26 May, 2024


Monks, Laymen In Sri Lanka Protest Erecting Mosque, Hindu Temple Inside Buddhist Sacred Zone – Washington Post

By Associated Press –

Buddhist monks were also involved in the protest

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Thousands of Buddhist monks and lay supporters have protested the construction of a mosque and a Hindu temple being built in an area designated as a Buddhist sacred zone.Local journalist Kanchana Ariyadasa says about 2,000 protesters, including 300 monks, shouted slogans and waved the Buddhist flag Friday in the central town of Dambulla.

Monk Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Thera said that the construction area was inside the Buddhist sacred zone and that erecting houses of worship for other religions there was illegal. He demanded the authorities stop the construction immediately.

About 7 percent of Sri Lanka’s 20 million people are Muslims. About 74 percent are Sinhalese, who are mostly Buddhists, while about 18 percent are Tamils, who are predominantly Hindus or Christians.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0

    It certainly appears that Sri Lanka is not short of controversy. While the rest of the world is progressing with improvement of facillities to the masses in health, education transport and living standards, we are embroiled in fundamentals still. Man has been in search of Religions at the beginning a few thousand of years ago to achieve solace from man made and natural disasters that confronted all. However later Religion has been responsible for division of mankind and have had untold suffering and loss of life brought upon mankind with this kind of mindset of individuals. I hear that this place has had a mosque in operation at the Kandalama junction over sixty years ago. Besides the present day Muslims have 50% Sinhala blood in them as these Moors who came here on trade then, did not bring their spouses but married Sinhalese women.
    Further it is not an issue for these trouble makers of Buddhist priests, to have Liquor bars, brothels and gambling dens in sacred areas, but other places of worship is taboo. Afterall the best of liquor is available in the Buddhist Temples, so how can they protest? As for the use of Loud Speakers for whatever Religion, should be banned for sound polution. How did Religions manage for centuries to survive propergating the faiths sans loud speakers? Why make a nuisance of it using loud speakers now?

    • 0

      Gamini,you are raising some valid points here except for the question of why nuisance of using loudspeakers.It’s easy to understand if you
      look at your own beginning lines in which you lament that”while the
      rest of the world is progressing with facilities to the masses.”Now
      this loudspeakers,especially in mosques,have become”nuisance” clearly only to some racist political elements who’s elected on racist card.
      They want something to belittle other communities and get applauded by their racist lot.Instead of doing everything to distance themselves
      from this rotten lot,this govt has embraced them with both hands and put the whole country to test and they enjoy this.Loudspeakers started to appear in mosques more than half a century ago.They were widely in use at nearly all sinhala wedding houses and licence were granted for use by police until 10p.m.Well,if time has changed and we need to go along with it,of course we should but proper approach must be applied with due process in place.I want to thank you for the most part of your constructive comments.

      • 0

        @ whywhy, if you read what I have stated, I have objected the use of Loud Speakers for all Religions as it causes sound polution. It can not be made an exception for one to continue on the claim that it has been used for fifty years. To be frank on Poya days it is a damn nuisance and so is five times a day. As all practised Religions are over a couple of thousand years old, how did they manage to propergate faith prior to the invention of the loud speakers? I am sorry the use of loud speakers should be banned for all Religions and this is a good opportunity for the govt. to bring some controls and build a Secular Society where all our problems will be solved.

        • 0

          Gamini, my last few lines show how your previous comment is taken
          by me.I only wanted to explain the backgrounds and make readers
          aware that this is an issue that must be handled through delicate
          means because half a century practice is not easy to do away,
          especially with ordinary blind faithfuls in all religions.Some
          people are under illusion that they can become a Singapore over
          night by destroying values that are so close to their hearts.
          In a wider sense,some people think modernisation must come at any
          cost and anything that stands on its way must be eliminated for
          good.If noice pollution is not taken in this sense,I’m with you

  • 0

    There is a little mess-up here in this news. This is not a new mosque or new venture to construct a mosque for the first time in the place what they define as a sacred land. This mosque has been in existence for the past 50 years. Why is it so hurry or significant to them to demarcate the area as a sacred land demolishing a mosque which is there for a long time?

