20 July, 2024

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Why System Change?

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

Thanks to the Aragalaya youth, their demand for system change has grown beyond its sloganeering stage and has become the single most important yet a controversial issue dominating political dialogue in this country. Although that dialogue is current within the erudite and politically awakened circles, it could spread widely across the nation as the election approaches and may even enter the political vocabulary of ordinary voters in its vernacular equivalent. The credit for this development should go to NPP, the child of aragalaya, for its firm commitment and resourceful campaign to make this change a historic reality. However, and as expected, the critics of system change who stand to benefit from retaining the status quo are directing their criticism not on the shape and content of NPP’s alternative but on JVP the leading component of NPP coalition and its leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD). These critics are engaged in a scare campaign to remind voters of JVP’s insurrectionary past and the mayhem resulted.  In doing so they are not only underestimating the intelligence of the new generation of voters who could distinguish between the objectives, programs and methodology of JVP in the past and its new NPP avatar, but also are hiding the fact that the mayhem was caused more by the reactionary forces ruling the country at that time than JVP itself.  Beyond this elementary truth the critics also do not want to concede that the mother of all crises in Sri Lanka is the socio-political system built on an ideology of Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism (SBC) born out of political Buddhism.     

Before proceeding further, one crucial point needs stressing to clear misunderstanding. It is not Buddhism that is in the dock but political Buddhism a local variant with political motives claiming to redress the injustice done to that faith under more than four centuries of Christian dominance. There is no question that Buddhism, which is not a religion in the Western sense, is a blessing to this paradise island and it is destined to remain the most dominant way of life and practice for the vast majority of Sri Lankans for centuries to come. In that sense, it is indestructible. But political Buddhism is narrow in its focus and is mainly concerned with converting the nation into a Sinhala Buddhist majoritarian fortress. To the idealogues of this political offshoot the pluralist polity of the island with ethnic and cultural diversity is a historical accident that needs to be corrected.  In trying to make that correction through democracy and party politics that ideology not only became the primary source of ethnic disharmony and national discontent since 1950s, but also a licenser to un-Buddhist ideals, behaviour and practices in the course of its existence.       

It was SWRD Bandaranaike who profited most from political Buddhism and paid a heavy price for doing so. Even the American CIA learnt from him how to manipulate Buddhism politically and profitably to chase out the Communist enemy from South East Asia. However, every government that came to power in Sri Lanka since then used Buddhism as cover to hide all their failings and the art of governance descended into a game of fortune hunting for many unscrupulous leaders in the name of protecting and promoting Buddhism. Corruption and crime, violence and chicanery, gerrymandering and judicial manipulation, maladministration and mismanagement were all tolerated in the name of protecting Sinhala Buddhist supremacy. In short, the noble teachings of the Buddha were shamelessly sacrificed and bargained for earthly benefits. As a result, the Sangha’s once virtuous image was seriously damaged. Moreover, the House of Parliament began to lose its aura and discipline and descended into an assembly of semi-educated and morally depraved fortune hunters with little respect for the discipline and decorum of that august body, the economy was driven to bankruptcy, pubic assets were plundered, communal harmony destroyed, human rights stampeded, judiciary lost its independence and the country as a whole descended into a state of chaos caught in a poly-crisis. Shouldn’t the system that was responsible for this carnage be removed and its upholders and managers replaced with another system which would be secularly democratic, economically just, and morally virtuous under a new generation of leaders? That is the challenge and choice voters will be confronting at the next election. In that sense, it is going to be a choice between NPP and any one or more from the rest.

In advocating system change, NPP is also confronted with the question of positioning Buddhism in the new system. While the art of governance and administration remain secular business there is no question of devaluing Buddhism or any religion for that matter from the primacy they hold among their respective practitioners. The new system has to respect that primacy, and the new leaders of whatever faith they belong to have to respect and accommodate the values of virtuosity emanating from those quarters. But there must be a line drawn by the constitution between the sphere of influence of the temporal authority and centres of the sacred. That separation does not mean demotion of the sacred. Whether one likes it or not Sri Lanka is and will remain a Buddhist country with or without government support.

But, the primary focus of the new system should not be the spiritual advancement of any community but the material upliftment of all communities. That cannot be done if communities are treated discriminatingly in the production and distribution of the national product. The political culture that developed on the back of political Buddhism produced a class of exploiters and parasites that went to bed with whatever government in power to enhance their private accumulation at the expense of public wellbeing. This class was not confined to any particular community but grew among all communities. As a result, more than seventy-five years of a distorted and corrupt democracy in the name of Buddhism only ended in widening the wealth gap between the minority have lots and majority have nots. The middle class has virtually disappeared from the scene. And each time when the economy was in crisis IMF was called upon to assist. It assisted sixteen times earlier and assisting now for the seventeenth. IMF is not a charitable organization but an institution established specifically to serve the interests of the rich and moneyed. Which country in the world that invited IMF for help ever succeeded in achieving robust growth with a political system ridden with nepotism and corruption?        

That is why NPP wants to introduce a new system as demanded by a new generation of Sri Lankans. Incidentally, today’s systemic crisis is not confined to Sri Lanka only. It is a universal phenomenon expressed in a variety of forms by the new generation. Accordingly, NPP wants to get rid of the current corrupt political culture through a social revolution, and replace it with a democratic society where economic and humanitarian justice would prevail. The economic shape and content of this new society would demand longer discussion which would be the subject for another occasion. For the moment, let me pick up just one but dominant fear spread by NPP’s critics.

The critics, in the course of praising the achievements of Ranil Wickeremesinghe (RW), are warning voters that IMF would pack up and run away if NPP were to come to power. This is a baseless argument which only exhibits the intellectual limitations of the scaremongers. NPP has always maintained that it would be working with IMF but on a renegotiated agenda focused on strengthening the productive capacity of local real sector. Unless the local economy produces an exportable surplus how on earth could Sri Lanka be freed from debt? The entire economic agenda of the new system should be centred in achieving that primary objective. Without economic independence political independence has no meaning. But in the name of achieving economic independence no government should mortgage the country’s political independence to foreign capital or foreign powers. What happened since 2023 under RW with IMF tutelage was just that. NPP’s new system should therefore chart a new direction to achieve economic independence without surrendering political independence. It is not impossible and could be achieved with support of the people. But to win that support the system must provide economic justice with democratic freedom and rule of law. It is only under such a system that minorities could live with dignity and without fear of institutionalized discrimination. A new constitution should be structured on that foundation.

The dying generation is a failed generation responsible for all the calamities the nation faced since independence.  If there were some positive developments they were achieved at heavy social cost. The past is full of errors and it is a pointless past time to enumerate and philosophize about them. The time has come to handover the baton to the new generation and be not foolish to underestimate its talent and commitment to remake Sri Lanka into an economically sustainable democracy with rule of law and without destroying the country’s cultural diversity like modern Singapore. They deserve a chance.  

*Dr. Ameer Ali, Business School, Murdoch University, W. Australia

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Latest comments

  • 17
    17

    As long as the Sangha is given a free hand, whether it is NPP or NPP/JVP will not be able to turn thing over. Sorry, Ameer Ali.
    If you wish to experiment with NPP, I cannot object, for no alternative is in the scene.

    • 4
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      Nathan, there is an alternative and that is to legally judge the robbers and recover the national wealth that belongs to people. Otherwise, a second aragalaya may do some harm also

      • 2
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        See what will happen to legal case against Piyumi Hansamali disgracing this nation.

    • 35
      15

      If true Buddhism – the essence of Buddha’s actual thoughts/teachings – is what has permeated Lankan society, Lanka will be the best place on earth.

      Starting with the Sangha, none of the Lankan “Buddhists” have a clue about Buddha’s thoughts/teachings ……… some sort of a funny “Buddhist” bird flutters in their brains: nothing more.

      And now here’s the rub …… I know bugger all about Buddha, but I’m a better Buddhist than 99.99% of Lankan “Buddhists.”

      Cause …… I don’t insult Buddha by using his name for all my crap.

      Strange but true!

      Greetings from Gdańsk.

      • 12
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        nimal fernando

        “Greetings from Gdańsk.”

        Say hello to Lech Wałęsa and his former comrades at Gdansk who bravely protested the commies headed by Wojciech Jaruzelski who was hated by Polish people and by Polish Pope John Paul II, the most right-wing pontiff in recent times.

        • 17
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          Native, saw the shipyard and also Walesa’s house. Gdansk and the surrounding places are beautiful.

