19 November, 2019

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Midweek Politics: Losing The Ideas Battle

By Dharisha Bastians –

Dharisha Bastians

“Monks, even if bandits were to savagely sever you, limb by limb, with a double-handled saw, even then, whoever of you harbours ill will at heart would not be upholding my Teaching.” Kakacupama Sutta: The Parable of the Saw

The heavy Police guard at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo early Monday morning created the impression that there would be VIP movement at the hotel premises that day.

But instead of politicians, it was a large contingent of senior Buddhist monks that alighted at the entrance and made their way towards the hotel’s Ivy Room. There, the monks took their seats alongside Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chief Susantha Ratnayake and senior Muslim clerics to address a massive joint media conference, where they proudly announced a win-win compromise on the Halal controversy that has been sweeping across the country.

The All Ceylon Jamaiythul Ulama announced that the Halal logo – deemed abhorrent to the Buddhist community by hard-line groups like the Bodu Bala Sena – would no longer need to be compulsorily displayed on the packaging of consumer products. The Ceylon Chamber Chairman announced that the Chambers had advised its membership to get products without the offending logo to retail shelves as soon as possible, so that the matter could finally be put to rest and the tensions created by the Halal issue effectively defused.

Senior monks, like Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thero, hailed the consensus as proof that problems between religious communities could be resolved through discussion instead of fisticuffs. “The ACJU is our friend,” he told journalists that morning. The monks and Muslim clerics displayed much bonhomie and goodwill during the trilingual media briefing.

Defusing tension

It was transparent attempt to spread the message that there was no need to fear the ACJU or sections of the Muslim community, following an onslaught of hard-line Sinhalese propaganda against Islamic custom and rituals. One of the major demands of the hardliners had been for Sinhala Buddhists and Sri Lankans from non-Muslim communities to be able to purchase food items that did not bear the Halal logo.

The strange rationale notwithstanding, it was a call many Sinhalese echoed, with grocery stores being forced to stock non-Halal items and some people choosing to boycott Muslim enterprises altogether. The anti-Halal, anti-Muslim enterprise campaign carried out by Sinhala hard-line groups like the Bodu Bala Sena, have struck at the very heart of a community that has traditionally engaged in trade.
As reports grew more widespread about intolerance and attacks against Muslims, their businesses and their way of life, the ACJU appeared to become more convinced that it would have to capitulate on the Halal issue in order to prevent an outbreak of more serious anti-Muslim sentiment. The Muslim clerics owned that the decision had been a hard one, but that they would seek other ways to educate Muslims about which brands of food were permissible for Muslim people to consume.

One system the ACJU is mulling is putting up notices in mosques around the country, listing products that were adhering to the Halal tradition. With immediate effect, the Halal logo was no longer mandatory, and the clerics went one step further offering the certification free of charge to any companies that sought it voluntarily. For a little over 24 hours therefore, it appeared as if with the ACJU’s major compromise on the Halal logo would see an end to the hate and demonisation campaigns.

But the next afternoon, at their multi-storeyed building at the Thummulla junction, the Bodu Bala Sena condemned the ‘compromise’ saying it was an evil plot hatched by foreign conspirators and unreservedly attacked all those they perceived as being architects of the resolution, including some members of the Sangha that were present at the joint press briefing the previous day. The group has flatly refused to accept the withdrawal of the logo as an end to the issue and pledged to continue to have the Halal certification completely banned in Sri Lanka by the April New Year.

Assuming credit for what they said was a 50% drop in sales at Muslim owned businesses, the hard-line group said the Halal debate must continue relentlessly until the certification was no longer available in the country, and even called for the dissolution of the ACJU that was set up by an act of Parliament in the year 2000. To this end, a series of massive rallies have been organised in different parts of the island, and the monks claim they are unable to cope with invitations from their task forces throughout the country to hold public meetings in their towns.

BBS, the Torah and the Quran

At the media briefing, Bodu Bala Sena front-liners spread open translations of the Torah and the Quran and explained why Halal food is food that is dedicated to Allah and is therefore unfit to be offered to the Lord Buddha in pooja. Ironically, the Bodu Bala Sena monks, who often quote Quranic suras, are yet to read from the Tripitaka or quote a sutta as preached by Lord Buddha at their media briefings and public rallies, even if the group’s media briefings and public rallies often begin by reciting pan-sil. They revere and uphold the teachings of Soma Thero, cite quotations from Anagarika Dharmapala and other Sinhala Buddhist renaissance figures, the monks are yet to provide a rationale for their movement that is drawn directly from the teachings or words of the Gautama Buddha.
The enmity and social segregation propagated by Bodu Bala Sena monks find no resonance or comparison in the teachings of the Buddha, whose most fundamental legacies were tolerance and the rejection of birth as marker of superiority. At Tuesday’s briefing the group’s ire was directed largely at ex-Justice Minister Milinda Moragoda, for his role in brokering the Halal compromise.

