The Surge Of Sinhala-Buddhist Fundamentalism?

By Kalana Senaratne

Could it be that the sight of the Buddha statue was a complete turn-off to those who were utterly aroused by the dancing girls, the ‘sexy chicks’, seen in the music video Sexy Bitch, by David Gruetta, which featured Akon? If not, can such a scene, which in this particular video lasted for not more than two seconds, truly give rise to the kind of intolerance in a Buddhist; which was shown when stones were hurled at the MBC office?

A further question that arises is the following: how many more seconds would it have taken, of that or a similar kind of scene, for these people to strap a bomb round their bellies and blow themselves up in front of the MBC Office? Surely, if one or two seconds caused such anger and hatred, things would have been much more serious if the entire music video featured a Buddha statue or a temple in it. More fundamentally, then, are these protestors who shout and scream and throw stones, including some monks, really ‘Buddhists’?

Perhaps as a nation, we have reached the stage where the kind of absurd protests that take place in the name of Buddhism need to be critically analysed. There is a great danger in not doing so, because obviously, the impression that is sent out by the silence of those who are disturbed by such protests is that of ‘acceptance’; acceptance of every barbaric thing done in the name of Buddhism, mostly by politicians who hide behind religions. This is a classic case of silence amounting to acceptance, as this is how silence is interpreted with regard to issues of such nature; issues which involve religion and politics. And these are the same people who cry out thereafter that the whole world is against it, about conspiracy, about Western threats directed at Buddhism and the predominantly Sinhala-Buddhist State, Sri Lanka.

There seems to be a complete misunderstanding of Lord Buddha’s teaching here, when ‘Buddhists’ and in particular ‘Buddhist monks’ appeal to a government in such an aggressive fashion, calling for the rejection of Akon’s visa. Surely, this is not the way in which Prince Siddharta, and later Lord Buddha, dealt with matters which involved controversial questions involving women. Surely, the kind of anger shown by those protestors certainly go against the fundamental teachings of Buddhism; compassion, equanimity, the noble-eightfold path, the importance of forgiving, and so on.

This goes against the most fundamental and invaluable lesson of the Buddhist philosophy; the need to realise the nature of impermanence, which would have meant, at least to a Buddhist monk, that one had to contemplate more seriously on what one was truly seeing in that music video, i.e. the shaking of a mass of flesh, a body consisting of bones, blood, marrow, pus, sinews subject to birth, disease, decay and death; that the feelings which may have been aroused, of anger, even lust, would pass away with a more focused mind directed towards insight meditation; that what was seen in the form of Akon is that of a truly misguided and ignorant fellow who would have not known what on earth this philosophy of Buddhism taught, and therefore a human being, who certainly deserves to be forgiven for the mistake made wittingly or unwittingly; that a Buddha statue is simply a symbol, and that the Buddha resides not in a statue made of clay, cement or stone, but in the very teaching he expounded; that you ought to see the Buddha not in a statue, but in his sublime teaching; and that even if the video scenes were reasons to cause discomfort, the methods adopted to show one’s protest simply go against the serenity and gentleness exemplified and advocated by the Buddha and his teaching.

Given the kind of extreme compassion that the philosophy of Buddhism teaches us, it is certainly not incorrect to call the scenes about which one read and saw recently, to be a reflection of a kind of fundamentalism that goes against the entire Buddhist philosophy; a kind of extremism and fundamentalism that could soon turn into the kind of violent Islamic extremism and fundamentalism seen in the modern world; which is again a sad case of a peaceful religion being misinterpreted to suit the needs of a group of misguided and ignorant people.

Generally, we see these signs and tend to shrug it off, believing that similar incidents would not happen again, that these are actions of a lunatic fringe, a small one, things that happen only during election time. But this is what we thought when Shahrukh Khan’s concert was attacked, did we not? We believed that it would never happen again. But there is, there seems to be, no end to this.

Why is this a case of Buddhist fundamentalism, or a case of Sinhala-Buddhist fundamentalism? It is not because the entire Sinhala Buddhist population threw stones and screamed and showed their anger. Certainly not. In any case, it does not need to happen that way.

But if one looks more critically, the danger is this: that even though it was a relatively small group that resorted to such action, that group is extremely influential today, so much so that such action has received government approval. So, when it is reported in the press that at the end of a meeting between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Tourism Minister Achala Jagoda the decision had been taken to reject Akon’s visa application – what you saw there was not only the stamp of rejection on Akon’s visa, but more seriously, the stamp of approval on the kind of intolerance and extreme attitude shown by those who are supposedly very sensitive ‘Sinhala Buddhists’. In short, the fundamentalist attitude shown by some has received state approval.

So, in a sense, Buddhism, today, needs to be protected not only from those who misinterpret it, but also from the very government which is turning out to be (if it has not, already) a sorry outfit. Is it under such circumstances that the Constitution gives prominence to Buddhism? It would have been (or it is) far better to scrap that provision entirely from the Constitution, and revert to a more correct form of teaching, a re-teaching of Buddhism, in the country. But again the question is; who is to teach, and how can this be done, when the teachers (even the guardians) themselves are responsible for the present state of affairs?

