20 January, 2022

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Weaponising Buddhism: Will The Third Wave Be The Last?

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“One day, I was in Kelaniya with the thero of Misisawetiya. Then you (Mahinda Rajapaksa) came like a lion. Misiawetiya thero said, ‘Look there’s a lion coming.’ I said, ‘Not a lion. Mahinda Rajapaka is a culture. Mahinda Rajapkasa is a civilisation…” ~ Medagoda Abeytissa Thero (Lanka News Web – 24.8.2020)

Independent Lanka experienced three waves of weaponsation of Buddhism. The first was when SWRD Bandaranaike embraced the Buddhist Commission Report. DS Senanayake had refused, on constitutional grounds, a request by the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress to appoint a royal commission to study Buddhist grievances. The ACBC appointed its own commission in 1954. The Commission released its report in February 1956. SWRD Bandaranaike, who needed to defeat the UNP while outflanking a left strengthened by the successful Hartal, embraced the report. An overtly Sinhala-Buddhist election campaign ensued, with the Eksath Bikkhu Peramuna (United Bikkhu Front) playing a vanguard role. The MEP won (though its national average was only 39.5), SWRD Bandaranaike realised his heart’s desire of becoming prime minister, and was assassinated 3 years later by a monk.

The killing created a popular backlash against Sangha in general. In one of his political novels (Peraliya – Transformation), TB Illangaratne mentions that monks had to stop going in buses or on pindapatha for a while due to public opprobrium. The violent end to that first attempt at creating a nexus between religion and politics had somewhat of a sobering effect on the political class. Politicians would continue to use religion tactically but a major weaponisation of Buddhism would not happen for almost 45 years.

The second wave was unleashed early in the new millennium. Gangodawila Some Thero had begun his political preaching by targeting Lankan Muslims. When he was trounced by MHM Ashraff in their widely watched television debate, he shifted targets, focusing his fire on Christians/Catholics. His unexpected death, caused by exposure to Russian Winter, gave rise to a wave of hysterical grief and anger. A group of Sinhala-Buddhist extremists (led by Champika Ranawaka, with Udaya Gammanpila as his sidekick) saw an opportunity and moved in with aggressive determination. They renamed their party Sihala Urumaya as Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) and donated it to the Sangha. A monk-only slate was nominated for the 2004 general election, with the promise of building a Dharma Rajya in six months. The new party scored only 5.97|% and fell into acrimonious squabbling almost before the election was over. A kidnapping drama and a parliamentary brawl were followed by a bomb attack on a musical show featuring Indian artistes in which several JHU stalwarts were implicated. Once again, public outrage at the party’s shenanigans reflected on all monks. For a while, party symbol hakgediya (conch shell) became a popular slang word for a monk.

The third wave commenced post-Eelam War. The Rajapaksas needed a new enemy. After some attacks on churches, focus shifted to Muslims. The Bodu Bala Sena came into divisive life with the anti-Halal campaign. The Buddhist flag was flown alongside the national flag at the Independence Square. An actor playing historian gave the Rajapaksas a family tree linking them not just to hero-king Dutigemunu but also to the Buddha.

The third wave crested during the 2019 presidential election, as monks became politically mobilised on an unprecedented scale. During the parliamentary election, the political/civic act of voting was turned explicitly into a religious act, bringing into play the Buddhist concepts of merit and demerit. The project to impose first an ethnic and then an ethno-religious state on a nation state has reached its apotheosis.

No other refuge

In another infamous first, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a Buddhist monk to the Human Rights Commission.

This week Fitch Ratings downgraded Lanka to CC, one notch away from bankruptcy. The economy contracted by 1.5% in the third quarter. The forex crisis and the fertiliser crisis, created by Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s hubristic ignorance, remain unresolved. Domestic gas continues to explode. Having forced the government to agree to pay 67million dollars for a ship of contaminated fertiliser, China is fishing in troubled waters, this time in the North. The Chinese Ambassador undertook a two day visit to Jaffna and Mannar, worshipping at Nallur kovil, bare bodied as tradition dictates, and distributing largesse to fishing communities at conflict with Tamilnadu fishermen poaching in Lankan waters.

