There is a beef stall which has been operating in Thimbirigasyaya for more than forty years. I can remember it from the times I used to go around thimba when I was a little kid. The beef at this stall was fresher as well as far cheaper than what is available in the Supermarkets in the area. In fact they had far more variety as well since normal supermarkets would not sell specialized parts such as brain tongue spleen etc which were also less in price than the more premium cuts. Also this shop played an important part in providing cheap of offal to the poor in the area; something which a normal supermarket cannot do. Even the wealthy needed this shop as all the bones and dog meat for their pedigreed dogs came from this shop.
Recently it was demolished in quite a hurry without even an alternate locations being handed over to them. The reason being a special Budha Jayanthi commomeration high rise has been put up at the thunmulla junction which is nearly a kilometer away and it was somehow deemed unclean to have a beef stall on the road leading up to it. This has left the Muslim family who ran this shop without a source of income.
In fact I spoke to them over the phone and what they told me was that though the authorities promised them a quick relocation before the demolition took place that once the deed was done they have changed their tune and refused to provide them with an alternate location saying that it was not profitable for the CMC.
Now I am not a Buddhist but I asked some of my Buddhist colleagues would Lord Budha have endorsed that an entire family lost their means of income and is now going hungry thanks to a shrine built in his name??? And the answer was a resounding NO! I didn’t think so either.
Sadly I think this is a typical Sri Lankan trait. Something which makes us Sri Lankans. This is not the first time I have seen people do bad deeds for a good purpose. I see a lot of people stealing flowers from other people’s gardens to offer them as poojas. Or putting up “Dansalas” in the middle of the road without scant regard for the people who are driving down this road or the pedestrians. They believe that because it is for a good cause people should put up with it. Which is extremely sad.
However this post does have a happy ending. The people who did the beef stall have found another little shop and going to sell their meats as a “Meat Shop” or “Farm shop” which needs only a super market license from the authorities. This means suddenly, not only will they be getting there old clients back but also attracting a new clientele. People who used to patronize only supermarkets or farm shops before. Who says that every dark cloud does NOT have a silver lining?