30 September, 2020

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Can Gnanasara & Co Affect The Presidential Elections?

By Vishwamithra

“I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity.” ~ B. R. Ambedkar

When, in 1956, SWRD Bandaranaike unleashed the power of the saffron robe, he did not realize that he was setting free a cultural force that Ceylon did not know it had within itself, a force that had total control over the generally docile mind of the Sinhalese Buddhist. Whether or not the country was under colonial rule for nearly half a millennium, whether or not the Portuguese, Dutch and the British guns and mortars played havoc around the large city centers, whether or not the vulnerable denizens along the coastline of the country converted to Christianity and Catholicism, some through sheer fear of the guns or easily saleable concept of omniscient and omnipotent ‘God’, those whose abodes were in the far corners of the land, Sinhalese Buddhists kept their faith in a philosophy and a way of life as preached by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. That faith’s sustainability powers were much more powerful than the colonial guns and mortars; that faith’s lasting quality was much more sublime and serene than the fairytale character of the Bible and the five books of the Torah.

A Buddhist committed himself to the five precepts and a simple way of life; his loyalty to the teachings was not blind as the Teacher Himself taught the disciples not to believe in a frail ‘soul’; as such a soul was the very basis of Hinduism, Buddhism’s predecessor, Buddhism itself had to contend with a competing set of theories of Brahma, it’s creations, his avatars such as Vishnu, Ganesh etc. ‘Popular Hinduism’s’ corrupting influence on Buddhism grew exponentially, once again as ‘Popular Hinduism’s’ allegiance to unseen and unknown ‘God’ did enjoy polarizing exploit among the uneducated masses. Its influence corrupted the composed mind of the average Buddhist to such an extent, he started paying ‘puja’ to gods in the name of Kataragama, Vishnu, Saman, Pattini, etc. in order to attain his mundane needs; he offered, first hundreds and then thousands of rupees along with the ‘puja wattiya’ (rattan bowl),  instead of practicing Karuna, Metta, Muditha and Upekkha and the five precepts.

It was to this convoluted mindset that Bandaranaike appealed. Politics in all its inner bearings is fundamentally cynical; its divisive character and its polarizing capability could motivate and move any docile man or woman to the brim of violence. The loyalty and fidelity it demands of its practitioner and follower are limitless. Its corrupt and corrupting character attracts many an unwise man to itself in such a ferocious fashion, the practitioner or the follower does not realize until its all-consuming power has totally enveloped his fragile mind and eaten into the very fabric of decency that sets man from beast.

Bandaranaike, being schooled in Classics at Oxford, the ‘Taxila’ of the modern world of education, in the early nineteen hundreds, fully understood the undertones of religious fervor that could control and regulate an undisciplined and uneducated mind of man. He, unlike his contemporaries at the time, realized that the half-a-millennium colonial rule had had its benumbing effects on the large masses in Ceylon. He also knew that, if he could find some leading Monks, he would be in an enviable position to exploit the burning religious amber and turn it into a political fireball.

Unfortunately, both for Bandaranaike and the country at large, the leading Monk came in the form of Mapitigama Buddharakkita, who was inherently dishonest and deeply immoral, a typical antithesis of a pious man in the saffron robe who in ancient times was reckoned as a man of wisdom and intelligence. Wisdom and intelligence apart, Buddharakkhitha possessed enormous personality and the charisma he was swathed in was more than sufficient in the context of a political campaign a leader would have been pushed to carry out in an extremely volatile environment.

Buddharakkhitha did not see any negative qualities in himself; he used his political and social minuses he was weighed down with as positively advantageous plusses for consummating his nefarious ‘deals’. A culture that was intrinsically flawed, a behavioral pattern on the part of Buddhist Monks which was inherently dangerous and potentially catastrophic was experiencing its birth pangs in the late 1950s. Religion, specifically Buddhism organized along the lines of a hierarchical clergy, became an integral part of any government formed under the leadership the Bandaranaikes and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).  This was further strengthened by the 1972 Constitution wherein a sperate clause was inserted rendering special status for Buddhism. 

