20 October, 2017

Rein In The Clowns

By Sharmini Serasinghe

Sharmini Serasinghe

Sharmini Serasinghe

What exactly does “giving the foremost place to Buddhism in the constitution” mean?

This question is related to a huge fuss being made by the saffron robed, and others, about the inclusion of Article 9 of the current Constitution, in the new Constitution of Sri Lanka, without any amendments.

As a Buddhist I ask, why does Buddhism need to be mentioned in the Constitution at all? What benefits has Buddhism, its followers and Sri Lankans as a whole derived, from it being given the “foremost place” in the current Constitution? Has the Dhamma become better than what the Buddha preached, since its initial mention in our Constitution?

What is starkly obvious by this hoo-hah, but not being articulated aloud is that, Buddhism be given pride of place, while other religions and faiths are relegated to, underdog status. If not, what else does it mean?

Is this the way to reconciliation and peaceful coexistence in this country?

Next, I ask, as Article 9 of the current Constitution also includes, “……..it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana……” why, it must it be the duty of the State, to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana? Isn’t this the business of the Maha Sangha and its flock?

As all knowing Buddhists know, the Dhamma is indestructible and needs no protection from anything or anyone, least of all, a mere mention on paper; the Constitution, ensuring its supreme status. For, the Dhamma will always occupy the ‘foremost place’ in the minds of genuine Buddhists, irrespective of its mention in the Constitution or not.

However, despite Buddhism being accorded the “foremost place” in the current Constitution, its image in the eyes of the other stands greatly challenged today, as it has been sullied, not by others, but by those from within the Buddhist establishment; the likes of the abominable Gnanasara, his equally despicable Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), and all what they stand for.

Compounding this menace, we now have yet another saffron robed, Yakkalamulle Pawara and his Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa, claiming to “safeguard the identity of the Sinhala people, and to regenerate the supremacy and pride of the Sinhala people”.

Might I ask, safeguard our identity, from whom and what?

Might I also ask, what in heaven’s name is so “supreme” about the Sinhalese people? What have we, the Sinhalese achieved, others have not, to entertain such “pride”? I challenge all those out there, who keep chanting, “I’m proud to call myself a Sinhala-Buddhist”, to give me a valid answer to my questions, as so far, I have not.

Given the seeming inability on the part of the Maha Sangha, who remain as mere figureheads, to rein in these rampaging ‘monks’, whose only claim to monkhood, is the saffron robe they sport, it is incumbent upon the State to do so.

This ought to be, not only to safeguard the image of Buddhism, in this so called ‘cradle of Theravada Buddhism’, but more importantly, for the sake of reconciliation and peace in our land much ravaged, not by natural phenomena, but by the mentally challenged, amongst its human inhabitants.

The way in which this land is ‘marketed’ as a Buddhist country, first-time visitors may be pardoned, if they expect to see our Buddhist monks with halos above their heads. But instead of the men of peace, visibly refined, given to mindfulness and wisdom, which Buddhist monks are expected to be, we have the likes of Gnanasara, Yakkalamulle and their cohorts, hitting world headlines, for the humiliation and disgrace they have caused, and are still causing, to the image of Buddhism and Buddhists, of Lanka.

As mentioned before, the only claim these men (I refuse to call such, Buddhist monks) have to monkhood, is the saffron robe they wear. Once disrobed, they are nothing but rabble-rousing hooligans. Thus, they ought to be disrobed and punished, for desecrating the image of Buddhism in this country, and the saffron robe they wear.

It is incumbent upon the State, to repair the damage done to the image of Buddhism in this country, by none other than Buddhist monk themselves, by banning them across the board, from engaging in politics, and other business of the laity. If they must, then they ought to be ordered to disrobe. These charlatans, masquerading as Buddhist monks, have used and abused the sacred saffron robe associated with the Buddha and his disciples, for too long.

Politics is the business of the laity, and concerns only the laity, not Buddhist monks. Hence, they should also be instructed to keep their opinions relating to matters of the laity, to themselves, unless asked for.

The Buddhist laity of this country is, much to be blamed for the moral depths, Buddhist monks have stooped to, today. They have failed to respect the monastic conventions of a monk’s life, thus failing to support them to advance in their chosen path. For selfish gain, the laity has, over the years, tempted monks away from their path, and drawn them into their pathetically materialistic lay lives.

Tragically, Buddhist monks of today, in this so called ‘cradle of Theravada Buddhism’ have become symbols, of the good, the bad and the ugly; the latter being in the visible majority.

Most of those who join the Buddhist Order of monks today do so, not because of their understanding of the Dhamma, and commitment to propagating its message of peace, but to take advantage of the benefits accorded to monks, through our education system. There are also those ‘donated’ to temples by their parents for personal and foolish reasons, as well as freeloaders who enjoy the best of both worlds.

Except for the few and far between, they appear to have no idea of, or regard for what the Vinaya stands for. By the looks of it, those like Gnanasara, Yakkalamulle and their cohorts, don’t seem to have ever heard of it.

It’s not too late, for the sincere and good amongst the Buddhist clergy, to cleanse their order, by showing the door to the charlatans. The support of the laity is imperative in this regard, as a monk would find it impossible to live the life of a monk, without their cooperation; respect for monastic conventions. For this, the laity must be aware of what the Vinaya stands for, and establish a relationship with monks accordingly.

Hopefully, this would give rise to a renewed relationship of mutual respectability and sincerity, between the Buddhist clergy and the laity, and repair the damage done to the image of Buddhism, in this so called ‘Miracle of Asia’.

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Latest comments

  • 31
    3

    The article needs serious consideration. Back in time, when I was a kid monks come to each house for pin. Although I am a Hindu, my parents taught me to respect the monks. After presenting alms, I was taught to prostrate at the the feet of the monk and obtain his blessings. That was how the monks were venerated even by non-Budhist.

    Of course, Sri Lanka was Ceylon then and all lived happily ever after !

    • 5
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      xxxxxx
      Today, Germany is the grand nation in Europe – leading in every areas. There constitution on Religion is as given below: But the country is predominantly dominatey by cathelic and protestant christians —————— The German Constitution (which is called “Grundgesetz”, literally translated to “Basic Law”) has the following to say about religious freedom: Article 4 (Freedom of faith, of conscience and of creed) (1) Freedom of faith and of conscience, and freedom of creed religious or ideological, are inviolable. (2) The undisturbed practice of religion is guaranteed. (3) No one may be compelled against his conscience to render war service as an armed combatant. Details will be regulated by a Federal law. Article 140 of the Basic Law states that articles 136-137 of the Weimar constitution are part of the Basic Law. These articles are: Article 136. (Weimar Constitution) Civil and political rights and duties are neither dependent upon nor restricted by the practice of religious freedom. The enjoyment of civil and political rights, as well as admission to official posts, is independent of religious creed. No one is bound to disclose his religious convictions. The authorities have the right to make enquiries as to membership of a religious body only when rights and duties depend upon it, or when the collection of statistics ordered by law requires it. No one may be compelled to take part in any ecclesiastical act or ceremony, or the use of any religious form of oath. Article 137. (Weimar Constitution) There is no state church. Freedom of association is guaranteed to religious bodies. There are no restrictions as to the union of religious bodies within the territory of the Federation. Each religious body regulates and administers its affairs independently within the limits of general laws. It appoints its officials without the cooperation of the Land, or of the civil community. Religious bodies acquire legal rights in accordance with the general regulations of the civil code. Religious bodies remain corporations with public rights in so far as they have been so up to the present. Equal rights shall be granted to other religious bodies upon application, if their constitution and the number of their members offer a guarantee of permanency. When several such religious bodies holding public rights combine to form one union this union becomes a corporation of a similar class. Religious bodies forming corporations with public rights are entitled to levy taxes on the basis of the civil tax rolls, in accordance with the provisions of Land law. Associations adopting as their work the common encouragement of a world-philosophy shall be placed upon an equal footing with religious bodies. So far as the execution of these provisions may require further regulation, this is the duty of the Land legislature.
      Banjiappu
      January 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm
      Reply

      • 3
        0

        But you forgot our former masters –UK
        Declaring a state religion have more to do with symbolism than actual value. Most of the time it acknowledged role of one religion play in building that particular country/culture

        So this is a non issue. Declaring a state religion does not undermine other religions e.g UK. Not having state religion doesn’t says all religions are treated equally. e.g. USA

    • 2
      1

      I think the conventional methods being used by politicians in the country is unique to lanken. Knowing the fact that rebel monk was the killer of Mr. SWRD in late 60ties, all the successors are scared still and are very sensitive with the issue – that the politics in the country would not be possible, if they the leaders would not please so called Prelates.

