28 October, 2020

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Militant Sinhalese Buddhist Nationalism: Context Of The Religious Freedom

By Uvindu Kurukulasuriya –

Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

This article was first published in January 2005 in Sinhala weekly Ravaya. It explains the background of the religious freedom and  the politics of militant Sinhalese nationalism. This translation will help you to understand the context of  ongoing attacks against Mosques and Hindu Temples. The article was published under the title  “Who Set Fire to Homagama Church?”  and  translated by T.C. Serasinghe. 

When the Christians all over the world were preparing to celebrate the Good News of Christmas, Sri Lanka has exhibited its disposition to the whole world by sending a piece of despicable news. That is the news of setting fire for the second time, to the Katuwana Roman Catholic Church at Homagama .

The culprits who committed this crime have so far not been apprehended. But it has been clear that there is one particular group behind the attack on this church and some hundred odd other churches throughout the country. The cause for alarm is that these people have been allowed to engage all along in their fanatical activities.

It is the everybody’s responsibility to make Sri Lanka a place suitable for human living, by getting involved in defeating decisively this extremist mania.

“Our church has been set on fire” an elderly Catholic from Homagama rang me.  ” Who has done that?” I asked. “Who else but the same old group! They are against this church being here. They have forced opened the door of the church at about 1.30 a.m. and had set two gas canisters and some tyres on fire inside the church. This time the damage is more serious than that of the previous ones’. We were deprived of last year’s Christmas and this year’s too,” the man went on saying painfully.
This was the third attack on the Katuwana Roman Catholic church in Homagama. The government has so far not taken any action against this highhanded act committed repeatedly against a minority religious group by the extremist Sinhala nationalist mania, in order to politically mobilize the public.

The First Attack

On 30th November last year, after the usual Sunday mass, the parishioners were engaged in a shramadana (voluntary work) on the church premises. A group of about 50, consisting both the lay and the Buddhist clergy led by Ajith Senanayake, a prominent figure in the area forcibly entered the church premises. One of the them climbed on to the top of the church, pulled down the cross on top and fixed a Buddhist flag there. Some Buddhist monks entered the mission-house, opened the almyrahs and removed some documents. Another group robbed the ladies of their handbags and their cellular phones, national identity cards and credit cards. They planted a Bo sapling on the premises and went away.

Church of Our Mother Most Pure, Mattagoda, Sri Lanka January 27, 2004

Ajith Senanayake, a physician working in Ratnapura, an officer in the Sampth Bank, a well-known bhikku in homagama have been identified as persons who entered the hurch premises. The rest of the crowd was not residents of Homagama but young bhikkus and laymen from outside. The Parish priest lodged a complaint at the local police station. Three times the HQI tried to reconcile the two parties and asked to return the documents and the articles removed from the church, but he was not successful. In the meantime the inquiring police officer was transferred to Mirihana police station merely because he happened to be a Catholic. That day itself the police guard supplied to the church was removed. That night at about 1.30 a.m. an unidentified body of people entered the church and set it on fire. Police investigations were resumed. Trailing the scent of a hockey stick brought by the attackers to the scene, a police dog went to a neighbouring house.

In that house there was a student from a well-known Buddhist Boys’ School in Colombo. But the police said that the dog went there because there was a bitch there! The police did not take into consideration the fact that there was a Buddhist monk from that school in the crowd that attacked the church. Nothing came out of the police investigations.

By then some hundreds churches belonging to various Christian denominations were subject to attack. The secretary to the Internal Affairs Ministry told me that the police suspects this as the work of one single organized group.

An Organized Group

On 8th February 2004, a group carrying hand grenades, swords, kris knives were arrested at Rambewa. They were a group in flight after hurling grenades at the World Vision Centre at Kebilitigollewa. This armed group constituted of 10 people including 3 Buddhist monks. Ajith Senanayake of Homagama was one in that group. The others were Dhanushka Sanjeeva of Heiyanthuduwa, S.A.Don Sarath of Govinna, Wijesinghe of Bulathsinghala, Thusitha Namal, K.D.Gunadasa of Kahawatta and Rukshan Shantha of Kelaniya. Three Bhikkus were also arrested along with the above persons. They are Kirana Mahanama, Katuwana Sangharatana ad Millana Dharmasiri all residing at the Shri Pannananda Dharmayatana on Station Road, Kelaniya, belonging to Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera. After the arrest of this group I spoke to the former DIG Mr. Kotakadeniya who is a leader of Sinhala/Hela Urumaya. He said that they the arrested persons had no connection with the Hela Urumaya. But Ajith Senanayake of Homagama is identified by the local people as an organizer of Hela Urumaya. What Mr. Kotakadenyia said was that Ajith Senanayake worked independently on his own.

