12 August, 2020

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Atheist/Rationalist To Be Questioned By OCPD Following Monk’s Complaint To CID

A summons has been issued to self proclaimed atheist and rationalist Indika Rathnayaka who is a social media based online campaigner against religious myths, beliefs and superstitions, to be present at the Organised Crimes Prevention Division on 29 July to record a statement.

Indika Rathnayaka

On 8 June, Executive Director of the Buddhist Information Centre (BIC) organisation, Angulugalle Siri Jinananda lodged a complaint in writing with the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, claiming that Rathnayaka was, through Facebook posts and the formation of Facebook based groups and networks, disseminating mythical ideas about the Buddha and Buddhism, and alleged that Rathnayaka’s actions have thus caused unrest among Buddhists and were misleading the younger generation.

The monk has thus requested a probe, followed by Rathnayaka’s arrest and production before a Court on charges framed under Section 291B of the Penal Code (committing the offence of the deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of persons by words written, insults or attempts to insult the religion or religious beliefs of that class) and Section 3 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Act, No. 56 of 2007 {Section 3(1) on committing the offence of propagating or advocating religious hatred that constituted an incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence}. If found guilty of attempting to commit the offence under Section 3(1), the convict is liable to face a maximum term of rigourous imprisonment of 10 years and under this Act, bail can only be granted by a High Court (HC) or a Court above the HC level and that too under exceptional circumstances, the latter which remains undefined in the context of the Act, thus allowing for wide judicial discretion. Conviction under Section 291B carries a maximum term of imprisonment of two years and/or a fine.

Subsequently, on 10 June, Rathnayaka who is professionally a health worker attached to the State health service lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) citing the imminent infringement of his Fundamental Rights (FR), specifically imminent arbitrary arrest {Article 13(1) of the Constitution} and detention {Article 13(2)}. 

Rathnayaka in his complaint seeking the HRCSL’s intervention, also cited the grave breach of his democratic rights and the violation of his FR guaranteed under Articles 10 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion), 12(1) on the right to equality and equal protection of the law, 12(2) on freedom from discrimination on the basis of religion and political opinion, 14(1)(a) on the freedom of speech and expression including publication, 14(1)(c) on the freedom of association, 14(1)(e) on the freedom of manifesting one’s religion or belief in teaching, and 14(1)(f) on the freedom to enjoy and promote one’s own culture.

Rathnayaka will also be filing a FR petition with the Supreme Court in this regard. 

Rathnayaka said that it was his claim that Buddhism originated from Jainism, concerning which he had furnished evidence to back up his claim, which had raised the ire of the complainant.

Attorney-at-Law Sanjaya Wilson Jayasekera who represents Rathnayaka, observed that, “any attempt by the Government to act through the Police upon the said false and hateful complaint of the BIC would be a further attack on the right to freedom of expression, speech and publication of the working people. Rathnayaka has not violated any provisions of the law. On the contrary, the BIC’s complaint instigates malicious prosecution. Also, the Police have no jurisdiction in this matter as it concerns an academic discourse. If the Police continue with this curbing of rights, it will constitute the enforcement and validation of the prevalent authoritative discourse. This is a complete negation, oppression and subjugation of academic freedom. This is an anti-democratic move.” 

It must be noted that this act by the Government will also have a pronounced chilling effect.

The monk in question was not available for comment. (By Ruwan Laknath Jayakody)

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  • 25
    2

    I did not see the arguments for Buddhism followed Janis’ path. But it is highly likely because they both started to provide relief to people by opposing the Aryan Brahmanism which was highly violent that time. As we know something about Buddha and Hindus treat Buddha as Krishna’s Avatar Buddha was a Dravidian Hindu reformist of Aryan Hinduism. So Atheist/Rationalist or not Ratnayake seems to have a point and this has to come in local and international publication for comments on that and do some further study on that. So I have a personal desire to see this study to continue.

    HRCSL is a good for nothing organization. It did nothing for when a story was written on monks and writer was arrest as blasphemy. Whether there is any truth or not in this pioneering work, but educated Buddhists should demand Court not to grant leave Ratnayake be investigated and should have all his legal fees reimbursed.

