28 October, 2020

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President’s UN Speech: Some Reflections On The Narrative & Emphasis On Buddhism

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

There were several merits in the President’s speech to the 71st UN General Assembly sessions on the 22nd September, highlighting the enormous development challenges that the country is facing and outlining the initiatives that the government is taking and/or intends to take. What seems to have escaped the attention of the critics or observers is his emphasis on social democratic policies, whatever he meant. This is the first time that such an emphasis was made, although briefly, on Social Democracy, as far as I am aware. Among the challenges facing the country, a particular attention was placed on the drug menace engulfing the youth world over, and highlighting the joint actions that should be taken by the UN and the member countries.

A major portion of the speech also was focused on the war the country had to undergo and to assure the international community, or the local people through the speech, that terrorism was abhorrent and measures would be taken to prevent another war erupting. However, there were weaknesses as well in the speech, and thus the criticisms. These criticisms could be anticipated as the speech ought to be on behalf of the ‘people and the country,’ and the assurances have to be realistic. Let me add my own reflections or ‘my two cents’ to the chorus. I am here focusing only on two aspects: (1) the way the speech was narrated particularly in the English transcript and (2) the emphasis made on Theravada Buddhism in the country. It should be added that it is the English version which matters to the outside world. president-maithripala-sirisenas-speech-at-united-nations-general-assembly

Self-Centred Nature

To put it bluntly, the narrative of the speech appears quite self-centred, or rather authoritarian, using the first person singular expression of ‘I’ 21 times in a text of around 950 words, as published by the President’s media unit (now available in the UN website). A statement such as the following on ‘poverty alleviation’ is quite odd from a democratic country and a democratic president.

“I am determined to alleviate poverty in my country. I declared 2017 as the Year of ‘Alleviation of Poverty’ in Sri Lanka. I have given lead to creating the basic platform for the people to free themselves [from] poverty in a county that prioritizes economic progress.”

It is not clear whether the mistake is with the President or with the speech writers. Most probably with the latter. The text appears some ‘notes’ for a speech and not exactly the transcript of the speech that the President delivered. In that case, it is not clear why the President’s media unit published it as the speech? In an initial posting, there was a single strange sentence saying “I have been in power for the last 15 months.” This was later corrected. It was not only a mistake of the period in office; but a declaration such as ‘I have been in power’ is apparently odd in a democratic country.

The transcript gives the impression that the President was talking as a dictator or an authoritarian person. I believe (and hope) it is not the case. Even when you go to the original speech, I believe there is much the President could have improved to reflect a democratic culture or aspirations. If he has said “mage rajaya nilayata (not balayata) pathweemata pera” then it could have been translated as ‘before my government came to office’ and not ‘to power.’ The obsession with ‘power’ has to change for the sake of democracy. This has to change not merely in words, but in deeds. Even the first sentence of the transcript was misleading. He actually said “I am extremely happy to take part in this 71st Session of the United Nations general Assembly as the President of Sri Lanka.” However, in the transcript, there is no qualification ‘as the President of Sri Lanka.’ At the General Assembly, a President should represent the people and the country, and not himself or herself.

A Comparison

It is not unusual for a statesman or a stateswoman to, at times, present his/her case in the first person singular at the UN. But this should be rare and valuable. Most of the time, it is plural, even if it is first person (we or ours). For example, in the British Prime Minister, Theresa May’s speech, there were only two occasions in over a 2,000 word speech where she referred to her beliefs or initiatives. First, when she was referring to the problems of migration and referred to three fundamental principles that she believes in. Second occasion was when she referred to the first ever government task force that she has initiated in combating modern form of slavery or ‘super exploitation.’ The latter was very much similar to what the President Maithripala Sirisena talked about as the ‘Year of Poverty Alleviation.’ Yet it is only once she mentioned ‘I’ and then reverting back to her usual ‘we.’

If I may make another comparison, in the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull’s 575 word speech there was no ‘I’ at all. He was always talking objectively about the challenges his country and the world were facing and referred to ‘we’ in respect of Australia, or ‘ours’ in respect of Australian policies and initiatives.

One may argue that this is a difference between a presidential system and a cabinet government, where collective responsibility or collective wisdom prevails in the latter case. This may be partially true but not totally. Even in the speech of the US President, Barack Obama, only occasionally that he said ‘and so I believe’ or ‘I say all this’ and so on. Most of the speech was objective and largely in the plural. Even the President of Uganda, Kaguta Museveni, did not use the ‘I’ except at the beginning congratulating the election of the new President of the General Assembly, H. E. Peter Thomson. Nor did the President of Brazil, whose speech, President Sirisena referred to in his submission in relation to the ‘drug menace’ except to say, “I bring to the United Nations, in sum, a message of uncompromising commitment with democracy.” This was after outlining Brazil’s commitment to Paris Agreement on climate change, free trade arrangements promoted by the WTO, and most importantly, human rights etc. There was no reference to human rights in our President’s speech at all.

Reference to Buddhism

Most controversial might be the President’s reference to ‘Sri Lanka as a Buddhist country’ at the UN speech. When the transcript was first issued by the President’s media unit (reproduced in the Colombo Telegraph), the wording appeared more controversial than what appeared later or now. Therefore, there was understandable disappointment or criticism. One reason was that the reference to Buddhism was given out of context, in two paragraphs, referring first to ‘war and terrorism’ in the country. It was not the reference to war or terrorism that was wrong, but the reference to Buddhism in that context, devaluing its universal value philosophically at a fora like the UN.

Then in the second paragraph, it was bluntly transcribed that “Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, where Theravada Buddhism is practiced.” This appeared like a sectarian proclamation instead of emphasizing Buddhism’s philosophical or scientific value. This is still the case in the English version posted in the UN website. However, the original speech in Sinhala now posted in the same website gives a more balanced view which probably was the intention of the President. Now the statement is in one paragraph in the original Sinhala version. What is the fuss, one may ask? Let me give the official English posting first and then my translation from the original Sinhala next.

“In many parts of the world, we see the unfortunate proliferation of anger, hatred, and brutality. I would call that the contemporary society is experiencing a crisis of morality. I believe that all states should pay heed to the cry for moral values. I believe that every society must dedicate itself to raise its share of positive moral values.

Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, where Theravada Buddhism is practiced. The teachings of the Buddha help us find solutions to many of the burning issues of the contemporary world. Similarly, I am sure the wisdom offered by the great world religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and others can help us today. As such, I am of the view that we, as states, can strengthen and foster those religions and philosophies that help us look inward.”

More accurate translation of the original might be the following.

‘Honourable President, in many countries in the world today, in the prevailing international contexts, we see wars, war like situations, and sometimes more barbaric conditions along with disunity, hatred and societies gripped with hatred. Here, the absence of a moral fibre necessary for our human society is a major problem. In today’s conflict ridden societies, the need to build a citizenry based on morality is important, and I believe all countries should give priority to this need. Sri Lanka as a Buddhist country, I believe that the wisdom revealed by the Theravada Buddhist philosophy would be extremely important for resolving many problems in the world today. Similarly, I believe it is necessary for all countries to strengthen and expand religious and spiritual philosophies based on Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and other religions, in resolving civilizational problems that we are faced with.’

Here it is clear that it is not a proclamation that the President made Sri Lanka as a Buddhist country where Theravada Buddhism is practiced. He took the example “Sri Lanka as a Buddhist country” (Sri Lankawa baudhha ratak vidihata) and emphasized Buddhism’s importance. There is a difference between the two. His emphasis was on the role of religion and spiritual philosophies in ‘resolving civilizational problems that we are faced with.’

Ambiguity

There was an ambiguity however. It is not clear whether the President deviated from the text which was prepared before, or the local translators deviated from (or distorted) the President’s ‘broader concern for religion’ to highlight ‘Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country.’ Whatever is the case, the UN General Assembly might not be the best place to do so. UN is a secular or independent organization from religions and it should continue to be the case. Religious debates should not spoil its purposes.

What the President said in Sinhala can have two meanings. (1) Admittedly, there is a growing feeling among many people that there should be a ‘religious awakening’ to counter what they call the moral degeneration in the present day society. This is a trend going against (pure) secularism. During my last visit to Vietnam, I have witnessed a growing religiosity particularly among the youth even in this (or previously) communist country. However, there are sections who emphasise this need as ‘spiritualism in general’ or as ‘interfaith spiritualism.’ The President’s speech undoubtedly resonates this aspect of belief.

(2) More obvious was his apparent belief that Buddhism offers some solutions to the present day predicaments in the world. There is an undeniable truth in this as well. I myself have emphasized the methodological or scientific importance of Buddhism*. The President said that in the particular context of conflicts and wars in the world today. He also identified disunity, hatred and revenge in societies to highlight the need for peace and conflict resolution. There are some Western philosophers, like Johan Galtung, who also emphasise the same importance of Buddhist methodology for conflict resolution and peace. Even the UNESCO has taken its motto primarily from Buddhism which says “As wars begin in the mind of men, it is in the minds of men that defences of peace must be constructed.”

However, the above has nothing much to do with Theravada Buddhism per se. The most respected Buddhist leader in the world today is Dalai Lama from Tibet. The President’s emphasis on Theravada Buddhism can be controversial in that context or even otherwise. Why emphasize, Theravada only when there are few other strands? The most important might be to emphasize Buddhism in general without reference to one strand or the other. One could also argue that for some reason, Theravada countries (e.g. Sri Lanka, Burma and Cambodia) have been engulfed in violence and conflict than other Buddhist countries in the recent past. Therefore, particularly a statesman from Sri Lanka should prove the theory before preaching it to the world.
Multiculturalism?