General public is perplexed in identifying persons or tendencies. There is the Hela Urumaya, the Sinala Urumaya and the National Campaign against Terrorism. There is also the Sinhala Veeradidahana, Veediya Bandara Balavegaya and the Theraputtabhaya Brigade as well. There is also the Homagama Organization to Defend Buddhism. There are a good number of organizations formed in the name of religion. When an incident occurs, the Champika-Ratana combine could deny that it is one of their organizations. As there are a number of factions within Hela Urumaya, when a culprit has been apprehended it is easy to palm off the guilt on another organization.

Keep the Dogs tethered

An editorial ‘Keep the dogs tethered’ appeared in the Divayina newspaper after the 3rd attack on the Katuwana Church. Its import was that the people must distinguish between religious fervour and religious fanaticism. It also had urged the local public to assist the police investigations. It was excellent indeed. But it remains that the Divayina also contributed towards the escalation of this religious fanaticism to its present proportions.

On previous occasions when this very process was launched by setting fire the churches, it was the Divayina not only supported it but also justified such actions.

Up to December, Sunday Divayina alone has published 93 main articles relevant to this subject. It was only Rev. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratana thera who expressed an opinion against this tendency of inciting religious extremism. The Rev. monk had said that it was easy to incite but difficult to pacify.

After the second attack and setting the Katuwana church on fire, Sunday Divayina journal ‘Irida Handa’ of 11th January 2004 wrote under the caption “in Buddhist areas, Missionary centres are not warranted. Rev. Madowita Pannakitti Thera of Homagama temple along with an editor of the Divayina newspaper had contributed towards that article. It was an article that approved of the attacks indirectly.

Obstacles from the Very Beginning

According to the 2001 census, the population of the Homagama electorate is as follows. Buddhists 189,231, Christians 3712, Islam 1479 and Hindus 962.

The church that came under attack was originally situated in the centre of the town at No. 71. This church served the faithful from Pannipitiya to Kaluaggala in which area there was no other church. It was to this church thee Catholics from Homagama, Pitipana, Athurugiriya, Galawilawatta, the army camp, Dighetekma, Godagama, Meegoda, Padukka, Rukmalgama and Mattegoda came to attend the service.

Wilfred Senanayake, who won the Homagama electorate in the 1970 general election acquired the church building and the premises for the use of the town council, amidst strong protests from the local Catholics. The Catholic Church purchased a block of land in Galwilawatta to put up a church. The town council did not approve the plan for three long years.

In 1976, the plan was approved on the orders of the then Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike and the Ministry of Cutural Affairs. When the walls of the building came up to roof level the Town Council again stopped the construction. At present they have put up a water tank in that block of land. The present church site was donated by Mr. Ranasinghe Premadasa by cabinet paper when he was the Minister of Planning and Implementation. Plan No. 975 has bee approved as a religious place of worship by license No. 4/1/PB/76/96 of the Pradeshiya Sabha. When things are such, the desecration of this church by extremist forces that come under the guise of Buddhism, is a disgrace to Buddhism.

It is this kind of situation, Rev. Rambukkana Siddhartha ridicules at when he writes:

‘Though incessantly Buddha word is preached,
Though Buddha word is heard incessantly,
As far as the attributes of the Buddha are concerned,
Still we certainly are but jungle dwellers.”

It is the power hungry Sinhala Politicians who through greed want to remain in power at any cost, that discredit the teachings of the Buddha in the eyes of the outside world.