All these developments led to a ‘culture of influence’ by the Buddhist Clergy on the policies and programs adopted by the government. The scope of this influence was not limited to religion; it spread across the socio-economic boundaries thereby became a mitigating effect on those who occupied higher political offices in the country. Racial-religious riots that erupted through the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s were a direct aftereffect of this culture that Bandaranaike/Buddharakkhitha duo gave birth to. 

Agitation by the Northern Tamils, firstly led by SJV Chelvanayakam and his Federal Party (FP) that later developed into Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and secondly by Amirthalingam and Company became a lightning rod for the civil riots that later graduated to a full scale war and a military confrontation between the Security Forces of the country against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. 

The massacre of Buddhist Monks in Arantalawa ignited the anger and ferocity among Sinhalese Buddhists; this hereto docile civil population became an unarmed guardian of the Dhamma so pure and anti-violence; their anger turned into hatred of anyone Tamil and Tamil-speaking. The resulting confrontation was so unforgiving and venomous, all modern terms such as racial profiling, racial genocide were confined to the English-speaking Colombo-educated pukka sahibs. Sinhalese exceptionalism became Sinhalese tribalism. And it was the Buddhist Clergy who led the way right through.           

The thirty-year war was only the culmination point in this vicious process. The religious groups became so intertwined in the political process; they became the leaders in some of the agitational activities organized by the civil organizations in the country.

Galagoda Atte Gnanasara, who looks and acts more like a petty ruffian wrapped in a saffron robe rather than an ordinary Buddhist Monk, with express nod of the Rajapaksa regime rose to prominence chiefly thanks to the development of the culture so nursed and consummated by the Bandaranaike/Buddharakkhitha combination at the beginning.

But the most tragic aspect of this phenomenon is the deliberate and unwise policy of the current President, Maithripala Sirisena. When Gnanasara was imprisoned as punishment for defiling the Law of the Country, Sirisena released this charlatan on the basis of a Presidential Pardon. All of a sudden, Gnanasara who was nearly forgotten by those who sought violence and mayhem as an instrument of expression, became a hero again. The arrogance of the fellow reached incredible levels and he began dictating to the those who belonged to Islam faith as to how to practice their religion. 

Gnanasara does not belong in the civil society. Nor should he be allowed to represent the uplifting teachings of Buddha. His very presence is enough to desecrate its supreme measure and purity of non-violent men and women. But the those who believe in law and order and democratic principles are caught in a grip of a dilemma: silently suffer the consequences or organize another group of Buddhist Monks and face the accusation of Sanga-bēdha (division of the Clergy). Whichever they choose, it’s not a good choice.

Gnanasara has some influence; his scope of work is much more widespread than before. The influence he exerts cannot be underestimated and if one does it, he does it at his own political peril. Easter Sunday Massacre engineered by some Muslims only helped worsen the situation. All signs of dissatisfaction about the current regime are present. To add fuel to fire, all statements emanating from the government politicians are even more depressing. A culture that was born out of political necessity has consumed a susceptible populace; its beginnings were ominous and its end seems to be far, far away.

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com    

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Latest comments

  • 2
    8

    Supreme Courts has verified that President can stay for Six years before the election. It is the General election that must come before the completion of five years. We know Mahinda Rajapakse went early. Why Maithripala Sirisena also is doing the same.
    National Candidate project also organized bhikkus in their Mahanuwara Rally.
    People say, Sri lanka is the oldest Democracy in Asia and began some where in 1930s. Why Ven. Ghansara can not do anything. He doe snot have civil rights or his society does not have that democracy.
    I think, Vishvamithra is far behind. I think they have gone passed Ven. Ghanasara. Now, their Saviour is Walpola Rahula Institute.
    They way Vishvamithra writes, it looks National Candidate project meeting held in Mahanuwara was a failure.
    I heard Ravi KArunanayake was saying if he loses his Parliamentarian position, he will lose business too because most of the business is amalgamated with it. He has asked at least a deputy minister post which is given to National List MPs.

  • 14
    2

    KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

    Where did the saffron clad thug find these Gundas?
    Are they from rent a mob agency, Namal Baby’s Blue Brigade ….., or Film Extras, Wimal Sangili Karruppan’s cousins, ………….. Gota’s White Van boys, ……… ?

