19 September, 2019

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Is Angry Response Of Buddhists To Religious Conversions Justified?

By Mahendra De Silva

A thief may harm a thief; an enemy may harm an enemy; but a wrongly directed mind can do oneself far greater harm. -Dhammapada  Verse 42

Last week myself and millions of other viewers in internet watched with horror, a video showing Buddhist monks attacking a evangelical church in Hikkaduwa. It was quickly picked up by BBC and many international news agencies. It would have been a great propaganda tool for those who have a prejudice against Buddhism, human right activist and also for people genuinely wants to seek reforms in how Buddhism is practiced in Sri Lanka. The Video shows clearly the anger, hatred and rage in the attacking monks. Watching how these monks in robes instigate young boys and others to attack a religious place is one of the saddest moments.  I can imagine ordinary people engage in this type of violence. How can we justify learned monks who are disciples of Buddha with the purpose of carrying the message of peace, loving kindness, compassion, forgiveness ever think of engaging in this violence?   In a democracy this type of hate crimes carries server punishments and people do the crime secretly. It is strange that in our country acts of serious crimes of this nature are carried out openly with the participation of many ordinary people and leading monks of the area.

BBS MonksI often wonder why Buddhists are so scared of new churches coming into the area or Buddhists converting to Christianity.  Statistically numbers of Buddhists who have been converted to Christianity in recent years are far lower than the number Christians converting to Buddhism. Buddhists should know that despite Hindu Kings and European were controlling for many centuries in our history; still nearly 70% of the population is Buddhists.  Today, they have a majority Buddhist government.  Protection of Buddhism is enshrined in the constitution. They have even Buddhists extremists in the government. It is not the Buddhists but other minorities who should feel insecure in their own country for genuine reasons. This imaginary threat of insecurity of Buddhists in Sri Lanka could only be a paranoid as termed in psychology.   Buddhism is not a religion that needs protection from invaders in the 21st Century.  It is a science friendly philosophy which would appeal to intelligent human being of the modern society. Interest on Buddhism is growing fast in everywhere in the world.

How is Evangelical Church attracting people to their religion?

Evangelism is the preaching of the Christian Gospel about Jesus for the purpose of leading people into a personal relationship with God with the objective of converting them. They emphasise the importance of moral conduct and living with spirit of God. Some of the behavioural rules are – for example prohibiting the consumption of alcohol, participation in any form of gambling, and excessive entertainments such as dancing and movie-going etc. They also encourage developing loving kindness and sacrifices in the name of their God. People are continuously assured that that all their needs including healing from serious sickness could be done   to the extent they have faith and living in accordance with God’s commands.  I quote a passage from o ‘Psychology Today’, Quote   From a scientific perspective, faith healing is unexplained, incomprehensible, and should not work. Yet it does work. The same is true of drug placebo effects, of course. Scientists recognize that there are placebo effects but have trouble accounting for them. Unquote

Some argue that it is wrong and unethical for Christian missionaries to use their power and wealth to convert vulnerable Buddhists to Christianity.  However we should know that religious freedom and freedom of consciousness are some of the most accepted human rights in the world.  Religion is something personal like choosing your own house, job or your partner.  I do not believe anyone has a right to   dictate that religion cannot be changed.  If a person   wants to change the religion even for material benefits, it is his choice. The advantage of living in developed country is that people respect privacy of other person, and they are least bothered whether neighbour is converted to a religion or why it had happened.  In Christian dominated countries there are conversions regularly happening from Christianity to other religions including Buddhism. There is no big fuss over that. It is only in Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist countries they react emotionally for this conversion.

If Buddhists admit that they are scared of their people being converted to other religion that is a sign of lack of faith in own religion or they believe other religion is more powerful than theirs.  If a Buddhist is  being  converted  for monetary benefits that indicate he is not a real Buddhist who understands the teachings. For any religion having followers who does not practice the teachings correctly or does not understand the religion, is a liability.

Once I was living in Colombo closer to a very poor area near a canal.  This area is notorious for violence, drugs and many more illegal activities.  I remember some missionaries coming in and getting some families to work with them. They converted them to Christianity and some mornings I use to see a pleasant sight, nicely dressed   boys from shanties, with books in hands being taken to a nearby church. No wonder Buddhists of the area were furious that these missionaries are converting “‘our kids” in to Christianity. I was thinking that if missionaries did not civilized them what would have happened to these kids and their families?  I definitely prefer to have a good Christian as my neighbour than having an indiscipline person carrying a label “A Buddhist” in my neighbourhood.  The best response to these conversions should be that Buddhist organizations coming forward to organise Buddhist missionaries to serve vulnerable people of the country. They could go to people living in extreme poverty and ignorance.  to uplift their living standard and teach them the teachings of Buddha. Knowing the proper  teachings will help anyone to face up challenges in life without seeking shelter in a different religion.