And take note, for a moment, of the kind of hypocrisy and absurdity shown by a government that rushes to conclude that girls dancing in front of a Buddha statue offended Buddhists and their sensibilities. Think about the kind of persons in cabinet who would have met to discuss this matter and ‘ratify’ the decision to not grant a visa to Akon. Could you name a few? What of their respect for Buddhism and other moral and ethical considerations?

If not for one’s own political advantage, do these people really care about Buddhism in the first place? And are they not the people who embraced Myanmar’s General Than Swe? Or, the kind of people who benefit, today, from those who were responsible for the attack on the Dalada Maligawa? If the likes of Pillayan and Karuna who were instrumental in carrying out that attack can be forgiven, surely, Akon can be easily forgiven? Why is it that there is forgiveness only when Karuna and Pillayan apologise and capitulate, and not when Akon apologises? Is it then about Akon, or is it about his local sponsors? And so we return to that obvious question; is it all about politics, and nothing but politics? And the politics of which group, which party, which politician?
These are the questions that arise. And it is the approving nod given by the leadership of the state which marks that slide towards, or the rise in, fundamentalism, or the creation of an extremist mentality. And this comes especially at a time when the teachings of the Buddha – the Buddhist philosophy — should have been utilised for the greater good of the people, for ethnic reconciliation purposes, for spreading the message of tolerance, of harmony, of peace, or of forgiving even your most brutal enemy. Given all this, there is another simple question that we may need to brutally, and honestly, answer; a final question: what is, or what should be, more disgusting, more offensive – to witness ‘scantily clad’ girls dancing in front of a Buddha statue thousands of miles away, or to witness, right in front of your own eyes, a government dancing to the tune of a bunch of ignorant people who seem to have lost perspective and direction and seem to be denigrating Buddhism so openly, so obviously?

________________________________________________________________________________

Humping Akon To Venerate Buddha In Creating A Kleptocracy

By Kusal Perera

What’s this “Akon” raucus ? Till the MTV/MBC Colombo office was mobbed and stoned on Monday 22nd, few out of the 19 million in this country knew who Akon was and still less knew he was coming to Colombo to perform at the SSC grounds on April 24. Only those from the Colombo “new rich” generation would have bought tickets for the show, “Super Fest 2010”.

Who was behind the attack is now in the open, with MTV channels airing footage of the attack and information that would not be contradicted, but ignored by all authorities. The buses carrying the mob had been from the Kelaniya depot and most in the mob had been from Kelaniya, including UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha members. Only 16 of them were taken into custody, produced before the Magistrate the next day and immediately given bail. While there is a rumour that some “important” individuals were swapped for odd ruffians before producing the arrested in court, even for those who were produced, it was a privilege to be out the next day.

But why was MTV/MBC chosen as the target for the “Akon show” as it is now called? Before that, was this a case of spontaneous outburst by Buddhists, extreme or not, who were hurt and felt insulted by the two second visual in Gruetta’s video clip Sexy Bitch which features Akon and has “sexy chicks” dancing in front of a white Buddha statue?

Perhaps it is now popular among the curious and the gossip-mongers who have access to the internet. But Akon was never known like Micheal Jackson, Bob Marley or even Bob Dylan, here in Sri Lanka, among ordinary Sinhala folk. They certainly did not know about his songs and video clips before.

For sure, none of those who came in buses to Braybrooke Place, would have ever heard of Akon and his song Sexy Bitch, leave alone seeing the clip, until they were mobilised for the attack. Until they were told, they have to say it as their reason for attacking the MTV/MBC Colombo office. They had also been told, its a conspiracy against Buddhism and Sri Lanka by imperialist agents, worked through Sirasa, from what their lawyer told the court.

This without doubt was not an issue of “hurting” feelings of the faithful or snapping religious “tolerance” in a society. Its pervasively different to protests against Martin Wickramasinghe’s Bhava Tharanaya, Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, or even Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. They were all instances that provoked open public debate and public protests. Not this in any way. This had nothing to do with even Buddhists, until a cover up was hurriedly organised through a Bikkhu front that is available for any fanatical shouting.

Any genuine outburst, would have sought those responsible for this “Super Fest 2010” which is the Ministry of Tourism, with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), under it. It was SLTPB that had contracted “Platinum Entertainment Ltd” to organise this show, as part of their promotional work. That was the reason why Minister Jagoda had to defend it by telling AFP that Sri Lanka lost a “priceless” opportunity in promoting itself by banning Akon from performing here.

The choice of Akon in promoting Sri Lanka and the type of branding Sri Lanka would have with such “star perverts” not only proves how stupidly dumb the SLTPB is, but also indicates the type of lumpen culture this refined Buddhist society is heading to. The choice of Akon and the calibre of people who are being promoted for the supreme legislature by this regime are no accidents.

Akon was a vagrant who was sentenced for car theft, was castigated for using a “minor” on stage for simulated sex and is known for heavy “grass” use. All of it could qualify Akon for a candidacy, if one compares some heavy weights now running for elections in Sri Lanka. What emerges more crudely from this Akon fiasco therefore, is the nature of the regime that is now evolving after the war.

