critical, Fonseka made a scandalous comment against some senior Indian politicians. At the height of the war, he called Tamil Nadu politicians jokers. It was such an unintelligent statement and the government had to immediately apologise on behalf of him to retain critical Indian support. He didn’t stop at that. He made another unwise statement to a Canadian newspaper. He said that he believed that Sri Lanka belonged to the Sinhalas. His statement was widely criticised as being racist but the government stood by him and cleared his name and the good name of the nation while the war was raging.

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