27 October, 2020

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On Escalation Of Religious Tensions In Sri Lanka

By Karu Jayasuriya –

Karu Jayasuriya

The recent escalation of religious tensions in the country has given rise to a deep sense of foreboding and a profound sadness for myself, and others in the United National Party. Our regret is shared by the vast majority of moderates who reside in our society, to whom the actions of a few misguided, malicious elements have been both distasteful and of very serious concern. The violence against places of religious worship, whether Islamic or Christian, must be condemned unequivocally, as it is deeply wounding to the sentiments of entire communities of people. Any Buddhist citizen of this country would empathise with this sadness and despair, having lived through the violent desecration of this country’s most sacred Buddhist shrine, the Dalada Maligawa by brutal terrorists in 1998.  As fellow sufferers, can we not empathise now, with the pain of others, who are facing similar terror at the hands of violent radicals who have become a law unto themselves?

When 30 years of brutal conflict ended in this island four years ago, it was the fervent wish of most Sri Lankans that the new nation we would forge in the aftermath of that turmoil would be one in which ethnic, religious, gender and other differences were transcended. For too long, Sri Lanka had been a society divided and people from every community and walk of life, were crying out for healing and reconciliation. In the new Sri Lanka, after the end of the conflict, the only identity that should have mattered was the Sri Lankan one. I had hoped, like many of my fellow Sri Lankans, that we could evolve into a society that celebrates diversity, and rejoices in the multi-culturalism that defines us as a people, the next rainbow nation.

Yet four years later, Sri Lanka is staring once more down the abyss of communal and religious strife. Once more, our perceived differences are threatening to tear us apart. Where long ago it was ethnicity, today it is religion that threatens to become the great divide.

I am a Buddhist by birth and upbringing. Throughout my life, I have strived to live the teachings of the Great Master. I find great dissonance in the rhetoric of hate, intolerance and anger that is currently being perpetuated in the name of Buddhism. I cannot comprehend this sense of deep insecurity that causes elements of our society to act out this way, when it was the Buddha himself who taught that the Dhamma is best protected by practicing it.  I cannot understand the denigration of others whose culture and ways may be different to our own, when the Buddha spent a lifetime teaching that it is not birth that defines a man, but his deeds as he sought to end the injustice of the Indian caste system. The Buddha never singled out a chosen people, or granted a particular ethnic group special preserve of the Dhamma. The Teaching is universal, transcending culture and ethnicity, concerned only with the purity of intent and character.

Today, true Buddhists are struggling to find meaning in the events unfolding around us. Followers of the Middle Path see the futility of this anger and bitterness, they know how it will prolong samsara. To all those who express such great concern about the destruction of the Buddhist way of life and the erosion of Buddhist values, I have but one simple, fervent plea. It is an appeal from the heart. Let us temper our emotions and moderate our words. Let us practice the Buddha’s teachings. There is no greater way to protect and preserve the Dhamma.

*Karu Jayasuriya – United National Party Member of Parliament 

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    Shameless hypocrites switch party for wealth and power. That doesn’t stop them preaching goodness to the masses.

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      Negev:
      Exactly!

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      After reading this article, I truly feel his sincerity in expression as thoughts coming straight from his heart. Of course being a political animal, his outwardly political machinations are nothing compared to what others have achieved through crossovers. Although he made the jump, he did come back after he realized the implications to Party that nurtured and built up his character.

      Well said Sir for finally speaking out against these aberrations. But we we have a problem on our hands. Where are the youth who will be groomed to take over the leadership of this country, when the time comes?

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    First fix your party internal escalation

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      Negev and pasel

      You are jealous of Karu. Genuin buddhist. true gentleman statesman.

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    These people who form into groups like the Bodu Bala Sena, Jathika Hela Urumaya and Ravana Balaya, who say they are protecting Buddhism, are on the wrong Path. People of other Religions, who have heard about the Buddha’s Teaching, and would like to learn more about the Dharma, are put off by the antics of these groups. The Buddha advised his followers to respect the Teachings of other Religions. That would be the Way of Protecting Dhamma. Inciting Lay People to Violent demonstrations and destruction of Property, goes against the very Tenets of Ahimsa and Meththa:-
    “Those Who put on the Saffron Robe without purifying the Mind, Who lack Truthfulness and Self-Control, are not fit to wear the Saffron Robe”
    …from the Dhammapada Verse 9

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      what intrigues me is why is BBS, JHU and Rabana Balaya three seperate organisations. When MR can buy all oppsotion why not merge all three racist organisation in to one mega monster?

