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The Dambulla crisis and need for a policy for multiculturalism and post-war social integration

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by Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake

Sri Lanka has a long and proud tradition of religious co-existence which is attested by the presence of multi-religious sacred sites throughout the island, as well as, its uniquely mixed cultural geography.

The solution to the unfolding Dambulla Mosque crisis must hence build on, protect and nurture traditions of religious syncretism, pluralism and co-existence in the country.

Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Muslims have historically shared public space. After years of conflict when the need of the hour is reconciliation and social integration, segregation or removal of established shrines or places of worship would set a negative precedent that amounts to a form of religious and ethnic cleansing

Katargama, the Madhu shrine in Mannar, and Sri Pada are ancient and famous multi-religious sites of worship where Hindus and Buddhists, as well as, Muslims and Christians have come together for worship for centuries, as evident in the country’s archaeological and historical record. For instance, there is an ancient Sufi shrine in the Kataragama sacred area which houses Hindu and Buddhist deities and related religious complexes.

The British colonial administrator, John Still, recorded in his book, Jungle Tide, which was published over a hundred years ago in 1911, that he witnessed a Muslim father bring his son who was ill to the shrine at Madhu church which was known to be a powerful and healing sacred place. Sri Pada is a multi-religious site in the central hills. In contemporary religious practice a majority of Lankans are pluralist and pragmatic, and tend to gravitate to multiple religious sites to give arms and seek the blessing and favor of various gods while “hedging their bets” so to speak. In Colombo it is not difficult to find a single small street harbouring a kovil, mosque, temple and church each next to the other (e.g. Mayra Place ).

Indeed, the Sri Lanka Tourist Board would do well to highlight and market Lanka’s unique multi-religious culture in its brochures along with Lanka’s Buddhist Heritage! These historical facts should be the basis of any discussion, negotiation and settlement of the current crisis in Dambulla where attempts are being made to relocate a mosque and kovil. Unfortunately during the war, centuries of religious co-existence were slowly eroded by ethno-armed actors and nationalist politicians on all sides, as well as, politicized religious organizations.

The current dispute is indicative of the need for a wider national policy and institutional capacity and architecture, to pro-actively promote and mainstream multiculturalism in the arts, religious establishment, as well as, in the national education system and curriculum- at war’s end. Such an initiative is in any case necessary for post-war reconciliation so that the country may regain its proud traditions of multi-religious co-existence and pluralism that were eroded during thirty-years of armed conflict

There is need for a formal space for inter-faith dialogue and negotiation in the interest of ethno-religious harmony when disputes arise, which may best be convened by the Ministry of National Language and Social Integration with the appropriate civil society expertise and institutional capacity and perhaps the help of UNESCO. Similarly, politicians and religious leaders must take the initiative to foster a tolerant public sphere and enable sharing of public religious space while respecting local communities and minorities.

Dambulla is part of the cultural triangle area which is a world Heritage Site as demarcate by United Nations Education, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO.) Like other such world heritage sites in the South East Asian region, several of the Cultural Triangle sites epitomize Lanka’s Hindu-Buddhist syncretic religious culture. This is similar to the great temple complexes in South East Asia such as Ankor Wat and Anchor Thom in Cambodia and Borobudur and Prambanan in Indonesia which are adjacent Hindu and Buddhist complexes from the Sri Vijaya period.

It is relevant to note here, that Buddhism and Hinduism derive from the same religious tradition, although Buddhism evolved as a critique of certain Hindu traditions and practices in India and contemporary Nepal . Buddhism also came to Lanka from Tamil Nadu with the landing of Sangamitta in Jaffna , and was arguably Tamil before it was Sinhala since it came to Lanka from Tamil Nadu. Hinduism and Buddhism have co-existed for centuries in Lanka as in many other parts of south and east Asia.

Erosion of Multicultural Co-existence in Lanka

Centuries of religious co-existence were slowly eroded during the conflict years due to a deliberate targeting of inter-ethnic and inter-religious ties and the LTTE’s policy of ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Sinhalas they perceived as a security threat, as well as due to lack of a policy to promote and mainstream multiculturalism in the secondary and tertiary education systems and ensure harmony and co-existence in Sri Lanka. Post-war the challenge is to re-gain the multicultural past and learn once again to share public religious space while respecting local communities.

As the “Multicultural National Vision for Peace in Sri Lanka ” which was drafted after consultations in the various regions of Sri Lanka in 2003, noted in its preamble:

“ Sri Lanka was long famous for its rich social diversity and the harmonious co-existence of various communities. Since independence, however, there has been a failure to define and realize an inclusive national vision from the perspective of this distinctive heritage. Instead, divisive politics and policies have fostered deep social, cultural, political and economic schisms and engendered violent armed conflict. The two decades long armed struggle in the north (with primary focus on ethno-linguistic difference) and the uprising in the south (with primary focus on class disparity), reflect an inadequate post-colonial national vision and strategy, and an inequitable regional distribution of power and wealth… we propose a renewed and inclusive multicultural vision for the country based on the principles of security and dignity for all groups and persons, and respect for cultural and religious diversity. Our attempt here is to address the causes of the conflict while recognizing the deep scars that the violence of the last decades has rendered upon the island’s historically multicultural society.

