By Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake –
Sri Lanka has a long and proud tradition of religious co-existence which is attested by the presence of multi-religious sacred sites throughout the island, as well as, its uniquely mixed cultural geography.
The solution to the unfolding Dambulla Mosque crisis must hence build on, protect and nurture traditions of religious syncretism, pluralism and co-existence in the country.
Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims have historically shared public space. After years of conflict when the need of the hour is reconciliation and social integration, segregation or removal of established shrines or places of worship would set a negative precedent that amounts to a form of religious and ethnic cleansing
Katargama, the Madhu shrine in Mannar, and Sri Pada are ancient and famous multi-religious sites of worship where Hindus and Buddhists, as well as, Muslims and Christians have come together for worship for centuries, as evident in the country’s archaeological and historical record. For instance, there is an ancient Sufi shrine in the Kataragama sacred area which houses Hindu and Buddhist deities and related religious complexes.
The British colonial administrator, John Still, recorded in his book, Jungle Tide, which was published over a hundred years ago in 1911, that he witnessed a Muslim father bring his son who was ill to the shrine at Madhu church which was known to be a powerful and healing sacred place. Sri Pada is a multi-religious site in the central hills. In contemporary religious practice a majority of Lankans are pluralist and pragmatic, and tend to gravitate to multiple religious sites to give arms and seek the blessing and favor of various gods while “hedging their bets” so to speak. In Colombo it is not difficult to find a single small street harbouring a kovil, mosque, temple and church each next to the other (e.g. Mayra Place ).
Indeed, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board would do well to highlight and market Lanka’s unique multi-religious culture in its brochures along with Lanka’s Buddhist Heritage! These historical facts should be the basis of any discussion, negotiation and settlement of the current crisis in Dambulla where attempts are being made to relocate a mosque and kovil. Unfortunately during the war, centuries of religious co-existence were slowly eroded by ethno-armed actors and nationalist politicians on all sides, as well as, politicized religious organizations.
The current dispute is indicative of the need for a wider national policy and institutional capacity and architecture, to pro-actively promote and mainstream multiculturalism in the arts, religious establishment, as well as, in the national education system and curriculum- at war’s end. Such an initiative is in any case necessary for post-war reconciliation so that the country may regain its proud traditions of multi-religious co-existence and pluralism that were eroded during thirty-years of armed conflict
There is need for a formal space for inter-faith dialogue and negotiation in the interest of ethno-religious harmony when disputes arise, which may best be convened by the Ministry of National Language and Social Integration with the appropriate civil society expertise and institutional capacity and perhaps the help of UNESCO. Similarly, politicians and religious leaders must take the initiative to foster a tolerant public sphere and enable sharing of public religious space while respecting local communities and minorities.
Dambulla is part of the cultural triangle area which is a world Heritage Site as demarcate by United Nations Education, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO.) Like other such world heritage sites in the South East Asian region, several of the Cultural Triangle sites epitomize Lanka’s Hindu-Buddhist syncretic religious culture. This is similar to the great temple complexes in South East Asia such as Ankor Wat and Anchor Thom in Cambodia and Borobudur and Prambanan in Indonesia which are adjacent Hindu and Buddhist complexes from the Sri Vijaya period.
It is relevant to note here, that Buddhism and Hinduism derive from the same religious tradition, although Buddhism evolved as a critique of certain Hindu traditions and practices in India and contemporary Nepal . Buddhism also came to Lanka from Tamil Nadu with the landing of Sangamitta in Jaffna , and was arguably Tamil before it was Sinhala since it came to Lanka from Tamil Nadu. Hinduism and Buddhism have co-existed for centuries in Lanka as in many other parts of south and east Asia.
Erosion of Multicultural Co-existence in Lanka
Centuries of religious co-existence were slowly eroded during the conflict years due to a deliberate targeting of inter-ethnic and inter-religious ties and the LTTE’s policy of ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Sinhalas they perceived as a security threat, as well as due to lack of a policy to promote and mainstream multiculturalism in the secondary and tertiary education systems and ensure harmony and co-existence in Sri Lanka. Post-war the challenge is to re-gain the multicultural past and learn once again to share public religious space while respecting local communities.