The President’s statement at the UN has other implications in projecting the country’s image within the international community. It could give the wrong impression that Sri Lanka at least shy away from embracing ‘multiculturalism.’ I am using the term ‘multiculturalism’ broadly to mean diversity and pluralism in many spheres of ethnicity, language, religion and culture. At least it is commonplace for statesmen or women to emphasize their countries and policies are multicultural in this continuously integrating complex world. What country is not multicultural these days?
For example, when the Australian PM delivered his speech, he said “Australia is one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world – from the oldest human cultures of our First Australians, to those people who come from almost every UN member state.” He went on saying,

Australians are not defined by religion or race, we are defined by political values; a common commitment to democracy, freedom and the rule of law, underpinned and secured by mutual respect.

When Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke on behalf of Myanmar (Burma), although she didn’t use the term ‘multiculturalism’ explicitly, it was all over there in her speech. She said “When we talk about building peace and development, we cannot neglect the important aspect of enhancing respect for human rights, equality, diversity and tolerance.” She further said, “We must be united in standing together against all forms and manifestations of violent extremism related to religious, cultural and social intolerance.”

*“An Introduction to Research Methodology: Western and Buddhist Perspective.” http://documents.mx/documents/an-introduction-to-research-methodology-by-prof-laksiri-fernando.html

 

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Latest comments

  • 7
    11

    No surprises here..

    The Yahapalana Professor is pissed, because Bodhi Sira said he wants to protect Theravada Buddhism.

    Whether Bodhi Sira can do it or not is a matter of conjecture,

    Yahapalana PM has categorically stated that he is going to bring a new clause to protect Buddhism after expunging it from the Constitution..

    But Batalanada didn’t say whether it is Theravada or not.

    We all know Batalanada is a late comer to Buddhism.

    His coterie of advisers and body guards are not really into Buddhism.

    Even if a few are, they won’t be like the Buddhists in Pollonnaruwa where Bodhi Sira’s extended family live.

    They y will be most likely the followers of Rev Dalai lama who caters mainly for hipster Buddhists.

    Then we have Batalanada Ranil’s partner the TNA which has publicly declared that Buddhism must go before Reconciliation comes.

    And It was announced by non other than the Anglican Faction Leader of the Vellala Tamil outfit the TNA, who is perhaps close buddies of the Yahapalana Professor, after attending prayer meets and Ecumenical services,

    • 2
      5

      KA Sumanasekera

      “Then we have Batalanada Ranil’s partner the TNA which has publicly declared that Buddhism must go before Reconciliation comes.”

      Did they mean Buddhism or Para-Sinhala Para-Buddhism?

      • 6
        3

        Amarasiri:

        Did they mean Buddhism or Para-Sinhala Para-Buddhism?

        As you are a marakkaya, this is all you can recycle.

        • 1
          2

          Good call.. Jim.

          He should have directed it to his Yahapalana Master Batalanada Ranil, or the partner, Vellala Abraham himself.

        • 3
          0

          He could well be a ‘Lansi’ fifth columnist hiding under the rocks at Galagedara!

          We’d never know until the CID completes its investigations.

        • 1
          2

          jim softy,Dimwit, Nitwit, Blockhead

          “Did they mean Buddhism or Para-Sinhala Para-Buddhism?”

          There is a difference between Pristine Buddhism and Sinhala
          Para-Buddhism. There is No God and no statues in Pristine Buddhism.

          Dimwits IQ’s are too low to appreciate the difference.

          Poor stupid uneducated populace..

          Child Abuse by a Monk in Habaraduwa

          Uploaded on May 29, 2010
          She sent her grandson to school with the idea of providing him with proper education to make him a good person. The Buddhist monk in charge of the temple asked her to send the child to the temple and she sent him there because they were poor. There was no possibility for them to pay the money for tuition fees. That was the reason why they sent the boy to the temple school.When the child began to refuse going to the temple school so adamantly, grandmother had to look for the reason. It was then only that she discovered that the child who was sent to learn good behavior, ethics and Buddha’s Dharma from the monk had in fact been abused by the monk.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

          What about Tibetan Buddhism?

          Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 1

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

          Buddhism The Great Evil — Part 2

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clcs2PSze0I

    • 2
      1

      KA has put his views and assessment of the Yaha professor and his ‘nothing’ write up very aptly. The professor makes “nothing’ contributions to CT frequently to enhance the image of the hopeless Yaha establishment.

  • 6
    1

    The truth is that UN speeches are best forgotten. The serve neither man nor beast.

    Every Sri Lankan President who addresses the UN will not forget to say

    1 SL is a Buddhist country

    2 Everything is rosy in our Island in the Sun.

    3 The President is working untiringly to bring us peace and harmony.

    YOU can be sure that he will NOT mention that the BBS and their ilk are touring the country whipping up hatred in their determination to turn every Buddhist against the other ethnic communities who have been destined to share this land. AND…most importantly..nobody in authority is making a concerted effort to fight and stop this cancerous menace.

  • 7
    7

    /*

    For example, when the Australian PM delivered his speech, he said “Australia is one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world ..

    */

    Although back home all Australian Parliaments begin with the Lord’s Prayer.

    The Australian Constitution’s preamble includes the words ‘Humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God’.

    The Aborogines were literally hunted till extinction. In Tasmania it was a genocide virtually no Abos live there. They were used to shooting practice.

    Women were not allowed to vote Abogines were only given the franchise recently. Then there was the “white Australia” policy etc.

    The only reason Australia has “Multi-culturalism” is because European migration needed to sustain the population dwindled. They have allowed you in there for their benefit after receiving a free education from Sri Lanka.

    Sri Lanka’s “Multi-culturalism” is more authentic in that Buddhists have been inherently liberal and accepting values which has lead to even their generosity taken for granted by Tamils.

    /*

    However, the above has nothing much to do with Theravada Buddhism per se. The most respected Buddhist leader in the world today is Dalai Lama from Tibet. The President’s emphasis on Theravada Buddhism can be controversial in that context or even otherwise. Why emphasize, Theravada only when there are few other strands?

    */

    Dalai Lama is respected personality. However, Theravada is special to Sri Lanka.

    Theravada is considered the most pristine teaching of the Buddha by reputed scholars for good reasons. We have been its custodians spreading it to other East Asian nations.

    • 2
      2

      Mr De Silva,

      “Theravada is considered the most pristine teaching of the Buddha by reputed scholars for good reasons. We have been its custodians spreading it to other East Asian nations.”

      Recently Gnanasara was also spreading it to another East Asian nation.

  • 4
    8

    Dr Laksiri;

    You are a sworn enemy of Sinhala-Buddhists, an agent of Non-Buddhists and pretentious Buddhists occupying the parliament of Sri Lanka. Lets not make any mistake about it. Having said the above about your existence, what mandate do you possess to challenge the status of Buddhism in our Sinhala-Buddhist country.

    You have said;

    “There was an ambiguity however. It is not clear whether the President deviated from the text which was prepared before, or the local translators deviated from (or distorted) the President’s ‘broader concern for religion’ to highlight ‘Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country.’”

    You are a campaigner against the Sinhala Buddhists and therefore your interpretations are not acceptable.

    If you are an independent, intelligent authority or a respectable academic on religious studies, I would have never said the above.

    • 7
      4

      Ranbandu,

      “You are a sworn enemy of Sinhala-Buddhists, an agent of Non-Buddhists and pretentious Buddhists occupying the parliament of Sri Lanka.”

      No mate he is an enemy of bigots like you! You need to grow up mentally and then you may comprehend as to what the DR has written!

      • 5
        3

        Burning….

        Whenever we the Sinhala People assert our ethnicity; SINHALA
        Whenever we assert our religion; Buddhism
        Whenever we assert our self as Sinhala-Buddhist majority in Sri Lanka.
        Whenever we the SINHALA people assert our birthrights in our Motherland; Sri Lanka
        Whenever we mention that SRI LANKA was founded by the SINHALA PEOPLE in 543BC based on recorded history.
        Whenever we mention Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, an undeniable fact accepted by all countries on earth including VATICAN

        WE THE SINHALA PEOPLE ARE BRANDED BY GUYS (OR GALS) LIKE YOU AS RACISTS OR BIGOTS WHENEVER WE ASSERT OURSELVES AS SINHALA-BUDDHIST MAJORITY AND SRI LANKA IS A BUDDHIST COUNTRY. – What a travesty of justice?

        Would you have courage to say Indonesians , Bangladeshis or Pakistanis are bigots if they say their motherlands are ISLAMIC COUNTRIES.

        Would you say ITALIANS, FRENCH or GERMANS are bigots if they identify their motherlands and fatherland as Christian countries.

        I suppose you prefer to burn eternally with hatred and ill will towards Sinhala-Buddhists in a Sinhala Buddhist country. It is your choice, but my dear fellow, the time has come to assert ourselves as the Majority Sinhala Buddhists in our own Buddhist country.

        I do not deny their are Sinhala Buddhist Bigots such as Gammanpila, Weerawansa, Rajapaksas. Just like the Muslim bigots such as Azath Saley, Lukman Harees and Christian bigots such as the author of this article; Laksiri Fernando.

        Another important factor; IT IS UNDENIABLY A BUDDHIST COUNTRY: that was (and is) the reason why CHRISTIAN POLITICIANS GIVE-UP OR DROP THEIR RELIGION CHRISTIANITY AND APPEAR BEFORE THE PEOPLE AS BUDDHISTS. IF IT IS NOT A BUDDHIST COUNTRY, THEY DON’T HAVE TO RENOUNCE THEIR OWN RELIGION. BAMDARANAIKE DID IT, JR JAYAWARDENE DID IT, CHANDRIKA DID IT and YOU KNOW WHO (IN THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT HAS DONE IT).
        Moreover, the former strongman a PART-TIME Buddhist knows his ticket to regain the seat of power also depends on his unabated appearances or gate crashes at the Buddhist temples.

        I hope you understand the above fact. Did any politician become a Buddhist to help the Buddhist majority living in rural Sri Lanka? Answer is NO,

        The author, Laksiri is an agent of a sinister ploy aimed at desecrating our true identity and our birthrights.