      But what have the prelates done accordingly in each episodes passed – not forgetting the recent violent indcident repeated in the second term of MR.

      I think instead German and other europeans go thorugh their consitutions, lanken leaders what they did was only pleased prelates for no reasons.
      Had the polticians had the power to do other way around, they could have done it. Even if the buddhist repeat we are not that radical, looking back I feel, even lanken buddhists are not second to any other forms of religious extremists.

    • 1
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      Yes, the kind of values have been eroded from lanken cutlure of the day.

      Regardless of the ethnic group, people in general behave respectless today than had never been before.

      70ties and 80ties I have got lovely memories about the montherland. Respect and dignity of life was above everything.
      Police was not that bad as is the case for today, but they were resepcted

      Monnks and teachers were well respected

      Elders were respected.

      Non Buddhist relegious leaders were highly respected.

      People attack MsB, but to that time, I have lovely memories .. the country was in a good shape, even rice bars were the case in the second term of her.. however, germans say, they have worked as no other to achieve their levels today.: so our people have to learn it from westerners that the prodcutivity is the factor that bring us all forward.
      Just adding our two cts worth abusing the faclities we are blessed today, being addressed every fart being made by ruling politicians…. please guys, get a life.. and use the web space only for VALUBLE constructive thoughts.

    • 6
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      You are Spot on Krish;

      The men in Robes, no longer go on Pindapatha on foot. People have to take Dane to Temples.

      The Younger Generation in Sri Lanka, have no idea that Monks went their Alms Round on Foot, early in the morning before the sun got too hot.

    • 2
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      True. This is a very serious issue. Our society is corrupted. They use the Buddha costume just for their agendas/politics. We are lacking of good leadership in politics well as religious. We are lacking of good media to educate the mass instead running propaganda campaigns. From pope to Dalada Maligawa religion is a business. From Mekka to Ganga river religion is man written out dated myth. SL should look beyond religions and myths.

  • 30
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    This is a bold article and I salute the courage and conviction of this lady !

    Any takers on the thoughts of this lady.

    • 5
      6

      1.Do.

      2.
      a.”I ask, as Article 9 of the current Constitution also includes, “……..it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana……” why, it must it be the duty of the State, to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana? Isn’t this the business of the Maha Sangha and its flock?”

      I wish to appeal to her and all the readers to ask the parliamentarians to remove ALL religions from ”state protection” by getting rid of Ministries for the various religions. Then religions can guide the State when it takes unethical/immoral steps.

      b.”the Dhamma will always occupy the ‘foremost place’ in the minds of genuine Buddhists”
      Many non-Buddhists also have reverence for it. Some non-Buddhists have GREAT reverance for it: some westerners have used Buddhist Perception of Nature in solving ecological problems at the UNESCO level. Readers may google and get a lot of info. I just want to stay with one point:
      [Edited out]

      • 0
        1

        [Edited out]

        • 2
          1

          ”to rein in these rampaging monks”:

          In some countries monks are engaged in nature conservation. Our country is in urgentneed in nature conservation. The Maha Sangha can direct these errant monks into an activity that benefits the society, thus showing the real greatness of Buddhism..

  • 28
    5

    Well said. Religions exist for development of moral values. It is personal. Whether it is in the constitution or not does not matter. What matters is whether the law in properly enforced and not whether the religion is enforced. If anybody thought they could get sympathy from gods by bribing the priests/monks, they are all mistaken. All clergy are just human beings who has voluntarily dedicated themselves to uphold values of faith. Nothing more. They are not comparable to gods. Bringing about laws to prevent clergy from committing crimes is praise worthy, if not the religion will suffer otherwise and the moral values would decline which is the case now.
    Government should not display their bankruptcy by pleasing sections to draft a constitution. A constitution should stand tall with rights and responsibilities of all living and protection of the the environment enshrined. All citizens have to be treated equally and respected and develop the natural resources and environment under an organized process. They should be free to choose their faith if they wish so.No one can bribe gods for good governance or get wealth.

  • 29
    6

    Ms. Sharmini Serasinghe
    Happy to hear the voice of sanity from a member of majority community. Forget about freaks of the lunatic fringe such as activists of BBS, ESMP (distressing to notice that even some university academics are involved in these groups!). Of the five Great Tamil Epics which we treasure as our cultural legacy, MANIMEKALAI (6th Century CE) celebrates Buddhism.On 25th July 1983 my house at Cotta Road, Borella was attacked by a violent mob led by a monk in saffron robes.Overnight I was reduced to destitution and forced to flee to India as a refugee.By Providence,I was not at home at the time of invasion. Maybe, Lord Buddha saved my life so that I could lick my emotional wounds, and tell you my story at this old age.Whenever I see a monk in saffron robes, genuine or rogue, I make it a point to hurriedly cross the road and keep my distance, more out of fear than reverence. For, it conjures up the images of Ven. Buddharakita Thero, Somarama Thero, the monk who attacked my house etc. Many Cabinet Ministers have already spoken out in defence of Article 9 of the Constitution. I am afraid Madam, your sober message may be a lone voice in the wilderness. Good Luck!

    • 18
      4

      I do not think any Sinhalese can answer Sharmini’s question what is so “supreme” about the Sinhalese people? For those who keep chanting, “I’m proud to call myself a Sinhala-Buddhist”, or about Sinha-Le and the lion blood flowing in their veins, what is there to be proud of?

      What have the so called “supreme” Sinhalese people achieved?

      In 1948, the British handed over the entire country to the Sinhalese with the second highest GNP per capita in Asia and where are we today?
      Today, the economy (earnings) of our country depends mainly on this slave trade, exporting the Sri Lankan women (mostly Sinhalese) as House Maids, Janitors/Cleaners and Nannies to the Arab world, selling them for just a few hundred US dollars a month, to be exploited, abused, raped and humiliated.
      Instead of being proud, the Sinhala-Buddhist should feel greatly embarrassed and deeply humiliated.

      What is there to be proud of claiming to be a sub-human (semi- beast), a product of bestiality? With ‘Sinha-Le’ or lion blood only Veterinary doctors can examine them.
      There is nothing to be brave of being a Lion. The male lion is a lazy animal, it is the lioness who goes hunting, risking its life to bring home the food. No wonder the Sinhala men do the same, send their women to the Mid-East to earn the daily bread.

      • 15
        1

        Well said!

        Sinhalese, if anything, should be ashamed of living off the foreign exchange proceeds of slave labour in Middle East, garment industry and plantations.

        Sinha-Le; What crap!!!!

  • 4
    29

    Sharmini

    Please do not try to tarnish the name of Yakkalamulle Pawara thero by putting him in the same lot as Galagodaaththe Gnanasara. I know Yakkalamulle Pawara thero to be a disciplined monk despite his racist inclinations.