In Buddhism, Seela or Morality is the first step in the journey towards liberation.  It is the same thing in most of the other religions too. For example if we take 10 Commandments in Christianity, a Buddhist would not have much difficulty in accepting at least following 6 precepts.

  1. Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving.
  2. Thou shalt not kill.
  3. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  4. Thou shalt not steal.
  5. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  6. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour

Any Buddhist who read Bible would find amazing similarities in Jesus advising followers with regard to giving up attachment for worldly pleasures and sacrifice and references for loving kindness and forgiveness.

In my view there is no meaning in carrying a label of a religion within us if we do not understand   nor practice the teachings.  Some people regard the religion only as an ornament to display outside.  However if  their religion is any way insulted they would react emotionally and take up arms to destroy the attacker, forgetting that the whole purpose of the religion is to discipline our minds and have peace compassion and forgiveness.  The humanity is short of people with good moral conduct. It does not matter for which religion one belong to, but have good human qualities that person can be regarded as a Gentleman or Brahmin in Buddhist terms.. If someone changes his life by converting to a  another religion and happy about it, a Buddhist who understands teachings would have empathy and wish him well, without  resorting to anger and direct violence.

All beings fear death and they all fear the pain of a club.  Think: how do they make you feel?  Then do not kill and do not club; live peacefully with all beings and do not add to the violence of this world.  Harm no one here and you will pass your next life in peace. ~ Buddha (from the Dhammapada)

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Latest comments

  • 48
    6

    Thank You Mahendra for this excellent article. More people like You should step forward and denounce the nonsense that is taking place in Sri Lanka in the name of Buddhism. Peace be with you!

    • 6
      1

      Spring Koha,
      Your wish of getting more wise people to step forward is good as an idea, but it won’t work, history proves it. SL general public don’t listen or believe these wise people.
      We need new strategy. We need to educate people who are trusted by the majority. Raja family is too tough to convert to be wise. We should try to educate and convert people like Mervyn, Weerawanse, Phaba, Geeta Kumarasighe and get them to say what Mahendra says here. Majority of SL believes only these actors.
      Anura

    • 17
      4

      The Buddhist monks are like professional wrestlers on TV. They show their chests and biceps. They are not like the starving Buddha but are well fed thugs. A standing advertisement for Sinhala Buddhism. Why should they be denounced when they are the fact of Sinhala life? The Sinhala people, being sovereign, have the right to decide to be led by these goons who constitute the Maha Sangha. There is not a hum from the chief prelates of Sinhala Buddhism. There is condonation and complicity by the prelates and by the government with what happened to the Tamils and what is happening to the Muslims and the Christians. There is a deep-seated malaise in the Sinhala psyche that is difficult to cure. The rest of us have to be dragged down into the shit that is spewed by these thugs. Why dont we have Eelam so that we could have all people Christians and Muslims live in equality while the Sinhala people have their self-determination in a separate Sinhala state ruled by the Rajapakses and the Buddhist thuggy monks.

      • 5
        15

        You want a ilam from Sri lanka sorry that will never happen if you a country of your own why dont go to india and ask for one. TAMILS HAVE NO COUNTRY thats why they are poisoning this country. Note that ypu will never ever be able to live in this country happily you are the ones who cause all this troubles. Tamils are terrorists that killed thousands of people.

    • 12
      5

      Dear Mahendra De Silva –

      “A thief may harm a thief; an enemy may harm an enemy; but a wrongly directed mind can do oneself far greater harm. -Dhammapada Verse 42”

      Let’s get the facts straight.

      1. Buddhism is a philosophy, like the Greek Philosophy, and there is No God.

      2. Buddha was not a God, and the Mahayana and the Mahanama type monks made Buddha divine and made him to be “God”, and made big statues and small statues out of sand tock and other materials. Then the monks established their hegemony.

      The hegemony is being challenged in several fronts, by the Christians using the God Illusion.

      Have you ever wondered why there are hardly any Tamil Buddhists in Sri Lanka despite 2,300 years of inter mingling? There are Tamil Hindus, Tamil Christians and Tamil Muslims!

      Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhism needs a Martin Luther to reform the Mahanama Sinhala Racist Buddhism. It is really not unethical conversions, it is really the unethical distortion of True Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the core problem.

      Tread the eloquent write ups by Ms. Shamani Serasingha.

      • 0
        0

        Buddhist monks react angrily only when they find advocators of other faiths try to compel poor Buddhist to join their religion through various means such as providing them with education facilities, food and other daily needs and force them to convert to their faiths. This practice has been in existence from the time foreigners invaded Sri Lanka and ruled for over 300 years. In addition to plundering the country they used different methods to convert the people into their religion – Christianity. They used force to prevent Buddhist priests from opposing such moves and were successful in creating a Christian community in Buddhist Sri Lanka. However, after obtaining freedom from the Christian dominance Buddhist monks have been constantly vigilant of other faiths trying to spread their religion further.

