19 May, 2022

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Disinformation Campaign Against Muslims Need To Be Countered

By Jehan Perera 

Jehan Perera

The Bodu Bala Sena, which is an organization that seeks to protect the rights of the Buddhist majority, has issued a  ten point manifesto directed against Muslim religious practices that they claim are impinging on the rights of non-Muslims.  Chief amongst these is the issuance of Halal certification of consumer products for a fee.  A recent public rally in the suburban Buddhist stronghold of Maharagama attracted over 2000 Buddhist monks and several thousand other supporters.  The recent upsurge of anti-Muslim sentiment, and its open manifestation amongst sections of the ethnic majority population, has come as a shock and hurt to Muslims.  They are very much concerned that their community and its practices are being unfairly maligned. But they have not resorted to public protests, preferring instead to sort things out through quiet diplomacy.

Muslims in Sri Lanka had believed themselves to be integrated into the mainstream of society. Muslims are well represented within the government unlike the Tamils who are the larger ethnic minority community.  Muslims see their community as having made significant sacrifices on behalf of the country.  The fact that the second largest minority community has stood steadfastly for a united and undivided Sri Lanka has been a major source of strength to successive Sri Lankan governments.  The Muslims have consistently refused to be joined together with the Tamils as being part of a larger category of “Tamil-speaking people.”  This has included being part of the government’s diplomatic initiatives with the international community.  During the war they were seen as a source of support and information to the government in its military campaign against the LTTE.

On this last count, the Muslims, especially those living in the former war zones of the North and East, have paid a heavy price.  The worst incidents affecting them took place in the early 1990s as the strategy of the LTTE shifted from one that relied primarily on hit and run operations befitting a guerilla movement, to one of capturing territory and holding on to it in the manner of a conventional military force.  The LTTE was on the ascendant at that time, and therefore they were all the more frustrated by their inability to win the support of the Muslims for their cause of an independent state of Tamil Eelam, which would be under Tamil control.  The culmination of this failure was the forcible expulsion of the entire Muslim population living in the North and an attempt to cause the Muslims of the East to also flee by brutally killing hundreds of them in their mosques.

ABYSMAL FAILURE

So far the anti-Muslim campaign being currently undertaken by groups such as the Bodu Bala Sena is not being challenged publicly by any significant section of the polity.  Both government and opposition spokespersons have been relatively non-committal on the issue of Halal certification saying that the government should issue the certificate rather than the Muslim religious authorities.  The unwillingness of the political parties to speak up and make a critique of the anti-Muslim propaganda is one indication of the abysmal failure of post-war reconciliation.  If during the war it was believed that inter-community tensions were due to the acts of hateful violence and terrorism, after the end of the war there are no such acts of terrorism.  But inter-community relations have sharply deteriorated and, though the war is over nearly four years, the sense of vulnerability of the different ethnic communities remains high.

Although those who champion causes of nationalism often claim their motivation to be love of the nation or the motherland, the passion behind them is often hatred and fear of those deemed to be outsiders.  All three of the country’s main communities feel themselves to be vulnerable even in post-war Sri Lanka.  The feelings of vulnerability on the part of the Tamils is to be expected, as they lost the most during the years of war, and the failure of the government to adequately implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission cannot be a reassurance to them any more than it is to the international community that urged their implementation at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva last year.  Now the Muslims feel themselves to be vulnerable due to the efforts of organizations such as the Bodu Bala Sena.

What is ironic is a sense of vulnerability that pervades the Sinhalese consciousness also.  This derives from the government’s public posture that the country is under assault by Western governments who are being unduly influenced by the Tamil Diaspora.  It does not require any big leap of the imagination in these circumstances for many in the Sinhalese community to imagine that the Muslims too have ulterior plans of their own which are backed by the might of the Muslim countries and various Islamic movements in the world.  The basic problem is that the government has continued to exploit ethnic majority nationalism in order to secure its voter base, and groups like the Bodu Bala Sena are ultimately a part of the support base of the government.  This is why President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other government leaders are able to have dialogues with them and put pressure on them not to take their campaigns too far.

PERSONAL DIALOGUE

A fortuitous discussion I had in a village near Galle last week, where I went to attend a social function, may give an indication of the apprehensions and concerns that are spreading within the Sinhalese community. My conversation partner was a Buddhist monk who was a close relative of the family whose house I had visited, and who felt he could talk freely and express his opinions. He started by asking me what I thought about the Halal issue. When I said that it was not compulsory for non-Muslims and it was advantageous for commercial businesses to get the certification, and therefore I did not see it as anything threatening, he reminded me of the fate of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.  I thought he was going to tell me about big power politics in the present age, and the role played by the United States in adding to the problems in those countries.  But what he said was entirely different.

