16 July, 2018

Blog

Gota & The Threat Of A Religio-Fascist State

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

A felonious monk, a Buddhist outcry and Gota’s bid for power; Gota and the threat of a religio-fascist state

Let’s get this straight: A monk called Gnanasara was convicted in a court of law for a criminal offence. The result is not the outpouring of revulsion against a criminal in religious robes, no in racially and religiously half-mad Sri Lanka the demand is for a change in judicial procedures and change in laws to accommodate felons in robes. Who knows abuse of abithayas may soon be deemed permissible if the perpetrator was adorned in saffron! The madness of fascistic demands in Buddhist Sri Lanka has gone out of control. The trial and execution of Buddharakkitha and Somarama was not met by masses running wild, or Mahanayakes, monks and chauvinist Ministers like Champika Ranawaka and Jayawickrema Perera advocating that cases to be moved to special courts, or stay of sentence and special privileges for the two murderers. No, in the 1960s Buddhist chauvinism was not out of control. How far Sri Lanka has declined in 60 years!

‘Lanka likely to set up special courts for Buddhist monks after landmark jailing’ blared a headline on the site NewsIn.Asia, datelined 19 June 2018. The piece opined: “There are indications the coalition government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will accede to the demand for special courts to try cases against Buddhist monks”. Political commentators know that the Rajapaksa machine stands behind this ‘accede I’m damned, refuse to accede I’m damned’ pressure confronting the Sirisena-Wickremesinga lame-duck duo. Another below the belt shot aimed at judicial independence was the canard that Gnansara’s conviction was to please “international forces and NGOs” (Secretary General of the Asgiriya Chapter). I supposes pandering to Muslims is also implied. 

This troublesome monk who leads the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) interrupted court hearings in which military intelligence officers reporting to Gotabaya Rajapaksa were accused of abducting Sandya Ekneligoda, a critic of the 2010 Rajapaksa regime, in circumstances where the Muslim-hate BBS’s link to Gota and a hot and spicy video allegedly about Ranawaka were no secret. The involvement of the BBS, an anti-Muslim organisation, in stoking unrest in Aluthgama and terror, killing, looting, and burning homes and shops is widely believed. Recently this monk was also at the centre of anti-Muslim pogroms in the Kandy area. This particular conviction, however, was not for these offences but for obstruction of justice and threatening Ekneligoda’s wife. 

Notwithstanding these allegations and his conviction for felony, thousands of Buddhist faithful marched across the country demanding Gnansara’s release and mocking the justice system. Cabinet Ministers demanded special courts to “try” (meaning release) convicted felons in robes. They insist that the laws of the land should not apply to the Buddhist clergy. If the powers-that-be accede to these ultimatums we are well on the way to a religio-fascist state. The gravity of the Buddhist outcry is evidenced in a series of news clips of 18 and 19 June put together by a friend who is as horrified as I am by these happenings. The clips are reproduced in a separate box. 

My initial reaction to these goings on was that the President is sympathetic to Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism and the Prime Minister weak. But I was pleasantly surprised when Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale, supported by BASL, informed the Kalyani Sangha Sabha that Gnanasara would be treated like any other prisoner and said the government would abide by the Prisons Ordinance. This was in response to a communication from the Sangha Sabha. I presume the Minister’s conveyed the considered views of the government and had the support of president and prime minister. The subsequent grant of bail to the monk, my lawyer friends inform me, is quite usual because appeal proceedings may drag on for months or a year.

What makes this background crucial is Gota’s presidential bid. The Gnanasara campaign adds fuel to the fire Gota’s campaign hopes to ride on; that is stoking fires of chauvinism. Tamil and Muslim votes are beyond reach, so the strategy is to maximise majority community votes and frighten minority communities into abstention. A Gota fan I was in conversation with a few days ago revealed another stratagem; “We will buy Tamil votes and even Muslim votes”. He was confident of results. Be that as it may the following verbatim quote from the Colombo Telegraph Editor (20 June 2018) proves my point that a religio-fascist mood is being whipped up by political monks. The statement unleashed a firestorm but some political Buddhists have backed the Anunayaka’s call for Gota to model himself on Hitler.

