1 October, 2020

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Burmese Style Buddhist Militancy In Sri Lanka?

By Gotamini Hathurusingha

Averting Another Disaster: Burmese Style Buddhist Militancy In Sri Lanka? 

It is extremely frightening to see the post war landscape unfurling in Sri Lanka, amidst a gamut of unresolved issues stemming from the conflict between the Sinhalese and Tamils which boiled over for 30 years.

Into this cauldron has entered another dimension. The issues that a minority (yet!) of hard-line Buddhists seem to have  with Muslims – their religious and social practices.

The current skirmish that is building up seems similar to that which occured before the  carnage that has resulted in Burma between the predominantly Buddhist Rakhines and the Muslim Rohingyas and Kamans. In fact the Burmese situation as of last October is similar to the way the Tamils were attacked during the Black July of ’83.

The meeting organized by Bodu Bala Sena last Sunday in  Maharagama| Pic Dharisha Bastians

Of course no comparison exists between the socio economic status of the Muslims in Sri Lanka and the Rohingya of Myanmar. The Rohingya, of Bangladshi origins, though having lived in Myanmar for many years are not officially recognized as citizens of Myanmar, are extremely poor and disempowered. This is a stark contrast to the Muslims of Sri Lanka, who have lived in the country for the last 1000 years or more, bear a biological connection to the Sinhalese as the traders from the middle East never came with women to Sri Lanka, and were said to have been given in marriage to local women.The Muslims are also well entrenched in Sri Lankan Society, have contributed to the common culture of the land and are known to be relatively wealthy in comparison to the other communities.

So what are the current similarities to the Myanmar situation in this triangle of disharmony between the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims?

1. The Rakhines being natives of Myanmar and larger in number are the “superior race”. Same as the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka.

2. Rakhines are predominantly Buddhist and so are the Sinhalese.

3. The Burmese Military junta who do not love anybody but themselves, yet support the Buddhist Rakhines and turn a blind eye to abuses by the Rakhines against the Rohingyas. In Sri Lanka with a build up similar to a military state the Police and Forces very often turn a blind eye when offences are committed by the Sinhala Buddhists. A good example was the recent attack on a statue that was erected newly in Avissawella. The day following the dedication of the statue, it was smashed to bits. The Police stood by. There are many such deeds committed by the majority. Of course the smaller groups are not angels and quite a few incidents are triggered by the Tamils and Muslims.

4. The Burmese Monks have been the warriors in various fights the country has had over the years.They have assumed this leadership owing to the piety of the masses. The Bodu Bala Sena are also trying to assume the role of the great Buddhist warriors in Sri Lanka and are succeeding to a great extent among the gullible and uninformed Buddhists, who see little beyond the world they inhabit, surrounded by day to day Buddhist symbolism such as giving alms, going to Temple, bathing the Bo tree etc.

It was really disturbing to hear the tone of a meeting organized by Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Strong Force) last Sunday in  Maharagama, a suburb off Colombo and the seat of Soma Thero, who in his lifetime advocated for fundamentalist Buddhism and was a charismatic figure, with a hysterical following before his early demise.

The language used to influence gullible Buddhists who came from all over Sri Lanka were “This is your Motherland, this is your frontier of war. It also said those who cannot stand up for wrongs committed and who take the peaceful way are but spineless.

It is shocking that this most peaceful philosophy, which has as its core, the following of the middle path, is now being used as a tool of extremism. Of course religion was mixed up with generous doses of protecting the Sinhala race.

Literature distributed had the Goals and structure of Bodu Bala Sena from Centre down to the community.There was a lot of resentment coming through about the activities of fundamentalist Christian and Muslim groups. Some of they maybe warranted.

Time and time again this hate speech was interspersed with ” we do not have anything against the traditional Muslims or Christians”. But there was an immediate contradiction as all religions other than Buddhism were lumped together and castigated.Though another frequent mention was about cleaning up the Buddhist community and bringing back Buddhist values, more was mentioned about other religions and their so called offences. There is a also a lack of clarity on terms such as Halal, Haram and Makrul.

The Way Forward in order not to see another July ’83:

1. If the government is indeed as committed as they say to peaceful existence and equity to all, IMMEDIATELY launch a Zero tolerance on Racism, discrimination and Hate Speech.

2. Police also require intensive training on communication and empowerment.

3. Form a council of religions to listen to grievances committed. This committee should comprise of all ethnicities from a variety of walks for life.

4. Redrawing the constitution , with explicit wording on the various ethnic groups.

5. The hotline granted to the Police in this regard to be answered at all times and meaningful  steps taken.

6. if the government is providing any resources to Bodu Bala Sena, that should stop immediately.

7. Establish inter community dialogues all over Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    The very inaction of the Govt. is tantamount to their stamp of approval. Nothing happens in Sri Lanka without approval from above. There are no ifs and buts.

