28 October, 2020

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On Dayan’s ‘Logic’, Mildly

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

This refers to Dayan Jayatilleka’s response (Anti-BBS Vigil: A critique of the critique) to something I wrote on the subject of a candle light vigil organized by a group that named the event ‘Buddhists Question Bodu Bala Sena’.   I called my comment ‘The “Vigil” I saw’. Colombo Telegraph re-posted with what I consider to be a mischievous re-titling, “The BBS ‘Buddhists’, ‘Nightclub Buddhists’ and The ‘Vigil’ that I saw”.  Dayan, sadly, seems to have let that title guide his rant and has missed out all the caveats inserted.  That’s an old trick.  You deliberately take a black-white picture and then rant and rave.  That’s something I would expect from a high school debater, not from a man who has a doctorate, and one in political science to boot!

Dayan, true to form, throws his CV at the readers.  That’s fine if only he was not so selective.  His description of MIRJE is eye-wash, but that again is Dayan.  I will let that pass and get to his ‘critique’.

Dayan wants to know ‘how on earth’ I determined the following: ‘But there were non-Buddhists in proportions that were a fair distance away from national ratios’.

Dayan, by his own admission is not one to attend such vigils.  He will only stand with ‘The Left’ (he thinks the JVP and FSP are ‘Left’, but that’s another story for another laugh).  In my case, I have made it a point to keep myself informed about who does what and why, especially I/NGO operatives and their cheering squad, in the media, at Lipton’s Circus, I/NGO forums and the workshop rounds.  That’s how I know. The only people not speaking in English were those who were talking with the Police.  This was no cross-section, as I pointed out.  Not that it had to be, but I was only making an observation.

What I found most hilarious about this man who charges me of jumping to conclusions about composition, is that he sees fit to indulge in caricature of a magnitude that would make my error seem utterly trivial.  He calls the BBS Bay-Badu Bala Sena, picking on a drunk-drive-without-license transgression of its main political figure 13 years ago.  So based on that incident each and everyone in the BBS is a drunkard.  Wonderful logic! Dayan asks me how I made a call on ‘cross-section’.  I live in this country.  I move around.  I keep my eyes and ears open.  Can tell.  Dayan can’t, but that’s his problem.  I challenge anyone who took part in the vigil to say that the group was a cross-section of Buddhists in this country.

No, demonstrations need not necessarily ‘accord with national, ethnic and religious ratios’, but it is strange to me that one which claimed it was a by-Buddhists event ended up having such a non-Buddhist preponderance.   Add the other rider, there being a significant number of people with definite political agenda, and the picture is not as rosy as Dayan might think it is.  The implication is that it was either not organized by ‘innocents’ or else some with suspect agenda had hijacked it or else were piggybacking on the innocents.  Dismissing issues of class and category in politics by alluding to the Dhamma, as Dayan has done, is once again silly.  One cannot be innocent in politics and Dayan certainly has not been.  He has not subjected himself to the rigor he seems to demand from others.

Typical of Dayan, he took my ‘facebooking’ comment out of context.  It is linked to my observation regarding composition.  Dayan, true to form, deliberately misses the point and goes off at a tangent about who is on facebook and what being-on-facebook means and does not mean.

He does the same with the word ‘violent’.  It’s easy.  Pick a word and spit at it.  Maybe it gives a thrill, but that’s not intelligent, engaging debate, but sophomoric word-play.  I don’t have to answer for those Sinhalese and Buddhists who have been violent in one way or another against Tamils, Muslims or anyone else. Never been part of any of that.  But Dayan does have a violent past and I find it strange that he didn’t pick some stuff from his own story to buttress his argument.

At no point have I condoned the Bodu Bala Sena.  This does not mean that I have to agree with everything that those opposed to the Bodu Bala Sena say and do.  Only someone who cannot extricate himself from flawed Cartesian logic would expect me to do so.  In this instance, I went to oppose the BBS.  In retrospect, I found that I was ill-informed.  But I informed myself quickly enough.  I did not stand with the BBS but I went to stand with people opposed to the BBS and the way I do politics, criticism and self-criticism are part of the story.

