28 March, 2020

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Viewing Fundamentalist Orientation From Indian Narratives

By Austin Fernando 

Austin Fernando

Recently I read two articles (read here and here) by my friend Dr. W.A Wijewardena (Daily FT and Colombo Telegraph), which cautioned to keep fundamentalists in check or suffer impediments to liberty and social progress. Since he touched upon Hindutva experiences, I attempt supplementing him with a few insights on Hindutva experiences in India along with comparable Sri Lankan experiences to endorse these dangers. 

Hindutva of India and Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka

In both our countries religions and cultures are integrated- Buddhism, Hindu or Islam. While Hindutva monopolizes in India, according to Wijewardena in Sri Lanka the ‘de facto theocracy’ leads, an indirect reference to the majoritarian Sinhala-Buddhist narrative, as currently practiced. However, in Sri Lanka other religious leaders also influence governmental actions selectively. It is ‘shared theocracy!’ 

Being a majority Hindu community, the focus becomes Hinduism and its appurtenant institutions and moreover ideological interactions that existed and exist. Muslims also have their conceptualism.

Hindu- Buddhist integration

According to Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Hindutva is defined as the ideology of the “culture of the Hindu race,” where Hinduism is but an element and “Hindu dharma is a religion practiced by Hindus as well as Sikhs and Buddhists”. Hindu practices, culture, rituals etc. have also reached Sri Lankan psyche and practices. Buddhists have adjusted their faith in line with Hindu Kovil practices.  

In India, over time Hindu nationalism has evolved, which is collectively referred to as the expression of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and cultural traditions of the subcontinent.  The Hindu ideology has inspired the Indian independence movement, armed struggles, coercive politics, and in non-violent protests. Presently it has widened its scope to a much greater cultural renaissance movement and the most powerful motivator of Indian politics. 

The Sri Lankan political history also has similar connections to nationalism but have not created ‘Buddhist nationalism.’ Sort of Buddhist nationalism showed-off its strength though, when the SWRD Bandaranaike government assumed power, starting a cultural revival. The outputs like making Sinhalese the official language, establishment of a Ministry of Cultural Affairs, prominence to indigenous contributions like Ayurveda, Buddha Jayanthi celebrations, literary revival, popularizing a national dress etc. can be considered its symbolic evidence.   

Components energizing Hindutva   

An essay on how Hindutva evolved is in Shashi Tharoor’s book ‘Why I am a Hindu’ in which the Chapter on ‘Hinduism and the Politics of Hindutva’ highlights Hindutva evolution.  

(I) Leaders

According to literature, the Indian Hindutva narrative has evolved on the thinking of several pioneer Hindu leaders like VD Savarkar, MS Golwalkar, Pandit DD Upadhyaya et al. who conceptualized, motivated, wrote and lectured on Hindutva.  

Whether Sri Lanka has such caliber personalities after Anagarika Dharmapala, Ven Migettuvewatte Gunananada Thero, Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Theros et al is an issue. Comparatively lesser known Sinhala Buddhist nationalist thinking and actions have been pursued in recent times by Ven Gangodawila Soma, Ven Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, Ven Athuraliye Ratana Theros et al. 

The latter group is incomparable with the abovementioned ‘religious’ nationalists. Anyway, they wielded influence with governments, but now seen moving away complaining the inaction of the incumbent Rajapaksa government against Muslim extremism (i.e. closing Madrasas, combatting Islamic extremism).  

(II) Institutions

The Hindutva narrative was taken as the cue for religious and even political achievements in India. Before the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) endorsed Hindutva as its power base, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was founded in 1925 by Dr. KB Hedgewar.  Sri Lanka lacked such old-timer organizational arrangements.

According to literature Hedgewar believed that the British rule works because Hindus lacked unity, valor and a civic character. Thus, he recruited energetic Hindu youth and taught them paramilitary techniques. He created awareness of India’s glorious Hindu past to attract the members in a religious communion. This continues even to date with Rama-plays staged during Diwali festival or in Kumbh Mela celebrations. The saffron flag of Shivaji, the Bhagwa Dhwaj, was used as the emblem for the new organization. 

The Sri Lankan reformers lagged in institution-building for ‘religious’ nationalism, though we had Anagarika Dharmapala’s Mahabodhi Society of India. It led to religious revival but was not a confrontational organization like the RSS. Of course, Anagarika Dharmapala legally confronted Hindu leaders in India (e.g. Mahantha) who were roadblocking him, but was no political leader, though he spoke out to fight colonial behavior. In Sri Lanka the nationalist exercises were multi-ethnic, multi-religious and hence multi-cultural.    

(III) Complementing approaches

The RSS’s public tasks involved protecting Hindu pilgrims at festivals and observances in major Hindu temples. Even today, volunteers serve selected temples.  It arranged for training of “pracharaks” (Incidentally Prime Minister Modi started as a pracharak.) and asked volunteers to become Sadhus first, dedicating themselves to the cause of the RSS, giving it the character of a ‘Hindu Sect.’ The RSS thus gained recognition to propagate the ideology of Hindutva and provide “new physical strength” to Hindus.    

In India RSS was supplemented by other parallel political approaches. Political programs were in place with Gandhiji leading the way. Hedgewar opposed some Gandhian programs like Gandhiji’s stance on the Indian Muslims. He believed that “it was imperative that they stood up valiantly in defense of Hindu life and honor.” When Hindus were organizing RSS, naturally Muslims also mobilized themselves, probably in defense of Muslim lives and honor, which can happen in another scenario too. Muslims also turned their anger towards Hindus and violence broke out that killed many Muslims.

Millions became members of RSS and Sri Lankan organizations did not have such clientele, but nameboards such as Mahason Balakaya, Ravana Balaya, Sinhale etc. They did not have leaders like LK Advani or Narendra Modi, though proxy political support is claimed and not ruled out. We saw violent activities (e.g. Digana) organized by fly by night organizations with no national image. Since they were not openly attached to political parties a political connotation cannot be made clearly as between the RSS and BJP.  

The violence in India was different. There were clashes in Nagpur (in 1927), Godhra train burning (2002) killing 59 Hindus, followed by Gujarat riots (killing 790 Muslims, 254 Hindus, and 223 missing: official figures). In the 2019-2020 violence in Indian cities and universities, names of student RSS members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad and   leaders like Adhitya Yogi, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh were tagged. In certain instances (e.g. Jamilia and Jawaharlal Nehru Universities, and Delhi where 53 were killed in four days), Police complicity was also alleged. The threat is repetition of such in Sri Lanka, with similar fundamentalist incidents happening. 

Sri Lanka did not proceed on RSS footsteps. We had clergy who led the “revolution” in 1956 but sans an organization like the RSS that continued to influence political decisions. However, when issues arose (e.g. Sinhala being made official language), inclusive of July 1983, spontaneous heavy violence happened despite the absence of an RSS type organization.

(IV) Name dropping

The RSS leaders did not even spare Gandhiji when it suited, as seen in the quote in ‘R.S.S. A Vision in Action.’ 

“My own experiences but confirm the opinion that the Mussalman as a rule is a bully, and the Hindu is a coward; where there are cowards there will always be bullies.” In that pithy statement Gandhiji had indirectly given a warning to the Hindus that they should give up their cowardice, if they had to end Muslim aggressiveness.” 

In Sri Lanka such aggressive labeling of national leaders to promote confrontations is less. Nor do we find organizations like RSS publicly provoking confrontations. It has become the forte of some priests and youth bloggers who even plan to contest parliamentary elections. If elected they may establish a platform for confrontations, as happened in 1956 with persons like KMP Rajaratna orchestrating anti-Tamil sentiments. Among the minority groups too we find similar individuals.  

