15 August, 2020

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Aney Haamuduruwane!

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

There is a school of opinion which holds that the clergy should not be involved in politics.  In fact UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapaksha has called for constitutional measures prohibiting clergy from entering Parliament, which would of course see his party man Eran Wickramaratne being barred as well, a fact which neither individual has dared comment upon.  The merits and demerits of such a move notwithstanding there is no escaping the fact that every single citizen has a right to opinion and the expression of the same, subject to the caveats pertaining to character assassination, libel and so on.   Everyone makes choices and very few choices are apolitical.

As such, no one can complain about the Maha Nayaka Theros expressing opinions on matters of national import, including that of the present tensions between the legislature and judiciary.  They can write to newspapers, make speeches and even express views privately.  Whether or not such privately expressed views are thereafter published for purposes unintended is a matter they may or may not know about or care about, but that’s not the point.  They have the freedom to express.

The word of the Prelates needs to be listened to by all, of this there is no argument.  They may not get it right, but that’s a different matter.  They have on many occasions made political choices, some of which have been detrimental to the country and the people, which too one can dismiss as decisions prompted by notions of the wellbeing of all albeit based on incomplete information and inadequacies pertaining to reading the political.  Opinion is opinion, however, and as citizens they have the right to express views.

So there is nothing wrong about the Maha Nayaka  of the Asgiriya Chapter the Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkita Thero chit-chatting with anyone, even with the US Ambassador Michele J Sison.  The Venerable Thero has every right to talk about anything with anyone; even the US Ambassador and even about the current tensions between Parliament and Supreme Court.  The Thero can pass judgment too.  By the same token the Thero will also be judged, with all due respect.

Sison asked about the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice, as she is entitled to, and the Venerable Thero responded, as is his right.  It was then, not just a courtesy call, but a visit to play agent provocateur as has been the not so side-role of US diplomats all over the world.

Now it would be childish to say that the Maha Nayaka Thero is part of an international conspiracy led by the USA against the Government.  The question is, why even bother to discuss the subject with someone whose government cares next to nothing about justice, fair play, decency, propriety and such in domestic or international affairs.    It is certainly not something one expects from those who are often referred to as the Mura Devatavo (Guardian Deities) of the nation.

The Venerable Thero perhaps out of courtesy is reported to have referred to acts of friendship.  Perhaps, again out of courtesy, the Venerable Thero kept silent on unarguable acts of aggression and enmity.  Perhaps out of ignorance, we could add, but let’s err on the side of compassion here.  Either way, circumspect ought to have been demonstrated.  It was not.  Pity.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com .

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Latest comments

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    The American establishment will do everything possible to help carve out a separate country in the island of Sri Lanka for various reasons, the latest to control China. Hambantota harbour is an American nightmare.

    Internally China is already on the American path with a middle class growing. With that air pollution in Peking is so bad that visitors going their get sick. India is no problem to America with its middle class and people still shitting on pavements of big cities.

    Rajapakse policies with Russia and China on its side are preventing American plans to remove him via UNO. But R is making mistakes with enemies inside the cabinet and useless people as advisers.

    The CJ impeachment issue is a big blunder that Sri Lanka can end up with a real tiger’s tail. R, CJ- Bandara and her husband were all acted unethically and loss integrity. But R will be the biggest loser and victim.

    It sad that he does not listed to those who supported him when he was contesting in 2005. Amazingly, he got closed to all those who said “this war is not winnable.”

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    Making comments or issuing Statements on any matter by any Religious
    Leader is not a matter at issue? The writer avoids the actual aspect
    in debate – participating in National Elections and its repercussion
    to the Trade they have to practice!

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    According to Malinda no one in Sri Lanka should say anything against the actions of Rajapaksa. As long as everyone agrees with and praises him he is happy. It is all very well saying that the mahanayakas have the right to comment on anything but he finds fault with them because they said something against what Rajapaksa was doing. Typical Rajapaksa apologist.

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    The clergy of any religon have to be well versed and absolutely involved in their religous pursuits. When they speak it should reflect the teachings of their religon. When they act it should reflect on the teachings of their religon.

    When a lay member of society comes to them for advise it should be given from the standpoint of the religon. When they issue a statement or edict from the standpoint of religon it is expected to be followed by those who profess to follow that religon. If not there is some shortcoming somewhere in the chain.

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    Milinda:

    Yes not only Americans (USA) but all the countries who have accomodated thousands of our war Refugees, reporters who are seeking asylum, both majority and minority who were faulty been prosecuted, harassed, tortured and jailed for no apparent reasons and who are seeking shelter in those countries etc. have all the right to come and investigate and could talk to anybody to find out the cause and truth. It is their tax payer money who are funding those refugees and they are a burden to their societies while most of those countries still contribute financially and material support to settle war effected people and others.

    More over there is no mirracle as to why people suddenly jump the boats and try to flee to other countries risking their lives without any valid reason. Surely there is something going on and those delegates have all the right to find out the reason.
    Like the way Govt.export our women to Middele east to earn foreign exchange…it doesn’t care wichever, whatever, and whoever who goes to whereever as long as they could get rid of them without fulfilling their basic requirements.
    This is the truth but the sad situation of Sri Lanka today.

    Therefore don’t think that those foreign representatives are coming here to have a jolly good vacation or having a luxurious sea bath or doing shopping and buying duty free stuff to take home like our parliament members do when travel abroad.
    They are coming because both our Government which never found a solution to the ethnic and refugee problem and the people who are ever trying to cross to their countries have become a burden to them, to their society and to their economy.
    More over if the Govt. is trying to show to the people that these visits are international conspiracy….it is the most idiotic explanation any donkey could give to another donkey to listen.
    After all what do they get from a conspiracy…..22 million under nourish people with no stable income and foreign exchange….no noticable natural resources…and a broken economy and a bankrupt society.
    Please if one should tell the Govt. Don’t act stupid, talk Bull shit and not to deceive people like Gonwanses.
    It is the Govt. that is a burden to the People, to the society, to the economy and to the international society…and the more earlier they realise and act sooner the better.

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