        It is true that Buddhism is a philosophy which is embraced by educated people after learning it which appeals to intelligent people of all faiths. The problem arises when certain religions choose to brainwash less educated Buddhist people in Sri Lanka for their own survival.

  • 9
    6

    The writers confusion stems from the assumption that Sri Lankan Buddhism has anything to do with the teachings of Siddartha Gautama the Buddha.
    Worldwide buddhism is understood to be the science of awakening.
    in Sri Lanka, where are all the awakened ones hiding? Everybody is parroting scripture, offering incense and flowers, convincing themselves of their superiority…….. please show us your awakened ones!
    And if you can’t, ask yourself why not

  • 11
    13

    I do not know about your evangelistic Christianity but as far as I know Sri Lankan Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism is fascism in its most recent avatar. Christians are slave makers but Sinhala buddhists are war makers and I have no idea which one is better. Christians are masochists and Sinhala Buddhists are sadists and I do not know which is better.

    There are some humans, a very small minority, who want to establish human rights, and ban torture, rape, murder and other forms of violence as well as some other unpleasant things. Sinhala buddhists and fascists of all nature want the “FREEDOM” to torture, rape, murder and do all other forms of unpleasant things.

    I think that the Sinhala Buddhists right to TORTURE, RAPE, MURDER and VIOLATE EVERYONE ELSE must be RESPECTED as the ESSENCE of THERAVADA BUDDHISM as practiced in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Those who cannot let Sinhala Buddhists be Sinhala Buddhists had better go someplace else…

  • 9
    4

    I wonder what Jim Softy, T.Sumanasekera and the rest of the ‘Buth packet Brigade’ on CT have to say about this. :)

    • 0
      3

      Who cares what the “Yapping Chorus” has to say !

  • 8
    3

    “The best response to these conversions should be …… to uplift their living standard and teach them the teachings of Buddha.”

    The Buddhist do not do this and neither do they appreciate what Christian missionaries do.. Thanks to the CMS we have good schools in the country today

    • 7
      2

      Also regarding the picture the pointed finger and open lips and the eyes – I do not see a monk I see an angry man venting his frustration

    • 2
      1

      CMS? If CMS had not turned christians into a bunch of sissy masochists they would have chased these fascist savages into the jungle long ago. Good gay schools yes what we need are crusaders with weapons who love to torture, murder, rape, loot and all that like the boys of good old Blighty.

      Did the boys of Blighty uplift the living standards of Hitlers Nazis? Did the Yankees teach the Nips how to play baseball? Fascists need to be wiped out so get real. There is no other way. If you think there is just wait a few months and see Mr Ratman.

  • 4
    25

    Direct quote from this article:

    “Evangelism is the preaching of the Christian Gospel about Jesus for the purpose of leading people into a personal relationship with God with the objective of converting them. They emphasise the importance of moral conduct and living with spirit of God. Some of the behavioural rules are – for example prohibiting the consumption of alcohol, participation in any form of gambling, and excessive entertainments such as dancing and movie-going etc. They also encourage developing loving kindness and sacrifices in the name of their God.”

    This branch of Christianity sounds very conservative, especially their discouragement of dancing and movie-going. What is this, a violence-free Christian version of the Taliban?

    Anyway, I read a bit of the Bible just out of curiosity and, to this day, I have no idea how so many billions were fooled into believing that that Bronze Age fairy tale has any semblance to reality. Do Christians really believe in those stories about a talking snake, a tiny ark that could carry a pair of all the planet’s animals, and a “personal relationship” with a supernatural sky daddy who can telepathically communicate with them and is everywhere at all times? Seriously? And then you wonder why Buddhists see red when these door-to-door Christians start converting people?!

    • 10
      3

      Yes, in the same way, the most popular term – sinhala, is also attributable to a myth that we the lankens are taught in high school.
      Do you believe that our ancestors (if Prince Vijaya^s grand father is presumed to be a LION)should be coming a from a lion. Where on the earth the researchers have tested two totally different species to form hybrid?
      So, then, why do we call us Sinhalese ?
      This question bothers me too much specially in these days.
      Each and every religion have sorta unexplainable tales related to their histories, there none of us have any explanation. Dont you think so ? How many of the Jathaka katha stammer the nonsence – though we re encouarged to believe in them.

      • 12
        0

        “pictures worth more than a thousand words” WHEREEVER THESE RED ROBED THUGS APPEAR, NO GENTLENESS OF THE LIFE IS THE MESSAGE.

        please study the picture closely. Study the wild gesticulations when Ghnasara holds public hate speeches. Then compare them with aggression potentials of some animals on video clips, distinguish the differences.