        RANBANDU,
        (Simple Sinhala Buddhist from rural Sri Lanka)

        BURNING ISSUE what are you?

        • 0
          2

          “SRI LANKA was founded by the SINHALA PEOPLE in 543BC based on recorded history.”

          What was the language spoken here before that?

          • 2
            0

            villageman

            the earlier language was simple; ah, ga, va, po, urgh, aargh.

            • 2
              0

              Spring Koha

              “the earlier language was simple; ah, ga, va, po, urgh, aargh.”

              The five universal words (or sound reflexes) used by infants are:

              Neh (I’m hungry)

              Owh (I’m sleepy)

              Heh (I’m experiencing discomfort)

              Eairh (I have lower gas)

              Eh (I need to be burped)

              according to Dunstan

              Please don’t ask me for Brahmi epigraphic evidence.

          • 2
            1

            Good question;

            Language was “HELA”

            Thank you for the opportunity.

            Ranbandu

            • 2
              0

              Ranbandu

              “Language was “HELA”

              When Hela was the official language spoken by Sinha Le then why did Mahanama write his fantasy in Pali, a language Sinha Le couldn’t understand?

              Why the national anthem is not sung in HELA language but in Sinhala and how come Sinhala has replaced HELA as the official language of this island?

              Can you translate the National Anthem into HELA?

              If you are part of Hela people, then your homeland is in Hela Province of Papua New Guinea. What are you doing in my ancestral land you bloody foreigner?

  • 9
    3

    He forgot to say that “We concluded a humanitarian war in the Buddhist tradition, and are spreading the Buddha’s teachings by erecting hundreds of his statues in the former war zones”.

  • 3
    1

    I was also taken aback – not to say dismayed – by the regular use of “I” instead of “We” or “my government” in the President’s speech. It became almost embarrassing. One wonders how experienced the people who write such speeches are.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 3
    0

    CT reports:
    “Perpetual Treasuries Limited, which is linked to Arjun Aloysius, son-in-law of ex-Central Bank Governor, Arjuna Mahendran has recorded a profit of Rs. 5.1 billion for the year ending March 2016.”
    Any comments from you Laksiri?
    Democracy is working really well!

  • 2
    0

    The shortcomings in the speech have been quite rightly highlighted in this essay.
    When a speech is delivered in Sinhala and a translation of same is made in English distortions invariably creep in.
    I am not quite sure whether Heads of State when addressing a body like the UN drag religion into their speeches!
    But of-course,there is another dimension to this speech about the Universality of the teachings of the Buddha; Whether it is practiced in Srilanka is quite a different matter!

  • 4
    3

    Mr Laksiri Fernando

    I agree with you that the President’s speech is self centered. He may be influenced by Buddhist principals & SL may be predominately a Buddhist country but there are other religious & ethnic minorities in the country as well, therefore, his Buddhist rhetoric at a world forum shows his lack of education/ knowledge on a broader context, particularly, when the current world problems are largely caused by religious hatred. This may go down locally but not internationally. There are other important issues like the human rights which interests the world but were not addressed convincingly.

    The Australian PM & the spokesperson for Myanmar, as highlighted in your article, said it better than bringing religion into politics.

  • 5
    7

    Why there is this much hate and vengeance if someone called this country is a Buddhist country? That is the truth. You cannot change the reality though you try to change whatever in the constitution. Even if you try to hide this fact from the constitution, that is useless. Though the country name is changed to Sri Lanka without any basis in 1972, the culture within its territory were mainly a construct of Sinhalese. Therefore, Sinhalese is the nation in this country. This fact cannot be changed by changing constitution because we did not have constitutions before 1931. But this country and its inhabitants were recognised as Sinhale and Sinhalese, or related terms by other nations.

    We do not want to accept the definition of nation according to the views of westerners. Therefore, Sinhale or Sinhaladeepa will last long though there may be artificial changes to its name as invaders changed it several times.

    Therefore, as recognised by the UN, Sinhalese too have right to preserve their culture and territory. Though some try to destroy it, Sinhalese country will survive for sure in the face all threats as in the past 2500 years. That is because the cultural rights of Sinhalese and their right for its territory are written not in the constitution, but in the hearts and minds of its original inhabitants who sacrificed so much to safeguard those identities.

    Therefore, what has to be done is to ensure the minority rights as recognised by the UN. There are particular declaration for that matter (Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities). I think as a country, we have met most of the requirements in that particular declaration. If we have to do more, I will support to achieve those objectives.

    In conclusion, Dr. Laksiri Fernando and others have to fight for fulfilling obligations of that particular declaration. These people should have to accept the reality that Sinhalese are the nation they are the majority. Tamils, Muslims, Christians, Hindus are religious or ethnic minorities. Taking any effort (constitutional or any other) to change the rights of Sinhalese to their territory is useless and temporary. That will not be realistic in long term analysis. In a extreme situation for the survival of Sinhalese, we can change demographic percentages of all minorities to near zero by increasing the population growth of Sinhalese. If required, that can be done with enforced laws. Therefore, Dr Fernando, you have to understand that your vengeance against Sinhalese is useless. You are like a snake which is afraid of Kerosene because you show your extreme anger and hate towards Sinhalese whenever you hear the words like Sinhala and Buddhist.

    Finally Dr Fernando et al have to understand that the reconciliation cannot be achieved by insulting Sinhala Buddhists and refusing their rights.

    • 9
      5

      Dissanayake,

      The country Ceylon was put together as one by the Brits. This is a fact that you need to come to terms with before you call Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country. Do you get it? All the injustices perpetrated against the Tamils by the state and other actors were carried out in the name of Sinhala Buddhism. This is why calling the country a Buddhist country resonates with injustice and betrayal! Do you get it?

      “Finally Dr Fernando et al have to understand that the reconciliation cannot be achieved by insulting Sinhala Buddhists and refusing their rights.”

      No; you do not want reconciliation but obedience! You do not want equality but ethnic superiority! You do not want diversity but total dominance!

      Get real mister!

      • 3
        4

        Sri Lanka (Sinhaladeep) is ruled by Sinhalese approximately 2000 years. The country was under Tamil invaders only for 144 years throughout this history. Portuguese (ca. 1505-1638) and British (1796-1948) ruled this country more than that. According to your argument, Portuguese and British also have right to self determination in Sri Lanka. Jaffna kingdom was not an independent kingdom. It was under the Kotte Kingdom. The whole country was brought to one rule during the period of Parakramabâhu VI around 1450. Then it was under Bhuvanaika Bahu VI. (c. A.D. 1472–1480 at least). After the death of Bhuvanaika Bahu VI, the Jaffna Kingdom was again invaded by Tamil rulers. Therefore, it was not British who made it as a one country. It was a one country but suffered a lot of invasions from the South India and may be from JAVA (Javaka Chandrabhanu). It is Sinhalese right to chase away the invaders. In the present context rulers.

        Imagine a case where a house was burgled by one set of robbers and another set of robbers arrived little later while first was there. Then the house owner has right to chase both sets of robbers. This is a simple example.

        Now we do not ask Tamil people to go to India. But we ask them to accept the fact that this is a Sinhala Buddhist country though Tamils also can enjoy every rights as Sinhalese. Tell me what right they do not have compared to Sinhalese. They may have aspirations to create a TAMIL COUNTRY wherever possible. But Sinhalese will not allow that. All these drama of power sharing and bla bla is to create a path for TAMIL NATION. India will not a TAMIL nation in their country. Creating a small nation first in Sri Lanka is the first step to create a big country including the TAMIL Nadu. We know it very clearly.

        So you have to understand that we want our rights, as Sinhalese. If Tamils can talk about their homeland in the North and East without any basis, Sinhalese have all the rights to insists that the whole country is the homeland of Sinhalese.

        That is what is happening in other countries with history. Countries without or with a short history can share power to build new nations. That is not the case in Sri Lanka.

        The dominance of the west will be for another few decades. Afterwards, their dictates will not be valid for us. For time being we have difficulties as an ancient nation. But for sure, we can win our due rights in the near future. Until that we have to find a strategy to survive. You all are not independent thinkers. You think with a theory or concept created by the west to further their interests.

        If you do not like to live with Sinhalese you can go to countries wherever you like and try to live as secondary citizens. You will not get any rights that is similar to the rights enjoyed by Tamils in Sri Lanka. THAT IS THE TRUTH. I remember one day (15 years ago in the main library of the University of Peradeniya) I read a book (Comparative analysis) written by a foreign scholar. He has written that Tamils in Sri Lanka enjoy many rights than any other Tamil population living outside South India.

        That is the reality. But they want more. They have aspirations. They know Sinhala Buddhists have weaknesses, mainly about their unity. However, if the Sinhalese were pushed to the wall they will bounce back for sure. That is how it last over millennia. I am very optimistic about it.

    • 3
      5

      Dissa,
      Why do you oppose calling our country only by the country’s name; Sri Lanka? Why do you oppose calling citizens of Sri Lanka as Sri Lankans? Why do you want to add an adjective “Sinhalese” or “Buddhist” Sri Lnaka? What do you think these adjectives do to us?
      Unlike you, as a Sinhalese and a Buddhist I do not want my country to be called a “Sinhalese Buddhist” country. I feel, just because the majority of the population is Sinhalese Buddhists we do not have to ignore or forget the pride and love of others towards their race and religion. This is what Lord Buddha teach us. Also, I am embarrassed to say “Buddhist Sri Lanka” because the way our monks and Buddhist leaders behave.

      • 2
        1

        I reminded the country name because that is the reality, truth and hard fact. My response was to Dr Laksiri. But we can sacrifice our pride of changing the name of the country from Sinhaladeepa to Sri Lanka if the Tamils stop fighting for a TAMIL ELAM in different stages with different faces. As a historical nation we have to find the means of our survival. We know what will happen to this country if we stop fighting for our country. Some powerful country will invade us. Then our country will be a TAMIL OR a Muslim country. You can see enough examples around the world. This is not a imaginary fear. Policy makers should understand this issue first.

