18 November, 2019

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And Now They Have Come For The Muslims

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

It is alarming, what is happening to the Muslims in Sri Lanka. There is a 50:50 chance it will blow up into unrest and instability – I will explain anon why I have hedged my bets. However, there is a disease these events have exposed about which there can be no doubt. This is a deep animosity towards Muslims, which remained buried during the civil war against the Tamils, and has now broken out into the open. Explicit expressions proliferate on the web and in the media – even international sites like Youtube are used for an outpouring of hate mail. Here are two printable quotes from the web to convey the gist of it – I cannot quote more juicy examples littered with obscene expletives, or because they are in Sinhala.

Quote 1: “My Muslim brothers. Plz remember this is not a islamic republic where ‘sharia’ law is practised…
Sri-lanka is a majority sinhala country where 74% of the population are sinhalese..
YOU HAVE MORETHAN ENOUGH PREVILAGES HERE. NO PANIC PLZ….
WE WILL NEVER LET YOU TO EAT INTO OUR HERITAGE AND OUR RELIGION..”

Quote 2: “This could well be a self inflicted attack by the Muslims themselves in order to incriminate Sinhala people and to create havoc by rioting. The venomous atmosphere currently prevailing in Sri Lanka is the direct result of encroachment in to Buddhist Temple properties and establishing places of worship on the sly. Sinhala Buddhists co-existed with Muslim people when there were no provocation by the latter. Encroachment in to the ancient Buddhist Shrine at Kooragala, obfuscate the scrolls and establishing a tomb for worshiping, is another example of Muslim high handed and provocative activity.”

It is extremely important (I do not use adjectives carelessly) for overseas readers interested in Lanka to thoroughly apprise themselves of the factual side; I will touch on it but lightly. Two excellent sources for politically sophisticated foreign readers are the websites:-

          https://www.colombotelegraph.com

          http://groundviews.org (an award winning site)

The build up in outline

The Dambulla area is home to an ancient Buddhist rock temple and a Mosque has existed in the vicinity for about 60 years. On Friday 20 April the chief prelate of the Buddhist temple (Inamaluwe Srisumagala) led a large throng of slogan chanting Sinhala-Buddhists to the mosque demanding its demolition on the grounds that its presence in adjacent precincts violated the ethos and legality of the scared area centered on the temple. Shouting and rowdy scenes hovered through the dust and filthy air; men urinated on walls, a monk disrobed and exposed his crown jewels to Allah!

More worrying, Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne issued a statement justifying the call for demolition and undertook to grant land elsewhere to rebuild the mosque – President Rajapakse was abroad at the time. The incident is not isolated; it has been preceded and followed by outbreaks of religious conflict not limited to Dambulla. Reports speak of kovil conflicts in Trincomalee and attacks on a mosque in Kattankudy.  Statues of Gandiji, Baden Powell, Vivekananda, Vipulananda and poet Periyathambypilai were decapitated in Batticaloa less than a month ago. An eighteen foot ladder was used to reach the head of the Gandhi statue – obviously something that cannot be done without the knowledge of the police and the security forces crawling all over town. One hundred and fifty churches have been torched in the last few years.

The Muslims called for an island-wide hartal, but the first date announced, Friday 27, passed without event; probably cooler heads prevailed and persuaded the more angry to give negotiations a chance. The President has returned and efforts are being made to diffuse the ticking time bomb and it may be possible to calm things down – that’s my first 50%. The problem is this: If it’s a matter of just incidents, however execrable they be, there is a chance of soothing nerves and letting bygones be bygones. However, if deep wells of hatred and organised evil are at work, then unfortunate Lanka will again “round and round the cauldron go, and in the poisoned entrails throw”; that’s the other 50%.

An assessment

The superficial theory that I do not subscribe to is that the Lankan regime orchestrated these events to distract attention form its worsening economic flop and the thrashing it suffered in front of the whole world at the UNHRC in Geneva. The complicity of the defence establishment also makes ethnic reconciliation an impossible headache. Clearly there is much to divert public attention from. Nevertheless, I discount this hypothesis as a knee-jerk theory because this game plan, if pursued, will blow up in the face with fatal consequences for the regime. The ruling cabal knows this; the Rajapakse siblings are not stupid. The proof of my hunch will come if you see the regime trying to defuse the crisis, rather than aggravate it.

Upon giving this benefit of the doubt to the regime the predicament becomes more alarming. The government has nurtured a viper and encouraged racial extremists in its bosom that it is unable to control. The Sinhala extremist coalition partner the JHU has spoken up in support of demolition of the mosque. In truth however, it is a deeper phenomenon that is more deadly; a certain version of Sinhala-Buddhist ideology that has impregnated society at large. The consciousness that drove forward the war also cemented a pre-existing faith that Sri Lanka is the land of the Sinhalese and the pristine home of Buddhism; other races and faiths must recognise that they live in a borrowed place on sufferance of good behaviour – my first quotation makes the point. The politicisation of Buddhism as the state religion, the constitutional entrenchment of Sinhala, and the ethnic monopolisation of state and the armed forces, have shaped the political structure of the country.

This has all been internalised in the psyche of many Sinhalese people. Indian readers will make a mistake if they equate it with Hindutva sentiments because India with many languages and castes is more kaleidoscopic, a more plural society. A bipolar arrangement (tri-polar if the separate identity of the Muslims is acknowledged) sharpens edges and fertilises, what some, as a shorthand, call the Mahavamsa ideology. (The Mahavamsa is a fifth century Pali text glorifying ancient Sinhala kings and civilisation).

