27 January, 2023

Blog

Political Buddhism, Presidential Race & Minorities

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

Although the origins of political Buddhism in Sri Lanka goes back to the 19th century, it was harnessed as an election winning tool in the 1950s by the founder of SLFP, SWRD Bandaranaike. It was from him that even the CIA is said to have learned to politicise Buddhism to entrench American power in Southeast Asia (Eugene Ford, Cold War Monks, Yale University Press, 2017). From the 1950s onwards, political Buddhism has become a permanent feature of in Sri Lanka’s ethno-democracy. In a sense, political Buddhism adopted a military face during the Rajapakse regime between 2005 and 2009 when it confronted an armed nationalist Tamil militia, and the absolute victory in that confrontation added an element of pride to politicised Buddhists.   

Not surprisingly, the civil war victory in 2009 provided fresh impetus to the growth of political Buddhism. There was a tectonic shift in the Sinhala mindset as a result of that victory.  On the one hand, that victory erased almost instantaneously the menacing fear that haunted the Sinhalese since medieval times that their country would one day be invaded by the Tamils from neighbouring sub-continent. And on the other, that erasure was automatically transformed into an unshakeable ambition of achieving for ever Sinhala Buddhist hegemony over Sri Lanka. Political Buddhism since then was transmogrified into a supremacist movement with a singular mission to reshape the country’s polity, economy and culture on Buddhist image. To these supremacists democratic pluralism is anathema. Although they are still a minority, there are some powerful forces to back their mission.  

The supremacist movement has manifested itself politically through a number of ad hoc pressure groups and registered political parties, such as, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Sinha Le, Mahoson Balakaya, Ravana Balaya, Sinhala Ravaya and so on.  There are a few powerful media groups to support this movement. The real power base for this movement however, lies within the Sangha. In fact, two monks Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera, the secretary of BBS, and Ven. Athuraliye Rathna Thera, a parliamentarian representing JHU, are among the most vocal propagandists for Buddhist supremacy.

In an open rally on June 7th in Kandy, Gnanasara made a stunning declaration, still uncontested by either the President or the Prime Minister, and not even by the Leader of the opposition, that Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhala Buddhists only and that they are the sole owners of this island. Without thinking about the dangerous implications of what he said, Gnanasara virtually disenfranchised all other minorities in the country. On another occasion, and when referring to Islamic fundamentalism, he appealed to government authorities to leave the Muslims in the care of Buddhist clergy so that they would mould and cleanse the Muslim mind of any fundamentalist ideology, and protect the country from Islamic terrorism.  Perhaps, he was thinking of what the Chinese government is currently doing to the Uighur community in the name of re-education. This monk’s most recent and blatant mischief was the cremation of the corpse of one of his colleagues in the precincts of a Hindu temple in Mullaitivu. He did this in spite of a court injunction against his action. It should be noted that this monk was earlier sent to prison for contempt of court, but was pardoned and released by President Sirisena, on the eve of Vesak celebrations this year. 

Similarly, Ven. Rathna Thera went on a highly dramatized hunger strike in front of the Dalada Maligawa demanding the removal of two governors and one minister, all of whom were Muslims. They were alleged to have misused their power to enrich themselves. Were they the only ones? Anyhow, he achieved his objective, which prompted en masse resignation of all Muslim ministers and deputies from the cabinet. This monk is also the front man in the campaign against a Muslim gynaecologist, who he alleged to have performed illegal caesarean operations on pregnant Sinhalese mothers, with the intention of reducing Sinhalese birth rate. When the CID investigated and reported that there was no evidence to support that allegation, the monk criticised the CID of inefficiency. He is now on a ‘One Country One Law’ campaign to homogenise all marriage and divorce laws in the country. The fact that he initiated this campaign at a time when the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act is in the process of being amended and legislated reveals his anti-Muslim agenda.      

The most worrying aspect of Buddhist supremacy is the legal impunity with which its members are allowed to operate.  For example, there had been a series of anti-Muslim riots particularly since 2014, which caused at least one Muslim death, several wounded, and destruction of several mosques, Muslim businesses and Muslim properties. In a majority of these riots the police had remained just onlookers. There is video evidence that could be used to identify the rioters and the policemen watching them. Yet, none has been brought to justice until today.  There had been absolute silence about these incidents from the President, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. Not even a word of condemnation has come out of these leaders. One minister who dared to challenge these zealots was ostracized by sections of the Buddhist clergy. This shows that the supremacists are operating not only with legal impunity but also with political support.   

