21 September, 2018

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New Year Determination For Reconciliation & Peace

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

If there is any major issue that should not be overlooked under the circumstances of the ‘day-to-day’ controversies or disputes in Sri Lanka then that is ethnic reconciliation and peace in general. The fact that ethnic hostility or rivalry is not unique to Sri Lanka, is not an excuse to continue with that abhorrent practice. Although the causes or the origins of other problems, i.e. authoritarianism, corruption, nepotism or human rights violations, cannot be reduced to the ethnic conflict, they were undoubtedly aggravated or reinforced under the circumstances of the ethnic conflict and the war. To claim that the war was the result of ‘terrorism’ and not any ‘ethnic conflict,’ is pure self-deception on the part of the self-proclaimed ‘nationalist’ advocates, while ‘terrorism’ is more abhorrent than the ‘ethnic conflict’ itself.

Rigid Divisions

It is an unfortunate fact of modern age, or even before, that people are rigidly divided on ethnic and religious lines. After all, people are all humans or Homo sapiens. Even the strict racial distinctions are disputed by modern science. There are UNESCO studies conducted on this issue. One aspect of the rigid divisions in Sri Lanka is the unscientific notions of the ‘Sinhalese’ and the ‘Tamils’ as races and not mere ethnicities. Although the ethnic divisions are a sociological fact under historical circumstances, what has aggravated the divisions or conflicts is politics or more correctly, opportunistic politics. This is the case in Sri Lanka as in any other country.

The above does not mean that ethnic communities do not exist or that they have ‘community interests’ whether they are in the majority or the minority. Ethnic reconciliation particularly means the ‘reconciliation of these community interests in an amicable manner.’ A more technical phrase would be to say ‘transforming a zero-sum game of these interests into a win-win situation.’

It is at the brink of the New Year that the ‘Yahapalana’ government had to withdraw the amendments prohibiting ‘Hate Speech.’ This situation signifies the very thin nature of the reconciliation constituency in the country. Hate speech is something that needs to be discouraged and prohibited. Given the present circumstances, mere sermons are not sufficient to do so. That is why laws are necessary. If this effort fails, it is not a good omen for reconciliation. If there are clauses impinging on the freedom of speech in the proposed legislation, then those could be amended through discussion.

It is an enigmatic problem to understand why people so ‘hate others.’ Insecurity, social alienation, emotionalism or more correctly ‘indoctrination’ could be some of the answers or elements of the puzzle. It is part of the human predicament, one would say, even in personal life. Although the humans claim for major achievements in material progress, the prevalence of ethnic and religious conflicts, crime, war, destruction and killings signify that humans are not yet fully civilized. The animals are more peaceful in their relations than the humans.

Buddhist Philosophy

E. W. Adikaram is the foremost Buddhist thinker of modern times in Sri Lanka who tried to explain the futility of rigid divisions and ethnic rivalry. He even branded ‘communalism or ethno-nationalism as mental insanity.’ It is the Buddhist thought that inspired the UNESCO motto which says “since wars begin in the minds of men [women included], it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.” There is a Chinese proverb based on the Buddhist teaching which elaborates the point further.

“When one is at peace with oneself
There is harmony in the community
When there is harmony in the community
There is peace in the nation
When there is peace in the nation
There is harmony and peace in the world.”

It is regrettable that in predominantly a Buddhist country that ethnic discrimination and conflict prevail. It is not Buddhism that should be blamed but the so-called followers. Same goes for the other religious believers. More regrettable is the way some of the Buddhist monks fanning ethnic hatred whether in Sri Lanka or Myanmar. This contradiction between ‘theology and practice’ is prevalent also in other religions exposing the limitations of organized religion/s in addressing the present day issues. At least ‘interfaith dialogues’ between them might be the answer to the situation. After all no religion is advocating violence or war except for some fake preachers.

Where to Begin?

It would be difficult to fathom where and how the reconciliation process should begin, and what the priorities are. There are and can be differences of opinion, and that is not unhealthy. What that might signify is the need for multiple approaches and initiatives. The change of the government in January, a year ago, has undoubtedly opened up new opportunities. But the progress so far is not completely satisfactory. Thus is the need for a more focused approach on reconciliation in the New Year.