QUOTE 

“Ven Vendaruwe Upali Thero, the Anunayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter delivering an anusasana on the occasion of an almsgiving marking the 69th birthday of Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that he should opt for military rule if this is what is necessary to build the country. Ven Upali, noting that Gotabaya is referred to as a Hitler, suggested that if that is the case he should be one and build the nation. ‘What we need is a leadership that has the blessings of Mahinda Rajapaksa and is linked with Buddhism, the Buddhist Order and the Sinhalese. We can see that the law has completely broken down. We need a leader who shows fidelity to the doctrine (dahami naayakayek),’ Ven Upali also said”.

END QUOTE

Channa Wickremesekara in A Tough Apprenticeship: Sri Lanka’s Military Against Tamil Militants, (2017) says: “As state institutions Sinhalised, so did the Army which gradually acquired the role of the armed forces of a Sinhala State; Sinhalisation of the forces completed the organic link between the two … By the late 1970s the Army was almost exclusively Sinhalese.” 

Stopping Gota

A religio-fascist movement is gathering strength around the battle cry of making Gota the next president. While Gota’s bid must be defeated, before that point is reached it must be aborted if possible – this is the plain truth shorn of nicety and sophistry; averting fascism is not a tea party. The first Rubicon that Gota must cross is renunciation of US citizenship. This must be obstructed. A class action civil plaint should be filed in US courts holding Gota accountable for human rights violations and war-crimes that the UN Human Rights Council has deemed fit to investigate. If an American citizen is involved in such activities it needs investigation by a US court before the alleged perpetrator is cleared for renunciation of citizenship.The 1996 War Crimes Act makes it a federal offence for a US national to participate in torture or human rights violations and covers those who issue orders or fail to stop it.

Secondly, the government of Sri Lanka must formally move US courts and/or the Justice Department. The prospect of a religio-fascist becoming president of Sri Lanka, though in my view the likelihood is remote, requires that every effort be made to block it. The outside world, not only India and the West but also China, Japan and other Asian nations need to fear the rise of any form of semi-fascism, even in a small country since it is regionally destabilising. There are good reasons for the outside world to take an interest. 

In this context I find it difficult to understand why the government of Sri Lanka has named Dr Dayan Jayatilleka as Ambassador Designate to Russia. I have no animus against Dayan, I knew him well as bright, well-read and fluent; a student on the ‘other side of the river’ in Peradeniya. My problem is with the government. He is the most articulate defender of Gota and the most penetrating critic of yahapalana in the English media. Governments do not appoint their most pungent critics to important ambassadorial positions. If Dr J acts in accordance with his beliefs and remains loyal to the views he has advocated, as he will and as he must, he will be a thorn in the flesh of this government. This foxes me. The scheming of President Sirisena who is in cahoots with Gota is comprehensible, but what insanity overcame the Prime Minister and Cabinet! I don’t get it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 3
    7

    A buddhist kingdom never ever have been Fascist, felonious. Buddhists have been theretening only for those who believe in the CREATOR. there is a buddhist Out cry all over the world. Because their rights are denied by the two ,middle eastern religions and those who follow those ideals. buddhists live and let live others. It is the World with middle eastern religious ideology that have created problems all over the world and they themsleves say they it is the Religion that creates human advesaries. MARX also said Religion is Opium for the masses because Communists were following Religious idelogy of the Middle east. INDIA, CHINA, Sri lanka and other parts of Asia have never beong Fascist states because of the buddhist influence.