Here, names of Muslim political leaders are freely dropped as supporters of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Muslim international terror bandwagon.  It must be noted that some Muslim activists’ and religious leaders’ behavior also had been questionable and would have provoked confrontation; of course, undeserved by the victims. 

(V) Timely events supporting polarization

Two crucial events in India before 2019 elections were the Pulwama terror attack supposedly with Pakistani military support, killing 40 security personnel and the Indian response by Balakot air attack. It is no secret that these attacks were openly used by the BJP to attract voters at the election. The Easter Sunday attack was similarly used by Sri Lanka Podujana Party at the presidential election. This is politics! Both incidents had connectivity to security of the countries as well to fundamentalists. These showed how reactions become common functions. 

In India prior to these incidents RSS was convinced of the need to organize the Hindus. Similar demand is finding its way in Sri Lanka too, albeit such large-scale violent aggression from non-Muslims against Muslims. 

When the BJP officially adopted Hindutva (1989), to achieve RSS’s Hindutva objectives as the political arm of the RSS, BJP had to prepare the background. For this, reasons such as national security, threats from Pakistan, lagging development, crushing the political hold by a few families in Kashmir, land issues etc. were highlighted. The BJP thus prepared to work towards control of Muslim majority Kashmir from the center. It awaited gaining control of Ayodhya for religious reasons, through Courts; passed the Triple Talaq law; dangled with refugee citizenship and citizenship registration allegedly sidelining Muslims and planned to formulate a common Uniform Civil Code to replace personal laws etc. The most affected from these were Muslims. 

This I say to prove that what happened during my tenure as High Commissioner and continued violently afterwards is not exclusive spontaneous actions related to 2019 events, but had inclusive historical linkages influenced by Savarkar and others.  We do not have such heavy baggage fortunately. But there are parties who will demand such actions.  

 In Sri Lanka majoritarian nationalistic approaches were observed during the British rule with the involvement of leaders like Anagarika Dharmapala and other Buddhist priests who were demanding change. By 1956 there were political parties accommodating nationalistic demands, clamoring for supremacy for Buddhism and Sinhala, led by priests achieving some ends.

Indian nationalism was not spontaneous. It connoted Indian ethnicity and Hindu religion. Alien religions lacked qualifications to be nationalistic. To prove I quote Shashi Tharoor:

“India is the land of Hindus since their ethnicity is Indian and since the Hindu faith originated in India. (Other faiths that were born in India, like Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism also qualified, in Savarkar’s terms, as variants of Hinduism since they fulfilled the same three criteria, but Islam and Christianity born outside India, did not). Thus, a Hindu is someone born of Hindu parents, who regards India- ‘this land of Bharatvarsha, from the Indus to the sea’ as his motherland as well as his holy land, ‘that is the cradle-land of his religion’. 

It is interesting therefore to note that the exception of Muslims and Christians for Indian citizenship under new legislation [Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)] is not a branded innovation of the BJP Government of 2019, but it derives from Indian Hindutva roots. PM Modi quoting past actions of Congress leaders explained that the CAA was the logical culmination of a policy giving shelter to persecuted minorities from India’s neighborhood that has long been part of India’s political discourse. PM Modi unquestionably stood with Hindutva obsession.  

Even recent writing in ‘R.S.S. A Vision in Action’ (Chapter- ‘Meeting the threat of conversion’) shows that RSS was very concerned of Muslim and Christian conversions. Recently even in Sri Lanka there had been slightly checked, cautious intrusions to conversion issues in public domain and in social media, not as a serious concern though. We may keep in mind that even the UNHRC has drawn attention to reactions to problems with minority religious groups, which sometimes has conversion at its base.

Muslims the Common factor

The evolution of Hindutva as cultural nationalism was exhibiting the values that are supported by BJP. I quote Tharoor to show how hard was it to be together with Muslims. It may also reason out the BJP government’s current behavior. 

“The alternative to territorial nationalism, to Golwalkar, was a nationalism based on race. In ‘We, or Our Nationhood Defined,’ at the height of Hitler’s rise, Golwalkar wrote: ‘To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic Race- the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.’ 

Hindustan learning and profiting from Nazi ideology do not speak so well and will be reason to pulverize fundamentalism.

A non- Buddhist, non-Sinhala Sri Lankan may be stunned when he reads a quote from VS Naipaul from Tharoor (VS Naipaul, Among the believers: An Islamic Journey, London: Penguin Books, 1982).

“According to the proponents of Hindutva, despite that common descent, Muslims had cut themselves off from Hindu culture: they prayed in Arabic, rather than in Sanskrit born on Indian soil, turned to a foreign city (Mecca) as their holiest of holies, and owed allegiance to a holy book, and beliefs spawned by it, that had no roots in the sacred land of India. Naipaul echoes this thought in his Among the Believers: “It turns out now that the Arabs were the most successful imperialists of all times; since to be conquered by them (and then to be like them) is still, in the minds of the faithful, to be saved”. 

His contention on Hindutva if applied by the extremists in Sri Lanka, directing to Muslims could give jitters, because Muslims in Sri Lanka are distinctly different from Hindus or Buddhists, pray in Arabic, read Koran, go on pilgrimage to Mecca, and have come to Ceylon as foreign traders! Such chilled fundamentalist thinking will be damning. However, the strict criticism is that the Muslims have gone a step forward too far, like some demanding application of Sharia in Sri Lanka. Therefore, instead of ‘successful imperialists’ in the quote, in Sri Lanka the yardstick could be ‘being successful, maneuvering politicians and prosperous businessmen’. Hence the creation of anti-Muslim attitudes could be fueled easily. A bad lesson to learn.

Again, Tharoor says:

“…. To remain in India, Muslims would have to submit themselves to Hindus. Recalling the parable of Muhammad going to the mountain, Golwalkar wrote “In the Indian situation, the Hindu is the mountain and the Muslim population, Mohammed. I need not elaborate.’ 

  Is not this the way how even restricted thinking against Muslims flow among extremists in Sri Lanka now, especially after the Easter Sunday bomb blast? Do not we hear rumblings of Muslims being asked to submit to the Sinhala Buddhists, though it has not fortunately spread to national scale and do not we hear at least a few demanding that Muslims should return to Arab countries? Fundamentalism at its heights!

According to Golwalker Jews and Parsis were “guests” of India and Muslims and Christians were “invaders”. Golwalker was reportedly opposed to secularism and had considered that these foreign elements either- 

“…. merge themselves in the national race and adopt its culture or to live at its mercy so long as the national race may allow them to do so and quit the country at the sweet will of the national race. This is the only sound view on the problem…. [The] foreign races in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment- not even citizen’s rights.” 

Let me go to Golwalkar to prove that even so early as in December 1947 after Partition while referring to Muslims, he has said that “no power on earth could keep Muslims in Hindustan” and “they should quit” India. All set to oust Muslims. 

Fortunately, in Sri Lanka this type of extremist thinking has not developed to this level. But due to economic weaknesses, political and social pressures, to cover up other deficiencies, this thinking can be fanned out, because Sinhala Buddhist majority has “beaten” the minority strength at the last Presidential Election, proving where the decisive power lies. It will be easy to deep root fanning since anti-minority feelings could sometimes win the majority in Parliament. This fundamentalist thinking is already in circulation with Ven Galagoda Aththe Gnasara Thero publicly demanding a pure Sinhala majority Parliament at the parliamentary election, like at the Presidential Election. 

Recent Indian Citizenship legislation 

From among several conspicuous issues, I may refer to CAA due to current importance which repeat this differentiation between Indian Hindus from Muslims and Christians. It applies if they are persecuted on religious grounds in neighboring countries. Standing with Jains, Buddhist and Sikhs to be accommodated as Indian citizens, this accommodates preaching by Savarkar and Golwalkar for decades. Therefore, this is to ensure legalizing Hindutva concepts.  

