By Kath Noble –
The monks of the Bodu Bala Sena have inadvertently done Sri Lanka a favour. Their speeches are so crass and their actions so crude that they have provoked a backlash – the media is full of criticism of their anti-Muslim campaign, much of it coming from Sinhala Buddhists themselves.
People have recognised that these groups are a menace. The question is whether their rise has been properly understood and whether the measures being taken to combat them are likely to be effective.
In my last column, I mentioned and quoted from Dayan Jayatilleka‘s new book in connection with the vote on Sri Lanka in Geneva last month, referring to his diagnosis of the mess that the Government is in, internationally speaking, and his prescription of how to get out of it. This is an argument that he has made on many occasions in newspaper articles, but it clearly needs to be repeated, given the near total disjuncture between the world as many commentators on Sri Lanka’s foreign policy see it and anything even vaguely resembling actual reality – implement the 13th Amendment to build up a solid constituency around India and the Global South in order to counter what is inevitable pressure from the diaspora-driven West.
Instead of following this very simple plan, Colombo’s thinkers are busy discussing how best to prepare for sanctions. And if they succeed in bringing this on the country, they will immediately feel compelled to start planning how to dig all the bunkers that they will need to hide from the air strikes that they will then be convinced are bound to follow.
Why risk so much to avoid the 13th Amendment?
The book sets this debate in context, and at the same time explains the rise of groups like the Bodu Bala Sena.
Its central thesis is that the LTTE had to be defeated, since it was a fascist organisation. One of the most interesting sections traces Prabhakaran‘s rise to dominate the Tamil struggle. In 1976, when Prabhakaran reconstituted his forces as the LTTE after his split with Uma Maheswaran, he seemed to be at a disadvantage – a relative nobody in his community with no ideology and thus limited access to sources of foreign training. For a long time, the LTTE was also numerically smaller than its competitors. Yet by the time of the Indo Lanka Accord, it had become the preeminent organisation.
Dayan highlights the importance of Black July, which saw the primary contradiction confirmed as being not between the Tamil community and the State but between Tamils and Sinhalese. People supported the group that they considered to be the most effective, and their understanding of effectiveness can be summed up in the massacre at Anuradhapura in 1985. This support enabled Prabhakaran to eliminate his rivals, as he did in the massacres of TELO, EPRLF and PLOTE cadres in 1986 and 1987– a strategy that he continued until his own demise more than two decades later, in the meantime killing everybody from his deputy and top negotiator Mahattaya to TULF leader Amirthalingam to activists and intellectuals Rajini Thiranagama and Neelan Thiruchelvam to Deputy Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat Kethesh Loganathan and Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar.
Not only was Prabhakaran absolutely ruthless, he was unwaveringly committed to Eelam. As he dared to tell Nirupama Subramanium of The Hindu even after signing the CFA, his famous statement that he should be executed by his followers if he deviated from this goal was still valid.
That is why he went to war against the IPKF, against Premadasa and against Chandrika Kumaratunga, and it is also why he conspired to keep Ranil Wickremasinghe out of power.
He was a fundamentalist.
No state formed by a guerilla movement and no group still engaged in an armed struggle came forward in solidarity with the LTTE, even in its final hour.
The book suggests that the overreach of the LTTE was inevitable.
However, more important in the current context is its analysis of the politics that gave rise to the LTTE and resulted in Tamils ending up with nothing to show for a generation long war. Dayan puts it as follows: ‘The history of Tamil politics in the last quarter century has been blighted by two major errors. The first of these has been the non-use or abuse of united front tactics. The second error has been the substitution of extremism, fantasy and emotionalism, of sheer unaffordable posturing, for serious politics and stone-cold realism.’
