3 March, 2024

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Sepal’s Case Raises Questions On Fair Applicability Of Anti-Hate Laws!

By Mohamed Harees –

Lukman Harees

Sepal Amarasinghe, a popular YouTuber known for being a freethinker and non-believer instantly recognisable from his voluminous long white beard was in hot waters recently. He was arrested by the CID over alleged slanderous statements made regarding the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), which insulted the belief of millions of Buddhists particularly in Sri Lanka. Even the Malwatta and Asgiriya Mahanayakes wrote to the President Ranil Wickremesinghe, raising concerns about these offensive statements, and urged the government to take necessary measures to nip the matter in the bud. In a rare display of unity, parliamentarians across the aisle spoke as one demanding legal action.

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, vowed legal action against Sepal, stressing that the religious harmony in the country cannot be allowed to be disrupted. The minister said legal action must be initiated in terms of Section 290 of the Penal Code and in terms of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act. Section 290 of the Penal Code reads: “Whoever destroys, damages, or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class persons, with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of insult the any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage, or defilement as an insult to their religion, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”. Section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act provides:“No person shall…advocate national, racial, or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence.” 

 

 

True, Sepal should be dealt with according to the law, as religious harmony is the foundation for economic progress. But, how honest are the governments in implementing anti-hate laws such as ICCPR? Unfortunately, there is selective law implementation and a serious impunity crisis in Sri Lanka depending on the context and personalities involved! The use of the ICCPR in Sri Lanka on matters of faith too has been controversial. Democracies face the perennial challenge of combating harmful speech. In Sri Lanka, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act of 2007 remains at the centre of this challenge.

It is reasonable that there was fury among the Buddhists when one of their most venerated objects and symbols was insulted by Sepal, using derogatory and inflammatory terms such as “Labba” which in colloquial Sinhalese means male genitalia. It should be condemned and cannot be condoned in any context. In the words of MP Wimal Weerawansa, a staunch nationalist, who shared the public sentiments thus, “.. They’re now insulting the sacred tooth relic, in offensive language. If anybody chooses not to believe in the sacred tooth relic, they’re free to do so, but they have no right to hurt the sentiments of those who do believe. This descent to savagery must not be allowed. Action must be taken against it immediately. “Protecting the sacred tooth is the foremost duty of the state. Can these ‘thuppahi hipaatuwan’ be allowed to insult it with offensive language?”. Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said nobody in the world has the right to insult the tooth relic, which is an object venerated not just in Sri Lanka but by Buddhists across the world. “Our feelings as Buddhists and those of our venerable monks have been hurt by this insult.” It should however be stated even Pitiduwe Siridhamma Thero a.k. a. Samanthabadra Thero also likened Tooth relic to a pig’s tooth. No law enforcement was seen being used against him in this regard, although he was let off with a pardon from the Mahanayakes.  

It was JVP led NPP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake who identified the real issue behind such unwanted provocations. “We know that our country was once embroiled in a war. There was much bloodshed. There were then religious conflicts. There was bloodshed there too. The way this country can move forward is not through conflict on ethnic or religious lines. From time to time, situations like this emerge. Various groups want to create different forms of fundamentalist conflicts. As a government and as a society we must be mindful that such things can give rise to major conflicts. I think everyone has a responsibility to not allow such a situation.”

No dispute arises regarding the application of anti-hate laws like ICCPR to cases where religious harmony and sensitivities are targeted and also in the context of a period of time such as the postwar period where religious animosities and inter communal mistrust were at its peak. A country already wounded by war and religious violence cannot afford any repetitions of such nature. However, problem arises when there is selective application and abuses of such laws to gain political advantage and a worsening impunity crisis blowing across the nation specially in postwar period in Sri Lanka. 