The war allowed for the state to be politically vulgarised and teethed with a Sinhala byte. It allowed the “apparatik” to be assimilated with the political regime in the name of eliminating terrorism and Tamil separatism, thus promoting this political regime as the saviour of this Sinhala nation, against those who opposed all violations of human rights, extra judicial killings and abductions, ruthless suppression of the media and all excesses including corruption, as “traitors” and supporters of Tamil Tigers.

Politicising of the war, thus created a perverted culture that accepted a regime which ruled outside the constitution and lived beyond the law of the land. This country thus headed into a period that records such high breach of trust in law enforcing agencies, where a whole village holds a police station under siege as in Angulana and police officers openly display cruelty as in the Bambalapitiya sea. A culture of impunity that allows a minister to go on the rampage continuously and still be included in the entourage of the President, on official visits.

It’s not just lawlessness and ruthlessness that this country has to live with now. Lawlessness and its unconstitutional authority is also about raking big money.  It needs to continue and thus needs another “prop” as large and frightening as the LTTE, to justify its continuity among the Sinhala society. It needs a prop that would allow those social forces that rallied around it during the war, to be politically maintained.

Its suicidal for a people to believe in a monarch who promises to save them from an unknown evil, says an old Tibetan proverb. Sri Lanka may not be living in that Mongolian fifth century. But culturally, more rabid and rustic, for sure.

72 Comments for “The Surge Of Sinhala-Buddhist Fundamentalism?”

  1. Soorya

    There are lot of insanes out there to protect prophet Mohamed. Who is going to protect Buddha? Naturally the Sinhala racists of Sri Lanka.

    • policy

      Great article by this Chritian paper. well done. Jesus will give you extra points with got to get into heaven!

    • kalpa

      have u ever heard of a islamic fundamentalist group bein praised for their actions? all they do is kill people for the sake for islam which nobody but themselves praise!

      so wat u soorya is sayin is that u should do wat those moron islamic fundanmentalist do….o that is very buddist of u! v soon v will have our own bin laden at this rate!

      • Soorya

        Rajapakse has already set a bounty for the head of the singer. Another Salman Rushdy.

        • kalpa

          & u support this? u think the way forward for a country that was torn apart during a 30 year civil war should take on religious extremism & vanquish the minorities? people like you were the ones who made the taliban!

          people like yourself is a disgrace to buddhism & lord Buddha!

  2. Sisira

    you should not criticize or humiliate other religions. If you want u criticize your religion.So called gentlemen westeners need to understand this.Alas we should preach in the way they understand.
    Great decision ,my dear president

    • adrian

      How insulting was it for bikin clad girls to dance in front of a buddha’s statute? How insulting was it for sirasa to blast out a pirith tape when budhists were protesting peacefully exercising their democratic right?

      the stone throwing is a separate issue. the law should take its course on those who brake the law.

  3. ferdy

    Gone are the generation of Buddhists who took everything for granted and sat around doing nothing and just went with the flow. We the young and new generation of Buddhists have a much more indepth and practical knowledge of Buddhism (thanks to monks like Soma thero) to realise the true value of the noble triple gem…. not only to respect it but to love it with all our hearts and therefore will do everything in our power to protect this most beautiful religion ! …..without bloodshed of course in keeping with our Buddhist history that is blood free, the only religion in the world that perhaps can say so !!

    • Gabriella

      Ferdy – I suggest you do some research about your beloved Soma thero : all the Australian Buddhists’ who came into contact with him may be able to help you reach enlightenment ! Shame on all those Christians and Muslims who slaughtered all those Tamils on Black Friday ’83 – wasn’t it wonderful that all you Buddhists’ rushed out to help them. What a noble and “blood -free” gesture that was ! Love your revisionist history ! But unlike you; the good Christian that I
      am, wishes to break every bone in the writers body and then chop his hands off for writing such a humane and compassionate article. The world can do without such do-gooders. Damn – him !!

      • Deshan

        Actually the violence against Tamils was worst in suburbs dominated by Sinhala Christians – Negombo and Wattala/Ja Ela. Not revisionist at all. Sinhala Christians are a pretty blood thirsty lot.