None of the Tamil organisations accepted the Chidambaram proposals of 1986, which foresaw the permanent merger of the North and East, minus Ampara, and as a result they were given a merger subject to a referendum in the Indo Lanka Accord, and space was created for the Sarath Silva-headed Supreme Court to effect a de-merger. Similarly, the TULF rejected the 13th Amendment and the EPRLF took office in the North East Provincial Council promising to reopen negotiations, and their adventurism led to Premadasa deciding that the LTTE was less of a threat than the continuing presence of the IPKF – Tamil groups were busy talking of a ‘Cyprus solution’ – and there was no devolved administration in either the North or the East for more than two decades.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of lives were lost.
Where are the self-criticisms by Tamil leaders? They should start by reviewing Dayan’s book – although he is now best known as a spokesperson for the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, he is as much of a critic of Sinhala chauvinism as he is of Tamil extremism.
Speaking of which, what of the failings of Sinhala leaders?
The list of mistakes made is absolutely sickening and far too long to even summarise in this column. I hope that Sinhala leaders will read the book and reflect on it before they make too many more.
Of most relevance to the current context is the claim that these errors led not only to the outbreak of the armed struggle and its dragging on for an entire generation, but also to the rise of an equally ugly phenomenon – Sinhala ultra-nationalism.
Dayan has plenty to say about the early days of Sinhala chauvinism, but he sees a significant difference in attitudes later on. He argues: ‘Sinhala ultra-nationalism was the default option of the Sinhala people in the face of the existential threat posed by LTTE aggression and the vacuum created by the failure or partial and inadequate success of more pluralist, progressive, cosmopolitan or liberal-leaning leaderships.’
In perhaps the most devastating paragraph of the book, he says, ‘Had it not been for the excess and lopsidedness of Chandrika’s ‘package’ and P-TOMS, and Ranil’s CFA, Sinhala fundamentalism would not have enjoyed the surge it did. Sinhala ultra-nationalism, which had been marginalised under ‘Premadasa-ism’ to the point that its key ideologue was sacked by the then VC of Colombo without a social ripple, had reached such a peak a decade later that it was conceded 40 seats by Chandrika’s negotiator Mangala Samaraweera, over the protest of Mahinda Rajapaksa, then PM.’
Ranil Wickremasinghe was of course the leader for whom the least excuses can be made. Although he came to office just after 9/11 when the international mood had turned against the LTTE and when the Sri Lankan Special Forces had finally begun to demonstrate their ability to strike at Prabhakaran’s senior cadres, having killed eight field commanders in as many months, the UNP chose to see how Prabhakaran would respond to appeasement. It exposed its own Military Intelligence in the infamous Athurugiriya raid and agreed via the CFA to disarm the paramilitaries of its Tamil allies, with no concern for the arms of the LTTE and what it would do with them. Without securing access to areas controlled by the LTTE, it allowed the LTTE to move into its own areas and take over as many institutions and functions as Prabhakaran considered useful.
In short, the UNP did everything possible to build Prabhakaran’s confidence, despite the fact that he was the one with the track record of starting wars. Prabhakaran was even allowed to sign the CFA by himself, in his ‘capital’ Kilinochchi, sitting in front of a map of what he very reasonably expected would soon be his Eelam.
For me, nothing sums up the post-war crisis in Sri Lanka as neatly as the choice its voters face even four years after the defeat of the LTTE – Ranil Wickremasinghe, Sarath Fonseka or Mahinda Rajapaksa.
None of these leaders has the capacity to get the better of Sinhala fundamentalism, even if they were motivated to try.
An alternative simply must emerge.
‘Long War, Cold Peace‘ shows just how much space there is at the centre of Sri Lankan politics, and provides some much needed hope that it will eventually be filled.
The outpouring of angst about the Bodu Bala Sena is certainly encouraging, as was the sight of those responsible for the attack on Fashion Bug hiding their faces with their robes as they were being taken into custody by the Police, since this implies that they believe that Sri Lankans regard such actions as shameful. They are right. However, it is not just about stopping a few crazy monks and their followers going around throwing stones, although that is essential. There is also an ideology to be tackled.
Sinhala Buddhists are standing up against violence, but they must also stand up against the ideological foundations of the anti-Muslim campaign.
