25 September, 2020

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The Tragicomic ‘Sinha-Le’ Tribe

By Sharmini Serasinghe

Sharmini Serasinghe

Sharmini Serasinghe

It is indeed ironic and tragically hilarious, that while Sri Lanka boasts of a 2500 year-old culture, and one of the highest literacy rates in Asia (the ability to read and write), those claiming relationship to a four-legged beast (lion) today; its ‘Sinha-Le’ tribe, is unable to separate allegory and myth, from fact. After all, the ability to read and write doesn’t guarantee intelligence, common sense or wisdom, does it?

What is most hilarious is that, by claiming bloodline to a beast, they are also admitting to being subhuman, the qualities of which, they have no qualms about displaying unashamedly, in the public arena. Is this what our 2500 year-old culture has produced?

This unique beast-blooded tribe, which also appears to have inherited its level of intelligence, also seems unable to distinguish between the Dhamma, and the Mahavamsa. Yet, they insist on calling themselves ‘Buddhists’, and the ‘guardians’ of Buddhism.

The lion that gave rise to this progeny must surely, hang its head in shame, while those of us Sinhalese, fortunate to have human blood running though our veins, can only shake our heads in despair!

buddhist_monks_protestTypically, as is the norm with this part-beast tribe; gullibility is also in their genes. Hence, it is no surprise at all they have yet again fallen, hook, line and sinker, for a desperate and devious effort, by those who bit the dust in January 2015.

Sinha Le is their latest tragicomedy. And, with no surprises once again, it is the lion blooded saffron-robed, who are its main actors, performing at their best.

When oh when, will these fallen despots cease using the saffron-robed, as a means to their dubious ends?

While all human-blooded Buddhists agree, that the Dhamma needs no protection from any force or anyone, the image of Buddhism in Lanka; marketed as a Buddhist nation, has suffered immensely, not at the hands of others, but the paws of the subhuman Sinha Le-Buddhist tribe; a tribe unto themselves!

Attempts by the incumbent regime, to rein in the rampaging lion-blooded saffron-robed, through the Theravadi Bhikku Kathikawath Bill, has already come up against its first obstacle; a petition to the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutionality of the Bill.

The ousted despots now worming around, with neither credibility nor status worthy of mention, will manipulate their robed puppets, and go to the ends of the earth, to stop this Bill ever seeing the light of day. Or else, their ‘weapon of mass destruction’; the saffron robe, will cease to be, the power it now wields.

For the sake of peace and stability of this ravaged country, I hope they fail in their evil endeavour!

What we are now seeing today, is recent history repeating itself, when a similar attempt was made in 2012, to contain the systemic decay that has been eroding the character of the Sangha, for decades. As was the norm in the days gone by, the then government’s favourite whipping boy; “international conspiracy” was blamed for this move, and shouted down.

In late May 2012, MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe tabled a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament, seeking an amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution, to prevent a priest of any religion, becoming a member of Sri Lanka’s legislature.

Reportedly, the MP’s intention, in doing so, had been to maintain and preserve the integrity and dignity of all religions. It is obvious, that the MP had the Buddhist clergy in mind, as no priest of any other religion, is a Member of Parliament.

As was to be expected, the most strident opposition to the proposed Bill was, from the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), of the time. The Bill was doomed, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa reportedly, informed the parties of his ruling coalition, to vote against the proposed bill. This was despite, the entire process by which the Bill was arrived at, having received the blessings of the Chief Prelates of all the four main Nikāyas in Sri Lanka.

Regards the latest Theravadi Bhikku Kathikawath Bill, amongst the many grievances put forward by the ‘Sinha-Le’ monks opposed to the Bill, is that their wings will be clipped if passed; thus, preventing them from meddling in issues of national interest and occult practices.

Regarding national interest, why do we need Buddhist monks also stirring the pot of national interest, when we have an abundance of the laity in parliament, to do the needful?

For centuries past, the Sangha merely played the role of advisors to the rulers of the country, as opposed to actively engaging in politics. They didn’t meddle in matters of governance, and become a nuisance to the public, as we see today. Hence their active interference in national interest thus far, has only been to the nation’s detriment; making the process of peace and reconciliation, a near impossibility, in this land!