As the “Multicultural National Vision for Peace in Sri Lanka ” which was drafted after consultations in the various regions of Sri Lanka in 2003, noted in its preamble:
“ Sri Lanka was long famous for its rich social diversity and the harmonious co-existence of various communities. Since independence, however, there has been a failure to define and realize an inclusive national vision from the perspective of this distinctive heritage. Instead, divisive politics and policies have fostered deep social, cultural, political and economic schisms and engendered violent armed conflict. The two decades long armed struggle in the north (with primary focus on ethno-linguistic difference) and the uprising in the south (with primary focus on class disparity), reflect an inadequate post-colonial national vision and strategy, and an inequitable regional distribution of power and wealth… we propose a renewed and inclusive multicultural vision for the country based on the principles of security and dignity for all groups and persons, and respect for cultural and religious diversity. Our attempt here is to address the causes of the conflict while recognizing the deep scars that the violence of the last decades has rendered upon the island’s historically multicultural society.
Since independence cultural and political discrimination in governance, the lack of equitable development policies, and failure to preserve and respect local and cultural knowledge has become endemic. Competitive ethnic and religious politics become institutionalized in post-colonial Sri Lanka . Democracy came to represent the “tyranny of the majority”, while a political culture premised on the notion that “might is right” became entrenched in the various regions of the island.
At times both parties in the war deliberately conceived to destroy multicultural co-existence and benefit politicians and or warlords in the country who sought power by playing the ethnic and religious card to capture vote banks. However given Hinduism and Buddhism’s common heritage in the subcontinent and centuries of co-existence and tolerance, Hindu- Buddhist ties have survived the worst days of the war but are increasingly under pressure in the post-war period with the rise of militarized public religion. A pattern of land grabbing that is destructive of centuries of cultural and religious co-existence in Lanka and giving Buddhism – a highly tolerant religion a bad name has emerged.
Multiculturalism in Mixed Cultural Geography in Lanka
The National Visions for Peace in Sri Lanka defines multiculturalism thus:
“ Sri Lanka is a plural and multicultural land. Multiculturalism refers to the island’s cultural diversity inclusive of three overlapping linguistic categories (speaking Sinhala, Tamil and English, and regional dialects including Veddha languages); four great world religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity, and their sects, as well as indigenous deities and spirit beliefs); more than six ethnic groups recognized in the National Census, and a number of overlapping and cross cutting castes and sub-castes.
Various ethno-national groups based on linguistic, ethnic, regional and religious elements, such as the Burghers (Dutch and Portuguese), Sinhalese (Kandyan and Low Country), Tamils (Sri Lankan and Malaiyaha), Muslims (Moor and Malay), Parsis, Colombo Chetties, Vannialatto (Veddah) and several others have emerged as significant identities; several of these categories are composed of distinct sub-categories. Additionally, the island’s population may be sub-divided according to gender, class, and regional cultures depending on the rational for classification.
Sri Lanka ’s cultural diversity and complex mix of identities is not unique. Most modern nations are plural, diverse and complex.
However, in the post/colonial period diversity has been perceived as a threat rather than a gift. The result has been marginalization and discrimination against smaller and less powerful groups on linguistic, ethnic, religious, caste and/or class basis, giving rise to various forms of violent political conflicts. In turn, many of these conflicts have resulted in riots, attacks, forced displacement and/or colonization of regions occupied by one community by another and the building of enclaves and territories dominated by one ethnic group or another.
Acknowledgement of Sri Lanka’s ancient multiculturalism and mixed cultural geography entails recognition that a majority group in a region is bound to respect and protect those who are in the minority in that particular region. Every group or individual is in a minority outside his/her own territory, region, or neighborhood and in a increasingly integrated and globalized region and world individuals and groups must be free to move with security and dignity.
A balance of power between regional/local majorities with regard to respect and protection for the persons and property of regional/local minorities is a sine qua non for sustainable peace. It is also necessary to reverse the pattern of ethnic ghettoization and ethnic cleansing of regional and local minorities that occurred during the twenty years of armed conflict and the riots prior to it in the north and south of the country.
Several multi-religious sites attest to a history of peaceful coexistence among the various religious communities in the island. These sites of multi-religious significance are especially to be celebrated in the aftermath of a polarizing conflict. We propose that sites such as Siripada, Kataragama, and Madhu shrine, with their diverse traditions be recognized and celebrated as multi-religious zones of peace and amity.”
At this time, negotiation to ensure protection and accommodation of the mosque and Hindu shrine which were long established prior to establishment of the Dambulla sacred area and are not “unauthorized structures” towards ensuring that Lanka remains a multi-religious space and country is necessary. The historical fact of sharing public space among religions should be the basis of any discussion and settlement of the current crisis in Dambulla where Buddhist and Muslims should be both accommodated in the same place since both have the right to be there and own the lands.