They declare that their ultimate goal is to promote Buddhism. They exclaim that they are motivated by Buddhist philosophy. What is borne out by their behaviour is extreme selfish greed for power and not wisdom and love. Therefore to say that Buddha Dhamma motivates them is a grave insult on the Buddha himself. It is a grave injustice. In imitation of the Divayina editorial, we are also forced to say “Tie up these dogs” We also have to say that the media has a role to play towards that end. Prof. Nalin de Silva who represents the intellectual fundamentalist stream and charges that the Christmas decorations exceed the ratio of the Christian population, often writes that the supremacy in this country is with Judeo-Christian culture. But when these Christian churches were put to the torch and destroyed there were no serious protests staged. At least there was no resistance from quarters identified as the local civil society. When one hundred odd churches were attacked last year, the members of the local civil society conducted a few rounds of discussions. I also participated at these discussions. There a decision was taken to issue a statement condemning the attack on Christian places of worship. Even after 5 or 6 rounds of discussions, this statement was not issued to the media. We have such a vibrant civil society!

On the other hand there had not been any serious protest from the Catholics who are victims of this extremist trend. According to their belief suffering such attacks is a strength for the future. The Christian community has been reduced to a state of defenselessness due to their own beliefs and not being helped by the state or the civil society.

There is every possibility of a few more churches being put to the torch during this Christmas season too. The only course of action left for the Christians is to deploy the faithful to keep round the clock vigil to protect their churches.

A Despicable Act –
Ven. Bellanvila Vimalarathana

Ven. Bellanvila Vimalarathana

‘We as Buddhists must condemn this shameful act of attacking the churches. We could only observe that one particular group engineered all these incidents. This is the result of using religion for political gain. Especially Roman Catholic church in Katuwana, Homagama is a church of the traditional Catholic denomination. It is not at least a place of worship of the Evangelical denominations. By this I do not mean that Evangelical cnetres should be attacked. What we have to admit is that this type of denominations convert poor Buddhists through various strategies like giving them financial support.’

‘In this the chief priests of Christian/Catholic churches have the responsibility to take action against this tendency and foster religious harmony in this country. In the same manner, the government also has an onerous responsibility to take action against these tendencies. Though this government has on many occasions declared that it would create an inter-religious forum and foster cooperation among religions, up to now that advisory body has not been formed. It is in this context that extremist political groups commit such shameful acts in the name of Buddhism.’

‘Our observation reveals that these extremist attacks had been taking place for quite a long period of time and are not the act of the people living in the locality where the churches are situated. It is a group from outside that have done it.’

‘Both the government and the police must take action against it. When such incidents are known in abroad, the image of our nation is tarnished. The idea that Buddhists are a group that commits such base acts will spread throughout the world. On the other hand more and more aid could flow into the coffers of Evangelical denominations. Therefore, these acts committed in the name of religion should be stopped.’

Translated by T.C. Serasinghe

Courtesy http://www.colombopost.blogspot.co.uk/

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Latest comments

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    Christians around the world have been attacked in the past.
    Christians around the world are being attacked during the present time.
    Christians around the world will be attacked in the future.
    This dilemma can be conceptualized as follows.
    Christians are considered as children of the LIVING GOD.
    Those who attack them are considered as the children of the devil.
    The devil cannot fight God. Period. This is simply the devil getting his children to harass the children of God.
    So I say to other Christians (I am one) “Take heart and rejoice for you are being persecuted for the sake of your faith in Jesus Christ – and pray for those who persecute you – for they do not know what they are doing.”
    They are just the children of the devil their father.

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      Semen est sanguis Christianorum.

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      Children of Devil and God? Black and White? Seems a over simplified.

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        Children of Devil and God? Black and White? Seems a bit over simplified.

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          Yup – to the simple it is simple to comprehend. To the “educated” it is difficult to understand simple things.
          Yes it is Black and White – the Liberal Christians make their “own shade of gray.”

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    It’s a shame what Buddhist are doing in my country. As we all know how kind is the Lord Al Mighty ( pbuh ) the followers of him ( PBUH ) either Alla or Jesus’s (pbuh ) father The Lord Al Mighty ( pbuh ) should be supported the same way our government is spending our tax money on schools, hospitals or roads. The most important our religious leaders should be given a pension when they retire from the holy religious work. It’s our obligation to show the correct path to our children and the other who are following wrong paths due to misunderstanding and convert them to our religion which is the only way to heaven and gain eternal salvation . It’s not blind leading the blind. I’m deeply worry how God (pbuh) see this from heaven and think about us. We as a small nation could unite and leave our differences and pray to him three times in three different places. For a example morning we can pray at the mosque. And after lunch we can pray for him in the Kovil and night we can pray to him at a temple. How nice. What you guys think?