Since independence cultural and political discrimination in governance, the lack of equitable development policies, and failure to preserve and respect local and cultural knowledge has become endemic. Competitive ethnic and religious politics become institutionalized in post-colonial Sri Lanka . Democracy came to represent the “tyranny of the majority”, while a political culture premised on the notion that “might is right” became entrenched in the various regions of the island.

At times both parties in the war deliberately conceived to destroy multicultural co-existence and benefit politicians and or warlords in the country who sought power by playing the ethnic and religious card to capture vote banks. However given Hinduism and Buddhism’s common heritage in the subcontinent and centuries of co-existence and tolerance, Hindu- Buddhist ties have survived the worst days of the war but are increasingly under pressure in the post-war period with the rise of militarized public religion. A pattern of land grabbing that is destructive of centuries of cultural and religious co-existence in Lanka and giving Buddhism – a highly tolerant religion a bad name has emerged.

Multiculturalism in Mixed Cultural Geography in Lanka

The National Visions for Peace in Sri Lanka defines multiculturalism thus:

“ Sri Lanka is a plural and multicultural land. Multiculturalism refers to the island’s cultural diversity inclusive of three overlapping linguistic categories (speaking Sinhala, Tamil and English, and regional dialects including Veddha languages); four great world religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity, and their sects, as well as indigenous deities and spirit beliefs); more than six ethnic groups recognized in the National Census, and a number of overlapping and cross cutting castes and sub-castes.

Various ethno-national groups based on linguistic, ethnic, regional and religious elements, such as the Burghers (Dutch and Portuguese), Sinhalese (Kandyan and Low Country), Tamils (Sri Lankan and Malaiyaha), Muslims (Moor and Malay), Parsis, Colombo Chetties, Vannialatto (Veddah) and several others have emerged as significant identities; several of these categories are composed of distinct sub-categories. Additionally, the island’s population may be sub-divided according to gender, class, and regional cultures depending on the rational for classification.[2]

Sri Lanka ’s cultural diversity and complex mix of identities is not unique. Most modern nations are plural, diverse and complex.

However, in the post/colonial period diversity has been perceived as a threat rather than a gift. The result has been marginalization and discrimination against smaller and less powerful groups on linguistic, ethnic, religious, caste and/or class basis, giving rise to various forms of violent political conflicts. In turn, many of these conflicts have resulted in riots, attacks, forced displacement and/or colonization of regions occupied by one community by another and the building of enclaves and territories dominated by one ethnic group or another.

Acknowledgement of Sri Lanka’s ancient multiculturalism and mixed cultural geography entails recognition that a majority group in a region is bound to respect and protect those who are in the minority in that particular region. Every group or individual is in a minority outside his/her own territory, region, or neighborhood and in a increasingly integrated and globalized region and world individuals and groups must be free to move with security and dignity.

A balance of power between regional/local majorities with regard to respect and protection for the persons and property of regional/local minorities is a sine qua non for sustainable peace. It is also necessary to reverse the pattern of ethnic ghettoization and ethnic cleansing of regional and local minorities that occurred during the twenty years of armed conflict and the riots prior to it in the north and south of the country.

Several multi-religious sites attest to a history of peaceful coexistence among the various religious communities in the island. These sites of multi-religious significance are especially to be celebrated in the aftermath of a polarizing conflict. We propose that sites such as Siripada, Kataragama, and Madhu shrine, with their diverse traditions be recognized and celebrated as multi-religious zones of peace and amity.”

At this time, negotiation to ensure protection and accommodation of the mosque and Hindu shrine which were long established prior to establishment of the Dambulla sacred area and are not “unauthorized structures” towards ensuring that Lanka remains a multi-religious space and country is necessary. The historical fact of sharing public space among religions should be the basis of any discussion and settlement of the current crisis in Dambulla where Buddhist and Muslims should be both accommodated in the same place since both have the right to be there and own the lands.

It is hence to be hoped that the Dambulla crisis would:

1. Build on existing traditions of multi-religious co-existence of sharing of public space and religious syncretism in Sri Lanka which has a long and proud tradition of religious co-existence as noted above. This tradition of religious co-existence is evident in historical sacred places and contemporary practices Katharagama, Sri Pada, the Pada Yathra pilgrimage from Jaffna to Kathragama along the east coast etc.

2. Those responsible for the crisis in Dambulla, who broke the law, propagated hate speech, disturbed the peace and threatened religious harmony in Dambulla, with implications for all other parts of the country must be held accountable to ensure that this does not happen in future. Meanwhile the Buddhist Sangha may hold an inquiry and discipline those political un-Buddhist monks responsible of leading mobs and violating Buddhist values, principles of tolerance the dhamma and vinaya if found accountable.

3. There is need of a Ministry to pro-actively promote and mainstream multiculturalism and enable inter-faith dialogue, negotiation and ethno-religious harmony when disputes arise. Such disputes need not and should not wait to be referred to the highest in the land! Rather, independent expertise from the civil society and not just religious leaders and politicians who are often a part of the problem of playing the ethnic card to win votes, territory and power need to be engaged. This is particularly the case after thirty years of armed conflict in Sri Lanka and as part of the reconciliation process. Perhaps UNESCO may be invited to help build national capacity and institutions to develop and mainstream a national policy for multiculturalism, co-existence and reconciliation.