The Rajapaksas returned to power in 2019 at the head of a Saptha Maha Balavegaya, monks, physicians, teachers, peasants, workers, soldiers and youth. Within two years their support among five of those forces have plummeted, increasing their dependence on the military and the monks. For their own survival, the Rajapaksas must continue weaponising Buddhism. But the alliance between politicians and monks was never a marriage of equals. As Prof. HL Seneviratne pointed out in The Work of Kings, since the Lankan monks lack overarching and unifying social structures, “By its very nature the Sangha cannot be a power. It can only be a handmaid of power.”

Violently racist and obscenity sprouting monk Galagoda-Atte Gnanasara is not the problem. He is merely a symptom. The problem is the weaponisation of Buddhism by the Rajapaksas in their political and dynastic interests. The egregious monk remains in position even after he threatened two fellow monks with lethal violence because the Rajapaksas need him. If he didn’t exist, the Family would have had to create him – which is quite possibly what they did in 2011/2012.

Turkish scholar Mustafa Akoyal commenting on the ‘Ulema-state alliance’ dominant in most Islamic-majority countries points out that “many religious scholars are happy to justify autocratic rulers as long as the latter pose as defender of faith” (Reopening Muslim Minds: A Return to Reason, Freedom, and Tolerance). Similarly, the Rajapaksas are promoting and showcasing monks in the hope of maintaining their self-anointed status as the sole defenders of a Sinhala-Buddhist Sri Lanka. If anyone wants to see the danger of this path, they need to look no further than Pakistan.

Sharia Law was introduced in Pakistan by a pro-American general who came to power in a military coup and began his rule by hanging his elected civilian predecessor after a spurious trial. As Eqbal Ahmed pointed out, “Zia “needed a constituency. He had none. He needed the support of a party. No party was willing to support him except Jamat-e-Islami which charged a fee: Islamisation of higher educational institutions. During the pro-Western government of Zia ul Haq physics professors could not be appointed if they could not name the wives of the Holy Prophet” (On Empire). The result of this bargain was a populace contaminated by the virus of religious extremism.

In January 2011, Punjab governor Salman Taseer was gunned down by his own bodyguard. His crime was defending Aasia Bibi, an impoverished Christian woman accused of blasphemy (she was subsequently acquitted by the Pakistani Supreme Court). Mr. Taseer’s killer became an instant hero while clerics refused to perform the last rites for the victim (the cleric who eventually did so was forced to flee the country). When the killer appeared in court, some lawyers showered him with rose petals. He was convicted and hung. Today his tomb in the outskirts of Islamabad is a shrine teeming with worshippers.

When religious killers are venerated, it encourages other religious killers. The Sialkot lynching might not have happened, if the murder of Salman Taseer (and many others) had given rise to a rational discussion and examination of blasphemy laws. Instead, a vocal minority of religious-extremists hogged the stage while the majority either consented in silence or hid their heads, Ostrich-fashion, hoping the problem would go away. The result was the strengthening of what Salman Taseer’s estranged son Aatish Taseer called “Pakistan’s parallel morality, a morality distorted by faith” (Stranger to History: A Son’s Journey through Islamic Lands). As we condemn the Sialkot lynching, let us remember that religious violence can sprout in other places too, when the social soil turns fertile.

“Muslim people don’t love us… I say don’t go to those shops. Don’t eat or drink from those shops…. It is clear that they are a group who gave poison to our people, who tried to destroy our people… I think that the younger generation who eats (from them) will not have children in the future…. Also everyone knows what a doctor-gentleman did in Matale. Lakhs of our children were destroyed. These traitors should not be allowed to live free. Some upasakammas said they must be stoned to death (gal gahala maranna ona). I don’t say that. But that is what should be done… Laws and regulations won’t work.” This was not the BBS chief, but the most venerable Maha Nayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter in June 2019 (Translation and emphasis mine). If such ideas are given a free pass, the next Sialkot might happen in Sri Lanka.

“Whoever dons the saffron robe with mind purged of all defilements, restrained and truthful, he indeed is worthy of the saffron robe.” So said the Buddha (Dhammapada -Yamaka Vagga). But when Buddhism is weaponised for political purposes, prominence is often given to those who are defiled, unrestrained, and untruthful, those who are unworthy of the saffron robe, according to what the Buddha taught. They become the public face of Buddhism, tainting it with their own reek. When history reckons with the lethal legacy of the Rajapaksas, the debasement of a great teaching may well head the list.

Glimmers of Hope?

