11 August, 2020

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Worries of BBS: Wimalajothi Speaks With Logic And Gnanasara Speaks With Violence

By Rifai Naleemi –

Rifai Naleemi

I really appreciate the critiques of my writing. I always welcome the constructive criticism. But such criticism should be an objective one not a subjective one. Of course my objective approach might be a subjective to you.   This occurs according to different perceptions of your understating.   But yet, we should all try to understand issues and problems in comprehensive ways. We should substantiate our arguments with evidence and logical reasoning.

The criticism that provokes our thought and stimulate our creating thinking should be recognised. But all these should be done objectively without any prejudice and discrimination within the etiquette of academic writing:  it is not my objective to make any communal division or social disharmony rather to enhance of comparative religious understanding. Please do not take my writing out of contexts; I have been calling for communal harmony and religious dialogues between different communities. It is not my aim to hurt feeling of any religious community rather I make staunch criticism of BBS group for its apparent bias and racial remakes.

I know well that Sinhalese race is one of the best races in the world: They are kind, compassionate and polite people. I do not say that but history itself testifies this. What happening now within the BBS group is totally a different matter?  I’m telling this because BBS has been expressing communal resentment and religious jealousy in its recent public talks and speeches. The entire world knows that. It is self-evident from their talks and speeches. It is self evident from their behaviours, actions and mentalities as well. Any sound person would agree with such statement. We know well that the majorities of Sinhalese people deplore the actions and behaviours of BBS.  I repeatedly re-iterate here that my aim is to expose the hatred of BBS rather than hurting feeling of people.

I never and ever generalise this issue with Sinhalese people.  I single out some policy statements of BBS for its bias approaches and attitudes.  I do not think that BBS represent the majority of Singhalese people. The majority of people do not subscribe to BBS view points. They do not endorse their ideologies, policies and perceptions. The majority of venerable Buddhist monks do not endorse the radicalism and extremism in any form. One could notice the clear disparity in the speeches of Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero of BBS and its President Venerable Kirama Wimalajothi Thero. While the venerable Kirama Wimalajothi Thero speaks with politeness and logic we notice the venerable Gnanasara Thero speaks with aggression and violence.  His speeches are self evident for hared. Please listen to some of speeches and talks to see how much aggressive are his talks and speeches. Is this Buddhist way of addressing issues and concerns? Of course not at all and majority of Buddhist people deplore these attitudes.

Of course, some concerns and worries of BBS are genuine and real.  They should address these concerns in proper and professional ways. They should address these concerns in democratic ways rather creating communal disharmony and pandemonium. They should address their concerns and their worries with the ministry of Buddha Sasena. They should address these concerns with the high ranking Buddhist religious authorities in the country. They should address their concern with the administration of the temples in the countries to find some of ways and methods to enhance their religious concepts.

They should not take the laws in their hands to address their concerns. They should not become a religious police to dictate what they want to the entire Sri-Lankan communities. A claim such as Sri-Lanka belongs only to Sinhalese is an unwanted provocation. This could take this country into one more communal conflict between Sinhalese and minorities communities. Just we come out of 30 years of wars.  Do we need such a provocative statement once again?

Of course we could agree with BBS in some of their concerns and worries. But those concerns and worries should be national concerns and national interests rather than communal concerns. If they are fighting for the rights of poor, needy and vulnerable in the communities these concerns and worries are genuine and real. The entire nation should support such a struggle, if they are fighting against all form of corruptions and social injustices we all should support such a good course. If they are fighting against all form of social illness such as drug addition and fraud we all should support them in this good work, if they are fighting against alcoholism and crimes we all should work hand in hand with them in these particular issues.

Our country faces many challenges today than ever before. It may be true that the war with LTTE is already over and yet, the country faces many economic and social challenges.  A large proportion of people suffer from abject poverty. People in the villages are struggling to make end meets in the life.  People are struggling to meet basic necessities of daily life. A large percentage of school drop outs do not get job opportunities and career prospectus. These are  clearly apparent in rural villages in some districts in Sri Lanka.  We should go to some remote villages to see the pathetic conditions of people in rural areas. For instance look at the conditions of Plantation Tamils in Estates. They have been dedicating for the economy of Sri Lanka for the last 6 decades and yet see the conditions they are living in today. In the same ways farmers of Sri Lanka are backbones of Sri-Lankan agricultural sector and yet, look at the conditions they are living in today.  Rather than addressing these fundamental problems BBS is engaging in communal racism. Ironically it is in the name of Buddhism and Buddhism has nothing to do with racism.

