27 September, 2020

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The Mangala-Sumanthiran Bluff On Secularism 

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Mangala Samaraweera, in supporting the report submitted by the Steering Committee on constitutional reform, called for a constitution that ‘will help our nation put its past behind for good and move forward with renewed hope.’ On the face of it, this is a positive statement.  

Mangala’s speech also alluded to the Sathara Brahma Viharana or the four divine abodes, metta, mudita, karuna and upekkha (oving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity).  

There’s been a lot of allusions to the Buddha’s docrtine of late. M.A. Sumanthiran (TNA) has argued for the repealing of Article 9 of the constitution which states “The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).” 

He has rightfully stated that he, not being a Buddhist, ‘cannot be told that I [he] am [is] second class in this country. He argues further that support for Article 9 is ‘an indefensible position for the Buddhists to take.’  

It is telling that Sumanthiran is silent about Articles 10 and 14 (1)(e) while make Article 9 nonsensical. That said, if Article 9 is ineffective, it should go or else Articles 10 and 14 (1)(e) should go.  A third alternative would be to reformulate these articles to make Article 9 effective.  

The inconsistency with Buddhist philosophy would remain, however. The politics of this whole story ties up with Mangala’s dump-history call. It is not innocent and neither is it progressive. 

First of all, history, whether we like it or not, bears upon the present and future. Constitutions have not, do not and will not fall from the sky.  Societies and cultures are wrought over time.  They are not cast in stone of course and are necessarily altered over time, for better or worse.  

Dumping history is mischievous because the past has seen violent and bloody persecution which cannot and should not be forgotten. One notes that neither Samaraweera or his political friends have clean histories and neither are they ready to do the forgive-and-forget of past wrongs perpetrated by political opponents. They are right in the middle of a revenge game, as were their predecessors.  

More seriously, Sumanthiran is a Christian, and his religious community has had it good for centuries at the expense of Buddhists and Hindus. Asking Buddhists to act as though they have achieved one of the four levels of enlightenment is a a bit much, especially when it is a call made by someone who cannot claim to be adhering to the Christian doctrine to the letter.  

Sumanthiran, for example, could read Matthew 5:39: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also; if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”  

If, then, the Sinhalese and Buddhists have done him or his community (Tamils and Christian) wrong, he should grin and bear. He could also read further and encounter Matthew 10.34 (or read back and find the many examples where violence is advocated in the Old Testament): “Do not assume that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” He could use this to call for armed insurrection or justify it, as his party and its constituent political groups did for many years.  

So if you want to dump the past, it either means that you find history uncomfortable due to the complicity of your faither or its adherents in genocide and ethnic cleansing or you really don’t have much of a past to talk about.  

There are other pernicious subtexts to this dump-history theory. The advocates don’t want history dumped, but want only certain parts of it dumped, in this instance the ‘Buddhist’ part of it. 

If you want to put the past behind, you have to acknowledge that this past included Tamil chauvinism in the form of the Vadukkoddai (Batakotte) Resolution, the twisting of myth into history, fiction into fact, the use of lines arbitrarily drawn by the British as borders of so-called ‘Historical Homelands’ and the attendent attempt of land-theft.  

Is Sumanthiran or Mangala talking about this past? Are they demanding that fiction was a key element of this past, that it should be called as such, that it should therefore be dumped and along with it the whole devolution-thesis (for reconciliation, equality, respect etc) should be scrapped?  No, they are not saying all this. They are not advocating accordingly either.  

If Sumanthiran and Mangala want ‘change’ and want to dump the past and ‘move forward’ then all legislation at odds with notions of ‘equality’ or which supersede general laws pertaining to freedoms should go.  

Why is it that Sumanthiran and Mangala are silent on the Muslim Marriage Laws, the Thesavalamai Law and the Kandyan Marriage Laws?  Why don’t they visit Article 12 of the Constitution (which speaks of the Right to Equality)?  How is it that these individuals, who argue for a secular state, do not see that the state IS religious and not on account of Article 9 [which, as we said, is negated by Articles 10 and 14 (1) (e)]?  Why do they not speak a word about religious holidays?  Why don’t they note that ‘Buddhist holidays’ were reduced from 49 to 13, while there are 54 Christian holidays, 3  Hindu holidays (sadly, one might add, given all that’s being said about equality), and 3 Muslim holidays supplemented by the equivalent of 13 work days (for Fridayprayers) as well as lenghty leave options (four months and ten days for Muslim women in the event of the husband dying and three months in the event of a divorce)?  

