Securing Sinhala Buddhist Future through Appropriate Capitalism
Posted on September 4th, 2011

Dilrook Kannangara

Survival of the fittest is not the law of the jungle but the law of Mother Nature. It is a universal law that governs not just living beings but also astral beings. Since the start of school to even after death, the fittest gets his/her way and the others have to make way for him/her. Modern economics, politics, defence, recruitment and even finding a partner follows this supreme law of Mother Nature. Modern capitalism is a product of this universal truth. As with everything else capitalism has its share of woes, disadvantages and problems. The dog-fight capitalism model that is plagued with insurmountable problems should be avoided though the current economic policy of Sri Lanka comes closer to this than more successful versions of capitalism. With a pinch of prudence these can be overcome. Sri Lanka can be economically competitive only by following an appropriate capitalist economic model and that, and only that, can ensure the continuation of the Sinhala Buddhist identity of the nation. 

Relative population Growth Driven by Economics

It is no secret the Sinhala Buddhists are at the bottom of the list when it comes to population growth. Muslims come on top followed by Tamils. This fact can be seen very clearly by studying census data and factoring in the expatriation of some illegal immigrants following the 1948 Citizenship Act and 1974 Sirima-Shastri Agreement. There are many factors that influence relative population growth. Desire to produce more children is one reason but more importantly financial capability to raise children is becoming more and more important. Relatively high population growth of Tamil and Muslim minorities is the result of relatively higher economic clout of these communities. It is no secret most businessmen in Colombo, Kandy, Galle and Jaffna, the four largest economic centres of the country, belong to these ethnic minorities. The total percentage of minority businessmen in the country far exceeds their population percentage of 26%. Wealthiest persons and families also show a highly disproportionate slant towards minority communities. It is the result of capitalist economics becoming vastly popular among minorities than among the Sinhalese. It is not about illegal businesses which are distributed equally among all ethnic groups, but about legal businesses. 

The fault lies with the Sinhalese who were very slow to adapt to capitalist economics. Since 1947 almost every parliament had communist/socialist MPs voted into office by the Sinhalese. In contrast, Tamils and Muslims didn’t keep faith in voting for communists/socialists so much. Going even further, there were two bloody uprisings almost entirely by Sinhala Buddhists in 1971 and 1989 driven by communist/socialist ideology.

Even today the majority community shows lack of competence to adjust to the capitalist world economy whereas the minorities have totally embraced it. As a result poverty affects Sinhalese Buddhists more than the minorities. This can be seen in respective political demands of majority Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim. While Sinhalese political demands centre around development, employment and poverty alleviation, Tamil and Muslim politics are all about power devolution, separate identity development for each ethnic group and forging developed external links with their respective cultures abroad. One need not study Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to appreciate the reasons for this disparity. It is because the Sinhalese are still at the basic stage of the hierarchy whereas Tamils and Muslims have surpassed it through relative economic prosperity.

According to SLBFE statistics, there are 1.2 million housemaids working abroad. The very vast majority of them are Sinhalese women of childbearing age. There are 14 million voters (adult men and women) of which one half or 7 million are women. In other words, over 17% of adult women are housemaids! Given the manipulation in the voters registers, the real percentage would be high as 20% or more. Given the disproportionately higher number of Sinhalese among them, the percentage for Sinhalese would be 20%-25%. In short, one quarter of women who should be home raising children are thousands of miles away from home. Bearing further children is essentially forbidden to them as it results in losing the job and income. It is another reason for low population growth and less economic clout.

Meanwhile Indian and other third world investments in Sri Lanka are growing very fast. The cardinal rule of investments is that the initial investment must be more than covered by regular returns. In other words, although Sri Lanka may get foreign investments for a year or two from an entity, it comes at the cost of regular outgoings every year. It is the investor, not the employee, who makes a profit and amasses enough to reinvest.   

Value creation within farming, fishing, manufacturing and other industries is such that Sinhalese are concentrated more on the low financial value creation end while persons belonging to minorities are at higher financial value end “”…” the intermediaries.

There are ethnic enclaves around the country where the three largest minority groups are concentrated whereas there are no such enclaves in Sinhala majority areas that are increasingly turning multi ethnic. This means a person of a minority community can live and work in any part of the 65,610 square kilometres of the island and 1,340 kilometres of the coastline whereas it is restricted for Sinhalese. As a consequence, the economic potential of Sinhalese suffers a tremendous blow.

It is this lack of relative economic clout of Sinhalese and the disproportionate economic clout of minorities that spins the nation in a dangerous path of reducing the Sinhalese percentage and increasing the non-Sinhalese percentage. This trend must be stopped and reversed if the great teachings of the Buddha is to survive for another 2,500 years in this blessed land.

Economic Extinction than Military

Earliest heroics of the Sinhalese are recorded in the North Indian epic Mahabharata. It details out how the Sinhala army fought the Great Mahabharata War around 1,100BC. Although the allies of the Sinhala army lost the war, it proves the ability to project military force across the sea over 3,100 years ago “”…” a feat only achieved by a very few armies at that time.  

