23 October, 2017

Extremism In Hard Times

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“….a society based on nothing but selfishness and greed is not a society at all, but a state of war of the strong against the weak” – Charles Simic (Bleak House – New York Review of Books – 16.10.2013)

Sri Lanka is becoming a hungrier place. According to the 2013 Global Hunger Index, Sri Lanka’s hunger-score is 15.6. This marks a worrying increase from the 2012 score of 14.4; it is also the highest hunger-score since 2007[i].

The Global Hunger Index is a composite of three computations critically important to the current and future wellbeing of a nation: Undernourishment[ii], Child Underweight[iii] and Child Mortality. For years, experts have been warning about unacceptably high rates of malnutrition in general and child-malnutrition in particular in Sri Lanka. Sadly these warnings were ignored by the regime.

Gotabaya and BBS monks

The increase in Sri Lanka’s hunger-score is the direct outcome of this attitude of indifference – and a developmental strategy which ignores the interests/needs of the most vulnerable and powerless segments in society.

The leadership crisis of the UNP and the politico-ideological confusions within the JVP are preventing the opposition from attacking the government on its weakest flank – socio-economics. The increase in the hunger-score is a damning indictment of an administration which is planning to spend billions on an unproductive venture like the Commonwealth. Unfortunately the Opposition, with a few outstanding exceptions, seems unable to highlight such rice-and-curry issues, even in self-interest. The UNP is too busy tearing itself apart while the JVP is hugging its faded patriotic mantle and waiting, with myopic intensity, for another 1987.

The regime, putting its usual spin, dismissed child malnutrition as the result not of economic polices/political attitudes but lifestyle-choices: “Agricultural Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said according to a recent research finding, the most number of cases of malnutrition were reported from elite schools in Colombo, especially girls schools[iv]. Clearly the Minister is unaware that the Child Underweight Index (which reflects wasting, stunted growth or both) is calculated using children under 5 years old and not school goers!

Juxtapose the Gotabhaya-mania for building exercise-walkways/jogging-tracks and the increase in the country’s hunger-score – and the Rajapaksa inability to grasp the actual, living Lankan reality becomes frighteningly obvious.

Governmental indifference and oppositional apathy is only a part of the problem. We, the society, too bear a burden of guilt. Child malnutrition has not become a national concern in Sri Lanka because the nation is not concerned about it.

Historian Tony Judt argues that ignoring the predicament of fellow citizens is not an ingrained habit but an acquired one: “This propensity to avoid moral considerations, to restrict ourselves to issues of profit and loss….is not an instinctive human condition. It is an acquired taste”[v]. The degree to which Lankans have succumbed to this execrable habit of unenlightened self-interest is obvious from our collective indifference not just to child malnutrition but to a host of equally deadly problems, from child rape/sexual abuse to environmental devastation.

Why was there was no outburst of public outrage in the Sinhala-South about the Weliweriya shooting? Fear alone cannot explain this lack of Sinhala indignation. Is it because the Fourth Eelam War had acclimatised us to the murder of unarmed people by ‘our’ soldiers?

Pastor Niemöller warned about the cascading effects of impunity. Is it applicable to the death of pity as well? Do we start off by not caring about Tamil children and end up by not caring about Sinhala children?

During the Final Eelam War, indifference to the suffering of others became transformed into a desirable moral quality, an indispensable mark of patriotism. A new politico-moral commonsense, which equated concern for civilian Tamils (including children) with treachery/pro-Tigerism, was injected into the Southern consciousness. Pity was criminalised, decency dismissed as weakness and conscience banished as unaffordable.

Today that unkind and immoral sensibility has transcended geographical and ethno-religious borders and is victimising Sinhala-Buddhists.

The Rajapaksas have imposed a militarised approach on matters economic. Development is seen as a series of battles waged by the patriotic government against economic enemies of the nation. In this ‘Humanitarian Operation’ too, there aren’t any civilian casualties. Those who claim to be victims – and those who claim that there are victims – are just ‘enemies of development’.