          • 6
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            All that area was originally German. Gdansk was called was called Danzig in German. It was how you had to go to then German East Prussia and the east Prussian city of Konigsberg now renamed Kalin grad in Russian and incorporated into Russia. After the second world war around 9 million Germans were forced to move out of Danzig and East Prussian and other parts to what is modern Germany as these once German areas were made part of Poland and Russia.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_City_of_Danzig
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Prussia
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evacuation_of_East_Prussia

      • 12
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        nimal fernando

        “Cause …… I don’t insult Buddha by using his name for all my crap.”

        You don’t have to insult Buddha if and when you are angry with Sinhala/Buddhists.
        Here is an opportunity to insult a Sinhala/Buddhist:

        “Cardinal: Bridge project poses danger to sovereignty and Independence of Sri LankaPublished 16 hours ago on 2024/06/24”
        https://island.lk/

        “Our history is full of instances where invaders came from South India from time to time to capture parts of this country to rule them. On each occasion, the Sinhala kings had to mobilise armies to get rid of them and liberate those areas. Now, the government in power is proposing to build a land bridge connecting Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. This certainly would end up with this country becoming a part of Tamil Nadu,” the Cardinal said.

        Do you still believe freedom of speech is a good thing especially for men of clothe?

        • 15
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          The Cardinal’s family is from the recently Tamil northwest coast of the island, that converted to a Sinhalese identity two generations ago. From where his family originated from, most probably from a fishing village in Southern Tamil Nadu or from Southern Kerala, that was Tamil too at that time. He like more than half the present-day Sinhalese are descended from post 15th century immigrants from then Tamil South India, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and a few from Southern Andhra, which was also Tamil, before the British created the Madras state and millions of Telugus from further north migrated into the then northern Tamil lands, converting once Tamil Tirupathi, Nellore and many other places, from Tamil predominating to Telugu predominating.

          • 15
            17

            So what is this racist man who once supported the Rajapakse’s and lies to the UN and the Vatican with regards to what happened to the island’s Tamils and the war crimes committed on them in 2009 howling about Tamil Nadu, from where is his ancestors and the ancestors of the vast majority of the present-day Sinhalese originated from? He called the island’s Tamil traitors or something similar for demanding an international investigation with regards to war crimes committed against them by the Sri Lankan state and armed forces but is now jumping up and down demanding an international investigation, as around 150 Sinhalese Catholics, were killed during the 2019 Easter bombing. One rule for Tamils and another for the Sinhalese, he did not care two hoots about the thousands of Tamils Catholics who died in May 2009 and took his own time to even visit the Tamil Church in Batticaloa that was also bombed, most probably because all the victims were Tamil Protestants. What sort of religious person or Cardinal is this, dabbling in racist politics, like the Buddhist clergy?

            • 13
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              Invaders from South India/Tamil Nadu! Why from where his ancestor originated from and the also the ancestors of the vast majority of the present-day Sinhalese? The answer is Tamil Nadu and then from what and then Tamil Kerala. Not from Bengal Odisha or any part of north west India like they love to claim and if there is migration from these areas was minimal and lone North Indian prince with 700 of his rowdy companions and their 701 Pandian Tamil wives would have not have made any dent into the local Tamil Dravidian population that already existed here, and after this one off migration all other migration to the island from prehistoric to modern times, was from then Tamil South India. The Carinal should learn history properly instead uttering racist rubbish, especially when he is of recent South Indian origin. South Indian invaders! These so called South Indian invaders were the close relatives of the So-called Sinhalese monarchs who themselves were of local or South Indian Tamil origin. Just because they converted to Buddhism and took Pali names/titles does not mean they were Sinhalese, they still retained their Tamil clan or family names like Naga, Pandu( Padian) or Bahu( another common Pandian title).

              • 14
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                Other than the Cholas most of these South Indian invaders, were not even invaders but were invited by the local monarchs, who were the close relatives of these invaders to settle a dispute with regards to who ascends the throne and the so-called army the local kings assembled to chase the so called South Indian invaders, were themselves from South India and hardly recruited from local Sinhalese. What rubbish is this man uttering. Many of these South Indian invaders and the South Indian army recruited by the local kings to fight the so call South Indian invaders all settled down and largely converted themselves to the Sinhalese identity. This cross-dressing cardinal should stick to saying mass and not dabble in things he hardly knows of and not rabble rouse creating racist anti Tamil feelings. Not very Christian.
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demala-Gattara

        • 17
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          Native,
          “Cardinal: Bridge project poses danger to sovereignty and Independence “
          I can’t believe that such an idiot achieved the rank of Cardinal.
          Doesn’t he know that this is the 21’st century, and if they want to invade, the Indians don’t need a bridge, but can arrive at Galle Face in an hour?
          Anyway, this is rich, coming from a descendant of Indian immigrants.
          You figure Lester is the Cardinal in disguise?

        • 17
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          Native, in SorryLanka, Cardinal or prelate, are all the same. With the current politicians and voter mentality , system change will end up like, those commissions. ( all Lankans are very familiar with )

        • 16
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          Native.
          The Cardinal who leads the Catholic Church seems to have forgotten the Portugese invaders who left behind their legacy and Cardinal Malcom Ranjith is their spiritual leader.
          Soon we will have Political Catholism in addition to Political Buddhism

          • 14
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            Plato

            “Soon we will have Political Catholism in addition to Political Buddhism”

            Political Buddhism is known as Sinhala/Buddhism.
            Political Catholism should be renamed as Sinhala/Catholicism.

            By the way the cross dresser Malcom completely forgotten it was the 3000 Lascarins (the indigenous soldiers who fought for the Portuguese during the Portuguese era (1505–1658) and continued to serve as colonial soldiers until the 1930s ) who helped the Portuguese forces used to concur Jaffna.

            There is no need for Hindian forces to cross the Palk Strait.

            Immediately after the end of the war our SURGEON GENERAL Svendra Silva hosted a conference on strategic studies. It was one of the Hindian top Naval luminary who reminded our General, Hindia could flatten the entire Sri Lankan military/naval installations within 24 hours.

          • 0
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            Plato, you are suggesting a local pope. as Political Catholicism

    • 21
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      Nobody, not even the JVP, will take on the monks.

      • 25
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        “Joining this chauvinist campaign, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) general secretary Tilvin Silva told a press conference that Edirisooriya had “no right to hurt the religious beliefs that are being embodied within hearts of people” and “such actions do not come under the freedom of expression.” Silva denounced the comedian (Natasha Edirisooriya) for paving the way for the world to “defame our country.”
        So, what price “system change” from the JVP?

        • 20
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          old codger

          “So, what price “system change” from the JVP?”

          This is what I am on about.

          Heart to heart, members of JVP/NPP are Sinhala/Buddhist racists, who are accustomed to everything Sinhala/Buddhism ( culture ), like the other parties and its members, they too want to protect Sinhala/Buddhism at any cost and its political value, …..

          Even Ranil wants to protect Sinhala/Buddhism and the constitution.

          He forgets precisely these are the two reasons why the country has been dragged to the state of bankruptcy and ruin by its politicians and by Saffronistas.

  • 26
    2

    Although kept under wraps due to the ignorance and gullibility of the hordes, the NPP will generally treat all religions equally as their philosophy is very egalitarian and based on social justice. One profound event in this regard was that Anura Kumara Dissanayake had removed the pirith nool tied to his wrist by a temple monk as he left the premises. Unfortunately, the media recorded it and the hoi polloi erupted a bit over that “sacrilegious” act. Most people in sri lanka are not practicing Buddhists. They lie every day, steal or misappropriate when available, carry on extra-marital affairs and imbibe in alcohol (as much as 40% of the adult male population are alcoholics) while hoping that the pirith nool will give some sort of protection. The Buddha has only said that those who practice his teachings will be protected by it (a hilariously ironic motto that the utterly corrupt, murderous police wear on their uniform sleeves). Buddhism in sri lanka is just a slogan and marketing tool, and not least, a rallying call for bigotry and discrimination.

    • 4
      12

      LP:
      “Although kept under wraps due to the ignorance and gullibility of the hordes, the NPP will generally treat all religions equally as their philosophy is very egalitarian and based on social justice.”

      In other words, the NPP is keeping their intention to “treat all religions equally” under wraps for fear that if that intention were declared openly in public the “ignorant” and “gullible” “hordes” would not vote for them? Doesn’t that smack of bad faith? Further, if they lack the courage of their convictions now, what guarantee they would act differently when in power?

