27 October, 2020

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We Wait To See The Outcome Of Rauff Hakeem’s Battle With Yellow Robe Terrorism

By Frederica Jansz –

Frederica Jansz

Muslim Congress leader, Minister of Justice, Rauff Hakeem is reported to have said at a public meeting at Kalmunai last Sunday that President Mahinda Rajapaksa should defeat ‘yellow robe terrorism’ just as he had defeated other forms of terrorism. This had caused much concern among certain sections of the Buddhists particularly among the Sangha. However, Hakeem on Friday apologised for his comments.

Certainly all forms of terrorism should be defeated and uprooted irrespective of the colour of the robes:  yellow, white, black or even colourless such as the deadly al- Qaeda variety. Reports of his speech do not indicate that he had referred to any specific instances of terrorism but certainly there have been instances of disputes between Muslims and Buddhists which had threatened to erupt in violence but fortunately were contained.

One such incident which received wide publicity was an incident in Dambulla in April this year, where a mob involving a Buddhist monk had threatened a Mosque in the precincts of the Dambulla Rangiri Vihare, a place of historic significance to Buddhists. Buddhists are still demanding that the Mosque be shifted out from the present location but Muslims say that it had been in existence for many decades. The issue has yet not been sorted out and the dispute lingers on.

Some such religious disputes cannot be resolved even for millennia such as the issue of the Ayodhya Temple in Faisalabad between Hindus and Muslims or the Temple on the Mount in Jerusalem between Jews and Muslims. But when issues are not as great they should be resolved by the powers that be if they are not to rumble on and break out into bouts of violence.

Sri Lankan Buddhist monks have often been accused by minority communities, both religious and racial, of violating their fundamental rights in the interests of Buddhism. Buddhist monks however do not shy away from the fact that they have been the guardians of Buddhism throughout the history of this country, have been advisors to ruling monarchs and still assume the right of directing the heads of state of democratic Sri Lanka. This has been accepted by all Sinhalese  rulers of modern Sri Lanka – if not for historical traditions at least for winning elections, since it is presumed that Buddhist monks do still exert considerable influence over the electorate. The involvement of Buddhist monks in issues where Sinhalese and Buddhist rights are involved – the majority of Sinhalese being Buddhists – is the basis for Rauff Hakeem’s statement, ‘Yellow Robe Terrorism’.

The Eastern Province is the only province where there is a fair ethnic balance between the three communities and the only province where the Muslims have a sizeable political clout. Moves are now being made by Buddhists to re-establish places of historic worship which were lost when the region was controlled by the LTTE. Reclaiming of land by Buddhist temples often in thickly populated Muslim areas is the basis of disputes between the two communities.

The SLMC which Hakeem leads was established to give the Eastern Province Muslims a voice in mainstream politics. Now with provincial council elections round the corner, Hakeem has to prove himself as the leader of his party. He has pulled the SLMC out of the UPFA coalition – only for the Eastern Province elections – while retaining his cabinet portfolio and is fighting for Muslim rights by calling upon the President to end ‘Yellow Robe Terrorism’.

Buddhist monks will attempt to justify their involvement in Eastern Province disputes by citing their historic role in protecting the rights of the Sinhalese and Buddhists. They will also cite the special place accorded to Buddhism in the 1972 Constitution. But in these contemporary times, where it is accepted that Sri Lanka is a multilingual, multiracial and multi religious society can those rights which go back even beyond the beginning of the Christian Era be recognised by law?

Certainly, if the monks are terrorising Muslims, immediate action should be taken by President Rajapaksa himself. But Rajapaksa has shown much reluctance to take any action that Sinhalese or Buddhists will consider to be inimical to them. Hakeem should have made public, specific instances of ‘Yellow Robe Terrorism’ for President Rajapaksa to investigate and act upon. Mere public pronouncement in the throes of an election campaign is not sufficient.

On the other hand what Hakeem has claimed, is political dynamite. He is a cabinet minister and the Minister of Justice at that. His statement can exacerbate Buddhist-Muslim relations which at present are not on very steady ground. Can President Rajapaksa, so conscious about maintaining social and political stability ignore such an incendiary statement?

Most Sri Lankan Buddhists are not in favour of monks dabbling in politics even though they have been at it for millennia. It took almost six decades for a political party of monks to be elected to parliament. The latest move is by a UNP member Wijedasa Rajapakse to move a resolution in parliament calling for a ban on monks contestin parliamentary elections.

A Buddhist monk takes to the robes forsaking all worldly pleasures and seeking deliverance from suffering through Samsara. Certainly not to capture political power through the sanctity of the yellow robe and enjoy all political perks.