President Rajapakse’s mute countenance on his return from Korea is because he recognises the depth of Sinhala-Buddhist Mahavamsa sentiment as the ideology on which his political project is founded. He is terrified to call it to order; he will not dare, and the monks know it. This to my mind is what makes the religious imbroglio in Sri Lanka, even if defused once, a slow burning fuse with timeless explosive potential. A huge campaign of public education and conscience building is needed. The government is intrinsically incapable of even touching the matter, so the task falls squarely on the shoulders of civil society in the widest sense of the term.

The regime is beholden to the Muslim governments of the Middle East which to a man voted on its side in Geneva at the UNHRC is March. Tens of thousands of Lankan ladies work as domestic helpers in the Middle East, and the tea trade, and Iranian oil, the list goes on. Notwithstanding all this the Rajapakse regime is incapable of saying boo to the Mahavamsa goose.

Courtesy http://www.southasiaanalysis.org

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Latest comments

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    Thanks for this! But I think you are exaggerating the Sinhala Buddhist Mahavamsa factor which is not as powerful as you and Mahiand Rajpaakse like to think
    1. The fact is that the Muslims of Dambulla mosque leaders should have filed a case against the un-Buddhist monk and let the law take its course since there are ample witnesses and video evidence that the monk was involved in criminal trespass, incitement to racial and religious hatred and disturbing the peace. That the Muslims did not do this means that they have no one to blame but their own leadership. My my sense is that it is the Muslim leadership, particularly Rauf Hakkim, who ironically is the Minister of Justice, that has let down the Muslim community and indeed all minority communities by trying to make a back room deal with Mahinda Rajaapkse in order to keep his Ministerial perks , rather than taking the legal approach.
    I say this because a case against the Buddhist monk on this matter would have established a precedent for people taking over and doing the right thing rather than waiting for politicians who are all the same whether Sinhala, Muslim or Tamil and simply greedy for power and perks and careless about the needs of the country and people of all communities.. Analysis like this one also quite one sided and problematic.

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      See, Kapila, you’re choosing to ignore the backdrop to these events in the country. The public’s faith in the judicial system is at an all-time low. Imagine, then, the sentiments towards the state’s judiciary by members of a minority who have seen the treatment said system has given to the majority Sinhala-Buddhists themselves, and wondered “what justice will we get?”. The Muslims, just like the rest of us, know that Lanka’s justice system has now become a case of “naduth hamudurwonge, baduth hamuduruwonge”. While I don’t condone the lack of a legal initiative by the Muslim leadership, I can see part of the reason why the common people would not be too interested in going to a court that is heavily influenced by members of the same group that threatens them.

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        The reason muslims are not going to courts is not the lack of trust in t of the courts system but they have no case where the land is concerened. The musliim people of the area are aware of this but the politcal leaders are more interested in back room deals for their personal gains.
        Prof.David is a dooms dayer waiting for the sky to fall down.

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          Your comment is awaiting moderation.

          please stop making excuses for your inaction and defending that creep Rauf Hakkim and the spineless and greedy Muslim politial leaders!
          For the law to take its course a case must be filed in court. Blaming the Dambulla police for inaction to excuse your inaction is useless.
          No point complaining if you are not willing to do anything about the problem! Just shut up and let them move the mosque to Timbaktoo or destroy it!
          Who cares anyway if the Muslims cant be bothered to follow the law in protecting their property and want to be so irresponsible why should we concerned Sinhla folk try to help?!

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          Nak,why don’t you ask the same question from the monk?Why did he
          go on rampage instead of initiating legal procedure?Anyway for
          your peace of mind,there are three complaints in the police rrom muslims!WHY CAN’T THE MONK CLAIM IT FROM THE COURTS IF MUSLIMS HAVE ILLEGALLY ANNEXED IT OR ENCROACHED?Dispute settlements outside courts is, the most preferred and amicable way of coming
          to a settlement.In the meantime, why don’t you take a litte time and think about the actions of your monk whom even his Lord will
          be very proud of.

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      Kapila,you forget that the mosque was almost immediately reopened.That
      is a positive sign for peace.Muslims are interested in “out of courts
      settlement”.We will not play the role of “teaching a lesson” while
      there’s space for easy options.This is our motherland to live till end
      of time.Perks and privileges are not oneway traffic, it’s giving and
      taking.

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      Kapila, how could you be so naive in this country where there is no justice. The chief Justice will not and cannot give a verdict against a buddhist monk just as she would never deliver a judgement against Mahinda Rajapakshe or any of his brothers. This is the state of the judiciary in Sri Lanka, so there is no recourse for the Muslims or any law abiding citizens. I hope I have been able to awaken you from your slumber

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      Ask the Buddhist monk to produce any documents which would demarcate boundaries of the sacred site, and he replies that there is nothing in writing, but it has been in effect from time immemorial (may be referring to ancient Maha Vamsa scriptures). But the Muslim Masjid was built on land, backed up by a Deed, even upto the first deed ever written for the land, purchased by a Jaffna Tamil, purchased from an Englishman. All info available as public info on the internet.