In Sri Lanka, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act of 2007 remains at the centre of this challenge. One of the principal aims of the Act is to protect persons from speech that incites violence and discrimination. The ICCPR Act is meant to incorporate certain provisions of the UN’s ICCPR into Sri Lanka’s domestic law. Section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act, therefore, ought to serve the same purpose as Article 20(2) of the ICCPR. The Covenant was drafted and negotiated during the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. This historical context forms the backdrop to the specific prohibition on incitement to violence and discrimination – a context in which violence and discrimination against the Jewish community was routinely advocated in Europe. Article 20(2) was meant to be a shield against future occurrence of such incitement. It was specifically designed to protect vulnerable minority groups. 

However, as writer Gehan Gunatilleke says in an article in 2019 in www.veriteresearch.org website, “in the 12 years since its enactment, not a single person who has incited violence against a minority group in Sri Lanka has been convicted under the Act; this is despite four major incidents of mob violence against the Muslim community in the past five years: Aluthgama in 2014, Gintota in 2017, Digana and Teldeniya in 2018, and Kurunegala and Gampaha in 2019. Section 3(1) of the Act, which is meant to be a shield against such incitement, has failed to achieve its principal purpose”. 

“Yet, the crisis concerning the ICCPR Act does not end there. It is not just a broken shield. The leftover shards are now being used to attack the very citizens that the law is meant to protect. It would seem that Sri Lanka’s ICCPR Act has been transformed into a weapon. It is now a weapon wielded by majoritarian power to suppress those who offend majoritarian sensibilities. There was once a time when Sri Lankans lamented the State’s failure to enforce the ICCPR Act and bring perpetrators of ‘incitement’ to justice. That outrage now seems a distant indulgence. The crisis has become much greater today. For what was once merely a broken shield is now a weapon of choice”.

In June 2014, an altercation between a Buddhist monk and two Muslims resulted in a public rally in Aluthgama, known for its ethnic and religious diversity. Renown hate monk Galagoda Athte Gnanasara Thero of BBS responsible for numerous hate campaigns against Muslims, told an angry mob at the rally that ‘if a single Sinhalese is touched, it would be the end of all Muslims’. Moments after these inflammatory remarks, riots broke out in Aluthgama and neighbouring areas. Four people were killed and over a hundred Muslim-owned businesses destroyed. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights described the incident as ‘one of the worst incidents of sectarian violence in Sri Lanka’s recent history’. 

More than a year later, the new Sri Lankan government has responded to the problem of religious violence by attempting to introduce new laws on hate speech. Sections of Sri Lanka’s civil society, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and the main opposition party in Parliament immediately opposed the new Bills, which argued that, like the PTA, the new laws would be used to target critics of government rather than hate speech offenders. Petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Bills were then filed in the Sri Lankan Supreme Court. The government succumbed to the pressure generated through the campaign and abandoned the Bills. It was thought that the campaign had succeeded in at least maintaining the space to bring past perpetrators of hate speech to justice. It was anticipated at that time that enforcing the ICCPR Act was vital to advancing justice and preventing future religious violence. However, not only those very perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity even today, but also it is tragic ICCPR law is being selectively applied, misused and not serving the very purpose of bringing it into the law books – is to protect persons from speech that incites violence and discrimination. 

Gnanasara Thero has been involved in a series of hate speeches regarding Islam and the Muslims. He, in a later press interview insulted Allah in reference to a Muslim place of worship by using the same derogatory word Sepal used in reference to the Dalada Maligawa. Then, in the post Easter attack period, he stated that the mastermind of the Easter attack is Allah and that a similar attack will take place in the future. However, in spite of his terrible anti-Muslim track records, impunity reigned high and no action was taken against him. Just consider what happened to him on the contrary! It was humorous that this hardliner monk who was sentenced by a court in Sri Lanka to six months in prison for criminally intimidating a person inside a court in 2016 was later pardoned by the then President Sirisena by using his presidential powers. Adding insult to injury, he was also rewarded by making him the Chair of the ‘One Country- One Law’ Commission, by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and his avowed aim was to abolish the personal laws applicable to the Muslims. 