        All these saffron robed men are equally harmful to the us buddhists and the others as armed or unarmed criminals that are rapidly bred by the environment created by RAJAPAKSHE rule.

        Check any of them from the GOSL react to the HIKKWADUWA kraval as any other comparable govts would do ?

        Majority across the country will UNEQUIVOCALLY reject the way BBS and other violent segments have chosen. That can then help all lawful groups to form a better rule. This the media men should bring into the notice of the public and state sap. Media men must react and pass the message across the nation seeking the great support of all incl highly sacred senior buddhist monks, other religious leaders, senior professionals, uni dons, law professionals etc.

      • 4
        0

        I never thought that there could have human hybrids only going through the basics of the biology. Surprisingly, there are indeed numbers of human hybrids generated in genetic labs sofar.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEMIh1i2ia0

        The question whether us humans could be HYBRIDs… then myth about the lion could be right.

      • 4
        1

        Obviously the story about the Sinhalese race spawning from a union between a lion and a woman is another fairy tale, but we don’t go knocking door to door and sweet talking/bribing/cajoling people into taking it as the gospel truth for generations.

        • 1
          0

          There are thousands of other myths in forms of Jathaka kathas. These are known things – Facts. But you may be right that lanken buddist missionaries are not walking door to door but some living Europe, they are said to be practising it instead. Not that much as some christian sects, but fradulent lanken buddhists do enage in all kinds of abusive also beyond lanken territories.

      • 0
        1

        no one asked you to believe in jathaka katha or the thingy about wijayas grandpa being a lion. It is complete nonsense. And Buddhism’s use of jathaka kathi a is to just tell people consequences of their misdoings. Thus Buddha never said to believe them as things that actually happened. Practically Buddha said to not to believe, but to understand. Buddhism is not about faith. Its about understanding, faith in Buddhism is just like a way to give motivation to people. Just to believe that there is a path to become an awakened, but now Buddhists are kind of becoming hypocrites. If people want to convert to Christianity, let them be. Once a man truly understand whats Buddhism, he never take it as a religion, but just a way of life. And understanding Buddhism is not n easy thing. So let them believe whatever they want. And lets not be hypocrites and be stupid like some of the monks. I mean come on some of them are disobeying almost every word preached by Buddha.( I mean no disrespect but the trust must be told) Theravada buddhism is not to believe, but to understand and follow. As long as our own ravaging idiotic Sinhala Buddhists cant understand what Buddhism is, our own people are going to be religious extremists.

    • 9
      1

      Dear Punakku recycler,

      There is a BIG difference between a ‘Buddhist’ and a ‘Sinhala Buddhist.’
      ‘True Buddhists’ who follow the Buddhas teachings would not go on the rampage vandalising and destroying anything…let alone mosques, kovils and churches. :)

      • 1
        2

        Yes, “true Buddhists” would simply sit and peacefully let this happen, even if it killed them. That’s what happened centuries ago to the Buddhist populations of Bangladesh, Maldives, Malaysia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now tell me what religion those countries follow today :)

        • 2
          0

          you sond like such a fool. so what do you propose? the true buddhists should use violence like destroying church and mosque to stop people from conversion? these christian preacher who go to door to door, not forcing any one to convert them to their religion. they are just letting people know their view. why don’t your monks do the same and let people know about buddism by using such a way like going to door to door and letting the people know real buddism. and then people can choose what they want to follow. if buddism strong enough and and true enough then people will follow it and so buddism wont diminish from the worl .. sound reasonable yeah ?

    • 5
      2

      What bible have you been reading. The one that contains magnificent statements such as:

      So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:7)

      When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Mk 12:28–34; Lk 10:25–28)

      These things do have to be taken in context, of course. But try to see the best a religion has to offer, not the worst. Religions are creations of their times.

      • 2
        1

        That’s the one, the same Bible that has the following verses too.

        “Every living substance that I have made will I destroy.”

        “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you.”

        “As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.”

        And my personal favourite:

        “Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. She lusted after their genitals – as large as those of donkeys, and their seminal emission was as strong as that of stallions.”

        Hallelujah!

        • 1
          0

          Dear Punakku,
          I believe the article and the discussion is about the right and wrong regarding the violence acted out by certain members of the clergy, and not about the validity or the pros and cons of the respective religions. Please keep to the point in your comments.

  • 11
    1

    The conversions by Christians today is by peaceful means by way of helping the persons concerned to come up in life. People must be free to take up any belief, be it Buddhist, Christian, Islam or any other.

    If the Buddha bhikus want to convert non-Buddhists, they should do like how the Christians do: Buddha’s teachings have ample attractions for the others to embrace and follow.