Any foreseeable danger comes toSri Lanka today not from Sri Lankan Tamil community or Muslim community in Sri Lanka rather it could come from Tamil Nadu in long run. With its 65 millions Tamil populations it could become a threat in a long run if Sri Lanka fails to establish good diplomatic and social ties with Tamil Nadu. Sri Lanka has so far managed to build up good diplomatic relations with India and yet, our relation with Tamil Nadu has been not that good in recent time. No Tamil Nadu high ranking politician visited Sri Lanka and our presidents and PM are not yet, been invited into Tamil Nadu. This widening diplomatic gap should be worrying BBS and its cohorts rather than creating more communal disharmony between communities.

BBS is a real threat to national unity today. They create division between communities today. They spread hared among communities today. They spread lies and fabrications without any evidence.  The racial discrimination and racial prejudice of BBS can not be tolerated.  BBS should be dismantled in the greater interest of this nation. It would be a social and communal suicidal to go on this path of discrimination and hatred.  We all know that happened to our venerable monks in South India. Undoubtedly, it was reactionary violence of some Tamil Nadu people against what was going on in Sri Lanka on those days.   The behaviours of some of these BBS people could put communal relation in jeopardy in Sri Lanka.

Radicalism is radicalism and extremism is extremism, whether it comes from Muslims, Christians, Hindus or Buddhists, whether it comes from religious groups or political groups or from any groups, whether it comes from al-Qaeda or Taliban,  whether it come from BBS or for that matter from any religious groups.  The radicals and extremists have done more damages and more harm to Islam and Muslims today than any one else. In the same way all forms of radicalism that come from BBS should be rejected.

Sri Lanka is blessed with the existence of four major world religions. The different cultural and religious heritage beautifies Sri Lankan Multi-Cultural history. It should not lead to communal and religious conflicts at all.  It should enhance our mutual intercultural understanding.  Unfortunately, this intercultural understanding is lacking in Sri Lanka today. Our children have to learn all four major religions today.  Our children should know each other’s religious faith and practices.  This is not to indoctrinate one another with others faith rather to enhance mutual understanding between different faith groups.  Today we live in a borderless virtual world.  Therefore, we should understand each others faith and way of life. We should also appreciate other people’s way of life. In this way we could avoid social and communal conflict in Sri Lanka.  Our schools, institutions and universities have no such systems to learn and teach comparative religions. It is really a pathetic condition  of our educational system.   I shall give some examples of this cultural conflict to illustrate this point in my next week writing if God willing.

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Latest comments

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    DODU

    Relax and drink some hot tea to calm yourself down :))

    I don’t know why I am replying to your inane posts above but I will, just to show that I was serious when I said you are out of point and wasting time.

    YOUR QUOTE ” What I wrote is the true history. Without knowing your own history you fools are finding faults on others Iust lookig at internet. American Mama the truth is hurting you.. The fast is your Buddhism cannot cope with the development of the human mind. It is getting erased from the modern world. Your monks are doing their part for it. Wait and see.”

    1.This article has nothing to do with history. Mr Naleemi is very much
    on the defensive & trying to backtrack from his earlier article.

    2. Everything on the internet is not true.

    2. EVEN IF Asoka killed 18000 ajivikas (FALSE ACCUSATION)how does that
    relate to Buddha ?? Are U blaming Buddhism for what Asoka did ??

    3. U say Buddha was a Hindu before attaining Buddhahood . SO ?? What’s
    your point ?? Wasn’t Jesus a Jew before becoming Christ ??

    4. The point is did the prophet (leader) practice what he preached ??

    a). Buddha was an intellectual who lived as an ascetic / monk who
    NEVER EVER PRACTICED ANY VIOLENCE FOR ANY REASON. NOT EVEN IN
    SELF DEFENSE. He shunned all violence which leads to bloodshed,
    killing of men women and children and causes great suffering
    to other human beings. He preached compassion and loving
    kindness to all living beings and led by example. So Buddhism
    is a religion of PEACE.

    b) Was Jesus a man of violence. NO. He preached love and again led
    by example. So Christianity is a religion of peace.

    c) Likewise Gandhi resisted a very violent enemy ( British empire
    ) and never used or advocated violent warfare in self defense
    against the British who were persecuting him relentlessly.