      The constitution already guarantees equality to all religions while giving Buddhism the “foremost place” (Article 9). In theory it is a case all being equal but some being more “equal” than others.

      Some one can correct me if I am wrong, but at a practical level I have not seen any non-Buddhist religion in this country discriminated against by the Government and their rights under Article 10 and 14 (1) (e) violated. For example, all non-Buddhist religions have the freedom to have processions in public roads (think of Vel carts in Colombo streets) and so inconvenience other users of roads.

      Continued.

      • 12
        13

        “but at a practical level I have not seen any non-Buddhist religion in this country discriminated against by the Government and their rights”

        Right, there is no discrimination against non-Buddhists from the “Buddhist” side. There may be ethnic discrimination, which is a different matter. The fact is, there is a strong apathy towards Buddhism among Christians in general. That is because proselytism is at the heart and center of Christianity. It creates a binary (us vs them) with non-Christians at the bottom of the pecking order. If you don’t believe me, it’s written all over the Bible, which I will not quote here.

        • 5
          1

          Hello Lester,
          There is no mention of the Buddha or Buddhism in the Bible. Some Christians claim that Jesus himself took some of his ideology from Buddhism – see Schopenhauer, Zachariasis Thundy and Michael Lockwood. I have heard some Muslims complaining that Buddhists worship “Idols”, but I think this is a misunderstanding of Buddhist relationship to statues of the Buddha. Other than that there is the Ten Commandments regarding worshiping “Graven Images”. Not to be nit-picking but “strong apathy” is an oxymoron – ask Sinhala_Man.
          Best regards

          • 12
            10

            Hello LankaScot,

            This is from the Bible: Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV): “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” It is a direct command from the Bible to convert others. So this is the irony. The Good Fathers are encouraging the Flock on Sundays to recruit new members ( taking a 10% commission simultaneously) from amongst the heathen, while on this platform and others, some participants are crying foul about Buddhist “fundamentalism.”

            “Some Christians claim that Jesus himself took some of his ideology from Buddhism”

            I have heard this too. That Jesus was an Essene, a sect influenced by Buddhism. Furthermore, he spent some time living in India (maybe it smelled better at the time). Regardless, Christianity is just a mixture of Jewish laws, Jewish philosophy, and pagan rituals. The only significant difference between Judaism and Christianity – Jews are still waiting for the “Messiah.” Per Nietzsche: “the last Christian died on the Cross.”

            By the way, Columbus deserves a Darwin award. Mixing up S. America with the East Indies: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x85zw6t

            • 4
              2

              Hello Lester,
              In 1492, apart from the Welsh and the Vikings (and possibly the Irish), no-one in Europe had any idea that there were continents to the West (North & South America) so Columbus didn’t mix anything up. They genuinely believed by going round the world that they had arrived at some part of India. By the way did you see the Wooden Sheaves and ropes in your link. If you can pull a heavy Mainsail up by this method you could also pull buckets of water😉.
              I still ask the question where is Buddhism mentioned in the Bible?
              And another – how did Buddhism arrive in Sri Lanka maybe it was Osmosis? All Religions proselytise, some more direct than others, or they would wither away.
              Best regards

              • 8
                12

                LS,
                “And another – how did Buddhism arrive in Sri Lanka maybe it was Osmosis?”
                The last thing some would want to openly admit is that they are fans of an Indian religion.

                • 3
                  1

                  old codger, it is the truth that Siddartha Gautama was an Indian who died in India.

                  • 6
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                    DTG,
                    There are some who would claim that there were no “Indians” at the time.

                  • 9
                    7

                    davidthegood,

                    There was no “India” at that time. So we cannot call Siddartha Gautama as “Indian.” It’s like calling a Viking a “Norwegian.”

                    • 7
                      9

                      Didn’t I tell you, DTG?
                      “There was no “India” at that time. “
                      But the smarty-pants doesn’t know that it equally applies to his own rants:
                      “Columbus was in the Caribbean, yet he thought he was in the vicinity of Java”
                      One can say that the Caribbean didn’t exist at the time. What a jackass.

                    • 1
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                      Lester, sorry I had no interest to follow up and hence can’t answer

              • 10
                10

                Hello LankaScot,

                Columbus was in the Caribbean, yet he thought he was in the vicinity of Java or South/Southeast Asia and named the inhabitants “Indians.” That’s a mix-up or equivalently, a grave error.
                Regarding the wooden shaves and ropes, well, this was 1492. You must have seen the rifles and horses. The Europeans would have gotten the idea for gunpowder from the Chinese, along with much more. In fact, by the 9th century, the Chinese had started using gunpowder for military purposes, such as in primitive bombs and incendiary devices. Even with gunpowder, it took the Europeans around 300 years to capture your current location (Kandy) and this too required a “kotiya.” The horses I mentioned are important. It’s doubtful that without horses, the Europeans could have conquered the vast expanse of North America. Smallpox also played a crucial role, wiping out millions of “natives.” Where is the UNHRC report?

                “…mentioned in the Bible?”

                A better question would be whether people in Judea (Bible times) had knowledge of Buddhism. Since the Bible is essentially the history of the Jewish people.

                “All Religions proselytise”

                Out of all the major religions, only Christianity and Islam emphasize proselytism relative to fundamental doctrine.

                • 0
                  1

                  Lester, from what I know of Jews, they are the last to accept Buddhism as Buddha denied the existence of a Creator God. Don’t know what he thought was the origin of man in his enlightened mind. That should relate to where humans go after death. The more the samsara, the more the sins we carry. Jesus came to take away our sins. If all think we can shove our sins to the winds, watch out.

                • 5
                  11

                  “Even with gunpowder, it took the Europeans around 300 years to capture your current location (Kandy) “
                  Total BS. The Dutch occupied Kandy in 1766, and withdrew when most coastal regions were ceded to them.
                  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kandyan%E2%80%93Dutch_war_(1764%E2%80%931766)#:~:text=The%20Dutch%2DKandy%20War%20of,Sri%20Lanka%20to%20Dutch%20control.
                  Also, the Sinhalese did have gunpowder and firearms themselves, obtained from Indian allies like the Zamorin of Calicut, who even supplied his navy to fight the Portuguese. Such details are of course are anathema to one-sided racists.

                  • 11
                    6

                    No need to reply to nonsense from Old Loser, permanent ignore.

                    • 5
                      5

                      Get caught lying, run away.

                    • 5
                      5

                      Or even better, upvote yourself 🤣🤣🤣

              • 1
                1

                LankaScot, you ask where Buddhism is mentioned in the Bible. It is not mentioned in the Bible

                • 5
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                  OC, CT has never been this much fun before.

                  • 5
                    4

                    Chiv,
                    Lester is so thin-skinned. He desperately wants to be taken seriously. Such fun bashing him.🤣

            • 2
              1

              Lester, Jesus was not an Essene but a Nazarene. He never took on any atheistic beliefs like in Buddhism as he knew his Father Creator God Jehovah and free from other idol gods.

            • 6
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              “Columbus deserves a Darwin award. Mixing up S. America with the East Indies”
              Why bash the people who took the initiative to try and find the route?
              If the Sinhala Buddhists had “discovered” Spain, would the story have been any different?

          • 12
            10

            “I have heard some Muslims complaining that Buddhists worship “Idols”

            The history of Islam is complex and far-reaching. Buddhism and Hinduism are more far reaching than most people would imagine. Buddhism and Hinduism used to be widespread in Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and even the Middle East. Islam conquered these places through the sword. Idolatry is the prime “offense” in Islam, so they attempted to wipe out any traces of earlier religions, starting with Muhammed smashing 360 idols when he conquered Mecca in 630 CE and up to the ISIS (present-day) who destroyed ancient statues in Syria and Iraq. But even in Islam, this process was not perfect. I have heard that Kabaa is really a Shiva temple. Hajj is done in one white cloth, removing head hairs, 7 rounds of Kaaba, drinking holy water, and observing austerity during Hajj travel are all Hindu practices. Even the crescent moon is seen in depictions of Shiva’s head.

            ““strong apathy” is an oxymoron”

            Not in the context of the sentence, no.