*Kath Noble’s column may be accessed via http://kathnoble.wordpress.com/. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lester / April 9, 2013
Every country has these kind of groups. In the UK, they are known as the EDL and BNP. As long the majority of people don’t take them seriously, they present no “threat.” Saying that this or that politician is secretly colluding with them is yet another exercise in vanity. When the list was published of VIP’s having secret membership in the BNP, the furor died down pretty quickly. Now, no one can remember the list.
But one good thing BBS has done is highlight the potential threat of Islamic jihad. Given its close proximity to Pakistan, and growing Muslim population (the Muslim population is growing at twice the rate of the Sinhalese one), Sri Lanka could easily become a location for jihadist activity.
ONE / April 9, 2013
It’s typical of them they never look at the mirror but cast blame on others and it is called confidence building in the UK. Selling arms is UK’s main export item and they sell it to their favorite man Gota. UK is the classic hypocrisy.
Mahen / April 10, 2013
“But one good thing BBS has done is highlight the potential threat of Islamic jihad. Given its close proximity to Pakistan, and growing Muslim population (the Muslim population is growing at twice the rate of the Sinhalese one), Sri Lanka could easily become a location for jihadist activity.”
For Pete sake don’t insult the Muslims of Sri Lanka. By and large they are moderates and quite liberal in their outlook.
Don’t push them to the wall like how we did to the Tamils and radicalize them.
Also do brush up your knowledge for numbers. The Sinhalese are currently 75% of the population having been 69% at independence. Whereas Muslims are currently 7.8%.almost one tenth of the majority population. i.e. Sinhalese are1000% of the population of Muslims. Even with the birthrate as claimed of twice how long do you think they will catch up? Almost never!
Dodo / April 10, 2013
Kath, darling, good piece, but the Rajapassa brothers and sons Inc. need another war to divide, distract and rule mother Lanka.
They need a new war arranged by the Balu Sena (who they mentor and fund) to justify post-war militarization and to prevent what they fear most – REGIME CHANGE.
This is the bottom line Darling – so all your and your hero Dayan’s prating about devolution and power sharing with minorities will fall on deaf ears. Get it?!
Minorities and the International Community are Rajapssa’s scapegoats and villans.
rajo / April 10, 2013
Hurry up and go for a ECT before you fly over the cuckoo’s nest
shankar / April 10, 2013
Dr.Dayan Jayatilleke is absolutely correct when he states in his book that the 13th amendment should be implemented.The Indo lanka accord is a matter of prestige for India and we are rubbing on the wrong side of this giant which is only 16 nautical miles from Srilanka.I envisage a cyprus type situation one day where india will take over the north and east with the blessings of the US and EU and a heavy naval presence of the US with aircraft carriers will be in the Indian Ocean to send a message to China not to come to the aid of srilanka.India will quickly get legitimacy for its move from the international community by having a referendum asking the people of the north and east whether they want to become a state of India with special autonomy like Kashmir.
Why is the 13th amendment so important for the Rajapakshe’s though it is only giving very limited autonomy for the tamils and has even been rejected by the stupid TNA.The answer to that lies in the direction to take the country in.If the 13th amendment is implemented then the country sails on the devolution path whereas the rajapakshes want to take the country on a centralization path mainly centralizing all the powers into the hands of the Rajapakshe clan and future dynasty.So there is a conflict of objectives here,decentralisation being taking the power more to the people at the grassroots level,while centralisation will take the powers more to the Rajapakshe clan.So the Rajapakshas who want to establish a dynasty will oppose tooth and nail any plans to take the country on the decentalisation of powers path.As a result conflict with India is inevitable and Dr.Dayan’s advice is to avoid this though for various reasons he may not specifically want to mention India by name and calls it south etc.Taking India head on will be the biggest strategic mistake that the Rajapakshes will make just like prabha found out as his single biggest mistake he ever made.
