23 September, 2020

Blog

What It Is To Be Sri Lankan

By Dayan Jayatilleka – *

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

If I were to sum up my own understanding of the problematic within which the discussion took place, it is that of the dual role of transition-transformation or transition/transformation of Sri Lanka; the transition to a stable sustainable peace which is not possible without a transformation in Sri Lanka and of Sri Lanka’s relationship with the world. Which brings us to another point which I hope will be helpful because this is my own way of understanding what it is to be Sri Lankan.

I was reading one of Jacques Lacan’s last lectures, of course in English translation, in which he summarizes his teaching. And in a deliberate departure, an ironic departure from the Biblical sentence that “In the beginning was the world”, Lacan says “In the beginning was the place”.

Now, if you look at Sri Lanka as a place, then perhaps you would understand differently what it is to be Sri Lankan. So the crux of the issue is not “are you Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, or Burgher”, but I consider myself Sri Lankan in the sense that I am from that place or it is one of the places that I am coming from. So it is in the sense of ‘the island called Sri Lanka’. And I refuse to have it defined in a different way personally. Sri Lanka to me is, in the Lacanian sense, the place.

If we take the famous piece of literature, the myth or the legend of Rāmāyaṇa, Ravana is identified as being from ‘Lanka’. He is not Sinhalese, he is not Tamil; he is from Lanka. Ravana in that sense was the first Lankan. I do not know about the Sri part of it.

Now there is another, perhaps dominant perspective, not only among the Sinhalese but also the Tamils; not only of the Tamils but also the Sinhalese: a reassertion of narrower, more primordial identities, separated from each other, hierarchized, sharpened, made militant. That is another vision.

The fact that you, the Diaspora youth, are ‘in-between’ does not mean that you have to consider yourself left out, though some may try to leave you out. Because being in-between you have had to negotiate the different component of your identities: Sinhala and Tamil, Sinhala and Burgher, Sri Lankan and French. You have had to live in a mode of negotiation. But this is surely what we have to do in Sri Lanka? Because, what is negotiation about? Negotiation is about relationships, just as relationships are about negotiation. Certainly from the French intellectual tradition of structuralism we understand that what are important are not the entities in and of themselves but precisely the relationships–and the inter-relationships. And you have been negotiating the relationships within yourself but also between yourself and others, and you have understood that they—the relationships– themselves change and perceptions of them change.

So this is what we in Sri Lanka have to do and where you too can play a part because you can also help Sri Lanka negotiate its relationships within, and with the rest of the world, which is something we have not always been very good at. Sri Lankans have been good at surviving but not so good at mediation; at mediating the relationships. And you can help them understand; help us understand, what it means to mediate. Mediation perhaps ideally, may lead to some kind of synthesis, but perhaps that is not necessary. May be it is about finding a way to live with mutual respect in that place that we call Sri Lanka. It does not necessarily have to be the only home we have, it is not the only home, you have but it is also one of your homes. You can have many or your home can consist of many spaces; many places. These are all things that we have to process.

I would also comment on the very important discussion on Sri Lanka and Buddhism. My submission is that the problem is not whether Buddhist is a philosophy or a religion, or whether it is a philosophy that has been distorted into a religion—which has been debated here. I do not think that that is the problem. The problem is not with Buddhism. Those of you, those of us, who value Buddhism as a religion, a philosophy, a way of life, you can help in reminding, restoring and recalling the universality of Buddhism. I am not a Buddhist, but Buddhism contains one of the most Universalist messages I have known: “May all living beings be happy”. I cannot think of anything more Universalist because it embraces non-human living beings as well. Now unfortunately, the universality has been devalued and replaced with this extreme narrowing, identification and over-attachment which goes contrary to the spirit of Buddhism, with a single ethnic identity. That is the problem.

So these are some of the many ideas that came up or were implicit in your discussion, and I hope you take the debate to the next level. I will conclude with two interlinked themes which again derive from the French intellectual tradition and the French historical tradition. One is the assertion of, most famously Sartre, that “Existence precedes essence”. Because what we have been discussing really is the problem of being reduced to an essence. Are you a Sinhalese or are you a Tamil? Whether you are Sinhalese or Tamil, or on the contrary you are French– that is supposed to prescribe your destiny. That is ‘essentialist’. You are reduced to some origin and that is supposed to be your destiny, but it is not. As Sartre reminded us, existence, what we make of ourselves, precedes essence, is more important than essence. Of course, this does not take place at a vacuum. And here we have here another French debate of situationism because you have to understand the situation in order to change the situation. You have very rich resources in the French intellectual tradition, tools to be able to understand and participate in this transition-transformation.