This change of the law created vast amount of trouble in India, ending up with non-stop protests organized by many quarters considering it as discriminatory to Muslims, withdrawing from ‘secular state’ in the Indian Constitution etc. This led to negative responses from friendly countries and even by the UNHRC High Commissioner who will intervene in a case in the Indian Supreme Court.

However, the abrogation of Article 370 affecting the Kashmiris and the citizenship laws are considered by Indian authorities as “internal affairs/ matters” and was told even to President Donald Trump. It appears reasonable since it is the rightful function of a sovereign country. However, irrespective of Minister Amit Shah being unprepared to budge an inch on the CAA, many countries have protested on the grounds of rights, equal treatment and some like Bangladesh on grounds of potential large scale refugee movement to Bangladesh when CAA and the National Register of Citizens are implemented. A Bengali may argue that an internal matter of India is causing internal problems for Bangladesh!  

No wonder Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina brusquely said, “It is an internal affair” but “unnecessary.” Commentator Ramesh Thakur‘s quip (The Strategist ‘India’s friends can’t ignore its slide from democracy’) “The end goal is to marginalize them (Muslims), denude India of Muslims and transform it into a Hindu Rashtra or nation” explains why Sheik Hasina might have been so curt.  

I take Bangladesh as a special case here because the change of laws has at least soured relationships with India, the new Secretary Ministry of External Affairs Harsh Vardhan Shringla visited Dacca, probably to mitigate the situation before PM Modi’s scheduled visit to Dacca. The cancellation of scheduled visits by dignitaries like the Speaker Madam Sharmin Chaudry, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdul Momen and his deputy Shahriar Alam and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan probably were symptomatic of Bangladesh’s frustration. 

Right now, there is political thinking in Sri Lanka related to abrogation of the 13th and 19th Amendments of the Constitution. There is only a tinge of fundamentalism in these demands, but more of political power enhancement, supported by some fundamentalists. Anyway, these are also internal matters. Now it may be the incumbent Sri Lankan government’s point of view too. ‘If India could get away with internal matters, why not Sri Lanka?’ may be the stance taken by promoters of these legal changes. 

However, Indian PM Modi (when he met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa) and External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar (after meeting President Gotabaya Rajapaksa immediately after elections) were adamantly demanding the implementation of the 13th Amendment, which is our ‘internal matter.’ Whether they would withdraw such demands is a matter that has to be pondered. Similarly, whether the West that backed the 19th Amendment heavily as a tool of good governance would turn a blind eye to its abrogation is yet to be seen. 

Common observations applicable to India and Sri Lanka

One of the latest commentaries on the current Indian situation has been done by Ramesh Thakur (The Strategist 13-3-2020). I wish to deal with his views with my inputs regarding the applicability for Sri Lanka. 

First, polarization based on ethnicity, race or religion (language too in Sri Lanka) will be of no value for both countries who have large number of problems that must be addressed by the respective governments.

Secondly, the proposition that Muslims can return to Pakistan or any other Middle Eastern Muslim country as considered justifiable by some Hindus is replicated by some Sri Lankans who believe we should have a  country for the Sinhalese, like it is suggested for Hindus in India- i.e. Hindu Rashtra. Both may create adverse consequences. 

Thirdly, the Hindu Muslim riots in Delhi or any similar event in Sri Lanka will affect investments and thus the economy wherever. Fortunately, presently Sri Lanka has not reached the Indian level of violence, but certainly has undergone the impact. India has some more time to feel the economic pinch, it is predicted. This danger must be well preserved in the minds of the administrations.

Fourthly, the Muslim world has as countries (e.g. Bangladesh, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia) and the 57-Member Organization of Islamic Cooperation have denounced the CAA agenda of Indians and this reaction will repeat, if similar action is pursued in Sri Lanka. It will be a problem for both countries.

Fifthly, The UNHRC Commissioner’s exceptional court intervention in India (which may be rejected by the Supreme Court) can be extended easily against Sri Lanka if untoward things happen and she must be on alert. It is not necessarily the developed and powerful countries or multilaterals who could show frustration, but even one’s friendly neighbors, as observed by Bangladesh reactions to India.   

Sixthly, if we go by  Vijay Joshi’s contention (in ‘India’s Long Road’) i.e. ‘Democratic rule, without protection of individual and minority rights, has the potential to degenerate into majoritarian tyranny,” what is alleged of treatment to Muslims in India may possibly move India  towards “majoritarian tyranny”. Even if Sri Lanka treads on the same path she also may end there. It will bring awful results, hence both countries should be cautious. 

Seventhly, India was considered the geographical firewall against the spread of Islamist extremism eastwards. According to Ramesh Thakur “With 180 million Muslims, India itself could become the epicenter of Islamist extremists who export terrorism and the refugees who flee it to the Asia Pacific” which I consider if happens will be the real danger to Sri Lanka.  Sri Lanka should not be a magnet for ISIS. We should remember that terrorist connections existed between South India and Sri Lanka with ISIS connectivity. Hence India and Sri Lanka both must, and I repeat must, be watchful. 

Lastly, we have adopted and when required adapted ourselves to many positive and grandeur, excellent contributions from India. With great respect to India and its people, whom we love, when we recapitulate repercussions of fundamentalism right now in India, (None of my Indian friends will agree on this terminology!), Sri Lanka should be cautious in drawing lines between what is fundamentalist or not, before we act.  

Conclusion

Fundamentalism has guided Indian political developments and it is a longstanding evolution. Though not to such an extent, in Sri Lanka too we observe such fundamentalism emerging, with some historical attachments, irrespective of the fact that there is no comparable direct connectivity alleged as in case of the happenings in India- viz. BJP with RSS in India. 

When India does, compulsorily criticisms come from Pakistan due to obvious political reasons. But powerful nations take calculated steps regarding India. For Sri Lanka it could be different even from India, due to regional or domestic political and economic reasons.  

The world is much concerned with terrorism and India and Sri Lanka both have had an unfair share of it. If a community is to be a magnet to terror due to fundamentalism, it will be a shame on any decent society and a democratic government. It is not enough to boast that India is the largest democracy in the world or Sri Lanka is the oldest democracy in Asia, if democratic values are destroyed due to fundamentalist biases.  

The major issue as Dr Wijewardena emphasized is the loss of liberty and social progress due to fundamentalism and its consequences. From the above it is observed that in addition foreign relations, neighborliness, economy etc. also will be lost, not only liberty / social progress.     

I wonder whether the friendly democracies would take the bold step to engage countries that violate democratic values and liberties through fundamentalism, and whether the perpetrator leaders would cooperate with such engagement, without allowing the fundamentalist election pot simmering until properly boiled at the election time. Until the positive happens, keeping fingers crossed will not be enough at all.

*Austin Fernando – Former High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India

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Latest comments

  • 24
    3

    Thank you for this deep analysis. Read with Dr Wijewardena’s articles it shows enlightened thinking among the Sinhala intellectuals, unfortunately a small minority.
    As a Tamil Hindu, I have nothing against Buddhism being the state religion except that as a Hindu I would not want my religion or Buddhism to be state religions as that would be a negation of what our religions preach. The problem is portrayed as a religious issue. It was initially purely ethnic. Sinhala Only was the root cause. Muslims probably supported it for their own ends. It became a purely religious issue only when the Sinhala fundamentalists turned against the Muslims after 2009 to keep the fundamentalist pot boiling for political reasons. There are other flaws. 13th Amendment is not an internal matter. It is a matter of treaty obligation under the Indo-Sri Lanka accord. We cannot send anyone back to India as most Sinhalese came from India like the Salagama brought here in Dutch times. Like Sinhala Catholics, the religious loyalties of the Muslims lie outside Sri lanka. We have to live with it as long as it does not pose a danger. But, the message that fundamentalism destroys the country is the main one.