Omicron is here, exposing Namal Rajapaksa’s claim of an app that can identify and stop the new strain from entering Sri Lanka for what it is – an idle boast totally devoid of facts. This is nothing new. Unreason and anti-factuality coloured the Rajapaksa response to the pandemic from the beginning. Instead of focusing on obtaining vaccine stocks, the Rajapaksas encouraged the public to place their faith in religious cures and mystical nostrums. For instance, in October 2020, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa was the chief guest at a week-long ceremony to chant Ratana Sutta at Abhayarama to save Sri Lanka from Corona. The second wave still came, soon followed by the deadly third one.

In this context, a historical analysis of the practice of seeking supernatural protection from natural illnesses made by Prof. MMJ Marasinghe, former vice chancellor and head of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies in the Kelaniya University, makes interesting reading. “It is Buddhaghosa who claims in his commentary on the Ratana Sutta that it was first chanted by the Buddha to heal the city of Vesali of the devastating epidemic and affliction by non-humans. It must be noted here that Buddhaghosa’s claim of an epidemic is not supported by any other literary or historical source. Further, the Vajjian tribal oligarchy was an exemplary tribal state, too strong for the neighbouring Magadhan Emperor to wage war as clearly stated in the Maháparinibbána Sutta of the Dìigha NBikáya. Thus, the story of an epidemic is another of Buddhaghosa’s fairy tales used to make new rites and rituals acceptable by giving them religious sanction” (The Great Betrayal of Theravada BuddhismSri Lanka Guardian – 21.5.2014).

A current of reason, moderation, and tolerance always existed in modern Lankan Buddhism. But it was never the dominant one, for neither politicians nor the media had any use for it. Since it could not be manipulated for political power or commercial profit, it was sidelined. Another example of this moderate current is a series of discussions organised by the Rahula Centre and Galkande Dhammananda thero. Based on a contextual analysis of Buddhist texts (both primary and secondary), Uduwahara Ananda thero uses the Buddha’s words to provide a fascinating glimpse of a teaching that is liberal and progressive, one that possess a strangely modern sensibility. As the Rajapaksa rule sinks, dragging political Buddhism with it, a space might be created for the rational currents to gain greater visibility and play a bigger role in healing wounds made by successive efforts to imprison a pluralist Lanka in a mono-ethnic/religious mould.

Politicians of whatever ilk will not be interested in such a positive change. The opposition dreams of making tactical use of religion in its own quest for power. For example, when Muruttetuwe Ananda Thero started to criticise the government, many presidential hopefuls, including Ranil Wickrmesinghe and Sajith Premadasa, hastened to Abhayarama.

Against such blatant opportunism, the principled stand taken by a group of Colombo University students and academics provide a stark – and a hopeful – contrast. Management faculty student and staff refused to attend a convocation presided over by the university’s new chancellor, Muruttetuwe Ananda thero. Their refusal compelled university administration to change tradition. The VC awarded degree certificates relegating the robed chancellor to the role of a glorified onlooker. Such societal responses, firm and civilised, determined and non-violent, indicate the possibility, however slim, of a post-Rajapaksa future that is free of the worst Rajapaksa practices – starting with the weaponisation of Buddhism.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    2

    What DEKCUF Sri Lanka the most? Politics or Buddhism?
    Just asking?

    • 9
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      JR’s constitution DEKUF Sri Lanka.

      • 8
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        “JR’s constitution DEKUF Sri Lanka.”

        Sure, but which buggered SL more, …….. JR’s constitution …….. or Mahinda’s and Gota’s presidencies?

        It’s not the constitutions’ fault …….. any constitution can be abused by an utterly corrupt person …….. as Trump amply demonstrated!

        Can we have a little honesty here Sunil? A wee little bit? :))

        Or is there something in you that needs to be cured first? :)))

        • 5
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          Hello Nimal,
          It is the JR’s constitution that led to the creation of an all-powerful ‘president’ – greater than the power vested in the President of the USA.
          Trump attempted to subvert the constitution with the ultra-right (remember Stephen Bannon who gave orders to breach the Capitol), but the US constitution is strong enough to keep the President in check – you know all the details.
          Almost all politicians are good for nothing bas***ds who are out to rob the country.
          We should get back to a Westminster style of parliament – Elections should be held every three years with a Prime Minister who stays the prime minster as long has he has the support of the parliament.
          Sri Lankan voters are absolute idiots – and nothing will change.
          .

        • 3
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          nimal fernando

          A glimmer of hope
          Please read Tisaranee Gunasekara above:

          “Against such blatant opportunism, the principled stand taken by a group of Colombo University students and academics provide a stark – and a hopeful – contrast”.