The government cooperation with the UNHRC and the international community has been an important milestone since no country could address ethnic reconciliation or peace issues in isolation. Human rights are a major criteria of ethnic reconciliation. What should be avoided is the excessive internationalization of the reconciliation process as it could be counterproductive within the country. After all the conflict should be resolved within and not without. This is something even the international community should understand.

What the government has done so far, so good. The handing over some land acquired for security purposes is a good measure but not sufficient. The releasing of those who have no charges equally was necessary, although there can be minor security risks. Most important is the understanding built between the government and the TNA although the NPC or its Chief Minister does not seem to be reciprocating enough to the peace initiatives. Complete demilitarization of the war affected areas might not be feasible in the near future but it should take place in a steady fashion. My purpose is not to list all the measures so far done or not done, but comment on some of the issues relevant to reconciliation.

Despicable Violent Culture

There are hardliners on both sides. Most unfortunate is the hard feelings. Some are understandable but some are not. This has become a part of the Sri Lankan political culture with traces in South/East Asia as well. It is not long time ago a former minister threatened to cut his stomach himself if he proved wrong. The mere utterance was a violent act. It is during the budget debate another MP wanted to immolate himself in Parliament! Most unfortunate was the recent incident of a Northern school boy committing suicide by jumping to a train, leaving a note demanding the release of all ‘political prisoners.’

In all those cases, the actions committed or purported to be committed were quite disproportionate to the issues at hand. These are only a recent tip of ‘not an iceberg’ but a volcano. The feelings are quite hot, reasonable or unreasonable. What the trend signify is the underlying vortex of feelings and frustrations among a great number of people that borders on violence. The lack of understanding of peaceful means of conflict resolution or dispute settlement is at the heart of the matter. There are gaps in the existing consciousness and knowledge, it seems.

It may be the case that people in the tropics have to make an extra effort to cool down their feelings. Of course there are other socio-economic factors aggravating the circumstances of our collective psyche. The country is excessively populated and the economic circumstances are exceedingly poor for the great majority. There are frustrations related to them and these pent-up frustrations could also erupt in ethnic and political forms. Our economies are extremely consumerist and the demonstration effect (aggravated under the digital age) does not allow people to be satisfied with meeting their basic needs and pleasures. We call it the development drive even at the expense of the global environment.

Problems and Prospects

Then there are political culprits, misguided or unscrupulous. For them politics is a power game and not an endeavour for the establishment of social justice. There are more political theories in the world condoning violence, both from the left and the right, than for peace or harmony. All these adverse theories go in the name of political realism, denouncing the peace theories as utopian or unrealistic. There are various influences of these adverse theories on the people of Sri Lanka from their tender ages. It would be a mammoth task to counter these theories or false notions from the minds of the people through education and awareness.

The media can play a decisive role in peace-building and reconciliation, but the current status undoubtedly is far from it. What we can gauge from particularly the vernacular newspapers is the expression of fears, suspicions and misinformation on both sides. What keeps the emotions or hatred under control at present is the present government’s determination, largely under international pressure. The tide might change unless lasting measures are not taken to build peace and reconciliation.

There is no question that the perpetrators of violations during the war should be tried and punished. Given the fact that the perpetrators are on both sides and the whole disaster has been part and parcel of a larger problem of a conflict that has to be resolved, more effort should be placed to uncover the truth in a constructive manner. What cannot be excused at all is rape and brutal killings. Most important might be the Rehabilitation and the Reconstruction of the war affected areas and the people, for which close cooperation between the central government and the provincial councils are important. Without those, the third ‘R’ or Reconciliation might not come.

What should not be overlooked in addressing the immediate and pressing problems is the long term design for reconciliation and peace. The immediate and the long term tasks can go hand in hand. What is our road map or ‘Magga’ for reconciliation? Unless this is attended to, ‘Nirodha’ or resolution for the conflict might remain elusive and distant. That is why a firm determination for ethnic reconciliation and peace is of paramount importance in the New Year 2016.

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    RE: New Year Determination For Reconciliation & Peace

    To: Dr. Laksiri Fernando,All Other Writers, Commentators and All Others.

    To: All Living on Earth, including those on the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, and those outside the Land of native Veddah Aethho, Fauna and Flora, with 46 Chromosomes, or more or less.

    Greetings for another round around the Sun, another round to be added to the 4,500,000,000 odd rounds already made.

