24 July, 2021

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Rushing To Ignite A Religious War

By Tisaranee Gunasekara –

“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts” – Patrick Henry (Speech at the Second Virginia Convention – 1775)

Until now, those who incurred the wrath of the Rajapaksas were unsafe only when they ventured out of their homes.

That last refuge of the persecuted might be vanishing. Faraz Shauketaly of The Sunday Leader was shot in his place of residence.

The three gunmen escaped, naturally. In Sri Lanka, some criminals never get caught.

Why was Mr. Shauketaly shot? The answer will be revealed by the manner in which his case is handled. If the crime is non-political, the culprits will be apprehended. But if Mr. Shauketaly was shot because of his journalistic investigations, the perpetrators will remain as free as the wind, as free as those who killed Lasantha Wickremetunga four years ago.

And the Shuketaly-shooting will mark a turning point. In future, Rajapaksa-enforcers will not have to lurk in some street-corner for their victims.

They will come home.

****

Sri Lanka is one of those fortunate countries which never had to experience the indescribable horrors of a full scale religious war.

That millennia-long run of luck might be coming to an end. If the criminally irresponsible activities of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) are not nipped in the bud, legally and democratically, Sri Lankans may soon know what it is like to be killed for a religion.

Buddhist extremist group Bodu Bala Sena starts grand convention at maharagama | Pic by Dharisha Bastians

In a country where four (or five, according to unofficial reports) women are raped daily, child abuse is rampant and even Buddhist monks falling victim to violent crime, a handful of Sinhala-Buddhist extremists have managed to manufacture and enthrone a wholly artificial issue as ‘The Problem’. Ordinary Sinhala-Buddhists who should be concerned about such real-life issues as violent crimes, sky-rocketing prices and falling living standards are being hoodwinked into worry about non-existing problems, such as ‘Halal’ and the ‘Sharia Law’. The country and its people are being held to ransom by a small cabal of fanatics, while the Rajapaksa regime looks on, as benignly as a fond father.

A full fledged anti-Halal campaign is to begin at Maharagama, on February 17th. Other meetings are to follow. Eager to benefit from the rekindled fires of religious mania, the JHU too has got into the act, with the recently demoted Minister Champika Ranawaka giving time till April to ‘resolve’ the ‘Halal problem’. Afterwards these self-declared protectors of Sinhala-Buddhism are to take ‘action’.

A recent report is indicative of the way things are headed: “At least 50 Muslim shop owners in Narammala in the Kurunegala District, have received death threats by mail. They have been warned to close their shops by March 31st of face death….” (Colombo Gazette – 17.2.2013).

The JHU is a spent force, politico-electorally. It is reasonable to assume that the absolute majority of Buddhist Sinhalese are unaware the very existence of the BBS; or that ‘Halal’ is a far more important issue than the cost-of-living. The JHU and the BBS are succeeding in imposing their deranged agenda on the rest of the country not because they are strong.  The main reason for the phenomenal success of the BBS and its anti-Halal mania is the benign tolerance accorded to them by the Rajapaksas.

The regime, possibly for reasons of its own, is allowing to BBS to break the law of the land with impunity. It is possible that the Rajapaksas see a considerable use value in these fanatics. They might believe that by conjuring an ‘Islamic Terrorist threat’ they can win over Washington, London and Delhi, save the Hambantota Commonwealth and enthrone themselves as the new saviours.

From the JHU to the BBS: Politics of Hatred

The JHU was a child of opportunism and intolerance. It rampaged into politico-organisational existence in order to benefit from the outpourings of public grief (part orchestrated by the media which competed with each other to turn the funeral into a bathetic circus) over the untimely demise of Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thero. At that time, the Sihala Urumaya (SU) was mired in electoral failure and acrimonious squabbles. In his last years Soma Thero had espoused an extremist, intolerant creed, first against Muslims and then against Christians. The SU jumped to claim his intolerant legacy, as a way to regain political relevance. The SU leaders donated their party to the Sangha and the JHU was born, on an anti-Christian wave.

The vainglorious JHU monks went to parliament promising to create a Dharma Rajya in 6 months; instead, with their ignoble conduct, they bought discredit upon the great religion they claimed to represent. Almost a decade later, the JHU has nothing positive to show for its existence. The party sank into dissension and irrelevance when its anti-Christian hysteria was rendered unaffordably irrelevant by the outbreak of the Fourth Eelam War.

Historically, enhanced identification between religion and politics has rebounded on the religion, discrediting and dishonouring it. The arrogation of political power to themselves by Buddhist monks during the Koryo dynasty led to the decline of Buddhism in Korea. Other famous examples include the anti-clericalism of the French Revolution and of the Italian Risorgimento. When religion seeks to become a secular force, secular powers tend to treat the religious in like manner, as the atrocities committed on monks and nuns by the troops of very Catholic Emperor Charles during the 1527 sacking of Rome demonstrate.

When the line of demarcation between religious and secular is breached, it endangers the basic rights of all citizens. The Catholic Church was able to cover up its child abuse problem thanks partly to its capacity to dictate to political authorities. This week, the Irish Prime Minister accepted the Irish state’s complicity in committing 10,000 women and girls to the now infamous Magdalene laundries run by nuns, where they were forced to work under inhuman conditions, without pay. It is no accident that two of the most repressive countries in the world are theocracies:Saudi Arabia and Iran. And their main victims are not foreigners but their own people.