It would be advisable for the TNA to press for the full implementation of the 13th amendment and Indo Lanka accord without being greedy for more,just like the earlier tamil leaders were greedy as kath noble pointed out when they were offered merger of north and east without Ampara by Chidambaram and rejected it.This will pin the rajapakshes onto the wall because they have to make a decision through the 13th amendment which fork on the road to take devolution or centralisation.They will have to weigh up the pros and cons,if they take the first step on the devolution path then it will be inimical to their personal interests whereas if they don’t then they risk the wrath of India.It would be stupid for the TNA to let the Rajapakshes off the hook due to their greed.Tamil leaders have always been too greedy and wanted ellam and instead have always got kakka pee on their head instead.
International Watch / April 10, 2013
Why haven’t you commented about Norwegian involvement in BBS affair? The Norwegian Embassy has admitted and BBS spokesperson Withanage too has confirmed the visit to Norrway/Sweden and France by eight persons including 6 Bhikkus and two laymen.It was after that the BBS was formed. Why don’t you do some research on how the Norwegian NGO, World View Foundation of Arne Fjortoft cottoned onto former Foreign Minister ACS HAMID in the early 1980s who appointed his brother Nhuman to run the WVF in SL and how later it was given to Sarath Amunugama in 1986 to keep him out of Akurana politics.Yeenteresting, Madam!How the Norwegians then supported some Muslim causes through funding and now again setting up others. Surely,there are wheels within wheels, worth an investigation more than the bloody bluff you are filling pages with like commenting on DJ’s predictions.
There is more on Arndt’s affair. They can be out soon like Wickileaks. Haven’these outsiders been trying to create mayhem here for sometime?
Safa / April 10, 2013
@ Lester. Are you inviting the jihadist to come over here? You seem to be playing a double game. Dont forget that that there are about 3 to 4 million Tamil Muslims in India mostly in Tamil Nadu state and also in neghbouring Kerala. Muslims in Sri Lanka have closer ties with India than Pakistan.
The muslims in Sri Lanka have peacefully coexisted for centuries with other communities. They have also upheld the sovereignity and integrity of the country. Many muslims have been members of the armed forces, police and public service of this country.
The BBS and other extreme elements are doing a great dis-service to the country at this point of time when the country is recovering after a 30 years of conflict. Instead of supporting the healing process they pour oil on the flames and try to incite another ethno-religous conflict.
It is up to the Sinhala Buddhist community to reject extremism as proposed by BBS / SR / JHU and keep the country on the right track. Minorities can only protest and complain but the main responsibility lies with the Govt and majority community.
David Blacker / April 10, 2013
Lester, aka Heshan, Observer, etc is basically a wanna-be white bigot. He hates Muslims only slightly more than he does Jews and Buddhists (basically anyone non-Christian). On sites like Groundviews he has defended Hitler’s genocide of the Jews and claimed it wasn’t as bad as the Japanese. He has called for the wiping out of Muslims as they are “barbaric” and “backward” (his words). While he may sound like a Sinhalese/Buddhist fundamentalist on CT due to his anti-Muslim rhetoric, on Groundviews he has praised China for killing the Tibetan Buddhists. He has also defended the killing of Rajini Thiranagama and Neelan Tiruchelvam.
He is also mentally unbalanced, believing that the US won the Vietnam War because they killed more Vietnamese than they lost Americans. He has claimed that North Korea isn’t part of the UN. He claims that Ranil Wickramasinghe never stood for election and in fact entered parliament in some illegal fashion. He has also gone on record that Japan has no military. Taking this guy seriously would me akin to having a discussion with a mental patient.
Just go to Groundviews and search for “Heshan” in the search box :D
Safa / April 10, 2013
@ David Blackler
Thanks for the info. Lester comes across as Pro US, Anti Sri Lanka Govt, Anti Muslim.
My contention is that at all costs we must avoid unwanted attention from international jihadist elements who would be only too willing to set up operations in Sri Lanka. Unfortunately the BBS by bringing religon into the spotlight and others by making unfounded accusations against muslims are playing into their hands.