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    i feel gosl prepared to defeat the new face of terror journalism because max silva has transfered .

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    politics of militant Sinhalese nationalism???? A hand full of few idiots doent not mean that all the sinhalaese are militant or even extremist.. Thats like painting all Tamils with thr Racist brush of the LTTE.. or all muslims as saudi style racist radicals… In every country there are a miniority of these fools who have such a stupid view.. but it does not mean the majority are like this..

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    It is not good to demolish and make troubles to the churches or christian places and also Hindu places. because they are very peaceful religions in most occasions. there i condemned these things.but Ravaya should understand this.Muslim places and mosques are spreading hatred among people they mentally retarded people ,so it is good to vandelize them without bloodshed.(use very good methods)

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    UPFA Govt Downfall should start from now on. they are playing games with Religious fundamentalists.

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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
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    In short:
    • If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems.
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    suz request to all muslim womenfolk to join buddhist temples for prayers because thay have no religous rights like men.uvindu next time write about muslim ladys religous right.

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    Uvindu thanks for this informative article to expose the true character of these labeled Buddhists of this country, who boast of a 2500 year history and culture resorting to the meanest level of subhumans, to propergate their own type of Buddhism, very much in contrast to the Philosophy preached by the founder Lord Buddha. To begin with as I always maintain, thre are no Buddhists per say Buddhists anywhere. Lord Buddha never left a Register for any to be included as a Buddhist. Anyone is free to practise the Philosophy that he preached. The present day Buddhism is a distorted version by one Bihikku, known as Buddhagosha around a three hundred years after the Lord Buddha’s demise, when he found the flock reducing in numbers, as man by nature was more inspired by Super natural power than to believe in another human. Most people feel that the unseen power of the supernatural God or Godess is more powerful than another human’s wisdom. Thus Buddhagosha had to project Lord Buddha as a colosus human being with magical fete, in order to arrest the decline and attract new blood, woven with Jathaka stories to attract the human mind as the majority in society was illiterate.

    To begin with Lord Buddha is a Napalese. Napalese are a mountain race with an average height of around five feet. Therefore some one to be as tall as him described would have been towering well over others, which was not the case. It is Buddhagosha who virtually wrote the life history of Lord Buddha, because Lord Buddha did not write his autobiograohy. Buddhagosha went on to write the history as to how the five conditions that had to be fulfilled for the birth of the Prince, the birth, the naming ceremony, his adolescence, his marriage, lay life, motivation for enlightenment, joining the priesthood, self infliction of hardship without meals living on fruit, taking to the middle path, the enlightenment, living a life propergating his doctrine and finally his demise and attainment of Nirvana. The sacred writing of the life and times of the Buddha is so well documented as if there was someone behind him all the time observing to take down memoirs and this was not the case. Today this version of narration is classified as the accepted truth and taught to all Buddhists to intoduce them to the Religion of Buddhism with additions down the line as Buddhism for a long period was spread by word of mouth, till it was documented as the Thripitakaya by the Sangha at Aluwihare Matale, my home town. I will try to be brief as possible, in trying to point out certain discrepancies in the whole narration, which possibly occured in being over enthusiastic in the attempt to project Lord Buddha as a super human. No he was not, a less or more a mortal than any other human, but he developed a high degre of intellect through the development of his intuitive mind through meditation to achieve the ‘seventh sense’ as most normal humans are blessed with only five senses. It is described as the ‘Nevasangna nasagna gnanaya’. What motivates most Buddhists to follow is this popular learning of the life history of Lord Buddha being laymen and the subsequent addition of practices and traditions adopted by the Sangha down the line mostly for the sustenance of the Sangha, thereby project the Buddha Sasana. This I believe has resulted in all learning Buddhism as a Religion and practising same for the convenience of having a faith to lean on and for identity. In deep Buddhism it is irrelevant if one can practise the doctrine sans all these so called Buddhist traditions which most of it has been added by the followers in their enthusiasm like designing a flag, stanzas for the offerings to Buddha to confir merit, or seek blessings. According to his noble doctrine after attaining Nirvana he is selfless and non existent, so neither can he receive merit or grant any favours sought to other mortals. But we see captions praying for his wisdom for comfort. ‘Buddhu Saranai’