Finally, as the United Nations World Conference Against Racism affirmed in Durban South Africa in 2001, ‘diversity is a gift rather than a threat’. The Sri Lanka Tourist Board would do well to promote the island as a uniquely multi-religious land and organize a tour of Lanka’s multi-religious sacred sites. Finally, it is to be hoped that the month of May when the 3rd anniversary of the end of war comes around will be a month of reconciliation and remembrance of the victims of war from all religious and ethnic communities.

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31 Comments

  1. Good stuff – way to go!
    Militarized Buddhism has been running amok in Lanka under the Rajapakse regime and direction of its key Racist party the Jathika Hela Urumaya. There should be an investigation into the “UN-BUDDHIST monks” as noted here and their political backers and the unmonks responsible for the violence and hate speach in Dambulla should be stripped off their robes.
    Sri Lanka needs to pass a strong Bill on the “Prevention of Racial and Ethno-religious Hatred” as the LRRC and the Multicultural National Vision for Peace recommends. There is such a Bill in Britain which may serve as a template.
    It is funny that Rajapakse regime and the monks claim that they are protecting Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Rather it seems that Buddhism must be protected from the Sangha and their political backers in Lanka. The Buddhist Sangha in Lanka has been giving this great world religion and a religion of tolerance, a bad name internationally.
    In Thailand Buddhist monks are banned from participating in parliament. So too should they be in Sri Lanka where Buddhism is increasingly an occupation and a means for upward social mobility to acquire property and wealth for the un-monks and ex-monks who are competing with each other and other religious communities to enrich themselves by land grabbing and stirring up mobs to do the land grab after inciting racial hatred of course with the help of JHU.

  2. As a Sinhala-Buddhist, I must say that I am disgusted by what happened in Dambulla. The Muslim people have every right to have their place of worship at the location that they have had for years and years.

    Sooner these idiot monks understand that in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic country, every religion should have equal opportunity practice what they believe in, better it will be for the country.

    I was in Sri Lanka when this started, the only encouraging thing that I personally saw and heard was at least most of the people that I came across were of the opinion that the Mosque has every right to be where it is. I hope that the voice of reason will prevail.

    The Muslim presence in Colombo is very open and very noticeable everywhere you go and I did not detect any tension in the air. Lets keep it that way.

  3. The War victory has given & extra bone to the Singhala Buddhist radical extremists, who is working overtime to ridicule the Muslim community to their submission in various field, the main culprit the Jathika hela Karmaya in the forefront spreading this virus through their Media outlets such as FaceBook & Rangiri radio network in Dambulla which should be monitored for spreading religious hates coercing the innocent Buddhist championing a disasteress cause like RSS hindutva who demolished the Barberi Mosque in Avodya, They are about to be kicked out of the Govt for objecting 13+, so they need to build up a vote base to hoodwink on religious issues.

  4. @Ranjan Toranto: I am disgusted even to identify you as a Sinhala-Buddhist. Dambulla is a world heritage site and to build a mosque without permission of archeological department, urban development council and the urban council (which is headed by a Muslim) as pathetic setting of an example. Ven. Inamaluwe thero has been fighting for this since 2009 and the appeals have felt in deaf years. Muslims never moved the illegal mosque during that period too.

  5. Ok.. religious harmony requires tolerance. Something Budhism is supposed to be all about. We really are not talking about tolerance. We are talking about taking the human conscience and restricting it with a bunch of fear-mongering hell based baloney. We simply should stop allowing it. As Budhists, we should strive to free their minds and make it possible for them to join the Lankan family and enjoy its frutis of freedom, Freedom to think for ourselves and always try to find the sense in things!

    Yes.. Islam as well as Christianity, derived from Judaism, hinges on delusional visions and voices heard in the wilderness. In a different time, Abraham would have been an ideal candidate for the insane assylum. All the religions based on this invisible God and or his son, does not and cannot pass a test of simple common sense. Budhism, on the other hand, is NOT based on fear and hell.

    Yoda was quite correct. Fear leads to anger.. Anger leads to hate.. Hate leads to SUFFERING….! Islam and Christianity as well as Judaism, is all based on Fear. A God that threatens with eternal suffering. Enough said…!

    Budhism offers a much better alternative. I have never heard of a Budhist Nation going to war over Budhism. Now, that would not make sense. End of story.

  6. This should be a time for introspection and soul searching rather than recrimination. In the Dambulla episode, the Buddhist clergy, or elements close to it, took the law into their hands and destroyed the mosque. If the mosque or the Hindu temple had to be relocated, it could have been done by mutual agreement. After relocating a particular place of worship is nothing unusual. Even in countries such as Saudi Arabia mosques have been relocated. But doing it through consensus building rather than by violent means would have been the right approach.
    Now that the deed has been done, there is no way but to build on the positive features rather than drum beat the negative aspects.

    Muslims should remember that some of the greatest places of learning, especially the libraries at Alexandria and Nalanda, were destroyed by Muslim invaders. It is the religious bigotry and fanaticism that is the problem.

  7. How the sacred city project in Kataragama/ Kathirgamam and previously in Anuradhapura were carried out will remain shameful blots on the essential dcency of the peoples of this country. That is history. However, let us not permit new history of the same nature to be ever created again in this country.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  8. I hope saner counsel will overcome this religious extremism.

    There should be strong laws to punish these hooligans.