Moragoda, who now functions as a Presidential Advisor has been significantly involved in attempting to defuse simmering tension between the Bodu Bala Sena and the organisation of Muslim clerics that the hard-line Sinhala group has made its arch enemy. The former Minister has been instrumental in arranging discussions between the ACJU and high offices of the Government, including Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and even the Bodu Bala Sena and senior Defence officials, including the Defence Secretary and officers from law enforcement, intelligence and even the military.
The former UPFA Colombo Mayoral candidate has consistently lobbied senior Muslim clerics, higher echelons of the Rajapaksa administration and members of the Maha Sangha to arrive at a peaceful, consensual resolution to the Halal crisis and the anti-Muslim sentiment it was creating in the country. Moragoda’s ultimate plan was to bring discussions on the issue to a point at which the ACJU and the Bodu Bala Sena could sit together with senior Government officials at one meeting to iron out their issues. But with the crisis building and the Bodu Bala Sena rhetoric getting more divisive, the need to resolve the issue superseded the desire for gestures of goodwill.

Making enemies of moderates

As the days wear on, it will become clearer that the Bodu Bala Sena does not want the issues to simply go away. To continue to provide fodder for the anti-Muslim movement that is taking shape in certain urban areas and virulently so on social networking sites, the group has to keep creating monsters that feed the frenzied mob. For this reason, moderates like Moragoda and even Government officials and members of the business community that seek to defuse rather than build tensions, will continue to earn the Bodu Bala Sena’s ire.

Like any fascist group, the Bodu Bala Sena will recognise Sinhala Buddhist moderates as being their greatest enemy, whether they are politicians, laymen or monks. And if the Halal controversy looks like it cannot be sustained, the group has other tricks up its sleeve – the most recent of these being the Abaya or full body garment worn by some Muslim women.

Columnist D.B.S. Jeyaraj writes of disturbing incidents that show a growing intolerance to this garment worn by Muslim women in certain parts of the country already. Jeyaraj reports that women attired in these conservative outfits are becoming targets of derisive remarks and even attempts to yank the garments off. One such target was the grand niece of a veteran Muslim political leader, who was spat upon, while three schoolgirls in Abaya were attacked in Dickwella. The Bodu Bala Sena has been waging war against these outfits for some weeks now, referring to women who wear them as Goni-Billas and making derogatory and blatantly sexist remarks about the clothing at their rallies.
At their Tuesday briefing, the monk-led group affirmed that they were against the Abaya and the Burqa, because it was firstly, a security threat and a problem for law enforcement whose job depended on being able to identify persons, and secondly an indication that Sharia Law was in force in the island. Attempting to create fear and suspicion about the garment will form an integral part of the Bodu Bala Sena’s post-Halal campaign.

When it came to the Halal issue, it has long been the realisation that as with all consumer products, the market finally decides the outcome of such debates. If the removal of the Halal logo results in a drastic drop in sales, companies will opt for the logo, despite the political ripples it may create. Ultimately, purchasing power will provide the final resolution to the Halal crisis.

But the Bodu Bala Sena’s blatantly patriarchal encroachment into women’s clothing choices marks a dangerous trend that could culminate the creation of a cultural police that determines the length of women’s skirts and what constitutes indecent exposure. While the monk-led group is incongruously offended by the most conservative female garment worn in Sri Lanka today, and that is essentially driven by its anti-Muslim ideology, the question is who their next target will be after the Muslim community is effectively subjugated.

India’s problem?

Interestingly, the Halal saga and the Bodu Bala Sena antics are playing out alongside largely non-descript UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva. In a strangely unanticipated twist, Geneva 2013, as it relates to Sri Lanka has become much more New Delhi’s problem than it is Colombo’s. For several days now, the Indian Parliament has been rocked by protests by Tamil Nadu politicians demanding that the Centre take a tougher stance on Colombo. In fact, last Thursday (7), BJP strongman and former Indian External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha told the Indian Parliament that voting in support of the US resolution in Geneva was not sufficient, India should in fact submit a resolution against Sri Lanka itself.