    There must be an ulterior motive or political expediency behind this initiative of certain vested interested people.

    I am a bit suspicious whether this is a collaborated project of both the government and the JHU to deflect the mounting pressure and tension in the domestic level as a result of high rocketing price hikes that grapple the people day by day and the convincing defeat in Geneva.

  • 0

    When did Lord Buddha instruct his followers of the possibilities to call certain areas/zones sacred? Considering Orissa a sacred state of India or the birth place of Lord Buddha is possible but calling scared zone in a country that Lord Buddha even didn’t place his foot prints is obnoxious. Lord Buddha didn’t preach his followers to accept desires of material, land or positions but what we find in Sri Lanka is a disobedience to Buddhism by certain monks in saffron robe. Sri Lankan Buddhists should understand that the people behind these saffron robes are too human and they could err in any or all junctions of interpretations like in the Muslim world where people arming themselves in the name of their religion. They are called terrorists. I watched a video a person called Dr. Naik recently and the speaker clearly gave the definition for the word “terrorist”. A Terrorist means a individual or a group who terrorizes a person, some people, a village, state or a country is called a terrorist or a terrorist group. That definition fits our Buddhist monks who had terrorized another group of people of another faith. In which Sacred Zones you find Bars, Karokes, 5 Star hotels with all activities and brothels? If those Dambulla monks can accept a proposed nude beach in Kaluthara, which is also considered sacred zone, then what do we accept from our religious leaders?

    • 1

      Even preaching is not prescribed in Budhism Dr.Maverick.Sinhala people
      generally don’t trust these monks in full heart.It’s tradition that
      continues and even right minded monks are in their saffrons just because of no other way out.That’s why last year alone some 5000 monks
      gave up their saffrons.

  • 0

    Bunch of trouble makers in saffron robe.

  • 0

    Now the villages and cities in sinhala regions will be converted to sacred zones and the minorities will be expelled. some months later the security zones will be converted to sacred zones

  • 0

    There was a news item which quoted health minister as requesting the
    budhist devotees not to give these monks fat and sugary foods as 90%
    monks are affected by cholesterol and diabetes and as a result die of
    heart attacks at young age.We can now see how these monks prefer to use
    stored fat and sugar.Temples have become dens and the monks Dons.They
    are a shame to the country.There was another news item that read,last
    year alone 5000 monks had left monastry meaning disrobed.It’s high time
    that people realize whether they must follow this kind of religion at
    their own expense,whether they want to blindly be dragged into conflict
    with a silent minority in the name of budhism that is not practised by
    the preacher monks.Think again.

  • 0

    Oh god! save my country !!!

  • 0

    ”The vietnam war saw buddhist being targetted by the catholics. A buddhist monk burnt himself in protests,. Buddhist flags were not allowed to fly but the vaticans flag was alloed by the PM of vietnam who was ardent catholic. His brother was the arch bishop. The whole world saw and watched with horror how the buddhist monks were persecuted by the catholic leadership.Very strategicaly the whole issue was diverted into communism problem. The P.M had to be ousted and when he threathend to spill the beans he was murdered. 3 weeks later Kennedy who wanted the stop the vietnam war was murdered. Sri Lanka faces the problem. First the strategy to create rift between the hindus and buddhist using the islamic card and islamic phobia is used. Later the same guys who are protesting to move the temple will notice that the buddhist temples are made way for churches. Japan had to ban christianity in 1500 due to the fanatical catholics breaking buddhist statues..the same has happened in s.korea and srilanka in the recent past”
    The same strategy was used in Indian Kashmir ..converting locals to christianity, knowing fully well the effects of the same by the muslim community enraging them, then trying to gain sympathy from others making use of the already fragile hindu muslim peace and also the burning kashmir issue

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.