  9. I say we Sri Lankans should ask this religious business guys one thing. Just to stop using loud speakers. All of them. I mean Buddhist, Hindu , Christian and Muslim should not use loud speakers for marketing. Thank you very much.

  10. There are people who appear to think that a permanent solution for all these problems SL have been facing is to convert each and every one to Sinhala and then Sinhala Buddhists. Buddhism is a great religion but the way it has been practised in SL, makes people of other faiths to loath it- does not deserve. There was a hope after the demise of LTTE for this island, but it is now crystal clear that root cause of the LTTE’s emergence would raise its ugly head as soon as the conditions of pre-LTTE era are restored. And, the clock would be set back to where it was before, that is the predicament we face. The voices of a few like minded Sinhala Buddhists condemning these happenings are not heard as the majority feel, that raising voice against it tantamount to going against the religion itself, and fear the worst from the god. Where are these Buddhist religious leaders like askiriya and malwatta chapters, to release a statement censoring such behaviours as being unacceptable? Are these happening with the connivance of these chapters and the GoSL or, will they act to stem the damage it causes.

    Despite all these, hearing today someone saying normalcy returned to SL made me to think that what is happening at least for those was quite normal, happened, happens and will happen. When LTTE’s reign was on, it did not happen so it was not normal. Reconciliation hm…what is it?.

  11. All this for a few perches of land, sacred or otherwise. Ownership of land is claimed going back 2000 years. Basis of ownership is the Mahavansa? Gifted to the temple by the king of that time? Muslims only came here 1300 yrs back, so they have no rights?

    What about other structures already built over the last few decades. Kandalama Hotel, Guest Houses, Bars, Cricket Stadium etc. Holy or unHoly? Sacred or unSacred? What about the behaviour of these priests who are supposed to observe 273 precepts? Holy or unHoly.

    We must learn to differentiate between religon and pure unadulterated greed and hypocrisy. Greed for property, prominence etc. To be the lord of all I survey? To destroy and drive away others. How does Buddhism profit by destroying a mosque and driving the Muslims away? Is this in keeping with the Four Noble Truths, The Five Precepts, The Eightfold path? These are the questions that need to be answered otherwise the very people who claim to be protecting Buddhism are in fact destroying it.

  12. Jathika Hela Karumaya!!! Its a fitting title instead of Urumaya, Sheriff.
    Yeah, the brighter side of this whole issue is that the Sinhala majority peace loving citizenry has shown that their silence has limits to these terrorists (JHU) who are bleeding the resources of this country by inventing and introducing multiple dimension to their Sinhala Supremacist project.

    Govt. is quick ban the websites that are dissenting against its dumb policies. But, the websites of the so called defenders of Buddhism, who are spreading pure racism and filth into the Sinhala society to drag them to eternal conflicts unending until everyone and the country is destroyed, is left untouched. Or even encouraged by inaction of the govt., to further erode into utter chaos.

    The Sinhala people whom I met have shocked and feel ashamed to face their friendly neighbors and workers belonging to other faiths without words to express their collective apologies.

    The govt. must ban these SINHALA TERROR WEBSITES from creating future conflicts that will surely cost the country its unitary status.

  13. Ranjan, Toronto says:

    “Sooner these idiot monks understand that in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic country, every religion should have equal opportunity practice what they believe in, better it will be for the country.”

    Don’t blame the monks blame yourself and your forefathers for allowing the monks to reign on the stupid Sinhala people. Had your forefathers stood up to these bullies and the racist politicians things would have been different.

    The Sinhala Buddhism sowing the seeds for another thirty years of war of minorities. It was no wonder the Sinhala/Buddhist created the climate for VP and his LTTE for their survival.

    Until the stupid Sinhala/Buddhists disrobe the saffron clad mob this will go on for considerable period of time. Beware you will be branded as a traitor and a LTTE supporting member of Diaspora if you continue to criticise the ruling family and their brown skinheads.

    In order to calm these thugs down the Sangha should take drastic measures. One such measure I propose is to allow them temporary marriage or marriage of convenience and let them have a family. If they prefer gay relationship they should be allowed to have gay partners. When they have calmed down and ready to restart their spiritual path they could return back to their monastic life.

  14. Ranjan, Toronto says:
    April 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm
    As a Sinhala-Buddhist, I must say that I am disgusted by what happened in Dambulla
    ————-
    Anurasiri says:
    April 30, 2012 at 8:37 am
    I say we Sri Lankans should ask this religious business guys one thing
    ——————-
    Dear friends,

    Making commernts are good,but if you not stand for the personel agenda it is your humble duty to study the circumstances. There enough sources through the internet.One of them is darmadeepayeiranama. I am not for or against it, In order to accequir the true and fair evidence I am reading many bolgs.It means I am doing more hame works. Because darmadeepayeiranama written in sinhala I am not in the position to tell other friends to see it.
    samarasekara

  15. No Frames:
    It is people like you who will drag this country in to another nightmare of ethnic strife and catastrophe. Yes Dambulla is a world heritage site. Does that mean that none Buddhist population in Dambulla has to go and jump into the sea (or in the Kandalama lake) so that they do not desecrate the so called holey land? The Venerable thero had absolutely no problem about donating sacred land to a cricket ground where alcohol flows free during cricket matches. I suppose Kandalama hotel where things much more serious than just consumption of alcohol takes place is pretty OK on a location so near to the sacred lands of Rangiri Dambulla as long as it is “devout” Buddhists that does the partying there?