Sri Lanka does not face a gap in the law as far as hate speech is concerned. In fact, the current law is fully compliant with international standards. The problem is one of enforcement. Many instances of abuse of ICCPR Act have had a ‘chilling effect’ on fundamental freedoms. The award-winning author and poet Shakthika Sathkumara, was arrested in early April ‘19 after he wrote about sexual abuse and pedophilia involving a member of the Buddhist clergy which was claimed to have insulted Buddhism. After the Easter Sunday tragedy, Fathima Nushra Zarook was arrested for wearing a kaftan depicting a ship’s helm, mistaken by vigilantes and police in Hasalaka as a Dharmachakraya (a Buddhist symbol used to depict the Dhamma and the walk to enlightenment). Both arrests were made under the ICCPR Act, and concerned parties claimed these were gross abuse of an act introduced to promote and protect human rights. As Gehan Gunatilleke says, “not one person involved in incitement to violence in Aluthgama, Digana or Kurunegala has been convicted under the law. So, the main purpose behind this section of the Act has not been achieved to date. However, this section has been enforced to arrest and incarcerate a writer such as Sathkumara for writing a piece of fiction that allegedly insults the Buddhist clergy. The ICCPR Act does not deal with mere offence or insults. This is a tragic case of abusing a scarcely used provision of law for a purpose not even covered by that law”. So, ICCPR Act introduced to promote individual rights is now used either to abuse civil liberties or not used to prosecute actual culprits like Gnanasaras who advocated violence against minorities or Ratanes who called for boycott of Muslim businesses or invented the whole Dr. Shafi fiasco to create enmity against the Muslims in the eyes of the majority community. 

Hate speech laws, as with blasphemy laws, are often used by states against the very minorities they are designed to protect. In some cases, they are even used to restrict minorities from promoting their culture and identity, or from expressing concern about discrimination against them by the majority. However, as UN Secretary General said, “addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech. It means keeping hate speech from escalating into something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, which is prohibited under international law. We need to treat hate speech as we treat every malicious act: by condemning it, refusing to amplify it, countering it with the truth, and encouraging the perpetrators to change their behaviour”. 

Society has an important and legitimate role to play in responding to harmful speech. By extension, the state too has a crucial role to play in this domain. However, there are serious risks of abuse that need to be confronted when defining the state’s role. At least in contexts such as in Sri Lanka, there is a compelling case for a minimalist approach – an approach that simply does not entrust the state with extensive criminal jurisdiction over speech. Political and religious leaders and also Media have a special responsibility to promote peaceful coexistence without resorting to inflammatory statements that amounts to hate speech and spreading of fake news. Multi-pronged Approach is essential to create awareness, empathy, and protection of all people in Sri Lanka and to strike a balance between freedom of speech and expression, right to information with protection from hate speech and fake news. Judiciary and law enforcement should ensure that anti hate laws are applied fairly & equally, to suit the purpose. 

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Latest comments

  • 22
    0

    Like in every thing else, these are nothing but SHAM, to entertain retards. “Not one person involved in incitement to violence has been convicted by this law”. Ganasara the biggest insult to SB was freed by Pissu Sira , Mahinda incited anti Muslim violence after Easter, and recently against Aragalaya, is free to incite more. Yellow robed were insulting courts and religion by forcibly invading the disputed and threatening the devotees. Govt organized fanatics insulted Muslims with their anti Halal, clothing, cremation, – – – etc. What more ???

    • 13
      0

      “Ganasara the biggest insult to SB”
      Is not the concept of SB itself a weird concept that yielded the likes of Gnanasara?

    • 11
      0

      “Adding insult to injury, he was also rewarded by making him the Chair of the ‘One Country- One Law’ Commission, by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and his avowed aim was to abolish the personal laws applicable to the Muslims. “
      The absolute height of hypocrisy, trying to deny Muslims polygamy while these monks themselves are up to all sorts of sexual shenanigans. Sepal himself referred to this a week ago.

      • 1
        0

        To be fair, other countries too have laws against insulting religion. But they don’t arrest the perpetrators….
        BBC News – Demi Lovato poster banned for being offensive to Christians
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-64214750

    • 11
      1

      Chiv

      Wijedasa Rajapaksa as Justice minister visited the Chandia Saffron clad thug (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1pc0zfIok8) in Batiicaloa defended him and gave photo opportunity (https://www.facebook.com/wijeyadasarajapakshe/videos/10154888232236474/) to him in order to promote his standing among the hard-line immoral Sinhala/Buddhist noisy minority.

