24 October, 2021

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Mangala’s Mistake 

By Sarath de Alwis –

Sarath de Alwis

The rhetoric of hate is often most effective when couched in the idiom of love…. Truth is all around us…Truth is wherever man has glimpsed divinity.” ~ From Gore Vidal’s novel on Roman Emperor Julian

The script of ‘Mangala’s Mistake’ is simple and straightforward. It begins with a pervasive silence of our collective complicity with an untruth. 

Mangala decides to pierce the conspiracy of silence with the obvious truth. It is a grave mistake.

You cannot argue with the custodians of Sinhala Buddhism. You cannot question its preeminence in the Sri Lankan polity. That is their exclusive preserve. 

They operate on the simple principle that only the fish can study marine biology. Mangala is not a fish.  Dabbling in Marine Biology is not his business.

Now, poor Mangala finds that he has made a controversial statement. It has snowballed into a painful reproach against our collective pusillanimity. Mangala is pilloried.  

Even those who share Mangala’s values do not wish to be reminded of or discuss their neutrality to truth.     

Mangala is not a run of the mill politician. If he was, he would not have made this ethically correct, politically erroneous statement that Sri Lanka was a country where Sinhala Buddhists were the majority, but all were equal citizens irrespective of their ethnoreligious diversity. 

On the face of it, none can dispute its core content. That is if one subscribes to the   overall assumption that we are a plural multicultural democracy.

But it makes an impudent challenge to the Sinhalese Buddhist cosmic order which protects the land destined to be the repository of Theravada Buddhism, protected by ‘Satharawaram deviwaru’ – the four guardian deities. 

His bold but hopelessly starry-eyed attempt to defend and promote   the idea of a civic nation- an inclusive Sri Lankan nation in the present exceptionally incendiary climate is unfortunate. He would be lucky to have any defenders. 

This writer counts himself as one of those defenders. But the price is high. Refusing to take part in ‘a lie’ is a simple courageous step.  Such situations are neither new nor unexampled. They have happened before and will happen again. That is how nations progress and defenders of truth are remembered in history. 

Mangala can take solace in John Steinbeck the novelist who gave his finest work, the biblical name ‘Grapes of Wrath.’ “It takes great courage to back truth unacceptable to our times. There’s a punishment for it, and it’s usually crucifixion.”

The Minister of National Integration, Official Languages, Social Progress and Hindu Religious Affairs Mano Ganeshan has firmly reiterated that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country.

Addressing the gathering of the ‘Jathika Maga’ movement at the BMICH, he has said that we were people of one nation, but it was a Sinhala Buddhist country.

Mano Ganesan whose constituency consists of Tamils permanently domiciled in metropolitan Colombo has very sensibly explained why he holds that view.

 “It was not good to say that Sri Lanka is not a Sinhala Buddhist country. Although, there are different communities living in the country, we should admit that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country.”

Mark the distinction. Mano Ganesan does not say Mangala is wrong. He merely observes that Mangala’s statement is not good.   What Minister Mano Ganesan attempts to tell us is that what Mangala has stated is not good, convenient or politically prudent.  

The reference to Sri Lanka’s Buddhist ethos of tolerance by his eminence Cardinal Malcom Ranjith made eminent sense. 

However, his parable of the Buddhist older brother and younger siblings of other faiths baffled me. My bafflement is on the simple logic that rejects a hierarchical classification of moral purity – the essence of all religions.

On this issue I am open to correction.  I possess no deep insight to comparative religions. It never occurred to me to explore the subject. I have a  deep and abiding aversion to all categories of opiates.   

The confusion over Mangala’s statement was soon resolved quickly firmly and with absolute finality by Venerable Mawarelle Bhaddiya thero who addressed the ‘Jathika Maga’ parley at the BMICH on Tuesday. He presented an eloquently framed proposition. 

කාර්දිනල් තුමාට මෙය පිළිගන්ට පුලුවන්නම් මොකද මංගල සමරවීරට බැරි ?  “Cardinal thumata meya piliganta puluwannam mokada Mangala Samaraweerata bari ? “ 

 When His eminence the Cardinal has pronounced that ours is a Sinhala Buddhist country, what is Mangala groaning about? 

The persuasive rhetoric of Venerable Mawarelle Bhaddiya thero  has an irresistible resonance with the theory of ‘spontaneous consent’ with which the masses concede to the hegemony of a dominant group proposed by the Italian Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci. 

He wrote extensively on it, while languishing in one of Mussolini’s prison where he finally died. 

Although he does not offer a clear-sighted definition of cultural hegemony (he was weary of his Fascist prison censors) Gramsci explained the process of ‘spontaneous consent’. 

Mangala’s rejoinder should have really come from the JVP that calls itself a Marxist party. But how can Sinhala Buddhist Marxists commit that kind of heresy?   