    Are we so morally bankrupt and religiously insecure that no other structure belonging to another religion can be anywhere near or within sight of one of our sacred Buddhist sites? If there is a dispute over the ownership of the land is the correct way to resolve that issue is to take a violent mob to that site and dismantle it by force? If this is the way we conduct our business what moral right do we as Sinhalese and Buddhists have to protest the destruction of Buddhist statues at Bamian? Answer me Mr lack of frames…It is not just frames that you lack.

    As far as your disgust at me for identifying myself as a Sinhala-Buddhist, thanks to gods and to Buddha that identifying and classifying who is Sinhala and Buddhist in this modern-day world is still not under the preview or the authority of a select, totally out of touch, bunch of robed thugs and their ignorant followers who call themselves Buddhists. If they had their say and wish Siddartha Gowthama himself would been excommunicated and chased away from the faith for preaching religious tolerance.

  16. Native Vedda,
    “Beware you will be branded as a traitor and a LTTE supporting member of Diaspora if you continue to criticise the ruling family and their brown skinheads.”

    I have been called various things at various times by various people. It does not bother me. As for me being a LTTE supporting member of Diaspora, my record on this website alone will speak for that.

  17. No Frames says
    “Dambulla is a world heritage site and to build a mosque without permission of archeological department, urban development council and the urban council (which is headed by a Muslim) as pathetic setting of an example.”

    No Frames, there are thousands of pathetic setting of examples in Srilanka mainly by buddhists since the so called independence in 1948. Killing of SWRD by buddhist monk, killing of thousands of thamils by sinhalese mainly by buddhist thugs with the support of then sinhala governments and its security forces during ethnic pogroms, illegal sinhala colonization of thamil areas by the sinhala governments and continuing to this day by erecting illegal buildings and buddha stautes almost every day in the northern and eastern provinces allegedly by the government and its security forces.

    There is no law and order in that country mainly to protect minorities. I don’t understand why these buddhist monks and sinhala extremists wasting their energy in silly issues like dambulla mosque rather provide their help to solve burning issues like re settling thamil IDPS, re building the life of war affected civilians in the northern and eastern provinces, which need immediate attention by the government and the general public.

    I think now you know the reason for the uprise of thamil militancy and their success for almost three decades.

    I hope Sinhala Politicians and Buddhist Monks will utilize the current opportunity to settle minority issues for good rather hoodwink sinhala people on issues as such Dampulla Mosque.

  18. The sader side is ,this sad and unfortunate incident which was solely the work of opportunistic politicians and anti Govt element,is being blown out of proption not only to bash Buddhist monks and Buddhists, but also to denigrade Srilanka and create hatred in Muslims in Asia and the Middle East.towards Srilankan inhabitants.

    Just look at the prominent figures who are at the forefront of this mischievous and selfish Buddhist bashing,

    Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe,Mr Sambandan, and the latest addition, the Global Tamil Forum,

    The statement from the Global Tamil Forum in particularly is interesting.

    It is pleading with the Arab Muslims to take particular notice of this isolated incident and rally against Srilankaan inhabitants.

    What is the most common denominator among them?..

    Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe, was the PM who signed a pact with the late Mr Prabakaran.

    Mr Sambandan was like the latter’s God Father.

    Does anyone need any clues about the GTF?.

    When a few Catholic and Protestant clergy collaborated with the LTTE. did anyone among this horde of writers raise his her voice asking the respective Churches to decipline these Priests?.

    Didn’t the LTTE mowe down 200 plus Muslim Men and Boys who were praying in front of their God?.

    Didn’t the members of the GTF bank roll the LTTE Killing machine?.

    Do the Muslim people also have the one week memory span that the late LTTE leader attributed to Sinhala inhabitants?.

  19. Ranjan, Toronto said:Are we so morally bankrupt and religiously insecure that no other structure belonging to another religion can be anywhere near or within sight of one of our sacred Buddhist sites? —-a good point, indeed.

    I think, the political hierarchy from independence have in their myopic view of the future drew the line along the racial venom accommodating it and encircling it inside their ring. So, it became the mantra and the apple of the eye to nurture, protect & promote to the general masses as the only “absolute truth” that must be upheld and enforced upon everyone at whatever cost.

    I stumbled upon an article that puts the historical background in a nutshell. Pls check
    http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2007/12/22788_space.html

    Article: “Sinhala Aryan Race – Root Cause of the Conflict: The `Mahavamsa Mindset`”
    An excerpt below:

    “………..At the turn of the century British colonial rulers and people like Colonel Henry Olcott encouraged the revival of Sinhala Buddhism. But the most outspoken and influential champion of the Buddhist revival and Sinhala Nationalism at the turn of the century was Anagarika Dharmapala. Born in 1864, as DON DAVID CAROLIS, he later changed his name to Anagarika Dharmapala.

    By the time he died in 1933 he has caused considerable harm to any possible harmonious relationship between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. He popularized the belief that the Sinhalese and the Tamils had been at each other`s throats throughout our history.