Since there are no economic victims, pity and consideration become unnecessary – and even illegal. The Rajapaksa Chief Justice has given a legal-cover for his political bosses’ rapacious economics by proclaiming that “no one should obstruct ongoing development programmes in Colombo…”[vi]

Igniting Divisions

Benjamin Disraeli said that the laissez faire stage of British Capitalism created “two nations between who there is no intercourse and no sympathy….”[vii] That observation seems apposite for the Lankan condition as well. The Rajapaksa development is causing the under-development of a large – and a growing – segment of the populace. In order to mask this reality, the regime is stirring the cauldron of primordial identities.

If Lankan politics become distorted by ethno-religious overdetermination, again, public discontent over living conditions can be diverted away from the regime into to safer (and useful) channels.

Rajapaksa rule is thus fragmenting the country along class lines and ethno-religious lines.

According to media reports, the BBS is planning to re-launch the ‘anti-Halal war’ with a vehicle parade from its Colombo Headquarters to Kandy[viii]. Will the regime, which has effectively blocked all peaceful protests in Weliweriya, permit this hate-mongering march to go ahead, inciting fear and venom along the way?

The government’s plan for tourism-promotion includes a drive to attract 100,000 Saudi tourists to Sri Lanka[ix]. Will a single Saudi tourist come to Sri Lanka if the government bans halal products? The BBS cannot be too inane to understand this. If the ‘Halal war’ is reignited, it will be a diabolically hypocritical enterprise aimed at hoodwinking the Sinhala public into venting their anger on fellow Muslim citizens rather than on the Rajapaksas.

Decades ago, Abraham Kovoor warned that “in a democracy where the majority of people are blind believers in religions…hoaxers can carry on their trade of cheating with impunity”[x]. So can political leaders….

In August 2006, a rumour exploded, of halos emanating from Buddha statues. Life in the Sinhala-South came to a standstill as innumerable Sinhala-Buddhists converged on wherever a Buddha statue was to be found. Roads were clogged, flights delayed, radio and television began live coverage and newspaper headlines screamed, as the faithful waited expectantly to share in this miracle.

Rational voices were drowned out by a piercing superstitious cacophony.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa was reportedly ecstatic that the first halo was sighted in a temple in his very own Hambantota. Sinhala Buddhist hardliners hailed it as a divine signal presaging a victorious war against the LTTE.

Whether this three day ‘miracle’ was a spontaneous outbreak of mass-hysteria or a plot, engineered and implemented by the Siblings remains to be discovered. Whatever its provenance, the Rajapaksas exploited it to the maximum.

Religious extremism/superstition is an integral component of the Rajapaksa modus operandi. The Siblings will not hesitate to excite and incite the faithful, in order to strengthen their hold on power – even at the risk of creating new and deadlier faultlines in the already frayed fabric of Lankan society.


[i] 2011 -14; 2010 – 14.5; 2009 – 13.7; 2008 – 15 Source – Global Hunger Index

[ii] ‘The proportion of undernourished people as a percentage of the population’ – http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/ghi13.pdf

[iii] In Sri Lanka, the percentage of under-fives suffering from Stunting is 17, Wasting is 15 and Underweight 21 for the period of 2007-2011; by contrast the percentage of overweight children is just 1. http://www.unicef.org/media/files/nutrition_report_2013.pdf

[v] London Review of Books – 17.12.2009

[vii] Sybil

[x] Begone Godmen! Encounters with Spiritual Frauds

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Latest comments

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    Thanks Thisaranee – you are so Right!
    Divide, Distract and Rule the Sinhalaya Modayas is the Name of the Rajapassa Game..
    I have been wondering about the silence of the Lambs – Pathala Champika, Wimal Weerawansa and the Balu Sena. Why are they not protesting the British Colonial CHOGM show – that is a HUGE WASTE OF MONEY and enormously costly to Lankan people? They should be LEADING THE BOYCOTT OF CHOGM!
    The prices of bus fares and train fares are going up – but the CHOGM show goes on! After all Commonwealth of Clowns (turned into a PLATFORM for third world military dictators) is headed by the QUEEN of England – a monarch of the British empire that caused COLONIALISM and the JHU love to hate and bash the Brits! So why is Pathala Champika and his Balu Sena silent about the Commonwealth Circus since they hate white people who gave collaborated with Tamils to colonize and destroy Lanka all these years?

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      Do the guys in the MaRa regime believe that they can go Scot free of all the wrong doings that went on and still going on?

