17 June, 2019

Blog

Letting Religion Off The Leash & Out Of The Private Domain, Into Public Business Is Dangerous 

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

“…Another reason that the clergy must be put in place is that the latter have been known to be part and parcel of the wider game of competitive politics in democratic countries. They are indistinguishably political players with agendas driven by  the main political actors in the field.”

Private Affair

A religion is a matter of private belief that one may have; it is also an option that one is free to have or not to have. As for the now growing millions in the world like me, religion does not provide a useful narrative at all to comprehend life. A philosophy like Buddhism does; but not a religion like Buddhism. They are all in the same boat as being socially dispensable. They are also in the same boat as containing within themselves all the potential for dangerous conflict among identities.

Minister Mangala Samaraweera has come out, again, fearlessly to assert that he is not a Buddhist but ‘someone who follows the Buddhist philosophy.’ The cleverly  made distinction is very important. I like this Minister because not only is he candid; someone wanting to put sense to the heads of bigots and fanatics even at sacrifice to himself. Mangala has executed any portfolio given to him with great competence. He fights for his leader and for the party he stands for, while quite a few among the second rank of the UNP mind “their own business,” hoping that in time to come something will fall into their laps!  

Thus the recent BMICH attack on Mangala by Revd Mawaraliya Bhaddiya is unjust. He referred to Mangala’s ‘broken mouth,’ and castigate the latter. This monk is the latest who tries to take over the nation’s conscience. We have numerous violent types of monks at large of a different ilk as the released jailbird, Galagoda Atte Gnanasara. The latter are ready to rush and attack, pillage and burn for the sake of the “Sinhala Buddhist nation.” 

I beg pardon for having put Revd Mawaraliye Bhaddiya in this same paragraph with the raucous blokes in yellow robes. The latter monk speaks decently and isn’t rough at all. Yet, he appears now as a self-chosen clergy leader representing the national cause and I repudiate any person who uses his privileged religious cliche to tell us what to do.

Why Religions have the Potential for Social Danger  

All religions are supremacist. Each religious believer thinks those of other religions are foolish or are idiots. Although, clearly, the Buddha was anti-supremacist, the Buddhist religion is supremacist.In this context, inter-faith endeavours are a joke. 

A religious authority has a powerful influence on brain washing its members by putting one’s consciousness into a kind of closed box and persuading one to try and  understand everything around according to that closed box. This process makes a powerful identity among followers of the same religion. It is an identity that divides; that sets one apart from others in the community.

The process of identification is accompanied by strong defensive and aggressive emotions. 

I recorded this passage from somewhere, I cannot recall: “Religion’s ability to interlink thought and practice and identity is what makes it so powerful. This is because what you think is integrated with what you do and who you are and each of these things keep reinforcing and magnifying each other. Stating your beliefs becomes much more than an intellectual exercise, it becomes a gesture of solidarity with your group.”

Religious Buddhism in Sri Lanka Carries another Danger

In the case of Sri Lanka, religious Buddhism  has been historically linked with the Sinhala people. This ideology is derived from a misreading of the Mahawamsa. The linkage extends the above described identity-making process to cover the majority of the Sinhala people. The identity extends to cover not only those following the Buddhist religion but the ethnic group of Sinhala people, who are Buddhists. Ethnicity and religion become one entity. The combination can be explosive.

This explosive chemistry has been exploited by hooligans who dress as monks and are ready to come to the fore on the slightest pretext.

By the same token, this same chemistry will constitute the seeds of destruction of the Sasana. Already it is reported that 239 temples have been closed down in Sri Lanka, mainly for want of Dayake support. One can read from this that there is growing disgust of the antics of  many monks and fake monks  among ordinary civilised people in the country.