    Lawrence J Swier, in his book Sri Lanka: War-Torn Island, had this to say about the damage done by him:

    `Perhaps more than any other person, Dharmapala was responsible for popularizing the faulty impression that Tamils and Sinhalese had been deadly enemies in Sri Lanka for nearly 2000 years. He often quoted Mahavamsa as if it were a completely factual account, and his favourite passages were those that made the Tamils sound like pagan invaders who were running the island. Much of his preaching and writing was racist. Dharmapala insisted that the Sinhalese were racially pure Aryans ? by which he meant that they had racial ties with the North Indians, Iranians and Europeans, He contrasted the Sinhalese racial line with that of the Dravidian Tamils, which he claimed was inferior.

    —unquote—

    Remember, Henry Steel Olcott was a Freemason like his associates in Theosophy C.E. Leadbeater…etc. They’re also occultists who worship the devil/Satan. H.P.Blavatsky was a prime reason to the rise of the RACIAL based politics being creeping into the systems of politics & the field of science by taking everything into the now debunked theory of evolution, the myth of the Aryan Supremacy…etc.

    Hitler became an instant fan, like in the same vein of Hitler, Don David Carolis-Anagarika Dharmapala a christian converted into Buddhism and becoming a SWORN RACIST until his death.

    If the Buddhist JHU Racist gang is really serious about the Catholic Conspiracy against the Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Then they must consider DON DAVID CAROLIS, HENRY STEELE OLCOTT, H.P.BLAVATSKY, C.W.LEADBEATER and the whole gangs of THEOSOPHISTs as the enemies of the so called religion they later converted into and have caused greater damage until to this day converting the kind hearted Sinhalese into a BUNCH OF RACISTS & A KILLING MACHINE. Every person who reads Anagarika’s preaching would surely become either a staunch RACIST or an Anti-Racists (pragmatic ones).

    Freemasonry: Midwife to an Occult Empire
    http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/NWO/Freemasonry.htm

    So, the FREEMASONRY has corrupted the religion and the minds of the Sinhalese leaders and academics alike in order to corrupt the world with KILLING & DESTRUCTION.

    Aren’t we seeing the effects of its evil very evidently, even in the modern world??? On whatever they touched upon everything became evil producing entities, like the Buddhist revivalism of H.P.Blavatsky & Olcott’s.

    One more thing, OLCOTT conveniently avoided the colour GREEN in his Buddhist Flag…something fishy….???? Find out the reason if anyone can.

    About the connection between HITLER & BLAVATSKY

    The Vril Society, the Luminous Lodge and the Realization of the Great Work
    http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/NWO/Vril_Society.htm

    “…..The Vril Society or The Luminous Lodge combined the political ideals of the Order of the Illuminati with Hindu mysticism, Theosophy and the Cabbala. It was the first German nationalist groups to use the symbol of the swastika as an emblem linking Eastern and Western occultism. The Vril Society presented the idea of a subterranean matriarchal, socialist utopia ruled by superior beings who had mastered the mysterious energy called the Vril Force….”

    Eugenics
    http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Blog/?p=914

    The term “eugenics” was first used in 1883 by Francis Galton, Darwin’s half cousin. In 1871, Darwin authored the racist book THE DESCENT OF MAN AND SELECTION IN RELATION TO SEX saying that “the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.” This followed the principle of “survival of the fittest” coined by Herbert Spencer in 1864 after reading Darwin’s 1959 book, THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES BY MEANS OF NATURAL SELECTION FOR THE PRESERVATION OF FAVORED RACES IN THE STRUGGLE FOR LIFE (four years after Arthur Gobineau’s AN ESSAY ON THE INEQUALITY OF THE RACES). For humans, this principle expressed itself in Social Darwinism.

    So, even after the death of the biggest racist to live in the face of the earth – Hitler, his legacy and the legacy of H.P.Blavatsky is still carried forward into the future by JHU and the Sinhala Buddhist supremcists.

  20. contd…

    Eugenics
    http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Blog/?p=914

    Thus, during the 1870s, Oxford lecturer John Ruskin would instill in his students, like Cecil Rhodes, the concept that they were “the best northern blood” and should rule the world. Rhodes scholarships were not only given to students from America and Commonwealth nations, but also to those from Germany beginning in the very early 1900s. Germans at this time were also being conditioned to see historical progression in terms of “blood and land,” a sort of Teutonic knighthood descended from the Aryans. In 1914, MADAME BLAVATSKY’s Aryan doctrine had spread through Germany and Austria, and it was from her writings that a young Adolph Hitler learned the meaning of the Aryan swastika.

    By this time, eugenics was a growing international movement with the first International Congress of Eugenics held in 1912 with Vice-Presidents Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell, Skull & Bones member Gifford Pinchot, and former Harvard University president Charles Eliot. In this same year, eugenics proponent Woodrow Wilson signed into law a brutal sterilization act, and the next year eugenics adherent Theodore Roosevelt wrote of the need to improve “racial qualities.” Calvin Coolidge wrote similarly in “Whose County Is This?” (GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, February 1921), after Arthur Calhoun in Volume 3 of his widely used textbook A SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN FAMILY (1919) explained that “in the new social order, extreme emphasis is sure to be placed upon eugenic procreation.”