          • 1
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            Lester, LankaScot did you know that the Buddha was once worshiped all over Europe as St Josaphat? https://theconversation.com/how-the-buddha-became-a-christian-saint-142285

            • 10
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              Hello Paul,

              Here is a map of the Eastern Hemisphere of the world in 1000 AD: https://www.worldhistorymaps.info/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/map-1000ad-scaled.jpg. Considering the size and population of the “Chola Empire” at the time, it’s a wonder that Sri Lanka (Lambakannas) was not overwhelmed. A lot of energy and resources would have been “invested” in forming alliances and waging warfare to keep the invaders out. You can also see that the Islamic influence was widespread by 1000 AD.

            • 1
              2

              Paul, don’t talk nonsense. Buddha never knew Jesus who was born long after Buddha’s death. 2Cor. 13,13 “All the saints greet you” Believers were called saints by Paul and other disciples in the church but not in OT times. Buddha did not believe in God and not a saint.

              • 1
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                Hello DTG,
                He didn’t claim that Buddha knew Jesus, but many Christian Scholars have pointed out many parallels.
                Best regards

                • 0
                  1

                  LankaScot, Buddha could not be worshipped as a saint, which name was used only after Jesus and not in OT times that the Buddha was known.

                  • 0
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                    LankaScot, St. Josaphat was a genuine, living real person as the Patron saint of Ukraine and should not be robbed to be called a Buddha worshipping equal

                    • 1
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                      Hello DTG,
                      That was not the one referenced by Paul. The Patron Saint of Ukraine was a real man Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr – 1580 – 1623. The one mentioned by Paul predates the Ukrainian one by at least 1000 years. Another Biblical Jehosaphat was the fourth king of Judah and sometimes called Josaphat.
                      In Pauls Link – https://theconversation.com/how-the-buddha-became-a-christian-saint-142285
                      “The Legend of Barlaam and Josaphat” Barlaam and Josaphat were included in earlier editions of the Roman Martyrology with a joint feast day on 27 November” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barlaam_and_Josaphat
                      Please read the links if only from a historical perspective.
                      Best regards

          • 3
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            LankaScot, Buddhism name came long after the OT bible was written as Siddhartha Gautama was still a Hindu when he died and was cremated. In the NT bible with Jesus coming in, there was no need for another religious teacher communing with Jehovah.

            • 2
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              DTG, Nonsense!

            • 10
              8

              davidthegood,

              The Buddha rejected Vedic Brahmanism, essentially he rejected the authority of the priesthood in Hinduism and so by default he rejected that religion or philosophy. There is a famous sutra where Buddha tells the Brahmins to bugger off. It is similar to Jesus, who rejected the Pharisees and high priests. That is why the Jews asked for his head when Pontius gave the choice of execution. An organized religion must have a hierarchy and at the head of the hierarchy is the priest. To be a legitimate member of said religion, you must accept the authority of the priest. Buddhism is different; at the fundamental level, there is no priest, and no authority. Even at a practical level, one can be a practicing “Buddhist” without the involvement of monks.

              • 0
                2

                Lester, to be legitimate, you have to obey the law whether given through a priest or any other leader. The error here is that in thinking you are a god, you cannot obey the law.

              • 2
                0

                Hello Lester,
                The Hindus had a good case for arresting the Buddha for Blasphemy (from your point of view). Sunni Islam doesn’t have an official head akin to the Ayatollas.
                Both Sunni and Shia have Mullahs or Imams that lead prayers etc.
                “Mullahs with varying levels of training lead prayers in mosques, deliver religious sermons, and perform religious ceremonies such as birth rites and funeral services. They also often teach in a type of Islamic school known as a madrasah”
                Now please tell me who leads the Funeral Services in Buddhism? I know personally the “Hamuduruwo” of the Elpitiya Temple. He conducted the Ceremony for my Stepson’s 1 year Death Anniversary, 3 days ago, in conjunction with the 6 other Buddhist monks ( bhikkhu) that took part.
                Best regards

                • 7
                  11

                  The key to all this is that Lester is no Buddhist. Like everything else, he argues about Buddhism from a theoretical standpoint, not the actual reality on the ground. He considers himself a “Buddhist “, but there is no evidence that he practices the religion.

                  • 5
                    8

                    old codger

                    “He considers himself a “Buddhist “, but there is no evidence that he practices the religion.”

                    Then he must be a Sinhala/Buddhist racist.

                    • 3
                      5

                      Native,
                      He isn’t a Buddhist because he doesn’t know what a “dana” is, and he isn’t a Sinhalese because he thinks Cyril Mathew was a Christian.

                • 10
                  4

                  Hello LankaScot,

                  It’s doubtful they could arrest the Buddha at that time, as he hailed from the powerful Shakya clan.

                  “who leads the Funeral Services in Buddhism?”

                  Of course, this is done by a monk. But it is not entirely correct to think of a Buddhist monk as a priest. In the Abrahamic religions, the priest is an intermediary between the divine and the earthly (human). There is no such “divine” in Buddhism. Monks cannot exorcise demons or raise people from the dead or make Buddha’s name appear on an apple or create fish and chips out of potato salad. Monks have no special power. Buddha did not claim to have any special powers either, although he did see into his past lives (Digha Nikaya).

                  https://www.seekerspath.co.uk/question-bank/miscellaneous/q-id0506-what-should-be-done-with-fruit-that-has-the-name-of-allah-on-it/

                  “They also often teach in a type of Islamic school known as a madrasah”

                  Yes, they have these in Pakistan. The students essentially memorize Quran for up to 12 hours a day. That’s all they do. This is the only subject they study. Orthodox Jews have a similar thing; they study Torah, Talmud, prayers and legal code. That is essentially their entire education for many of them.

          • 2
            1

            Dear LankaScot & Lester,
            .
            Perhaps Lester owns a Dictionary which lists “apathy” as “a deep-seated feeling of aversion”.
            .
            I wonder what definition is given for “antipathy”.
            .
            Please, Lester, you know that I don’t usually make fun of you, don’t you?
            .
            Start thinking! I must confess that in days of yore when I used to teach English I used to get confused myself; not so often now!
            .
            Does that mean, as “leelagemalli” accuses me, that I don’t respond positively when asked for help? Yes, almost! I have to, if I’m to hold on to my sanity!
            .
            Tell me if you don’t understand what I have said, I’ll add a little more.
            .
            Making the occasional mistake is human; I try not to ridicule, but what I have written here, (@21:57, is rather tongue in cheek.
            .
            Best regards,
            .
            Panini

            • 11
              8

              Sinhala_Man,

              In this case “apathy” refers to “indifference.” The colonialists were not interested in “Buddhism” except on a superficial level. So there is no oxymoron as LS suggested.

              On a side note, the English language is interesting but rather boring compared to programming.

              int max_value = (a > b) ? ((a > c) ? a : c) : ((b > c) ? b : c);

              Here you can use something called “ternary operators” to determine the greatest of three numbers. More interesting than Shakespeare.

              • 10
                11

                Which is more delicious, Lester? Apple or Oranges?
                When you are deaf, no harm being dumb!

                • 12
                  11

                  Nathan,

                  You don’t have any valid argument, so you are engaging in confirmation bias by writing pro-LTTE propaganda. Just know you’ll never have .0000001% of devolution, regardless of the decibel level.

                  • 8
                    11

                    For someone who doesn’t have a worthwhile argument, LTTE bashing comes natural!
                    You tell, of all people Sinhala_Man, that “apathy” refers to “indifference.” How audacious!!

                    • 7
                      11

                      … you’ll never have .0000001% of devolution,
                      See how you compelled LTTE to take up arms.

                    • 9
                      6

                      Indifference is just a synonym for apathy. That’s why there’s no “oxymoron.” Just replace “apathy” with “indifference” and the meaning is exactly the same. If you can’t understand this, it’s not my fault. And a “degree” in “English” means nothing. Someone can write a PhD on Mary Poppins or Teletubbies, there is zero value.

                  • 7
                    9

                    Lester

                    ” Just know you’ll never have .0000001% of devolution”

                    How did you work it out with .0000001% of your functioning brain?

                    • 9
                      5

                      Native,

                      Now that you have mastered the alphabet and basic vocabulary, consisting of three words, “Sinhala-Buddhist racist”, it’s time to move on to counting. At this rate, Vedda’s will master Microsoft Word by 4060. You have my full support in this endeavor.

                • 6
                  12

                  Nathan,
                  “Which is more delicious, Lester? “
                  Which is more ridiculous, Nathan, Lester’s hang-ups with Java or his hang-ups with suicide bombers?