Founders of great religions did not envisage the formation of religious sects that would capture political power and rule mighty empires. Religion has been the instrument for gaining political power as evident from history of many powerful nations. In Sri Lanka, post Independence politics saw politicians trying to exploit Buddhist priesthood but now priesthood is dictating to politicians. Can the Rajapaksa regime take on the Buddhist priesthood if it is clear they are at fault?

We wait to see the outcome of Rauff Hakeem’s battle with Yellow Robe Terrorism and the support he gets from his all powerful President.

Sunday Leader Editorial

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    The fact that the President has not condemned, nor shown outrage, at the thuggish behavior of these yellow robed terrorists, either shows approval or consent, by the leadership, of such disgraceful behavior.

    The rabble rousers who lead these mobs have been an embarrassment to Buddhists in this country, and should stay out of politics, mob violence, intimidation, and focus on the true teachings of their Lord Buddha.

    No religion is superior to others, and no country can have a peaceful existence, if there is no respect and acceptance of all religions. If the Rajapaksa’s can eradicate terrorists up North, then these yellow robed variety, will be much simpler.

  • 0
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    SAMSON LOST HIS WISDOM WHEN HE LOST HIS HAIR.

  • 0
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    The truth is Rauf Hakeem does the President, the Govt and the country a favour by asking for the “defeat of yellow robed Terrorism” Most are generally agreed this is the scourge that has destroyed the country from the 1950s. It cannot be denied even well-meaning political leaders from across the political landscape are reluctant to broach the subject because of its sensitivity. JRJ, whose views on the Buddhist clergy is well known, always found them pitted against him.
    Earlier, Sir John was to come to grief for a similar attitude.

    Hakeem’s description has nothing to do with the respected Sangha, the non-political Buddhist clergy or the venerable Kandy Mahanayakes. In fact, the Mahanayakes themselves complain of political-monks and those who cross the line to enter the murky snake-pit of material politics.

    This is perhaps the best time to give support to the call of men like
    UNP MP and lawyer Wijedasa Rajapakse, Rauff Hakeem and others to be rid of the one factor that has virtually held our political system a prisoner for so long.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
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      If the movement initiated by “SihalaUrumaya” which was led by monks were not born, Iraq would be a much much better place to live than Sri Lanka … Thanks to that movement which could not be ignored by the SLFP, country was able to get rid of the scourage of terrorism and SL is much much better place to live than Iraq right now… I understand Senguthuan’s the love of the non-political Buddhist clergy and the venerable Kandy Mahanayakes …. It is not because his genuine concern of religion to be of non-political nature but to give a huge advantage to racist minorities to deny the rightful place to Sinhalese Budhists in the country by taking out genuinely concerned section of the community. These superiority complexed minorities in SL always try to take out monks from participating in progressive social agendas which some could say ‘politics’. If real civil society is failing to respond to the problems facing the country and the people (ex: three decades of terror in the country), monk should definitely come forward to be active. I do not care whether it is called ‘politics’ or not as long as it serves the country. Monks participation in serving the country is centuries old tradition … Srilankans must not be fooled into traps created by separatists …. These separatists know that the biggest hurdle to their agenda is genuinely religious monks, not mahanayaka varieties … ….

    • 0
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      Well said Senguttuvan. Yours is a balanced and a concise reflection of the situation. Mr. Hakeem’s statement should not be taken out of context and shown as an attack against all Buddhist clergy of this country but a specific section who’s trying to promote the ideology through terror tactics. As a Buddhist I will not, under any circumstances, condone this behavior.

  • 0
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    FJ talks of yellow robe terrorism………………..
    First we need to focus on the Cassoack wearing missionaries ( i beg your pardon – mecenaries) who are engaged in terrorism for 2009 years.
    History is tainted and continue to taint.

    FJ could you do some research on European history & write about Cassoack wearers terrorism……..
    First genocide committed on Catharis in Langudoc……….
    Then the decimation of the Knight Templars………The Rossicrusians

    How there came to be (02) John 23s. The latter in the 60s..

    FJ do not attempt to incite as Muslim – Buddhist clash.
    Have you not had enough of 30 years of destruction.

    Muslims in Sri Lanka were given and permitted to build their mosques on temple donated lands..
    During the Colonial times they grabbed the best lands for Christian Institutions.
    POLITICAL SYSTEMS OF THE WORLD HAVE BEEN AND ARE BEING HELD PRISONER FOR ALMOST 2009 YEARS BY THE CATHOLIC iNSTITUTIONS OF THE WORLD.

    bUDDHIST mONKS ARE AGITATED BY THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE CATHOLIC/CHRISTIAN CHURCH & MUSLIMS & MOSQUE ACTIONS.