These come under ‘customary law’. However, custom, by definition is about history. It is about the past. It affirms culture and religion. If you want to dump the past, you can’t keep these things intact. But Sumanthiran and Mangala are quiet about such things. Why?

Why? Because they are not innocent. Because their intentions are not pure.  Because they are playing selective-politics with the past, present and future.  

For those who love to bash Buddhists, often quoting the Buddha, let me recommend that they try a bit of self-reflection, you know, ‘be a bit Buddhist yourself’ kind of excercise. Check the material your walls are made of. The chances are they are made of glass.

So, to conclude, let’s go secular. Let’s go the whole hog. No more religious holidays. No more Poya days. No special hours off work for prayers. No Christmas. Let the ‘weekend’ be shifted to any two consecutive days barring Sunday and Friday. And let there be no state subsidies for any religious schools including pirivenas.  

And while they thus reflect, let them also note that in officially non-secular states and even in many ‘secular’ states, particularly those that have Christian or Muslim majorities, there are no holidays for other faiths. Let them note, also, that perhaps it is the Buddhist character of this society that has permitted the religious freedoms even to the point of privileging other religious communities. 

Sumanthiran states, “a Constitution that gives a particular religion the foremost place cannot be a Constitution that treats all of its citizens as equals.” He is correct. Let him apply this logic to every letter of the 1978 Constitution and it’s 19 Amendments. He could do the relevant perusing with his ardent fellow-traveler in the matter of constitutional reform, Mangala Samaraweera.

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  • 6
    5

    The fundamental error in Malinda’s position is that the retention of the foremost place to Buddhism and the sasana in the constitution gives it an all-encompassing umbrella protection (and therefore ‘control’) over all its people. This as we all know, has led to and will inevitably lead to more abuse by majoritarians over everyone else, actively (crudely?) promoted by the buddhist clergy and manipulated by politicians for their own ends.

    All other statements about specific practices followed by other religions, even their parochial ‘laws’ if one can call them that, lie below this overarching protection of the majority religion, and subject to the whims of those who may choose to wield it as a weapon to be used at will to subjugate the minority denizens among us.

    This is not right, and can never be. Malinda should reflect on his perhaps unintended support of this venal situation that he is lobbying to retain. Removal of this protection will lead, over time, to the segregation of ‘church’ from ‘state’ and diminution of religious beliefs in the eyes of broader society, which surely is a good thing.

    Please watch these clips, they provide a good understanding of why Sri Lanka is in the mess it is in today, with really little hope of emerging as a united nation to be reckoned with, despite its vast potential:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X46qh7twGfM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9Z7P1Y4wpw&t=8s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvG5mPaTTj4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlqTpuE2-7o
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQJkXtoB2ro
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdrZdH9H0JM

    • 3
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      Malinda Seneviratne

      “you have to acknowledge that this past included Tamil chauvinism in the form of the Vadukkoddai (Batakotte) Resolution,”

      Are you actually referring to the
      VADDUKODDAI RESOLUTION of May 14, 1976 or another one that was passed by you , Dayan, Wimal, Shenali Waduge, Udhaya, ……………….and HLD M?

      Where on earth did you find Tamil chauvinism in the VADDUKODDAI RESOLUTION please cite the para/line?

      Racists need to associate themselves with more myths, lies, violence, …………………. in order to sustain their supremacy and inappropriate share of resources, opportunities, ………… or carry his masters’ b***s.

      Like Paranavitana, Malinda too reading interlinear inscriptions in the VADDUKODDAI RESOLUTION.
      Perhaps Malinda needs to visit his local optician.


      “He could also read further and encounter Matthew 10.34 (or read back and find the many examples where violence is advocated in the Old Testament): “Do not assume that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

      The Truth will Set You Free
      31- So He said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples.
      32-Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
      33-“We are Abraham’s descendants,” they answered. “We have never been slaves to anyone. How can You say we will be set free?”…

      Berean Study Bible ·

      • 7
        6

        How can an uncivilised burger vedda teach religion to any one? He is still seeking revenge for 1971 land reform. When will the pacemaker pack-up?