Clergy have lost their Traditional Monopolistic Advisory Role

I have explained in a previous article why we must disregard the old notion that our clergy has an inherent  right to advice the ruling elite. That idea ended with modernisation that signified the transfer of education from church/temples to the state and private sponsors. The laity, in general, these days stand as possessing more education and resources to advice than any monk or priest could ever be. The gap in education between clergy and laity is growing and growing. Doubtless the clergy has the same rights as any citizen to speak words of advice. The difference now is that they have lost the monopoly.

Another reason that the clergy must be put in place is that the latter have been known to be part and parcel of the wider game of competitive politics in democratic countries. They are indistinguishably political players with agendas driven by  the main political actors in the field. I can cite many examples from Revd Mawaraliye’s own BMICH speech to demonstrate that he is tilted against the ruling government and toward the Opposition. Gnanasara’s own release from jail is a politically driven one; his political sponsors are well known. This isn’t the space for more of that.

Temple and State must be Separate

This is the accepted notion of governance in all modern societies. It is called secularisation of government policy. In the West, it began soon after the Renaissance – after a long period of clergy control of the state during the Middle Ages. Given that religion is a private concern, the state must eschew any religious responsibilities. If we are to cite a most successful state that was once behind Sri Lanka in economic development Singapore comes to mind immediately. For many reasons Sri Lanka is in the same situation that Singapore faced before it launched into a successful modern state. It is small in size like ours. It is an island. It has many religious and ethnic identities within its fold. Problems of security arising out of strategic location are similar. 

In such circumstances, it is only a policy of secularisation that can bind the nation of Singaporeans being together. The same applies to Sri Lanka. 

Singapore treats Religious Enthusiasm with Suspicion

I have given the comparison with Singapore. It is important to know that in Singapore secularisation is complete. Religion can be taught only in private institutions. The emphatic and deliberate  strategy in Singapore is to build an identity of ‘Singaporeans.’ In Sri Lanka, we wholeheartedly identify ourselves as ‘Sri Lankans,’ only while playing and watching the cricket. In other realms of discourse, we are Sinhalese, Buddhists, Tamils, Burgher and so on. 

Yesterday, I met a Christian preacher (lay person) who told me how he had to submit to the state authorities the script of what he was going to preach in Singapore. Now, this is revealing! It is also a lesson for our security policy makers when dealing with those who arrive from abroad as ‘religious preachers.’ Why not Sri Lanka follow Singapore?

Other Measures

We can take other measures to push religion into the backyard and leave hard working families alone. One example is to stop all broadcasting of religious prayers and chants. This includes the Muslim stuff that is foisted on citizens five times a week and also the Buddhist temple chants that come at far less frequency. Allah will bless all Muslims for not disturbing others. People have a right to a private space unpolluted by noise. These prayers and chants are not doing Sri Lankans well, anyway. A second proposal is for a strict control of the building of religious institutions. The approval of the neighbourhood must be one of many  preconditions.  We are glad that the naming of street boards have been confined to the three languages by a recent government decision. In the East many were coming up in Arabic. Why did we have to have a slaughter of innocent praying people to think of such changes?

Prime Minister’s Proposal

Sri Lanka prime minister stated over state media yesterday that within two years the government will set up separate state schools that are totally unrelated to language or religion as a base. At this stage we do not know the details of that arrangement. However, on principle this falls in line with the secularisation process that we argue for in this paper. 

This is the time for making radical changes that cross sectional interests. In this sense, the tragic mass slaughter that we experienced would be having some beneficial impact. People of different religions and ethnic identities are willing to listening in the common interest-never as before. 

Why not make more and more radical changes like these so that we can take Sri Lanka forward progressively than backward towards internecine warfare?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 14
    1

    Shyamon, if religion was left alone (without bringing it into politics) today country, people and religion itself would have progressed for the better and earned some respect. But what we see now is religion and politics are together, to such extent, it is difficult to identify one from another. We have religious leaders talking politics and politicians vice versa.Religious leaders have a say on national issues, laws,amendments and even foreign policies. We have religious school like Madarasa as well Muslim, Hindu Buddhist schools. We have government appointed ministries and ministers for religions, there are TV and other media including social media being exploited for religious purposes. There are hotels, eateries, shops and banks (islamic and catholic syrian ) with religious labels. In schools,academics and job market instead of merit, quotas are allocated for religion. There are places where only certain religious outfits are allowed to enter or settle. Then we are puzzled how we reached to this state???