    • 6
      0

      I am not sure if Rev. Gnanasara is molding the Muslims or not, but clearly dividing the Sinhalese of this island unknowingly. After observing their recent gathering in Kandy, this is what I understood.

    • 0
      0

      Dear Native,

      It is the same place your Idol Dr Ranil recruited his Bath Gottas.

      But you must have been wearing a Green Shirt with White Shorts. Right ?///.
      Was Dr Ranil wearing Pink Trousers.. Native ?…

  • 5
    3

    On hindsight swrd’s sinhala act was supposed to make the entire country speak a common language. Poor impimentation has met that Tamil speaker’s live in self-segregated ghettos unable to address their issues to the majority. How different whould have been if prabhakram and zahran had to oppetunity to debate, perusaude and bend the sinhalese to their point of view ? During the 50s, About 80 speak sinhala, this incudes non- native speakers. So it a case teaching 20 percent instead of teaching 90 percent – English. we

    • 14
      1

      Nonsence 80% spoke Sinhalese ! only around 66% spoke Sinhalese and and 33% spoke Tamil and both languages should have been made official languages and not just your mongrel language that has a 40% Tamil derived vocabulary and a 100% Tamil derived grammar, lexicon, syntax and alphabet. This is what would have made sense. Even now with all the genocide ethnic cleansing and forced Sinhalisation 24-25% still speak Tamil as their first language and more than 80% of them hardly speak any Sinhalese . You are just another lying Sinhalese racist.

  • 17
    2

    Sirisena wanted to create a unnecessary conflict in our country and released this man from the prison.
    This man is not a Buddhist monk.
    He has involved in various crimes and Gotabaya is the man who covered him from all those crimes and fed him well.
    Unfortunately these thugs have completely destroyed the teaching of the Buddha in our country.
    So called Maha Nayakas are foolish and they blind.
    This country has been taken to dark and HELll.
    Sirisena must be responsible for this.

    • 1
      0

      Let us not blame Sirisena.

      Sirisena has been the perfect example what an ill-educated man in a position of the highest responsibility could do, if given the powers he does not know how to wield for the general good.

      The fault lies with those who nominated and espoused his candidature.

    • 0
      0

      Saman,

      Allow me to respectfully disagree with you. The Mahanayakas are not
      foolish or blind. They well see and realise the damage done to the
      “borrowed” Buddhist religion by rogues and charlatans in yellow robes – now in open politics. They know the Rubicon has been crossed. The reality is their own hallowed and comfortable positions are dependent on these political scoundrels, who have the influence, money and cunning to play about with the making and breaking of Mahanayakas. Do you recall the time, during MR’s early regime, when the Mahanayakas, responding to public pressure, tried to change things by calling a Great Gathering of the Maha Sangha in Kandy to challenge the excesses of the political bandits. A notorious “thug” priest was despatched from Colombo to warn them of dire consequences. This priest is alleged to have threatened the Mahanayakas to cause the flow of rivers of blood if the “challenge” is not aborted. It was and there was and very unlikely in future further
      “trouble” to the political leadership from the well meaning Mahanayakas.

      Friend, this country is in deep trouble. Self-inflicted, certainly.
      Will it ever get out of the mire. That, Sir, is the question.

      Backlash

  • 7
    0

    What a stupid man is he? He will never give any help to any candidate in coming election.
    Whoever he support will lose election

  • 4
    0

    There is always a problem with religions that have founders who have different shades of opinion in reaching God. Buddhism is also one of them. S.W.R.D.Bandaranayake had a mindset of utilizing the religion for his political gain. Whether it is Buddhism, Christianity or Islam, the concept of reaching God varies. Hinduism also has its defects because of Brahmins. They have a specific method. It is unfortunate that the liberation is being utilized in such a manner, that one thinks religion is the opium of the masses. One ponders Buddharakita Thero or Gnanasara Thero really knows the meaning of ‘Buddham Saranam Kachchami …..’ which is chanted especially on Wesak days. Even one of the Mahanayake theros said to stone the Muslims which is against the teachings of Lord Buddha. Anger, greed, lust, etc are enemies of human kind. These politicians, Buddhist priests and even Moulavis for a moment have forgotten that politics means lofty ideals for the betterment of humankind as well as of the country. It is also a disgrace for Maithripala Srisena to misuse his presidential privileges to release Gnanasara Thero with the sole intention of unleashing terror in the name of Buddhism against another faith. If the people abide by what Gnanasara Thero & company preaches, then it is likely to affect the Presidential election and there will be room for Satan to perform his dance. A real Buddhist priest will always abide the laws of a country. But politicians & priests are hanging on to the laws of the jungle and there is no point in boasting of 2500 years of civilization.