          Have you ever insulted any of the members of saffron clad brigade? It was brilliant.

          I do respect monks.

      • 8
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        SWRD was assassinated by a man in Robes and it was clearly a conspiracy at a time when CIA was weaponizing Buddhism in Asia as revealed in book “Cold War Monks”. Like the murder of Lumumba, was in a MI 6 and CIA plot.

        SWRD Banda. had signed his death warrant when he nationalized the Ports and airports of Lanka from the British Colonizers as the COLD WAR was hotting up. The US and UK went to Chagos Isand soon after and drove off all the people there and set up the Diego Garcia Military base to run the US war machine in the Indian Ocean region CIA killed many nationalist leaders Africans and Asians Lumumba in DRC to the Coups against Dr. Mossadeg in Iran and Sukarno in Indonesia.
        Thisaranee, for a leftist your history of the Cold War in Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean region poor! Please read the book Jakarta Method by VIncent Bevins on the America;s Cold War Killing Fields in the Global SOuth

        • 4
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          Dinuk,
          “The US and UK went to Chagos Isand soon after and drove off all the people there and set up the Diego Garcia Military base “
          Please, please, you are free to rant as much as you like, but get your history right. The British moved their base to the Maldives from Katunayaka, not Chagos.

    • 17
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      Dear Ms Gunasekara/
      Yours is a great analysis.. As I repeated I’m my previous comments on CT what is being practised in srilanka is at at all buddhism as taught by lord buddha. It is wrong to call any sangaya as ” buddha puthrayas” if they become cheap men to political crooks deviding the society. The great harm these yellow pets are doing in the guise of buddhism is no different to any low act to humanity. BBS head / most abusive hate speaker in public is publicly explain how he enjoys v8 luxury vehicles. Ummagga jathakaya makes it very clear how a paviddek/how he has to behave after entering Sanga life. After reading that I thoght none of srilanken monks enjoying fame are monks . They are all pattapal horu/ that promote abusive culture. 🐕🐃🐕😎🐃🐕😎🐃🐕😎🐃

    • 9
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      Thisaranee: Please read the book “Cold War Monks: Buddhism and America’s Secret Strategy in Southeast Asia”. Yale University Press 2017.
      The CIA has been weaponizing religions – particularly Islam and Buddhism since the end of World War 2! The 2019 Easter attacks in Lanka were part of the weaponization of Islam in Lanka to feed the weaponization of Buddhism by the CIA so that the US could set up a military base in Lanka on the pretext of fighting ISIS!

      • 12
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        The author of Cold War Monks: Eugene Ford mined Asia Foundation Documents. TAF was a CIA project to weaponize Buddhism during Cold War. After the Cold War ended, Islam was further weaponized and ISIS was also set up by the CIA after the US invasion of Iraq on false claims by US and UK that Sadam Hussein has Weapons of Mass destruction. His army was disperse and turned into ISIS to do regime change in Syria. US needs TERRORISM to sell weapons and keep its economy going.
        During the Cold War the US weaponized Buddhism and also Islam in West Asia and Afghanistan against de-colonization and national liberation and socialist and communist movements in Asia and Africa. Now with the New Cold War on China and Hybrid cyber Third World war by the biggest Rogue state in the world with its 800 military bases religions are being weaponized again to cause a Cascade of religious violence. Saudi Arabia is part of this project and now France and Aussie too, While India is doing its Ramayana and Ravana Balaya and Hinduthava weaponization. Weaponizing religion as SOFT POWER is in fashion these days by competing great powers! US, Saudi, France, UAE and India are the leaders in weaponizing religions…

        • 12
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          US citizens Goat and Basil Rajapaksa use religion to carry out the work of the American Deepstate. The Sinhala Buddhist Los Angeles Diaspora has been weaponized! Just like the Tamil Diaspora is weaponized to Divide, Distract, Rule and loot strategic Lanka!The CIA want s Clash of Civilizations between Buddhism and Islam to destroy Asia, also through weaponizing local-global religious networks and Diasporas…
          After all the CIA has a 500 page war crimes file on US citizen Goat Rajapaksa who is the President of this Miracle of Modayas. Sri Lanka is an advanced case of American Full Spectrum Dominance (FSD), with a Covid-19 mask.We are seeing the competitive weaponization of all religions at this time of total war on Economy and Society of Sri Lanka by the Deepstate to COLONIZE Lanka and use it to fight China.