Driven by the need to have a Tamil nation, South Indians attacked Sinhala majority Sri Lanka since the third century BC. However, all these attempts were ferociously countered wiping out entire invader armies. Historical records indicate the wipe out of South Indian king Elara resulted in the deaths of at least 160,000 in 161BC. Even the 2009 concluded Vadukodai War killed a less number of people. Annihilation of Cholas in the 11th century killed even more invaders wiping out the entire invader culture from the island. Kalinga Magha who tried hard to establish the Jain faith, was defeated violently without leaving behind the faith as a major religion. A local army led by Prince Tikiri Bandara annihilated an entire Portuguese army of 14,000 which is the biggest ever military defeat suffered by any European Army in Asia. Even the Empire where the sun doesn’t set could not militarily defeat the majority Sinhalese army led by a series of kings including a Tamil king of Kandy. At no time an invader could rule the entire island thanks to battlefield capabilities of the Sinhalese. According to Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam, Sinhalese are one of the few unconquered ethnic groups in the world. In 2009 Sri Lanka made history by wiping out the world’s most ruthless terrorist group widely rumoured to be invincible. Over 50 nations came forward to learn from Lankan heroics how to defeat terrorism “”…” the biggest threat to human civilisation today.

Therefore it is very unlikely the Sinhalese Buddhists may be subjugated and driven to extinction militarily.

However, they will surely be driven to extinction and slavery through economic means. Running away from the capitalist economy is not the way to face the threat. Embracing an appropriate capitalist model is the way forward.

State Driven Capitalist Induction

The state cannot do business is an old adage. However, this has been proven wrong by Singapore with a GDP per capita which ranks among the top five. Singapore economy is driven by state businesses through the investment arm “”…” Tamasek Holdings. State businesses account for over 60% of its economy. Singapore initiated this economic model in 1965 when there was little private investment. The majority was not considered very good in entrepreneurship compared to others and China was following communism. Since then it has been a success story reaching unprecedented economic goals. For some, the Singaporean society is selfish, profit seeking, with rampant human rights abuses and materialistic while for the others it is a good example of sustainable development, environmental protection, good governance and worldwide economic clout.

There is a big difference between nationalised industries and Singaporean type state investments. In the latter, the state seeks profit and returns on its investments. State entities follow the capitalist model and not politics, social service or welfare. By not plundering taxpayer money, state enterprises actually uplift the economy of the people. With huge profits from state investments, Singapore has reduced tax rates fuelling further economic growth. Some state invested assets are allowed to private hands once the state has recovered its investment and a lucrative return. This has turned poor employees into businessmen with capital assets.

Chinese capitalist economy (though politically a communist nation) is another example of appropriate state participation in commercial  activities.

It can prevent the woes the west is having over a capitalist system that resembles a dog-fight. Unfortunately Sri Lanka is now following the very same model that will land us in the same predicament of debt and further debt. On the other hand the Chinese and Singaporean economic system has earned these two nations the first and second places in external reserves. 

This is the right economic model for Sri Lanka. Private limited liability companies with state and private investments, run commercially, will propel Sri Lanka into an economic miracle. Often it is claimed that the state doesn’t have the money to invest. It is hilariously untrue; the state has enough money to spend on things without any return! It is all about leveraging the potential of state investments, by running them commercially. However, World Bank sponsored privatisation schemes forced the nation to sell off profit making entities while retaining only loss making entities! Instead had the profit making entities been converted to state owned private companies, things would have been much better for the nation. Thank god the few state banks weren’t privatised. World Bank and Donors promised continued financial assistance if Lanka privatised all profit making entities but since disappeared and the nation depends on new donors today! In fact our old donors are themselves sinking deep in debt and the only way they can salvage their economy is by robbing the oil resources of Libya, Iraq, etc. 

It was a nice little plan to economically drive the majority into indebtedness and poverty. War, fiscal mismanagement, World Bank formulas, lack of foresight, short sightedness, inexperience with the open economy, terrorism/rebellion and the general feeling of fear that engulfed the society led to governments handing over their precious assets at dirt cheap prices. To the credit of the current administration, it has not done so.

Special attention should be focused on lucrative businesses that don’t benefit the majority community. State assisted investments in these industries can bring balance and economic prosperity. CWE, Fisheries Corporation, Gems and Jewellery Corporation and Building Materials Corporation are some of the entities that have massive potential if commercially managed for market returns and expanded. All the wholesale entities in Colombo-11 can be replicated by state enterprises bringing economic prosperity to all while preserving the beauty of the capital city. Foreign banks can be scaled down as local banks are more than geared to meet any requirement. There is no impact on employment but hundreds of millions of dollars of profit will remain within the island.

Small scale investments are the key to widespread economic prosperity. In Singapore, state investments have not overlooked taxis, grocery shops, taverns and eateries. While state banks can reach out to them, developing these skills and an entrepreneurial flair must be regulated and expanded. Women going to Middle East for employment can be employed and retained close to home.

State investments are not present in import industries making it the sole ambit of a group of industrialists who manipulate prices. State sponsored business entities should be created to take advantage of the multi billion rupee import industry.

As state entities perform well, employee profit sharing schemes should be introduced. It creates a sense of ownership and transparency thus reducing corruption.

State sponsorship is also needed to help Sinhalese harness the huge economic potential in the north and the east. Sadly the Sinhalese have been prevented from harnessing these vast resources and the only exceptions are the few instances of state sponsored agricultural and fishing communities. Over 37% of the land area and 60% of the coastline is in the north and the east and there is no way 63% (10% deficient) of landmass and 40% (34% deficient) of coastline can sustain a prosperous economy for 74% of the population.

