By W A Wijewardena –
The ominous rise of fundamentalism
With another General Election around the corner, an ominous development looming over voters is a sudden upsurge in religious and cultural fundamentalist ideas in the country. Fundamentalists close their brains to contrary views, elevate their own to a high pedestal unilaterally and disparage all others. It brings in ethnic, religious and social disharmony. Almost all political parties appear to have embraced these ideas as a strategy to win voters to their camps. This is a dangerous sign because in the long run, Sri Lanka will lose its drive for liberty and consequently hamper its social progress. Hence, it is of utmost importance that these fundamentalist ideas are properly managed to free the country from an imminent catastrophe.
The language is changing all the time
Humans today, though called men of wisdom, are divided into narrow and exclusive groups on the basis of language, ethnicity or religion. This is a departure from their origin some 100,000 years ago when they acted on instinct, dictated by their genetic code. After they developed cognitive skills – skill to use the thought process for learning, problem-solving and grasping new ideas, they began to spread out to the rest of the globe from their ancestral seat in East Africa. They had developed a common sound system which we call the language to communicate with each other. However, according to the Oxford University based evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins who wrote The Magic of Reality in 2012, this began to change ‘century after century’ in a process called ‘the drifting of the language’. Accordingly, languages became distinct from each other but at the same time connected to each other. This happens by borrowing new sounds from other languages and naturalising them in a normal evolutionary process.
Sinhala is a living language enriched by many other languages
Thus, according to linguists, the Sinhala language spoken by the majority of people living in Sri Lanka is made up of words borrowed from a number of other languages, including Pali, Sanskrit, Portuguese, Dutch, English, Tamil and, of course the languages of the old inhabitants, namely, Rakshasas, Yakshasas and Nagas. Today, these words have been fully Sinhalised and no one feels that they have come from alien languages.
Three basic questions faced by humans
One offshoot of the cognitive revolution which humans went through was the raising of three basic questions for which they did not have answers. The first was relating to before the birth: where did we humans come from? The second is about after the birth and the present: What are we humans? The third is after death: where will we humans go from here? Since humans could not perceive answers to these three questions, an attempt was made to give the answers by using religion. Of the four main religions that dominate the world today, three, namely, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, give credit to an almighty deity for creating the human beings. They exist today, at the mercy of the same deity. After the death, they would go back to the same deity.
The Buddha’s approach differs from the approach of other religious Masters
The fourth religion – Buddhism – has a different contextual explanation. While not accepting the creationist theory, it attributes the birth of humans to a long journey through a sea of births and deaths known as Samsara. This is similar to, but not identical with, the world view presented by evolutionists. According to them, through an evolutionary process spanning over 3 billion years, Homo sapiens has emerged some 100,000 years ago after either annihilating the other types of Homos or simply by being smarter. This evolution will continue by transferring their genetic pool, now in a changed form, to subsequent Homo sapiens. Here again, both Buddhists and evolutionary theorists subscribe to the same world view. But after death, Buddhism presents that a human will continue his journey through Samsara unless he is able to halt the process of birth and rebirth.
The views of evolutionists and physicists
Evolutionary theorists posit that after the death of the present gene carrier, an evolved form of his gene will be passed onto each subsequent generation. At the end, Homo sapiens will become a super human unparalleled in human history. Physicists, on the other hand, believe that all species are the product of primordial quantum fluctuations generated by non-smooth expansion of the universe in which stars becoming an integral element. Taking a contrarian view, the Cambridge University based theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking thinks that the belief in an afterlife is mere wishful thinking and after death, all species are reduced to dust.
Different religious practitioners should not be each other’s throats
Religion has therefore been created to answer the ‘from-where, what and where-to’ questions relating to humans. The answers provided to these questions by the three main religions, namely, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, are similar in nature. Hence, there cannot be any war – mental or physical – among the practitioners of these three religions. Buddhism, on the other hand, differs in its approach from other religions and is more similar to what the evolutionary scientists have posited. This difference need not be a cause for any battle between the practitioners of Buddha’s Dhamma and those who believe in other faiths. This is because the Dhamma preached by the Buddha, according to Brahmajala Sutta in the Diga Nikaya, requires its adherents to have an intellectual and tolerant approach to resolving issues even with those who speak of ills or virtues of the Buddha.
Human culture is continuously changing
Human culture began to take its root some 70,000 years ago when Homo sapiens developed the cognitive skills. Culture is the common way a group of humans behave: how they should eat, sleep, play, love, mate, reproduce, entertain and interact. It is not fixed or unchanging. Instead, a culture is continuously changing and in a state of ‘constant flux’. In this flux, every culture borrows practices from other superior cultures and adapt them to their own cultures.