It is in this disturbing scenario that the country is in the grip of a presidential election. Of the thirty-two candidates in the field the real race is only between two, Sajith Premadasa from UNP and Gotabaya Rajapaksa from SLPP. Another, Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD) from NPP appears to be running third. Neither of the two leading candidates has made their position clear about their support or otherwise to the supremacist agenda. The reason for their silence is obvious, given the importance they attach to the influence of supremacists over the Buddhist vote bank.  Although these supremacists are lying low at the moment, probably as a tactical ploy to help their “Hitler-like” candidate, Gotha, to win, (Ven. Wedaruwe Upali Thera, of the Anunayaka of Asgiriya Chapter, wanted Gota to become a Hitler and run a military rule) they are certain to resume the campaign, once the election is over. Sajit also has promised to give Buddhism the foremost place and pledged to build 1000 chaityas. In spite of all his rhetoric about maximum devolution of power to the Provincial Councils, he is ensnared by the supremacist pressure. Only AKD of NPP has so far distanced himself from any religious commitment and is campaigning on a totally different platform to be discussed below. What options do minorities have in this race?      

Of the two minorities, the Tamils are in a sad predicament. Having lost the best opportunity they had to secure a federal system of government while the British were in power, and after independence, having self-destructively sided with the Senanayake Government to disenfranchise a whole chunk of their Indian brethren, Tamil leadership nurtured the idea of a Tamil state and dreamt of achieving it single-handedly, even without the support of other minorities. The year 2009 unambiguously proved that it was an expensive and unrealisable dream. Since then, they tried to achieve at least a modicum of self-rule, preferably through a single Provincial Council in a merged North-East Province, and if that is not possible, through two separate councils but with extensive powers. Since 2015, TNA allied with the yahapalana government to achieve at least some of its objectives through constitutional changes. With a dysfunctional government fast losing popularity amongst the Sinhalese, TNA could achieve nothing, and now Tamil leadership itself is hopelessly divided.  

However, in a rare show of unity and under pressure from Tamil youth all factions came together and drew up a set of demands, numbering thirteen (what an unlucky number if one is superstitious!), and presented them to the two leading candidates, pledging support to the one accepting those demands. It seems that they deliberately drafted these demands to be rejected by both candidates. It was a strange diplomacy for Tamil leaders to have wrapped their demands within the overall framework of a ‘federal’ solution to Tamil ‘traditional home land’, knowing very well that these terms are poison to any Sinhalese leader to swallow. No wonder they were rejected outright by Sajith and Gota, although AKD accepted the more reasonable of those demands and expressed willingness to find solution, were he and NPP to be elected.  What should the Tamils do now? Should they decide to boycott the election altogether as they did in 2005, which will be advantageous to Gota? Or, should they go with Sajith as the lesser of two evils, and make him win without any commitment to solving the Tamil problem? Or, should they focus their action elsewhere and beyond 2019? 

The Muslim community is in a far worse situation than Tamils because, unlike the Tamil leadership, which eschewed ministerial status and positions, in the interest of fighting for a higher cause (whether that cause is legitimate or not is a different matter), the present generation of Muslim leadership is all about self-aggrandizement with the pretext of championing the cause of Islam and Muslims. Like a pre-recorded tape, Muslim politicians repeatedly shout about fighting for and winning the rights of Muslims, without ever spelling out what those rights are and how are they going to fight. Do Muslims have any special rights that belong only to them in a democracy? Fighting to remove injustice to Muslims and demanding the same rights as enjoyed by others are legitimate, and in that fight every democrat and fair minded person in the country would join, whether that person is Muslim, Tamil or Sinhalese. Apart from that, if there are some unique rights for Muslims, their leaders should make them clear for others to make informed judgement on the legitimacy of those rights. True, there are a number of problems that Muslims are confronting today, but many of them are self-created, but made difficult to solve because of dishonest leadership. As usual, in the forthcoming presidential election Muslim leaders are gambling on the winner, with an eye on enjoying personal rewards and prestige afterwards. Even if their wrong man wins this race, they would know how to fall at his feet to save their skin. Interestingly, there is also one Muslim candidate in the race with a meretriciously mediocre manifesto to deceive his voters. He would be the only candidate in history to claim victory by losing. Obviously, he is working to satisfy his paymaster. None the less, the community as a whole is facing a terrible quandary, especially since Bloody Easter. 

It is time that both minorities realise that the two major parties vying for power, UNP and SLPP, and their respective presidential candidates, are under immense pressure from the supremacists. Gota is fully supported by them, and Sajith cannot afford to antagonize them. Even if Sajith wins, with minority backing, he would be severely constrained to act against the wishes of supremacists. In the end, the nation’s plural democracy and its economy would be the ultimate victims. What should the minorities do? 

They should look beyond the presidential election and towards the next general election. The Tamils cannot win any of their demands unless they have sympathy for their cause from the Sinhalese quarter. In particular, they should look for a Sinhala Buddhist voice that could speak on their behalf, and that voice should speak not only on behalf of Tamils but on behalf of all Sri Lankans. In the prevailing ethno-democracy, in which the ruling party and its opponents are beholden to the dictates of Buddhist supremacy, minorities are bound to suffer. This is why both minorities should look for an alternative that is free of ethno-nationalism, and that alternative at the moment is undoubtedly the NPP. 