  • 12
    1

    These terrorists are there to destroy Srilanka ,started with Prabakaran ,Gnanasara and Zahran.
    This trinity is a curse for Srilanka PRABAGNANAZAHRAN, the lords of the modayas.

  • 6
    1

    The unfortunate picture showing the irreverent Gandasara in front the meanest sons-of-bitches on the Island gives rise to just one question: What mischief is the bugger planning now?

  • 3
    4

    It suited you fine .. Didn’t it Boys, when our poor Sinhala Buddhists had their Docile Mindsets .

    And could be pushed in to remote corners of their own 2500 year old land and force them to survive on Wild rice and Lunu Miris and keep the Kiddies at home without going to school.
    .
    While the suckers of Rajasinghes , Portugese, Dutch and English lived happily feasting on Raja Bogun , and send the offsprings to Anglican Schools and learn English..
    And tell those docile minded ,that it is their Karume and they have to cop it and look for something better in the next life.

    My Elders tell me this Buddharakkitha was a Sobitha.But it wasn’t about Yahapalanaya ,
    It was just the love and lust for an ex UNP Minister, who switched the sides like Dr Rajitha or should I say Hirunicker.. ..

    Ven Gnnissara I believe was trained by Solheim in Norway. I am not sure why.
    But I know Ven Gnnanissara helped Dr Rajith and Dr Ranil at the last Election with his efforts in Aluthgama.
    That is another story which seems to be very interesting after the Holy Sunday of Easter..

    I know Vishwamithra offered the Punters a list of potential good UNP Candidates to give us the next phase of Yahapalanaya.
    Wonder what happened to it?…

    Because Dr Ranil’s Deputy, Keslwatta Kid seems to be the Front Runner now.
    Specially with that Sirisena’s own goal , by trying to to tip a Bucket on the poor Cardinal who was holding the 3 Months Memorial Mass for the dear dead and maimed poor Catholic members his Community..

    • 4
      2

      KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

      “It suited you fine .. Didn’t it Boys, when our poor Sinhala Buddhists had their Docile Mindsets .”

      How true.
      How this docile mindset has been put to good use by growing Sinhala/Buddhist fascism in 1956 (elections), 1958 (riots), 196o & 1961 disturbances, 1977 (riots again), Arson attack (1981 on Cultural Icon), 1983 (Pogrom), 44 years of state sponsored terror, 2014 (riots again), 2018 (riots again), 2019 (riots again), ………………………

      Thanks for reminding us.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Native-
        At least you got one thing right which is 1956.
        That is when the Sinhala Buddhists Renaissance started.

        It all finished when UNP Nero was brought to power by the SLFP Sira Faction joining with the Vellala Party TNA, Diaspora London , Suren Surendran and the UN , with the full bacikng of London, Paris and Washington.

        UNP Nero even rounded up many Buddhists and even their Monks.
        Thank God he didn’t burn them..
        But then Dr Ranil didn’t have to burn Colombo or Hambantota..
        He could sell any juicy bits that he wanted to sell to please his mates, because Dr Ranil’s commanders were more than happy to help Dr Ranil to collect the Santhosams..-

        Native, that Pirahaparan Dude and His Boys ..Were they in Thamil Nadu from 1981 to 2009?..

        • 1
          0

          KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

          “Native, that Pirahaparan Dude and His Boys ..Were they in Thamil Nadu from 1981 to 2009?..”