Never forget that for the eventual victory or assertion of reason, there was a very important ideological struggle, the struggle against irrational ideas, traditional hierarchies which were made sacred simply because this is the way things have always existed. So the role of the Encyclopedists, the role of the ‘philosophes’, this role of the constant struggle to impart learning, to clarify the mind, this role which France has played better than anyone else at a certain time of its history, this is the role that you might find that you are called upon to play. It is a role which is also one of sacrifices and struggles. If your project— to use another French concept- is of transition/transformation, you will all have to decide, you will all have to make an existential choice of how you situate yourself and participate in the task of intellectual intervention.

Full transcript of Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka’s closing remarks at French-Sri Lankan Diaspora Youth Workshop, Paris, October 27th, 2012

 Members of the What’s Next! youth forum

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    It is good that the different communities can come together and openly discuss each others problems and perspectives without attacking each other. To understand and accept each other is half of reconcilliation.

  • 0
    0

    How to be a Sri Lankan:

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

  • 0
    0

    The youngsters in the photo are much luckier than these:

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

    • 0
      0

      The youngsters in the photo are much luckier than those in Sri Lankan universities with security guards from the Ministry of Defence as in the South or controlling the students directly by the Army as in the North in our country.

  • 0
    0

    I suppose that the killing of more than 70 000 of your neighbours does not qualify as a mediation. Neither 60 years of a majority trying to suppress minorities. And neither putting one religion to the foremost place.
    Beside this, we can keep on discussing concept of the European philosophical tradition with ease.

    • 0
      0

      yet u always fail to cite a reliable source for this 70000 claim. Is that because u have none.
      Fill in the blanks
      1. 4000 2. 40000 3. 70 000 4. ….

  • 0
    0

    We are Sinhalese. We are Buddhists. We are the majority. Therefore this is a Sinhala Buddhist Country. Thus all the people in this country must be called Sinhalese.

    Contrast this with what Dayan has to say! How dare he reduce our country to ” a place”?. A place? My foot!

    • 0
      0

      Try reading the newly published book by Yapa publishers:
      The Complete Illutrated History of Sri Lanka by Dr Anton Sebastian.

    • 0
      0

      imposter

  • 0
    0

    Dayan, at one point last year I was pissed off with you. But in the recent past I am happy to note that your heart is in the correct place. I am happy that intellectuals like you at last have started to think positively. Although to bring about positive reaction from Sri Lankans is an uphill battle as most of the members in our Parliament are thugs and uneducated opportunists who want to make money for themselves and do not care about the country. This includes all the political party leaders. Even the UNP head is today a puppet of the ruling party. Where will Sri Lanka end if even the opposition is part of the ruling party (not appearing before the courts when requested by the courts)? When Parliamentarians do not respect the ruling of the court of justice how can they expect the civilians to respect?

    Keep up the good work. I hope and pray that other educated and literate Sri Lankans will also follow your footstep and above all you do not leave Sri Lanka and take the easy way out.

    • 0
      0

      It is sad to note that several intellectuals of Sri Lanka lose their thinking as intellectuals when they become appointees to represent the political interests of the Govt. in power and resort to abuse their own status by orchestrating the senseless politics which they serve. They begin to realise this folly only when they lose their positions. Examples are, including Dayan, Prof. Rajiwa,etc. Wonder when the remaining Professors will come to reality.

      • 0
        0

        Mohmar says:

        “They begin to realise this folly only when they lose their positions. Examples are, including Dayan, Prof. Rajiwa,etc.”

        Don’t be fooled by Dayan’s calculated withdrawal from whatever positions he holds. He is stealthily positioning himself for his next move.

