30 September, 2020

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Colour Of Despotism: Saffron?

By Sarath de Alwis

Sarath de Alwis

Several broadsheets, Sinhala and English announced in banner headlines that the two Mahanayakes of Asgiriya and Malwatte had torpedoed the Constitutional reform process. For those of us, concerned with the impact, the many scandals will have on the meandering constitutional reform process, it was worrying news.

The new Mahanayake of Asgiriya who succeeded to the position after the demise of his endearingly erudite and sensible predecessor has not disguised his partisan leanings. He has already declared his outright opposition to the constitutional drafting process.

In the case of the far more self-possessed and rational prelate of the Malwatte chapter, the joint opposition suffered a decisive set back. The Mahanayake thero of Malwatte recently advised Dinesh Gunwardena who sought to enlist his support in opposing the process, that it was best to await the draft proposals. In the light of assurances given by the President and Prime minister on the unitary state, primacy of Buddhism etc. there was no need to rush in to warped opinions. 

The immediate purpose of the pretended parley held in some exclusive inner chamber of the Dalada Maligawa was to isolate the Malwatte prelate who was not playing ball with the joint opposition.  It has now come to light, that puppeteer behind the clerical puppetry is none other than the lay custodian of the holy of holies and a loyal Rajapaksa trooper.

The constitutional reform process is a contemporary national imperative. Power devolution, national reconciliation, institutional resilience of state agencies tasked to monitor accountability and transparency are prerequisite for a nation at peace with itself – a precondition for meaningful economic progress. An equitable electoral system in place of the present Neronian version that fiddles with our franchise slowly roasting the land on the slow fire of political deception is a moral necessity that even the Rajapaksa family cannot oppose openly, although a revision may hinder their Mafiosi.

The reform process is not easy. The Ranil Wickremesinghe led administration has now traversed the full length of the blind alley, it entered with the Bond scam in February 2015. Their cheeky chins are now up against the wall, with the writing clear to all except the Leader and the executive committee of the UNP.

It is a shame. Credibility is an essential part of the armour of those who seek foundational reforms.

The mobilization of the ‘Anu Nayakes’ the second tier of the two monastic orders is a brilliant move by the Mahinda Rajapaksa led opposition. It is politics by other means.

Sinhala Buddhist Sangha epitomizes organized religion. It has Sects or ‘Nikayas’ operating their respective franchises, appointing independent retail outlets using their exclusive operating manuals, logos and models. On and off, there are mavericks who compose their own operating manuals as in the case of Pitiduwe Siridhamma thera whose claim to have attained the Arahaht state titillated the piety of affluent middleclass matrons of Colombo who were dazzled by his soprano preaching and mesmeric masculinity. 

It was recently reported that a threat of expulsion has convinced him to surrender his Arahant title. The patent laws seem to be working in our monastic outfits!    

The unique selling proposition of the Sinhala Sangha fraternity is their demonstrated ability to manipulate masses. At a given command they can adopt adversarial positions against other groups and other points of view. They execute their assignments with a laser like centricity on their interpretation of the faith.

Since  1753 when King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe handed a ‘watapatha’ to a monk indicating a royal mandate after the introduction of the higher ordination from Siam, the feudal monastic orders of the hill kingdom has been in the firm grip of a few  interrelated clans ceaselessly driven by ambition, greed and power. 

This writer, modestly informed of what the Buddha taught, is convinced that the single objective of institutionalized Sangha is to insulate the faithful from learning, understanding and experiencing what the Buddha taught.

Near extortionist interpretation of the concept of giving ‘dana’ has provided them financial self-sufficiency and societal legitimacy. The latest SUV models used by the movers and shakers of the fraternity do not generate envy of the faithful. Instead, such opulence is regarded as the just rewards of a noble vocation.

The Saffron robe, that was once a symbol of renunciation is, now an emblem of authority that intimidates the devout and promotes the  parochial.  Since independence the state has negotiated accommodation, offered patronage and sought reciprocity with the Sinhala Buddhist clerical institutions. Of all leaders, only JRJ and Sirimavo were strong enough to draw their lines on the sand in dealing with them. Premadasa used tribal instincts to carve his own niche of clerical support. Mahinda Rajapaksa adroitly built a network of saffron operatives beholden to the boss rivaling any Sicilian mafia.     

The arrogant finality of the impugned  statement, earned front page exposure. It received greater amplifications the next morning TV shows where garrulous anchors serving political interests of media Moghuls and creatures of Gotabaya Rajapaksa had a field day in constructing a false mass opinion against constitutional reforms driven by a patriotic sangha. 

“We have decided the unsuitability of the proposed Constitution. We say that a new Constitution is not needed. The present Constitution is good for us. We decided that the Maha Sangha should oppose the proposed Constitution,”

The statement, an arbitrary rejection of the sovereignty of the people has one comical connotation. The assertion ‘this constitution is good for us’, elevates J.R.J to the exalted ranks of an Arahath!