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        Is it because that unprincipled power-hungry Rauf Hakeem is Minister of Justice that the Muslims are scared for go to the highest court in the Land!? Shows the level of the Muslims community’s confidence in its own representative! Why are you pointing the finger at the Chief Justice rather than at your own man Rauf! As far as I am concerned both the CJ and Rauf are the pits and that’s why they are holding these posts!
        This is a joke that we have no confidence in Mahinda Rajapakse’s boot-licking Minister of Justice Rauf Hakeem who it seems would sell his mother for some grains of power and make any sort of back room deal to stay in power. The track record of Hakkeem and most of the eastern Province Muslim MP is one of TOTALLY UNPRINCIPLED politics.
        Time has come to demand younger, educated and principled people to represent the Muslim community and stop blaming Sinhalas and Tamils for all the problems of the Muslims!

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          and who, pray, do we blame for the indecent behaviour of that one monk who decided showing his genitals in public was in accordance with the Buddha’s teachings?

          you are clearly determined to blame anyone but the people responsible, especially Hakeem. If you had one iota of common sense and maturity, you would know that Hakeem, whether he is Justice Minister or God himself, has no power in a country where the Sinhala Buddhists truly hold power. even if the muslims were willing to die for him, the fact remains that Hakeem has no option but to go for the “backroom deals”, because if he makes it a “frontroom deal”, nationalist scum like you would have a field day proclaiming to all how the muslim leadership has now joined the “war against buddhism” and is trying to influence your precious King Mahinda. this is a pointless argument i, and anyone of like mind, is making with your ilk, because people like you, my friend, are opportunists who need a conflict to thrive on.

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    It is a waste of funds and time to proceed to Courts under this
    Regime is well understood by all prospective litigants. We are
    living in Mihindawamsa times!

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    Another Civil War on the horizon.

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    How very nice to see Kumar brand the Entire Sinhala race espically the ones who are buddhist as Racist.. for the actions of a miniority of people.. Just as some of our stupid people brand the Racist eelamist ethnic clensing ideology of a few on the entire Tamil race.. Like wise the Entire WESTERN world and its media who blame the WORLDS MUSLIM population and relegion as TERROSIT for the acts of a few… racist radicals… Just like the Muslims who balme all the woes on the Entire jewish population for the acts of a few.. Still PROF kumar is so educated he surely cannot miss these simple points.

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      While branding an entire ethnic group as racists is something to be looked down upon, something you have to realize is that this majority of non-racist/non-extremists are just as complicit in the events unfolding in Lanka by simply choosing to keep quiet. If there is indeed a majority of people who oppose the views of these extremists, then where are the calls for order, normalcy and tolerance?

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        @KP..JUst like in the WEST the Majority are too busy with their.. Material Life.

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          And yet, one has to wonder just how much more of this it will take for the majority to come away from whatever they’re doing…

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      you say that sinhala budists are not racists..how can some one believe it.. bcoz you have massacred thousands of tamil civilians in the civil war.. and deny to hold an independent investigation regarding that..

      And you wish to massacre muslims in the same way… believing that no one can do any thing…

      The word “Sovereignty ” was used to justify the massacre of tamils.. and it will be used to massacre the muslims int he future.

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        first the tamils, then the muslims. catholics next? heigh-ho, what a paradise!

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        @The last dinasaur and KP.. PLS the Eelamist Tamil is No FRIEND of the MUSLIM.. and any other racse that does not fit the Eelam ideology.. Thats why during the 30 years we saw the Mass Murder of MUSLIMS and clensing of MUSLIMS by the Eelamist tamils of the Muslims of the NORTH.. THESE ARE FACTS>>>.. so now people such as KP and The last dinasaur are socalled concerned about the Muslims.. One wonders where was this great compassion when the Eelamist proxy LTTE was clensing the north of MUSLIMS????? Like KP said First the Muslims, Then the sinhalese, The Bughers, and then they went after the Malays.. Lets not shed crock tears…

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          where was i when the mass-ethnic cleansing was going on?

          in 1990, i wasnt born. the second time around, i was in primary school. i apologize if 10 year old me didnt understand ethnic politics at the time…

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          @KP then you shouldnt comment on a subject with out having the knowledge as you seem to have done here.. WHat was it you said.. you didnt understand ‘ethnic politics at the time’ and i am talking before the 90’s as well.. Still one wonders the way you have commented on this important subject the way you have are you still 10 years old?????

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          i can see this is going to be one of those impossible circular arguments with you…

          let’s see…
          according to you, since i was born in the early 90s, i have no right talking about the ethnic conflict, or expressing my opinions of it. so that being said, what exactly is your point? one has to live through a particular period to be able to talk about it? what, pray, is going to happen, then, when all you people are dead and gone? are we as the youth simply to say “well we weren’t there, so we can’t solve this problem”?

          and i was answering to your inquiry as to where i was when the muslims really needed sympathy, implying im someone that plays for whatever ‘team’ at whatever time suits me. i dont have to have any special “pre-90s” knowledge to know that communal politics is tearing this country apart. i have no idea who you are, but at least we as young people have more principle than you learned ones (on both sides of the conflict) who’ve “lived through it all” and messed it up to this extent.

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    Rev. Inamaluwe Srisumangala is NOT the chief incumbent of the famous ancient Dambulla Rock Temple. He built a ‘modern’ temple nearby, broke away from the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siam Nikaya and founded his own ‘Rangiri Dambulu Chapter’. But he is powerful and has political connections.

