25 April, 2019

Blog

To the Politician Named ‘Gnanasara’ And His Allies

By Rasika Jayakody

Rasika Jayakody

A mosque in Grandpass came under attack last night and a police curfew followed. The attacked mosque was a newly built one located next to a Buddhist temple in Grandpass. The land, apparently, belongs to the Urban Development Authority. Earlier, it had been assured that the mosque would be relocated within a period of one month but that never happened. Members of ‘Sinhala Ravaya‘ took law onto their hands and threatened to relocate the mosque all by themselves. That was the starting point of the clash.

Last night, when the attack was underway, allegedly by ‘Sinhala Ravaya’, a fear loomed large in the minds of people, both Sinhala and Muslim. They feared a repetition of ‘Black July’. They feared ‘mobocracy’. They feared death, incendiarism and looting. The curfew was on on time unlike in July 1983 and the situation was brought under control within a few hours. Nevertheless, several people were hospitalized due to injuries. Blood was seen.

There were some alarming signs. Grandpass is an area where Sinhalese, Muslim and Tamil communities live in almost equal proportions. When the mob started pelting stones at the mosque, Muslim youth too, rallied around the religious place to counter the attack. That was a perfect recipe for a bloodbath. In the final analysis, Police and the Special Task Force succeeded in preventing butchery though there are several unanswered questions. Why weren’t any of the attackers taken into custody? Why couldn’t the Police nip it in the bud? Those are two pertinent questions. However, the STF had assured the Muslims in the area and they would ensure security for the place of worship. That assurance eased their tension.

Is this the end of the story? No. In all likelihood, there will be a similar clash again, someday somewhere, sooner rather than later. That clash, in all likelihood, will be more intense and will result in more destruction. More blood will spill. And police, in all likelihood, will not be able contain it, and certainly not within a few hours.

I am a Buddhist, by birth and by choice. Buddhism does not advocate violence, under any circumstance. Buddhism I know will not oppose having a mosque right next door to a Buddhist temple. If the mosque is being built in a land that is not legally acquired, there is a law enforcement mechanism to deal with it. Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Burghers can seek refuge in the law enforcement of the country in the face of injustice. If one’s grievances do not harm the interests of those in power, justice, in all probability, will be meted out. In that context, no one can justify hooliganism by Sinhala Ravaya or Bodu Bala Sena.

There were provocations in this country since 1949. Almost every provocation was followed by retaliation. Retaliation, more often than not, outweighs provocation and that was evident in July 1983. Essence of Buddhism teaches one to handle provocation with prudence, without making it an entry-point for carnage. Sinhalese acted with great self-restraint after 1983 in the face of chillingly brutal attacks by Tigers in Colombo and its outskirts. When the ‘Dalada Maligawa’ was attacked in the Buddhist heartland of Kandy, not a single stone was pelted at Tamil Shops in Colombo, or any other place in the country. Something that we, Sinhalese, can be proud of.
I don’t see any Buddhism in the conduct of Bodu Bala Sena or any other extremist Sinhala-Buddhist movement. I don’t know whether there’s any Islam in the Muslim extremism too. In the same way, I did not see anything Hindu in the LTTE. What is going on in Sri Lanka at the moment is a political project in every sense of word. With all due respect, I must say that Gnanasara Thera and his allies are great politicians. Time, I think, will further affirm my convictions.

Yes, our fingers are free. We can point them freely at Bodu Bala Sena, Sihala Ravaya, Ravana Balaya or Muslim extremism, according to our whims, fancies and beliefs. Moreover, we can blame President Mahinda Rajapaksa or Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for treating the Bodu Bala Sena and other extremist organizations with velvet gloves.

While pointing fingers at them, did we ever look into ourselves? What have we, the citizenry, done, in our capacity, to rescue our society from the quagmire it is sinking into?

What have we done to identify the root cause behind extremism? What have we done to propagate our values – of which ‘moderation’ is an integral part – to the future generation? What have we done to create one ‘Sri Lankan Nation’ in which different nationalities and communities can safeguard their identities and uniqueness? What have we done to wrest the history of ‘Sri Lankan Nation’ from spin-doctors and manipulators who inflame religious and communal violence by perpetuating falsehood? What have we done to assimilate everyone who occupies this land, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or community, into the heritage of the ‘Sri Lankan Nation’?