    • 2
      1

      Religions cannot be left alone, except perhaps among intellectuals, b’cos it is the part & parcel of many people. As Ludwig Feuerbach’s influential 1841 book “Essence of Christianity” suggested, it is the people themselves who invented religions, the role has now inverted to religions “inventing” people. Even though the necessity to redefine human’s place in the Natural World has become so important than during the time of Geman Idealism since Kant & ending with Feuerbach when the debate first arose, the distressing reality is that the world is not getting any closer to a resolution. The reason is simple: Such a resolution requires courageous minds armed with knowledge strong enough to challenge prevailing beliefs. But, in a world of “minds” (not the brain) of which the “genetics” are “nurtured” by prevailing belief systems since the childhood, developing courage strong enough to break off from prevailing beliefs is not an easy task for the majority. This “near natural” difficulty get exacerbated by “All Natural” instincts hardwired to brains by the evolution to defend what is perceived as mine/ours. The challenge, therefore, is how to teach ourselves on how to clean up own minds. This challenge will last nearly for ever b’cos not all minds will ever get evolved too far above our closest Ape ancestor!

    • 1
      0

      Shimone: the US ambassador has become a frequent visitor to Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka and the Temple of the Tooth and is Weaponizing Religion in Sri Lanka. What happened to the separation of Church and State in the US Constitution?
      Please read the book by Eugene Ford: “Cold War Monks: Buddhism and America’s Secret Strategy in South East Asia” published by Yale University Press 2017

      Why is the US Ambassador meddling in religion in Sri Laka? The Foreign Ministry of SL should as her to stop meddling in religion and the Mahanayakas refuse to see her.
      3 days ago standing outside the Tooth Temple in Kandy U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Alaina B. Teplitz said. : The United States has not reached any agreement to establish a permanent US military base in Sri Lanka.
      So it seems that US has an agreement for a Temporary Military base in Sri Lanka with their puppet Bondscam Ranil!
      Her statement outside the temple was planned to mislead: she also said that the current agreement was signed by the previous regime, when in fact the new and much more elaborate agreement that included temporary military base was signed by US puppet Bondscam Ranil in 2017 whose debt-trap fake economic development policies are drafted by MCC to benefit America First and the Global 1 percent.
      US puppet bondscam Ranil must be impeached for the disaster unfolding with the circus call the parliament distracting us from the fact that the US runs the country with Ranil and his clueless butterflies as a front.

    • 3
      0

      Sharon Jayasingha,

      Thanks for your article. It is always a pleasure to read your articles without the the mambo jumbo of religions, that promise the unproven goodies of afterlife, Nirvana, Nibbana, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Rebirth, 72 Virgins etc.

      Philosophy (love of wisdom) and science have always been at loggerheads with Religion. It is rather unfortunate that Buddhism, the Philosophy got transformed into Buddhism the Religion with its army of monks, many crazy, many crying for power, just like the Islamic Ulama, Mullahs and Imams, who are striving for states based on their theology. That was the case with the Holy Roman (Catholic) Empire, that got dismantled with the reformation and age of Reason.

      Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka, including many other states, there is no separation of Church, Temple, Mosque and State. So, cannot archive full Enlightenment, Age of Reason and a fully Secular State.

      Si, we have Para-Sinhala Para-Buddhism, running amok, just like the Satan Following Wahhabi Salafies and their clones, ISIS Tauheed Jamats are running amok In Saudi Arabia and elsewhere including in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      Is Sri Lanka Sinhala-Buddhist Country? No.

      Sri Lanka is a country occupied by Paras, mean IQ 79, where the majority claim to be Buddhist, and they have no clue as to what Buddhism, the Philosophy is and as to what the Buddha taught.