          For most part VP was fighting against LTTE and Tamils, then of course he fought the Hindian IPKF for 3 years because the Sinhala/Buddhist armed forces would not fight the invaders, actually they were hiding behind their women folks and VP’s fat bum, and once in a while he supported democratic process and the clan by rigging elections, …. for a fees, … initially he was a loyal tool to Hindians, later Premadasa, the Wes, ……………….

          One Tamil friend confessed to me that Prabaharan worked for everyone else including Sinhala/Buddhist fascists, except the Tamils, Muslims, … and Sinhalese.

          Isn’t it why you love him?
          Without him there would not have been the new rich and powerful among Sinhala/Buddhist. VP helped to create the new Sinhala/Buddhist rich in this island. They got to be grateful to him.

          • 0
            0

            Dear Native,

            I know your Pira buddy did some bad things to Mahattaya.
            My elders tell me Pira even killed Duraiappa with his own hands in Kayts..
            Then went after that Slipper Lady’s Hubby, and a whole host of others, including the dear friend of Sinhalese , Lakshman..

            But what Pira did to poor , innocent Sinhala Buddhists , who you guys now call , Docile Minded is not only cruel, but also sadistic, pathetic , abhorrent and terrible.

            Specially those Samanara’s , whom now UNP Ranjan uses as merchandise to not only get browny points for him and his Leader.r but also to curry favour with the West specially the Germans who have never done any bad things like our ancestors.

            Anyway , why you keep harping on how much good Pira has done to my Sinhala Buddhist people?.
            Unless you want to keep reminding us how good Pira was to Dr Ranil and his Elite, Anglican and Vellala faction dudes..

            Pira didn’t try to blow up any of them Did He?.Mate..

            BTW , have your Sampathar and Abraham kissed and made up with the Wahabis to be so close to Bathudeen , Hakeem , Assath Sally , Hisbolla and Haleem ?..

            No wonder my Elders always tell me there are no differences what so ever in Politics among the People who have the Dosh and Power. And are happy rimming each other…,
            And it is our Sinhala Buddhists with the Docilei Mind Sets who get shafted all the time…

            Are you going to put a Compo claim for Mahattaya too from that LTTE Reparation Fund ?..

        • 1
          0

          KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

          “At least you got one thing right which is 1956.
          That is when the Sinhala Buddhists Renaissance started.”

          Renaissance – a new growth of activity or interest in something, especially art, literature, or music

          Pogrom – an organized massacre of helpless people

          I am sure you know the difference between renaissance and pogrom.

      • 2
        0

        Darn! NV.
        Must you remind us we are so trying to forget.
        Sigh!

        • 1
          0

          vishva

          I have been re-educated by the likes of Eagle Blind Eye, KASmaalam, Somass, Champass, ……………………………. Therefore I need to constantly remember and remind other peace loving people the horrors of the past.

  • 5
    2

    “Galagoda Atte Gnanasara, who looks and acts more like a petty ruffian wrapped in a saffron robe rather than an ordinary Buddhist Monk, with express nod of the Rajapaksa regime rose to prominence chiefly thanks to the development of the culture so nursed and consummated by the Bandaranaike/Buddharakkhitha combination at the beginning.”

    Can he affect the Presidential elections ? NO. But what he will do is to create communal riots after the elections with the help of the MR gang.

  • 8
    1

    Let us put one thing into perspective: after 500 years of colonial patronage, less than 7.5% of our people converted to Christianity. That is by no means any indication of success on the part of the evangelists who enjoyed the support of the colonial masters. If anything, I would say it was a miserable return for all that effort. The Buddhists (and Buddhism) have little to fear from Christianity; their biggest obstacle is overcoming their own insecurity.

    The downfall of Buddhism in this land came when devious politicians seeking power chained themselves to the Sangha under the pretext of ‘protecting’ Buddhism. That was the smartest con trick performed on those entrusted with the noble message.

    • 6
      1

      Spring Koha

      “The downfall of Buddhism in this land came when devious politicians seeking power chained themselves to the Sangha under the pretext of ‘protecting’ Buddhism. “

      Isn’t it a good reason as to why we should liberate Buddhism from Sinhala/Buddhism, Mahasangha, state patronage, saffron clad hoodlums (believe themselves to be the vanguards), ……………. and a few bigots who use it as religious shield of impunity.