Anura Kumara Dissanayake is campaigning predominantly on an economy platform with a determination to end corruption, extend equal treatment to all citizens, accountability of all public officials, and reducing the income gap that has become criminally intolerable. He is the only candidate who is talking about improving the country’s deteriorating educational and health standards and achieving self-sufficiency in food production. He is also planning, as part of his educational reforms, to introduce English as subject to be taught in our schools. Swabasha education has deprived the Sinhalese and Tamil medium graduates from accessing to job markets in an integrated world. Their only option at present is to look for jobs in the public sector and that sector is over burdened with file-pushers. According to one report, 1.5 million employees are doing the work of 800,000 in the public sector (The Island, 13 October 2019, editorial). What a waste of money and talent! AKD’s announcements appear to be coming out of a carefully worked out plan, which he should publish in full.        

IN contrast to AKD, the other two candidates are throwing a few populist appetisers like, bringing down the VAT from 15 to 8 per cent, introducing mid-day meal for school children, increasing the daily wage of estate workers to Rs.1500/=, fixing interest rates and wavering farmers loans etc., etc. without a comprehensive strategy or plan to achieve national unity, economic reforms and social cohesion, their promises cannot solve the problems that the country is facing today. The economy in particular cannot be repaired with patch works and in isolation, without tackling other issues at the same time.     

AKD and his NPP may not win the presidential race but their hands should be strengthen to become a powerful alternative in the next parliament. If the Sarvodaya backed NPM could merge with NPP that would be good for the country. Tamils and Muslims should ignore their leaders and throw their support behind these progressive forces. For the minorities and for all Sri Lankans to live in peace and prosper, the country needs a radical change. Having witnessed the open revolt of the masses against corruption, authoritarianism, increasing cost of living and economic disparity, in countries like Lebanon, Honk Kong, Chile and Mexico, one should admire in astonishment the Sinhalese capacity for endurance and patience amidst unbearable hardships, manufactured by misgovernment and mismanagement. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 15
    3

    Thank you Ameer for this article.
    First British helped to grow this Sinhala Buddhism. Then majority of Muslims and minority of Tamils accelerated this political Buddhism.
    Instead of a piece full country it has become a killing filed.

    • 7
      2

      Dr. Ameer Ali,

      Thank you for an excellent succinct summary of the rise and impact of Para-Sinhala Para—“Buddhism “ in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, illegally occupied by the Paras.

      The voter base of the supremeists, even though very is certainly less than 10 percent out of-the 70 percent Sinhala Buddhists. This is about the hegemony of the monks, just like the hegemony of the Ulama and Mullahs.

      This is where Karl Marx was correct. Religion is the opium of the masses. So, Religion being given a special place, Monks, Ulama , Mullahs and Priests given special status, the age of reason and enlightenment cannot be achieved.

      Suggest you reference Buddhism Betrayed by Dr. Stanley Thambiah. Chicago University Press, 1980.

      • 2
        11

        Origin of Sinhalayo is none of your business.
        What Buddhism Native Sinhalayo follow is none of your business.
        Native Sinhalayo appreciate if the descendants of ‘Para’ Malabari Demalu look after their own affairs without poking their nose into the affairs of Sinhalayo.

        • 1
          1

          The Sihalayos originated from Tamils and Buddism originated from the Hindu Religion. To-day they are at logger’s heads for selfish reasons.

          • 0
            0

            Hindu religion is not part of Dravidian Tamil

            • 0
              0

              Do you think writing garbage against Sinhalese, you will gain anything?

    • 10
      2

      Dr.Ameer Ali,

      See what Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka had to say a outfit Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the coward and Traitor.

      https://youtu.be/RF-JiaAqsJg

      What is needed is law and order and put religion in the proper place, in the Temple, Mosque, Church and other places where the believers of the ideology can prepare themselves to be In Nirvana, Nibbana, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory etc. in peace here on the 4.7 billion year told Earth.

      Unfortunately, the mean IQ 79 of the populace is a hindrance, and the monks, Ulama, Mullahs , Priests and the politicians are exploiting them. The monks are sending the message that Buddhism will have its special place and the Monks will have their hegemony.

      Only Marxism’s, The closest is JVP, can appropriately address this problem.

      The Rajapaksa Mafia is exploiting the situation saying Monks can have their hegemony, as long as we are the overloads. Go back to world history including Islamic History.

      • 2
        5

        Amarasiri,
        “Unfortunately, the mean IQ 79 of the populace is a hindrance”
        —-
        Low IQ was not a hindrance to defeat ‘Para’ Demala invaders and ‘Para’ Malabari terrorists.