I said the policeman cannot be faulted for wondering how a ‘Buddhists against BBS event’ could have so many non-Buddhists.  It’s enough for Dayan to go off at another tangent.  If you mark an event as organized by X, Y or Z and realize that there’s more of P, Q and R in it, you can’t blame anyone for wondering what is what!  That comes from bad organizing or too many people being taken for a ride.

This is what I wrote: ‘The Police Officer can’t be faulted if he wondered how a ‘Buddhists against BBS’ event had so many non-Buddhists.  It was a sweeping generalization nevertheless and the ethno-religious composition is anyway not relevant to the matter of peaceful, democratic action, even if there was nothing innocent in intent and design.’  Dayan has either not read the second sentence or has deliberately kept it out of his rant.  That’s cheap.  Sophomoric. Typical.

Dayan ends his piece with a confession: ‘This hardly seems a fair or rational critique’. I agree, wholeheartedly; he has neither been fair or rational.   Why he pressed ‘send’ after writing it for the Colombo Telegraph, I really cannot fathom.

NOTE 1:  Dayan’s article in Colombo Telegraph has prompted a lot of comments.  Many have saluted Dayan and showered me with invective.  There is very little reason and very little sobriety in these comments.  If they were at the vigil or supported the vigil then I can safely say that they are totally unsuited to question the BBS from a Buddhist perspective.

NOTE 2:  I learned that spokespersons for the BBS have quoted my article.  They, like my detractors, have misquoted me, leaving out important caveats.  In my next article I will explain why I am opposed to the BBS.

NOTE 3:  Most of those who cheered Dayan and most of those who’ve cheered the BBS, I noticed, did so during the nonagathaya and on Aluth Avurudda (April 14th) and into the festivities.  Made me smile.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

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    Come on Seneviratne pick up your shattered ego and answer Tilak.
    I will add another question to the three of Tilak’s:
    (4) Why is it you never have written anything against the BBS and its alcholic leader-monk?

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    I knew ..

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

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    So the bum boys have fallen out ! Malinda vs Dayan, amazing, ridiculous, disgusting and a total waste of time to read or comment on.

    Guys these people thrive on grabbing attention. Just don’t respond to their posts and they will shrivel and die.

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    My dear Malinda Boy,

    We all know that you are a bit confused in the head. So responding to your articles is a bit like talking back to a lunatic. Thus, every time I respond, I do so with a prayer – asking Buddha to help you comprehend my points.

    You are one of those nut cases who believe that Sri Lanka is worthy a place for America to ‘conspire’ against. That my child is absurd. A lion does not conspire against a duck. When America wants to eat SL, it will do so openly.

    Finally, a word on your obsession with I/NGO. Certain things become fashionable, at different junctures in history. Opportunists pick up on such fashionable stuff and make the most out of it. We understand and even sympathise with your need to make money. You can go along singing for your bath malli.

    Yours,
    Jaffna Tamil

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    I really don’t follow the logic of Malinda. If English-speaking Buddhists, Muslims and Tamils are the only people left in Sri Lanka who continue to understand the cardinal principles of Buddhism and dare to attend a candle light vigil, which is not illegal, what is his problem? Why should the police feel entitled to stop English-speaking Buddhists, Muslims and Tamils from holding a vigil? Aren’t they citizens of Sri Lanka? If Malinda were not comfortable with them, he had the option of going home.

    Following Malinda’s logic, English-speaking people are neither Sinhalese nor Buddhists nor citizens of Sri Lanka. Perhaps people writing in English still remain Sinhalese and/or Buddhist? Otherwise, Malinda who writes in English must be neither Sinhalese nor Buddhist.

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      Well said Humanist! Pucking Frick he is

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      Don Quixote:
      While I appreciate your suggestion, it is SO MUCH FUN to watch these b..ds trip over each other on their way over the side of the sinking ship. My only hope is that isn’t even one life-jacket left when they hit the water (and i might even mean that literally!)

