29 November, 2020

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Disimprisoning A Thero

By Nishthar Idroos

Nishthar Idroos

The disorderly and bellicose reverend with an irrepressible proclivity for vitriol and incitement met his waterloo of all places inside a courthouse. Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara shouted at the presiding Judge and lawyers as the accused military men of the murder of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda were refused bail. On the same day he also threatened the wife of the missing person, Sandhya Ekneligoda. A kind of a constitutional and moral irony lingers in this whole hideous saga. Prima facia evidence of breach of peace, arson, anarchy, violence and loss of life are second rated and interred for contempt of court. 

Contempt of court no doubt is a serious offence according to Sri Lankan law for that matter any court of law. The misguided monk also demonstrated a spirited penchant to demonize, discredit and distort other faiths and their teachings contrary to the very foundations of his own, wantonly inflicted irreparable harm to Buddhism and its adherents. Never in Sri Lanka’s history did we witness such militancy emerging from a individual/adherent of such a peaceful philosophy.

He took this issue of communalism to extreme lengths, often unleashing violence repeatedly. Four innocent lives were lost in the infamous Aluthgama incident. Scores of Muslim businesses became victims of arson and pillage. Lies, deception, falsification and outright dishonesty were effortlessly hurled and no time or space was extended to the victims to defend themselves or protect their businesses. He certainly was not working alone, it was an open secret that there was an entire system backing him up rock solid. The whole process was well lubricated with money, machinery, material, merchants and misinformation. 

The most knowledgeable Gnanasara Thero got down his Burmese counterpart the most pious Ashin Wirathu and threw quite an exhibition. An elaborate spectacle of Buddhist machoism with a definite will to instill fear in minorities especially Muslims took root. Ahsin Wirathu was a notorious communal leader of the anti-Muslim movement in Myanmar. He has been accused of conspiring to persecute and kill Muslims in Myanmar through his speeches and actions. Hundreds if not thousands of Muslims perished as a result of his active involvement.

“Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.” This quote is common and it’s a genuine scriptural quotation. It’s from verse 5 of the Dhammapada. If incarceration had healed the reverend thero its time he comes out and serves his community at the next available opportunity, whether it’s a general pardon or presidential amnesty. “Let them pardon and overlook. Would you not love for Allah to forgive you? Allah is Forgiving and Merciful” (Al Quran 24:22) The Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Be merciful to others and you will receive mercy. Forgive others and Allah will forgive you” (Musnad Ahmad 7001, Grade: Sahih)

The ability to forgive is a distinguished trait in a human being. It elevates him in great measure. Seen as evidence of how high humans rank in the chain of beings. Animals don’t forgive, they’re bereft of such faculties though some humans behave worse than animals. Yes it obviously conveys a moral superiority. Most cultures embellish the virtue of forgiveness, it’s associated with religiosity, magnanimity, spiritual growth of a people. In this respect Buddhism occupies a very important place. 

Webster’s Third New International Dictionary defines forgiveness in this manner: “To cease to feel resentment against on account of a wrong committed.” This definition is poignantly illustrated in a well-known Tibetan Buddhist story about two monks who encounter each other some years after being released from prison where they had been tortured by their captors. “Have you forgiven them?” asks the first. “I will never forgive them! Never!” replies the second. “Well, I guess they still have you in prison, don’t they?” says the first.

Forgiveness essentially a spiritual practice not necessarily forthcoming in an inveterate hedonist or callous legislator whose numbers on planet earth are larger and greater. Their embrace of the world so entrenched and adhesive.  They pave the way for their own offspring to succeed with the same kind seizure and squeeze. Build dynasties and eliminating than forgiving those who oppose and critique them for the ownership of this palpably impermanent world.

Arriving in Sri Lanka or living in Sri Lanka one gets a sense as if you are filled with religiosity and compassion on account of both the human contact and the public display of symbols. No doubt the Buddhists of Sri Lanka a very forgiving people. It’s the politics and politicians and more specifically their political ambitions that contributes to the toxic milieu. Gnanasara Thero who was jailed on 8 August 2018 for six years was a victim of local politics and politicians. He gleefully accepted the role he was asked to play and when he tried to overdo had to pay the price.

As a cardinal rule members of the clergy and all those overtly representing faiths are hereby politely and cordially requested to keep a good distance between politicians. If you are in need of the politician’s dough to purchase the latest driving machine to do your errands you must be prepared to defend the politician at all times atleast by remaining quiet. This is the only way the distinguished members of the clergy can maintain their integrity and dignity. 