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      The said monk is a billionaire monk and his bank accounts, assets and financial dealing should be investigated. So too should all the other power hungry political monks like Gangaramaya in Colombo who has distrubed the peace in the neighbourhood by blasting music until 2am in the middle of the night so that people who live in his so-Called Vesak Kallpaya cannot sleep. Vesak has been turned into a noisy carnival and the whole meaning of the Buddha’s mediation and enlightenment that the day marks has been lost by these monks who have commercialised and are marketing Buddhism for their personal gain.

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    @ Kapila

    The trustees of Dambulla masjid has filed about 3 complaints in the Police but the police has done nothing as they were the witnesses at the Dambulla incident. Police should have told the rowdy monks to disperse peacefully and file a complaint in the police but rather they were afraid of this rowdy monk thugs…We Muslims have had many incidents in our country but still we always preferred to live peacefully with other communities..We should not be bothered by this rowdy monks who do not have any of Buddha’s qualities to be a monk after all.

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      Gauss, stop defending Rauf Hakkim and the spineless and greedy Muslim leaders!
      For the law to take its course a case must be filed in court. Blaming the Dambulla police for inaction to excuse your inaction is useless.
      No point complaining if you are not willing to do anything about the problem! Just shut up and let them move the mosque to Timbaktoo or destroy it!
      Who cares anyway if the Muslims cant be bothered to follow the law in protecting their property and want to be so irresponsible why should we concerned Sinhla folk try to help?!

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        Kapila,calm down.why such hurry?This man Ranil is not even dreaming of coming to office!You got any idea of his position on
        Dambulla incident?Don’t worry too much.We are still greens.That’s one reason why we are targeted.See you later.

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        im amused at how this matter has slowly but ingeniously become a political issue with you… hakeem wasnt even involved for the most part: in fact, it D.M Jayaratne who got most of the blame by even Inamaluwe… and yet you, for some reason, has worked this around nicely into yet another bout of opposition-bashing.

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        Kapila,
        It is because of people like you that the police have become an ineffective bunch.It is their duty to nip public disturbance/damage to property/incitement to damage property/intimidation & thuggery, in the bud.
        The local DIG should have interdicted the lot.
        The videos clearly shows their inaction.
        Like in the old days,a baton charge – sparing the monks – would have cleared the rowdy elements and the situation would have been normalised.

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    I need to take this opportunity to congratulate many young Sinhalese journalists, media persons, and social workers who have the courage to defy their elders who are still living in the times of Mahavamsa and mad thugs who commit murders for money in order to uphold the real Buddhist tradition of justice. They are the only hope of a nation that is being torn apart by by the short-sighted fanatical elements. Everyone must be feeling proud of these new generation of warriors of justice.. May the Lord Buddha bless them for standing up for what he preached for the welfare of human soul.

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

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    There’s quite a good number of budhists,not least bothered of their
    budhism except for a couple of traditional occasions.They do respect
    other religions the same way others respect them which is amazing.
    Almost all popular schools are attended by muslim children in the south
    which truely contributes to a big step in real time meaningful integration.Ordinary Sinhalese and Muslims are getting on respectfully
    with each other caring and sharing.But in the meantime, as Mr.David has rightly pointed out,there has always been a danger in wait,ready to explode any time against muslims.For muslims in the south,”not all is well all the time”,is fitting.Kalutara,Beruwala,Aluthgama,Galle and Weligama,Matale,Mawanella,Gampola,Kurunagala all hot spots.But life
    goes on as if nothing happened, because of the majority of people’s stand is peaceful and the situation fully controlled.But as the author said,animosity is there, sitting for the call and each and every muslim is well aware of what’s waiting.Too much has happened within months.
    I’m inclined to believe that urban development,port development,and many other developments are aimed at the cost of national harmony
    and well being of all citizens.The more the developments planned the more the racial and religious intolerance also planned!

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    RELIGIOUS PROBLEM AT DAMBULLA NEEDS AN AMICABLE SOLUTION WITHOUT HARMING PRIDE OF INAMALUWE HAMUDURUWO OR THE MUSLIMCOMMUNITY.I SUUGEST THE EXISTING MUSLIM PRAYER CENTER SHOULD BE PERMITTED TO EXIST THE WAY IT IS WITHOUT PERMISSION TO ANY FURTHER EXPANSION VERTICAL OR HORIZONTAL AND ALSO UNDER THE CONDITION THAT THEY DO NOT USE LOUD SPEAKERS BECAUSE THE ARE WITHIN THE BUDDHIST SACRED ZONE..THE HINDU KOVIL ALSO HAS TO BE PERMITTED ON THE SAME LINES. ALL THE CONCERNED PARTIES SHOULD BE HAPPY IN THIS KIND OF SOLUTION. PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT FAITHS SHOULD RESPECT AND TOLARATE EACH OTHER IN A SPIRIT OF INTERRELIGIOUS UNDERSTANDING NO PERTICULAR RELIGIOUS GROUP SHOULD TRY TO BEHAVE IN A MANNER TO HURT THE OTHERS FEELINGS.IF WE FAIL TO LIVE TOGETHER IN HARMONY WE ARE OPENING DOORES TO OUR ENEMIES WHO WILL DESTROY SINGHALESE AND MUSLIMS IN A SINGLE SHOT.

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    What happen to the Buddha statue in afganistan, They dimolished it. They talk love story when they can’t get there things done. Lies and Lies and they keep encroching every where. And keep talking about Coran and allaha. Little that they realise there are other Relgions thouse who belive otherwise and they should be allowed to do so.I don’t hate any Religon, But Mind your own business and follow what you belive with out trying to covert , or encroch and lie. Secratly bringing up Mousqs in houses is not nessasary, Just find a place , register and do it. Be strait forward my friends.