    If one is to look at the naming ceremony for the Prince, it is the youngest Brahamin of the five who came for the ceremony who names the Prince as Siddhartha. Then he tuns to his father, King Suddhodana and says that if the prince remains in lay life he will be a king to the whole world, but if he takes to robes as a priest he will attain Buddhahood. Now to make this proclamation of Buddhahood, none would have understood the term as it was not in use till he attained enlightenment as Budduhoo, all knowing. Next it is said that the prince indulged in lay life with the best of comforts learning vocations of artistry and at the age of sixteen was wedded. At twenty nine the day his son, Prince Rahula was born he decides to leave the lay life to take to priesthood in search of truth. Before that it is said, what motivated him were four factors, 1. a sick person 2. an old man 3. a dead body 4. a priest. Now Prince Siddhartha grew up in a Hindu atmosphere and there would have been enough of Hindu rituals performed in the Palace. Besides he would have seen his own relatives and family members growing old and some dying during the period of 29 years. it is impossible to have secluded him from seeing any of the above specially him having a high intelligent mind and for the Prince to see all this in one day to have motivated him to leave the lay life is streching the immagination too far. If one is to stake claim he has not seen, then he would not have been wise at all. In the 29 years there definitely would have been family bereavements close and distant.

    The day he left his lay life, except his faithful servant none knew and thereafter spending the life of an asetic in a forest there was none around him. He first starved himself almost to skin and bone. This is interpreted as he tried to find the truth by self infliction of hardship. (Aththa kilamathanu yogaya) failing he starts to live on fruits and meditates and achieve enlightenemnt at the age of thirty five years. This proces is known as Madyama prathipadawa. Having studied deep buddhism what I believe is that Prince Siddhartha starved himself to skin and bone with a purpose. His intellect is more than average and he realised that to develop the human mind one needs only a bare minimum of energy in one’s system, because if there is excess energy it is difficult to develop ones mind and also difficult to control all desire. To illustrate my point, I would like to draw ones attention to individuals in society who are blessed with the ability to forecast future of people who are known in common parlance as ‘Sasthra karayas’. These individuals are blessed with the sixth sense and are able to see the future. They are generally from the poorer class of peasants and one never here of the sixth sense ability of an individual from the middle class or the rich. The reason is the peasants are on a very low protine diet and some for reasons unknown are blessed with the sixth sense. Then they start to forecast future with Religion as a catalist to focus the mind. Then they find this ability as a money spinner which enables the individual to develop a good practise thus improve the shrine and the house. His diet style also changes with the intake of animal protien and other nourishment due to improved finances, that his body develops with more energy and gradually his ability diminishes after a couple of years. There is no individual that has practised this craft for longer than that in recorded history. Therefore Prince Siddhartha would have definitely rid his body of excess energy in order to develop his mind not that he did so as an experiment as interpreted according to Buddhagosha.

    I have explained what Pirith is in one of my comments in this blog. I like to mantion that in the Mangala Sutra there is a falacy. To quote,’Asevanacha balanang, Pandithanancha sevana’ This means that it is adviced for one to associate some one who is elder and more knowledgeble. If it is to be taken seriously, then that elder person should not associate the younger with a lesser knowledge. Then there can be no interaction in society if this concept is to be adhered strictly. Afterall Pirith and many a Gatha was not the works of Lord Buddha but on mere hearsay by the monks. It is a known fact that Lord Buddha lived up to a ripe old age of 80 years. There are two reclining postures of Buddha, one resting and the other in death. The statue that rests is identifyed when the toes of one foot rest one above the other. If the toe of the leg on top is sliding down and not resting on the toes of the other foot, then there is no life in the body and that posture is identified as the one in death. I challenge anyone to show me a picture or statue of a 80 year old person in death in any temple anywhere, as the statue of death is of a young exhuberant figure of around forty years. This type of distortion is not accepted when the emphasis on Buddhism is on TRUTH. As for myself I abide by the Philosophy but do not associate the present day Sangha or the fanatics and as a Religion I believe in my conscience.

    The Editor CT, you are free not to publish this, but please forward it to Uvindu. thanks!

