27 October, 2020

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Religio-Cultural Fundamentalism, Liberty & Social Progress – Part II

By W A Wijewardena

Dr. W.A Wijewardena

Part II – Liberty 

Liberty has been the basic aspiration of all human beings. It denotes freedom from the servitude of all bonds with which mankind can be tied. It encompasses the freedom of thought, expression, property, and livelihood, as long as it does not infringe with the same aspirations of others. The best advocate of freedom in this sense has been the Buddha who posited that “one should not do anything to another person which one does not want to be done to himself”[23]. In another discourse, he preached that a person who, thinking that he has powers, “beats, imprisons, confiscates, blames or banishes another person” commits an unskilful act and it should be avoided[24]. To avoid it, the Buddha further says that one should not return harm with harm and destroy the thought to harm to another person by cultivating self-discipline[25]. This approach to liberty is self-perpetuating since it does not require an outside body or an authority to deliver liberty to human beings. It also overrules the possibility of the presence of externality which economists today have been highlighting when it comes to the fair treatment of people in society. The Buddha’s message is that one should not knowingly exert an external cost on another person since he himself is aversive to such external costs being inflicted on him. In this elaboration of liberty, external benefits can still be passed onto other members of society since it as a whole adds to the happiness of the mankind, on the one hand, and helps the deliverer of the benefits to attain his personal ambitions, on the other. This is delivering liberty to people through ‘self-governance’ which is an effective way of ensuring liberty. The Buddha’s version of liberty was restated by the 17th century English philosopher John Locke that “no one ought to harm another in his life, heath, liberty or possessions” and also preserve as much as possible the rest of mankind[26]. It discourages exerting external costs while encouraging the delivery of external benefits

Traditionally, the threat to human liberty came from authoritarian or despotic rulers. After Homo sapiens gave up hunting and gathering for agriculture some 10,000 years ago, new settlements were started, food plants were tamed and both draught and food animals were domesticated. Then, there was the necessity to protect land, food stocks, livestock, men, women and children from invading tribes. Initially, it was tribal leaders who took the responsibility for defending the tribe from invaders. For this purpose, it was necessary to acquire fighting power by recruiting and training soldiers and equipping them with weaponry. These tribal leaders who acquired their power through divinity were those who could decide on the life and death of the other tribal members. This was how human liberty was compromised in the initial stage for protection. Later, these isolated tribes got developed into kingdoms and kingdoms into empires. Whatever the size of the political organisation, it was the human liberty that was sacrificed in the name of protection, prosperity and dignity. The establishment of nation-states was the mechanism employed to resolve conflicts, maintain law and order and contain violence emanating from within the society and from outside. Law became so essential that it was held that whenever there was no law, there was no freedom too. 

Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson in their latest book, The Narrow Corridor[27], have documented a problem, called the Gilgamesh Problem, that threatens the sustenance of human liberty. Gilgamesh was the ruler of Uruk some 4,200 years ago. He was a merciful dictator and supplied the people of Uruk with all the modern infrastructure facilities, including an advanced city. But the city was his possession and he could do whatever he wanted with the lives of the people. He took the sons away from parents for his destructive wars with neighbours and daughters for his sexual pleasures. Since the parents could not fight with the brutal force of Gilgamesh, they turned to their main deity, Anu, for help. Anu, following a procedure similar to checks and balances being practised today, created a double of Gilgamesh called Enkidu and released him to Uruk. Enkidu’s job was to contain the behaviour of Gilgamesh whenever he tried to abuse his powers. He did a good job initially but later realised that by teaming with Gilgamesh, he could enhance his benefits package. The duo got together and unleashed their brutality on the people of Uruk. Thus, a system introduced to contain the authoritarian ruler became the source brutality and people did not have a mechanism to remove it. Hence, the prospect of liberty vanished along with the checks and balances that were introduced.