If the BBS and the JHU have their way, they will not stop with suppressing non-Buddhists. They will dictate to Buddhists as well, telling us what and what not to eat and wear, study and think. They will seek to takeover our lives and corrupt our minds.

Racial/religious tolerance is not a permanent state of mind which, once achieved, will last forever. It is something which needs to be renewed and reaffirmed every day, not through outstanding acts of heroism but through ordinary decency, kindness and honour. The propaganda of those who advocate intolerance in the name of race/religion is so insidious that it can get at us in dark secret places we did not know existed within ourselves. We are living in a society in which the language of suspicion and fear and the teaching of contempt are thriving. Even the most anti-racist of us would not be totally immune to the resultant toxicants.

In that context, constant reminders of our common humanity cease being a cliché and become a lifeline to evade the bloody-quagmire of a religious war.

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Latest comments

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    We need explicit laws to punish individuals and organisations that promote communal and religious divisiness, hatred and violence. We also need a law and order sitution where such laws are enforced without fear or favour. We also need an independent and proactive judiciary to which targets and victims can turn for justice. For all this to happen we need good governance. To get good governance we need a far better quality of politicians. However, unless we the people know what we need and clamour for them, we will not get them.

    We, the people are at fault. No one else can be blamed!

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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      CPA and other CSOs should take the lead and draft a Bill on the Prevention of the Incitement to Racial and Religious Hatred and for the promotion of Multiculturalism (as recommended in LLRC), following the British Bill of the same name, as a proactive solution to this sorry state of affairs due to the lack of education, intellect and culture of the ruling Rajapakse family regime and politicians.

      In the context there should be legislation brought in the Sri Lanka Parliament against the incitement to racial and religious hatred and making it a punishable offense – as also recommended in the LLRC Report. The joint opposition can unite on such an exercise..
      The Bill should modeled on the Prevention for the Incitement of Racial and Religious Hatred in Britain and should also seek promotion of multicultural policies that go beyond bi-lingualism..

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    Thanks as always Thisaranee! Hope you translate and publish your work in Sinhala..
    The name of the Rajapakse game is “DIVIDE & RULE”..
    Distract the masses with religious war so they wont notice the corrupt dictatorship that is looting Lanka!

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    The Sunday Island carried an article with Indian Pm’s picture. The title was ” A NATION of SHEEP will beget a GOVERNMENT of WOLVES.” How true.We are a Nation of (dumb lambs)

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    The greatest crime that ever took place here was the displacement of us vellalar’s to these low third grade beings.. The entire Yalpanam Elite has been destroyed.. This is the greatest crime ever. But soon we will restore our Birth right of a vellalar elite.

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    BBS and JHU are desperate to find a scapegoat for the failed policies of the govt. When ranawaka was minister of power and energy he had no qulams about increaseing electricity tariff. Now he is moaning about a non existant halal tax. Price of all items are the same halal or not halal. Idea is to divert the anger of the people against the JHU and Govt.

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    Rajapaksahu Akbar! Sri RajaPakistan Zindabad! :)

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    Oh Somarama! where are you? Come and save us from extinction.

    The blame for this hatred was placed on the head of a Public Servant and
    his slush funds. One wonders why he did not issue a statement against
    such accusation, if not proceed with a one billion defamation case??

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    A section of Buddhist monks sowed the seeds of war by carrying out of a campaign against Bandaranaike- Chelvanayagam pact in 1956 and Dudley- Chelvanayagam pact in 1967. I have heard that a well known Buddhist monk provided fuel to the criminals to set fire to the Tamils’ businesses in Pettah in 1983. The descendants of same tribe are at work now sowing seeds for another civil war through the present anti Muslim campaign.We are a nation who do not learn lessons. This is the tragedy of Sri Lanka.It is the responsibility of true Buddhist monks to come forward and act resolutely in order to prevent a bloodbath.

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    Ms Thisaranee says” Srilanka is fortunate not to have a religious war and it is going to end with the soon to be launched BBS JHU Halal War.”

    32 innocent Buddhist Monks blasted in to pieces inside an old CTB bus.

    Hundreds of innocent poor rural women in their white saya & hatte chased and gunned down by brave LTTE brigades on the foot steps of the most religious icon of the Buddhists in the holy city of Anuradhapura.

    Blasting Buddha’s Temple of Tooth. and killing hundreds innocent devotees and bystanders

    Killing innocents in front of the Bo Tree where Buddha attained Nirvana.

    Not forgetting the other thousands of rural poor village mums dads and kiddies butchered by the Big LTTE as well as Little LTTE soldiers.

    Wonder what category these atrocities come under, if they are not religion based?.

    Then there was the innocent 300 Muslim Men and Youth worshippers who were gunned down and hacked while they were on their knees. praying to their Prophet.

    This seems nothing in comparison to Ms Thisaranee’s impending Halal War.

    Thank God , our Sinhalese and the the Muslims had the wisdom not to involve religion in these dastardly crimes committed on them.

    And Thisaranee’s needn’t worry because the same wisdom will prevail in future.

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      Buddha did not attain nirvana under the tree you mention…

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    Contrary to the assertions of some readers before me, I do not feel that more laws will reduce the potential for incidences of ethno-religious violence in Sri Lanka.

