By Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera –
“This awful catastrophe is not the end but the beginning. History does not end so. It is the way its chapters open.”
Above mentioned statement was made by the prominent philosopher and theologian Saint Augustine. Still these words crystalise and solidify the veracity which many scientists and other experts who are in the domain of ecology and climate, have emphasised and echoed for many decades.
Myriads of times and many years, scientists and activists have been warning and urging political leaders, heads of states and global citizens not to damage and pollute the whole ecological vicinity of the universe.
Even the great Master the Gautama Buddha has introduced and laid down many rules in monastic disciplinary codes to protect and preserve the ecology.
By respecting and admiring Buddhist principles and policies, political leaders, head of state, government authorities and people who respectfully and pragmatically practice the teachings of the Gautama Buddha in Bhutan protect and preserve their nature.
Bhutan is one of the smallest countries in the world. But its commitment to conservation is bigger than most.
Conservation of the environment is one of the four pillars of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness philosophy. As mandated in its constitution, Bhutan preserves (at all times) 60 percent of its land under forest cover. Bhutan has succeeded in doing so. More than 51% of the country is protected—the largest percentage of any Asian country. Most of it is intact forests interwoven with free-flowing rivers.
Evidence of this commitment to conservation is everywhere in Bhutan. Native wildlife—including endangered royal Bengal tigers, elusive snow leopards, elegant black cranes and elephants—all roam free in the country’s 5-million-acre network of protected areas. The people of this Buddhist kingdom can hold on to a fundamental birthright: living out life in a healthy environment. And one of the country’s top industries—ecotourism—is thriving and growing.
In other neighbouring and contiguous countries, arrogant power hungry and ignorant money voracious leaders and people paid no attention to it. These arrogant leaders and their henchmen competitively and aggressively have been devastating everything which is interconnected with ecology. A mass scale of ecocide is still continuously in operation.
These foolish and short-sighted scoundrels have destroyed millions of hectares of forests and rainforests around the globe to make roads and pave the way to their own benefits and interests. This particular race never respect the environment and cleanliness. Their sanitary condition is beyond toxic and septic.
They ignorantly polluted the whole environment. They viciously made infectious agents, toxics and viruses to destroy human beings in the globe.
Unfortunately, Sinhalese have no knowledge of how they destroyed innocent Tibetans.
Until 1949, Tibet was an independent Buddhist nation in the Himalayas which had little contact with the rest of the world. It existed as a rich cultural storehouse of the Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings of Buddhism. Religion was a unifying theme among the Tibetans — as was their own language, literature, art, and world view developed by living at high altitudes, under harsh conditions, in a balance with their environment.
The Dalai Lama, an individual said to be an incarnation of the Buddha of Compassion, had been both the political and spiritual leader of the country. The current Dalai Lama (the 14th) was only 24 years old when this all came to an end in 1959. The Communist Chinese invasion in 1950 led to years of turmoil, that culminated in the complete overthrow of the Tibetan Government and the self-imposed exile of the Dalai Lama and 100,000 Tibetans in 1959.
Since that time over a million Tibetans have been killed. With the Chinese policy of resettlement of Chinese to Tibet, Tibetans have become a minority in their own country. Chinese is the official language. Compared to pre-1959 levels, only 1/20 monks are still allowed to practice, under the government’s watch. Up to 6,000 monasteries and shrines have been destroyed. Famines have appeared for the first time in recorded history, natural resources are devastated, and wildlife depleted to extinction. Tibetan culture comes close to being eradicated there.
Peaceful demonstrations/protests/speech/writings by nuns, monks, and Tibetan laypeople have resulted in deaths and thousands of arrests. These political prisoners are tortured and held in sub-standard conditions, with little hope of justice. Unless we can all take part and recognize Tibet’s loss as our own, the future looks grim.
Hope those who worship Chinese will understand who they are. Inner human qualities and human rights are absent in their hearts and minds. Unfortunately, our innocent people have no sense of understanding about them at all.