        • 0
          0

          Yes NV you are spot on the pseudo-intellectual is hurriedly looking for diplomatic immunity once again so that he may go on the rampage as before to start internecine conflict.
          When the inevitable impeachmentof CJ takes place it would be good for the citizens as MR’s cohorts would be exposed to MR’s advantage. This bloke would be even worse off because he was involved (aiding and abetting) with the Premadasa regime too in the massacre of Sinhala Buddhist. He lives by the sword and he would die by it so he is now quoting Jean Paul from his trilogy but not Victor Hugo ;)

    • 0
      0

      Why do you think that his heart is now in right place ?

      Just because once in a while coming with an article of this kind- just applying expressions to keep the article more intellectual should NOT be the role of patriotic intellectuals that the country has produced.

      I really dont see any good tasks that DJ has fulfilled as the Ambassador to france in his tenure last time.

      DJ and RWije AND the educated forces of the island should help the brutal regime to open their eyes. If they fail to do so – their intellect cant help nobody.

  • 0
    0

    The people in this “place” need not be compared with the diaspora – whose
    outlook is based on economics & societal, whilst those equivalent in this “place” are political-slaves driven by Mahavamsa etc.
    The diaspora has come to stay and was not a factor earlier. Recognition
    of this development is necessary.

  • 0
    0

    Dayan, I compliment you on your fine speech. By the way, can’t you give a talk on the essence of Buddhism to our JHU bhikkhus here. I think some of them are as bad bigots as some Islamic fundamentalists. I think people like Champika Ranawaka and Udaya Gammanpila too can greatly benefit from such a talk. But Modawansa will not. Because what you say is sure to go over his head!

  • 0
    0

    Dr Dayan wants to force Champaign Ideals on Srilankans, most of whom are not even on a Beer Budget.

    Did any one ask your ethnicity when you were holidaying in France during your Schoolies?.

    So how can you blame the Sinhal Buddhists if the French ask these young and beautiful fresh faces whether they are Tamils or Sinhalese?.

    Still aren’t they all balcks or brownies in the eyes of all Westerens who are white?.

    The major issue is how we can bring our long suffering great majority of rural poor to get atleast a fraction of the feature comforts your audience as well as their peers in the West have taken for granted.

    When our rurals also have an Ipad, I Phone and a Facebook, we can teach them transition transformation , mediation and even make them read Satres works.

  • 0
    0

    Dayan, you have made an existential choice of situating yourself within the Sri Lankan Ideological State Apparatus (Sartre) led by the Rajapaksa regime and has been a tool in representing and defending its interests and its politico-military strategy of denying the North-East Tamil people their rightful space/place. So, hold the mirror unto yourself!

    • 0
      0

      Correction to my comment: …..Ideological State Apparatus (Althusser)…

  • 0
    0

    “The problem is not with Buddhism” It certainly is not. The problem is what goes as Sinhala Buddhism is in one of the many countries that has converted to the set of teachings of Prince Siddartha. Many in the lower rungs believe Buddhism is of Sinhalese origin while years ago there were many who thought the Buddha himself was Sinhalese. That was a time after the pseudo-nationalist harangues of Anagarika and later with A.E. Gunasinha carrying the mantle creating an anti-Indian environment which saw some Sinhalese believing Nehru and Gandhi were Estate Tamils.

    Much of the rituals practised here goes diametrically opposite to what The Compassionate One preached. It was tragic to see our CJ – who one supposes has some learning in Buddhism – bow before a Bo Tree. What more can you expect from the lesser learned in the mass of the population.

    It is just not here. There are departures from what the Buddha taught in Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and other places where I witnessed politicians and army men have distorted the teachings to serve their parochial material and political-career purposes.

    In that necessary feature to re-invent ourselves the role of Buddhism vis-a-vis the Sangha, the rulers and the people should be re-evaluated
    in conformity with current compulsions.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
      0

      Reader Sengutuan,s Buddhist bashing is becoming really boring.

      If you find our CJ bowing to a Bo Tree, what about a nearly Billion Hindus rubbing all sorts of things on granite statues?.

      What rituals each religion followers practise is their business and we are not here to dissect them or make disparging remarks.

      Perhaps your reference to lower rungs is interesting.

      The great majority of our inhabitants are Sinhala Buddhists who are rural poor.

      One would have thought they are all the same except their positions on the wealth ladder.

      May be the ones on top who must be your mates think the same way as you think.