    I would like to see any comments that contradict this premise!

    • 0
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      NOT INACTION OF GOVERNMENT, BUT WHOLE THING ORCHESTRATED BY GOVERNMENT.

      WELL LETS SEE THE WORLD REACTION WHEN B.B.C TELECASTS AND AIRS THEIR ON THE SPOT REPORTS.

      ULTIMATELY TRUTH WILL PREVAIL!!!!!!!!!!!

      • 0
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        The name of the Rajapakse game is DIVIDE AND RULE — just as the Brits did to distract their subjects from the looting of their land by foreigeers..
        today it is the Rajapassa family and their cronies who are looting Lanka while using Sinhala Buddhist nationalism to divide and rule the people so Lanka and distract the gullible Sinhalaya Modayas from the real crime which is the Rajapassa dictattroship…

        By the way, the Muslims have a closer Biological connection to the Tamils of Sri Lanka than to the Sinhalas, and hence the majority of Muslims are Tamil Speakers..

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          Sri Lanka’s Rajapakse regime has NOSTALGIA FOR WAR and never fails to use the language of war – whether its the “war on Dengue” or “the war on poverty” or crime..
          The Bodu Bala Sena is a manifestation of the Rajapassa regime, a face of the regime which it uses to stir up trouble and distance itself from.. Indeed the regime is “the necessary and sufficient condition” for the existence of BBS. Its language and rhetoric gives the game away – Militarized Sinhala Buddhism that the Rajapassa brothers have branded for Sri Lanka..
          The Rajapakse regime, particularly Gota the white van goon who keeps militarizing the country and their fundamentalist acolytes of the BBS have WAR NOSTALGIA. Bodu Bala Sena literally translates in to the “Buddha’s power army” is clearly a front for the Rajapakse regime, it serves to DIVIDE AND RULE and distract the masses. The Rajapakse regime while pretending to accommodate minorities, is dividing the people and ironically following the Pakistan Model of ethnic violence to justify and propel MILITARIZATION of Lanka.. A Dangerous Game indeed because BLOW BACK is inevitable.. BBS will grow into a Frankenstein that Rajapassa can not control.. like the LTTE which was nurtured by India’s RAW which killed Rajive Gandhi..

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      You need to realize that if the government tightens the screws on their own kind, they will lose the support (I didn’t say popularity) of the masses which constitute nearly 70% of the population. So, it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, then to speak out and remove all doubt. The time will come when they cross the line, at which time the government will use all the resources at its disposal to quell the violence. It has be proved beyond doubt that the situation is spiralling out of control, at which time the government will step in with enough fire power to get them at their most vulnerable moment, thus justifying to the rest the stand taken and not lose their support base and credibility. Some may say this should be nipped in the bud. but the government thinking is to use this opportunity to ‘ride the wave’ and build up a support base on ethno religious lines, and once this is achieved, dump them. True, a lot of harm and damage to the minorities will happen in the process, but the government will come out strong as their saviours and canvass for re-builoding the nation support from oil rich Arab nations. Who cares for the truth anyway.Look what happened to the Tamils in spite of all the evidence now available specifically on human right violations which happened towards the end of he war.

      • 0
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        “The time will come when they cross the line, at which time the government will use all the resources at its disposal to quell the violence”

        Exactly! Just like they did in ’83!

  • 0
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    Keep UN,US,CW, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Middle Eastern countries and International Community informed and be ready to deploy Quick reaction force to come to Sri Lanka to rescue citizen ….and to avoid another communal violance like the 1983 Massacre.

    • 0
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      Mahela:

      Who can save Middle East North Africa, Syria, Iran IRaq etc., from UK, US, France and their allies ?

      One Common factor for all Afghanistan, Libya and Syria wwas, they all Pro-Russian. Iran hated USSR than the USA. That it is bit late for Iran.

      • 0
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        Jim Softy,

        All these countries you mentioned were Colonies of US, UK, France and Europe who got their Independence similar to us.

        The reason for US,UK and France it Invade them again were due to their Internal and illegal supression of their own Citizen and waging war against other neighbouring countries.

        The impression you guys try to give is the west invade to steal their resources…..which is wrong.

        It is the political suppression and human rights violation of their own citizen by the states that invite International community to come to their assistance.

        Without the West and International community there will be more Polpots,Hitler,Marcos,Shar, Carmarouge, Noriegas, Sadam husains and other criminals would be murdering their own citizens.

        There should be no dictators to rule in this world.

        As per you say Afganistan was never a Russian Alai.

        US will never go to war with Iran……and Palastine will have their own country pretty soon.

