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Muslim community is strongly opposed to demolition or relocation of Dambulla Mosque

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Al Asna Mosque, Akurana- pic by: Asfur_foreveR courtesy of: Asfur_foreveR

By Ayesha Zuhair

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to summon a meeting shortly to discuss a matter of vital national importance.

This follows a discussion he had with Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader Rauff Hakeem on Monday, during the course of which the President promised to resolve the dispute that has arisen over the Dambulla mosque, without harming the interests of the Muslim community.

At the press briefing held after Hakeem’s conversation with the Head of State (and where Hafiz Nazeer Ahamed was inducted as Deputy Leader of the SLMC), the Muslim Congress Leader asserted: “If any one attempts to shift this mosque which has existed since 1962 to another location, it will be considered an unjust act, which goes against the sentiments of all Muslims in the country. We will not give into violence, intimidation or thuggery.”

The meeting to be convened by the President (which may even take place today or tomorrow) and the events to follow are likely to have a huge impact on ethnic relations in Sri Lanka, and may well prove to be a litmus test of the strength of the Buddhist-Muslim bond.

The question in the minds of many is: will the Executive do what is necessary to ensure that centuries of communal amity between the followers of Buddhism and Islam in this island are safeguarded? Based on the assurance given by the President to Minister Hakeem, there is reason for optimism

Muslims united

As the SLMC Leader pointed out, “The SLMC and all Muslims without hesitation oppose moves to shift the mosque as it will result in dire consequences.”

Senior Minister A. H. M. Fowzie said that all Muslim MPs are “vehemently opposed” to the relocation of the mosque, and will make a joint plea to the executive to take the necessary steps to prevent the demolition of the mosque which has been in existence for many decades.

SLMC General Secretary and Parliamentarian M. T. Hassen Ali said that Muslim MPs are “firmly against” the relocation of the mosque, and will work together to maintain the current status quo

Government MP A. H. M. Azwer said that Muslim MPs are “fully united” on the issue, and that the decision to push for an amicable settlement was a unanimous one.

As reflected in these statements given by Muslim leaders, the entire community is strongly opposed to the demolition of the mosque, and any attempt to do so, will have detrimental, long-term repercussions on ethnic harmony in Sri Lanka

Mob attack

On April 20, the Hairiya Jummah Mosque located at 48/1, Kandy Road, Dambulla was stormed.

Photographic evidence and video footage of the incident showed an unruly mob, many of whom were clad in saffron robes, vandalising the scared place of worship, and preventing Muslims from offering that Friday’s Jummah prayers.

This was a clear violation of the Fundamental Right to religious freedom which is expected to be “respected, secured and advanced by all the organs of government” as per the country’s constitution.

Under Article 10, every person is entitled to the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or adopt a religion or belief of their choice.

The incident was also a violation of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 12 (1) which ensures equality before the law and the equal protection of the law

It later came to light that most of those who were involved in the premeditated mob attack had been brought to the scene from outside Dambulla. So there is reasonable ground to believe that the incident was orchestrated to disrupt the cordial relationship between Muslims and Buddhists.

The Muslims in Dambulla are in fact very well integrated with members of other ethnic and religious groups. They are extremely conversant in Sinhala, and have not just co-existed peacefully with their Sinhalese neighbours, but have contributed significantly to the economic and social development of the area.

Despite the presence of the Police, who had been previously informed that an event of this nature might be staged, no action has been taken – to date – to question or arrest any of those involved in the atrocious act. No charges for intimidation and violent behaviour, causing malicious damage, and carrying out a premeditated attack on a holy site of worship.

The Trustees of the mosque have lodged three complaints to be Police in relation to this incident and are yet to receive any feedback from the authorities

Is a mosque not sacred?

Issues relating to rule of law aside, it is bewildering as to why a mosque may not considered as sacred as any other place of worship. Should we not accord the same respect to all places of religious worship – be it a temple, church, mosque, or kovil?

Katargama and Sri Pada are internationally famed, multi-religious sites of worship where Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Muslims have converged over the centuries for purposes of worship, as both historical facts and contemporary practice attest.

In Kandy there are mosques near the Sri Dalada Maligawa, regarded as the most sacred place of worship in the Buddhist world.

This is not Saudi Arabia , and Sri Lanka is not a mono-religious country; it is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious nation. So why can’t a mosque be located inside a sacred area? What is sacred to Buddhists can and indeed should be deemed sacred to Muslims, and vice versa.

A history of communal accord

Muslims in this island have long cherished the freedom to assemble, build mosques and madrassas, and practice Islam without feeling obliged to camouflage their identity from hostile eyes.

In fact, one could venture so far as to say that the communal amity enjoyed between the Buddhists and Muslims has been the subject of outside envy.

For thousands of years, Muslims have co-existed peacefully will the Sinhalese and did not have to compromise on their religious beliefs. On the contrary, visionary Sinhala leaders encouraged the Muslims to practice their faith without fearing persecution.

This historical bond is well-documented by renowned historian Dr Lorna Dewaraja in her book, ‘The Muslims of Sri Lanka: 1000 years of ethnic harmony 900-1915 AD’.

During the time of the Sinhala kings, from the ancient period, up to the Kandyan Period, there was amity between the Sinhalese and the Muslims. The Muslim traders were economically and politically an asset to the Sri Lankan king, and the King protected them.

The Muslims also fought with the Sinhalese against the Portugese, and the community in Akurana was settled as a gift for this.

The close relationship has yielded mutual benefits for both communities. This relationship is now being put to the test.

The Hairiya Jummah Mosque

Though it has been claimed that the mosque started operating only in 2009, in actual fact the Hairiya Jummah Mosque was established as a mosque in 1962 by U.S.M. Ibrahim, who was its first Trustee.