The clever maneuvering by the Rajapaksa led opposition has exposed their reliance on the Sangha in an  alliance to redefine the political process in their favour. It is natural and logical. A majority of the Sinhala Sangha community were willing collaborators of the corrupt political system under Mahinda presidency. Despite the ‘Upasaka’ appeal and biting the dust obeisance of his successor, they prefer the ousted despot who promises continuity. There is lesson for us.    

Elevating the Sangha above the democratic debate under the guise of according primacy to Buddhism will have a devastating impact on our ability to keep pace with 21st century human progress.

Dismantling the saffron cartel before its octopus arms could strangle the slender democratic gains is our immediate challenge.

Buddhism is a search for truth. The Buddha advised us that we should believe only “that which is true in the light of our own experience, that which conforms to reason and conducive to the highest good and welfare of all beings.”

It is time for rational Buddhists to realize that Buddha showed us the path. He did not offer to walk it for us. The Sangha in their Pajero SUVs and Mercedes limousines cannot drive us on that path either.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa genius was that, he shaped and controlled the Sangha by incentives and coercive tactics as and when necessary. Despite objections, Lamborghinis raced past the ‘Dalada Maligawa.’ 

The promise of the central expressway to the sanctified citadel has not earned Laksman Kiriella any points or praise – a singular signal of the tenuous bonds the UNP has with hill country clerics.   

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Latest comments

  • 18
    1

    Monks should be confined to teaching Buddhism, not dabble in worldly affairs and politics.

    Politicians should dabble in their dirty politics, not Buddhism.

    • 14
      0

      Monks have lost focus today:

      Examples:
      1 some monks want to get on to company boards (Lanka Hospitals)
      2 some monks want to lead trade unions ( Nurses Union)
      3 some monks want to protect the corrupt ( LITRO chairman was hiding in a temple)
      4 some monks want to enter parliament ( Hela Urumaya)
      5 some monks want to be active in politics (Abhayaramaya)
      6 some monks just like business, antiques and construction ( Colombo temples)
      7 some monks simply protest to look after them selves ( Kandalama Hotel protests)
      8 some monks steal elephants ( case currently on)
      9 some monks fight for real estate and leadership ( post Ven Sobitha Thera / Naga Vihara)
      10 some monks simply love their BENZ, Land Cruisers and BMWs and the iPhones

      10,000 temples and 30,000 monks in the country.

      Hundreds of court cases against monks today for land encroachment, thuggery, intimidation, murder, misappropriation etc etc

      Hope the so called Chief Priests and Maha Nayake Priests will wake one day!!!

      child abuse cases against Christian Priests as well.

      Politicians have ensured that the country has gone to the dogs.

      We have no hope.!!!

      • 4
        1

        Jagath Fernando:
        Thanks for that though it is only the tip of the iceberg that has sent our ship of state to the depths.

    • 5
      1

      Goraka

      “Monks should be confined to teaching Buddhism, “

      Monks should first learn Buddha’s teaching, and then should be taught to practice what they learnt.

      • 2
        0

        Native: There is only one way to Teach these jokers Buddha’s teachings -a hot iron rod in their rectum

    • 1
      0

      It is high time that the ultimate punishment is meted to some of these hooligans.One could start with the guy with two Identity cards and then proceed to vapourise the two homosexuals – one with the oiled face and the other who was punished by the courts for making a mistake, that a boy’s anus is a “vagina”.

      The problem is that even in this govt only two had the guts to call the cads, cads. Sarath Fonseka and Mangala Samaraweera.

  • 7
    18

    Sarath De alwis: first do Mahanayake’s have any democratic rights to express their views. Why only you and some other Eurasians (see your name) have more some special rights than the humans who are related to Sinhal budhist culture. Beczause Mahanayaka’s gave their verdict about constitution why Jackal Opposition is pi$$ed off. Because they they did not have an popportunity to have a Photo OP with the mahanayakes. It is the LSSP that destroyed Sinhale and I don’t think Dinesh Gunawardane cares a hoot about the country or constitution for their opportunity to finish off the country and the sinhala – buddhist culture that yoy do not understand. Ranil is an established ALIBABA and the whole Sri lanka knows he is the instigator of the worst bank heist in Sri lanka. They not only stole the bak day light they paid of their UNP bills, bought houses for probably every body, they deposited most of those in foreign banks too. Now, stay like sages and, for you, Ranil wickramsinghe is far accountable than the Ven. Mahanayakes. YOu bray about Two Rajapakses. Why Ranil, Avamangala and CBK gang still can not find that $ 18 billion Mahinda Rajapakss or rajapakses stole ?. Why you are such a bankrupt but senior journalist ? Who is funding your article. Is it some foreign moey who wants to get Sri lanka under them. FYI, there are so many aid schemes in Sri lanka all for subjugating Sri lanka………….. YOu people are so aggrresuve and thinking buddhist monks should listen to you peoples threatening voices. Sinhala buddhists are chicken and at lest the monks can not be assertive and they have to follow the Tripitake to the letter becauses you all are watching to see whether they are good buddhists. Hey pal, Samathikkamaya.