      Is this saffron clad thug a close associate/friend of Nimal Fernando, as both seem to share Chandia streak?

      • 2
        0

        Native,
        Well, Sepal has been locked up again till the 19th.
        According to Dileepa Pieris, the State Prosecutor, two of his heinous crimes are:
        1. Insulting Gnanasara by addressing him as “machang”. Has the Attorney General forgotten that this creep in yellow was jailed until released by Pissu Sira?
        2. Making millions off his YouTube channels while having only passed OL. If that’s a crime, many honourable MP’s should be in jail.
        Is this a conspiracy to get the case thrown out? Surely Lankan lawyers can’t be this dumb?

        • 3
          0

          OC
          I wonder how much Malwatta and Asgiriya bosses receive from the daily collection at maligawa daily.
          There are countless tills in addition to the tourist payment counter.
          Do you know how much land they own in Kandy town? All the maligawa land is on rent in the most choice commercial areas.
          Gatambe pansala is another mega till where money keeps pouring in all day.
          Instead of teaching Buddha Dharma to people, the whole thing has been turned into a big business.

          • 1
            0

            HT,
            .
            There are a number of reports that the Pinguththarayas (not even 5% of monks are good monks among them, according to Sepal, most of other out of 20 000 island wide sangayas coming from destitute families) of Sri Lanka are wealthy in some hidden ways. Many monks have become ha-maduruwos (parasites).
            For many of them, thoughts of pleasure, status, fame and wealth define existence in everything, rather than applying Ummagga Jataka to this day. These Mahanayake Theros (guardians of sinhala-buddhism in SL) and their duplicitous behavior or lax nature must be more complicit in the erosion of society in the last few years.

            Do you remember how a Mahanayake thero publicly asked Gota to“become Hitler and save this nation” . But what revealed was that Gota was now saved by the nation. “Sinhala community dominated by Modaya/stupid” completely misleading statements.

            Even today, not a single journalist questions that “Mahanayaka”, as to why he thought that Gota could do the job ?TYPICAL SRILANKEN JOURNALISM.

          • 1
            0

            HT,
            The Mahanayakas are about as Buddhist as Sinhalese are descended from lions. And for similar reasons, both myths have to be kept alive, by force if necessary.

  • 11
    0

    Kangaroo legal system stands exposed by this case. The current justice minister who spoke in length about hurting peoples feelings is one of the main culprits for the ruin of this country.
    The only thing he did in the yahapalana govt was protecting accused war criminals, and burying fraud cases. May be there are skeletons in his closet.

  • 11
    0

    Dear sensitive readers,
    .
    If a monk can get away with it, why not a layman? At this level, Sepal should only be warned not to go against certain traditions and laws.

    However, in order to clarify the accusation against Samantha Badda, Samantha Badda should be called for an investigation and his DNA must be tested for the fatherhood revealations.
    This has been a long overdue injustice. Why does not law and order act on him? He may be a good businessman, but should be derobed.
    Why can any criminal hide under the cloak of Sangha in order to commit any serious crime and get pardoned again and again?
    Just like the indecent behavior at Pali University two weeks ago, today we see some monks (mostly not yet ordained) wearing “design haircuts”.
    :
    In addition, the term “labba” in Sinhala has several meanings.
    .
    1) Watermelon used for cooking in Sri Lankan kitchen
    2) Single hernia
    3) Anything – Things that are not as important as appeared to be called ” labba”.

  • 4
    0

    Justice minister: What say you?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAJ01mvPmWY

  • 10
    0

    Which law is fairly applied in Lanka ?? Laws are never applied equally to Non SB, minorities, economically poor, less influential, non Rajapaksa supporters, people who refuse / don’t pay bribes – – – – -. We heard enough from Hole about Lanka’s special “Low and Odor”.