This is the only place of worship for Muslims in the area, and serves a broader national interest given its proximity to the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium. According to the mosque trustees, even the Pakistani national cricket team has offered prayers in the mosque. Numerous local and foreign (Muslim) tourists also access the prayer facilities on a regular basis.

Even a special religious ceremony (which was broadcast on ITN) was held at the mosque in support of the Sri Lankan government’s efforts at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to defeat a US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka.

If this sacred place of worship is relocated against the wishes of the entire Muslim community in this country, the message it will convey is: what is sacred to you is not necessarily sacred to us. You are ‘The Other’ and you might as well know it.

Perhaps more importantly, the Muslims see a trend in this – starting from Anuradhapura where a Muslim shrine was demolished in September 2011 and are wondering where this will end.

The fall-out from such a move will be exceedingly hard to quantify, and could push a community that is well-integrated in Sri Lankan society into extremist hands

A litmus test?

Despite some dark moments, Sri Lanka has had a long history of religious and cultural co-existence. Should we allow a few bigots to destroy this? To permit such a swing would be nothing short of tragic.

The days and weeks ahead will be a crucial litmus test of the government’s commitment to promote ethnic and religious harmony, and will also test the strength of the Sinhala Buddhist-Muslim bond.

Let’s hope that the relationship will weather the storm, and prove to be robust and dynamic courtesy: Daily Mirror

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42 Comments

  1. The only occassion when Sinhala Buddhists had a real go at their Muslim Brethren was in 1915.

    And that was nearly 100 years ago.

    One Mr Ponnambalam Ramanathan was the most prominent legislator in the British Raj Setup, who backed the Sinhala Buddhists then.

    Things have changed a lot now.

    This incident , purely and solely organised and executed by Opportunistic Politicians , using naive Clergy, is nothing but a part of the current vendetta against the Rajapaksa Regime.

    The only way this Regime can be unsettled is by violence , communal violence in particular, which will give the Opportunity for the so called “IC” to send in their troops under the UN banner.

    These incidents coming so rapidly, soon after the ” IC” UN resolution, and the publicity and the propaganda that is generated by the overseas anti Govt affiliates, clearly points to a planned attack to destabilise the country to make regime change..

    How else can the Opposition gain ground, considering the Economic Development this country has achieved in the last 5 to 6 years.

    Latest ILO figures say the Economy grew at 8.3 percervent in 2010/2011.

    Unemployment at 4.2 percent is well below even our prosperous neighbor and Diaspora friend Australia, which was in the Headlines recently for the wrong reasons.

    And the per capital income of the inhabitants was USD 2850 at the end of 2011, although the Economic Whizz Kid in the UNP has argued that there is a couple of Ruppees difference in the exchange rate calculations..

  2. There are past experiences of Muslim politicians caving in and compromising the interests of the community. If that happens in this issue too that will be the beginning of the end of Muslim existence as Muslims in the country. The Muslim politicians should be firm on not agreeing to the shifting of the Mosque. Muslim religious and civil organisations should exert pressure on the politicians to ensure that they will not change their position and later come out with pacifying and soothing stories.

  3. Keep whitewashing the so called Buddhist-Muslim bond and hope people will be hoodwinked into believing it…

    You cant keep fooling people all the time….

  4. “The government has nurtured a viper and encouraged racial extremists in its bosom that it is unable to control. It is a deeper phenomenon that is more deadly; a certain version of Sinhala-Buddhist ideology that has impregnated society at large. The consciousness that drove forward the war also cemented a pre-existing faith that Sri Lanka is the land of the Sinhalese and the pristine home of Buddhism; other races and faiths must recognize that they live in a borrowed place on sufferance of good behavior. The politicization of Buddhism as the state religion, the constitutional entrenchment of Sinhala, and the ethnic monopolization of state and the armed forces, has shaped the political structure of the country.”

    quote BY TARIQ A. AL-MAEENA from Saudi Gazette

  5. HOW TO PROVE LEGALITY OF THE MOSQUE

    “Though it has been claimed that the mosque started operating only in 2009, in actual fact the Hairiya Jummah Mosque was established as a mosque in 1962 by U.S.M. Ibrahim, who was its first Trustee.”
    ——-

    TFHREE QUESTION SHOULD BE ANSWARE.

    1.Did the construction get the approval by the Dambulla divisional secretry office?

    Answare NO

    2.Did the construction get the approval from the Dambulla municipal council?

    Answare NO

    3.Did the construction get the approval from the Dambulla town development planning office?

    Answare NO

    So what will happend if buddhist will launch a programme on constructing a temple within DAVATAGAHA PALLIYA permiss that belongs to muslims.