    • 20
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      Enlightened Sinhala intellectuals? What a joke!
      Both Dr. Wijewadena and Austin Fernando appears to be blind to the Sinhala Buddhist fundamentalism perpetuated by the governments they were once part of. Somehow, they have become ‘enlightened’ now that they have stepped out of it, as if fundamentalism just emerged yesterday.

      • 14
        1

        justanotherfool

        “Somehow, they have become ‘enlightened’ now that they have stepped out of it, as if fundamentalism just emerged yesterday.”

        Now that you have identified and exposed both being part of the Sinhala/Buddhist fundamentalist government in the past, they may well seek refuge back in the Sinhala/Buddhist fundamentalist government. If that happens you will have to take full responsibility for reversing their decision.

        • 3
          16

          Naked Vedda,
          .
          Please let your racists know that the Rajapakses are not the cause of the Coronavirus, nor are they behind the shortage of Saffron. Sorry that this will disappoint them.

          • 17
            2

            This is an attempt to downplay Buddhist fundamentalism in Sri Lanka by dragging Hindu fundamentalism in India. There is big difference between both. Firstly Hindu fundamentalism is confined only to the north. It is not found in Southern or Eastern states in India, unlike Buddhist fundamentalism that is seen throughout the country. Secondly, the first religion to be practiced in India was Hinduism and there is no attempt to grab land from other religion. In Sri Lanka the first religion was also Hinduism, and Buddhist fundamentalists are trying to deny Hindus their land. Thirdly despite Hindu fundamentalism, India still stands as a secular state, with several Hindus voicing against Hindu fundamentalism. While in Sri Lanka due to Buddhist fundamentalism, the state has been named a Buddhist country, and except a handful are endorsing Buddhist fundamentalism.

            • 10
              2

              Please concentrate on Buddhist fundamentalism without trying to find fault with others. Dragging of 13th amendment into this which has nothing to do with Hindu fundamentalism, demonstrates the hatred this writer is harbouring against India for supporting the legitimate rights of Tamils. With murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils and refusal of Sri Lankan government to promote reconciliation with truth and justice, for the past ten years, has resulted in the ceasing of Tamil problem to be an internal matter. Writer behaved as a Buddhist fundamentalist while he was governor of eastern province, by turning a blind eye to the actions of Buddhists to convert Hindu areas as Buddhist. Anyone who is genuinely interested in controlling Buddhist fundamentalism must start from the beginning not to feed hatred to the children by way of distorted history and false religious myths. How can a child brainwashed that Sri Lanka was assigned to Sinhalese by Buddha, who made three flying visits to the land during one of which placed his foot on the rock in Adams peak, and that Tamils are foreigners who destroyed Buddhism and built Hindu temples and that they are animals who deserved to be killed, at later stage in life ever get rid of this ingrained idea. This is exactly what is happening in Sri Lanka, where despite scientific evidence surfacing proving the existence of Dravidians in the land for more than 20,000 years and that Sinhalese with south Indian core genetic material are in fact Dravidians who have mixed with others and have taken up a different identity to Tamils, every government controlled by Buddhist fundamentalists are resisting stubbornly to come out with the truth about the ancestry of the country.

              • 6
                1

                You are correct , this recent South Indian origin , so called Sinhalese Buddhist Fernando , when he was the governor of the eastern province was turning a blind eye to Sinhalese Buddhist fundamentalists grabbing Tamil Hindu lands and was also encouraging his fellow Dravidian South Indian origin , fake Arab , Islamic Wahhabis to do the same. Tamils and the Tamilised Veddah of the east are the indigenous and original people of the east, the fake Arab south Indian origin Dravidian Muslims , only arrived in the ancient Tamil Hindu east a few centuries ago , fleeing Portuguese persecution and the Sinhalese only after 1950. This man when he was the governor of the east turned a blind eye and was overtly and covertly supporting the marginalisation of the indigenous Hindu Tamil population by the recently arrived Dravidian Wahhabis from South India and fake Aryan Dravidian Sinhalese Buddhist fanatic colonists.

            • 1
              6

              Sankaralingam
              It is the Tamils who practice ‘land grab’ by buying land outside their ‘traditional Tamil homeland’. At least now Sinhalese should implement their own ‘Thesawalami law’ in da rest of da Island and stop this colonisation.

          • 7
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            Adrian Stupid Teen Aged 13 3/4

            Thanks for your stupid rapid riposte.
            Please revisit comments by justanotherfool and my response to him/her/it.

      • 12
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        just another fool,

        I fully agree with you that both Dr, Wijewardena and Austin Fenando are very very soft when they talk about the influence of Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism and its impact on Srilanka. In India, BJP may be a Hindutuva fundamentalism sponsors but not Congress. In Srilanka both UNP and SLFP/SLPP use Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentiam to their political advantage and even Gotabaya used that to become President.

    • 13
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      Mr. Austin Fernando,

      A group of 97 Sri Lankan pilgrims who returned to Sri Lanka this morning, has been sent to the quarantine centre in Anuradhapura, National Operation Centre for Prevention of Covid-19 announced.

      Can’t the fundamentalists stop the Coronavitus-19? What about prostrating to saffron clad monks, tying purity-books on their wrists?

      There will always be a fraction of the imbeciles who will fall for the fundamentalist beliefs.

      The COVID-19 is very egalitarian, unlike the fundamentalists.

      • 6
        1

        Mr.Austin Fernando,

        Correction,

        Not purity books, pirith- noola, pirith, prayer strings.

      • 2
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        Mr. Austin Fernando,

        Thanks for your article . The ignorant must be informed and educated, by whatever means necessary. China has no new cases of COVID-19.

        China also did a good job in controlling the monk hegemony in China.

        There is no medication to treat the Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19). And there is no vaccine to prevent it. The only weapon against the disease that is available for the next several weeks, even months, is to reduce or prevent community transmission of the virus. All the data on human to human transmission of the virus indicates that transmission occurs primarily through respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing between individuals in close contact. And transmission is also occurring at significant levels through ‘asymptomatics’, virus carriers without any symptom. Therefore, social isolation is the only way to prevent disease transmission in the foreseeable near to medium term.

        Can this be done with the rabbit fundamentalist monks as well? Social isolation?

        So, some people are confused. Donald Trump initially dismissed it, as a democratic hoax, but later came around. Now there are 23,000 cases and 302 deaths in the USA today. Valuable time was lost due to Trumph’s intransigence.

        There are still many people, especially millennials and generation X, who seem to be the primary vehicles for transmission.

        Are the Sri Lankan politicians finally getting it? Recently, the President GR did not have the leadership and guts to stop the Royal-Thomian cricket match, and overrule imbecile students and organizers, and monks who wanted the butterfly mountain pilgrimage continued.

    • 11
      1

      If Gotabaya or anyone would hang this BP in robes by his balls, I would do whatever I can to support him and anyone.
      I think being behind ROBES, these men have inflicted high crimes to the minority people in this country. But I am not sure, Gotler would ever do some good work in nthat line.
      Up to now, with over 120 days passed since the man is in his position, not even a single good thing done to be praised with WOW effect.
      But Gonthadiyas dominated srilanka keep hopes.. I have no doubt bps would be marginalized in the next election.

  • 13
    0

    Austin is there a narrative for our IDIOCRAZY. Almost every country, religion and race is has Fundamentalist propagating their views.. The difference is some are worse than others. To be smart we may need someone before us as a role model. But to be stupid do we need anyone ??????? What ever may be the narrative not that many countries are stupid enough to have a 30 years of civil war. That says a lot about Silly Lankans.