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    The professor, son of Lenin/Matks/Engles , is a interesting character … Trying various ways to undermine Sri Lanka and it’s people …. Once he predicted Waterloo in Mullathiev and gave a Excellent skills certificate to Tamilnet website … I was especially surprised to read that excellent technical certificate from a professor of engineering field … Taking this small “Muslim” conflict to a great altitude, he predicts various combinations and permutations while wishing the worst outcome to Sri Lanka … Professor, we have come across many doomsday sayers predicting various bad omens in past few decades especially regarding LTTE’s terror and it’s ability anahilitate the whole country. 
    Don’t you think, professor, it was not too bad at the end?
    There are some countries, you can not even take a satue of Buddha from the airport … And some have blasted the status of Buddha in some countries … Anybody got hyped up regarding those? .. Why not predict what will happen to those extremist people? 
    Prof ays “The politicisation of Buddhism as the state religion, the constitutional entrenchment of Sinhala, and the ethnic monopolisation of state and the armed forces, have shaped the political structure of the country.”
    What about USA, Europe and many other countries? In USA, money is printed with “in god we trust” and bible is used in almost all political functions.
    The problem people like Kumar D talk about is not the actual thinking of these guys … It is to find methods to deny the rightful place to sinhalese and Buddhism in the country called, SRI LANKA.

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    By far, Muslims are the only community in the world, to PRACTICE their religious observances collectively and with regularity, as ordained by their creator through their Holy Book – The Quran, and shown in practice by example by their leader Prophet Mohammed (May peace be upon him). All Muslims pray 5 times a day, and on Fridays additionally, listen to a sermon which is supposed to provide religious guidance to improve on one’s closeness to God, and doing good in order to achieve heavenly abode in the hereafter. Muslims fast collectively the world over during the Arabic month of Ramadhan for 29 or 30 days (depending on lunar calendar). Perform the pilgrimage of Hadj to Mecca (at least once in one’s lifetime), and visit the Prophet’s burial site in Medina using this same opportunity. Strictly NO integration of men and women in places of worship, as these lead to other distractions and belittles the purpose of congregation. These are strictly laid out rules that every Muslim MUST comply, or else he is no Muslim. These self disciplinary actions only help to improve the tolerance levels of patience, obedience to the laws laid down, and submission to the will of the Almighty God, our creator Allah.

    In comparison, Buddhism is way of life which has no compulsion, and therefore cannot be held accountable for absence of religious fervour, observances are sometimes superficial in the way of ‘to be seen in the crowd’ with flowers for worship, feeding the poor and the travelers in Dhaansalas, feeding the monks with the best that they can afford, irrelevant of what types of food is served (eg. meats, fish, eggs) except on Poya (Full Moon) day, what hypocrisy. As an individual, Lord Buddha has set some very high and noble standards to follow, but most of our Buddhist monks collectively only know too well that they can never be achieved. But will try to emulate him as best they could. Some of these precepts are Abstaining from …harming living beings, …taking things not freely given, …sexual misconduct, …false speech, …intoxicating drinks and drugs causing heedlessness, …taking untimely meals, …dancing, singing, music and watching grotesque mime, …use of garlands, perfumes and personal adornment, …use of high seats, …accepting gold or silver.

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      insulting the other faith only shows your own ignorance and bias, not how great you or your faith is. it is because of people like you, on both sides, that this kind of situation has arisen.

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        I don’t disagree with you kp

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        What has been stated by me are based on indisputable facts, not ignorance, bias nor insults as suggested by you. If you felt so, then it is just that you have not understood the underlying message.

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          for goodness’ sake, this isn’t about you or me… what i said is that this kind of comments is what fuels anti-religious sentiment. i don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that your comment is indeed biased and isn’t constructive to this situation in the slightest possible way. “indisputable fact”? according to some, certainly. But until these “facts” are universally agreed upon, just stop making comments like this: it gives the extremists justification to carry out their campaign, and harder for the moderates to mediate.

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    Buddhism was started in India, but today has no place. Taken over by Hinduism. Only archelogical sites remain. Islam was started in Saudi Arabia, and has today spread the length and breadth of the entire world. A Muslim can go to anywhere in the world say his prayers, greet a brother Muslim and immediately feel at ease, since they all profess to attest and believe that there is only one true God, Allah, and further accept Prophet Muhammed as the last and final Prophet (Messenger) sent into this world. All Muslim countries take Sri Lanka to be a friendly nation, due to the support Sri Lanka has given to the Palestinian cause. If anyone were to hurt the sentiments of the Muslims, it will deeply affect the country to country friendly relationships of many of those Muslim countries, since all Muslims all over the world consider themselves to be members of one big family, and address each other as brothers and sisters of one religion – Islam. Secondly, swear allegience to their own nation state. Case in point, Pakistan vs Sri Lanka cricket match. The Muslims of Sri Lanka find affinity with the Muslim cricketers of Pakistan, and so cheer them on, to the utter disbelief and anger of the local onlookers. This is the kind of special unspoken bond which the Muslims the world over are blessed with. Be it China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, whole of the Middle East, Russia (7 breakaway Republic states), North African States, some European countries, and since of late U.S. of A.(Watch Youtube and see conversions to Islam). Personallly, I have even listened to lectures by a few Muslim Theologians who were former Buddhist monks who reverted to Islam, have performed Hadj and Umra, got married to Muslim women, have a family, and living peaceful life.