The ruling group determines the direction of the social discourse. Subordinate groups are manipulatively persuaded to come on board. Consent is a complex mental activity – a “contradictory consciousness” mixing resistance and resignation or approval and apathy. Oscillating between approval and apathy is the lot of Mano Ganeshan grappling with the serious task of national reconciliation.  

In this heated climate we are missing the point. This is not about the sanctity of belief systems. 

Underneath the verbiage of heritage and purity of tradition there is a hegemonic consensus that defines access to wealth and power. The real debate is about the power relations that developed in post war Sri Lanka.  

In 2012, Professor Nira Wickremesinghe made an incisive inquiry into the state sponsored project to shape the present by postulating history as heritage.

In the post war period, the study of history was quietly abandoned to the mercies of film producers and perception engineers advancing the political project of the state.

The versatile actor Jackson Anthony replaced the Distinguished Scholar Senarath Parnavithane as our interlocutor with a past that was once obscure but now offering immense  possibilities harking back to the days of Ravana. 

The irony of it all is that the government was in deep slumber just as Kumbhkarna the laid back brother of Ravana was when Islamic terror hit us on Easter Sunday.

One passing thought. A good deed never goes unpunished. I stand by Mangala Samaraweera.  

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Latest comments

  • 11
    0

    Mr. Sarath de Alwis, another gem from you!

    After reading and re-reading and relishing the ruby red pomegranate seeds you placed before us, I am here on the Galle Face Green, getting three Giant Crosses Ready – for the Crucifixion.

    Oh, the third one is for me.!

    I agree with Mangala!

  • 12
    1

    Sri Lanka is a shithole ………. pure and simple.

    Ye can thank The Donald for his French.

    Does is matter it is Singhalese? Does it matter it is Buddhist? Does it matter it is Tamil? Does it matter it is Hindu? Does it matter it is ……………..

  • 3
    6

    Leave alone Mangy boy to whom the author wishes to stand by, but to realize that an ounce of common sense is better than ton of words, analyses, quotations etc. Today, the compositions of England is multiethnic and multireligious. The non-discriminatory attitude is guaranteed by law. (There is no written Constitution in England.) But would anyone has the brass guts to say that the England does not belong to the Anglican English? Similarly would anyone has the brass guts to say that France does not belong to the French Catholics? The list can be expanded to include so many countries. I dare say that it is difficult to say that India belongs to Hindu Hindis. This not the time to say things to whip up innate perhaps animalistic feelings of individuals delving into classifications and belongings but to create amity between its people. Politicians across the divide, Pooh! The common sense of the average man and their resolve for peace is commendable. In real sense, a kind of truth expressed by Mangy boy at this stage is inflammatory and the basic qualification of a Cabinet Minister should be to know when to talk and when not to talk of his core beliefs..

    • 9
      3

      Bad sense the north , east and north west coast has never been Sinhalese or came under Sinhalese rule until 1948. Yes parts of the east did from time to time come under the loose control of the Kings of Kandy , however these lands were still Tamil , with Tamil chiefs and these kings were of Tamil Hindu lineage , therefore to the eastern Tamils , these kings were Hindu Tamils , as they patronised Tamil and Hinduism in the east , whilst patronising Sinhalese and Buddhism in the rest of kingdom. Therefor The island in not the land of the Sinhalese Buddhist it is only the southern seven provinces that is Sinhalese and Buddhist and the north and east Tamil Hindu or the land of the Tamils and this included Hindu , Christian and Muslim. England is Anglican English but not Britain , as it has Scottish Presbyterian and Welsh Protestants. get your facts correct. What Mangala stated is the truth in essence.

      • 3
        3

        I say Siva Shankara Shama, rven the seven Souther Provinces are not ‘Sinhalese and Buddgists’ bcos over 50% of Tamil population are squatting over there bcos they are not happy in their ‘Traditional Homrland’ ?

        • 4
          3

          Old Blind Eagle from Melbourne , Shivering from the Autumn cold , so cannot think stright, even as per your government stats. 51% of the island’s Tamils including Indian origin live in the north and east. 70% of the Indigenous Tamils live in the north and east and 90% of the rest live in greater Colombo , living there not because the love the Sinhalese but forced the make a living , as the government has deliberately not developed the Tamil areas , so that the Tamils are always reliant on the Sinhalese. Thousands of indigenous Tamils still live along the North West coast , where they had lived for centuries in their ancient traditional villages, the ones who have not taken on a Sinhalese Buddhist or Catholic identity but still stubbornly retain their ancient Tamil Hindu or Christian identity. The North west coast was part of the Tamil homeland and was part of the Tamil Jaffna kingdom. This is why the island’s Muslims, when they fled or migrated from their South Indian homeland settled here. Chilaw or Chilapam was the summer capital of the kings of Jaffna. These areas were trade centres and centres for pearl diving. The British took all these areas from the Tamils and made them part of the Sinhalese homeland , forcing many Tamils to take on a Sinhalese identity. Go and read your history and government statistics first. 90% of the Tamils living in the Sinhalese areas, are the Indian origin estate Tamils , who have always lived there and earned most of the country’s foreign exchange, as this is where the British settled them , to exploit them and make money for themselves and now the Sinhalese are doing the same.

