By Sawani Sheshadi
If there are issues and crises related to religious as well as ethnic co-existence in Sri Lanka, solutions can be solicited through the spiritual guidance taught in religions.
Hence, any unwanted foreign involvement should be frowned upon, said Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith attending the launching ceremony of the biography of Ven. Banagala Upatissa Thera.
The western countries that whine and grumble that Sri Lanka is an extremist country, are engaged in manufacturing and selling pernicious weapons to strengthen their financial power, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith stressed while emphasising those foreign forces to “mind their own business” without interfering with the affairs of Sri Lanka to further exacerbate the existing plight.
“Often, foreign countries label Sri Lanka as a country with barbarian people. There are Western European countries that enlarge small incidents happening in Sri Lanka and go on labelling the country and its people as extremists by tarnishing the image of the country. That is a very pathetic situation.”
Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said that Sri Lanka is an abode to diverse communities belonging to various religions and ethnicities and the people live in harmony with a sense of brotherhood in everyone. No religion is targeted for attacks, apart from certain isolated incidents. Such things happen due to the diversity of people. Some try to highlight them and to portray that this country is dangerous for other religious diversity.
It cannot be said that the other countries don’t have such small crises.
From these things they expect to say the world that Sri Lanka is an extremist country and Buddhism is an extremist religion. We live in this country with religious co- existence. We cannot be separated according to the others’ needs. If this country is compared to a tree its stem is Buddhism. The branches which are connected are the followers of the other religions. We all peacefully live in this country.
We would like to proclaim to the world that these allegations are untrue and malicious. Don’t level such allegations at us. We can solve our problems with the guidance of our religions. Therefore, don’t say that we are a barbarian nation. We don’t have a barbarian culture. They should not attempt to create disputes in our country in the intention of creating chaos in a bid to sell their weapons.
They should respect the identity of our country. We are expecting it from them. We will find solutions if there is any problem regarding the peace and the co-existence of the country. We can do it. You don’t need to involve in the affairs of our country. The spiritual guidance can be found in our own religious scriptures of different religions practised by the people of this country. Especially that guidance is included in Buddhist philosophy.
Help us if you can. If not, mind your own business. Don’t come to our country and confuse the condition. We should tell this to the world, he further added.