    Most knowledgeable members of this forum know full well, that social reform is not carried out by the passing of punitive measures. On the contrary, people must be exposed to diversity, comparative religion, and through community councils, pro-actively volunteer to safeguard members of the targetted minorities.

    That way, those inclined towards jingoistic chauvinist hubris will think twice before carrying out acts of violence. Naturally, members of religious bodies and their leadership must publicly denounce these incitements and inflammatory behaviour of the louts concerned.

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      I totally agree with this, and even the ACJU as the lead for all Muslims in SL, acknowledged this to be true. We, the Muslims isolated ourselves too much and forgot to consider the sentiments and welfare of monks and temple in our yearly charities (Zakath) and donations, but rather only helped ourselves. The only thing Muslims cannot do is funding or orcontribute towards creation of statues, as this would be a violation of the tenets of Islam. Muslims did invite Buddhist monks for Ifthar (breaking of the fast) last year including the year before that, specially organized with media exposure. But alas, it all seems too little, too late, with now Muslims having to face the wrath of these hooligans empowered in Buddhit robes, planning mayhem and harm to what they hold most dear and near to their hearts. Only God knows what is in store for those who cause mischief on this earth.

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    Foreign conspiracy & plots are planed meticulously to destabilize Sri-Lanka, the foolish Buddhist leaders are taking it lightly to make this Bodu Bala & Hela Karmaya lean to their sides, including the ruling & the opposition, definitely this religious issue will boomerang on them.

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      Jim, I do not agree on a ‘foreign hand’ fuelling this flame, but rather a inferiority complex mentality mixed with militant nationalistic fervor, coming from very poor homes and sometimes abusive and hopeless family backgrounds, fed and nurtured well until maturity absolutely free of charge, bottling up their sexual desires (at least as expected out in the open), are all the ingredients that have gone in to creating this monster waiting to let off steam through kick-ass tactics against a worthy but meek opponent, who would not dare retaliate due to numbers. Some one needs to put them in their place. But with the government afraid to take them on, have let them loose on a minority community to diffuse their aggression. Don’t you think this to be a more plausible explaination?

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    “If the BBS and the JHU have their way, they will not stop with suppressing non-Buddhists. They will dictate to Buddhists as well, telling us what and what not to eat and wear, study and think. They will seek to takeover our lives and corrupt our minds…” This happens
    in modern Iran, in Taliban-lead Afghanistan at one stage recently and to some extent in Malaya where there is a Police Unit overseeing
    “cultural excesses” Even our own JVP in the 1987-1989 period and the LTTE gave us an inkling of how this works. The Patalipura man and the Balaya man would love to lead such a repressive regime.

    “… The regime, possibly for reasons of its own, is allowing BBS to break the law of the land with impunity. It is possible that the Rajapaksas see a considerable use value in these fanatics. They might believe that by conjuring an ‘Islamic Terrorist threat’ they can win over Washington, London and Delhi, save the Hambantota Commonwealth and enthrone themselves as the new saviours…” Hakeem and friends will not surely fail to see the wisdom in this observation – and recognise the nature of their senior partners who will, at the first
    opportunity, sacrifice anything and anybody, to retain the reigns of power. Giving an innocent and fatherly image to the outside and kindling the flames of bigotry and hatred within, are after all, features from the repertoire of failing political regimes and strategists.

    Senguttuvan

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    sjv-c………. Yalpanam vellalars were destroyed by your own progidy Velupillai starting from Alfred Duraiappa.
    You guys are most wellcome to establish your Birth Rights to establish your supremacy over this out of control lower castes and also the guys such as S.J.Emmanuel, Rayappu and the catholic Church who suppressed you all as well.
    Fortunately the low caste turned their guns on the state who provided them with free education and not those who suppressed them.

    Did not Mahavi Senathiraja aware that his Master Appapillai Amirthalingam was also a target? he certainly did.
    Its time to pose such questions.

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    I believe that hate campaign against Muslims and campaign of anti halal should be seen and treated as two separate issues.
    SL should not be a victim of another internal war and what we experienced in last three decades is sufficient enough to learn that bitter lesson. Even most dumbest person may agree with me on this regard. We do not want another war. In that sense hate campaign against Muslims should not be encouraged.

    However halal issue is different. It is a violation of free market policies.

    As I explained previously , in a Dayan s thread, halal is not quality standard such as SLS or ISO. It is merely a religious customary which performed and incorporated in view of satisfying small segment of market. Rest of the market do not wish to have that. However without having consent of those majority, one has incorporated halal and charge them, without retiming any benefit for them.

    The Muslim organization which issue halal certificate does not give it free. They charge minimum of 175,000.00 per anum. There are 4500 brands . Therefore total cost of this religious proceeding is 17500 x 4500 = 780 million per year. why should market pay 0.7 billion annually for religious organization for nothing . In that sense majority of the customers have a moral right to reject halal. In that sense I do not find any fault in anti halal campaign.

    However as I said previously , Muslim hate campaign and anti halal campaign should be seen and treated as two different issues.