        Why do not you find issue with Tamils fighting for TAMIL Elam and self determination? Do you condemn them? You accept their slogans as their rights. If they can claim for mythical homeland without any basis we have a fair and rightful claim for the whole island as a homeland. All this is because there is a threat.

        Do not understand these aspects superficially according to the theories of the WEST. This is a natural fight of a group of people with a culture, territory and ruling system. TAMILS CAN CLAIM the same in TAMIL Nadu. Not in Sri Lanka. Whatever you said about reconciliation, and equality, this issue is an issue of survival of a historical nation. Understand these issues very deeply. That is why Tamils could not win this fight over two centuries because their claims are not supported with facts and truth.

        But I have a solution to this issue.

        First, TAMILS SHOULD give up their ethnic mind set. If one group starts to talk about issues in terms of ethnicity then naturally other ethnic groups will react to them. So TAMIL leaders also should talk and think about the real social and economic issues throughout the country without any bias to any ethnicity or any region. This should be done honestly. Create political parties without any ethnic bias.

        Then win the hearts and minds of Sinhala people too. Then go for general and presidential elections without concentrating on ethnicity. Look at issues in terms of their true context not in terms of religion, ethnicity and region. They can forward a good plan for the betterment of the whole country. If they can produce a better policy framework and plan for the future I am sure even Tamils can become leaders of the whole country. Of course, if they win, they should then walk the talk. There have to and will be more representatives for Sinhalese as they are the majority but there is no issue of a Tamil or a Muslim being a president, prime minister or any other office bearer. This is valid as long as these leaders talk only about issues of the country rather than their ethnicity or religion limited to specific region. We have to think why we need power. That is to solve real economic and social issues.

        The problem was TAMILS were with narrow mind since 18th century. They themselves initiated ethnic issue by thinking with ethnic dimensions. Therefore, they have to solve this issue not sharing power but giving up the ethnic oriented mind set. This is the permanent solution, however it will take time due to issues of trust between communities. But power sharing is not a solution, it will create more problems. However, I am sure this solution is feasible because Sinhalese are a very friendly nation due to their religion. The best example is Mr LAKSHMAN Kadiragamar. If he lived until now, he would have become at least the prime minister. But the LTTE eliminated him due to the very reason, unless they will not find any basis for their claim of self determination and TAMIL Elam.

        Scholars, politicians and other pundits should understand that this issue is due to the fact that Tamil leaders (not normal Tamils) have been ethnically oriented due to their self centred fears from the very beginning. Then polarisation and reactions of the other ethnic groups in particular the majority are very natural phenomenon. Therefore, Tamil leaders have to take the first step of dissolving the politically oriented parties and at the same time Sinhalese and other ethnic groups can follow the same.

      • 1
        1

        I reminded the country name because that is the reality, truth and hard fact. My response was to Dr Laksiri. But we can sacrifice our pride of changing the name of the country from Sinhaladeepa to Sri Lanka if the Tamils stop fighting for a TAMIL ELAM in different stages with different faces. As a historical nation we have to find the means of our survival. We know what will happen to this country if we stop fighting for our country. Some powerful country will invade us. Then our country will be a TAMIL OR a Muslim country. You can see enough examples around the world. This is not a imaginary fear. Policy makers should understand this issue first.

        Why do not you find issue with Tamils fighting for TAMIL Elam and self determination? Do you condemn them? You accept their slogans as their rights. If they can claim for mythical homeland without any basis we have a fair and rightful claim for the whole island as a homeland. All this is because there is a threat.

        Do not understand these aspects superficially according to the theories of the WEST. This is a natural fight of a group of people with a culture, territory and ruling system. TAMILS CAN CLAIM the same in TAMIL Nadu. Not in Sri Lanka. Whatever you said about reconciliation, and equality, this issue is an issue of survival of a historical nation. Understand these issues very deeply. That is why Tamils could not win this fight over two centuries because their claims are not supported with facts and truth.

        But I have a solution to this issue.

        First, TAMILS SHOULD give up their ethnic mind set. If one group starts to talk about issues in terms of ethnicity then naturally other ethnic groups will react to them. So TAMIL leaders also should talk and think about the real social and economic issues throughout the country without any bias to any ethnicity or any region. This should be done honestly. Create political parties without any ethnic bias.

        Then win the hearts and minds of Sinhala people too. Then go for general and presidential elections without concentrating on ethnicity. Look at issues in terms of their true context not in terms of religion, ethnicity and region. They can forward a good plan for the betterment of the whole country. If they can produce a better policy framework and plan for the future I am sure even Tamils can become leaders of the whole country. Of course, if they win, they should then walk the talk. There have to and will be more representatives for Sinhalese as they are the majority but there is no issue of a Tamil or a Muslim being a president, prime minister or any other office bearer. This is valid as long as these leaders talk only about issues of the country rather than their ethnicity or religion limited to specific region. We have to think why we need power. That is to solve real economic and social issues.

        The problem was TAMILS were with narrow mind since 18th century. They themselves initiated ethnic issue by thinking with ethnic dimensions. Therefore, they have to solve this issue not sharing power but giving up the ethnic oriented mind set. This is the permanent solution, however it will take time due to issues of trust between communities. But power sharing is not a solution, it will create more problems. However, I am sure this solution is feasible because Sinhalese are a very friendly nation due to their religion. The best example is Mr LAKSHMAN Kadiragamar. If he lived until now, he would have become at least the prime minister. But the LTTE eliminated him due to the very reason, unless they will not find any basis for their claim of self determination and TAMIL Elam.

        Scholars, politicians and other pundits should understand that this issue is due to the fact that Tamil leaders (not normal Tamils) have been ethnically oriented due to their self centred fears from the very beginning. Then polarisation and reactions of the other ethnic groups in particular the majority are very natural phenomenon. Therefore, Tamil leaders have to take the first step of dissolving the politically oriented parties and at the same time Sinhalese and other ethnic groups can follow the same.

    • 7
      2

      Dissanayake

      “Why there is this much hate and vengeance if someone called this country is a Buddhist country? That is the truth.”

      Sri Lanka became a Buddhist country only in 1972 after the Republican constitution.

      The state religion of Sri Lanka should be both Hindu-Buddhist (Buddhism/Buddhagama and Hinduism/Devagama) or do not have any state religion at all.

      Sri Lanka is a Hindu-Buddhist society/culture and civilization right from ancient time. Buddhism and Hinduism/Brahmanism are the two main religions that existed and flourished in Sri Lanka from the very early period. Even today if they excavate the archaeological sites they will find not only Buddhist but also Hindu artifacts. The Buddhist archaeological sites in the Tamil speaking North & East, or the Hindu archaeological sites in the Sinhala speaking south are not strange phenomena in the island because both Sinhalese and Tamils practiced Buddhism and Hinduism.

      It is interesting to note that the Sinhala-English Kandyan Treaty of 1815 refers to Buddhagama (Buddhism) and Devagama (Hinduism/Brahmanism). Buddhagama and Devagama can be considered the forerunner of present day Sinhala-Buddhism, which has a history going back to more than two thousand.

      Prof. N.K. (Nira) Wickramasinghe from the History and Political Science Department of the Colombo University in her article titled “Some Comments on Dress in Sri Lanka” explains about the puritanical influences that came with Western colonial rule and the imposition of Judeo-Christian culture on the liberal tradition of Hindu-Buddhist culture that prevailed in ancient Lanka.

      Even today, if we visit any Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka, there is always a Hindu Devale/temple with Hindu Gods inside the Buddhist temple. Many Sinhalese are still practicing Hindu religious traditions openly. For example, auspicious times is a Hindu concept, Buddhism has no concept of auspicious times. The Hindu element is patent in the lifestyle of every Sinhala-Buddhist. They pray with great piety to Hindu gods, perform rituals, break coconuts, tie the pirith noola, surei, do important things at auspicious times, light the khoodu for Bhairava, hang ash pumpkins in a newly built house to avoid evil befalling any member of the house-hold, carry kavadi, walk on red hot cinders, chant Seth and Vas kavi, etc. Even on poya days, Buddhists offer poojas at Kataragama to God Murugan, and offer poojas to goddess Saraswaty. They observe Hindu New Year Day, April 14, (according to Hindu Solar and not Buddhist Lunar calendar) as their New Year Day.

      The strong hereditary Hindu element in Dutugemunu (present even today in all Sri Lankan Buddhists) made him a devotee of the Dravidian God Murukan at Katharagama. It is said in the Mahawamsa that Dutugemunu invoked the blessings of the God Murukan to endow him with strength to defeat King Elara in battle. The Mahawamsa also says there were Hindu temples for Lord Ishwera in Lanka from pre-Buddha times (623 B.C.) such as Nakulesweram in the North, Thirukketheesweram and Munnesweram in the West and Konesweram in the East. Hindu kovils in the deep south for Lord Murukan at Katharagama and for Lord Vishnu at Devi Nuwara still exist due to continued patronage by Sinhala-Buddhists.

      Hinduism is much older than Buddhism in Sri Lanka and is still followed by not only Tamils but also Sinhalese and Veddas. Tamils, Sinhalese and Veddas worship the Kataragama God Murugan at the ancient Hindu temple in Kataragama. At every Buddhist temple (including the Dalada Maligawa) you find Hindu Gods (according to Buddhism, a Buddhist should not pray to any god). If you go to the Hindu temples like Katharagama or Muneshwaram, you find more Sinhala devotees than Tamil. On the other hand, even today if you go to the Naga Vihara Buddhist temple in Jaffna town (not the Nagadveepa), you will be able to see some locals (Tamils) worship the Buddha/Dagoba, it is a practice among some Tamils.