As the Sri Lankan writer Martin Wickramasinghe has noted in his Buddhism and Culture, the Buddhist Sinhalese have borrowed exorcising practices from South Indian Hindus. However, instead of sacrificing live animals for bribing evil spirits to leave the bodies of their patients, the Sinhalese exorcists made it a symbolic sacrifice only. Thus, those exorcists, instead of decapitating the fowl to be sacrificed by way of inducement to leave the patient, prick the comb of the fowl and offers only a drop of blood to the evil spirit. Similarly, when they bribe Hindu Gods for boons, they offer them only metal figures of animals and not the carcasses of slaughtered animals as is being done by Hindus.
The re-adaptation of cultural practices
This is an instance of re-adaptation of a cultural practice borrowed from another culture. Interaction with other humans through trade, commerce or physical movement allows cultures to adapt, change and evolve. In the olden times, the Silk Road that connected China with Europe via land and maritime routes was the cause of change in cultures that prevailed among the people who lived along the routes.
Though cultures change constantly through adaptation and personification, cultural conflicts can arise within the culture, known as intra-cultural conflicts, and among different cultures called inter-cultural conflicts. The first is due to the failure of the members of a society to go through changing cultural traits. The second is due to the failure of recognising and appreciating cultural differences among different types of human groups. Both have as their root the intolerance of other cultural practices guided by a forceful superiority complex being harboured among members of a society.
Those who are sleeping all the time do not notice the change in culture
To demonstrate intra-cultural conflicts, a hypothetical thought experiment can be devised. Suppose a person is captured in the year 1900, put to sleep by administering a sleep-inducing drug, wakened up in 2020 and released in a modern town. How would that person who had slept 120 years continuously feel about what he sees? Everything would be abnormal to him when compared with what he had at the time of going to sleep. He has the inability to tolerate the new cultural practices he observes and may conclude that the culture has completely been destroyed. But a person who lives in the current period may not feel so because he has personally gone through the changes in the cultural traits due to adaptation of superior cultural practices. A similar hypothetical experiment could be devised to demonstrate inter-cultural conflicts too.
Advocates of ‘Isms’ do not welcome contrary views
Cultural or religious fundamentalism therefore means becoming intolerant of cultural or religious practices of others and viewing one’s own culture or religion as superior to all other cultures or religions. Any ‘ism’ is an extreme form of human emotions. It does not accommodate counterviews and is not ready to change even when there is evidence contrary to the main thesis or theses it has propounded. It does not allow open verification through objective inquiry. What is taught as the main thesis of ‘ism’ has to be accepted without questioning. There is, therefore, a rigid, regimental type restriction placed on human intelligence under the reigns of ‘ism’. Hence, once a person accepts an ism, he surrenders his intellectual curiosity, quest for knowledge, self-development through wisdom and ability to assess situations based on objectively and impartially gathered evidence. Instead, he will become a part of a huge propaganda machinery that does not allow critical thinking or probing.
Fundamentalists want to dictate terms to others
There are several traits that can be identified as peculiar to fundamentalist thinking. First, cultures and religions are built on some mythological facts. Though these mythological facts come to conflict with modern rational thinking, fundamentalists refuse to shed those views. Anyone criticising those accepted myths is considered a traitor. Second, there is a common belief that one’s own religion or culture is superior to all other religions and cultures. Hence, a priori measures are taken to prevent other religions or cultures from getting mixed up with one’s own religion or culture. Third, there is a general fear that all other religions and cultures are onto subsuming and destroying one’s own religion or culture. Fourth, arising from the third, it is generally believed that there is a necessity to fight for protecting one’s religion or culture. Fifth, the defensive action initiated originally is transformed into an offensive action in which destroying other religions or cultures is considered a merit earning activity. Sixth, the past is considered as glorious and therefore there is insistence that society should go back to old religions and cultural practices. Seventh, in order to protect one’s own religion or culture, it is considered necessary to regulate and control human behaviour including the expression of one’s creative mind in the form of art, literature, music or public media. These have become the core-values of fundamentalist thinking throughout the globe.
Hindutva movement in India
A good example for the extreme use of fundamentalism to establish a state that cater to one’s personal interests could be found in the actions of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in India. According to Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen who published The Argumentative Indian in 2005, BJP had resurrected an old Hindutva movement or Movement for establishing Indianness in India in mid 1970s by misrepresenting facts, fabricating established historical evidence, inventing history and using violence and force on moderate Hindus as well as other ethnic and religious groups. While India is a country of diversity with many religious beliefs, languages and ethnic groups, Hindutva movement has tried to project India as a Hindu country. To reclaim this land exclusively for Hindus, it has rewritten Indian history as essentially a Hindu civilisation, an essential prerequisite for establishing a grand Hindu vision of India. This has, according to Sen, also helped Hindutva to marshal the support of Indian diaspora which are bent on maintaining an Indian identity in their host countries in the midst of a perceived threat from the dominant cultures there; it is a solace to feel that Hindus reign at least in their old native land.