    • 14
      1

      Politics. There is very little real Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

    • 8
      1

      “What DEKCUF Sri Lanka the most? Politics or Buddhism?”

      Does it matter?

      There’s nothing a good famine and starvation can’t cure! ……. especially, if it’s managed by “patriotic” “Sinhalese-Buddhists!” They can’t blame the White man, the Black man, the Black and White striped man ……….

      Oh boy! ….. even in their wildest dreams one couldn’t have wished for this …….. “Sinhala-Buddhists” dishing out starvation to fellow “Sinhala-Buddhists!”

      Native, I’m dancing the Baila here to Anton Jones (how the hell did he get a name like Jones?) …….

      • 4
        1

        Nimal,
        “I’m dancing the Baila here to Anton Jones (how the hell did he get a name like Jones?”
        He was an Eurasian, that’s why. Even Wally Bastian wasn’t exactly a Sinhala Buddhist. BTW Eagle is the only Sinhala Buddhist who can sing baila.

    • 5
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      Politicised Buddhism with a super potent steroid called ‘hatred towards Non-Sinhalese’!

  • 15
    2

    There is no need for enemies , SB misguided by the monks will see the end to Sorry Lanka. People who defend by saying all Buddhist are not racist should take a stand on prelates. As Tisaranee said this cancer originated way nack from the time of independence. It’s combination of immorality and insecurity which is lethal. They found the right partner in Rajapaksas. LTTE and ISIS are just symptoms and we have seen it spread unabated, even without them. People who keep giving excuses, are those enablers.

  • 14
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    “Sri Lanka for all or Fake Militarised Buddhism for few Opportunistic politics .”
    This is the decision before people of Sri Lanka. I hope people will understand who failed this nation.

  • 15
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    Rajapakshas came to power riding on the Sinhala Buddhist agenda during a time when the Sinhala Buddhist superiority mindset was under attack by the LTTE and its supporters.

    When considering the unprecedented level of atrocities committed by the L T T E the Rajapakshas popularity rose rapidly soon after the L T T E was wiped off.

    However the Rajapakshas failed miserably in the next decade following the elimination of LTTE.

    Now it is the turn of Gota to underline the fact that the Rajapakshs failed after vanquishing the LTTE.
    Gota seems to be doing the final touches of a failed regime.

    Now the question is who can steer Sri Lanka to be a modern democracy where all citizens are treated equally with respect for humanrights

    • 3
      15

      Sargent Nallathambi,
      “However the Rajapakshas failed miserably in the next decade following the elimination of LTTE.”
      —-
      Rajapakshes did not fail miserably after eliminating LTTE. People who suffered for three decades due to terrorist attacks carried out by Tamil terrorists enjoyed peace and the country started to move forward but ‘Yahapalana’ Government that came to power in 2015 failed miserably by allowing Muslim terrorists to carry out terrorist attacks while they had prior warnings of the attacks and ruined the peace people enjoyed after defeating LTTE.

      • 8
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        EE,

        Then why people voted out Rajapaksas in 2015? Twice?

        So the problem started before 2015. Not after.

        Gota is the last nail on the coffin of Rajapaksa power in SL. Never again.

  • 16
    2

    Ultimately both are stuffed.

    Today even Buddhists make fun of Buddhist monks and Buddhist events. When Buddhism and politics mated, both went to hell. Good for both!

    • 2
      1

      Yes now your poosalis can have a go No?

      • 2
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        Look at Colombo University convocation. Even Buddhist kids shun the Buddhist monk.

        Poosaris don’t go boot licking politicians unlike Buddhist monks.

    • 5
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 5
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 3
    5

    TG, God made Adam who named all the animals but said that it is not good that man should be alone and produced a helper for him and called her woman, taken out of man. He was to be joined to his wife to become one flesh. Gen.2,24 Later, Adam called his wife Eve, as she was the mother of all living. Gen. 3,20 It was the two together that could and still can reproduce the human race as they die off continually due to their joined karmic sins. These sins can be forgiven as humans ask God to redeem them, as Jesus has already paid for it at the cross. Ask him and get his eternal life weapons of love, mercy and power.

    • 8
      2

      ‘God made Adam who named all the animals but….’
      .
      This kind of nonsense is no different to the 2500 year old SB myths. When did God decide to create the dinosaurs?