  • 12
    6

    I believe this corona virus is a Karma to humanity. recently, injustice went out of control. In the pretext of 9/11 US and its allies started killing millions of people, in the pretext terrorism, Russians and and Chinese started killing people. now, in the name of Buddhism and Hinduism some extremists started to persecute innocent minorities. Now, divine punishment come down in the form of this deadly virus to kill good and bad people in the world. this is physical law in human history. A day will come people ready to punish monks like Gansasrara and thugs RSS and modi

    • 10
      2

      lankan,
      .
      ‘I believe this corona virus is a Karma to humanity. ‘
      .
      You can believe what you like, it’s only a belief. Believing and knowing are two different things, don’t confuse them.

      • 5
        4

        This is what happens now. all those atheists should know this before it becomes too late for them.

        • 1
          7

          Karma works on an individual basis. All religions teach ‘We are right, the rest are wrong, believe us for eternal life else you will be punished’. That is, all religions apart from Buddhism which teaches ‘Believe nothing until you know it for yourself’.

          • 8
            0

            Adrian the stupid bigot, show me where Hinduism teaches such. There was no other religion in the world when Hinduism first came into being. In contrast, Buddha had to tell his followers that existing practice (meaning Hindu way of life) has failed to alleviate the suffering of the people, and you have to follow His teaching to attain eternal happiness. Buddhism also taught that we are right and Hinduism is wrong, believe us for eternal life else you will continue to suffer. Stop distorting the truth.

      • 7
        2

        Adrian Aged 13 3/4

        “Believing and knowing are two different things, don’t confuse them.”

        You are right.
        I believe Gota, Shavendra, Kamal, ….. and Rana-viruses need some of the machineries and vehicles displayed in the following clips if they are to fight them to fight Corona:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GMITokuHN4

        By the way the single handed general Kamal still seems to be fighting the LTTE in his sleep, his shower, while awake, middle of his lunch, …………… although Hindians had brought the war to an end on 19 May 2009.

        Please let them know there has been no war since 20 May 2009.

        • 0
          8

          Naked Vedda,
          .
          ‘I believe Gota, Shavendra, Kamal, ….. and Rana-viruses need some of the machineries and vehicles displayed…’
          .
          What they need are N95 respirators and many more ventilators.

          • 5
            0

            Adrian – “What they need are N95 respirators and many more ventilators.” That alone is not enough to wipe out the MMV (Medamulana Musalaya Virus)!

          • 7
            0

            Adrian Aged 13 3/4

            “What they need are N95 respirators and many more ventilators.”

            Actually they need, humility, humbleness, modesty, …. humanity, … and a large secular brain.

    • 3
      2

      You should add Israel, and the killing of the occupied people in Gaza.
      They deserve to be punished too.

  • 6
    5

    Terrorism IS unfair on the innocent civilians it targets. Governments like India and Sri Lanka should make an effort to safeguard, and not discriminate it’s minorities, and not give extremists the excuse to recruit, and wage their attacks on the civilians in their countries, supposedly to protest. The writer has projected the victim narrative, where India is concerned, which intelligent people should look beyond the surface. Modi is a racist, who has an ugly racist past, and discriminates Muslims.
    That is easy to fact check on the internet.
    “There have been several instances of religious violence against Muslims since the Partition of India in 1947, frequently in the form of violent attacks on Muslims by Hindu mobs that form a pattern of sporadic sectarian violence between the Hindu and Muslim communities. Over 10,000 people have been killed in Hindu-Muslim communal violence since 1950 in 6,933 instances of communal violence between 1954 and 1982.[1]
    The causes of this violence against Muslims are varied. The roots are thought to lie in India’s history – resentment toward the Islamic conquest of India during the Middle Ages, policies established by the country’s British colonizers, and the violent partition of India into an Islamic state of Pakistan and India with a Muslim minority. Many scholars believe that incidents of anti-Muslim violence are politically motivated and a part of the electoral strategy of mainstream political parties who are associated with Hindu nationalism like the Bharatiya Janata Party (political wing of RSS). Other scholars believe that the violence is not widespread but that it is restricted to certain urban areas because of local socio-political conditions.[2]”
    Time for the majority in these countries, to stop the cow vigilantes, provoking violence between the majority and the minority, and spreading division among the people.

  • 7
    8

    There is a strong connection between Hindutva and Sinhala Buddhist fundamentalism, that is aryan supremacy.

    • 9
      2

      Fooly, Aryan my foot. One look at the exclusively Sri Lankan cricket team shows that they are darker than the West Indians. Some of them even have thick lips, if you take a look at Sanath Jayasuriya. They are really African moors who strayed into Sri Lanka and want to pretend to be aryans.

  • 6
    2

    Long before the British conquered India, the Hindus had resented their Muslim Mogul masters

    From Ghori empire to Muhal Empire Mulims ruled india = 1139 to 1837
    From British Raj Lord King to Lorrd Mount Baton = 1859 to 1916
    from Jawarlal Nehru to Narendra Modi = 1947 to 2014

    Now the proposition that Muslims can return to Pakistan or any other Middle Eastern Muslim country as considered justifiable by some Hindus if based on history it is wrong

  • 12
    2

    One good thing I noted in Tamil Nadu is, there have been no religious riots between Tamils, Muslims, and other religions. There have been cast riots but not of great consequence as in North India. Further, the Muslims in the south consider themselves as belonging to the respective regions like Tamil Nadu, Kannada, Andhara, and Malayalam. They speak their language and consider it their mother tong. There are Muslim Tamil writers, who are considered great Tamil Scholars and recognized accordingly. They excel in Tamil Cultural activities too.
    One good reason for the same is a language-wise division of legislatures. Unfortunately, the Sinhalese in Srilanka is averse to a similar political arrangement.

    • 8
      1

      …………and Anaga, a former President of India, late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam- a muslim- proudly considered himself a Tamil; and he was an exponent in the musical instrument veena and a scholar of Thirukkural. He was laid to rest in his birth village in Rameswaram.
      EmAG

      • 9
        0

        EmAG
        Thank you for further enlightening me. I hope Muslims in Srilanka too will follow Abdul Kalam. I am happy to note that Muslims are participating in numbers In Tamil singing competition and walking away with prizes. It is Muslim politicians who want to have both worlds. ‘Vasipathta Hoi’.

        • 0
          6

          If Muslims are Tamils, then why did Rambonathan Poorandbailing support the Sinhala rioters against the Muslim victims? If 1915 riots were against Hindu Tamils, do you think Rambonathan would have supported the rioters? And more recently, when Vileyoupilie Prebakering controlled the north and east, he killed and expelled all the Muslims from that area. Did he do anything similar to Catholic Tamils? Of course not. That is because Catholic Tamils are 100% ethnic Tamils but Lanka Muslims are a completely different ethnic group from the Tamils.

          • 1
            0

            Sri Lankan Muslims are Tamils and this fact has nothing to do with what individuals like Ponnambalam Ramanathan did or Pirapakaran did. Just trying to use them as an excuse to deny your actual Dravidian Tamil South Indian origin and run behind Arabs is very pathetic. These were two individuals , what about all the Muslims politicians and the elite , past and present , who from the time of independence , were brainwashing the Tamil Muslim masses to hate their Tamil origin and ethnicity and run behind the Arabs and Sinhalese for perceived political and economic benefits. In the name of Islam and a fake Arab origin , they joined the Sinhalese , to marginalise , discriminate, commit war crimes and ethnic cleansing on their fellow non Muslim Tamils. Shamelessly running behind everything Arab and the Sinhalese . Muslim politicians like Badudeen Mohammed introduced standardisation to deny Tamils students higher education., What about Rishard and Hisbollah. During every state sponsored anti Tamil pogrom Muslim mobs and thugs , encouraged by their politicians were seen looting Tamil homes and businesses in the south , raping and killing Tamil civilians, in the east, heavily armed by the Sri Lankan STF , they went about killing , raping and ethnically cleansing ancient Tamil Hindu villages, especially in the southern Batticaloa and Amparai districts. Many ancient Hindu Tamil villages , now have been converted to 100% Muslim villages , with its original Tamil Hindu occupants not allowed to return. The Kattankudi mosque, was used as the headquarters for this . It was a hot bed of Islamic extremism then , as now. This why the LTTE attacked it. The LTTE caught the Muslims doing the same thing in the north, storing arms supplied by the armed forces in mosques. The LTTE did not want a repeat of what happened to the Tamils in the east and in the south to happen in the north , so chased out the Muslims , before they can cause further damage.