    • 30
      1

      This shouldn’t even go a court, if it did, we would become a laughing stock to the world. Who would in the right mind will take 2,500 years old matter that took in India unless these people have a lot of free time in there hands? They should focus on their energy on few cases with now.

    • 2
      2

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  • 26
    4

    According to the Mahavamsa tradition Jainism was a major presence in the early Anuradhapura of Panduvasudeva. Both Jain and Buddhist centres were predominantly along India’s west coast above the Cauvery Basin. This together with the Dipavamsa tradition suggest that missionaries from both religions came down along the west coast and followed the Cauvery Basin to Kaveripattinam, whose princes were known as Cholas, and to Mantai by sea and then to Anuradhapura. There was very likely an independent link to Ruhuna through Kerala. The same routes were probably used by Brahmanism earlier, as evidenced by the shrine of Gokarna near the Kirindi Basin.

    • 25
      3

      soma

      Is this the continuation of Spanish Inquisition Sinhala/Bautha style?

      Does this task force include Saffron Gnanasara, Kamal, Savendra, Asgiriya, Prof Raj, Ambitiya Sumana, Wimal, …?

      Any member of the saffron brigade in real trouble?

      Will the Spanish Inquisition Lankan Style boost Gota/Mahinda chances of getting a 2/3 majority?

      • 3
        10

        Why me?
        Because I am the only logical person here trying to expose self contractions of some donkeys on CT?

        Soma

        • 7
          0

          somass

          “Why me?, Because I am the only logical person here trying to expose self contractions of some donkeys on CT?”

          You act like a chief inquisitor as well as the executioner and appear in these columns as a defender of all those indefensible irrational inhuman, thoughts utterances, policies, actions, ….. short termism.

          I suspect you have taken it upon you to fool yourself and your fellow stupid supporters or leaders.

          Dignāga (c. 480–540 CE)would be turning in his grave if he could still hear/see you constantly mounting Non-Epistemic ramblings.

          Therefore our line of inquiry should always start with you as it appears that access to Asgiriya, Weerawansa, …. saffron brigades, Shavendra, ………… Namal, ……… is hard to come by.

          Whom are you going to vote and why?

          • 0
            3

            Native
            “You act like a chief inquisitor as well as the executioner and appear in these columns as a defender of all those indefensible irrational inhuman, thoughts utterances, policies, actions, ….. short termism.”

            My strategy to counter this madness over ethnicity and religion based pockets in this small island is to tell them in no uncertain terms that:
            1) Tamils are all Tamil speaking people irrespective of their religion, caste or the date of arrival
            2) They have to choose between a separate Homeland OR the right to live anywhere, (they are mutually exclusive) WHILE PLEADING BEHIND THEM TO GO FOR THE SECOND OPTION.
            3) Emphatically stress that a Homeland will entail relocation of +50% Tamils presently living outside North East.
            4) Educate the Tamils that a federal structure will leave +50% of them as second class citizens within Sinhala majority Federal units.
            5) Tamil desire to live in the south is their own enemy as this tacitly admits a kind of superiority of the Sinhala Buddhist society at the back of their minds.
            6) Warn the Sinhalese that a federal Sri Lanka will need huge military resources to keep it federal.

            Soma

            • 2
              1

              soman

              1). They are. However you forgot one important fact, Sinhalese are also genetically Tamils whose ancestors came from South India although they speak a reasonably Tamilised/Sanskritised/Anglicised language.

              2). They had already chosen their homeland until Anagarikas, Pandaranayagams, through various of their Acts, actions and statements (part of being competent racists), … riots forcing them to assert their identities. Even the current stupid single handed self portrayed strong man claims this is a Sinhala/Buddhist country. The more these racist donkeys push people around faster they will claim/assert their own traditional/manufactured identities.

              3). Please note fortunes could change anytime due to geopolitical reasons and other reasons, therefore you should stop blowing your own trumpet frequently.

              4). You are bent on keeping a section of the people down irrespective of their race(?), religion, region, gender, ….. Being an old snoot, federalism is another of your latest excuses for keeping the people oppressed because you find yourself a lazy bum who could not compete with others in an open free liberal society.