    samarasekara

  6. The sacred concept still not clear to the very people who introduced it in the country.
    There are two major critics leveled by the majority-mania Sinhalese against the minorities of this country. One is they are ‘land grabbers’. The particular phrase was expressly mentioned in the open court by genius lawyer and Sinahalese racist, Mr. Manohora de Silva.P.C, who led the case against the distribution of Houses constructed for the Tsunami Affected people in Akkaraipattu area.
    The second criticism is that the minorities of this country always construct their religious places in the area where they settle.
    These allegations are result of ignorance of the reality about the nature and the difference between the need for a religious place with the Sinahlese and the minorities of the country.
    If a sharp survey is done in the history how the pattern of state land distribution were continuously designed and headed in the country the truth will become more clear. Obviously, more than 90% the state lands were distributed only amongst the Sinhalese, in the discriminatory manner against the minorities with the purpose of destabilization of the demographic and voting pattern in the dry zone.
    Having lost the hope of still being dependent on the government for the lands for the livelihood and day to day activities, the minorities were compelled to purchase land on exorbitant values.
    The minorities, specially Muslims, consider the mosques as a place where they voluntarily gather to get their religious activities done. It is well known that Muslims have to perform 5 times prayer for a day of which three of them fall at 6.30 p.m, and 8.00 pm, and 4.30 am respectively. So, it’s natural that they put up a place for these prayers in a easily accessible way. This is the practice from the days of Prophet Muhamad (Peace upon him) and throughout the history everywhere in the world.
    But, what is happening in Sri Lank among Buddists is, a kind of ‘reactive religious moves’ not purly believed follwing of Budhas teachings. That is they started to play ‘Bana’ because Muslims play Azan i.e. call to pray. What is this.????
    Mosques never forces its massage upon other communities. But, Bana is purposely played as a reactive blow against the minorities of this country. I never criticize Bana itself, but, the way it is used is worrying.
    Minorities put up their religious place not in an isolated manner; it is a part of their culture and community in a particular village. But, in case of Boodees or, newly constructed Lord Buddah statutes, are definitely to show the symbol of Sinhalese Hegemony over other minorities of these countries. If not, why the lord Buddah is exhibited at the peak of every rock and every lane and corners of the country??? where no people go to it and pray. It is a sin that lord Buddah is let by these peole to be a place of abondaned and misues. If it is in the Sihlaese people living area, yes, they need it for their religious purpose. But, why at the every corner in the North and East???? And in the predominately Tamil speaking area where there is no Buddist to listen to the Bana, or worship the Buddah????

    Is there in this country any single Church or Mosque or Kovil which was totally funded by this government for its construction??? No. Never. All of them were put up with the own efforts of those respective minority communities. On the other hand, is there a single Pansala, or Boodee which is not funded by the government? Take the development and construction 900 pansala all over the country under ‘Sambud Dadwa Jayanthi National Program which is totally funded by this government…. i.e huge part of the taxes of all communities.
    A Buddha Sasana Ministry under the Prime minister ony for the Budhism????

  7. w.m.k.samarasekara says:
    May 3, 2012 at 11:52 am

    HOW TO PROVE LEGALITY OF THE MOSQUE

    “Though it has been claimed that the mosque started operating only in 2009, in actual fact the Hairiya Jummah Mosque was established as a mosque in 1962 by U.S.M. Ibrahim, who was its first Trustee.”
    ——-

    TFHREE QUESTION SHOULD BE ANSWARE.

    1.Did the construction get the approval by the Dambulla divisional secretry office?

    Answare NO

    2.Did the construction get the approval from the Dambulla municipal council?

    Answare NO

    3.Did the construction get the approval from the Dambulla town development planning office?

    Answare NO

    So what will happend if buddhist will launch a programme on constructing a temple within DAVATAGAHA PALLIYA permiss that belongs to muslims.

    samarasekara

    ——————-

    did the mosque exist fo more than 50 years
    answer yes

    dis this create any issue for the local community for the last 50 years
    NO

    did people of all faith lived peacefully over the last 50nyears
    yes
    is this is an example of a tolerant Sri Lanka
    yes
    so why disturb it after 50 years?

  8. Yes, this particular mosque is twice sacred beacuse it is built on an already sacred ground. That is how most places of worship in the island of different religions cameto be established. Abhayagiriya built on former Jain monk’s residence, Mirisa wetiya built on the Yakkha Marichi’s residence, many Kovils in the north and East built on former Buddhist places of worship, the Mosque at Kataragama on the premises of Hindu/Buddhist shrines of Skanda/ Kiri Vehera, many Roman Catholic Churches built on the sites of former Buddhist temples. Even Dalada Maligawa of Kotte was converted to one. Christian churches during British times built on such sacred places like Ruwanweliseya, and Kandy Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. These were either confrontational or atttempts to gain from reflected veneration.

    What one heard in the air of the Sacred City of Anuradhapura very early morningsome years back was mot the peel of a temple or the chant of scriptures but the call to prayers froma distant mosque. One might think one was in a holy Muslim city like Mashad. What tranquility? What religious freedom? What more does one want as long as there is moderation and feeling for need to respect others? Some may think differently.
    The Arab writer Abu Said wrote of the tolerance of the Buddhists and the presence of Manecheans and a community of Jews in the 9th century.

  9. The Venerable Chief Monk has committed 4 criminal offences.

    1 Unlawful Assembly 2 Criminal Trespass 3 Criminal Damage to the Mosque Property

    4 Criminal intimidation with impunity.

    Why the law of the land does not apply to him

  10. We need above all to recognise the sanctity of human life. The rights of Human beings to live and practice their faiths. The greed for ownership of land and property beyond the call of religous requirements cannot be condoned. According to the Buddha Sasana report of 2002.

    12.23 The Commission recognises that bhikkhus should refrain from party politics and
    that they should maintain their independence to admonish any political party that comes
    into power. Accordingly the Commission recommends the following Code of Practices to
    be observed by all political parties restraining them from enticing bhikkhus to engage in
    party politics.
    – Political parties should refrain from enrolling bhikkhus as members of their parties.
    – Political parties should not involve bhikkhus in party political activities.
    – Political parties should not give nominations to bhikkhus at pradeshiya sabha,
    provincial council, and parliamentary elections.
    Furthermore, all Nikaya headquarters should request all political parties not to give
    nominations to bhikkhus at any election. (4.68)
    12.24 The Commission received many complaints regarding the eight requisites (atapirikara),
    which are the most important of the requisites of a bhikkhu. The following
    recommendations are made after considering these representations.
    – Of the eight requisites, the bowl, the single robe, the double robe, the bathing
    robe, the belt, and the razor should be of a usable quality. Hence, standards
    should be set for them.
    – All robes should be prepared according to vinaya specifications.
    – The bowl and the two robes of the eight requisites should be kept separately so
    that the purchaser could inspect these items.
    – The eight requisites should be reasonably priced. The name of the maker and the
    standard registration number obtained from the Ministry of Buddha Sasana should
    be displayed.
    – In every township a shop approved by the Ministry of Buddha Sasana should be
    established for the sale of eight requisites that have been made according to
    5 specifications. (4.70)

