The Sunday Leader

BJP Looking To Win Through Sinhala Buddhist Roots

By Ashanthi Warunasuriya

It is well known that Sri Lanka has faced many problems due to ethnic and religious conflicts. Historical records of such unfortunate events have shown the adverse impact of extremism on communities as well as on the country. However, in times of such chaos, many religious leaders and patriots have come forward sacrificing their lives for the betterment of the country and its religion.

At present, among the parties that are engaged in politics some have been formed with a religious base. Among these parties is the Bodhu Jana Peramuna (BJP), the political wing of Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS), a radical Sinhala Buddhist movement that came into the limelight during the previous regime for their unorthodox representation of Sinhalese rights.

The BJP launched its election manifesto on July 23 at the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. Its manifesto themed ‘Sinhalese victory for one country, one race, and one law’ aims at creating an intellectual political movement to create a society where the rights of Sinhalese are protected.

 

Key principles

Among the key principles of the BJP are the right to self-determination of the Sinhalese, security, and a national programme for development. The party intends to present their policies to the public and to carry them forward with active public participation.

The BJP manifesto claims that at present the Sinhalese are faced with undue influences and challenges both locally and internationally.

According to the BJP, even though the Sinhalese are the majority in number, they have been trapped inside a framework created by imperialists falling prey to their imperialistic agendas.

The party points out that due to the migration and forced settlement by the imperialistic masters, many other ethnic groups have also entered the country achieving the right to demand their share forcing the Sinhalese to move astray.

They argue that the international forces that are acting against the Sinhalese have made the race a global minority. It cautions that the Sinhalese race is facing oblivion due to actions of certain groups that have joined hands with such external forces betraying their own. And at a time when Sinhalese leaders are not stepping forward to talk about the rights of the Sinhalese, the BJP says that it has taken the first step in igniting the struggle for the rights of the Sinhalese.

According to the head of the BJP, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero, the political wing of the BBS in collaboration with other patriotic organisations and political parties such as the Eksath Sinhala Maha Sabhawa have formed a broad alliance as the BJP to lead the country towards a developed nation by eradicating extremism and violence, and to protect the rights of all citizens despite differences of religion and race in order to create a proud nation.

The political movement of the BJP lies upon the bedrock of Sinhala Buddhist roots. The party’s two main intentions are the security of the Sinhalese and their development.

The BJP intends to create a country where leaders could exercise control over their subjects as preached in Buddhist teachings. Parallel to that the party also proposes broad changes to the electoral system where the candidates for future election would be determined on educational and professional qualifications, increased female representation in the Parliament up to 50%, establishment of a justice system based on humanity and equity, bringing broad changes to the educational system under which every person would be able to obtain a university degree and also to promote a food culture based on local cuisine.

 

 Tense situation

Meanwhile, a tensed situation broke out recently when the BBS organisation, after a long spell of silence, engaged in a protest in front of a private media institution last week. The protest was held outside the Sirasa media institution in Union place, Colombo.

Despite the anticipation of many including the police that the protest might take a violent turn, the protest was carried out in a peaceful manner.  The protestors accused the media institution of engaging in a mission to call the ancient Sinhalese flag as a racist symbol.

However, Chairman of the BBS, Ven. Gnanasara Thero was not present at the protest since he was busy campaigning for the BJP. However, expressing his views regarding the matter, Ven. Gnanasara Thero said that even though everyone should respect the constitutionally approved national flag, there are many local and provincial flags inherited by the Sinhalese since ancient times. Claiming that every one has a right to exhibit their ancient provincial flag, the Thero said no one should be allowed to insult such ancient flags as well. He pointed out the necessity of establishing a social discussion on this matter.