Consequently, the threat to human liberty today is the collusive activity of despotic rulers and those who have been engaged to protect the people from them. When religion and culture are established as fundamentalist institutions, there is a tendency for fundamentalist religious and cultural leaders to side with despotic rulers to oppress the people. That marriage is for the benefit of both parties. Despotic leaders can claim legitimacy to their rule by clinging onto the support base of fundamentalists. In return, fundamentalists can enrich their position by using the power base of despotic rulers. In such a state, the government is captured by militant religious leaders who want to establish a fundamental religious state. To support them, a culture which is in constant flux is twisted and presented as a fixed social institution. Anyone who opposes the militant religious sects is brutally oppressed by using state powers. Accordingly, liberty is taken away from ordinary citizens who now have been converted to a defenceless, voiceless and powerless group.

Thus, though Sri Lanka is not a de jure theocracy – a system of government-run by religious leaders – it is a de facto theocracy. These informal theocrats have assumed the power to decide what the ordinary citizens should wear, which shops they should patronise, what they should create a work of art and with whom they should have their social relationships. The worst outcome of these unhealthy developments is the guardians of human liberties – the political leaders – seeking to sustain their power by clinging to these self-interested power groups. Normally, military rulers in any country are considered as powerful leaders. But they can sustain their power only by clinging onto these sub-militant groups, as has been shown in Myanmar. In that country, no military ruler can sustain his power unless he aligns himself with the ‘Poppy Barons’ who runs an alternative bandit rule in the infamous Golden Triangle or certain militant Buddhist monks who roam streets by taking power into their hands. Sri Lanka’s political leaders of all hues are not an exception.  

Thus, the present political leaders in Sri Lanka seem to have chosen to be lame ducks in the face of the threateningly growing de facto theocratic rule in the country. But that had not been the case in the past as many past Sri Lankan leaders had demonstrated. Two cases can be quoted to prove this point. One is the bold stand taken by Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike against militant Buddhist fundamentalists in what was known as the Bavatharanaya issue. The other is the application of the rule of law by Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake when a misdemeanour by one of his strong party supporters was brought to his notice.

A first-hand account of the Bavatharanaya issue has been made by the former civil servant Eric J de Silva in a newspaper article recently[28]. Bavatharanaya (Crossing the Stream of Birth and Rebirth) was a fiction written by Sri Lanka’s renowned writer Martin Wickramasinghe on the life story of the Buddha. Immediately after the book was published in 1973, a group of militant Buddhist monks had begun an agitation campaign for the banning of the book claiming that it had insulted the Buddha. Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, having read a report by Eric that it was a work of art and had nothing to do with the Buddha had dismissed the forceful submissions made by militant Buddhist monks for the banning of the book. In the second incident, Deputy Minister C P J Seneviratna, a strong UNP stalwart, had stormed a temporary police station in Mahiyanganaya and released some suspects who had been arrested by the Police for unruly behaviour[29]. When this was brought to the notice of Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake, he had just ordered that the Police should do its duty according to the law. 

Such principled politicians and strong-willed public servants help protect the liberty of citizens. However, an incident involving the arrest and deportation of a British woman who had a tattoo of Buddha’s head in 2014 was an example where the Police had succumbed to the pressure of religio-cultural fundamentalists and accordingly functioned as a cultural-police force[30]. On seeking justice through Sri Lanka’s legal system, after three and a half years in 2017, the Supreme Court delivered justice to her by declaring that her detention and deportation were illegal and awarding her compensation amounting to £ 4000[31]. Yet, after the Easter bombings in Churches and tourist hotels in April 2019, similar arrests were made by the Police on religious grounds implying that they were serving their duty as a cultural police force. When a government tolerates such acts of violating fundamental human rights, it is the replay of the Gilgamesh Problem outlined by Acemoglu and Robinson in The Narrow Corridor. In this instance, liberty is denied to people by the government and the Police which are created for delivering the same.

Part III – Social Progress 

All societies today aspire to ameliorate the life of their members through social progress. In this context, social progress encompasses political, economic, social and cultural advancement of people. Prof. Herath has defined it to be inclusive progress in his book on Development Administration: 

When taken as a whole, what is expected of development is the advancement of people. In other words, development is human development. It is the progress of the whole society. It brings about a change in the progress of society. This human social progress should be a continuous improvement. In this way, the final goal of development is the progress of the whole human society. That progress should not be limited to a few individuals or a small group. It should necessarily be an inclusive progress[32].