The Rajapaksa administration is deliberately shifting attention away from the UNHRC’s 22nd Session, where a second US led resolution against Sri Lanka was tabled last Friday (8), with at least one change that should cause some disturbance for the Rajapaksa regime in Colombo. The inclusion in the second leaked draft of the resolution that ultimately became the version tabled by the US, “noted” UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s call for an independent war crimes inquiry. Perhaps even more interestingly, during an Indian parliamentary debate on 7 March, the day before the US resolution was tabled in Geneva, Indian Minister of External Affairs, Salman Khursheed was to tell the House that an external international inquiry into what has happened in Sri Lanka was “inevitable”.
“Similarly, the LLRC in toto must be implemented and then we can think at something beyond and something ahead. I only say this I know that many honourable Members feel that there should be an external international inquiry into what has happened in Sri Lanka. I know that the adjudication is necessary. It is inevitable,” the Indian Minister said.

He said that for a durable and sustainable political solution in Sri Lanka, “the facts will have to be established, they will have to be accepted and the consequences that come from acceptance of those facts and establishment of those facts, must also follow.”

Language trouble

India is inclined to vote in support of the resolution in Geneva, but remains gravely concerned about what it has termed the ‘intrusive’ language of the draft resolution. As such, the dilution or negotiation on the language has become, largely, New Delhi’s problem. Colombo has maintained stoically that it categorically rejects the US resolution and will not negotiate on its language. However, authoritative diplomatic sources have confirmed that the Sri Lankan delegation is not only in discussion with the US Delegation in Geneva about the language of the resolution, but is also hoping to move amendments to the draft.

Four years after the conclusion of the war – the war that New Delhi led by the Congress Government backed to the hilt in its final stages – Sri Lanka’s giant neighbour has received less and less to work with from the Rajapaksa administration. The continued suppression and denial of political rights to the Tamils fuels ferocious fires in India’s South, and the incumbent Sri Lankan regime’s anti-democratic tendencies in the recent past, continue to worry New Delhi, which as the major power in South Asia, seeks to create a common democratic standard in the region.

As India grows in power and influence in the region and around the world, it seeks more than mere economic prowess and its foreign policy decisions cease to be based solely on its own national interest. US President Barack Obama in his speech to the Indian Parliament in 2010, highlighted this notion, when he said that as the world’s two largest democracies, India and the US must never forget that the price of their own freedom was standing up for the freedom of others. “Along with the United States, you’ve been a leader in supporting democratic development and civil society groups around the world. This, too, is part of India’s greatness,” the US President said, during his visit to New Delhi in his first term.

Minister Khursheed echoed these lofty sentiments in Parliament last Thursday when he said that it was not easy to support a resolution against Sri Lanka. “If you support a resolution against any country, do you think that it is easy? But if you vote with a principled position and the confidence that what you are doing is not something that you are doing for your own advantage but you are doing it for their benefit, you are doing it for the benefit of all humanity, then you have the confidence to look them in the eyes and say that it was important that we voted against you because this will help you resolve your problem.”
Ethno-religious fascism

Under its grander worldview then, India’s reaction to the events unfolding in Sri Lanka, with regard to the attempted suppression of a different minority in the island, while the Tamils continue to struggle for their basic political rights would be interesting. As recently as 11 years ago, India had its tryst with ethno-religious fascism, when the Babri Masjid mosque in Ayodhya was demolished in a communal riot that followed a major rally by the extremist Hindu Shiv Sena group. Radical forces espousing the cause of Hindutva or political Hinduism appeared to be taking root and threatening the fabric of India’s democracy. India stared that monster squarely in its face and secularism and commonality eventually triumphed. Yet the ignominy of such atrocities and the threats they pose to a country’s future security, remain for all time.

The Government of Sri Lanka consistently argues against international interference in its domestic affairs. It cries foul and stands upon sovereignty claims, as the call rings from East and West for reconciliation between communities of people and accountability and repentance for crimes of the past. For a world that has lived through Srebrenica, Rwanda and Darfur, it is tantamount to a crime for the international community to look the other way when states act against their citizens. Deriving its sole legitimacy from the defeat of terrorism, the Rajapaksa regime flouts democratic values, the rule of law and looks the other way when ethno-religious plurality is threatened in the country, and still expects to retain its standing as a member of the international community.

Yet as long as the regime fails to devolve power to the North and East, erodes democratic values and affords State patronage and security to hard-line groups like the Bodu Bala Sena that openly propose minority suppression, it is losing the battle for ideas internationally.

Last weekend, the Defence Secretary inaugurated a Bodu Bala Sena run Buddhist Leadership Academy in Galle, rubber stamping the group’s vicious rhetoric and divisive campaigns against the Muslim community. In fact, it is learnt that the Defence Secretary was repeatedly advised to refrain from attending the event, from no less than his own intelligence services. Even if it was intended to be perceived as an innocuous attendance, it was a poor signal from the Government at a time when it is facing such serious international scrutiny about its commitment to minority rights.