      May be because the Chief Justice is in their pocket they can get away with it.

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    Brilliant and brave! Thisaranee, as always – Hats off to you!

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      We have only Thisaree to represent us and our common views – that is unique each time is the same.. well done, Grand lady, may all gods protect you from every evils :)

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    True, Extremism has fallen into hard times, mainly due to the CHOGM due to be held next month. The govt. wouldn’t want anything that would derail the fanfare they plan to put up. But expect all hell to break loose after it is all over. We Muslims will be in for a rough ride come Dec. and only God’s mercy will save us. The writings are on the wall of their intents and modus operandi.

    Yes TG, you are absolutely correct in implying Saudi tourists will never come to SL with the withdrawal of Halal certification process, since that act alone will be considered anti-Muslim and an unfriendly act towards all Muslims in general. It will be a waste of state resources to woo them, like every other waste and State duplicity happening in-country.

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      Marwan your are right, but if the Muslims political leaders like Rauf Hakeem who support the barbaric Rajapassa regime jump ship and join the TNA-Sarath Fonseka joint opposition with the dead leftists – even with the UNP dead and buried – things will look different. Especially if CBK makes a comeback!
      This has been an important time to show us that it is in fact Gota the Goon who has been running the anti-Muslim BBS Rayaya Bala hate campaign, which has suddenly stopped for the CHOGM circus!
      This is the proof of the regime’s DIVIDE, DISTRACT and RULE policy which has however reached a tipping point – because from now it will pay DIMINISHING RETURNS as the people now know the trick and the minorities can form a united front with the joint opposition to fight them Rajapassas together with the international community.. Rajapassa’s DIRTY TRICKS and days are numbered!

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        Agreed Dinuk, but Rauf Hakeem had done it once before when he singularly was the catalyst to bring down the government of CBK to lose its majority in Parliament and forced the hand of CBK to dissolve parliament and call for the hustings, which her party lost, and thereby we had a President of one party and a government of the opposition, although strange bedfellows, the wedding lasted only 6 months when she pulled the rug fromunder his feet using her Executive powers. But this time, it will not create the same impact if he resigns but it may work against him, and the Muslim community at large will stand to lose more with no political representation in Parliament when it will be needed the most. So it is wiser for him to stay and bite the bullet for his community’s sake, until the build up of a formidable force of opposition to the regime both from within the House and out on the streets. Another thing is that his resignation must create a major impact both on the local stage and in Int’l forums. This would be the only way to bring focus on the barbaric bigots and the unjust rulers who don’t treat all its citizens of one country as equals in the face of the law. The SL situation will hopefully not be like anything in Myanmar when the world turned a blind eye to all attempts of ethnic cleansing of minority groups. We know we have met good many scholarly monks who oppose BBS vehemently and have assured the Muslims the support of ordinary Sinhalese Buddhist folks who have been living with us peacefully for generations, doing business, gainfully employed both locally and overseas in Muslim countries etc. It is the government that should be faulted for promoting these bigots and taking sides. Also the neglect of its duty to uphold the law, thereby losing all confidence and trust of all minority support, when it comes to a push, be it any type of elections or participatory role.

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    MaRa regime thinks that they are developing like Singapore did in its early decades since independence: But they are wrong, LKY regime made sure the lower stratum of the society also prospered from the beginning with affordable housing and other needs for a decent living.

    They had and still have an economic Development Board manned by experts that guided the government development programmes. They didn’t do any brash white-elephant-like projects, but projects that provided jobs and income to the masses. Though like any capitalist society there are vast differences in incomes, the poor is pulled along to have a decent life.

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 0
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      Ela Kolla, have you not figured out by now that you lack the capacity to post a comment that conforms to the policy of this CT forum? Why do you keep wasting space and everyone’s time?

      To the Editors of CT: Does your policy not permit you to respond direct to caution persons such as this at the first occurrence of a breach and thereafter ignore the drivel and simply only post valid commentary from persistent ignoramuses such as this bloke?

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        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

        • 0
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          one of the best commenters to ct,

          you must give him a trophy.