Winning back the competitive economic clout is nothing short of a battle. It will antagonise many of those who unscrupulously profit today. They will not give up without a fight. Despite the annihilation of the LTTE, the underworld is still dominated by nasty elements in the society who don’t want to see a prosperous majority. Military might may have to be flexed at times to remind them how things must happen. Although all attempts must be made to settle matters peacefully, complimenting the economic war with a military show of strength, if needed, certainly benefits the nation. Certainly there can be no compromise when it comes to the economic survival of most Sri Lankans. Communist disruptive elements will have to be handled in time to stop them from disturbing the economy. Drug dealers and the like will have to be put to death by whatever means that work to take out the black money from the economy. Coastline will have to be protected to selfishly preserve Sri Lankan prosperity to Sri Lankans only and to man the Exclusive Economic Zone. 

Sri Lanka will have to break its own petty restrictions and reach out to nations that have been unfriendly in the past for technology to bring prosperity to parts of the dry zone.

World renowned terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna correctly pointed out that Sri Lanka now need an economic Gotabhaya. How true! In fact we need a couple of them.

41 Responses to “Securing Sinhala Buddhist Future through Appropriate Capitalism”

  1. Ben_silva Says:

    A good article that has discussed a number of issues. Dilrook has discribed , law of nature, ‘survival of the fittest clearly. Law of nature is some thing that we cannot ignore or bypass.I would like to add, all living species appear to constantly learn, adapt, compete and those that do not learn and adapt or compete appear to go extinct. All species also appear to constantly compete for resources, and those that cannot compete, for what ever reason, or failing to learn and adapt, appear to be at the bottom of the pile or go extinct completely. Evidence for this is, treatment of Australian and New Zealand natives, Bolivian natives and also killing of millions of native Americans such as Mayans and Aztecs by Spanish and other Europeans. Further evidence is the killing of Nalanda Buddhists by invading Muslims and killing of Buddhists in the Silk route.

    Buddhism is our heritage and we need to respect and safeguard it. However, any religion can cloud the mind and any religion should not be allowed to hinder our survival in a highly competitive world. The effect of religion as a mind virus also need to be recognised. Indians dumped Buddhism after the Nalanda debacle and Buddhism never recoverd in India . Both India and China have shown massive economic development after becoming secular. Ater China dumped various ‘isms’ it has become very strong in the economic field in a short time. If one wants to survive and win in the economic field, one has to be prepared to put in hard work and undergo pain and suffering for future good results. Further, most economic progress has been made due to the need to satisfy customer desires. Some economic driving forces such as desire and being ready to undergo pain may have conflicts with Buddhism. My opinion is learn from winners such as China and not to follow Butan , Tibet or Nalanda Buddhists. The fact that we have lost our living space in the North, East, Hill country and even the Capital may mean that the Sinhalese are not competitive enough. Reasons got to be found and the problem need to be fixed before we decline further. My opinion is that religion could be reducing our competitive spirit by promoting less desires and promoting reduction of suffering. We may also may have to dump Indian myths that even Indians do not believe any more. As Dilrook said we may need a few Gotas. Dilrook has produced a very informative article that has raised a number of issues and that has included valuable stats.
    Winning the economic front is nothing short of a battle and is not for the faint hearted. Tamils have already started the war. In the business world, it is generally known that it is harsh and it is a dog eat dog world. I agree that harsh capitalism need to be tamed. Can we learn from the Indians and the Chinese ?

  2. ranjith Says:

    Ben,

    Extinction of Buddhism is very near, when all the Sri Lankan Buddhists follow the mentality of Dilrook and yourself.

    You portrayed Buddhists from Butan and Tibet who should not be practised. We should adapt China? And you asked to learn from Indians and Chinese?

    In India and China, we find now materialistic dogmas. No more Buddhism. They have already buried.

    Do you think, all the Sri Lankan Buddhists too follow their path?

  3. jayt Says:

    In this case in India is not wrong. One way is Buddhism is weak. Another way is Buddhism was threat to Indian identities. Today, if India was under Buddhism it is already gone because week capabilities to respond. Without cast system Identities won’t survive. All Indian Hindus and Muslim including Pakistan protect identities through caste system
    Culture, heritage, prides all protected by the identities. Therefore, this is ancient mechanisms of protecting identities must be there. Dalit do not worry acting as Indian king in Indian movies since Dalit are a race it does not fit to be a king in an Indian movie and it is more like Dalit acting in an English movie as “William the Great” or an African American acting in an English movie as The William the Great.
    These minorities games are installed by the west. The West do protect the identity. They are not dumb. They fool the world. They have enough number women to let go with African and some with others to promote their interest around the world but they have mechanism written in the book to stop it when it go over it
    Therefore, Do not be scared for these Western hypocrite journalists who enjoy pocking their noses into other people cultural matters.

  4. AnuD Says:

    Very good article.

    What ever we say to the govt, top leaders seem to be insensitive to the real issues. They are worried about themselves and they always try to strenghtentheir position, their existance and it seems nothing else happens.

  5. geoff Says:

    A good scientific analysis.

    I hope the government will take these into account.