The refusal to grant minority rights is resulting in serious traction for powerful, pro-separatist lobbies like the Global Tamil Forum whose agendas are inimical to the Sri Lankan State and whose cause is being legitimised by senior UK politicians, former UN officials and internationally renowned rights activists and civil society leaders who see the Sri Lankan Government’s actions as proof that it is not interested in winning the peace and ensuring and protecting minority rights.

Given the openly racist positions taken by the Bodu Bala Sena and the deep divisions their propaganda is creating in Sri Lankan society, a debate also ensues as to whether their rhetoric should be subjected to a media blackout. If Bodu Bala Sena is a distraction tactic, from Geneva, from the spiralling cost of living and from the Government’s own increasingly autocratic tendencies, affording them publicity could be a way of playing into their hands. But to keep public attention focused on the group’s activities and rhetoric also keeps moderates seeking to prevent the outbreak of ethno-religious violence wide awake and alert to the dangers such groups pose. To ignore them in the hope they will simply fade into obscurity is too great a risk given what the Bodu Bala Sena has already achieved in terms of spreading fear and suspicion. They must be consciously, deliberately made obscure, not through suppression or arrest, but by defeating them, with the numbers and with the truth, in the only fight that truly matters – the ideas battle.

Courtesy Daily FT

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Latest comments

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    Dear Dharisha,

    Please remove your pictures. We don’t want someone who is completely unbiased and above board harmed. You live among bigots and fanatics and one never knows who is plotting what against you.

    May god protect and keep you

    Nabil

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      Don’t over-dramatize the situation. Keep calm. We don’t need your product endorsement. Your cheer-girl antics embarrasses the serious writer and distracts the discerning reader. Don’t try to piggyback.

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    The best example of “Haram” is Bodu Bala Sena, based on their actions. The actions of BBS is against Buddha’s teaching. It appears that BBS does not have the mental capacity to recognize the suffering of the Buddhists in the hands of the present Sri Lankan Government. They do not see what has happened to the law and order situation in Sri Lanka. They are worried about a “label” and the clothes the women wear. I was under the impression, as per the teaching of my Buddhist Monk who taught me when I was young, the monks are not suppose to look at women and above all not their clothes. BBS should first look at their own clothes and the raw materials used in manufacturing their siwuruwa.

    In actual fact, BBS is a puppet dancing on a string and the puppeteer is the Government of Sri Lanka. The government is using BBS to distract the masses from the real issue facing the Rajapakse family, which is the UN resolution. The resolution is not against the people of Sri Lanka its against the Rajapakse brothers.

    Collectively all news media should stop running any article or news item of BBS immediately. The minority communities should collectively approach all foreign representatives in High Commissions and Embassies and brief them of the prevailing situation in Sri Lanka. Its time for the minority communities now than ever before to work with Sinhala majority who are against communal disharmony and wipe out this BBS menace from Sri Lanka. BBS is a cult and as per the Prevention of Terrorism Act, BBS is inciting violence against minorities which is terrorism and should be taken to courts. What is the law enforcement authorities doing?>

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    The BBS is is hell bent on escalating its anti-muslim campaign and it appears to have a seal of approval from Gotabhaya. The police standing by and allowing the BBS monks to take the law into their own hands clearly suggests support to the organisation from powerful political forces in the Rajapaksa regime. I strongly feel that that powerful force is Gotabhaya himself. Deflecting the economic, political and the UNHRC troubles from the public’s attention appears to be the aim of the government in whipping up ant-Muslim hysteria using this Sinhala Buddhist fascist BBS outfit. Very troubled times ahead for the country and its people.

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    The first thing to do is to clean up the sasanaya or the monkhood. The percentage of “genuine” monks living according to the “vinaya” would be in the low single digits.

    All others are simply “freeloading” off society and doing untold damage to the teaching of the Lord Buddha.

    For example “Conversions” are not simply for money or economic betterment. Conversions are caused by poor villagers watching monks abusing every facet of village life and simply taking without giving anything back.This has happened over generations.

    No politician has the guts to even talk about this ! As for the geriatric Mahanayake Hamuduruwos’ maybe it is time to retire ?

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    India’s worldview is not getting any grander, but only narrower and petty – especially under the Manmohan Singh government. His government is not acting on principles for the benefit of humanity but on expediency – on the need to appease the crazies in Tamil Nadu to cling to power. And I don’t believe for a moment India is seeking to “create a common democratic standard in the region.” What about Pakistan? Will India dare to dictate terms to Islamabad? India can bully only its small neighbours like Sri Lanka. And India’s own governance falls far short of democratic standards. Many minorities in India are treated much worse than those in Sri Lanka. Secularism has not been restored after the ignominy of Babri Masjid, but rather it’s under increasing threat from the rising Hindutva.