    This is Your Land, My Land, Your Earth, My Earth, and this was made for you and me, and all on Earth.

    And enjoy until eternity, without destroying it, and without destroying each other.

    And this is Heavens and the Earth.

    We need each of you to be recycled, after your time, for renewal of the Heavens and the Earth.

    At the end of the Q&A period after Tyson and Dawkins’ magnificent presentation “The Poetry of Science”, this douchebag troll (who refused to sit and insisted on getting his “question” out) tries to bait Dawkins/Tyson into a religious discussion with the mildly retarded question about what they would do when they’re about to die with nothing to console themselves but their knowledge of science (implying that they’re incomplete without the source of origin:god). Dawkins passed the opportunity for retort to Tyson, who answers in a fantastically poetic way

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afGkv0IT4dU

    Earth From Heavens

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU0GhTmZhrs

    The groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth.

    Happy New Round around the Sun, All Fauna and Flora.

    -Amarasiri

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      Interesting comment.
      Thank you for the links.

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      RE: New Year Determination For Reconciliation & Peace

      To: Professor Laksiri Fernando.

      “What should not be overlooked in addressing the immediate and pressing problems is the long term design for reconciliation and peace. The immediate and the long term tasks can go hand in hand. What is our road map or ‘Magga’ for reconciliation? Unless this is attended to, ‘Nirodha’ or resolution for the conflict might remain elusive and distant. That is why a firm determination for ethnic reconciliation and peace is of paramount importance in the New Year 2016.”

      Thanks.

      Would you at least now write the Sri Lankan Version of the Common Sense Pamphlet?

      MaRa is not in Power, Sira is confused with brassieres, and this is the time for the Common Sense Phamplet.

      Common Sense (pamphlet)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

      Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in an easily understood style. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, relying on biblical references to make his case.[4] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[5] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era.

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    Where to Begin !!!! asks the good Professor

    Lift up the living standards of the Dalits to be on par with the Elite, Anglicans and the Vellalas.

    And there won’t be any opportunities for Politikkas to create hate, discrimination, and division among the inhabitants.

    It is not Rocket Science.

    Just look at the stoush between TNA and the Vellala Wiggy’s TPC.

    Wahabi SLMC and Baththudeen’s party.

    Batalanda Ranil’s schemes with Bodhi Sira through Singapore to divide the Dalits , while strengthening the Elite and create separate states for Thamils and Muslims..

    Hybrid Courts,

    Releasing land to absentee Land Lords in Colombo,

    Jailing our Brave Soldiers,

    Sending our Dalit labourers on to the scrap heap,

    Cutting the pensions of the inhabitants,

    Reducing the number of kids going to school and

    Preventing a level playing field for the rural kids who want to get a Uni Degree are going to create more Ethnic problems, Divisions and Discrimination.

    And the Politikkas will thrive on it.

    As usual ., the Professor gives more prominence to Buddhist bashing than trying to give advice on eliminating Ethnic problems,

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      Sumanasekera. Put a sock in it man! We don’t need your pontificating when you are an unabashed apologist for the criminal Rajapakses.

      Your credibility is shot and your ‘reputation’ is a pathetic one with your tendency for racist comments and your shameful defense of your paymasters on CT for all to see.

      To put it in your terms ‘give us a fornicating break’!

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        @Father Time

        That’s right, Man !! THAT’s telling him.

        Let’s just ‘Shoot the Messenger’ rather than respond to the message

        Well Done !!!

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          maalumiris. My reaction was to the “messenger” because I’m sick of his hypocrisy. What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander, but in Sumanasekera’s case just about everything the Rajapakses did was hunky dory.

          This does not mean that I condone the crap that is going on with the Yahapalanayas and do agree with Sumanasekera with some of his criticisms. But like I said, I’m tired of his righteous pontificating about ‘morality’ when he overlooks what his paymasters have done to damage us all.

          Hopefully you get my message this time around!

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    Rather than the above thought from Buddhism, the following from the novel The Haj by Leon Uris about Arabs, may be more practical.

    It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world. And all of us against the infidel.” (The Haj, p. 15. Author Leon Uris)

    Don’t forget that we are still animals, just out of the jungle 30,000 years OR SO ago, a mere blink of AN eye in the evolutionary time scale. Thus, instincts such as territorial ownership, fear for strangers, possessiveness, jealousy, selfishness, without which we would have gone extinct are still dominating us.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to CT, its contributors and readers.