It is hence to be hoped that the Dambulla crisis would:
1. Build on existing traditions of multi-religious co-existence of sharing of public space and religious syncretism in Sri Lanka which has a long and proud tradition of religious co-existence as noted above. This tradition of religious co-existence is evident in historical sacred places and contemporary practices Katharagama, Sri Pada, the Pada Yathra pilgrimage from Jaffna to Kathragama along the east coast etc.
2. Those responsible for the crisis in Dambulla, who broke the law, propagated hate speech, disturbed the peace and threatened religious harmony in Dambulla, with implications for all other parts of the country must be held accountable to ensure that this does not happen in future. Meanwhile the Buddhist Sangha may hold an inquiry and discipline those political un-Buddhist monks responsible of leading mobs and violating Buddhist values, principles of tolerance the dhamma and vinaya if found accountable.
3. There is need of a Ministry to pro-actively promote and mainstream multiculturalism and enable inter-faith dialogue, negotiation and ethno-religious harmony when disputes arise. Such disputes need not and should not wait to be referred to the highest in the land! Rather, independent expertise from the civil society and not just religious leaders and politicians who are often a part of the problem of playing the ethnic card to win votes, territory and power need to be engaged. This is particularly the case after thirty years of armed conflict in Sri Lanka and as part of the reconciliation process. Perhaps UNESCO may be invited to help build national capacity and institutions to develop and mainstream a national policy for multiculturalism, co-existence and reconciliation.
Finally, as the United Nations World Conference Against Racism affirmed in Durban South Africa in 2001, ‘diversity is a gift rather than a threat’. The Sri Lanka Tourist Board would do well to promote the island as a uniquely multi-religious land and organize a tour of Lanka’s multi-religious sacred sites. Finally, it is to be hoped that the month of May when the 3rd anniversary of the end of war comes around will be a month of reconciliation and remembrance of the victims of war from all religious and ethnic communities.
Vasu / April 30, 2012
Sinhalization and ethnic cleansing have a longer tradition in Sri Lanka than the author claims
The first colonisation scheme was at Kantale tank where peasants from outside Trincomalee District were settled in the traditional Tamil village of Kanthalai, 39 km south-west of Trincomalee town. 77% of settlers were Sinhalese and the rest were Tamils/Muslims. Today 100% of the population is Sinhalese in Kantale. You do´t see a single board for shop names or street names in Tamil.
A colonisation scheme was at Alai Kulam tank, 25 km south of Trincomalee town. 65% of settlers were Sinhalese and the rest were Muslims. Today almost 100% of the population are Sinhalese.
The colonisation scheme was extended to Tamil speaking areas of Anuradhapura District. A scheme was started at Pathavik Kulam (Padaviya) tank, 65 km north-east of Anuradhapura town. Parts of the scheme lay in Trincomalee District and as such were annexed to the Sinhalese dominated Anuradhapura District.Today almost 100% of the population are Sinhalese.
Land Development Department employees from this scheme took part in the 1958 anti-Tamil riots.
In the 1961 a colonisation scheme was started at Muthali Kulam (Morawewa) tank, 24 km west of Trincomalee town
In the 1980s, funded by aid received from the European Community, a colonisation scheme was started at Periya Vilankulam (Mahadiulwewa) tank, 30 km north-west of Trincomalee town.
The colonisation scheme was extended into the Northern province with the introduction of the Manal Aru (Weli Oya) scheme, which covered the districts of Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Vavuniya and Anuradhapura. Sinhalese were settled in traditionally Tamil land, given land, money to build homes and security provided by the Special Task Force. Although the scheme covered four districts, administration was handled from the Sinhalese dominated Anuradhapura district. The scheme aroused much anger amongst the Tamils. This anger boiled over into violence when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam attacked the Kent and Dollar Farm settlement at Weli Oya, killing 62
In terms of north she is right, muslims were expelled from north during LTTE administration
This is not a disciplinary issue among the monks in Sri Lanka, then there is a well planned strategy behind this attacks. This is an action planned by Prime Minister to fullfill this strategy
We have some common multi religious ( because all 4 communities visit ) worship places like Madu, Kataragama etc., which does not show our multi religious mentality.
In north soon after defeating LTTE so many Hindu temples were destroyed to build Budhhist temples, meanwhile more than 21.