  21. The Buddhist monks and the Buddhist establishment has been a powerful force in the country since independence, and the seeds for their empowerment were provided by the Sinhalese Buddhist elite of then Ceylon in collusion with the head prelate Ven. Buddharakitta thero of Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara. Since letting the genie out, no one has been able to put it back in the bottle, and the only ones who can do so are the Sinhalese Buddhists. The Dambulla incident is a mere manifestation of the underlying power of the Buddhist clergy, sensationalized only due to its world wide exposure in dramatic video footage. The real fact is: power plays by Buddhist monks, albeit to not this degree, occur everyday among the nation’s communities.

    @No Frames, I too come from a strong Sinhalese Buddhist background though domiciled in California. I do see your point about the particular vicinity declared as a world heritage site and the inconvenience the mosque creates to this image. As you are aware, there also exists a similar quandary in Jerusalem. Nonetheless, even if your rationale is perfectly just, and furthermore, even if the monk’s position is legally correct, do you honestly believe that the behavior of the monks justifies the desired ends? In viewing Nazi war documentaries, I have yet to see a SS officer flashing himself in front of a synagogue. That lewd act by the young Buddhist monk – clearly visible on the video – must be a world’s first! What do you suppose Sinhalese Buddhists should do? Are we supposed to condone? or as @Ranjan and many other Buddhists have done, criticize such behavior in the strongest possible terms?

    My friend, it does not matter whether the Buddhist monks are in the right, the UC head is a Muslim, or Ven. Inamaluwe has tried since 2009, or that appeals have fallen on deaf ears – all understandable reasons for extreme frustrations. However, ‘frustration’ cannot be sufficient justification to take matters in to one’s own hands and behave like barbarians. At this crucial juncture in the evolution of our society, more than any other community, it is us, the Sinhalese Buddhist majority who has the onus to do the ‘right thing’ by all of the nation’s people. I totally concur that there are many messy areas where we have to dialogue and negotiate with our minority citizens to arrive at mutually satisfactory solutions. But the approach we deploy, I know you will agree, cannot be one of intimidation or flashing them! And when our own ilk resorts to such reprehensible acts, it is those righteous-minded Sinhalese Buddhists who must first speak-up! My friend, it will never be possible for us, the majority, to win the hearts and minds of our minorities until time we earn their respect and confidence. And it will be not be possible for us to build a unified society, until we have won the hearts of one-another. Your implied view that the Tamils and Muslims are a shrewd and opportunist bunch focused only on narrow communal interests, no matter how accurate the view may be, incorrectly pre-assumes that they are void of capacity for inner growth and change. My friend, us humans, at any given time has tons of space to grow, and it is through growth that we become better individuals. Regrettably for us, it is the very leaders – of religions, politics, business, and academia – who are sanctioned to inspire and enhance our growth, have instead opted to do exactly the opposite. After 65 years of experimentation with the Sri Lankan Buddhism model, the Sinhalese must question the status quo, “how well has the Buddhism model served our nation, the communities, and individuals?”; “Is the Buddha Sasana too powerful and have they gone too far?”; “Are we being duped and taken on a ride?”; “Does the fact that one wears a saffron-colored robe, makes him more wiser / better than I?” Honest answers to these questions will determine whether the time has come for dramatic change.

  22. Let all the Muslims go to Saudi, All the Budhists and Hindus to India, All Christians to Rome. Let only “Meeharaka’s ” live in Sri Lanka. Problem solved.

  23. Ranjan, Toronto

    The point I am was trying to make in my previous comment is that most of these saffron clad thugs are sexually frustrated people. Find a way to satisfy their mundane needs without vilifying you will find less problem in the future. The Sinhala/Buddhist have to adjust to the new realities. Let the Sangha amend the Vinaya rules (only for the Sinhala/Buddhist/Theravadies) so that frustrated monks could continue their monk hood while married with a family of their own. In order to do this you need home grown southern consensus, All Party Select Committee recommendations, and a referendum.

    We should not tolerate foreign interference in these matters.

  24. Dias says:
    May 1, 2012 at 3:21 am
    The Buddhist monks and the Buddhist establishment has been a powerful force in the country since independence,
    =========
    Dear friend,

    I fully agreed upon with you on above sentences,

    Even mahamanya D.S.Senanayake the first preminister too below the sanga’s power. He annoyed for a poem which furnished by VIDYALANKARA pirivena’s monk. Here it is

    “Apaayta yanna oona nam numbata
    karapan maha amathi kama eka dawasakata
    nathinam pansalaka deevaalaka sita
    adipathikama karapan thun dawasakata”

    English translation

    If you want to go to hell
    be the preminister for a one day
    if not be the head of a temple or a kovil for a three days.

    So U.N.P. sinhala buddshist groups which were on the power including preminister make brurally harresments to vidtalankara fact.They demanded to withdrawn the poeam, but the sangha was firmly stand for their openion. They cancelled the facilities including probiting offer dane too.

    At the final disussion which held in Privena the preminister told if this is continuing “sasanayath evarai pandu haliyath evarai.(sasanaya will be vanish and also coloring pot which using to colour rope).

    Ven, YAKAKADUWE PRATHNARAMA thero answaed “we will look after abut sasanaya.Preminister must look after for pandu haliya.

    The meeting was ended without any reconcillation.