              • 2
                0

                Hello Lester,
                “Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself”. Could be good advice to you from Shakespeare.
                And one for DTG – “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose”.
                For those that are not programmers you have missed some bits. In C++ this might make a little more sense
                int main()
                {

                // Variable declaration
                int n1 = 5, n2 = 10, n3 = 15, max;

                // Largest among n1, n2 and n3
                max = (n1 > n2) ?
                (n1 > n3 ? n1 : n3) :
                (n2 > n3 ? n2 : n3);

                // Print the largest number
                cout << "Largest number among "
                << n1 << ", " << n2 << " and "
                << n3 << " is " << max << "." ;
                I started with MS Basic, then I learned some LISP for Autocad. I found out pretty soon that programming was not for me, I wasn't Autistic enough.
                TBC

                • 3
                  0

                  Continued,
                  I was standing at a Bar in the UK with a friend, when his neighbour (I had never met him) walked in and joined us. I looked down at his black leather shoes and asked him what Business he was in. He replied “I am in the Insurance Business” I said “No you’re not you’re in the CID. Do you know that’s an example of an oxymoron”. (Criminal Intelligence Department) He was lost for words, but later forgave me when I bought him a “Pint”
                  Best regards

                • 7
                  6

                  Hello LankaScot,

                  Not bad, you have the right idea minus a few syntax errors. There are about 6 different ways to get the result. The first way is the most obvious; you have 3 variables, so 3 conditionals will suffice. You can also use ternary, bubble sort algorithm, max_function (part of the standard library), or a vector or an array. This one is pretty straightforward, try writing code to get the LCF or HCM – more intriguing.

                  https://www.onlinegdb.com/

                  • 6
                    5

                    *LCM

            • 7
              6

              Sinhala_Man,

              Also, I did an experiment. I searched for “S. Thomas’ College, Gurutalawa – Church of Ceylon” on Google Maps. I have not been to this area for a very long time. The images along B48 Rd shows a large Muslim presence. I think you know the area well, so I would like your opinion. I am curious, because some commentators here are talking about “Buddhist fundamentalism.” This is an odd kind of fundamentalism if the land and shops are being bought up by Muslims. I remember a similar thing in 2002, on a trip to the East. Kms of shops owned by Muslims.

              • 10
                11

                Why don’t you try counting how many Muslim shops there are along the Kandy Road from Peliyagoda to Eldeniya? There is a Muslim population but no shops. The same with Tamil shops. Muslims (and Tamils ) set up in business where they feel safe. Both Colombo city and Bandarawela have mixed populations, so Buddhist hegemony can’t operate. Look at Pettah. Go try your fake “experiments” on people who don’t know these areas.

                • 3
                  0

                  Hello OC
                  In Qatar many Americans and British live in Gated Housing Complexes. This is mostly because the houses come with Maintenance Contracts. Saudi was the same. I lived in the old City Centre Doha al Jadeeda because I am anti-social (joke). I actually don’t like the Cliques that develop in the Housing Complexes. In the UK many of the big cities in the Midlands have large Muslim/SouthAsian populations concentrated in areas where the Factories and Mills were located. Nowadays the highest immigrant populations are in Luton, Leicester, Slough and London with London the highest at nearly 50%.
                  Gampola and Gelioya have many Muslim shops and there are small villages with mainly Muslim/Tamil people. If they don’t have whatever I am looking for the they will direct me to a suitable shop (Sinhala or Muslim).
                  Best regards

                  • 8
                    5

                    Hello LankaScot,

                    Why don’t you state the obvious, that a certain group of people (you can figure it out) don’t practice birth control? They also do a lot of inbreeding, why is their IQ is rather low, on average. For the record, their percentage in Bham is now 30%. Caliphate, any day now.

                    By the way, I presume you know how to fact-check. It’s tiresome to point out every lie from this individual, who we can fathom, from his comments, is likely a Muslim. Now he says the Dutch captured Kandy and gives a link (Wikipedia) which also states the Dutch never captured Kandy. Definition of mental retardation?

                    “Although the Dutch managed to capture most of the coastal areas in Sri Lanka, they were never able to control the Kingdom of Kandy located in the interior of the island.”

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Ceylon

                    By the way, I have relatives and other acquaintances in SL. So of course I know the on-going demographic changes. They don’t post here, so I asked Sinhala_Man to confirm what I already know.

                    • 6
                      5

                      “The Dutch-Kandy War of 1764-1766 marked a military conflict between the Dutch East India Company and the Kingdom of Kandy, culminating in the occupation of Kandy by Dutch forces and the subsequent transfer of the entire coastal territory of Sri Lanka to Dutch control.”
                      Apparently the jungle programmer cum plumber is not that good in English. The Dutch occupation of Kandy was not permanent, but it resulted in a a Sinhalese defeat, plus it didn’t take 300 years. The Dutch did capture Kandy, so the jungle genius is caught lying again, as he does about his UK residency.
                      “By the way, I have relatives and other acquaintances in SL”
                      Yes, a few monkeys 🤣🤣🤣🤣

                    • 2
                      0

                      Hello Lester,
                      In the UK we call them Catholics. Have a look at a Monty Python Film called the “Meaning of Life” that makes fun of Catholicism and the Protestant Faith. No they were not arrested.
                      As far as IQ is concerned I have always considered it as overrated.We used to do the pencil test to estimate IQ. One person grips the pencil in their clenched hand. The person being tested brings his clenched hand level and close to the other persons hand, face to face. The pencil is dropped. If the person being tested manages to catch the pencil before it hits the ground it shows his/her reaction speed, which has been shown to correlate with IQ. I am sure that you could devise an equation to relate IQ to distance traveled taking acceleration into consideration (only joking).
                      Have a look at this article that questions the use of AI to replace Human Tasks in the near future – it will take longer than you think. It also questions the assertion that IQ is fixed and not affected by Technology https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/04/29/technology-is-on-the-rise-while-iq-is-on-the-decline/
                      Best regards

                    • 5
                      6

                      Hello LankaScot,

                      “As far as IQ is concerned I have always considered it as overrated.”

                      The government of Japan is paying young women $1900 USD to freeze their eggs in an effort to increase the birthrate. Japan does not want to invite hordes of low-skilled, low IQ immigrants. The average Japanese IQ is 106.48. The other solution for Japan is automation, e.g. robots and automation for industry and manufacturing.
                      In the article you gave, it says, “”People are getting dumber. That’s not a judgment; it’s a global fact.” I’ve said the same thing many times. If people are getting dumber, what does that tell us about free speech? We can conclude that free speech does not necessarily result in a higher IQ. Listening to Natasha and Father Jerome will not make you smarter.

                    • 4
                      5

                      “They also do a lot of inbreeding, why is their IQ is rather low, on average”
                      The other hang-up, other people’s IQ, which is always lower than some jungle resident plumbers.
                      A cursory visit to Pettah (or even Bandarawela) will show that “people of low IQ” own flourishing businesses, while those claiming high IQ are swatting flies in the jungle. Perhaps having a low IQ is better?

                    • 5
                      5

                      “Yes, a few monkeys.”

                      Why are you hiding your identity? Isn’t this what you believe?

                      “(5:60) Then say to them: ‘Shall I tell you about those whose retribution with Allah is even worse? They are the ones whom Allah has cursed, and who incurred His wrath and some of whom were changed into apes and swine, and who served the false deities.”

                      For readers who don’t understand, Muhammed tried to convert the Jews many times, but failed miserably. So at the end, they are turned into apes and monkeys. Welcome to the life story of OC.

                    • 4
                      2

                      Ooh, little Lester is upset! Little Lester thinks I called him a monkey. No, Lester’s cousin may be one, but even his cousin suffers from high IQ, and spouts Java at the drop of a hat.

                    • 3
                      2

                      “They also do a lot of inbreeding, “
                      I would consider that to be better than no breeding at all.

                  • 6
                    5

                    LS,
                    Yes, I was watching a doc about Bradford and its cotton mills the other day. Here the situation is a bit different. 60 years ago, lots of businesses all over the country were minority-owned. Like the Patels in UK, they were just better at running businesses . But most were burnt out in various riots, and never came back due to undercover pressures from majority-dominated “merchants associations “.
                    Even now, the big importers are minority owned, but based safely in Pettah mostly.
                    Also the biggest exporters and industrialists, though they tend to operate under innocuous names nowadays.

                • 7
                  8

                  I asked Sinhala_Man for his opinion, I don’t care about the useless opinions of LTTE supporters too embarrassed to admit their ethnicity.