    • 31
      1

      If he is a “disciplined monk”, how can he have “racist inclination”?

    • 19
      2

      “I know Yakkalamulle Pawara thero” by ag
      My dear friend,
      Do you know who you are to begin with? You have started your sentence with an ‘I’. That is called ‘Sakkaya Ditti’ which is unskilful vision. Only a ‘Samma Sambuddha’ is able to penetrate anothers mind. Again, by agreeing that ‘Pawara’s’ racist inclinations, you have demonstrated your ignorance. Please walk the ‘middle path’ without being bias. Metta!

      My blessings to Sharmini!

    • 3
      0

      Yes, this may right. BBS leader should NO means be cited when talking about Sanga community in the country.

      I would rather compare him with a rabid dog or the higher criminals and their genetics in Guanthaname prison.

      At least minority right thinking ones will rally roudn with your stance. Correct.

    • 1
      3

      beg to differ. do racists have discipline? the two words do not rhyme.

      • 4
        0

        Yes. The best example is Hitler that I could think of. And most cultured white people in the West. You have to live with them to find out how racist they are: even butter won’t melt in their mouths! Don’t be deceived by the extremely polite way they conduct business with non-white people.

  • 22
    5

    You are absolutely right Madam. Buddhism needs NO protection from anybody. It has flourished for over 2500 years and it will continue to do so till the end of the world.

    But, it seems, it needs to be saved from the likes of Gnanasara and Yakkalamulle Pawara in Sri Lanka and Wirathu in Burma. They all need to be disrobed. If Article 9 does not provide for it, an Amended article 9 with Provision for disrobing monks on the rampage is a MUST for Buddhism and a peaceful and harmonious Sri Lanka.

  • 5
    15

    .it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana……” why, it must it be the duty of the State, to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana? Isn’t this the business of the Maha Sangha and its flock?
    You stupid. How can it be the business of the maha sangha? Maha sangha aint decision makers or law makers. Maha sangha aint running the state. It is the governments duty to foster and protect the buddha sasana. If it is the business of maha sangha there wont be any problems pertaining to buddhists regarding their rights. There wont be any BBS if the state does its proper dity to safeguard buddha sasana amd foster it. Infact its the other way around now. The govt. is fostering other religions. The real debate should be what if the state doesnot abide by the constitution? What should you do then? Who should you punish? Who is responsible?

  • 21
    4

    dear Sharmini, Congratulations! A rare and daring exposition of the leading Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka. There are wealthy monks with their partners and children holding positions in the political life of the country. Your “revolutionary” views should help to open the way for a secular society in Sri Lanka. Bensen

    • 6
      10

      Bringing in the clowns? The picture in the article shows that the clown is already here!

      Why do we need more?

      • 9
        7

        You should be an another meeharakek (a number one donkey) – not even fits to lanken paddy fields. Get a life and let this discussion go fowards for the sake of all lankens please.

  • 5
    13

    This article is full of logical fallacies and intentionally introduced discrepancies designed to mislead the gullible reader. And when one read the comments, one finds out how successful she has been.

    Sharmini starts by asking “why, it must it be the duty of the State, to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana? Isn’t this the business of the Maha Sangha and its flock?”

    Let us analyze this short sentence. She says that it is not a proper function of the state to protect Buddhism. It is the duty of the Sangha. Then in the next breath she describes the flock as, ‘monks’, whose only claim to monkhood, is the saffron robe they sport.

    So what Sharmini wants us do is to take away the responsibility of protecting the Dhamma from the government and hand over the job to Dussela monks, who she perhaps hopes would complete the destruction.

    That is not all. After saying that protection of Buddhism is the business of the Maha Sangha and its flock”, without so much as loosing a single beat, she goes on to conclude that “Dhamma is indestructible and needs no protection from anything or anyone.”

    To summarize, what she says is:

    1-The Government should not take on the job of protecting Dhamma.
    2-Hand it over to Sangha.
    3-Many members of the Sangha are Dusslea monks.
    4-Dhamma does not need any protection.

    Had she put the No. 4 as the first, she could have avoided the trouble of going on to the other 3 and finished her article in one or two paragraphs.

    In other words, here we have an impregnable religion or doctrine which does not need any defending from any humans. Defense is inherent in its structure. Like an unmanned version of the Aegis Class Destroyer of the US Navy, with its Phase Array Radar, side looking radar, chaff dispensers to shield it from enemy aircraft, Radar guided missiles, GPS guided Tomahawks, heat seeking anti air craft missiles, anti ship missiles and a paraphernalia of other advanced weaponry, which are deployed automatically as and when required, by a computerized defense management system, who needs any humans to defend it?

    The strategy is clear. Take the job away from a democratic institution answerable to the people and hand it over to the Sangha who are not even answerable to themselves, leave alone to the people. It would be like giving the rabbit intestines to the fox for washing and then blaming the intestines if the fox decides to eat it.

    The insistence that Dhamma needs no protection is a clause for getting insurance cover. If as they hope, Buddhism suffers a setback if her advice is taken, then it is Buddhism that should be blamed together with Dusseela monks. If Buddhism was such a great thing then it would not have been destroyed like that, they would say, leaving Sharmini and her operators blameless.

    There is nothing that does not need defensive protection and the state, answerable to the people, is the best way to provide it for Buddhism, not Sangha nor Sharmini or her operators.

  • 17
    2

    Sharmini Serasinghe

    Thank You for this excellent article.

    I can only wish that a translation is sent asap to the Maha Nayakes of the three main chapters, and all entrusted with the ongoing framing of our new constitution.

    Now, if only the science of cloning was ready, I would personally fund the cloning of a thousand more of you to take on the task of educating our poor misled masses.

    • 4
      5

      Spring Koha

      “Now, if only the science of cloning was ready, I would personally fund the cloning of a thousand more of you to take on the task of educating our poor misled masses.”

      Old chap

      I smell something.

      What is your hidden agenda?

      • 9
        0

        Ha Ha Ha…Native Vedda

        Rest assured, my intentions are entirely honourable.

        And, NO hidden agenda; I am only an observer on the edge of the action, NOT a politician.

        The noble lady has written sincerely, straight from the heart.

        More of those who think like her, and speak out loud and clear, and we will have a different, and better country, I believe.

  • 10
    6

    What has been practiced in Sri Lanka over the past 2500 years is not Buddhism, but Mahavamsaism.

  • 9
    4

    Really enjoyed and appreciated this perspective.
    The first and most important amendment to the US constitution says the following:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

    While in practice, specially during the Cold war, conservatives added “under god” to the pledge of allegiance and “in god we trust” on currency notes at least on paper it strives to separate religion from government.

    Only in nations like Norway or Malaysia or Mid East do you find official religions in addition to the UK where the Queen is the Official head of the Anglican Church/Church of England and that is the doctrine of the nation. But in that amazing nation there is no real constitution on paper and no one’s religious rights are infringed.

    A nation like Malaysia is a bit bothersome because with only approx 61% of the people being Muslim, it still makes Islam the official religion. So this is sort of a backlash to what happened before 1948 when religious minorities were favored by the Colonial masters. However, I feel the 1972 constitution did everyone a lot of wrong by including religion into it.

    Really enjoyed this refreshing albeit thought provoking opinion column of yours. Thanks

  • 8
    5

    Sharmini Serasinghe,
    Thank you for your patriotism.Mother Lanka will be proud of you for ever.