Later in the book, Prof. Herath has made the following remark:

Material progress is very important for successful lay life. Yet, the possession of material resources like vehicles, money, houses, lands etc. will not guarantee a contented lay life. In this respect, attaining spiritual advancement will help a person to lead a contented successful life[33]

According to Prof. Herath, three core values have to be accomplished when planning for development by any society. They are the ability to sustain a better livelihood, live with self-esteem as a person and make appropriate choices without being forced by outside parties[34]. What Prof. Herath has outlined as progress is helping members of society, without exception, to attain self-perfection. This is the essential element that should be inbuilt into any social progress program. The core-value of every major religion is to help the adherents to attain self-perfection, though the path to do so differs from each other. But one important pre-requisite for following the path prescribed is the existence of liberty. That liberty encompasses the freedom to think, believe, express, choose and live. 

Human society progresses only if its members become inventive and innovative. Inventions involve creating new things and innovations, making them available to members. Both require one to challenge the existing order – social, technical, political, economic, religious and cultural. If Copernicus and Galileo did not challenge the existing wisdom of the Christian church, the world would still have believed that the earth was flat and the sun was revolving around the earth[35]. The founding Vice Chancellor of the Vidyodaya University, the predecessor to the present University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Rev. Welivitiye Sri Soratha, is reported to have advised the undergraduates that they should be challenging, probing and critical. This wisdom has been incorporated into lyrics of the University anthem.  

The forced allocation of resources through central leadership could deliver higher economic growth to society. But such economic growth becomes short-lived since long-term sustenance of growth depends on the continued supply of inventions and innovations to the system. Inventions and innovations thrive when human beings enjoy self-esteem and are free to choose, two important core values identified by Prof. Herath as necessary for sustained social progress. This was evident in the old Soviet Union. In the absence of liberty, the Soviet Union failed to replicate inventions and innovations and as a result, could not continue with the high economic growth it generated in the 1930s and 1940s. As Acemoglu and Robinson have noted, “One can pour resources into patents, universities, new technologies and even create huge rewards for success (for some Soviet scientists, the reward was to stay alive). But it is not enough if you cannot replicate the rambunctious, disorderly and disobedient nature of true experimentation”[36]. No society has been able to manage it unless liberty is enshrined into the system. What it means is that for long-term sustained economic progress, the inputs should come from both the top-down and bottom-up systems equally. Human liberty is a sine qua non for proliferating bottom-up views in the form of inventions and innovations.

The religio-cultural fundamentalism has taken liberty away from people. When cultures and societies continuously advance, evolving into new shapes in the process, fundamentalists seek to take them backward and imprison the members in old systems. They deny the freedom of choice to members and in the process impede the drive for inventions and innovations. The social progress is the casualty and when society does not progress, the corollary is the intra-society as well as inter-society conflicts.

Part IV – Conclutions 

Homo sapiens became the masters of the globe after this species developed cognitive skills some 70,000 years ago. It facilitated them to spread out to rest of the globe from the ancestral seat in East Africa, create language, domesticate both plants and animals, settle down in specific places and build kingdoms and empires. Throughout the subsequent millennia, they underwent considerable evolution not only in their genetic build-up but also in the way they behave, known as the culture. They are still evolving and one cannot predict into what form these animals would evolve in the future. However, the groups that have not been able to experience this evolutionary process safely have converted themselves to fundamentalists seeking to stop the evolutionary process and turn it backward. The corollary has been the denial of liberty to people and generation of intra-society and inter-society conflicts among human beings. The denial of human freedom has impeded the process of inventions and innovations, a must for continued social progress. This is the most serious social problem faced by societies today.

[23] See Dhammapada, Verses 129 – 133 (Available at: http://www.buddhanet.net/dhammapada/d_punish.htm) (Accessed on 16.1.2020)

[24] Mula Sutta in Anguttara Nikaya (Available at: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.069.than.html) (Accessed on 18.1.2020)

[25] Khama Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya (Available at: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.164.than.html) (Accessed on 18.1.2020)

[26] Quoted from Locke’s Two Treatises of Government republished in 1764 by https://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/497 (Accessed on 18.1.2020)

[27] Acemoglu, Daron and Robinson, A James, 2019, The Narrow Corridor: State, Societies and the Fate of Liberty, New York: Penguin, pp xiii-xv