What the monk had to say was that those West Asian countries had once been Buddhist, and now were totally Muslim.  He expressed fear that the same fate could befall Sri Lanka in the years to come.  He said that the revenues earned by Muslim religious organizations by issuing the Halal certificates for a fee were being used to propagate Islam.  He also spoke about Muslim shop owners who hired Sinhalese girls to work in their shops, and then would introduce them to Muslim men who would marry them.  He also gave an account of a Muslim-owned shop that sold undergarments with the Buddha image on them.  He said that he had received more information through a pamphlet that had been given to him, and to other Buddhist monks, at an almsgiving ceremony he had attended.    It seems clear that there is a grassroots level disinformation campaign taking place that will surely influence the thinking of the Sinhalese majority unless it is countered.

One possible way for the Muslim community to help in defusing the crisis would be to make the issuance of Halal certificates free of charge for items sold within the country.  It is this issue that appears to have struck a chord with the Sinhalese masses, perhaps because of its economic implications.  But there is also a need for an educational campaign to counter the disinformation at the community level.  The government has every reason not to permit the polarization and flow of rumours to escalate to the point of mob violence.  As Sri Lanka’s experience of anti-minority riots shows, once the mobs get going it becomes very difficult for governments to rein them in. Any violence towards the Muslim community would prove to be disastrous to the government’s hopes of Sri Lanka’s progress to the ranks of the developed world.  There will be less support for the government coming from the Muslim countries in international forums which the government needs to stave off international sanctions.

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Latest comments

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    The dark forces of evil are hell bent on creating havoc. As revealed by the monk it is not merely the halal issue but a more dangerous allegation threatening the very existence of Buddhism.

    In such a case there is very little the muslim community itself can do. Its explanations and point of view are hardly likely to be accepted given the fears implanted in the minds of the sinhalese buddhist.

    Therefore the task of convincing and preventing a backlash falls fairly and sqaurely on the moderate sinhala buddhists and the government. The responsibility of protecting the minorities falls on the govt of Sri Lanka and they will be held accountable for any adverse consequences.

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    Yep! We were waiting with bated breath until Jehan the Great granted us permission to start countering the disinformation campaign against Muslims. Bravo Jehan the Knight in Shining Armour.

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      Yes Jehan, what a good idea. We need to start countering disinformation

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    Why do people convert from one product to another or shift their preference. Some of the reasons would be; product superiority, brand name, reliable source, meets the customers requirements etc. So to be competitive in the market place the manufacture should at all times make every effort to capture market share by ethical means. He has to package the product with superior quality, establish a reliable customer friendly service thus build growth and prosperity; first to his customers, to his employees and finally to the share holders. Logically, to accomplish this he would have to build relationships not create conflict or attack the customer or his competitor and drive them away.

    I live in a city which proudly hosts 197 nationalities and 87% of them are non nationals. Our ruler’s objective is to be the number one city in the world. We direct all our energies and efforts towards productivity, creativity and leisure. Every single resident is responsible to police the city as if its his own. We are not perfect, however we strive towards it very hard with many obstacles.

    If Lord Buddha’s way of life is on the decline, the responsible authorities should go back to basics and find the reason and take corrective measures to strengthen the pillars of Buddhism as preached by Lord Buddha. As I see it they are moving away from it and groups like BBS/JHU would create a wedge between peace and conflict and eventually end up as losers.

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      Hussain Fahmy, you are absolutely correct.

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      Exactly the idea conveyed in the last para of your comments is the most important Brother. There is no other reason for all these senseless ani-Muslim campaign than the crisis that the Buddhists in Sri Lanka have within themselves due to the absolute failure of the Buddhist clergy in themselves perfectly practising Lord Buddha’s Teachings and properly preach them to their people. Surely for one’s crisis are others to be blamed?

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      On behalf of the Jewish community I must say that there is a bias against Kosher Food being sold in local supermarkets. This blatant disregard for the religious requirements of the chosen people is regrettable. It is only fair that religiously inclined people are able to consume foods that is approved by their respective gods.

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    I agree.

    A free halal certificate is the only way out.

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      I think BBS is a group of racist monks who is going against the teaching of buddha. They are trying to create hatred within the country in order to gain personal benefits. These monks today have received loads of media attention, and VIP treatment, thus living a luxurious life with vehicles, guards etc. I think, even if the halal issue is solved, promoting hatred among the community by these monks will continue, as this is the their only way to feed them selfs.