With the fullest support of Sinhalese political leaders, they have trapped the whole nation not only the present but also the future generations yet to come.
Now, Sri Lanka is a very famous island in the globe not because of the Pearl of Indian Ocean but because of Chinese Debt Trap.
Now nearly two years people are in a desperate situation. Millions of lives were murdered. They have viciously stolen all technological strategies, plans, ideas, policies and secret matters. They have stolen all industrial capacities, punctions. trades and businesses. Millions of employees have lost their incomes and some of them have lost their livelihoods in many countries.
Unfortunately, in the names of Nation Building, Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour, and Development money hungry politicians have borrowed billions of Dollars from Chinese authorities by fooling all citizens of the country.
In the future, any Sri Lankan citizen will fail to claim the country or island as their own. Political leaders and heads of states in other countries abhorrently laugh at us.
Chinese never respect any religion or faith. They never believe in Karma and Karma Vipaka (Cause and Effect). They believe and respect money and power only. That dangerous virus has been infected in our politicians too.
Rule of Law and justice is only in words. Head of state and his henchmen never allow any other member of the opposition to be active in politics and protest tyranny and to criticize the cruelty and dictatorship. In China, no democracy at all. Head of State has been selected by close associates of Communist Party for his life. No one can remove him from the power.
Those who are intoxicated with power and wealth, think that they are the most powerful and all mighty superiors but all must know that the Power of the Mother Nature is beyond puissant and gigantic.
Now the mother nature has started to severely and rigorously punish them.
This is called “WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND”
This is what they have earned by killing millions of innocents in Tibet and brutally suppressing people in many countries.
“What you saw you may reap” ( by the Gautama Buddha)
“Dangerous consequences will follow when politicians and rulers forget moral principles. Whether we believe in God or karma, ethics is the foundation of every religion.” (Dalai Lama)
Humble / July 23, 2021
Sri lankans on the whole (with a few exceptions) are a very materialistic and greedy people.
If the chinese are a materialistic people with no love for nature, then they have something in common with sri lankans.
The buddha was a king who threw everything away to live like a beggar.
Most sri lankans on the other hand will do anything to get rich. They are like the inverse of the buddha!
When speaking of environmentalists never forget ketheeswaram thevarajah who got a bullet in his head for exposing sand mining activities in the jaffna area back in 2010.
leelagemalli / July 24, 2021
I did not like this MONK Samatha Badda, but I respect today his displine and the manner how he could keep everything nice under one umbrella. THat can be a model for srilanka.
old codger / July 23, 2021
It seems that even Ven.Satindriya, like many other monks, has strong political views. Considering that his country of domicile is Australia, it’s no surprise that he is hard on the Chinese.
But this is a bit over the top:” Chinese never respect any religion or faith. They never believe in Karma and Karma Vipaka (Cause and Effect). They believe and respect money and power only. That dangerous virus has been infected in our politicians too.”
It is Sri Lanka that asked for and got Chinese loans. So China is bad. India refused to give loans and it is bad too!
Isn’t it time, dear hamuduruwo, that we looked at our own culture of dependence? What impels our people to expect everything free? What impels them to live on credit as if there is no tomorrow? Why do we buy fancy cars on lease when we can’t even afford tuk tuks?
Does this have something to do with our 2500 years of culture, which the Chinese have escaped?
Sugandh / July 27, 2021
Dear o c:
An elderly Chinese gentleman, MD of an organization in China, said to me he believes ~70% of the population is secretly Buddhist. I don’t recall talking politics with him but he shared this over a pot of limited edition green tea.
When I shared this conversation with a young Chinese colleague elsewhere in China, the colleague did not share the same opinion.
Later when this young Chinese colleague came along with me to visit the Dazu caves, a UNICEF heritage site, he was impressed by the Buddhist teachings depicted by the colourful rock carvings, declaring he understood how Buddhism could be useful (Aside: Personally, I wasn’t touched by those teachings which were basically if you don’t do the right thing, then you end up in hell where you will be tortured — The message that every God-centric religion teaches).