    • 4
      1

      You may call it not as POLITICAL buddhism will filt most ” RASCAL OR BANDIT BUDDHISM”.
      Actually, what is being practised inthe coutnry by masses today have nothing to do with buddhism based on true teachings of buddha. It has become a life style as is the case in some countries such as Myanmar. They would wear even PIRITH noole around their penises, or allow high criminals such as all behind Rajapkashes high criminals to wear it in think around wrists showing and misleading masses in the country.
      Not many that just look at them, would realize their doctrine based on facism and bandism.
      How can they today explain the very same audience, that they would do other way around after returning to power ?
      Very same people with thier lovely ones being vote eligible today, stay as if they are no better to hallozinated lab rats.
      Nobody, seems to be making clear anyone about the facts behind Rajaakshes feudism.
      If we ARE wise, no matter, who he is, we should not bend our heads before FACISTS.
      Be it Sajith OR AKD or Mahesh all 3 are 1000000000000000000000000 times human like than ballige putha Rajaakshes. Dont you guys think so ?

    • 3
      0

      Never before did the Tamil Community feel so let down. It is not because of the Sinhalese but because of the TNA in general and Sampanthar and Sumanthiran in particular, who surrendered themselves to Ranil and Co. Today the Tamils are neither fish nor fowl and they are being taken for a ride by their 13 demands. The number 13 seems to be an unlucky number to the Tamils. Previously the 13th amendment and now the 13 demands. Now they are trying to look for a winning party rather than winning their demands. What a sorry plight the Tamil are in.

  • 11
    3

    as usual a fantastic and excellent article Sir.
    Dayal

  • 13
    3

    This Elections will go down in history just like the German Elections that brought Hitler into power! People have forgotten how bad the country suffered under the Rajapaksa Fascist Dictatorship, like a person suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in denial that the threat of a Authoritarian Fascist Dictatorship is still a real threat! These individuals numb and anesthetized by their denial want to have a protest vote playing right into the Sri Lankan Hitlers hands and indirectly bringing the Rajapaksas Fascist Dictatorship back…

    The Rajapaksa camp are banking on the protest voter sheep to give them the advantage that they will not get if they are aware of this strategy. Keep the sheep thinking they are smart and are making an intelligent and tactical move only to pull the rug from under their feet to bring back the Fascist Dictatorship…

    This is similar how America got Donald Trump, they new strategy of outfoxing the so called educated intelligent voters into bringing about their most undesirable candidate into power without them even knowing how they played their part in doing so!

    The choice is simply Democracy or a Fascist Dictatorship!?

    Even the alternative candidate are realizing the dangers of the return of a Rajapaksa Dictatorship and their role in making it happen!

  • 9
    4

    excellent, fantastic, no second word sir.
    dayal

  • 7
    1

    SB terrorism and State terrorism are real. Right now the SB terrorist are warming up for coming elections. Yesterday there was a rumor that a Muslim guy dragged a SB girl by hand, followed by SB mob aggression, threats and intimidation of Muslim Community/ voters , same time a group of saffron robed SB terrorist created hatred and threat in Vavuniya with the help of Archaeological Dept ( Lankan Archaeological Dept functions as sleeper cells, they find things in random to create riots ) claiming there was artefacts at the site of a Kovil. In the mean time , SB terrorist leader and “most wanted ” (by courts) , “Ape Man” / Ganasara has threatened in public, to settle in Mullaitivu (challenging Sumanthiran MP ) to cause more disruption, violence and hatred and there by intimidate Tamil voters , in helping Gotha getting elected. Welcome to the “SHIT HOLE “. Hope Gothas election manifesto, (released today, boasting more than 500 experts contribution in planning , of course to cause nation wide violence you need a mob not just a group) will also reveal these future plans for the sake of our country.

  • 3
    12

    Our religions have backing from abroad. LTTE funds are still not found though they had Padmanathan. The money rfrom the bond scam hads niot being siezesd. Moslem funds have being located but not seized, The rajaqpakse funds has still not being located. Christians too has its funds here. Many NGOs have unutilized funds. People from abroad send there funds through different channels. There is a large scale avoidanjce of tax. They also under oinvoice qand keep their funds abro0ad. We have to get together ansd sieze all black moneys with heavy penalties. No money should come thrtough unautherised channelds..These funds should be used to give relief for meduicine and education. Specially for ayurveda ande vocational training.

    • 3
      2

      Ranil,
      Are you asking Sinhalese masses to beg in the streets?

  • 14
    1

    Sad, that The Buddha’s Dhamma has turned Political for an Individual’s Worldly Gain!

  • 11
    2

    The picture accompanying the writing should be archived for Posterity. Rathna laying as though he is Buddha himself , pretending to be on a fast to death, Ganasara in the front, preaching violence and hatred to young kids /children in school uniforms , surrounded by a group of saffron clad SB terrorist. This one picture tells the 70 year history of creating a “SHIT HOLE state, since our independence.