    • 2
      1

      Yes this is true, not only that whenever there is a disaster of high magnitude, we all stand together as Tamils be it Tsunami, or flooding in 2016 , Ogi cyclone. The only abhorrence is casteist practice is down south of TN and certain pockets in north TN. But that is fast going away with economic growth

      • 4
        0

        Manisekaran Thangavelu

        “The only abhorrence is casteist practice is down south of TN and certain pockets in north TN”

        That maybe true however will economic growth of Tamil Nadu stop the completely deranged Seeman?
        I am told Seeman has challenged Sonia Gandhi whether she has any Congress party branches outside India? Is it true young Tamils (including Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora) are financially supporting Seeman from abroad?

        • 4
          1

          Seeman is another LTTE fabricate incarnation of the Catholic Church, in Tamil Nadu and is promoted by certain gullible sections of the SL Tamil diaspora.

  • 4
    0

    his ex.the former HC, it is a scholarly one. pl. enlighten me on the following:
    i am concerned about SLs’ development. is it possible to develop our country ignoring 5 million minorities-both tamils and muslims- by resorting to establish a theocratic state? this is equally applicable to india with 150million muslims. ramachandra guha has pointed out that india should not think about becoming a world power for various reasons which includes this aspect and other factors.
    even to arrest corona you need the fullest cooperation of all minorities. our militant theros cannot give any ideas for development and arresting corona. am i correct?
    -dayal
    :

    • 4
      0

      Development requires everyone’s participation, irrespective of divisions.

  • 7
    0

    Influencing the Government by religious leaders in SL is not the issue. The issue is how its done. Buddha wanted Sanga to guide the leaders, but he never wanted them to come into the Parliament or conduct election propaganda meetings. If Sanga has to guide the masses then it should be done in such a manner based on Buddha’s teachings not like thugs. Influence of the religious leaders today is the result of the “santhosams” the religious leaders get from the Government. We have seen this with the Asgiriya Mahanayake getting “santhosam” from SL Cricket which came out loud and clear during the COPE inquiry. Similarly there is enough written about the benefit the Catholic Cardinal got from Mahinda.
    Hindutva, although is called Hinduism based concept, one need to analyze Hinduism first. Hinduism as its practiced in the world today has two distinctive sects, one group following Krishna and Rama, the other following Siva, Ganesh, Murugan etc. Hinduism has gone through various stages. Originally during the Veda period the focus was on Brammah, and there were no written text during this period, only spoken words. Subsequently the Vedic teachings took the form of written words, this period is called Purana Period. This Purana Period also has an early Purana Period and Late Purana Period. This is the period where various Gods started appearing in texts. During the earlier Purana Period, the Vedic Period words became written text and created Gods -Krishna and Rama through Mahabaratha and Ramayana. Today those who follow these Gods are mostly found in Northern India. The late Purana Period saw the creation of Gods -Shiva, Ganesh, Murugan etc., which is practiced in Southern India, Sri Lanka and other countries. We even see these Gods in Buddhist temples.
    Coming to Hindutva, its root is based on Vedic teachings with the hint of fundamentalism and its from the Northern Indian Hinduism foundation.

  • 3
    2

    This article discusses the world only after British left Asia and also forget to discuss the influence of Capitalist democracy based on catholic or christian religions. The article does not discuss the background to their – either Sri Lankan Buddhists or Indian Hindus – Even when I say the Leading thought, or the democratic thought, is christianity based capitalism, it is specifically EVANGELISM BASED NEO LIBERAL AMERICAN THOUGHT THAT overrides everything.
    My understanding is they began after the Communist revolutions in Asia. Now, as a antidote to that, media, writers say remind people only what is happening after 1940s.
    When Congress govt was there for 30 years, no one had complaints. Now, everybody says MODI HAS NO RIGHTS TO FEEL NATIONALISTIC AND he can not say apna desh. Muslims are only a puppet, even though they have voluntarily have taken that role (but see why muslim world is in disarray. Once fossil fuel gone, muslims will be in trouble again).
    he very same thing happened in Sri Lanka. Even though SWRD bandaranaike was a turn coat Kalusuddha against the west, SWRD, RP and Mrs B all had feelings about the country. Since then every one came was delivering an anti-Buddhist program. I suspect, the present SL president will understand it and stay the course.

    • 2
      2

      There is no true democracy in the western world. They are police states or theocracies. India and Sri Lanka has given space to democracy. Yet freedom of everything is no unlimited or not with limits. The problem democracy they talk is ANARCHY. That is minorities oppressing, suppressing and subjugating the majority, once get they, we need more. because their puppet-master says so.

  • 2
    1

    Sikh religion is their own warrior culture mixed with Hinduism and Islam, some say there is no almighty while some others say, there is almighty. But, they all follow a generation of GURU NANAKs.

    • 6
      11

      I love that picture of Sadu giving that Taleban fella a tough talk.

      That picture would help so many young Sinhalese regain their self belief that the Lion is well and alive. That picture would have helped so many Sinhalese youth at job interviews, at exams in relationships etc……

      After colonial times the youth need constant social injections that would motivate them at the expense of the traitors.

      • 7
        3

        Sheemale@ you are pervert by every means. More or less you have proved it sofar.
        :
        I have no doubt, … you have been abused by CANADIANS … today and you may be showing us the otherway around… ..
        :’
        I dont agree with anyone if they support the minorities being treated look down upon.
        :
        You guys should see it right – today, that we are all human beings and CORONA would not be selective when attacking you.
        :
        Please become human !:
        Let stand against RACISM !

      • 5
        4

        Hey Retarded idiot Shemale Perehera, why is that you toughies are only tough in Lion Lanka? Why don’t you try your pranks in other countries like Canada where Tamils live and see what happens to your racist pukka? You think it is very brave to bully a small minority when you are the majority with a 75% and the military on your side? Very brave cowards!!!! Next time when you are on your way to collect your minimum wage cleaning job pay cheque, grab a Tamil on the street and call him para demela in Canada and see what happens?

        • 5
          0

          Tamil from the north

          “You think it is very brave to bully a small minority when you are the majority with a 75% and the military on your side? “

          You know how the Rana-viru cowards behaved when IPKF planes thundered the skies of this island? All these Rana-viruses were hiding behind VP’s bum.

          • 0
            0

            VP was an idiot.
            The moda Tamils that supported the LTTE are bigger fools.

        • 1
          6

          Dear Retarded Tamilian idiot from the north, when your people controlled the north and east, you committed far worse atrocities against the Muslim minority in that area. Tamilians are such hypocrites. When they are in the minority, they claim to be innocent victims, but when they’re in the majority, they kill innocent people from the minority.

          • 3
            0

            Mohamed the Atheist

            “when your people controlled the north and east, you committed far worse atrocities against the Muslim minority in that area. “

            Sorry to bother you, could you let me have a copy of your comparative studies regarding actual atrocities by each community on others, Tamils vs Muslims, Tamils vs Sinhalese, Hindus vs Muslims, Hindus vs Christians, Hindus vs Buddhists, Muslims vs Hindus, Muslim vs Christians, Muslims vs Buddhists, Muslims vs Sinhalese, ………………..