      • 1
        2

        Svenson, As you have not read bible history, you think it is nonsense and hence there can be no discussion. You were not there when God created Adam and so how can you honestly say that is nonsense. You don’t know or believe. Re dinosaurs, fallen Lucifer mixed animal, bird and long body reptile DNA leading to Noah’s destroying flood, as God’s command was to reproduce only after its own kind. Today human animal hybridization will again produce evil mix

        • 2
          1

          Davidthegood, how do you know that I have not read Bible’ history’? The Bible purports to be the history of the Jewish people but it is full of myths and contradictions and acts of horror by ‘God’ that would make even Adolf Hitler blush with shame. Check it out for yourself https://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/
          Somebody took the trouble to count who slew whom in the Bible. While ‘God’ killed millions of innocents ‘Satan’ killed three.
          .
          Re dinosaurs, they existed long before Humans appeared as scientific dating of their bones shows. You need to resist your brainwashing and face facts.

          • 1
            2

            Svenson, You are absolutely right that dinosaurs existed long before humans as fallen Lucifer tried to pollute the coming human DNA when God of all knowledge had promised a savior for the future as man was going to sin tempted by satan. The whole bible is God’s prophetic declarations of the future and it all happened as said. Jesus came. Soon after Genesis perfect creation, 1,1 when Holy Spirit brooded over dark flood waters, God finally said “Light be” and there was light.1,3 It was then that God created Adam and Eve to populate the earth. Even then in Gen.6 , DNA mixes produced wicked giants wiped off by Noah’s flood. Sphinx, man/lion, and mermaid, man/fish examples. Bible is human history, not only later Jewish. Warning danger is current mix of DNA wickedness not from God’s spirit and hence not able restore and reconcile to God.

            • 0
              2

              Svenson. Though dinosaurs were Lucifer’s subtle experiments similar to the additions into the Wuhan bat virus manifesting Covid 19 pandemic, bible says that future destruction is not flooding but burning by fire. Luke 18,26 says when Noah entered the ark and Lot separated out of Sodom, there was no turning back. 40 authors over 1,500 years were inspired to write one account, proclaiming the same true God and one way of being saved through Jesus Christ John 14,6. Moses shepherd in 1400 B.C, Isaiah prophet in 700 B.C, David king upto 400 B.C, Matthew tax collector, Paul tent maker, John fisherman, Luke physician, all present different perspectives of the same truth leading to the last book of revelation John A.D 90 to be fulfilled when Christ returns

              • 1
                0

                davidthegood, have you considered a career in children’s fiction? Look what it did for J.K.Rowling, she is now a multi-millionaire.

  • 19
    2

    “………Mahinda Rajapaka is a culture. Mahinda Rajapkasa is a civilisation…” ~ Medagoda Abeytissa Thero…….”

    Yes, I remember that very well. A day I wept, of course!
    If MR is our culture, I dare leave that culture!! I will be culture-less!!
    And I dearly wish that yellow robed s**t bag should go through his karma for what he preached and represented!!

    • 3
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      Jit,
      “If MR is our culture, I dare leave that culture!! I will be culture-less!!”
      —-
      Good riddance!

      • 4
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        True….It works both ways Potta Eye! ;)

    • 6
      2

      What is culture of a nation/country ?

      What is relgiion of a nation/country ?
      .
      What is the civilization of a nation country)
      .
      All these three are not in srilanka today, their attitudanal changes evolved towards backward of civilization. In the past, we never heard, going back to my childhood in 70ties – a monk publicly attacking the other monk – ” WESIGEPUTHA”- bitch s son or the may be the translation into English, however, those viewers and listeners seem to be enjoying with the same joy being applied having watched HINDI films today.
      .
      Are they then civilized ?
      :
      Above all- a man who was alleged to have committed mlechcha high crimes became the president of the country, even if the consequences woudl ahve been clear to even 10 year olds, but with a 2/3 mandate….. so where has the civilization gone in in srilanken people ?

      Today, the man got elected, stay as if he is fallen in to a deep WATER well, with no wayout to come of it…. can you guys imagine? I think all what we could say, GOOD riddannce to bad rubbish or not ?
      .
      And the MEDIA men including SIRASA should be BLAMED for the mess …
      I truly believe, this COUNTRY nation deserve BETTER MEDIA SERVICES…. having faced human losses by various means as of today…..

      • 2
        2

        Nothing!

        SL is a cesspool of stinky diversity.