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    The writer makes good points, but this is not solely about halal. This is an orchestrated effort to attack the Muslims by unscrupulous elements who for unknown reasons, are making use of ignorant trouble makers, to provoke the majority, into turning against their fellow Sri Lankans. Only fools will want another communal problem in this country.
    We have thugs, criminals, and. Murderers running rampant in this country, and all everyone is focused on, is how animals are slaughtered, and how this country will be taken over by Muslims. We are a country of fools taken advantage of by dangerous masters.

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    NO one can force a non muslim to accept islam and become a muslim. Because Islam is beleif (Faith) and even if anyone takes a muslim name unless they have beleif in their hearts no one knows if they have accepted islam or not. So all the afore mentioned countries which the writer had mentioned would have become islamic states due to the population believing in the islamic religion.
    Would anybody enlighten me what the Lord Buddha had said to follow in the following acts?
    1. What does he say about Alchohol & Gambling? 2. Theiving? 3. Lying? 4.Adultery? 5. Helping the Poor and the Needy?
    6.Do the srilankan Buddhists especially the clergy follow him exactly as he had preached? Yes or No?
    Is there an authority to discipline the clergy when they go against buddhist values and teachings? If not how would they be disciplined?
    7. Do you think muslims follow the buddhist teachings on the above more than the sinhalese buddhists?
    8. What does the sinhala culture say about modesty in dress, speech, actions, tolerance, bringing up good children looking after parents, neigbhours, charity? etc
    well anyone can compare these main categories of both these religions and culture and form their own opinions and Please enlighten the correct answers with the examples of who follows better buddhist values?
    9. Would anybody enlighten on this please?

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      And may I add, personal hygiene (circumcission at very tender age), cleanliness, interest free monetary transactions, respect for elders, love and kindness to children, compassion for all of God;s creations, compulsory charity tax and optional charity based on accumulated wealth and gold, burying the dead witin 24 hours, modesty dress code for women, and on and on. It covers a whole life style. Anything close to any of these practices in other religions? We like to hear from you.

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    Buddhism is a religion of tolerance because it preaches a life of self-restraint. Buddhism teaches a life based not on rules but on principles. Buddhism has never persecuted or maltreated those whose beliefs are different. The Teaching is such that it is not necessary for anyone to label himself as a Buddhist to practise the Noble Principles of Buddhism.

    Buddhism is realistic and verifiable. In the Buddha’s Teaching, it is said that the spiritual development of man is more important than the development of material welfare. The Buddha stood for rationalism, democracy and practical, ethical conduct in religion. He introduced this religion for people to practise with human dignity.

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      The Lord Buddha had preached Islamic Values right throughout according to the answer. All religions have done the same but man has not understood. So it is not the fault of the religion it is the fault of Man………..

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    The SLSI can employ the ulamas who issue this certificate. Its unfair to ask them to do it for free. So what could be done is to treat the ulamas who issue the certificates as public servants and pay them a fair salary according to the services they give.
    The tragedy of it is that the contentious “profits” will finally end up in the fat pockets of our venerable leaders. but then who cares right? as long as “islamification” is stopped the majority wont really care where the money goes.
    The regime will be the ultimate winner and I have a bad feeling that this is exactly what the regime is driving at! Populist support for the upcoming elections thanks to the halal issue + eventual profits from state owned halal certificate issuing!
    Once again this eventuality (gov benefitting from the exercise) will not stir up even 1/10 the of the nationalistic fervor seen in the country presently. and that my friends is the true tragedy of our nation!

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    There is something sinister afoot. The government and the opposition will never take decisive steps to nip it in the bud. Both are currently contemplating the quantum of the result they can harvest in terms of political advantage. It is a battle for a share of the 70 percent Buddhist vote. The government has already a head start and has endorsed the BBS position on birth control and given related orders to the health ministry. It has not taken an unequivocal stand on the Halal issue. It has also not restrained Champika Ranawake from spewing venom. It appears the government sympathises and /or supports the BBS.

    The UNP ,the principle opposition is trying to be the proverbial eel, showing its tail to the snake and head to the fish. None of the Mahanayake Theras have made categorical statements against what is cooking. On the whole the Sinhala and Buddhist opinion makers are silent. The Buddhist monks who command much respect in this country have not advised wisdom and rationality. The Catholic Church has come out in support of the birth control directive, in a move to pursue its doctrinal agenda,regardless of the circumstances leading to it.

    Expediency and opportunism are once again being underlined as the credo of politics and governance in Sri Lanka. Are we in for a centennial celebration of the 1915 Sinhala- Muslim riots on a grand violent scale, soon?
    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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      “DR.” YOU HAVE SAID IT ALL. I ENDORSE EVERY LETTER AND PUNCTUATION MARK
      OF YOUR COMMENT.