  • 12
    0

    ‘Yesterday, I met a Christian preacher (lay person) who told me how he had to submit to the state authorities the script of what he was going to preach in Singapore. Now, this is revealing! It is also a lesson for our security policy makers when dealing with those who arrive from abroad as ‘religious preachers.’ Why not Sri Lanka follow Singapore?’

    Oh the Christian evangelists will love that!

    • 3
      2

      “It is also a lesson for our security policy makers when dealing with those who arrive from abroad as ‘religious preachers.’”

      If you observe all over the globe – from Southern Baptist/Evangelicals to Muslim-Jihadists to Buddhist-hate-mongers to ……. – there is a segment of the populations that fall victim ……… and usually that’s the segments that have the lowest levels of education (not IQ) and kept in blinkers. And that’s a very vocal and visible minority ………The greater silent majority is invisible.

      The only solution is to educate the people – just think if all the young Buddhist monks were educated in “International Schools” – and break the hold of their controllers/exploiters. Then, like the majority of “enlightened” population, they won’t buy what the preachers are selling.

      The governments trying to protect the people from ‘religious preachers’ ……….. is akin to keeping daughters under lock and key in ignorance. ……… Then they are let out in to the world without any preparation! :)) ………. The feeding-frenzy, Native Vedda is trying his best to hold back singlehandedly ………

  • 4
    3

    “Sri Lanka prime minister stated over state media yesterday that within two years the government will set up separate state schools that are totally unrelated to language or religion as a base.”

    Ah, as expected! Doing some cosmetic changes to please the gallery as opposed to tackling the larger issues of racism, power structures, and Sinhala Buddhist hegemony.
    The author also draws reference to Singapore- both Singapore and Sri Lanka or the West for that matter are different contexts, same solutions won’t address the inter-ethnic/religious conflicts.
    On a side note, interestingly, the aftermath of Easter attacks had turned into a discourse on ‘Sri Lankan’ identity.

  • 13
    5

    Curse fell upon Sri Lanka when Sinhala was recognised as the Official Language and Buddhism given the State Religion status.
    The Swabhasha education from 1963 resulted in further segregation on the language basis.
    Religions are to be practiced within oneself and there is no need to wear special attire to declare that they belong to a particular religion.
    Loud Speakers should be banned in all religious worshipping places.
    It’s right when the foreign religious people come to SL, they should submit their talks /Sermons to the Government Department for religious affairs.
    Let’s not allow the Monks/Priest etc to dabble in politics or to be involved in incitement of hatred.
    This should lead to DEROBING.

    • 3
      2

      Dear Naman,

      The logical approach to assess the impact of legislative instruments is to compare the current situation against what the country would have been if the legislative instruments were not in place.
      My comments are confined to the outcomes and not the intentions of the politicians who pursued populist policies. Such an assessment requires an extensive analysis that covers all facets and these comments are totally inadequate.

      The purpose of responding to your comments is to provide just one example that clearly demonstrates the benefits of Swabhasha.

      I personally witnessed the changes in the University I attended in the late sixties. It was clear to see how the English speaking undergraduates were being gradually replaced by Sinhala and Tamil speaking undergraduates.

      If Swabhasha was not introduced, many of the rural students (who turned out to be better performing than English speaking undergraduates!) would not have entered University. As such, Swabhasha enabled rural folk.

      Towards the end of my stay in the University, I made the observation that everybody became English speaking graduates. It is a tribute to the University system that implemented a range of measures (intensive courses to teach English is one such measure).

      There are close relationships between religions and Governments in the European countries, notwithstanding the secularism. Undoubtedly, such relationships are subtle. The argument that Sri Lanka should become a secular state is a tenuous one. This is because of Sri Lanka’s unique history, which new countries (Australia, New Zealand, USA or Singapore) never had.
      Sri Lanka is unique because of thousands of years Buddhist culture nurtured by Kings leading to a flourishing society based on agriculture. Buddhism was (and still is) inextricably entwined with Sri Lanka. The same can be said about Tamil culture (much older than Sinhalese culture) that flourished in Northern Sri Lanka.