We haven’t done anything. We have held candle light vigils. We have organized organizer-less rallies. We have been trying to reclaim our old arrears from the Rajapakse regime. We have been dancing to the tunes of opportunists, separatists and NGO-mongers. We have been having fun, frolicking and acting like fools. Moreover, we have acted like a 21 million tombstones, and not like the ‘Citizenry’ of this country.

*Rasika Jayakody is a Sri Lankan journalist who can be contacted at rasikajayakody2@gmail.com 

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    You are dead right Rasika,

    Our City slickers held not only Candle Vigils ,but also a Hultsdorf Vigil,a Futa vigil snd if I remember a CJ vigil as well.

    But, unlike our Weliverians their sons didn’t take on the Security Forces or the Police with Sticks and Stones.

    Either the Elders prevented them or they were too busy texting their chicks on their IPhones and organising “Dates”,

    And the NGO mongrels wouldn’t bother about them.

    Most of the twenty Mil Tombstones you are referring to only want to earn a quid and feed their kids.

    And they have ample opportunities now than before.

    Still the gullible and the naive can be worked up into a frenzy especially by their politically aligned opportunistic religious leaders with hidden agendas.

    And it will be the case until these villagers have the same living standards as their city slicker brothers and sisters.

    And most of these anti Sriankan anti Sinhala posters and their jurno idols who live in Western countries are well aware of this simple fact.

    Do any of the political parties who are on the war path against the Govt talk about how to improve the living standards of the poor?.

    Of course not.

    If they do ,would they hoodwink the people in Weliveriya to believe that a major Industry which provides employment is bad for them?.

    Would they convince them to force the authorities to close the factory and move elsewhere.especially when this factory has provided direct and indirect employment to thousands for over thirty years ?.

    Would they force the West to remove tariff concessions to hurt the poor garment workers?.

    Would they make unsustantiated allegations agaist investors who are planning mega real time solid tourism and hospitality based businesses?.

    Aren’t all their talk is about how bad the Buddhists are, how urgent to give LTTE proxies Land and Police,and how important is to please Ms Pillai and her backers Cameron and Harper.

    Wonder what Fonseks would call our Opposition politicians?

  • 0
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    Hard to take this “what have we done” thing seriously by the writer because of the other things he has been writing of late that are clearly indicative of a supremacist mindset. And he has got the Grandpass issue all wrong too.

  • 0
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    WE NEED BLACK AUGUST IN SRI LANKA.
    WE WANT TO SEE THE TERRORIST BODU BALA BALA AND SINGHALA BUDDHIST COWARDS..
    YOU BASTARD RUBBED OUR COMMUNITY FROM THE NORTH BLOODY REAL TERRORIST ARE YOU.
    NO MORE PEACE NEED IN THIS ISLAND.
    ONLY WE WANT TO SEE THE BLOOD OF HUMAN BEING AND PROTECT ANIMALS BLOOD THERE.
    HAVE A FRUITFUL FUTURE TO YOU BLOODY TERRORIST RAJAPAKSHA

    “WAALHA TAMIL OLIHA SINHALESE TERRORIST”

    • 0
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      IT IS SAD THAT PRABHAKARAN DIDN’T SWALLOW HIS CYANIDE CAPSULE. YOU ARE ANOTHER ONE WHO HASN’T AFTER LOSING THE TERRORIST WAR.

  • 0
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    We have forgotten one thing. If the pioneers in this country haven’t allowed these self-called minorities to settle down here……….? Those Buddhists may have understood the blunder little late. No one should try to establish an identity for their race. That’s why Holland openly said if you come here live like a Dutch. If you want to be who you are stay where you are. Hope you all can remember the story we read in our childhood about letting a camel putting its head into your hut.

    • 0
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      Nambadal,
      But Dutch in Serendib said to Kuveni-Lion byproducts,
      “live here as we command or get cut into pieces.”

  • 0
    0

    Rasika,
    It is obvious that you do not know the true story behind the mosque drama. Go visit the temple, the mosque, the local people both Sinhala and Muslims and the police and learn the truth. Meet Ven Gnanasara and the like and gauge their point of view as well. I am sure you would have produced a far better write-up.