But noone will destroy Kataragama to build a Budhist Temple
gamini / April 30, 2012
@ Vasu, I appreciate your comments and observations without venom and spite. Like minded individuals as you, although we are from different Ethnic backgrounds, we can make this country a home, for all of us. I believe the effort of Ranil Wickremasinghe deciding to hold the May Day Rally in Jaffna will bear fruit for a lasting solution. On the contrary seeing what happened at Dambulla, it is not something spontaneous. It is difficult to believe that the Innamaluwe priest was unaware of the existance of this small Mosque serving a few Muslims there in the vicinity. I will not put past the Head of State being unaware, at this juncture for the Innamaluwe Priest to incite this issue to pray on the sentiments of Nationalism to make the Govt.May Day a success, without MR’s blessings. Otherwise why wait all this time? The stark truth is, this is the pea brain of MR in action. Now the MR govt. having realised the folly, they are trying their best to scuttle the UNP organised May Day Rally in Jaffna as RW is slowly but surely laying his foundation right for a brighter future for this country.
whywhy / May 1, 2012
Gamini,with the kind of issue in Dambulla,Ranil will have to run
for cover as many Sinhalese see him as a non-Buddhist!Besides,
Vasu,in my opinion,put it accurately with statistics that,this is more than what many gullible people are led to believe.Systematic
non stop aggression by the majority with the blessings of all
political hues but more vigorously by SLFP led coalitions.You
should ask Gampola muslims about D M Jayaratne.It’s true that we
Srilankans don’t have a multi-religious mentality and this includes all communities.Where does the responsibility lie?Writer
recommends the role of non political and civil society actions to
take control but where do they exist?Even a motor vehicle accident in Mt lavinia that killed a student,needed attention from the top.People are made to turn to this God for everything.
What talks on independent bodies?
gamini / May 1, 2012
@ whywhy, why do you suggest that Ranil has to run for cover? You claim that the public see him as a Non Buddhist? I wonder! What about Ranil receiving a mere shortfall of only one hundred and eighty thousand votes, polling over four and a half million votes in 2005 Presidential election, the last of which could be stated as reasonable as the rest of the elctions, time and again have been defrauded by the powers to the point that at the last Presidential Election, the Commissioner was under house arrest till he declared the disired result. If your argument has any basis, it does not hold water as many a Sinhalese Buddhists have voted him into and barring the NE vote, if the denied votes of my family inclusive numbering over fourhundred thousand who were denied had the opportunity, MR would have been a poor looser, although it is boasted otherwise. This was so, after many a false allegation that RW had secretly entered into agreements with VP of the LTTE and accusing him of as a Traitor, mind you.
Besides, what about DS Senanayake, Sir John Kotalawela and SWRD Bandaranayake? Were they not Christians turned Buddhists? Did they have any problem? No. In RW’s case he has been a Buddhist from birth and not a convert. The problem is not with RW, but with the critics. Had RW during his period of two years governance, from 2003 to 2005 batton charged Buddhist Monks shown on TV seen running for their dear lives? had RW resorted to such methods, what would have been his plight? But the good Buddhist MR is, not a bugger talks. Whywhy, give the devil his due, as there is no argument on RW as MR is no patch on him.
S Mahinda / May 2, 2012
Gamini, you are such a joker. [Edited out]
suz / April 30, 2012
journalism and terrorism can practice by grouping but buddhism is an individualized practice to achieve nirwana.suz already there but i fell sorry about the groups.
sjv chelvanayakam / April 30, 2012
It is high time that GOSL settle the Muslims that were displaced in the north by the eelamist terror movement.. and funding the building of a great Nothern mosque.. and as compensation give more land for farming purposes to those muslim communities espically Land of those eelamist terrorist who now reside in notorious places such as scarborough, norway, Australia etc etc.. They who have supported the eelamist terror which cleanesed the land of the north of its muslim and sinhala popoulation must forfeit as they are not fit and proper people to have land in a UNITED sri Lanka.. GOSL must do this as ASAP.
A concerned citizen / May 1, 2012
Why did you choose this name (SJV.Chelva) as your pseodo name,
when your comments are anti-Tamil?
gamini / April 30, 2012
With all the accusations of Ethnic cleansing done by the LTTE in the North, what was clearly evident when the NE fell back into the hands of the Govt. forces, the name boards of roads and Towns, put up during British time still carried the Sinhala version, whereas the name boards in the South, the Tamil inscription of many if not all has been erased. One needs two hands to clap.
gamini / May 1, 2012
When the British left after independence, the Island’s stamps, currency, name boards of towns and roads and all applications had the three languages clearly printed. It is only in the South that the Sinhalese have craftily erased the Tamil inscription. Now who is calling the kettle black?
gamini / April 30, 2012
I am inspired by the writer’s name, Dr. Darini Rajasingham Senanayake.