      • 3
        2

        Siva Sankaran Sharma,
        Before Demala people became the majority in the North-Eastern part of the country, Sinhalayo were the majority. Sinhalayo had their Kingdoms; Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa in the North-Eastern part of the country. There are plenty of documented and archeological evidences to support that Sinhalayo lived in the North-Eastern part of the country. There are no documented or archeological evidences at all to support the claim that Demala people lived there. Due to barbaric acts of Dravida invaders Sinhalayo had to retreat to South. During colonial rule, they brought millions of laborers from Hindusthan and settled in the North. where Sinhalayo lived.

        “Therefor The island in not the land of the Sinhalese Buddhist it is only the southern seven provinces that is Sinhalese and Buddhist”
        There were no provinces in Sinhale. The country was divided into three Administrative Units; Ruhunu, Maya, Pihiti. Provincial system was introduced by British; first seven provinces and increased to nine later. Provincial boundaries were demarcated for Administrative purposes and not on the basis of ethnicity. Therefore, your statement has no validity at all. But if you get some mental satisfaction by repeating these lies, please go ahead by all means.

    • 8
      1

      “Mangala is not a run-of-the-mill
      politician. If he was, he would not have made this ethically correct, politically erroneous statement”.
      Well said. Pity that people like him don’t get to become president. The retards call him a dress designer. But a truly educated dress designer is preferable to a narcissistic snake of a Grama Sevaka..

    • 9
      1

      Good sense,
      You ought to read a bit more. There are more Catholics now in the UK than practising Anglicans.
      A politician’s religion is not an issue in the UK, where the Mayor of London is a Muslim. We in SL must try to change the current situation, where very good minority candidates are un-electable because of their ethnicity or religion. Could Eran Wickramaratne, Kabir Hashim, or even MA. Sumanthiran ever become PM ?
      Not talking about these issues will not change anything.

      • 0
        0

        Old codger,

        Good question “could…. MA. Sumanthiran ever become PM..”?

        If it comes to that – to appease the masses the legislators will find a way to make the requirements slightly higher to contest for that position.. That’s how you keep competition out.

        In Sri Lanka you win a high jump competition not raising the bar high. You just lower it for yourself and make it higher for your competition. That is the Sri Lankan Buddhist way!

    • 0
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 9
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    “Underneath the verbiage of heritage and purity of tradition there is a hegemonic consensus that defines access to wealth and power. The real debate is about the power relations”

    Spot on! ………… It’s all about avoiding a honest day’s work. ……. ask the expert Dayan how it’s done :))

    As a man not schooled in the Humanities I had to fall back on basic Science ………. did a simple thought-experiment to decide what is important to me

    I can live without Buddhism, Christianity, Sinhalese, Tamils, Monks, pols, diplomats ………..

    But I can’t live without electricity, running-water, a car, bread, rice ………………….

    So the religions I respect and their priests are ………. electricians, plumbers, mechanics, bakers, farmers …………. Don’t you think we should discard the worthless parasites and embrace real religions that are useful to mankind and learn to respect their priests?

    That’s why in more “advanced societies” the Pope has to compete with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump (God forbid!) ………… for admiration and “look-up-to” spots

    We have none of them so …………. Malwatte priest, Malcom Ranjit, Mahinda, Ranil …………. have a free easy ride.

    Native V. all your efforts are in vain, if you want to save the motherland drop Humanities and Religions and pick up Science/Technology ………… there lies man’s future salvation.

    • 5
      2

      nimal fernando

      “Native V. all your efforts are in vain, if you want to save the motherland drop Humanities and Religions and pick up Science/Technology ………… there lies man’s future salvation.”

      Until we straighten the crooked, biased, destructive, ………………. political and social system the priority of the stupid people is watching what the next person is doing or what he is gaining.


      It is a waste of time and resources developing Science/Technology.
      Tell us how many valuable doctors, engineers, accountants, lawyers, scientists, technicians, ……………… have we lost since 1956? Why could not we retain them?

      I am sorry to say we are left/stuck with *******s Udhaya, Wimal, Dayan, Namal Baby, …. to name a few.

      • 0
        0

        Native,

        “Tell us how many valuable doctors, engineers, accountants, lawyers, scientists, technicians, ……………… have we lost since 1956? Why could not we retain them?”

        I hear you loud and clear ……….. but I have no answer …….. you know it as well as I.

        But after this unspeakable Easter tragedy I sense that in the collective “peoples’/nation’s mind” the tide is turning against the pols of all colors/persuasions. I hope it stays that way.

  • 2
    14

    Mangala Samraweera knows what he is doing. He is a disgrace to humanity. Only thing I can not believe is Matara, deep south, people vote him.