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      ”just out of the jungle 30,000 years OR SO ago, a mere blink of AN eye in the evolutionary time scale. Thus, instincts such as territorial ownership, fear for strangers, possessiveness, jealousy, selfishness, without which we would have gone extinct are still dominating us”:

      The evolution of speech and human brain in man has exponentially changing him and hence evolution of national and international laws over the millennia and centuries to deal with the animal instincts stated above. Most of all 70yrs ago we formulated the UN Charter which has been making a significant difference in man’s life, and inresolving some conflicts, around the world.
      The ethnic conflict in our country started at least by 1956 if not in 1948 – many well-informed Sinhalese admitted it to LLRC about political and economic oppression from the time of independence till now. That is more than 2 generations of Tamils oppressed of political and economic power.
      We can see the physical and social destruction caused by it if we go to the North (and the East).
      Bringing in a new government of ”Good Governance” doesn’t seem to be of any gain for the ethnic minorities though they voted it in without any condition.

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    So many positives have happened during the last 12 months.

    1 appointment of a civilian as governor of Northern Province.
    2 appointment of a Tamil as CJ
    3 appointment of 9 commissions
    4 releasing prisoners who cannot be charged in a court of law
    5 releasing land in the North and East from military control
    6 repealing emergency regulations
    7 improving relations with India, USA and EU
    8 far reaching economic policy statement by PM
    9 media freedom
    10 constitutional reforms

    However some undesirable events also took place in 2015.

    1 appointment of defeated candidates via the national list
    2 bloated cabinet with poor quality ministers
    3 poor appointments to state institution boards including relatives of politicians
    4 inability to bring corrupt elements during MARA regime to justice even after 12 months
    5 political decisions over riding good economic decisions
    6 poorly crafted budget with too many changes
    7 retrospective taxes
    8 CBSL bond issue
    9 poor GDP growth @5% for 2015
    10 no major reforms in SOEs

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      Jagath, please make a list of desirable things to do in 2016

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      ”So many positives have happened during the last 12 months”:

      1 appointment of a civilian as governor of Northern Province.
      – He is not doing negative things but his positive recommendations are not listened to by the govt.
      2 appointment of a Tamil as CJ
      – It’s a facade for infinitesimal progress on the front of justice and equality for Tamils. Hope he serves the Judiciary well enough.
      3 appointment of 9 commissions – let’s wait for the results.
      4 releasing prisoners who cannot be charged in a court of law – only a fraction was released & others are re-remanded; we’re talking about people imprisoned without charges for 10,15, 20yrs
      5 releasing land in the North and East from military control – less than 10% of the land was ”released” with the impinging physical presence of the army and without basic reparations to kickstart actual resettlement ……..
      6 repealing emergency regulations – wasn’t it done in the previous regime with the introduction of the same into PTA? There is certainly TALK now of repealing PTA.
      7 improving relations with India, USA and EU – geopolitical dynamics
      8 far reaching economic policy statement by PM – contradicted by the budget of unsustainability which in turn is contradicted by amendments(with increased unsustainability) – undermining 13th Amendment and centralising the decentralised
      9 media freedom – yet somewhat reluctant to report on the North and the East.
      10 constitutional reforms – talking about making reforms – we should wait and see how our PM carries out his determination to undermine 13A(devolution of power – most significant with respect to NPC & EPC)

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    Prof Laksiri Fernando,

    Welcome you back to the Colombo Telegraph!.

    We missed you for the last few months!

    Let us have the pleasure of having your enlightened views regularly!

    Wish you a happy and prosperous new year!

    Sri Krish

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    Unfortunately the hopes we had with the election of Maithripala, that he would usher in an era free of crooks in Parliament, nepotism, flaky deals, etc, etc, have been dashed. And although it looks like we are better off without the Rajapakses, there’s a long way to go to achieve a semblance of integrity and decency in government.

    Who knows what 2016 will bring us, but hopefully Yahapalanaya will grow to be more than empty promises and the president will mature into a more principled leader who will not waste his time on prescribing whipping with stingray tails and other crap that exposes his lack of good judgement and outdated values. Instead, may his ‘morality’ include ridding the administration of (election) losers, crooks, cronies, family members and other incompetents who are included due to vested interests.