Creating fake archaeological artefacts and writing textbooks to support Hindutva movement
According to Sen, this is what BJP did after its electoral victory in 1998 and 1999: “various arms of the government of India were mobilised in the task of arranging ‘appropriate’ rewritings of Indian history. Even though this adventure of inventing the past is no longer ‘official’ (because of the defeat of the BJP led coalition in the general elections in the spring of 2004), that highly charged episode is worth recollecting both because of what it tells us about the abuse of temporal power and also because of the light it throws on the intellectual underpinning of the Hindutva movement.” Accordingly, fresh textbooks were written with focus on Hindu supremacy by deleting the objective analyses written by reputed academics earlier. The hastily completed work also contained numerous factual mistakes and serious omissions drawing severe criticism from academia, press and media. Yet the BJP government which was bent on establishing its own political agenda paid no heed to them, according to Sen. The worst was yet to come in the form of fabricating archaeological facts: The Indus valley civilisation that had existed in North West India and Pakistan much before the recorded history of Hinduism was also projected as a Hindu civilisation by renaming it ‘Indus-Saraswati civilisation’ focusing on a non-existing river called the Saraswati River mentioned in Vedic texts. To prove their point, the BJP led intellectuals in fact had invented new archaeological evidence, according to Sen, by producing a computerised distortion of a broken seal of the Indus Valley Civilisation, a fraud committed on Indians at home and abroad in the name of justifying the Hindutva movement. The BJP government today has taken it further forward by introducing a controversial citizenship legislation in which refugees of Islamic faith are to be prohibited from becoming citizens of India.
Converting false ideas to public policy through political victories
In a subsequent publication in 2006 titled Identity and Violence, Amartya Sen has argued that propagandists’ hard work lead to the development of a collective social thought, a thought which has no rational foundation but believed by many as the truth. The social thought then leads to collective political action, presenting a distorted view to an already emotionally worked up electorate and thereby easily securing electoral victories. Once the political power is secured, it is now easy to translate the illogical social thought to public policy which even at first glance is spurious but defended tooth and nail in the name of cultural nationalism.
This is exactly what is happening in Sri Lanka today and all voters should be cautious about it.
Danger of worshipping history instead of learning lessons from it
The cultural nationalism has used the political power to reverse the time machine through public policy. But, is it not a boon to a country? Yes, it is a boon, if one does it to win the future and not to go back to establish the past which is already gone by. It is a spurious act committed by a nation especially when the rest of the world has moved forward. As Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed had recently advised, one could gain from history immensely if history is learned to identify the past mistakes and thereby not to repeat the same.
In the next article, we will examine human liberty and how it contributes to social progress.
(To be continued ..)
*The writer, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, can be reached at email@example.com
Lalith / March 10, 2020
I am totally with you. You have much better theories in Sociology and Anthropology than in Economics. But our oblivious idol worshipers (many Sri Lankan Buddhists) will not understand these facts. They are completely blinded by Sri Lankan “kahakada brigade” (no disrespect to our venerable pious Buddhist priests).
Simon De Silva / March 10, 2020
just few weeks ago, I travelled to srilanka last.
So called – unique nature of kelaniya temple is gone now. I had the chance to go there and offer some food to ELDERLY upasaka ammala (incl. one is 101 years old) – there what came to me know is, the place has become like “mannig market” with their sound exposure. People are made to recite stanzas so that the quiet tranqulizing nature is fully eroded off. I felt I would prefer to go to an european church such Colonge#s cathedral or the like people to tank my energies. I am very dissapointed th emanner one upon a time- most sacred temple has turned out to be.
It is all because Rajapakshe supporters turned it to be their temple where all idiots get together abusing the place. Buddhists nuns claimed that they are being thrown away. Buddhist monks at hte place are said tobe slapping those nuns. It has now become an another place – people to search for their daily meals. Nothing else.
Naman / March 10, 2020
It is sad that India and Sri Lanka are on the wrong path —Fundamentalism Path.
The Governments of both countries should not be behind religious/ethnic HATRED and be ideally SECULAR.
We need a Buddhist Council to keep a check on misbehaving Monks/Nuns.
Politicians should not be seen any where in or near the Temples in the presence of TV (Media).
Thugs who support the politicians should be kept under check by Police that can act non partisan.
