4 February, 2023

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The Sacred & The Profane

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“A tangle within, a tangle without…” ~ Jata Sutta – Samyutta Nikaya

Sepal Amasinghe

In July 2020, Indika Rathnayake, a non-theistic online activist, was summoned to the Organised Crimes Prevention Police Division and questioned for three hours. ‘Propagating fictitious ideas’was his organised crime. The monk-director of the Buddhist Information Centre had complained about Mr. Rathnayake’s facebook posts claiming that Buddhism originated from Jainism. Why a police division set up to prevent ‘organised crime’should take such a complaint seriously is not even a question in Sri Lanka. 

Mr. Rathnayake was fortunate; he got off with a warning not to speculate about the origins of Buddhism. Unlike that unnamed 43-year-old woman who was arrested less than three months later for insulting Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, thereby ‘sowing discord among Buddhists and Christians.’

According to Pew Research, 40% of world’s countries and territories have blasphemy laws, including Sri Lanka. Our blasphemy laws were bequeathed to us by the British. Britain abolished its own blasphemy laws in 2008. We still cling to ours and resort to them more than ever before.

The irony is obvious. The concept of blasphemy is alien to the Buddha’s teaching. His attitude to verbal abuse, including the vilest slander, is well known, Akkosa Sutta being an excellent case point. A Brahmin called Akkosa Bharadvaja scolds the Buddha in “foul and harsh words.” The Buddha waits until the tirade is over and asks what Akkosa does when he has visitors. Akkosa says he offers refreshments. The Buddha asks what happens to those refreshments if the visitors refuse them. Akkosa says then they will return to him. Says the Buddha, “You are abusing us who do not abuse, you are angry with us who do not get angry, you are quarrelling with us who do not quarrel. All this of yours we do not accept. You alone, Brahman, get it back; all this, Brahman, belongs to you.” He then explains, that when someone “returns the abuse, the quarrelling, anger in kind, it is called ‘associating with each other and exchanging mutually. This association and mutual exchange we do not engage in.”

The British-introduced blasphemy laws seemed to have been observed more in the breach for close to a century. Until the early 1970’s there seemed to have existed in the island an environment conducive to free thinking, debate, and dissent. The response to myth-busting activities by Prof. Abraham T Kovoor, Prof. Carlo Fonseka, and the Rationalist Association indicate a public relatively open minded even about age-old superstitions, such as fire-walking associated with God Kataragama. 

Was it this prevalence of critical thinking and writing which made the United Front government introduce blasphemy into its infamous Press Council Law of 1973? Section 15 criminalises any newspaper writing of ‘profane matter’ intending to “insult any religion or founder of any religion…any deity or saint venerated by followers of any religion”. This leap into legal backwardness, this attempt to criminalise free thinking was done by a government which is still considered left and progressive! 

In 2000, journalist Manjula Wediwardana was arrested subsequent to a complaint by a Catholic priest that his soon-to-be-published book insulted the Virgin Mary. This was when the reign of the Rajapaksas was not even a blip on the horizon and Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was the president. In 2000, he got bail. Today he wouldn’t have, because he would have been arrested under the ICCRP, like Shakthika Sathkumara.

In Sri Lanka, a law that was crafted to prevent discrimination and injustice is being used selectively to promote both. The infamously famous Sammantha Badda thero has openly claimed that the Tooth Relic is really a porcine tooth. Nothing has happened to him. But You Tuber Sepal Amarasinghe is in remand custody for insulting the Tooth Relic. 

The charges against Mr. Sathkumara were dropped in Feb 2021 (after he spent months in remand custody). Was it because there was no legal possibility of the charges being maintained? Is the ICCRP being weaponised to intimidate those who anger political or religious authorities? In the absence of a legal pushback, will the ICCRP become a tool to stifle any public conversation about Buddhism and Buddhist monks, just as blasphemy laws were in Christian Europe once and are in most of the Muslim world even now?

Who insults the Buddha?

In cash-strapped Sri Lanka, farce abounds. This month, news broke about a fake Dalada Maligawa being constructed in Kurunegala, using money and jewellery donated by devotees. The heads of Malwatta and Asgiriya chapters and the Diyawadana Nilame were roused into righteous indignation by the news. The latter wrote to the President demanding action. The President ordered the IGP to take action. Mervyn Silva too ordered the police to take action, after visiting the site.