                  • 7
                    1

                    Lester, why not u see a doctor?
                    Is it not obvious our sinhalaya s don’t care the rights of the minorities?
                    How long would u take to open ur eyes?😳

                    • 6
                      5

                      LM
                      Don’t insult the Sinhalese. This guy isn’t one.

                    • 4
                      6

                      Leela,

                      I mostly look at data, since human perception is a poor predictor of future performance. Earlier I thought a multi-cultural society was beneficial, but that may not necessarily be the case. “One recent poll showed one-third of Germans believed the country was “overrun by foreigners”. It also found 55% of Germans believed that Arabs are “unpleasant people”, compared with the 44% who held the opinion seven years ago.”
                      The problem is not multiculturalism itself, but the quality of the immigrants. If people are praying 5 times a day and having 10 wives at home, while enjoying free housing from the government, this will put a strain on social welfare. It’s just common sense. Finally Merkel (who is a brilliant lady) realized this and said “This [multicultural] approach has failed, utterly failed.”
                      One solution for Sri Lanka is to de-populate. Not Nazi style, Rwanda style is better. Some groups are having homelands elsewhere, let’s give them visas for a permanent exit. Israel pays African migrants $3500 to leave the country. The official policy of Israel is to ensure a Jewish majority. Sri Lanka needs to follow a similar strategy before its too late.

                  • 7
                    5

                    So, what is your esteemed “ethnicity”? Hybrid?

            • 6
              5

              SM,
              “And a “degree” in “English” means nothing. Someone can write a PhD on Mary Poppins or Teletubbies, there is zero value.”
              I think you can see the arrogance in that statement. Only Lester the fake plumber’s fake degrees have value.🤣🤣

              • 2
                3

                Jesus said, “beware of false prophets.” You know, like the kind who have 13 wives, ages 6-70.

        • 11
          11

          Really! the Vel cart may be allowed to on a procession on public roads in Colombo, but in many ancient Saivite shrines in the north and east, where Hindus are in a majority and the homeland of Saivism/Hinduism on the island(Not Colombo or the Sinhalese south) Tamil Hindus are now allowed to worship. Despite court’s orders allowing them, to worship at these sites. As Sinhalese Buddhist Fascists and the fake Archeological department is now claiming that these places are all ancient Sinhalese Buddhist sites and Hindu Tamils should not be allowed to worship at these places, therefore the Sinhalese Police and armed forces are attacking all Tamil Hindu worshipers attending these Hindu temples, especially during Hindu holy days and arresting them on all sorts of trumped-up charges, despite the courts allowing them to worship.

          • 12
            11

            However, they allow racist Sinhalese Monks, out of area Sinhalese Buddhist racists and troublemakers to come in busloads to these ancient Hindu temple sites, now disputed and worship, chant Pirith and taunt and annoy the local Tamil Hindus, in contravention to court orders. So where is the freedom of worship. The funny thing is one well known Sinhalese Buddhist Fascist and hardliner who constantly writes for an extremely well known and hardline Sinhalese racist website, has openly stated that the Buddhist ruins in Kurunthoor Malai belong to Mahayana sect and so do all the other ancient Buddhist sites in the north and east. This means these sites were never Sinhalese Buddhists sites, as the Sinhalese from ancient times, never belonged to the Mahayana Buddhist sect but only to the Theravada Sect. Whereas the ancient Tamil Buddhists belonged to both sects and is these ruins belong to Mahayana sect there were never Sinhalese at all as now falsely claimed. They had always belonged to the Tamils Hindu or Buddhist. There is no record of Sinhalese ever living in these areas and they only arrived after independence, deliberately settled by the Sri Lankan state to alter the demography of these Tamil areas.

            • 10
              11

              In the east native Tamil and Tamilised Hindus, who are the real owners of the east, are constantly being harassed by fake Arab immigrant South Indian Tamil origin Muslims, who arrived in the Tamil east as refugees a few centuries ago claiming to be Tamil. Now Islamic extremists and Muslim politicians and their supporters aided and abetted by the Sri Lankan state. Especially in areas where they are now in a majority or a sizeable minority. Religious freedom indeed. May be for certain religions and certain ethnicities but definitely not for most Tamils, especially in their own areas, where it matters not just in Colombo, as it is the capital and if anything happens, everyone will be fully aware, especially the foreign diplomats. However, there is a news blackout of what is happening in the Tamil north and east, especially in the Sinhalese and English NewsMedia. Other than in sites like Colombo Telegraph. No news good news

        • 1
          1

          Lester, you are absolutely right. No discrimination, but no Christian under God can ever be the president or even an exemplary leader of this atheistic land. It will cause rebellion and terror from the leaders down. Robbing and murder will be its hallmarks like what happened to Shaffer while giving the money. When gagged, he was supposed to be committing suicide.

      • 13
        12

        LJ,
        “but at a practical level I have not seen any non-Buddhist religion in this country discriminated against by the Government”
        Perhaps not directly by the government, but often by persons who appear to enjoy government-provided immunity.
        https://economynext.com/churches-urge-calm-after-videos-of-monk-attacking-christians-go-viral-47349/

        • 1
          0

          Hello Paul,
          It is a very strange story, obviously taken directly from the Buddhas history, adapted to a Christian narrative. When you research the provenance of the story, it would appear to come from Greek sources around the 4th Century and passed through Arabic and other tellings. The version I read by St John of Damascus written in Greek (English Translation) around the 8th Century. This mentions Barlaam as coming from the wilderness of the Land of Sennar. As far as I can tell this is a reference to Sennar in Sudan. It also tells of St Thomas bringing Christianity to India. Generally it is a retelling of the New Testament and Parables. It mentions the Council of Nicea so obviously was written after 325AD. Given that Alexander the Great conquered parts of North India, the story of the Buddha may have been brought to Greece and likewise the Homeric story of Troy brought to India.
          Best regards

    • 4
      11

      Continued from above post.

      For the country to have a truly “secularly democratic” system of governance, which the author thinks the JVP/NPP will usher in, Article 9 of the Constitution has to go but, according to the following report, AKD has said in a gathering in London that the primacy accorded to Buddhism in the Constitution will remain intact:

      https://ceylontoday.lk/2024/06/18/primacy-accorded-to-buddhism-will-remain-intact-under-npp-govt-akd/

      So much for a secular democracy under a NPP government.

      Judging by the remarks of the JVP general secretary Tilvin Silva on Natasha Edirisooriya’s case as mentioned by Old Codger in a comment above, there is no reason to think that the JVPers cannot be every bit as bigoted and narrow-minded as others.

  • 7
    13

    A sensible article by Dr. Ameer Ali about the system change that is good for the country.
    However, in reality the threat against such system changes are still very high because most of the political power and political Buddhism. The people of this country are used to the existing system which is influenced by Religion and western life style. For example, even in this forum lots of people are against to NPP directly and indirectly. In this Presidential election, NPP Vs Rest (UNP, SLPP, SJB, SLFP, and many other) including IMF.

  • 5
    3

    Dr. Ameer Ali, the bane of Sri Lanka is not “political Buddhism” but the corrupt, unprincipled, politicians who rule this country. Successive regimes post 2005 have unleashed
    thugs in saffron robes to destabilize peaceful coexistence of communities, but to call that “political Buddhism” is an exaggeration.

    • 5
      12

      “but to call that “political Buddhism” is an exaggeration.”
      I don’t know how do you define “Political Buddhism” but I assume that Buddhism is used in politics or political leaders in Sri Lanka for cover up their crimes widely among major political parties or political leaders. Special status to Buddhism was not in the constitution before 1972 . Sri Lanka was not a Buddhist Country because it was brought in buy Buddhist leaders of India. Even other Religions also brought from India, Euro[peans and Arabs. The Buddhist Priests who are suppose to oppose corruption also failed from their duty to protect the principles of Lord Buddha’s principles or teaching. So there is a linear relationship between Buddhism and Politics. It is not an exaggeration.

  • 13
    0

    An Aragalaya for system change, yet we don’t want to change. I remember very vividly during the aragalaya times at night and god oddly hours, how the youth of this country would speed on their motorbikes and three wheelers tooting their horns Kaputu Ka Ka Ka, even when people were dying in petrol, gas and medicine queues. We talk about system change, let me ask everyone honestly, the following questions.
    1. Do you follow lane discipline when you drive? or just like everyone else care two hoots about other road users and the my road, my car my petrol I drive the way I want attitude prevails.
    2. Would refuse a bribe, or would rather give one to get Your Work Done?
    3. You want everything for free, but don’t want to pay your fair share of taxes?
    4. You want clean roads, yet you will, spit, piss and litter as you please, cos you think someone else will clean your mess up. You can’t even segregate your garbage.
    5. You want the best schools for your children at any cost, even if it means bribing an official, thus denying another deserving child their rightful, access to good education through meritocracy.