      But the general concensus among the inhabitants is that you guys traditionally have these “lower and upper rungs” with Jaffna Tamils on top and Battis and South Indians at the bottom.

      Please correct me if my statement is incorrect.

      • 0
        0

        KASumanasekera – I doubt that Senguttuvan was “bashing” Buddhism. I felt that he was only stating that the teachings of the Buddha is being distorted by those who are using their interpretations of it to further their ‘Power’. And I would agree that the practices in most of our temples are far removed from the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.

      • 0
        0

        K.A Sumanasekera

        “Reader Sengutuan,s Buddhist bashing is becoming really boring.”

        There is Buddhism and there is loaded Sinhala/Buddhism. No one in their right mind would ever dare to bash Buddhism as Buddha preached it.

        However, Sinhala/Buddhism is an evil, opposing it is our moral, spiritual and civic duty, which I hope will liberate us from the wheel of Karma.

      • 0
        0

        ALL MY FRIENDS;
        Sinhala Buddhism????????????????????????.

        my parents and their parents were Buddhists. and so I also became a Buddhist. and I studied Buddhism and some extent, I am practicing and following the great philosophy.

        I am very proud to say that, I am Buddhist first, and a Sinhalese or Buddhist Sinhelaya.

        LORD BUDDHA NEVER PREACHED ANY PHILOSOPHY CALLED SINHALA BUDDHISM, NEPALI BUDDHISM OR BIHARI BUDDHISM,ECT ECT;.

        can somebody explain me about this Sinhalese buddhism.

        • 0
          0

          JULAAMPITYE asks:

          “can somebody explain me about this Sinhalese buddhism.”

          In a nutshell it is the practice of Sunday Sil Sunday Kill.

          • 0
            0

            Yes Exactly.. As we once discussed it on a previous thread – there it became clear.. almost every buddhist in SL are just ones that they just followed their parents religion. Meaning they dont practise it by heart. That is the speciality of sinhala buddhism. Even if they observe sil – they would not forget to kill mosquitoes being itself on the buddhist temples. And today monks order their meals with meats as had not been in the past. That is how the current bunch of thugs in the power promote the buddhism in the Island.

      • 0
        0

        Religion and Patriotism another stupid emotion used by politicians therefore it happens. In a country where the IQ of 90% of the population is less than 60% you kiss backsides too. 500 years after Gautama’s death some Bihari bandits decided to write a story book and send it to India’s droppings while the Chinese have a different version known as a philosophy of thought.

  • 0
    0

    Dayan Jayatilleka should be judged by his actions not by his empty rhetoric, particularly when his patrons appear about to (again) dispense with his services!

    The whole world is in favour of motherhood and apple pie but those who combine this with totally hypocritical behaviour do very well for themselves in Sri Lanka and parlay their command of the English language into bigger and better “employment opportunities” as witness the three PhD “intellectuals” who comprise the “civilized” face of the current government.

    • 0
      0

      Neither Churchill nor Premadasa who was invited by the Queen had passed their 11th grade. These 3 professors a class A con men talking shop nothing else.

  • 0
    0

    Dayan – I always thought the biblical quote was ” In the beginning was the WORD (not world) and the word was with God and the word was God”. Would that make a difference to the gist of your speech???

    • 0
      0

      Couldn’t bring myself to read the speech in its entirety after seeing this comment Java. It sort of takes the wind out of his sails right from the get go.

    • 0
      0

      OUCH!

    • 0
      0

      I think it’s a typo. DJ quotes Lacan as taking an ironic departure from Genesis when he says “in the beginning was the place.” It wouldn’t be an ironic departure if DJ believed the Biblical verse to say “in the beginning was the world”, since the world is indeed a place. So it’s probably a typo, and DJ means “word” not “world”.

      • 0
        0

        Dear David, thank you for introducing a little logic and sanity. One of my young staffers(Sorbonne and Science Po trained but with little knowledge of Scripture–education in France is rigidly secular) did a transcript of my extempore remarks off a tape. Doubtless she misheard ‘Word’ as ‘world’. I didn’t have the time to do more than glance at it and sign off, caught as I am in the throes of imminent transition, which involves a number of official farewells.