National interest is the business of the laity, not of the Buddhist monks, who are supposed to have renounced all; broken the fetters that tie them to lay life, in order to follow the path of the Dhamma. However if they insist, they must disrobe and do so. But, they will not, for without the saffron robe, they wield no power. Hence the need to, eat the cake and have it.

On engaging in occult practices, where in the Vinaya Pitaka or anywhere in the Tripitaka is it mentioned, that a Buddhist monk is permitted to do so? In a pathetic attempt to justify their meddling in witchcraft, they have, reportedly, lumped it together with Bodhi Pooja, defining the harmless latter, also as an occult practice.

Since time immemorial, Buddhist monks, contrary to the very teachings of the Buddha, have been involved in witchcraft and casting of horoscopes; the latter borrowed, from Hinduism, as is the case, with all the practices denounced by the Buddha, found in Buddhist culture.

Hindu cultural practices, including idol and symbol worship which the Buddha denounced and did away with in Buddhism, were introduced to the Buddhist laity as ‘Buddhism’, by none other than Buddhist monks themselves. This they did, for their own advantage, and the sole purpose of ingratiating themselves into lay society. As a result of this confusion, most Buddhists today, cannot distinguish between the Dhamma and Buddhist culture, as they regard both, as one and the same.

Instead of interfering in matters of national interest, the Sangha needs to return to their true calling, and practice as well as propagate the message of the learned one; the Buddha. The moral depths the Sinha-Le tribe has sunk to, is an indictment of how the messengers of the Buddha’s teachings (Bhikkus), have failed in their mission thus far.

Sri Lanka’s post-independence political history is replete, with how the interference of Buddhist monks in issues of national interest; peace and reconciliation, have been, to the detriment of this land. Is this to be a tradition continued, in matters of national interest?

How much longer are we to allow it?

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Latest comments

  • 11
    3

    Harvey Perera’s comment is an example of how pathetic we’ve become today. when faced with facts all they do is raise some of these tired old slogans, WAR HEROES, LTTE, NGO’S and WESTERN CONSPIRACIES and this way hope that criticism will silently disappear .

  • 7
    16

    worst form of journalism – please tell us what you mean with examples. not everyone who reads ur article is aware what u are talking about. I cant make head or tale of this. are these monks in the picture heading Sinha Ley organisation ? what are they protesting about ? what have they done ? can some tell what has happened ?

    • 9
      4

      You must be another one of those, able to read and write sans intelligence, common sense or wisdom; typical Sinha-Le subhuman.

      By the way, why does CT approve idiotic comments like this on comment threads?

    • 6
      3

      Double Standards:
      Apart from needing to learn to USE the “spell-check” on your computer, a good idea might be to have a scan (the medical kind) done to ascertain whether there is anything in that globular object at the top of your body.

  • 14
    3

    Congratulations once again Sharmini written with your characteristic sardonic humour. Bensen

  • 6
    7

    When a nation is at cross roads either facing foreign invasion or intervention (via international investigations or kangaroo courts) there appears various groups (Sinha-le maybe one of them) and various individuals on payroll of mischievous parties and foreign interests (to focus / paying attention on the groups and discrediting them / what they purports to stand for)! These individuals have an agenda of rewriting history and reshaping culture to suit their paymasters. So is this what is happening here? Is this Ms. Serasignha’s agenda?

  • 7
    14

    Everyone know that ” Sinha- le ” is a ancient name for Sri Lanka. It has nothing to do with ” Sinhala ” race ..

    Picture is university monk students ..

    Please meet a mental physician .. If you want ..[Edited out]

    • 7
      4

      Looks like the goats have started to bleat!

    • 10
      3

      “Everyone know that ” Sinha- le ” is a ancient name for Sri Lanka.”

      Can you please give some evidence to prove this?

    • 1
      5

      Sharmini[Edited out]

      “Everyone know that ” Sinha- le ” is a ancient name for Sri Lanka. It has nothing to do with ” Sinhala ” race ..”