      There are Hindu temples from ancient days in Kandy, testifying to a high concentration of Hindus in the Central part of Lanka. The temple for Nath (Siva), according to H.W. Codrington, is over 600 years old. The other temples, being for Murukan, Vishnu and Goddess Pattini, Robert Knox was of the view that Maha Esala Perahera in Kandy was celebrated from ancient times exclusively in honor of the Hindu deities. The Tooth Relic was taken in the Perahera for the first time during the reign of King Kirthi Sri Raja Singha at the request of the Siamese Monk Upali, to give a Buddhist touch to the festival. That practice was later stopped. These days only the empty casket is mounted on the elephant.

      It may not be incorrect to assume that in the hoary past, Lanka was, from North to South, East to West and the Central highlands the homeland of Tamils of the Hindu faith. With the arrival of Arahat Mahinda, thousands of Tamils of the Hindu faith embraced Buddhism. With the mixture of Tamil, Pali and Sanskrit languages, evolved the Sinhala language during 8 A.D. Though more than 80 generations have rolled by, these converts have not given up their Tamil Hindu culture and practices. They still indulge in Hindu prayers and rituals.

      Today the Sri Lankan Buddhists are Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Hindus are Tamils but that was not the case in the ancient past. In the past, not only there were Tamil Buddhists but also Hindu Sinhalese. The Buddhist archaeological sites in the Tamil North & East, or the Hindu archaeological sites in the Sinhala South are not strange phenomena in the island. The Sri Lankan Tamils had been living in all parts of Sri Lanka for many centuries. It was only after the Jaffna kingdom was formed in the 13th century, the Tamils were confined to the North and East. However, the Sri Lankan Tamils do not go and demographically claim Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa (a capital built by the Cholas), Padaviya, Kurunegala, Kandy, Kotte (Colombo) or the Dondra Head (the southernmost point in the island), citing the presence of Saiva (Hindu) sites there like the Sinhalese claiming the North & East citing the presence of Buddhist sites.

      • 0
        4

        You follow the same strategy as what is in “Yalpanam waipawa malei” or secondary sources deduced from it. You name all Buddhist names and places in a Tamil form.

        What is the driving force for Tamil to migrate to North and East, if they were in other parts of the country with abundance?

        Sinhalese were driven to south due to invasion by south India. TAMIL INVADERS were the formidable force. Then why the TAMILS migrate to NORTH.

        The real truth is there was no permanent settlements of TAMILS EVEN IN THE Jaffna. That is why dutch had to enforced the so called “Thesawalame law” to discourage TAMILS returning to TAMIL NADU after earning some money in tobacco farms under the Dutch rule.

        According to scholars who analyse languages, TAMIL spoken by the Tamil in Tamil Nadu and JAFFNA do not differ much DESPITE the country is separated by the Ocean. But the The same Drawvida language deformed to Malayalam, Kannada and Telangu etc in the adjacent states of TAMIL NADU. WHY there is a drastic difference between TAMIL LANGUAGE IN the mainland but no big difference in two regions separated by the Ocean? The only conclusion is that TAMILS IN Tamil NADU and Jaffna are close relatives with 200 years of history. This history originated since the dutch period for tobacco cultivation.

        NATHA is a Sinhala deity and it is the habit of Tamil historians to name all Sinhala names in TAMIL OR substitute a name of a some Hindu god to Sinhala deity.

        In the 5th clause of the KANDYAN Treaty (1815), it says “The religion of Buddhism is declared inviolable and its rights to be maintained and protected”. There is no reference to Hinduism. If they want to refer to Hinduism that followed by NAYAKKAR KINGS and their relatives, they could have done it. In Sinhala translation it includes Devagam.

        This clause was included because of the chief monks insisted upon it. No Hindu religious chief requested such clause. Buddhist monks signed the treaty due to the very reason that they want to protect Buddhism from Hindu NAYAKKAR KING. So why monks want to protect Hindu religion?

        Therefore, we can understand that The clause is not about Hindu religion. but there were so many deities worshipped by Sinhalese. That is called devagama,

        Even KATARAGAMA DEITY is not a Hindu deity. In this regard, Prof. Abaya Ariyasinghe has done so many researches. He established “KATARAGAMA DEVIYO” is not the Murukkan or Skanda. MANY Sinhalese deities were renamed as re-incarnation or another form of certain Hindu gods. That was there strategy to stop the uprising of Buddhism in India. Even Budda was named as a Hindu god. You should explain why people says “Kadira deva” or “Kataragama deviyo” instead of Murukkan. If he was a original Hindu deity, why there is an issue of calling him as Murukkan? According to Prof. Abaya,Kadira is a spy of Elara, he had six divisions. THAT IS WHY he was given six faces. The similar thing has done to RAWANA to indicate that he ruled 10 kingdoms. As Mahasena, this Kadira was worshipped by people in this area because he may have treated people well because he had all the supporting from Elara. Prince Dutu GAMUNU WOULD HAVE WORSHIPPED A Sinhala deity in this area because his ultimate aim was to protect Buddhism. However, with the time past, all these deities may have evolved as a one in Peoples mind.

        Therefore, do not try to create a history without any proof. I beg from TAMILS in Sri Lanka, not to follow this destructive path that will serve only for the racist leaders in the top.

        • 2
          0

          Dissanayake

          “You name all Buddhist names and places in a Tamil form.”

          The Buddhist names and places were either in Sanskrit or Pali. The Sinhalese have named them in Sinhala form and the Tamils have named them in Tamil form. Remember, there were Tamil Buddhists (both Mahayana and Theravada) during the early period. If you google ‘Tamil Buddhists’ you may be able to learn something that you did not know.

          “What is the driving force for Tamil to migrate to North and East, if they were in other parts of the country with abundance?”

          In the 9th century AD, under Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola, Sri Lanka became one of the nine provinces of the Chola Empire and was called Eelam Mandalam. This Chola rule was the longest and the most far-reaching in terms of surface area by the Tamil power. Sri Lanka remained a South Indian (Chola) colony under the rule of Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola. After the Chola rule of Anuradhapura and then Polonawara (a kingdom created by Rajendra Chola) kingdoms ended, the people who spoke Sinhala and/or practiced Buddhism moved to the South and created their Kingdoms in Kandy, Kotte, and many other places in the South. On the other hand, the people who spoke Tamil and/or practiced Hinduism moved to the North & East and created their Kingdom in Jaffna. A separate Jaffna kingdom (1215-1624 CE) was established for the Tamils. This is the very first time in the history of Sri Lanka, separate Sinhala and Tamil Kingdoms in the South and North began only after the Anuradapura/Polonurawa kingdoms were abandoned.

          “The real truth is there was no permanent settlements of TAMILS”

          With the archaeological findings, the historians believe that the permanent Tamil settlement in the North & East and the permanent Sinhalese settlement in South, West and Central started taking place only after the 10th century AD. Until then, there was nothing called a Sinhala or a Tamil kingdom or civilization even though today the Sinhalese are trying to claim it as Sinhala civilization. Until the 10th century AD, the people in the island irrespective of their racial background were scattered all over the island with the Tamil settlements (Demel-gam-bim) more towards Rajarata (North of Anuradapura) and close to Polonnaruva.

          Since, there was neither a separate Tamil Nation/kingdom nor a separate Sinhala Nation/kingdom in Sri Lanka (neither North nor South) before the 13th Century AD; it is meaningless to talk about a continuous existence of Sinhalese/Tamils or a separate ‘Sinhalese-Buddhist’ or ‘Tamil-Hindu’ identity in Sri Lanka in the pre-12-13th century AD period.

          However, Dameda is the most mentioned ethnic group in the ancient epigraphy of Sri Lanka. These inscriptions refer to the Dameda Vishaka (Tamil merchant), the Dameda Samana (Tamil householder), and Dameda Navika (Tamil sailor). There are enough of ancient archaeological evidence in Sri Lanka such as Brahmi stone inscriptions, cave writings, etc where the terms ‘Dameda’, ‘Damela’, ‘Damila’, ‘Demel’ are mentioned as a group of people living in the island. During Sena I ((833-853) and Kassapa IV (899-914), there are definite epigraphic reference to Tamil villages and lands, Demel-Kaballa (Tamil allotment), Demelat-valademin (Tamil lands), Demel-gam-bim (Tamil villages & lands), Demal-Kinigam, Demelin-hetihaya, etc. The presence of Tamils in the island Sri Lanka in the early historic period is not denied even in the Pali chronicles.

          “That is why dutch had to enforced the so called “Thesawalame law” to discourage TAMILS returning to TAMIL NADU after earning some money in tobacco farms under the Dutch rule.”

          This is just an imaginary story created by some Sinhala racist organization and there is no truth in it.
          The adherence of special laws such as Tesavalamai by the Northern Tamil society in Sri Lanka is NOT due to any TAMILS returning to TAMIL NADU or any Tobacco cultivation. It was only a customary law that governs property rights among the Tamils of Jaffna. Thesawalamai Law was not originated or brought in and introduced by the Dutch. As the rulers of Jaffna, they accepted the customs of the Northern Tamil society and by the order of the Governor Simons in 1706 it was promulgated by the Dutch Government as a customary law of Jaffna.

          “According to scholars who analyse languages, TAMIL spoken by the Tamil in Tamil Nadu and JAFFNA do not differ much DESPITE the country is separated by the Ocean.”

          Could you please tell us who these Tamil language scholars/experts who analyzed the two?
          Can you please quote any such scholar who has done research to find the similarities and differences between the Tamil language in Tamil Nadu and Jaffna and found they do not differ much?

          “But the The same Drawvida language deformed to Malayalam, Kannada and Telangu etc in the adjacent states of TAMIL NADU. WHY there is a drastic difference between TAMIL LANGUAGE IN the mainland but no big difference in two regions separated by the Ocean?”

          First of all they are not Tamils even though they are all dravidians. Malayalam is spoken by Malayalees/Keralites, Kannada is spoken by Kanada people and Telugu is spoken by Andaras. Secondly, they had several close neighbors with different languages that got mixed and thirdly the Sanskrit influence.