        • ismeth

          It is sad. Sad indeed.Yesterdays murder of a 16 yr old boy by a school gang at Londons Victoria station who chased the defenceless victim and stabbed him to death reminds me of a similar incident that I was witness to in Wellawatte during the 83 pogrom.The light drizzle intensified and I ran to take shelter under a row of shops on my way to tuition class.There already was a crowd there.But their purpose was different. They were there not to take shelter but to take something more grim. Innocent human life. They had just got wind of the scent and had cornered their quarry in a dingy upstairs room above the tea boutique along Galle Road. They shouted grimacing threats and demanded that the animals come out of their bolted pen. They pounded on the door and used a battering-ram to force it open. Passers-by joined to lend support, incenced with animalistic communal fury . The drama was gaining momentum by the minute and soon they forced open the door. It was dark inside as they invaded the premises. Alas the animals had escaped thro an open window at the back. The crowd was disappointed. Their fury and venom had gone unconsummated. They flailed their weapons in disappointment and still cursing and shouting turned to leave. And then it happened all in a split-second.A dark smallish form darted out of the open room in a bid to escape the marauding thugs. The animal was not wounded but it was stupefied and driven senseless through shock. It had been hiding in the darkness of the room and had been unfortunate not to escape with the herd. Seeing its chance now, it darted frantically out onto the road in a desperate bid to escape. But it did not have to go far. In a seething instant, the crowd set upon its fleeing form and brought it down with one smash on its head.It buckled over as it was brought down and hit the pavement. The crowd shouted in glee. They got him at last. Victory showed on their faces as they turned the limp form over. They were more than happy.It was a Tamil boy from the estates, not more that 15 or 16 years old. He had been working for a livelihood in the tea shop. I still have nightmares when I am reminded of this incident. Mans inhumanity to man knows no bounds nor religion.I honestly dont know whether the crowd responsible were Sinhala Christians or Sinhala Buddhists.But all I know for certain is that they were NOT Tamils or Muslims or Burghers or Malays. And we still like to call ourselves a cultured lot.

        • Gabriella

          Deshan: obviously that compost you have wobbling around in your skull precludes you from comprehending English. In my comment above, I acknowledge and take full responsibility on behalf of all Christians and my Muslim brothers and sisters for the slaughter of the Tamils on Black Friday ’83. I am sure the entire world is aware that all the Sinhala Buddhists’ and their elected representatives were at the Temple that day. Let me, on behalf of all Christians and Muslims beg the forgiveness of all Tamils for our crime.

        • ismeth;
          You have gone back 27 years in your memory lane and narrated verbosely a pogrom as you say; Sinhala Buddhists had inflicted on an innocent Tamil lad. Not that I condone such inhumane acts, but by laying the blame totally on Sinhala Buddhists you have shown your biasness. Clearly you have forgotten how and why it all started.

          Talking about evilness that had taken place throughout our recent history, I can write a whole book about what had taken place in this country during the time of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. Though they had inflicted innumerable evil deed and butchery upon Sinhala Buddhists, you people can say it is history and couldn’t careless about it.

          The irony is; you wanted to forget more recent killings at Dalada Maligawa, Sri Maha Bodi, Arantalawa, bus bombing, Train Bombing etc that maimed and killed thousands but you chose to
          recall what had happened 27 years back.

          We Sinhalese are beginning to understand how your mind works. Remember; You may bark; but the caravan will surely move on. What more proof you want than our uniting under President Rajapakse.

        • saro

          Its not whether one is a Buddhist, Christian, Muslim or a Hindu. No religion teaches to harm anyone. Whatever one’s religion is he has to be a ‘human’ and not a two legged blood sucking animal who just would like to run riot and kill people in the name of his religion.

      • ferdy

        Gabriella – you seem to have searched and searched and found ONLY July 83 to ‘paint’ some blood on the Buddhists ???? sorry my dear we all know that behind those attacks were the LTTE themselves !!!. SO IT IS VERY CLEAR INDEED THAT BUDDHISM HAS A BLOOD FREE HISTORY !!! I am sorry but, however you must try, you can’t say the same about your religion eh !!!?? now get back to your work at the Sunday Leader !!!

        • Gabriella

          Ferdy: it is quite apparent to the reader from your comments that you are immature both in age and mentality.

          Suffice to say, when you have developed in maturity and risen above your current status of Village Idiot – please return to this forum, so that we may attempt to have an adult discourse.

          Your two unsubstantiated and incorrect statements i.e. ” we all know that behind those attacks were the LTTE themselves !!!” and “now get back to your work at the Sunday Leader !!! ” – amply demonstrate your penchant for perverting the truth and your character.

          When you reach puberty, you may acquire the wisdom, that all religions are inherently pure, and ‘manuals for life’ (guidance).

          It is the moronic and rabid practitioners, and distorters of their relevant philosophies that bring discredit to them .

          The Lord Buddha is a world renowned and revered philosopher. Buddhism doesn’t need to be defended or justified by anyone, and certainly not by a moron such as you !!!

        • saro

          ferdy, how old are you? I suppose no one told you about the 1956 riots?

  4. fools paradise

    Looks like the nut jobs commending the ban have not even bothered to look at the video. The photos that went around seem to be exaggerated and looks like someone has decided to incite a backlash which obviously hurt Sri Lanka’s image overseas. So much for tourism. Those who preach moral policing should migrate to Afganistan and joing the Taliban…….Sri Lanka as far as I know is a secular society and has a set of common laws to abide by.

  5. P.L.J.B.Palipana

    Hi friends!
    Everybody has the right to practice his/her religion independently. But we have a particular case and we must go for a “Secular Society”.

    • ..DONT WORRY DECAY IN AFGHANISTAN AND IRAN STARTED WITH RELIGON…

    • You mean to say; we should hand this country over to Western backed TNA, or Saudi backed Whabi sects, or Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba group, or introduce Sharia as the law of the country as many Muslims demand. Ney my friend; Rajapakses will rule this country for foreseeable future because they and they alone understand the sensitivities of the majority.