      Everyone knows Eelam is an ancient name for Sri Lanka

      • 3
        1

        Shrikharan; Your Statement:-

        “Everyone knows Eelam is an ancient name for Sri Lanka”

        What a ‘Narrow-minded’ use of the word ‘Everyone’!

        Vijaya called Sri Lanka ‘Tamra Panni’

        The Greeks corrupted it to ‘Taprobane’

        The Helas called it ‘Hela Diva’ later ‘Sihala Dveepa’

        Tamils from TamilNadu called it ‘Ilankai’

        The Arab Traders called it ‘Seren Dip’

        The Portuguese called it ‘Ceilao’

        The Dutch called it ‘Zeylan’

        The British called it ‘Ceylon’

        At Independence from the British, the name ‘Sri Lanka’ was adopted.

        So ‘Eelam’, was only one of the names used by foreigners who visited the island and settled here.

        Native Veddah or Amarasiri, can you give us the Prehistoric Name for the Island, so we can suggest it to the Present Government?

        • 1
          1

          In the 9th century AD, under Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola, Sri Lanka became one of the nine provinces of the Chola Empire and was called Eelam Mandalam. This Chola rule was the longest and the most far-reaching in terms of surface area by the Tamil power. Sri Lanka remained a South Indian (Chola) colony under the rule of Rajaraja Chola and his son Rajendra Chola. After the Chola rule of Anuradhapura and then Polonawara (a kingdom created by Rajendra Chola) kingdoms ended, the people who spoke Sinhala and/or practiced Buddhism moved to the South and created their Kingdoms in Kandy, Kotte, and many other places in the South. On the other hand, the people who spoke Tamil and/or practiced Hinduism moved to the North & East and created their Kingdom in Jaffna.

          However, Sri Lanka was always known among the Tamils as Eelam.

          “At Independence from the British, the name ‘Sri Lanka’ was adopted.”

          The name Sri Lanka was adopted not at independence but in 1972 with the new republican constitution.

        • 0
          0

          Hamlet,

          If I may correct you,

          Ceylon became Sri Lanka when it became a republic in 1972.

          • 2
            0

            Thank you Wise Old Owl. My memory fails me at times, now that I am over 80 years old!

  • 1
    0

    The fact that blood is not actually passed on to one’s offsprings not withstanding.

  • 5
    6

    just pointing out the irony in the fact that the author’s references to “Lions Blood” and ridiculing what is clearly an allegory

    is done while her own name is “Sera” “Singha” – also part of the “Beast-Blooded Tribe”

    • 6
      1

      Is that a mentally restarted person’s joke Maalumiris?

      “Beast-Blooded Tribe”

      Your head appears to be a, as your name suggests, a dead, pickled fish Maalumiris.

      There is a mythology from her race that there is Lion blood in them. She is from Sinhala race. At any point in her writing, she did not deny that she is a Sinhalese. She is denying only the myth.

      I like to know your explanation of how her name is proving M/S Sherasingha has lion blood.

      How do you connect her name to validate a hopeless myth?

    • 2
      0

      Malu Miris:-

      My Rational Understanding of Vijaya’s Father’ Name, Sinha Bahu, is that he was so called because he had the Strength of a Lion in His Arms, (Bahu).

      Not because He Had a Lion’s Blood in His Veins!

  • 7
    3

    How can these guys be so sure, shouting that they have lion blood .If you check their DNA they could have blood of the Fox,Pig or a pickle of Yakshas and Nagas ,the way they behave.The head of these species Gnanasara should be locked up in the zoo for life, at least there will some revenue coming in.

  • 7
    9

    It’s the nature that this type of opportunistic media personnel appear these days to support whatever agendas (whether they are good or bad) of the government to increase their rating. First is this woman doesn’t know the concept of smile (උපමා/උපමේය). Unfortunately even English is not developed to that extent. I would like to ask Shamini where were you when the LTTE was killing innocent civilians mainly Sinhalese? According to her idiotic logic Sinhale is against Mahavansa… May be because we as a Nation got a great history well before that. So Shamini you have shown that you could have been an aborted foetus :-) Take care!

  • 6
    1

    Ranga Swamy

    What is the point if there is one?