    If he does change for the better, we will have a much better hope of achieving true reconciliation and peace in this our beautiful country that is being contaminated by its dregs.

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      This is truly wrong. How can you even expect an utopic world immediately MY3 is elected. As any sane would feel it – so long the roudies are part of the entire adminsitration left by MR, how can any leader do his job well even if he would have good thoughts and systems. Besides, never forget, you cant expect things the way- comparably to a western democracy, that our volks are so stupid and we are an another poor nation on this world. We dont have funds as the westerns would have whenever to materialize any good amendements. And we cant import experts to help us either as rich arabs would and could do. But the basics that human rights and the freedom of speech should be allowed in a country – that is done by DUO MY3 and RW. Notherners do say that there are whitevans sitll roaming in their regions – whatever whoever being uttered, today, we can atleast see the light at the end of tunnel than had been before the last 8th Jan.

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        Ms Thalanabatu, he could start by replacing the family members he appointed to positions of authority with qualified personnel and then get the judiciary to process the cases that are being stalled for no good reason.

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    Even though there is no positive signs for reconciliation and justice.
    eg: “releasing prisoners who cannot be charged in a court of law ” is not something reconciliation. That act of something to get ride off the crimes of illegal acts.

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    It is correct that Buddhism is not to be blamed but the manner in which it is practiced in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand that is to be blamed. All three countries show violence towards minorities which is initiated to a large extent by Buddhist priests.

    Sinhala Buddhism takes on a peculiar characteristic because of its affinity with the state and the Sinhala race which is historical. The unfortunate text is the Mahavamsa which is the root of a sense of nationalism that is necessary to hold a disparate race that originates from different sources and different periods together. In post colonial Sri Lanka, politicians used it as a means to power. In this context, as Farmer put it, Sri Lanka will remain a divided nation.

    In many countries this problem has become to surface. In Spain, in England and other parts of Europe, one finds an increasing clamor for separation. In our part of the world, we see it in India, in Thailand where Muslims want a separate state in the South, in the Philippines and in China. The three latter situations involve Muslims, who have global support. Kashmir is the same. In Tibet, the Buddhists are the people claiming separation. In many parts of Africa where states were arbitrarily created by colonial powers, the same problem arose with Biafra in Nigeria and continues in other states. All these issues put economic development back. Many are killed.

    Constitutional arrangements with wide devolution is the solution. The crisis in Aceh in Indonesia was settled in this manner. Sri Lanka begins on a new constitution. Let us hope that chauvinism is not the factor that kills it and that wisdom prevails.

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      Ponkoh Sivakumaran

      “It is correct that Buddhism is not to be blamed but the manner in which it is practiced in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand that is to be blamed.”

      You are right.

      The home grown brand of political religion which has been practiced in this island for just over hundred years by a noisy minority is not at all Buddhism. It is a narrowly defined political force a lethal cocktail of perverted religion and language.

      One should emphasize the need to liberate both Buddhism and Sinhala language from Sinhala/Buddhism.

      A Sinhala/Buddhist MP, UNP minister as Dr. Harsha De Silva when in opposition told Parliament his party was fully committed to protect the security forces who freed the country from terrorism and the political leaders.

      He also said “I am telling to the world. We (UNP and myself), will not allow anybody to take President Rajapaksa or any other leader to International court about War Crimes, We will not allow the President whether he won or lose to be tried before war crime tribunals,”

      He further said “I am a proud Southerner and a Sinhala Buddhist. I have no desire whatsoever to align with the Tigers and betray my country,” – late November 2014

      I am not sure why he was so proud of being a Southerner and a Sinhala Buddhists. What is special about being a Southerner and a Sinhala Buddhists?

      Will the IMF consider lending Trillion Dolar loan to Dr. Harsha De Silva just because he is a proud Southerner and a Sinhala Buddhists?

      Dr Laksiri Fernando may be able to answer my Trillion Dolar question.

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        N.V.

        I am going to save you much typing, CT space and Internet bandwidth in 2016.