Had the fake Dalada Maligawa begun its religious services, would those too have been limited to monks of one caste, as religious services in the real one are? 

At the 2019 launch of Chinese Academy of History, President Xi Jinping emphasised the need for “history research with Chinese characteristics”. In Sri Lanka, we seem to have a Buddhism with ethnic and caste characteristics. These distortions were created by two key historical corruptions of the Buddha’s teachings. The first was Bhikku Mahanama’s insertion of the concept of just and holy war into a teaching which was based on compassion towards all living beings. Mahawansa’s claim that there’s no sin in killing non-Buddhists in a war to protect Buddhism has seeped deeper into Sinhala consciousness than Buddha’s First Precept. 

The second perversion happened in the 18th Century when a Kandyan king decreed that higher ordination be limited to members of the Govigama caste. The story is told, approvingly, in Mandarampura Puwatha by Labugama Lankananda Thero. By the time the second Nayak king, Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe, was crowned, Buddhism had degenerated and higher ordination had ended. The King (with the corporation of the Dutch) brought higher ordination rites from Siam (Thailand). For about a decade, ordination in Malwatta and Asgiriya chapters was open to everyone. Then the King saw that certain monks from oppressed castes (hina janaya) paid obeisance to upper caste lay persons of wealth and power. The king then prohibited higher ordination to anyone outside the Govigama caste.

If this ‘origin story’ was true, the correct action would have been to de-robe the offending monks; not introducing caste into a caste-less religion. When non-Govigama monks in the maritime provinces banded together and established the Amarapura nikaya by bringing higher ordination rites from Burma, the Kandyan king banned it. Fortunately his writ didn’t run very far and the attempt to turn monkhood into the exclusive preserve of one caste failed. Had the Kandyan king vanquished the British instead of the other way around, we would have had a Sinhala-Govigama Buddhism! And many an exemplary monk would have been lost to the Sasana, like Miggetuwatte Gunananda thero of the Amarapura nikaya. 

As Prof Richard Gombrich points out, Buddha’s teaching on the irrelevancy of caste in caste-ridden India and the opening of monkhood for everyone including those from the most depressed and despised communities caused “a substantial change in the intellectual climate” (Theravada Buddhism: A social history from ancient Benares to modern Colombo). The 18th century introduction of caste into monkhood caused a retrogressive counter-change and split the monkhood along caste lines. Wasn’t that a greater insult to the Buddha than Shakthika Sathkumara’s story or Sepal Amarasinghe’s intemperate remarks?

No religion is a hermetically sealed space. Every religious teaching is affected and changed by the times it lives in and has lived through. For example, according to Prof MMJ Marasinghe, former head of the Department of Buddhist Studies at the Kelaniya University, many of the rituals considered essential to Buddhism came into vogue in the tenth century during the reign of King Sena III – such as offering food and garments to Buddha statues. The story of Ananda Bodi comes not in the original Kalingabodhi Jathaka Pali but in Buddhagosha’s pali commentary. The belief that Ratana Sutta was first chanted by the Buddha to heal the city of Vesali of the Three Terrors was another Buddhagosha add-on, Prof. Marasinghe claims. He cites these as evidence of new rites and rituals being introduced into Buddhism. Once the translation into pali project was completed, the original Sinhala commentaries by Arhat Mahinda were burnt, probably to hide the alien nature of the new practices, he claims (Budu Dahama saha Buddhagama). 

The influx of nobles and Brahmins from South India during the Kandyan Kingdom would have played a role in creating the necessary religious and societal consensus for the introduction of caste into Buddhism. Hinduism might not be the only influence in shaping ritual practices. According to John Davy, “I was once present in the Sanctum of the principle temple in Kandy during the whole ceremony of the evening service; what I saw strongly reminded me of the ceremonial high mass of the Roman Catholic Church” (An Account of the interior of Ceylon and of its inhabitants: With travels in that Island).

Not even religious teachings are immune to impermanence and change. The danger is when law is used to criminalise questioning and dissenting from prevailing orthodoxies. At the rate Buddhism in Sri Lanka is retrogressing, heresy and apostasy might follow blasphemy as high crimes, as they were in Christianity once and are in Islam now. 