              5). Oh please! Tamil speaking Demelas as well as Sinhala speaking Demelas have been locked into an never ending competition to prove who has the smallest brain with near zero quantity gray matter. I cannot give you the final judgement. Sorry.

              • 1
                2

                NV
                “They are. However you forgot one important fact, Sinhalese are also genetically Tamils whose ancestors came from South India although they speak a reasonably Tamilised/Sanskritised/Anglicised language.”
                I never argue over history or genetics. (However your argument lends further support to my position.)
                I am a Sinhalese by the language I speak. A section of people inhabiting this island is raising hell calling themselves Tamils and I don’t understand when they talk among themselves. As far as I am concerned I can differentiate people for administrative purposes only by the language they speak. And if you are talking about ‘political solutions’ it must be based on the EXISTING distribution of people speaking Tamil language and Sinhala language. I don’t care anyone’s religion, caste or the date of arrival.


                Soma

          • 0
            3

            NV
            “Whom are you going to vote and why?”
            I am going to vote for Pohottuwa so that I can sleep peacefully for another five years. TNA is going to support too.
            Don’t worry about dictatorships as you always say Hindians will take care of that.
            You don’t have to be a dictator to rob or misuse state money. In fact democracy facilitates that better.
            All have mastered the art of stealing without getting caught.
            Free expression cannot be throttled in the age of Internet.
            Relax, it is the same one way or the other.
            Wear a face mask and wash your hands frequently.

            Soma

            • 2
              0

              soma

              “I am going to vote for Pohottuwa so that I can sleep peacefully for another five years. TNA is going to support too.”

              Therefore do you think you do not have to earn a living for the next five years?

              “You don’t have to be a dictator to rob or misuse state money. “

              Have you heard of Marcoses, Mubaraks, Papa and Baby Doc Duvaliers, Idi Amin, Nicolae and Elena Ceaucescu, Suharto, …. Abacha, …..

              “Free expression cannot be throttled in the age of Internet.”

              Well I remember people had access to internet between 2005 and 2015.
              Did you know Colombo Telegraph was banned between 2013 and 2015.

        • 2
          0

          soma

          Listen to this Chandia Chamuditha:
          මොන බම්බු ඒකීය රටක් ද? අපිට ඕන වෙනම පාලනයක්.. එම්. කේ.සිවාජිලිංගම්- Truth with Chamuditha
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iO33PvDI5s

          Does Chandia Chamuditha think he is the first among Sinhala/Buddhist Anchor?
          He does not seem to respect or give dignity to people he anchor.

          • 0
            1

            He was unemployed for some time until he got this job.

            Soma

          • 0
            0

            Personally, I find this Chamuditha disgusting. As you say, NV, he doesn’t give dignity to the people he anchors. I saw him interview Sumanthiran some time ago, and it was also like this.
            .
            See how full of hatred he is. However, if you look at the comments below the Youtube (mostly in Sinhala) you will see that the responses are favourable. In otherwords, this sort of hostility towards others somewhat different to us seems to be a trait in some Sinhalese – but not, obviously, in others.
            .
            Sumanthiran seemed daunted but determined to keep talking quietly. Sivajilingam seems more at ease, having confronted such people more often, I guess.
            .
            I have been to the Northern Province only on three short trips. On the second, I met Sivajilingam at Vikramabahu Karunaratne’s behest – and even gave him a thousand rupees to further what he said were his aims to create Peace. I guess well all be called “Tiger supporters” by some readers. No, we desperately want all this hatred to cease.
            .
            It may be that we say contradictory things, because we just don’t want all this hatred to cease, and don’t know how to foster such a move.
            .
            I guess Chamuditha thinks he becomes a heroic figure by talking as he does. Not to me.

      • 5
        2

        My observation in life is greatest harm to ANY cause be it Political, Social ,Religious , whatever is inflicted not by antagonists but by foolish followers.

        Soma

        • 5
          0

          somass

          “My observation in life is greatest harm to ANY cause be it Political, Social ,Religious , whatever is inflicted not by antagonists but by foolish followers.”

          You are unusually candid and correct.