    As the writer says ultimately the survival of Sri Lanka depends on the survival of Sinhala Buddhists.

  6. nandimitra Says:

    Disenfranchisement of the sinhala Buddhists go hand in glove with corruption. In this corrupt economy capital fuels corruption. Capital growth and economic power are in the hands of people with capital. It is the minorities that have the capital which is disenfranchising the Sinhala Buddhists. It is interesting to note that in a recent statement by Ranil W he claimed that a leading Tamil firm had demanded 2 MPs from the National list. I leave it to the readership to their own conclusion as to who is selling the rights of the majority.

  7. Dilrook Says:

    Thank you Ben, AnuD and Geoff for you valuable contrinution (both for and against).

    This is part of a series of articles on the subject.

    Yesterday Prof GL Peiris stated that Sri Lanka will follow the South Korean economic model for rural development which is a step in the right direction. However, commercially run state investments in every business area the Sri Lankan majority is not present is the economic development way forward.

    As stated before, I expect distractions, disturbances and obstacles along the way. That is why Rohan Gunaratna said we need an economic Gotabhaya, (not an economic Mahinda).

  8. Dilrook Says:

    Deepal;

    There are 25 census districts in Sri Lanka not 18.

    The 2001 census was carried out only in 18 districts. For it to be complete the census should have included the other 7 districts.

  9. Dilrook Says:

    Deepal;

    All births are registered. These data support my argument.

    If using avaiable data, you have to compare 2001 against 1981 in these 18 districts and you will come to the same conclusion.

  10. Dilrook Says:

    Deepal;

    Thanks for the information which proves my point.

    Just 5/18 districts show very small increases (one is just 0.2%) more than offset by a massive decrease in one district. All the other districts (12/18) show decreases.

    It is a fact that Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mulaitivu, Batticaloa have close to 100% decrease though the numbers are small from 1981 to 2001. Mannar and Vavuniya too has a decrease due to terrorist activity. Not sure about Trincomalee. In other words Sinhalese population percentage has decreased in 19/25 districts (excluding Trincomalee)!!

    This is totally unacceptable, in my view.

    Birth rates show an even more horrific picture.

  11. Ben_silva Says:

    Deepal,
    The accuracy of stats depend on the accuracy of input data. If one cares to go about in Sri Lanka, say North, East Hill country and Colombo, one can see the decline of the number of Sinhalese. Sinhalese have been displaced from complete villages. In some parts of the hill country, I feel it is a part of Tamil Nafdu and I feel I am in a foreign country. I have nothing against the Tamils who have worked hard to earn a living. Many poor Sinhalese may not have the means to go about on fact finding missions, as travelling may be expensive.I am thankful to Dilrook for giving us a clear picture and yet Patriots face barriers. It is not surprising as one of the key people who saved the Sinhala Buddhists, SWRD was shot dead in cold blood by a Sinhala Buddhist Monk. We also see many Buddhist monuments around the world, but see no Buddhists. They have been wiped out as they have been too passive to deal with the real world. Some writers, ( Profs) are brain washing us to be lambs, when we really need is a fighting spirit to survive.
    Unless the Sinhalese themselves make an effort to survive, the future may be bleak. Some Sinhalese, unfortunately, shoot the messenger.

  12. ranjith Says:

    Deepal Demuni,

    Your statistical data, ethnic wise, religious wise appeared here is commendable.

    Also, please make a list of Sri Lankan Buddhists who left Buddhism to other religions and who converted to Buddhism from other religions/communities.

  13. Ben_silva Says:

    I agree with Deepal that minorities cannot be blamed for the downfall of the Sinhalese. The cause could be the lack of competitiveness caused by the passive belief system Sinhalese follow. Also rampant corruption and lack of law and order are serious issues.

  14. Dilrook Says:

    The main reason for the low percentage increase is the lack of competitive economic clout of the majority which must be fixed. They must be made economically competitive vis a vis other communities.

    It is not about blaming anyone but about improving the conditions.

    To save the Sri Lankan identity, a qualitative and quantitative enhancement of the SInhala Buddhist community is needed.

  15. ranjith Says:

    Deepal Demuni,

    According to reliable sources, the Sri Lankans who embrace the teachings of Buddha are ground zero when compare to converting other religions.

    I wonder why Buddhists (rationally thinkers according to Ben Silva) are embracing mind virus clouded religions day by day.

    Ben Silva always criticise that we follow passive belief system. Actually, even the other religions too have the same.

    He indirectly attacks that the Buddhism is inferior to other religions.

    Why does he always call only Buddhism is passive belief system?

    Is that Buddhism is not compatible to the modern world?

    Has the Buddhism weak teachings when compare to other religions?

    Day by day, everyone leaves Buddhism. But we criticise only other religious followers for their conversion.

    If it is unethical, it should be condemnable.

    Surprisingly, nowadays people leave Buddhism at their freewill.

    Trend is in one direction. We need to find answers without hurting other followers.