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      The screwed up propaganda message by BBS has caught all hook, line and sinker. Do you know that the ACJU (All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama) the sole body issuing Halal certificates does not have a decent building to call its own. The amount charges for various products varies and not fixed at 175,000/- as alleged. The additional cost for Halal certification costs anywhere between 5 and 10 cents more for each item within the product range. So insignificant to the producer that he does not feel it requires a price revision. Instead, increased volume sales because more Muslims buy it is increase in profits. Whereas the competition without Halal certification selling at the same price stand to lose out on their market share. BBS does not want to understand the logic of this, and only want to twist it in their favour. If Halal certification is stopped, then even exports will come to a grinding halt, and then we can see the country’s economic performance. A lot of tourists from big spending Middle Eastern countries coming to SL (instead of opting for Malaysia) simply for this Halal certification (safety in food consumption) will stop – which means further belot tightening measures. Out of all the Companies that have got Halal cerification (about 230), only one cowed down to BBS pressure, and withdrew. All others have seen the benefits thru realized profits and want to continue. so now they (BBS) seem to have already taken over the government forcefully by issuing orders that no more Halal cerificates after April this year. Ther monthly income thru Halal certification is 1.5 million, out of which 1.3 million goes as expenses. All ingredients are checked for the source. Plant based is not as issue, but if animal, then if it was slaughtered the Islamic way. Compliance is neccesaary before certificate is issued. There is no Halal certification for cement and incense sticks, which was another false propaganda by BBS. Can this bunch of fiff-raff’s ever be trusted to speak the truth? Watch ACJU response to all BBS allegations on http://www.slhub.com. Watch an educate yourself on the Muslim viewpoint before repeating what misguided BBS blares out.

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      Can you please reveal the source of this information about how much is charged per product for halal certification? And are you being responsible in doing your math and coming up with this inflated figure? It is people like you, dealing with insufficient information that fan the flames of ethnic and racial hatred. If you are against the Muslim hate campaign then desist from making such proclamations without basis. Find out the information from the organisation – they have published their charges and it is so much less than you say that it is ridiculous. Please google them. So please. Act responsibly. Also for another perspective on the halal issue please read the Hejaaz Hisbullah’s article in Groundviews.

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        my source is from http://www.halaal.acju.net/

        It is the Muslims who want to have Halal. Not the rest. So why rest of others Pay 0.78 billion ( in Macro situation) to perform religious customary of others.

        If Muslims want Halal they should bare the cost. In that sence ACJU has to bare the cost not by the others. Muslims can donate the sums to ACJU so that they can have Halal as they wish.

        The problem here is Muslims want to have Halal on others cost. My humble belief is that not correct.

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          Nobody is forcing the manufactures to Halal certify their products. Isn’t it voluntary.

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          Does Buddhism teach you not to consume Halal foods?

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            Why you assume me as Buddhist…. Pl take out you racial pro typing…..I am just pointing out to the fact that why should market pay .78 billion in return of nothing…..

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              This post was aimed at you and sorry for taking you
              for a Buddhist.

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          Does Buddhism teach you to fight for justice in the
          name of Buddha?Does it teach you not to ask for food
          from other than a particular race?Does Buddhism teach
          you to seek the support of unruly elements to cause
          fear in the minds of non Buddhists?Does Buddhism
          encourage you to become monk simply because you have
          nothing else to do for living?Come on Mayya,if you have
          made up your mind,nothing can stop you.For me,this is
          nothing to do with Halal and a lot to do with racism
          and open hatred and hooliganism.Damage is already done
          and you don’t have to wait for the final count down.
          Muslims, in my view should have completely ignored the
          govt and waited for action against the instigation
          because it’s their responsibility to maintain law and
          order.These things are not happening underground so that
          the govt needs information.

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            Whether I am buddist or not is immaterial here. I am asking for social justice. Why should market pay .0.78 billion per year for another organization in return of nothing.

            Just address the fact I am elaborating. Do not fall to the category of racists who hide in their racial covering in fear of addressing the facts

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              “You” indirectly means “one” here and not you
              Mayya. Your advice is not ignored here for a
              different reason.But be informed that I look after
              three Muslim orphans,three converted Muslims,two
              Buddhist students and one Buddhist elderly woman.
              I have in my record people of all colors who have
              benefited from my personal friendship.I’m an
              enemy of racism and practicing that in my daily life
              and not a preacher.Elsewhere I asked you to show
              evidence of extra cost.Facts are distorted and you
              are only sticking to the surface of the fact.

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          It is evidentky clear that you, like the rest of BBS folks refuse to understand the Halal concept and its trading implications. Yes, you are right, it is only Muslims who require Halal cerification to confirm that what they consume is permissible by Islamic law. The Halal Committee at ACJU will advise, research, enforce and regulate all foods coming under their preview for Halal compliance. After which, they will ensure or guarantee that food to be Halal and fit for consumtion to all Muslims living or visiting Sri Lanka. This makes life easy for all Muslims, as they dont have to do the research themselves or unwittingly eat Haram (opposite of Halal) foods. When the competition finds drop in sales, they will do their research and discover the products with Halal label performing well, They will then contact ACJU and request for Halal certification, at which time, ACJU will repeat its product orientation process again. They (ACJU) don’t go around and demand anything from anyone. Instead, it is all voluntary by the manufacturers themselves. All types of Traders be they Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Christians contact ACJU and request certification in order to increase their sales, and pose a challenge to the competition. For the majority Buddhists, it is not sn issur at all since they can consume both Halal and non-Halal (Haram) since they are not bound by such rules, although not supposed to eat any meat at all. A lot of what ACJU earns through licencing is spent on salaries to staff, training and employing them to monitor the processez in the various factories islandwide, conducting laboraory research and product tests, etc., It is no easy process. All Accounts auditted, taxes paid, and every penny accounted for. ACJU is more service oriented than business profit oriented. They know exactly what they are doing and cannot be fooled easily. There are Halal Committees setup in almost every country in the world that has Muslims living as citizens. You can google Halal India, Sri Lanka or any country for that matter, such as Buddhist country Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and see for yourselves how Halal system works in those countries. This is not unique to Sri Lanka only, except you were in the dark until BBS brought it out into light.