        • 3
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          ” Why don’t they note that ‘Buddhist holidays’ were reduced from 49 to 13, while there are 54 Christian holidays, 3 Hindu holidays”

          Sunday may be a Christian “holiday”, but it is so all over the world except in some rich Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia.. Christians actually have only 2 holidays. Buddhists have 14. As for Muslims being given time off, why not talk about Buddhists disappearing from workplaces on April 12th and reappearing only after Wesak?
          Malinda seems to believe in Goebbels’s principle of repeating lies to make them true.
          ” Let the ‘weekend’ be shifted to any two consecutive days barring Sunday and Friday.”
          Don’t be a f******g juvenile Malinda. What has secularism got to do with weekends? Sat/Sunday is the weekend practically everywhere.
          And the jewel of Malinda’s twisted logic:
          “Let them note, also, that perhaps it is the Buddhist character of this society that has permitted the religious freedoms even to the point of privileging other religious communities. “
          Like allowing other communities to eat meat or drink arrack on Poya days?
          And of course, like giving a non-Buddhist a chance to be Navy commander for a month.
          There is a limit to BS, Malinda Seneviratne.

          • 3
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            old codger

            “Don’t be a f******g juvenile Malinda. “

            How can a f******g juvenile stop being a f******g juvenile?

            By the way this stupid racist wants the business in rest of the world to work on weekends just because the lazy bums in this island want to have their weekends on poya and pre-poya days which fall mostly on “Christian” week days.

            Sadly this lazy bum might demand all correspondence from outside Sri Lanka should be in the oldest language Sinhala, all scientific researches at CERN ………….. be in Sinhala, …………………..

        • 3
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          Migara

          “How can an uncivilised burger vedda teach religion to any one?”

          Burger is a flat round cake of minced beef that is fried or grilled and typically served in a bread roll; a hamburger. A similarly shaped food item made of a specified ingredient, “a nut burger”.


          You seem to be fond of Burger here is the receipe :

          The classic burger is an all time BBQ favourite! This super easy homemade burger recipe gives you delicious patties, packed with onions and herbs for extra flavour, that are perfect for topping with cheese, lettuce and tomato, and sandwiching between floury buns.
          Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened and starting to turn golden. Set aside.
          In a bowl, combine the beef mince with the herbs and the egg. Season, add the onions and mix well. Using your hands, shape into 4 patties.
          Cook the burgers on a preheated barbecue or griddle for 5-6 minutes on each side. While the second side is cooking, lay a slice of cheese on top to melt slightly (if using).
          Meanwhile, lightly toast the cut-sides of the buns on the barbecue. Fill with the lettuce, burgers and tomato slices. Serve with ketchup, if you like.

          Read more at https://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/classic-homemade-burger.html#4AJ86I2VLF2kpsCJ.99

          • 0
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            NV,
            I doubt that the asylum allows our Migara/elango/menna aththa/ to cook . Nutcases are not allowed to play with fire, usually.

  • 3
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    I am always amused when reading articles by this ‘writer ‘. It is so juvenile that it’s almost impossible to comment on his pieces. There are others who take on a Sinhala nationalistic position, but there is coherence.
    while I musr congratulate Colombo Telegraph for encouraging all views to be voiced, permitting this kind of writing is really a waste of space.

    • 6
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      Don’t blame him. Blame the Sri Lanka education system. Give him a break he is trying.

  • 5
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    Easton Scott: Even your western culture gives prominence to religion. Tell us any country in which the religion is not important.————– Avamangala is a just a bottom feeder. Unfortunately he is from Matara. I can not understand why Matara peole are silent. On the otherhand, he writes his mind only to the english media and not in sinhala media. Sumanthiran, I am pretty sure working for a church and he wants to establish a certain Vatican in Giranike. Sambanthan is stupid if he gives the TNA leadership to Sumanthiran IT is Tamil Tribal politics that keeps Sumanthiran in the national list.

    • 4
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      Jimmy the Dimwit

      Your fellow bigot Malinda Seneviratne types:

      “Why don’t they note that ‘Buddhist holidays’ were reduced from 49 to 13, while there are 54 Christian holidays, 3 Hindu holidays (sadly, one might add, given all that’s being said about equality), and 3 Muslim holidays supplemented by the equivalent of 13 work days (for Fridayprayers) as well as lenghty leave options (four months and ten days for Muslim women in the event of the husband dying and three months in the event of a divorce)? “

      Could you clarify/explain what he has typed above.
      This lazy bum wants more holidays in the name of Buddha.