    • 6
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      ‘System change’ is the new mantra on everyone’s lips, as if changing the system will solve all our problems – it won’t. ‘Be the change that you wish to see’

      • 9
        10

        Paul

        “System change’ is the new mantra on everyone’s lips, as if changing the system will solve all our problems – it won’t.”

        Any leader who wants to change system still needs to work with the same corrupt system. The system and its operators who benefited (politically, financially, ….) will bury the novice revolutionaries, ….. –

        AKD would do well by not offending murderous armed forces, corrupt policemen, crooked politicians, racist lazy Saffronistas, his party old guards, state functionaries, useless academics, ignorant party supporters, journalists and columnists who blatantly partial to where their next biriyani meal comes from, ….. and everything will be hunky dory, …. forget Tamils and Muslims, ….

        He will have to learn to revere Rajapaksa family else during his rule Mahinda’s loyal b***s carriers will find more central bank robberies, proof of illegal transfer of funds from Treasury linking it to Tamils, ….

        Does AKD have the b***s to arrest all the well known crooks, war criminals, corrupt politicians and state functionaries, ……. value for money audit of all appointments made by all governments in the past 25, 30 years, financial audit of all those who worked for the state directly or indirectly and their income and their assets, …. I doubt …… Even if he wants the old guards within the party would not allow such adventurous audit to take place, …

        ‘Be the change that you wish to see’

        I agree.

    • 2
      10

      Oma Yang,
      I fully agree with your questions? So, why do we need laws, policies, politicians, parliament and judiciary? So, no need for a system change?

      • 4
        0

        I firmly believe, if you play by the rules and follow the system others will follow and vice versa. If people are accountable for their actions, politicians can be made accountable for their too. However, when people make politicians and policy makers Demi gods, those buffoons will play us like a fiddle to their own advantage. I remember a good old advertisement for the World Wild Life fund, that had the following tag line for their antipoaching advert, “when the buying stops, the killing stops”. Same logic can be applied to the so called system change we so desire. We stop worshipping, bribing and gaming the system. Politicians and policy makers will fall in line.

  • 5
    0

    Anyone wanting to talk about a change in the system , should explain reasonably
    and without political bias , why the system change and how fast should it or can it
    happen and the practical hurdles in going to any genuine target . For all this to
    happen in a genuine way we first have understand ourselves and our lifestyles before
    and after our crucial austerity measures of Sirimavo + N M combo and the counter
    measures by JRJ . They are the ones raced to extreme measures in the name of
    economic development and patriotism . One set closed the doors to the outside world
    and the other opened up not only the front door , but also the bedroom doors . All
    windows were removed and even the roofs blown away . And today , people are
    standing on the streets , struggling to cover their nudity and the world is not only
    watching , but also lecturing how to manage to find a piece of Traditional so-called
    Loin clothe ( Amude – Kovanam ) . And our future Expert Young Leaders are
    screaming on their platforms about scarcity of things like eggs , chicken , milk
    and other daily essentials that had never been essentials to the general public in
    60s or until 80s . Only a handful could afford those things even those days and the
    common man never bothered about them , I don’t say that should be the case but
    simply that was the case .

  • 6
    3

    Again we speak of a “System Change”. Consider the following:

    The wife of Mahinda Rajapkse (the President then) Shiranathi Rajapakse made an application to open a Bank Account. According to the “System”, anyone opening a Bank Account has to produce an Identification. In this particular case, she (Shiranthi) produced her National Identity Card bearing the number ” 222222222 V” with her name on it. The account was opened and named “Siriliya A/C”. Can anyone imagine accepting a National Card with such a “Number” and of all the places a “Bank”?

    Now what is wrong here? Is it the “SYSTEM”? No. The “Idiot” or “Idiots” at the Bank gave into the dictates of “Elitist Authoritative” persons and IGNORED compliance with the system.

    So it is not the system to be blamed or fight to re-draft a “NEW” system, but to get those who can and are CAPABLE of implementing and complying with the existing system without giving in to pressure from whatever the quarters that show up.

    • 3
      12

      Douglas,
      You talk about corruption in the existing system.
      What is the system that influenced Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism? It is unitary system?
      What is the system that made Gota to release the military personal who murdered a Tamil Family?
      What is the system that protect MPs from uttering racism and fundamentalism?

    • 4
      4

      Douglas , I think you are not born yesterday.
      U became old in srilanka all along. You might have lived outside few years but most of your days spent within the country. So is the situation also for Bandarawelaaththo aka estranged Panini who has been the most powerful blind NPP promoter as of today.
      .
      The biggest question of all times is that many of you had lived like clay-fed crocodiles without grasphing the various high crimes (day light murders, financial thefts, money laundering acts etc) committed by the Rajapaksa family on broad day light. Each time visiting to motherland also those days, I thought, lankens should be real “beasts” in human disguise. Many thought I would have been an agent. Yet today, Lester or the like think that I am “Kotiya”.
      Planeloads of “rodia-like PS leaders” (those lads roamed in village corners) and their families were flown to New York at taxpayer expense, but to my surprise, not a single word was spoken by DOUGLAS and PANINI and others of that age group, against mafia men… ????
      :
      Tbc

      • 13
        11

        Leela,

        “Yet today, Lester or the like think that I am “Kotiya”.”

        Obviously. It couldn’t be more obvious.If kotiya were a competition, you’d be the gold medalist. On the other hand, you are not stupid like your friend OC here. Maybe the therapy called “hypnosis” can help you to overcome your MaRa psychosis.

        • 8
          2

          L
          You are not clear what Mara’s crimes are. So the fact that you don’t know how to support him further proves your ignorance.. To give this nation some relief, the family should be hanged one by one. It is the biggest crime to tap into the psyche of the poor and capture their voters. However, the MARA family will soon face the music. My dear mother always said, truth will always prevail. An actress who bought material worth crores within a few months was now being talked about, but a revelation came out that Gotabhaya had laundered his bribe money. R. This country did not fall because of misrule.: There is no doubt about that.

          • 13
            15

            Leela,

            To appreciate MaRa, you have to think backwards, not forwards, like Sherlock Holmes suggested. Where would the country be today? It might not even exist, in the current form. There would be two separate nations, a pariah state similar to N. Korea in the North and the democratic state in the South. All of this talk about “bankruptcy”, “corruption”, “human rights” etc. is useless if you don’t control the land to start with. So MaRa laid the foundation for the future. As Chamath P (billionaire investor) said, he took the risk that no one else was willing to take. As they say in the stock market, your reward is proportional to your risk. MaRa took maximum risk and won the maximum reward.

            “In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backwards. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much. In the every-day affairs of life it is more useful to reason forwards, and so the other comes to be neglected. There are fifty who can reason synthetically for one who can reason analytically…”

            • 7
              0

              Lester the diehard MARA supporter@
              I have no clue if you go back home as much as I do.I travell around the globe for my job. I went home 1-2 times a year. Therefore, I have seen with my own eyes what is happening in the major crimes.

              Take my word, I could not believe my eyes every time Rajapakse handled SriLankan Airlines from breaking the lucrative merger with Emirates.

              People became human shields to cover their crimes. That is why I beleive people are also to blame. i DONT have any symapthy for their self created mess.
              :
              That is whyOUR people are suffering today. A small minority, including myself, stood up to RAJAPAKSE criminals, but everyone else was fooled like domestic animals.
              Looking back I wonder how our people (majority) will ever grasp the facts: today, the MLECHCHA media whore houses continue their support to Rajapakshe criminals. That is why people stay ambiguous and well worried about their future.

              • 5
                0

                Mahendra P Rajapaksa deliberately played with the psyche of the stupid people knowing that they are utterly stupid and controlled by SINHALA-BUDDHISM (which is far away from true teachings from the buddhism).

                . He did it studying the position of Sinhala Buddhists (they are held as above int he country). I would be even happier if MaRa were hanged for the great crimes he committed in my lifetime. Since then people can breathe better for a better future. you may know if the king bee is not captured, you cant drive away the other bees. Likewise, we should get MaRa (mafia bosss of all high crimes) out of our sights to punish the other beasts.