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      @gamini.. pls spare us these factless Latheef Farook style Afghan cave rubbish.. I heard you have got a job with Latheef Farook in the Tora bora express. Even your raders burn your trash when protesting against NATO.. even they are wiser then clowns like you and Latheef Farook

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        The modern Devadaththas, existed then and in numbers today, as Blind Buddhists trying to destroy the Philosophy misleading the others as well. As Buddha preached, he even said, not to believe his own philosophy without evaluation. ‘Ehi Passiko Opanaiko Pachchanthang Vesi Thabbo’. Although this invertibrate SJV C says that what I have presented are without facts, I challenge any Panditha or Agapanditha to refute the facts presented above.

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          Gamini,
          Thank you for your enlightening commentary.
          Priest-craft has long been the bane of the world’s
          great philosophies/religions and, no doubt, will
          continue to be so, as long as the gullible accept
          without evaluation and introspection.

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    Those racist and evil Miniority of Racist radicals who have taken part in TAMIL STYLE RACIST acts on other communities must be stopped and punished.

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      sjvc, It has become clear that you are one of the buddist racists trying to plant hatred among the peace seeking people. If people write facts you cannot digest. I doubt you really know about the Buddism doctrine. Before you put your finger on other religions you need to study about Buddism first. What Gamini was writing is fact. Did muslims condemn Lord Budda and Buddism totally, when Dambulla mosque was attacked by a unruly mob. You need to study about the other religions before making nonsense comments.

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        Just to pay the bills? I’ve seen almost every Buddhist Temple have a dedicated place for Hindu God’s since I was a child. When I study a little about religion I found out that Buddhism is a root of Hinduism and Buddha left pissed off with Hindu followers for a reason. But what I don’t understand is now in this century with all the knowledge is at your fingertips still people addicted to God’s and religion. I think people are either dumb or weak by evolution. Or it’s our mistake been used by cunning politicians to gain their eternal salvation? Now that the Muslim issue asking for a building to communicate with their own version of the God is all created issues without any solid flat evidence of a Mighty power on top of the sky looking at us and governing our life’s according to prayers. This is totally crap. This rise against the religions of all kind including this type of Buddhism should come with all the people , I mean all the people so that we can reach our country to it’s goals. I think we have enough modern day philosophers to tackle this issue and keep our country beautiful without sound polution chanting out dated man written religious texts or building unauthorised buildings belong to historical places.

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    Buddhists have never killed in the name of the Buddhism.
    Christians had numerous Crusades in which they destroyed the whole world, and Popes lived awt different times themselves had initiated some of the Crusade wars.
    Muslims had conquests for conversion. Muslims has a theory of religion with the sword.
    Here, The Christians and Tamils are ganged up. Sri Lankan news papers don’t have any bottom line standards. They are like prostitutes and allow any one to insert as long as they give you money. In the case of newspapers readership.

    Finally, Separate Buddhism and Sinhala Culture. Sinhala culture is Buddhism based and it is the responsibility of the Sinhala people to protect Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is unfortunate that Most Sinhala people are blind to what is happening in Sri Lanka.

    Ravaya editor Victor Ivon is a former JVPer who made to thousands of youth getting killed. Now, he is a Sadhu.

    Uvindu Kulasooriya is also may be writing anything just to pay his bills. That is Sri Lankan journalism.

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      “Separate Buddhism and Sinhala Culture.”- You are right.
      “Sinhala culture is Buddhism based” – You are wrong.
      Sinhala culture existed long before Buddhism came to Sri Lanka.

      “It is the responsibility of the Sinhala people to protect Buddhism in Sri Lanka.” Wrong again.
      It is the responsibility of the Buddhists by living as the Buddha taught them how to.

      “It is unfortunate that Most Sinhala people are blind to what is happening in Sri Lanka.” You are kind of right and wrong.

      By the way don’t forget – there are a whole lot of Sinhalese who are Christians – like myself and I don’t “gang up” with Tamils. Just worship the God of creation – Jesus Christ – together.

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      Sinhala culture is based on Buddhism. Not the colombo sinhala culture. We live with simplicity and co supportive ( Ann Nonya saha yogya saha charm bawa )

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        So you have (a)Colombo based Sinhala culture and (b) Outstation Sinhala culture.
        The question is “then who are the Buddhists?”