      • Leela then your a Rajapakse cohort?

      • ..THE WORLD HAS SEEN THE SALVADO AND BRAVADO OF SLOVADEM MILOSOVIC..ONE FINE NIGHT THIS BUTCHER WAS DEPOTED TO THE HAGUE….ROT THERE IN PRISON AND DIED…PROBABLY YOUR FAVOURITE LEADER WILL RULE MODAYAS LIKE YOU FROM THE HAGUE PRISON..YOUR FAVOURITE POVERTY INDA AND CHINA CANT HELP YOU ALWAYS….BECAUSE WEST IS IMPORATNT FOR THESE COUNTRIES THAN MODAYAS…REMEMBER WHAT HAPPEND TO SANCATIONS AGAINST IRAN….AND BUTCHER BASHIR OF SUDAN AFFAIRES?…AT ONE POINT CHINE RETREAT…..FOR CHINESE DOLLARS AND EUROS ARE IMPORTANT…JAYAWEWA..

  6. dutchman

    Metta, Karuna, Mudita and Uppekha where The Lord Buddha’s teachings!
    Fanatism and stupidity goes hand in hand, they keep each other in exsistence.
    We dont need fatwa’s.

    • balmain

      Dutchman, where do hypocrisy and deception fit into the noble Teachings?
      Today, Lankan society is rife with murder,vengeance, sexual debauchery, corruption at every level and communal hatred. Surely we must be missing something here.

  7. P.L.J.B.Palipana

    Really a dangerous situation. We must harmonize the Society to achieve the Economic Goals.

  8. Sakvithi

    That Buddha statue is a lump of cement or plaser of paris. It does not have eyes to see, no ears to hear. a girl (with bikini) danced before that lump of cement. Thats all what happened.

    • policy

      why didn’t the girl in a bikini dance in front of a statute of jesus? if they did, the issue would be a lot bigger and the video would be banned all around the world. respect other people’s religion, beliefs

      • sf

        Dance in front of a statue of Jesus? Well, why not. All the non Christians I know swear by the name of Jesus. They can’t understand why I can’t stand it when they do. In the so-called Christian West no one takes Christianity seriously. They think that a cross is a cool symbol to wear. Have you seen punk rockers wearing it? So they have no respect for Christianity. Is it reasonable to expect them to have any respect for any other religion. This isn’t so much an attack on Buddhism as an expression of the complete lack of regard for anything serious in the West. They don’t know how to take things seriously, except for the odd few. What they need is a good dose of old fashioned compassion and a jolly good dose of marketting about the principles of Buddhism. Not tantrumsand t irades, people, but practical action. They operate in a context of cynicism and skepticism. Help them to understand so they can take things seriously.

        • First put the Bhuddhists houses in order before
          going to preach to others, our bugghers all alcoholics, wife beaters. & cheaters womanisers,

    • Bonapart

      Sakvithi, Have you ever seen beauty in any statue ?

      • Kavunda GoniBille

        What about the naked DAVID by Michaelangelo. Boy I can feel its warmth from any distance.

  9. ….IN MANY WESTERN COUNTRIES THERE ARE BUDDHA RESTAURANTS..BUDDHA BARS..BUDDHA T-SHIRTS ETC., ETC. BUT NOT A SINGLE BUDDHIST COUNTY HAS NOT PROTESTED…..MAY BE THE REAL BUDDHISTS ARE ONLY IN THIS MODERN ZIMBABWE…..FIRST LEARN YOUR RELIGON CORRECTLY THEN PREACH OTHERS

  10. ..HOW MANY GAMBLING CENTRES ..BROTHELS IN YOUR COUNTRY ALL ACCEPTED BY BUDDHISM,,???

    • There are always exceptions, Buddha gave his blessings when he was in Sri Lanka. Raping, killing and destroying the properties of Tamils are also allowed in Buddhism of Sri Lanka. Have Buddha ever asked his followers to erect his statues at everywhere people see a Bo tree?
      worshiping a statue is one of the primitive cultures of the mankind.

      • saro

        If all statues are confined only to temples and churches then there wont be such problems. The problem is that in Sri Lanka there are statues at every nook and corner. Isn’t it better if they were kept in temples and churches for veneration instead on the streets, market places etc.. Even birds sit on these and desecrate them. What action has been taken on these birds (i.e.crows)?