  • 1
    2

    ……………….”He is also planning, as part of his educational reforms, to introduce English as subject to be taught in our schools. Swabasha education has deprived the Sinhalese and Tamil medium graduates from accessing to job markets in an integrated world.” ……………….
    This is not correct. English as a subject is taught in all schools. In addition to that anybody can learn English if they wish, as many do learn Japanese, French, Korean etc.

    • 3
      1

      First casualty of political Buddhism is Buddhism itself especially when monks in saffron ropes climb up the podium to criticize other communities.
      What we need in Sri Lanka is a democratic leader from Sinhala Buddhist community to uphold the Buddhist doctrine while enforcing the law and order in the country.

  • 2
    24

    Let us get back to basics and fundamental principles that needed to be embraced when living in the island nation of Sri Lanka. The author takes great pain to take the reader to the threshold of denying that the Sri Lanka is not a Sinhala Buddhist country. No Dr Ali you are mistaken, SRI LANKA IS A SINHALA BUDDHIST COUNTRY. NO analysis intellectual or otherwise can refute that. The rise of Sinhala Buddhist extremism in the examples of ultra extreme religio- political groups in the yester year is no argument to deny the fact that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country. These are unfortunate off shoots of how the geo-political situation has been taking shape along the lines of hard core emphasis on clawing back the nostalgia of nationalism. This indeed is a result of Muslims and Tamils trying their best to deny the fact that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist nation over the past few decades, perhaps from the time of British leaving Ceylon having lived to the principle of ‘divide and rule’ . Having asserted that principled position, Tamils and Muslims are welcome to live in Sri Lanka respecting the fundamental and pivotal position that Sri Lanka certainly belong to Sinhala Buddhists. Do not be mistaken that this assertion does mean lack of diversity. The nation today is called upon to engage in a balancing act indeed.

    • 4
      2

      BJP has correctly stated that Sri Lanka was a Hindu country where majority have been converted to Buddhism. Original people either practiced natural worship or Saivaism. Veddhas worshiped Murugan who is worshiped only by Tamils and no other Hindus, proving that Veddhas came under Tamil influence. Buddhists are continuing to worship Hindu Gods including Murugan because their ancestors were Hindus. It is now being proved archaeologically that Veddhas are first immigrants into the country followed by Dravidians who spoke either Tamil or some form of Tamil. It is why Vijaya and his friends who were from Bengal, who as descendants of Dravidian Banga tribe, were able to communicate with Kuveni and her people. This makes Sri Lanka a Dravidian Saiva country which is why Ramayana a mythical story portrays Ravana the king as a Dravididan Saivite. For Sinhalese to claim the entire land as Sinhala Buddhist is racism, because Sinhalese themselves were at one stage South Indians as proved by genetic studies, practicing Saivaism. Very soon BJP will correct this and put Sinhala Buddhist racists in their place. Already a start has been made by taking Palaly airport in their control, and putting Sinhala language to second class status, despite protest from Sinhala racists.

      • 1
        4

        To use the BJP’s views on history is not daft but downright perverse.
        There was no Hinduism in the southern part of India at the time. There were primitive religions which bot Brahminised in the Christian era.

        • 3
          1

          Only thing perverse is you liar. No such thing called Hinduism but Saivaism and worshipping of SIvan and Murugan was there and this is what the BJP meant . Liar. Do not distort

      • 0
        0

        why you don’t tell American, Canadian and Australian go back to UK?

    • 6
      0

      Does the constitution refer to the country as a Sinhala Buddhist country? As the original inhabitants of this island, Tamils do not need the permission of anybody to live in this land of their birth and that of their ancestors who have been in this island since the time of Saivaite king Ravanan!

  • 1
    14

    When you people read articles like this, what do you do? You almost unconsciously compare them with the views you already hold and applaud or decry what the author says accordingly. No wonder you are blind

  • 15
    1

    This election is about good and evil. Sajith the vibrant leader of the UNP against a mentally disturbed crook, who when he was the defence secretary had a fetish of feeding humans to the sharks. otherwise known as gota. a 72 year old heart patient. American citizen, with so called patriotic beliefs of being a sri lanken, when his child and wife American. Want to run on the wave of Buddhist monk nationalism, which is good, if it delivers the bread. sadly It does not.
    Gota as he is known, is a fraud, who was lucky to be at his post stealing from mig deals/abans contract etc… when the war was won. also he was basically a deserter who came back from his 7 to 11 enterprise when his brother bribed the LTTE to win the election.
    Buddhist listen up- have your economic success at heart, when you vote. all these monks wont pay your childrens school fees and cricket lessons and basic food, there is a very good chance sri lanka loosing GSP to Europe, and sanctions being reintroduced if this donkey unilaterally gets out of the agreements signed with the EU and UN. A guy who was in first name basis with zaharan being voted by Buddhist for patriotism, is beyond me………..China wont be the same china 5 years back,as they are also tumbling. We need a young leader, and sajith seems to fit the bill.

