A Writing On The Wall: Sinhala Prayer In A Tamil Church

writing on the wall Mullaitivu churchBy Udan Fernando                                                           

When I was walking near the Mulativu beach by around 5.30 this morning, I came across an abandoned Catholic Church. It was in a dilapidated condition. The Church seems to have been used during the war period, at least in the last stages of the war. A new Church, made in concrete, is under construction a few meters away. But the old statues still remain in the abandoned Church.

While scrutinizing the various objects in this interesting Church, I saw some writing on its walls in Tamil – mostly names of lovers, like Nidharshan & Gopika, etc. To my surprise there was some Sinhala writing on one wall. It read as: හිමියනි සාධු හඬ මිස, වෙඩි හඬ නොම සේ ම (A loose translation will be: Oh Lord, let it only be the sound of saadhu; not that of guns).  Saadhu is a Pali word which means good, excellent or auspicious. The writing was dated 2009.05.08, a few days before the declaration of the end of the war.

This writing, in my opinion a prayer, seems to be written by a Sinhala soldier, while his fellow colleagues were busy ‘ending the war’ or as the government said ‘carrying out a humanitarian operation’.  I could not understand who he was making this prayer to. What does he meant by ‘himiyani’, the Lord? The Catholic Saint or his own Lord Buddha ??

Anyway, this Sinhala Prayer apparently written by a Buddhist soldier on a Tamil Church wall ­­­made me to think a lot as the country just ‘celebrated’, two days before, the fifth anniversary of the so-called ‘triumphant victory’….My own prayer is that this would just be a ‘writing on the wall’ in its literal sense, not figuratively.

 

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