We occupy a very strategic location vis a vis India and need to be very cautious playing the Pakistan and China card. Govt needs to be very careful in this aspect when making statements etc.
Lester / April 10, 2013
padraigcolman / April 16, 2013
David- don’t forget Heshan’s recommendation of incest as a means of avoiding pollution of the gene poll. I also recall that he was praising the US government for being kind to Muslims.
padraigcolman / April 16, 2013
“Gene pool” – need a typing pool!
Lester / April 10, 2013
As I explained before, Muslims are doing well, from an economic standpoint. Better than the other groups. On the other hand, there is global economic recession, high inflation, and high unemployment in Sri Lanka. If the economic situation improves, all of this will melt away.
Jamal / April 11, 2013
Lester is fast losing his sanity! he is tilting at windmills. Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. Euripides
~Greek tragic dramatist (484 BC – 406 BC)
Saman Wijesiri / April 10, 2013
Bodu Bala Sena has unwittingly exposed the political nudity of Muslim leaders like Rauff Hakeem- that they don’t care a hang about the plight of the Muslim community as long as they enjoy the ride on the gravy train. Their policy is to throw in their lot with the party in power and enjoy the perks. MR now and then snubs them, but they like worms don’t react. Let us hope that the Muslims in the country will teach a good lesson to unprincipled Hakeem and other self-seeking Muslim leaders at the next general election!
Don Stanley / April 10, 2013
Kath, have you become a cheer leader for DJ?!
There are many better analyses of the conflict in Lanka by intellectually honest Sri Lanka academics, unlike DJ who is a self-serving opportunist who has changed his tune and spin, now that he fell out of favour with Rajapassa after DJ’s wish to be Lanka’s foreign Minister was turned down. DJ played racism when it suited him and he was benefiting from the Rajapssa regime. DO NOT FORGET!
Fully, agree with u that BBS has done us all a favour since it is now clear to all that Buddhism must be SAVED in Sri Lanka from the Rajapassa regime which has turned it into a violent and militarized dogma.. There is a STRUGGLE FOR BUDDHISM going on in Sri Lanka today. The Balu Sena is the vehicle for the Talibanization of Buddhism – the brain child of Gotabaya Rajpakse to DISTRACT the Sinhalaya modaya’s from his military dictatorship. Buddhism has been taken over and DISTORTED and TALIBANIZED and rendered VIOLENT and MILITARISTIC by the Rajapakse Brothers, who have wrapped themselves in the Sinhala Buddhist flag to gain impunity from their crimes and corruption.
Also, fully agree that there is a need for new and a YOUNGER generation of leadership and many have identified Kumar Sangakkara as a potential leader, with the brain, record and guts to unite Lanka’s diverse communities – based on his Lords Speech. Lets hope that he will rise to the occasion and honor because Lanka needs to be save from the clutches of its corrupt and immoral politician leaders – Rajapassa, Ranil, and SF, Hakeem, doddering Sambanthan and dead leftists..
Citizen / April 10, 2013
The author has highlighted the tragedy of errors. It is true that the Tamil Party failed to give much attention to the proposal of P.Chidambaram as specified by the author. They were not far-sighted in their thinking. Perhaps they would have feared the Tamil militants. Had the Tamil leaders not failed to realize the services rendered by Bismark for the unification of Germany and the services rendered by Cavun Cavoor for the unification of Italy, today the Tamil Nation could have certainly averted such a great human disaster. They should have joined hands with G.Parthasarathy. The LTTE failed to realize that it is G.Parthasarathy who was feared by Premadasa and the Buddhist monks. This was very clear when he addressed a meeting at Ratmalana where the Buddhist monks told that they do not want Prohithar’s (meaning Brahmin) advice, to which G.Parthasarathy immediately replied that he had not come at their invitation. However, Premadasa too had his own complex towards G.Parthasarathy, which Anton Balasingam made use of it, to replace Amirthalingam. When Rajiv Gandhi arrived the Minister in attendance was Gamini Dissanayake, an arch rival of Premadasa. Had the Tamils stood firmly with G.Parthasarathy, today both Sinhalese and the Tamils along with the Muslims would still be reaping the benefits of Federalism, like the Canadians enjoying their lives in Canadian Federalism. Extremism would have no place at all. I should also mention that there is suspicion over the assassinations of prominent citizens such as Dr.Neelan Thiruchelvam, Luxman Kadirgamar, etc. Dr.Neelan Thiruchelvam was instrumental in introducing the draft Constitution on the Canadian model. The rest is history.