    The problem is that these bhikus are neither intelligent nor educated well, even about Buddha’s teachings, let alone other worldly knowledge.

    If the society respects these ignorant, arrogant fellows resorting to intolerance and violence, then there is something wrong with it too.

    Who will bell the yellow robed cats before they destroy the social fabric?

    Are we waiting for the international community, who are aware of the goings on in Sri Lanka to do it for us?

  • 3
    1

    Jagath Asoka
    this is how you write an article.

  • 4
    5

    Any Buddhist who read Bible would find amazing similarities in Jesus advising followers with regard to giving up attachment for worldly pleasures and sacrifice and references for loving kindness and forgiveness.

    That is probably because he adopted Buddhism during the “missing years”.

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

    • 1
      3

      You are as delusional as the BBS. There were no missing years – the Bible accounts for them. Matthew 13:55 says the people of the village wondered , ” Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?”, clearly indicating that Jesus was very much living in the village among His people until He commenced His Ministry. The “lost years wondering” is yet another fancy theory! Besides, with all due respect to the writer for his excellent analysis, Buddhism has nothing in common with the Bible or Christian value which centre on trust and belief and a relationship with Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit, from which stems all of the loving kindness towards mankind.

      • 2
        0

        Hello there ‘Friend’ is it?

        You are probably right. But then you could be wrong too. Either way its no skin off my bone really.

        The laws of Dhamma are universal. Buddha did not invent it. It was always there to be discovered. Jesus discovered it too obviously. How he learnt of it is irrelevant isn’t it really?

        In the years after Buddaha’s passing Buddhism had spread all long the silk route as far as Persia. Given the proximity it would be unusual for someone like Jesus not to have been exposed to the teaching.

        The very close similarities of his words to the teachings of the Buddha is perhaps not accidental. Compare for example the Metta Sutra with the Sermon on the Mount (Mathews 5:43-5).

        Although I must say this. All faiths cover morality and discipline. In Buddhism these are Seela and Samadhi. The hardest of all to grasp and unique to Buddhism is the concept of “Pragna” i.e. all things that arise must also demise.

        Jesus on the other hand spoke of an “Eternal Life”. i.e. one enters heaven/hell and remain there forever. I suppose its easier and comporting for common folks to prefer given its simplicity.

        Although why I prefer Buddhism because “nothing ever lasts” (Pragna) resonates with me far more.

        What matters is the laws were discovered and shared.

        As this a

    • 3
      1

      Vibushana

      there are many books and documentaries about jesus and his missing years. Apparently At the age 14 he travelled through east and spend lot of time Inidia untill he was 29.

      He embraced all the eastern religion Buddhism. Hinduism, Jain , Moslem etc

      I urge all to see the video on you tube below. It’s about 50 minutes long. If you can sit through the 50 minutes watch the lat 5 minutes. there is a strong message.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNRLKDLJnX0

      • 0
        0

        Thank you.

    • 1
      0

      This is a very important suggestion. All historians and religious researchers’ must try to unravel this mystery. There is a thought that Jesus came to the east during some period of his life on earth.

  • 1
    1

    A responsible government by now would have made a statement condemning the attack. But there is a total silence.

    what is the government, i.e. the Rajapakse Royal Family, actually thinking at this moment.

    What is the view ,not in CT, (CT does not reflect the mood or the opinion or thinking of the Sri Lankan General public), but of the general public in Sri Lanka, the guys the people working in private and public sector, Muslims, Christians, Buddhist etc. who work and mingle together all the time, Are they voiceless scared to talk.Or is this something they think is not of a serious concern but blown out of proportion in the media and debated by expat arm chair critics on CT to tick their time.

    or is BBS and Sihala Ravaya turning out to be a monster that even the Rajapakses cannot now control.

    Are we going to see the army ptrolling the streets of Sri Lanka Sinhala South.Army Patrolling the entire Sri Lankan not just the NE.

    And will we witness a firing and tear gassing of Monks.What an insulting footgae that will be for the IC if that happens. Sri Lankan Sinhala Buddhist monks being chased by the Sinhala Army and retaliation back from the thugs.

    • 1
      2

      RajasH, In the city of Galle there are many christian/Catholic church’s from Dutch period. Nobody attack these church’s. Think why suddenly Buddhist attacking these newly erected church’s. These are evangelical church’s funded by US and UK missionaries. Their aim to convert Buddhist and Hindu’s as much as they can. For that purpose they propagate that they can cure people’s diseases by praying without medical treatment etc.. And sometimes they give money or gifts to convert people. In North and East most poor Hindu’s already convert like that. Now they increase their activities in South too. This is a menace.

      This must be stop by Government or otherwise the situation may get worse. But government dragging their feet because of pressure from western countries. Issuing a statement by condemning the attack not the answer to the cause.