    Here in the heaven just attended a round table conference and had the chance to listen to the following who appreciated your forthright stand on religious robe wearers and politics :
    1.Sir John Kotalawela
    2. Ven Shobita Thero
    3. Lee Kuan Yew & Rajaratnam
    4. Karl Marx

    • 2
      7

      You missed Velupillai Prabhakaran.

      • 6
        0

        and….

        Ho Mi Chin (It was patriotism, not communism, that inspired me)

        S W R D (24hours, just give me 24hours)

        Cyril Mathew (Who is a Tiger?)

  • 6
    17

    The reason why Buddhism needs protection is because there are several other religions which are very aggressively converting anyone they can to their religions. These religions are well funded by very rich countries. In case of Buddhism they have no one. Buddhists also do not go round trying to convert anyone mainly because Buddhism is not a religion. It is a Philosophy and is like a gentle flower which has to be protected. Otherwise like in Indonesia, Afghanistan and South Korea Buddhism will be displaced by the more aggressive religions to the detriment of the local culture. The Muslims and the Christians are able to practice their culture and live in peace because of Buddhisms core values of compassion and tolerance. When the Portuguese were threatening the Muslims it was a Sinhala Buddhist King who gave them land in the East and settled them. It was the same with the Catholics who were threatened who were given land in Matale by the King.

    You have said “Might I also ask, what in heaven’s name is so “supreme” about the Sinhalese people? What have we, the Sinhalese achieved, others have not, to entertain such “pride”? I challenge all those out there, who keep chanting, “I’m proud to call myself a Sinhala-Buddhist”, to give me a valid answer to my questions, as so far, I have not.”

    As to why Sri Lanka did not develop after independence the main reason is in our country we have several groups of people who have no loyalty to the country. The Tamil people have a loyalty to Tamil Nadu, the Muslims have loyalty to Saudi Arabia. They keep pulling in different directions while the Sinhalese are trying their best to develop the country. We suffered a war for 30 years why? Because the Tamils decided that they cannot live with the Sinhalese and wanted a separate state even though they have a state 12 miles away. This effort was helped by India, the West, the Catholic Church and Europe. Finally it was 27,000 Sinhala soldiers who gave their lives to liberate the country. There were no Tamils in the army and only a few Muslims. Every time it is the Sinhalese who give their lives to save the country. That is why I am proud to be a Sinhala Buddhist.

    • 15
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      Harvey Perera:
      You demonstrate a SUPERB example of “a little knowledge being a (very)dangerous thing.”
      What bunch of unadulterated racist piffle!

      • 3
        12

        Mr.Poorten,you are welcome to elaborate on your judgement of “little knowledge” and “unadultrated racist piffle”.
        By the way Mr.Poorten where are you from Copenhagen or Amsterdam!
        Shouldn’t you be grateful for the people who let you live in their land (which was taken at gunpoint by your ancestors) in comfort and style while throwing abuse and insult at them?or do you prefer the Mugabe treatment?

        • 9
          2

          NAK

          “Shouldn’t you be grateful for the people who let you live in their land (which was taken at gunpoint by your ancestors) in comfort and style while throwing abuse and insult at them?”

          Shouldn’t you too be grateful to my people who let your people (kallathonies) live in our ancestral land (which was taken by your kallathonie ancestors, whose thuggery continues to this day)?

          “or do you prefer the Mugabe treatment? “

          In fact only my people have every right to pose this question. Will you wise up and stop telling others who they are and what to write.

          Please remember people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

          When others start throwing stones back at kallathonies, you may be forced to sail back to whence your ancestors came, probably North South India.

    • 14
      2

      Every sentence that Ms. Sharmini Serasinghe has written here is the truth and nothing but the truth. Readers should also re-visit her previous articles which are very thought provoking.

      It is tragic to see that the Buddhist religion in Sri Lanka is dragged down to such a low level by non-other than the members of the Buddhist clergy. These Buddhist monks (hora ganayas or cheevaradharis) are exploiting the respect that the Buddhist society has for the saffron robed Sangha (one of the triple gems/jewels mentioned by Buddha) and not only misleading some of the gullible Buddhists but also betraying Buddhism and insulting the Buddha.

      Even during the 1950s, we have seen Buddhist terrorists among the Buddhist clergy such as Buddhrakitha Thero and Somarama thero assassinating Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranayake. Today we have the extreme version of them in the Buddhist clergy known as Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and Sinhala Ravaya, both behaving violently and exhibiting barbarism, and now there is another new addition, Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa. President Maithree and Prime Minister Ranil should take extra care and precaution against these Buddhist Terrorists who will not hesitate even for a moment when it comes to assassinating our leaders.

      What is the point in having a Buddhasasana Ministry if it is only a silent observer to all the anti-Buddhist acts committed by the Buddhist monks? The new government under President Maithree should think of forming a Buddhist Disciplinary Commission/Committee under the Ministry of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs to maintain the Buddhist Vinaya (disciplinary code) among the Buddhist clergy. Respected Buddhist monks of the Maha Sahgha can chair such a committee. All the rouge Monks (hora ganayas or cheevaradharis) who are hijacking the Buddhist religion with their anti-Buddhist activities and disrupting the peace in the country should be subjected to disciplinary action and should be disrobed. Buddhist disciplinary laws should be enacted specially for the Buddhist clergy who violate the Buddhist values and principles. This has become a very urgent need in Sri Lanka.

      • 11
        2

        Messenger,

        I’m totally with you on the very valid point you make regarding the Buddhasasana Ministry.

        I always wondered what their role and responsibilities were. Instead of warming seats and enjoying all the perks that a government ministry affords such an outfit, at the expense of the tax payer, it’s high time
        they were made to get their act together and serve a valid purpose, as you have suggested.

        Well said, Messenger

    • 11
      1

      Buddhism needs protection from some of the Sinhala-Buddhist bhikkhus who are betraying Buddhism and insulting the Buddha.

  • 7
    14

    Shamini,

    [Edited out]

    Great Anagarica Darmapala warned Sinhales about ‘Kalu Suddha’ community.

    You must read Ever Great Mahawansha, that will answer your most quotations

    Sinhala-Buddhist culture is the most morally superior culture in world. Sinhalese are an endangered species, in fact they are a very rare breed in the world, Sri Lanka is their only home, so it is a priory of world wide community to make sure that Sri Lanka remains as Sinhala-Buddhist country forever.

    • 14
      7

      David,

      Not just the Sinhalese, but the entire animal kingdom, including all humans, will someday be extinct.

      I’m not sure about the Sinhalese as a whole, but definitely Mahavamsa worshiping Sinhala-Buddhists like you, should be banished from the face of this earth.

      It is the likes of you, who have turned the peaceful Sinhalese, into a laughing stock.

      • 3
        4

        Shamini,

        Let me answer some of your ignorant questions.

        Q) “What exactly does “giving the foremost place to Buddhism in the constitution” mean?”

        A) That means Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country where other faiths are tolerated. Buddhism is the only official religion of SL. Sri Lanka’s leaders, especially the President and Prime Minister MUST BE Buddhists. The Constitution should be of Buddhist Values.
        ———————————————————————-
        Q) “why does Buddhism need to be mentioned in the Constitution at all? What benefits has Buddhism, its followers and Sri Lankans as a whole derived, from it being given the “foremost place” in the current Constitution? Has the Dhamma become better than what the Buddha preached, since its initial mention in our Constitution?”

        A) A Pointless question. You ask the same question again and again. Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country (Buddhist Sri Lanka).

        Shamini, at least try to learn the Sri Lanka’s history over the past 200 years. During 19 centuary Sri Lanka was the hub of Buddhist missions, and Buddhism distributing center. Read Panadura debate.
        ———————————————————————–
        Q) “What is starkly obvious by this hoo-hah, but not being articulated aloud is that, Buddhism be given pride of place, while other religions and faiths are relegated to, underdog status. If not, what else does it mean?”