  • 10
    1

    Hate, my foot!

    Ranil is as much the old guard as any Rajapakse (more cunning, crafty and shameless than any of them) ……… or any of Native’s cousin Safronistas! ……… He has never spoken out against “Sinhala Buddhist” excesses. He has no real conviction about the rights of anyone: just playing games/politics for his own advantage …….. to either come into power or to remain in power.

    Gotta have an almighty blood-bath …… and burning-through-the-nights. …….To wipe the slate clean and start anew.

    Let the real revolution begin: come what may ……. whatever comes, can’t be worse than what we have now.

    Throughout history ……… almost all revolutions have been violent.

    It’s time for “Sinhala Buddhists” like Native, who think – when they want to look good – their creed is pacifism and non-violence…….. but have not been shy to use violence against the minorities …… to turn some of that unspeakable violence onto their own kind.

    If they want to save themselves.

    • 3
      0

      nimal fernando

      Mikhail Gorbachev once described what was happening in USSR as being a revolution without a shot being fired.

      It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.
      Mahatma Gandhi

  • 5
    0

    On another note, I found this and the accompanying photos very interesting..

    https://asianmirror.lk/news/item/34775-more-dalada-maligawa-replicas-crop-up-on-sm-following-kurunegala-replica-drama

    “Social media users have shared images of replicas of the Sri Dalada Maligawa that were built across the country over the years. These include government-funded replicas that now function as libraries and even technical colleges. Some are abandoned and left unused as pointed out by members of the public. People have raised questions over the scandal which has broken out against a similar building in Kurunegala, pointing out that other buildings similar to the Dalada Maligawa already exist around the country”.

  • 5
    1

    I don’t know much about Sepal Amarasinghe but the google helped me to get some idea about his thoughts and missions through you tube.
    The religions in Sri Lanka need self critism before accusing as a criminal according to one comment against Buddhist institutions. Have they done their part in bringing the religious harmony in the country for over seven decades? See the link below;
    “There would not have been a Prabhakaran had not there been a Cyril Mathew in the 1980s.”
    https://businesstoday.lk/a-man-on-a-mission/

  • 6
    0

    When the Police Commission (suppose to be independent, but not) and the IGP do not follow an order given by the Courts to transfer Deshabandu Tennekoon, what fairness can we expect from the Judiciary for not taking any follow-up action and the Police IGP/ Police Commission! Even under Deal Dasa as the Minister of Justice we find the Law and Order of the country has turned into Low Order!

  • 7
    0

    Chiv

    Wijedasa Rajapaksa as Justice minister visited the Chandia Saffron clad thug (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1pc0zfIok8) in Batiicaloa defended him and gave photo opportunity (https://www.facebook.com/wijeyadasarajapakshe/videos/10154888232236474/) to him in order to promote his standing among the hard-line immoral Sinhala/Buddhist noisy minority.

    Is this saffron clad thug a close associate/friend of Nimal Fernando, as both seem to share Chandia streak?

    • 5
      0

      NV,
      .
      Chandia had the saffron courage to be happy about the lack of rps to buy his v8 car. Can you imagine our idiots listening in “Sadhu Sadhu mode”? All these were ordained to the Sangha life to enjoy “V8 Saranang Gachchami”

      In a law-bound country, will these thugs ever get out of jail?

      https://www.youtube.com/shorts/RRrtTbYZjZo

  • 1
    0

    SINGALAYAAS Has short memories.first it was THILINI PRIYAMALI TELE-DRAMA Which kept away the cost of living hardship from peoples mind.Then came Asia cup cricket victory TELE-DRAMA And now SEPAL AMERASINGHE TELE-DRAMA WHICH WILL RUN FOR WEEKS.All singala political leaders shouted against SEPAL In parliament to fool the voters.as far as SEPAL IS CONCERNED THE WORDS UTTERED WAS JUST SLIP OF THE WORDS FROM HIS MOUTH.THERE IS ONLY POLITICAL ONE SIDED REASON TO ARREST HIM.BY ARRESTING SEPAL YOU CAN NOT BRING FINANCIAL AND COST OF LIVING ISSUES DOWN.JUST CID AND JUDICIAL SYSTEM IS WASTING TIME AND MONEY.CID LEFT KANCHI PANAI IMMRAN TO RUN AWAY TO INDIA BUT WENT BEHIND SEPAL.