When I visited a Buddhist temple in Shanghai, which was primarily a tourist attraction, there was some ritual happening… including incense burning. It seemed some Chinese take advantage of the temples to practice Buddhism.
My experiences indicate there’s both, those with religious affinity and those solely in pursuit of money, in substantial numbers.
Nathan / July 23, 2021
Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera, Sir,
There is a beautiful adage in Tami, ‘கெடு குடி சொல் கேளாது’, – A decaying family will not listen to advice.
Our intoxicated scoundrels will not listen even if Lord Buddha came down to tell them, what you have just said.
Mallaiyuran / July 23, 2021
Hirunika’s name was listed with call girls. That itself is not interesting, but interesting is, it was not done by her political enemies but by under age common criminals. The minister of Law and order stopped the prison vehicle on the way to provide change dress for a cinema actress. If you are reading a murder case in Colombo Media then you can be sure about you are reading a rape of a woman or child. If the news that you are reading is not about rape and murder, then it is only about Kerala Ganja or Ice. Rapist army listed as one of the worst in the wold, but it is going to take over Lankawe education, not in by one process of opening higher education houses to army control, but by many ways, including training every one to military. The biggest failure of Buddhism is not in Burma or China, but it is Lankawe.
leelagemalli / July 23, 2021
Dear most respected Rev. Sir,
your wise words would undoubtedly help comforting the nation that is now caught by the clutches of a criminal bunch as the leadership of this country. People s fate is on their hand. They dont seem to care little about the growing grievances of the destitute in this country.
Unfortunately, real buddhist monks of your nature are the rarity in this country today. They always took the nation into right path. However, a bunch of fake monks being close to criminal men dressed in white cloths grabed all powers to their hands today. Look how they treat peaceful protesters today . Please look at how they treat women as a whole today. See how they try to use redherrings in order to mislead the nation for getting passed their selfish, pacts and law amendements.
may the nation’s wisdom be improved and be powerful to get rid of current criminal rulers out of the leadership.
GATAM / July 23, 2021
Racist allegations. Shame!
Ajith / July 23, 2021
Again a very good article. Unfortunately, I don’t know how far the Buddhist Religious leadership understand such valuable Buddhist principles.
I hope it will be very useful for SJ.
chiv / July 23, 2021
Respected Sir you are one among few, voices of sanity left. “What you saw you may reap”, I sincerely hope so. Dangerous consequence will follow when politicians and rulers forget moral principles, unfortunately it is the public mostly will have to face those consequence. Whether we believe in god or karma, ethics is the foundation of every religion. I would go ahead further and say ethics is the foundation of every living human being and that makes religion as a primary source in guiding them. What we see in Lanka now is amoral politicians have exploited religion according to their convenience and people follow these politicians for their religious guiding. Religious leaders unlike you Sir, too has abandoned religion for lucrative politics. In this process religion it self is now highly politicized, corrupted and weaponized. If Chinese made Dalai Lama a refugee (in his own country), our politicians have turned many in the name of Gautama Buddha.
chiv / July 23, 2021
“Our ignorant 7 million have no knowledge of how they destroyed innocent Tibetans. (they have no knowledge about destruction of their own country men/women). With the fullest support of Sinhalese political pseudo patriots they have trapped the whole nation”. The ignorant says “they are our Buddhist brothers”, where as Chinese have cleansed not only Buddhist, Muslims, Christians for that matter anyone who believe in religion. Chinese have no respect for environment,fellow human being for that matter anything that moves (animals, birds, insects, reptiles) except for money. SJ, who follows Mao’s red book religiously will not agree with Venerable’s portrayal of uncivilized Chinese.