It is during Premadasa’s period that about 40,000 to 60,000 Sinhalese youths were just killed by the Sri Lanka Armed Security Forces, when the JVP Sinhalese youths rebelled against the government. Similarly, Premadasa laid hands in the Treasury (printing lottery tickets, Rs.1000/- stamps, giving houses to his supporters, etc) during which period the LTTE and Premadasa were enjoying honeymoon days, with the departure of the IPKF from Sri Lanka. – (allowed room for LTTE to penetrate in Colombo)
The signing of the CFA was the turning point for the downfall of the LTTE. Prabakaran posed as signing the CFA separately, while Ranil merely waived his hands from Vanni to the people. The person who signed was a UNPer, but whether such copy of the CFA was presented to Prabakaran is a question. The vital issue was whether an agreement can signed with the banned group? The partners to the CFA were parties who had all violated human rights. The LTTE leaders was responsible for the vast murder of Tamils, Sinhalese * Muslims, while the UNP was instrumental for the communal disturbances of 1983 and finally the Sri Lanka Armed Security Forces were also instrumental for the massive killings of citizens in its operations. When all the offenders are party to an agreement, isn’t there a common sense that each are suspicious of the other. This was a tactic by Ranil to win the hearts of the people and the Sri Lanka Armed Security Forces to monitor the movements of the LTTE, while the attention of the LTTE was deviated from its military course to collect revenues from incoming goods into the Vanni Region. The advisors including Anton Balasingam & Tamil Chelvan were really fooled for being given great hopes. Still I can remember that Prabakaran was unable to answer to certain questions posed by journalists and was seen tapping Anton Balasingam. Similarly, Thamil Chelvan too was seen unable to answer some issues at Geneva. It is through this process the international community was aware of the weakness of the LTTE. Mention should be made that the LTTE may be good warriors, but not good negotiators. Negotiation is an art and involves technique which the LTTE spokesman lacked.
Finally, the DUNF was formed to defeat Premadasa and save Sri Lanka. Gamini Dissanayake was assaasinated by a suicide bomber, who had secret links with Babu (a close associate with Premadasa). This female suicide bomber was living at Chappel Lane at Wellawatte rented from a low-class Indian family in order deviate the attention of Police, while the poor Indian Tamil family was also satisfied with the fat rent provided by Babu. Similarly, Lalith Athulathmudali was also gunned down by Premadasa’s supporters, after the power failure at the stage. Mention should be made that Colombo Municipal Council was monopolized with Premadasa’s people. Premadasa’s close associated Sirisena Cooray was once a Mayor of Colombo. Readers can just imagine.
At present the creation of an unwanted BBS demonstrates the behavior of the MR-led government. The Police, which is responsible for the maintenance of law & order, is unable to restrict the activities of the BBS. Perhaps the Police wanted the BBS to expose the threats posed by Wahhabist’s ideology. They have experience of how an honest Inspector of Police was transferred when he went to arrest the Muslim underworld criminals (at Slave Island) who were given a contract to attempt on the lives of two professionals. Police was also aware of the people on Lalith Athulathmudali’s murder.