    • 3
      0

      Yo Jim, ” Buddhist Kingdom never have been Fascist????? Buddhists have been THREATENING only for those who believe in the CREATOR?????”………… So, the first one is a denial and the SECOND one is an affirmation….Logically speaking, ITS FASCISM my dear donkeys….. The Japanese Imperial Army invaded the South East Asia killing and raping the others…. It was a Buddhist country and had a Buddhist monarch system —- but, their oppressive methods and actions are not FASCISM but love & compassion. Pol Pot’s communism was backed by the backing of his variety of Temples…. That was not Fascism, but Love and compassion….King Asoka murdered in thousands, Not Fascism, but Love & compassion….. Myanmar, oppression against the Rohingya’s is not FASCISM, but Love and compassion…. Even Hitler was a secret buddhist following Tibetan Buddhism, was a strict vegetarian, the Aryan myth, SWASTIKA, sending a team of experts to SHAMBALA/Tibet to study the connection of Aryan roots to the GERMAN Super Race madness are all false under the Love and compassionate Buddhism. What happened was that the JEWS HIJACKED the teachings of the TRUE, COMPASSIONATE, Buddha and made it into a SLAVE religion which it can control it through the PROXIES. Rajapakse US citizen family is their PROXIES including the entire GOVIGAMA CLAN.

      • 1
        0

        While I disagree with Jim, the Japanese Imperial Army was Shinto and never identified as buddhist despite supporting them and the allegations about Hitler are completely unfounded

    • 2
      0

      The Anunayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter Vendaruwe Upali wants Gota to be the Arya Sinhala Buddhist Hitler who can take the country and rule it militarily, when he said, “You are known as a Hitler and you should use the military and take power”. This monk’s comment as a blessing to Gota’s on his 69th Birthday was not only undemocratic but also Un-Buddhist. Gota is already a Psychopath like Hitler and the Buddhist monks supporting him will only turn him into another Hitler and the country into a Buddhist-Fascist State.

  • 4
    3

    LTTE were recognized as Freedom fighters. buddhists are Religio Fascists. this is like CNN anf FOX FAKE NEws.

  • 1
    0

    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/

  • 1
    0

    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/

  • 2
    5

    Blame Maximalists, minorities and ‘kalu suddhas’ for declination of Sri Lanka.
    /
    Utmost venerable Gnanasara thero’s assignment is to deal head-on with growing Muslims problem in Sri Lanka (4 million Muslims and counting, invasion of Kuragala, Dewanagala, Digawapiya, Muhudumaha viharaya, Wilpattuwa, Knuckles range, Wijitha pura,etc and smuggling drugs and people into Sri Lnka).
    /
    Sanghas must have their own courts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 2
    0

    Prof. Kumar,
    If Dr J acts in accordance with his beliefs and remains loyal to the views he has advocated, as he will and as he must, he will be a thorn in the flesh of this government.
    This government is a thorn in the flesh for itself. It cut the branch it was siting, during the LG election time. It appointed PCoI to investigate its frauds. It appointed PREFACT to white wash the Joint Comedy opposition’s frauds. It brought the NCM for itself. It tipped to PM Modi and had arrested its agents while receiving bribe. This government didn’t come into itself. It was put together by Ex. SEC. John Kerry who has no clue about the Democratic Dictatorship existing in Lankawe to manage and control Tamils. So this is not a government; it is an alliance of two opposing forces, created by America to defeat the American sponsored Resolution 30/1. Yahapalanaya will do that but not that all you expect from you.
    The scheming of President Sirisena who is in cahoots with Gota is comprehensible, but what insanity overcame the Prime Minister and Cabinet! I don’t get it.
    Thero De Silva’s appointment is about facilitating New King’s deal with Russia. Ex: Junk Yard ship, Mahindhabachan Naked International Airport……. That will not affect Ranil and he need not to worry about that appointment, as long as Thero is going to Singapore to bringing back Mahendran(Thero didn’t so far). Old Brother Prince is not in government yet. Another 1 ½ yeas have to go. A lot of things Yahapalanaya have to accomplish. Just don’t bring Old Brother Prince into this.
    After Eknaligoda’s murderers are produced in court, Gnanam Punishment is about his verbal abuse in court. Until that, he was punished only to get rest of the Arabian commission. (You know what is going to happen. If not ask a Muslim Minister.) Gnanam’s biggest mischief is minority riots. Sandhya’s biggest complaint is torture and murder of her husband.