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    Muslims speak Tamil. The settled down in Tamil areas. They were accepted as partners in business in politics and even as community leaders. AT one stage some Muslims started to identify them self as a separate ethnic group. The Sinhalese took this opportunity to create a divisions within the Tamils and Muslims. Muslims enjoyed a unproportional benefits from the government, number of ministers in the defense in business deals even in universities where they were able to enter with less grades even lesser than Sihalease. At one stage Dr. Baduudeen Mohamod out smarted the Sinhalease and considered the whole of Muslim population as an underdeveloped region in order to give Muslims more university places. These are the benefits that the Muslims enjoyed. The end of the war has put the Muslims in less favorable position. Can you tell me a single contribution a Muslim has made for the country. They are for themselves. When Pakistan plays Sri Lanka they support Pakistan. That is the fact. It is unfortunate thah they are being targeted by the BBS. but remember the havoc some of them played during the communal riots hand in hand with the Sinhalease thugs. Muslims all over the world wants them to be treated differently. That is why BBS is highlighting this disparity. But to lecture about Buddhism and its merits is irrelevant here. A religion is judged by how it is practiced and how its leaders clergy etc follow them. Have a good look

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      Yes Lanka Liar, just what you are. Can never speak the truth. Not worth even rebutting your verbal diarrhea as those insinuations are against individuals who commit them through ignorance, or for injustices they have received at the hands of the majority community. But why blame the religion and attack its teachings, which already has a worldwide population of nearly 1.2 billion and growing, where as Buddhists 330 million.

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    This debate is about animal cruelty which pseudo liberals tend to ignore, it is rather tragic that Sri Lankan politics are dominated by extremists. The reason for the emergence of extremists is the vacuum created by the death of leftist politics.

    Let us a have proper debate on animal cruelty and why Sri Lanka should be secular state….now that is worth writing.

    Halal is a cruel way to kill an animal, there is no debate there.

    How about the mutilation of children’s genitalia?………BBS here is another one for you for you to take up, since the liberals in Sri Lanka are impotent.

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      do you know that in phillipines ALL MALES SHOULD BE Circumscised? It is not a muslim country but a Roman Catholic Country. I know this because of family connections

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        What is your point?

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    I am a social and non violent activist, who have been silently watching the developments on Muslim hatred steered by the BBS. I am so ashamed that the government has not taken a firm decision against the spread of racism and hatred against a minority. There is recommendation in the LLRC report that all efforts should be taken by the government in the future against such developments. Even the opposition is no putting out is strong words of condemnation. What does all these mean?

    Both the government and the opposition is either afraid of loosing their vote bank. If this is the reason, then future of country has to be rules to the tune and unjust slogans of a minority group who are propagating anti-Buddhist doctrines. Then, people can see what kind of Sri Lanka will people be living in the future.

    The whole issue is more than one issue. The issue is against the Muslims. Now they think that they have done away with the Tamils, it is their thinking that we have now to do with the Muslims. They with the Christians and then one caste over the other and so on. There is a famous saying related to this.

    ONe of the Pansils according to Buddhism is to refrain from telling lies. The BBS Monks go on telling lies in public, over the media and in all their public and pocket meetings. Where is Halal certificate given to Cement? this is what the monk said. Is this lying in accordance with Buddhist teaching. There are numerous such untruth being told against Muslims. Harsh languages being used. All these goes to tell the truth of spreading Hatred.

    Giving Halal certificate free is not going to solve the problem. the price paid for Halal certificate is not a burden to the companies nor it is taxed on to the customer. No company want to make voluntary withdrawal.

    If all Buddhist in this country live upto the fundamentals of Buddhism then no one can change this country from Buddhism to any other ism. Surely no one would like a bitter and unhealing pill.

    I have serious doubts if there is a hidden hand from the ruling party or authorities for political gain through ethnic cleansing or a foreign hand that promotes ” War against Islam and the Muslims”.

    This matter has to be taken very seriously. I used to conduct workshop and training programmes related to non violence and conflict resolution. I have a staff consisting of all religious and ethnic groups. A lot of our programmes are being conducted in Buddhist Temples and me as a Muslim have be always welcomed. However, very recently, after this BBS affair, I happened to go to a Buddhist temple for a programme that was organised by one of our Sinhala Buddhist Udarata Govigama Non violent Cadre. The Chief monk had no problem me being there and conducting the programme along with my Sinhala Buddhist Programme Coordinator. But after a while a thee wheel driver arrived at the premises and questioned the monks of the temple if this Muslim has come to the temple to make it “HALAL”.

    What does this show. The innocent, uneducated, poor are being brain washed for creating violence and sins of this land. To promote hatred.
    This also restricts a person like me to move freely among my Sinhala Buddhist friends. A suspicious eye has been now planted.