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    This is Sinhalese Buddhist Theravada Buddhism

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      Sorry its Theravada terrorism.

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    Racially and religiously fanatical mobs attacking places of worship of Christians and Muslims for ulterior political motives is an act of base morality and an attack on faith of others, a desecration. In the same vein a government democratically came to power and then gradually destroying democracy and attacking every democratic right of its people and re-orientating the rule towards dictatorship is equally an act of desecration of people’s inalienable rights and sovereignty. Those unruly mobs and such a government are one and the same must therefore decried and punished.

    Everything that takes place now in this country happens under the connivance of Rajapakshas and therefore they are the real culprits behind these incidents. Uproot the Rajapakshas and you have solved this problem!

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    Uvindu, I like your article because you name names and most dont for reasons only known to them.The situation is going to turn uglier like the Taliban and the Islamic mullas if this thuggery is not stopped like that of the LTTE.Violence whether political or religious has to be stopped with the rule of law.I wish Srilanka was a secular nation where there was separation of state and religion/philosophy.

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    Hello svjc you are real racist. First of all see your face in front of mirror.Like you people live in srilanka cannot make pease.you must read history about srilanka.When White run this country all these racist live like slave or more than that. Then after creat mahawamsam and turn all these innocent civilian to racist. Who is this Buddha! he is real hindu what he said.Other question who is sihalese how long this languge start. we must laugh on this. I am not hurting any sinhalese. But dont creat yourself hate from world or from other people with in srilanka.

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    Want to know about Sinhala-Buddhism please read the following:

    http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=43,8991,0,0,1,0

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      what about the Buddhists who are not Sinhalese?
      No wonder there is so much confusion!

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    @ Lal Uberatne thanks for the relavent article of J.L.Devananda , under bringing back Buddhism home, titled ‘From Barbaric Buddhism to Civilised Buddhism’. I am happy to note that there are a few people who have stepped out to speak, instead have a passive attitude and allow the vociferous few to take centre stage and ruin life for all. Currently people in this country, a set of mediocrity, thanks to messing up the Free Education by those who thought they are Educationists to earn a name for themselves with political backing, have ruined Education in this country to have produced a mediocrity and continue to do so even to date, because the knowledgeble and Intelligent are SILENT. Therefore do not blame them as the fault is ours for not opposing such moves by individuals and governments. As long as we all continue to keep quiet these half baked intellectuals will rule and roost with political backing for position and power in the system.

    Now see the mockery perpetrated under Religion in this country. Is there any other better recipe, other than this to create disorder and violence other than for the gain of these individuals in power to obtain support from the unsuspecting public? In the present education system in the country, there is heavy emphasis laid on Religion with the belief created by these very destructionist, that the root cause of all evil, violence and the breakdown of Law and Order is due to lack of Religious observance. Therefore a frantical approach buy an unsuspecting society to force Religion on their young, herding the children to Sunday Schools in Churches, Temples and Mosques to obtain certificates of attendence to produce at the GCE O/L to satisfy the requirement. Under the present constitution the state can not force a Religion on any of his subjects what to believe or not to believe in any. The individual has the freedom to decide on his Religion and also to abstain from fanatically practising any, just because the rest of Society do so. Look around the country, the society publicly displaying their allegience to the denomination of Religion they belong to. Let they be vehicles, homes or work places there are shrines and objects of worship errected and displayed. In addition there are Temples, Churches, Kovils and Mosques doting the landscape of the entire country. Yet what is the result, is it not Dissentsion and conflict, resulting in destruction of property and loss of life? So how can a society advance, improving the stock of it’s subjects of the living standards, where a set of uneducated, corrupt politicians are at the helm governing, coming through a system of democracy that enables any Tom, Dick or Harry to take to politics, as there are no standards of competance and Integrity checks maintained to prevent such individuals being fielded from whatever political hue. This is a very sad state of affairs and it is these corrupt politicians who fan the flames of hatered among it’s subjects, with an equally corrupt set of Priests from all Religions who backscratch each other for their survival. It is about time this Nation seriously addressed this issue and legislate laws to prevent the riff raff from entering Politicas. It must be compulsory for any to be nominated, a certificate of clearance with public scrutiny before nominations are offered from whatever Political party. This is the only salvation this society has to have an Independent Judiciary, Independent Police and an Independent Election Authority.

