29 November, 2021

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Short-Termism Of Racist Strategy: Case Of Two ‘Rogue’ Regimes Which Ruined Sri Lanka!

By Mohamed Harees –

Lukman Harees

A well respected intellectual monk Prof. Agalakada Sirisumana Thero in a recent interview with Satahan Radio decried the construction of yet another memorial for War victory named ‘Sandha-Hiru Sae-ya’, stating that it creates more mutual hatred among communities at a challenging time in our history, where more commitment is needed to bring them together. Rev, Thero also pointed out the negative influence of the Maha Sangha in Sri Lankan politics, where ‘Ruler-Sangha’ coalition has been seen to embrace the chauvinist path of destruction, in Post-Independence Sri Lanka. ‘The Sangha has such potential for positive change, but the servient attitudes of some influential sections among them, has sadly led to the current situation of unspeakable suffering;

Democratic short-sightedness for example in promoting divisions for petty political gains, has been identified as an overlooked threat when exploring policy-making in democracies like Sri Lanka. Missed historic opportunities to promote inclusivity is emblematic of a larger problem that plagues a democracy like Sri Lanka. We Sri Lankans in retrospect would have been horrified to observe our contemporary cycle of irresponsibility, in which we have become accustomed to the political pursuit of short-term windfalls over long-term solutions. Both SWRD Bandaranaike, and the Rajapaksas tactfully used them in embracing the disastrous path of racism and injustice for petty political ends, instead of building national identity and national reconciliation. The problem became even worse than we thought during Post-war period, particularly under the Rajapaksas.

The influence of monks within the Sri Lankan societal and political apparatus is not to be underestimated. Politicized Buddhism in its modern form emerged in the opening years of the twentieth century. In 1956, Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike, a product of the Oxford Union no less, ran on a nationalist platform and included the monks in his election campaign as one of his so called Pancha Maha Balavegaya, in no small part due to the inordinate influence they had on the Sinhalese electorate. Monks were thus the strongest pillar that delivered the ’1956 elections to him. He ran his government on a Sinhala Buddhist extremist agenda. As Writer Donald L. Horowitz said, ‘Buddhist monks became frequent visitors in the corridors of power’. Tearing the infamous BC Pact literally into pieces was done at the instigation of the Buddhist clergy and other so-called Buddhist leaders. , However alas! he eventually paid the ultimate price for his slavish obedience to the Buddhist Clergy. He was assassinated in 1959 by a Buddhist monk named Talduwe Somarama and the chief conspirator, was also a monk, Mapitigama Buddharakkitha and ironically, both had the ‘Venerable’ at the beginning of their names.

Language rights have played a central role in the struggle for power and resources between the Sinhalese-Buddhist and the Tamil-Hindu and Tamil-Muslim communities in postcolonial Sri Lanka. The detrimental Sinhala Only Act that disregarded Tamil and consecrated Sinhala as the only national and official language of the country in 1956, exacerbated ethnic differences around language and has been identified as one of the root causes of the civil war that lasted almost three decades.

The Sinhala Only Act as an exclusionary state policy which ran counter to the principle of equity and to the state’s multi-ethnic character. It was in every respect a discriminatory policy aimed at undermining the status of the ‘Other’. Politicians capitalised on the then prevailing frustration and began proposing resolutions in Parliament to declare Sinhala the official language. It was the election of SWRD Bandaranaike in 1956, however, that was the turning point. In 1951, he led the Sinhala Maha Sabha faction, which he had organised to promote Sinhalese culture and interests, out of the United National Party (UNP) to form the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). Although his party originally promoted the use of both Sinhala and Tamil, Bandaranaike cunningly gravitated towards Sinhala later to mobilise Sinhalese discontentment for political mileage. Bandaranaike found that ‘Sinhala only within twenty-four hours’ would be the sure-fire-vote catcher. He began lobbying for Sinhala to be given status as the sole official language. The strategy worked – in part. He was elected Prime Minister in a landslide victory.