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            I do not want to learn about halal or I have no any special dislike to have halal. But I do not agree with anyone who ask my pocket in oder to perform their religious customary which I am not interested.

            whatever benefit of halal is for Muslims. Because it will ease their search in foods. So let Muslims pay for their own comfort. Why should others pay for someone else comfort.

            My suggestion is That what ever the cost which incurred due to halal by ACJU , it has to bare by them self as a service to their community.

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          Any product you take, Halaal & non halaal price the same

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            there are things call micro situation and Macro situation.

            In Micro situation the difference of the price is little. agreed. But in Macro picture we pay 0.78 billion per year to perform Halal.

            If some one want halal , let them pay for it.

            in that sense ACJU has to bare any cost of evaluation process as a service to their own community.

            it is very ridiculous us to pay from our pocket in order to satisfy of others need.

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      Where did you get these figures? Just because a Buddhist monk says it, it does not become true. According to the rebuttal, the income is said to be about 18 million a year and the expenditure is said to be about 15.5 million.

      I would suggest that the Auditor General be called upon to check and inform the public.

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        The charge is varying between Rs. 6000 to Rs. 300,000 per year. It depend on the organization. The info is from the web site. Even though they claim that their accounts are audited it has not produced in their web site.

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          Majority of the organisations having the Halal Certification are owned by Buddhists. Presumably, they will all now opt out of the system and the whole certification process will die a natural death. It is only a matter of time. Maybe the priests should now have a Satyagraha in front of Malibans to accelerate the process.

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      Besides, in Halal, animals are allowed to bleed to death. There is nothing humane in that.

      Why in still a – majority buddhist country such barbaric practices should be allowed.

      Both these humantarian writers are anti-Buddhists. So, they good opportunity to bash buddhists.

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      Mayya, you are such an idiot, but then again I should not insult idiots by comparing them with you. I assume you are an adult, but unfortunately you have not developed your comprehension and analytical skills have you? Go back to the ACJU web site, download the document dealing with charges and then get a 10 year old to read it and explain it to you. Ask questions from the 10 year old until you understand the contents of the document. The charges are worked out based on a combination of the size of the company and number of products, but there is also an upper limit that they will charge (economies of size I guess). So, your simplistic method of multiplying the # of brands (products) in the market by the potential per annum charge for a large scale company is either because you are 1)innumerate and illiterate or 2)trying to create communal violence, 3)mentally unstable and need help, or 4)combination of all 4. Judging by all your different rants, I think dropping the M from your name and substituting a P is an appropriate description of you your mentality and behavior !
      For all this fuss about Halal, is there a price difference in the market for the same product and quality (apart from being Halal) between Halal and non-Halal? FYI, for any food processing company it is more cost effective to run a production line Halal all the time than operating Halal at times for a market segment and non-Halal for the rest. All multinational food companies (based in christian societies) are producing Halal products for the same reason; gives them access to a large domestic market and a huge global market.
      It is good to see that there are some companies in SL that are progressive and can see the bigger global picture and grab opportunities than the frog in the well Payyas of SL.

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    Has Thisaranne ever written an article addressing greivences of Sinhala – buddhists less than 17 million both the regional and the world minority living in Sri Lanka ?

    They are being cornered for centuries in their own country and day by day, decade by decade and century by century.

    Can one quote just one article ?

    The writer should give up her first name, I suggest.

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      Good observation.[Edited out] can only reply.

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      I think you are right. The Sinhala people have lots of problems and grievances. But so do all of us living in these times under this particular regime. But you should really think about wether all these problems that the Sinhalese are having are caused by the minorities or if being Sinhala by definition these days means having a minority to bash! I think the Sinhalese enjoyed having the LTTE as a foil for so long that they now need another enemy. Like they said of Nazi Germany- if the jews didnt exist they would have had to be invented. We are doing a great job here in Sri Lanka.

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      Hasn’t thisaranee written about judicial independance and the large scale corruption in this country? Hasnt she written about silencing political oponents by the regime? Who are the biggest victim of the acts by this gov? It is the sinhala people. It is high time sinhalese understand that. The reality is sinhala people are a bigger victime of this gov more than the tamils. The tragedy is it is them who sustain this government. It is high time u open your eyes and get a hold of the reality.