A world of unreason

The Panadura Debate was a series of six debates which commenced in Baddegama and ended in Panadura. The participants were Buddhist monks and Protestant clergy. The debates seemed to have been both erudite and accessible, exhibitions of scriptural knowledge and rhetorical skills. Both parties cooperated to ensure that the encounters were peaceful and orderly. Once the final debate ended, the British editor of Ceylon Times, John Cooper, published an account of it highly complementary to the Buddhist side. That account introduced Buddhism to many a Westerner and was instrumental in Henry Steel Olcott arriving on these shores. 

In his forward to Prof Wimal Abeyasundara’s 1991 book on the Panadura debate, President Ranasinghe Premadasa said, “The most valuable lesson we could learn from the debate is the peaceful way of settling disputes”. He was right. Unfortunately, that habit no longer prevails in the religious sphere. Today, the way of settling religious disputes is not intelligent and rational debate but verbal and physical violence and/or repressive laws. 

75 years into independence, our minds are more enslaved, our conduct more servile, our intellectual climate more anti-intellectual. In our first national election (the parliamentary poll of 1947), secular left parties performed remarkably well, despite the UNP’s incendiary slogans about communist-threat to Buddhism and the left leaders’ refusal to engage in exhibitionist religious rituals. Today, no politician can get past the first hurdle if he/she is unwilling to worship at some shrine.  

Perhaps Carlo Fonseka’s debunking of the fire-walking myth was the last hurrah of those freer times. Prof. Fonseka organised a fire-walking demonstration as part of the September 1970 exhibition at the Medical College. He and a group of doctors, technicians, and students walked over a fire of 750faranheit after eating pork and drinking arrack. Among those present was Arthur C Clark.

In response to numerous public challenges, including from monks, the deputy minister of cultural affairs of the UF government and NU Jayawardane, Prof Fonseka agreed to another demonstration. This was conducted on Feb 8th 1971 (poya day) at the Kataragama Devale in Attidiya. After its successful conclusion, ordinary people, including in far-off villages, conducted similar non-sacred fire-walking experiments. 

Today, politicians and monks would have complained to the police and Prof Fonseka would have been arrested and held under the ICCRP for months, sans bail. His Catholic origins would have been held against him. Profs Kovoor and Clark would have been hounded out, one for being an Indian agent and the other a Western conspirator colluding to destroy pure Buddhism (not to mention the Sinhala). 

The consequences of our mental regression as a nation have been dire. The effect of the Kelani Cobra drama needs no belabouring. Would a majority of Sinhala voters have accepted Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Our Hero who Works in 1947 or even 1952? The Buddha, when he was indisposed, turned not to pirith chanting but to a human physician, Jeevaka, for relief and cure. In Kucchivikara-vattu of Mahavagga, when the Buddha comes across a monk neglected by other monks due to dysentery, he washed and treated the sick monk. In Sri Lanka, supposedly the sole refuge of pure Buddhism, the Rajapaksa government promoted the chanting of pirith and divine potions as counter to Covid-19. There was hardly any public dissent. We are happier with divine saviours as we are with human ones. 

Unquestioning obedience to religious orthodoxies is not the Buddha’s way. It is a tactic used by political and religious leaders for their own ends. Critical thinking is discouraged and penalised, not to save rata, jathiya, agama, but to protect vested political, economic, and religious interests. The next time, any politician places a hand on heart and promises to die to protect Buddhism, we should remember yesterday’s picture of Shiranthi Rajapaksa in a hijab attending a women’s conference in Iran. If that iconic image doesn’t make us think twice about the irrational path we have trod for 75 years, nothing will.  

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Latest comments

  • 18
    2

    “Had the fake Dalada Maligawa begun its religious services, would those too have been limited to monks of one caste, as religious services in the real one are? “
    Yes, good question.
    And, if it had a replica of the relic, would it be of more human proportions?