It is a sordid state of affair to observe that every politician after assuming power, and Tamils and Muslims when they get an opportunity, wanted to demonstrate their heroism, but failed to rectify these tragedy of errors resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and destruction of properties on account of their short-sighted thinking. The large amount of money spent on suppressing or oppressing the rights of other communities, is sufficient to look after the aged and seniors by way of granting pension. The time is ripe to shed all differences and watch the Western countries as to how they respect each other’s rights with mutual understanding and practicing tolerance. This is the way to put an end to hate propaganda and racism.
Rambler / April 10, 2013
You have reiterated some of the key points made by Dayan in his book and I agree:
1) Prabakaran was a fundamentalist and he was the one who started the fighting every time;
2) Tamil politics in the past 3 decades was characterized by fantasy and emotionalism rather than pragmatism or realism;
3) Ranil Wickremasinghe’s CFA was a total blunder that only emboldened Prabakaran and led to the surge of Sinhala ultra-nationalism;
4) It is imperative that Tamil society and its leaders engage in self-criticism.
I also agree with your conclusion that Sinhala-Buddhists should go beyond opposing the violence of the BBS and stand up against its ideological underpinnings. I would like to add the Tamil people and their leaders too should go beyond condemning the terrorist violence of the LTTE and renounce the fascism underlying the whole Tamil Eelam project.
ahmad / April 10, 2013
Once again, I beg to differ, you and your BBS cronies are simply suffering from paranoia.
Please study this Island article where the Census department completely rubbished the anti Muslim population claims in March 18th article (Population: Census expert disputes anti-Muslim claim, http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=75030):
“Director, Population Census and Demography Division of the Department of Census and Statistics, Indu Bandara said that according to the 2011 census, the Muslim population was 9.2 per cent and the Sinhala population was 74.9 per cent. Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian Tamils were 11.2 and 4.2 per cent respectively.
The census taken in 1981 showed that the Sinhalese accounted for 74 per cent of the population, Muslims 7 per cent, Sri Lankan Tamils 12.7 per cent and Indian Tamils 5.5 per cent.”
Further “the Sinhala and Muslim populations had increased at the rate of 1.04 and 1.87 per cent respectively between 1981 and 2012”. Despite this, the Sinhala population as a % has increased during this period. For the Muslims to overtake the Sinahalese in terms of numbers it will probably take a few centuries at this rate; this is by no means a threat even by the expert view of the census department. There is also plenty of opportunity for the sinhala community to reverse this trend.
You and your BBS cronies are stooges of the Zionist lobbies and exhibit an islamaphobic fear psychosis you have on the threat of ‘Islamic Jihad’ and ‘Wahabism’. You talk about protecting Buddhism and the threat to Buddhism posed by the ‘Islamic Jihad’ threat, this is the exact same rhetoric and drum beating that went around pre 1983, when Sihalese and Tamils had brotherly relationships despite a few problems which could have been solved without resorting to violence. LTTE was a marginalized group even amongst the tamils, which all changed after the 83 riots we as Sri Lankans pushed the entire tamil community to the clutches of a terrorist group. This is how we ended up in a 30 year war and shockingly we are following the ‘exact’ same path today. If you ask me, the most eminent threat to the country is not ‘islamic jihad’ as you point out, but the war mongering of BBS and folks like you (just as you did in the tried and tested prescption of 30 years ago).
Peace be with you
Mango / April 10, 2013
Lester/Heshan/Nihal is a serial liar, fantasist and an apologist for Hitler whose pronouncements (see below) on Sri Lanka’s wars deserve to met with utter contempt. His most cretinous comments include:
“if the Muslims took responsibility for their own actions, torture would not be an issue.”
“Torture is justifiable if there are laws that says it’s okay.”
..”Americans are very careful about who gets tortured..”
“Jeyaraj is a pseudo-journalist. He can’t take the heat from pro-LTTE people, which is why he consistently “responds” in the comments section (journalists are supposed to keep a distance from readers). Try telling him the LTTE should’ve broken his other leg, and watch his reaction.”
Lester / April 10, 2013
Read again what you have posted:
the Sinhala and Muslim populations had increased at the rate of 1.04 and 1.87 per cent respectively between 1981 and 2012″.