As Prof. Rohan Gunaratna said, by introducing the Sinhala Only Act, Sri Lanka had achieved nothing and the legislation had only destroyed the country’s security and stability and precipitated a civil war. The Sinhala Only Act, which was enacted during S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s government, had been absolutely unnecessary when all ethnic groups in Sri Lanka were living peacefully. “Unfortunately, Sri Lankan leaders played ethnic and religious politics, seeded hatred and division and the country was dragged back 30 years. He said, ‘Sri Lanka and other countries must learn that their governments should not allow politicians to play politics with security. If you play with security then your country will get destroyed. JR Jayewardene too played a key role in passing the Sinhala Only Act’. The 1956 Sinhala Only Act was passed in the parliament in spite of the fact that the Soulbury Constitution did not allow any legislation that favoured only one racial or religious community (Article 29).

Although, the so-called Act wanted to rightfully ensure the “rightful position” of the Sinhala people in the national life, it was however done at the expense of the language rights of other minority communities. It was, among other things, a major blow for the economic survival of the Tamils because it required public sector employees to qualify in Sinhala language within a stipulated period. This disastrous policy also affected the Tamil speaking Muslims particularly in the North and East too. Kumar Rupesinghe, in his article on ‘Ethnic Conflicts in South Asia: The Case of Sri Lanka and the Indian Peace Keeping Force’(1988) said, [w]ith the electoral victory of the SLFP in 1956, the pursuit of Sinhalese hegemony was provided with political power. The Sinhala-Only Act of 1956 thus led to ethnic riots in that year and in 1958, marking the beginning of acute Sinahalese-Tamil animosity. The manner in which the Sinhala-Only Act and Sinhalese linguistic nationalism facilitated violent conflict, however, has not been fully appreciated. Tamil parties, too, comprehensively manipulated racial slogans against Sinhala people and the state, particularly in Tamil majority areas. Thus, the resolution for a separate state of Tamil Eelam came into force as an election promise. This sort of short-sighted “vision” of political parties in this country helped only to increase the vacuum between the conflicting communities.

Following Bandaranaike’s example, the SLFP continued to play on nationalist sentiments in order to win votes. Mahinda Rajapaksa was no exception. During his regime, BBS, a rabid communal Buddhist outfit bent on degrading Lord Buddha’s preaching of peace and non-violence, with tacit support from the Rajapaksas, aptly echoed the destructive path his government wanted to promote. Rest was history. More than five decades later, history was repeated. To the Rajapaksa dynasty, power through any source was the ultimate dream. Their past brand of nepotism and sycophantism, authoritarianism and racism denied the country of the much needed peace (not absence of war) and harmony, justice, economic independence and rule of law in Post war Sri Lanka. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, as the main sponsor of BBS, during Mahinda’s regime proceeded to marginalize the Muslims, who were living in harmony in the southern parts of Sri Lanka with the Sinhalese. He cultivated the whole gamut of anti-Muslim hate through a set of sycophant monks like BBS Gnanasaras, Sihala Ravaya Dayaratnes and Ravana Balaya Saddhatissas , who indulged in acts of violence and rowdyism which even the hardened criminals will envy and think twice to commit. Rajapaksas thus made Sri Lanka, as a state of lawlessness and racism. Unfortunately, this anti-Muslim tirade continued during the Yahapalana times too, as the Sirisena and Ranil duo were both weak, impotent and imbecile.