      Is it a clever diversionary tactics to keep them seperate and fool the Sinhala masses?

      will the three ever fight each other for dominance?

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    Well said,

    “..When 30 years of brutal conflict ended ..four years ago, ..fervent wish ..new nation ..I ..fellow Sri Lankans, ..evolve into a society that celebrates multi-culturalism that defines us as a people, ..

    Yet four years later, ..abyss of communal .religious strife. Once more, our perceived differences are threatening to tear us apart…”

    During 30 years Sinhalese kept the bomb ticking, why ? we had the “Worlds Most Ruthless Terror Outfit” at large with US/West support, & waited & waited to speak / act freely in a free country;

    That freedom came only 04 years ago & for a country with proud history running over 3000 years , this 04 years is only a peanut , so they keep on expressing free thoughts / actions (perhaps likes of Karu J – colombo 7 crowd, Sinhala /tamil, had the freedom for over 100 years ,even during British Raj)

    This peoples free actions cannot be stopped by anybody, never Karu J’s Yankee UNP , unless we have another Ranasingha Premadasa at the helm there. Karu J’s difference from Ranil is only National dress, nothing more, never understands heartbeat of masses.

    present UNP is such that cannot say LTTE was a terrorist outfit & Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country, so UNP is in dustbin only, logically so.

    So long as alternate govt. ( main opposition) lives like this , extremist Sinhala Buddhist organizations would come out like mushrooms , as in the case of JHU , within 03 months of formation got 09 parliamentary seats, indeed a record, after the sellout “peace deal” with terrorist by UNP half baked govt. of 2002/04 in which Karu J was a cabinet minister.

    I think karu J & likes , elites should go back to school or let UNP membership elect a leader in a free & fair poll, IF THEY EVER WANT TO CHANGE EXTREMISM IN OUR COUNTRY; Because UNP blocks democracy in here by elite idiots keeping party for themselves.

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      John:
      Why are you so insistent in proving that you live up to your name, “John?”
      Don’t you still know that it is applied for procurers for the oldest profession in the world?
      On the other hand you could be taking pride in flaunting your skills in the pearl of the orient.

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    Mr Karu Jayasuritya,
    You may be a practicing Buddhist who believe in Karuna, Muditha and Upeksha. True Buddhist Dhamma would have being the best protector in the the days of Buddha. But I do not believe that it is true after pagans took up the God of Hebrew as their. And definitely not after the PBUH Muhammad read his Koran.

    Do you know what had happened to Nalanda, the largest Buddhist University that accommodated over 10,000 students from from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey in its heyday. A Muslim military man named Bakhtiar Khilji ransacked and set fire to it in 1193. The university is said have burned for months. Now you apologists could say that was in the past.

    So, Google ‘Wahhabis’ and read what they are doing to their fellow Muslims In Sri Lanka in the name of true interpretation of Koran now. Wahhabi Jihadi thugs of ACJU had exhumed grave of a Sufi saints named MSM Abdullah ‘Rah’ December 1, 2006. And two week later they vandalized minaret of Rah’s Meditation Centre in Kathankoody. Wahhabi fanatics rioted when police interfered. A police post and police vehicle stoned and three rioters were killed. Wahhabis burned over 150 houses belong to Sufis. All because Abdullah (Rah) and his followers are defying Wahhabi interpretation of the Koran.

    Before the said incident, 500 or so Wahhabis set ablaze the library of Rah’s Meditation Centre along with homes and businesses owned by Sufis on October 31, 2004, at 12:30 p.m. Karu should know that a 150-year old shrine in Ukuwela was destroyed by Thawheed in February 2009 and not by BBS or Sinhalas. Try find out what’s going on in Muslim society.

    Pity, Karu doesn’t know that under the guidance of Saudi trained Wahhabi Mullah and petrodollars from Saudi, Sufi Muslims in Sri Lanka are fast becoming extremist Wahhabis. If you want quick proof just visit Apollo hospital and count the number of women dressed in billa like attire. Just ten years back we only saw few of them. But now that’s the trend. Next, go check whether Muslims bread like rabbits or not. Your great grand son will have to chop his edge off. Muslims have a mission Mr. Karu. They aim to turn Sri Lanka Muslim asap. Your Karuna, Muditha and Upeksha won’t compromise Wahhabis. They’ll only take you for a ride.

