Today Is The Buddha’s Birthday, But He Can’t Come

Lilly looking at the Vesak kuduwa

This is the saddest Vesak I remember. It’s a festival of darkness, not light. Usually (whenever that was) the streets are full of lanterns, the city is full of people, the country is full of life. Now the only state-sponsored decorations are armed men on every corner. The only constructions are barricades. There’s a…



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Indrajit Samarajiva is a writer from Sri Lanka, grumpily in Oxford for a while. Sign up for my newsletter at, and you can reach me at