        There is no such thing as Sinhala Buddhism. It is a word concocted by you hate purveyors. There are Sinhalese who consider themselves as a race and there is Buddhism which is recognized as a religion. Majority of Sinhalese claim that they are Buddhists while there is a minority who claim to be Christians. Unlike among the Tamils there are no Sinhalese who claim to be believers in Islam. Whenever you discuss the second world war why do they never say American Christians dropped atom bombs on Japan instead of saying Americans dropped atom bombs on Japan? It is your boiling hatred that blinds you to this simple truth. Your intention is to kill two birds with one stone.

        Do those Sinhalese who claim to be Buddhists actually follow Buddha’s word? Do those Westerners who claim to be Christians actually follow the word of Christ. Don’t be silly Native.

        Now these Sinhala Buddhists over millennia have have built up agrarian
        Civilization with lot of Buddhist temples and seem to harboring a desire to continue this civilisation. They habour a fear of 70 million Tamils just 20 miles across. This kind of desire and protectionist mentality is prevalent everywhere, not unique to the Sinhalese. It is this you call Sinhala Buddhism for your vilification exercise. It is this you are determined to degrade and dismantle. Unavoidably there is bound be conflict of interest.

        To make matters worse there is an old book Called Mahavansa which has become the modern day Bible of Tamil diaspora which the most of the Sinhalese (including me) have not read at all. This book is supposed to be glorifying the above mentioned agrarian civilization. Sinhalese who claim themselves to be followers of Buddhism derive some idiotic and unbuddhist satisfaction over the the archaeological sites of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, etc, huge reservoirs built by their kings which to this day remain the mainstay of the our agriculture. Political Tamils touring around the Island get irritated to discover that the remnants of this agrarian civilization have covered the entire island wondering what their forefathers were sleeping on save a few Brahmin letters on a couple rocks.

        So much space on Colombo Telegraph is wasted on preaching Buddhism to the Sinhalese, quotes from Buddha, Dhammpada, Tripitakaya what not. Now there is a new crop of Islamists who are specializing in Dhamapada!

        To recap, there are Sinhala Buddhists and Sinhala Christians but there is no Sinhala Buddhism or Sinhala Christianity. There are British Catholics and American Christians but there is no British Catholicism or American Christianity. I don’t see anyone preaching Christianity to the Americans. Got it?

        Soma

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          somaass

          “There is no such thing as Sinhala Buddhism. It is a word concocted by you hate purveyors.”

          Please refer to

          ANTHROPOLOGY OF ‘SINHALA BUDDHISM’
          by Premakumara De Silva available on net.

          “Now these Sinhala Buddhists over millennia have have built up agrarian Civilization with lot of Buddhist temples and seem to harboring a desire to continue this civilisation.”

          Here I am not going to educate you.

          Think about the cruelty with which the so-called civilisation was built

          Rajakaria, slavery, monastic slavery, …. to mention a few.

          Every single aspect of your civilisation came from India including architecture, Irrigation engineering, language, kavia, grammar, religion, Vellaikara Padei (mercenaries), art, saree, Aryan amude, kavun, kokkis, appa, idiyappa, Pattini Deiyo, Nadagama including Maname, myth, royal blood(?), rituals, Brahmi, Cinema,music for Sinhala cinema, caste thanks to Chola, cruelty, stupidity, gene, ………. astrology, ayurveda, ………… torture, cowardice, artisans, philosophy.

          Please stop bragging about your achievements.

          “They habour a fear of 70 million Tamils just 20 miles across.”

          This is your own demon, paranoia, delirium, rest of the people cannot help you. How long you are planning to live off from stoking fear psychosis? Go get mass therapy.

          “To make matters worse there is an old book Called Mahavansa which has become the modern day Bible of Tamil diaspora which the most of the Sinhalese (including me) have not read at all”

          Good, if you need a copy let me know.

          The ideas and myth in Mahawamsa have somehow trickled down to every Sinhala/Buddhists, through so-called scholars, historians, saffron clad bigots, “educated”, …………. in the past 130 years.
          Do you want me to believe that you are not one those liberals who is free from Mahawamsa mindset and not conditioned by it?

          “Now there is a new crop of Islamists who are specializing in Dhamapada!”

          So you have another non-existent reason to be paranoid about.

          Keep panicking, no one can help you from your own self-destruction.

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    Wish you the very best for the New Year.

    But no FT no comments.

