4 December, 2020

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A 2500 Year-Old Culture That Was!

By Sharmini Serasinghe

Sharmini Serasinghe

Sharmini Serasinghe

The current wave of Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism/extremism/racism, and attempts to establish a ‘Sinhala-Buddhist Raj’ in Sri Lanka, if left unchecked will eventually lead, to fragmentation of Sri Lanka into separate states, of the minorities. It may not happen in the immediate future, but it’s a reality staring us in the face.

With the military defeat of the LTTE in 2009 Lankans as a people, were hardly afforded the chance to breathe a sigh of relief, before the Sinhala-Buddhist extremists, in the form of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Sinhala Ravaya (SR) and Ravana Balaya (RB) emerged, waving the flag of Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism/extremism/racism, in the faces of the others.

Instead of nipping this sociological scourge in the bud, the then political administration gave succor to it. The endgame was to be, to juxtapose the majority Buddhists and the minority communities of this land, and classify the latter, as inferior. This caused and continues to cause, irreparable damage to the process of peace and reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka.

The well-orchestrated Aluthgama riots by these extremists against Muslims in June 2014 bore, all the hallmarks of the dark days of the July 1983 riots targeting Tamils, but, on a smaller scale. In both instances, the law enforcement authorities looked on, while the carnage took places under their very noses. Why?

With the change of political regimes in January 2015, many of us heaved a sigh of relief for different reasons. The minorities I’m sure did so, hoping for a final peace, under a more inclusive administration.

For a while, the saffron robed brigades like the BBS it seemed, had been reined in and silenced. But then, along came a new saffron robed player into the game, a clone of Ganasara and his BBS; Yakkalamulle Pawara and his Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa, claiming to “safeguard the identity of the Sinhala people, and to regenerate the supremacy and pride of the Sinhala people”.

The lower-middle class Sinhala-Buddhist is a vulnerable customer, in the marketplace of such supremacist politics today. This, underprivileged class of people who are alas in the majority, while struggling to make ends meet, amidst the spiraling cost of living, become easily convincible victims, of the saffron robed, fanning patriotic and supremacist fantasies, in their faces.

To excite these gullible, fantastic tales contained in the Mahavamsa, and the superiority of a 2500 year-old culture, the remnants of which today, stand as archeological ruins and edifices, (much like the morals of the heirs to this ‘culture’), are upheld as the iconic achievements of the ultimate human race- the Sinhala-Buddhists. How this supreme race has failed in recent times, to live up to this lofty ‘culture’ is never spoken of.

Hosannas on Sri Lanka’s 2500-year old culture, has been one man’s meat and another man’s poison, since independence. Whenever a Sinhalese with an inferiority complex coupled with a racist mindset finds himself stumped, this much hackneyed theme of a 2500-year old culture, and what our great kings of yore achieved, are brought to play. But, no reference is made to what the Sinhalese have achieved and contributed, to perpetuate this grandiose culture since independence.

While the early generations of this ‘lion-blooded race’, didn’t need foreign aid and assistance to build what they did, today, their decedents are unable to construct even a road, without crying out for foreign help.

Talk about empty vessels making the most noise!

I recall, as an impressionable teenager, when Sri Lanka’s first Executive President J.R. Jayewardene, made his first state visit to the USA, during Ronald Reagan’s tenure as President. In his televised address on the South Lawn of the White House, JRJ casting aside his noblesse oblige, referred to the United States as “a country with ‘only’ a 200-year old history, while Sri Lanka’s was over 2500 years old”!

This ‘casual’ or ‘calculated’ remark, (with JRJ one never knew) has remained with me to date. To me even as a child, this totally unsavoury remark, reeked of an acute inferiority complex, and I couldn’t help but feel, utterly embarrassed on his behalf. Was he, as the leader of a tiny drop in the Indian Ocean, which most Americans would not have known existed, trying to feel superior, in this superpower?

For most of us Sri Lankans, we have heard this old-hat too often, and therefore, holds no water. But to a foreigner hearing these words, “Sri Lanka’s 2500-year old culture” and seeing for themselves, how this great culture has shaped this country’s fortunes/misfortunes, it must be truly mindboggling!

Perhaps the moral lows we have sunk to, as a people of this ‘cultured land’, will not be so stark, if the trumpets of its glorious past, are not blown so loud!

What are those today, crowing about this glorious and ancient culture trying to prove, when the very heirs to this ‘culture’ stand, as beacons of miserable failure, in upholding the morals and ideals of such?

Or to them, does ‘culture’ mean mere, archeological ruins and edifices only?

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    It has no beginning, no end.

    Hello Baboon Baboon, Yeah my brain is dead. Gave Pansakula back in 2010. You got me there in a corner Baboon Baboon, because you are certainly not brain dead like me. Never will be too. Because you did not have a brain in the first place. No brain – No brain death. Very simple. We can chant Anicca Vata Sankhara and offer pansakula when you die. But your non existent brain is a different story. It is zero now and will remain zero forever, perhaps the only thing other than Dhamma that is not subject to the phenomenon of Anicca.

    The other day a Christian guy was trying to explain their God to me. He said God is something with no beginning and with no end. I told him that it is an excellent definition but I will say “God is something with no beginning, no end – and nothing in between”. Baboon Baboon that makes your brain God like. It has no beginning, no end and nothing in between too.

    I certainly can differentiate facts from fiction. Fact: All baboons are born without a brain. Fiction: Baboons grow brains after puberty. Reality: The Zica virus takes care of baboon brains after puberty.

