A majority of Sri Lanka's, I presume, sooner or later make vows - be it in respect of education, success in a venture, even in building a home.
The general format, irrespective of religion or ethnicity remains basically the same - a journey to a place of reputed spiritual power, to strike a deal with the incumbent deity for divine intervention. This plea is usually made accompanied by an offering of fruits, flowers, incense and a few rupees.
In return for this the devotee undertakes to make further offerings, to express his/ her gratitude
Now, said offerings are supposedly, or traditionally meant to made as a result of your own striving's, your own efforts. Traditionally.
But times change, now, and this applies to those that rule the roost, the offerings are those which belong to the state - land, elephants for example - Do these count is my question, is a vow really fulfilled if you end up giving something which isn't yours to give in the first place?