[28] Available at: http://www.island.lk/2010/05/29/satmag1.html (Accessed on 18.1.2020)

[29] Iddamalgoda, Thilak, 2003, What a Policeman! (In Sinhala), Ratmalana Sarvodaya, p124-5

[30] Wijewardena, W A, 2014, “Woman with the Buddha Tattoo: Much more economics in episode than religious sentiments”, Colombo: Daily FT (Available at: http://www.ft.lk/columns/woman-with-the-buddha-tattoo-much-more-economics-in-episode-than-religious-sentiments/4-288858) (Accessed on 18.1.2020)

[31] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-41995069 (Accessed on 19.1.2020)

[32] Herath, H M A, 2017, Development Administration (in Sinhala), Dehiwala: Sri Devi, p 2

[33] Ibid, p 10

[34] Ibid, pp 11-3

[35] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Galileo-Galilei (Accessed on 18.1.2020)

[36] Acemoglu and Robinson, op cit, p 234. 

Reference 

Books and Journal Articles

  1. Acemoglu, Daron and Robinson, A James, 2019, The Narrow Corridor: State, Societies and the Fate of Liberty, New York: Penguin
  2. Brown, Dan, 2017, London: Origin, Bantam
  3. Dawkins, Richard, 2012, The Magic of Reality: How we know what is really true? London: Black Swan
  4. Dhammaratana, Rev Hisselle, 1963, Sinhalaye Dravida Balapema, Nugegoda: Humanitarian Writers’ Forum
  5. Frankopan, Peter, 2015, The Silk Roads, , London: Bloomsbury
  6. Goonawardhana, Gate Mudliyar W F, 1973, Sinhala Vaag Vidya Muladharma, Colombo: Gunasena.
  7. Harari, Yuval Noah, Sapiens, 2011, A Brief History of Humankind, London: Vintage Books
  8. Harari, Yuval Noah, 2016, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, , London: Vintage
  9. Hawking, Stephen, 2011, Available at: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128222-500-existence-where-did-we-come-from/
  10. Hawking, Stephen, 2018, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, London: John Murray
  11. Herath, H M A, 2017, Development Administration (in Sinhala), Dehiwala: Sri Devi
  12. Iddamalgoda, Thilak, 2003, What a Policeman! (In Sinhala), Ratmalana Sarvodaya
  13. Koparahewa, Sandagomi and Arunachalam, Sarojini Devi, 2011, Tamil Words in Sinhala Language (in Sinhala) Colombo: Godage
  14. Sen, Amartya, 2005, The Argumentative Indian, London: Penguin Books
  15. Sen, Amartya, 2006, Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny, London: Allen Lane.
  16. Wickramasinghe, Martin, 2006, Buddhism and Culture, Rajagiriya: Sarasa
  17. Wijewardena, W A, 2012, “Cultural Nationalism: Boon or Bane?” in Daily FT (Available at: http://www.ft.lk/article/71136/Rise-of-cultural–nationalism–Boon-or-bane
  18. Wijewardena, W A, 2014, “Woman with the Buddha Tattoo: Much more economics in episode than religious sentiments”, Colombo: Daily FT (Available at: http://www.ft.lk/columns/woman-with-the-buddha-tattoo-much-more-economics-in-episode-than-religious-sentiments/4-288858)

Websties 

  1. https://www.gauguin.org/where-do-we-come-from-what-are-we.jsp
  2. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.01.0.bodh.html
  3. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/11/asia/india-citizenship-amendment-bill-intl-hnk/index.html
  4. https://www.thesundaily.my/local/understand-history-to-avoid-making-past-mistakes-mahathir-BA376344
  5. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.069.than.html
  6. https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.164.than.html
  7. https://oll.libertyfund.org/quotes/497
  8. http://www.island.lk/2010/05/29/satmag1.html
  9. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-41995069

