Is the Sri Lankan Government a Racist Government?

Some groups of Tamil people think this is true. I cannot understand why they think so. I was born in 1984. Therefore by the time I’m able to understand about the world, politics and about the war going on it was the era of  CBR’s government (1994). From those government up to the todays government I have not seen or heard any racist activities done by these governments. But I was not going to swear that since I do not know what might be going behind the screens of a government.

But recently I got to know a truly remarkable story behind a Rs. 1000 note  about why Sri Lankan government is not racist.


Above is an image of the Rs. 1000 note in Sri Lanka. This is the 2nd highest note which is used for money transactions (couple of years back Rs. 2000 note was announced). Notice the man with the elephant. There is a story behind this picture. I got this from a mail from a friend of mine. This is the story according to the mail.

Can anyone imagine that the elephant and the man wearing a cap near it are from the eastern province and the man is a Muslim? Yes, they are from the eastern province. The man is Umar Lebbai Panicker from Eravur in the Batticaloa district and the tusker in the note was caught in 1925 in the Eravur forest and reared by him.

It is said Umar Lebbai Panicker presented this tusker to Dalada Maligawa and within a short period it escaped from there and went in search of him to Eravur. He brought it back again and handed over to the Dalada Maligawa.

His Excellency President late J.R. Jayawardene in order to honour the long services of the tusker had declared it as a national asset in 1984. This tusker named as Raja adored the Esala Perehera processions in Kandy and thus became national fame and honoured nationally.

After this, the government in power then, decided to honour the person presented this elephant to Dalada Maligawa by printing the picture of him with the tusker nearby, on the notes of rupees 1000/- and the village Eravur was thus honoured by this action.

The tusker Raja that served in Dalada Maligawa and brought fame and honour not only for itself but also to the person presented it to Dalada Maligawa and the village Eravur finally died on July 15, 1988 after serving 50 years in the Maligawa.

Only around 7% are the muslims in our country. Tamils are 18%, Sinhalese constiture 74% of the population. Among them only a muslim had his figure drawn in the Rs 1000 note. What does this tell us about the government? It tells us the government do consider the minority in the country as much important as the majority. So is the government in Sri Lanka a Sinhalese government? No its a Sri Lankan government.


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