In November 2019, the vast majority of Sinhala Buddhists who historically embraced rationalistic values and lived peacefully with the minorities, fell a victim to the racist machinations of the Rajapaksa-led nationalistic forces. This trend subsumed their moderate voices and gave the proverbial ‘razor blade’ to the Rajapaksa ‘monkey’. Rest again is history. Gotabaya also started using SWRD/ Mahinda majoritarian /racist tactics and strategies to stay in power, although people have now begun to spot the evil game although belatedly. His election campaign planners created the hate environment revolving around the terrible Easter tragedy and fed the electorate with a anti-Muslim racist diet. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka also suffers from the ‘Saffron robe ailment’, which keeps those in power to subscribe to Sinhala Buddhist supremacism. This is not insulting to the majority/ significant number of Bikkhus who preach the peaceful religion of Buddhism. Unfortunately, today, a set of rogue monks are Gotabaya’s army to defend his highly inefficient record. A highly politicised monk Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero close to the Rajapaksas is appointed as the Chancellor of the prestigious Colombo University while the hate monk with a criminal record Gnanasara (Thero) was appointed as the Chair of a law review presidential commission – ‘One Country-One Law’. Monk led hate outfits have also been having a hey-day too.

The involvement of Buddhist monks in politics following independence in 1948, in effect, has already transformed Buddhism into a highly politicised religion. Since independence, Buddhist interest lobbies have been active in politics and politicians seek the support of organised Buddhist groups as well as the clergy at elections and their presence at ceremonies. Similarly, Buddhist institutions too depend on the state, thus making the relationship a deeply symbiotic one. Both author Stanley J. Tambiah as well as social analyst Jayadeva Uyangoda argue that the political activities of the Bhikkus did not advance democracy and universalism but promoted a narrow and exclusive ethno-religious, nationalist ideology. Allowing Buddhist monks to rule the country and allowing only Sinhala Buddhists to be seen or feel as sons of the soil will be suicidal.

Oftentimes we care more about who is elected and less about what is happening because we don’t ever actually get told the truth about what is happening. We buy the brand-name and we don’t look at the specs. We elect the politician — who is technically a realistically unpredictable basket of promises and hearty sentiments — and don’t look at the crumbling mechanics of what they should actually be dealing with. Politicians have a strong incentive to pursue short-term windfalls, even when they come at the expense of larger long-term harm that will occur only when they leave office and for which they are less likely to be held accountable. many who will have to live with (or perhaps, grimly, will not be born because of) the decisions reached lack any power over how they are made. This undermines the great advantage of democracy over other forms of government, which is that citizens are given the opportunity to hold politicians accountable for decisions that affect them. Future generations are left disenfranchised, and thus, short-changed.

Our political system appears to be fundamentally ill-equipped to craft precautionary policy to guard against many of the issues that should concern us most. Though opportunistic politicians and self-interested voters deserve some of the blame, the problem runs far deeper:it is a structural feature of our democracy as it is currently constructed. Remedying this defect of democracy may be one of the defining challenges of our time for the greater good of our future generation to live in a country where all are treated equal irrespective of differences in race or religion. But with foresight and courage, to paraphrase journalist Richard Fisher, ‘we stand a better chance of making the difficult but necessary commitment to help those whom we might never live to see’. Unfortunately, there are not many role models to turn to.

In retrospect, however, late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera showed how a Buddhist religious leader espousing core Buddhist values such as compassion and universalism can take Sinhala Buddhist concerns seriously and yet act as a unifying force for all communities. The opening created in January 2015 for civic nationalism to supersede the confines of ethnic nationalism should be pursued by the progressive movements/ civil society groups once again too, to broaden the middle ground to push forward the reconciliation and development agenda. The public should aim towards ensuring transparency of the policy-making become a paramount norm , in order to catch deviations from the sound policies that serve short-term objectives of politicians. All who love the motherland should shoulder the responsibility of safeguarding ethnic and religious harmony. Everyone has the responsibility to ensure that Sri Lanka would not be tagged as a racist and extremist nation.

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Latest comments

  • 3
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    Same story since 1947.

    Those parties that failed to form governments like TNA, SLMC are also racist. They are mono-ethnic too.

    These are facts. Every party is more or less racist in fractured SL.

    Only solution is to split the island into 3 independent nations and relocate people based on ethnicity. Until then racism will win in the north, east, south and the rest. The norm.