  • 2
    9

    This bugger is thinking we are all morons. Mangala’s was a clear political statement. He was NEVER concerned about the TRUTH. He is well known for his propaganda skills in perpetuating blatant lies and character assassination of his opponents. Why do we say that Mangala’s statement is a political one? Because as publicly stated by Mangala himself before, he relies on majority of MINORITY VOTES and minority of MAJORITY VOTES of people such as Sarath to GRAB POWER. He has no concern regarding the majority of the majority because he knows he cannot capture that vote bank. His statement is clearly directed towards the constituency he is nurturing for the NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. So Sarath, keep your BS with yourself. We can discuss about TRUTHS on another day.

    • 5
      1

      Hela

      “This bugger is thinking we are all morons.”

      You are morons whether Mangala thinks or not.

      “he relies on majority of MINORITY VOTES and minority of MAJORITY VOTES of people such as Sarath to GRAB POWER.”

      Alright what’s wrong with grabbing power through democratic participation unlike the crooks attempting overthrow a legitimate government in a failed coup?

      It appears the Sinhala/Buddhist fascist noisy minority are the permanent victims.
      Hela, find out what somass is up to now?
      You should help him loot and destroy houses and shops.

  • 5
    0

    Thanks for choosing to defend. Mangala called a spade a spade.This is Sri lanka. The land of Sri lankans. We have a Sinhalese majority and other ethnicities living together as Sri lankans. The moment we all realize that concept will pave the way for lasting peace. The longer we stay ignorant, will see tensions rising from time to time. It will eventually lead to a permanent struggle.
    Sinhalese bhuddist being the overwhelmingly dominant culture will naturally be the most visible and it is obvious those cultural aspects permeating to other sub cultures. That is how we have lived in this land for centuries. But if a subculture is isolating and drifting away from the dominant culture, it is imperative to rope it in as quickly as possible. Violence is the wrong choice.

  • 14
    4

    I would put it more strongly than the writer of this excellent article. Mangala’s ‘reproach against our collective pusillanimity’ should have come from every Sinhalese Buddhist who cares dearly for the future of his people and this country. Preserving Sri Lanka as a Sinhalese Buddhist state has condemned us to the collective hoodlumism that we have seen in the communal violence of 1977 and 1983 to this day; and the rise of the LTTE and the recent Wahabi terror. The price of a Sinhalese Buddhist state instead of a civic state is to tolerate along with Buddhist hoodlumism, hoodlumism of the Tamil nationalist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian varieties. The law was never enforced. It was not enforced when Zahran and his Wahabi hoodlums began attacking Sufis in 2004. It was treated as an internal religious problem. We saw the collective pusillanimity of the Muslim community broken by mainly a group of courageous women.
    The choice is between life and death, between sanity and insanity. What is surprising is that this urgent dose of sanity should come from Mangala, rather than from eminent persons in civil society and that he should be left alone to face the music.

  • 11
    0

    Thank you Mr. Sarath De Alwis. Yours is yet another voice crying in the wilderness.

    Poor Mano Ganeshan. He has to keep singing for his supper. He cannot afford to rub his masters the wrong way. Mangala, of course is from a different mould, with liberal, enlightened views on religio-ethnic issues. . He is Khema’s boy. He had imbibed them from his mother- my good friend- Khema, a charming lady,whom I have had occasion to work with at Lake House (1965-70).

  • 3
    1

    Federal Country has a fundamental dividing characteristic to create states. In North America it is based on the original colonies. In India, Pakistan, Swiss….. it about races and languages. SWRD, when proposed his version, he wanted mainly on races then languages. So he said Up Country Sinhalese – the Original Sinhalese, shore or rural Sinhalese – the newly migrated and converted Sinhalese and Tamils. But latter he brought the Social disability act and the divisions emerged obvious or prominent were Sinhalese and Tamils. This is what SJV’s Federalism was, too.

    Upcountry Tamils always asked for a solution to live within Sinhalese. They never talked anything for North-East Tamils. Mano Ganesan became an in-between-by representing Colombo Tamils. So he is basically against Federalism, unlike other Up Country Tamils, who has no opinion on this. As matter of fact those all who oppose Federalism deny any division existing to substantiate Federal constitution. So it was not uncomfortable to Mano Ganesan to say this is “Sinhala Buddhist Country”. By history there was never a country existed as Mano Ganesan said.

    A democratic federal country, as we said earlier, may go by any division, including religion. So one part of it may be Buddhists, one Muslims, One……Here the democratic principle are not affected or violated. In provincial governments, the dominant tribe may be visible. But in the federal nothing will be visible. But in unitary country, under democratic principle, there is no division can be visible. That is why it is said it is unitary. That means one type citizens-one nation. There are no differences between the citizens. If Sri Lankawe wants majority rules and wants to be rules by Sinhala Buddhists only, then it is not Democratic Socialistic Republic.
    Mano Ganesan can support Federalism and then call the Western part he lives as Buddhists state, or support unitary and oppose Sinhala Buddhism.

    We understand all are trying to save their positions and so nobody care about any principle in their talk or behavior.