  • 0
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    Thrash these buggers , yellow robed rascals and the jokers attended this nonsese

  • 0
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    If any organisation/state really want to help buddhists it should:
    1.Not allow monks become owner/occupier of temples instead rotate head priest etc
    2.Disrobe monks who don’t follow dhamma (Thailand does why cant Lanka?)
    3.Dissalow/disrobe monks having concubines/moving closely with lay women
    4.Monks,starting from head monk should not open till box,collect money under various pretexts instead be answerable to local community
    5.Monks to go out in search of alms -this will make them see reality,become humble
    6.Ban monks from politics,politics on the side (Burma,Thailand does so)
    7.Monks can’t own houses,buildings,tea,rubber estates and vehicles.

    Up until recently,I saw buddha statue mostly at the temple,this way buddha’s respect was maintained.Now buddha statues on every street corner ,railway land shanties,under a bo tree (which usually morphs into a mini-temple)on peoples car dashboard,rear view mirror etc and buddha has no peace !
    Buddha statues are getting bigger too (inside & outside airport)even a buddha statue in a hospital lobby!
    With all this buddha overdose/overkill who do we seek to fool?

  • 0
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    Once again their is a failure of the govt to uphold the rule of law and constitution which guarantees the rights of the minorities. Having finished with the Tamils the Muslims have now become the target for racist groups like the JHU, BBS and Sinhala Ravaya. BBS web site proudly records that they were received by the Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter and praised for their activities.

    While the students at Jaffna University were arrested on the flimsiest of grounds under PTA, BBS and other extremist are permitted to make racist and inflamatory statements.

    PTA states following is an offence

    (h) by words either spoken or intended to be read or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise causes or intends to cause commission of acts of violence or religious, racial or communal disharmony or feelings of ill-will or hostility between different
    communities or racial or religious groups; or

    The law it appears is selective when it comes to monks in saffron robes.

  • 0
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    IT IS SO REFRESHING TO READ WHAT A GOOD BUDDHIST HAS TO SAY.

    THE PRESIDENT IS DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE.

    SWRD-THE CHRISTIAN WHO BECAME A BUDDHIST FOR POLITICAL GAIN CAME TO POWER USING MONKS AND ULTIMATELY WAS SHOT NOT BY A
    MUSLIM OR TAMIL BUT A BUDDHIST MONK,WHO CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY
    BEFORE EXECUTION.

    RAJAPAKSE IS STANDING ON TWO “FALSE LEGS”- THE J.H.U. AND B.B.S.
    I AM TOLD BY THOSE WHO HAVE MET HIM AT ARALIYA FOR VARIOUS REASONS
    AT MEETINGS. THAT HE IS A “DOUBLE-FACED”, “FORK-TONGUED LIAR”
    HE CAN BLUFF HIS ‘PSEUDO-MUSLIM” CABINET CROOKS, BUT NOT THE
    MUSLIM COMMUNITY AT LARGE.

    HE IA BUDDHIST, SHIRANTHI IS A CATHOLIC””””

    WHAT IS RELIGION OF THEIR PROGENY.

    THEY ARE ALL DAMN HYPOCRITES.

    I HOPE GOOD SENSE PREVAILS AMONGST THE MAJORITY OF BUDDHISTS,MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS WHO HAVE LIVED PEACEFULLY FOR CENTURIES.

  • 0
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    Safa,

    The ant-Muslim sentiments being presently being expressed in public, were seeded in the living rooms and offices of a select group of Sinhala upper middle class nationalists as far back as the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. I have heard anti- Muslim sentiments being expressed in these locations during that period. it did not come into the public sphere at that time because of the on-going need to deal with the LTTE phenomenon and the second JVP insurrection.

    Now apparently the time to cut the Muslims down to size has come in the perceptions of the class of people I have refered to above and process has been set in motion. The Muslims should not fall into the trap the Tamils did. They should find allies among the Sinhalese and Tamils, to withstand the onslaught. They have bend now, if needed to weather the on-coming storm.

    There is nothing that happens in this country, without being decided first by an exclusive group of Sinhala-Buddhist cabal. They Initiate ideas and actions. They select the persons who can potentially carry out their bidding. This is what one Tamil who claimed and yet claims to have walked the corridors of power with the high and mighty wrote to me in 2005. According to him, this cabal was then ready in 2005 to find accommodation with the almost decapitated Tamils. I believed him then and believe what he said then even now. Of course it is clear they will dictate the terms.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 0
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    What is interesting is that this prophecy of impending explosion , of Sinhala Muslim encounter is coming only from our anti Lankan Sinhalese and the Tamils of the same ilk.

    One must than the writer for reminding us that our Mr Muslim brothers have been with us for over 1000 years and they are all married to our Sinhala women.

    So why all this fuss about our inhabitants going tropo to attack their half Sinhala brethren all of a sudden?.

    Our Sinhala Buddhist inhabitants didn’t attack even Tamil brethren , although Mr Prabakaran was doing terrible things to them.