  • 4
    1

    Ranil Wijeyasekara , thanks for giving a thumbs down to all, except you, who do not agree with you . Keep up with your services, to mother Lanka.

  • 12
    1

    There is no peace and happy life in this country unless otherwise the saffran clad thugs are derobed and sent to land-army camps to till the soil. Unfortunately these thugs are patted and made as sinhala-buddhist-govi (SBG) heroes by the thugs in the presidential palace and parliament. The SBG masses are real morons, they are brain washed by the thugs in the parliament and the presidents. I dont believe even sajith is going rein on the robed thugs, because he is talking about the same SBG chauvinism. Even Buddha can not help this country.

  • 0
    2

    Ameer,
    First, the politicization of Buddism in SL began long before 19 th century, probably with the king Dutu Gamunu. It is true that involving in politics is against Buddhist disciplinary code but Muslims has no right to complain about it b’cos Muslim is the only politicized religion in the whole world!

    I know for a fact that Ali knows very well that both Tamils & Muslims in SL became aware of their numerical power only after the world became known to them in recent years b’cos he himself wrote about it just few months ago. Had not for the confidence came through this awareness, neither LITTE nor Jihadism attacks would have occurred.

    Being proud of own ethnic history/heritage is a good thing. Same is true of the rise of economic & political power of minorities b’cos it is a testament to the vibrancy of SL democracy. However, minorities, who once played subordinate and somewhat “humble” role among majority communities, begin to show signs of over powering them in the same neighborhoods, rise of some suspicion is unavoidable. I don’t believe that this issue can ever be resolved by political approaches currently in discussion. Even though the conflict looks ethnic superficially, in reality, it is a HR issue: freedom of belonging or not belonging (my cultural heritage cannot be denied but I don’t practice it) to a culture (religion, language, dress, etc)- a basic right of all human beings globally.

    Even though almost all S/B racists are with SLPP, I don’t think that the leadership do practice racism. For example, all of the Muslim parties were with MaRa regime until the end of 2014. In the last E PC election, MaRa even played secret game with SLMC in order to win the election. Also, MaRa’s sister was married to Tamil who still maintain close ties with the family.

    • 0
      0

      ………continued,
      UNP certainly rejects ethnic discrimination. As a matter of fact, except for all the race based political parties, UNP is the only party that has the biggest & the strongest minority representation all the up to the level of president. Therefore, Ali’s accusation that no other party other than JVP is working for minority rights is an absolute lie!

  • 2
    1

    Bawa, didn,t you the one write, you could visualize the “balls of Nanthi ” in the flags in temples. Is it conscious ???? or unconscious mind ????? of yours, which made you to write . Go and get your eyes checked before calling others blind and stop pretending to be matured adult.

    • 0
      0

      Chiv, no I did not. Save your vulgarity for your own race.

  • 0
    0

    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

  • 1
    3

    Buddhism is unique because it’s not based on unseen god/gods.

    It is truth based & because of that Buddhists may feel they’re supreme. (they enjoy freedom to question everybody & everything unlike believers of other religions).

    It’s not Sri Lankan/Sinhala Buddhists only enjoy that uniqueness but also every Buddhist in the world.

    Non Buddhist also can learn Buddhism (need not embrace) & enjoy that feeling of uniqueness (a kind of supremacy) without being jealous of the freedom Buddhists enjoy.

    There’s nothing called political Buddhism.

    • 0
      0

      No, Jews are teaching Tamil and Muslim to take over Sri lanka by conspiring against majority like Jews conspire against majorities in Europe and North America.

  • 7
    2

    Why worry? Gota’s Sinhala Buddhist karma will catch up with him as it would with all the other Rajapakse and the killers and rapists who supported them. I wonder how a man who caused the killing of so many people and brought so much misery can sleep at night. I simply pit him.
    The point made that Tamils and Muslims have ineffective leaders is accurate. They feather their own beds and are as corrupt as the Sinhalese politician.
    It is in a way good that the Sinhala Buddhists go the way they are going. They will become mindless morons very soon. The world will leave them behind. The good among them will leave the country. The morons will learn to live on Chinese charity, after all the Chinese are Buddhists too, they will say.

  • 3
    2

    Unfortunately what the Buddha taught was completely politicized in Sr and i lanka.
    Most so called monks are acting like terrorists and became horrendously violent.
    Their words are harsh and behaviour is not relevant to any true disciple of the Buddha.

    There are good and well disciplined monks in Sri Lanka . They live according to Buddha’s rules and regulations or disciplinary codes.