          “The only conclusion is that TAMILS IN Tamil NADU and Jaffna are close relatives with 200 years of history.”

          The genetic studies on Sri Lankan population says the Sinhalese and Tamil Nadu Tamils are close relatives. The Sinhalese are nothing but low caste (Dalit) Tamils from South India who got converted to Buddhism and later adopted a different (Indo-Aryan) language.

          “This history originated since the dutch period for tobacco cultivation.”

          The main reason for the Portuguese in the 16th century and later Dutch in the 18th century to occupy the island was Cinnamon and not tobacco, and cinnamon grew only in the South. The Portuguese and the Dutch colonized hundreds of thousands of South Indian Dalit in the Southern parts of Sri Lanka as menial labourers/coolies for growing/peeling cinnamon, coconut planting/plucking and toddy tapping. These South Indian Dalit converted to Buddhism and eventually got naturalized as Sinhalese.

          “NATHA is a Sinhala deity and it is the habit of Tamil historians to name all Sinhala names in TAMIL OR substitute a name of a some Hindu god to Sinhala deity.”

          There are no Sinhala Gods and Buddhism does not permit to worship Gods.

          “In the 5th clause of the KANDYAN Treaty (1815), it says “The religion of Buddhism is declared inviolable and its rights to be maintained and protected”. There is no reference to Hinduism. If they want to refer to Hinduism that followed by NAYAKKAR KINGS and their relatives, they could have done it. In Sinhala translation it includes Devagam. This clause was included because of the chief monks insisted upon it.”

          Devale in the Sinhala language is called Kovil in the Tamil language. For example, Katharagama Devale in Sinhala is called Kathirgaama Kovil in Tamil. The language is different but the meaning is same. Similarly, Devagam in Sinhala is Vedam in Tamil or Hinduism/Brahmanism in other Indian languages.

          “Buddhist monks signed the treaty due to the very reason that they want to protect Buddhism from Hindu NAYAKKAR KING.”

          The NAYAKKAR KING Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe was practicing Buddhism and was the main patron to the Siam Nikaya (both Asgiri and Malwathu).

          “There were so many deities worshipped by Sinhalese. That is called devagama”
          All those deities worshipped by Sinhalese are Hindu deities. Go to any Hindu temple (Kovil) in either Sri Lanka or South India and you will find all of them.

          “Even KATARAGAMA DEITY is not a Hindu deity.”

          The hill of Kathirkaamam is known as Kathiramalai in the Tamil traditions of Sri Lanka. An ancient capital of Jaffna was also called Kathiramalai. Kataragama Deviyo or the deity/cult of Kataragama or Kathirkaamam is known to the Tamils by many names (every Hindu God is known by many names) such as Murukan, Karthikeya, Vealan, Arumugam (6 faces), Kathiradevan, Kandasami, Skndaswami, Subrahmanya, Palaniandava and so on who had two wives Valli and Thevani (both Hindu Goddesses).

          A potsherd inscription in Tamil Brahmi found some times back in an archaeological excavation by a German team at Tissamaharama in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka can be interpreted as evidence of the presence of ordinary Tamil speaking people in the population of that region. The German scholars who undertook the excavation provisionally dated it to around 200 BCE.

        • 2
          0

          Dissanayake

          “Sinhalese were driven to south due to invasion by south India. TAMIL INVADERS were the formidable force. Then why the TAMILS migrate to NORTH.”

          When Chola came and kicked butts they didn’t know the Tamil from Sinhalese, for them all must have looked the same, simply because they were the victors.

          The Sinhalese who headed towards the North converted to Hinduism and assimilated into Tamils. The Tamils who moved to South assimilated into Sinhalese and converted to Buddhism. This process would have taken many decades.

          Don’t forget Kalinga Maha was not a Tamil who brought tens of thousands of South Indian mercenaries. Had they all gone back to their respective Eirivira Pattinam? Most stayed back in the South and assimilated into Sinhalese.

          What seems to be your problem?

    • 2
      3

      Dissanayake

      ‘Why there is this much hate and vengeance if someone called this country is a Buddhist country?’…………

      NO Sir, it’s not so much hate as embarrassment that we need to harp on the obvious. As bad as describing ‘White Australia’ or ‘Christian US’. These are nomenclature that we can do without. More desirable if we could describe Sri Lanka as a country of peace and harmony, with all communities inclusive and working together. That last sentence is all work in progress, but how wonderful if the day comes when our President can go to the UN and say just that.

      Let us not drag Buddhism into places where it can be ridiculed.

      • 0
        4

        Yes, if all do away with these nomenclatures, that is ok. We can accept we all are human beings, we work together to solve economic and social issues in the country.

        But that is not the reality. Tamil leaders follow a slow path to separation. They should first give up all the aspirations as different nation. THEY should inculcate the aspiration for Sri Lanka. That is to develop it as a whole.

        They have not given up the ideology of traditional homeland. This not about your right to live. That we accept. The homeland theory is a distortion of the history and that is a path to mono-ethnic region. There is big contradiction in the arguments of pundits who ask us to forget about the Sinhala culture, tradition and values but they fight for similar rights of Tamils.

        They can build a Tamil temples, Muslim mosques in every part of the country. That is more than real demand for actual devotes of those religions in the south. But at the same time they oppose to construct Buddhist temples in North and East PROVINCES.

        Due to the LTTE terror, so many historical Buddhist temples were destroyed naturally or intentionally. Sinhalese has right to preserve, renovate and worship those temples in the North and East. But TAMIL leaders do not allow Sinhalese to practice their rights. But they argue for only their rights.

        If there is to be true reconciliation, there should not be barriers for human migration. FOR INSTANCE, The so called “thesawalame law” should be abolished. Why not TAMILS and other pundits do not recognised these rights of Sinhalese.

        Tamil leaders have very selfish attitude. They want to gain every thing but they are not prepared to give others what they deserve. Therefore, there is a big contradictions in these slogans for reconciliation. That is why it this much difficult to reach a negotiated settlement. One party is only to gain other party is only to lose. In such situation, there will not be a solution unless there is an external force. What is happening now is exactly the same.

        Sinhalese were knelled down threatening sanctions and other punishments. They do not have fair space to voice their true issues because they are small nation in the global terms. Why not these pundits cannot see these issues without any bias.

        • 1
          0

          Dissanayake

          I have read your comment with sadness. I fear you are much dyed in the wool in your views, so I will keep my reply short.

          I remember in the time around independence, and the jostle by cunning and devious politicians determined to win the hearts and minds of the Sinhalese majority under the pretext of protecting ‘the Sinhala language’ and ‘Buddhism’. These politicians (Bandaranaike, Jayawardena, Rajarathna et al) encouraged and fostered the mob to act.

          Tamils lived in ALL parts of Sri Lanka. They were surrounded by Sinhalese. When evil forces were unleashed on them, the state certainly did come to their help. Except for a few duty minded officials the rest stood by and let the mob rule. That is what finally brought about the later Tamil responses.

          Here is the conundrum for Sri Lanka; the majority profess Buddhism but in real life allow those who would be barbaric to run their affairs (and often the country). Gone are the laudable Noble Truths, hijacked by devious cunning politicians for their ends.

          In this 21st Century, the watchwords are togetherness and collaboration.
          Eschew the Trump politics of division. Try and visualise a Sri Lanka where we ask NOT when and where you came from, but how can WE, who fate has brought together over the centuries, all build a strong and unified Lanka where the merits of EACH and EVERYONE count in making it a truly model country.

          I wish you well Dissanayake, most of all I wish that you will see the light.

  • 7
    2

    The problem is not Buddhism, even Tamils have a Buddhist heritage, but the Sinhala bastardizing of it like the Mahavamsa.

    For Sinhala nationalists, Buddhism is a political ideology. They are erecting Buddhist statues all over the conquered areas of north east to declare their triumph over their enemy.

    “This study argues that political Buddhism and Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism have contributed to a nationalist ideology that has been used to expand and perpetuate Sinhalese Buddhist supremacy within a unitary Sri Lankan state; create laws, rules, and structures that institutionalize such supremacy; and attack those who disagree with this agenda as enemies of the state. The nationalist ideology is influenced by Sinhalese Buddhist mytho-history that was deployed by monks and politicians in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries to assert that Sri Lanka is the designated sanctuary for Theravada Buddhism, belongs to Sinhalese Buddhists, and Tamils and others live there only due to Sinhalese Buddhist sufferance. This ideology has enabled majority superordination, minority subordination, and a separatist war waged by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The study suggests both LTTE terrorism and the ethnocentric nature of the Sri Lankan state, which resorts to its own forms of terrorism when fighting the civil war, need to be overcome if the island is to become a liberal democracy.

    The present government of President Mahinda Rajapakse is the first to fully embrace the Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist ideology, suggesting that a political solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict is unlikely. Meaningful devolution of power, whereby Tamils could coalesce with their ethnic counterparts amidst equality and self-respect, is not in the offing. A solution along federal lines is especially unlikely. Instead, continued war and even attacks on Christians and Muslims seem to be in store for Sri Lanka as the Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist ideology is further consolidated. The study recommends that the international community adopt a more proactive stance in promoting a plural state and society in Sri Lanka. In addition to countering the terrorist methods employed by the LTTE, the international community should initiate and support measures to protect fundamental civil liberties and human rights of Sri Lanka’s ethnic and religious minority communities.” http://www.eastwestcenter.org/system/tdf/private/ps040.pdf?file=1&type=node&id=32212

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      Hello Non-Sinhala man

      You have said;

      “For Sinhala nationalists, Buddhism is a political ideology. They are erecting Buddhist statues all over the conquered areas of north east to declare their triumph over their enemy.”

      It is beyond your capacity to understand and acknowledge the truth;

      Buddhism protects Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka protects Buddhism. therefore, being the founders of Sri Lanka it is the duty of Sinhala people to protect and preserve Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is an unbreakable link: Sri Lanka-Buddhism-Sinhala.