  • 2
    2

    This colonial oriented insipid Marxist says, out of contxt, ‘in the 1960s the Buddhist chauvinism was not out of control’. His mindset is so warped and prejudised . He seems deliberately to avoid mentioning the ‘Religio- Fascist’ Coup of 1962.

  • 4
    0

    Another piece of gross exaggeration by a cancelled out former leftist and a closest separatist who is scared of a Gota come back.

    Shiver, old man, there is no escape this time. Sri Lanka will be united under one flag of Sinhala Buddhist, historical identity.

  • 2
    0

    Kumar David ~ ” ………….The trial and execution of Buddharakkitha and Somarama was not met by masses running wild,……”
    Somarama was executed but after he changed religion. Buddharakkitha was not executed. The life of Buddharakkitha with the then Minister of Health Wimala Wijewardena as told by witnesses were salacious. The masses just could not run wild.

    Kumar David again ~ “………..I find it difficult to understand why the government of Sri Lanka has named Dr Dayan Jayatilleka as Ambassador Designate to Russia……”.
    Dayan or the GoSL have neither confirmed nor denied the appointment. To us Lankans this is sill a rumour.
    .
    Right under our noses Lankans are being led to believe that corruption/nepotism/impunity are not evil!

  • 3
    0

    When Gnanam came out, he called Ranil as the biggest fox. Why? Who knows! One reason (most probable) is he was tired of being forced to go through the preparation for this drama. He just wants to stand in open area, rumble in rude manner, instead of these all sophisticated preparation Ranil comes out with.

    KD lost his ability to process logics anymore. It is time to wear a short and shirt & start his next term kindergarten lessons. … A.. B.. C.. 1+1=2…..He may not believe in next term but Hindus does.

    Why promote Sinhala Buddhist extremism? That is the easiest way to capture power in Modaya land. Would you promote Buddhism only to lose power? Probably KD is advocating that too; in SWRD’s murder case, is he expecting leaving Somarama Thero go not punished for respecting his Buddhist Monkhood? Is KD suggesting that SLFP could have let Dudley, instead of promoting weeping Widow? Somarama Thero did not kill KD’s mother in Law, he Killed Sirimavo’s husband. It is important to prosecute him for the fullest extent of the law for the SLFP to capture power using the out pouring sympathy.

    Buddharakkitha Thero mixed in wrong proportion of power, politics, business, women, money with Buddhism. So it exploded in his hand. Can KD walk back from 1959 to 1915 and explain why Colonial government kept so many Buddhist leaders in prison? Is it because nobody was there to occupy the cells, that time?

  • 2
    0

    Prof. Kumar might have been understanding the math one time…… (That was long, long ago , no more). Is that means he is good in parsing the stanzas in Ranil’s drama’s or disentangle the knots Ranil place in politics. KD wrote an essay to show how the election result going to be in the Ranil’s game of new PR+FPTP. Did he tell all local governments will be hung? Did he ever say how 19A will invalidate New King’s power and what an imbecile act for New King to succumb on that to Ranil? The truth is KD is no different from Thero in narcissism. He always beat the snake long after its death and claim credit for it. Ranil wanted to give 40,000 houses to China without tender, against India. So he timed it with Gnanam’s case so nobody will complain the additional surrender to China.
    Why Gnanam case was selected for that? Who knows? ! Can anybody prove Gnanam case is about Arabian commission? Not at all! Then what? Sorry to say, but that may be the best explanation available.

    850,000 cases are outstanding in courts. As per KD, Aanduwa felt sorry for that widow, brushed off all other cases and finished first the verbal abuse case! KD has spent readers’ time and his time to prove the Lankawe courts are providing justice these days by putting an influential priest for one year in prison with fines, penalties and damages only to verbal abuse! Absolutely Childish! Come on guys.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.