    • 5
      2

      Native Veddah:
      I trust yours is a purely rhetorical question when you ask, “What is the point if there is one” because this idiot and his kin don’t have any “point” they just have empty slogans based on lies, distortions and fabrications that they keep repeating over and over again in the hope that one/some of them will gain some traction.

  • 4
    3

    If one took to discrediting the Bible for the genocide, racism and incest it encourages by taking it literally and went on to criticise all Christians. What an out cry there would be locally and internationally. As for the Koran, it is happening in the ‘enlightened’ West and we have seen the reaction by their mirror image in the Middle East.
    Now the ‘Serasinghas’ of the world take the Mahawansa on its literal form and attack Buddhism /Sinhala in one major blow. And there is a cheering squad in Colombo to cheer her (and all others of the same cloth) on! Or is it her pretty face that get a massive ‘re-action’.

  • 0
    0

    The following was my response to a friend who forwarded this article to me:-
    The following article talks sense?

    Yes XXXXX I have read this as I skim the CT website. Back in 1996 we had a open public meeting in Melbourne with the NSSP Dr Sunil Ratnapriya speaking after attending the “Peace with Justice Conferences” organised by the LTTE supporters in Canberra.

    It was so frustrating, shameful and painful to listen to what was being said that I told them that SL was as much a theocratic country like Iran though Iran was more open about it unlike SL where Buddhist priesthood was controlling and pupeteering the politicians and walked out of the meeting but later changed my mind and stood at the entrance near the electorate federal labour MP Alan Griffin in the front row seat watching me in a quizzical manner. This I did for an easy get-away should the crowd try to get physical with me as there was a boisterous shouting and uprising denying my claim and counter-claiming that it was democracy from most of the Singhalese Buddhists present there. I repeated and told them that democracy was merely a facade and theocracy the reality in SL.

    As you will notice this was and is now going on in many countries and as someone has said that there is a far greater opportunities for mankind to destroy itself by these believers’ in god than from any extra or intra-terrestrial threats of nature and Stephen Hawkins has recently stated that within the next 100 years mankind may be history on this planet.

  • 5
    0

    Dionysus,

    Your prediction of the 28th is coming true-

    “Shortly the jackals will be baying with their rabid comments on this article.

    They’ll do so behind gutless fictitious names. No Sinha-Le when it comes to being honest and brave.”

  • 8
    4

    Sharmini Serasinghe

    Another tour de force.

    I join the myriad saluting you.

    Keep up the good fight.

  • 2
    0

    The following was my response to a friend who forwarded this article to me:-
    The following article talks sense? The Tragicomic ‘Sinha-Le’ Tribe By Sharmini Serasinghe

    Yes XXXXX I have read this as I skim the CT website. Back in 1996 we had a open public meeting in Melbourne with the NSSP Dr Sunil Ratnapriya speaking after attending the “Peace with Justice Conferences” organised by the LTTE supporters in Canberra.

    It was so frustrating, shameful and painful to listen to what was being said that I told them that SL was as much a theocratic country like Iran though Iran was more open about it unlike SL where Buddhist priesthood was controlling and pupeteering the politicians and walked out of the meeting but later changed my mind and stood at the entrance near the electorate federal labour MP Alan Griffin in the front row seat watching me in a quizzical manner. This I did for an easy get-away should the crowd try to get physical with me as there was a boisterous shouting and uprising denying my claim and counter-claiming that it was democracy from most of the Singhalese Buddhists present there. I repeated and told them that democracy was merely a facade and theocracy the reality in SL.

    As you will notice this was and is now going on in many countries and as someone has said that there is a far greater opportunities for mankind to destroy itself by these believers’ in god than from any extra or intra-terrestrial threats of nature and Stephen Hawkins has recently stated that within the next 100 years mankind may be history on this planet.

  • 0
    0

    This [Edited out]

  • 3
    3

    Dear Sharmini,

    This country we call “Sri Lanka”, today, {with effect from 1972 when the 1st Republic Constitution was created} was called “Sinhale” once. This is not a newly coined name. “Sinhale” was the name which was anglicized and corrupted to “Ceilao”, “Seylan” and “Ceylon” by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, respectively. If in 1972, if the country was called once again “Sinhale”, rather than renaming it “Sri Lanka”, that would have been correct and would have saved a lot of problems. You need to read up Sri Lankan history written by great historians, recent and past, other than the Mahawamsa.