  16. Ben_silva Says:

    To answer Ranjith,
    Buddhism was invented, promoted and exported by Indians. After the Nalanda debacle, Buddhism never revived in India. Buddhism was no. 1 religion in the world and now it has lost its place. Buddhist followers in India and in the Silk route as well as those in Malaysia, Indonisea and so on either got killed or wiped out. Why do we need to follow a religion that is not even followed by its souce country ? As I have said many times, Buddhism is a part of our heritage and we need to respect and safeguard it as our heritage.
    To be successful in business one need to have desires, prepared to undergo pain and suffering to make the business a success. Having desires and being prepared to suffer are not qualities supported by Buddhism. Many scientific thinkers say that religion is a thing of the past. Further, religion clouds a persons thinking and also act as a mind virus. Due to the above reasons, I feel Buddhism does not promote compititive spirit.
    It is far better to develop critical thinking skills rather than be blinded by belief systems. Sinhalese are now at the bottom of the pile as Dilrook showed. It is now time to fix the problem rather than allow te rot to continue.

  17. ranjith Says:

    Ben Silva,

    You are not ready to follow Buddhism, because it is not even followed by its source country. But interestingly, you support to safeguard the Buddhist heritage which hails from its source country.

    If Buddhism doesn’t promote competitive spirit, why do you want to protect and safeguard the Buddhist heritage? You will lose again.

    I can assume that you feel uncomfortable Buddhism which lacks practicable qualities that other mind virus religions have. Is that so?

    Indirectly, you say that the Buddhism is blinded by belief systems which promotes to act as mind virus.

    Don’t you see most of the critical thinkers in the world are mind virus religious followers? Even in Sri Lanka too!

  18. Lorenzo Says:

    Mr Kanangara

    Very timely analysis but you have fauled to give statisitcs on populstion.

    If what Peepal has given are correct (I hope not), we have a major problem Houston.

    You see, most army, navy, air force, STF, etc. are Sinhalese and if their numbers are not growing enough COMPARATIVELY, we will have a security problem. You have missed the defence side of things.

    Please carbon copy to the ministry of defence. No point just writing things without action. We need action on this.

  19. Lorenzo Says:

    Looks like Nanthikadal LOSERS are still howling!

  20. Ben_silva Says:

    To answer Ranjith again. Buddhism is a part of our past, our culture and heritage. It produced a great civilisation. We have to respect and safe guard Buddhism for heritage and cultural reasons. Nalanda Buddhists were also civilised and educated but they could not defend themselves. The same fate happeneed to Buddhist civilisations in India, Malaysia and so on. We were protected by the sea, but the evidence is we are on the decline. We can use bits of Buddhism such as the precepts that are still valid in the modern world and reject things that are not useful or relevant. This is also what Buddha said learn from experience. We have to learn and evolve to survive. Modern thinkers such as Einstein and Clark did not believe in any religion. To find the views of modern thinkers on religion, please read my previous articles on religion on Lankaweb. The biggest danger of any religion, including Buddhism is it acts like a mind virus and clouds rational thinking.
    Rather sad thing is, those that do not learn and evolve from experience go extinct. Even Sikhs modified their religion to be militant to safeguard against Muslims. Sikhs have truth and justice as their belief.
    Afghans did not safe guard their Buddhist heritage. I am saying that we have to safe guard our Buddhist heritage, without blindly believing Indian myths that has no evidence. I am saying that we need to use science and move forward.

  21. Ben_silva Says:

    Comment to Dilrook and Lorenzo.
    In future, we will not only have to face competition from local minorities, we will have to face global competition as well. Chinese and Indians are highly competitive, and foreigners are usually after our resources. This is why developing clear thinnking and developing a competitive spirit is more important than hanging on to dead, passive Indian dogmas and religions that even Indians do not follow any more. Any comments ?

  22. ranjith Says:

    Deepal Demuni,

    Yes, of course! We are not adhering the teachings. This is the truth.

    Could you please elaborate to Ben Silva?

  23. ranjith Says:

    Ben,

    Facing global competition sounds good. You have already buried Buddhism. According to you, all the religions including Buddhism are mind virus that hinders critical thinking. Fine for the time being!

    Then, why do you want to compete the local minorities? Why do you think they are minorities? Don’t you think they are Sri Lankans? Why can’t you develop a competitive spirit through your rational thinking to unite the minorities in order to safeguard the Sri Lankan heritage instead of Buddhist heritage.

  24. hela puwath Says:

    Dilrook,

    Thank you for the timely article, the subject of which many seem to be avoiding fearing offending minorities. Your ideas are objective and factual and deal with the problems of the Sinhelese. Nobody wants to address the “GRIEVANCES” of the Sinhelese, or the “ASPIRATIONS” of the Sinhelese, for fear of being labeled racist, bigot and many other. We seem to shy away from this subject, seemingly to avoid offending minorities. Your objective tenor should not offend anybody. Well written!

    Sinapore’s ‘State Driven Capitalist Induction’ is a new revelation. Please write more on the subject or direct us to other sources.

    The Mahinda Rajapakse government undertook the development projects while at the same time tackling the terrorist problems, whereas the previous governments wanted to solve the ‘ethnic/terrorist’ problem first, before everything else. Similarly, we can tackle the Sinhela-Buddhist Economic problem while fighting the Western-bully-onslaught at the same time. Or else, as you point out, ‘… [Sinhela-Buddhist] will surely be driven to extinction and slavery through economic means.’