      • 2
        1

        noel-jones

        perhpas..there must be a peaceful way to go about this , not for the Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhist Monks to get in to act of violence and show vengence and disgrace them selves and the Buddhism.

        The news agencies are showing this video clip all over the world. That is not a good image for Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhism.

        The other danger is that the Sinhala masses may get the wrong impression .

    • 0
      0

      That is not new. Surprisingly, majority of the folks seem to be familiar with that

      They the govt is dead silent about
      a) Heaviest Heroine amount lanka recently- with all prima facie evidences proving that govt promotes those businesses rather than going against vehemently

      b) High profile crimes being exercised against own folks – latest being the Hikkaduwa church attacks – these hve become routine to GOVT^s focus
      we the folks can seek JUSTICE only from GOD (any super natural powers

      Lawlessness is governing UNDER Rajapakshe rule.

  • 4
    0

    Angry response is acceptable, what is not acceptable is Violent response.

  • 7
    0

    This is a great article, being unbiased to anyone.

    Writer explains it clearly, if they are real buddhists they should be scared of others being caught by any missionaries.

    The problem is: Rulers seem to have neither wholehearted desires nor any proper mechanisms to control over any crimes that are on a rapid growth in the country today. Media men should react on this calling open discussions on these alarming issues. Tomorrow will be too late, if they would neglect it further.

    • 5
      0

      corrections:

      if they are real buddhists, they should NOT be scared of anyone being caught by anyother missionaries

  • 5
    4

    The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    —-

    “I tell you the Truth..

    that everyone who believes in Him may have Eternal Life.

    For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son,
    that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have Eternal Life.
    For God did not send His Son into the world, to condemn the world,
    but to save the world through Him.Whoever believes in Him is not
    condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already
    because he has not believed in the Name of God’s One and only Son.”

    (John.ch.3)Holy Bible.

    • 1
      1

      So, even without a fair trial I am condemned, Sandy? Not very “Good News” is it? Ordinary human beings have evolved far more compassionate procedures to deal with even the worst criminal.

  • 3
    5

    Please convert Hindus to Islam.

    Then there will not be any of this problems.

    After the war defeat in 2009 Hindus are frightened. It is easy to convert them.

    • 0
      2

      Fat Fuk, whole lot of problems for this country is because of mules like you in this country.

      • 0
        0

        Mr Retort:
        What’s wrong with you? Please don’t insult mules by comparing them to this creature who has dropped the “C” from his/her name.

    • 0
      3

      Fartima Fucku
      A lot Muslims are converting to Hinduism in India and in other parts of the world. Rather than killing one another you muslims must convert to other religions. In Srilanka and Burma you Muslims must convert to Buddhism , in India and Indonesia you have to reconvert to Hinduism from Islam and in the middleeast and the western Europe to Christianity
      Must be the norm.

      Islam has no place in the civilised world.

  • 1
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    The writer is perfectly right.

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    Pondering what you write and the comments made I wonder if the First
    Lady and her 3 children read/see these Prints/publications and what goes
    through their minds?????????

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    Any one coverting to Islam mwill not solve any of the problems. Islamic Pakistan, Afganisthan, Syria, Egypt, reLibiya & Tunisha are some examples.

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    Any one converting to Islam will not solve any of the problems. Islamic Pakistan, Afganisthan, Libiya, Egypy, Syria & Tunisia where non of the problems are solved.

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      there are over 52 muslim contries in the world. how many did you mentioned here again ? 6 right ? so other 46 countries do live in peace. for example malaysia, indonasia, UAE, Qutar, Kuwait , Turkey … the list goes on .. so islam does solve the problems according to the statics. go check out any statics.. apart from the war torn islamic countries like you mentioned, it’s the muslim middle east countries where crime such as rape , murder, theft and so on lower compare to any other wester countries. you know your buddhist sri lanka is no one in rape in south asia? not even pakistan .. your buddhist country is no one in the world who serech porn.. your buddhist thailand is number one for prostitution so get the facts right my friend

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    The dawn of instant communication is having an effect on our belief systems. Increasingly, people are aware and concious of what system is good against the system of evil. Berber law dictates, those who fight to preserve injustice, bigotry will fade away into the oblivion sooner than expected.

    Take a moment to pause and consider why it is that we are here on Earth? Is it to spend our entire lives working to pay the interest on the national debt? Or to line the pockets of criminal politicians, bankers? Or to acquire as many as trinkets and toys as possible? Does anyone honestly believe he who dies with the most wins? Are we here to run on a proverbial hamster wheel? If this is the reason we are here then why are the most pleasurable things in life are almost free?