    Therefore we should look for the conduct of the leader to test the ideology. If the leader was a TRULY peaceful man then his ideology would be acceptable as an ideology of peace.

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      Mamamow, Mamamow, warewah,
      1. What I, DODU, wrote is a fact and it is history and are in the Buddhist Holy texts and in history Books!
      2. Everything on the Internet are True when you are quoting from it! I never quote anything from Internet!
      3. I am told Buddha was a Hindu it is a fact, his teachers are Hindus and Jains , it is also fact. But I said some more, Biddha converted himself into Buddhism and Buddha copied his Philisophy fro Jainism and Buddhism.
      4. Buddha preached violence. It is in the Buddhist Holy Books, ( Please refer to Nirwana Sutra).
      5. Buddha justified killings. His last meat was Por! Hoe can someone eat meat without killing an animal? So Buddha practically justified killing by eating meat! I do not know why this simple theory did not go into the so called Buddhists’ brain!
      6. Ashoka practiced what was preached by Buddha. He was just 200 or 300 years after Buddha and had better knowledge of Buddhism and Buddha then you,who is almost 3000 years after Buddha! Ashoka killed The followers of other religion after he became Buddhist and it is not a made up story. You read Ashokawardana!
      7. Gandhi was much better in non-violence then Buddha!
      8.. Buddhist all over the world were practicing violence and are still practicing violence as preached by Buddha. If someone says Buddha never preached violence he is illeterate or trying to hide the facts to heat others!

      • 0
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        ….fact to cheat others…

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 0
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    Firstly we should see to the root cause of converting. Do you see many people converting in the west? No! this is because the people in the developing countries are so poor that if they are told that they would get a free meal they’ll do anything. I personally know this because my maid who was originally a hindu converted to a christian because they got a free hamper every month from the church. Now why is it that we Buddhists cant do this?? My mother spends all her money on repairing the temple and giving alms to the temple (every month the priest would call her and tell the list of things they need) but i have never seen the temple doing anything for the poor. This is why the poor Buddhists convert. So what we really need to do is change the system. We have to uplift the living standards of the poor.

    Sri lanka was at war for nearly 3 decades and now is the time to go forward by forgetting our differences. No matter the caste creed or religion we are all Sri Lankans.

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    JimSofty yes i have not tried Saudi Arabia. But your argument is that all muslim countries dont tolerate other religions.

    The majority of Sri Lankans may be Buddhists but we have a huge minority population in Sri Lanka and this has been the case for centuries. whereas UAE was a 100% muslim country 40 years ago. And they have changed their mindset about other religions. And that should be commended.

    I’m surprised the governments of all these Muslim states have still not imposed any bans on Buddhists because they are all aware of the discrimination going on in Sri Lanka. One day if this happens because of our foolishness thousands of people will have to come back to Sri Lanka and the foreign currency that we earn from migrant workers would be lost. And do you think the Sri Lankan Government can give jobs to all the people who come back???? (Maybe you might be able to)

    If they impose bans on us there wont be oil and we all know what the consequences of that would be. Sri Lanka is not a self sufficient country we need support and aid from all these countries. Dont forget Iran helped us during the war when all the other countries looked the other way. We all have faults but it is not up to us to judge any one of them.

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      RUWANI:

      Sri Lankan Muslims do drug trade.

      In Malaysia, Drug trade is death.

      that is how versatile Islam is.

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        Almost all the Mulim countries for drug trade is death!

        In Malaysia over 35% are minorities of which almost 20% is Buddhists.

        In Sri Lanka DS is importing drugs in containers!

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    The problem we face here is not Buddhism,Christianity or Izlam. Its just the sycophants who think that their choice of following is better than the rest. No sincere follower of any religion would cast aspersions on another as all religions preach goodness. Lets touch ourselves and see the hypocrite in us.

    • 0
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      Good one !

  • 0
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    Dear JimSofty : before you write you should read about Islam: do not try learn from shikh google: your problem is you pick up here and there. Try to learn from authentic sources not from anti islamic sources: how could quote No Musliim source to refute. All of them bias:
    Learn a true Islam then you could argue. Fear God before divine curse lands on you. Do not play with God: a

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    Hi Leela,

    Once again you tried to redirect the argument. In your final analysis you say that Muslims all over the world are bad, very bad. So do the Sri Lankan Muslim. Now we come to the point with an eg;

    Say my neighbor harass us for no reason and we go to police to make a complaint. And if the police say that they know that me and my wife are quarreling over something within our household and we got to sort it out that first before we make a complaint about our stupid neighbor.