    • 13
      2

      Jim,

      Mahanayakes and all other saffron robed gentry have no right to dabble in politics as they have renounced all worldly concerns in getting into robes. Get it? It is a matter of extreme concern that Buddhist monks are in the forefront of every agitation while I don’t see any cassocks amongst any of them. So do you understand that by simply watching the proceedings, we are allowing Buddhist clergy to be painted as a very violent, fundamentalist lot? Is that how you want Buddhist clergy to be remembered the world over?

      • 3
        6

        Justice and firefly: It is your christianity/Catholics, POPE, QUEEN have the rigths to involve in politics, not the Ven. Mahanayake theras. How about so many Church pastors having HIV/AIDS in your of the world, do people have rigths expel them from the church.

        • 5
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          Jim, what Christians and others do has nothing to do with us. Didn’t the Buddha say that if the disciples lived properly the World would not be short of Arahats?

          Also there is that well known advice from the Milindapanha –

          “…..So, your Majesty, it is the business of the princes of this Earth to know all about elephants, horses, chariots, bows, edicts and seals, to be well-versed in the textbooks of statecraft, in its traditions and customs, and to lead people into battle…….The Tathagata therefore urged the bhikkhus to devote themselves to their own work, and not that of others….”

          Ven. Nagasena talking to Menandros, the Greek King of Bactria (c115 BC)

        • 2
          2

          Jim, let us use fire brands on the mahanayakes. Incise their asses

      • 6
        3

        Justice & Fairplay:
        Why are you wasting your time on this village idiot, Sotty? He is beyond redemption and while it is sad to see any biped devoid of decency and intelligence, that’s a part of having to live in this world for the rest of us.

        • 3
          1

          Emil van der Poorten

          “Why are you wasting your time on this village idiot, Sotty?”

          Don’t you think its fun to see him type more bigotry and proves himself the most stupid person on this earth?

          Great fun to annoy him.

        • 4
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          Emil,

          It is always worth a try to try and elevate the level of debate to an intelligent disagreement, which clearly, Jim Softly, Migara, Percy and Buddhaghosha lack. Quite apart from not being able to see the wood for the trees, they seem to suffer from some form of acute anger. I suffer from sorrow – the sorrow of seeing the Buddhism I once knew in this country being replaced by a very violent, racial, hatred filled, intolerant “religion”.

          THis would be a very difficult country to govern, that’s for sure, with so many complexities to be accommodated when a political decision has to be made.

          Education, Education and EDUCATION is the only answer.

      • 3
        2

        Justice and FairPlay
        You say that you have not seen cassocks amidst agitators! You get your eyes examined. What do you think Emmanuel, rajappu et al were doing encouraging Tamil terrorists to kill, maim, and rape. And what about Derrick Mendis another fellow in cassock who agitated actively on behalf of Rogue Ranil. There will be scores of others.Fortunately they are not in the majority. History will show how the Portuguese came here raped and killed people as they did not worship their God. So enough of your self righteous bullshit.

    • 10
      2

      It is time that the law is applied to all citizens equally.
      No employer can say “Sinhalese only” or Tamils only” when hiring employees. But Mahanayakas are chosen on caste basis. A man from Balapitiya will NEVER be considered for the high chair in Asgiriya or Malwatte. Will someone have the courage to challenge this in court?
      I don’t think even Nagananda Kodituwakku will dare to. Such is the hold these saffron robed hypocrites have on their mostly mindless flock of sheep.
      Basically, the rules ( as in most religions) are:
      1. I know everything
      2. If you want to know, give me food
      3. Give me money too.
      4. Criticizing me is a deadly sin.
      5. Even my robe is holy.

      Is it any wonder that these charlatans are having such a grand time? The Buddha would be rolling in his grave, if he had one.

      • 0
        0

        O.C. You are wrong.The Asgiriya buggers venerated two Karawa men and the present guy is from the Navandanna community.

    • 9
      1

      One thing I notice on this page is that all those who are not in favour of what Sarath de Alwis have written have to stoop to personal attacks and insults to get their point across.

      If I remember right, that is not very budhistic, isn’t it? So the ones who really disgrace Buddhism are the ones who vent their spleens with anger and hatred admixed.

      To such men, I can only recommend more reading of the works of the great thinkers of history (and Buddha is one of them), pausing to reflect on what they have read.

      FYI, I am neither sponsored by an NGO or a non Buddhist.

    • 2
      0

      If a normal govt servant has no political rights, no right to express his opinion on politics openly, how come the socalled Mahanayakes, who are also paid by the Govt express their political views.
      The problem is that the majority of the Sinhalese, of what ever religion are nothing but ass suckers.That is why these jokers, that include the cardinal get lugged into politics.

    • 1
      0

      Jimsofty ” first do Mahanayake’s have any democratic rights to express their views.”

      No definitely no.They draw money from the Govt. They are like a normal head of a department – no right to discus politics leaving aside the public speeches.