1.87/1.04 is 1.79. Very close to 2. Confirming what I wrote at the beginning; the Muslim population is growing at twice the rate of the Sinhalese population.
or the Muslims to overtake the Sinahalese in terms of numbers it will probably take a few centuries at this rate
Few centuries? The maximum will be 100 years. Unlike other groups, the Muslim demographic increases regardless of economic conditions.
ahmad / April 11, 2013
Lester, You need to see the big picture, in 30 years nothing significant has happened. I challenge you to open up your excel sheet and you fill find that even in 100 years only a small blip.
Lester, you need to listen to yourself talk. You don’t sound like a civlized person, rather an un-democratic, fascist barbarian.
Lester / April 11, 2013
There is nothing democratic about Islam. No amount of censorship on this website or anywhere else can undo that basic fact. What I have written here will withstand the test of time.
Dhaksha / April 10, 2013
It seems the poster you refer to is trying to rewrite the facts. You have linked the Census Department, and the results of their research after hours of work. The Census Department that is NOT affiliated with any particular religious group,, yet when one is hell bent on spewing false propaganda here even displaying their ignorance, they do not let credible facts stand in their way.
Wickramasiri / April 10, 2013
Sri Lanka does not need to go back to Ranil or Chandrika, nor Sarath Fonseka. Extremist organizations such as BBS are a temporary phenomenon and will disappear in time. The majority of Sinhala people reject extremism. The JHU too does not command overwhelming support. The weakness is that the silent majority will not get down to street protests. This is so whether Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim. May be there has been no serious mobilisation but there has been enough violence as it is and the mood is that these issues should be resolved through discussion and by enforcing the law. In fact the moderates of all races are angry and disappointed that the Government is apathetic to the blatant disregard for law and order.
The Sinhala people will support a just and reasonable solution. The question is what is this solution? Is it the APRC recommendations, the 13th Amendment, or what?
So the real difficulty is not with the people, what ever the race. It is with the Government. It is with Mahinda Rajapaksa’s vision of the solution for the country. No one knows what he truly wants. Does he think he has realized his vision and nothing more needs to be done? Is his vision one of establishing a family dynasty as often reported? What ever the true position one opinion that is emerging is that his thinking is at variance with that of the people. The people are also becoming impatient with him. No one forced him in to the presidency. Now he has to deliver without prevaricating. One of the key issues worrying him will be the country’s sovereignty, particularly if political power is devolved to the North and East. How much can India be trusted not to interfere covertly and overtly knowing it’s perfidious conduct in the past? How much can the Tamil political parties be trusted to remain loyal to a united Sri Lanka?
Any permanent and lasting solution must take these factors in to account. International bodies and Sri Lanka’s political parties must devise a mechanism to satisfy, and assuage these fears and guarantee the security of a united Sri Lanka. If not the bickering and name calling will continue until a resurgence of violence puts paid to the idea of ‘one country, one people’ once and for all.
ONE / April 12, 2013
Here’s the difference in faith which none can: Sweet silence and Love.
The biggest gathering on earth the Kumbh Mela is a mass Hindu pilgrimage70 million people participated. Even pop queen Madonna visits this for her promotion.
Kumbh Mela started on 27-January-2013 at Allahabad.
After visiting the Kumbh Mela of 1895, Mark Twain wrote:
It is wonderful, the power of a faith like that, that can make multitudes upon multitudes of the old and weak and the young and frail enter without hesitation or complaint upon such incredible journeys and endure the resultant miseries without repining. It is done in love, or it is done in fear; I do not know which it is. No matter what the impulse is, the act born of it is beyond imagination, marvellous to our kind of people, the cold whites.
SL: “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it” -Frederic Bastiat,1801-1850, political economist, author The Law
On the ball
mohamed fazly ilyas / April 12, 2013
Kathy, ‘ a comedy of ( political ) errors ‘ would be more appropiate.