  • 2
    11

    Bit of advice for CT readers who may miss between the lines of this bogus intellectualism
    \
    Sri Lankans need to be even more wary of this kind of (attempted) intellectual terrorism more than the threat posed by explosives, swords and other weapons of subterfuge of ISIS animals.
    \
    False propaganda of local mentally subservient followers of Henry VIII cult aim at one thing. They want to take over Sri Lanka and its resources on behalf of the ‘Albion’ and return to the 1815 conspiracy of fake news (such as King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe’s cruelty), and deception in order to achieve what they couldn’t achieve by war.
    \
    These thieves dress up their noxious philosophy in the bogus garbs to appear like democracy, racial and homosexual equality. Often they attempt to disguise ideas handed to them by the new emperors the American Jewish establishmen tas deep intellectual analysis and broad mindedness. They quote freely from the Jewish propaganda after the second world war and various homosexuals (like Gore Vidal).

    Morally compromised individuals like Mangala Samaraweera are the targets of these thieves and they help them enter politics and blabber their inanities, assuming they are rational, intelligent people. The vested interests like the Henry VIII suckers cheer from the side lines.
    \
    This is the long and the short of this thievery.

    • 6
      1

      Sir, if you are Tissa Devendra the author of:

      The Emerald Island
      Tales from the Provinces
      Princes Peasants and Clever Beasts
      More Princes, Peasants and Clever Beasts
      On Horseshoe Street

      YOU DISAPPOINT ME !

      Your homopohbia and your anti semitism is oozing out of every pore in your body.

      If you are not, I dont want to waste my time with you.

      • 0
        2

        [Edited out] @ T. Devendra, our internal audit shows that you are using multiple identities to attack writers and contributors. We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

        If you are not willing to follow our guidelines, you will be blocked soon.

        Colombo Telegraph

      • 3
        0

        Ugly American

        I’ve also wondered if he (?) was the retired civil servant + writer Tissa Devendra, but concluded that — unless they are deliberate — certain infelicities in language make that unlikely.

      • 3
        1

        Obviously this is NOT Tissa Devendra. This idiot can’t even write English properly. Do you think the real TD would write a sentence like “They want to take over Sri Lanka and its resources on behalf of the ‘Albion’ and return to the 1815 conspiracy of fake news ” ?

    • 2
      6

      Well said TD

    • 2
      2

      T. Devendra

      I am happy you are still alive even at this age and wish you a long healthy live.
      My request to you is this, when you type please type coherently.

      • 0
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        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

        • 0
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          It seems TD aka Can’t be Suppressed aka Sinhala Buddhist can be suppressed after all.

  • 4
    10

    Mangala Samaraweera says this is not a Sinhala Buddhist country and the majority should not impose anything on minorities.

    The funny thing is this may be the only country in the world that minorities are imposing their things on majority.

    There are four types of laws that exist in this country. Roman Dutch Law, Udarata Law, Sharia Law and Thesawalamei. Muslims and Demalu have imposed laws based on ethnicity and religion on Sri Lankans.

    Because of Thesawalamei, the land in Yapanaya can only be owned by Demalu (in reality by Wellala Demalu). This is a customary law from Malabar which was brought to this country by laborers imported by Portuguese and Dutch. Why should Sri Lanka accept this law?

    Shariah law is based on Muslim religion. The Sinhalese who are abide by Roman Dutch Law can have only one wife whereas Muslims, under Sharia Law can have several wives. This is totally unfair for Sinhalayo.

    According to Shariah Law, a girl who attains puberty can marry. Even if a girl attains puberty at the age of ten, she can marry but a Sinhala woman has to wait until she reaches 18 years to get married. Isn’t this unfair.

    According to Shariah Law a female government employee is entitled to get four months and ten days paid leave if her husband pass away. Sinhala people do not have that privilege. Isn’t this unfair for Sinhalayo.


    According to Shariah Law, if a Muslim woman gets pregnant and if the husband pass away or divorce, she is entitled to get paid leave until she delivers the baby. Sinhalayo do not have that luxury. Isn’t this unfair for Sinhalayo.

    P.S. Muslim readers. Correct me if I am wrong.

    • 4
      3

      Blind eagle,
      “According to Shariah Law, a girl who attains puberty can marry. Even if a girl attains puberty at the age of ten, she can marry but a Sinhala woman has to wait until she reaches 18 years to get married. Isn’t this unfair.”
      Good question.
      Maybe that’s why all the rapists who rape five year old girls are all Sinhalese.

    • 2
      1

      Eagle Blind Eye and stupid

      “Muslim readers. Correct me if I am wrong.”

      You are always completely wrong hence what is there to correct.
      Try again.

  • 3
    0

    What nonsense!
    It is harder to weaponize Buddhism or Hinduism which are atheistic and poly-thestic systems of belief and hence better able to accommodate diversity and plurality, than it is to weaponize Mono-theistic Islam or Christianity.