  • 8
    20

    This man’s attacks on Buddhism and the Buddhist clergy at every possible turn have no impact anymore. His vain attempts to hide behind a facade of erudition have never worked and they will not work in the future. His dishonesty in not telling the truth about his strong faith in the so-called ‘church’ of England created by a syphilitic Henry VIII can’t be hidden behind claims of knowing about Buddhism. The news of the supreme body of the three nikayas objecting to the constitutional fraud is ‘bad news’ for him. And he praises the Malwatte nayaka (like Robert Clive praised the last Moghul Muslim ruler of India Aurangzeb) because the misguided monk is helping their cause of dividing Sri Lanka through a process like the British lies that led to the 1815 disaster. Crooks like Sarath de Alwis have no limits to their devious plans and they will not stop their attempts to break the Sinhala Buddhist hold on this little island and its proud history of 3000 years. They are helping international forces through NGOs working to achieve their evil plans. This is why the stand of the Joint Karaka Sabha of Asgiriya and Malwathu chapters is a historically important event. LET THE DOGS BARK.

    • 13
      2

      Where on earth has the writer attacked Buddhism or its doctrine ? Please try to understand the contents of the Article first.What is being critizised is how a certain set of Monks are manipulating matters for their own worldy benefits through political patronage.

      Get your fact rights first.Mr.De Alwis for all we know has no affinity towards Christianity at all.Like most of the people of this country he too is a Buddhist

      One last comment.There is no such thing as “Sinhala Buddhist” Nation.It is simply Sri Lanka where majority of people happen to belong to Sinhala “race” and bulk of them” claim” to be following what Lord Buddha preached.Religion is not a State issue but a personal one

    • 8
      3

      Perchance you are not the Buddhaghosha who authored ‘Visudhdhimagga’?

    • 7
      2

      Buddhaghosha sounds like Costa Nostra

      “This man’s attacks on Buddhism and the Buddhist clergy at every possible turn have no impact anymore. “

      Do I take it that the Sinhala/Buddhist laity is very stupid?

    • 8
      1

      You are quite right Buddhaghosha, the dogs may bark but the caravan moves on … and by ‘Dogs’ I don’t mean Sarath de Alwis at all… he speaks for all of us Buddhists who are appalled by the behavior of some, who, garbed in saffron robes are doing a lot, to destroy the good name of a peaceful way of life.

    • 5
      0

      “LET THE DOGS BARK.”
      This is what majority of Sri Lankans which includes Buddhists have said about the “turmeric robed” thugs. As no one gives a hoot.
      Things are now changed because they have joined hands with the uneducated street thugs and are threatening physical harm to citizens and damage to property.

      There is always a question of whether one should blame them or feel sorry for them when temples have been used as orphanages for unwanted children. They are dumped in the temple as little kids, abused and they in return grow-up with hatred.

    • 3
      1

      3000 years ago no Buddhism . Buddhism is around 2500 -2600 year old and only arrived in the island 2300 years ago and it would have taken another few centuries to spread across the island. Prior to this the island was speaking a semi Tamil Dravidian dialect called Elu and was practising Saivaism. This is the reason modern day Sinhalese vocabulary is still 40% Tamil derived. This Tamil derivation did not come from South Indian invasions and migrations but was already there in the form of Elu that formed the foundation of old Sinhalese. The Sinhalese culture dress food habits are all South Indian and Tamil.

      • 3
        1

        So we Tamils are the majority and we already have our own country?

    • 1
      0

      Bogus Gosha – You are the dog barking.Thye Buddhist clergy should be made to vapourise.They are basteds.

  • 3
    11

    Have been an ardent follower of Mr.Sarath De Alwis for a while now . However , I find his incessant diatribe against the Sangha quite pathetic . He should vent his spleen at the inept politicians who are ‘leading’ us instead .

    • 6
      0

      The inept politicians rely on the so called Sangha as a crutch to rob and the yellow robes get a good share of that and that’s the way the entire apparatus functions in SL
      with the judiciary,police and army and the mediaplaying a role to oil the state machinary system to run smoothly in order for them to ride on the backs of the foolish voters who vote for them.

  • 8
    1

    BUDDHAGOSA, you are disgrace to that most venerable monk. Things like this has happened before. With the electoral win of the MEP in 1956, the Sanga like Buddharakkitha, became so powerful that they were able to even assassinate even the PM Bandaranaike. Buddharakkitha was a womanizer, a thug and a businessman. He did it in the open. He served very expensive foreign liquor in the temple to those who were willing to partake, including Wimala Wijewardene. The Kelaniya temple which was blessed with the visit of the Lord Buddha, was made a den of thieves, a brothel, a business place, a liquor shop by the dirty, vicious monk. It was those Pirivena educated rascal monks who prevented us from learning English. We and our children are still paying for those acts. The other attempts by Bandaranaike to make good the mistake was thwarted by those Sinhala educated good for nothing rascals in yellow robes. When Christian and Tamil children learnt English, that opportunity was lost to the Sinhala Buddhists. It was an unpardonable act by the Buddhist monks of the time. The history is being repeated by not allowing the peaceful co-existance of the ordinary people of the country. I will bet my last rupee that all those Anunayakas who are protesting have come from poor families, like those samaneras who protest for anything at the drop of a hat. These so called Buddhist priests should be expelled from the SASANA.