Hussain / April 30, 2012
A nice article to promote ethnic harmony. It is true that the clergies, who are responsible for the present crisis, must be tamed by the Maha Sangha.
Vasu / April 30, 2012
Again my appeal, do not use Tamil names to write your views, SJV has a clear political character and views, which you don´t have.
If someone want, can trace your name and location from your IP address within 2 minutes. Are yor scared to use your name?
And GG is your roommate in Italy or your second name?
Scarborough, Norway, Australia, What about Italy and Lebanon? If you don´t have any issues and your Mother Lanka can feed you properly, Why do you migrate to Lebanon and Italy and work as slaves in houses?
You are ready to sell SL to Chinese and Indians. It is very difficult for you to recognize our fundemental rights.
sjv chelvanayakam / April 30, 2012
@Vasu.. the very nature and concept of the racist eelam movement is for the socalled call for a pure dravidian eelam race based state.. Which has no place for any other Race.. This has been proven by the proxy (LTTE) of the eelam movement with its fine record of ethnic cleansing of the natural habitants of the NORTH and east.. The Muslima, sinhala, Bugher, malay and the Lankan chinese… This policy of eelam based on a pure ethnic world wide dravidian race must be defeated.. Eelam concept is the death of many races and faiths that dont belong to the eelam concept..
sjv chelvanayakam / April 30, 2012
the woes of sri lanka are due to the Eelamist concept which is based on ethnic cleansing people who are natural habitants of the North and east of sri lanka.. which do not conform to the dravidian Eelam race.. and there for the eelam concept through terror Such as the LTTE to name but one of its tentacles, to carry out the eelamist policy will alwyas to exploit the Lankan fabric of the many faiths and its many peoples.. The remedy is to with speed Settle those Natural habitants (muslims, Sinhala, Bugher, Malay and others in nothern Sri lanka. We must take away the Lands of those Eelamist who reside in foreign lands and whos only tie’s to sri lanka is the bullets and many suicide vest they supplied for this evil and racist ethnic cleansing policy based on the concepts of eelam. This is the only way sri lanka can move foward.. More rights must be given to the natural habitants of the north who were forced out by the eelamist international and domestic racist movement..
Bodinayaka / April 30, 2012
The problem with Sri Lankan Buddhist is that they are not like other country Buddhist ponnyos. They have to change like Thailand, India, Burma, Japan etc.
DAS / April 30, 2012
One “political un-buddhist monk” bared his genitals in front of the mosque.How about dis-robing him first?
gamini / May 1, 2012
@ Das, there is nothing to disrobe these rascals as their nudity is exposed for the whole world to see. A set of Humbegs, all of them who have taken to robes not having renounced the worldy desires. Infact they are more avaricious than the laity.
Jim Hardy / April 30, 2012
Good Article, Hate mongering by Hela Karumaya is going unabated in Facebook.
independent observer / May 1, 2012
Good article with great hopes for the future. But your hopes at the end of the article will be only flat hopes and unfortunately will not come through.
The Muslim leadership will be hoodwinked with the offer of the Chief Minister-ship of Eastern PC, and even perhaps a bigger ministry for Rauf Hakeem where mor opportunities (you know what these ops are!) will be made available at the next cabinet reshuffle due soon.I bet this would happen!
laksiri / May 1, 2012
we need to stop all the monks doing politics before the loss rest of virginity.they have loss many way due respect and if they think to end this unpopular and irreverent action ,now is the time.if any of the monk want to be political leaders or MP please remove your yellow clothe and first make normal citizen,thereafter he/she can do what ever he needs.what is this dirty works when monk keep security with loaded weapons what religion or culture,FINALLY THESE MONKS ARE INSULTING TO BUDDHISM AND Buddhas.