  • 4
    0

    What law for Ranil?

  • 5
    0

    From the sections of Penal Code and the ICCPR Act cited in the article, I don’t see how Sepala’s “blasphemous” statement is actionable under either. The Penal Code section appears to contemplate destruction, damage or defilement arising from a physical act, not words. And how does his referring to the Temple of the Tooth as a “labba” result in discrimination, hostility snd violence against anyone? Sepala in all probability was “born” Buddhist so this alleged insult does not lead to hostility or tension between two religious communities either.
    I don’t know the context in which Sepala uttered this disparaging remark but if he had done so gratuitously and without cause then all that he is guilty of is stupidity on account of insensitivity.

    • 5
      0

      LJ
      .
      Your comment is the most logical comment I have seen so far regarding sepals arrest.
      .
      The government will try to break all norms to silence Sepal because he is very vocal about corrupt buddhist monks who have completely distorted the Buddha Dharma and at the same time Sepal is taking on the bunch of highly unscrupulous politicians and their henchmen.
      .
      The two parties are working hand in hand to deceive the unsuspecting innocent people to stay in power whilst swindling the country and the people.
      .
      In a corrupt system there are at least 4 collaborating parties who connive to cheat the people
      1. Politicians
      2. Clergy
      3. Media
      4. Law
      The clergy give credibility, the media launder while the law protect their crimes.
      You can see this happening clearly in Sri Lanka.
      Sepal exposed them all…

    • 4
      1

      LJ,
      I find Sepal’s provocative statement a wake-up call.

      I further believe that if those brutes in Parliament really want to stay out of the limelight, the divided society will always be twisted. They have no heart for people’s grievances. Not only Sepal but all of us who are 70% of the population of this country became Buddhists because our parents were Buddhists. Not because we are convinced that it is Sinhala Buddhism.
      The good side of the “labba statement” is that the entire Sri Lankan community is now in the mood to see what “real good Buddhism” is and how it is “unique” from “Sinhala Buddhism”

      tbc

      • 4
        1

        cont.
        .
        Sinhala Buddhist monks do not utter a single word against sharp remarks of visiting tourists despite the continued criminalization of “elephant slavery” in Pinnawala. Ridiculously enough these monks wear higher academic titles. Professor Kovoor said it long ago considering the profound understanding of our sinhala people.
        Animal nature itself dictates their calamities..

        If it is carefully studied, there is no doubt that the reports of animal cruelty in the name of Buddhism could reveal many more things that reveal the “true nakedness” of the Sinhala Buddhist. I have screened them closely in Pinnavala recently. I
        Not many legislators have a heart for the grievances of the people. Not only Sepal but all of us who are 70% of the population of this country became Buddhists because our parents were Buddhists. Not because we are convinced that it is Sinhala Buddhism. The good side of the “Labba statement” is that the entire Sri Lankan community is now in the mood to see what “True Good Buddhism” is and how it is “unique” from “Sinhala Buddhism”.

    • 1
      0

      RW, SLPP need a distraction from the economic issues and other related matters, like ethnic harmony and it’s resolution, though nominated 75 Independence anniversary for resolution, seems ever so far, as the parties involved re seeking views to ascertain the sincerity of that move too!!?? Unless RW has the nerve, shift the Independence Day!!!
      Less than 25 days for resolution, of a matter plagued for 6 decades and consumed 15 to 20 thousand lives in the process!!! Add to that the immeasurable and consequential displacement of people and disenchanting effects on the economy!!
      Not optimistic of RW’s moves, except buying time and ‘Fooling the masses – Both Sinhalese and Tamils”!!! SL politicians are very good at it!! Though they should bear in mind, that, one cannot foll all the people ALL the time!!! The tim of reckoning will come to realise the consequences of ‘TOM FOOLERY’!!!???
      That KNOT will continue to bug this nation, so elusive and hence, international support for “Bail Out” from economic crisis would be elusive too!!!
      God Bless Sri Lanka and Lankan dwellers to save from SUFFERING!?
      Let us only hope all the “Saffron Robed and Saffronites” do to that end whenever they pray Bhudham Saranang Gachchami!!!