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    Look at the CHEAP shot at the Sinhalese by this learned professor who could never say that he was discriminated during his life in SL …. What a way to select the caption …
    “And Now they have come for the Muslims” ……… It is like asking “when did you stop beating your wife” …
    Are you, professor, so convinced that Before, they (Sinhalese you meant I suppose) had gone for the burghers, tamils, Veddas, chetties, Cubans, Mexicans, Hindus and finished them? Now they have come for Muslims?
    LTTE rump in Canada has got very excited up exactly like the professor regarding Muslims in SL and trying to build A coalition against SL … They like professor can not remember who chased away Muslims from north and massacred even in places of worship. Where was this professor then?

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      where were you when July ’83 was going on? where were you when church after church was burnt down along the southern coast?

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    Among the many incredible claims Ifthizam makes here is another fantastic one “all Muslims all over the world consider themselves to be members of one big family, and address each other as brothers and sisters…” But somehow their Bigest Brother in Saudi Arabia refuses to hear the plea of the parents of little Rafeena Nafeek – holed up in a Saudi prison from February 2005 on a contested charge that has many holes in it. The Saudis seem to care two hoots to the appeals from all their Brothers and Sisters here – together with the appeal of the Fowzies, Hakeems, Moulanas, Mohameds and what not. Even the Rajapakses are ignored here. This does not look like Brotherly love. It looks more like revenge, blood-letting and medieval justice.

    Neither was it Brotherly Love where over two million Islamic Iraqis and Iranians slaughtered each other a few years ago – using even banned chemical weapons. Poor countries like Sri Lanka had to pay for the cost of that stupid war when the price of Oil was sent sky-high.

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuan,
      You forgot Ali Abdulla Salih and Ben Ali.

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        You are referring to two ousted corrupt political heads of State, former Yemeni President who ruled for 30 years, and the other Tunisian President who was ousted by popular uprising. So what they got from their own people was what they deserved. There are many more similar instances in history. Excuse me, but what I refer to is the common Muslim brotherhood, as taught by our Imaam (keader)

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          I like this Senguttuvan for his style, with the exception of his
          visible anger at muslims,may be because of what he believes in.He
          knew what I meant by reminding him of Ben Ali and Ali Abdullah.You
          took it differently,may be because you failed to detect the
          essence of my lines.Besides,as a muslim,even I feel embarassed to read what you try to say,simply because of your style of saying it
          makes non-muslim neutral minded readers feel uncomfortable.There
          are plenty out there to take on muslims simply because of their
          religious identity, chiefly based on international publicity some
          muslims have gained.I think Senguttuvan is waiting for you to show up.

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        You have indicated that you are Muslim, and I accept that, therefore greet you with the universal greeting ‘Assalaamu Alaikum’ (we are at peace with each other, and brothers-in-Islam). Whilst reading through this blog, I recognize your valiant effort to thwart attempts to disparage or malign the Sri Lankan Muslim status vis-à-vis, its stand in the maintaining inter-communal harmony, and religious tolerance towards other faiths. But, what I fail to read is you effort to spread the message of Deen through Da’wah, so that it arouses interest to know more of the true teachings of Islam. Responding with arguments for the sake of arguing, retorting or responding to the assorted array of assertions is Ok, but you need to be knowledgeable to slip in a few lines which would draw attention, (either arouse curiosity and interest to understand more, or outright condemnation, in extreme cases being called fundamentalist, extremist or even a mad man). But in the eyes of the Prophet of Islam, you have done your duty, and there is reward for you from Allah Almighty. There is not going to be a Prophet that will come into this world hereafter, and therefore the job of spreading his message (have you read the Prophet’s last sermon – take this message to those who could not be here) falls squarely on our shoulders. You don’t need to be agreeing and disagreeing with what I say, or what others may say, rightly or wrongly, being a Muslim or a non-Muslim, but the essence of your message should carry emphasis towards drawing attention or focus on Islam and its teachings.

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          Let me greet you back with “wa alaikumussalam”.I always like to maintain a low profile in all my comments unless a long exhausive
          case is confronted.There’s no need for anyone here to unfold all
          his/her experiences or achievements to prove a point or to pen a
          point about the subject in discussion.Only if you understand the readers views in the correct perspective,you react to them or interact with them in a suitable manner.This is what I have done
          throughout.I’m not here to advertise Islam to non-muslims.And this
          platform is surely not created for muslims to propagate Islam.The
          readers are not here to learn about Islam either.A racist attack, violation,threat,a crime has taken place against us muslims and a space has been created to discuss the issue by this blog.Are we
          here to participate in such a debate or lecture our superiority to others which you call “Deen through Dawah”?I’m here to face the
          reality with facts and figures.Please don’t try to judge my knowledge of Islam from your standing.What I have done on this blog is what my concience told me to do and in line with the
          subject in question.Please take this to your mind,Budhists,Hindus
          and Christians in our country are, all in good harmony with us because of people like me out there interacting with them.Finally for your information,my family built moque,gave girls in marriage helped two monks converting to Islam and we adopted children from non muslims and gave them education as far as they can go and still looking after them with house and land given to them.These are not preachings,these are actions for thousands to see.I don’t need to learn how to spread the message of Islam wrong way.I have interacted with Jews,Blacks,Chinese,Japanese,Europeans,North Americans,South Americans.Apart from Budhists,Hindus and Christians of Srilanka and India.I know of humanity from the depth of my heart.My arguments are not for the sake of arguing,they are for the sake of upholding human dignity which is under threat in the name of budhism.