I am reminded of a true incident involving one of the greatest scholars of Islam in this era from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is what makes a true scholar. Story of Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen (d. 2001) Rahimahullah, may Allah have mercy on him. When the Saudi King Khalid and then Crown Prince Fahad visited him in his humble mud house. Looking at the crude structure of the house, the King wished to gift him a new house, and offered to build him a palace. The Shaykh responded, “I appreciate the offer, may Allah reward you! But I’m already building a house in Salihiyya (an area of his city)“. The King insisted on doing something for him, to which the Shaykh said, ‘If you must, then please build a hostel for my students to live in, for otherwise they are living in the masjid and that is difficult for them‘. At this, the King turned to his entourage of accompanied clergy and remarked in the local Arabic vernacular, “You see? This is what you call a real scholar!” meaning that the people who sought fame and money for the sake of religion were not true scholars. After the King left, his students asked him, “Shaykh, we didn’t know you were building a house in Salihiyya?” He replied, “Don’t you know the graveyard is in Salihiyya?” They said, “Yes“. He said, “So I am building a house for my afterlife over there.” May Allah bless the Shaykh and raise his ranks.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    7

    How can you keep Rev Gnanassara in prison when Hisbulla who had committed a worse hate crime is walking free. The best thing the government should do is to send Hisbulla to prison and appoint Gnanassara as the governor of eastern province. I am sure the Sinhalese and Tamils will welcome it.

    • 7
      0

      Release of BBS head would never be an act of catharsis for the people’s anxities. It will be more or less not doing the right thing to control over sentiments of the people. Surely, there are some portion of the society would be happy to welcome him back. But we should finally put the fullstop to extremism.
      .
      Going by the damage deliberately made by this monk and his sympathisers, none of them would be second to any terror acts inflicted on minority folks. He should first clean his mind- he is given all the facilities being a monk, what if a lay man would behave so ? Just enjoying impunity being hidden behind safron robes, should be seen as a punishable act. If not today when ?.
      .
      Despite of numerous warnings, this guy and his movements# contempt for mankind, would not die down in the anxious mindsets of the people.

    • 9
      2

      Al-faqurlah,

      These stuff are for the matured to discuss. I guess you should stick to Sajjad’s advice and show your worthiness in sticking election posters around the city when the time comes. A “paapa baldi” and a brush would be reserved for you to show your skills at the right time. Be patient for now :-)

      • 5
        9

        You Islamic infidel, why are you already wetting your trousers, when there is still no decision to release him. He is the only person who could put all your Islamic fanatics in their proper place. Ask big talking Rishard Badurdeen how he was handled. How can any person who is brain washed by teaching of Koran attain maturity.

        • 7
          6

          —-How can any person who is brain washed by teaching of Koran attain maturity.

          Ha ha ha ha. Very true indeed. Wear beards, dress your women in gunny bags, screw goats and camels, cut your own children’s body parts, beat your women and marry half a dozen of them at once, lie, cheat, kill and maim any one who is from another religion. Then after all that come to a public forum and talk about maturity.

          Only a Muslim can do that.

          • 6
            2

            Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera,

            Saudis wear beard, dress their women in gunny bags, screw goats and camels, cut their children’s body parts, beat their women, marry too many then lie and cheat too. Yet you send your women to them as slaves to get raped, group raped, nailed and get killed in some instances. Isn’t a clear sample to show your maturity?

            I don’t insult these women, they are the champions who run this country’s economy and purchased everything from your boot to cap to fight the conflict. Point is, before you point fingers at others, what have you done to dignify these poor women’s lives, instead of keep sending more and more to the type of men whom you hate?

            • 3
              3

              —I don’t insult these women—

              Sure sure.

              And what do you mean “your women”? I am not a polygamist. I have only one woman and she has been faithful to me for the last 39 years. Never been anywhere near the Middle East other than at the Dubai Transit. So, what’s your point?

              We could not careless who goes to Middle East and who doesn’t. All what we are concerned is we can’t find a servant when we visit SL because of this damned Middle East thing.

              Besides, sex with domestic aides has been happening since time immemorial. For you it must be something new because you and your family couldn’t afford a servant all your lives.

              I remember when me and my brothers were in our Teens, our parents got a good looking servant girl to our house so that we wouldn’t go “outdoors” to fulfill our needs. So, if it’s good for us, why isn’t good for the Mullahs?