    Of course, Christianity because of the “Enlightenment” turn to Reason, has gone through a process of modernization and lost its monthestic force unlike the Wahabi brand of Islam. Finally, atheistic and poly theistic ethico-religious value systems have a better chance of accommodating plurality and diversity and this is what the Cardinal meant when speaking about a local Buddhist culture in Sri Lanka than is to be distinguished from Sinhala Buddhist nationalism

  • 4
    1

    Title should be not Mangala’s mistake but “Managala is a mistake”. He wants to rip apart existing structure in the guise of despising all structures.

    What he doesn’t tell you is that getting rid of all structures will render a society moot. Humans cannot operate without structures. In order to to think about even a miniscule thing you need to empower one “thing” over the “other”.

    So secular ethics don’t exist in communities this large. They can exist in a sage’s mind who has gone boyond structures but we as a collective surely cant.

    He just wants to impose his structures on the mass so he can “feel” supirior about his “moral stand”. His structure is opressor vs opressed. He wants to create a class divide so he can inject some of his ideas and create a base where he can thrive.

    So the question should be, are these new structures(standards) worthy; than the existing ones?

    Buddhism deny harming anybody even for SELF PROTECTION. It encourages Vedana based (pain happiness and equaminity) secularish ethics. (By neither denying nor affirming kamma and rebirth.)

    So isn’t it good for a country to adopt such values? Should we choose “Mangala’s Western far left rhetorics” over such open and inclusive doctrine where everyone is valued?

  • 2
    0

    Minister Mangala, has stated the obvious and pat on the back to him. TRUTH must and need to told and preached over and over again. First and foremost, all Sri Lankans irrespective of their cultural or religious different must feel and be SRI LANKANS. Look what the barriers, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian or Muslim have bought about. War, Riots, looting, corruption and racial hatred. Is this what you want, SRI LANKA. Does human values, common sense and humility gone out the door. No number of trips to Triupathy Temple in India to solve the problems. Currently, Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankans have become the laughing stock of the World. It is pathetic to watch the land is engulfed in nefarious incidents.
    May the lord, Venkadeswar cleanse the beautiful island of these incidents?

  • 2
    1

    To be honest, Sri Lanka is backward-going country and it’s not going to develop anytime soon at least in another 250 years. Only the fools would believe that ‘Gota mahaththaya’, their hero would dive in and build this country.

  • 4
    1

    We have to come out of the distorted rewritten history.
    Explore pre- Thevanai Nampiya Theesan era. Before the arrival of Mahinda and Sangamitha, Srilankans were Dravidan Saivaites. Thamil king embraced Buddhism and subjects followed the king and remained as Thamil Buddhists. Thamil Buddhists created Sinhala language to protect Buddhism. Before this, it was a Thamil Saiva country. Prince Vijeya and lord Buddha were Saivaites. Prince Vijeya’s wives, Kuveni and Vijeyee were Thamil saivaites. Lord Buddha visited this island to resolve conflicts between two Thamil Saiva Kings. From the inception this was a Saiva country. When you teach history, please say about Mahanagan and his ancestors.

  • 5
    0

    As usual, an insightful essay that takes on the baying and ignorant mob. Thank you Sarath. I think the good cardinal (may his nieces and nephews get more diplomatic appointments under an MR government!) and Mangala were too cryptic. Three strands of thought need to be disentangled.
    First, a statement of fact. Just as Italy is a Catholic Italian country, Sri Lanka can be said to be a Sinhala Buddhist country. Taken as a statement of fact (depending on one’s criteria), this is unexceptionable.
    Second, the dominant civilization of Sri Lanka is Sinhalese Buddhist. All Sri Lankans including non-Buddhist like me must appreciate and cherish the beautiful Buddhist monuments, the beautiful sight of Sil devotees on full moon day, and the simplicity and elegance of the stupas. This is the common heritage of all Sri Lankans who should be proud of this and claim it as their own. This leaves no room for the Goni Billa clothing which alienates some Muslims from the Sri Lankans as a community.
    Third, and this is the vicious one. The country belongs to Sinhala Buddhists and all others live in the country as guests and must behave with the respect that guests owe a host. These “others” are here by sufferance and if they become parasitic (in the opinion of some uneducated thugs in robes), they can be excised from the Sinhala Buddhist tree and destroyed. Pity the good cardinal did not clarify this and say that everyone has a right to live in this country, not as a result of permission from the majority ethno religious community, but as an inalienable right. Pity the cardinal did not look to Christian countries where a similar claim of guest and host has never ever been asserted. This third interpretation is red meat to the yahoos in robes and their followers!

  • 6
    4

    People in this country are flabbergasted with the way this Government is dealing with Muslim politicians. Have Muslim politicians become ‘Sacred Cows’ or ‘Untouchables’?

    Has Saharan issued checks to ‘Gembas’ in Diyawannawa in the same way Alosius issued checks?

