The insignificance of Sinhala Buddhism

By Nalin de Silva

Recently another English female has been raped by three persons in Potuvil and not much publicity has been given to the incident. The British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka did not make any noise or the noise they made was not unheard loud enough. I was just wondering what would have happened if the gang rapists were Sinhala Buddhists. The Tangalle incident was given wide publicity in the media; the relevant High Commission took up the case and the incident was 'internationalised'. Of course, the Tangalle incident was much more brutal than the Potuvil one and to make it worse a politician had been involved. However, the rapists were also Sinhala Buddhists and the media had no inhibition whatsoever in giving publicity to the incident. I wonder whether the media would have been so vociferous in Tangalle incident if the criminals had been non Sinhala Buddhists.

The recent incidents at Alutgama and Beruwala were reported in the media, to project a bad picture of the Sinhala Buddhists ignoring almost totally the incidents against the Sinhala Buddhists. The government is said to have imposed an unofficial ban on news.

The Sinhala Buddhists are to be blamed especially the rational Buddhists who want to advise the Bhikkus how to behave in public retaining the so-called image of a Bhikku (Bhikku Prathirupaya). The rational Buddhists who shout about Kalama Sutta do not know that the Sutta does not have anything good to say on rationalism though the term was not in use during the days of Budunvahanse. The Sinhhala Buddhists are to be blamed in general as they do not themselves understand the significance of Sinhala Buddhism as a culture. The educated Buddhists whether they are rational or not did not know how to respond to "Buddhism Betrayed" by Stanley Thambiah, carrying a photograph of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhita Thera on its cover. The photograph could be interpreted as one that does not portray a Buddha Puthra and there were some Sinhala Buddhists who coined the term Yuddha Puthra (Sons of war) to describe Bhikkus such as the Thera. It is amazing how the political landscape has changed over the years and the accusers of that Thera are now gathering round him for political reasons. It has to be emphasised that by Sinhala Buddhism what is meant is the culture and not the Dhamma.

All the talk of human rights, war crimes, abolition of executive presidency etc., has to be ignored as they are not genuine. Now that Obama has owned up to excesses after the so-called September eleven incidents, would Navi Pillai or her successor appoint an 'international' committee to investigate the matter? Obama or the US had only one September eleven but Sri Lanka had to go through thirty years of daily September elevens and the western countries were behind the LTTE that carried out such attacks. Let us have an inquiry on those who aided and abetted the LTTE during the thirty-year 'war' and the powers of the Paranagma Commission should be enhanced to cover this aspect too.

What is happening today is using unfounded war crimes charges to topple the present government, which does depend on the Sinhala Buddhist vote. The civil rights people and others who go to Geneva and other places have the support of the western countries hell bent on weakening, if not destroying, the Sinhala Buddhist culture in the country. The so-called multiculturalism totally ignores the fact that Sinhala Buddhist culture is the significant culture of the country. In England, would anybody say that the Anglican Christian culture is not the dominant culture of that country, nay the whole world, in spite of lip service paid to multiculturalism?

Those who gathered at Deans Road recently with officials from the US Embassy apparently to give evidence to Navi Pillai committee via Skype would claim that their basic rights have been violated by some Bhikkus. However, as far as the Bhikkus are concerned it is the sovereignty of the country under threat and could somebody explain what the officials of the US Embassy were doing in Deans Road? Even the United Nations officials should not have gone there without prior approval of the government. The government has decided not to allow the members of the Pillai Committee to visit Sri Lanka. This should be extended to getting so called evidence using electronic technology as well. If anybody is interested in giving evidence before the Pillai Committee let him/her travel to Europe or some other country for the purpose, and I am sure that travel grants could be organised by the civil rights thugs who are financed by the selfsame western countries.

In this regard, it has to be emphasised that when Messrs Mahinda Rajapaksa and Vasudeva Nanayakkara went to Geneva on behalf of the Mothers' Front it was not to topple the UNP government in power with the connivance of the western governments. This has been ignored by some anti-government elements who claim that if it was good for Mahinda Rajapakse to go to Geneva why can't the civil rights and various media persons go to the west to make complaints against the present government. However, the two situations are entirely different. In 1990, the western governments were not against the UNP government; they did not attempt to topple the government with the help of Rajapaksa and Nanayakkara. No action was apparently taken as regards the petition submitted by the duo and no committee was appointed by the 'international community' to look into how the JVP was defeated by the then government.

Were there excesses committed by the UNP government in defeating the JVP? Where were the Samaritans who are now crying from rooftops about the alleged excesses by the UPFA government? Didn't the Samaritans see the cropses of the JVPers on the road and on what came to be known as tyre-pyres? Was it because most of the JVPers were Sinhala Buddhists and no western government was behind the JVP that the good Samaritans ignored the dead bodies and the excesses? Is it possible to appoint a committee in addition to the Paranagama committee to look into the ways the JVP was defeated by the UNP government? I do not condone what the JVP did but why allow the west to investigate only the so-called excesses by the UPFA government and the armed forces against the LTTE?

The west may appoint commissions to punish the armed forces and the 'Rajapkse Regime' (in Ranil's words) but it is significant to draw our attention to two election results. After the crushing of the JVP, the UNP was defeated in elections held in early nineties, but since the defeat of the LTTE in 2009 the UPFA and its leader have been winning elections continuously. The west should realise that it is not the dispersed Tamils in the west who decide the outcome at the elections in Sri Lanka.

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