9 Comments for “BJP Looking To Win Through Sinhala Buddhist Roots”

  1. H.L. van Straten

    With due respect, Mr Ashanti Warunasuriya, in the way you put it here you appear to be convinced that there is a huge, covert conspiracy of national and even international proportion directed at thwarting the rights of the Sinhalese Buddhist people in Sri Lanka, now and in the past. What would Buddha himself have thought of that, I wonder. I think he would always have left room for doubt about strong convictions, indeed have taught, that we should always be suspicious of them. The Sinhalese rights are not at stake, so a struggle for them is hardly necessary. You state yourself here that history has shown the adverse impact of extremism on communities and I fully agree. There has indeed been great cruelty committed by Buddhists, Tamils, Muslims against each other with many innocent victims in the “struggle” you mention, where no struggle would have been called for if…the fundamental rights of the other ethnic and religious groups in the country than those of the Buddhists would have been respected and upheld. I think that the Buddhist majority in the island has the main responsibility here. If you change your attitude peace is at least possible though there is still quite a way to go, or would you rather continue the massacre in your beloved country? Just imagine what Buddha’s attitude would have been if he were still walking the face of Sri Lanka. I hardly think he would have called the people to arms for a renewed struggle. For the sake of peace he might even have turned into a Hindu. So swing any flag where ever you wish as long as you tolerate that Tamils or Muslims exhibit theirs where ever they wish. Can you do that?

    • Just Society

      Good thoughts.

      For the record, Buddha was a Hindu; that means the people with civilisation and heritage with (S)Indus Valley. There is no founder of Hinduism; in fact it is not even a religion in the Judeo-Christian sense. It is not evangelical. You can believe in the existence of a God or its non-existence or does not care if it exists or not; all are hindu ways of thinking of the evolution.

      With its roots, Buddhism also is not a religion; it is a refined concept of one branch of ancient India’s philosophy, desire and pain as we see it in politics as well today; but his followers did create monks for evangelical purposes; just as in modern day Sai Baba’s order, thus making it a form of religion.

      And one of the guys who took Buddhist teaching, the forerunner to Zen, to ancient China is a Tamil from Kanchipuram, Bodhi Dharman. Buddha will shed a river of tears when he reads the minds of Ven. Gnanasara Thero !

  2. WHY USE ETHNIC FLAG ON ELECTION PLATFORM

  3. Lima

    BUDDHA IS A HINDU AND DIED AS A HINDU , DO NOT KNOW FROM WHERE THEY GOT THE NAME AS BUDDHIST , NO WHERE IN ANY BOOKS WROTE BY THE THEN BUDDHA FOLLOWERS STATED BUDDHISM , THESE ARE ALL SELF CREATED PHILOSOPHY.
    COMING TO BBS , IT IS GNANA INVENTED POLICY OF RACISM , SOON THIS WILL BE ELIMANTED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTHY , IT IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END , A FINAL NAIL ON THE COFFIN IS AWAITED , WE WILL WAIT AND SEE

  4. Edward

    Religion is the last resort of a scondral.

  5. BBS sinhalase need budhhism in the same way other people wants there religion. ,the place for worship there god .the piece of mind, culture. harm. norble live. the god is over guardian we are always happy to pray God. all community going to india pray the God shri sai baba.. people want baba god blessing. for all .please do not undermine other religion for the political game.

    • H.L. van Straten

      Please forgive me, Mr. Dharmapalep, if you just for a moment have believed that I have intended to belittle Buddhists or Buddhism. I have had no such intention. On the contrary, I hold Buddha and his followers in the highest esteem. And of course the BJP may express its own view as what it regards as desirable for the country in the coming elections. Yet why should the BJP tell its adherents that they are under threat and that there is really a cause for fear for them in this election? Wouldn’t Buddha himself have reacted to this by saying that this is all wrong thinking in their minds? And that peace of mind can only be attained by loving one’s neighbors irrespective if one regards them as beloved ones or enemies?

      After his enlightenment Buddha is said to have travelled the land in order to teach the people. One day he reached a village where the people – having heard that he was coming – all came out to greet him with fine foodstuffs to honour and bless him. He declined the food but thanked them cordially saying that he didn’t need it. Later in the day he reached another village. Here too the people flocked to him but shouted insults asking him if he had come to beg them for their food for which they had worked so hard. He listened in silence to them. Then said: If you have nothing more to add, please hear me out before I leave. This morning I came to another village where the people offered me all kinds of sweets, which I declined to accept. What do you think will they have done with them? Someone suggested that they’d probably eaten them themselves. Probably, Buddha answered, … now as I likewise decline to accept your insults I wonder what you will do with those when I am gone?

      This I hold for the essence of Buddha’s teaching. In this spirit there can be no question of a struggle as the BLP seems to advocate.
      Anyway, bless you, brother.

    • dreamweaver

      UNP and NGOs Must be behind BJP to divide MRs vote bank. MAHINDA must be very sad to see his votes have been stolen from him by this thakkadiya.

      .

  6. daggy,

    This Ganaya can get back to erik Solheim and Norway for their next episode.

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