            Please define “far worse”.

            “Tamilians are such hypocrites. “

            You are right, so are Sinhalese, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, …..

          • 2
            1

            @Mohamed the Atheist, you dumb f’er, not all Tamils supported chasing the Muslims from predominantly Tamil areas. I have many Muslim friends and they were uprooted and made homeless and stateless by the freaking retards among the Tamils overnight. I have no issues with the Muslims, I only have issues with arseholes like this Retarded Shemale army coolie and other racists and Ealamists. So don’t get on my case. You think every Tamil supported the chasing of Muslims away from mainly the North? You must be a bloody idiot. These racist elements among the Tamils chased the poor Sinhalese from the North too, not just the Muslims. How did you derive that I am a supporter of what happened to the northern Muslims, because I am a Tamil? Idiot, grow up!!!!

      • 4
        0

        My Dear Rtd Army Uncle,

        Bullying others to bolster your low self esteem is a psychologycal condition.

        People who are suffering from these conditions should get it treated before engauging with the public.

        Most of the militay personnel who commit crimes against humanity are people having an underlying mental condition. Family violence also could be linked to this.

        These type of bullies could be found every where in society.
        In the school yard, In the office, in the Bhuddhist Temple, In the Churche in the Mosque in the Kovil.

        People may turn to this type of behaviour because they have suffered abuse mainly during childhood.

        Bullying should be identified early and institutions should have a zero tolarance policy to this social menace.

        Secondly those who are suffering from this should get them selves treated. There should be a more open discourse about this issue.

        Usually those who go out of the way to be seen as tough are very fragile and weak inside.

  • 5
    4

    Mr. Austin Fernando does not write about the complete story. Hinduism is over 6000 years, I suppose written literature. Islam is only 1400 years old. Islamists do not talk about their aggression and how how they converted Afghanisthan, Maldive Islands, Pakisthan, Bangladesh into mostly islamic countries. Only thing discussed is post independant period and MODI-era. The present western policy needs shanty countries who can not stand up on their own.

    • 4
      3

      JD you are an ignoramus.

      How did the Muslims convert Afghanistan, Maldice Islands, Pakistan, Bangladesh? To start with, when Muslims invaded South Asia, there was no Afghanistan, Pakistan or Bangladesh. It was not by aggression that they converted them. As Ghandhi once said, conversion by the sword never works. If at all it is temporary. Which Army went to Indonesia or Malaysia? None. The locals in Malaysia and Indonesia came into contact with Arab traders, observed them and converted. That explains why the conversion was eternal. Indonesia has had two female Presidents. America has had none.

    • 6
      2

      JD , JD , JD…………

      If those countries are happy to embrace Islam what is that to you?

      At one time India was a majority Buddhist nation but they riverted back to Hinduism and now it is a majority Hindu nation.

      So why don’t you go to India and convert the Hindus back to Buddhism?

      Who know if the people are fedup with Hinduism they will convert back to Buddhism.

      This is the nature of human kind – and all things – The Buddha has emphasised this more than any other religious figure.

      it is called ” Aniththya” Impermanence.

      • 4
        0

        My Dear JD

        The rich exploiting the poor is not a new thing.

        During the industrial revolution in UK there was a sizeable poor under class who did the hard yards , mining, working in factories, so on and so fourth. They did not have Health and Safety and welfare like now.

        Refer – Oliver Twist by Mark Twain

        Do you think that China is lending lage sums of money to Sri Lanka because they love Sri Lanka so much?

        Is the poor working class looked after by the rich and powerful within Sri Lanka today?

    • 0
      0

      JD, my first paragraph explains the purpose of the article which did not include your requirement.. in addition, it is a different subject that may be handled by a qualified historian. Appreciate if someone could enlighten us.

  • 1
    4

    Majority never discriminates minority – they don’t have to. It is minority who always conspire against the majority. When majority senses this unfriendly attitude of the minority a small section of the majority starts to react.
    ‘Intellectuals’ , another small section of the majority starts writing articles in support of the minority.

    Soma

    • 1
      0

      Soma: The Cow

    • 2
      0

      Soma

      Myanmar

    • 3
      0

      somass

      “Majority never discriminates minority”

      You maybe right.
      However noisy Sinhala/Buddhist fascists minority do discriminate not only the minority but also the majority Sinhalese and Buddhists.

      If you can’t live with the minority why don’t you take a boat and go back to your ancestral homeland South India?

  • 3
    0

    The issue we have in Sri Lanka today is that Politicians and Religious Leaders do not understand the difference between UNITY and UNIFORMITY. Among religions we can have UNITY and live together, but there need not be UNIFORMITY as the teachings are different. If there is UNIFORMITY among religions then there would have been no need for various religions.

    Secondly the Religious leaders and the Politicians do not understand that each religious teaching, although are seeking the same goal, they are slightly different, the paths are different. Emphasis is on SLIGHTLY because every religion is trying to achieve the same goal. The major difference is based on the fundamental documents or ideology of the teaching that was based on the language and the culture of that time. Languages have evolved over the years and today it would be difficult to understand the real meaning as most of the documents used were originally written in a different language and we are reading translations. The spread of the religion all over the world from where it originally started is another issue. The teachings were made suitable for that period and that location where the religion was initially preached to meet the understandings of that time. Today the Politicians and the Religious Leaders have forgotten this important point as well.

    Its time, especially for all Religious Leaders and the Politicians in Sri Lanka to under stand that UNITY and UNIFORMITY are different and all races and religions that exist need not live in UNIFORMITY but have to live in UNITY.

    p.s Readers, I am not talking about Laws of the land here.

  • 2
    5

    What happens today in Hindustan will happen tomorrow in Lanka. Moslems in India, who either directly or indirectly support animus from Pakistan against India, who actively or passively engage in harming India, are a cancer on the Hindu people and they will rise under Modi and under future Hindu leaders to finally fight the Moslem terrorists. Its a fact that the overwhelming majority of Indian Moslems hate Hinduism, hate the Hindus, support Pakistan, and are waiting for the chance to join in an attack against India launched by Pakistan. Modi and Hindutva is wise to this game and the Hindu juggernaut that was set in motion by rebuilding Ram Mandir over the Babru mosque and the Citizenship Act must be followed up with aggressive anti-Jihadi, anti-ISIS, anti-fanatic measures which should include incarceration of violent Moslems, and meting out punishment for sedition and treachery by Moslems, and the Uighur example by Chinese should be followed by Modi India. Violent, extremist Moslem thought, uncivilized, barbaric, medieval utterings from Quran, etc. must be banned and Moslem congregations of more than 50 people must be banned.

    Similar efforts must be made in Lanka as well. Above all, Moslems should be taxed for their commercial terrorism, crimes against humanity such as poisoning of rice, tea, and food, and poisoning of water ways. These are all happening and have already happened. Moslems should now be allowed the Hippocratic oath to practice medicine since they have engaged in violent medical practices to make women barren, and cause enormous harm to Kaffir people. Time to act it NOW!!

  • 3
    0

    ”However, when issues arose (e.g. Sinhala being made official language), inclusive of July 1983, spontaneous heavy violence happened despite the absence of an RSS type organization.”

    HA HA HA !!!
    ‘SPONTANEOUS’ ?
    WHEN WILL BE THE NEXT ‘SPONTANEOUS’ miracle happen?

  • 4
    0

    Wish to thank Mr Austin Fernando for sharing ,

    The West , China , Singapore, Russia , South Korea, Japan have been able to develop
    rapidy because these countries did not give priority to religious and cultural identity.

    These countries concentrated on development and better living standards to all the people irrespective of religious and ethnic background.

