Society

In Conversation with Meera Lebbe Abdul Kalam Co-existence in Thalgodapitiya

CHANDINI DISSANAYAKE

Like the many roots that support the enormous palm tree, so should the people of Thalgodapitiya village act together to uphold co-existence.

“I don’t know if we will ever go back to the simplicity of the past where even food was exchanged freely. Now, not even a toffee is accepted,” remarked the former governor of a Muslim mosque, expressing his despair at the loss of bonds between close family friends. Mr. Meera Lebbe Abdul Kalam moved to the Thalgodapitiya area, Ibbagamuwa in the year 1971. He retired after serving as the governor at the Al Masjidhul Hudha (masjidul huda jumma) mosque for forty years. At 76 years he still hobbles slowly to the mosque five times a day for prayers.

“The human expression of feeling and thought stem from interaction based on the spiritual bond that exists among us. Nationality or religion have no impact because humanity is stronger”

It is evident that Abdul Kalam is not happy about the current situation society is facing. He was happy that he could work with the Chief Incumbent of the Thalgodapitiya temple to restore this condition even to a certain level. “After completing my school education, I decided to join the Police. But I failed in one examination. That is why I came started duties at the mosque, which kept me happy and content. But with the current situation in society today, I feel it was a shame that I could not get that job at the Police.  I feel that I could have served more.’ He mused.

350 pregnant mothers representing Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities participated in an event of blessing at the Thalgodapitiya temple. Ven. Nelawa Soratha Thero explained that it is the duty of society to appreciate pregnant mothers. The main benefactors of the temple as well as the Muslim community had agreed to this suggestion and made their fullest contributions.

The temple arranged a sermon on the value of motherhood and how to maneuver through it.he benefactors of the temple provided a nutritional meal to the pregnant mothers and family members. The village mosque also gifted parcels to all these mothers.

“With the intervention of the Chief Incumbent of the temple we should be able to rebuild our village. When I came to this village, there were only palm trees, now the institutions that were built have become centres of peace and co-existence,” says Meera Lebbe Abdul Kalam, happy with the efforts taken by Ven. Nelawa Soratha Thero of the Thalgodapitiya temple to restore the lost goodwill in the village.

This article was originally published on the catamaran.com

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The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Sri Lanka Press Institute.

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