    Our inhabitants now have no Prabakaran, to upset their daily lives.

    Are they insane to get a Hesbolla to replace him?.

    Besides our Muslim brethren don’t even ask even a quarter of the land mass .

    Do our Sinhala Buddhist inhabitants want them to put a claim too, and seek the help of the same mob that are going full bore to give our TNA, and Sambandan one third ?.

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      Sumanasekera ,

      If they had all married Sinhala women, why do the majority speak Tamil as their mother tongue? An explanation will
      Be welcome. I agree with you however the majority of the Sinhala people are innocent of any crime against there minority counterparts. What most fear of is what is staged using the lumpen elements in society. During the 1977 riots in Kandy, the lumpen Sinhalese attacked Tamil shops and the lumpen Muslims joined them in carrying away the loot. This time around if such riots are staged against the Muslims, the lumpen Tamils may join into to carry away the loot. The police will look on as before, u til the army is called in at the government’s leisure . The LTTE staged the same ugly sequel directly against the Muslims and carried away the loot themselves . They proved themselves to be the lumpen Tamils.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

  • 0
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    Remember, it was MR first trip overseas: directly to Burma. Now you can
    guess why. Having won the battle, he had in mind an agenda, which was
    to improve on what the Burmese Military leaders achieved. With the
    accepted democratic norms MR and his cabal has set an agenda, which
    includes another 30 yrs. of strife on communal basis using the Muslim
    population. The Tamils have been placed under military boots both in
    the N & E. Douglas, Karuna etc are nearing their “shelf-life”.
    The foreigners can only pass resolutions but do nothing within the
    land mass.

  • 0
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    Time to unleash the white vans on the BBS.

    • 0
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      While not condoning BBS activity, the behaviour of our Muslim brethren is sometimes provocative. The overt clannishness of some Muslims is annoying. At least to me. They seem to go to great lengths to show that they are different.

      When a group of people go all out, to show that they are different, then law of unintended consequences sometimes comes into play. Since it is Muslims themselves that highlight differences, it’s these differences that are highlighted not the many similarities. On a personal level I found the waving of the Pakistani flag at cricket games by members of the Muslim community very annoying. Sure everyone is free wave anything they want. Yet on level that is not codified by law it makes one wonder…..

      • 0
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        Come on, BB, this kind of clannish behaviour is typical across the various ethnic groups in SL. The last thing we need is differences exacerbated. Do these retards really want to start another, unending conflict? Haven’t they had enough for three lifetimes?

        If Buddhists are so concerned about piety, let them behave themselves and set an example before preaching to at others.

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          Mango

          “Do these retards really want to start another, unending conflict? “

          Don’t you know Sri Lanky’s stupidity thrives on conflict.

          If you attempt to stop their madness they will commit mass suicide. They are a unique proud people famous for self destruction.

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          I doubt the regime will push this all the way to conflict point. The push back of this kind of conflict will leave no place on the planet safe for the Rajapakse’s and they know it. This looks like early election campaigning for PC election.

          That does not take away from the fact that there is an increasing vocal Islamist element in the country. This ought to be toned down. Nothing is achieved by agitating the majority community. After all this is south Ssia. Home of the melodramatic and the overblown.

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        Bedrock,

        Have you ever supported ManU? There are many who do so in our country. If what you say about Muslims supporting Pakistan is to be applied , my blood boils is what I should be saying when is see Sri Lankans supporting ManU. What right do they have to support a UK Team?

        Have you seen Sri Lankans how are now domiciled in Australia support their host country? No they support their former mother country Sri Lanka. They should be supporting their adopted country Australia. The Australians are more mature and tolerant than you are!

        Please don’t mix up patriotism with the freedom to support a sports team of your choice. Why only sports? We shouldn’t watch and support Hollywood/Indian films and film stars. If you did we would have a thriving movie industry.

        There is a limit to bigotry and foolishness.

        I see a bigger problem. You are saying that Muslims go out of the way to show that they are different.
        What has the majority done to assimilate the minority than imposing on them what can only be described as terms and conditions!

        Explain to me why Minorities must attend Muslim/Tamil Schools? You like to segregate and practice apartheid. Muslim children grow up alienated from the majority community. They interact with Muslims alone being deprived of interactions with the majority community. While you separate us at every stage you still expect us to be like you!

        Explain to me why Halal bothers you so much. To many companies being Halal Certified makes prudent and astute commercial sense. Multinational companies such as Nestle and McDonalds embrace this concept voluntarily. This is practiced across all countries with a reasonably big Muslim community. Yet you take umbrage against the Muslim and not the commercial establishments which are not Muslim owned!