    Fundementalism goes hand in hand with domination and subjugation this is a recipe for communal unrest resulting in economic downfall.

    At the same time the minorities should have greater alligence to Sri Lanka rather than any foreign power. This could happen only if the minorities feel secure and at home in Sri Lanka.

    The religious and ethnic mentality is used by political parties to enhance their power base. The 1983 riots was not a spontanius reaction by a majority of the Sinhala Bhuddist population in response to the killing of 13 SL Amy soldiers. It was a case of organised mobs (rif raf) with the full backing of the UNP JR Jayawardena govenment.
    This was a case of the government relinquishing it’s duty to protect all Sri Lankans and resorting to violence. In other words State Terrorism.

    The police , armed forces and Judiciary should be well educated about the rights of the people irrespective of religion or ethnicity. These instruments of government should uphold their duty without bias.

    This was the single event that triggered a 30 year long civil war based on religious and ethnic lines.

    Hope future governments will not play politics with peoples lives and ensure that Sri Lankans are protected irrespective of religious and cultural affiliations. While liberty and Justice is upheld.

    • 0
      2

      Colombo Man: Who killed the 13 soldiers and who shot at the pilgrims at Sri Maha Bodiya.That is a question I would like to get an answer.

      • 1
        0

        Modya bintenna

        “Who killed the 13 soldiers and who shot at the pilgrims at Sri Maha Bodiya.”

        Good question.
        I think you have missed several other killings, mass murders, arson attacks on libraries, business premises, destruction of houses, holy places, rape, looting, riots, pogroms, ……………………..
        Could you let me have a comprehensive list of all those atrocities between 1915 and 2015.

      • 1
        0

        Modaya bintenna,
        The answer to your question is very simple but to get these answer you should tell this forum who killed hundreds of innocent civilians (Tamils) in 1958, 1962, 1977, 1981 and 1983.

    • 2
      0

      Colombo Man

      “The West , China , Singapore, Russia , South Korea, Japan have been able to develop
      rapidy because these countries did not give priority to religious and cultural identity.”

      The trouble started when the public racist Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala concocted a new political identity for Sinhala speaking people of this island.

      Those people who couldn’t see beyond their nose bought the new political identity lock, stock and barrel, rest is history.

      “It was a case of organised mobs (rif raf) with the full backing of the UNP JR Jayawardena govenment.”

      Not just riff-raff that destroyed the island but the saffron brigade, state institutions, powerful ministers, active members of Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya, opportunists, soma, Hela, ………………… too involved in the pogrom.

      Before the build up to 1983 pogrom most of the GOOD PEOPLE maintained deafening silence. Not many people put their neck out and condemned the racists’s multi facetted activities.

    • 1
      0

      Colombo Man,
      I agree with you that Fundamentalism goes hand in hand with domination and subjugation for communal unrest and economic downfall. However, it is wrong to assume that minorities did not have greater alliance with Srilanka and they have more alliance with foregin countries. Tamils and Muslims (Minorities in numbers) have and had greater alliance with Srilanka which is not less than the alliance Sinhalese have in this island. Tamils and Muslims are living in this island for more than 1000 years and it is only after 1948 Tamils and Muslims are oppressed and massacred by Sinhalese rulers in the name of Lord Buddha.

    • 0
      0

      Right on target. Couldn’t have opinioned better what ails most Asian nations.

  • 1
    1

    It is a thought provoking article. It’s a pity this had come out at a time when the national focus is on something else.

  • 5
    0

    Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera

    “The way to change others’ minds is with affection, and not anger.”
    – Dalai Lama

  • 0
    0

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  • 0
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  • 2
    1

    India is secular.

    Only BJB subscribe to Hindutva ideology.

    All Indian leaders were secular. Secularism is at the foundation of the Indian constitution. Congress and all leftist groups are for secularism.

    The ongoing massive demonstrations against the Indian Citizen Amendment Act across India clearly demonstrate the overwhelming support for a secular India.

    Even BJB could not go against secularism.

    Hindutva is only a political party ideology

    Whereas in Sri Lanka Sinhala Theravada Buddhist ideology is far more entrenched and not a single leader in the south could go against it.

    Like Muslim Islamic fundamentalism, Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalism is highly institutionalized.

    It is not only for electoral advantage .

  • 0
    1

    Austin’ Solution Eat Lanka Beef. The bulls are found in the temples

  • 1
    1

    F in SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

  • 2
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    Hello Austin Fernando. Thank you for your observation on Modi’s antics. Good to see you expressing your concern. You seem to express such and similar concern when you are not working for the governing party. Glad you are giving your views on Fundamentalism in India and relating it to Sri Lanka.

    Fundamentalism may not have anything to do with gods or religions. The Buddha left God out of his philodophy. I consider Fundamentalism as a concept racist use to dominate and control the other people who belong to different ethnic, religious or linguistic groups and whom they consider as a threat to their existence and expansion. Any observable difference such as language, religion, colour of skin or physical features different from the dominant group is enough for racists to want to subjugate, excommunicate or even eliminate. As Racism is no longer acceptable, Fundamentalism which is thought of as less of an evil had replaced racism. Soon the term Fundamentalism will be replaced with more socially acceptable term such as patriotism.

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      Dear Me. Ethirveerasingam. nice to interact after a long pause! True I have not written last five years and the reason is understood from your comment, i.e. working for the government, since it is unethical to make public pronouncements, especially on political issues, which could lead to conflict of interest . As you know I belong to the old school! Your prediction re: replacement of fundamentalism by patriotism- is not it happening on a sufficiently large scale not only in our developing countries but even in the developed world?

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        Hello Austin,
        I just made a comment on Dr. Wijeyawardena’s excellent advisory article. I like to share with you:
        —-
        Thank you Dr. Wijeyawardene. A timely advice. I just read it. I like your quote from Margaret Mead.
        “… to be a full human being, a person has to grow up in a society with more than one family to care for him, to learn relationships to old and young, to both sexes, to people that are close and to people that are far away. It’s only by growing up in such a society that we become fully human.” Most of us attend our schools for 10 to 12 years. I attended two schools which was like a family of students and teachers. At 17 The Olympic Team in 1952 was also like my family – 1 Tamil, 3 Burghers and 4 Sinhalese. All of them have passed.
        I was fortunate to have lived in a village where aunts and uncles are within half-mile radius. Since childhood I was in and out of their houses as it was mine.
        In Colombo in the fifties I lived for 3 years at 137 Turret Road (Dharmapala MW now). A Sinhala family accommodated 10 of us – 4 Tamils, 1 Muslim and 5 Sinhalese students from schools and Colombo university. We had three meals and Tea together. What each of us gained is priceless.
        From 1956 I was part of two families in Los Angeles County till they passed away in late nineties.
        Your advice that we are all parts of a whole humanity. You know that the science of Chaos that state, “A whole is composed of parts. Parts are whole in itself.” Those who have seen the pictures of Fractals will understand.

        John Donne’s Meditation 17 (I think) that says, “Don’t send to ask for whom the Bell tolls. It Tolls for thee.” But will we ever learn, though Thiruvalluvar says, “Katka Kasadatha Kattapin, Nitka Athatkuthaha.” (Learn well all you can learn. After learning stand by it.) All Tamils memorise it in Primary School. But as is obvious we do not stand by what we have learnt.

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    Hinduism is scientific religion Now the western world is switch into using two palms to welcome. The science behind it is the ten fingers function as an antenna to receive cosmic energy and boost the internal energy of the body. When you shake hands or embrace the friend we transmitting the energy. In Hindusim we are expected ash hands and legs pure ging to the temple That is health science. They encourage people to vegetarian. Many herbs are used in medical treatment The western pharmaceutical companies exploit the herns to make money

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