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      Jim Softy, please do not make a mistake.This land was at one time the land of the Tamils. There were archeological evidence to that effect.( Unless destroyed by E.Medalankara and his crowd the JHU )The best records on Buddhism were by a Tamil Buddist Monks from that region presently known as tamil nadu- Buddhagosha. It is Darwins theory that the strong eventually took over. Thus this land became known as a land of then Sinhalese.This will not be so for long, because the Sinhala Buddists do not seem to use their brains.They are unable to build organisations.They more interested in what the neighbour ate, what they dress, how they ride. If the neigbour is one standard above you, send petitions, perform hooniyans but no attempt is being made to raise one’s standard.Since the days of Gamini Corea, Neville Jayaweer,Jayantha Danapala, Judge Weeramathry, Amarasinghe, all pre 1977, crowd how many Sinhalaese have reached leading positions in the world? I can only name one.This applies to law, Administration, Education Politics Research and what do you want?
      It is useless to blame the Muslims or the Chritians.Blame oureslves and the dirty priests who are attempting to set the country on fire.

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    I have a feeling that this BBS is a creation of the Rajapaksa brothers to create turmoil in the country in order to tighten their autocratic rule. Halal issue has suddenly come into focus not brought by the general public but by a small group of extremist monks with a clear motive of creating a backlash. The issue is very important to the muslims and they are not going to accept what the BBS wants and are likely to react with violence. Rajapaksa is playing with fire.

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      Very true. This is definitely inspired from the top to distract and consolidate the majority community support.

      As far as Muslims are concerned, they do not need Halal certification. For centuries they have lived in this country and elsewhere knowing what is Halal and what is forbidden. Halal certification is only for commercial purposes and I would recommend that the ACJU suspends issuing of certificates and withdraws the certificates immediately from all the Commercial organisations until the Government gets its governance act together.

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    There cannot be and never will be equality among all faiths unless and until the Rajapakse regime is eliminated!

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      It was Rajapakses’ fault that Crusade wars began and Islamic conquests happened.

      It is Rajapakses’s fault that Tamils were naturally anti-Hindi, anti-Hindu and brought those sentiments to Sri lanka and became anti-Sinhala, Ant-Buddhists.

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      Rajapakse too is responsible for the current state of affairs in this country. But stating we cant have equality among faiths until MR regime is eliminated is wrong. The problem is in the society. We need to fix the society. For that people like you and many commenting here has to do something real. Go and talk with ur community leaders, go and talk with monks and emphasize this is a multi cultural country and we need peace between different races.

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    Brilliant stuff Tissaranee! You are one of the few fearles writers in the country today. Most others are focused on joining the bandwagon of “success,”-the Rajapakse kleptocracy.The country needs more journalists of your metal and ilk.
    Monks of the JHU rode on the emotions created by media over the demise of Revd Soma who was also a fraud. JHU promised to hold an enquiry into the death and “expose the Christian conspiracy.” To date no enquiry has been held. That priestly party is now salivating at the Mercedes cars that are bestowed on them. Champika came to Melbourne and distributed cassetes of his highly inflammatory racist speeches. Some foolish people here thought he was a real patriotic hero.
    Tissaranee, why don’t you give us your email?

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    “WHO LET THE DOGS OUT”……This is what Sir. John Kotalawela told SWRD Bandaranaike 60 years ago…..not to let loose the yellow robe dogs who he tight and kept under leash. But SWRD let them go and paid the ultimate price with his life by unleashing these pingutharayas. Now they are been unleashed again and now they play havoc to the society.

    If anybody could research to these buddhist monks parents and their lives…..99% of them come from families of absolute poverty, uneducated, uncultured and simply becomming monks due to getting a sure meal, free education while release from burden to their parents. That’s why they are called pingutharayas as their lives are pre occupied with sustaining by food to sustain and education and learning bana and pirith and gatha which no one understand…

    There is no religion they follow other than Philosophy and due to uneducation they can be easily manupulated and could be used by anybody.

    That’s why MARA using them as his third force to cover behind his sordid activities and seek protection while instigating violance among communities to divert public from economic misery.

    Govt. will be the biggest looser if there going to be a Buddhist Muslim conflict with economic boycott on Halal food. Middle East countries could ban Sri Lankan products, while avoiding Sri Lankan Airlines and restricting investments to Sri Lanka.

    Also this will pave way for foreign Islamic extrimist groups to atttack Sri Lanka and it’s installations and boycott it’s products.

    If the Govt. allow a handful of uneducated Buddhist fanatics to control it’s economy, it will be the biggest blunder in Sri Lanka’s history.
    It clearly show how Sinhala thattaya is modaya kevum kanna yodaya.
    They will not eat kevum….but Punnakku in future.
    At the moment the whole budget and the economy and the administration of the country is run by ” Four Rajapakse Brother’s & company Unlimited”

    From Hambanthota harbour to Mattala Airport to Norochcholai , Sampoor Powerplants upto Nelum pokuna Theatre, cricket stadiums, CPC Hedging deals, all road constructions, Divineguma, Security forces, police and Judiciary,CB Chief, all VIP posts and Buddhist Clergy and Preletes…all are under MARA Brother’s & Co.unlimitred Ministry.

    All the rest in the parliament are mere Pin Padi Yes Sir Vandi Battayas.
    Sri Lanka already a one man family business and let it be that way to the end.
    Using BBS or Sinhala Urumaya to fulfill Rajapakse ambitions will be the next Hara Kiri Rajapakses bringing on them similar to what SWRD brought upon him.
    Why don’t MARA send this BB Sena to Afganistan to fight Taliban…..We can earn valuable foreign exchange.

    WHO LET THE DOGS OUT……Remember what Sir.John Kotalawela said.

    Until we get rid of this Gon Harak Hambanthota Kela vedda MARA and his underwear cleaners pinguthata, Pina kana local Taliban BBS…..we will never come up in life….ever in Sri Lanka.