  • 8
    5

    Tisaranee says this cancer originated from the time of Independence but this is wrong. It originated long before that. It originated from the time of the dominance of Christians and English speakers under the British. Dominance in the military, the schools, the Government. The 1956 event Tisaranee refers to was a violent reaction to this. In 1956 the pendulum swung the other way. After torturing a people for centuries it is too much to expect that on becoming free they would say “Let’s treat the oppressors amongst us as equals”.

    • 6
      2

      Svenson,
      “After torturing a people for centuries….”

      When did the average Tamil or Muslim villager torture the Sinhalese during colonial times? If the problem was only with the British and the local “brown Sahibs’ –Sinhalese, Tamils, and the Burghers who adopted the ways of the British–, why target the ordinary Tamils and Muslims who weren’t part of this?

      Racial hatred among many Sinhalese was much broader and deeper than what you are trying to imply.

  • 7
    3

    Great article by Tisaranee. Buddhism has indeed been weaponized through Sri Lankan history, from changing the curriculum in schools into Sinhala, to angry mobs attacking Churches and Mosques, but it seems the Rajapaksa regime have take it to a whole new level, by favoring and appointing RACIST Buddhist Monks, into important positions, that overlook the interests of the minority, sending a strong signal that they will continue their racist policies. Leaders in nations that have to pander to the majority, by discriminating the minority, doing nothing when the minority are attacked, their homes, businesses, and places of worship, damaged, looted, and burnt, are afraid their incompetence, corruption, and failed policies, are not going to help them win support and elections. If the Rajapaksa regime were successful in their governing and leadership, they do not have to rely on racism, and weaponize it to win elections. Their short sightedness prevents them from realizing that their deliberate efforts to set the majority against the minority, will hamper the progress of this country, and result in failed economic policies. Take a good look at India, Modi is a racist, who has implemented racist policies, and encouraged Hindu mobs to attack and kill minority Muslims, at the slightest pretext, yet is still a nation that struggles economically, is chaotic, and never at peace.

    We seem to be following the same path.

  • 11
    1

    The tribal mindset that has been systematically nurtured among the Sinhala Buddhist peasants and working class with a view to manipulate them more efficiently has been paying dividends to the political mafia that infests the island nation, with benefits to the corporate enablers funding their campaigns. The only apparent problem with this mechanism is there is no prospect of reversal when it overshoots the target. We might be seeing this stage in the process now.

    • 1
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      The tribal mindset is there in all 3 tribes.

      All 3.

      Only solution is to give into it and split the island into 3 mono ethnic nations with relocation of people.

  • 9
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    It may be that the future is represented by the graduates of the University of Colombo who refused to accept their degrees from the pseudo-monk appointed Chancellor by His Excellency

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    Toiyas who probably did not study the history of Sinhale do not know the role Buddhist monks played to protect this country from Dravida invaders who invaded this country from 3rd Century BC and destroyed Sinhala Kingdoms in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa forcing indigenous Sinhalayo to retreat to South. Those Dravida invaders burnt down temples and killed Buddhist monks.
    Buddhist monks also played a vital role in fighting against European colonial rulers. This is clearly visible during British rule. Buddhist monks were behind all the liberation struggles against British and as a consequence of that several Buddhist monks went in front of the firing squads of British. British rulers found Buddhist monks as a main obstacle to their rule. European missionaries found Buddhist monks as a major obstacle to spread Christianity.
    During LTTE Tamil terrorist campaign, Buddhist monks played a vital role to protect Sinhala Buddhists in frontier villages in NE. Tamil terrorists brutally murdered several monks. IPKF also killed several Buddhist monks who resisted against their brutal acts against Sinhala Buddhists in NE.
    Simply because of the existence of few rotten monks do not try to tarnish the image of Buddhist monks and Buddhism.

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      1

      EE,

      Looks like you need a history lesson!

      Please read detailed history. Not popular history.

      Read how prince Gemunu killed an entire army of his brother inside a Buddhist temple, walked to a temple building where his brother was hiding with a blood soaked sword to kill him, waited in ambush for days to kill him inside this Buddhist temple. Prince Gemunu showed no respect to monks or the temple.

      And what was the first shrine erected by king Dutugemunu? You know Ruwanweliseya is the last. What was the first? Not a Buddhist shrine. Learn a little history EE.

      It was Karuna who killed Buddhist monks. Karuna is with Rajapaksas and is rewarded for killing monks and bombing Buddhist temples.