      Fundamentally, I see no reason why the dress code of religious leaders (Buddhist monks or Catholic priests) should be offensive to anybody, although Burka covers the individual’s face, which leads to issues around identification.

  • 10
    0

    The writer has stated correctly. It will be much appreciated if the civic rights of the political leaders who have hidden agenda of religious extremism through various agents should be stripped off. Moreover, every one should have the right to embrace a faith of his or her choice and that should be accepted by all religious dignitaries which will lead to end the cruel punishment especially to women and young girls.

  • 3
    7

    I watched the same clip where Mangala Samare calls our Maha Sanga Chewerayas..
    But what blew me away is the ad before Mangale’s threats, which says Sharlwas’s 40% OFF.
    Rush to FASHION BUG for a great Bargain..
    I was wondering whether it was an After Easter Clearance Sale..

    I have no idea what that means in Sinhala or English,
    But it must be a really disgusting term to denigrate the Sinhala Buddhist Monks who have saved our Nation not only from Dravidians , but also from Portugese, Dutch, and English.

    And are now desperately trying to save it from Wahabis , Dr Ranil and Mangala Samare’…

    BTW wonder whom Shaymon barracked for in the latest Election in his Religion Free All Democratic new Motherland.
    My Elders tell me the best Election Slogan was . “If you want a Muslim Neighbor, Vote Labor”
    What a catchy phrase from down under…
    And apparently SCOMO got in, although Shorty promised extra 6% for the Pensioners..

    • 3
      0

      Sumanasekara,

      Well whoever the monks helped save the Sinhalese from, now the whole country needs saving from the politicians and their bedfellows the monks! Not to mention the likes of you!

  • 5
    0

    Great stuff. We need a mass rebellion against all religions. The writer has made a useful distinction bete]ween Buddhist philosophy and religious Buddhism

  • 8
    0

    Dear Sir.
    I respect and highly appreciate your presentation.
    That may be bitter for those who do not know the reality that what the Buddha said.
    Most so called monks are henchmen of corrupted politicians.
    As you know, even in Melbourne where you live some monks are doing some business.

    Most monks have not properly understood the correct mission which they launch for the humanity here and in abroad.

    So called corrupted politicians, specially Sinhalese Buddhist politicians have given facilities and other needful for monks to follow them but not what Buddha said.

    Muruththettuwe Ananda, Galagodaaththe Gnanasara and many more raucous and undisciplined monks have misled our innocent people and implanted wrong view in their hearts.

    Stupid Sirisena is the other one who completely destroyed the whole society in Sri lanka.

    Unfortunately we must beg a Army Commandar or Sarath Fonseka to take over this paradise to save our young generation.

  • 3
    2

    Shayoman,
    The concepts of Karma, rebirth and nirvana are the biggest jokes that make Buddhism a very dodgy stupid philosophy!
    Gautam

    • 0
      1

      Gautam! Stupid people like you don’t understand Buddhist philosophy, so dont make stupid comments. This philosophy is meant for intellectuals and not for the stupid fellows who believe in an unseen ‘god’ as one who ‘created’ this imperfect world.

      • 0
        0

        To John Silva,
        Sorry this is Gautam again!
        The truth is bitter isn’t it?
        The concepts such as karma, Nirvana May stimulate the intellectuals of the likes of Gnansaara and Sirisena who can deceive the majority donkeys !

  • 2
    1

    Dear SJ. I would recommend all 4 religions must be taught to children in our schools. It does not mean let all learn about others. Can you wipe our all religions? it will not happen? why not then we teach all religions in schools to make a mutual understanding.. Suppose all Sri Lankans are like you/ It will be boring. now we have different task. like a bunch of difference flowers.. let not fight for religion but make it a beautiful.