    It’s time to kick both of these asses from Sri Lanka.

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      I am Buddhist but I totally agrre with you. All what you said are 1000% correct.

      Cyril

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    BBS has not eaten a good Mutton Biryani for a long time.

    I think they will get the best Pakistan Basmathi Mutton Biryani diet with Sambole pretty soon……in a whole sale meal with pakora and Yogurt masala.

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    Whether it is Taliban or BBS. Both are a curse on their respective countries. Majority of the Sri Lankan population are ready to believe what these racist people are saying but do not think rationally. I am a buddhist , what I would say most of theses people who call them do not practice what Lord Buddha told. But think just going to the temple with a Mal wattiya makes them buddhist. Lord Buddha’s most important message was , do not believe just because I said., Think your self. Sadly most of us do not practice.

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    Now Bodu Bala Sena making halal an issue which could lead to ignition of harmony of religious groups of Sri Lanka which would take many more decades for healing. Govt is also not interested in putting a stop to it. However govt is not interested to find out an option if Arab World refuse to sell fuel to us or only sell Halal petrol and diesel. From where is MR GOING TO GET NON HALAL FUEL Serious thing to think about instead of petty ethno/religious politics

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    Real sinhala buddhists reject these mushroom oraganizations. Less than 5% of the buddhist population are intolerant and racist. They dont follow lord buddha’s teachings. Muslims and christians should be protected at all costs.

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      THIS IS JUST WHAT MUSLIMS WANT.
      HOW DOES A MUSLIMS BEARD OR THE FULLY COVERED MUSLIM WOMEN AFFECT THE
      BUDDHISTS.
      I HAVE HEARD THE VEN.MONK ON THE THURSDAY NIGHT TNL SHOW COMMENTING
      ON THE DISGUSTING MANNER OF SINHALA BUDDHIST WOMEN DRESSING EVEN COMING TO THE TEMPLE.
      THIS IS NOT A HALAL, HIJAB ISSUE.
      RAJAPAKSE IS PLAYING WITH FIRE.
      BE WARNED RAJAPAKSE THAT YOU WILL NOT GET AWAY SO EASILY.
      THOUGH PROVOKED MUSLIMS ARE ACTING WITH RESTRAINT.
      WE ARE ASKED BY ALLAH TO BE FIRM AND STEADFAST PRAY AND BE PATIENT.
      WHEN THE HELP OF ALLAH COMES, VICTORY IS CERTAIN.
      IT IS RECORDED HISTORY. IT IS NOT LEGEND OR JATAKA STORIES.

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        A pity that two million innocent deaths in Iraq, the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Palestine by the Zionists, the numerous invasions by Israel into Lebanon, the pillage of Libya, the destabilisation of Syria, the Western designs on destroying Iran have all not been helped by divine intervention so far…

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    Most of these fellows BBM and other saffron mafia are today suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes because of their eating lifestyles. Majority masses who are giving bana and alms are giving calls prior to the bana asking people for arrack to be put into thambili kohombas, with wild boar, pork, read meat and arrack, these are the life styles of majority of saffron mafia. Now these guys who come from very impoverished backgrounds have eaten these danas and now they are “thela vadivela” so they have to expend their energy by creating havoc in the country and creating bloodshed, because according to them the more blood you shed you become a good buddhist, that the BBM version in sri lanka, condoned and instigated by the mafia regime, whilst the good buddhists are ssick and tired of these hooligans.

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      Helena, what a pity today everyone only pays lip service to their respective religion. I wish to quote Walpola Sri Rahula “In the third century B.C., the great Buddhist Emperor Asoka of India, following this noble example of tolerance and understanding, honoured and supported all other religions in his vast empire. In one of his Edicts carved on the rock, the original of which one may read even today, the Emperor declared: ‘One should not honour only one’s own religion and condemn the religions of others, but one should honour others’ religions for this or that reason. So doing, one helps one’s own religion to grow and renders service to the religions of others too.
      In acting otherwise one digs the grave of one’s own religion and also does harm to other religions. Whosoever honours his own religion and condemns other religions, does so indeed through devotion to his own religion, thinking “I will glorify my own religion”. But on the contrary, in so doing he injures his own religion more gravely. So concord is good: Let all listen, and be willing to listen to the doctrines professed by others’. We should add here that this spirit of sympathetic understanding has been from the beginning one of the most cherished ideals of Buddhist culture and civilization.
      Walpola Sri Rahula in what the Buddha taught -I plead with all well meaning friends take inspiration from this edict, to the Buddhists contemplate on the noble eightfold path, learn to stand by the truth and do not allow charlatans to take over our minds and souls and cause mayhem in this once peaceful country!

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    Religion has to change the people to promote love and compassion among people and live in peace and harmony. Unfortunately when the leader don’t do it, how do we expect people to follow them.

    Living in Saudi Arabia we have people belong to many different faith, but I have never noticed any difference in our love to people.

    Sri Lankans are so popular as respectable and literate people. But behaviors of very fractional minority who instigate unrest destroys the image of our nation. May Got protect our nation and guide them in to peace loving people.