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      Late Rev Sobitha was unique and filled with wisdom as no any other monks in recent times behaved.. If he was live today, chief incumbent monk for Kelaniya Raja maha viharaya would not have chance to easily become the VC to University of Kelaniya even if he is wearing a professor title. He would criticise ” Muruthettuwa cheevaradhariya ” not allowing him to ruin SANGAHOOD. Ironically, so called Malwathu Chapter or other high chapter monks did not utter a single word about the appointment. Gota should be an idiot to make such appointments. These men have no ” lajjawa – dignity gene” in them. Any low acts for a former powerful man in millitary should be like ” red cloth to an ox”, but GOTA and his steps destroyed everything by the kind of lower acts.

      Immediately after Sirisena s highly unexpected, unethical, strange actions doubted him, his predictions were rightly made aware once the plate was hot, we need to make our rotty…. and his prediction was GOOD GOVERNANCE would likely end up being backfired. We see it today – the outcome is still being criticised. All those got caught by GOOD GOVERNANCE investigations are today released by rascal leadership. Who on earth ever believed, looking at the manner how BRUTALLY they behaveed in the parliament during that 52 day shortly lived fake govt, …. making srilanken politics a paradise of vandals or criminals…

    • 4
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      Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils have a long ancient history on the island, both these people have also had kingdoms and ruled their lands. Muslims only started to arrive on the island from the late 14Th century onwards from South India and not from the Arabian Gulf as they love to claim. The bulk of them only migrated to the island from South India during the early British colonial period. They have no ancient history on the island and there is no history of an Islamic nation or rule on the island. Out of the 24 districts on the island, 7 are predominantly and overwhelmingly Tamil. 15 are predominantly and overwhelmingly Sinhalese. The Amparai district in the east is now 40% Muslim, 40% Sinhalese, and 20% Tamil. The Muslims predominate along the coastal belt from Kalmunai South to Pottuvil, The Sinhalese in the interior. North Kalmunai and parts of the coast are Tamil. Trincomalee has the same story, all three communities are more or less equal. The Muslims are the largest community only be a margin from the Tamils, due to the war and the large scale ethnic cleansing of Tamils from this district. The Tamils predominate along the coastal belt including Trincomalee town the Muslims in the Mutur enclave and the Sinhalese in the interior.

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        The Muslims are not in a majority in any district. Large-scale ethnic cleansing and gerrymandering and adding adjoining Sinhalese areas to the east have made the Tamils a minority in Amparai and Trincomalee. Especially Trincomalee where they were more than 70% of the population. If there is going to be an Islamic state on the island it will be that small coastal belt starting from South Kalmunai to Sainthamaruthu where Muslims are in a continuous majority. Let’s see what you can do with this little coastal strip deep down in Southern eastern province, a nowhere place. The Sinhalese and Tamil states will be viable. Definitely not the Islamic one. It will be a vassal state of the Arabs and a headache to the region. The only option join your fellow non-Muslim Tamils or join the Sinhalese who do not like you, want you, and now show their true anti-Muslim feelings.

      • 0
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        Siva Sankaran Sharma,
        “It is only the Sinhalese and native Sri Lankan Tamils who have an ancient history on the island.”
        —-
        No question that indigenous Sinhalayo have documents that contain their history running into more than 2000 years. Tamils do not have any documents or any other evidences to support their claim that they lived in this country from ‘Dawn of Time’. Eminent Tamil historians S. Arasaratnam, K. Indrapala and Sinhala historian K.M. de Silva say Dravida settlements in Yapanaya started after 12th century AD. Indrapala took a ‘U Turn’ after he faced threats from separatist Tamil politicians and started playing a different tune later.

        Tamils are bogged down in ‘Vadukkodei Resolution’ mud-hole that contains a manufactured history of Sinhale by separatist Tamils.