              • 9
                10

                Leela,

                It was not MaRa who ruined the country. It was the Tamil Diaspora. Read the work of people like “Rohan Gunaratna” & “HLD Mahindapala.” All the details are there. While MaRa was president, the economy was growing rapidly. He borrowed money, some projects were bad. This wasn’t the reason for bankruptcy. In 2005, forex reserves were USD 2.7 billion. In 2016, USD 6.0 billion. In 2020, USD 5.7 billion. So the forex reserves more than doubled, despite MaRa’s white elephant projects. The reason for bankruptcy? The high borrowing costs associated with war, and the sharp drop in tourism & foreign remittances after COVID-19.
                You blame monks, but actually they kept the country together during 26 years of civil war. Like I said, this “Tamil Eelam” project was very expensive. KP was laundering millions in USD a month through various countries. Money collected mostly from the Tamil Diaspora.
                You blame Buddhism, actually it is too tolerant. In Pakistan they burn churches & in Saudi they put the kafir in drums of acid. In Sri Lanka, separatists are allowed to speak in the Parliament.
                Mahinda ended the war. Now the country can find a new leader. He started the democratic process.

                • 6
                  10

                  “KP was laundering millions in USD a month through various countries. Money collected mostly from the Tamil Diaspora.”
                  Didn’t you claim that the individual net worth of Diaspora members is “less than 100 USD”. You can’t have the cake and eat it too.
                  “in Saudi they put the kafir in drums of acid. “
                  A barefaced lie as usual. Show the link.

  • 5
    7

    The climber vine’s creeping tree could be dead. But the climber brings out lush green leaves, flowers and fruit but uses the tree only to creep on it.
    You don’t have to depend on Tilvin Silva for the flowers and fruits. Use NPP/JVP as your tree. Rest can be made to work out. The reality is if only the NPP/JVP becomes the people’s party, or rather in proper order, if the people start to assume that the NPP/JVP is their party, only NPP/JVP can do something different from the UNP-SLFP Union. Remember, UNP and SLFP are Langkang Royals’ hereditary properties- estates. After the introduction of the Universal Franchise, Sinhala Buddhist politicians traded the Sinhala Buddhism for people, so politicians have the sole property of the political parties. You have no share in the UNP-SLFP union. So, demand from the NPP leaders to make the party yours, not the Bald Heads’, the middle men who transferred the political authority to politicians and Sinhala Buddhism to Modayas, the so-called laymen. Tilvin trying to trick the people as they like something and trying to make you do what he likes.

  • 4
    7

    Remember what happened during the Protest 2022? Protesters maintained peace. Politicians brought rowdies to Temple Tree house and fed them to create chaos. Violence was successfully started.
    Crook Mahinda named the Royal family’s political party as Sri Lanka People Party. But named all government properties as Mahinda Viharas, Mahinda Mansons, Mahinda Ports, Mahinda stadiums,…. …. Old Rowdy claims that the people are with them, so they have built with people’s money new homes, which are said to be two to three times better than their old burned down houses by the politicians’ hooligans.

  • 4
    11

    “Unless the local economy produces an exportable surplus how on earth could Sri Lanka be freed from debt?”—-> TRUE
    We need first and foremost an Independent Judiciary that IS NOT manipulated by the Politicians.
    Has not the Courts of all sorts given judgements in favour of the corrupt rulers….eg misappropriation of Tsunami Funds.
    Local Economy also could thrive if the Diaspora are allowed to assist the Farmers & Fishermen etc without being SUBJECTED to bureaucracy and bribery.
    NPP at the present stage DOES NOT have to enumerate the way they are going to bring about the CHANGE. The voters have no other choice other than NPP in order to get rid of the CURRENT LOT OF parasites /hooligans/ economic Terrorists/ Thieves/ Pseudo-Buddhists/Racists etc.
    We are not sure whether the NPP will have the STRENGTH to bring about all the CHANGES the Aragalaya wants? The minorities too should be PART of this change.

  • 5
    11

    There are lots of people who have thrived so far with the current System of Governance will not be supporting NPP, fearing that their way of life is going to be threatened.
    NPP should ADDRESS their FEARS.
    How will they do this???

  • 2
    1

    Dr Ali

    ”…… distinguish between the objectives, programs and methodology of JVP in the past and its new NPP….” Can you elaborate on that please?

    Seems to me the old guard JVP have not changed their ideology, so what is this system change the NPP talks about with their JVP alliance? Is it a change over to ‘socialism’ in the guise of (defunct) communism, which the old guard still promotes? If the old guard values are not entertained by AKD & the NPP, why keep unwanted baggage? This is my concern & if you think it’s ‘scare mongering’, why not ease my fear with a rational explanation & facts? The JVP (still venerating its murderous leader & their communist ideology) were a murderous & destructive bunch but excusing them as a result of ‘socio political’ conditions doesn’t hold water.
    Cont.

    • 3
      1

      Cont.

      If I am not mistaken, the NPP existed relatively unheard of before the Aragalaya but was quick to capitalise on the situation with the JVP (which nobody would give a monkey’s at the time) piggy backing on NPP fame. By the way, is the Bhikkhu front only to give their blessing & not expecting political representation? They could have done that without membership of the NPP.

      I would expect academics, in the absence of a political manifesto, to scrutinise the policies, objectives & strategy of any political party & come out with an unbiased opinion to educate the public. Unless a fully paid member of a party, any academic promoting a political party with a personal unsubstantiated opinion publicly is no better than prostituting one’s integrity.

      • 0
        2

        Dear Ameer,
        .
        Many thanks for yet another sound article.
        Yes, we have to keep discussing the need for elections so long as Ranil thinks that he can keep playing his puerile jokes on us. The time now is 22:02. I have already obeyed LankaScot, above.
        .
        To get cynical about everything happening in this country is turn into an absolute sinner. I hoped that Ranil would stop trying to play cat and mouse with us. I know that many of us are possessed of some feline qualities, but turned on my better T.V. before 9.00 pm, hoping that Ranil would announce the Presidential Election time table.
        .
        AKD was in Kandy:
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RSpWJNstbg :BANKS & FINANCE FORUM | KANDY DISTRICT CONFERENCE | #AKD #nppsrilanka | 2024.06.26
        .
        That link covers the meeting in 2:40′:55″. BANKS & FINANCE FORUM | KANDY DISTRICT CONFERENCE | #AKD #nppsrilanka | 2024.06.26
        .
        There’s another that does it in 2:41:10.
        .
        This, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5FqMZh_2yg , is 2:40:33 Do you see how the NPP also is trying to be on its best behaviour?
        .
        It hasn’t yet been placed here:
        .
        https://www.npp.lk/video-gallery.php
        .
        tbc

        • 0
          2

          No, I will call off the continuation!
          .
          I got so bored that I was making mistakes – well, …… short of sleep also.
          .
          So, I’ve written in apologising and suggested that quite a lot that appears below this explanatory comment be cut off. I’ve cancelled a great deal of bold.
          .
          I find this confusing, when messed up.
          .
          But then it becomes civic duty to clear up, like after puking.
          .
          What’s to be done? We have this (Acting) President that causes the citizens to puke.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) of 51B, Golf Links Road, Bandarawela, Sri Lanka

  • 0
    0

    Dear Ameer,
    .
    Many thanks for yet another sound article.
    Yes, we have to keep discussing the need for elections so long as Ranil thinks that he can keep playing his puerile jokes on us. The time now is 22:02. I have already obeyed LankaScot, above.
    .
    To get cynical about everything happening in this country is turn into an absolute sinner. I hoped that Ranil would stop trying to play cat and mouse with us. I know that many of us are possessed of some feline qualities, but turned on my better T.V. before 9.00 pm, hoping that Ranil would announce the Presidential Election time table.
    .
    AKD was in Kandy:

    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RSpWJNstbg :BANKS & FINANCE FORUM | KANDY DISTRICT CONFERENCE | #AKD #nppsrilanka | 2024.06.26
    .
    That link covers the meeting in 2:40′:55″. BANKS & FINANCE FORUM | KANDY DISTRICT CONFERENCE | #AKD #nppsrilanka | 2024.06.26
    .
    There’s another that does it in 2:41:10.
    .
    This, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5FqMZh_2yg , is 2:40:33 Do you see how the NPP also is trying to be on its best behaviour?
    .
    It hasn’t yet been placed here:
    .
    https://www.npp.lk/video-gallery.php
    .
    tbc

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