          We see it among followers of Anagarika, Pandaranayakam, Asgiriya, Malawattu, MR, GR, … now Namal Baby, Nalin Mage Lokaya, Gunadasa Amarasekara (most unhappy person in this island), Shenali Waduge, Channa Masala Jayasumana, ….. various members of saffron brigades, …

    • 1
      2

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

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      • 4
        3

        a14455

        Brilliant
        Thanks for keeping it brief.
        Keep up your good work.

    • 5
      1

      Dear Rajan,
      .
      About the silly threatened court cases, Fairmindedone has said enough. If Indika Rathnayake is harrassed we will, without doubt, take up his cause. This I will also do, although I’m sick of this sort of nonsense.
      .
      However, could you please tell us if there is any record of Gauthama Buddha and Mahavira (the founder of Buddhism) ever having met? Probably not. I’m asking you because quite a bit of your own life has been taken up with “researching” (you’ll be the first to say that you are no authority on the subject, but we have none other on CT) – you’ve been researching these things.
      .
      Had they ever met, don’t you think that the two of them would have first lovingly embraced each other, and then have sat down and discussed (if their language was the same – seems highly probable to me), and helped each other in various ways, until the death of one would have ended the fruitful co-operation between two good men?
      .
      Don’t bother to think out your response carefully. You have enough in your head to give us an off-the-cuff answer to that question. What some younger person who has skill in any of the Arts could do is to produce some work which has as its theme the imagined meeting between Gauthama and Mahavira.

      • 4
        0

        Thanks, Dr Rajan Hoole for the easily understood but comprehensive response.
        .
        My apology to all readers for my obvious typo credting Mahavira with founding Buddhism instead of Jainism.
        .
        Soma, I’d love to see you abandoning your line. For me, there are as many religions as there are humans. Each of us thinks slightly differently from every other person. Yet we can influence one another in positive ways.
        .
        In the fields of religion and spirituality, let’s cooperate instead of competing.

      • 3
        0

        SM,
        I am no expert, but I can tell you that Mahavir was born in the 6th c. BC in Bihar. The images of Mahavir are strikingly similar to the Buddha’s, including the knot on top of the head.

    • 2
      0

      There are no archeological facts to support that claim. Of course Jainism did have a presence when that part of the country was under temporary occupation by invaders from India. However, they were wiped out (along with practitioners) following their military defeat. There was no UN, genocide convention or UNHRC at that time.

    • 0
      0

      And from Kanchipuram, Bhodidharma took off to China and is known as the transmitter of Chan (Zen) Buddhism to China later taken by Japan.

      “He was also credited with aiding the monks of Shaolin Monastery—famous for their prowess in the martial arts—in meditation and training.”

      According Hindu-Buddhist way of thinking – a constant PhD thesis work on this issue; everything is fine just as nothing. An iterative process to attain nirvana.

  • 22
    1

    I am inclined to believe that Buddha didn’t preach a new religion. It appears that he preached what he felt was right and people who believed in his preachings went after him. He did not cross the boundaries of the Hindu religion. The bottom line is he was an agnostic. As a human being, he did not pray to any god for favours. Neither did he ask his followers to harm those who did not believe in him like the present-day humans who call themselves Buddhists.
    God, if any is within us and we are within the god if one exists.

  • 2
    3

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    • 5
      2

      Saman

      Brilliant
      Thanks for keeping it brief.
      Keep up your good work.

  • 12
    1

    Mr. Jinananda is within his right to bring a complain based on his livelihood. Buddhism or Jainism are not unknown historical subjects. Its beyond comprehension as to why would Organised Crimes unit, OCPD, be tangled up in this matter. For God’s sake, pardon the Freudian slip, this matter is over 2,500 years old. There will be no hard evidence to nail this matter to the satisfaction of Mr. Jinananda.

    OCPD should have sought opinion from the AG, at worst, to have a talk with Indika, and at best should have referred Mr. Jinananda take this matter before judge, if he is so much offended. What is the role for a state instrument in this matter?

    Trust sanity will prevail and OCPD cancel its invitation to Indika, otherwise it may unwittingly project an image to the world that it may regret later.