    And you need to understand that people are entitled to have “Beliefs”. “Beliefs” are neither right nor wrong. “Beliefs” are neither correct nor false. “Believers” are neither fools nor idiots. “Non believers” too are not “wise” and “broad-minded”. If one wants to “believe” this “Lion story”, that person would “believe” that his/her progenitor is that “Lion”. So what? That would be his or her “belief”. And obviously you don’t believe in the “Lion Story”. That does not make you “wise” and “broad-minded” too, for the simple reason, that “Beliefs” cannot be proved by logic and/or science and/or evidence. Beliefs of people differ greatly from person to person, from culture to culture, from religion to religion, from region to region, from country to country. And even the same man could change his beliefs from time to time. No body has the right to judge or condemn or ridicule such “beliefs” of others, just because oneself does not agree with same. “Beliefs” do not have any thing to do with literacy and/or intelligence.

    You also keep on harping about the “Lion” who is supposed to be the progenitor of Sinhalese, which is stated in the Mahawamsa. It is such a shame that you take every thing so literally, without being able to understand that most histories the world over, had been penned, by people wanting to give an unusual grand beginning to their nation. I recommend that you read at least the Roman history to understand that, their history is made of “unbelievable” and “highly unlikely” stories (there are many versions). But the Romans never disputed their history, didn’t challenge their history, didn’t ridicule it and never tried to re-write it or re-shape it. You would understand that the twins “Romulus” and “Remus” (the founders of Rome)who were famously suckled by a she -wolf, were supposed to have been fathered by a planet (a miraculous conception). Romans never changed that story, saying the “believers” of that story were idiots and fools. To date, Roman history is based on that story and can be read in their history books.

    Then again Jesus Christ was born out of “miraculous conception”. Are we supposed to laugh at Christians and ridicule them saying they are such idiots to believe such an “unbelievable Story”? Jesus Christ is also supposed to have risen from death after 03 days and appeared before his diciples and spoken to them before he finally departed. Do we laugh at Christians for believing this “highly unlikely” story?

    What about the millions of people, world over, who believe in a “Creator God”? Have they seen such God to come to that conclusion? Do we laugh at them for having such belief?

    And what about the numerous “Gods” who are believed by Hindus? Have the Hindus seen such Gods? Do we laugh at the Hindus for believing in such Gods?

    I recommend that you stop laughing and condemning “beliefs” of people. You have no authority to force people to stop believing in what they believe in.

    Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi- religious and multi-cultural State. Sinhalese claim that they are the oldest inhabitants of the country and the Tamils claim that they are the original inhabitants of the country. Neither have enough or actual proof, to prove their claims. Therefore, such debates would go on forever. But the fact remains that the Sinhalese are the majority in the country (75%) and the Tamils today have become the 3rd largest minority (8%), thanks to Prabhakaran and Muslims have become the 2nd largest minority (9%). It is also a fact that the majority of the Sinhalese are Buddhists. These facts cannot be changed and cannot be mixed up with “myths” and “non-believing”.

    We of course, do have a State but we do not have “one nation”. The people in the State are divided still on ethnic lines, religious lines and cultural lines. Our State needs to now understand that we must come together as “one nation”, i.e. as “Sri Lankans”, and not as Sinhalese, Tamils Muslims etc. Its good to have individual identities, but it is much better to have one identity as “Sri Lankans”, like the Japanese, the Koreans, the Chinese, the Americans, etc.

    You should write about reconciliation and reconstruction; should speak about bringing the divided factions together; should make an effort for Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims to understand that they should shed their differences and consider themselves as Sri Lankans from now on at least. This country now needs people who can bring these divided ethnic groups together and you can play a great role, if you write good articles rather than taking cheap shots at Mahawamsa.

    It is also noted that you write with full of hatred and venom against a faction of your own people. These so called “Sinha-Le” people are also Sri Lankans. It would be better for you to learn tolerance. You should learn to cultivate loving kindness to even your enemy. That would be Buddha’s teaching, if you follow the true Dhamma, that you claim to be following. Learn to appreciate the differences in other people and be gentle with your words !!!!