    • 0
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      I wish all these Rajapskhes woudl [Edited out] – to the manner that poor girl Rizana fated. This bunch have abused all the nation. There should be no forgiveness to this bunch. Srilanka´s highly corrupted bunch sofar. As Dr. Jagath Ashok CLEARLY pointed out, any murderer to ask weating a white costume of lanken sort togethe with a blue or dark red band around the neck look like a srilanken kind of current day politicians. Stupid masses are easily beeing deceived… as if COLOMBO KAKKOS have been doing. These are blood suckers of poor man. All might gods should punish them SOONER allow the rest of nation in peace

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    “Why was there was no outburst of public outrage in the Sinhala-South about the Weliweriya shooting? Fear alone cannot explain this lack of Sinhala indignation. Is it because the Fourth Eelam War had acclimatised us to the murder of unarmed people by ‘our’ soldiers?”

    I think I have the answer to this question Tisaranee. It is the collective Sinhala anxiety that any strong show of indignation against the wrongdoings of this regime from within the Sinhala polity will strengthen the position of the Tamils in the island by ceding credibility to all their claims of war crimes, genocide, discrimination etc. At a very fundamental level it is about ‘should not lose out to the Tamils – even if it means we will suffer’ mentality. Although the wrong man said it, it carries a lot of truth: It is the Mahawamsa mentality.
    Actually, in this technology-enabled connected world, it takes only a tiny shift in mindset to a charismatic Sinhala leader in the South to bring permanent peace and prosperity to the nation. The problem is there isn’t one yet.

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    Ohoi lady,
    You sure your name is ‘Thisaranee’. I thought the more appropriate name for you is ‘Nasaranee’, or better still ‘Terrasaranee’.

    • 0
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      { Dalu ] Banda;

      Yaman Bando Harak Balanda,
      There are many MeeHarak like you With the Governance.

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    Dear Tissaranree Gunesekera,

    Thank you. Well articulated state of affairs.

    “Rajapaksa rule is thus fragmenting the country along class lines and ethno-religious lines.”

    “According to media reports, the BBS is planning to re-launch the ‘anti-Halal war’ with a vehicle parade from its Colombo Headquarters to Kandy[viii]. Will the regime, which has effectively blocked all peaceful protests in Weliweriya, permit this hate-mongering march to go ahead, inciting fear and venom along the way?”

    Their strategy is distraction. In the meantime, Buddhism is becoming a joke in Sri Lanka, Sinhala Buddhist are being compared to Nazis and Racists, and the good Dharma of Buddha is being maligned.

    The so called Mahanayakas are sitting on their butts, and getting fatter every day.

    What is Buddhism. It is a clib for the Monks to exploit the people. The politicians know that, and they use the Monks to get to their end goals.

    The Sinhala Buddhist populace is being fooled by the monks with myths, and the polititians with more myths. DeJa Vu.

    Child Abuse by a Monk in Habaraduwa

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

    Uploaded on May 29, 2010
    She sent her grandson to school with the idea of providing him with proper education to make him a good person. The Buddhist monk in charge of the temple asked her to send the child to the temple and she sent him there because they were poor. There was no possibility for them to pay the money for tuition fees. That was the reason why they sent the boy to the temple school.When the child began to refuse going to the temple school so adamantly, grandmother had to look for the reason. It was then only that she discovered that the child who was sent to learn good behavior, ethics and Buddha’s Dharma from the monk had in fact been abused by the monk.

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      This obnoxious gathering to raise issue, or to pursue with the removal of Halal Certification was earlier planned for 30th Sept, but did not materialize, due to SL coming under microscopic scrutiny by UN Human Rights Watch, and MR was waxing his style of eloquence at the UN to a barely representative audience. Too much was going on against SL and I suppose, this would have only exacerbated the stand taken by SL as an innocent victim of circumstances. So now they have come up with this new date of 22nd Oct. with a motorcade of insane insults to Muslims and Halal certification, starting from Colombo ending in Kandy at Dalada Maligawa with a Adhishtana Pooja to ‘banish this irritant’, and so I heard. I say that with this charade, they are only digging themselves in to isolate themselves and this country from the rest of the international community through an unholy media attention.