              • 5
                3

                Mr. Shamal Perera,

                All those times, I was really thinking you were a rude and serious guy before reading your above comment. Now I am prepared to send you a gift on 20th November, the Children’s Day :-(

                Don’t bother replies until Nov 20. BTW, On your next visit, I suggest take that Al-faqurlah fellow as your domestic aid, the guys is free till next elections.

          • 1
            4

            CT
            How can you provide space for the racist hatred + venom of someone like Rtd.L. Perera? Aren’t there limits to freedom of expression?
            MF

            • 4
              1

              Manel Fonseka, that bugger is a “pissu puusek”, giving CT readers some entertainment time to time. Don’t mind him.

            • 3
              1

              Manel Fonseka
              Don’t worry he is a Retarded (Rtd) Lunatic (Lt).

  • 9
    0

    Dear Mr Idroos

    Forgiveness is a very admirable trait. But first the man must serve his sentence.

    We constantly demand the highest standards of our judiciary. If some one sticks two fingers up to them in a court of law, we demand that that contempt be punished.

    It is not acceptable for the incumbent President of the land to also stick two fingers up to the judiciary in the form of a pardon.

    Let the errant and odious ‘thero’ serve the full sentence.

  • 4
    0

    ‘Contempt of Court is a serious matter’ No doubt. but, what about CONTEMPT OF JUSTICE AND THOSE JUDGES WHO CONTEMPT THEMSELVES?

  • 5
    2

    Nishthar Idroos. Why did you move to the west instead of moving to the middle east. Any, Mawanella incident is by a visiting Islam Claric, I heard. How about Rishad Bathiuddin, Who threw stones at a Tamil Judge’s house and ridiculed the Judge. Bathiuddin Cleared Wilpaththu forest and there were Sattalite photographs presented at the court case. Bathiuddin also began cleaing forests and settling people at Batticaloa. Other thing are he was a thief when he was the minister at Sathosa. I believe he brought rotten rice. Now, even though there is a Court cse against him, Only thing Ranil did was not giving him a Minister post. I believe he is waiting untill the next govt comes. Then he will be acquitted. He also settled rohingyas in wilpatthu and Mannar area. I heard the Reason is He gave chunks of his CHARITY money from QATAR to Mahinda Rajapakse, Ranil and Maithripala sirisena.
    In Sri lanka, Sinhala buddhism, particularly Bhikkus, are very disadvantaged. Why should we Sinhala buddhists and Bhikkus should get you muslim’s approval

  • 2
    1

    Nisthar Idroos,
    We accept with what you have said. Before that why can’t you advise some Muslim political leaders not provoke the Sinhalese and Tamils. You are well aware of what is happening in the Eastern Province. There are also news about the links the Muslim Politicians have with the ISIS which will be a threat to Sri Lanka and other democratic countries. There were news items that some Muslims had destroyed some Buddhist statutes in Mawanella, threated a Buddhist priest in Batticaloa, along with other news item that some Muslim youths had climbed on the roof of a Vihara in Anuradhapura and brought disgrace to Buddhism. The latest news is that the Organizer of the SLMC for Jaffna, Roshan Thameen was arrested for supplying heroin and that too in front of a Mosque along the Jaffna-Manipay Road. He is now remanded.Why don’t you advise these Muslims who are causing harm to the society.

    • 2
      0

      Ayathuray Rajasingam.

      “There are also news about the links the Muslim Politicians have with the ISIS which will be a threat to Sri Lanka and other democratic countries”

      We helped govt to destroy LTTE (sorry), we will help the govt to get rid of ISIS if there is, for sure because we Muslims want united Sri Lanka. We never asked the Sinhalese to give a piece for our little percentage.

      When you guys find every possible way to undermine and destroy SL locally and internationally ever since you lost the war, it is strange to see you showing some concern on ISIS? It is the Muslims who have to be vigilant on Tamils since you guys might bring in ISIS as “1 stone, 2 fruits” strategy to destroy SL and create a conflict between Muslims and Sinhalese. Then you will fish for Eelam in the troubled water.

  • 1
    0

    Some buffoons only remember the crimes committed by rishad bathudeen… How about we sum up all the murders and drug peddling committed by sinhalese politocos? How about that sinahala buddist hero champika ranawaka who stole a nother mans wife and them imprisoned & tortured him in a mental institution simply coz he resisited? How is that for extremism? Or should we talk about the 20 tons of gold stolen by sinhala buddist mahinda? Or the fact he killed countless victims like lasantha, thajudeen, ekniliyagoda etc.??? Rishad is a saint when compared to the dirty deeds committed by holy sinhala buddist politicians don’t you think?

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