    • 1
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      Dumb Jim
      “Tell us any country in which the religion is not important.—”

      Why don’t you come back and live here then?

  • 5
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    Secularism is not really practiced even in USA despite the constitution. Example, the Trump administration is filling all the Federal Judge posts with staunchly anti abortion, anti gay, anti LGBTQI judges. You also noticed the US Ambassador in Colombo has changed his tune. No posing for photos with Bigtime Lesbian activists this year; no Ramadan at the Embassy. Times are a changing. Mangala and Sumanthiran need to go and LOOK at how USA and its corrupt South Vietnamese allies in the Ngo Dim Diem government totally discriminated against Buddhist majority and favored the Catholics because he was a Catholic minority. The army was filled with Catholics. Everything from land rights to jobs were primarily given to Catholics. They had a litmus test for loyalty and only Christians and Catholics made the cut. And fast forward to S.Korea; with American money power a Buddhist majority nation became a shopping ground for Evangelicals like Eran’s AOG and other money powered Evangelicals who took control. Those opposing the primo position to Buddhists are lying. There is NO evidence of other religions being discriminated against ever since 1972. All leaders patronized all faiths. In Malaysia only the 61% muslim Malay majority have an OFFICIAL religion. Where the fuck is the cry from Ceylon’s muslims to say that is wrong? No they think that is ok but that is OFFICIAL religion. CEYLON DOES NOT have an official religion but the 1972 constitution says pride of place. That is different. Look at all the religious holidays. Look at corrupt Muslims controlling the drug trade and poaching in Wilpattu. Look at the rich muslims in Colombo. In fact the only people who got a terrible deal were the Tamil People and Tamil people are the only ones who have a right to talk about hate and war and discrimination in education etc. Muslims made off really well when the stupid Language rules were implemented. Even at your Alma Mater Royal, Muslims got to study in ENGLISH while Sinhalese and we tamils had to study in our language. Who got the advantage in the corporate world?

    • 4
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      Actually America’s war in Vietnam was a war on behalf of the Vatican to make it another Philliphines.That’s all.

      • 0
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        Staggering ignorance of the facts. The Vietnam war was the USA’s foolish attempt to prevent SE Asian nations from falling to Communism. Haven’t you heard of their Domino theory?

    • 1
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      ‘Even at your Alma Mater Royal, Muslims got to study in ENGLISH while Sinhalese and we tamils had to study in our language. Who got the advantage in the corporate world?’

      I believe this was the doing of Badudin Mahmud. Some sort of arrangement he made with Mrs B. Islam is a religion, not a race and the Muslim children should have been made to study in Tamil which is their native language. Something that all Tamils and Sinhalese can agree on at last.

      S

  • 1
    1

    Article 9 of the constitution which states “The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).”
    Buddhism has come out of nearly 500 years of colonial rule unscathed. Some well-wishers feel that state protection now is an insult to Buddhism. Some feel that vigilante groups may emerge and use in-Buddhist ways to protect the religion. They may be the enemy from within.
    Several contributors to CT have argued against Article 9 – for example Mass L Usuf on 02 November.
    Malinda attempt to shred M.A. Sumanthiran (TNA) for arguing for the repeal of Article 9. Malinda points out that Sumanthiran is a Tamil speaking Christian. Malinda then says the Christians have 54 holidays (52 Sundays + 2) while Buddhists have 13 (Is this correct?). Malinda is less honest here but why?
    Malinda wants to throw his hat into the Presidential election. Good luck.

  • 2
    2

    If Buddhism is to have the ‘foremost’ place and be a state ‘protectorate’ then there has to be strict civil laws on monks. This is off-course I admit this is counter to secularism, but at least there can be extra national laws to keep an eye on some of the robed miscreants. Not just strict laws against fanatics like Gnanasara and gangs but also against robed persons entering politics, doing business, driving cars, having women., etc, etc. Any robed person caught violating “the book of discipline” (vinaya-pitaka) could face the law depending on the severity of the transgression. If there are no civil laws imposed on monks based on the book of discipline, then whole ‘foremost’ place for Buddhism’ is just cosmetic nonsense. Seriously, whats the point?

    • 2
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      Better still why not amend the constitution by repealing Article (9) of the constitution and instead replace it with the Sangha of the Mahanaykas have foremost pride of place?

  • 3
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    Malinda,
    We advocate secularism, because all religions are the opium of the people.

    There is no exception to this rule.