  • 10
    0

    May there be more people making politically incorrect but morally necessary and altruistic comments like Mangala.
    .
    As for the consequences, as many of us as dare must stand by Mangala. We need leaders like him, who speak the truth without first calculating the consequences.

  • 8
    0

    Mangala is right. Religion, race, language does not make a community great, but good values, humanity, hospitality, does. Sri Lanka should remain multi religious, multi lingual multi ethnic state and should be given the ‘Sri Lankan’ identity. All the religious dignitaries should required take oath that they would accept the citizens as such. Otherwise they should be charged for being prejudicial.

  • 4
    3

    In one stroke he has ensured ALL the Muslim votes for the party. UNP dependence on the minority votes is the cause of the present calamity. They ignored the surveillance of the Wahabi activities to please the Muslims. About a month back I remember Navin Disanayake boasting 40% Sinhala Buddhist votes is sufficient for them.
    Muslims are going to commit harakiri by en block voting.

    Soma

  • 7
    1

    “Mangala is not a run of the mill politician. If he was, he would not have made this ethically correct, politically erroneous statement”.
    Well said. Pity that people like him don’t get to become president. The retards call him a dress designer. But a truly educated dress designer is preferable to a narcissistic snake of a Grama Sevaka.

  • 6
    0

    Sarath:
    1) You cannot argue with the custodians of Sinhala Buddhism. You cannot question its preeminence in the Sri Lankan polity. That is their exclusive preserve.

    They operate on the simple principle that only the fish can study marine biology. Mangala is not a fish. Dabbling in Marine Biology is not his business.

    Now, poor Mangala finds that he has made a controversial statement. It has snowballed into a painful reproach against our collective pusillanimity. Mangala is pilloried.

    *** You have turned from Gotha Lover to Mangala Hater. Mangala Guilt is to utter a word which is factually and historically correct but is anathema to the Buddhists . What you are saying amounts to the following. The Buddhists are the Kings of Sinhala Lanka and all the subjects ” Mangala ” included exercise what is called “Prerogative ” power that descends from the Clergy.. But sadly for your disappointment Sinhala Lanka is not a Monarchy. Although King MR & his faithful servant Gotha the Criminal tried to turn it into one but failed . The so called “exclusivity by Bhuddhist Clergy is at the expense of all the Minorities who are being hounded and the that is why Bombs are exploding everywhere. More to come.

    2) Even those who share Mangala’s values do not wish to be reminded of or discuss their neutrality to truth.
    Mangala is not a run of the mill politician. If he was, he would not have made this ethically correct, politically erroneous statement that Sri Lanka was a country where Sinhala Buddhists were the majority, but all were equal citizens irrespective of their ethnoreligious diversity.

    *** You are right truth hurts and sometimes it can cost your life just like what happened to ” Lasantha” who tried to get too close to the truth with the MIG deal ( Gotha). Are you saying Minorities are unequal.

    to be continued

  • 2
    4

    Managala is out of order here.
    The trouble with so-called thinkers, intellectuals and do- gooders is that their hairsplitting theories and radical thinking on the Bible, Koran and other religious matters are breeding grounds for extremists and terrorists. In trying to propagate their radical theories against traditional teachings they create dissension within the community first causing splits and rivalries resulting in violence to show which faction has a majority. Christianity went through this in the past but is now settled down with a live and let live policy. Buddhism is also having the same policy with its different sects. However with petro dollars in the middle east a new radicalization started with Wahabism which the radicals who are a minority wanted to impose on the traditional Muslims locally and in other countries of the world with the help of western powers who always fish in troubled waters. It is up to the traditional Muslims to stop radicalization of their youth. Sri Lanka also became a victim due to power politics and religion based minor Muslim parties being kingmakers at the expense of Sinhalese Buddhists being the overwhelming majority but split between two major political parties. Muslims and their politicians in Sri Lanka as traditionally in the past must, like the Christians and Hindus blend culturally and socially with the majority Sinhalese Buddhists and not live in exclusivity in an alien mentality atmosphere in this country. They must dissolve their parties and join the major parties for benefit of their people.
    Mangala who has no religious or family values by this statement is only inviting chaos in the country and foreign intervention through his warped mindset which is in tune with his type of people in the west.

  • 2
    0

    continued
    3) On the face of it, none can dispute its core content. That is if one subscribes to the overall assumption that we are a plural multicultural democracy.

    *** But for 70 years you have denied it which is root the cause of the destruction of the country never to recover.

    4) But it makes an impudent challenge to the Sinhalese Buddhist cosmic order which protects the land destined to be the repository of Theravada Buddhism, protected by ‘Satharawaram deviwaru’ – the four guardian deities.

