Sri Lanka tries exorcism as voodoo fails to fight virus
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government is turning to exorcism in a desperate bid to tackle the spread of Covid-19 after sorcery, spiritual syrups and “pot-luck” failed to stem the surge in infections.
An official ceremony to exorcise evil spirits and end the pandemic will be held overnight at the Divulapitiya Divisional Secretariat in the Gampaha district from sunset on Saturday till dawn Sunday, the Government Information Department said.
It said all political leaders and state officials in the Gampaha district will attend the overnight ritual conducted by a visiting lecturer of the Kelaniya University, Sarath Sumana Rajakaruna.
The “Gam Madu” ritual is aimed at exorcising spirits said to be responsible for the pandemic.
The latest move follows an attempt by Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi to throw pots of water said to have been blessed by self-styled godman Eliyantha White who claimed it could end the virus. However, the minister ended up getting infected and required ICU treatment at the IDH hospital.
The latest move also follows another failed attempt to immunize the population using a syrup prepared by a mason who claimed the goddess Kali appeared to him in a dream and gave him the recipe that had four ingredients, including honey and nutmeg.
Health Minister Wanniarachchi was the poster girl for what was touted as the “Dhammika Paniya” after consuming it in front of television cameras.
Mason Dhammika Bandara claimed that a dose of his concoction would give life-long immunity against any virus, but Wanniarachchi and several members of parliament who slurped the syrup ended up in the hospital.
Since the health minister resorted to black magic and sorcery to fight the virus, the number of infections and deaths have risen sharply.
Sri Lanka had about 11,000 infections and 20 deaths when she sought supernatural help, but since then more than 68,000 people have contracted the virus and 339 of them have died. (COLOMBO, Feb 5, 2021)