    How have Sri Lanka’s Buddhist Institution (clergy) contributed to the present predicament of the Sinhela Buddhist Economy? In Sri Lanka the Buddhist clergy is divided by caste. It is said that the “Siam Nikaya”, consisting of 90 percent of the Buddhist clergy in the country, to this day, maintains and promotes a discriminatory “Govigama-only” Nikaya system in Sri Lanka. All this, while claiming to be the ‘protector’ of Sri Lanka’s Buddhism. Every successive government in Sri Lanka has supported this divisive, Hindu-based, most un-Buddhist practice of the Buddhist clergy. The problems faced by this cast division, promoted and upheld by our clergy is an additional burden that further weakens the Sinhela Buddhist.

    You say this is the first of a series of articles on the subject – we look forward to them.

  25. jayt Says:

    Sinhalese have right to discuss about everything that harm Sinhalese, but just discussing them not enough, and blaming locals and foreigners for everything is not right. Blame when it is right. Don’t blame when it is not right.
    Sinhalese have solution for everything at hand. Sinhalese only need a good International leadership to run Sinhalese business, cultural, financial and security affairs globally not just locally; that was only in ancient time.
    Do promote and take over all Sri lanka businesses, nobody is holding Sinhalese, not possible to lay war crimes charges, it is everything upto Sinhalese. Promote global businesses, nobody is holding you, it is everything upto Sinhalese, but please don’t try to take over all businesses in Canada, US, UK, Eu and Australia. “Limited quantity only”.

    And always be aware negative side of the west; When Chinese were communist all Chinese were bad, when Chinese opened door for all western cooperation for profit, all all Chinese were good, when Chinese gain profit and west lost jobs,then Chinese is bad and that’s “Chinese take over and Chinese threat”.

  26. jayt Says:

    Siam nikaya or whatever, they are all Sinhalese and belong to same blood. there is no issue here. everyone eat, live, gather and pray in the same temples. I do not know where this hale puweth is stationed, but love to meet, discuss and put programs into work if Sinhalese are very series about what they talking about. there are Sinhalese but there have not put right program into work yet. I live in Capital of Canada and I never met any of those motivated Sinhalese.
    When it come to making Sinhalese becoming powerful internationally in businessmen and other field, absolutely can’t blame nobody or foreigners . And this global movement require to meet other global movement to protect Sinhalese and heritage.
    Business opportunities all across the and to become globally powerful, that’s the only way out, but need people who enjoy organizing it and fore- mostly who has will power.
    Again if Sinhalese are powerful in money, West will be friendly. that’s how Western things work.

  27. Ben_silva Says:

    Response to Hela Puwath,
    We have already lost a large part of our only homeland. We cannot even say ‘ May Sinhala apage ratai’ This shows the decline/ At this rate of decline it may be possible to get wiped out or end up as second class citizens. In fact we were second class citizens, before SWRD saved us. Then a Sinhala Buddhist Monk killed him. Why are we still following unproven Indian myths that even Indians do not follow any more. Buddhism wass made and exported by Indians. The Indians have dumped it as it has not been helpful for their survival in the modern world. Chinese have dumped ‘isms’ and made tremondous prohress in 60 years. Why is that we do not want to learn from the Indians or the Chinese. We certainly may need to think , learn and change as the old system has not worked. We can still respect and safeguard Buddhism as a part of our heritage. My fear is if we do not learn and change we may follow Buddhists in te sil route to extinction. If 13th A is implemented, this is a good possibility, as Tamils are all over Lanka and Sinhalese are excluded from the North.
    I agtree that we have to sort out morality and values. As Deepal said, there is hardly any morality and values in Sri Lanka now as the moral standards have declined considering the corruption, murders, crime, robberies and fraud that takes place in Lanka

  28. Dilrook Says:

    Ben,

    If we shed Buddhism and other religions, that leads to a further erosion of morality.

    In my view, we survived for so long being such a small community thanks to Buddhism. Sinhalese were never Buddhist fundamentalists (apart from a few). There was a place for Buddhism and there was a place for the economy, military, etc.

    Buddhism as practised in Sri Lanka never stood in the way of wiping out invaders, fishing in inland tanks, using violent punishment techniques (mainly to those who posed a threat to national security), kings maintaining a harem and indulging in other worldly pleasures. If you read sandesha kavya, etc. it is clear people lived a pleasurable life.

    I personally don’t see a future for Sri Lanka without Buddhism. Indians have not shed their religions. They have cleverly brought them over to the modern capitalist world. Same with China.

    Contrast Nalanda monks with Shaolin monks. No one can say one sect was better than the other.

    LTTE and Tamil Elamists thought Buddhism will weigh down the Sinhalese but quite the opposite happened. Not perfect but worked well for the nation.

    There is an erosion of morals but that is equally bad in the case of Non-Buddhists (worse in some cases). A large number of Tamils of Sri Lankan origin are involved in all imaginable crimes around the world. Two of them were to be hanged in India tomorrow for killing a head of state. LTTE practiced forced prostitution. Yet another ethnic/religious group has started to inhumanely assault helpless women including school girls claiming they are implementing their religious law. Some police complaints state sexual abuse as well. The moral erosion is wide spread and it can be corrected by a qualitative improvement of religious practices.