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    Mr Laksiri Fernando

    ” The fact that the perpetrators are on both sides and the whole disaster has been part and parcel of a larger problem of a conflict that has to be resolved, more effort should be placed to uncover the truth in a constructive manner”

    But Sir, at the beginning of the war crimes issue you didn’t raise your voice against the present “accountability” process targeting one side of the war. What is fundamentally important is uncovering the truth for that is the only lesson we can leave for our posterity. The present accountability process will only bury the truth for eternity – that is as clear as daylight to me. I just cannot understand the mindset of the people who belive that punishing a few soldiers and Rajapaksa will lead to final reconciliation between the Tamils and Sinhalese. Mr Laksiri, let us wait untill war criminals are duly punished before becoming over enthusiastic over reconciliation.

    Let us see how the dual horse government (one arm comprising the same set of Miniters under Rajapksha who have been bought back with the same currency Rajapaksha paid them) is going to tackle the war crimes trials and the new constitution both in one go which require transparency and consensus rather than contest and manupiliation.

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    No doubt. Some thing “Good” came out of “Worst” in 2015. Yet, the “expected Good” has not come about. For that to happen all the People (those in Governance and Governed) have to make a FIRM DETERMINATION “NOT” to RUN BACK TO THE “WORST” we passed through from about 2010 to 2014 end. In that “struggle” to move FORWARD, it is imperative for the people to be ALERT at all times and make correct decisions distancing from communal (Tribal) divisions and forge ahead as one Nation, called Sri Lankans. Also the present “GUARDIANS” (those Governing) must learn from the past and pay attention to proposals as well as criticism from the People and REFORM THEMSELVES to face the REALITY rather than follow their own Agenda tainted with greed, hatred; but to HONOUR the principles of real Good Governance. Wish, we will be able to achieve some more out of that “Good” we got in January 2015.

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    Dr. Laksiri Fernando:

    “It is regrettable that in predominantly a Buddhist country that ethnic discrimination and conflict prevail. It is not Buddhism that should be blamed but the so-called followers.”

    You have read about Christian Crusades and Islamic Conquests; Do you think those things really are not operating now ?

    Indian buddhists were true buddhists and did you read about how Muslims eradicated Buddhism from Pakistan ?

    I think, you talk like a child if not you are dishonest and have some other agenda.

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    If all is well and good, why a new constitution?
    Why cannot the shortcomings in the present one be corrected by legislation – even MR sought to become a permanent czar with untrammeled powers with the 18th amendment.

    “the releasing of those with no charges is equally necessary though there could be minor security risks”

    It is reported that those released by courts in the north and east are going to be tried again by special courts.

    http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=38068

    Are there two justice systems?
    What are the “minor security risks”?

    Can Laksiri Fernando clarify?

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    Like former commander SF I do not have trust in SL justice system. I have not supported any Terrorism wether from militants of any groups or ruling military. I have not knowingly committed any big sins to anybody. But I have enormously suffered by the acts of guarding forces from air, land and sea. consequence acts causing sufferings takes place in a chain reaction fashion. There is no way there can be an end. That is the reality. If I spent all my time and energy of rest of my life will I get Justice , Fairness , redress and peace?? Can any one assure it. Until then there is no reconciliation and peace. Can the civilian governor or CM find a justice for my tangible difficulties.

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    Laksiri

    Good to see your views again.Hopefully people will focus on issues raised rather than the past and personalities.Reconciliation is the key if we are to develop as a leading nation in the region.
    As Lord Buddha said there are 3 things which cannot be hidden for long time- the sun, moon and the truth.
    Let us focus on the truth, not punishment as such which our President is capable of making decisions within the rule of law.

    Dr jayawick

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    Prof.Laksiri,

    Welcome back. I was concerned about your health.

    We need your educated and objective views on the issues relating to the proposed new constitution and hopefully a revised bill on hate speech.

    Your views on the evolving political schism within the TNA in the north would be welcome.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Dear Native Vedda: You said: “I am not sure why he was so proud if being a Southerner and a Sinhala Buddhist. What is special about being a Southerner and a Sinhala Buddhist”? Very strange to hear this statement from you. Did you not know that this is THE SHORTEST and the SPEEDIEST way to get elected to the Parliament. It is so with others in the North and East, with different claims of ethnicity and religion. This is not the ONLY qualification, but in some of the electorates, one has to attach it with the “CASTE”. Hope you got the answer.

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