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      Humanist:
      As a follow-up to your comment on MS writing in English, I’d suggest you follow the upcoming Gratiaen awards when that famous friend of Malinda’s father is going to ensure that MS receives that prize!

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    “White Van, for your information I never got a govt scholarship, not even Mahapola. Now you see what happens when you treat as biblical truth the rubbish that people who disagree with me put out on the net, right? i never made sweeping statements. but a lot of people here do that. i know there were people who were sinhala buddhists and not associated with the I/NGO racketeers I referred to. I said this in my first post. i am NOT questioning THEIR motives.”

    MS showing his true colors here, he is empty headed,now licking MR ass for millions of dirty money grabbed from poor people, for Jacka for PR campaigns.Poor People of this country must supported with free education (including many more mahapolas)and health thats why everyone of us pay taxes to regime.But instead of giving that right to people regime entertaining absolute idiots of the caliber of MS with peoples money.
    [Edited out]

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    Malinda, please continue writing and keep us amused.

    Obfuscation, contradiction and umbrage make good comedy material.

    Sadly, I did not read a single comment supporting you.

    With your super-human powers of sweeping deduction, could you tell us if all these critics belong to the NGO Mafia, or are from a particular ethno-religious concentration?

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    Don’t take this guy seriously. He tries to show he’s smart but all his arguments are weak and lack substance.

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    I dont understand why people both comment on a bootlicker of the regimes article. He is a mere parasite and a sorry excuse that weighs upon this earth

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    Malinda you were able to spot the relgious affiliatons and related demographics of the thousnads that gathered that day to protest the BBS. Can you spot that among the chorus of comments here? Put on the anjanan eliya!

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    The audio is a bit distorted and difficult to follow clearly. The example of a handful of Muslims cheering for Pakistan is totally out of context here. The reference to the division of the nation into three is also unnecessary in this context. They only encourage more animosity in the hearts and minds of the listeners.

    What is the status of a Sri Lankan migrant in Australia cheering for Sri Lanka having given up his nationality and presently holding an Aussie passport?

    The wars fought by nations and people throughout history need to judged by the faith those individuals adhered to since that is the guiding factor that makes them do what they do even if such wars were not fought in the name of their faiths. By this analogy we have China, Japan, Burma, Thailand and now Sri Lanka to analyze how they killed, tortured, and destroyed humanity through time.

    An organization like the BBS, who openly espouse hate and carry out evil actions in full public view with the support and assistance of the law and the state must be condemned by all decent human beings irrespective of their own affiliations, politically, religious, and otherwise.

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    Malinda is a racist-chauvinist- extremist and part of the State Terrorist rump. I don’t think anybody should take his writings seriously.. They should not even read his rubbish, which I read only half way and got sick.

    Let him fight with the so called diplomat journalist Dayan. May be Malinda is jealous of the diplomatic appointments Dayan has able to wangle and is now trying for same… Malinda is an equally good slipper licker as Dayan. But Malinda does not have the political connections like Dayan through his father who was a well respected and credible journalist.

    Nowadays editors are appointed depending how far they bend and how much they crawl. Malinda is a perfect example. CT editor, please do not protect this racist………….. by editing my truthful comments.. The people who read Colombo Telegraph should know what we Tamils think and view Malinda your friend….

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    “Yes, the handicap at the vigil was that there were many who attended who were ‘English speaking’- but that does not make them any less Sri Lankan, any less Buddhist, any less angry, or any less valid in their protesting attacks on minorities.”- Malinda seneviratne for all his accomplishments can’t seem to or does not want to accept this fact. At least these so called “english speaking buddhists” had the guts to organize something like this and the least one could have done was to applaud their courage rather than rant and rave about the ethnic dis proportionality seen within the protest!And who doesn’t have agendas these days? Isn’t it a decent compromise that these agendas should be tolerated since the core issue they seem to be fighting for is a prevention of a bloodbath between two communities in SL?
    Lankans are awesome at nitpicking,grumbling and being vitriolic like Mr Seneviratne, but are famous for being men of inaction when a situation demands action. That is what this protest was primarily about. Galvanizing a apathetic nation into action against racism and intolerence!