    Buddha? Buddha? who is that. Oh yes. You mean Gaban Atha’s Avatar’s Avatar? Obsolete stuff. Expired with Sharmini coming of age back in 1960. Baboon whatever you do, don’t swallow Buddhism. I want you alive so I can bash you up whenever I want to.

    And don’t insult your Guru Sharmini by implying that Buddha’s philosophy is deeper than her’s. There is nothing in the world deeper and harder to penetrate than Sharmini’s. Everyone who tried and survived sane will tell you that. It is deeper and wider than the Agadhaya called Samsara. That is why I leave it alone. I know my limitations and don’t want to take on a mission impossible at my age. You are young and stronger and most of all you have no brain to loose. You can try.

    All Requests by Baboon Baboon Denied. I will keep on haunting you guys in this corner as long as I like and as long as CT permits me. If anything, I am more determined now.

    If you guys think that this sort of juvenile baboon antics can stop me, I have only one thing to say. Send them on. But I warn you, I am not responsible for sending back any baboon body parts including brains, if any.

  • 1
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    Lion vs. Baboons

    Sera Singhale, I am ashamed of you. hamlet, cutlet, omelets followed by malumiris, with all those names, one may think I am having a hearty breakfast rather than fighting a Buddhist Jihad. And when all of them baboons run away with their tails between their legs after getting the beating of their lives, you send a baboon baboon. Are you stupid to think that where a baboon fails, a baboon baboon might succeed? 20% IQ squared would be 4%.

    Perhaps they were just recce parties, consisting of expendable, below average mercenary baboons just to test my perimeter defenses. First I felt sorry for them and just chased them off with a few pebbles. But when you sent that 0 brain 0 IQ baboon baboon it was the last straw. Sorry about that. I hope ICU has managed to save his life. I am a lion and I don’t want to be seen as a bully who beats up a miserable mouse within a hair’s breadth of his lousy life.

    Look Sera Singhale, you Aryan and I am Aryan. Let us fight like men with testicles. Not like ball-less women OK? Send fighters of some class, not half witted baboons who come and just show their dirty yellow teeth and then run for their dear lives the moment they see a moving shadow.

    I cannot be bothered with these lowly mercenaries. Next time I will set Gnanasara on them. He will soon be out of jail and he is already whining to have a go at fake Buddhists like you. And you know what Gnanasara is. He will be a huge escalation from 2.5 mm hand guns to 300 mm big guns. Not just big but a huge escalation in weaponry size. The moment they see him they will just run like hell. Just imagine what will happen if he disrobes as you so keenly wants him to. They will drop dead on the spot. You know Sinhale even you may not survive the sight of the disrobed Gnansara despite all your experience in weapons and big talk.

    So why don’t you just stop attacking the Sangha as if you were some Joan of Arc who disrobed herself? We do not want Gnanasara and you disrobed at the same time. My mind boggles when I think of the consequences.

  • 2
    0

    It’s impossible to have an intelligent and fruitful discussion on CT threads with inane comments by lunatics like Edwin Rodrigo.

    Doesn’t CT filter comments before publishing them?

    Disgusting!

    • 2
      0

      Totally agree with you, Harin.

      • 1
        4

        Tell your boss to send one’s with back bone. I don’t want to kill Garandiyas and acquire Pav.

  • 2
    1

    Edwin Rodrigo is the Court Jester on Colombo Telegraph!

    • 1
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      And the Queen?

      • 1
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        Oh Edwin refers to himself as “Queen”. Now what does that suggest about his sexual orientation?!!Poor chap at 76 seems confused. Fellows, give the old man a break.

        • 1
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          Laughter ids the Best Medicine

          You know Pyg Lion and God Win, I am beginning to like you two guys. At least you 2 seem to have a good sense of humour.

          But as Court Jester of many many decades of experience, there are two things one should never joke about. God and Royalty.

          When you called me Queen, my Aegis radar detected strong pulses of green ray illumination radar coming from the real Queen.

          Take good care you two. I want you safe because humour is one precious commodity very much in short supply today.

  • 0
    0

    Godwin.

    Young Edwin is much younger than 76.
    His GPS is at a location where PORK is taboo.
    He is not a bad chap though; …..

    • 1
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      Young Edwin is much younger than 76 : You think US Navy would employ a 76 year old guy to work on their phase radars, the most advanced radar in the world?

      His GPS is at a location where PORK is taboo. Al Hamdullah.

      He is not a bad chap though; ….. Yaka Kiyana Tharam Kalu Nehellu. (The Devil is not as black as we think). Want proof? Look at your boss.

      • 1
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        Correction: ‘phase radar’ should be ‘phase array radar’.

  • 0
    2

    Madam Seeera Singhe…..Lord Macaulay would be really happy to hear your pro colonial wise cracks. I am ashamed of you Serasinghe, you recall the incident when J.R emphasized the proud history of our nation and shamelessly you have stated that your were embarrassed to hear it…This country will never see any success as long as we have colonial infants like you…

  • 0
    1

    Really Ms. Serasinghe, have you thought about culling the singhe tag from your name? now, that would be walking the talk!
    Developing and keeping an identity called Sinhala founded on the basis of a Thravada Buddhist tradition for over two thousand years at a stones throw (well.. a pretty good throw) from an oppressively cast-concious, economically exploitative, fatally unhygienic, seething populous of India, now that is an achievement! It was, it is and it will be!

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