        Explain to my why a modest dress code bothers you. Muslim dress- Women wear a black dress no one can debate that it is a modest form of dressing. You have no objection when a christian nun wears similar dress. At the same time you will deck yourself from tip to toe in long sleeved shirt, wrap a necktie, wear long pants and don socks in our kind of weather (humidity, heat and dust). But you object to Muslims women wearing clothes of their choice.

        I can go on but let me conclude again by saying “There is a limit to bigotry and foolishness”.

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          Nabil, with respect,

          Man U is not THE UK team. It’s a sports franchise. Just like the LA Lakers of the NBA or the New York Giants of the NFL or Chennai Superkings of the IPL. Please grant that there is stark difference between supporting the Mumbai Indians and the Indian national Cricket team. I think I know what ur driving at but that was a bad example.

          With regards to Sri Lankans domiciled in Australia, the difference is, they are Sri Lankan by culture and origin. I am not sure if the Pakistani flag waving Muslims at the cricket matches were of Pakistani origin, unless they have started talking guttural Sinhalese in the suburbs of Karachi, but I am pretty sure these were pure born and bred Colombo people.

          People with culture, heritage, language that are Sri Lankan in origin. At least that is how I think of Muslims, as pure Sri Lankans. The only that connection them with Pakistan is the religion. This difference is being highlighted. Not buy anyone else but themselves.

          The problem with this issue is that it easy to take offense and launch into a tirade. At the start of the comment I wrote that I did not condone the activities of the BBS as there is definitely a seedy political underbelly to this whole sordid drama.

          That being said I firmly believe there certain elements within the SL Muslim communities who thrive on highlighting differences. Extremists tend to be the most vocal in any community. That needs looking into.

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    The process of social reform is long and complex. Social engineering, as has been practiced by the Zionist expansionist cabal of the Likud party and their enablers in Washington, has been successful to the extent that traditional Palestinian land no longer belong to them, except in pockets at Gaza and the West Bank.

    For such maneouverings to be possible without worldwide condemnation, there needs to be consensus among the powerful states at the UN, (ie US, EU, UK etc, the supine impotence of the “opposition” (ie Russia, China, India)and the indifference of ‘neutral’ players.

    When social upheaval is looming, members of the majority community must join hands and ensure the protection of the minority communities among them. Pressure on community leaders to be proactive would also help.

  • 0
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    This article itself explains how Muslims originated in Sri Lanka.

    Some other comments discussed how extremist muslims earn money through Hala registration to build more mosques in Sri Lanka, how they influence muslim youths to marry more sinhala women, also how they have already build large mosues in many places including within the sites of the buddhist temples of Dambulla, Kandy and Anuradhapura and how muslis have used business places to carry out their religious affairs and how those business places became mosques.

    All these writers are dishonest hypocrites. Because, you are write articles to justify almost anything. Yet, have you people ever articles on true injustices happening in the world.

    The examples are how developed western world treat the other countries, how christianity, islam are expanding over others, how LTTE tamils were killing all alike just like dogs while asking political solution and now they are trying to prove that they were the innocent and it was the Sri Lankan govt which did every thing wrong.

    Just see the comments in this article alone how many are accusing Rajapakses for every thing.

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      Jim Softy

      naively notes:

      “Just see the comments in this article alone how many are accusing Rajapakses for every thing”

      The buck stops there.

  • 0
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    I read at least from four writers, all in CT, and they all were sympathetic to Muslims and were very critical of body Bala Sena. At least two of these writers were Christians and one was very anti-govt and hated buddhists.

    On the other hand, most of these writers accept that it was the buddhists that allowed muslims to settle and thrive in Sri Lanka.

    So, buddhists allowed them to settle in the country.

    Why don’t you people ask muslims to give just for a few hours a week space and time in their mosques to keep a Buddhist Statue and carry out their buddhist rituals by buddhists.

    Because, It is very public that every where in the world Muslims do not tolerate other religions and they don’t allow bibles or the Buddha statue on their soil inside their country boundaries.

    Why buddhists can not be that protective in their lands ?

    Besides, Halal system is to earn money from non-muslims to build mosques in non-muslims areas.

    Is Jihad or also Halal ?

    and prohibiting bibles and Buddha Statues or crosses in Muslims land are Haram ?

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      In a lighter vein, why should not the Buddhists permit the Muslims to carry out their prayers in the bana halls of Buddhist temples? This will demonstrate to the world, more than any antics we- the government and those condemning it- stage in Geneva, that the Buddhists are yet the welcoming, large hearted people they were ( I know they are yet) once upon a time. Is it fair to expect the minorities to give into everything? The big and mighty have the onus on them to be large hearted!

      Incidentally, one other thing that may help mitigate the pressures on the government is to have an official occasion in Geneva, where the national anthem will be sung in Tamil. This should presage reinstating the six plus decades old practice within Sri Lanka.