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    All I could say is Malinda has got his balls tangled up looking for ways to untie them.

    If malinda watched the video clips on both at Fashion Bug incident and the candle light vigil….he should be in a position to see how the perpetrators and the victims at both sites were treated by Police officers.

    Malinda did not see how gentle, respectful, decent and educated the crowd behaved at the Vigil compared to absolute morons, thugs, criminals and rowdys were those yellow robes were while uniformed police protecting them ….at Fashion Bug store, kirulapana..

    I don’t know if Malinda was wearing night vision glasses watching the Fashion bug incident.

    Can Malinda give us a list of these Yellow robes Buddhist clergy, their education qualifications, their Family back grounds, their home towns and their parents education and profession and at what age they left their homes to join as samaneras etc.

    All I say is what can you expect from a seven year old, leaving parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends to join a lonesome, isolated boring life at a tender age of seven years to follow a lost philosophy that preach “Gevithe Aniyathan Maranaya Niyathan” Life is uncertain and Death is Certain… to the followers.

    A seven year old loosing parental family bonds and love, his child hood play and innocence mostly due to economic reasons,automatically builds negative perspective,envy, grudge and jealoursy towards the Society he live.

    Also many times he may face child abuse and unwarrented disciplenary under strict maha sanga which could build up later as a negative force.

    This childhood negative social misnomer due to absense of parental love is been proved by the Modern psychologists and now it is shown among our present day young Buddhist clergy on different forms.

    Lord buddha attined higher esteem only after bearing two children to his wife and leaving a palace full of harem disappointed in the worldly life. Not before at seven years.

    Therefore You have to treat the root cause of the disease to get rid of this social clergy VS society conflict.

    Not mere writing funny articles on jokes won’t take you anywhere.

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    MR. MALINDA, YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT KEEP IT UP.

    IN THE STRANGE ABSENCE OF A SINGLE CONTRIBUTION FAVOURING MR. MALINDA SENEVIRATHNE’S CONTENTION;I AM CONSTRAINED TO FEEL SERIOUSLY, LIKE MANY OF YOUR AVID READERS , IF C T HAD SCHEMED AND PURPOSELY SELECTED TO PUBLISHE THE RESPONSES OF ONLY THOSE IRRATIONALY OPPOSED TO HIM. SURELY AMONG THE C T READERS THERE SHOULD ESSENTIALLY CONSTITUTE A LARGE AMOUNT OF SINHALESE,BUDDHIST AND NON ALLINGED INDEPENDENT READERS TOO. INTELLIGENT READERS MAY FORM AN OPENION ON THIS UNUUAL ISSUE.NEVERTHELESS,THOSE FAVOURING MR. DAYAN J.(WHO SHOULD TRULY HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS DAYAN SILVA BEING THE SON OF THE LATE ILLUSTRIOUS WRITER MR.MERVYN SILVA, [NOT THE BASTARD THUG BY THE SAME NAME]),HAD OPINED WITH A SENSE OF HATE,ILLWILL AND VENOM TRYING TO SHAME AND BELITTLE MR. MALINDA FOR OPENLY CLAIMING TO BE A SRI LANKA,SINHALA BUDDHIST.99.9 % OF THE 68 THE AUGUST COMMNETS WERE ANTI SRILKAN,ANTI BUDDHIST WHILE SOME WERE FROM THE LTTE RUMP.THEIR WRITING WERE A DIARRHEA OF WORDS BUT A CONSTIPATION OF FACTS).IN HE LIGHT OF THIS SITUATION, SRILNKA NEEDS MORE ORGANISATIONS LIKE THE BBS.

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    Herby why don’t you come and join them or start another one? You are as irrational as the BBS. For the first time we saw men in yellow robes insulting the robes as well as what it represents. That’s the root cause of all this. Shift focus from comments, Dayan and Malinda and dwell on the plight that the Sasana in the hands of these abusive and irreverent men who were chased out of a temple in Arnheim, USA!!!

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