    • 6
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      All Sinhala rogue regimes were supported by Muslims. Muslim politicians gave support to all racist legislation including Sinhala only act and Disenfranchisement of Indian Tamils. Muslim politicians gave support to all acts of discrimination in education and employment and gained by it at the expense of Tamils. Unfortunately the Easter bomb probe has revealed that Muslims were given support by successive governments to commit crimes on Tamils. All these years when Tamils were at the receiving end of Sinhala violence, Muslims turned a blind eye to it and now that the racial hatred has focused to attack Muslims, they are crying foul. Worst racism in Sri Lanka is the Muslim claim to eastern province when history is clear that they went there as refugees fleeing the wrath of Portuguese. When Muslims are not prepared to acknowledge their racist acts on Tamils and return the misappropriated territory, what moral right have they got to point their finger at Sinhalese.

      • 0
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        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

        For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

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        Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,
        “Unfortunately the Easter bomb probe has revealed that Muslims were given support by successive governments to commit crimes on Tamils.”

        Tamils are good at distorting the truth. Muslims were used by successive Governments to work as spies to collect information on LTTE. Muslims did not commit crimes against Tamils. On the contrary, Tamil terrorists committed crimes against Muslims.

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          Mahindapala, please do not distort the truth. Muslim home guards were formed in 1985 and since then they have been committing crimes on Tamils. This is well documented by human rights organisations such as JTHR and NESOHR. Even the STF personnel say that some of the atrocities on Tamils for which they are blamed were actually committed by Muslims. LTTE attacked Muslims only after 1990 October. Strangely once Katankudy mosque massacre and expulsion from north took place, Muslims refrained from attacking Tamils.

    • 7
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      Jadam however the international community only speaks of just Thamizh rights and a Thamizh homeland and negotiates with Thamizh only as they realize and know that Thamizh has a just historical and valid claim for a homeland. No one speaks of an Islamic state on the island, not even Muslim nations, as they realize and know that this claim is absurd, not valid. There is no history of any Islamic nation or rule on the island or even an Islamic homeland. They are fairly recent immigrants from South India and are ethnically Thamizh. Further, they arrived in the east a few centuries ago as refugees fleeing Portuguese persecution and were given refuge as they were fellow Thamizh. Now trying to claim a homeland and steal the land of the very same people who gave them refuge in the first place, all in the name of a religion and an imagined Arab origin, that has now proven to be hardly existent. Moreover, no one wants another Islamic basket case state in South Asia to spread more chaos. Three are already enough. Not the fourth one for fake Arab immigrant South Indian origin Thamizh Muslims.

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        Pandi Kutti,
        “…as they realize and know that Thamizh has a just historical and valid claim for a homeland.”
        —-
        The International Community was misled by separatist Tamils using the fabricated history of Sinhale written in ‘Vadukkodei Resolution’. Malabars who colonized Yapanaya after 12th century AD say they were in this country from ‘Dawn of Time’. Malabars and coolies brought by Portuguese and Dutch were confined to Yapanaya peninsula until British dragged them and settled in the East. But Tamils claim NE is their ‘Traditional Homeland’ ignoring the fact that indigenous Sinhalayo were the inhabitants in NE until they were massacred by Dravida invaders who invaded Sinhale from 3rd Century BC.

        • 5
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          Hello Eagle Thaatha. How are you? How is the aged care home. ? Please dance to this song with getting your fellow inmates to dance too, instead of posting rubbish here. Good exercise

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4ClQO0FFQg

          Unlike Sri Lanka this is India
          The song is in Hindi
          Song and Music composed by a Thamizh
          Sung by a Bengali
          and actress Dancing to the song a Punjabi
          Enjoy eternal beauty, instead of spreading eternal hate

  • 3
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    “Both SWRD Bandaranaike, and the Rajapaksas tactfully used them in embracing the disastrous path of racism and injustice for petty political ends, instead of building national identity and national reconciliation.”
    —-
    You are misleading the readers. SWRD Bandaranayake and Rajapakses did not use racism to achieve their political ends. They took decisions for the betterment of indigenous Sinhalayo who were oppressed by colonial rulers for about 450 years and by ‘Kalu Suddas’ (Sinhala and Tamil) after British handed over power to them. Giving due place for Sinhala Buddhists who are the indigenous people of Sinhale is not racism.
    It was separatist Tamil and opportunistic Muslim politicians who used racism and religion to achieve their petty political ends. They are the main obstacle to build national identity and national reconciliation.
    —-
    Putting the blame on Sinhala Buddhists and Sinhala politicians has become the fashionable game of Tamils and Muslims who resorted to terrorism to clean their blood soaked hands.