    On the other hand there are many good in the country that go unnoticed. This country is the only one to send food, etc. to terrorists and maintain government hospitals, schools, universities in enemy controlled areas. Over 5,000 LTTE cadres were rehabilitated and released. Concluded a war on terror with least number of civilian casualties compared to other nations. When Daya Master suffered a heart attack in 2004 he was allowed to seek treatment in a hospital outside LTTE controlled area. LTTE leader’s children were allowed to study in government schools, sit government exams and even be selected to a government university. IDPs were given free food, medicine, etc. Some even sold their excess food. Even richer countries failed to do so. When other ambassadors were running away our ambassador went into affected areas in Japan recently and served the people rice and other food they like to eat. This was thanks to the impact of Buddhism.

  29. Dilrook Says:

    Hela Puwath,

    Sure.

    The example of war and development is a good one. In addition, despite both, the government didn’t sell off state entities. A good start but should move further. Unfortunately by this time all the most profitable entities have been sold and politicians and their thugs have profited.

    However, I’m not knowledgeable to write about nikaya issues.

    In my view only a quantitative and qualitative enhancement of Buddhists can save this country. It worked well in the past which no one can deny; and it will work well in the future.

  30. Ben_silva Says:

    Dilrook,
    Thanks for responding. I initially held a view similar to yours that the country has no future without Buddhism. However, I realised that both India and China are doing very well without Buddhism. In India, no significant number of Buddhists left. Most are Hindus or Muslims, although India is officially secular. In China, during Communist rule, religion was discouraged and influence of religion is marginal. Further, in China, they treat Buddha as a proxi God and attend temple to get favours, in a way similar to the way some Buddhists attend the temple in Lanka. My main concern is however, any religion clouds rational tinking and act like a mind virus. Morality and values are important issues and could be taught, independent of religion. I also hold the view of many science thinkers that religion is a thing of the past and we need to move forward.
    If military, economics and religion could be kept separate as you suggested, then, the situation can be much better.Economic performance of countries such as Tibet, that practice traditional Buddhism is not that good. Also the practical evidence that Buddhists, have been wiped ot in countries in the silk route is also not good and lessons could be learnt.
    My primary aim is to see how the decline of the Sinhalese could be arrested rather than save an Indian religion that has been even dumped by Indians.
    As I mentioned earlier, there are certain beliefs in Buddhism such as reduction of desires and reducing suffering, that may hinder competitive spirit.
    I agree that issues are complex and my view is only a view.
    Would you agree that there is no significant Buddhism in India.

  31. Ben_silva Says:

    Dilrook,
    To respond to your comments on morality. This is a serious issue. I agree religion is one approach.
    I have given below the views of some science thinkers. Many scientists are of the opinion that religion is a thing of the past. The views of well known thinkers are given below.

    The famed science fiction writer, Arthur C Clark, who once denigrated religion as “a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. He was so anti religion that he did not want any religeous rights at his funeral.

    Russell:. I regard it as a disease born of fear

    Einstein: A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessar.
    My view is similar to that of Einstein. ie teach values and morality at school, without any attachement to religion.
    Without values and morality, a society would crumble.

  32. Ben_silva Says:

    To respond to Dilrooks comment ‘ we survived thanks to Buddhism’. I agree that Buddhism played its role and it certainly had a major role in our civilisation. Also Buddhism played a major role in Indian civilisation as well. I am a Buddhist and I agree Buddhism is good. Unfortunately, it is too passive for the modern highly competitive, dangerous world. Further, it is the Sinhala Buddhist soldiers who sacrifised their life. I acknowledge the important role played by Buddhists. There is also an alternate view that it was the sea that protected us from Muslim and Tamil invaders. Buddhism did not save Nalanda Buddhists or Buddhists in the silk route, Malaysia and so on. Buddhism did not save Tibet from the Chinese either. In my view, the Chinese liberated the Tibetians from leading a life 500 years BC, and dragged them to the modern world. So there are two sides. The question is, if Buddhism saved us why did not it save other Buddhists The answer may be that Buddhism cannot save any body and people will have to save themselves.My view is we have to save ourselves without relying on any religion, Buddhism included. If we drag religion to our survival strategy, it may complicate matters and clod our thinking.

  33. oldfarm39 Says:

    We are living in a highly competitive world.The question we should ask is how do we uplift the economic well being of Sinhala Buddhist . There is no substitute for hard work,depending on government alone is not going to solve any problem. There are excellent and very successful Sinhalese entrepreneurs,mainly from South. for example in Transport, Furniture manufacture,Spice production and so on. If you walk into any government department you will see too many employees sitting around doing nothing, most employees are superfluous for the task. Somebody has to pay for for all these totally non productive employees. This is just one example how the government is wasting Financial resources.
    During Bandaranayake’s rule many tea estates were taken over and in lot of cases land was redistributed to poor Sinhalese. This was done purely for political reasons rather than economic one. There was no follow up of how well the land was used. Today most of these allocated land have become non-productive and some areas looks like waste land. This is a classic example of policy driven by incompetent politicians with ulterior motives.

    We all should move away from dependent culture and stop blaming the rest of the world for lack of economic progress, and develop good work ethics. I want various contributors to this article to think very seriously as to how is it that Chinese, Indians and some others in South East Asia have produced such excellent economic growth. If you are willing to work hard and not indulge in all sorts theories about race and religion we will probably make progress.
    As far as the population growth is concerned, demography all over the world is changing, aging population is on the increase in many countries. The more well educated and prosperous you are, you are likely to have a smaller family. Increase in Muslim population is experienced in countries like India, Nigeria.and in the West amongst Muslim Immigrants.It is may because of women are not empowered enough.