  • 13
    5

    In sad shitty sorry Lanka, if a Buddhist monk shifts his amude even a little bit all the raving mad petty-minded racist Yakkos get excited.
    =
    Instead of preaching the dhamma and roaming street after street barefooted to collect alms, the cussed monks want to poke their soiled fingers into the mundane affairs of every Tom Dick and Harry.
    What one gets out of these always puzzles me.?
    =
    All this is due to the sad reality that these so-called monks give up enjoying a normal life at a very early age to be at the mercy of the senior monks who ravish these youngsters in taking out all their built-up frustrations.
    =
    As long as these low-class moron Buddhist clergies are given prominence this sad beleaguered nation will ever prosper and it will be always a GROBR [ good riddance from bad rubbish ].
    =
    When we were kids we lived opposite the Buddhist temple which is situated down Allen avenue opposite the Dehiwela Mount Lavina the monks were a friendly lot no racism in them and allowed us to play long hours of joyous uninterrupted softball cricket for many an hour whenever we desired to.

  • 16
    0

    Next step would be the Organised Crimes Prevention Division [ OCPD ] will summon all Atheists and Rationalists all over the country to present themselves to record their beliefs!
    Once that exercise is completed , before Aug:05th 2020 it will have the nomenclature The Disorganised Crimes Prevention Division [DOCPD ].

    Where the bloody hell is this country heading towards?

    • 9
      0

      If our academic historians could not write objective history that kept the interrelated peoples in this small country from bloodshed, to our immense ruin, the CID could perhaps make a useful contribution. Good if people write history to make us laugh rather than shed blood.

      As for Sinhala Man’s question, Mahavira was traditionally much older than the Buddha. His followers are staunch vegetarians and have a deep respect for life, which also very likely influenced the Buddha. Asoka is believed to have been a follower of Jainism, like his grandfather Chandragupta, when he ruled Kashmir. By tradition Chandragupta ended his life as a Jain ascetic in Srvanabelagola in Karnataka, close to where the Kaveri River originates. The course of these religions have to be assessed from how they served the political power of their champions.

    • 4
      0

      Plato

      “Next step would be the Organised Crimes Prevention Division [ OCPD ] will summon all Atheists and Rationalists all over the country to present themselves to record their beliefs!”

      I agree there is a near new normal.
      There is a political need to set up a religious police Sinhala/Buddhist equivalent of mutawa or mutaween (Islamic religious police) in order to hide/evade from their 72 years of failure of Nation Building process, utter failure to maintain peace, progress and tranquility.

      Okay I have further concern, I believe this is the biggest one.

      Will Gota appoint an all powerful Task Force under Kamal, Shavendra, Gnanasara, ….. Ampitiye Sumanarathana, Channa Jayasumana, …. ……… a new sex police force to monitor sexual activities within every households, monitor them (if necessary instal CCTV or bodycam), advice couples, drawing up guidelines, Karakka committee to determine the allowable positions, maintain centralised documentation, ……. ?

      Do you think we should comply with Gota’s future non partition task forces, namely ” Public Scrutiny of Private Parts”?

      • 4
        0

        Native,
        “Will Gota appoint an all powerful Task Force under Kamal, Shavendra, Gnanasara”
        Don’t you know that Gota has already appointed a Task Force to enforce virtue amomg the public?
        The only other country that has one is Saudi Arabia, which also doesn’t allow atheists. So you see which way the wind is blowing. We are getting Sharia law with Sinhala Buddhist characteristics.

  • 14
    3

    There are only two religions.
    Hinduism and Judaism.
    All others are derivatives of these two , very close ones at that.
    Interestingly original followers are not so crazy over converting others by hook or crook.

    Soma

    • 2
      0

      This is from my phone, Soma.
      .
      My apologies for what I have said above. You have said exactly what I was advocating there.
      .
      Thanks.

      • 0
        0

        Thinking further about what we’ve said, Soma, would it not be true to say that if we allowed for a good deal of syncretism, the main organised religions on planet earth would fall into these two groups?
        .
        But what about the various “tribal religions” of Africa, of Indonesian islands, of Australia. You wouldn’t be able to include them.
        .
        In truth, many of us who talk in this detached way don’t believe in any of the magic incorporated in these “religions”. What we’d really like to see is an end to all this rivalry among religions, and a desire for peace and goodwill. Buddhism short of all organisation and racism would be somewhat like that, but then our typical Sinhala-Buddhists seems to desire strife.