    • 4
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      Thisaranee: Today the Sri Lanka and U.S. militaries are conducting environmentally destructive war games called CARAT/MAREX. Last time during the QUAD Malabar war games in the Seas of Sri Lanka 100 plus pilot Whales beached and many died but none of the USAID and NED funded Human Rights groups or the Environmental gravy train NGOs are protesting miitarization.
      The World needs a Global anti-War movement against the US-NATO-AUKUS war machine that has over 800 military bases all over the world. They are not growing Tulips and water lilies in these bases!
      US has chosen to start its war games in Sri Lanka in the week of the Chinese New Year as it is targetting Sri Lanka for an economic Proxy war on China with the IMF Debt trap and bailout business, having already tried it in Taiwan too!
      The Ethno-religious, gender LGBTQ etc identity politics violence you and various Human rights whores focus on is a ‘beggars wound’ kept oozing by those who want to divide, distract and rule Sri Lanka. Just remember the book “Cold War Monks: Buddhism and America’s Secret Strategy in Southeast Asia” and the WEAPONIZATION of religion against socialist and communist de-colonization and national liberatiom movements in the Third world

      • 6
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        This might be an inappropriate question to ask ……… did the Buddha have a dentist?

    • 11
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      OC:
      I have read—I think in a footnote in my copy of the Mahawansa—that if the tooth at the Kandy Temple had belonged to a real human being, he would have been about 18 feet tall!

      According to the same note, the original relic had been captured by the Portuguese, taken to Goa and ceremoniously destroyed there. And, lo and behold, a replacement for the relic had appeared soon afterwards as if by magic!

      • 3
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        Dear LJ,

        To tell you below, believe it or not, this is the truth.
        .
        Last time (Nov 2022) when I returned to Europe, I had to discuss again with expert physicists about the “Buddha-Rays on the Dagabe Pillars of Somavati”, which pilgrims interpreted and labeled as “so-called wonder making buduras”.
        However, as I have often added something like this, it is the reactions of “light being reflected and refracted”. And basic level of physics could easily explain. These are facts that can easily be physically proven.
        Nothing else, however, if a leading monk, similar to that ” nagaya carried fake relics story teller monk at Kelaniya” explains it so interestingly, the stupid “sadhu-sadhu-affected” audience will be easily fooled. This is unfortunately the saddest reality of this county.
        .
        Once I had the same spectacular scenes or similar radiation around the Cologne/Germany Cathedral and several other buildings and their highest points. … There, no one became or described the “fairy tales” based on it.

      • 2
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        LJ,
        The biggest mistake the clerical hierarchy made over the centuries was to link the relic with the legitimacy of the state. They painted themselves into a corner, because the time has come when authenticity can be scientifically proven (or not).
        Now all they can do is shoot the messenger.

    • 4
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      old codger

      Please listen to Jagath Weerasinghe:
      Sri Lanka’s bloody past
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3ct32ml

      Let us have your considered view on Jedgath’s ideas of Sri Lankan vociferous/noisy saffronistas.

      • 4
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        Native,
        True what he says, the noisy minority of Buddhist monks get their way, drowning out the good ones.
        The root of the problem is the daham pasalas, where monks get to teach their skewed version of history to innocent children. Compulsory religious education must be stopped.

    • 5
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      OC , by any chance do you know what this women’s conference is about and details of Shiranthi’ s speech. Is it empowering women or Me Too movement ????

      • 5
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        chiv

        I am lost.
        What is happening in Tamil National Alliance (TNA)?
        Is Sampanthan Aiya still the leader of TNA?
        Why do you think Selvam (TELO), Siththarthan (PLOTE), Siritharan (FP) …. are opposed to Sumanthiran and Sampanthan Aiya?

        • 4
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          Native, “me too”. I was hoping that you may have the answers. But aren’t we truly blessed ??? Every politician in Lanka wants to be the leader, in his own way. Except for now dead UNP , who do not have any members, rest are facing the same. SJB, doesn’t know who is coming or going. So called independents Yapa , Dullas, old SLFP, MS, SF, Champika, Wimal , Goman and many more are stacking claim to be the next leader to get the nation out of dump. I hear SLPP Pseudo patriots are abandoning ship, faster than, Lankan economy hitting bottom. Some leaving politics for good because there is no more scope to make money, some switching party, some trying to leave country to save their loot so to enjoy, the fugitive captain who was the first to abandon is trying to retain his citizenship in the U.S.

        • 0
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          Native, is it only them opposed to Sam / Suma . Here are those wannabees , staking claim, to get those rights for Tamils, to live in peace. 1) TNA 2) TELO / PLOTE / FP , five of them 3) previous party of CVW Tamil Congress with some one 4) New CVW and Mani combo 5) EPDP and mercenaries 6) Angagan and left over SLFP 7) Pillayan and his Mafia 8 ) now dead, Ananda (not so happy) Sanghari and co 9) Ranil and who ever with him 10) Sajith and those, only he is aware of 11) JVP /NPP 12) and hundreds of INdependent , not in “who is who” list. Aren’t Tamils blessed ????