    Marx was right at least in this proposition.

    We shall give credit to Marx for his enlightened position.

    Religion had become worse after Marx.

    Yet historically Buddhists were another kind of species.

    They were kind tolerant, peace loving and they never try to convert others by force or even by inducements.

    They like Lord Buddha preached and preached and the choice was left to the adherents of other religions.

    If you think otherwise just like other religionists and if you are in the majority among Budhists, then you are right in claiming foremost Place for Buddhism because as you rightly pointed out Christians had discriminated against Buddhism and thereby Buddhists suffered a lot.

    Here you equate Buddhism with all other religions.

    Buddhist also should be allowed to use the governmental power in favour of their coreligionists.

    But the minority Buddhists who act and think like Lord Budha, they feel let down and they will moan and cry about the present plight of true Buddhism.

    They more than the other religions will decline government patronage and be humble and lead a contented and peaceful life.

  • 3
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    To American Bible Thumping Evangelical types. We Tamils were discriminated against and that too we Tamil Hindus but it was a language issue. CHRISTIANS including Tamil Christians were the favoured class during British rule. There is nothing wrong with keeping that clause except if it is followed with strict rules that govern conduct of Monks too. That is a must. It is absurd to claim you Evangelicals are discriminated against in any way; Now I must say STOP to attacks on places of worship. But a STOP also to bribes to convert people like how Mormons are doing and how AOG and other American sponsored Evangelicals are doing. AOG only sticks to their kind. They are closely knit and do not marry outside. Same with Mormons. Evangelicals try to entice poor people with bribes to come to their faith. In other words, their God resorts to bribery to seek converts.

  • 0
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  • 0
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  • 1
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    adnilam

    Brilliant. Thanks.

  • 5
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    During the war, South Vietnam’s Buddhist majority was very discontented with Diệm’s strong favoritism towards Roman Catholics.

    Public servants and army officers had long been promoted on the basis of religious preference, and government contracts, US aid, business favours and tax concessions were preferentially given to Catholics.

    The Roman Catholic Church was the largest landowner in the country, and its holdings were exempt from land reform (i.e., appropriation).

    In the countryside, Catholics were de facto exempt from performing corvée labour and in some rural areas, some Catholic priests led private armies against Buddhist villages and burnt them with US connivance.

    In 1957, Diệm dedicated the nation to the Virgin Mary.

    Discontent with Diệm and Nhu exploded into mass protest during mid-1963 when nine Buddhists died at the hand of Diệm’s army and police on Vesak, the birthday of Gautama Buddha. In response, the US government was concerned about the possibility “for the Dim/Nhu government to succeed and for us [the United States] to continue to support them.” The response by Ambassador Nolting was, “We should take it slow and easy and see if we can live with the Diem government”

    In May 1963, a law against the flying of religious flags was selectively enforced; the Buddhist flag was banned from display on Vesak while the Vatican flag was displayed to celebrate the anniversary of the consecration of Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngô Đình Thục, Diệm’s brother.

    Many Buddhists defied the ban and a protest was ended when government forces opened fire. With Diệm remaining intransigent in the face of escalating Buddhist demands for religious equality, sections of society began calling for his removal from power.

    Catholics, Christians and Muslims have had a brutal history of oppression. That is why we need that clause to protect Buddhists and Hindus both.

  • 3
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    Very good article. Minorities in this country has always been chauvinists and opportunists and even hypocrites. Best example is the behavior of TNA. If they are true to their beliefs and advocates, on what ground they supported Sarath Fonseka;s failed presidential bid. I cannot even think of a tamil voting for the very man who now claims responsibility for the victory over their own leader of independence struggle.

    • 0
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      Giabao,

      Are you feeling alright?

  • 2
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    Reality in the post modernism era, is in Christian Nations-or should I say post Christian nations,-practice equality of all its citizens. Eg President Obama being elected as President in a majority white nation.The Biblical teaching of man being created according to God’s image demands that man is respected , honoured and treated equally immaterial of caste, creed or color. Any country that has believed and practiced these principles have developed and prospered and minimised internal conflicts. Many mistakes have been made by adherents of all religions in the past. The issue at hand is “Does Sri Lanka want to go forward or continue to live with the turmoil we have been living since Independence?” It is unfortunate that a senior Journalist has quoted scripture out of context which as the saying goes is a “pretext”.
    With over 80% of Christians in South Africa, Bishop Tutu was asked when a new Constitution was being drawn up, whether the new South African constitution should include Christianity as the foremost place. His answer was simple and clear “We have come out of an Apartheid war. Do you want another?”. It appears that the majority Sinhalese /Buddhists, which are 70% of the population, still longs to live in the past. All our intellectual exercises, new constitutions and religiosity and patriotism will fail, unless and until as a Nation we commit ourselves to Equality, Justice, righteousness, transparency and accountability. Non can be more ‘deaf’and non can be more blind than those who refuse to see and hear.- Rev Rohan De S Ekanayake