    12.25 New appliances and goods as well as modern technological devices should be
    used, if at all, in a manner that will not transgress the rules of discipline and external
    deportment of one who has gone forth. Accordingly, it is suggested, that
    – All upasampada and samanera bhikkhus should be donning robes that are only
    yellow and brown in colour and not of any other.
    – Bhikkhus should not use umbrellas of different colours and sizes and should use
    only black, yellow, Burmese and the talipot umbrellas.
    – Bhikkhus should not use cloth satchels that have been stitched out of dark cloth
    such as dark red, dark blue etc and should use only those that have been stitched
    out of yellow and brown cloth.
    – Slippers of different designs and colours that are not in keeping with a bhikkhu’s
    demeanour should not be worn. Slippers with toes and heels closed as is the case
    of shoes should not be worn.
    – Large handbags with heavy loads should not be carried when travelling.
    – Cameras, video equipment, cellular telephones should not be used in public
    places and on public roads. If and when required these could be used
    appropriately and with decorum. (4.71)

    12.27 Bhikkhus should refrain from improper conduct and unsuitable avocations. If such a
    situation arises the Commission recommends that the Nikaya or Chapter to which the
    erring bhikkhu belongs should bring it to his notice. After admonition he should be placed
    on probation or âyati saüvara. In case of a bhikkhu who do not accede to the advice or
    admonition so given, the Sangha Council of the Nikaya or the Chapter to which he
    belongs should conduct a disciplinary inquiry against such a bhikkhu and punish him
    suitably. (4.76)

    12.33 State land that are situated within the boundaries of the temple land (viharagam)
    used by persons performing rajakari to the Sacred Bo Tree should be reserved for the
    future benefit of their next of kin. (5.39)

    12.34 The State should intervene in returning the temple and devale lands taken over
    under the Land Reforms Act. (5.40)

    12.35 Suitable amendments should be brought to the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance
    No. 19 of 1931 to enable a simple method, similar to provisions in the Waqf Ordinance
    No. 51 of 1956, to certify the right of ownership of land belonging to Buddhist religious
    places and devales. (5.43)

    12.36 A separate division under a Commissioner should be created in the Department of
    Buddhist Affairs to look after matters pertaining to ecclesiastical property. (12.47)

    12.37 An Advisory Board for development of ecclesiastical property should be named to
    advice the special division mentioned above. (12.47)

    12.38 The leasing of land belonging to Buddhist religious places to non-Buddhist persons
    and organisations should be prohibited.

    12.39 It was revealed in evidence that the lands belonging to the Muhudu Mahaviharaya
    in Panamapattuva and the historic Buddhist sacred site in Kuragala, Balangoda had been
    encroached by the Muslim community. The lands belonging to these two religious places
    should be recovered and the two sites should be conserved in a manner that their
    sanctity is preserved. (6.16)

    It is noted that there is no reference to any other locations other than the two mentioned above. In any case these are only perches in extent in an existing township and duly registered under the Waqf Act. Also the commission reccomends reagrding the behaviour of monks. So it would be good if these reccomendations are reviewed and implemented in a suitable manner avoiding harm to other minority communities living peacefully in this country of ours.

  11. When a muslim convert Ms Sarah Malani Perera wrote a book on Comparative religions and gave her reasons for reverting to Islam she was taken into and ept in custody under the RREVENTION AND TERRORISM ACT.It did not take even a few hours to arrest her.The Law acted at a lightening speed.
    But in the case of Buddhist Monk who led the Anuradhapura mosque demolition in the presence of police,no action was taken upto now.
    Some Buddhist Monks behaviour in Dambulla is worst ever.The monk had even went to an extent of exposing his genitals towards the mosque.
    If this is not a crime which the Law should have acted immediately and the higher government authorities are keeping silent,doe it mean there is government Culpability in such matters and the leaders of the Country is responsible.

  12. TO: @w.m.k.samarasekara, My friend, in this case it is not the legitimacy of the religious dwelling that is under scrutiny – rather the legality and the decency of the behavior of the Ven. head monk, other monks, and the unruly mob. My friend, the time has come for us Sinhalese Buddhists to start calling a Spade “a Spade”, and cease our traditional practices of denial and cover. If we are so blind that we cannot see that what happened at Dambulla was simply ‘wrong’ then we might as well give-up on any hope of ever achieving true peace. And if we are incapable of understanding that the survival of the Sinhalese race and our Sinhala-Buddhist way-of-life is totally dependent on the healthiness of the life-styles of our minorities, primarily Tamils and Muslims, then we have effectively written our own death sentence.

    TO: @w.m.k.samarasekara, My friend, in this case it is not the legitimacy of the religious dwelling that is under scrutiny – rather the legality and the decency of the behavior of the Ven. head monk, other monks, and the unruly mob. My friend, the time has come for us Sinhalese Buddhists to start calling a Spade “a Spade”, and cease our self-defeating practice of denial and cover. If we are so blind that we cannot see that what happened at Dambulla was simply ‘wrong’ then we might as well give-up on any hope of ever achieving true peace. And if we are incapable of understanding that the survival of the Sinhalese race and our Sinhala-Buddhist way-of-life is totally dependent on the healthiness of the life-styles of our minorities, primarily Tamils and Muslims, then we have effectively written our own death sentence.