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    The photo above says it all.
    Well nourished,happy and overweight monks – though they are supposed to eat only once a day,at noon – in harmony with the man who controls the armed forces and police,whose ‘law & order’ enforcement methods including in prisons,are justified by the “chief justice” from ‘personal knowledge’.
    The video linked above by Amarasiri may show one cause of their happiness – ten year old boys are expected to ‘renounce the worldly life’ and propagate the Buddha’s teachings – but what happens to them is something else.
    These boys in robes were seen on videos shouting along with their elders,in protesting the existence of mosques.

    There are,or should be, school medical inspections yearly of two classes when malnutrition could be spotted,in addition to congenital/developmental defects.

    “Hard Times”? for whom?
    Not for the monks and politicians.

    • 0
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      Price of the humble coconut – needed in every kitchen in the country – has risen from Rs.40 to Rs.55. Can the poor cook a decent meal without
      coconuts. And that too in a country where there is more than one Cabinet Minister looking after the development of the coconut industry.
      Until recently we were exporting Fresh Coconuts to the Middle East.
      Our DC exports will collapse under this inept and chronically inefficient regime.

      Horikadey

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    Levels of child nutrition and weight monitoring can be conducted by an independent body at random in diverse parts of the country. The results can be publicly displayed in the media.

    The results will provide the people with information on where things are at.

    The unreliability of official data would probably mean that more and more reliance on external parties will be needed to ensure accuracy.

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    //the BBS is planning to re-launch the ‘anti-Halal war’ with a vehicle parade from its Colombo Headquarters to Kandy[viii]//

    Well, arethey going to do this before CHOGM? I am skeptical about this.

    By the way, where are the real Buddhists of Sri Lanka? They should stand up to save Sangha and Buddhism from the Sri Lankan monks, BBS, JHU and Kurakkan Brothers.

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    Vigneswaran is a BJP extremist.

    SL is sliding down to extremism on all sides. Who will emerge victorious after all the warring, looting, killing is done?

    • 0
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      Fathima without the “C” in her last name:
      You and Ella Kolla should compare horoscopes with a view to a permanent relationship outside the pages of CT. Even if “Like Poles Repel” you would be doing us all a good turn by removing yourselves from CT.

    • 0
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      “Who will emerge victorious after all the warring, looting, killing is done?”.
      Aney BABA HUKUNG, Fukasimba as Hiwal Gonwanse { ang thiyena Ganlath] said
      The same gangs,
      Your Jarapassa and clan. who are warring, looting, Raping and killing [your handlers, pay masters] will emerge victorious after all the warring, looting, raping, killing is done?”.

  • 0
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    Yes Tisaranee you are always right.

  • 0
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    I wonder whether Tisaranee talks to family members also like this start with a heavy sounding quotation and end wlth a Latin phrase !They must be all so intimidated and confused !Any way she is entertaing and totally irrelevant, just like Ranil Wickramasinghe !

    • 0
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      SOME BODY SAYS THIS
      What a shame for a person who say that educated holder of DR.

      “*******This fuku fuku simba is the same Dr. Ruwan Ferdinandez who now comment in Daily Mirror as Rubert Wendrkoon.
      He has some other pseudonyms as well such as
      nanabist, kris, ryan, sarojini, hamid, sivanandan, john, patriot, asanka, jimsofty so on.
      his only job is divert people from commenting to the topic.
      he is an educated GnanaSatan but was a rogue as GnanaSatan.
      when the gonraja falls MR falls,
      the next day fuku-fuku will have his nuts for breakfast.”*******

      Lee potter victim – October 16, 2013
      9:15 pm

      So Dr. Ruwan Ferdinandez the FUKA SIMBA.
      You all Crabs are Dancing to tunes but until the Water boils in the Pot.
      so wait and see.

      JULAMPITIYE AMARAYA

  • 0
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    Time and Tide waits for no man!

    In these superstitious times, when the ‘stealing elite’ take to the skies no sooner the soothsayers announce a bad period, there must come a time when no airplane can help them escape Karma.

    Funny thing Karma, no amount of poojas and threads can change the ultimate outcome.

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    As usual, an incisive, honest and brilliant description of our “Sri Lanka reality” by our finest journalist that not one English-language newspaper has the guts to publish!
    I have, however, one tiny carping criticism and that is when Tisaranee says, “Juxtapose the Gotabhaya-mania for building exercise-walkways/jogging-tracks and the increase in the country’s hunger-score – and the Rajapaksa inability to grasp the actual, living Lankan reality becomes frighteningly obvious.” There is no “inability” here, it is simply a deliberate pandering to the amoral and stupid (mainly English-Speaking) middle-class of this country who have never read Niemoller and can never understand the inevitability of what awaits them! This is NOT an “inability to understand.” What it constitutes is a pursuit of an evil agenda, no matter how unwitting.