Had there been no discrimination in our country, we would NOT had internal wars and would have avoided unnecessary expenditures on Defence.
Passerby / March 10, 2020
Isn’t this a rehash of an earlier article last month? No new ideas? Same old, same old.
Lalith / March 11, 2020
These are worthwhile repetitions. If possible better to repeat every hour or every minute; but still people with slave mentality wouldn’t get it.
Simon De Silva / March 11, 2020
the reasoning behind that is – local media keep the saffron clad men above the law.
I think if anything woudl go wrong, local media should be blamed for that.
Just imagine, that Relics saga at Kelaniya, how stupid it was – I got to lknnow from the army men gaurding at the gates there – that they could not control the masses of people came in in order to worship FAKE relics on that day. They the people intoxicated by RELICs would not question twices, even if packeted excreta woudl have been kept above for the attention of worsihpers. This is a grey area where human psychology is being caught. But the story about the snake came out of deep water of river, carrying a dhathu karanduwa, is a fairy tale. Lanken universities are filled with PhDers that have obtained their degrees having researched years long, none of them came forward raising the question how could a normal reptile carry anything to the very same manner a human being would do ?
Are lanken people that stupid ? Why not their staple food become RATA THANAKOLA instead ?
If people are civilized enough, the incumbent chief monk should be sued for misleading the masses. But EVEN FAKE monks are kept above the LAW in this rotten nation, so that even such monks would continue raping out the lovely ones of the worshipers.
JD / March 10, 2020
In CT, related thoughts or the mindset , quotations, phrases, and literature comes entirely from the west. Out of the FIVE EYE COUNTRIES only one country is 250 years old and all others are younger than that. Any thinking comes from Britain or Europe is less than 2000 years old, before that they talk about pagan culture. Two large countries in Asia, Indian Hindu culture and China have 6000 and 5000 year old written history. According to Buddhist texts and wisdom, Indian culture is millions of years old and is spiralling. So, some others come and say, Hindus calm down and let Muslims man handle you and do not talk about your culture or civilization. (Because Christians are silent people and they are operating just behind the scene. India is a very diverse culture and once it is highly modified they become disillusioned. Therefore, they need to protect those. Last Congress govts changed the Indian Culture by social engineering. WHY DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE SOMETHING THAT IS WORKING. India was a highly developed country which was very rich. It was Islamic conquests that destroyed India. Now, Christian culture is also wants the same and ask Let muslims do what they want.
In the case of Sri lanka it is the same. Sri Lanka’s problem at present is IMPUNITY CULTURE. SEE RAVI THE LIAR AND EIGHT BOND SCAMMERS ARE MISSING. SL POLICE CAN NOT FIND THEM. DO YOU BELIEVE IT. VOTERS ARE WATCHING THIS.
Amarasiri / March 10, 2020
W A Wijewardana
Keep fundamentalists in check by giving them the Coronavirus 19, and ask them to make prayers, Silva, and keep saying “Sangam Saranam Gachhami”, and keep prostrating to the saffron clad monks, and then put them in quarantine.
Like the Coronavirus, The fundamentalists seem to have infected the myth believing imbeciles, mean IQ 79.
Desperate Sinhalaya / March 11, 2020
If Ravi to be pointed by fingers, why not Rajakashes, who looted the sums in multiple volumes. His wandi battaya, ballige putha Kabral stays unturn today, he is even worst than the COVID 19 when looking at the harm done by him during the high days of MR rule.
Native Vedda / March 10, 2020
W A Wijewardena
“It brings in ethnic, religious and social disharmony. Almost all political parties appear to have embraced these ideas as a strategy to win voters to their camps.”
This is the age old tried and failed strategy of competitive racism.
“This is a dangerous sign because in the long run, Sri Lanka will lose its drive for liberty and consequently hamper its social progress.”
The danger is the political leaders will be cowed down to accept a security state backed by the saffron brigade.
The writing is already on the wall. Army has already unearth a plot in the North to kill a non specific important person and arrested 9 persons. The army was unleashed on unarmed cricket fans at Suriyawewa stadium, new checkposts/road blocks started appearing in North East, Armed Forces are being deployed to control Traffic (strategically placed) , most of the single handed generals have been appointed to top jobs, ……
Now the country has elected a president who believes himself being a strongman. The Asgiriya Mahanayake wanted him to emulate Hitler with his blessing, some media and ordinary people believe Gota has conquered Coronavirus, …………. under Gota the political diseases haven’t been eradicated however allowed to survive with renewed vigour.
soma / March 10, 2020
The duty of the saffron bridgade is to counter the challenge of Tamil racists and Islamic fundamentalists.
Native Vedda / March 10, 2020
“The duty of the saffron bridgade is to counter the challenge of Tamil racists and Islamic fundamentalists.”