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Galileo-Galilei

Religio-Cultural Fundamentalism, Liberty & Social Progress – Part I

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    You say, Sri Lanka is a Theocracy. But, you do not give any evidence to support that. CPJ Senevirathne is a politician. Then you talk about the case of arresting the British woman because she had a Tattoo of Buddha on her shoulder. You may argue that as Religious Fundamentalism. It is Police who did that. Did you or any one who quotes it, did they investigate who gave the permission for that unique incidence. Was it a Bhikku or a ministry of Buddhist affairs. It happened during the UNP-Yahapalana govt in which the cabinet was made up of Anglicans, Evangelists and other minorities. So, please investigate. Did the police officer followed certain rules in the book. Writers just blame Buddhist Fundamentalism. But, show us the evidence ? Sri Lankan Parliament is not a respected place.
    You talk about Social Progress. Buddhism had never be anti social progress saying that every thing is Almighty’s wishes. It is Catholics and chrustians who killed each other. It is muslims and chrustians who went to war. Hindus also killed buddhists. Where does Buddhists kill in the name of Buddhism /

    • 3
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      Hello Friends,

      See, Gotler held a speech on the 4th Feb – Independence day – his men make every effort to push the people understand that was the best
      But this particular alleged high criminal – would ever walk the TALK ?
      A man who never allowed to CRIME investigations to function in compliance with prevailing legal systems , but found always a way out to be away from courts

      from that FRAUD on MONUMENTS build for their deseased parents – were done, provably by the state funds, his answer was, it was paid when the issue came up andwas ciriticised by the public….. how can the very same alleged criminal become the leader FUHRER of the nation, if MAJORITY OF PEOPEL are not punnaku eaters ?

      People should raise the question, whether they are on their heads or are made permamently blind and deaf ?

      If we would go to a nurse and expect him/her to save my mother from her ailments, who has been struggling with her life, can we ever end up nearing a good result ? No, … likewise, if we know GOTABAYA , his brother and men surrouned by him are high criminals, but the FOOLS who are the majority of the country are made to believe, that the unexpected wonnders of GOTA would make a real change ? How stupid the people have been ?

      Decoration makers of the parade, who are from Malwathu Chapter to all other law level monk communities should come forward and warn the people – not to become easy prey of BPs – Rajakashes are blatant liars. His is reigncarnation of MUGABE in Zimbabwe, those who can read and see bit beyond would say, what a DOOMED nation ?
      I am so fed up of our people, that is why I thought to work for Africa which is on a rise today. We are marching behind Ethiopians.

      • 1
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        Frustrated sinhalaya,
        “But this particular alleged high criminal”
        —-
        If giving the leadership to kill your Sun God Piripakaran is a crime then Gotabhaya Rajapakse is an alleged high criminal.

    • 1
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      JD,
      If you don’t know where Buddhist kill, then you haven’t read SL history which is the history of wars for power. Among them, two have been purely for religious purposes: 1. Dutugamunu vs Elara and; 2. Heenayana vs Mahayana wars during A’pura kingdom. There is no doubt in my mind about why you are trying to deny the obvious: To deny that your beloved MaRa clan support a tribalist version of Buddhism preached by some yellow robers such as Medagoda Abhayatissa, Gnasara, Magalkande (Uddhachcha) Sudhatta, A Rathana etc. SL certainly is not a theocracy, at least as of yet, but, it also true that some leading Buddhist monks are openly advocating for such.

      In any case, WAW is making the same mistake made in the part one: tying a non-scientific version of human evolution & cultural evolution to explain the religious fundamentalism. He seems to believe that everything in the past were perfect; and, things are bad only among some undeveloped culture like India & SL. But, the truth is that, prior to the introduction of democratic system, freedom for thinking & free speech were not parts of our socio-political system. This was true for the whole world until the advent of 17th century scientific revolution in Europe.

      Despite WAW’s claim that freedom is the most valued aspiration of Humans, Humans maintained a strictly hierarchical socio-political system until the democracy was introduced in the recent past. It is this instinctive habit, most likely extended from ape ancestors, that exploited by modern day social, political & religious leaders in order to gain an upper hand on followers.

      • 1
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        Cont….
        Inventions is one of the main ingredient of cultural & therefore economic progress but autocracy is not necessarily a bottleneck for economic progress. Ex commie nations failed not b’cos lack of free thinking but b’cos of lack of investments. Russia failed b’cos they invested everything they had mostly in building military while China & Vietnam are doing very well by encouraging both invention & investment.