    • 1
      1

      DPJ: Have seen the drawing of a man in safron being roasted at the kelaniya Temple.That man who was roasted was Dutugemunu’s father.The mother was thrown to the sea to die. She survived and married a man who was considred too ugly to marry by other women -Kakkavanna THeesan -kavan Tissa

  • 8
    2

    Colour Of Despotism: Saffron? Yes, in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and North India where influential saffron monks are despots.

    The politicians in these countries are opportunists sans any genuine interest in the countries concerned. So they play to the tunes of these religious bigots to win elections and stay in power by dividing people: majority against hte minorities. In other words the politicians and the religious bigots enjoy the fruits of this bigotry hoisted on the gullible people.

    These countries are democratic only nominally not truly. The result of this bigotry is povery, ignorance and lack of progress or genuine development in an increasingly advancing world. These countries in turn become backwaters of ignorance and poverty.

    This is a vicious circle created by democracy imposed on these countries by the exiting colonialists, and these societies suffer worse than under monarchy.

  • 4
    5

    “Credibility is an essential part of the armour of those who seek foundational reforms.” What is difference between the process Rajapaksa maneuvered to secure 2/3 in the Parliament for his continuation and the process Yahapalana gimmick has adopted to ensure 2/3 for the constitutional passage – just bribing MPs who belonged to whatever party with ministerial portfolios and material privileges. After all the latter is a “foundational” reform and ‘credibility’ is paramount as the author has succinctly put it. Looking back, what respect people will have for the fundamental reference they are governed by.—————–

    The “undue’ interference by the “saffron clads” is a natural reaction to crafty maneuvering by Yahahapalana crooks. Let us see who wins.———
    Soma

    • 0
      2

      SOMA: YOU do not know the real story abnd the apprent play here by the author of this article.

  • 5
    4

    The statement of the Joint Karaka Sabha of Asgiriya and Malwathu chapters is a historically important event indeed in opposing the rogue constitution making process currently underway which has NO mandate whatsoever.

    • 4
      1

      Hela

      Its you again!!!!!

      “The statement of the Joint Karaka Sabha of Asgiriya and Malwathu chapters is a historically important event indeed in opposing the rogue constitution making process currently underway which has NO mandate whatsoever.”

      Please explain why Grant Dukes statement is a historically important event? What makes it important? Why it is historical?

      Are you hysterical about the whole thing?

      Hysterical – relating to or suffering from hysteria.

      • 1
        1

        What does a vedda know the historical context of positions jointly held by Malwathu and Asgiri sangha sabha?

        It’s vedda’s masters who have got hysterical about historical actions of the sangha.

    • 3
      1

      Hela is the prakritised form of the ancient Tamil word for the island Eelam. The indigenous dialect of the island Elu is a simple semi Tamil Dravidian language and like the Vedda dialect and old Sinhalese ( Hela) , was very close to Tamil in pronunciation. Elu+ Prakirt= Hela or old Sinhalese. Understood

      • 1
        1

        Siva,

        The issue is not the origin of words. Sinhala as a fully grown language didn’t fall from the sky though it is a distinct language evolved as Tamil or any other.

        The issue is the use of the chosen words and for what purpose. Don’t tell me the word Eelam is used as an alternative to the words Sri Lanka or the ancient word Sinhale as an identifier of the island. No, not so innocent. The word Eelam is used to describe a separate mono ethnic state carved out from the island.

        • 0
          0

          Hela
          In Tamil literature as early as 5th Century, if not much earlier, Eelam referred to the whole island .
          It has been hijacked to make it refer to the Tamil-speaking part of it, aka Tamil Eelam by separatists.

        • 0
          0

          Helass

          “Don’t tell me the word Eelam is used as an alternative to the words Sri Lanka”

          I thought Sri Lanka the island fell from sky and the Sinhala/Buddhist salvaged it from the sea.

          When was the name Sri Lanka coined and came into use first?

  • 8
    2

    “Colour Of Despotism: Saffron?” – a very thought provoking piece which matches the excellent contribution on similar lines made by Shyamon Jayasinghe sometime ago. Both Shyamon and Sarath provoke thought on inconvenient topics.

    It is important that these matters are raised in the public domain. It was disgusting and irresponsible for news media to publish false statements attributed to the Maha Nayakes regarding their opposition to the new constitution and amendments. Had these been true (and clearly they are not), one might argue the Maga sangha should be asked to straddle the cabinet and Ranil and Co retire to the Golf Course instead!

    There is a limit to the nonsense from the Saffrons or those who hide behind them. They are hell bent in making us a very ‘ancient’ country and by the looks of it, they are succeeding.