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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      Those countries that ban Bibles, Buddha statues and crosses are pure Muslim states. They don’t have citizens who profes those faiths. So why should they permit such alien (not native) religious paraphernalia into their country. If people of other faiths come into those countries, it is only on temporary short term and renewable employment visas or work permits. They need to respect the laws of the land that accomodated their temporary residence and not try to introduce alien cultures through religious gatherings and disturb the sentiments of the native population. In the case of Sri Lanka it is not so. We are multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual and the Constitution guarantees the freedom to practice all religions without hindrance. Being called a Buddhist state is not an issue at all, except using that reason to hound those of other faiths and disturb their peaceful coexistence will only end in blood bath. If there are genuine grievences it should be brought into the open, debate the pros and cons and sorted out and settled amicably.

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      Jim Softy,

      I red both of your comments, and if I try to explain properly it will take couple of pages…….but if I describe in shortest form…..

      I don’t see anybody who comment here as rasist….but mere analysts who try to analyse what is written to what is said while comparing to the ground reality.

      Infact I see most of them are well educated and have sense to judge any critical issue with a balanced mind.

      1)When it comes to Muslim issue……..Muslims were mingling with Sinhalese from pre historic times……even before Lord Buddha came to Sri Lanka.(Read History)

      2)They are the very first traders who came to Sri Lanka from Middle East, Yemen,Persia,Malaysia,Morocco etc.etc…

      3) When some came as traders….others got married to Sinhala women and settled in various parts of the country.

      4)I am a Sinhalese….but sad to say we Sinhalese were mostly farmers and manual workers. But when it come to trade and governing Muslims are born Traders and that’s why you don’t see them in fields or working in offices…..except in trade and business. Only resently they got into Professional and administrative jobs with the expansion of media industry.

      5)Certain Muslim cultures, their religion and family upbringings make them more introverts and more isolated from society when it comes to social and communal living.

      6)Other than the above they are just humans with dreams like you and me who struggle to bring up their families like you and me.

      7)I will tell you one thing…..been a Christian and travelled to many parts in Both Sri Lanka and the World…..and eaten many different foods from all over the world (in Africa, Asia, Europe,Russia,Eastern and Western Europe,Saudi Arabia, UAE,Bahrain, USA, Caribbean countries….etc..etc…and after seen many places where they make and also Process food…..I FEEL THAT TO RELY ON HALLAL FOOD IS MORE SAFE, RELIABLE AND HEALTHY THAN OTHER PROCESS AND NON PROCESS FOODS.

      I TELL YOU AGAIN I DON’T HAVE TO LIE TO YOU, BUT IT WILL TAKE PAGES TO EXPLAIN AND I DON’T HAVE TIME TO DO THAT. BUT PLEASE READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN OR EXPERIENCED. WESTERN TYPE OF KILLING IS THE MOST INHUMANE, CRUEL AND THE HIGH VOLTAGE SHOCK GIVEN TO KILL ANIMALS IS NOT THE HEATHIEST WAY TO KILL THEM WHERE BLOOD CLOTS INSIDE THEIR BODIES. I HAVE SEE THEM ON VIDEO.

      I don’t have to lie to you for nothing gaining for me……but after seen some food processing……specially processed food both in Sri Lanka and abroad (Sri Lanka is Worse) it is much safe to consume Halal Food specially at these commercial and consumerism and profit oriented environment……and I don’t know why this big ha ho about Halal. There are more gossip and lies spread on Halal than the truth.

      It’s all due to DO NOTHING, DOES NOT KNOW NOTHING, DO NOT UNDERSTAND NOTHING, DOSE NOT WANT TO LEARN NOTHING…… FROG IN THE WELL KIND OF, BUT THINKING THEY KNOW EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN KIND OF MENTALITY SORRY STATE OF BUDDHIST PRIESTS WHO CREATE TROUBLE WHILE MIS DIRECTING THE CITIZEN.

      That’s why Sir JohnKotalawela said to SWRD…..not to unleash the dogs he put under leash. Read SL history.But unfortunately SWRD unleashed them and paid the ultimate price. Now MR is repeating for the second time…..

      I am not writing anymore of it.

      5)Regarding Tamil Friends …..According to my experience Tamils are the most reliable, more social, open hearted, always helpful and highly industrious and heard working people on earth. Otherwise British won’t bring them from India to grow Tea in Sri Lanka and Kenya, South Africa, Caribbean Countries…..and took them also to lay Railway lines in those countries.

      They are the most reliable, honest, submissive and hardworking people. That’s why British recruited them to Government jobs, Plantation sector, used them to lay Railway lines,and as Butlers in hotels and Plantations Kankanams and Sinna thambis etc..etc..

      It’s so pathetic that ever since our Independence, Politicians went in the path of Divide and rule policy using majority community and religion to suppress other communities and religions.