  • 13
    1

    True Buddhists who adhere to the precepts taught by the Buddha follow his advise not to venerate his body parts if they are ever kept for such purposes by ardent followers. However, it appears that some of his bones and a tooth etc were spirited away as sacred mementos. Only the Buddhists in Sri Lanka actually believe it is his tooth and keep worshipping it rather than following his teachings. Even in Sri Lanka, many true Buddhists who have read history do not believe it is the real thing. If at all the rascals who wear yellow and keep the status quo alive (for their own bread and butter) can allow scientists to obtain a miniscule few molecules of this item to easily establish if it is an animal tooth or a human tooth around 2600 years old. But do they? No. Then what about the religious sentiments of those who DO NOT believe its the real McCoy that these rascals are promoting as the real thing? Shouldn’t they feel peeved that a noble teacher who they hold in very high esteem is being wrongly represented by a pig’s or other animal’s tooth? Sepal Amarasinghe is a national hero. He stuck his neck out for the people and criticised the rotten system and the parasitic political class.

    • 4
      0

      L.P.
      .
      You are absolutely right. I agree with you 100%.
      .
      We must remember that worshiping sticks and stones is an ancient practice with origins in Africa. The Hindus picked up the practice due to migration.
      When the Buddha introduced Buddha Dharma he described the worship of objects as a waste of time. He equally renounced the caste system.
      But Sri Lankan Buddhists are inseparable from both.
      Buddha Dharma shows a path to enlightenment through a rational and systematic path.
      The main tool in attaining enlightenment is through eradication of ignorance.
      Ignorance is the root cause of all our issues as per the dharma.
      Ignorance causes greed, jealousy, hatred, wrong beliefs and practices, etc.
      If we were practicesing Buddha Dharma we a persons words would be the least of our problems.
      A true buddhist will only laugh at Sepal s words.
      Enlightenment = wisdom.

  • 2
    1

    I can say am a Buddhist as most of the Sri Lankan.
    I have lots of doubt about this relic business. Buddha after his death was cremated. All his body turned into ashes. Buddha never encourage miracles and superstition.
    In fact scientifically there can’t be tooth as a relic in Dalda maligawa. Even if there was a tooth it would have perished after 2500 years (Anichcha). Natural disintegration of organic compounds.
    If it is true it can be tested for presence of enamel scientificaly.
    However This object has significant cultural importance to Buddhist people like other myths believed by other major religions like Christianity and Muslim religions.
    Sepal is free thinker and journalist and they use spiced up words to get there message across to the people. I admire his courage to speak like that.
    Great author Martin Wickramsinghe was criticized by pseudo Buddhist for writing Bawatharanaya.
    There is no big power in Buddhism it meant to stop being born again as simple as that
    My respect to Sepal all the way.

  • 2
    0

    Untill the emotional voter realises that all religions are man made and have little to do with God Himself,the politician will use religion to please the voter with this music.

    The religion match was lost in Europe so is now played well in Asia !
    Priests,Cardials and prophets are at it after the politicians rampage the gullible

    God made man,man, made religion, and religion makes politicians and rich and powerful men who claim to be great men of God.

    These guys are littel men of a great God

  • 2
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    We have one country but many laws so why worry? When Buddhist clergy abuse, insult, humiliate other religions and also indulge in violence and filth they are patriots. They also get rewarded with top positions in the Universities, a create a nation of one country and one law and so on. So the sacred law do not apply to them. Sepala , a social reformist, is a criminal, and dont even get bail. But real criminal kanchipani is given bail and he has just left the country. This country is cursed and will never see any form of fairness. The system is stinking.

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