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      Potta Eye, First of all, please learn what pure Buddhism Guathama Buddha preached is, not what Devadatta preached! Because you are insulting that noble philosophy which teaches us to lead a simple life in a peaceful way to reach the eternal parinirvana in the end and cease this chain of rebirth which gives us immense pain and sufferance. Second, protecting territories, lands and governments are for the soldiers, samurais, and other forces, NOT for the Buddhist monks! If those professionally trained soldiers fail, then no priest can do any better either! Third, there were, and still are many Buddhist priests all over the world who got/get involved with armed forces or governments but that does not mean they had been doing the right thing at all! Buddha’s fundamental message carries metta, muditha and karuna (please research if you do not know the meaning of these words) and that message never advocated his disciples to fight for the land, support wars, protect cultures or be king makers. His only advise for them was to understand the futility of all desires and attain the noble arhat status in the end.

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    New Constitution should not mention any religion by name but there should be a clause that all beliefs of citizens in religions will be recognized.

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    EE
    SL people tolerated the Rajapakshas for so long because they provided the leadership to eradicate the LTTE menace.
    However they failed miserably to do the right thing and steer the country towards prosperity , equality fairplay justice and rule of law.
    So they have run out of credit.

    Gota is known as

    Sir Fail this tells it all.

    So it is the end of the road for the Rajapaksha clan.

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    There is no weaponising of Buddhism in Sinhale/Sri Lanka. Taking measures by Buddhist monks, Sinhala Buddhists and Buddhist rulers to protect Buddhism and Buddhists is not weaponising Buddhism. These are terms concocted by those who are keen to tarnish the image of Sinhala Buddhists and Buddhist monks who have become an obstacle to go ahead with their agendas.
    Sinhale, the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo has been a Buddhist country where Buddhist Monks have played a major role in protecting the country and the Sinhala Nation from enemies for thousands of years and it will remain as a Sinhala Buddhist country despite efforts by people with vested interests to change that.
    Not a single clergy from other religions went in front of British firing squads for fighting to liberate this country from British rule.

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      EE,

      When Christians and even Muslims demanded justice to the Easter Sunday terrorist attack by punishing the mastermind, it angered Buddhist terrorists!!!

      What’s the connection!

      How strange!

      That established the real masterminds behind the crime.

      Until justice is done to Easter Sunday victims Sri Lanka is cursed.

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    WEAPONISING BUDDHISM- This is tool used by most monks in srilanaka to use young monks for homosexual activities and some group of rich mature monks to molest young and old women for sexual activities.Please visit ward no 33 in colombo general hospital you can observe that young monks wearing pants and shirts using their original name waiting for STD checking process.ONLY ABOUT 60% ARE FOLLOWING REAL BUDDHISM IN SRILANAKA OTHERS ARE GOING BEHIND POLITICAL LEADERS TO OBTAIN POSITIONS AND PERKS BY LICKING THE BOOTS AND BEHAVING LIKE POLITICAL PIMPIYAAS.SAADU-SAADU-JAYAWEEWA.

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    @Tisaranee Gunsekera. I thank you for exposing me to this discussion between these two exceptional Buddhist monks (Galkande Dhammanda Thero and Uduwahara Ananda Thero). During the seven and a half decades of my life I have never paid such close attention to any Buddhist discussion until now. I wish that women, in particular, will listen to this discussion for their own emancipation. Thanks again.

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      Chandra s, How strange is advice to listen to unmarried monks about sins which consider the fake that only women have karma. Women were created by God to help men to reproduce families and continue the race which dies after earthly life. Then their spirits and souls go back to the creator they worship. That’s how important who we believe with earthly worship

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    Karma of innocent Tamils’ eyes gorged out when they were alive (and mostly sold to Pakistan) and organs from Tamils & JVP (mostly sold to Japan) is slowly eating Sinhalese.

    This is why all bodies were or are burnt.

    Those eyes can still see that.

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    Buddhism is Buddhism. No one can “weaponize” Buddhism as the writer imagines. Sinhala Buddhists are determined not go through the same fate as other Buddhist victim states such Maldives, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. Bandaranaike, Senanayaka, etc were Anglican Christians, pretended to Buddhist for political reasons (to fool Buddhist voters). British Invader fooled Buddhist leaders at the time with 1815 Kandyan convention. Now their missionary school educated “kalusuddha” offsprings do the same thing since 1948 bogus independence, which Anagarika Darmapala warned more than 100 years ago. Even “foremost place for Buddhism” in constitution is constitutional gimmick.

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