        Finally, WAW must understand the important fact that biological evolution & cultural evolution are completely two different phenomena that operate at two very distinct levels. In biology, there is no absolute criterion to measure the progress. The “success”, if any, is measured by the survival & longevity as in the case of bacteria, the longest survival of all organisms. Also, unlike organismic evolution which is measure in several thousand, if not millions of years, cultural evolution is much more rapid; the more the contacts with others, the faster the faster the change. However, as far as a human species is concerned, It is not the biological evolution that linger underneath the skin unseen by the eye, it is the nature of evolution of knowledge that drives cultural evolution.

        For that reason, if there is any visible backwardness in SL cultural evolution, lack of development of proper knowledge must be the reason. Therefore, as I said in my last comment to part 1, I must insist that, despite the excellence of potential intelligence, lack of advance knowledge is the reason for our cultural backwardness. In other words, out of four Baconian Idols that hinder the access to reality out there , it is the two external Idols (wrong teachers & wrong beliefs) that hurts us most. WAW’s wrong theory is one good example.

        • 0
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          Cont…..
          First, one more point about the difference between the Nature & Human culture is that the concept of progress has no natural meaning; it has only a cultural meaning. In Nature, rule of changes is dynamic equilibrium meaning change in one variable bring adjustments to the rest of the system. But, with respect to cultures, human wants to keep things under control and so that set thing in motion under set plan called “progress” which varies from culture to culture thereby making the definition vary narrow.

          Secondly, turning liberal ideologies like Buddhism, or any theory for that matter, is the same thing as human tendency to turn theories into inflexible dogmas & thereby institutionalizing them so that a small group become the owners. What is true for religions is true for science as well. Marxism is one excellent example; theory of evolution also suffered the same fate in the recent past. This happens as a result of instinctive human tendency to exercise power. However, in science, there are many ways to disable this institutionalization but, in religion & politics, available avenues are much more limited due to emotional attachment to established beliefs.

      • 0
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        DP: In every country, the religion is intertwined with the country’s culture. It says, King Dutugumunus’s went against King Elara because his people was destroying Sinhala Buddhist places such as Temples and Viharas. So, your explanation is wrong. Buddhist never went to war as Crusades, Conquests or Whole village slaughterings as Hindus did. Tamils were worst. They changed Buddha statues to see like theTamil kings.

        • 0
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          JD,
          This is the point of view shared by every religion; nobody is willing to accept the guilt!
          By the way, why did you omitted the destruction caused by Heenayana/Mahayana conflict?

      • 0
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        D.P.
        What did you expect from Native Sinhala Buddhists when ‘Para’ Demalu from Hindusthan invaded their country 52 times from 3rd Century BC and massacred people, destroyed temples, killed monks, burnt down libraries in temples, burnt the crops, raped Sinhala women?

        In the history of Sinhale most heinous crimes were committed by ‘Para’ Hindu Demalu. They were barbarians.

        • 0
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          Eagle Eye,
          Thanks for supporting my point! By the way, what’s “Para Hindu Demalu” got to do with the destruction caused by Heenayana/Mahayana conflict?

  • 0
    3

    You talk a lot about LIBERTY. It is a christian or very much a western word in which Christianity based thought is the most respected. Almighty Buddha and Buddhist India respected human life so much. Kalama suttha is one. It is Buddha’s thought that always treat others as you would like to be treated by others. If not LIVE AND LET LIVE” West always follows Almighty is at the top and then the Rulers and so on. During Buddha’s time expression was so democratic, that there were other 62 doctrines which would compete with Buddhism. Even Jainism is like Buddhism but it does not follow the MIDDLE PATH. DASARAJA DHARMA came from buddhist thought and remember how career politicians during the UNP-yahapalana govt handles it. Do not trust any one in the parliament for that. They are used to a steal and live system.
    What Buddhism says, you can steal whole one’s life but at the end of the life one has to go. If they do not understand they will.
    Politics is only to make policies and not to run the country. That is why bureaucrats are there and there is a system. In sri Lanka, just check what all those career politicians talk since the day came. They just bark loud fir some thing happening that would be important to country and they all propose very expensive projects because it is there DOUGH is.