    • 6
      0

      Thushani,

      Absolutely no problem with beliefs, as long as they keep their “beliefs” to themselves, without shoving them down other peoples throats.

      By the way, in case you didn’t notice it, the subject of the post is “sinha-Le”
      NOT “Sinhale”; big difference between the two, dear lady.

    • 5
      0

      Thushani, you seem to have totally missed the plot of this post.

      To start with the subject is not Sinhale but Sinha-Le.

      Also, while you sanctimoniously defend the beliefs of others, you are objecting to the author’s beliefs. Rather hypocritical, don’t you think?

      Yes, I agree with you that the majority are Buddhists, but they are not followers of the Buddha’s doctrine. They are a localized version of Buddhists;Sinhala-Buddhists.

      Regarding Roman history, do the Italians today go around, with stickers on their vehicles and disfiguring property of other ethnic and religious groups, with their “beliefs”, like our Sinha-Le brethren?

      Your platitudes on reconciliation and reconstruction are great, but you seem to not realise, that it is the Sinha-Le racists amongst the Sinhalese, who are the greatest obstacle to this effort.

      Your request to the author about speaking/writing to bring the divided factions together, “should make an effort for Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims to understand that they should shed their differences and consider themselves as Sri Lankans from now on at least”, goes to prove, you have not read this author’s previous articles on CT. Please go to archives and check.

      The only plus point in your long comment, is that you have used decent language, to covey the same message that some others preferred to bleat out like a heard of goats.

  • 3
    0

    Oh well, I am Sinhala (and Buddhist too) but like all these people blindly doing this new fashion Sinha-Le stuff, we can’t live without so many items that were never invented with the Sinha-le brains but by the brains of the Suddhas: We want Facebook and YouTube, and the Internet and email. We want American iPhones, we want other cell phones (all phones are western inventions), and Japanese bikes or cars and Indian three-wheelers, and the sudda’s kalisam (preferably American jeans), baseball caps, Russian vodka, Indian parippu, Hindi movies, and that national mania – cricket, that game invented by the Englishman. Yes, we all want those non-Sinha-le stuff…the whole gamut. But all day long we mouth “Sinha-Le”. No brains, or more aptly, Na-ne Mo-Le

  • 1
    0

    Question is who got it wrong here? Sinha-Le doesnot connect to a beast-Lion but Siw-Hela became “Sinha-Le”.

    Sharmini Serasinghe says: “…those claiming relationship to a four-legged beast (lion) today; its ‘Sinha-Le’ tribe, is unable to separate allegory and myth, from fact. After all, the ability to read and write doesn’t guarantee intelligence, common sense or wisdom, does it?…”

    Malinda Seneviratne describes the right version of “Sinha-Le”:

    “…There’s no sinhaya (lion) or le (blood) in ‘Sinhale’. It derives from ‘Hela’ and expands through the acknowledgement of the four constituent entities Yaksha, Naga, Deva and Raksha, each associated with a vocational sphere, and which therefore make up the siv (four) helas. Sivhela became Sinhala and its corruption gave us ‘Ceylon’. And that was long before the European invasions where some would like to believe the noun was born and worse in marginal and fragmented form (“part of the country that remained free of colonial rule”). Now that kind of mangling of historical record is pernicious….” – See more at:
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/i-say-no-to-sinha-le-and-to-sinhale-bashers/

  • 1
    0

    A very interesting discussion between intelligent people. All have their points and they are well taken.The description on the derivation of the word Sinha-le indeed, is very timely and appropriate. Sharmini is a bit too critical of the obvious allegory the lion fore-father. I think Thushani has given her an example of how these come into the records. The Mahavamsa does have myths that it tries to show as historic facts. Here we have to sift the truth from the chaff.

    However, I believe most of the readers have failed gravely, to understand what Sharmini was trying to put across. Can you not see that she wants to prevent history repeating itself? We cannot go through another period of armed strife. We cannot afford to and we do not want to. She is showing us how there are elements trying to bring this about for their own agendas. Try to see that. I rest my case. May sanity prevail and may the Triple Gem bless us all.

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