        A) Other religions are accepted, but Muslims are hard to live with. Always compassionate and generous Sinhala-Buddhists are trying very hard to accommodate Muslims at the moment, but SOME of them are always up to no good (e.g: One crazy Muslim Minister is destroying the Willpattu national park and settling illegal immigrants.) The way things are happening your burqa wearing days are not faraway.
        ———————————————————————–
        Q) “Is this the way to reconciliation and peaceful coexistence in this country?”

        A) YES!!!
        ———————————————————————–

        Q) “Might I ask, safeguard our identity, from whom and what?”

        A) From Wahhabi, evangelicals, foreign governments, NGOs, communists, kalu-suddhas, and liberals (those who hate conservative values, traditions, culture,etc.)
        ———————————————————————–
        Q) “Might I also ask, what in heaven’s name is so “supreme” about the Sinhalese people? What have we, the Sinhalese achieved, others have not, to entertain such “pride”? I challenge all those out there, who keep chanting, “I’m proud to call myself a Sinhala-Buddhist”, to give me a valid answer to my questions, as so far, I have not.”

        A) Your challenge accepted. Read the Great MAHAVAMSA, CULAVAMSA, DIPAVAMSA, and other historical records, especially speak to any Sinhalese that they will be able to educate you about Sri Lanka, Sinhalese, Buddhism, Sinhala-Buddhist culture, customs and history.
        ———————————————————————–

        Shamini says: Yakkalamulle Pawara and his Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa, claiming to “safeguard the identity of the Sinhala people, and to regenerate the supremacy and pride of the Sinhala people”.

        Me says: More power to the monk and the organization. They will kick NGO buffoons out of the country soon.

        P.S: Please publish the comment unedited.

        • 2
          3

          David,

          I just cannot stop laughing at your funny answers.

          You are a very big JOKER, or rather a clown. Do you think a person like Shamini will even bother to look at your utter stupid answers?

          The people at the mental hospital in Angoda may clap if you say these to them.

          Please do not make yourself a laughing stock in a public forum.

    • 12
      5

      David

      “Great Anagarica Darmapala warned Sinhales about ‘Kalu Suddha’ community.”

      D. S. Senanayaka and the members of his party were the Sinhalese whom Anagarika Dhammapala termed as ‘Kalu Suddho’ because they collaborated with the British, who gave us Independence on a platter (without shedding a single drop of tears, sweat or blood) and made them leaders to rule the entire country. Remember, the same Anagarika Dharmapala called Sir Ponnampalam Ramanathan a hero.

      “You must read Ever Great Mahawansha, that will answer your most quotations”

      If you had read Ms. Sharmini Serasinghe’s previous articles, she has quoted and or read the Mahavamsa more than you. She has also challenged the contents of the Mahavamsa.

      “Sinhala-Buddhist culture is the most morally superior culture in world.”

      Is that why the Sinhala-Buddhists behave like barbarians, attack, burn, rape, loot and kill the minorities and their properties? Is that why you send your women folk to Arabia as slaves?

      “Sinhalese are an endangered species, in fact they are a very rare breed in the world, Sri Lanka is their only home”

      So are the Sri Lankan Tamils, Sri Lankan Muslims, Sri Lankan Malays and Burghers, they are all unique to Sri Lanka.

      “so it is a priory of world wide community to make sure that Sri Lanka remains as Sinhala-Buddhist country forever.”

      The world is not thinking like that and that is why they are not supporting the Sinhalese.

  • 2
    2

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

  • 3
    12

    Sharmini, I am more enlightened now. You are right in everything! I take back my following comments.

    Had she put the No. 4 as the first, she could have avoided the trouble of going on to the other 3 and finished her article in one or two paragraphs.”

    It was stupid of me. If you had put No. 4 first then you would not be able to speak about 1, 2, and 3, which like in a food menu are the all important main dishes. The 4th is only coffee to wash it down. The idea was to give the monks a good thrashing? That you did very nicely and enjoyed it too.

    Looking at their behavior, there is no need to differentiate between good and bad Sangha. They are all useless free loaders as you have said. Might I add that they probably do not wear any thing, even a jock strap, under their saffron robes. I am sure you know that, but did not mention it out of modesty.

    You also say, Might I also ask, what in heaven’s name is so “supreme” about the Sinhalese people? I am afraid that I do not see eye to eye with you on that. What about erasing Prabakaran and his terrorism from earth. That should count for something, should it not? The Tamils could not do it. India could not do it. US could not do it. But we……did it. Not only did we do it, but we also found out why he did it. Being masters at improvisation we did it not with MRI or Electron Positron Tomography devices, but with a simple mammoty blow. Know what we found? Empty brain cavity!

    That is why I shout out to the world, “I’m proud to call myself a Sinhala-Buddhist”.

    “they should also be instructed to keep their opinions relating to matters of the laity.” Again you are right. These people even interfere in our personal affairs making us chant ‘Kamesu Miccacara..”. The Kill Joy’s should be made to shut up on things that they have no experience about. Leave that work to the experienced laity like me and Sharmini.

    Those who do not fall in line should be disrobed. I am not sure what I would find when we disrobe a Dussela monk. But according to Sharmini, “once disrobed, they are nothing…..“. She being an expert on Dussela monks, should know what exactly we would find after completing that exercise.

    • 1
      0

      Edwin,
      Unless YOU went out there and fought that war and shed your blood and guts, all you are entitled to feel is gratitude that it did not cost you anything, humility that someone else stepped up to do this phenomenally destructive task and for all those who paid the price for what we choose to call “peace”.

      No one chooses their race so there is nothing earned. Don’t be silly!

  • 10
    5

    Rein In The Clowns

    What exactly does “giving the foremost place to Buddhism in the constitution” mean:

    *** I am at a loss to understand what the big fuss is about.

    1) Rein in the Clowns: This question is related to a huge fuss being made by the saffron robed, and others, about the inclusion of Article 9 of the current Constitution, in the new Constitution of Sri Lanka, without any amendments.

    *** I like to know who these so called Clowns are?

    Would they be MS RW and and even MR or is it the Saffron Robed holy men. I think there is an attempt to take the Moral high Ground by passing the buck on to the holy men.

    In my view the Clowns are the elected Representatives who are simply paying a Lip Service. MS & RW have lied to the Nation and the UN.

    And now Sambanthan the other Clown has joined in by inviting MR the CRIMINAL to play a role in the making of the Constitution.
    No where else in the World would you expect a War Criminal to be invited to shape the future.

    2) As a Buddhist I ask, why does Buddhism need to be mentioned in the Constitution at all? What benefits has Buddhism, its followers and Sri Lankans as a whole derived, from it being given the “foremost place” in the current Constitution? Has the Dhamma become better than what the Buddha preached, since its initial mention in our Constitution?

    *** Wonderful words but in a Country ruled by the Majority what I would like to see written in the Constitution if the minorities are to feel part of the Nation is not the Religious aspect but the folowing which would heal the wounds and give some credibility.

    a) A Tamil vice president
    b) A Tamil to head at least one of the armed forces.

    3) What is starkly obvious by this hoo-hah, but not being articulated aloud is that, Buddhism be given pride of place, while other religions and faiths are relegated to, underdog status. If not, what else does it mean?

    *** I dont think that the War in Sri Lanka was about Religion. It was about the Ethnicity. If you want proof jus go to the Anchaneyar temple in Dehiwala. MR goes to pray in Thirupathi before shelling.

    4) Is this the way to reconciliation and peaceful coexistence in this country?