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    I would like to Thanks my Sinhalese Brothers and whom I consider Trude Budhists for their comments against racism and expressing their Concern against the Anti Muslim Campaign in Sri Lanka. For Thousands of years the Muslims and Sinhalese lived side by Side and fought against the Portuguese to preserve the Countries Territorial integrity. The Relationship was further strengthened during the Eelam War when the Muslims wholeheartedly supported against any form of divisions and paid a heavy Price .The last thing we need is to destroy the hard earned Peace and getting ourselves dragged once again in to another Communal War which will take our country take our country backwards. It is evident that a small minority that is causing Problems and looking for New enemies to gain political mileage to suit there whims and fancies. Its obvious the Rajapakse Regime will not do anything to curb this disturbing trend as its a ideal way to divert attention from its Short Comings.

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    I would like to Thanks my Sinhalese Brothers and whom I consider True Bhduists for their comments against racism and expressing their Concern against the Anti Muslim Campaign in Sri Lanka. For Thousands of years the Muslims and Sinhalese lived side by Side and fought against the Portuguese to preserve the Countries Territorial integrity. The Relationship was further strengthened during the Eelam War when the Muslims wholeheartedly supported against any form of divisions and paid a heavy Price .The last thing we need is to destroy the hard earned Peace and getting ourselves dragged in to another Communal War which will take our backwards. It is evident that a small minority that is causing Problems and looking for New enemies to gain political mileage to suit there whims and fancies. Its obvious the Rajapakse Regime will not do anything to curb this disturbing trend, as its a ideal way to divert attention from its own Short Comings.

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    – Every time there is an issue a bunch of anti-establishment folks and bleeding hearts come out of the woodwork to spew vitriolic nonsense about everything else but the issue.

    – Halal is a muslim food.Period.
    – There about 10% muslims in Sri Lanka. So like in the West only about 10% percent of the foods sold should be halal. Why must all 100% be halal.
    – If the Gulf wants to eat halal, exports to that place can be halal certified.
    -Threats such as the tourist trade from the gulf countries going to Malaysia instead of Sri Lanka don’t mean anything. Policy is not decided based on such considerations.
    – What were the Muslims buying about 10 years ago before this halal issue came up.
    -The writer should lead with the truth instead of taking pot shots and using fearmongering to criticize the govt., every chance she gets. This is not real journalism.

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      American Mama,

      Since you are an American Mama…..I send you the following web video clips to show you how Americans and west Kill their animals.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oTCA9V3eNs
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FEUfkmJQuA
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPU01FnQ5ko
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgSaWUlgsxk&list=PL992FFA66EA186622&index=1

      I travel world wide including your named country and have seen many more videos on Western slaughter and food processing and food preparations… I wrote a detail comment on Halal and other foods on a seperate article.

      I don’t know what you mean by halal food is Muslim food…..other that they are less contaminated, more fresh and more healthy with less mixing with foreign matter. It is only prayers they do before slaughter and we are not effected by it.

      I will confirm that Muslim Halal slaughter and foods similar to Jewish Kosher is the best. Western stun gun slaughter makes the blood clot in animal bodies and make them fear and numb their boddies, thereby their flesh becomes burned, clogged with blood clots, tasteless and not healthy.Also the rearing of animals, animal feed, Homone and steroids injected to them….all are unhealthy. Also same with processed, GM (genetically modified)foods,flavoured and coloured foods which are mostly geared for profit taking.

      Do you know that a leading world famous fast food chain mixes seven different types of vegetable and animal fat and oil to fry their french fries…….just to attract more customers with aroma and flavour.

      That’s why most of the western countries now have seperate Organic food chains, who are geared on and more concern of selling food and groceries that are more healthy, less GM and less manure and using less chemicals and insecticides.

      Countries like sri lanka where food hygine, preparation, processing and ingredients used are not under scrutiny and with less guidelines and supervision……it is much safer if there’s a guideline to follow in food preparations……similar to Halal food.

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    If I have to pay a little so that my Muslims brethren can eat with ease of mind, so be it.

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      Upul, even this is not necessary. What we have to do is look into the whole certification process. A size able section of the Muslim Community are not happy in the manner this is done by the ACJU. You see if the manufacturer indicates that the ingredients are all vegetarian then that is halal. The ACJU need not proceed any further. Religion has made it easy and simple for us by stating what is HALAAL is clear and what is HARAAM is clear. For anything doubtful to steer clear on the safe side. We do not need a committee for this . The problem arises when Manufacturers supply to external markets in Muslim countries, then a responsible body has to certify that permissible (halal) ingredients are used. This is the gist of the whole problem. The best solution to the whole affair will be to appoint a committee of Respected and distinguished seniors and experts and to re-vamp the certification process

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        Muslims should start their own shops to sell Hala food.They should also rum pharmacies, groceries,hardware shops where they only cater for their people.These should be situated in central places,.Like what used to happen in the GODB, the Muslims should otrganise cheap transport for their people to go shopping once a week. Then watch the fun. See what happens to the Jada Bala Sena

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          Not a good idea to expose the Muslims business places in isolation, as it would definitely become marked targets. It should always integrated into all business outlets irrespective (as in its present form). Let Muslims go into these business outlets and buy only Halal labeled products, thus promoting sales of those who care to subscribe to Islamic values. Of course they stand to benefit. Lets not change the status-quo.

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      thank you Upul

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    American Mama:
    When you say ” This is not real journalism” after writing what you have, it says it all because what you have to say is “real idiocy.”

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