      • 3
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        Chiv,
        https://en.irna.ir/news/85004105/First-Int-l-Congress-for-Women-of-Influence-kicks-off-in-Tehran
        Iran isn’t Saudi Arabia. Even here we have mullahs telling women how to behave, though their uniform is a different colour.

      • 3
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        Chiv, very good morning from central eruope for this day…
        .
        chive,
        My trusted sources revealed all about it:
        .
        How can she make billions selling gold stolen from northern rebels? HOW THE bloody fukcing family became untouchably wealthy ?
        .
        How “Khashoggi-style mysterious murders” can be planned….remember how the bloody woman was complicit in the murder of that innocent young rugby player – Wasim Thadjudeen. This woman will certainly be rejected by earthworms as well ….. these men and women will surely be punished by “karmic consequences”.

      • 2
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        some women in SL have no the least rights. Please see below

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ktd5YIg6dQ
        .
        What happened to the rights of citizens in this country?

        This woman is still alive, but DERANA TV channel made a campaign to make this woman a victim of a brutal murder and earn a lot of money through movies.According to them “HITHUMATHE JEEWITHE” is the proctagonist of the film story – but in the reality, he had not killed anyone but for some other crimes, he had been jailed.
        :
        I think that if there were injustices like this in Europe, the owner of DERANA TV would have to pay billions of compensation to this family

  • 8
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    “…we should remember yesterday’s picture of Shiranthi Rajapaksa in a hijab attending a women’s conference in Iran. If that iconic image doesn’t make us think twice about the irrational path we have trod for 75 years, nothing will. “
    This is going out of the way to be nasty.
    All women are required to cover their head in public places in Iran.
    SR was only wearing a scarf.
    That is a show of respect for local customs. Cannot we appreciate it?

    • 9
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      The Sacred & The Profane

      The Sri Lankan style of so called “sacredness” is bogus.

      Spreading sorcery and astrology is a lucrative business of TV media and srilankekn astrologers and sorcerers. All main TV channels should be accountable for this mess that is introduced to srilanken punnakku eaters dominated society more in the two terms of MAHINDAR RAJAKASHE regime.
      :
      Rajapaksa made it a profitable business through his biased media networks and duped people to remain fools forever. For so long people have been in labyrinths like “guinea pigs”, the Rajapaksas have been given pills of “Sinhala BP Buddhism” and they can bring ectassy because of the harvest of “votes”
      : this is why I accuse the people and the Rajakshas. Both are responsible for the mess created today.

      Tactics based on unseen forces are creeping across the country via “youtubers”. Its speed is similar to an ” x-ray” because people at large a stupdier than appeared to be.

      • 9
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        Witchcraft, Astrology, Spreading Sinhala Buddhism in the guise of “Devils” “Bhoota”, “Ghosts” are their agendas among many miscreants in Sri Lanka today.

        Kiribathgoda (Reverend Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero) (Reverend Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero) declares that people get sick when the “Buthaya” enters the human body until one leaves the body…. This is his limited knowledge. Samantha Badda, also a monk, who is against it because he is by education graduate in micribiology. Monk’s back then behaved like idiots… due to lack of information, but if anyone woudl be clear about basics of human biology… he or she would have see the fact accordingly.
        .
        ……even in the 21st century we have stupid so called prominent monks that behave like misleaders of this society.
        …I think we need to slap our cheeks again and again. Instead of giving “alms and other goodies” to the monks, I am now really a free food giver to the poor.
        :
        tbc

        • 9
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          cont.
          .
          Youtubers (srilanka) have become their easy and cheap business partners. Today Sri Lankan YouTubers can be termed as the “garbage flies” of our society.
          .
          Ignorant YouTubers like Dhanush have produced hundreds of videos exposing those “Gurunanselas” and “female witches (sacred mothers) over and over again. Lately, two weeks ago or so, a sorcerer by name Wickramarachchi weda, was caught in the act, having abused a woman customer in his treament room…. can you guys imagine ?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMi_F3ipbR4
          :
          All this is happening SO CALLED mahanayaka hamuruduwo…. They have woken up only to Sepal’s sharp words… Must be a miracle right?

