Buddhist Fundamentalist Attacks On Christians And Other Minority Religions In Sri Lanka, Deplorable.
Posted on April 11th, 2013

In Retrospect By Sarath Kumara

April 10th, 2013
 
While Sri Lanka is currently  in reconciliation mode for all the ethnic strife of the LTTE insurgency there seems to be a very distressing issue which has surfaced in post LTTE Sri Lanka which is not only shameful but also totally unacceptable while even contravening the teaching of the Lord Budda ~ Sri Lanka being predominantly a Buddhist country but a nation where there has been much tolerance for generations notwithstanding the provocations of organised terrorism for which an appropriate resolution was found but at the end of it there is no excuse for any form of fundamentalist draconianism by any religion or ethnicity as it defeats the purpose and  objectives of the peace and prosperity much sought after where lip service alone is never the answer. It is a total shame with a very critical world looking on and the sooner the issue is addressed the better!
 
It also brings to bear a certain aspect of disruption to the peace and harmony  which to a greater part has prevailed for generations in Sri Lanka most importantly where the Head of State whilst being a Buddhist is espoused to A wonderful lady of the Christian faith which truly attests towards the importance of unity within the Nation in a religious perspective and perhaps an object lesson for some who in recent times seem to have taken the entire concept and  norms of Buddhism to an unacceptable level through their fundamentalist views where fundamentalism is never an answer towards the justification of aggresion and animosities which has been proven around the world  as a tool for strife and repression  with no consideration for the freedom of the individual which is a predominant right of anyone living in a democratic society! 
 
Sady as reported in many news media around world,  in Sri lanka recently  at least ten different attacks against Christian communities in the month of March alone  have surfaced where certain radical elements casting aside all religious teachings have been violently aggressive instilling fear into innocents and disrupting lives which appear quite unnecessary as there are laws within the land which could be implemented towards the justification of the tenets of Buddhismn which take high priority in Sri Lanka where radicalism is not the answer and as an alternative ahimsa, tolerance and compassion  which are synonymous with the teachings of the Lord Budda as well as that of all faiths practised around the world need to  be a precedent towards the peaceful co-existence of all Sri Lankans remembering the beauty of the land termed Resplendent where this Resplendency appears to be a thing of the past or will be soon unless the trend of Fundamentalism  is vanquished inasmuch as the LTTE were  towards a better Sri Lanka! .
Further quoting the recently published media reports :
“Radical Buddhist mob demolish house of a Protestant pastor and torch a church. The hate campaign launched by some groups against religious minorities in the country continues. The Christians of Sri Lanka are now also being targeted by radical Buddhist groups: several evangelical organizations have denounced the increase in attacks against different communities in the month of March. An anomaly for the Buddhist-majority country, where the tensions of ethnic origin – between Tamils “”‚¹””‚¹and Sinhalese – are much more widespread than are those related to religions.
The warning was launched by the Protestant Barnabas Fund that deals with finance projects to help Christians in need. The group reports 10 attacks in Sri Lanka in March alone. “It is very rare – confirmed a member – to hear of so many anti-Christian incidents in a single month. This is a clear sign of a concerted plan on the part of radical Buddhist groups.”
Among the attacks registered last month, the Barnabas Fund reports one that occurred on March 18 in Katuwana (Southern Province). Some Buddhists attacked the home of the pastor Pradeep Kumara. The pastor used the house to organize prayer meetings for his community. At the time of the attack, only the wife and children of the Reverend were home, who were threatened by attackers. The woman called her husband and the police, but the officers were not able to stop the destruction of the house.

Already in December 2012 some Buddhist fundamentalists had attacked the Rev. Kumara, destroying his car and threatening to kill him if he did not leave the church.
This series of attacks are part of a context of growing religious intolerance perpetrated by some radical Sinhalese-Buddhist groups, who have long been targeting the Muslim and – to a lesser extent – Christian communities. In particular, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) and the Sinhala Ravaya (“eco Sinhalese”), two extremist groups whose “mission” is to protect the Sinhalese population and and Buddhist religion.”
end of quote where there seems to be unmitigated paranoia on the part of these extremists who appear to have failed their mission and have no idea about the merits of peaceful co-existence. Neither the Sinhala population nor the Buddhist Religion as quoted have ever been in threat or jeopardy of being overrun by either Christianity or Islam where for centuries all religious observations and practises of all the faiths and cultures have been intertwined by love, understanding and interaction and a joyful experience for all Sri Lankans going back a very long time so why disrupt it now?

The following is a clasic example of how the Lord Budda appeased and calmed a group of his followers and perhaps quite applicable to the Fundamentalists whose actions are unbecoming of the true Buddhist faith and perhaps an eye opener towards the folly of their misjudgements which is what their actions appear to be all about!
 