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      Gee pooty is sucking up to gonsaranee what a surprise !!!

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    Not having Halal certification is not going to affect Saudis coming to Sri Lanka, most Saudis visiting SL have friends to guide them.

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      You hardly know what it means to eat and live Halal, and with SL being a Buddhist country, the risk of being served non-Halal food is greater. No matter what friends can do to help them out, but they will insist and always inquire before consuming. If the Halal label is stamped on their purchase or served in their Halal restaurants, they will just dole out the cash as payment, no questions asked. The Saudi’s if at all they do come, will arrive with families and thereby the need for Halal products becomes much greater. Do you know of Halal hotels in SL? Well, there are many already. So it does matter for them to know which way Halal certification goes before they decide to come. By the way, it is just not only them, but all Muslims from all over the world visiting SL will want to know. Being Muslims, we know how difficult it is to find Halal food in China, and survive only on fresh fruits and sometimes on our own self prepared vegetarian diet, and don’t look forward to going there, except on short business trips. It would be the same for Saudis coming to SL if Halak certification is denied.

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        Marwan I am Muslim, this time only 2300 Saudis only came to Sri Lanka normally 18,000 comes. the Embassyr has informed personally not to come as its a Land of Budhist [Edited out], the educated ones are the dangerous than non educated people. Like JR, Anagariak Dharmapala [Edited out] , and so on.. so dont explain these things as their Lord buddah has allowed to dead animals. Uselmess talking to them. Stop/

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        JU agreed with BBS to withdraw the Halal Certification when the latter agigated, why then BBS want to rebel again?? UAE generates 20% of its revenue through Halal business, it is good for their economy. If the same can be done in SL with an understanding it will be good for our economy too, but unfortunately BBS don’t understand this.

        Few days ago a Cleric in Syria gave a ruling to the effect ‘it is ok to eat cat & dog meat’ due to humanitarian assistance unable to reach people in the war torn areas in the country!!

        We still have plenty of Halal food everywhere in SL with or without the label, so it is better not to confront the BBS, since they’re asking for trouble.

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          should read as ‘agitated’.

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    Extremism In Hard Times AND the Traitorism having a Field Day.

    We saw the “selfishness & the Greed” in Wall street… The World is yet reeling from its effects BUT not T’ranee.

    A little now and more later……………

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    Thisaranee

    You should confine your comments and opinions to matters within your competence–I can’t claim to have read all your articles but I am increasingly coming to the view that your competence is basically limited to criticism of the Rajapakse family. Reports of halos emanating from Buddha statues in 2006 were based on actual eyewitness accounts. Thousands of people reported seeing it and they were not all Rajapakse supporters. The reports of the phenomenon were not originated by the Rajapakses, though they and their supporters may have exploited it to their advantage. Indeed, I personally heard the president refer to it–perhaps with some feeling of awe–during a live broadcast from the Temple Trees as–if I remember correct–a good omen for the future of the country under his presidency.

    You write, “[r]ational voices were drowned out by a piercing superstitious cacophony.” What are these “rational voices”? So far I have heard two “explanations”:

    1. The first “explanation” was proposed by Dr. Chandana Jayaratne (lecturer in physics and well-known media consultant on space and astronomy matters). He said that the presence of a certain metal–I think he mentioned Titanium–in the statues could have caused them to emit such a halo or glow. But then he himself admitted that people had reported seeing a halo emanating even from pictures of Buddha and so discredited his own “explanation.” Further, if it was the presence of Titanium, or whatever, in statues that caused this phenomenon, why did it happen only during a short period in 2006?

    2. The second “explanation” I heard–this was offered quite recently, actually–is psychological in nature: If you tell people that if they look at object X they will see Y, then they will actually see it whether or not Y is actually present and that is how thousands of people saw a halo emanating from Buddha statues! The readers will judge for themselves the merits of this “explanation.”