    With regard to Bodu Bala Sena, it has to be viewed as a reaction – just like Hindutva in India, and Islamic Fundamentalism and Christian Fundamentalism in many countries – to the rapid social changes brought about by neo-liberal economic development and globalization. Sweeping social transformations are known to give rise to novel religious interpretations and new religious movements. This happened during the first phase of industrialization in Europe and North America, and it’s happening now in the developing countries due to the spread of market-economy and globalization. These economic changes in turn lead to the disintegration of traditional society and culture threatening one’s cherished beliefs and sense of identity. A common, but unfortunate, response to the resulting uncertainty and insecurity is to fall back on fundamentalist beliefs already existing in one’s culture and religion or reinterpret one’s tradition along fundamentalist lines.

    I agree with you that they must be defeated “with the numbers and with the truth, in the only fight that truly matters – the ideas battle.”
    Well said.

    T

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      Ajay,

      “…Manmohan Singh government. His government is not acting on principles for the benefit of humanity but on expediency – on the need to appease the crazies in Tamil Nadu to cling to power”

      Manmohan probably learned this from the Sinhala political leaders of Sri Lanka. For the Sinhala politicians clinging to power or gaining power in Sri Lanka depended on how badly they treated the tamils. JRJ spelled this out clearly thirty years ago.

      Sri Lankan politicians and Indian politicians do not act on principles but the Sri Lankan politicians are the worst offenders. You are naïve.

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        Piranha

        I was rebutting Dharisha’s assertion that Manmohan government is beginning to make its foreign policy decisions based more on principles for the betterment of humanity rather than in its national interests. We were not debating about the naive issue of where he learnt his approach to foreign policy.

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    The ethno centric religous stance of the regime is very clear. Whatever govt, parliment and other enlightened members of the public may say and do, the regime has its own agenda.

    The silence of the president and the insidious support from the SOD are the the sustenance for such organisations. The vision the regime has for Sri Lanka is nothing but a majority dominated ethno-religous state with minorities as second class citizens. Of course this is seconded to the larger goal of a dynastic empire.

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    Justice Minister is a Muslim. He is so impotent he cannot ensure justice for his own community. He is a servile crony of the regime that has created the BBS monster. Perks and privileges he is enjoying as a Minister are more precious to him than the interests of his community. He and his party voted for the 18th Amendment that marked the virtual end of democracy in the country and also for the impeachment of the Chief Justice.They would stoop to any low level and become accessory to any crime against democracy and good governance if it suits their selfish political agenda.Most Muslim leaders with this regime for that matter own political careers tainted with a series of betrayals. They are happy with being errand boys of the regime so long they can continue to enjoy the best on the gravy train. Did any Muslim politician boot-licking the regime raise even a whimper of protest against the BBS in public despite knowing well from whom the outfit is getting its political clout?

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    Buddha is not a “Lord” as far as we know. He was not borne in to British nobility, or during his time the Lord title could not be bought on the internet.

    Therefore, we will request you to refer to Buddha simply as “the Buddha”.

    He would be quite happy with that because he never said he was superior to anyone else.

    Sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitatta.

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      I am not sure of your reasoning. People worship him as a God. In Hinduism also many of their Gods are referred to as Lord. Lord Buddha’s teachings make Him deserve the title Lord. There is no question about it.

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      One is free to bestow any title one wishes as it is done with the respect and reverence in one’s heart.

      BTW Karaliadde is that the most important aspect of this entire discussion ?

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      Dear Karalliadde,

      Didn’t you read AGGO HAMASMY LAKASSA – JETTO HAMASIMY LAKASSA,,,,
      If not please be good to go through again relevant literature.

      Nevertheless I agree upon with you the the word of LORD because the English language is so poor to elaborate the appropriate meaning of SAMMA SAMBUDHO.

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    Dharisha

    It is well written Plain truth without fear and favour.Congrats.

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    Mervyn Silva, Where are you? Surely you can get rid of the ‘Bodu Bala Sena’?

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      What is the Maha Sangha doing?

      Silent observers because Gota is backing the BBS.

      If Mervyn the vermin has a place in politics he will strengthen his position by getting rid of the BBS.