    This country will be truly free and fair when we can one day have a Tamil or a Muslim Gentleman rivalling their Sinhala counterpart to the Presidency, and the people accept it in the spirit of ‘Let the best man win’.

  • 4
    4

    Buddhagosha……… Sarath de Alwis, once upon a time was Secretary General of Maha Bodhi Society and a regular traveller to Buddha Gaya with groups of the Saffron Robed types. Some thing must have gone wrong.

  • 10
    0

    Sarath de Alwis

    …’ Of all leaders, only JRJ and Sirimavo were strong enough to draw their lines on the sand in dealing with them.’….

    And there you have it! Who can forget the serene look on Mathinee’s face when on that sunny day in May 1972 she read the final draft of her constitution and saw in black and white chapter 2 section 6 and the irrevocable delivery of Buddhism in to the hands of our grubby politicians? Little did she know that she had supervised the loading of a gilded revolver with a silver bullet? When it was JR’s turn, the long-time lapsed Anglican was only too happy to give the barrel a twirl and leave it on the table, fully aware that anyone who tried to remove the bullet would only have the trigger pulled.

    Now the Sangha and the (Buddhist) political leaders are locked in a visceral embrace. Every politician knows the score, and no politician will dare be the first to break rank. The Sangha now sit happy on their plump cushions in their well ventilated parlours, with the politicians at their beck and call.

    Nobody sees the irony of the Noble Message and the Sangha enjoying the protection of a overwhelming bunch of thieving, crooked, thuggish, grubby-fingered vermin.

    Alas, nobody will ever go near that gun fearful of the silver bullet that awaits.

    • 4
      13

      Kakka (you are no koha but a kakka), you must be feeling really energetic after this cowardly attack on Buddhism, hiding under a pseudonym. World is full of low life like you. Only Buddhism can civilise hyenas like you. Kneel down and listen to Buddhist monks, you one eighth Belgian Jew.

      • 6
        2

        Hey Menna Aththa/ Lankaputhra/ Muttal Ganesan/ B. Winter/ Migara,

        S.K has only one pseudonym. You have dozens and counting. Please get that Tab out of your rear end. I would wash it if I were you dear. And change your record please. It is cracked like you and keeps repeating.

        • 1
          6

          Old codger replying to the post on Kakka is sort of giving the game away, isn’t it cliptip? Your confusing me (Migara) with all other CT readers who post comments shows how widespread the revulsion against the dog poo you are spreading on others’ posts. Now that the ‘Unbowed and Unafraid’ lot have been sunk inthe bond scam, we realise you are sort of helpless. May be the only alternative is to get Arlene to apply some oil and do the needful!

      • 4
        0

        Migara

        methinks you have got the wrong end of the stick. I am not attacking Buddhism but those who would USE it – our devious scheming politicians and those in the Sangha who conveniently acquiesce. Which decent Buddhist delights at the antics of Gnanasara and his followers? They are the unacceptable face of Buddhism. Decent Buddhist would run a mile from these egregious characters. About ‘eighth Belgian Jew.’??? What’s that all about? Some secret password?

        • 5
          0

          SK,
          Please be aware that Menna Aththa/ Lankaputhra/ Muttal Ganesan/ B. Winter/ Migara are all pseudonyms of one inmate of an asylum somewhere. He/she has a thing about Jews and Belgians.

      • 6
        0

        Look at the hatred you spew forth all in the name of Buddhism! You damage your own name Migara, and you leave Spring Koha entirely untouched. That is, according to Buddhist doctrine of curse.

  • 2
    0

    Migara

    methinks you have got the wrong end of the stick. I am not attacking Buddhism but those who would USE it – our devious scheming politicians and those in the Sangha who conveniently acquiesce. Which decent Buddhist delights at the antics of Gnanasara and his followers? They are the unacceptable face of Buddhism. Decent Buddhist would run a mile from these egregious characters. About ‘eighth Belgian Jew.’??? What’s that all about? Some secret password?

  • 1
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    Colour of despotism is ORANGE. AS the Orange Whack job sitting in the Oval office.

    “Bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed,” – George W Bush

    When a former Republican President speaks out you know the US is close to breaking apart. Racism and open bigotry is rampant. Yes even educated whites now use the N word again in discussions on the NFL issue. Neo Nazism is fashionable. ORANGE is the color of his hair and ORANGE is the sign of bigotry. In case of ISIS and other Wahabi Sunni Islamic terrorists and beheaders International Inc., it is their black flag.

    • 1
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      Tea-Kahata, Donald does not dye his hair, it is a natural shade of orange – or so they say.

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    The head cleric of the ACJU (All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama – the main body of theologians of Muslims in Sri Lanka) Mufthi Rizwe is on record saying that the MMDA (Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act 1951) is “perfect in the present state”. The Muslim clerics have ABSOLUTE control over the Lankan Muslim politicians.
    The Sanga~ “The present constitution is alright. No need to change” is similar to above.
    The DIFFERENCE is the take over and control of the Sanga by unscrupulous politicians. This is wrong wrong wrong.