    • 10
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      EE, why are you so out in the field with ‘hunu baldiyak’ white washing these thick dark black tarnished Rajapaksas? What do you think the reason why SL is bankrupted for the first time since 1948? Wasn’t it them that sold the country to China, borrowed billions @ 10% interest, in their 9 years of the most corrupted and shameful regime in Sri Lanka?? So called ‘Patriotic Sinhalese Buddhists’ took commissions up to 40% of all projects, something even ‘para sudda’ never did!! the whole world knows that but you pretend not to!! So pathetic!!

      • 0
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        Jit,
        It was ‘Yahapalana’ Government that ruined the economy of the country and increased the debt burden. At least there are visible output from the money borrowed by Rajapakshes but no output from the money borrowed by Ranil. Rajapakshes inherited a bankrupt country. COVID pandemic made the situation worse.

        • 4
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          EE, Absolute BS!! I dont have an iota of admiration for Ranil and Sirisena but they had to keep borrowing to pay for the mammoth Rajapakse borrowings of a decade, half of which went to their commission accounts. Just dont write cheap political slogans EE, you check Treasury data since 2005 to see who robbed the country most!!

      • 1
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        Jit,
        “why are you so out in the field with ‘hunu baldiyak’ white washing these thick dark black tarnished Rajapaksas?”

        Because thick dark black tarnished Rajapaksas gave the leadership to eliminate Tamil terrorists who massacred Sinhala Buddhist men, women, children, Buddhist monks and even fetus of Sinhala pregnant women and gave all the people in this country peace in mind that was denied by Tamil terrorists for three decades.

        • 3
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          EE, It was none of blinking Rajapakse heroics that ended the LTTE, but they were at the right place at the right time when both India and USA together decided to launch their next south Asian strategy which included elimination of LTTE. That is why in 2008 RAW provided their satellite intelligence to SL Army to find out where exactly Prabha was hiding. They knew it for 25 years but never wanted to share it with SL govt – be it UNP or SLFP. Ask SF if you don’t have a clue!! If the USA and India did not want that strategy to take place in 2009, Rajapaksas would still be pumping money to Prabha like they did in 2005 elections. End of story!

          • 1
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            Jit,
            USA and India might have given some information but who gave the leadership, your Grandfather?

            • 2
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              Any puppet could have given that ‘leadership’ to end the war when USA and India give their firm support, particularly intelligence support. That support was NEVER given to all previous SL leaderships! If USA and India backed up any previous president, then they would have definitely ended the war!! A fact most politically blind people cannot see!!

  • 2
    9

    Lukman Harees,
    “The problem became even worse than we thought during Post-war period, particularly under the Rajapaksas.”
    —-
    Can you please tell what problem you are talking and how that problem became worse than you thought during Post-war period, particularly under the Rajapaksas.

    • 7
      1

      They robbed the country left, right and center EE! Dont you know that?? Even a primary school kid knows that!!

  • 2
    9

    “The involvement of Buddhist monks in politics following independence in 1948, in effect, has already transformed Buddhism into a highly politicised religion.”

    Buddhist monks are treated as guardians of Sinhale by Buddhist people. Involvement of Buddhist monks in politics and saving the country from external as well as internal threats has been there for thousands of years in Sinhale. They played a crucial role when Dravidians invaded Sinhale from 3rd Century BC and during the time Europeans ruled Sinhale. Several Buddhist monks went in front of the firing squads of British for organizing liberation struggles. Not a single Muslim or Tamil went in front of the firing squads of British for fighting to liberate this country from British rule. Instead of fighting against British, both Tamils and Muslims sat on the lap of British and oppressed indigenous Sinhalayo.