          • 7
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            All these occur with the knowledge of MAHANAYAKA theros. :::

    • 6
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      old codger

      Hirunika was seen protesting at Galleface against Independence Days Celebrations. Overweight policemen were circling her with the view to grab hold of her neck/throat. Will our China’s Man in Sri Lanka protect and defend all those policemen who have nothing better to do?

      It used to be the Federal Party that protested against Independence day.
      Why Hirunika? Why now?

      • 2
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        Native,
        I am no hypocrite. I feel sooo jealous of those policemen who have the chance to grab Hirunika’s whatever…

        • 2
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          OC,
          .
          did you know that HIRUNIKA’s friend, the woman (Dharshika) who lately displayed her former bf was having sex with a dog…. is a brothel runner ? The kind of women should be subjected to public execution. … that poor man Anshu lost his face..

          Hirunika s is not different to that of this woman, as I feel.. .she would do anything and everything for cheap gains.

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

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBJ7qvZ1FoI

          • 2
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            LM
            Hirunika should have thought twice before going to town with that affair. At the very least, it shows a lack of gratitude to Ranil, who rightly or wrongly got her off an abduction charge.

        • 4
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          old codger

          “I feel sooo jealous of those policemen who have the chance to grab Hirunika’s whatever…”

          When the going get tough Hirunika embrace the policemen, motherly affection, or sisterly …. Policemen especially the old ones need need a cuddle or two, …

          China’s man in Sri Lanka too needs such close affection.

          • 2
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            Native,
            Talking about cuddling, this gem of an article may interest you:
            “Caught In Providence: Magistrate Gives 10,000 Bucks To Buy A Sustagen To A Suspect”

  • 12
    0

    “we should remember yesterday’s picture of Shiranthi Rajapaksa in a hijab attending a women’s conference in Iran. If that iconic image doesn’t make us think twice about the irrational path we have trod for 75 years, nothing will.”
    I think the writer is not against wearing a scalf in respect of the local customs. But author is trying to point out that in Sri Lanka Rajapaksa government with Buddhist Fundamentalist were not respected to the local customs of Other Religious people. For example, Muslimsand Christian custom of dead people is burial or destruction of Hindu Temple and erecting Buddhist temple in the same but Buddhist Monks and Rajapaksa government purposely denied the local custom.

    • 4
      15

      “For example, Muslimsand Christian custom of dead people is burial or destruction of Hindu Temple and erecting Buddhist temple in the same but Buddhist Monks and Rajapaksa government purposely denied the local custom.”
      Could you translate this to help unsophisticated minds like mine.
      *
      BTW
      What did the great Rajarajan do in his time?
      What happened to the Jain and Buddhist monasteries in Tamil country in the post-Sangam period?
      People living in glass houses….

      • 11
        1

        Yes, as usual, trying to justify Chingkalla Buddhist extremism and fundamentalism, especially against the Thamizh Hindu shrines and their forced conversion to Buddhist shrines, by the Chingkalla Sri Lankan state armed forces, rabid Buddhist monks and the so-called Archeological department, with the excuse a 1000 years ago, King Rajarajan Cholan converted Jain and Buddhist temples in the Thamizh country in India to Hindu. What happened millennia ago, in another era and age, got to do with what is happening now and to justify this? These former Jain and Buddhist monasteries were converted to Hindu places of worship, as they went into disuse, as there were hardly any Thamizh Jains or Buddhists left, in these regions, the people had reconverted back to Hinduism just like the rest of India, however, the Hinduism is still thriving and northern and eastern Sri Lanka and these ancient Hindu temples are still in use and there are no local Buddhists in these areas.

        • 9
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          They are deliberately being converted to Buddhist temples, using fake concocted history, by the Sri Lankan state, with the help of the occupying Chingkalla armed forces and Buddhist monks, overseen by the so-called Archeological Department, which has proven many times to be not interested in real history or Archeology but being a handmaiden of Chingkalla Buddhist Fascism, as a prelude to converting these fertile Thamizh Hindu areas to Chingkalla Buddhist lands, and you are an apologist to this venture As usual immediately come to the defence of China, Chingkalla Buddhist racism or Islamic extremism, especially if it is against your fellow Thamizh. Some sort of weird self-hater with an agenda.