    Millions of Sinhalese who live in Sri Lanka are of the conviction that the country would never be divided, a belief that is clouded by emotions. (Take note that in the past nations with much more power and capacity have been subject to division.) If we are not willing to change and accommodate minorities as precise equals (as us), our beloved country will be bifurcated. The Dambulla-incident has become a high profile event that is closely watched by powerful law makers throughout the world, and it is them who will make the eventual decisions about the status of our nation – somewhat like they did in Geneva.

    Ensuring Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is exclusively in YOUR hands: and all you have to do is, ‘do the ‘right thing’ (with accordance to Buddha’s basic teachings)! And the nation would be saved. [YOUR = Sinhalese-Buddhists]

  13. The Buddhists who promote so called harmony between the Buddhists and Muslims should find, what had happened to countries such as Indonesia Afghanistan and Maldives. Indonesia has now become the most populous Muslim country in the world. Could someone take a picture of Lord Buddha to Saudi Arabia or Iran leave alone putting up a temple there. When Afghan lunatics destroying Bhamina Buddha Statutes, did Muslims here in Sri Lanka pretested.
    It is the time for Sri Lankan buddhists understand the gravity of the situation

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Sri Lanka is not Afghanistan,Maldives or Indonesia.Are you justifying the attack on Dambulla mosque as revenge for Bamiyan BUddha destruction? Are you equating Igalagamuwe Sumangala Thero & Hela Urumaya with Taliban?

  14. A litmus test alright – almost exclusively on president Rajapaksa, and so far it has been abysmal! Someone should remind him that it is a line-item in his JD, job description, “Ensure to protect the rights of every citizen”.

  15. Something, former president Chandrika Kumaratunge said in her recent essay published in groundviews.com, drew my attention.

    “At this point, I would like to describe my personal experience as Head of State. I was personally committed to the concept that Federalism and inclusivity were the solutions to Sri Lanka’s minorities’ question. I had also ascertained that the majority of adherents to the exclusivist Sinhala Buddhist concept of the State belong to a small minority of the elite ruling class- politicians and clergy closely linked to them, professionals and business men. The masses, in their vast majority were not committed to extremist political views of any type.”

    I agree with her 100 %. Having grown up among the Sinhalese and Buddhists and interacted with them extensively, I have always adovocated this postion. It is the misguided/evil intentions of a few which has led Sri Lanka, to where she is. Such elements are among the Sinhalese , Tamils and Muslims. Of course, in terms of population, there are numerically more of such elements among the Sinhalese.

    Mr.Sambanthan was shown waving the Sri Lankan flag at the recent May Day rally in Jaffna, along with Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe. This was a welcome sight. However, Mavai Senathiraja, a TNA heavy weight, has condemned this in a language bordering on treason. He is receiving his salary and other perks from the Sri Lankan state and has sworn allegiance to the Sri Lankan constitution, but objects to the Sri Lankan flag being waved by his leader in Jaffna! He is an example of a Hindu-Tamil extremist. The equivalent of the Sinhala-Buddhist extremists.

    The Muslims too have their share of such persons.

    Such elements should be marginalized and circumscrimbed by law and social condemnation/ ostracism.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  16. Normally if a construction has been in existence uopposed beyond 10 years then the local council or authority has lost the right to challenge the existence and the use of the said construction. Therefore the mosque is legally is in existence over 60 years.

    The police should arrest the thugs who trespassed the mosque premises and charge them with criminal behaviour.

    Even the Justice minister can’t get justice through normal channels he has to go to the president begging for justice.

    Does this justice ministry post has any meaning? Can the minister enforce any law of the land without the worry of racist behaviour from these Buddhist thugs. They are a disgrace to the Budhist religion.

  17. Hello DBS,

    This quite hilarous since the picture is Akurana Mosque and the article is about Dambulla Mosque.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    There is nothing hilarious because the caption clearly identifies it as Al Asna Mosque in Akurana.

    ( Al Asna Mosque, Akurana- pic by: Asfur_foreveR courtesy of: Asfur_foreveR)

    By the way try and read and understand what the article is saying?

  18. Mr.Sambanthan was shown waving the Sri Lankan flag at the recent May Day rally in Jaffna, along with Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe. This was a welcome sight. However, Mavai Senathiraja, a TNA heavy weight, has condemned this in a language bordering on treason. He is receiving his salary and other perks from the Sri Lankan state and has sworn allegiance to the Sri Lankan constitution, but objects to the Sri Lankan flag being waved by his leader in Jaffna! He is an example of a Hindu-Tamil extremist. The equivalent of the Sinhala-Buddhist extremists.///

    Dr. Narendran,

    You are playing a relegious game here comparing the Sinhala buddhist extremism with Hindu-Tamil extremism. You must understand there is relegious influence in tamil politics compared to Sinhala buddhist extremism.

    It is absolutely unacceptable that Sampanthan waving Sri Lankan Flag along with Ranil Wickremasinghe in a May day Rally. The waving of Sri Lankan Flag has really hurt most of the tamils and Mavai Senathiraja’s apology to tamil people is necessary at this juncture, not extremism. The TNA including Mavai accepted that Tamils are prepared to give up the call for separation if there is a meaningful devolution of power in a united framework.

    Sampanthan made the same mistake during the Presidential election supporting Sarath Fonseka. Sarath Fonseka is a war criminal who is responsible along with Rajapakse for the masscre of 40,000 innocent tamils.

    There is no difference between UNP and SLFP in terms of finding a permanent reasonable solution within united Sri Lanka sharing the power with tamils and Sinhalese. Tamils suffered the same level of violence under UNP and SLFP. The alliance with UNP is more helpful to send a wrong message to Sinhala people as that did during presidential election.