    Some people would have us believe that our purpose in life is to work, multiply and die, or to just entertain our five senses, and of course to pay our taxes. This is hardly a reason for incarnating on Earth. We are incarnated here for a greater purpose. Seek that purpose.

    Every soul must taste of death, and We try you with evil and with good, for ordeal. And unto Us ye will be returned. (The Noble Quran 21:35)

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    Good article. Writings like these should reach leading buddhist monks. Mahendra,

    If you want to see real change you have to reach the leading monks and become a leader for sinhala people. You will not achieve much writing here.

    Between freedom from religion and freedom of religion is sacred. Any relgion that doesnt allow conversions from their religion is dangerous.

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    Mr Mahendra De Silva lost our king his majesty mahendra percy’s plot.
    Teachings of Budda is out dated. Please do understand that WE (Rajapaksa supporters) want a NWO or a modified Buddism, where you can gamble, consume alcohol, murder and do whatever you please to do foe your survival. We are fed-up with the old Buddism, isnt that boring?
    Who says the monks like mr. gnanasara mr. rathana mr. medananda so on know Buddist teachings.
    Our King family motto is ‘Live and let Die’.
    No one can do anything to rajapaksa dynasty.

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    Is you told our forefathers are follish being fight with missanarias in last 500years..who believed sinhalis will win war against Church pet Ltte…suddenly christian become god of peace in sri Lanka? have any Christian ask west to stop giving fund to Ltte in last 30 years.in 1998-2004 period church hope totale collapse of sinhala Buddhist because katunayaka and dalada maligawa attack.. they start most shemlass mission in sri Lanka history .but they frogget well educated Buddhist live in Colombo and lost their dirty plan and now start crying and begging in front us embassy. Sinhalise have enough carriage take struggle until fulfill dream of wellassa heroes.

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    The writer, Mahendra De Silva, comes off as an open-minded, decent, and compassionate human being, and I salute him. I wish the problem is as simple as that. Unfortunately it is not. The surge in fundamentalism we see among some sections of Sinhala society is a widespread phenomenon: we see it in some form or degree across all religions in our country as well as across the world, including the so called secular countries like India and many in the industrialized West. Why?

    Religious militancy, fundamentalism, conversion are all related phenomena and I think perhaps except for the West, they are not purely doctrinal issues for the people involved. For people in developing countries like ours it has more to do with life-style issues, identity politics, social mobility and economic opportunity.

    Irrespective of the motives of the converters, the response of a Chaminda in a Colombo slum or a Manjula in the Wanni will be determined by the above factors. Esoteric and abstruse theological nuances, canonical niceties and doctrinal fine points are of least concern to them. Finding social acceptance and respect, equal treatment, liberation from traditional hierarchy and cultural oppression – these are the issues that are foremost in their minds.

    It’s an intricate problem; we have to deal with it with humanity and understanding like Mahendra De Silva does.

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    Mahendra Its surprising why Buddhist can not understand this. Didn’t Buddha converted the others? He worked a lot to spread Buddhism in India.
    He addressed 60 monks and said.” Charata bukkiwa charikan bahu jana hitaya bahu jana sukaya” One of the duties of a monk is to spread this teaching.

    Can you consider the way He converted prince Nanda on his wedding day.
    So what is the rational of Buddhist taking annoyance and be violent unless they are lead by high hands.

    Mahendra I like your words that ” If a Buddhist is being converted for monetary benefits that indicate he is not a real Buddhist who understands the teachings. For any religion having followers who does not practice the teachings correctly or does not understand the religion, is a liability.”

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    Excellent article.

    These violent Buddhist priests would be more effective if they organised themselves peacefully to regularly visit every nook and cranny of SL to re-state and re-educate people of the wonderful preachings of Lord Buddha.

    The money they raise for meetings, demonstrations and violence should be diverted for poverty-alleviation programmes and to promote employment of poor youth in the country. If so, we will be able to reduce conversions to other faiths which usually hold out “economic carrots” as the best lure.

    There are enough and more wealthy Buddhists in SL to fund such a project.

    These misguided priests should make Buddhism appear people-friendly (as it in fact is) without giving welcome fodder to our international detractors by their violent behaviour. The Buddhist robe does not automatically come with intelligence, and hence the unfortunate attitude of clergy belonging to BBS, Sinhala Ravaya and such fringe organisations.

    The national cricketers Tuan Dilshan (Tilakaratna) and Suraj Mohamed (Randiv) are born Muslims who have embraced Buddhism (whether by conviction or by other motivation is neither here nor there), and I have still not heard any Muslims condemning or threatening them, although ‘apostasy’ is declared a serious crime in Muslim nations.

    Violence begets violence and love begets love.

    That is Buddhist fundamentalism at its best!