WITH RESPECT OF OTHER RELIGION AND PEOPLE,IT IS OUR DUTY TO ACT AND SECURED EVERY PERSON AND THEIR RIGHTS.THIS IS NOT NEW OR OUR FAIRNESS BUT ETHICAL AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITIES.LOOK WHAT HAPPEN DUBBULLA,OLD MONK HAD LEASE THE TEMPLE LAND TO MUSLIM PERSON,SO HE SHOULD HAVE RIGHT TO EVEN OPEN MEAT SALE OUTLET AND BUTCHER HOUSE.WE NEED TO PUNISH THE MONK WHO SALE THE TEMPLE LAND AND TOOK THE MONEY.GIVE MUSLIM PEOPLE TO USED THE LAND SINCE THEY HAVE TAKEN LEGALLY FROM THE MONK.THIS IS THE WAY WE NEED TO SETTLE MATTER TO LEAN LESS REST OF MONK WHO SALE TEMPLE FOR MONEY AND MAKING LUXURY LIVING.
Anandi / May 1, 2012
Thank you editor for publishing this superb article.
ken / May 1, 2012
You poor pathetic ignoramus!!!
hansan / May 1, 2012
We Buddhist are worried why the Chief Preasts of Malwatte Asgiriya, Talk about the loses and damagers to the country. When some Girl is Raped, Bogas Preasts say Sastara. Some openly charge for there Bana. So Many witch I cannot Mention. What are they doing, Why not come out openly and talk before peopple make them talk. Whan opposition or Govt. Member goes they come out with some worth less advice witch no one listern. . Are they fed too much or too proud of there Nikaya witch did not exsist during budda’s time.I am not condeming the Religion, only want to know what they they are doing sitting there when there is a issue. Let us know the meanning of ADIKARANA SANGANA NAYAKA. What is he and who is he.
ken / May 1, 2012
I truly pity the writer for her ignorance.
May the good Lord protect her, when the racist sinhalese start on the half breeds and/or on those who are in families of mixed religion.
Jude / May 8, 2012
You pathetic ignoramus! There are no “pure”, families or races or nations only those who pretend that they are, check out the Human Genome project idiot and learn some science. All Sri Lankans are mixed and half-caste!
Justin / May 1, 2012
It is not out of context here to point out that a Lankan Budhist Monk
in a London Vihare is convicted of many charges of Child abuse, and is awaiting sentence next month.
That shows the record of Lankan Theros.
Anti-B.S / May 2, 2012
This is a piece of shallow, poorly-disguised pro-government propaganda parading as scholarly discourse.
As other readers have pointed out, all of this is orchestrated by a government that, building on the records of governments past, is in the process of creating another communal/ethnic conflagration in order to cover up its political and economic bankruptcy.
The use of “arms” where “alms” is intended, is a real Freudian slip in this instance!
whywhy / May 2, 2012
Gamini,Wickramasinghes were an established part of Colombo Anglican
elites.Esmond Wickramasinghe was known as anglican.His brother Lakshman
Wickramasinghe,the paternal uncle of Ranil was a Bishop.Ranil and his
siblings were growing up in Budhist tradition.You can not say he was
born Budhist.But anyway my point was not to make a big fuss about his
religious background.My concern is when a case like Dambulla raise its head,Ranil will be under psychological pressure to work as a devout budhist so that his familiy’s past anglicanism won’t show up.As for your ref to DS,SWRD and John,we had a tolerant society,less corrupted more humane,less developed and above all communal harmony in general was in good shape despite some black spots.Thaks for your reply.
sajeeva samaranayake / May 2, 2012
I do believe that the true nature of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and its constitutional limitations are yet to be grasped.
We are simply facing the direct consequences of a particular structure – and unless this is understood and addressed we will remain at sea
Sabrtham M / May 3, 2012
the indian writer put correct in influence of religion gulf between religious communities were also becoming increasinly wider and their relatrionship were becoming less and less harmonious..it coincided with the transition of the influence of religion from the privite to the public sphere.the two major and intrerconnected developement promoting this transition in recent times havd been the RELIGIONALISATION OF SOCIETY and the COMMODIFICATION OF RELIGION.
…An area in which this is most pronounced is politics,which has led to both RELIGIOSATION OF POLITICS and POLITICASTION OF RELIGION.In contemporary world politics of develope countries and some emerging countries of ,politics, therefor,religion is powerful mobilising force that is invoked even by secular parties and individual in their quest for power.
Noel / June 26, 2012
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
Buddha quotes (Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)
Multi-religious society is a pipe dream. All religions seek to destroy others that are not like them. Unfortunately, “God” demands it. Budhism as such is not a religion. It is simply a suggestion. Here, Carl Sagan gives his thoughts after viewing just one photograph sent back by Voyager.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wupToqz1e2g
Noel / June 26, 2012
This is even better… http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=jYtXoUZbUCQ