    If Thisaranee is seriously interested in discovering the truth of this matter, there are thousands of eyewitnesses she can interview. A good person to start with is the then incumbent chief priest of the Bellanvila temple. During the time this phenomenon was going on, he testified on television that he had observed it with his own eyes at his temple. He said that he had no explanation for the phenomenon, adding that though Buddhist literature referred to a halo emanating from the Buddha while he was alive, no report was found in such literature about a halo emanating from Buddha statues.

    There IS ample evidence for the existence of phenomena which defy scientific or natural explanation but the antisupernaturalistic presuppositions of so called Rationalists will prevent them from seeing what is plain to objective, open-minded people.

    Disclaimer: I am NOT a Buddhist.

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      Leonard, you should really study a bit of science man….. or simply go interview every lunatic who claims to have seen a ghost and be happy.

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        Ben

        I HAVE studied science–probably far more than you have. It is not a question of knowledge of science. There are people with PhDs in science who believe in the reality of the supernatural and there are those with PhDs in science who reject it. (This is one indication of your ignorance.) It is a question of world view and whether or not you are open to the evidence. If you world view by definition rejects the supernatural, then you have to somehow find ways of explaining away the evidence or simply ignore it, as some do. The evidence includes reports of scientific paranormal investigators/researchers.

        No sane person will call the specific witness I mentioned in my post, Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara Chief Incumbent Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thera, a “lunatic.” I think he is one of the more moderate and sane voices among the Buddhist clergy and certainly a credible witness. Thisaranee wrote, “Whether this three day ‘miracle’ was a spontaneous outbreak of mass-hysteria or a plot, engineered and implemented by the Siblings remains to be discovered.” By interviewing at least this priest, Thisaranee will at least establish that this affair was not “engineered and implemented by the Siblings.”

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          My learned and scientific friend Leonard, if you had been around during Abraham Kovoor’s time, you will have noted that not ONE of the people he referred to as Godmen, Yogis, Saints and Siddhas successfully took him up on his (then – 1963) gargantuan offer of Rs. 100,000 to demonstrate supernatural or miraculous powers under fool-proof and fraud-proof conditions. This offer was valid until he died, which he eventually did, and with his beliefs intact.

          Had he been alive today, he’d have without doubt been at the forefront to disprove all contemporary ‘miraculous’ events such as those Ms TG writes about and that you seem to interestingly believe in.

          Specific and isolated ‘miracles’ can be created by a little slick chemistry (halos, fumes: sublimation or visual effects or ‘tears of blood’: melting resin), but they are not at all likely to either be widely replicable or stand up to rigorous scientific scrutiny.

          The unfortunate situation we see today is nothing short of skillful manipulation and subjugation of a gullible public to serve nothing but the self interests and aggrandisement of a few crafty and totally self-serving beings, some of whom claim firmness of spirit and spiritual power bestowed by ornamental objects such as the ‘vajra’ in clenched fist!

          Read a bit more and get a life man!

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      Leonard Jayawardena:
      You don’t have to be a Buddhist to be stupidly superstitious and suck up to the Rajapaksa’s, all in one comment.
      You better ask Santa Claus (in whom I’m sure you believe) for knee-pads so that you can make your stay around your “heroes” more comfortable come 2014!
      There is nothing as stupid as a pseudo-scientist in defence of the indefensible, no?

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      Leonard,
      This is what exactly Rajapakshas
      want in order to stay in power. Credulous
      society in Sri Lanka. When majority of people
      are going to believe in this type of superstitious
      stories rather than reasoning, it would be so
      much easier for them to fool majority of
      Srilankans on bogus patriotism, religion
      or non existing foreign threats.
      If that physicist could not
      explain exactly what was the reason for
      halos emanating from a Buddha statue, it
      does not mean some superstitious reason
      caused it to happen. If science at that
      moment could not explain it, you do
      better science. That’s how chemistry
      was invented after alcamy, astronomy
      after astrology. By the way I am
      a Sinhala Buddhist.

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    Velu Praba must come soon to destroy the Rajapakses. This is the ultimate truth.

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    In the meanwhile the GoSL is trowing money blatantly putting a make up in the streets of Colombo to disguise the true face of Sri Lanka to the CHOMG delegates. Poor future generations, they will have a debt for many years to come.