    *** I think we have got our priorities wrong. We can never Reconcile before those guilty of GENOCIDE are punished and sent to Jail headed by Mahintha. ACCOUNTABITY & then RECONCILIATION.

    MS & RW are interested in protecting War Criminals.

    5) However, despite Buddhism being accorded the “foremost place” in the current Constitution, its image in the eyes of the other stands greatly challenged today, as it has been sullied, not by others, but by those from within the Buddhist establishment; the likes of the abominable Gnanasara, his equally despicable Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), and all what they stand for.

    *** Have we forgotten that they thrived under MR & Gotha. What guarantee is there that history will not repeat itself.

    6) Compounding this menace, we now have yet another saffron robed, Yakkalamulle Pawara and his Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa, claiming to “safeguard the identity of the Sinhala people, and to regenerate the supremacy and pride of the Sinhala people”.

    *** Sri lanka is Gemunu Country and has been since time immemorial,

    7) Might I ask, safeguard our identity, from whom and what?

    *** From Sea to the South and Tamils to the North and there is a greater urgency with the prospect of Tunnel and Bridge.

    8) Might I also ask, what in heaven’s name is so “supreme” about the Sinhalese people?

    *** Being the Majority with 120 mm Guns.

    9) What have we, the Sinhalese achieved, others have not, to entertain such “pride”? I challenge all those out there, who keep chanting, “I’m proud to call myself a Sinhala-Buddhist”, to give me a valid answer to my questions, as so far, I have not.

    *** But my dear lady have you forgotten you voted for MR to get rid of the evil. You won we lost.

    10) This ought to be, not only to safeguard the image of Buddhism, in this so called ‘cradle of Theravada Buddhism’, but more importantly, for the sake of reconciliation and peace in our land much ravaged, not by natural phenomena, but by the mentally challenged, amongst its human inhabitants.

    *** Once bitten twice shy. We have been let down by the so called Liberals with skeleton in their Copboards.

    11) The way in which this land is ‘marketed’ as a Buddhist country, first-time visitors may be pardoned, if they expect to see our Buddhist monks with halos above their heads. But instead of the men of peace, visibly refined, given to mindfulness and wisdom, which Buddhist monks are expected to be, we have the likes of Gnanasara, Yakkalamulle and their cohorts, hitting world headlines, for the humiliation and disgrace they have caused, and are still causing, to the image of Buddhism and Buddhists, of Lanka.

    ***Whether we like it or not they are “Bumiputras”

    12) As mentioned before, the only claim these men (I refuse to call such, Buddhist monks) have to monkhood, is the saffron robe they wear. Once disrobed, they are nothing but rabble-rousing hooligans. Thus, they ought to be disrobed and punished, for desecrating the image of Buddhism in this country, and the saffron robe they wear.

    *** Even if they are disrobed they will achieve Stardom by going on the CATWALK.

    13) It is incumbent upon the State, to repair the damage done to the image of Buddhism in this country, by none other than Buddhist monk themselves, by banning them across the board, from engaging in politics, and other business of the laity.

    *** They are simply a Scapegoat. It is incumbant upon the State to Devolve Power so that we can go our seperate ways and Safeguard our FREEDOM JUSTICE EQUALITY and above all DIGNITY.
    We ask no more no less.

    14) Hopefully, this would give rise to a renewed relationship of mutual respectability and sincerity, between the Buddhist clergy and the laity, and repair the damage done to the image of Buddhism, in this so called ‘Miracle of Asia’.

    ***The Million Dollar question is HOW ARE WE GOING TO CHANGE THE HABIT OF A LIFE TIME more importantly passed on from Generation to Generation.

    May be Gene MUTATION.

  • 13
    3

    Sharmini Serasinghe,

    Hats off to you for reveling the facts as a true Buddhist. Only a very few people are bold enough to write the truth. You must be commended for enlightening the Buddhists in Sri Lanka who are betraying Buddhism and insulting the Buddha.

    Let me add to this article all what is being done against Buddhism by the Sri Lankan Buddhists or rather Sinhala-Buddhists as I have observed.

    Are the Buddhist monks practicing Ahimsa (non-violence), Karuna (compassion), Metta (affection), and Maithriya (loving-kindness) towards fellow humans (irrespective of race/religion) or are they in the name of Buddhism promoting ethno-religious (Sinhala-Buddhist) chauvinism and hatred?

    Most of the Sinhala Buddhist bhikkhus do not even follow the 5 basic moral principles (Pancha sila) what Buddha has preached. These bhikkhus are a damn disgrace to Buddha and Buddhism?

    The Sinhala-Buddhist bhikkhus in Sri Lanka are the most corrupt, most racist, and the most dangerous. Buddhist bhikkhus are supposed to have given up all the worldly things (Materialism) but in Sri Lanka, it’s a different story. The Sinhala-Buddhist bhikkhus are Corrupt to the Core.

    These so called Sinhala-Buddhist bhikkhus in Sri Lanka do business, handle money, have Bank accounts and apply for Bank loans. It was found that a very large number of Sinhala-Buddhist bhikkhus had invested money in Sakvith Ranasighe’s illegal financial companies. They even sell the ata pirika (robes and other stuff) that the people donate them to earn money. Some of them are even employed. They engage in gambling, buy and sell shares, buy lottery tickets and so on. See the number of Pin-keta (tills) in the Buddhist temples. What they do with all the money they collect? Most of the culprits caught in printing fake currency notes were found to be Sinhala-Buddhists bhikkhus. They make money by selling the Car permits given to them. They print, record and sell books, magazines and Bana/pirith CDs, etc. and earn thousands of rupees in a short period.

    Buddha Business has made the Sinhala Buddhist bhikkhus very rich. They own bungalows and real estates and have luxury cars and vans, employing drivers. Very soon they will also apply for driving license. They also have the latest most expensive mobile phones, lap tops, I-pads, etc. They do not go from house to house with the begging bowl as instructed by the Buddha, instead the villages bring food to the temple and also the Sinhala Buddhist bhikkhus employ cooks in the temple. We have also seen Sinhala Buddhist bhikkhus selling posters, begging for money, going from door to door asking money. Buddhist-bhikkhu led politicians wheeling and dealing in imported Mercedes Benz and being caught with the pants down illegally selling tax-free motor vehicles.

    They grow hair and make themselves attractive, adopt customs, habits and lifestyles like normal people, have secret love affairs, some of them live in boarding houses instead of temples, they listen to music and watch movies and have illegal sex with women or young boys. They keep mistresses in the temple (Buddhrakitha Thero and Ms. Vimala Wijewardene), and even take part in criminal/terrorist activities such as assassinating Prime minister (Somarama thero). Some of them drink alcohol, I have heard about monks who even keep Beer in their fridge. Some of them even form trade unions/associations; there was a time when the leader of the Nurses trade union in Sri Lanka was a Sinhala-Buddhist bhikkhu (Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero).

    Some of them perform false miracles and pretend to heal sick people with pirith water. They tie pirith thread and bless people expecting the people to fall on their legs and worship them. Some of them preach their own Bana (sermon) instead of Buddha`s Bana.

    The Sinhala Buddhist bhikkhus were war mongers, they supported and encouraged war. They take part in racist politics criticizing and condemning all other religions and races and creating communal hatred among Sinhala Buddhists and others. They take part in protest rallies, burning flags and effigies and also engage in fast unto death and even self-immolation. Some Buddhist bhikkhus shredded their robes to take T-56 and earn more respect. We saw how bhikkhus were involved in brawl in the parliament with blood soaked faces. A Sinhala Buddhist bhikkhu lobbed a grenade at the Shah Rukh Khan show in Colombo. At present the Sinhala Buddhist bhikkhus lead by the Bodu Bala Sena leader Gnanasara Thero are engaged in violence against the Muslims and Christians. They stormed the Fashion Bug, verbally abused the Muslims (hambaya, goni billa), and threw rotten eggs at shoppers, attacked and destroyed several Mosques and Churches and at Aluthgama, they attacked burnt many Muslim shops, houses and people.