  • 1
    2

    Right now, Sri Lanka does not have one specific culture. It is mostly Western-Christian and Arab muslim culture. It is killing animals, growing animals for killing, slaughter houses and meat stalls every where, then liquor shops every where, distilleries every where. Sri Lankans think, Tourists come here to have the same drunkard, sex addicted life and Sri Lankans can not offer something new or different. If you go to the village, they are mostly sick with kidney diseases except the new kids on the blocks who are painting trying to something new.

  • 0
    0

    =After Colonization our Sinhala Buddhist inhabitants were encouraged by the ruling class to be good Theravada Buddhists .
    And follow exactly what Dr Wije has quoted from Buddha’s Teachings in Dhamma Pada,

    So our inhabitants used to sit under Coconut Palms , while the Ruling Classes and their converted Servants piled on big time with free Crown Lands, Education and nearly all the Public Service Jobs which were the only Jobs available those days.

    After the last Colonials left, Sinhala Buddhists who were the great majority were living in abject poverty’.

    It has taken over 70 years for the poor Sinhala Buddhist who are the great majority to get some say in their own Country.

    Other religions which came along in the same era, taught their followers to look after themselves materially first .
    And leave the rest to their Religion’s Deities.

    I think that seems to have worked well if one compares the different parts of the Globe which are controlled and dominated by those religions.

    What happened in the Political Arena last 5 years is revolutionary,
    But definitly to the detriment of the Sinhala Buddhist majority.

    That is the only conclusion one can make by looking at the big picture of Dr Rani and his Yahapalana Governance.

    After the Rajapaksa Brothers did the impossible of liberating the Country from the LTTE and Mr Pirahaparan , whom our Tamil inhabitants were expecting to do what the Colonials couldn’t which is creating a Thamil Homeland in One third of the Island, the Politicians on the Right , Left and some even in the Centre got together with Thamil and Muslim Politicians to help Dr Rani and his UNP to introduce his Master Plan with 100% backing of the West.

    Which is hammer Rajapaksa as the Baddies to get rid of the whole clan.
    Change the constitution so the Rjapaksas can never return.

  • 4
    3

    When Buddhism is under attack, no one speaks out. Monks in Tibet set themselves on fire to protest the destruction of temples. Similarly in Afghanistan, when the Taliban blew up the Bamiyan Buddha statues, there were no penalties. In India, Buddhism practically vanished after the destruction of Nalanda University. In Sri Lanka, Buddhism has been under attack for a long time by South Indian invaders and Europeans. Consider also, Sri Lanka’s neighbors – Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Afghanistan. These countries once had thriving Buddhist populations, but now they are all 99% Muslim. It is a wonder that Buddhism has survived in Sri Lanka. It would be ideal if the monks stayed out of politics but that is not possible in a capitalist society, where multiple interests collide in split seconds. For 30 years, there was a strong effort to divide the country, by various outside and domestic forces. With this threat under control, there is a new threat: the brainwashed Zahran-type radical.

    • 4
      2

      Good now do humanity a favour and set your self on fire at Hyde Park London , stating Chingkalla Poutha Fascism is in danger. Please do this and do all of us a favour

  • 1
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    Harari, Yuval Noah is an atheist he is dreaming in the world of dreams and false predication. Yet, AI will bring a lot of change in human life. It does not mean AI will concur human nature and human sense as he predict. He argues that there is no need for GOD because AI will replace God.
    He does not believe that God created this universe. What a feeble man is he? all signs tell us this universe is created by God.
    His ideas will disappear as Darwin theory disappeared

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    Lord Buddha and his teachings dead long time ago in Srilanka. Lord Buddha teachings were replaced with Mahinda Family teachings and this teachings are followed by 75% of the Sinhala speaking people. Animalism, Bribe, Cheat, Destruction are the current teachings.

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      Ajith,
      “Lord Buddha and his teachings dead long time ago in Srilanka”.
      ‘Para’ Demala BPs from Hindustha and ‘Para’ colonial BPs from Europe tried hard to kill Buddhism in Sinhale but they failed.

      Now Amarasiri and Native Vedda backed by Evangelists are trying to do what those ‘Para’ BPs failed to do.

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