Whose duty is it to protect the people from saffron brigade and Gota’s goons? In fact from you?
It seems for you temples, libraries, books and furnitures in the library, houses, schools, …………. are racist too. Next time around when you plan to set fire to libraries and its books, please don’t forget to take your saffron brigade as well, you need their bums to protect you.
blabla / March 10, 2020
So that is all what Buddhism is about to counter the challenge of Tamil racists and Islamic fundamentalists. Hindu religion or their priests do not get involved in such politics. That is a damn insult to the saffron cloth itself. They are abusing the meaning of the cloth. That is lion in sheep’s clothing. They want to have the cake and eat the cake. Then yours must be a really low grade kunubackki religion know
nalmen / March 10, 2020
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JD / March 10, 2020
Culture, civilization and how a child grows up in the society, family are far more important than any thing else. This title of the article and what is discussed in the content is more important for developed countries with a short history. but not for countries like India, or Sri Lanka. Understand how even Britain value their Royal family over the advancements in the society. Only the financially and technologically developed countries without a long history would value this kind of Jargon and Rhetorics.
Sandarasegaram / March 10, 2020
Sir,this is not a nother a.rticle.it is a research paper on the theme selected by you. All right thinking people are grateful to u a nd col.Tele.
Simon De Silva / March 10, 2020
The writer, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org@@@
Not shooting the messenger, but you though criticise, I wonder how dare you telling nothing about the inside stories of CB bond corruptoin but trying to take the attention away from the very same people. – while Gotler administration only focuses on the bond scam losses made only during last five years. I dont understand, the huge losses, as forensic report made it crystal clear should have happened during the high days of srilanken Mugabe Mahinda Rajapakshe s rule. We should be thankful to the good g government at least to have revealed the size of scam, but you guys were part and parcel of the CB at the time, BP Mahinda together with Kabral looted it tot he core… now to stay silent biting own nails further ?
This is where I see, even lanken PhD holders are tamed by Rajakashes Myths. Today srilanken people are ruled by myths not by facts and figures. Myths are being sowed for their power struggles. Basil Rajapakshe – an american citizen but actively involved in today s politics, with masses being misled in this country. If this would have been done by JVPrs or UNPrs, the very same culprits would tear the land into pieces by making new kind of devisions. Today there is no sort of MUSLIM -sinhala CLASHES as had been the case during previous govt because the very high criminals that inflicted such human crimes have grabed the power.
To the manner the world was informed, durin gthat fake GOVT created by ABUSIVE Sirisena two years ago, , never would a nation ever thought that the criminals would be reelected. As was seen on the TV screen, they were high criminals beyond all levels.
Sam Fernando / March 10, 2020
Srilankens- AS USUAL – just abuse – democratic elections only to elect their leaders. Those who are experts as knwoing the tricks to twist the naive mindset of the voters – get elected. Over 70% living out of urban areas would be easily misled by the myths being sowed nearing elections. Myths are part and parcel of srilanken culture, no matter even tree roots would become rotten, but beleivin gtheir myths they would pour water asking and expecting their own wishes. Such a stupid nation at large, so, improving their political literacy would be like waiting pigs might fly.
Rajapakshe siblings know it very well that PEOPLE at large are stupid, and they set their blood sucking schedule being power intoxicated, else, the manner, not being able to walk on the road by himself, mahinda with shorteness of breath like a stray pingona at KELANIYA temple, still be tied to his political greediness. The rules that the very same idiots preach loudly would not work for Mahinda.. I think .. by misleading the nation, Mahinda has ruined this nation.
After getting elected by abusing the votes of the POOR masses, they dont care about anything.
Now let s see, what have GOTLER led govt achieved, going by the pompous election pledges set before the voters during their PE campaigns
1) School going children would be offered even meals – but not even then offered free uniforms are allowed them today –
2) Fertilizer subsidies – they louded as they could, once they are in power they would give free fertiliizer to all not only plantations but also paddy and veg farmers – today, they are speechless
3) Thos CID officers in prisons would be released once they are back to power – nobody is yet released, but the officiers that examined the HIGH crimes are transfered, by interupting the process of crime investigations on Rajapakshes and their henchmen
Sirimal / March 10, 2020
Human Displine and SINHALA race
Sinhalaya would never see it right, since their eyes are covered with myths – myths as is the case in Bali island people or majority of indian rural areas.
Please see the manner they cross the roads in colombo and its suburbs, with police officers do their duties helping the traffic jams – even before the police men, motorists, tuk-tuk drivers violate the law, but with a stupid smile they balance it.