        • rodrigo

          saro
          as rightous people we should immediately pass laws in parliment to convict and imprison all birds that desecrate on statues.wonder why this legislation is not in our statute books .with so many right thinking people in parliment

  11. Orpheus Perera

    The statue of Lord Buddha in the background was an issue for Buddhist monks.
    But there is more to it.
    Even Christians are against the idea of Akon coming to Sri Lanka as an Ambassador to promote our tourism. There is no such thing call Buddhist fundamentalism. When I read these kind of ideas, I feel some people are deliberately trying to destroy our culture because they couldn’t divide the country. Most of the ideas, supporting Kalana are design to mislead our youths.
    Can you remember what happened to Taliban(came to power with the help of the Americans) in Afghanistan, after they destroyed the Statues in Kandahar? There is no one to support Taliban now. I am against wars, but when I criticised America for invading other countries, I have never mentioned about Afgan war. You may say there is no relationship between that an Akon. It is some kind of bad Karma.
    In Sri Lanka you get public holidays for all of your religions, not only for Buddhists.. Can you name any other country that gives such religious freedom, where people are predominantly Muslims or Christians??
    You can’t take an Icon of Lord Buddha to any country in the Gulf. In England and in Australia there were occasions where, people lobbied against setting up of Buddhist temples in their suburbs, saying that they already have a god. Some councils finally had to reject the building applications.
    Well done Sri Lankan government for stoping a criminal entering and corrupt our boys and girls. Someone knows that our youth can be spoilt easily.
    Click on this link, If you haven’t read it. Read the opinions of all the writers.

    http://blog.dzoneonline.com/2010/03/18/akon-insulting-buddhism-indirectly/comment-page-2/#comment-4215

    • I Say O.Perera why your hoodwinking the masses with out of context theory, its a grudge taken on MBC/MTV network by the govt
      forwarding the goons of Mervyn silva, just like the Rupavahini case.

  12. hYPOCRISY

    Christians are hardly the people who should be running about screaming at Buddhists about denying a visa for Akon. Have the Sri Lankan Christians forgot that the government banned The Da Vinci Code because Catholic priests and laypeople were up in arms about the movie? Have they forgotten that the government also banned The Last Temptation because Sri Lankan Christians were offended?

    Instead of screaming and shouting at the Buddhists, Sri Lanka’s Christians should clean up their own community first:

    =================

    Pope at centre of child abuse storm

    By Michele Leridon, AAP

    March 28, 2010, 5:55

    The child abuse scandal rocking the Catholic Church has homed in on Pope Benedict XVI, who’s been labelled the “biggest sinner” in one newspaper, but the Vatican says his handling of the crisis will only strengthen his authority.

    As allegations piled up of sexual molestation by priests in the scandal that has swept the United States and Europe, the media expressed shock and bewilderment in comments and editorials on Saturday.

    “How could the Catholics do such a thing?” asked Britain’s The Independent newspaper.

    How could priests receive the host in communion “while raping children?” it wondered. “What was going on in their souls?”

    In Spain’s El Pais, a theology professor remarked that the Roman Catholic Church was quick to link abortion with sin but had “difficulty doing the same thing when it came to sexual abuse committed by people dedicated to God”

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/world/6991456/pope-at-centre-of-child-abuse-storm/

    • Gabriella

      Heck, it is not only the Catholics who are screaming at Buddhists’ for denying Akron a visa. Elvis Presley and Santa Claus were protesting too ! Every profession/ religion has its ‘share’ of deviants. I am reliably informed that many of the attendees at the Venereal Disease clinics in Sri Lanka are pre-maturely bald. It is indeed ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘bloody- stupid’ to throw stones, when you live in a ‘glass-house.’

      • Deshan

        Vatican may face sex suits around the world

        The Sunday Times

        March 29, 2010 12:00AM

        ROME: Revelations about Pope Benedict XVI’s alleged role in covering up accusations of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy has exposed the Vatican to the risk of lawsuits around the world.

        Anger at the church’s failure to act on predatory priests in the US, Europe and Mexico has plunged the papacy into an institutional crisis described by a US Catholic newspaper as “the largest in centuries”.

        Adding to the Vatican’s embarrassment was the acknowledgement by a prominent Catholic order that its Mexican founder, the late Marcial Maciel Degollado, known as Father Maciel, had molested trainee priests and fathered several children.

        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/vatican-may-face-sex-suits-around-the-world/story-e6frg6so-1225846607700

        • do you know in bangkok thailand ..few years ago thai national tv followed and filmed a buddhist monks who left his temple every night in military dress to visit his girl friend..?.this.footage was shown all over thailand…do you know another thai buddhist monk…spent hundred ,thousands dolars in an australian casino..and this was exposed in tahiland…becasue….THAI PEOPLE AND GOVT.HAVE GUTS…BACKBONE..what do you have?

        • sf

          Where you have human nature, you will have gestures that are not respectful of others. We are all adding our mite in our own way through this exchange. I think GoSL did the right thing by requiring a little respect for Buddhism. Those people in the West will now have to rethink a few things. It’ll take them a long time, though, and we will have to be patient with them. In themeantime, we need to ensure that our own backyard is clean. Let’s get on with that task, eh?

  13. RJ

    This lady has succeeded in dividing buddhists and muslims..that was her aim and she got it

  14. Chandrika Kumarathunge

    Anyone should be able to read between the line, patience and cowardice are totally two different things. If anyone needs to tolerate cowerdice instead of patience from a buddhist in Sri Lanka then sorry. They will have to wait until Ranil Wicramasinghe or Sarath Fonseka come to power which would be impossible. They can fly a kite instead.