  • 1
    4

    Sarath De Alwis: YOur thinking, I suppose, is not far sighted. Constitution is not the answer if Mahinda Rajapakse comes again. I am pretty sure voters are not that dumb. Ranil is also in the same boat. What we need is a peoples president who has executive power and he should be responsible for every law in the country unless the cabonet agree those state secrets are not open. We need instead so many advisors to the president, 125 ministers, some experienced professionals aronnd the president who are the Cabinet ministers who run the country. There should be maximum of 3 MPs per province and nothing more. Provincial councils are not sustainable unless those maids working in the middle east do not fund it. Sri lanka’s foreign exchane is less than $ 2 billion. Others from the maids and that go back as PEtroleum, Cars and automtive parts. Provincial council should be all municipalites except some smaller rural municipalites in the north in order to destroy Casteism. Compare all over the world, the area of the state, no of federal politicians per province/the population per province or the state, their sustainability as per funding purposes. Sri lanka is unbelievably unstable and it a mega fraud. ————— Why did not you think first. what elase we have to devolve. Why it is dangerous ti devolve police/land powers. Why only the buddhism, unitary state are important issues and nothing else. Why almost no discussion about the no of politicians and why so much govt ?. What the so much govt has done for almost 70 years. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,If you are a buddhist talk about demicratic rights if the buddhist chief prelates with respect to our culture. Why you are adament that you are right and others are wrong ?.

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    The 2 paragraphs are proof of excellent Journalis by Mr.Alwis. please Continue with your passion without any fear.
    SL needs Sir John Kotalawela types from the younger generations of Sri Lankans.

    ” It is time for rational Buddhists to realize that Buddha showed us the path. He did not offer to walk it for us. The Sangha in their Pajero SUVs and Mercedes limousines cannot drive us on that path either.

    The Mahinda Rajapaksa genius was that, he shaped and controlled the Sangha by incentives and coercive tactics as and when necessary. Despite objections, Lamborghinis raced past the ‘Dalada Maligawa.’ “

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    YOur major point here is accusing Chief prelates for giving their opinion on the new constitution. I think that is very cheap shot for a man who is a senior journalist and a man who has worked as a prominent figure for Mahabodhi society. You simply neglected their right to give their opinion as Sri lankan citizens. What ever your motive is you should have thought about responsibility as a journalist what should come first whether it is money or the conscience. Why in sinhale christains, -buddhists like you, Tamils, muslims have more democratic rights than the Sinhala – buddhists or buddhist monks. I don’t think you will respond to it. YOur motiv looks simply money oriented, probably supporting JO.

  • 4
    1

    Saffron is the colour of thuggery …in Sri Lanka…these Mahanayakes hide behind the respectable “sanga” establishment and tacitly approve violence against minorities…they let loose them from the leash and keep quiet. Both the Sangas have out distance themselves from BBS. They get their advise from Myanmar AKA Burma thugs in saffron. first they protested against racing cars in Kandy. Now they drive around in them. Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhism!!! They are testing the patience of the Sinhala people. One day its going to explode!

  • 5
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    Sarath de Alwis

    Thank you for this piece. Following this controversy from the Tamil Press leaves one without hope for the future of this country. It looks as if the issue is not so clear-cut, and perhaps not so hopeless.

    We have no leaders, Tamil or Sinhalese, whose feet are on solid ground. Their insecurity drives them to connive with sowing suspicion and hate. Our papers in the North parade the victim Thileepan as the great hero of Tamil self-determination. Today, the Jaffna Hospital massacre when the Indian Army entered town 30 years ago, is being commemorated without any mention that the LTTE did everything to ensure that such atrocities would be the order of the day. It is the politics of victimhood without any concern for the people. Our leaders are thriving in this.

    Unless there is greater statesmanship from the South, we are building up for another tragedy.

    • 2
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      Rajan Hoole
      A phobic is bad. a dishonest person is very bad. You are both Hoole.
      Your phobia is your failure to influence LTTE.
      You say ~ ” Today, the Jaffna Hospital massacre when the Indian Army entered town 30 years ago, is being commemorated without any mention that the LTTE did everything to ensure that such atrocities would be the order of the day.”
      It is insensitive to capitalize on the tragedy. “……LTTE did everything to ensure……..” my my my bloody foot.
      You and a motely crowd created University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna Branch). This outfit never had an AGM. None of the past or present VCs knew of its existence but you have been smiling all the way to the bank. (Can see your smile in the interview of last week in ‘the Hindu’). One is tempted to think that UHRC(J)” did everything to ensure” the assassination of Rajani Thiranagama. The incident is tragic but you have exploited this fully. For example few months back you tried to commemorate the incident at Jaffna University bloody well knowing that you will not succeed. Things worked out as planned and you gloated (probably with the other two members). By the way had the commemoration token place, you would have had a massive crowd of three! An insult to Rajani.
      Hoole, take your thick skin off and look at the recent commemoration of Theleepan attended by thousands.
      Hoole, there is a simple way NOT to make a fool of yourself – GET LOST.