    Another new trend is the love for eating non-veg food (Meat and fish) among Sinhala-Buddhists bhikkhus. A new school seems to see nothing wrong in Buddhists eating animal flesh (including fish). An article by Ven. Dr. Vilegoda Ariyadeva thero, a former University of Ruhuna academic is a giant step toward guilt-free `Buddhism-friendly` meat eating. Dr. Ariyadeva thero claims meat eating is customary in Theravada Buddhist societies. Now a days when the Sinhala-Buddhists bhikkhus visit houses for Arms-giving (Daane) they expect expensive sea food and sometimes meat too. There are also Sinhala-Buddhists bhikkhus in Sri Lanka consuming food/drink in the afternoons/night even though they are not supposed to do so.

    Even though Buddhism does not have any caste system, caste is used among Sinhala Buddhist bhikkhus more than lay people. Different nikayas are formed according to the caste. For example, the Siam Nikaya (Malwathu and Asgiri) will not ordained as a monk anyone from a lower caste.

    The Sinhala Buddhists are more interested in worshipping the Buddha statue, Bo-tree, and Buddha’s Dathu (relics/body parts) and feeding Dana (alms/free food) to the Sangha (Buddhist bhikkhus) rather than following the Dhamma what the Buddha preached.

    The Buddhism preached by the Sinhala Buddhist bhikkhus is no longer able to provide any vision or guidance or constructive power but are only occupied in maintaining their own petty positions in an already atrophied hierarchy resting on a utterly disillusioned and rapidly crumbling society from which the spirit has long since departed. They have subordinated the interests of the society to national goals and the narrow ambitions of nationalist and racist leaders.

    Today, Sri Lanka has become a strong hold of Buddhist aggression and terror and such acts are spurred by hardline Sinhala Buddhist bhikkhus. The terror attacks against the minorities were motivated by Buddhist bhikkhus (the prominent among whom is Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara) with the creation of the BBS (Bodu Bala Sena/Buddhist task force).

    What is the point in having a Buddhasasana ministry if it is only a silent observer to all the anti-Buddhist acts committed by the Buddhist clergy?

    All the rouge Monks (hora ganayas or cheevaradharis) who are hijacking the Buddhist religion with their anti-Buddhist activities and disrupting the peace in the country should be subjected to disciplinary action and should be disrobed. Buddhist disciplinary laws should be enacted specially for the Buddhist clergy who violate the Buddhist values and principles. This has become an urgent need in Sri Lanka if Yahapalanaya is to succeed.

  • 3
    1

    Dear Sharmini Seransinge,
    Are you forgetting that this is the land of the moadaya made up of “Sinhalei”, “Dammilei”, “Marrakalai” and all the other lei’s and laity combined.
    “What exactly does giving the foremost place to Buddhism in the constitution mean”?
    It means that we are a nation of BLOODY FOOLS who sacrilege our most sacrosanct of contracts like the constitution by endorsing and legalizing discrimination. Why not go the extra mile and also legalize “saffron robe” extremism and terrorism as well so that ethnic cleansing will not be a covert affair anymore.

    • 9
      2

      Religion should be taken out completely from the constitution. If Religion is included in the constitution, then all the four religions (none of them originated in Sri Lanka) should be given equal status.

      If the reason for giving foremost place to a religion is due to period (ancient) then both Buddhism and Hinduism should be given the foremost place.

      If the state gives foremost place for any religion, then the state has all the rights to interfere or set rules and regulations to make sure it is not misused.

  • 5
    3

    “The reason why Buddhism needs protection is because there are several other religions which are very aggressively converting anyone they can to their religions. “

    In that case make it unlawful and a crime to forcibly convert people from one religion to another.

    • 4
      5

      The church and the mosque are against it!

      • 6
        7

        NAK

        “The church and the mosque are against it!”

        Why do they convert to other religions? Have you ever thought about the process?

        If the religions that they belong to do not cater them socially, psychologically and spiritually and did everything in its arrogance alienated the devotees what else would you like them to do other than seek solace elsewhere?

  • 6
    3

    Rein In The Clowns:

    Frankly we are barking up the wrong tree. Reining in the so called Clowns is not going to solve the fundamental problem in Sri Lanka.
    What the Tamils need and are looking for are practical measures to determine our own destiny. The experiment over the last 67 years of living together has brought untold misery. It is no good pretending we can live together under te same roof. Over the last 67 years we have been spat at butchered and terrorised and when we asked for our god given right we were branded as Terrorists.

    Religion is not the Problem. It is the Sinhala Mindset which is simply Racist otherwise why did we have so many Race Riots in which thousands were killed. Only because we were Tamils not because we were Hindus. Let us not pretend. What we need is the means at our disposal to live in security so that our fathers and sons and mothers and daughters can walk the street without fear and safeguard our way of life. It is not too much to ask

  • 4
    2

    Sinhala Buddhists are a misguided lot as much as the Islamists, Christians, the Catholics, the Hindus and the rest of Religion worshipers. The worst are the Islamists who are not allowed to question the Quoran or leave the fold of Islam. It is that rigid. The rest are in competition with the Mullahs to protect their numbers fearing it will lead to extinction of their faiths. These self appointed custodians of all faiths spin whatever rules and regulations to suit their agendas. Therefore Sinhala Buddhists are no exception trying to get State power to rule and roost the Buddhists in the country. Remember trying to change the week with the Poya and Pre-Poya instead of Saturday and Sunday and ending up with egg on face. Since the Muslims use Loud Speakers the Buddhist temples also use Loud Speakers to propagate each faith. It is no secret that almost all temples wayside and the rest use loud speakers to chant Pirith with the break of dawn and the whole day on Poya days. Buddhists have been mesmerised to believe that Pirith Chanting has cosmic powers to overcome evil. Hence the general public is at the receiving end from both Mosques and Temples blaring, using loud speaker that should be prohibited forthwith. This is nothing but sound pollution. May I ask all Buddhists what Pirith is? Pirith is not a Mantra. If Pirith is a Mantra then Buddha should be a Magician. Pirith is a sutra where an issue is defined in Pali. Those early disciples, who heard Buddha narrating, explaining an issue commences all sutras, ‘Evang mey sutang, Ekang samayang Bagava’ that means he heard Buddha once narrating giving the place and time explaining an issue. Pirith is not what Buddha narrated nor did Buddha chant Pirith. This chanting of Pirith is all after Buddha died, by his followers. Therefore chanting Pirith or listening to, 24 hrs of the day, seven days of the week to 365 days, will not do any good to self or the country. It is so humourous that when these Priests say that the sounds of some words in Pirith have good effect on humans. What a load of Bull shit. You can see the crime, violence, corruption at unprecedented levels with all the Chanting of Pirith at the moment.