  15. LALITH S

    I haven’t seen worse hypocrites than Sri Lankans. If Gautama Buddha was to come to Sri Lanka today he will recognize nothing of what he preached. A good portion of the Buddhists today are anti social elements and prone to crime. This is obvious from top to bottom and quite clear for everyone to see. The recent military victory against the LTTE has increased the momentum. If you see the number of Buddha statues that has come up within the last five years, it reflects a certain fear and paranoia and certainly not an exuding of piety or wisdom.
    A vengeful Buddhist is no Buddhist. See the unprecedented hatred that is peddled in our political circles. A Buddhist hitting, victimizing and killing another brother Buddhist. As a Sri Lankan I am very worried at this development. We are certainly doing a great disservice to Buddhism.

  16. ANEY ANICHCHANG

    Pope faces fresh wave of child abuse scandals

    Pope Benedict XVI is facing growing pressure over his handling of paedophile priests as new cover-ups come to light in Italy, the country with the greatest concentration of Roman Catholic clerics.

    After the latest allegations – that Benedict took no action in the US when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s enforcer – the church is now “terrified” as more victims stand up to be counted in Italy, according to Roberto Mirabile, head of La Caramella Buona, an Italian anti-abuse group. “With the scandals erupting abroad, we will see a huge growth in victims’ groups in Italy in coming weeks,” said Mirabile yesterday. As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict handled abuse cases at the Vatican for 24 years before he became pope in 2005.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/28/pope-paedophile-priests-italy

  17. P.L.J.B.Palipana

    Dear Mr.Lalith S,
    You are very correct. We must first realise the basic essence of the Buddhism. The Buddism was originally born in a divided Indian society. It gives clearly the the concepts of harmonization or simply the Ethnic- Reconciliation concepts.
    That’s why our early(1960s) daham pasals taught how to respect others using Maithree bhawana ‘Siyalu Sathwayo Niduk Wethwa, Suwapath wethwa, niduk wethwa.
    Our very simple values have gone away and the people are running through an un-achieve end of the life.The theory of infinity is a cocept of Buddhism.

  18. Kingkong

    Too many things have happened in too little time. Akon’s visa refused and concert cancelled, Concert Perera arrested with her books an in a police station without any charges and another Jazz group has canceled their engagement anticipating trouble from the immigration. International media is going to town with all these news on the front page. News starved papers are being fed to their satisfaction by our thoughtless people. Normally artists are not communal and I will be thae last one to think that Akon wanted to insult Lord Buddha or the Buddhism. Regarding the arrested Perera woman if she has actually disgraced Buddhism in her books conficate the entire lot and have a bon fire and let her go to wherever she came from . Prolonged stay in remand without any charge will bring in very bad name for our country. Not enough General’s case is already on all the foreign papers and now this. It is the country as a whole will be ridiculed by the international community, not just the Hela urumaya or few communalists.

  19. Kingkong

    Too many things have happened in too little time. Akon’s visa refused and concert cancelled, Convert Perera arrested with her books an in a police station without any charges and another Jazz group has canceled their engagement anticipating trouble from the immigration. International media is going to town with all these news on the front page. News starved papers are being fed to their satisfaction by our thoughtless people. Normally artists are not communal and I will be thae last one to think that Akon wanted to insult Lord Buddha or the Buddhism. Regarding the arrested Perera woman if she has actually disgraced Buddhism in her books conficate the entire lot and have a bon fire and let her go to wherever she came from . Prolonged stay in remand without any charge will bring in very bad name for our country. Not enough General’s case is already on all the foreign papers and now this. It is the country as a whole will be ridiculed by the international community, not just the Hela urumaya or few communalists.

  20. P.L.J.B.Palipana

    Dear Ismeth,
    Actually this is a sad story. I remember the incidents following the 1978 general elections. There was an Ethnic violence all over the island and the goons destroyed very innocent Tamil peoples’ properties in and around Kandy city and violence spread all over the Central Province. The shops of Tamil people in the Kandy city were attacked and stolen the belongins. The Barigama Tea Factory was put in fire and the owner had to flee with his child to a destination to save his life. In Harispatuwa a girl of fourteen years( a tamil tea worker’s daughter) was severely abused by lot of Sinhala patriots and this kind of things should never happen in SriLanka once again.Thats why we are speaking to solve those problems very scientifically with out any delay.

    • rodrigo

      yes palipana ,even in 1983 truckloads of thugs were trasnported to areas where tamils were living amiciabliy with sinhaleae there property destroyed and some people were killed. .even we sinhalese who rescued some tamil friends did so keeping our security on line. Veteran UNP leaders who were instrumental and did not take action to stop the mayhen must answer at least now. if they speak of national intergration. dont know where JR is after his rebirth

  21. P.L.J.B.Palipana

    Dear Mr.Rodrigo,
    You are very correct. Those brutal acts in 1977(i don’t remember exacly) were pioneered by UNPers(goons) at that time and we need not party politics at this juncture and we need a very scientific resolution on Ethnic-Reconcilation of the society.