    *** Have you heard of the following Arupadai Veedu ” These six holy places are considered to be the Veedu(home in tamil) of Lord Murugan. Hence it’s got the name. … They are ordered as Arupadai Veedu as each one has one speciality related to Lord Murugan. These six holy places are considered to be the Veedu(home in tamil) of Lord Murugan. Hence it’s got the name.
    Nallur Temple is one and India is the Protector. We dont need the Buddhit Clergy.
    5) His bold but hopelessly starry-eyed attempt to defend and promote the idea of a civic nation- an inclusive Sri Lankan nation in the present exceptionally incendiary climate is unfortunate. He would be lucky to have any defenders.
    *** Yes none amongst the Majority and in my view although he is a pretender( Protects War Criminals) he has my support as at least he speaks the Truth..
    Mangala is Right you are wrong and start spreading the news.

  • 3
    0

    3) On the face of it, none can dispute its core content. That is if one subscribes to the overall assumption that we are a plural multicultural democracy.

    *** But for 70 years you have denied it which is root the cause of the destruction of the country never to recover.

    4) But it makes an impudent challenge to the Sinhalese Buddhist cosmic order which protects the land destined to be the repository of Theravada Buddhism, protected by ‘Satharawaram deviwaru’ – the four guardian deities.

    *** Have you heard of the following Arupadai Veedu ” These six holy places are considered to be the Veedu(home in tamil) of Lord Murugan. Hence it’s got the name. … They are ordered as Arupadai Veedu as each one has one speciality related to Lord Murugan. These six holy places are considered to be the Veedu(home in tamil) of Lord Murugan. Hence it’s got the name.
    Nallur Temple is one and India is the Protector. We dont need the Buddhit Clergy.
    5) His bold but hopelessly starry-eyed attempt to defend and promote the idea of a civic nation- an inclusive Sri Lankan nation in the present exceptionally incendiary climate is unfortunate. He would be lucky to have any defenders.
    *** Yes none amongst the Majority and in my view although he is a pretender( Protects War Criminals) he has my support as at least he speaks the Truth..
    Mangala is Right you are wrong and start spreading the news.

  • 5
    0

    Any right thinking person would agree with Minister Samaraweera’s comments regardless of whether it was politically motivated or not.Atleast He had the courage of his convictions to state what is unpalatable to most of us.

    While it is a fact that Sinhalese form the largest Ethnic group in Sri Lanka it is also true that most of them claim to be following Buddhism.However these facts do not give any legality to proclaim Sri Lanka as a Sinhala/Buddhist Nation.Race is something we inherit rather than aquire and Religion a matter of personal belief.

    As for the utterances made by Cardinal Malcom Ranjith(fast becoming a political charlatan) they do not necessarily represent what the Catholics of this country believe.

    All that’s needed to assimilate in Sri Lanka is to embrace ,that all have an equal right to life,liberty,and the pursuit of happiness,to the protection of the law,to be governed by consent,to speak freely and practice their religion openly with tolerance

    If only we can learn from the Countries who have based their founding convictions
    on such

  • 3
    0

    Sarath

    Let me pay you a compliment. In this picture you look fairer, older, wiser but just as deceitful as before as a I can look straight into your face . But the message is loud is loud and clear. I hate UNP and love SLPP because it houses War winning Criminals

  • 1
    7

    Lankan Buddhist, Hindus, Christian, pagans, and others should find a way to work with each other. The Lankan version of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity does not work well with Jihadi Islam now embraced by the overwhelming majority of Moslems. They are sitting ducks when the cannibalistic Moslems start gorging themselves on the flesh of the innocents as it happened on Easter Sunday. All the mumbo jumbo about the origin of Lankan problems, historical facts can be left for a few good doctoral theses, Lankan Kaffirs (Buddhist, Hindu, Christian) must look the Satan of Islam in the eye, watch the videos of cold blooded terror, the smiling terrorists who stroke a young girls head on the way to kills thousands and see the terrorist State of Taqqia deception, transform in minutes into the apocalyptic horror of mass murder and the terrorist explodes himself.

    That is the duty of all Kaffirs of the day. Not to check on an insignificant minister who is probably on the pay of Moslems businesses to utter nonsense and deflect attention from the Moslem terror to controversies about religion and identity. Lankans DONT LOSE FOCUS. The Devil himself visited upon the innocent on Easter Sunday, Satan is coming for you and your family any day now. Plan to defend yourselves.

    • 1
      1

      JC you would have noticed that the highly opinionated Native VD has never contradicted or commented on your posts. Silence is approval, as he constantly lectures others.

      • 1
        2

        taraki

        Unlike your bum mine is not fitted with a flying machine to be everywhere.
        Now that you have raised it I will ignore JC’s racist rant.
        All these years you have been sitting on the wall now it appears you have joined the racist and crooks. Well done.

    • 2
      1

      Jay Chambers

      “The Devil himself visited upon the innocent on Easter Sunday, Satan is coming for you and your family any day now.”

      The Devil came on 17 September 1864 and left on 29 April 1933.
      It left a lot of its “tards” all over the island, although it claimed to have been a Brahmachari.
      The tards are born and bred in this island.
      They call themselves Sinhala/Buddhists (fascists)
      Every few years or so they ( especially since 1956) sacrifice humans as part of their rituals then they claimed to have been the victims.

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