 
THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT – a Story from the Buddhist Sutra
Several citizens ran into a hot argument about God and different religions, and each one could not agree to a common answer. So they came to the Lord Buddha to find out what exactly God looks like.
The Buddha asked his disciples to get a large magnificent elephant and four blind men. He then brought the four blind men to the elephant and told them to find out what the elephant would “look” like.
The first blind man touched the elephant leg and reported that it “looked” like a pillar.
The second blind man touched the elephant tummy and said that an elephant was a wall.
The third blind man touched the elephant ear and said that it was a piece of cloth.
The fourth blind man held on to the tail and described the elephant as a piece of rope.
 And all of them ran into a hot argument about the “appearance” of an elephant.

The Buddha asked the citizens: “Each blind man had touched the elephant but each of them gives a different description of the animal. Which answer is right?”

“All of them are right,” was the reply.
“Why? Because everyone can only see part of the elephant. They are not able to see the whole animal. The same applies to God and to religions. No one will see Him completely.” By this parable, the Lord Buddha teaches that we should respect all other legitimate religions and their beliefs.
If you were any of the men blind, how would you describe what you felt when touching the elephant?

Hopefully the blindness on the part of the Fundamentalists with give way to greater tolerance and understanding which will preserve the resplendency Sri Lanka has a global reputation for where all religions and ethnicities co-exist peacefully. 
 

16 Responses to “Buddhist Fundamentalist Attacks On Christians And Other Minority Religions In Sri Lanka, Deplorable.”

  1. Voice123 Says:

    Some moda Buddhists are starting to behave like Hindus. Indians dont need to enforce Indianization, unfortunately some of us are doing the job ourselves!

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    There are no extremist Buddhist organisations in Sri Lanka. All what Bodu Bala Sena is pointing out are the injustices perpetrated on the majority Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka. May be they are too loud and going too fast, but they are spot on – on what ails the majority community in Sri Lanka.

    All what the minorities – the Tamils, the Christians and the Islamists are doing in Sri Lanka is doing their best to keep the Sinhala Buddhists subjugated for ever. Minority demands and aspirations have no ending. They continue demanding to keep the Sinhala Buddhists feel guilty. Sinhala Buddhist have nothing to feel guilty over anything they did over our entire history.

    What the minorities want is for the Sinhala Buddhists to keep their mouths shut while suffering all the indignities perpetrated on them. Call it Halal, or blaring of loud speakers from mosques disturbing the peace, occupying historical Buddhist sites, carrying out unethical conversions, land grabbing, influence peddling, drug peddling, money laundering, human trafficking and the list goes on.

    It is like somebody comes and throws stones at your house. You go outside and find there is nobody. And this happens over and over again. Then one day you go out and in desperation shout out loud for the perpetrators to stop the nuisance. For the onlookers you are the one who is breaking up the peace! This is exactly what has happened to the Sinhala Buddhists. They always end up being the called extremists and chauvinists by the perpetrators as well as by the onlookers.

    From Anagarika Dharmapala to Bauddha Jatika Balawegaya of L H Mettananda times to Madihe Pannaseeha Maha Nayaka Thero and Som Hamuduruwo times to now it is this incessant attack on the Buddhist polity that is bringing forth the Buddhist reaction. It is the misfortune of Sinhala Buddhists that we haven’t had real leaders who could bring back their due rights and still not restored.

    This is the reason for Bodu Bala Sena. There is no way the Sinhalese Buddhist take for ever the indignities perpetrated on them lying down. They brought the 30 year war to a just conclusion. They deserve their place under the sun at least now.

  3. Nanda Says:

    “THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT – a Story from the Buddhist Sutra” is a complete fabrication by Sarath Kumara.
    This is a big lie, whether his opinion is right or wrong.

    I want to ask him to name the Suttha and its Nikaya and refernece, rather than INSULTING Buddhism by claiming “Several citizens ran into a hot argument about God and different religions”. In the sutta it was not the citizens who argued ( definitely not about how God look like) but the different wonderers of various non-Buddhist cults.

    Sarath Kumara would like to know that putting his own spin of Buddha’s words will make him suffer in hell.

    I am not supporting Buddhsit who thorw stones at Muslim shops or those who attacks Churchs but Sarath Kumara is doing even a worse act by making up his own Suttas.

  4. dingiri bandara Says:

    Don’t blame the BBS and other organizations. Blame evangelicals and the Muslims for the for the recent situation in SL. The evangelicals together with the NGOS are very active trying to convert the poor , not only in SL but in other countries too. Until these people started their activities, the Buddhists never had any ill feelings towards any Christians despite the fact of the involvement of the Catholics in the 1962 attempted coup. The Muslims who have their secret agenda, propagated by some fundamentalists, must blame themselves for the ill feelings towards them. BBS has made the Sinhalese Buddhists aware of their plight in SL. I think that because Buddhists are normally very passive people, others did not expect us to react in this manner. They should give up their unfair aspirations and learn to live in harmony with respect. There was no BBS a few years back. It was a reaction to the actions of others.
    If the Sinhalese Buddhists are are violent and racists people how is it that the Tamils and The Muslims are so prosperous and can live anywhere in the country and the Christians could practice their faith. These people must take actions to remove the causes without blaming the BBS. Why are the evangelicals go to Muslim countries and try to convert them.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    If TNA and SLMC are OK, what’s wrong with BBS?