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      i am no muslim

      you want another holacaust in this country after 30 years of war. Where were you during the war time? were you hiding for fear?

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        Many Sinhalese including Mr. Karu may not know that there exist extreme Muslim sectarian violence in Sri Lanka for well over a decade. During that time Muslims have destroyed their own mosques and even killed own Islamist in the name of Allah.

        Sinhalese must know that there exist an extremist Muslim sect called ‘Wahhabis’ and ‘Thawheed’ are very active in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese must know that ‘Wahhabis’ and ‘Thawheed’ are trained in Islamic universities in Saudi Arabia. Sinhalese Gentleman like Karu must know that it is not JHU or BBS or Rawana Balaya or Sinhala Rawaya or any Buddhist Monk that had destroyed mosques belong to moderate Sufi Muslims. They were destroyed by Muslim extremist called ‘Wahhabis’ and ‘Thawheeds’.

        So, gentle-man Karu has made his appeal to the wrong party. Misguided and malicious elements were ‘Wahhabis’ and ‘Thawheeds’ not Sinhala Buddhists. Hence, mister Karu should have conveyed his ‘deep sense of foreboding and a profound sadness’ to ACJU which is the controlling arm of ‘Wahhabis’ and ‘Thawheeds’ in Sri Lanka.

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          Patriot

          You seam to have very little knowlege about muslims and Islam. Soudi was never regarded by USA or any of its allies as a country of extremist or fundementalist. ACJU represent all muslims in sri lanka. Muslims are no fundamentalists not extremists. It is a ploy to create problems against muslims here out of nothing

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          Patriot,

          Your eyes are in your a….ss or what? You bloody racist cunt you don’t see the mosque/churches have been attacked by Saffron monk thugs in Sri lanka? Dambulla, Anuradapura shrine, Grandpass, Mahiyangane….etc…etc….. Who has done all this? How many Churches have been attacked by Saffron thugs?

          You bloody fool……..you brain is in your a…ss or what?
          Such foolish bastards you are….commenting the non-sense here.

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            Alan, Read what your fellow Muslims have done to their fellow Muslim countrymen just on yesterday to claim whose interpretation of the word of God is right. (courtesy of ‘thereligionofpeace’.)

            2013.09.13 (Baqubah, Iraq) – Thirty worshippers at a Sunni mosque are massacred by two bombs set by sectarian Jihadis.
            2013.09.11 (Nazimabad, Pakistan) – A Shia scholar is brought down outside his home by Sunni assassins.
            2013.09.11 (Baghdad, Iraq) – At least thirty Shia worshippers are torn to shreds by a suicide bomber at the entrance of their mosque.
            2013.09.11 (Rafah, Egypt) – A Fedayeen suicide car bombing leaves eleven dead.
            2013.09.10 (Maksar al-Hesan, Syria) – Women and children are among two dozen villagers massacred by al-Nusra over their status as religious minorities.
            2013.09.10 (Baqubah, Iraq) – Ten people at an outdoor market are sent to Allah by al-Qaeda bombers.

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              Why do you want to stray into other subjects when we are discussing about Sri Lankan Muslims? Each country has its own problem created by outside interference and inside power struggles. Muslims have no problem with Sinhalese or Tamils. It is groups like Balu Sena which wants to start a conflict. We do not see any Halal seals in most of the shops but still they want to re-start this issue like the barber who wanted to shave his wife’s ‘something’ when he did not have any other work!

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      Very recently, A buddhist meditation center had been burned down in Sri Lanka.

      Why that does not cause religious tension ?

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        Jim softy,

        How much money do u get from Gota as wage?

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        Jim softy

        “Why that does not cause religious tension ?”

        Perhaps it was burned down by Sinhala/Buddhists.

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      I am no muslim ,

      You are one of the foolish in the world…….you have no proper knowledge to understand the world. You spent time on googling and ultimately you failed to use your own brain! Load Buddha clearly told to use your own brain 2500y before unless listen to someone. Mr. Karu is well experienced an educated politician in Sri Lankan history not like your MARA morons. MARA morons are not real Buddhists in Sri Lankan history.