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      I was only referring to what is the norm and not the exception. You have missed the point when you referred to the case of Rafeena Naffek. Surely, this is a contested case of a criminal offence in which an infant has died, when under her custody and care. Until the case can be proven otherwise, there is suspicion of foul play, and therefore she will be kept in custody awaiting justice or clemency. In these instances, justice should be seen to being meted out, in order to effectively maintain law and order, irrespective of the religious background, and cannot be forged with Islamic brotherly or sisterly love. This is a case of criminality until proven otherwise. The Iran and Iraq war was forced on their people by the governments. Two major Islamic denominatioms, the Shia and Sunnis have been at loggerheads with each other, differences based on deviated idelogies. You need to know or understand Islam first, before realizing when, where or how this deviation occured. The Sunnis don’t consider the Shias as brothers in Islam, but as ‘Murtads’ (deviated away from Islam), and it is the same feeling in response. So there is a lot of enmity between these two factions and the war was not amogst brothers in Islam, and ended becomig a stalemate. No sides won, but many Muslims died serving their country, but not their religion.

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    It certainly does not help pluralism when false claimants of religions of recent origin, to boot duplicating other older ones, are given space while observations taking exceptions to these are deleted. No wonder men like Girt Wilders of Holland, gaining increasing popularity from the radical right in Europe, call these politically-bent faiths hell for leather going for world conquest “not religions but mental aberrations” only for their shocking behaviour.

    I observe my own censorship when dealing in the delicate business of commenting on other faiths. But I believe, if false claims of one side is given space the views of the other side to set the record straight should engage equal space. In fairness, I request publicity to my earlier comments.

    Senguttuvan

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    Ilthizam’s shifts gears in his shallow defence. Readers in this blog will feel slighted he tries to undermine their intelligence. If there was any such thing as this hyped “brotherly love between Muslim nations” Rafeena Nafeek would have come home long ago.
    Iran and North Korea are 2 countries that have released prisoners of far worse crimes to maintain cordial relations with other countries is universally known.

    It certainly is in poor taste to claim “Muslims are the only community…blah blah” in today’s world where it is expected those of one religion respcts all others. Insensitively and arrogantly claiming theirs is a “superior and special religion” only brings them in collision course – as we see in many countries. The Jews and Christians practiced their religions truthfully and honourably before others began copying their Book, Mountain, Fasting and many other features in the two ancient religions.

    I do not wish to get into a religious controversy. I have many pious Muslim friends whom I do not wish to hurt. The Muslims were indeed pious and religious in this country before the advent of Radical fundalism fuelled by Wahabism. It is the latter that has split our own Muslims that ended in killing and gun fire in their own mosques in home-and-home fights in Beruwala and Kattankudy in recent times.

    Sunnis and Shiaites lived peacefully all over the world. I am aware through personal friends in Iraq, UAR and other places for centuries before Wahabism came and made them mortal enemies Marriages between the two sects were common until radical doctrines of recent times has resulted in both sects going to the throats of the other. The Alawites in Syria/Lebanon; the Berbers in the Maghreb (Morocco, Tunisia)lived in peace with their Islamic brethren until recently.

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuvan – Thanks, but I know you are trying to belittle me, by imposing your opinion on others, both Muslims and otherwise, by referring to ‘shallow defence’, ‘Muslim readers will feel slighted by undermining their intelligence’ and other references made in derogatory terms. Hey, I am no professor in comparative religion, but only doing my little bit for the sake of spreading the word of Deenul Islam. by bringing forth some of its teachings. Now that you have put Islam under the micrscope for mincing and dicing, you may also be interested to watch many rich resources available on Youtube, going by debates and lectures (including Question and answers) by names such as Ahmed Deedat, Zakir Naik (God gifted talent in comparative religions, Islam and …Christianity, …Hinduism, …Buddhism, …Jainism), Yusuf Estes (A Christian Priest in USA who reverted to Islam), world famous singer Cat Stevens, now reverted to Yusuf Islam, etc., the list goes on and on. What was it that is so convincing about Islam that attracts so many people? You owe it to yourself to go do the research and discover the reasons for tourself. I don’t intend to please anyone nor hurt anyone in my discourses.

      murefer to Rafeena Nafeek’s issue, in spite of what I stated previously. You refer to my ‘shallow defence’, which is only your opinion of what you perceive it to be. Muslims who read what I have stated need not be slighted. Formulating your opinion on behalf of others.

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    WhyWhy – It is less anger and more exasperation. Can you imagine an idiot believing Adam was a Muslim whereas Islam was founded around
    1,400 years ago. Unless the fool is convinced the world (according to the belief of the two major religions in the Middle East viz: Judaism and Christianity – on which Islam is founded) is only about 1,500 years old.

    Senguttuvan

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    Ilthizam (May 16) seeks safety after a crop of untenable claims. He quotes a series of writers and admits his knowledge of Islam is limited.

