This Is How Buddha...

Thirukumaran Thiruchchelvam (2015), a Tamil poet who is a torture victim living in exile, wrote a poem under the title, Thanithiruththal (Seclusion), portraying the Buddha as someone who flees the island for India in the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka.. The Buddha cannot find his disciples either on the island or in India:


All boats are destroyed

On the night of 18th May

the Buddha decides to take a kattumaram [a wooden boat that the poor fishermen use]

In the middle of the sea he realises

It is not a kattumaram, but a body floating.

The rowing rod was a gun

The sea water is red

The Buddha is fleeing to India as a kallathoni [This is a derogative term given by the Sinhala racist groups to depict Tamils as invaders.]

And reaches George Fort [a place in South India which still has a colonial name]

He looks for his disciples.

They are neither here nor there…

Translated By: 

Dr Jude Lal Fernando