        Anyway, it is hardly likely that a winner of the Pope Paul VIth award for Open Religious Essay, and one whose spiritual mentor from boyhood has been Fr Vito Perniola SJ, one time head of the Jesuit Chapter in Sri Lanka, would misquote so basic a line from the Bible.

        • 0
          0

          The line “in the begining was the Word” is not from Genesis but from John:In the begining was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”

          • 0
            0

            Please remove my comment

  • 0
    0

    ”The authority pleasing, questioning suppressing, rule-following approach to education may have served to provide society with assembly line-workers and bureaucrats, but it does not do much to prepare us for a new Renaissance” has been the motto of some good teachers and students.
    That is what these youngsters have been indirectly saying in the articles some of them wrote here a while ago.

    This writing (or speech) has become a jabbering as Dayan tries not to hurt the govt so that he can get another posting.

    ”Sri Lankans have been good at surviving” – ethnic outbidding of the 50s and 60s !!

    • 0
      0

      Don’t forget the concessionary pacts with Tamil parliamentarians abrogated unilaterally in 1957 and 1966 by the then-governments on the face of opposition from Buddhist clergy

  • 0
    0

    Who is Jacques Lacan please?
    We are ignorant Sri Lankans and the government did not pay us to read French literature or philosophy or whatever!

  • 0
    0

    The following book must be a guide for all SRI LANKANS inside and outside the country:

    A Complete Illustrated History of Sri Lanka by Dr. Anton Sebastian(2012)
    Further Details A Journey of the People of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) through time from the Geological Epoch through the Prehistoric Ages, into the Mahavamsa Period and Beyond.

    Contents

    Preface

    1. Palaeolithic Ceylon

    2. The World before Vijaya

    3. The Chronicles, Kings and Buddhism

    4. The Ethnic and Religious Origins of the Sinhalese and the Tamils

    5. Buddhism : A Common Link to the Flowering Kingdom and the Pearl of the Indian Ocean

    6. The Colonial Ceylon

    7. The Origins of Muslims in Sri Lanka

    8. Towards Independence and After

    9. Sri Lanka Revisted

    Index

  • 0
    0

    Ah! My friend Sumanasekera. Here we meet again. What a delightful pleasure.

    You are an expert in that tragico-comedy of pretending to sleep while fully awake, eh! I made it a point – and you know it all too well- it is not Buddhism I take a critical position on. It is this charade where the tenets of Lord Buddha is used as a tool for political advantage here. Remember those two priests in Dambulla – one whose language was so vulgar and profane it would have made our ministers and Parliamentarians like Kudu Mervin, Booruwansa and the forgerer Dilano blush. The other, whom Kumar David aptly described, as making an effort to exhibit his Crown Jewels urinating in public raising his robe in front of both men and women. I don’t think decent Buddhists in the country, probably including you, will condone this bestial behaviour. Are we anti-Buddhist for the criticism. Where is the
    religious behaviour here. Many initiated Sinhalese take this position too – as Dayan does somewhat obliquely. You may have read before I am a student of Buddhism and regularly attend meetings on Saturday at a Bambalapitiya (Cbo 4) temple where gather pious and learned Buddhist men and women, drawn largely from the higher tiers of professions and society. Your attempt to characterise well meaning critique to that which is “disparaging” is in that practise of killing the messenger ignoring the message.

    By the way, down the ages, great men of learning and teachers have from within brought many reforms and changes in Sanatana Dharma – commonly called Hinduism. Prince Siddartha is one of them and I, as
    a practising Hindu, have the greatest respect for this Great Son of the Indian soil.

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
    0

    Reader Sengutuan studying pure Buddhism in Colombo 4 with his pious Buddhist mates from Colombo 7 is interesting.

    What we ought to remember is , it is the Sinhala Budhist Villagers who saved Buddha and Buddhism ,not the Colombo 7 crowd.

    Yet only the higher tiers and high society are pious and the rest which is over 75% are not only not pious, but urinate in public and use foul language.

    This sort of disparaging remarks coming from an ex Indian gentleman makes it even more interesting.

    However, if I were reader Sengutuan , I wouldn’t be gloating how good Santana Dharma is , when the women around the whole world, from East to West and North to South are disgusted, outraged and angry about what the Santanians are doing to their women.