    • 0
      0

      Sounds like you are saying that if bow and arrow is not enough to do the killing then arm them additionally with maze, sword, spear, trident….

  • 4
    0

    I am shocked to learn that 40.odd bank accounts had been operated by KIL (Karajites of Iraq &Lavent Terororists )Sri.Lanka, while a Common honest Muslim finds it almost next to impossible to open a (biz)bank account with a customer introduction even if he or she has an officially registered business ,with past clean tract record and clearance from crib.
    How does this make any sense ?

    What happens if the person who wants to opens account some how finds a customer of a bank due to the banks regulation who happens to be drug peddler or terororist and he or she is completely unaware ? What happens to the innocent person who only wanted to open a bank account so he or she can operate a legal business ?

    Every system in Sri lanka is warped , from legal ,Constitution to all other laws only have loopholes to protect the criminals and criminalise the innocent and helpless.

    Banks should allow Customers to open accounts on declaring an affidavit duly attested by an attorney at Law.

    The government has a duty to let the public know the names of the banks that allowed these Terororists to operate bank accounts and also what kind of bank accounts , not Muslims everyone who had transactions with these terororist through these accounts must be investigated , when it comes to blood money &dirty easy money , religion,race& patriotism has very little significance.

    As long as the constitution is not changed with a senate Similar to westeminister and all other systems remain.the same.
    We are not going to move anywhere

    Changing leaders and governments is meaningless and a means to make sheep out of the people.

  • 1
    0

    Correction
    Meant to day without a customer of the bank to introduce

  • 0
    0

    Where is the bogus rigjt for information?

  • 3
    0

    Pathetic
    Our Country will.remain the same forever.

    The constitution will allow the politicians to do whatever benefits them & their supporters and the law will protect political handyman mobs to attack.the innocent by not bringing them.under the law of Terororism (mob violence is terrorism 100%).

    The drug peddlers will.continue to mint money while their men will divert the attention on scapegoats like the myths of Sterilizing pills etc while their masters destroy the youths of this country.

    The other mafias will continue to illegally destroy our environments untill.(God FORBID) we have non stop natural disasters .

    Honestly most people dont care for this country.

    It is sad , the future generations in 50 years time will.suffer

  • 5
    1

    As long as these rabid monks are let loose there is no salvation for Sinhales and Sinhale-Buddhism. They are a curse and no chance of progress. They want to finish off minorities and after that only real disaster will begin. Bestiality, incest, patricide, wantonness, betrayal, etc defines in Sinhales’ history will become a real reality. Let us watch the fun.

    • 0
      0

      Nathan, how come these ‘rabid monks’ did not ‘finish off the minorities’ all these years? They have had some 2500 years to do it. Could they have been practicing tolerance and acceptance?

      • 3
        0

        taraki

        “They have had some 2500 years to do it.”

        The reason they could not do it because the public racist Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala was not born until 1864. However the Sinhala/Buddhist religious war started with saffron clad political gurus brain washing the stupid boy Dutta Gamani.

        They could not do it because those Kallathonies kept arriving from South India and their descendants consented to convert under prevailing social conditions, both carrot and stick.

        Mahasangha also attempted assassinate Kandyan king (THE KANDYAN KINGDOM : THE SECRET OF ITS SURVIVAL – Lorna Dewaraja).

        Saffron clad thugs had been seen in every anti democratic protests, opposing minority rights, leading rioters holding voters lists, …….

        Saffron clad thugs have nothing better to do, who now purported to be the guardians of supposed archaeological sites, invading and occupying private land while as many as 130 Buddhist Temples have already been closed due to lack of monks.

  • 2
    0

    Religion is not the only source of problems. Would you say that the mob violence in Negombo recently was due to religion? Or was it due to Nationalism, which is also a form of religion.

    Isn’t the thesis of your article simply a replacement one ideology for another?