      • 12
        1

        SJ,
        I really sorry for you that you are still living with Mahavamsa patriot mentality even after the people of this country, particularly Sinhala masses chased away Rajapaksas for their lies.

        • 2
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          A
          I am all right the way I am. Your fantasizing is of little use..
          There is no benefit in feeling sorry for me or any other when there is so much to feel sorry for in you.

    • 11
      1

      “At the 2019 launch of Chinese Academy of History, President Xi Jinping emphasised the need for “history research with Chinese characteristics”. In Sri Lanka, we seem to have a Buddhism with ethnic and caste characteristics. These distortions were created by two key historical corruptions of the Buddha’s teachings”

      There is money to be made in this with or without politics as long as the voters like the music…..a unisex sauce for the goose and the gander could take a few decades.

      • 1
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        “President Xi Jinping emphasised the need for “history research with Chinese characteristics””
        Interesting, F.
        Can you kindly tell me where you picked this up?

        • 2
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          F
          I located it.
          The lady has a reputation for misquotation.
          This is what I found in China Daily: “President Xi Jinping has called on the country’s historians to improve their research and innovation to better summarize historical experience, reveal patterns and grasp the trend of history.”
          Rewriting of history to suit Hindutva doctrine has gone on for sometime, especially under Modi.

          • 3
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            Have I hurt so many owners of sore tumbs by waking them to the truth?

            • 2
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              … sore thumbs…

            • 8
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              Have I hurt so many owners of sore tumbs by waking them to truth ???? Of course NO, especially after you quoting “China Daily” – The most reliable source of information on Xi

        • 6
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          SJ
          I found it in the 3rd para of the authors article above under heading “who insults Buddha”
          But you are saying the lady has reputation for misquoting. I and many others would say the same of the China Daily is propeganda.
          We are disputing sources and will dissagree but that is OK.
          You may even be right about Modi and other leaders.

          But my point was different, that as long as voters like the music, ambitious politicians will use it to their advantage……..hence I was saying religion and politics should not mix.

          • 4
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            Fakeculturebug , take a look at the recent controversial documentary of BBC on Modi. His government has ordered social media to block all links.You may be able to access any where outside of India. “Truth has this habit of raising it’s self” says Rahul Gandhi.

    • 5
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      Ajith , you are absolutely right. Rajapaksas instigated violence against Muslims and Tamils , protested their relegious practices, attire, beliefs and tradition , today pretending to follow the same culture to attend women’s empowerment conference in Iran , who inturn killed their own women protesting in public. If Rajapaksas had relegious tolerance back at home while they were governing ?? SJ loves this kind of hypocrisy. The retired professor’s comprehension is such, he then quotes Rajarajan to justify Rajapaksas???

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        religious tolerance

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          Chiv the Thamizh politicians in the north have protested as, the Sri Lankan state officials and the occupying Chingkalla armed forces and police in the northern province have decorated the entire north province with Chingkalla lion flags, Buddhist flags and giving prominence only the Chingkalla Buddhist cultural celebrations, with hundreds of Buddhist monks transported from Anuradhapura to perform Buddhist prayers and ceremonies. All in a province where the Chingkallam and Buddhists are less than 3%. Tamils over 93%, Thamizh Hindus around 75%, and Christian Thamizh around 20%. They have questioned why only an exclusive Chingkalla Buddhist independence celebration, especially in a part of the country that is the homeland of the Eezham Thamizh and the culture and religion of the Hindu, Christian and Muslim Thamizh in this region, has also has to be respected and celebrated not just an exclusive Chingkalla Buddhist celebration, they are less than 3% of the population. The same goes for the Thamizh east too. Now someone here will come back with a smart alec reply and justify Chingkalla Buddhist-only celebrations in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious land, quoting, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan or Asoka the great.

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    The readership of CT and the English literate citizens are a minute fraction of less than 0.001% of the Sri Lankan population of 22 million. Most voters are the hoi polloi who want Sepal to be punished for calling that object a “lubber” The parasitic and corrupt political class knows this full well, and are catering to the sentiments of the hoi polloi who are blind to historic realities, live in denial, attribute their abject poverty to “karumey” and worship their oppressors as well as any object they falsely think or hope will grant them benefits or favours. Such is the dumbed down nature of the vast majority.

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