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      Dear I am no Muslim, ( Alias Lester)

      We don’t know who your parents are, where you schooled, nor who your friends are. What is evident is that they have all failed you for they have not been able to teach you the very basic human values that separate us from animals.

      May your hatred subside and may you be blessed with company of decent honest people so you may learn from them the values of human dignity.

      I Am No Cad

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      I am no Muslim,(alias Lester)

      We can understand it is difficult for you to comprehend the difference between “INTRA-RELIGIOUS” and “INTER-RELIGIOUS’ TENSIONS.

      The growth of Muslim extremism (whatever it means) has nothing to do with persecution of minorities by Saffron clad thugs. Inter-religious tensions happen because of nincompoops like you.

      Theravada Buddhism doesn’t allow Mahayana Buddhism in Sri Lanka – That is extremism for you. The Dalai Lama is not allowed to visit Sri Lanka. That is extremism for you. This too happens because lack of tolerance. So is the presence of sects in Islam trying to dominate.

      But then you need to come from a good breed to understand complexities such as these and one would not expect it from Lester. For your education let me quote two respected people. Please memorize and ask someone to explain it to you. Might help ! :)

      “It is not for me to judge another man’s life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.”
      ― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

      “It’s an universal law– intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility.”
      ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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      Your ranting will drive more tourists from Lanka to Langkawi.

      http://www.dailynews.lk/business/sri-lanka-seeks-more-saudi-tourists

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      @I am no muslim. If nut, are you even a true Buddhist? Neither I would believe. What you allege to have happened in Nalanda in 1193 does not have any bearing in this day and age, since Muslims don’t rule India anymore. You are looking for scapegoats to blame for the complete annihilation of Buddhism from the land of its birth in India. Even the ugly behavior of unruly monks does not bode well for the future growth of Buddhism, as it has become less appealing to those in the world, who entertained ideas of converting to Buddhism, thinking it is a peaceful religion. Many pictures of violent looking hate faced thugs in saffron robes circling the globe via the internet, including all the negative fallout, does not help to improve the situation. So you better start looking inwards and not outwards and blaming other communities for your own downfall. At this rate, you can be sure that Buddhism will have no place on this earth, and will get totally wiped out not only from SL, but from the rest of entire world. Even the world famous peaceful living Tibetan Monks have become depressed and traumatized and committing self-immolation (in the past year alone 50 monks) by setting fire to themselves. Come and be Muslim, Live happy, live merry, marry many and have as many as possible. Don’t beg and live on charity and self deprivation and feel jealous or envying others who are much better off.

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      I am no Muslim,
      How come you know so much my friend? I think you are Leela, Jim Softy and Lester and same Hose boy in Saudi Arabia, so you made your house with Muslim Money and now you became Racist as Muslim Arabs living wealthy and class, you cannot absorb to your eyes due to high jelousy, and also you dont want to live in the house you worked in Saudi n earned not you cannot destroy you are trying to waste your time. Well go n see in Middle East Oil companies how our Government going and begging for Oil. I dont wanna disclose, already 3 reps in some middle east, but the Middle East muslims dont want to give them, so they are ready to kiss their Legs even. This is the Power of Allah given to Muslims my friend, Embrace Islam…… you can be rich by Alla’s miracle… Stop Jelaous and anyway Budism is out as Lord buddah was a faliure preacher as he dosnt allow man to marry and enjoy a normal life, so Mother of Pakistan, Afganistan, Iran, Indonesia, malaysia all have started embrassing Islam as its a compleate life … not a Fake one like Budism… a Tropical Religon of Fools.

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    On Escalation Of Religious Tensions In Sri Lanka is an under statement:

    The truth is persecution of religious/racial minorities by the state and the Sinhalese Buddhist extremists.

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    Dhammapada Verse 400 – Sariputtatthera Vatthu

    Akkodhanam vatavantam
    silavantam anussadam
    dantam antimasariram1
    tamaham brumi brahmanam.

    Verse 400: Him I call a brahmana, who is free from anger, who practises austerity, who is virtuous and free from craving, who is controlled in his senses and for whom this body (i.e., existence) is the very last.

    Dhammapada Verse 408 – Pilindavacchatthera Vatthu

    Akakksam vinnapanim
    giram sacca’ mudiraye
    yaya nahhisaje kanci
    tamaham brumi brahmanam.

