As a Sri Lankan and as a follower
of the Buddhist philosophy I have every right to take umbrage at what is going
on in our multi religious country under the guise of a “Buddhist nation”.
First and foremost the Sinhalese
in Sri Lanka do not own the Buddhist philosophy. Lord Buddha was not a
Sinhalese and neither was he a Sri Lankan. And he certainly did not appoint the
Sinhalese as the guardian of his philosophy!
In this context not everyone who
drapes himself in a sacred saffron robe and shaves his head is a genuine
representative of the Buddhist faith! Not every Buddhist in Sri Lanka regards
this country as a “Sinhala Buddhist” nation! Not every Sri Lankan regards other
religions and ethnic groups as inferior!
What we are now beginning to see
is the Idiocracy stoking the tinderbox of ethno-religious extremism by
manipulating Buddhist extremists to distract voters from mounting burning
issues facing them today. If this trend continues unabated we are looking at
another protracted war, this time on ethno-
religious grounds, which would
make the 30-year ‘War on Terrorism’ look like a cakewalk.
In this scenario I dread to think
what might have happened if Rizana Nafeek had been a so-called Sinhala
The psychology behind using the
sacred saffron robe and a shaved head is because to the gullible “Sinhala
Buddhist” voter out there almost anything and everything draped in a saffron
robe is worthy of falling flat on their faces and worshiping. Such is their
reverence for the saffron robe. The demagogues know this only too well and
therein lies the danger! Only a real
bankrupt demagogue will resort to using religious extremism to save face.
In the event these extremists are
enjoying state patronage, then the demagogues fuelling the fire would be well
advised to watch their backs, as these very same demons they are creating will end
up strangling them with their own ‘satakayas’. Remember what became of
President Premadasa after he gifted arms and weapons to the LTTE? Remember what
Somarama did to Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike?
Some would regard this as a blessing in disguise in order to get rid of
a current headache without looking at the bigger picture. We have all
collectively suffered a 30 year war seasoned with a JVP insurrection in between
and the last thing we need is an ethno-religious war which would undoubtedly be
of much greater mind- boggling
There are extremist pyromaniacs standing by waiting and watching to
ignite the tinderbox of another protracted war. There may also be ‘other’
extremists waiting to hop on the bandwagon in order to create mayhem and they
wouldn’t think twice before camouflaging themselves in saffron robes and taking up arms. In such a situation when the
army is called upon to subdue them, how would they differentiate between a
genuine Buddhist monk and a terrorist? Would they be required to turn their
guns on the entire Buddhist clergy? Absit
The government’s decision to set
up a special Committee to look into this issue will sound good only to the
gullible but from experience we know how effective these committees really are.
This is not just ‘another issue’ to be brushed under the rug!
Politicians may come and go but it
is the legacy they leave behind that we the citizens of Sri Lanka must endure.
May we not end up as a ‘Sinhala Buddhist Saudi Arabia’!
“With the destruction of the country as a peaceful one foremost in his
mind, Satan Racism’s master plan was to eliminate all Men and Women of Letters
who posed a threat to his objective - to create a breed of blundering idiots in
the country who would finally destroy each other”- Where is