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    Though Bodu Bala Sena(BBS) has styled itself as a body formed to protect Buddhism, it is in fact only a extreme Sinhala nationalistic organization. You cannot protect Buddhism through unbuddhistic actions. If you are militant, and use violence and anger, you are not a follower of the Buddha however much you call yourself a Buddhist. You are then only a Buddhist registered as a Buddhist at birth. The Buddha himself exhorted people to question and test his teachings without blindly accepting what he preached. The BBS and it’s patrons in the JHU and the government, are blind adherents who think that protecting Buddhism entails merely preserving the statistical numbers in the country. A Buddhist is one who follows the teachings of the Buddha. The followers of the BBS are therefore not Buddhists. The Hallal issue is in fact not an issue for Buddhists but may be one of annoyance, jealousy and envy for extreme Sinhala nationalists and racists. The aggressive posture adopted by modern day practitioners of Islam has also contributed to this situation. The more we assert our own thinking to the exclusion of all others the more we separate ourselves, and the more enmity we create. The BBS is not only a symptom but a consequence of the intolerance and greed amongst the races and religions that constitute our Sri Lankan society.

    In Darisha Bastian’s excellent article she points to the involvement of high officials of the government. The creation of the problem and it’s solution lies with the government but it is unlikely that any measures will be taken to rein in the BBS. That is because our all powerful President thinks the same way that the BBS does. Despite the heroics claimed in the defeat of the LTTE, the man lacks the integrity and the courage required to make hard decisions and to act on them. You cannot expect any assistance from an intellectually challenged legislature either.

    It would seem that that the violence and the anger will continue until mayhem and murder satiates the hunger for destruction.

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    The statement that Ms Bastian says as ACJU is said to have announced; “would no longer need to be compulsorily displayed on the packaging of consumer products” alone shows there had been an unnecessary push for ‘Halal logo’ on non Muslims by Muslims.

    Bastian further says as Ven Wimalaratana said “The ACJU is our friend.” Learned as he is if only our Ven Wimalaratana read at least Quran 4:141 that says, “… And never will Allah grant to the unbelievers a way (to triumphs) over the believers.” and 3:28 which says “Let not the believers Take for friends” he would have known ACJU can never ever treat him (Wimalaratana) and 90 % of this country as a friends.

    I cannot understand how Ms Bastian hang ‘hard-line’, ‘fascist group’ tags on BBS and doings by followers of the most intolerant belief in this world, Muslims as simply ‘custom and rituals’. Bastian should know that in Islam, loyalty is to Allah and his religion. It cannot be to a kafir country. I’ll explain it further in a separate comment.

    For the time being I shall quote what former mufti of the Grand Mosque in Mecca put in a recent fatwa. “His homeland may be not Islamic, so how can he be loyal to his homeland?”

    Scholar Jamal Badawi insists that, “Muslims should not melt in any pot except the Muslim brotherhood pot.”

    The Calcutta Quran Petition says of Muslim communities that “even fresh converts tend to become highly orthodox people and follow the sayings of the Quran with a fanatical zeal with the result that whichever country as their sizeable number amongst its population can never have peace on its soil.”

    So, the problems that Sri Lanka faced with LTTE for the past 30 years is a child’s play when think of Muslim problem to come with an increasing pace. I say Sri Lanka should be ready to face this situation from now onwards. Otherwise, turn it over to ACJU to turn it to a Maldives as Senguttuvan wrote in his comment.

    Open your eyes. You’ll see that wherever Muslim minorities exist, there is unusual social strain manifested by dissension, demand and disloyalty, as well as a cohesive group identity that resists self-reflection and thrives on the perception of victimization by the majority.

    Islam teaches that nations are in one of two major categories – Dar-al Harb (house of war) and Dar-al-Islam (Muslim rule). Any nation that is not Muslim is therefore, by definition, at war with Islam.
    Muslims cannot be expected to maintain loyalty to a nation that is at war with their religion.

    Muslim apologists claim that Islamic terrorists aren’t Muslim by virtue of the fact that they kill other Muslims. Quran identify Muslims who profess Islam, but do not support Islamic rule over the way of the infidel as hypocrites. Hadith Book 020,4696 says; “It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: One who died but did not fight in the way of Allah nor did he express any desire (or determination) for Jihad died the death of a hypocrite.”

    That means, hypocrites include any government which does not uphold strict Sharia, as well as those that make alliances with a non-Muslim country. This is the real reason terrorists kill fellow Muslims, particularly local police, troops and officials who are in the service of such governments.

    Ms Bastian may not accept these arguments for she is obviously bias against Sinhala Buddhists, but if only a sane person take a cue from what has happened in the recent past in countries around us he/she could visualize we are not far off facing a situation to that of Maldives, Bangladesh and etc.
    Leela

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      Leela the scholar on Islam has spoken.

      Let the war begin against the muslims in Sri Lanka to save the Sinhalese. More power to BBS.

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      What a long rant against Islam while quoting so called speeches from extremists. Whatever these extremist said or not (you are no credible source) it does NOT relate to the Sri Lankan Muslims.

      “Bastian should know that in Islam, loyalty is to Allah and his religion. It cannot be to a kafir country. I’ll explain it further in a separate comment.”