    Verse 408: Him I call a brahmana, who speaks gentle, instructive and true words, and who does not offend anyone by speech.

    These are admirable qualities we strive for in all religons. May we all realise the truth which is hidden behind the veils of anger and hatred.

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      Dhammapada Verses 9 and 10 – Devadatta Vatthu

      Anikkasavo kasavam1
      yo vattham paridahissati
      apeto damasaccena
      na so kasavamarahati.

      Yo ca vantakasav’assa2
      silesu susamahito
      upeto damasaccena
      sa ve kasavamarahati.

      Verse 9: He who is not free from taints of moral defilements (kilesas) and yet dons the yellow robe, who lacks restraint in his senses and (speaks not the) truth is unworthy of the yellow robe.

      Verse 10: He who has discarded all moral defilements (kilesas), who is established in moral precepts, is endowed with restraint and (speaks the) truth is, indeed, worthy of the yellow robe.

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    As long as racist BBS is alive no peace will be In SL. BBS is blood thirsty and it waits until Tamil Tiger comes from Tamil Nadu again. It will create one more Tamil Tiger not now at least after some times: it proves some Sinhala are modaya. All stupidest people come from BBS not real Sinhalese.

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    Mr Jayasuriya,

    Have’nt you lived on the public dole for too long already? When there wasn’t any benefit to being in the opposition you jumped over. Now, you are criticizing the government, taking the money they give you?

    You and your fellow parliamentarians should be chased out, along with the rest of the crooks. You are a disgrace to leaders and budding one’s.

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    KJ, is this the best you can do….express you sadness and moan about the situation ?

    Aren’t you a senior member of the opposition ? What do you plan to do about it ?

    The sasanaya needs to be cleaned up ! Are you willing to do it and if so what would be your modus operandi ? That is you clear and present duty as a leading Buddhist in this Country.

    If not take you whinging and moaning to a retirement home.

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    If Karu Jayasuriya thinks that pointing out Islam problems, conversion problems and GOSL inaction in Sri Lanka is Buddhist extremism then so be it.

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    Mr Karu J joined MR to stregthen his hand for the war on terror. By going over to MR he destroyed the UNP. Later,having strengthening MR’s hand he came back to save the UNP he had destroyed, from Ranil Wickremasinghe who had been fighting a lone battle to keep the grand old party together.MR strengthened himself so much that it is an uphill task to defeat that revengeeful fraudulent President. Karu will have to use sarin gas for that. He can borrow some from Asad

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    I appreciate very much your article in support of the prevention of persecution. Religious Bodies must be accountable to their Apex organisation. All religious must go through an evaluation process. They should be recognised by the Government who should hold them accountable through their respective Heads. Extremist of all sides should be accountable for any violence. I am grateful for you sir as a Buddhist speak out for others. It is for people of all Religions to evaluate their own extremists. Lets all not look at the speck of dust in your neighbor’s eye but in the log in our eyes. It is understood that we cannot sensor ourselves in Public but let us not wait until its to late.

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    Dear Karu Jayasuriya,

    “The recent escalation of religious tensions in the country has given rise to a deep sense of foreboding and a profound sadness for myself, and others in the United National Party. Our regret is shared by the vast majority of moderates who reside in our society, to whom the actions of a few misguided, malicious elements have been both distasteful and of very serious concern. The violence against places of religious worship, whether Islamic or Christian, must be condemned unequivocally, as it is deeply wounding to the sentiments of entire communities of people”

    Well said, however, the UNP may be considered the lesser of the two evils, the two Maras, nevertheless had opportunities and has blood on it’s hands.

    Sir, the problem is repeating, and getting worse and worse.

    We have politicians raping and killing.

    We have Sinhala Buddhist Theraveda Monks running amok and committing crimes, and calling themselves the Third Gem of the Triple Gem.

    Nobody is challenging these yellow robed racists who want to keep their Monk Hegemony and enjoy the boys, the girls, the women and booze.

    Welcome to the Dhamma Deepaya, courtesy of the UNP, SLFP, and the LSSP sell outs .

    DeJa Vu….

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    Dear Sir.

    Its admirable that, still we have politicians those who are thinking of our nation and the grate people of our nation.keep it up.

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