9th January 2000

Power for lying and lying for power

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Many people argue that it is impossible to abstain from lying. They give reasons to justify the need for lying. This is because they believe that lying is not such a grave sin. However, I have said before how the Buddha preached that a person capable of lying is also capable of committing every other sin.

All wrongs including that of lying are committed because people are not concerned about abstaining from sin. If a person is capable of comprehending the results of wrong action, this person will even with difficulty try to abstain from committing these faults. However much he tries to justify his wrong actions, knowing full well the results of deception will serve as a deterrent to prevent him from committing these wrongs.

The Buddha preached that one should be a model to oneself, "attanam upanam kathva", and abstain from wrong. Therefore since any form of lying is to trick another person the act of lying can never be justified.

However, it is no secret that lies, and deception are spread throughout society. When examining how lies and deception have crept into all parts of society, we see how rulers use lies and deception to mislead people and strengthen their power.

Think how you would feel if you were taken in by a lie uttered by another. How much embarrassment this would cause you? Would you like to be in this position ? Similarly, as you would be embarrassed by another's lies, lies uttered by you would cause others a great deal of embarrassment and would also cause much pain of mind to them.

No one has fully understood the extent of damage that is being done to the country through this act of deception.

The root cause for terrorism can be taken as a prime example. It is clear to everyone that the root cause for this terrorist war is deception. It was born of deception.

More than 50 years ago having gained freedom from the imperialists and obtaining the wealth of universal franchise Sri Lanka gradually became an independent and sovereign and Sri Lankans gained the opportunity to lie freely.

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