    This issue was make room for venourable Waipola rahula thero to publishing the book BIKSHUWAKAGA URUMAYA (inheritace of monk) I think even today this book stand as hand book for any monk,

    What I want to tell is,insted of making ill comments abuout sinhala buddhism or ill behaviour of monks it is better to studying this book.If you strong enough to rebatt the facts in this book I think you could make healthy comments against sinhala buddhist monks and their accountability.

    samarasekara

  25. This time PM order is at shake? ha..ha..ha..hi.. hi.. hi..ha..ha..ha..I wonder dog shakes the tail or tail shakes the dog in Srilanka.
    Annil

  26. We cannot blame buddhism or monks in general folks. I know so many that are truly delightful to interact with. Unfortunately in Sri Lanka, Buddhism has been used as one of the many tools to manipulate the voting masses. religion and the state should not be mixed. But Sri Lanka is not alone. We are not the only place on earth where religion has political momentum.

    The masses need to get educated understand and respect each others religions and buy into the fact that the government is to serve all and to better the country economically and present equal opportunities to all. religion is a right and is a personal matter.

    When you have monks assassinating people(even a prime minister), throwing bombs on a stage, and doing the sh*t they just pulled, we know that we have a problem. We have Hindu extremist doing similar things in India. No one needs examples for what the muslims extremists are up to. This is nothing new in the world. Lets fix the problem. Its time the Monks are told to stay away from politics and stick to what they are supposed to do! The question is will MR do this risking being kicked out!

  27. “Centuries of religious co-existence were slowly eroded during the conflict years due to a deliberate targeting of inter-ethnic and inter-religious ties and the LTTE’s policy of ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Sinhalas they perceived as a security threat…”

    Regarding above, ethnic cleansing of Tamils started long before the emergence of the LTTE!! What do you call the State sponsored pogroms against the Tamils starting from the mid 1950s. 1956, 1958, 1977, 1983, and many more? What do you call the burning of the Jaffna library, bombing of churches, temples, schools, hospitals with people sheltering inside? LTTE has become the scapegoat for the violent Sinhala Budhists” crimes against humanity!!!

    Now the LTTE is no more, whom are you going to blame? Leaders incite the mobs to do these evil things to win votes and to remain in power!!! But they are not ashamed to go and worship in Hindu temples in India in the belief that they can wash their sins of mass killing by worshiping and paying penance to Hindu gods!!

    Unless the stupid Sinhalese voters come to their senses and not elect the criminals again and again there will not be peace in Sri Lanka!!!

    I think Native Veddah has correctly diagnosed the “sickness” of the “saffron mobs” (They are wearing the robes, because of the power and the perks it brings and to lead a comfortable life doing “nothing”) in his comments: “The point I am was trying to make in my previous comment is that most of these saffron clad thugs are sexually frustrated people. Find a way to satisfy their mundane needs without vilifying you will find less problem in the future”

  28. To: w.m.k.samarasekara

    “What I want to tell is,insted of making ill comments abuout sinhala buddhism or ill behaviour of monks it is better to studying this book.” [BIKSHUWAKAGA URUMAYA (inheritace of monk) by Ven. Walpola Rahula]

    FYI, I was a student of Ven. Rahula at UCLA

  29. Dias says:
    May 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm
    To: w.m.k.samarasekara

    “What I want to tell is,insted of making ill comments abuout sinhala buddhism or ill behaviour of monks it is better to studying this book.” [BIKSHUWAKAGA URUMAYA (inheritace of monk) by Ven. Walpola Rahula]

    FYI, I was a student of Ven. Rahula at UCLA
    ————-
    I too was a student of Ven Waipola rahula at university of VIDYODAYA.

    samarasekara

  30. After a long time Buddhism bashers and Sri Lanka bashers have got an opening amr are doing so gleefully. So go on my freinds smash all the pots!! no ones at home. But mind you none of this will help heal the problem.
    The discussion after the event among the DIG,PS and the muslim community of the area reveals a lot. It seemes to be an act of rivalry among two Gov.politicians from the same area and the chief monk of the temple also seems to have grudge against one.
    It is sad and unfair to lable this one off incident as a practice of infringement of minority religions by the majority.
    It was a minute minority of the majority community who took part in this and they did not get any support during or after the event from the rest of the majority,which says alot if the buddhist bashers care to hear.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Please dont twist things here.

    No one is bashing Buddhism. No one is bashing Sri Lanka.

    Only those who try to bash Places of worship in the name of Buddhism are being bashed. So called Buddhists who sanction this sacrielege by saffron clad thugs in the name of Buddhism are being bashed.

    Only those who are ruining Sri Lanka in the name of patriotism are bashed. Acts of omission and commission by Rajapaksa regime are bashed but not the country

    Criticism is being levelled because an injustice was done and the Govt seems to be surrendering its writ to pseudo-religious fanatics. So if you are about country and Buddhism start bashing those responsible and not the commentatoors here.

    So please dont try to mix up matters with a hidden sgenda

  31. NAK says:

    “After a long time Buddhism bashers and Sri Lanka bashers have got an opening amr are doing so gleefully”

    Not a day passes by without Sinhala/Buddhist/Aryan/Theravadies creating problem for others and themselves. When we get a chance to hammer the message home to you we will do it without glee as it is our religious duty and because you ask for it.

    You have given us the reason and the stick to beat you to your senses and some of us are happy to oblige without fear or favour.

    You say:

    “But mind you none of this will help heal the problem.”

    I ask you: Why do you create problem in the first place? If there no problem why do you people create one then heal it? It is a very stupid idea my dear stupid man.

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