    I am no journalist but I have learned the truth and written the entire story as a comment under “Attacked Mosque Released The Original Letter Of Permission For Relocation” here.

  • 0
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    Dear Jayakody,

    Could you kindly translate this article into Sinhala and publish it in a Sinhala daily newspapper? I think that almost all the supporters of religious extremism must read it. Please keep on writing this form of articles in the future too.

  • 0
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    A correction-please read as Sinhala daily newspaper not as newspapper. thanks

  • 0
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    BBS is demonizing the Buddhism the great religion.

  • 0
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    THIS IS THE TARGET HAVE TO ACHIEVE BY BLOOD SUCKERS OF BUDDHIST

    **FIRST ——–>TAMILS ERADICATED FROM THE ISLAND

    **SECOND—–> MUSLIMS NOW ONGOING WAR UNDER THE SUPPORT OF DEFENSE SECRETARY

    **THIRD—–> MY DEAR CHRISTIAN BROTHERS YOU ARE THE NEXT TARGET FOR SURE

    NO MINORITIES IN SL AFTER THIS CLEANSING

    FOURTH AND LAST—-> AMONG BUDDHIST

  • 0
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    What have you done? How much did you get paid to write this bullshit? When do you expect MR’s testies to slither on your face?

    Wonder what you have to say about Weliweriya incident. Hope your water is clean.

  • 0
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    Ransika, this whole load of tripe you attempt to pass off as an op-ed goes nowhere. You say you are a political correspondent. But you state untruths. You say no retaliatory attacks were carried out after the Maligawa bomb blasts. The Selva Vinayagar Temple, right opposite the Police Station, was ransacked, had its shrines broken and the chariot destroyed while the ‘authorities’ watched on. The temple was closed off to the public for some months, had to be completely refurbished and a ‘Kumbabishekam’ was held later. 9 men were charged for causing damage. All 9 were Sinhalese. Are you still proud?

  • 0
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    @ Jamal- Good One

    During his life, Muhammad gave various injunctions to his forces and adopted practices toward the conduct of war. The most important of these were summarized by Muhammad’s companion and first Caliph, Abu Bakr, in the form of rules for the Muslim army:[7]

    “O people! I charge you with ten rules; learn them well!

    Do not commit treachery

    or deviate from the right path.

    You must not mutilate dead bodies.

    Neither kill a child,

    nor a woman,

    nor an aged man.

    Bring no harm to the trees,

    nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful.

    Slay not any of the enemy’s flock, save for your food.

    You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.

  • 0
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    All the religions here are imported. Gnanasara’s boss Buddha, Mosques’ bosses Allah & Prophet, Churches’ bosses God & Jesus, Hindus’ boss Shiva aren’t natives! So why a special treatment for GGGs (Goons of Gnana & Gota) and only a buddhist country theme?

  • 0
    1

    Rasika,

    Don’t forget, people’s inaction in country’s such as the Maldives and Bangladesh turned those countries from being predominantly Buddhist to entirely Muslim countries.

    Not only that the remaining Buddhists of those countries are severly persecuted by the primitive Sharia Law.

    The same will happen to Sri Lanka if we don’t nip this in the bud.

    I personally know of a Buddhist from Bangladesh who has a Muslim name. I asked him why being a Buddhist he has a Muslim name, his answer was “to stay alive in Bangladesh”. He’s told me several stories, how girls from Buddhist families are forced to marry a muslim man with many women and the girl is converted and so are her children.

    Rasika,

    If you are fine with all that happening to your family members then fine, but don’t think the rest of the Sinhalese will allow such nonsense in this land.

    • 0
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      Good Thinking…..

      Ask your sisters to not to marry Muslim boys, and ask your sisters to not to date with muslim boys. Your problem will be solved. In Bangladesh not only Buddhist, there are many Hindus and Christians live, I know many of them. I did not hear such problem so far, and they have their Hindu and Christian names. I think unfortunately, You have met the wrong person who spread racism.
      Bangladesh is not fully civilized country and literacy level is less than 40% compared to Sri Lanka has almost 100%. so, we should use our Braine.

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