      Can you research into how many Govt. land deeds President gave to Buddhist Temples and preletes during the last five years…….and how many he gave to other religions…….Pleaswe do your research and come with a report.

      Also the number of new buddhist Pansalas, buildings, statutes, libraries, luxury cars,foreign trips, mega danas, pereheras and buddhist events,renovated old viharas and structures etc…etc…and compere to other religions what he offrered these five years……….

      Buddhism now in Sri Lanka is not a religion anymore, but a political power house that will implode one day.

      The rest is upto you……..who let the dogs out……

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        Mahela,

        Thanks for words of wisdom. Incidentally, the Muslims have also bbeen engaged in cultivation in the east. Many Muslims from the east are also scholars in The Tamil language and literature. I find very few Tamils with these skills today.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

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      Just so that you can put your mind to it. Buddhism is as alien as Islam to this Island. I see no difference in what happened to both religions ( or Philosophy of Buddhism) when they arrived here. “How did the indigenous people to the idea of Buddhism? Did they accept the message of Buddhism or were they proselytized? In the case of the Muslims, they settled and married Sri Lankan women and the race grew over a 1000 years which is a natural phenomena. Nobody was proselytized.

      the kings of those days were pragmatic; they leveraged the skills of the Muslims in trade, navigation and fighting skills. There is evidence that they fought the Portuguese and Dutch along with Sinhala soldiers.

      The very reason they were given titles such a Muhandiram etc, given land and were allowed to build mosques, have street names called moor street etc.

      I think the problem now is that pseudo Nationalists have hijacked the country and the gullible are falling prey to the rhetoric!

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    Hi Sumanesekera, Rajasingham and Jim,

    I think you do not understand what you all are talking about. You address Sinhalese and Tamils by their ethnic names, whereas you call the Muslims by their religious name as “Muslims”. Because of this misconception you also try to limit their history in the land just to 1300 years or less.

    The ancient Arabs on doubt cohabited with coastal Sinhalese and Tamil women and produced their descendants. However this is not the only basis for their existence in Sri Lanka according to a London based website called “Sonakar.com”.

    The website establishes that “Yon”, “Hambaya”, Yonake” and “Sonakar” in Pali, Singala and Tamil respectively are all a reference to the ethnicity of the indigenous people of Sri Lanka and that attributes to the believers of a form of monotheism of early days. When Islam was brought to Sri Lanka by the Arabs and the Yonaka Minisu with a belief of monotheism conveniently embraced Islam without hesitation. So what the website tries to tell the readers is that the so-called Muslims of Sri Lanka was the original people of the land before Wijaya landed in the west coast of Tambanna(near Puttalam) and Tamils of South India in the north.

    Moreover on 17th February 13 they managed to get hold of BBS’s troublesome Monk Gnana Sera Thero soon after his participation in the protest march at Maharagama and took a live interview of his campaign against Muslims. They made him accept that he was not against “Hijab” or “Burka” and made him confused himself about his stand against Jamiatul- Ullemma. Interestingly in the sum-up a lawyer from the website clearly said that their right over Sri Lanaka is not second to anyone either be Rajapkashe or the Gnana Sera Thero. He said the Muslims were born there, live there and die there. The plight of the Tamils is a case study for them and they will not let the country to another phase of bloodbath. Being a Muslim I have no choice, but just to accept what they say until it is proved otherwise. Come on guys!

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      Ahmed Nadvi,

      I do not mind calling a Tamil or Tamil-Muslim, if your community wishes so. It is the Muslims who insist on being called Muslims. The Tamil-speaking definition is secondary. Do. Not blame us for political choice the Muslim community has made and yet prefers.

      We the Sinhalese and Tamils, have to defend your right to be what you are, within the parameters of the law and civilised values.

      I strongly feel that the Muslims should not also get into the stupid argument as to who came first that the Sinhalese and Tamils are continuously engaged in. It will take you nowhere. You have been and we , whether Sinhalese or Tamils have also have been long enough in this country to be full fledged citizens, with equal rights, equal opportunities, equal security and equal obligations. According to genetic studies, the Muslims also share a large percent of their genome with the Sinhalese and Tamils. This is good enough to prove that you are one of us.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    It is with great interest I read logical and impartial comments. Many contributors make it a religious war and the others a race war.
    Sri Lanka was a land where people existed even before Buddhism arrived in the island. Every race or religion other than the natives (Vaddha community with respects)were imports/migrants in various season and for various reason. The one I am fascinated about is how our Moor brethren over the years have changed their identities to be known as Muslims (this phenomenon started only after the 70’s) !. and we are very happy to accept that and idolise it. The problem in SL is that religion without being in their hearts are in the other person’s sleeves (if it was in their hearts they would have examined it). It is a massive show, Buddhism is a philosophy and supposedly “the way of life” (I say this since I have not seen anyone practising it as a philosophy, of course without any offense to the people who genuinely practise ) unfortunately today’s Buddhism is a religion and has lost its way, look at the monks and the bigwigs surrounding them they are basically selling it for survival, power and financial gain, Christianity says Love your neighbours as yourself. If these sentiments are practised as it should be in the original form would it make any difference ? sometimes you wonder whether it would be better to be under some rule of someone else other than Sri Lankans, would it work ? will there be equality, equal opportunity, rule of the law would be obeyed ,preserved and held at the highest esteem ? Whilst I don’t promote any foreign power to rule the country, our own people managing it has been a disaster from the day 1 of our independence. We see disaster in front of us and what can we do about it? basically nothing. Either you are with them “the rulers” or against them. Many of us write in frustration and trying to educate the other of reality but how it will play out in the open is anybody’s guess. We deserve a government what we voted for (in view of democracy voting), the fault is not in our stars but in ourselves and yet we ask Why are you crying mother Lanka.