    And isn’t Nationalism responsible for more deaths worldwide than religion ever caused? Have you considered the 70 to 120 million who have died under Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and so on, who were all irreligious and actively tried to stomp out religion in their respective lands?

    In Singapore, where I live, the government controls what is said in what places of worship registered under them and built with public monies. These speeches are bland and non engaging. I can think of no better method to distance youth than through these speeches.

    But that is a loss of control and who knows what other immoralities they will adopt in the intellectual space left open? Just like in Sri Lanka it can lead to problems in the future.

    You may find the book The Myth of Religious Violence by Professor William T Cavanaugh interesting and eye opening. It is a properly researched document with facts and evidence. Contrary to what the title suggests it does not say that religious violence does not exist, but it discusses the problem by thoroughly fleshing out the definitions of religion, secularism and other ideologies, and the boundaries between them, and looking at violence from this perspective.

    Since you write so much on this topic I believe you will find this book interesting.

  • 3
    0

    Buddhist fanatics in the forest and archeological departments together with uneducated monks have been demolishing some of the Hindu kovils in the North and East by claiming entire kovil land belongs to them and building viharas on the same spot with the govt money. This week they have demolished a pillaiyar temple nearer to Kinniya hot springs in Trincomalee and started to build a Vihara. These budhaputras think that they are doing a great service to Buddha and Buddhism but what they don’t realise is that their actions lead to a religious dissension despised by Buddha himself.

  • 1
    0

    buddhist terrorist gnansaraya released will result in a 1983 type attack on the muslims. which will send more muslims to join a resistant movement. history repeating itself again.
    sira will be president for life siting emegency.

  • 2
    1

    Shyamon, please remember that the present day problems are all created by the colonial rulers, who divided this country on communal and religious basis. During the colonial period Chistian schools were opened to cater to the Christians, and as the majority Buddhist community was neglected the latter had to open Buddhist schools. Christian missionaries used their power to unethically convert socially and economically disadvantaged Buddhists and Hindus. When independence was granted in 1948 political parties were formed with communal lables such as Tamil United Liberation Front, Muslim Congress, etc.
    In the present day foreign funded Evangelists are shamefully converting impoverished Buddhists and Hindus using unethical methods. If masses accept another religion through conviction, it is a different matter. But Evangelists cannot challenge the superior Buddhist doctrine, so they use money power to convert the vulnerable populations. Is it not shameful? Naturally there is dissension from the Buddhist against such unlawful activity. When the Buddhists protest against such unethical and unlawful activities you lable them as fanatics or racists. This is the plight of this country.

  • 2
    2

    Unlike Christians, Muslims and Hindus who massacred millions of people in the name of religion, followers of Buddha’s philosophy did not kill people to impose Buddha’s philosophy on other people. This is a major difference between followers of Buddha’s philosophy and followers of other religions.

    Buddhist monks and Sinhala Buddhists accommodated other religions. Christians, Hindus and Muslims were allowed to build Churches, Kovils and Mosques all over the country. Demala invaders and colonial parasites destroyed thousands of Buddhist temples and killed thousands of monks. Sinhala Buddhists defeated Demala Hindu invaders and chased them away but did not destroy Kovils they built during short periods they ruled this country.

  • 2
    0

    This trend of religion encroaching in “Politics” started as far back as 1956 in trying to fulfill the “Ambition” of one man to become the Prime Minister who was very wrongly denied that opportunity by the then ruling UNP. With that beginning, all the opportunist politicians from all religions and communal bases started “exploiting” and “using” and “misusing” these “fanatics’ who were also “opportunists” to plunder the country and the people. Today we see the climax of all that “GUNDU” playing. Did you see even the USA representative visiting Malwatta Maha Nayaka to explain the SOFA. Isn’t it a repeating the “History”. ?

  • 2
    3

    Buddhist monks have played an important role in saving the country.