  19. DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Sri Lanka is not Afghanistan,Maldives or Indonesia.Are you justifying the attack on Dambulla mosque as revenge for Bamiyan BUddha destruction? Are you equating Igalagamuwe Sumangala Thero & Hela Urumaya with Taliban?

    ANSWER IS THAT FINALLY TALIBAN OR MUSLIMS HAVE ACHIEVED THEIR GOAL DESTROYING THE LAST SIGN OF BUDDHISM IN AFGANISTAN. TALIBAN WILL BE IN EXISTANCE OR NOT RESULT IS STATUES DESTROYED N IN ANOTHER 10 -20 YEARS NO ONE TALK ABOUT THAT. WHAT IS SAYS IS THIS IS A ISLAMIC COUNTRY. THATS WHAT HAPPEN TO ALL THESE COUNTYRIES.

    You are pathetic…………DBSJ

  20. Samarasekara
    Did Inamaluwa thero get permission from the Divisional
    secretary to storm the mosque and behave thuggish? “NO”

    Did he get permission to storm the mosque from the
    Municipal council? “NO”

    Has Dambulla town development planning office given him
    permit to enter the mosque with hired goons? “NO”

    Has budhism anywhere advocated to unleash violence against another religion? “NO”

    Samarasekara,we can put you in a bottomless pit of NOs.
    You only have two choices.RIGHT AND WRONG.

  21. w.m.k.samarasekara says:
    May 3, 2012 at 11:52 am

    HOW TO PROVE LEGALITY OF THE MOSQUE

    “Though it has been claimed that the mosque started operating only in 2009, in actual fact the Hairiya Jummah Mosque was established as a mosque in 1962 by U.S.M. Ibrahim, who was its first Trustee.”

    SAMARASEKARA, DO YOU THINK THE BUDDHA STATUES N PANSALAS BUILT IN NORTH EAST PROVINCE HAVE PERMISSION OF RELAVANT AUTHORITIES?? nO, NOT AT ALL. TRY TO TREAT ALL RELIGION SAME. AND I LIVED IN A DEEP SINHALA SOUTH VILLAGE OVER FOUR YEARS AND MOST OF THE SINHALESE HATE MUSLIMS, BUT BECAUSE OF THE WAR THAT TIME THEY COULD NOT EXPRESS. NOW WAR IS OVER, AND WAR AGAINST MUSLIMS STARTED. I AM SURE IT WILL CONTINUE (THIS IS PURELY BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE WITH SINHALESE OVER 15 YEARS)

  22. To every body…
    Always minorities will be harmed by the majorities every where in the world.
    Specilly after winning the war from LTTE in Sri-Lankan Sinhalese majority is showing
    more power and proud.If the GOD want He can make a very rich person to a very
    poor person within no time.So be careful.Specially dont try to harm any religion.
    All religions are following one and only GOD and we all are from one father and
    one mother.If you do any sin will be asked by the GOD after your death.
    About Dambulla mosque incident:1.Which court gave order to Rev.Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Thera to attack the mosque? 2.Why he broght people from out of Dambulla area to support him to attack the mosqe as there are enough Sinhalese people in Dambulla area? 3.One priest removing his yellow cloth and showing his genitalia to the mosque and is allowed in Bhuddist religion? 4.One preist said not only in Dambulla but in any part of Sri-Lanka we will not allow the Muslims to build mosques.What it means? 5.Sri-Lankan Gov.always says dont take the rule of laws to your own hands.And what has happened at Dambulla? 6.Duty of the security forces is to prevent harms to any body and anything.But they are accompnying the Sinhalese thugs including Bhuddist preist to attack the mosque.If you are a security officer you have to treat all religions equally without any differences.But what has happened at Dambulla? So my kind request to all our Sri-Lankan brothers and sisters is please respect all the religions and race try to have a peaseful and harmonylife with kind co-operation to improve our sweet island of Sri-Lanak.Please remember all about latest tsunami warning…

  23. RajasH
    Since you replyied my three questions you didn’t reply the last question. Before comenting for your reply I do need the reply of last question.

    Herewith I repeate the last question.

    So what will happend if buddhist will launch a programme on constructing a temple within DAVATAGAHA PALLIYA permiss that belongs to muslims?

    ANSWARE ME.

    samarasekara

  24. Ram
    SAMARASEKARA, DO YOU THINK THE BUDDHA STATUES N PANSALAS BUILT IN NORTH EAST PROVINCE HAVE PERMISSION OF RELAVANT AUTHORITIES?? nO,
    —————-
    Dear friend.

    According to the prevailling law there is no need of such requirnment. I think you may not seen my coment in manner which I ellaborate the law clearly. So far no one challange me. Infact before making counter coments better to study it.

    Infact if you want to abolish or amend the relavent law, why not you contact justice minister Mr,Hakeem.

    samarasekara

  25. muzammil says:
    May 4, 2012 at 7:55 am
    Samarasekara
    Did Inamaluwa thero get permission from the Divisional
    secretary to storm the mosque and behave thuggish? “NO”

    Did he get permission to storm the mosque from the
    Municipal council? “NO”

    Has Dambulla town development planning office given him
    permit to enter the mosque with hired goons? “NO”

    Has budhism anywhere advocated to unleash violence against another religion

    Samarasekara,we can put you in a bottomless bottomless
    pit of NOs.
    You only have two choices.RIGHT AND WRONG.
    ——————
    Don’t you see MIDDLE PATH. It is lying between rite and wronge.
    It means in the needed circumstance,rite things could be perform with blending small portion of wronge stuff. Other wice it won’t be materialise.

    samarasekara

  26. The muslims should vacate the Illegally built Mosque and relocate out side of Dambulla.

  27. This should not be moved…..IF MOVED……everyone should remember that this is the beginning of the end…. And also exactly what govt has been expecting……….they have lost all their trumps…this is the final….