      • 2
        1

        KP
        Crowds do not mean much.
        Nearly twenty five years ago I criticized in a long comment the abuse of the name UTHR(J) by a tiny group that was neither in Jaffna nor any university and whose agenda since its early years has been something besides human rights.
        Rajini’s killing was a most deplorable act, and the LTTE did not have the guts to admit to it until it was exposed.
        To say “One is tempted to think that UHRC(J)” did everything to ensure” the assassination of Rajani Thiranagama.” is unduly harsh.
        *
        The problem that we have is that many ‘intellectuals’ cannot differentiate between the LTTE and the just demands of an oppressed nationality– in fact, three nationalities.
        Prof. Thurairajah distanced the University from the UTHR(J) and was badly abused for that. The owners of the name board decided to go soft on Prof. T. when they realized that it meant further isolation.

        • 5
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          SJ,

          What is the agenda of the UTHR(J)? Hope you will elaborate on the claim you made. I am of course glad that members of the UTHR(J) continued to use the name UTHR(J). Everyone knew they were not allowed to live and work in Jaffna. That should not mean they should give up or change their name. Changing the name would have been seen as succumbing to the fear tactics the LTTE used to suppress dissent in the NE.

          Most people who followed the political developments in the North in the early 1990s know very well why the leading members of the UTHR(J) fled Jaffna or could not continue to live in Jaffna. It is indeed a courageous, powerful and meaningful (meaningful to the larger community) act that they continued to call themselves UTHR(J).

          UTHR(J) and its work stand out as shining examples when one looks at the nationalist, Hindu-chauvinist, anti-Muslim politics that one saw at Jaffna University in the recent past (not to mention the rampant corruption and nepotism under VCs like Balasundarampillai, Shanmugalingam and Vasanthy.)

          • 0
            1

            V
            If something makes you happy, feel free to be happy with it; but the point that I made concerned ethics and morality.
            I critiqued the UTHR(J) in some detail long ago and the only response was a personal threat some years later by one of the two active members.
            *
            Human rights was the least of UTHR(J)’s concerns. Work out for yourself what the agenda was.

            • 1
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              SJ,

              Why don’t you explain the claim that you made? Where did your critique appear? Any link? Then we can continue the discussion. Just making claims without substantiating them (or not providing links) is not helpful. That is very un-academic.

              When the two active members were facing threats from the LTTE, they left Jaffna. That does not mean they ceased to be members of the University of Jaffna. In fact, one of them returned to teaching in 2011. How can that be unethical and immoral? When the LTTE tried to cripple and kill the organization, the two active members kept it alive.

              Those who took their work seriously locally and globally knew that they were not teaching at Jaffna University in the early 1990s. Nor did the two active members claim that they were based in Jaffna.

  • 2
    1

    This is the SMS I received on 18/10:

    The joint council of Malwatu and Asgiri Chapters DECIDE[ My emphasis] that there is no need for a new Constitution or Amendments. Reporter_adaderana.lk

    I wish Sir:John Kotelawela was around!

  • 1
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    The President ,Prime Minister and the Mahanayakas must be vigilant of a siege by these so called saffron robed thugs who are waiting to create mayhem and put their man back in power.
    Sirisena through fear is giving in to these groups ,as he is soft peddling ,when it comes to questioning any monks in saffron robes.Srilanka needs a dictator to stop this siege taking place.

  • 2
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    I think it has come to a point of no return.All srilankan sinhala
    politicians have and is using them as their puppets.very sad to see it.I think these monks wil never ever will give up their privileged position.waiting for a another disaster.I hope i am wrong.

  • 3
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    Saffron is far more a colour of despotism in the country to our north.
    A saffron-clad thug is in charge in a major North-Indian state.
    Saffron will be the colour of the impending Oriental Fascism.

    • 2
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      max

      You don’t have to carry your burden single handedly on your own. Hopefully SJ would help you with his knowledge, experience, ….. and his love for Sirimao.

  • 1
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    SJ.

    Coming colours not good EH?

  • 0
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    SJ.
    Prof: Thurairajah quite rightly distanced the University of Jaffna from those who were claiming,quite dishonestly,that they represented the University Teachers Human Rights etc etc……..
    UTHR was doing business on Rajani Thiranagama!
    SJ,as usual, occasionally you hit the nail on its head.!

  • 0
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    Buddhist monks have forfeited their right to advise us on serious matters like constitution making as they have failed miserably in their mission when they took to robes to attain Nibbana as none of them have reached at least the first stage Sowan on the way to become an Arahant during the past 100 years. Instead they appear to prolong their stay in samsara by living a luxurious life living in AC comfort and travelling Benz cars which are cravings one has to dispel to attain Nibbana.

  • 0
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    V
    If something makes you happy, feel free to be happy with it; but the point that I made concerned ethics and morality.
    I critiqued the UTHR(J) in some detail long ago and the only response was a personal threat some years later by one of the two active members.
    *
    Human rights was the least of UTHR(J)’s concerns. Work out for yourself what the agenda was.

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