    There is also a move through these hatred elements to militarize the Muslim youths through armed confrontations. There have been several incidents where the Muslims were dragged into violence conflicts to which Muslims did not resort. This is because of all the guidance and training on nonviolence and peaceful resistance, promotion of tolerance and patience that has been done from time to time based on Islamic principles and teaching. There are forces working to break this.

    The urgent need of the day is to teach and bring to light the correct teaching of Buddhism to all these people who have fallen victims of this politically minded racism monks and their national and international political hands. It is the duty of the day of all right minded Buddhist and Sinhala people to work towards the promotion of non violence. Muslims too can be a part of the effort so that harmony, integration and national unity could be created. Let us all pave the way towards this.

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    this disinformation programme must be stopped. Actually gov should have banned the BBS in FB long time ago. But as usual they do not think about the country but the vote bank. In such a scenario these BBS can turn into another JVP. Even India did ban some facebook pages when there was Assam riots. why cant SL gov take such a bold step. It is because they dont want to stop it but take maximum benefits out of it. Also gov is using this Halal non issue as a scapegoat to hide their wrongdoing and tragic state of the country.

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    If the Buddhist Monks are creating havoc, what are the Mahanayakes of the various nikayas doing? They should either control the monks who are creating racial tensions, or the Mahanayakes should follow the footsteps of the Pope and resign.

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    ONE OF MY GOOD MUSLIM FRIEND WHO IS A DOCTOR HAD A PRIVATE CLINIC IN A SMALL TOWN NEAR RATNAPURA.MOST OF HIS VISITORS AT NIGHT WERE BUDIST MONKS IN CIVIL DRESS TO CHECK OR GET TREATEMENT FOR STD OR VD.HE WAS MAKING GOOD MONEY BY GIVING DISTELE WATER INJECTION TO THEM AS MOST OF THEM PREFER A MULIM OR TAMIL DOCTOR AS THEY DID NOT WANT TO GO TO A SINGLESE DOCTOR WITH THIS TYPE OF PROBLEM.THIS IS THE REAL SITUTION OF SO CALLED BUDIST MONKS IN SRI-LANKA.JAYAWEEWA.

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    “No one can force a non-muslim to accept islam and become a muslim” says reader Naaz. How one wishes this is true. Even as I write this, both in nearby Pakistan and Bangladesh – once part of the Indian whole – Hindus are intimidated, forced, their women abused and – in some instances – even killed to force them into a religion they do not want. The Hindu population of East Bengal/Bangladesh from 1948 to day which stood at 30% – is now, in real terms, less than 5%. Some allowance must be found for voluntary movement of Hindus to West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Taslima Nasreen is only one Bangladeshi Muslim who was bold to bring this to the notice of the world. There are dozens more who have spoken out courageously – and suffered.

    I must hasten to add, our Muslims cannot be blamed for this aberration. I merely wished to set the record straight – for the sake of debate.

    Senguttuvan

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      The story is the other way round too. Most muslims have been forced to become Hindus. How did India become a Hindu country when lord Buddha was born , preached and died in India? Did he preach buddhism or hinduism? I wonder…

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      POPPYCOCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      TASLIMA COMMITTED BLASPHEMY.

      Taslima Nasrin (Bengali: তসলিমা নাসরিন) (also Taslima Nasreen), born 25 August 1962, is a Bengali author and former physician who has lived in exile since 1994. From a modest literary profile in the late 1980s, she rose to global fame by the end of the 20th century owing to her feminist views and her criticism of Islam in particular and of religion in general.

      SHE IS AN “ATHEIST” NOW LIVING IN INDIA

      FEMALE VERSION OF SALMAN RUSHDIE LIVING UNDER BRITISH PROTECTION.

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    Champika Ranawaka is the new Cyrill Mathew .
    Most of the current Facebook hereos were not born before 83 . They dont know the precurser to 83 riots,these kind of racist riots dosent happen suddenly . Do some research about what some racist say before 83 .You dont have to go back much just 77-83(specially what cyrill Mathew used to say and his Books. it has an uncanny resemblance to todays situation except this time it’s Muslims)

    As a concerened Sri Lankan i have to say “Sri Lanka” is still fotunate enough to be united after a 30 year of hell . But if another ethnic riot happens US ,UK, EU and (there dog)UN will create a nother Sudan Out Of Sri Lanka.

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    I fully agree with mr jehan your comment ” basic problem is that the government has continued to exploit ethnic majority nationalism in order to secure its voter base” The govt survives on exploiting this feeling. Even the UNHRC meeting is exploited for the same purpose.
    If right thinking Buddhist want analyse it objectively what they should do is to have a survey to find how many of the girls working at nolimit got married to Muslims. This will be the first eye opener to Sinhalese to prove that BBS performs a contract.