  • 1
    1

    Malinda Seneviratne true to form is a Sinhala – Buddhist chauvinist. He suffers from an inferiority complex that Buddhism will decline, if there is no state protection. Hence, the demand Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana while treating all religions and beliefs with honour and dignity, and without discrimination and guaranteeing to all persons the fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution.
    As pointed out by Sumanthiran in his speech in parliament there will no absolute equality when one religion is given foremost place at the expense of other religions. Only in a secular state that every citizen will be equal in status. The argument during the colonial era the Christians were favoured over Buddhists and Hindus is not a valid one. That discrimination was wrong. Should we now repeat the same mistake in reverse? As for Christian holidays, there was a time Ceylon adopted the weekend to coincide with Poya Holidays. It was abandoned within a short period because it was found that when Ceylonese were holidaying the rest of the world was working and vice versa, Persons like Malinda wants to push Sri Lanka to the middle ages. If that is his wish, so be it. Sri Lanka will continue to remain a backward country economically and politically.

  • 2
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    Dr. Colvin R. De Silva, a legal expert is the one who added the article on Buddhism to the original constitution. Prof. A. J. Wilson, a constitutional expert, professor of law, and a Tamil by origin, currently living in Canada who drafted JR’s constitution of 1978 did not touch this article either.
    They all agreed that this article is not undemocratic!
    So, what’s the fuss about it now?
    I think Sumanthiran and Mangala are just playing a game of $$$!

    • 1
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      Gema

      “They all agreed that this article is not undemocratic!”

      Dr. Colvin R. De Silva was a democrat until he joined the weeping widow and her merry men. We do not know what discussion went on between Colvin (who once warned the public racist SWRD Banda “one language, two nations; two languages, one nation”) and weeping widow on Buddhism.

      However the weeping widow wrote a note to Colvin in December 1970 among she also wrote the following point:

      “”I have glanced through a summary of
      representations received by your Ministry from the
      public. I find from these and other sources that
      there appears to be a considerable demand in the
      Country for Buddhism as a State Religion, and for
      the protection of its institutions and traditional
      places of worship. Some provision will have to be
      made in the new Constitution regarding these
      matters without, at the same time, derogating from
      the freedom of worship that should be guaranteed to
      all other religions.””

      We do not know what Colvin’s position was on crooks taking cover behind Buddhism.

  • 0
    0

    Why should you speak about the religion at all in the constitution. Religions will be looked after by the respective Gods. Let the people who belong to a particular religion safe guard their religion without asking for government’s assistance. Invariably people seek help from their gods and gods don’t need help from people.

  • 0
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    To Native Vedda,
    Buddhism as a philosophy needs no protection since it protects by itself.
    However, as an institution Buddha’s numerous teachings and His Sasana (Ministry) need the protection of the state if the majority of the country request it. Look at the historical Sinhala people and their language. Almost all the words, expressions, nuances, and even literature emanated from or intertwined with Buddha’s profound teachings and subsequent commentaries. It is an eye opener to humane qualities such as free-thinking, tolerance, equality, and compassion. Many educated people around the world enjoy Buddha’s words and their hidden meanings along with the practice he introduced to free ourselves from dogma-based ignorance (that finally boils down to the existence in the cycle of Samsara).
    Unfortunately, His teachings disappeared from where he was born: Bharath (Greater India that covered today’s Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Tibet, and parts of Southern Russian federation), as well as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Korea. Why? Just think of it!
    Mrs B was informed about the demise of Buddhism under certain terrorist invaders who killed monks and torched universities like Nalanda along with many historical facts in Lanka too, and she finally decided to protect this peace loving religion by including this article about Buddhism. JR’s constitutional adviser, Prof. A. J. Wilson (a Tamil) too agreed.
    My question is: what’s the big fuss about it now? What’s the problem with its being there in the country’s constitution?

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