  28. Ever since its birth the SLMC is yet to get 100 percent support from all srilankan muslims. The muslim voters are divided in most parts of the Island. Some are still with the UNP and some with PA and the rest with SLMC.. Now it all depends on the verdict our wise President.. One false move is very much likely to unite majority of the muslims together who will no doubt back the opposition in the next Presidential and the General elections..

  29. Mr Samarasekera……firstly you must realise that there are no Buddhists in this country anymore nor Buddhists priests….they sell lord Buddha for survival and the poor masses are trapped…….all the Buddhist priests are businessmen / Parliamentarians…..this is a dangerous trend…..do not ask historical evidence of a mosque that was in place for the pat 60 years….was Inamaluwe thera was sleeping all this while …so called new rich Buddhists patronise the temples with cash donations that invariably goes to the temple high priest….the mosques also are being patronised in the same way by rich Muslim community…..whilst the mosques helping their poor community they also develop the buildings…this is what the Buddhists cannot witness..it is nothing but FEAR ….that springs due to BLINDNESS …..that springs due to JEALOUSY ….that springs due to GREED,( thanha, lobha, moha, bhaya or dhukka ) As Buddhists priests should know the impermenance of things…it says ashes to ashes…..dust to dust …earth to earth…..the Buddhists priests in this country today sow nothing
    Mr Samarasekera…but bhaya or dhukka…..so the ultimate result is hatred…you reap what you sow……just
    because one wears a yellow he can never be a Buddhists monk….lord Buddha also said only by behaving
    according to the buddhist principles.one can become a buddhist….and that person will be always be saved by
    People should have wisdom….it does not come by education..by my understanding of principalities of issues.. This is a real political game played by so called leaders….those who have wisdom will survive…others will perish……the Muslims in this country have wisdom…and patients….that is why they did not react to the issue however much their leaders tried to capitalise on the issue……the buddhist priests and the leaders who provoked this should b ashamed…….

  30. I have seen the big Ganesha staue erected within a Buddhist Vihara in Dambulla. Unfortunately,I do not know the name of this Vihara.

    The issue is not involving the ordinary/ common people of the country. It involves individuals who are bigots, extremists, chauvinists and criminals. Sumangala Thera is one such individual, but stands shamed and isolated today.

    True Nation,
    Mavai Senathirajah, is also no different, but more dangerous. Because he is claiming to represent the views of the Tamil people. When one does this to create trouble, it is dangerous in the current circumstances. There is a time for restraint in words, deeds and reactions and a time for loud and cheap rhetoric. This is the time for restraint.

    I salute Mr.Sambanthan for his flag waving and his reply, although I feel he and the TNA made a amistake once by supporting Sarath Fonseka and now by holding a joint May Day rally with the UNP. The Tamils have to learn to work with the Sinhala polity, but should not choose sides in an opportunistic manner. This approach failed in the 1960s and will fail us now.

    Further, as long as the present flag is the Sri Lankan flag we have to respect it. The TNA has agreed to work within the framework of a united Sri lanka. The ‘Lion Flag’ is the flag of Sri Lanka now. We can however call for changes in it, if we have objections to aspects of it. We have to also remember that we accepted it at one time, when the changes we suggested were included. Is the flag the major issue in our agenda?

    The May Day has no relevance for the present day Jaffna. There are no unionized workers of any significance there and 10,000 persons from the South had to be transported to create an impression. The problems in the north and east are not related to Tamil, the flag, the anthem or workers rights. What we have is a ‘Human’ problem encompassing a very large number- the larger prportion- of people who are the victims of brutal wars and their repercussions. Mavai Senathirah was not expressing the views of this majority, but those of a minority of Tamil nationalists and extremists, who have three full meals a day and can afford to dream of resurrecting an enterprise that miserably failed the Tamil people and pushed them into a hell hole. I call this extremisn of the Hindu-Tamil/ Tamil-Hindu variety!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  31. Why we have to sympathies Muslim this much, conceder what they have done to the world, They are advancing their religion at any cost. Look What happen in Afghanistan, To Whom wave their flag between Pakistan and Sri Lanka cricket Match, Have they cried when Egypt Muslim extremist killed thousands of Christian and burn, who cried for those crime, Did all the Muslims cry for those crimes who is crying now .What happen in Sri Lanka is Nothing just try to solve these without making big deal from it. Can anyone built a Buddhist temple in any Muslim Countries, even Red Cross cannot use their embalm because it is a cross. These hypocrite Muslims must stop using and abusing freedom of Religion everywhere in the world while they killing other religions stop in their countries and also do not forget killed millions of people in African countries during Muslim Invasion too.

  32. Even after waving the Lion flag in the heartland of the late LTTE leader’s Tamil eelaam, it was a bit harsh for the Presidential spokesperson to get stuck into Mr Sambandan, reminding him how he kept mum about the child soldiers and how he even allowed the TNA followers to be enlisted as political cadres of the LTTE.

    This response was a result of Mr Sambandan trying to make capital out of Dambulla and the recent internal security measures to track down LTTEers in the East.

    Mr Sambandan’s attempt to join the UNP is a very wise and a progressive move.

    Mr Sambandan is showing signs that ,he wants to rid himself of his LTTE past as well as his current image as a puppet of the Global Eezaahmists.

    The scathing attack he recieved from the Eezaahmists fllowing his joint rally with the Ranil faction is solid proof of Eezaahmists dissapointment.