  • 0
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    UNP MP MR WIJEDASA RAJAPAKSHE IS BUSY THESE DAYS DEFENDING & PROTECTING A BUDDHA ATTAINMENT BUDDHIST PRIEST FROM GALLE AT AN ASHRAMAYA IN BELLANTARA IN NEDIMALE WHO HAS CLOSE GOSL POLITICAL BACKING WITH SOME VIP BUSINESS PERSONS TO THE DETRIMENT OF ALL CHIEF PRIESTS IN SURROUNDING TEMPLES INCLUDING THE BELLANWILA TEMPLE.

    Wijedasa quoting Rajapakshes by handling a court settlement for and onbehalf of this Buddha priest at the Bellantara Ashramaya as this priest has powerful dayakayas in the Rajapakshe circle.

    Wijedasa Rajapakshe is a cunning turncoat.
    A don during the day and a Symonds during the Night.

    • 0
      0

      After the exit of Max Silvas and David Blackers who appear somewhat decent compared to the present coolies as Dicky Bird and Bruno Umbatto on the scene. Afterall there was Devadaththa during Lord Buddha’s time and Judas’ during Lord Jesus’ time.

    • 0
      0

      Very well said.

      forget what is happening all over the world, It is the Cassock – Mercenaries who transported suicide jackets to the south and got caught. It is a cassock wearing – well mercenary who was hiding Bank-loots of LTTE behind the altar of his Church. It is the same mercenary who wrote to President against muslims settling again in Mannar, identified LTTE as angles of Jesus.

  • 0
    0

    Blind man says

    the 3 new organs of government are

    presidential coterie
    armed gangs – in and out of uniform
    political bikkhus

    these will sanction or reject what happens here – not public opinion – not civilized norms. In the future which will become murkier we must know the rules of the game and play this game carefully.

    So Wijedasa is another opportunist? we have too many

  • 0
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    Bruno Umbato – Iran, that resourceful and ancient country and people,is now a vast fascistic prison because Mullah terrorism cannot be easily displaced there. The last Iranian General Election clearly showed the Opposition winning but the extremists changed the results to show Ahmedinajed won (heard stories like this elsewhere?) In Iran they too invent “enemies” and “threats” like we do. The invention being the work of the unpopular State. In Sri Lanka we happily embraced the Republican system of government from the 1930s. This is a far cry from the days over a thousand years ago. Unlike the “ancient times” you refer to, from the 18th century onwards the secular island is home to Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and others.

    If you will allow me, the role of the Buddhist clergy is to see their flock gets the full benefits of the
    great teachings of the CompassionateOne with tolerance and non-violence being the bedrock. The JHU role you recommend has shocked most of the Buddhists in the country. See how the Buddhist people will vote them out next time.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
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      Senguttuwan:

      You need to understand that Sri Lanka has a Sinhala Buddhist culture and civilization.

      Tamils won’t end because Christianity or Islam is not there.

      • 0
        0

        is this the so called ‘Sinhala Buddhist culture and civilisation’ that we see? Buddhist monks leading mobs against monks and one yellow robed wearer exposing himself against the wall of a mosque in Dambulla? Stealing statutes from temples in the East?

        I am a devout Sinhala Buddhist. This is a disgrace to Sinhala Buddhism. As JR said rightly, these are Sinhala Buddhist terrorists!

        • 0
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          Another simple Simon who was taken for a ride by hyped propaganda … Ofcourse, there are wrong things happening and as good citizens of the world, we should object, protest and write … But, we should be careful not to feed the propaganda machine which is hell bent in destroying the country and the culture for various reasons … I did not see any kind of serious protest even when the centuries old Budhists status were blasted in Afganistan …
          One of the major objectives of these propagandists against SL is to get simple Simon Budhists to declare “I am a devout Sinhala Buddhist. This is a disgrace to Sinhala Buddhism … “. When this is done, all other things needed to destroy the country is just a inch away …

  • 0
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    Jimsofty – I am afraid you are not quite clear in what you have in mind. Please elaborate.

    We respect the ancient Sinhala culture and civilisation. The Buddhists are the majority in this country where other minorities have a right to live in peace and under ordinary law. This has never been in doubt but, arguably, has been distorted to create division and hate.

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
    1

    Before the Yellow Terrarists, Sri Lanka will have to get rid of the Pictureless “Tip Cut” Terrorists.

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