This is what I faced myself it srilanken two weeks ago. We were searching an address in Panchikawaththa – so the manner my driver (came from a rural area) did not know that he had to bend the vehicle at the round the bout, – the police officer asked us to stop the vehicle taking to a side at the place, he started talking us that and this letting us know if we would not pay 1000 bucks, the licence of the driver would not be returned or something like that….. I noticed it very well the manner, how this officer made efforts to do his job – then leaving me alone in the car, my driver went out and discussed it under 4 eyes and came….. there, what the officer (UNDER so called powerful PRESIDENT in place today) did was, took that 1000 bucks and asked the driver to leave the place. We found our address, but ANTI corrupted activists myself, was very embarraced to have contributed bribes (forceful bribes) and killed me entire day thinking of my misdeed.
I have got the video with me, if my stay would have been longer than 2 weeks, I would have brought this incident to GOTLER directly.
The beettle eating policman, was a real parasite, that charge innocient people, specially coming to colombo from rural corners of the country -are abused this nature.
Abdul Kader / March 10, 2020
“The beettle eating policman, was a real parasite,…”
“Pagava” asking policemen & the Govt fines are like two competing businesses. Such policemen understand & take advantage of pains in paying fines legally. They know that most people don’t want to waste their time OR apply for One-day leave to go to courts, post offices and police stations to get their licenses back.
If Govt can fix this, I am sure, people want to pay the fines legally to the Govt, even if it is more.
Sirimal / March 10, 2020
I never thought, that I would have to pay a bribe in order to escape the tricks being played by them. Anyways, i was caught by that in COlombo: That dpty IGP Ajith Rohana would never agree with us, calling that only a small portion of Police men would behave so. TO my feeling, the facts prove other way around – meaning not a little portion of policemen but the opposite. We sinhalaya should be very ashamed.
Yes, it is a symbiosis between politicians and local police.
Not just this, but where ever I went to are overcorrupted. I lived in a housing scheme, with lanes being set between houses. But middle aged men, not respecting their neigbours put fire on their garbage heaps on the lanes. Some heaps contained plastic and PVC pipes. I could not bear the smell, since i am allergic to synthetic materials. Even if i was hurt by that, not even elderly aunty was angry with the act the neigbouring man did. People are so passive. They just live the life not taking anything serious. Their nature is made to be indifferent. Even if their lovely ones would have been raped and murdered, they would not utter any word against. What a nation ? not beetle, these people should be fed with ” Rata thanakola”:
I hate to see these incidents, each time when I became nervous, not being able to tolerate the injustices ( to them, they were not injustices), then they attacked me being more like foreigners.
My gosh, why cant te people tolerate the others. I mean, there are also once that suffer shortness of breath. Like me. I hate to even argue with the idiots, but I kept it for me.
Leelagemalli / March 10, 2020
Rajapakshes would not earn respect from over 60 lacks of voters, but in the same time, they know that you were a powerful person in CB in the period before 2015. I know from my carrier life, that executive men are well aware of the processes in an institution than any other workers in the same institution. Likewise, you as the depty governer should be well aware of the facts related to bond scam, prior to 2015, but you utter not a single word against BP Rajakshes and their WANDHIBATTAYA Ajith kabral why ?
You dare to go an extra mile to say, that the FORENSIC reports revealed about Rajapakshes BOND losses are not correct. Why ? Were you and that SUSIRIPALA – hired by abusive SIRISENA adminstration to behave so ? You were among the regular invitees of SIRASA TV on this coverage. Very same SIRASA is silent regarding real forensic reports why ? I wonder even if SIRASA was demoilshed by Rajaakshe thugs, yet today, they have no confidence built to stand against Rajakshes in this country why ?
You guys as if blue fles being found on HEAPS of road side excreta, seem to the do the job for them yet today. Your articles open the eyes of many but in the same time, you yourself prove not to be TRUTHFUL enough and wholehearted your revealations of the bond scam.’
chiv / March 10, 2020
OMG, poor soul, branch hopper Daya, was in tears today accusing SLPP of hunting down SLFP members “like animals”(his own words) . But Daya isnt those branch hopping species are known as animals who are usually eaten up by bigger and wilder ones. You deserve it Shit Head. At last Sajith and pimp RW have decided to separate and get divorce???? Thank God for saving us the readers , the pain. Also CID is on the look out for Ravi. Tit for Tat. The minority should feel little better seeing these inner fighting between the players which will keep them away from them, at least for time being. And last but not least the Deputy Speaker and SF have squarely blamed MS ,RW and Defence Minister Ruwan for Easter Murders. All in all the game HAS JUST begun. The biggest circus in town called Elections, costing 7.5 Billion LKR.
Simon De Silva / March 10, 2020
Srilankens fought wars.