    Coming back to the subject of establishing Civilised Buddhism as against the present practise of Barbaric Buddhism, all the civilised should lend their shoulder to bring reform, because although the Mahawamsa states that Buddhism will last another 2500 years of this thrice blessed land, I doubt whether Buddhism will last another hundred years. Besides, is it not the founder of the Philosophy Lord Buddha who explained the nature of Impermanance, without exception to his own doctrine. It is said that there will come a time a Priest could be identified with a thread tied on to his wrist as the robe will dissappear. Further on the misrepresentation of facts in the Mahawamsa, had Lord Buddha visited this Island thrice to settle differences, does it mean that the people listened to him without knowing who he was and just accepted his solution for settlement but did not have the capacity to understand the Dhamma? I wonder! If Chulodhara and Mahodara the two brothers could have been subdued to understand and reach a settlement would they not have been in a position to understand the Dhamma? I can well understand the people of yore being naive, but for naivete to continue in todays context is unimaginable. Just see the numbers of the Buddhist folk who throng to see the exposition of the so called Tooth Relic. They are mesmerised to the point that as if seeing Lord Buddha alive. Such is the blind fervour. Todays Buddhist practise is worshipping the Buddha to acquire merit in the belief that one gets closer to Nirvana. Buddha has not preached so, anywhere in his doctrine. If there was any truth to such, what about when Lord Buddha was actually living, the people then would have lined up behind him all the time to worship him live, to attain Nirvana than worshipping a part of his bone structure now. There is no such crowds throning around him mentioned anywhere of the adherents then. Is it that Lord buddha had only one tooth at the age of eighty and the rest had fallen by that time? What happened to the rest of the teeth if they were objects of veneration? Lord Buddha in no uncertain terms described this human body as a putrid mass. He would never have approved the practice of venerating a part of his body to sustain his doctrine, but for one to live one’s life in accordance with his philosophy. Then how did this practise creap in to Buddhism?

    Jainism is much older to Buddhism and some of the Jaines who converted to Buddhism had not given up the rituals and practises totally in accordance with Buddhism. It is said that in the early days when the head of a Jain sector died, some of the followers ate a small part of the body of the dead leader to draw inspiration. Thereafter they had been in the practise of preserving individualy parts of body pieces for veneration. However with the spread of Buddhism this practise of the Jains had gradually dissappeared. Therefore it is not difficult to trace this practise of veneration of the Tooth Relic practised by the Buddhists of today. What the Sangha did was to encourage the Buddhists to pay homage to the Tooth Relic in order to have an unbroken hold on the Buddhist masses. Today when the Tooth Relic is exposed the masses who throng to see and pay respect in their frenzy of fervour, present any piece of gold jewellery they wear, necklesses, bangles, ear studs to the Relic in addition to loads of money as their gesture of respect. It is no wonder as revealed in the media a couple of months back that the custodian Diyawadena Nilame has even gold plated the door handles and the buffers of his vehicle. What can not you do with the gullible masses who blindly believe and pocket out their hard earned earnings to fatten and nourish the Sangha, believing in collecting merit to get to Nirvana or offering it to the Tooth relic? This practise of presenting gold during exposition, I hear that there are staged individuals who mingle with the crowd in line, who take off one’s neckless and put it on the tray in front. Now this inspires the other devotees around to do the same to show their selflessnes. Is it any wonder then that loads of money is spent by individuals to become the DN of the Temple of the Tooth? What sanctity there is in the practise of such Religious Rituals when the Custodians are corrupt as the Politicians of the day who Govern?

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    Gamini,
    Your comment confirms my response to you made on 26th April at 8.51 am.
    Priest-craft it is!

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      @ KC John, thanks, the Priests/Clergy of all Religions have made use of the faiths found by others as their personal property to persue their interest over society. They have been in the habit of back scratching with the Rulers from time immemorial to derive benifits as Religion was a catalyst to unify sections of society. Religions united those who were otherwise devided politically. Further This stood good when the clergy were litrate and the laity was not. But today the laity, many are literate and more educated than the clergy. I do not believe that one requires the clergy for one to read and understand any Religion because the people are literate sufficiently to sift fact from fiction.

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