    They specically reported that the UNP transported 10,000 UNP supporters from the South for the joint Rally, and only one hundred TNA .supportes were there to listen to Mr Sambandan.

    They also said that old Doughie managed to get four thousand for his Rally.

    UNP Ranil faction now is totally dependent on the support of the minority groups, namely the two Ethnic minorities and the well off Christian minority.

    These minority groups even gave Ranil faction, it’s first taste of an Election victory in fifteen years.

    This is a good opportunity for Mr Sambandan, to jettison the communal politics that the TNA has been into, and join the main stream as a major political party.

    When the ex General joins the UNP Premadasa faction, TNA can be an equal partner, to form a joint party that articulates good policies to develop Srilanka as a united Nation that provides equal opportunities to all inhabitnants,regardless of ethnic and religious backgroundsand or differences..

    If they project such an image with tangible evidence that they mean business,, it will be an attractive alternative to millions who would not want to support the current regime or the UNP faction that has openly adopted a pro Sinhala ,pro Buddhist stance just to gain political support in the South.

  33. w.m.k.samarasekara says:
    May 4, 2012 at 11:05 am

    RajasH
    Since you replyied my three questions you didn’t reply the last question. Before comenting for your reply I do need the reply of last question.

    Herewith I repeate the last question.

    So what will happend if buddhist will launch a programme on constructing a temple within DAVATAGAHA PALLIYA permiss that belongs to muslims?

    ANSWARE ME.

    samarasekara
    —————————
    Your last question shows your mind set and for that matter all of your questions. The honest answer is Buddhist Sinhalese can do anything they like and the armed forces and the politicians will look on approvingly.

    I personally respect all religion and I am sure majority of Sri Lankans do as well. In that respect Davatagha Palliya does not belong to muslims but to all Sri Lankans. Take The Katragama Murugan temple as an example it is now a place of multicultural faith does any one complain.

    So Mr Samasekara we do need people like you to change and influence your fellow Sinhala Buddhist and emphasize to them that putting Buddha statue in every street corner only pollutes the Buddhist religion let alone the street corner and and make the Buddha statue an object of decoration and not of worship

  34. Samarey,middle path is for transit.Not the destination.
    Your destination is the right path.Srilanka is Srilankan
    muslim’s destination.Not a transit point.We are Srilankans and we always lived it in a big way.Because of
    UNBUDHIST FALSE SINHALABUDHISM,we are being targeted by
    rogue elements parading in yellow robes.These yellows are stationed in every nook and corner of Srilanka with
    everything provided free by ordinary people like you,in
    the hope that they can save you from the punishments of
    after-death.Look what they themselves deserve after death!Go Samarey Go,it’s your turn to tell your yellows”Do not touch our muslim patriotic brothers in our name”.That is the real PATH which is the RIGHT path

  35. Mr. Jayatah…….were you circumcised when you came out of your mother,s womb ? …….who said you are a Buddhist…..who told you who your father is or was………..? Those who live by dharma will be protected by dharma ..these immortal words were not uttered by Inamaluwe or The SIYALLADATH President of the Country but by Lord Buddha whom all of you worship…….it is the fear of all the people in this country due to thanha, lobha, moha …..lord Buddha also said…. ANICCAWATHA SANKARA UPPAADA WAYA DHAMMINO ….do you know the true meaning of this great teachings ? do not support bankrupt politicians who creates racial, Religeous prejudicism for survival……kindly note that this country is steadily sliding towards dictatorship…open your eyes….you may say you can see but actually you cannot see….Do not support for further bloodshed in this Country…… Sri Lanka no longer have buddhists, Buddhism or Buddhist priests ……but only. …king yellow robed businessmen & politicians who spread hatred every minute of the day who sell lord Buddha for survival…….and blood thirsty hounds……this country is a rudderless boat caught in a great storm…….

  36. Castes among Sinhala themselves is, one major or even the most encouraging contributor to laying conditions to intolerance of other communities.Sinhalabuddhism is an
    easy cover to hide their cast discriminations which can otherwise raise its head in a so far maintained high caste supremacy with one short-lived exception.Muslims in the southern coastal areas are mainly targeted by the Karawa and other low caste unruly elements.Sinhalism is their protection from the hands of the law and the majority has to go with it to be proud Sinhalese.All public officials have to sing in chorus.Thus it becomes part of the fabric and a politics built upon to serve it.Look at very closely,most or all parts of south is being occupied by these rowdy lot and the reason why it (intolerance)is steadily increasing is,reasonably due to this migration of coastal thugs.I have seen them in many parts of the country, poisoning all innocent minds just for their personal benefit.Muslims are well aware of emerging patterns.

  37. The most viewers here cannot understand that this so called Mosque is just a pray center for muslims who came to Dambulla economic center for business. Everybody knew that muslims praying in the morning and noon. So they need a temporary praying center. If this is a mosque it should be a proper place like this Akurana mosque.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    This Mosque had its beginnings in 1962. It developed slowly and is today a full fledged place of worship holding Jumma prayers on Fridays with a resident Imam. The average attendance on Fridays is said to average 700.

    If the Inamaluwe Sumangala Thero stops his hateful campaign and donates funds from the money he has allegedly made through sordid financial deals I am sure a lovely Mosque building could be constructed in the future

  38. “herefore, let us in this Vesak season pave the way to success in this world and the next, by a eschewing all disputes and divisions and making a commitment to national unity and religious co-existence through seeing the true light of Buddhist teaching.” – from the President’s Vesak meaasge

    I am sure these words of wisdom are in response to the Dambulla incident. They are appropriate, timely and welcome. These views could not have been uttered on a better occasion. He should spell out this message also in more concrete and specific terms soon.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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