      H.E. Maithripala Sirisena spoke about and presented the undeniable truth and the obligation of Sinhala people at the UNGA, New York.

      Finally, just remember, Sinhala People have not conquered and occupied any land outside Internationally accepted and respected borders of sovereign Unitary State of Sri Lanka.

  • 4
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    Laksiri Fernando:

    You should be a NGO just like Jehan Perera.

    Sri lankan presidents use “I” but when they work it is all what is asked by the West and by India. YOu are well aware of that eventhough you don’t write it.

    with respect to buddhism, as a christian, you are itching about it.

    There is another article right now in CT and it explains why buddhism deserves the foremost place in Sri lanka.

    It is not necessary to remind you those things, because you people are vultures asking for blood.

  • 4
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    Mr Laksiri Fernando!

    “Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, where Theravada Buddhism is practiced.”

    President Srisena may have some valid reasons to say “Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, where Theravada Buddhism is practiced.”

    In ancient time Lankan and South Indian Tamils were “Mahaayaana” Biddhist.

    Tamil and other literatures and thousands of Lankan and Indian archaeological finds confirm this.

    Thus, by saying “Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, where Theravada Buddhism is practiced,” our President has emphasized to the world that Sri Lanka will be ruled under the false and imaginary Doctrine of the Sinhala nation: “Aryan” – Sin hala – Sinhalese – Theeravaada Buddhism – Lanka with one to one correspondence as done since 1948!

    • 1
      1

      Tamil and other literatures and thousands of Lankan and Indian archaeological finds confirm this.

      Tamils neverf in their entire history behaved intelligent. Even when the Present South India was mostly buddhist, tamils were Jains.

      Mahayana buddhism was introduced to Sri lanka. It stayed only during one king’s life time which was short. during that time, they destroyed Mahavihara.

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        Jim softly!

        You have stated that “Even when the Present South India was mostly buddhist, tamils were Jains.”

        You are wrong!

        Present archaeologists like Iraavatham Mahadevan and those who studied the ancient Tamil literature unscientifically only have come to a wrong conclusion that the Tamils were Jains.

        As an example let us analyze ‘KURAL’ COMPOSED BY ‘TIRUVALLUVAN’

        Different scholars after studying ‘KURAL’ (Fws;) have said that it belonged to different religions. Some have said that IT DOES NOT BELONG TO ANY RELIGION.

        But scientific study of ‘Kural’ will reveal the fact that it belongs to ‘MAHAYĀNA’ BUDDHISM.

        Apart from giving importance to the numbers 2, 3, 4, 7and 10 that are very important in Buddhism, the first four chapters of ‘Kural’ are: ‘PRAISE OF GOD,’ ‘EXCELLENCE OF RAIN,’ ‘GREATNESS OF ASCETICS’ and ‘EMPHASIS OF VIRTUE.’

        EXCEPT THE ‘EXCELLENCE OF RAIN,’ ALL THE OTHER THREE ARE ACTUALLY DECIDED BY HUMAN BEINGS.

        Out of these three, the chapter ‘GREATNESS OF ASCETICS’ agrees with the third of the Buddhist Triple-gem, the ‘PRAISE OF SANGHA.’

        The chapter ‘EMPHASIS OF VIRTUE’ agrees with the second of the Buddhist Triple-gem,the ‘PRAISE OF DHAMMA.’

        All the ten epithets: ‘Āti Pakavan’ (ஆதிபகவன்), ‘Vāl Arivan’ (வால் அறிவன்), ‘Malarmisai Ēkinān’ (மலர் மிசை ஏகினான்), ‘Vēndutal Vēndāmai Ilān’ (வேண்டுதல் வேண்டாமை இலான்), ‘Irul sēr iru vinaiyum sērā Iraivan’ (இருள் சேர் இரு வினையும் சேரா இறைவன்), ‘Pori Vāyil Aiņtu Avittān’ (பொறிவாயில் ஐந்தவித்தான்), ‘AravāĪi Aņtanan’ (அறவாழி அந்தணன்), ‘En Gunattān’ (எண் குணத்தான்) , ‘Iraivan’ (இறைவன்) of the 1st chapter agree only with Lord Buddha.

        The epithet ‘ARAVĀLI AŅTANAN’ (அறவாழி அந்தணன்) agrees with Lord Buddha and Jain’s ‘Argha,’ but not with ‘Lord Siva’ or ‘Lord Vishnu.’ This could be confirmed through the ancient Tamil Lexicons ‘SĒŅTAN TIVĀKARAM’ and ‘PIŇGALAM’ and also through the Tamil literatures.

        The epithet ‘EN GUNATTĀN’ (எண் குணத்தான்) agrees with ‘Lord Siva,’ ‘God Argha’ of Jains and Lord Buddha, but not with Lord Vishnu. This could be confirmed through the ancient Tamil Lexicons ‘SĒŅTAN TIVĀKARAM’ and ‘PIŇGALAM’ and also through the Tamil literatures.

        The epithet ‘Irul sēr iru vinaiyum sērā Iraivan’ (இருள் சேர் இரு வினையும் சேரா இறைவன்) agrees only with Lord Buddha and Lord Siva.

        Lord Buddha rejected both the ‘Self-mortification’ and ‘Self Indulgence’ and took ‘the Middle Path.’ On the other hand, the Tamil religious literatures, ‘the Tevarams’ describe ‘Lord Siva’ as ‘Irul sēr iru vinaiyum sērā Iraivan’ (இருள் சேர் இரு வினையும் சேரா இறைவன்).

        All the other epithets could be argued agreeing with all the Gods in general.

        Thus, ALL THE TEN EPITHETS AGREE WITH LORD BUDDHA ONLY!

        Therefore, the 1st Chapter, the ‘PRAISE OF GOD’ agrees with the first of the Buddhist Triple-gem, Praise of Buddha.

        Thus, the chapters ‘PRAISE OF GOD,’ ‘EMPHASIS OF VIRTUE’ and ‘GREATNESS OF ASCETICS’ agree with the praising of Buddhist TRIPLE-GEM: the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.

        Therefore, ‘KURAL’ IS A ‘MAHĀYĀNA’ BUDDHIST LITERATURE.

        Preaching is meaningless if human beings could not survive on the earth. For the human beings to survive, sun light, fresh water and reproduction are important.

        The sunlight evaporates sea water and causes the rain. Thus, praising the sun is enough.

        But, instead of praising the sun, ‘TIRUVALLUVAN’ had praised the Rain! The reason for this is that he followed Buddhism and Lord Buddha was associated with the full moon and ‘ARGHA’ of the jains was associated with the sun!

        This again emphasizes that ‘TIRUVALLUVAN’ WAS A FOLLOWER OF BUDDHISM.
        As reproduction is very important for the survival of human beings on earth, ‘Tiruvalluvan’ placed ‘DOMESTIC VIRTUE’ at the beginning of his great book.

        Therefore, the first four chapters of the Kural must be placed in the following order:

        1. ‘Praise of God;’ 2. ‘Emphasis of Virtue;’
        3. ‘Greatness of Ascetics; 4. Excellence of Rain.

        Jim Softly!

        Except a very few, all the ancient Tamil literature were composed by Tamil Mahaayaana Buddhists!!

  • 1
    1

    Well said Sira

    World may not have forgotten 1956,58,77&83
    why have you forgotten MRs deeds
    Killings in this country
    raping and killing of foreigners
    drugs and prostitution

    donot talk BS MS

  • 4
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    Dr. Laksiri Fernando ; I agree that there are too many I in the English script that was handed out.

    I that …I this I am …I will…

    Perhaps Dayan Jayatillke did the translation?

    • 1
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      Perhaps Dayan Jayatillke did the translation?

      Nonsense.

      If it was done by Dayan, he would have said that “Federal Castro had advice me to use “I”.

  • 2
    2

    Dear forum participants,
    Looks like Sri Lanka has not completed the genocide of non-Buddhist minorities. All these years from the 1940s up to 1980s, Sri Lanka told all Countries not to interfere in their internal affairs as they are the majority and it is up to them to take care of their own affairs. After they finally got caught committing war crimes, the international community wants to help them get back to law abiding citizens. How come they co-signed the UNHRC agreement and shamelessly again abrogating the agreement. All these while the crimes committed are pending to be heard and yet their impunity has reached a climax. Because they repeatedly committed crimes and have come to a stage they cannot understand what a crime is. As the saying goes ” Power is blind”, It is only when they fall without a chance to get up they are going to understand they committed crime.
    Harping on a religion and calling themselves religious has no meaning to what they do to the minorities. All religions try to make the followers good and not bad. What do Sri Lankans read in Buddhism?

    • 1
      1

      richard:

      go back To Tamilnadu.

      You get full 100% religious freedom.

      You won’t be considered a Dalit becuase you are Christian.

  • 2
    3

    Dear Prof. Laksiri Fernando,

    I do not see a major difference between “Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country” and “Sri Lanka as a Buddhist country…” – When religion continues to be a divisive force in Sri Lanka even causing violence and bloodshed, statements of this kind would only strengthen the Buddhist extremists in the country. The speech also makes one doubt President Srisena’s commitment to reconciliation and his interest in finding a political solution that would make all the people in the island see the country as their home. We should keep pressurizing the government to secularize the state.

  • 1
    1

    Laksiri,

    You read too much into this speech of our president and the English translation thereof.

    What ever the contents of any speech given by any politician of Sri Lanka’s status quo will always remain the same. A country of fools governed by witless goons. Our leaders are good at repeating what Buddha said and quoting what great politicians uttered. But at the end of the day we are the same. Our leaders will plunder the nation and engage in wanton killing at the slightest provocation. Besides we will never understand that a Sinhala Buddhist nation can never be a secular democracy. So why are you pulling your last few hairs out trying to make sense of a speech delivered by a gamarala pretending to be great leader.