    He gliby asks “what is it in Islam that is attracting so many?”
    I suggest,closer home, he study about Pastor Peter Akbar of Mumbai – until recently a Muslim. He has embraced Christianity by conviction tired of the violence and intolerance practised by Fundamentalist Islam/Salafis. The Nobel Laureate for Literature V.S. Naipaul declared his own doubts in his widely read book “Among the Believers – an Islamic journey” where he travelled to 5 non-Arab countries (mostly Asian) to learn first hand before making his scholarly conclusions.

    The world remembers Islam sweeping North America in the post-Vietnam period. Men like Boxer Cassius Clay embraced the then voguish Islam. What is the position currently (long before 9/11)? They have gone back to their Christian churches in droves despite the huge flow of funds from the Wahabis into the USA. It was reported Saudis have allocated a sum of US$250 billion for conversions in South Asia alone in their dream of world conquest which Naipaul describes in their following wish “From the 21st century onwards 2 out of 5 men/women walking on earth must become Muslims” In Sri Lanka the 3 sons of my Watcher (Tamil from the Estate) have recently become Muslims – each having received Rs.200,000 each for the “good” deed.

    The recent mass-killings in Norway; strong opposition to Islam in Western Europe are largely against the savage acts committed under the name of Islam by fanatics. It was shocking in a world counsellig peace and religioius tolerance recently the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Abdul-Aziz Bin Abdallah Al Al-Sheikh has issued a Fatwa “for the destruction of all Christian churches in the Arabian Peninsula” Where is the tolerance for other religions, that you speak of, here.

    It is in the interest of all religions to keep theirs private – within their homes, private gatherings and places of worship. Admittedly, followes of another religion, admittedly, are guilty of similar aberrations – and I believe the more learned within are trying to change this unwelcome practise. This misplaced effort of trying to impose “the superiority of one religion, its wonderful ways” and foolisly claiming their leader is the “first and the last” are bound to be met with resistance.

    Political leaders must re-think beginning their addresses in public invoking their own religion. This was never done before and not done by those of other religions. I conclude with a tribute to the older generation of Muslims in the country who practised their religion piously, peacefully and “according to the Book” They won the respect and affection of other communities. They did not try to force them on others and did not make religion a platform for political adventures.

    Senguttuvan

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    You may have got some facts pat correct, but most are distorted. Again you resort to your old game of passing judgerment on issues by passing remarks such as ‘my limited knowledge on understanding of Islam’, as reason for my ‘seeking safety’, whatever you are trying to imply. Why don’t you just pen the message you intend to present, and leave the judgement to the readers. Your writings certainly prove your limited knowledge on the true facts, but you report on mundane wordly issues, and for which the world would care less. The issue of understanding Islam in its correct perspective, whilst grasping the essence, or more likely, understanding the pros and cons is quite exhaustive, and this is not the right forum. It is a blog for the title subject under preview, but the moderator has permitted us to vent our feelings on many other matters having inter communal flavor. When you stray into areas which we are all unfamiliar, it becomess obvious to decline and avoid those challenges for purpose of brevity. and you would also notice the zilch response from other bloggers. I can only suggest you to do some of your own quality research on ground realities. What is happening in the world TODAY, of course mistakes have happened in the past, where are we heading into the future, what will our finality be like. There is no one who can claim to be an authority ‘in the real sense’ on any subject, since it is always a learning process from the cradle to the grave. These are the some of my humble reasons for wanting to back out, and not for reasons as what you suggest.

    Adam (May peace be upon him) was a Muslim when God created him. He was Islam’s first Prophet. Simply put, a Muslim is one who submits to the will og God. All of humanity from the first man and woman (Howwa or Eve) were created from dust or clay (and to it we will all return some day), all were born as Muslims, including you. It is only due to influence of your parents religious beliefs, and influence of various other forms of beliefs and practices, that other religions exist today, rightly or wrongly, creating diversity in such vast numbers in the form of nations and tribes. The last and final religion of Islam supersedes all the previous great religions which were sent down by God Almighty into this world from time to time, sent down to prevent man from going astray. Even the 3 Divine Holy Books, Tora, Zaboor and Bible are superseded by Holy Quran. For this reason, in the Holy Quran, God refers to Jews, Christians and Muslims as ‘O People of The Book’. Buddhism may be 2500 years old, Hinduism even older, whilst Islam is only 1500 years, but the concepts of creation, a Creator who has control over all things, life and matter, and all submission is to His will, in its finest and purest, is the concept of Islam. There are many matters which need to be put in the right perspective, but you cannot bear them now, and time does not permit same.

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    KD dont try to attack SRI LANKAN CIVILIZATION BEING HERE 2600 YEARS.
    We relized do you want to eliemniated our TEACHING OF BUDDHIST VALUES.

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    BUDDHIST VALUES!!!!!!!!!!!!!MY FOOT!!!!!!!
    SANGHANAYAKE IN CROYDON UK ABUSING CHILDREN!!!!!!!!
    INCUMBENT PRIEST OF MIHINTALE, WHERE BUDDHISM WAS INTRODUCED GUILTY
    OF SEX ABUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!
    BUDDHIST MONK UNDER LIQOUR SPEEDING AND ARRESTED?????///
    TO DIVERT THE ATTENTION OF BUDDHISTS AWAY FROM ALL “SKELETONS”
    IN THEIR CUPBOARD AND SHIT AT THEIR DOOR-STEP,GO FOR THE MUSLIMS.
    BY THIS ACTION THEY ARE ONLY DISGRACING BUDDHISM.
    ISLAM IS GOD’S RELIGION AND THEY DO NOT NEED THE PROTECTION OF ANYONE

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