      There is no need to explain, your entire comment is simply Islamaphobic, and tarring ALL Muslims by what some extremist were supposed to have said. Sri Lankan Muslims were born and bred in this country, lived here for generations, and are loyal to this country, so do stop the Islamaphobia. It seems you are hell bent on attacking the Muslims for what extremists do, but at the same time you are defending BBS another hate group of extremists. We do not judge all Buddhists by what this deplorable group is doing. Only ignorant fools with hate in their agenda are unable to rationalize and know the difference between extremists and moderate people.

      What makes you judge and jury of the Muslim people in Sri Lanka? Your entire comment smacks of ignorance of their religion. You sound like a drama queen with a questionable mission. Muslims have lived in this county for centuries and have contributed to the progress of this country. It is only when hate mongers provoke and propagate, and try to bring disharmony among the races, will trouble start. It is obvious there are trouble makers like you, are doing just that. Instead of focusing on rabble rouses like the BBS, you are ranting against the victims here, who have not retaliated to the systematic attack on their mosques, businesses, and religion, by ignorant bigots, who pretend they are patriots of this country.

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      Dr DW/ Leela

      Thank you for PREDICTING what Muslims are INTENDING to do in the future. Since you are so clairvoyant and can see what lies ahead so clearly, you must stop them these rascal Muslims before they take over this country, and stop them now we must, if not they will destroy Sinhala Buddhists and their way of life.

      As the thought leader of BBS, its Executive Secretary, and Racist numero Uno, you have to play your role, that of the famed Nazi propaganda guru, Goebbels.

      First Goebbelian principle is to intone a lie until it sounds like truth. Second is to create fear among the vulnerable sections of society of impending disaster.
      All what you have said is conjecture, and fear mongering. Not one statement made can be linked to a Muslim in this country! You win.

      While you plan with your beloved robed rogues of the BBS, and threaten to undress Muslim women, ask the young to boycott Muslim Businesses, and raid perfectly legal Beef distribution centers and threaten hellfire on Muslims, unbeknownst to you a tectonic shift in opinion is taking place across the world.

      There is sympathy for Tamils and Muslims. The world now realizes that Sri Lanka will need disciplining by the international community. It has also become abundantly clear to IC that racism is the bigger bogey,that the Tamils were hounded not for their political aspirations but for their race.

      Another fact is that while we practice racism we are also a lawless country, that simply does not know how to mend its ways.

      While you focus on the perceived threat from Muslims, here’s whats happening to the country at large. We rape 4 to 5 girl children a day, we rank among the highest among the world with households headed by women, we have a high number of men and women who have perished due to conflict per 100,000 people, we are among the highest liqour consuming nations in the world and also report a high number of suicides per 1000 persons. We also have the lowest rate of conviction of murder and crime.

      So the decay of society under your very noses is not visible to you. Yet you are willing to plot against a minority that has lived among you for a 1000 years.

      Sri Lanka is perhaps the only country with the dubious twin records of racial intolerance and institutionalized lawlessness, all in the name of protecting a perverted form of a noble philosophy
      called Sinhala Buddhism

      With your Norwegian and German benefactors (these are countries that are put on a pedestal and foisted on us as abhorring racism), you have ventured out and as we can all see, you are thirsting for Muslim Blood!

      And this racism is the curse of mother Lanka!

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      Shame on you Lila.

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    Mervyn Silva has come out swinging in defence of the Muslims and against the BBS. Once he is unleashed, the results are what the government wants. Good bye BBS. Cheers for the Muslins. Everything and everyone has a role to play in life. I hope the result from the current scene in the great drama of life, is what I wish.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Hope the Vermin does not get terminated by Gota who is behind the BBS.

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    I think there is no point in attracting too much attention , for what ever reason . We never had Sri Lankans wearing these abayas and burkas till very recently. These costumes are from the Middle East. So it makes more sense for Muslim ladies to cover them selves like they always did. Muslim ladies were always very conservatively dressed why over do it?

    Specially when all these Buddhist monks and politicians are running a mock looting , thieving raping etc. if roughs start wearing abayas / burkas it is going to be a security problem. Muslims have never been a problem or have had problems in this country. So do not try to emulate the most extremist country in the world and start problems

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      PB,
      The Sri Lankans of all kinds are not dressing the way we once knew. Why this intolerance of what the Muslims choose to wear. Of course, the black abhaya worn by many Muslim ladies bothers the Buddhists and Hindus, because they think black is inauspicious. However, it is the others who have to change their perceptions. As a physiologist, I however feel sorry for the ladies who wear black, in our hot and humid climate. Black absorbs heat, while white reflects it. A white abhaya would have been a better choice.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        You are absolutely right. While it was never a problem all these years, what Muslim women wore, it has become yet another issue to attack and discriminate, Muslims. I do agree there is no need for these women to follow the Saudi mode of dress – that is in black Abhayas, and wear instead colours that are pleasing to the eye, and cool for our climate. Sri Lankan women are not wahabi, and should adapt their own style and colors.