    Mahinda is the man who completely and drastically changed that from gracious sector into disgraceful element.

    Budubalasena…Rawana and now Ratana’s group…Other foolish one is Battaramulle Seelaratana……

    Gotabaya fed that Budubalasena….Buruwansa fed that Rawana….
    Both are uneducated and undisciplined.

  • 6
    1

    Listen: “We will eradicate corruption, robbery, waste and bring all culprits to book”. Who is “HE” who gives this “Promise”. No one else, other than the “Presidential Nominee” of SLPP – Mr. Gotabaya Rajapakse. When he declared this out of the “10” pints of “Action Plan”, I saw all the “Rogues” occupying the front seats “Applauding”. I am sure they would have in the back of their mind, thought about their own “Leader” to the be “First” of such rogues to be brought to book. This “Contestant” is still “Fighting” in Courts to drag one of the cases of “FRAUD” against him, in “Defrauding” Public money to build a “Memorial” for his father. He started by saying: ” I am from a Buddhist family in “Down South” and educated in a “Leading Buddhist School” in Colombo, but stop saying: ” I am a Goigama”. His, Leader, MR in his speech said: ” The People are not much concerned of this “WRITING” because they already know, what our policies are and they trust us”. I respect him, for telling us the truth, because, we know what he DID after the war, from 2009 to 20015. We will never forget and excuse him and his cohorts for burdening this country with an unbearable load of DEBTS and “ROBBED” and allowed the cohorts to “ROB” the country’s wealth. He is correct: “The people know him and his policies and actions, but not what is written in this “Policy Statement” of his “Representative”. Thank you, “MR” for reminding us of your “Policies” and “Actions” not written into this “Policy Statement” of your “Presidential Nominee”, who is much “WORSE” than you.

    • 3
      4

      Douglas,
      When Sajith says there will be no place for corrupt people in his Government, who is sitting with him in the stage. ‘Maha Benku Hora’ Wikunana-Singham in one side and Master of Money Laundering Karunkanayakam in the other side. He has agreed to the condition laid down by ‘Royal Gang’ that he will keep ‘Maha Benku Hora’ as the Party Chief and PM.

  • 2
    4

    Every Sinhalese is a majoratarian , every Tamil is a separatist and every Muslim a fundamentalist.
    All Sinhalese and all Tamils are Islamaphobics and all Muslims are Wahabists.

    Soma

    • 0
      0

      Brilliant Soma!

    • 3
      0

      soman

      “Every Sinhalese is a majoratarian”

      With a paranoid minority complex mind.
      The problem started with the public racist weakling Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala.

  • 0
    0

    First and foremost duty of both Tamil and Muslim minorities is to save the country from falling into the hands of Sinhala supramacists by helping Sajith to win. Then they can throw their support to JVP and other progressive forces during the parliamentary election.
    The need of the hour is to elect a democratic president. I hope TNA is matured enough to understand and not to forget that LTTE imposed boycott of Tamils helped Rajapakse to win.

  • 3
    6

    “In an open rally on June 7th in Kandy, Gnanasara made a stunning declaration, still uncontested by either the President or the Prime Minister, and not even by the Leader of the opposition, that Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhala Buddhists only and that they are the sole owners of this island.”

    Sinhalayo have every right to claim that this country belong to them because they shed their blood and sacrificed lives of tens and thousands to save this country from ‘Para’ Demala, ‘Para’ Portuguese, ‘Para’ Dutch, ‘Para’ British invaders and ‘Para’ Malabari Demala terrorists.

    We need many more like Ven. Gnanasara who can tell the truth to the descendants of ‘Para’ Malabari Demalu brought by Portuguese, Dutch and British illegally to this country who are trying to carve out a part of the country based on a bogus ‘Traditional Homeland’ claim and ‘Para’ Muslims who were given refuge when persecuted by Portuguese butchers by Sinhala Buddhists who want to establish their caliphate in Sinhale.

    Unfortunately, we do not have a single Sinhala politician with a spine who can tell Malabari Demalu and Muslims that this country was a Sinhala Buddhist country before colonial parasites came and it will remain so but they can live in this country as long as they do not become a pain in the neck of Native Sinhalayo.

    • 4
      2

      Oh Shut up Liar from Australia married to a Thamizh. Constantly coming here and posting the same lies and anti Thamizh rubbish, like some broken record. Thinking that an often repeated lie becomes the truth.

      • 0
        3

        Pundai Little piglet crawl back to your shack.

        • 1
          0

          Bawa

          “Pundai Little piglet crawl back to your shack.”

          What exactly do you mean?