  • 1
    2

    The problems created by religions dominate the world. Division within Christianity or sectarianism started the problem in Northern Island, which lasted for more than 40 years and still is simmering when the Protestants marched their victory over Catholics through the areas inhabited by the latter.

    The Israelis and Arabs or Palestinians have been fighting and preoccupy the whole world.

    In Ceylon, too, the riots against Muslims was started mainly because of the religions.

    President said at UN General Assembly “Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, where Theravada Buddhism is practiced. The teachings of the Buddha help us find solutions to many of the burning issues of the contemporary world”.

    Sri Lanka had been a Buddhist country for more than 2000 years and not just under the watch of this president MS, why is then that there have been problems, riots, pogroms and wars and killing of innocents? Sri Lankan governments have in the past used Buddhism to create differences between communities against the teachings of Lord Buddha. The tolerance is the willingness to allow others to be different but what had been practised in Sri Lanka is un-Buddhism.

  • 0
    3

    Burning issue says: “The country Ceylon was put together as one by the Brits…….”
    Oh! I thought Sri Lanka had been there for some time just like any other country in the region. According to him, it has not existed as a country! (Same old crap propagated by misguided Pirbhakaran)!
    You guys have been trying with Pirabhakaran and his misguided masters to change the history of this beautiful country but have miserably failed. Pirabhakaran started killing his own people when he failed to convince them of his crappy ideology! Even Mr. Sampanthan or Mr. Sumanthiran would have not been spared if Pirabhakaran had been alive today! That’s the truth! Finally he himself had a miserable death! Do you want to go back to that bloody stage again???
    Take an example: If you don’t have a father or mother you don’t conclude that others too in the world should not have parents! Please understand your situation (I’m sorry to say this here: I don’t mean that you are an orphan! but don’t try to make everyone in the world ‘orphans’ just because you feel like an orphan)!
    Sri Lankans have a country with a written history and that was called by the British ‘Ceylon’. They meant by it that this land had been built, protected, and preserved as a country by the Sinhalese. Minority groups lived in certain parts of the country but history written by Westerners saw them as minorities but nothing exceptional! The Westerners also noticed that this country had survived without succumbing to Western pressure not because of anyone else but the Sinhalese Buddhists! They looked at ancient cities such as Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Kandy, and massive structures such as Ruvanveliseya, Lovamahapaya, Kalaweva and Sigiriya and realized that those cities and structures had not sprung up from nowhere. The British realized that these amazing creations were the products of the Sinhalese Buddhists. Therefore, please remember, as a civilized human being, you have no right to deny it! And please accept it as a fact!
    Sinhalese Buddhists existed, existing and will exist for a long period to come! Nobody should try to undermine this fact! The South Indians, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British with the help of certain local people tried to subdue and undermine this fact but failed. Read the history between 1505-1948 written by the Westerners and you will learn what you have not learnt so far! Finally they accepted the fact that they should work with the majority like in any other country because Sinhalese Buddhists are a peaceful people; however, they have their limits like any other nation. They love peace if other parties who criticize them are genuinely peace-loving too! If others come like Pirabhakaran with fake peace-processes that, I can guarantee you, would not work! Even Father Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has highlighted this fact several times.
    I agree fully with Dissanayake when he said: “Finally Dr Fernando et al have to understand that the reconciliation cannot be achieved by insulting Sinhala Buddhists and refusing their rights.”
    Burning issue blames: “You do not want equality but ethnic superiority! You do not want diversity but total dominance! Get real mister”.
    I would really appreciate if you (Burning issue), please don’t bring this crap again and again to this discussion!

  • 1
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    I would like to ask the forum one question regarding :

    Foremost place defined in the constitution.

    WHEN has this statement used to pass any legislation or used to block a legislation ?

    What benefit has it given to the Sinhala, Buddhists or Buddhists in general in Sri Lanka ?

    As a Sinhala of Buddhist worldview I question WHAT IS THE PURPOSE of this FOREMOST place other than to ATTRACT UNNECESSARY BLAME FOR EVERYTHING BECAUSE YOU ARE A BUDDHIST…..

    THere is NO restriction of a NON-Buddhist becoming the PRESIDENT.
    THERE IS NO Legal relationship based on Buddhism , BETWEEN the legislature , the executive and the Judiciary.

    So NO ONE OTHER THAN SINHALA people of BUDDHIST WORLDVIEW that give FOREMOST place to BUDDHISM in their daily lives. (This is NOW mostly challenged by MARKET ECONOMY—GREEDED BASED and their world view)

    SRI LANKA there are Sri Lankans .

    THESE Sri Lankans can be :

    Sinhala
    Tamil
    Muslim
    Eurasian
    Veddah people

    So we can NOT make ALL the people above give FOREMOST place to Buddhism.
    IT IS ONLY the Sinhala-Buddhist that can give foremost place to Buddhism and Buddhist values in Sri Lanka or part of Sri Lanka. IT is up to Sinhala-Buddhists to safe guard Buddhist Education System and way of life in Sri Lanka and in the globe (in general)….

    AS SUCH I DO NOT SEE ANY POINT IN HAVING THIS USELESS STATEMENT IN THE CONSTITUTION OR ANY OTHER PLACE.

    YES! IT might make you feel good so what ; Because the troubles it attracts is NOT worth it from my point of view……

    WE ARE a Buddhist majority country AS such we ARE a SECULAR country by definition.

    ONCE AGAIN IT IS UP TO THE SINHALA, BUDDHIST to take cares of BUDDHISTS , BUDDHIST INSTITUTIONS OF EDUCATION and the ENVIRONMENT where this exists.

    • 1
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      “WHEN has this statement used to pass any legislation or used to block a legislation ?”

      Then why is it there?

      When the Buddha statue controversy erupted in Trinco in 2006, the state armed forces were protecting the Buddha statue even after the local court had deemed it illegal! The then Chief Justice Silva leaned on the then Attorney General to drop the case without testing the constitutional implication of equality in religious freedom in the country. Silva knew that it would have created constitutional crises!

      All the Buddha statues erected all over N&E after the war has basis on the clause in the constitution. You need to come one of the box to see the real effect of this despicable clause!

  • 1
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    This is what the IC think of the President’s speech at the UN

    http://thediplomat.com/2016/09/sri-lankas-president-misses-an-opportunity-at-the-un/

  • 3
    0

    Hello Laksiri;

    You have said…
    “To put it bluntly, the narrative of the speech appears quite self-centred, or rather authoritarian, using the first person singular expression of ‘I’ 21 times in a text of around 950 words, as published by the President’s media unit (now available in the UN website). A statement such as the following on ‘poverty alleviation’ is quite odd from a democratic country and a democratic president.

    “I am determined to alleviate poverty in my country. I declared 2017 as the Year of ‘Alleviation of Poverty’ in Sri Lanka. I have given lead to creating the basic platform for the people to free themselves [from] poverty in a county that prioritizes economic progress”

    Let me put it bluntly to you. You are hurt and disturbed by the great speech given by H.E.Maithripala Sirisena , because there was not even an iota of reference to your “paymaster” Ranil Wickramasinghe directly or indirectly. In my opinion there shouldn’t be any reference to Ranil and his gang as there has not been any tangible achievements or progress since January 8th 2015. All what this Machiavellian political leader has worked on are “self centered”.
    1)How to take away the authority and powers vested on the president
    2)How to scuttle the efforts of true democratic forces to bring election reforms ( Specifically First past the post system)
    3)How to promote his school buddies and Colombo elites
    4)How to dilute and erase the power of majority Sinhala-Buddhist
    5)How to imprison Buddhist monks
    6)How to eliminate the influence educated Sinhala Professionals
    7)How to deploy ill-gotten wealth of Tamil Diaspora
    8)How to expand his political base through deceits.
    9)How to introduce Federalism to divide Sri Lanka
    The list goes on…

    You are one of the agents placed outside of Sri Lanka (that is my guess, as I have watched you were cheering from Australia for the efforts of Ranil last year).

    In reality and in Sri Lanka, there is only one powerful self centered, ego centric political leader sharing the seat of power. That person is NOT Maithripala Sirisena.

    I wonder how you came to possess the English version of the President’s speech so quickly on the same day. Nobody had guts in this forum to question you (Laksiri) on that. You are not an advisor to the President. Then obviously someone has sent you the English (or original) copy. Am I to speculate who that person is; the readers must be able judge who was responsible for leaking the original version as quickly as possible to you to rally the dubious Anti Sinhala-Buddhist forces around the world.

    It is very sad. It is not the foreigners or external observers who have come to criticize and paint a very negative gloomy picture about our President’s speech at the UNGA, It is done by our fellow Sri Lankans like Laksiri Fernando.

    • 1
      0

      It is very sad. It is not the foreigners or external observers who have come to criticize and paint a very negative gloomy picture about our President’s speech at the UNGA, It is done by our fellow Sri Lankans like Laksiri Fernando.
      [Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    The most interesting comment is: (Quoted)
    “Let me put it bluntly to you. You are hurt and disturbed by the great speech given by H.E.Maithripala Sirisena , because there was not even an iota of reference to your “paymaster” Ranil Wickramasinghe directly or indirectly. In my opinion there shouldn’t be any reference to Ranil and his gang as there has not been any tangible achievements or progress since January 8th 2015. All what this Machiavellian political leader has worked on are “self centered”. 1)How to take away the authority and powers vested on the president 2)How to scuttle the efforts of true democratic forces to bring election reforms ( Specifically First past the post system) 3)How to promote his school buddies and Colombo elites 4)How to dilute and erase the power of majority Sinhala-Buddhist 5)How to imprison Buddhist monks 6)How to eliminate the influence educated Sinhala Professionals 7)How to deploy ill-gotten wealth of Tamil Diaspora 8)How to expand his political base through deceits. 9)How to introduce Federalism to divide Sri Lanka The list goes on… You are one of the agents placed outside of Sri Lanka (that is my guess, as I have watched you were cheering from Australia for the efforts of Ranil last year).” (end of Quote). [Edited out]

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