But have we learnt lessions from all the setbacks we experienced over 3 decades ?
Why President’s observation trip made to BIA, RMV and other institution did not make any tangible changes in the course s of those officials ?
There should be something unique to SINHALA race – no matter the LIVEs would have been destroyed, we need rigorous law enforcement to educate the masses.
The latest trend, anyone be blessed with a SMART phone makes effort to take the law into their hands. That should be a punishable act in Germany, Singapore, UK, Netherlands or anywhere in Europe and US. Just because you have the right to film, you should be allowed to block the day today activities of a hospital. But lanken so called SOCIAL media TV channel holders abuse their liberty given to them.
rbh / March 10, 2020
The ominous rise of fundamentalism With another General Election around the corner, it is to avoid gatherings coronavirus, coronavirus has no border and does not understand religion border improve and election funds to used for public health preparedness to prevent spreading quickly, a gathering of friends can now look more like a mob of disease vectors.
How many people is too many people to be around?
Ajay / March 10, 2020
Fundamentalists clinging to different belief systems fight each other like mad dogs, but when it comes to their psychological makeup they’re all the same: intellectually challenged and emotionally disturbed. Being weak-minded, they cannot think for themselves. They also suffer from very low self-esteem. Basically they’re very insecure and as a result they cannot enjoy the good things in life like love, sex and fun. No wonder they are very unhappy people. Seeing other people enjoying their lives drives them nuts. The fundamentalists are therefore very jealous of people who are quite satisfied with their lives and seek to control their lives in order to make them miserable like themselves. Individual freedom is anathema to them. Hence they concoct some primitive, irrational and immoral religio-political ideology and try to impose it on the whole society. They want everyone to conform to their groupthink. Self autonomy, creativity and human rights are nightmares to them. Racist bigots, religious freaks, conspiracy theorists and fascist demagogues can easily rise to power in societies dominated by such fundamentalist ideologies.
Here’s a little joke to lighten the mood after such a dismal topic:
A man dies and goes to heaven.
GOD gives him a tour and asks him ‘Well, what do you think?’ The man says, ‘Its terrific, everything I dreamed it would be. But who were those people sitting by themselves looking so unhappy?’ ‘Oh, those are the fundamentalists, they can’t believe that they aren’t the only ones here.’
chiv / March 10, 2020
RBH, absolutely. Fortunately, unlike our politicians “Corona” dosent know the difference in race, religion and who you are. But for people who live in MYTH these facts dont matter. It will not be surprising to see politicians trying to exploit this “viral tragedy” too.(last time it was Easter).
Navin / March 10, 2020
Fundamentalists of all religions only deter the country from progressing, because they aim to lie about the others, and divide the country. A divided nation does not succeed, develop, or have peace. There should be a separation of churches, temples, Mosques, and the State. Unfortunately selfish politicians use their majority status, and use religion as a tool, to win votes, or many times set the majority against other minority.
A recipe for disaster as we can see. Unity is strength, and we must reject effects to divide us, which are obvious even in these comments section. Only buffoons and idiots will want communal strife, that prevents peace and progress in this country.
JD / March 10, 2020
Sinhala Buddhists are not religious. So, religious fundamentalism is not applicable in Sri Lanka. Buddhists are spiritual people, there fore even the devotees from other religions can practice buddhists basic. Asia and even middle Europe have millinia old culture. Culture is important. Because of the new trade based culture which is just less than 250 years old, you can not say it is fundamentalism. Both India and Sri Lanka open to foreign cultures but not this type of slaughter.
Buddhist / March 10, 2020
Well, well Wijewardena your article is good but not complete. Let me see if I can explain to you why I am saying that:
1. Fundamentalism in Sri Lanka gets pumped up during every election, why? Politicians are not honest that too the group that supports Rajapakse. That is the only way they can divide and rule based on religion, race, cast etc. Who are the supporters who help Rajapakse, first of all the Buddhist Monks, followed by the Cardinal. Cardinal does it in a diplomatic way by attacking the previous government holding on to Easter attack. They are all playing politics.
2. A living language will change, agreed. You have mentioned about Sinhala, what about Tamil the oldest language in the world that is being used continuously?
3. Hinduism also talks about birth, death and rebirth.. not only Buddhism. Buddha may not have spoken about creation of humans as he was a Hindu and accepted the Hindu version of it. This is possible.
4. Different religions should not be at the throat at each other. Since we all live in Sri Lanka, lets look at the situation in SL. Its the Buddhist Monks who are attacking the Christians and Muslims. The Catholic Cardinal is hell bent on attacking the Muslims. Why is this happening in SL. Its because of the divide and rule policies of the politicians using religion as a base. Rajapakses are very good at that. When ever there is an election they some or other start dividing the people using religion and language as base. The Buddhist Monks forget even Buddha was a Hindu and Buddhism is not a religion but a way of life. Cardinal may not accept but Hindu religious books tell the same stories that are found in the Old Testament.
