Expressing Gratitude and Expecting Gratitude: To What Extent such is Deserving?

Oct 01, 2014 (LBO) – Recognising a help and expressing gratitude for it is a worthy human gesture. This applies to groups, societies, or even countries. Non recognition of a helping hand given is considered unkind and disgraceful.

Worse is when parties unrelated are praised when the true helper is elsewhere unrecognised.

In Sinhalese tradition, such behaviour is deplored, and the expression underlying such an attitude is Gangen diya bee muhudata aawadiema, or praising the sea having drunk water from the river.

This must be the feeling that came out from His Excellency the High Commissioner of India, Mr Sinha, when he made his chief guest’s speech at the Anagarika Dharmapala Commemoration session organised last week by the Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies of the University of Colombo.

He publicly mentioned in this speech that India has done so much for Sri Lanka, but inadequate expression of gratitude came from the Sri Lankan side, while others were frequently praised.

A particular point of reference made in Mr Sinha’s speech was the Yal Devi train going to Jaffna after two and a half decades on the reconstructed Northern Railway tracks using Indian credit facilities.

As Sri L