        This issue, like the Halal issue, is yet another petty issue to pick on, for what it appears is a bigger agenda – picking on Muslims, and making the country, and the world, turn on them.
        The big question is who is pouring in millions of rupees (dollar/shekels/euros) into this hate campaign, because it seems to be prevalent in many countries in a systematic and orchestrated manner.

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          Sagarica Rajakarunanayake, has raised some critical issues relating to the cruelty and corruption that is the norm in the meat trade, in another website(dbsjeyaraj.com), today.

          This has nothing to do with the halal issue and goes against the tenets of Islam. As a Veterinary student I have seen cattle shedding tears when they see others of their kind being slaughtered. I have seen animals that manage to escape, run for their lives. Animals are transported in a manner-bad handling at loading and unloading and over crowing- that they break their limbs. Many animals die during transport. Animals are beaten and their tails twisted. I have seen pregnant animals being slaughtered. In fact Veterinary students were taught pregnancy diagnosis in cattle at the slaughter house.

          There is bribery all along the line, from the point of procurement to the point of slaughter. The Veterinarians, policemen and public health officials are bribed. There is also cattle rustling on a grand scale. Politicians too are probably involved. In Jaffna I noticed, stolen cattle being illegally slaughtered in abandoned and derelict houses.

          There are also stories of dog meat being peddled as goat meat. Buffaloes are deliberately blinded in order to get them declared as unfit for work.

          The meat trade has to be better regulated and supervised in the interest of all the people in Sri Lanka, including the Muslims. The manner in which the meat trade , including slaughter, is going on will horrify the Muslims as well.

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        Dr Rajasingham ,I have no problem whether they are in an Abhaya or if they, go around nude. Most of us dress like we used to more or less. Generations after us emulate their peers ,arond the world may be. Within acceptable social norms.
        What I was trying to say was that this obviously is attracting attention. In the climate of terrorism, whether it be JVP, LTTE, Al Quaida or government terror, don’ t even you feel a little uneasy when you see some one dressed in black ,white or even baby shit pink, if the person ‘ s face is totally covered?
        It is perfectly alright if the person is a genuine lady inside, would it be totally impossible for it to be some undesirable hidden inside?
        In Saudi and places where your hand is chopped off, for theft , people are careful about stealing or going around in disguise. But here? It will be the ministers getting in to abayas and going and raping and stealing. So I am not sure it is a good idea.where security is concerned.
        And live and let live why attract unnecessary attention is what I was trying to say

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    The formless shadows are becoming clearer and I can see a few slavering demons with blood oozing out of their mouths. Where have I seen them before? Ah! Right. 30 years ago. Did these demons ever leave or were they just lying low? Methinks the latter. In a society where impunity is institutionalyzed, we are bound to keep repeating our macabre past.

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    Interesting, I am not consequently

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    Analyse The Reality!
    Did Not MR and his band get;
    1. POSITION
    2. WEALTH
    3. POWER
    Through WAR and only through WAR?

    However after the “WAR” (Beggars’ wound) although MR and his band tremendously increased their WEALTH as they anticipated, in such a way/tune that they were actually greedily competing with / falling over each other for every contract of business and for rebuilding the nation, that it has gone overboard and was contrarily counterproductive to maintaining POWER and POSITION in the face of a PEACE situation which is more exposing to the general public unlike in the War situation.

    Hence to maintain and increase their POSITION, WEALTH & POWER, MR and his band had to go back to their old ways of bringing back “WAR”, and will find a scapegoat (scape-pig) by hook or crook to start it, and my analysis shows that it would have to be the Common Public Enemy # 1 of the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, Jihadist, Al Kaida etc. (and not a domestic or regional enemy that the International Community could cry foul) and the stepping stones/ guinea “pigs” are Muslims in Sri Lanka through Islam phobia.

    After all why should MR and his band miss this golden opportunity when the rest of the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY is doing so cashing in their chips at the end of the rainbow, when the opportunity is present, and before it fades away? What is good for the Jones got to be good for MR and his Band! Make hay while the sun shines! Strike when the iron is hot!

    What makes you all think PEACE will help MR and his band to sustain and increase the above; POSITION, WEALTH & POWER? History keeps repeating itself! It is all wishful thinking! and a fools dream! You are all being naive! Try to see the forest (jungle out-there) and not just the trees!

    Micky Vito Corleone

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