  • 5
    1

    Sinhala Buddhists are a misguided lot as much as the Islamists, Christians, the Catholics, the Hindus and the rest of Religion worshipers. The worst are the Islamists who are not allowed to question the Quoran or leave the fold of Islam. It is that rigid. The rest are in competition with the Mullahs to protect their numbers fearing it will lead to extinction of their faiths. These self appointed custodians of all faiths spin whatever rules and regulations to suit their agendas. Therefore Sinhala Buddhists are no exception trying to get State power to rule and roost the Buddhists in the country. Remember trying to change the week with the Poya and Pre-Poya instead of Saturday and Sunday and ending up with egg on face. Since the Muslims use Loud Speakers the Buddhist temples also use Loud Speakers to propagate each faith. It is no secret that almost all temples wayside and the rest use loud speakers to chant Pirith with the break of dawn and the whole day on Poya days. Buddhists have been mesmerised to believe that Pirith Chanting has cosmic powers to overcome evil. Hence the general public is at the receiving end from both Mosques and Temples blaring, using loud speaker that should be prohibited forthwith. This is nothing but sound pollution. May I ask all Buddhists what Pirith is? Pirith is not a Mantra. If Pirith is a Mantra then Buddha should be a Magician. Pirith is a sutra where an issue is defined in Pali. Those early disciples, who heard Buddha narrating, explaining an issue commences all sutras, ‘Evang mey sutang, Ekang samayang Bagava’ that means he heard Buddha once narrating giving the place and time explaining an issue. Pirith is not what Buddha narrated nor did Buddha chant Pirith. This chanting of Pirith is all after Buddha died, by his followers. Therefore chanting Pirith or listening to, 24 hrs of the day, seven days of the week to 365 days, will not do any good to self or the country. It is so humourous that when these Priests say that the sounds of some words in Pirith have good effect on humans. What a load of Bull shit. You can see the crime, violence, corruption at unprecedented levels with all the Chanting of Pirith at the moment. The country should be made a Secular State and leave all Religions out of State sponsorship. Religion after all is a personal issue and not a public issue. The freedom to believe in what ever Religion or not to believe, is an inalienable right of an individual and not the prerogative of others including every Order. LEAVE RELIGION OUT.

  • 2
    0

    Why don’t the Government and other narrow thinkers learn to think outward and more philosophically. Why don’t they like other Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Hindus around the world give respect to Buddhism in Sri Lanka?

  • 2
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    EDWIN RODRIGO,

    My list was exclusive. The five were statesmen and internationalists.

    Now that Rajapakses are no more in power, you have the freedom to draw up your own list Edwin.

    If I have to draw up another list under another category, definitely I will include Velupillai Prabaharan and Rajapakses in the same list. The cat over will be ” the leaders who fooled the Tamils and Sinhalese to achieve their own ambitions at the expense of the country’s future. Supporting evidence is Upul’s revelations in Ceylon Today. Upul has highlighted Norway’s role clearly.

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    Sharmini,Why Sinhala-Buddhists demand protection from the government?because,it is bloody well they pay to run the government.
    The person who pays the piper calls the tune!didn’t you know that simple but universal rule? Now that does not mean other religions are relegated to the second class but by the numbers they are sencond.
    If you are really a Buddhist(which I doubt very much)you should know that Buddhism is under threat from various sect of Catholic/Christian church and Islamists who are rich and powerful and backed by rich countries which poor Buddhist monks can not match.Hence they need the protection of the state.
    True,Dhamma is indestructible but it is not the Dhamma that is under threat.
    It is the following of the Dhamma including the Maha Sangha that is under threat.
    Your article it self is proof enough of that for you paint the the whole Sangha who numbers about 30 000 with the same brush you name two monks.
    Then again you denigrate them for the way the way they behave but not a word about what they say,I am not in way condoning their behavior but shouldn’t attention also be paid to what they say.May be they think its only way to get attention.
    Finally Sharmini, As a Buddhist you do believe in sansara and being born in a future a Bhava. Then don’t you want this country to remain a Buddhist country
    so that we can be Buddhists once again and practice this great Dhamma,
    Unlike maldives,Indonisia,Afghanistan and many others.

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      NAK

      “Sharmini,Why Sinhala-Buddhists demand protection from the government?”

      In fact Buddhists need protection from their own government simply because the government comprises of murderers, drug smugglers, racists, bigots, war criminals, crooks, …… what not.

      Criminals cannot protect a philosophy/teaching.

      It is up to the lay people to learn, understand, believe and treasure the essence of teachings of the great teacher. The monks are expected to live a frugal life and renounce all worldly possession including state power, that is exactly what the awakened one did some 2600 years ago.

      “it is bloody well they pay to run the government.”

      So are others who follow other traditions. Atheists and agnostics too pay their dues, what do they get in return to support their beliefs?

      I am sure you are a Sinhala/Buddhist who has no interest in Buddha’s teaching but you are bent on destroying the tradition in this country and elsewhere, by simply being a Sinhala/Buddhist bigot.

      By the way what has Sinhala/Buddhist got to do with Buddha’s teaching? Why don’t you spend some time reading the above article for a change?

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        Native Vedda,

        We need the likes of NAK, Kali, Vibushana,K A Sumene, David etc to add some colour to this thread. Or else we will have only the intelligent, educated and the wise commenting.

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          Wise Owl

          Thanks.

          “Or else we will have only the intelligent, educated and the wise commenting.”

          Please count me out.

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      One of the most serious problems – if not the most serious, is the ‘Mahavamsa mind-set’ of the Sinhalese. This is based on an absurd legend The Mahavamsa (the ‘Great Chronicle) written by a Buddhist monk Mahanama in the 4th Century AD about what he thought occurred in the 5th Century BC. It says that the Sinhalese are the descendants of an Indian Prince, Vijeya, the grandson of a lion (hence the lion on the Sri Lankan flag).

      It then gets into dangerous nonsense by claiming that Buddha on his death bed said that Vijeya was landing in Lanka ‘today’ and could the ‘King of Gods’ make Lanka the custodian of his teaching. Hence, Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist country. It glorifies the Sinhalese as protectors of Buddhism and saviors of the nation, and derides the Tamils as invaders, vandals, marauders and heathens. To be fair by the author, he said he was writing this ‘for the serene joy of the pious”. He did not say that it was a textbook of history – which is what the Sinhalese believe.

      As Voltaire so rightly said “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”. This is what has happened in Sri Lanka since Independence in 1948, and for years before that. This is the “Mahavamsa mind-set” of the Sinhalese. The foremost proponents of this ethno-religious extremism are the politically active Buddhist monks who have been the curse of Sri Lanka.

      If the Sinhalese do not abandon this Mahavamsa mindset – that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist country, there is no alternative to the establishment of a separate Tamil State. It is as simple as that.

      It is obvious that Sirisena has the same ‘Mahavamsa mindset’. If he does not, he simply does not have the courage to do anything to challenge this mindset of the majority Sinhalese, in particular that of the Buddhist monks who wield enormous power in Sri Lanka.

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    This State protection to Buddhism and a due place was introduced to the Constitution by the British, just to gain the support of the Sangha to avoid disruption. However after Independence when we formulated the Constitution, it continued to include the clause, the State protection to Buddhism and a due place which was not further required. Therefore it is about time the clause is done away with when the new Constitution is formed.

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    For Buddhism to prevail in this country, the saffron robed LIERS like Gnanasara should be derobed and their cohorts brought to Justice. If not country as well as buddhism will experience bad reflects on it’s image on the Global Arena

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    Probably the only solution is to make two states or two nation in one country (like India & states) to look after themselves separately. Nothing else will work.
    Sinhala state can give all the protection needed for the crumbling Sinhala-Buddhist image,Sinhala Buddhism & chauvinism, Mahanama’s fake Mahawamsa story,Bodu Bala Sena, Sinhala Ravaya kinds, the proud Sinha-Le cabs & associates…

    Rajapakses can start their own kind of formal activities like white vans, grease yakkas, robbing the country & dirty politics etc.,with state protection. MS & RW can continue with their tricky deceit politics but with no scapegoats like minorities to blame for or use them to win elections. Sinha-Le Lanka could begin exporting the sacred Sinhala-Buddhism world wide, instead of House Maids to non Sinhala countries. Then the citizens of both nations can live happily ever after!

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