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    It’s a real pity that the Halal is being made a big issue. You know Halal
    is a multi billion dollar industry in the world. All the chicken, meat,
    all other food products exported to Islamic counties by Brazil, Australia,France, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, U.K, U.S, Canada etc are monitored and certified by the Islamic Organisations in those countries. The multi billion dollar big food businesses like McDonald, Subway, KFC, Harshy, Mars, Cadbury, Nestle, Unilever, Craft use it to their best advantage to market their products to the Muslims. Each of these companies’ annual turn over and the share capital are several folds of our national budget. When you visit Dubai, just stop by a supermarket, check the food products imported from all the world to see the Hala labels. In Hong Kong McDonald has a special branch where they sell only Hala products. Its the same in many other cities. I plead with my fellow Sri Lankans to use your head, if this is put to good use, we could earn lot foreign exchange and generate lot of employment as these two are very vital for our survival and improve the life of the country’s folks. Please check the web-site of these companies, Mars has outlined the fine Hala ingredients go into their Hala produtcs.

    Also I want to add one more, any country which go in the path of race, religion, language hatred doom to fail and its people has to face miseries. Take the case of any country which has developed and people have good, it has gone in the good path by encouraging unity among it’s people. They are enjoying the fruits of it.

    Please note India has 1% Sikhs but Manmon Singh is a Shikh has three terms became the Prime Minister of India. How many Muslims became the President of India, Zakeer Hussain, Abdul Kallam, as well as many Shiks Good Luck Jonathan is the President of Nigeria, its a muslim country, Singapore is a Chinese majority country but the President is Tamil, Australian Prime Minister migrated from Wales, Barak Obama is a black and the President of the mightiest and wealthiest country in world.

    There are many examples in the world, the world is progressing in the right direction but we in Sri Lankans are going in the opposite direction.Trying to destroy us.

    I’m a Muslim but I have so many Sinhalese, Tamil, Burher, Bori, Sindhi, Memon friends. We all are like a family when are together whether within or out side the country. For we grew up together, went to school together, played together and still living together.

    Its the high time for all of us together to put every thing together for all of to live in peace. Other wise it would up like Somalia, Congo, Sudan etc., and all of us to end in hell and miseries. Please my Sri Lankan brothers and sisters think well and live a good for life is short. We are not born to live forever.One day we are gone for good. Then match over. May God Bless Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans.

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    As long as people keep giving any saffron clad Tom, Dick and Harry deference and call them venerable there will be scum like the BBS and the monks within the JHU will thrive and spew their racist venom forever.

    The saffron robe wearers are increasingly becoming synonymous with Sinhala chauvinism. They are not only involved in hate mongering but also in robberies, murder, rape and child sexual abuse.

    Lord Buddha must be spinning in his grave seeing what these monks are doing in his name.

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    Muslims don’t ask for land and they will not pay money for converting the Buddhist but they are famous for one thing they will live for religion and will die for religion. They know how to tolerate and they know how to defend too its a known fact world world over.

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    In a way, both government and BBS or any other extremist organisations are helping for the spread of Islam in Sri Lanka. When they take up issues regarding Islamic principles or way of life, the Non Muslims start studying what is this and then they realise Islam is a real religion and convert themselves to Islam. Nobody can not stop this. When they rise this issues, it is advantages to Islam and show the side of failure of Buddhism. So the muslims are grateful to this government and BBS and other extremist organisation which help understand Islam and failure side of Buddhism. People are more educated and they can think objectively and rationally.

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    THE PROBLEM IS AMONG THE BUDDHISTS. THE MAHANAYAKE CONCERNED ABOUT MONKS
    GIVING UP ROBES. I HOPE THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BLAME MUSLIMS.
    THE BODU BALA SENA SHOULD START CLEANING THEIR OWN HOUSE.

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      According to a report nearly 200 Buddhist Monks, mostly the young, have given-up robes; consumption of liquor by Buddhists in their homes in the presence of their young ones has increase considerably; increase of casinos and gambling dens makes more and more Buddhists becoming addicted to gambling; incidents of rape by Buddhist Monks are on the increase; the number of Buddhist youth aping western culture in their dresses and other habits are on the increase. Should not the Buddhist Monks in the first instance be concerned of these trends as threats to Buddhism?

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    I don’t understand why some of our people are with the BBS. It’s so clear that BBS is a group that goes against the teaching of buddha. Did buddha ever teach hatred ?

    I don’t want another war in this country, but seems like BBS is working hard towards it.