    • rodrigo

      yes MR Palipana SWRD,JR, created problems and RW.VP made our peaceful society violent, all are dead and gone, leaving generations of poor srilankans to drapple with never ending problems.MR,RW together has the answer the two of them can throw the bag and baggage off the people .if they are really concerned about the future generations.it seems the society is collecting more and more baggage and unable to move forward due to heavy weight

  22. Srilankan

    There are fundamentalist budhists in Sri Lanka I can remember 2000s in Mawanella area some Budhists urine pass inside mosque during a ethnic clearance trial, so it is nothing to surprise

  23. singalanay

    The Maldives has expressed its willingness to host the American hip hop artist Akon whose Sri Lanka tour was cancelled when Sri Lankan government denied him visa following the pressure from Buddhist extremists….

    at least some of us will have a ball in male :-)

  24. P.L.J.B.Palipana

    Mawanella incident was a shameful act opereated by a Sinhala politician. We have to study the past and enforce the Law to protect all the people in our Nation.

  25. Anil

    Sunday Leader is a spearheading paper to create Sri Lanka a christian country. very sad. This sort of papers shound not allow to write anything they like. Can you see any thuth what they write.

    • Musmil

      Anil you little mosquito brain..

    • Jarod

      Not only can I see the truth in what they write, but I think they have only scratched the surface.

      Sri Lanka is a Budhist theocracy. Monks can fire the president just by removing a tooth from a temple, they recently proposed a bill to ban people from converting to other religeons, Buddhists have been attacking Christian churches and Hindu temples for years and even the Sri Lankan flag has the leaves of the Bodhi tree on it.

      And this pales in comparison to what they, espcially the monkhood, have been doing to Tamils for years. They started the civil war by fighting to ensure that Tamils would be discrimintated against and marginalised in Sri Lankan society and they even attacked peaceful protestors and shot politicians to get their way. And the monkhood have been promoting violence against Tamils and have been directly responsible for some very serious war crimes and Black July.

      There are very few, if any , Christian or Hindu countries in the world. Places like India and Britain are secular democracies where people can follow whatever religeon they want because the Christians and Hindus there not only respect, but celebrate diversity. It is the Buddhists (not all Buddhists) who are ‘spearheading’ to ‘create Sri Lanka a’ Buddhist country.

  26. kevin

    lol. does anyone care about what The Sunday Leader writes. lol.

  27. Che

    Sri Lankans haven’t an Iota of the True meaning of,and the Philosophy, of Buddhism and the Dhamma,If they did, they would not be like what they are now.
    Actions speak far better than empty words and Religious hippocracy, they have made something good into a Religion,and Off Course Religion is the opium of the Masses, many Global conflicts have been fought in the name of Religion.
    Sri Lankans should Live the Dhamma and not twist it for personal gain or to manipulate foolish and ignorant and uneducated people to do things on the contrary to the holy teachings.

    • Jarod

      I could not have put it better myself!

      I think these people are the polar opposite of what Buddhists are meant to be.

      They are self-serving, racists, bigoted and, in many cases, cold-blooded. Yet Buddism seem to promote selflessness, universalism, tolerance and empathy.

      How are people able to commit such injustices in the name of Buddhism? We need to expose these people for the frauds and hypocrits that they are. Not so much because they are misrepresenting Buddhists, but because they are infringing on peoples rights to achieve their ideal of a Sinhala-Buddhist theocracy as they have been for the last 30 years.

  28. Abdullah

    Fundametalism is a Misunderstood or Misquoted Word-If anyone adheres to the fundamental of their faith is called Fundamentalist,In this case if the Budhiamests become real Fundamenatilst-Srilanka will strive in peace and prosperity

  29. Jarod

    Im so glad the Sri Lankan press is FINALLY acknowlegin the existence of Sinhala-Buddhist fundamentalism.

    Sinhala-Buddhist fundamentalism has torn the country apart for decades and was one of the main causes of the war. It was the monkhood who fought tooth and nail to ensure Tamils would be marginalised and discriminated against within Sri-Lanka and monks even resorted to killing politicians to achieve this goal. And Buddhist monks have been saying that ‘its ok to kill Tamils’ for years though more recently they could use the LTTE to disguise what is actually racism and intolerance.

    And now its the Christians who are experiencing the intolerance of the ‘fundamentalist’ Buddhists as their churches are being attacked, they are being met with violence and the monkhood somehow managed to get a bill into parliment that would ban people from converting to any other religeon except Buddhism.

    And the power and privelage they have in Sri-Lanka undermines the concept of ‘seperation of church [or in this case temple] and state’. For some reason they have the power to fire the president simply by removing a tooth from a temple. And the Sri Lankan flag has trees from the Boddhi tree on it. When was the last time you saw a national flag with a crucifix on it? While every other country that these people villafy, such as India and Britain, are secular and pluralistic democracies, Buddhists, with the full support of the state, continue to violate human rights in Sri Lanka just to keep it a Buddhist theocracy.

    Personally I think what these people are doing would have Buddha rolling in his grave so to call these people fundamentalist would be misleading as their actions contradict the very fundamentals of universalism, tolerance, non-absolutism and selflessness which I believe are the foundation of Buddhism. These teritorial, racist, nationalist and chauvinistic values are most likely incompatible with Buddhism so why are such injustices being commited in the name of Buddhism? And by monks nonetheless?

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