  • 1
    6

    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 recognised as a religion. Majorrity 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. Now why don’t you say American Christians dropped atom bombs on Japan linstead of saying Amercans dropped atom bombs on Japan? Why you never say German Christians killed six million Jews instead of saying Germans killed six million Jews. It is your hatred against us that blinds you to this simple truth. Intention here is to kill two birds with one stone.
    .
    Do those Sinhalese who claim to be Buddhists actually folllow Buddha’s word? Do those Westerners who claim to be Christians actually follow the word of Christ? Go fly a kite mate. For every group their physical survival comes first.
    .
    Now these Sinhala Buddhists over millennia have have built up an agrarian Civilization with Buddhist temples all over the island and seem to harboring a desire to continue this civilisation. This kind of desire is prevalent everywhere,  not unique to the Sinhalese. It is this you call Sinhala Buddhism for your villification exercise. It is this you are determined to dismantle and we are determined to protect. Unavoidably there is conflict of interest.
    .
    To make matters worse there is an old book called Mahavansa which has become the modern day bible of Tamil racists and Wahabist Muslims which the new Sinhala generation is not familiar at all. I haven’t read it either. This book is supposed to be glorifying the above metioned agrarian civilisation.
    .
    To recap, thre are Sinhala Buddhists and Sinhala Christians but there is no Sinhala Buddhism or Sinhala Christianity. There are Tamil Muslims but there is no Tamil Islam. There are American Protestants but there is no American Protestantism. Full stop.

    Soma

    • 2
      1

      Dear Soma, For once you have managed to present a coherent thought, – not that the thinking is correct. You are a Sinhalese. You know that your language is Sinhala. So, there can be only Sinhalese Buddhists, just like American Protestants, not Sinhala Buddhists. (Look at your last para.)
      Now, I let you figure out your argument. (Enjoy your task!)

      • 1
        1

        Thappu
        Let me repeat it.
        There are Sinhala Buddhists and Sinhala Christians but there is no Sinhala Buddhism or Sinhala Christianity. There are Tamil Muslims but there is no Tamil Islam. There are American Protestants but there is no American Protestantism.
        Happy?

        Soma

    • 4
      3

      This author seems to have deep knowledge of sinhala buddhist nationalism going back to the days of british rule. And yet he and his ilk betrayed their tamil ethnicity and HELPED sinhalese attack tamils for their own selfish gains as ‘muslims’.
      Now that muslims are being targetted by Sinhala racists, they want to ‘unite’ with tamils. Dont trust them for a second. They will betray tamils again as soon as they get the chance. Their only loyalty is for islam and arabs.

      • 1
        1

        Jegan, Ameer Ali is an academic; not a politician. It is not fair to tie him to what others of his community did.

    • 5
      1

      Do those Sinhalese who claim to be Buddhists actually folllow Buddha’s word?
      —————
      Resounding no! I have yet to meet a sinhalese who is a real buddhist. This is the kind of buddhist that defines Sri Lanka today:

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

      • 2
        3

        Jagan
        Do those Westerners who claim to be Christians actually follow the word of Christ?

        Soma

    • 0
      0

      soman

      Please let us know when you are going to be ready to learn?

  • 4
    1

    Ameer Ali has articulated the predicament of both minorities flawlessly and succinctly. Tamil and Muslim politicians have an urgent pow-wow to conduct. Shed your differences. Unite for the purpose of mutual gain. JVP may not deliver all your needs, but they are the best bet for you both to coalesce with under the present Buddhist fundamentalist threat. Let saner thinking prevail.

    • 1
      1

      Thappu
      There is another alternative. We have constructed an International airport in Jaffna.

      Soma

      • 0
        0

        The construction of the airport was not funded by the Sri Lankan govt, it was conceived and constructed by India at their benevolence! You can launch your boats to sail to Kalinga via Hampantota!

      • 0
        0

        Soma, Very funny indeed! If you wish to earn the crown of ‘Joker of the Pack’, be assured of my vote!!

  • 1
    0

    Talks are for weak politicians. Mahesh Senayayake should go without talking peoples’ personal preferences such as Religion. Otherwise, all ate sri lankansa. Sinhala identity can not be erased. Sri Lanka needs culture and people can not get their culture by moving to another country.

  • 1
    1

    Sri Lankans politicians are trying to erase sinhala identity while they say every bode is Sri Lankans. Yet, they promote, Tamils, Muslims, Malays etc, separately. Because of politics, Zaharan;s friends were rubbing even the PSC.

  • 1
    0

    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

  • 1
    1

    Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka cannot solve the problems. We live in the west can solve. 1976 I was a active member of Amnesty International in saint Louis university. With 25. Ents stamps we wrote millions of letters and overthrough Salvatore Allende, Marcos , South Africa. NY mayor asked all the Fortune 500 companies to reinvest from South Africa and white government collapsed. 83% SL GNP is going to repay the loan. Majority of Tamil second generation are making over 80$ per year and we can buy out the politicians with the stampas. US dollar determined the value of Ari Lankan Rupees not the Russian Rubble

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.