    Finally. no foreign investor including the Chinese will invest a dollar unless they can take two dollars back. You need foreign investment for long term prosperity, and to develop local Sinhala Buddhist entrepreneurs.

  34. Ben_silva Says:

    Well said oldfarm39. It is very important to recognise that we live in a highly competitive world and all are competing for resorces. I agree with most you said. I trust you have answered Ranjit’s question as to why we want to compete. You could write some articles yourself.

  35. Ben_silva Says:

    I tend to agree with Deepal’s last posting. If we are on a serious problem solving mission, religion need to be left out as it introduce bias, cloud our thinking and also depend on unproven faith. UK govt. did some reserch on skills needed to survive in the modern world. I have written an aricle, based on their findings. It is an old article, but I trust it is still valid. I also feel we cannot blame minorities for our downfall and lack of skills.

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items07/260707-4.html

  36. Dilrook Says:

    Ben,

    We have to agree to disagree on the role of Buddhism (which includes both the philosophy and some practices) for moral upliftment. It is not the only guardian of morality but one important one.

    Following a more practical form of Buddhism than fundamentalism is what has been happening in this country and that is what I have been proposing. Sri Lanka was not a society driven by religion but managed the best of both worlds.

    That is why all the enemies of this country first and foremost tried to erase Buddhism.

    e.g. Chola, Magha, Portuguese, Dutch, British, Tamil Elamists, communists, NGOs.

    If you look at the pattern of LTTE attacks outside north-east in early years, the targets were economic and Buddhist.

    Remember we had an exchange of articles a long time ago on supporting the development of entrepreneurship of the majority community? It is a must and that is repeated in the article above.

    ROI, 3Es are other yardsticks that I’ve been arguing for instead of welfare.

    There is another huge danger hidden in this topic. There is an anti-national movement to turn this country into a legally secular nation. I’m using the legal term here, not the general meaning. Generally there is nothing wrong with calling Sri Lanka a secular nation but the Constitutional status of the nation should not be turned secular.

    However, I value your passion to save the Sinhala majority which you have explored in many unconventional ways. Agree with most but disagree with the role religions (when used practically without being a fundamentalist) can play in the process.

  37. ranjith Says:

    Ben,

    You quoted the Arthur C Clark’s quotation,”a necessary evil in the childhood……………”
    But you forgot to mention his child sex remarks,”the children are pearls………..”

    He molested so many innocent poor Sri Lankan children, but the government didn’t arrest him for doing this moral corrupted menace. Rather many were praised him for his justification of having sex with children.

    Ben, if your children were victimized by this phaedophile, you never quote his remarks. At last, highly paid with tax-free perks from state coffers to this morally corrupted guy went with vain.

    Ben, definitely without values and morality and without religion, a society would crumble. Your God father’s biography tells that.

    Even though Einstein had made anti-religious remarks, he was a communal minded jew and he always with Jewish people and Rabbis. Even now Germans feel him that he was a traitor to their country.

    Many claim that Einstein and Russel made a lot of contradictory statements about the religions – pros and cons.

    Even if you are proud to be a Buddhist, and keen to safeguard the Buddhist heritage, why can’t you quote any remarks about values and morality from Buddhist disciples?

    Do you prefer phaedophile Arthur C Clark and Einstein are greater than Gautama Buddha? Had they more values and morality than Buddha?

    Ben, do not follow Einstein now. Science has advanced now. His theoretical remarks are obsolete. Nowadays, most of the scientists are God consciousness and attached to a particular religion.

  38. ranjith Says:

    Dilrook,

    We, Sinhalese are the masters of finding other communities’ faults and moral values. Sadly, you too are not exempted. It is a pity.

    Sinhalese have high percentage of drunkards in our country when compare to others. Moral decay is too high in Sinhalese community.

    Our practical way of life and traditional habits even in food consumption are far different that of other communities. Please bear in mind, we shouldn’t make any assumption that those communities’ habits are morally corrupted or uncivilised.

    We should learn to love them and respect them.

  39. Lorenzo Says:

    Jayt,

    Those who practice polygamy are barbarians, fullstop.

    One man can be married to one woman only at any given time. That is the only civilised way of life.

    Polygamy must be banned in SL as it is barbaric.

  40. Ben_silva Says:

    Dilrook,
    I wish to respect your views and agree to disagree. Our objective to save the Sinhalese is the same, although the path may be slightly different. I have always said Buddhism is a part of our heritage and it has to be respected and preotected.
    What is Deepal’s opinion on values mentioned in my article.
    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items07/260707-4.html

    Ranjith
    Allegations against Clark has not been proved. Only recently, Hawkings said, nature can be explained without God.
    What theory of Einstein is wrong ?

  41. ranjith Says:

    Even mountable evidences had been disclosed about phaedophile Clark’s child sex abuses, your asking about proofs shows that still you are ignorant to digest the truth.

    The people who silence about grease devils who perpetrate atrocities against innocent minorities, have high chances of denying any wrongdoings by your God fathers.

    There is no surprise of your denial. Definitely!

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