    • 0
      0

      I agree that Buddhism in its simple tenets and profoundness of values survives as a meaningful force among the villagers and their monks, in the Sinhala community and not because of the city slickers who talk of Buddhism but not live by it. Unfortunately, the city slicker culture is making inroads into the villages slowly , but steadily. These innocent and pious people are easy pawn for the city slickers and their ways. We are paying the price for modern day development .

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 0
      0

      K.A Sumanasekera

      I am puzzled while.

      Could you write a treatise on Santana Dharma and Buddhism comparing and contrasting the two so that people like me can chose between the two or both.

      Buddhism has nothing to do with child molesting by their Sinhala/Buddist fathers and monks in Sri Lanka just as Sanatana Dharma has nothing to do with rapes by their Hindutva/Hindians.

      Let us hear from you.

      Please correct me if I am wrong

      • 0
        0

        Dear N.Vedda, You should kindly direct this question to your buddy, reader Sengutuan who is the self confessed authority on Santanam Dharma as well as pious Buddhism.

        I am not sure about the Veddas, but our rural folk has a soft spot for Hiduism too.

        That is why, on their way back from Buddha Shrine room , they slip in a few Rupees to the poosari in the Kovil to get a few favors from the many Gods he represents, as Buddha does not offer that sort of service.

        Despite this terrible Sinhala Buddhist tag, even our Prez,slips in to the land of Santana Dharma even with great risk to his life and limb, to get special favors from the well known Kovils.

        • 0
          0

          K.A Sumanasekera

          “they slip in a few Rupees to the poosari in the Kovil to get a few favors from the many Gods he represents, as Buddha does not offer that sort of service.”

          Poosari does receive rupees, to this end you are well informed. However come to think of it, monks receive/demand alms from the poor may not be in cash but in benefit in kind (BIK). BIK could mean anything.

          In addition they too dwell in politics and hope one day to establish a theocracy, to be the king makers of the Sinhala/Buddhists. The politicians and the state functionaries line up to get their blessing/support for war or votes. In return the powerful monks are rewarded with luxuries and share of power in the state.

          You say:

          “Despite this terrible Sinhala Buddhist tag, even our Prez,slips in to the land of Santana Dharma”

          Perhaps he believes that he could cheat the Gods of Santana Dharma just as he does in the island.

  • 0
    0

    Who is the ex-Indian gentleman reader Sumanasekera speaks of?

    What an irrelevant and foolish analogy to speak of the Delhi rape incident of last week. Here we are talking of Buddhism in this country being blackened whereas there is no religious connection to the Delhi issue – the Rape Capital of India. No one is blaming religion here. Sumane, looks lke you aren’t smoking the real grass?

    Sanatana Dharma needs no gloating. It has survived ten millennia and probably will go on. Today we heard of an earthquake-proof $100 million temple being opened close to LA in California by a largely US followers – in case you missed the news.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
      0

      Senguttuvan

      K.A Sumanasekera seems to take mild form of Sinhala/Buddhist nationalism for recreation.

  • 0
    0

    Who are we? We are Sri Lankans irrespective of Caste, Creed, Ethnic differences Etc !!
    Religion should not be taken into account when deciding on Nationality.

    Australians are Australians, In UK all are Britishers not Anglican British ! Cosmopolitan Americans are Americans, In India with a wide
    spread of religions All Are INDIANS !! Not Hindi Indians!!

    Why in SL think about “Sinhala Buddhusts” Is it for political gain?
    Then who are the other Sinhalese? Not Sri Lankans?

    With a heavy percentage of Sinhala Buddhists why is the CRIME RATE high? Do all Buddhists recite Pansil & Act in accordance to its principles? I wonder ? Should Practise before Preaching !!

    Could Buddhist Philosophy be Logically considered a Religion?
    I am Confused & like to be enlightened.

    We should all unitedly serve our Country as SRI LANKANS without been narrow minded.

    Will some readers enlighten me since I am Sri Lankan irrespective of religion & ethnicity? I am not in politics? I am just a “pillow case”
    where politics is concerned !!

  • 0
    0

    I believe there is no such thing as Buddhism, even in the Lankan context, one for the village/rural areas and another for the metropolis/urban areas. There can be pious practising Buddhists in the village as well as in the cities. Ditto – the one who uses the tenets for his own personal/political advantage. One of the concerns of those pious Buddhists in Sri Lanka is that rapid and atheistic modernity has adversely affected the gentle harmony and social bonds when the village was the centre of focus and life was based on the Dhamma, the Temple and the Wewa.