        • 0
          0

          S_M
          Your universe seem to be little island Sri Lanka.

          Soma

      • 1
        0

        I just found this elsewhere:
        .
        https://www.news18.com/news/world/sri-lanka-says-enough-facts-prove-ravana-used-aircraft-to-fly-asks-people-to-help-with-in-depth-research-2723371.html#:~:text=Speaking%20to%20News18%20over%20telephone,He%20was%20an%20aviator.
        .
        Isn’t this the sort of thing that too many Sinhala-Buddhists take to be “Buddhism” at a time when few countries in the world want to have little to do with us.
        .
        If we go on like this, we may soon become the laughing-stock of the world. It goes against all rational thinking elsewhere on earth. Such weird talk was heard in Haiti, and in that African country ruled once by the Emperor Bokassa.
        .
        I know that the above paragraph could lay me also open to a charge of racism.

        • 0
          0

          Irrelevant.

          Soma

    • 9
      0

      somass

      “There are only two religions. Hinduism and Judaism.”

      The word Hinduism is essentially a colonial construct, not necessarily correct one just because your colonial masters described it so and shoved it into your throat through Anagarikas.
      The problem with you lot is you shut off all kind of independent inquiry as if everything you see, hear and speak is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. However the Awakened one knowing you lot encouraged the process of free inquiry – “Kalama Sutta: The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry”.

      It is regrettable in your case he completely failed.

      • 0
        1

        So you are so pissed off by my statement ” There are only two religions – Hinduism and Judaism?
        Did I insult Hinduism or elevate it to the highest pedestal?
        Take a PCR test.

        Soma

        • 2
          0

          somass.

          “Did I insult Hinduism or elevate it to the highest pedestal?”

          Why should anything especially religion bother me at all?
          I want more insult not less.
          All religion as practised throughout the world is the ultimate insult to the human kind.

        • 1
          0

          somass

          I always wanted to ask you never remembered what.
          Assuming I met you in an Dosai Kade would you prefer me to speak to you in Sinhala, Tamil or English?

          If you want you will have wait a few years, if you want me to speak to you in official language or the business language. In about ten years I will have learned Hindi/Mandarin.

          • 0
            0

            Will you pay for my Dosai?

            Soma

            • 2
              0

              somass

              “Will you pay for my Dosai?”

              Good question. Must be a difficult one as well. This must be your ultimate cunning idea to trap me.
              I will come back to you later.

      • 1
        1

        Not exactly Vedda.

        (H)indu-ism: It has no founder; just a way of life probably originating off river Indus, old old concept on nature worship, specifically Sun; some long years ago; any guess is fine– about five to ten thousand year ago.

        You can worship in any form; if a sculpture is making to focus easily, be that way; or none, just resonate on a sound OM. It has nothing to do with colonialism. It’s as easy as MS DOS, if you can easily figure it out, or go for the icon in Apple or Windows, if it is easier — icon worship! When you click on Word icon in the Windows, it is not the program, it just take to the program — instead of arguing that it is the program — it is just an icon.

      • 1
        0

        Judaism: a relatively new kind on the block; Abraham founded it about 1,800 years ago in Jerusalem. But he one clause-

  • 2
    0

    … Judaism Source of Abrahamic religions): It has set ways of doing things, everything is defined with no room for further update – a monotheistic religion developed among the ancient Hebrews.

    A clause also refereed to ‘Messiah is yet to come”;

    It may be like in some railway system – it will come. [with all due respect to believers: one day passengers in an Indian railways station were absolutely exhilarated on the arrival of a train right on schedule – except that it was to have arrived yesterday!]

    Most Jews believe that their Messiah is yet to come—but will one day, and there lies the opening for other religions to emerge; each believing that I am THAT messiah and the continuing dispute — Jesus and then about 700 years later Mohammed; birth of Christianity and Islam and the latter one had stipulated that there should be no need for more expectation, and there lies the continuing conflict.

    Western world run on engine of Jesus teachings as modified from that of Moses and the concept of democracy from the cradle of Greek civilisation.

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