Raj-UK / July 23, 2021
Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera is a refreshing alternative to the political advisory ‘Sanga Saba’ in the govt.’s collection of intellectuals, expected to guide the country towards prosperity & ‘vistas of splendour’. To the average voter, the invading of Tibet & decades of brutal suppression & destruction by China are of no concern, largely due to ignorance. China is seen as an ally of SL against Western conspiracies, unaware that the same fate is likely to befall SL too. Unlike citizens of Hong Kong who feel supressed by the Chinese, we fail to see the militarisation & Chinese influence. To our simple folk, the expansion of road networks, clearing of jungle & wetlands for cultivation & tourist resorts are a sign of development, failing to see the impact caused by the extinction of wild life due to loss of habitat & drying up of water ways & climatic change due to deforestation. The mushrooming tourist resorts will be of no use without the native flora & fauna & we are unaware that tourism promoted today is focussed on sustainability of the eco system, fair disbursement of tourist revenue among locals & the country’s standing in the eyes of the world.
I hope the Ven. thera will be able to inspire other monks with the current reality & the solution in a Buddhist context, instead of sermons based on unsubstantiated ‘jathaka’ stories to educate those misguided folk.
ramona therese fernando / July 23, 2021
Thank you venerable Thera, for showing the atrocities done by the Chinese in Tibet.
The Chinese are genetically not environmentally conscious. They are like the Middle Easterners, and have genes mostly from Mongolia and the Gobi Desert. Yes, short-term money-making via Desertification is the only thing they have understanding of.
The Chinese from the southern provinces and the Indo-China on the other hand, have a long historical connection and genetic makeup towards their natural environment. Unfortunately Chinese from the southern provinces have little say on their needs because they are controlled by the autocratic Chinese Communist Party. Indo-Chinese have a better chance.
Anthropology is very important in understanding how our Motherland can prosper best. And the only way anthropology can have effect is by having united Lankan Democratic Consensus. Autocratic and Despotic control by one Family copying the Mongolian mindset will be final our demise.
ramona therese fernando / July 23, 2021
….will be our final demise.*
Mallaiyuran / July 23, 2021
Understanding Bhutan may help understanding Buddhism, but understanding Tibet is certainly an important part of political process of understanding the future of Lankawe. We don’t know how the Tibetan politicians behaved before the 1950s, but now we have seen how the current Hong Kong leaders are selling their own citizens. Still there is no comparison between the Hong Kong politicians and the Lankawe rulers. Out of the countries who have seen the Hitler’s world war, Lankawe would be the only country asked to vote for Hitler and elect him. People in this country is too stupid to believe any fib politicians breaks, while suspecting the motive of any real talks. A movement that is many times stronger than Gandhi’s Congress is needed to teach and turn around this country. To participate in that is an overwhelming job for Tamils and they have to take care of themselves.
Simon / July 24, 2021
Ven. Sir: Thank you for opening a vista for prosperity that combines “Religion” and “Politics”. The Bhutan success story answers the question- how to harmonize religion and politics. Both religion and politics are fundamental necessities of life having one common goal of having a happy and contented life that determines human civilization. No “Politics” and “Religion” are evil by themselves, but when it is “Misdirected” by unscrupulous people those become “EVIL”. This is exactly what we see in Sri Lanka, in that, both these are in the hands of unscrupulous people (Including the clergy) Politics, and religion in Sri Lanka have become “TOOLS” to ascend to power by the people motivated by biological instincts of maintaining “Familial” rule, even adopting to use of unethical, undemocratic and recently adopted “Militarism” in hanging on to Governing functions. Ironically, these people and their cohorts do not realize that system cannot function for long.
In Burton’s case, the PEOPLE (including the rulers) have realized and have adapted to a life of “Harmony” with Religion and Politics. The know, if you fight on the plane of animal life, you die like animals too. Also, they know if you worship the “Brute” in man, you descend to the level of the brute.
Until and unless the PEOPLE (including the clergy) learn the above reality, Sri Lanka will not know and will never reap the benefits of “Harmonization” of “Religion” and “Politics”.