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    I agree that all this controvesy on halal is just not worth it. However, muslim fundamentalism is rampant in many areas of this country. I am not surprised that many have chosen to ignore this fact and blast the Buddhist rights groups such as BBS the moment they raise their voice. I am not referring to the majority of muslim brothers and sisters who are as sri lankan as one can be. Extremism should be eradicated be it Muslim, Christian or indeed Buddhist.

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    SILAS,

    PLEASE EXPLAIN, WHAT YOU MEAN BY ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM IS RAMPANT IN MANY AREAS IN THE COUNTRY. ARE YOU SPEAKING ABOUT SRI LANKA?
    WHAT ABOUT SINHALA RAVAYA AND B.B.S.?
    JUST DESCRIBE A MUSLIM FUNDAMENTALIST AND HOW HE OR SHE HAS HARMED YOU.
    PLEASE GIVE SPECIFIC INSTANCES WITHOUT GENERALIZING.

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      One word my dearfriend – Kuragala.

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    I believe that this is an issue between Sinhala and Muslim Mudalalies(Traders)The general public need not to be dragged in to this.Don’t take the word of Dr.Jehan serious who is also a NGO mudalali who works only for money.

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    In my view, the writer appears to be confusing the genuine fear that non-Islamic societies have of Islamic societies as some form of “extremism’ against Islam.

    It cannot be denied that Islamic societies exhibit a more stringent and draconian set of laws, rules and regulations that would be seen in any other society as a curtailing of the free will of citizens.

    Here are some comparisons that may bring out some of the marked differences between non-Islamic ( eg Buddhist/Christian ) and Islamic societies.

    1. In a Buddhist society if you are perceived as either being critical of, or behaving in a manner which is insulting to, the Buddha the most you will receive is a fine or a jail sentence. However if you are perceived as being insulting to Mohammed in a Islamic majority society the chances are you will be killed.

    2. In a Buddhist society if you accidentally denigrate a Buddhist religious book the most you will face again would be a fine or a jail sentence. However any action that is perceived as denigrating to the Koran in an Islamic society would result in you probably losing your head.

    3. In a Buddhist society if you commit the very human mistake of having an affair outside of wedlock the most that would happen is a divorce or a jail sentence. But in a strict Islamic society it will fall under adultery, punishable by death.

    4. In a Buddhist society if you happen to be a homosexual, which is being legalized in many liberal societies, you do not have to fear for your life, though you might face some public shaming etc. But under an Islamic society this would probably cost you, your life.

    5. In addition there are also many other restrictions such as curtailing educational opportunities and other democratic freedoms of attire, movement without supervision etc that are imposed on women. There is also the possibility of being charged with a spurious “Black magic” accusation which can result in being subjected to harsh punishments such as lashing

    Factors such as the aforementioned, among others, some of which may or may not be as pronounced in some countries as opposed to others depending on how moderate the particular Islamic state is, has given rise to a reasonable fear in Buddhist societies such as Sri Lanka, Burma etc., that they would lose the liberal democratic freedoms that they enjoy in a gentle Buddhist setting if Islamic influences take over.

    Therefore, the so called “Sinhala Buddhist extremism” that Jehan is trying to criticize here may in fact be some sort of a pre-emptive over reaction to the perceived fears of Sri Lankan Buddhists, based on current happenings

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      Your last line sums the situation up beautifully.

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      The fear of intrusion of one faith causing disruption to another stems from the weakness of the other faith not being honestly and truly followed. The accusation levelled on the other is an attempt to cover-up that failure. As a consequence of various developments concerning Islam and Muslims within the last two decades they have become subjects that are being widely read, discussed and debated, which in turn have made Muslims to increase their devotion to the faith as a result of which practical behaviours are on the increase attracting adherents of other faiths. If there should any pre-emptive reaction from any to prevent their adherents being attracted towards Islam such reaction should be for the preachers of the threatened faith to strengthen their methods of preaching than pointing the accusing finger on the others.

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        -This point is debatable.

        – There is no real proof that Islam is attracting adherents. The increase in muslim populations is actually marginal. After 1400 years of islam there are still 4 times as many non-muslims as muslims. In that case one could argue that there are close to a billion Buddhists if the chinese buddhist population, which is ignored because china is officially atheist, is factored in.