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    Justified or not justified, it is understandable that people will get upset when one of their own crosses over. That is the nature of the human being who has the power to decide what he wants for good or for bad, by good means or foul, for money or on principles.

    When such an incident occurs the educated and mature people take time to analyse the cause and rectify any mistakes. They may speak to the persons concerned in a calm and collected manner to determine for what reasons they left and learn from that experience. they can offer the person a better deal or redress for an offence or hurt.

    What we have is a bunch of immature thugs going on the rampage and attacking anything that moves. Can they be called religous?

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    The following is what is happening in Sri Lanka.

    “The Evangelical Christian Conquest Of The World

    There is a campaign underway for a second round of colonisation of the world and its people. Much of the world has focussed on the very visible terrorism sponsored by Wahabi Islam and its banker Saudi Arabia. Islamic terrorism is in your face – visible, loud, abusive and murdering its victims. However the world has remained silent and blissfully unaware of the new colonisation effort – the Evangelical conquest of the World.

    Evangelical christians are mostly in the Southern part of the US. That notorious area which is host to white supremacists and racial segregation. George W Bush is of course the worlds most famos evangelical. The Evangelicals are Wahhabis in suit and tie. Much like Wahhabis want to make the world a dar-ul-momin (the landof the believers), the Evangelicals believe that all religions of the world and especially the “pagan” religions of the world namely – hinduism, buddhism, sikhism should be done away with. Planet earth should only belong to Jehovah and be a dar-ul-jesus.

    The rise of this christian taliban – the Chaliban or the Evanjehadis is spectacular. The Chaliban are now backed by one of the strongest government programs in the world backed by the United States Government. In Jan 29, 2001, President Bush openly announced an effort to back faith-based groups for humanitarian aid. The unspoken piece of this announcement was a “Soft War” now being launched by the US to spread its dominance through religion. It is estimated that the US Government will give $18 billion dollars to evangelical groups to aid in the growth and spread of christianity.

    The United States is betting that this huge inflow of capital will lead to a large and loyal Christian constituency in the world especially in Asia and Africa. Much like the Vatican church headquartered in Rome this new christian sect would be headquartered in the south of the Mason-Dixie line.

    Time after time, Bush and his cabinet have given strong signals that any country or government impeding this effort would be treated as an enemy. This is especially the case with China where bush has repeatedly warned in as many words – “that china should allow evangelicals in the country to come and spread a message of love and compassion”. “

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    The editors of the Colombo Telegraph should strive to reduce the cacophony of noise unleashed in the current discussions. Some of these comments aren’t worthy of the space they take up. They add nothing to our understanding of issues. Some are using these discussions as an antidote for depression and other mental conditions related to anger, ill will, anxiety, sloth and torpor, shamelessness and doubt.

    I did not know the existence of CT until last week when by sheer chance I came across a very thought provoking article on Buddhism by Kapila Abhayawansa. He provided the answer to questions on buddhism that i had for many years: Why is there a wide gap between undiluted Buddhist philosophy and the practice of Buddhism as a religion.

    Now, I understand that Buddhism as a religion has absorbed all the mental impurities rejected by the Buddha. They have no idea on how to practice the Noble Eightfold Path, the last of the Four Noble Truths. The Buddhist religion and philosophy are two different but related entities.

    However, Abhayawansa ingenuously tried to build up the fiction that these two entities are the same. A person who adheres to Buddhist philosophy can identify himself as an adherent of any Abrahamic religion for the Decalog is mostly a repetition of the eightfold path.

    Now, C T editors, please try to separate the wheat from the chaff. Spare the readers of comments reflecting the various mental defilements. If you do that, you will have the time to give grammatical finesse to comments that are worthy of publication.

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    Buddhist temple is struck by lightening in Galle and our prayers and thought with all people affected by this incident Dr Sulaiman. UK

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    The Buddhist Monks do not get involved in politics or resort to violent acts on their own. It all started with the Late Mr. S.W.R.D.B. using a section of the Monks to take forward his political agenda; then the UNP followed; next it was the JVP. Of course there were a few in the LSSP and CP as well. Other than the LSSP and CPers those with the other parties took the forefront in campaigning their party politics with a Buddhist twist. In the process they took part in processions and demonstrations which habit became a regular feature. The political manipulation of these Monks has now reached its worst stage where, it is no doubt, that there are interested parties behind who ‘regulate’ the ongoing violent activities of the Monks involved. It could be seen that they are ‘made to act’ whenever necessary and ‘made inactive’ when not necessary. One clear example was the noticable ‘inaction’ of the Monks on the eve of the CHOGM. Halal and the Hijab of the Muslims were forgotten; Christian Churches engaged in ‘so-called’ coversion forgotten ,Statues of Hindu Gods were not forcibly removed. Now they have been made to act again by the Regulator/Regulators. Who is/or are they?

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