      • 2
        0

        Native Vedda

        I fully agree with you. The sooner we separate our devious politicians from increasingly irrelevant clergy the better it will be for everyone.

  • 4
    2

    ‘Easter Sunday Massacre engineered by some Muslims’ requires much clarification. Muslim suicide bombers were involved. But for the engineering part, it is more profitable to look inwards, into our own state machinery.

  • 2
    0

    This is the onset of the “”Kaliyuga era'”
    This has been foretold in Buddhist Teachings

  • 6
    1

    I have commented on the practices of supposed to be Lord Buddha’s teaching in Sri Lanka. What is practiced by these sort of monks are nothing but skewed and insanity. Are there not, any educated Buddhist monks who can counter these sort of behaviour or the politician are unscrupulous to contain them.
    It is shame that a land where Buddha never set foot, but allegedly practices skewed Buddha’s doctrine is ultimately heading towards death of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is definitely in the making, if this not countered.

  • 5
    0

    What does the black dress on this style represent,- Scary back ground, Reflecting for what purpose.

    Black suit dress is warn on the married day. first day of new life
    Black dress is warn funeral. Last day end of life
    Black dress warn and on Graduation for first award on Complete of education
    IT makes you realise your place in nature.

  • 4
    0

    The monk will have at least as much influence on the election as those he has been warning the population to be vary of for many years now .

  • 9
    0

    Sri Lanka is doomed if legal measures encompassing both the State and the Sangha are not introduced soon to prevent criminals, goons and psychos like Gnanasara from shaving their heads, donning yellow rags and terrorising the law-abiding citizens by yelling the scary words “Rata, Jathiya, Agama.” Why are these bogeymen allowed on the streets in Sri Lanka all the time? In other countries Halloween comes only once a year.

    • 3
      7

      Ajay,
      What is wrong with monks who are native Sinhalayo talking about ‘Rata, Jathiya, Aagama’. After all they are a part of citizenry in this country.
      Descendants of slaves brought from Malabar may not be aware that Buddhist Monks played a role in defending ‘Rata, Jathiya, Aagama’ during long history of Sinhale. When ‘Para Demalu’ invaded Sinhale, monks played their part to protect ‘Rata, Jathiya, Aagama’. When colonial rulers massacred Sinhalayo and oppressed them, monks played a role against colonial rulers and some monks went in front of the firing squad of British bastards.

      During colonial rule, they considered Monks as a pain in their neck. Now White Supremacists in the West consider monks and Sinhala Buddhists as a major hindrance to achieve their objectives. That is the reason why they have hired people to tarnish the image of these two groups by repeating the Mantra ‘Yellow Clad Thugs’, Sinhala Buddhist Racists’, Sinhala Buddhists Fascists’, Sinhala Buddhist Bigots’.

      • 5
        1

        EE

        Go Home

        • 0
          0

          Angoda Kala Veddah,

          You kallathoni to Sri Lanka can go home if you cannot accept the history of Sri Lanka and live here.

          • 1
            0

            Nimal Tissass Wijethunga

            Go home.
            When you go take EE with you.
            Your long lost cousins are awaiting for you at Rameshwaram.

  • 3
    3

    winner of next election will be sirisena if he decided to re contest as he is born in 1951. astrologically he was born between 1950 and 52 which is a good time to be born for leadership. I.e modi and khan born in this cycle. also incumbency will help. if ranil runs against sirisena he will almost definitely loose. his only shot is of a gota being opponent even then faces uphill task. of slfp or slpp want to take control they should merge and nominate sirisena for a second term. unps best bet is ranatunga 2024 as he is born in 1963 also a strong year. also slfp have no incumbent as sirisena would have served 2 terms. slfp should back sirisena as gotabaya risks defeat as he is born in 1949 which is not a strong year.

  • 3
    0

    This one resembles the Schutzstaffel goons , the SS during NAZI regime. History is there to prove what atrocities they committed.

  • 0
    0

    What about 1947? It must be a very strong year. I want to throw my hat in the ring. The only thing that prevented me so far is that there seems to be as many candidates as are voters!

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