Eagle Eye / March 10, 2020
“Its the Buddhist Monks who are attacking the Christians and Muslims.’
As guardians of Sinhale and Sinhala Buddhists, Monks are trying to protect the country and Native Sinhala Buddhists from anti-Sinhala Buddhist activities of ‘Para’ Demalu, ‘Para’ Muslims and Evangelical Christians. They have played this role from time immemorial. So do not interpret that role as attacking Christians and Muslims.
What has really happened is Christians, Muslims and Demalu have attacked Sinhala Buddhists and Monks.
Blabla / March 11, 2020
You are talking like Hitler and your fate and the people you claim to protect will suffer the same fate as Hitler!
You are talking as if you are going to live forever, and you will enjoy with the power you have now, forever. But when reality strikes you, Sinhala, Christians, Muslims, Demalu will make NO difference. Whoever can save my life, please come, will be your plea!
Native Vedda / March 10, 2020
“what about Tamil the oldest language in the world that is being used continuously?”
Come on where is the proof?
Now it is fashionable for Tamils to brag about their language being 50,000 years old without an iota of evidence.
JD / March 11, 2020
what about Tamil the oldest language in the world that is being used continuously?
Buddhist is correct.
Tamil the Oldest Language, I heard, sent to the space in a space ship travelling to the interstellar space, on a compact disc like something with other languages. so, tamil should get some respect, if not prominent, at least the equal recognition as the oldest language on earth.
JD / March 10, 2020
I think what I wrote is still not complete. So, It is selfishness, selfcenteredness and immaturity from those who have western mentality, western superiority feeling and those their way should supersede how Asian society evolved. Middle eastern religions do not have unity even among them. World is a mess because of them. Both Christians and muslims among themselves are discriminating, killing each other. Then they both fought The against Jews. Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism are interconnected and they live in harmony for centuries and not just for 250 years. Some one else come and Our way is the best way and do that. That is simply divide and rule.
Plato. / March 10, 2020
WHO is to keep the Fundamentalists in check ?
I do not deny the fact that the essayist appeals in good faith.
But then the Horse has bolted; It serves no purpose in closing the stable doors!
Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera / March 10, 2020
In Jaffna those days I used to walk around like a Homo Erectus always on the prowl. We knew all along that the Jaffna Library was a hotbed for Tamil Fundamentalism. In the end it was decided that the Library must go down in flames in order to contain the fundamentalism.
Sam Fernando / March 11, 2020
Not only in Jaffna, you walk around like a HE in Toronto today. You the kind of bps would never see it right. If Jaffna Library to be burnt down, why not Mahinda Madamulana house should be protected. I think lanken racists of mahindapala and madamulana mahinda should all be burnt down if we are to bring peace to this nation.
P.Rajeswaran / March 11, 2020
A very good article written with a rational outlook and without ethnic or religious bias. However some salient points relating to basic concepts and philosophical features , I feel, have been misrepresented.
Hindu religion flourished in the Indus valley from 2500 to 1700 BCE. The Aryan people invaded north-west India in about 1500 BCE. In the early 1920s the archaeologists Sir John Marshall, D.R.Sahni and R.D.Banerji revealed the results of their excavations at Mohenjodaro and Harappa. They established a river civilization had existed from about 2500 BCE for some 1000 years representing Dravidian and tribal cultures. A kind of alphabet or system of writing found on soap stone seals. There were also depictions on seals showing people’s religious beliefs.A female figure to represent Mother Goddess, another depicting God Siva with a crescent moon on the head, male figure with cross legged posture suggesting yoga meditation was practiced.
It was earlier known as ‘ Sanatana Dharma’ and it was Aryans called it Hinduism because of the Indus river and is now being known all over.
Hindus believe that at death only the body dies while the spirit or soul (atman) lives many times in different bodies until moksha is achieved – liberation from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. This belief gives all living beings a profound worth and value. Even a pin prick on animal or bird is considered as sin. That is why most hindus are vegetarians and cow is considered a sacred life.
Hindus believe in the basic concepts of Karma and Dharma.
The Aryan invasion and their influence that brought in sacrifice ritual which is nowhere in any Hindu scriptures mentioned, and that practice is now almost vanished.
rbh / March 11, 2020
Now it is a good proof who decided to ignite the library to flames
Wimpy Kid / March 13, 2020
Aiyo Fandamentalism is not good ane.
Respect is very important no?