    • 9
      2

      Did Lord Buddha advised his disciples to get involved with the government? He preached all his disciples to shed all desires and attain the eternal noble ‘arhath’ state!! Shows what you know about true Buddhism!!

      • 2
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        Jit,
        “Shows what you know about true Buddhism!!”

        You coming to teach me Buddhism. Get lost!

        • 2
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          You are the one who is absolutely lost in the jungle of racist stinky hell hole run by ‘Devadatta nikaye’ corrupt yellow robed miserable creatures dominated in Sri Lankan Buddhism today! Read literature on real Buddhism and get enlightened EE!

    • 3
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      Eagle Eye

      Buddhism was never forced on people, & today, it is an international religion with followers from Alaska to Australia. One becomes a Buddhist monk in order to gain the ultimate bliss of Nirvana by giving up material wealth & the purpose of a Buddhist monk is to provide spiritual guidance. There has never been gender, racial or any form of discrimination in Buddhism, therefore, in the eyes of a Buddhist monk, there is no ‘patriotism’ or boundaries & it is not up to them to ‘save’ a country from foreign invasion or governance. Vietnamese & Tibetan monks have led peaceful protests, even sacrificing themselves, in order to protect their right to religious freedom but it was not about liberating the country from communist atheists. Therefore, your view that ”Buddhist monks are treated as guardians of Sinhale by Buddhist people..” is a result of misinterpretation of Buddhism by opportunists, which gullible Buddhists who confuse Sinhala with Buddhism, have come to accept.

      Why don’t you broaden your mind before coming to the defence of misguided & misinformed Sinhala Buddhists, particularly, the opportunistic monks? A ‘Patriot’ Sinhalese (in your understanding) & a practicing Buddhist are not necessarily the same.

      • 4
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        Buddhism was never forced on people directly, but when the king converted to Buddhism, the people followed to curry favour with the king. This is an indirect way of forcing people to change religion like what happened in Sri Lanka, when the original religion was Saivaism.

      • 3
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        Raj-UK,
        “…in the eyes of a Buddhist monk, there is no ‘patriotism’ or boundaries & it is not up to them to ‘save’ a country from foreign invasion or governance…”
        —-
        For Buddhist monks in Sinhale; Country First Religion Second. There should be a country for the people to practice the religion.

        Monks in Sinhale have become a pain in the neck of some guys who cannot go ahead with their agendas.

    • 1
      1

      Religious teaching and promoting ethical practice is a holy political activities conducted by all religious dignitaries including monks.

      However, the Buddhist monks engaging in party politics and manipulating voters, and promoting racism for the vote is the political role the religious leaders should play in any country. Monks and politicians in Sri Lanka historically failed in differentiating between this and the last instance was promoting Gota for power in the name of Buddhism while creating stories of wanda jangy and wanda bra…

  • 3
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    “The detrimental Sinhala Only Act that disregarded Tamil and consecrated Sinhala as the only national and official language of the country in 1956, exacerbated ethnic differences around language and has been identified as one of the root causes of the civil war that lasted almost three decades.”

    In the first place, there was no ‘CIVIL WAR’ in Sinhale. There was a military operation to eliminate Tamil terrorists.

    What is detrimental in Sinhala Only Act?
    Sinhala has been the official language in Sinhale for thousands of years until British changed that and introduced English as the official language. Did Tamils (Hindu and Muslim) protest against that?
    Sinhala Only policy affected only to a tiny minority of English educated Sinhala and V-Tamil people. It did not make any difference to Dalits in Yapanaya or Tamils in plantations. Separatism that created Tamil terrorists did not start because of Sinhala Only policy. That was in the agenda of Tamil politicians from 1930’s. Open economic policy that had a devastating effect on ordinary Tamils in Yapanaya helped separatist Tamil politicians to mobilize ordinary Tamils to take up arms and fight.

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