    Your argument about Islam’s so called “in fight” is like the above and it does not warrant you, Jimsofty and BBS to damage our Mosques, business and whatever, whatever you name them.

    Sri Lanaka is ours as it’s yours! you have no right to say that Muslims should get out of the country. If it’s the case then we also have the same right to chase you all out, perhaps not Native Veddah.

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    I am glad Muslim readers like Reeza Ismail realise the damage suspect academics like Rifai Naleemi cause their community. I have read some of the recent poorly done articles by Naleemi and must say he needs to go to a better English night-school – as he commits blunder after blunder both in grammar and coherence. The Muslim community has much abler writers like Javed Yusuf, Izzeth Hussain and others to articulate their views more sensibly. Too many writers and irresponsible commentators for the Muslim community are doing them much damage in these blogs. Society in general is becoming tired of
    such bogus wise men falsifying history and making incredible claims
    on land.

    ADP
    Rajagiriya

  • 0
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    Why do you feel jealousy of this writer. Let him make mistakes and that is the way to perfection: may be you do not like when he mentioned what Portuguese done in Srilanka? Please read Srilankan history once agian: go to history class and see how many Sinhalalse people are converted Christianity : King Chankiliyan killed 600 hundreds Tamils who were converted into Christianity : We know well you and your people have crafty stratagem to use fake names: That what your people do: cheat in name of Christianity ?

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    Amarasiri,

    Do not get misguided by statistics. Saudi Arabia and Iran are lowest cattle killers because there are no pastures in those dessert lands. Contrast with Australia or Argentina.Feeding cattle is costly. Talking of cattle slaughter stopping after American -installed Shah left Iran, have you ever heard or seen the way cattle are harassed and butchered in market place in Iran today to the jubilation of crowds? The bovine is tied to a post and annoyed with incessant loud drumming and shouting around him and then he is butchered in the presence of the crowd. The meat is distributed, cooked on the street and everyone has a feast. This is all in the name of honouring Hussain, the martyred son of the Prophet Mohammed at the Fajr festival! So it is not the quantity of cattle killed but also the way they are killed, one has to look at.

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    BBS, dont abuse the previleges of being a monk in the tolerant society of SL. Do whatever you want after surrendering your robes.

    Lord buddha did not force buddhism on anyone – there is no need to be thretened by BBS – this is seen by the majority as a joke. These monks are scum of the sangha. you can see it in their deed and speech.

    Tamilnadu – no comments – we all know what is going on there :). There is nothing SL can do to help the situation. Just dont get involved.

    SL Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese should learn from each other and help sustain a SL state that is truely progressive.

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    Well said Vajira, lets go as one and respect each other and their diversities. The Sinhala race has always been that. Our country needs positive thinking broadminded leaders. Remember Ceylon as it was known those days was a much loved and respected place lets bring it back to its old glory.

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    singha

    Sri Lanka is a Truly Budhist country and the Budhist clergy has always protected the country and Sinhala Budhism and therefore the country should be ruled by a council of Budhist clergy and not politicians.

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    Once again everyone diverts from the Original article to from Kings who killed because the subject converted to killing cattle in Iran. For those of you who think all muslim countries are intolerant to other religions don’t stereo type. The UAE especially is truly multicultural , you will find Kovils and Churches, and I have seen Vesak Celebrations being held.

    For those who say muslim countries are the only ones that kill drug smugglers you seem to have missed the bus, even on the Sri Lankan Immigration Arrival Card, its clearly stated punishment for Drug Trafficking is the Death Penalty, so does Singapore, Thailand (Yes another Buddhist country).

    What matters most, one community has been pitted against another in the name of religion in the same country. Even after 30 years of war all because a few politician didn’t believe in the power of common sense we as a country suffered. The same is happening now thanks to state sponsored BBS inciting religious hatred.

    The writer may be in effective in getting his point across, at least he has the courage to stand up against being bullied, whereas some of you here can only criticize him and then curl up and go to sleep, without having a iota of empathy for the wounded.

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