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    Jim, you have a point. However there is a way of dealing with it. I think that is what the writer is saying. Tit for Tat has never worked and it can’t work esp in the Buddhist context. Bodu Bala really as she says is bringing in the same kind of Islamic extremism. This is not going to work. There have to be civilised mechanisms to deal with this and it is communication, communication and more communication. Moderate Sinhalese and moderate Tamils and Muslims must be used as the bridges of peace. If this happened well in the early years we would not have seen 30 years of bloodshed. maithree karanna, Karunawen prashna wisandaganna, mudithawen anunge sapa balanna, Upekkawen salakanna

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    If we claim that the majority cannot pay to keep a minority happy, i believe the first thing that needs to go is our socialist policies of taxing the able and feeding the unable. After all, why should we pay to keep them alive?

    This whole argument is absurd… But then if these ignorant monks had any real education, they’d know they’re being used like pawns to propagate ideas that will end up fulfilling their own prophecy.

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    Dear Ahmed Nadvi,

    I am one of the very few here, who is trying expose the anti Sinhala and anti Buddhist fronts making mountain out a molehill .

    Surely you can detect the underlying agenda of these new saviors of our Lankan Muslim brethren.

    You think Rajapaksa, who according to his Fan Club here is a Hambaya himself is going to let our Muslim people to be harmed by idiotic Sinhalese stirred by anti Sinhala anti Buddjist forces operating under cover?.

    Besides how many Buddhists you think will be mislead ,about Muslims and their practices which don’t do any physical harm to others?.

    Besides did the Sinhala Buddhists react violently to the LTTE atrocities over thirty years?.

    As much as our Sinhal Buddhists must be vigilant, so should our Muslim brethren,who know well what they got under the Homeland rule of the predecessors and idols of the current mob.

    In addition, our thinking Muslim brethren should think hard whether the Western Leaders like the current Tory PMs of Canada and UK and Miss Navai Pillay will issue over the counter resident permits to Million odd poor Muslim people in our rural areas?.

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    Hi Suramasekara, Rajasigham and others!

    Thanks for your valuable comments. The point the Sonakar.com website makes is that the the Tamil politics paly a different game when it comes to “Muslims”. If you carefully watch them sometimes they call Muslims as “Tamil (speaking) Muslims” or ” Islamic Tamils”. Some other times they simply call them “Muslims”. They never call others as Tamil speaking Saivars(Hindus) or Tamil speaking Catholics. They simply call them “Tamils”. Doesn’t it suggest something? If the Muslims were Tamils then Tamil Tigers would not have chased them out of the peninsula by force and kept them as refugees for more than 20 years. And presently Tamil politicians do not want the Muslims to return to their native place where they were driven from. They do not want to share the Indian housing scheme with affected Muslims. Therfore the Muslims are not their halfblood. After all these 30 years of long suffering they have not learnt anything. The Tamil politicians still want to make Sri Lanka a Dual Ethnic country. They do not care what will happen to their Tamil speaking Muslims.

    Likewise BBS and its allies want to make Sri Lanka as a mono ethnic country diminishing the status of Muslims to unwelcomed traders who came from Arabia and therfore they should go back to their origin.

    I do not want to make a big huu haa about it like Rajasingham said, but my point here is that what the Singhales and the Tamils should undestand is that these Yonaka minisu or Sonakar is one of the indigenous people of this beautiful country and they are deserved to enjoy their rights,it may be Halal food, Hijab dress or beard and Jubba (men’s dress) that’s all. No more no less. We are not dependent on others’ mercy but we all are inter dependent with each others. Country’s law should protect fellow citizens.

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      Couldn’t agree more Ahned.

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    we Sinhalese are Aryans and Hitler would have supported us! We invented Tea, Buddhism and brought civilization to Sri Lanka from India. We Sinhalese look like Iranians.

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