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    I Am involved in Tourism heavyly from Middle East, but this time Tourism were given choices to take a risk coming to Sri lanka as GOTA MF is in attacking. Then, Oil is stopped from Middle East as Anti Muslim sentiment, and then these buggers asking open money for Airlines Deals trying to operate tourism from Russina federations. What a shame. Well insia is in the other hand sent a Official letter to Police and Land powers, then Fence will come, then all sinhala will chase these guys untill they die. wait and see

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    A small correction to my post.

    I wrote: “Indeed, I personally heard the president refer to it–perhaps with some feeling of awe–during a live broadcast from the Temple Trees as–if I remember correct–a good omen for the future of the country under his presidency.”

    Actually, what the president did was to mention this phenomenon during the live broadcast in such a manner and context as to insinuate that it was a good omen for the future of the country under the new order of things (under his presidency).

    Leonard Jayawardena

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    I wrote in JAGATH ASOKA’s article why christian writers are targeting TWO RAJAPAKSES.

    RAJAPAKSES are giving into the CHRISTIANITY. They want Mahinda RAJAPAKSE to Expand the system that is already supporting Christianity over the buddhism. They want a Strangle hold on Sri Lanka.

    That is why even Christians got buddhists to go at Muslims and later ridicules buddhism over that.

    Christians have done this in India as well as China.

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    This idiot thinks it is the job of the govt to feed the people . It is the typical mentality of the Sri lankans . It is the work of the govt to set up a structure that is conducive to the people so that they can make a living . I think that is happening right now . Cows like gonsarnee need to be put to pasture as they serve no useful purpose.

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      Abaya,
      you say you stay in UK and got back to see the country after8 years right ? So you should be an economic refugee to seek unfair asylum on the UK soil. That should have been the case for you not to have returened to the country for such a long time. Leaving all that kind of selfishness, but when reading your comments, what angers me is why you the like ilk would nt see the need of reenforcement of law and order to the system. Would Uk GOVT allow crime investigations to be carried out to the manner Rajapakshe the idiots have been doing today ? Why is that Baratha murder case ended up in that way most favourably to Duminda (people´s most known rapist, and drug dealer) ? Where is the justice ?

      If you have got the chance to live on a western soil, you should raise the question more than the stupid folks would do…. why do the idiotic govt take that long DNA tests to be finalized ?
      Where has been the justice in terms of any of the very recent crime investigations in SL?

      Dont you idiot feel that building counstructions or road construction and tel communication projects are today common to any developing world. Go to any far poor countries in the Africa and see their developments. It is not the magician MR made wonders to make you guys feel – that happy, but it is common globally today.

      Atleast ask your beloved MR regime to hold an opinion polls of UK sort to find out the real heart feeling of the entire population – they you buggers would surely feel that you are blind folded. Good luck to you idiots. that is it I am fed up lanken kind of stupid masses and that represent guys like you.

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        [Edited out] cant you read . I have been living in the US for 14 years not the UK . I have also lived in Australia and singapore before that . I went to these places to work and these countries dont import toilet cleaners . When I left the country in the 90s we couldnt go on the road or public transport . both the JVP and the LTTE was killing thousands in plain sight . Even though MR had nothing to do with the elimination of the JVP . I am grateful for both the govts that eliminated the JVP and the LTTE.

        I am no MR stooge . I live in another country and get no benefit from the current or any govt but I am not blind to not see the difference in this country now . it is a 100 % better than when I left .

        As for the great justice systems of the west you so pine for they suck as well . The US is a penal state that has more per capita prisoners than any other country . The systems here is far from perfect but nor is it in any other country . atleast it is more humane than most .

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          Good inputs, me too not an MR stooge,but what we want is peace in the Island; the past, nearly 3 decades was horrible, we don’t want to see chaos and human misery, although we live abroad, our relatives are still in Lanka.

          Therefore this organization which is pushing for Halal Certification should understand that BBS is vehemently against it and if things get out of hand it will affect negatively the life and property of an innocent peace loving minority community in the Island, if this happens they’re not going to do anything to protect the muslims, most muslims I have spoken to are not so obsessed with this Halal label; it is better this organization that is selling Halal certification, simply drop this issue without causing problems in the country, that would be more Halal than anything.

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