        – Preaching does not help to stem an aggressive, organized movement which maybe insidiously undermining other faiths. Some Christian fundamentalists use economic and other tactics to convert people for example

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    What we do not think of discussing is this. Halal is not the first issue that any suddenly sprung Sinhala Buddhist group in recent times has aimed at the Muslims. Following the sudden appearance and disappearance of Grease Yakkas, mostly in Muslim village, during the month of fasting in 2011, several places of Muslim worship were attacked and obstructions were made from Muslims freely going ahead with their practices. There are more than thirty such incidents recorded from 2011 up to now and till the Halal issue was raised. There are the Maha Nayakes, the oldest established All Ceylon Buddhist Congress, other traditional Buddhist Institutions, Buddhist Affairs Ministry, the Buddhist Advisory Committee to the President, etc. If there suspicions, allegation or any other of Muslims targeting the conversion of Buddhists to Islam, there was ample opportunity that as they have been doing for the named Instituions, organisations, etc. to take-up the issue with the Govt. to be legally death with according to the law of the country and, if necessary, the Muslims responsible for the offences are taken to task. But this did not happen. The Boda Bala Sena emergs suddenly. Do not know from which laboratory this monster was created. It started it campaign on the Halal while knowing that the ACJU was operating the Halal process openly and with the knowledge of the Govt. There were many business establishments, both national and international, using the services of the ACJU in this matter. Not only the BBS, whose leaders are hitherto publicly unknown Buddhist Monks, even the JHUs responsible Minister supported their campaign. The mystery is who created the BBS Monster and why did it start this campaign. Why are the Maha Nayakes, responsible Buddhist Institutions, etc. keeping silent. Why has the Govt. not investigated any of the incidents from 2011, all which were threatening peace and offences under the PTA, has not taken any action. Why is BBS given a free hand in resorting to actions that threaten peace? The Muslim-turned Sinhala woman, Sara Malani Perera, was detained and charged under the PTA falsely for writing a book on comparative religions which included Buddhism and she was subjected to various inconveniences, including detention in Police custody for several months; there are others who are charged and detained under the PTA just of suspicions of threatening peace. Then why is the BBS left alone. These are the issues that have to discussed rather just getting diverted on the Halal certification which has been going on for years without any harm causing harm to unity, peace and harmony of the country.

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    Editor, The following is my corrected comment which please publish:

    What we do not think of discussing is this. Halal is not the first issue that any suddenly sprung Sinhala Buddhist group in recent times has aimed at the Muslims. Following the sudden appearances and disappearances of Grease Yakkas, mostly in Muslim villages, during the month of fasting in 2011, several places of Muslim worship were attacked and obstructions were made from Muslims freely going ahead with their practices. There are more than thirty such incidents recorded from 2011 up to now and till the Halal issue was raised. There are the Maha Nayakes, the oldest established All Ceylon Buddhist Congress, other traditional Buddhist Institutions, Buddhist Affairs Ministry, the Buddhist Advisory Committee to the President, etc. If there were suspicions, allegations or any other of Muslims targeting the conversion of Buddhists to Islam, there are ample avenues that, as they have been doing in the past, for the named Instituions, organisations, etc. to take-up the issue with the Govt. to be legally dealt with according to the law of the country and, if necessary, the Muslims responsible for the offences are taken to task. But this did not happen. The Boda Bala Sena emerges suddenly. Do not know from which laboratory this monster was created. It started its campaign on Halal certification while knowing that the ACJU was operating the Halal process openly and with the knowledge of the Govt. There were many business establishments, both national and international, using the services of the ACJU in this matter. Not only the BBS, whose leaders are hitherto publicly unknown Buddhist Monks, even the JHUs responsible Minister supported their campaign. The mystery is who created the BBS Monster and why did it start this campaign. Why are the Maha Nayakes, responsible Buddhist Institutions, etc. keeping silent. Why has the Govt. not investigated any of the incidents from 2011, all which were threatening peace and offences under the PTA, and has not taken any action. Why is BBS given a free hand in resorting to actions that threaten peace? The Muslim-turned Sinhala woman, Sara Malani Perera, was detained and charged under the PTA falsely for writing a book on comparative religions which included Buddhism and she was subjected to various inconveniences, including detention in Police custody for several months; there are others who are charged and detained under the PTA just of suspicions of threatening peace. Then why is the BBS left alone. These are the issues that have to discussed rather than just getting diverted on the Halal certification which has been going on for years without any causing any harm to unity, peace and harmony of the country. It must also be said that the 09/11 conspiracy attracted the whole world towards finding out what Islam is and Muslims are and bringing more and more non-Muslims toward Islam. Similarly in Sri Lanka, the non-Muslims have been buying Halal items without knowing why they are certified Halal. Now everyone is trying to know what it is. One example is that the Sinhala Buddhist friend of mine sought my explanation being satisfied he said that he and his family from now on will only look for Halal certified items. Praise be to the Almighty that there is a positive in all negatives.

    Mohamed Marzook – February 26, 2013
    9:05 pm
    Reply

    mment which please publish:

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