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
    0

    Maestro,

    I welcome your thoughts. Years ago some social organisations – like Rotary – in Sri Lanka came up with the “We are Sri Lankans” initiative
    that gathered some momentum. The organisers looked for Govt encouragement and participation. The project eventually fizzled out because the State was lukewarm. The reason is, presumably, the main political parties benefit when the plural nation is divided. This endeavour should be revived and the project, with a strong rural-emphasis. If the State is serious, a media blitz – both print and electronic – should begin on a daily basis until the message registers in the mind of all Sri Lankans.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
      0

      Thanks Brother !

  • 0
    0

    Senguttuvan

    ““We are Sri Lankans”

    Does it mean one nation as in

    Ein volk Ein reich Ein führer?

  • 0
    0

    Native Veddah,

    I am offering ideas for solutions and narrowing the gap. While in the
    neighbouring giant sub-continent Tamils, Telugus, Kannadas, Malayalees,
    Maharastrians, Punjabis, Gujaratis, Bengalis, Kashmiris and others are encouraged to identify with to claim their own nationhood and still respect and identify them as Indians compositely, I see no difficulty in our moving towards our own hoped-for unity using this example and calling us Sri Lankans. Unity certainly can flow from diversity.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
      0

      Senguttuvan

      Yes I get your point, which means unity in diversity.

      If past is anything to go by it looks Sri Lanka is heading towards Ein volk Ein reich Ein führer.

      I am not optimistic as you are.

  • 0
    0

    NV – I saw Sumanasekera’s comments to you (Jan 5 – 12/03 am) The answer
    is one flowed from the other and therefore for a serious student a study of the more antique could be a good starting point. Naturally, the Gunadasa Amerasekera, Nalin Silva, Ranawake from Patalipura, and the nouveau riche Booruwansa and a whole host of business-money inclined Buddhhist priests of the JHU variety this will be unacceptable. Because accepting history and the truth goes against their own existence and comfortable livelihood. Their agenda is to fool followers of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, particularly the rural and the less-littered, into believing the whole thing is a home-grown project.

    “Self-confessed authority” notes Sumane in his inherent prejudice which he mistakes for sarcasm. I am a student in many matters in the
    world and these fascinate me. So I study a little bit of them and seek to learn more.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
      0

      Senguttuvan

      I agree with you completely.

      I have two objectives in my life

      Reclaiming my land from illegal immigrants and reclaiming Buddhism from Sinhala/Buddhists.

      Please wish me luck.

  • 0
    0

    Will our friend Sumanasekera (Jan 05 – 12.03 PM) provide us with a List of Services the Buddha has on offer so that the insignificant
    Poosari next to the Buddhist shrine dying for a few coins, the man mentions, can also increase his Portfolio.

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
    0

    Work Towards a More National Minded Sri Lankan State
    Religion & Politics should not be mixed up.
    Today most Non Practicing Politicos don on Sheeps Clothing to win the hearts & minds of gullible voters!

    Our Voters should be more educated by the Middle Class intelligensia re Rupees & Cents, Bribery & Corruption,Exposure on “Deals”,Soaring Crime Rate, Dirty Politics, Etc Etc where especially leading opposition political Parties have failed to reach out to the normal citizens especially in the rural sectors where the average voter is most gullible.
    Journalists in the Print Media & Electronic media should be neutral like the\esteemed “Derana” as opposed to you what Radio Stations & TV Stations !!

    Today most have lost faith in political parties & hence a low Voter presence resulting in only about an average 50% Voter Turn Out.

    There should be a “Sri Lankan National Party” created with no religious or ethnic interest led by the Intelligensia with the non inclusion of “Goons” Should not be confused as a Western Anti National attempt, but solely as a Sri Lankan National Effort in order to bring Sanity to live in Peace with good governance !

    Just a thought !!

    POLITICAL ASSESSMENTS:
    A) Should All Politicians give a written record of their Annual
    Achievements & Failures to the Voters ?

    B) Even their Assets Declarations should be made Public ?

    Let us all Wake Up !!

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.