    Kudahapola Hamuduruwo along with other freedom fighters as Ven. Hikkaduwe Siri Sumangala, Veera Puran Appu and Gongalegoda Banda was in the vanguard of the struggle against British domination in the mid nineteenth century. He was arrested by British at his temple on 24th of August 1848. Charged for treason (according to British, fighting to liberate his own country from illegal occupiers was treason) he was shot in his robes by British ‘Awajathaka*o on 26th of August 1848.

    Ven. Wariyapola Sri Sumangala was a Buddhist monk who lived in the early 19th century in Sri Lanka (then known as Sinhale). He was an Anunayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter. Ven. Sri Sumangala is known for taking down the Union Jack and re-hoisting the Sinhale lion flag, before the convention that handed over control of the island to the British in 1815. Later during the rebellion of 1818, he removed the Tooth Relic of the Buddha from the Temple of the Tooth, and handed it over to the leaders of the rebellion. He was arrested and convicted for treason and imprisoned in Jaffna.

    Probably Ven. Galagodaatthe Gnanasara also might go to the history books of Sinhale as a person who vehemently fought to save Sinhale from Wahabi Muslim extremists.

  • 1
    0

    “Sri Lanka prime minister stated over state media yesterday that within two years the government will set up separate state schools that are totally unrelated to language or religion as a base.”

    That is, assuming the UNP will be in power during this period. In any case, the Prime Minister has proved himself incapable of implementing anything really worthwhile, with the exception of the 19th Amendment.

  • 1
    0

    Mr. SJ,

    Here is why the Singapore Model will not work in Sri Lanka.
    Lee Kuan Yew was smart enough to keep religion, language away from Politics and Governance and made sure the Constitution was drafted accordingly.

    Here is what The Constitution of the Republic of Singapore says:

    RELIGION:
    Freedom of religion
    15.—(1) Every person has the right to profess and practise his religion and to propagate it.

    LANGUAGE:

    Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English shall be the 4 official languages in Singapore.

    The Constitution of Sri Lanka – made Sinhala the Official Language and gave Buddhism the foremost place among religions.

    So that’s why the ignorant masses are going about chanting – we are a Sinhala Buddist Nation.

    So if you want to follow, the Singapore model, you must take away those two provisions from our Constitution.
    Good luck to those who want to take a shot at it.

    It will make 1958 and 1983 look like a Sunday Morning Picnic.
    It will be Sinhala bloodbath against the Sinhalese.

  • 0
    0

    [Unlike Christians, Muslims and Hindus who massacred millions of people in the name of religion, followers of Buddha’s philosophy did not kill people to impose Buddha’s philosophy on other people. This is a major difference between followers of Buddha’s philosophy and followers of other religions.]

    Moda Blind Eagle, For Sinhala Buddhists there is no need for religion. They will just kill the innocent, even for yahalu kamata. A bottle of gal is enough to get someone killed. They will kill anyone, everyone, even their own kind for nothing. While christians and Muslims killed in the name of religion, sinhala Buddhists killed all for nothing. Just nikanag. Moda Eagle, Hinduism is the most tolerant religion on earth, even today. Of course during vedic period when there were other off shoots like Buddhism and Jainism there were occasions of violence but no one can match Christians, Muslims and present day Sinhala Buddhists. I agree Buddhism is meant to be a very peace loving, compassionate concept of life, yet thanks to Sinhala Buddhists all that was gone. Buddha toiled in vain. These same morons even insult Buddha saying only Sinahla Buddhists will protect Buddha’s Buddhism, what a tragedy and a lie. You idiots have even distorted what Buddha said and went against his concepts by introducing deity and idol worship, rebirth, moksha, karma, etc leave aside your terrible desire for violence, and killing. You yourself a good example of distorted Buddhism hell bent on distortion and mischief making and lying. Moda Blind, Hindus never force anyone to worship, no conversion, no killing, a religion of freedom. If you want you just follow otherwise no problem. What a moron you are to say Hindus are violent. Thopitta hena gahapiyo.

Leave A Comment

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