  6. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    There is no contest against the rights of Buddhists in Sri lanka as presented in this posting if viewesd onjectively and in the proper perspective. The case here is against Fundamentalism relative to any religion or Ethnicity which is an inoedence to polarization and integration.The Example of the Sutra is not a fabrication but off a well researched compilation and for Nanda to be affronted seems irrelevant.the TNA, SLMC and any other group which distorts and misinterprets Government policy and assume carte bkance towards their own shortcomings have no right to exist and as far as the BBS is concerned while it has merits, tends to be partisan and biased towards every misgiving involving buddhists where the term fundamentalist seem to be beyond their comprehension.The theme of the article is about peaceful co-existence which for a blinkered few is either hard to envision or just arent prepared to accept.

  7. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    The term “impedence “was misspelt and meant to read ” an impedence to polarization and integreation”. Error regretted.

  8. Nanda Says:

    Sunil Mahattayo,
    I am Sinhala Buddhist and I know Buddhism.
    Your English stentence “The Example of the Sutra is not a fabrication but off a well researched compilation and for Nanda to be affronted seems irrelevant” is not suffcient to prove your deleberate fabrication.
    I repeat, show the world “a well researched compilation ” rather than English words of no value.

    Show the world under what Nikaya, what chaper etc and I will post the true and actual sutta for which you put your 30 degrees illegal doosra on.
    You cannot fool Buddhist. Face the challange with facts, not with mere English word “irrelevant”.

  9. Nanda Says:

    The story behind the poem in Dhammapada.Jainism and Buddhism. Udana 68-69:

    A number of disciples went to the Buddha and said, “Sir,
    there are living here in Savatthi many wandering hermits and
    scholars who indulge in constant dispute, some saying that the
    world is infinite and eternal and others that it is finite and not
    eternal, some saying that the soul dies with the body and others
    that it lives on forever, and so forth. What, Sir, would you say
    concerning them?”
    The Buddha answered, “Once upon a time there was a
    certain raja who called to his servant and said, ‘Come, good fellow,
    go and gather together in one place all the men of Savatthi
    who were born blind… and show them an elephant.’ ‘Very good,
    sire,’ replied the servant, and he did as he was told. He said to
    the blind men assembled there, ‘Here is an elephant,’ and to one
    man he presented the head of the elephant, to another its ears,
    to another a tusk, to another the trunk, the foot, back, tail, and
    tuft of the tail, saying to each one that that was the elephant.
    “When the blind men had felt the elephant, the raja went
    to each of them and said to each, ‘Well, blind man, have you
    seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?’
    “Thereupon the men who were presented with the head
    answered, ‘Sire, an elephant is like a pot.’ And the men who had
    observed the ear replied, ‘An elephant is like a winnowing basket.’
    Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a
    ploughshare. Those who knew only the trunk said it was a
    plough; others said the body was a grainery; the foot, a pillar; the
    back, a mortar; the tail, a pestle, the tuft of the tail, a brush.
    “Then they began to quarrel, shouting, ‘Yes it is!’ ‘No, it is
    not!’ ‘An elephant is not that!’ ‘Yes, it’s like that!’ and so on, till
    they came to blows over the matter.
    “Brethren, the raja was delighted with the scene.
    “Just so are these preachers and scholars holding various
    views blind and unseeing…. In their ignorance they are by nature
    quarrelsome, wrangling, and disputatious, each maintaining reality
    is thus and thus.”
    Then the Exalted One rendered this meaning by uttering
    this verse of uplift,
    O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim
    For preacher and monk the honored name!
    For, quarreling, each to his view they cling.
    Such folk see only one side of a thing.

  10. Nanda Says:

    What Sunil Mahattaya quoted is some fabrication by a non- Buddhist.

    “By this parable, the Lord Buddha teaches that we should respect all other legitimate religions and their beliefs.”

    is misleading completely.

    Buddha, as he always does, took this old storey as an example to show how people cling to ignorant ideas. He never asked people to ” respect all other religions and stupid beliefs. He is promoting just the opposite.

  11. Nanda Says:

    Sumil Mahattaya,
    As impecable English and spelling important to you, publishing and quoting from proper Buddha Dhamma is important to me.
    I don’t care about Suddas English language.
    If you are a Buddhist you have to regret not stupid spelling but misquoting of Dhamma.

  12. S.Gonsalkorale Says:

    Looks like Sarath Buddhadasa and Sarath Kumar are saying exactly the same Bana, both got “Sarath Syndrome”, or Big Head little knowledge decease.
    It seems both are spinners who could not get into a major team.

    Surely, Thathagatha would not utter nonsence like
    “Why? Because everyone can only see part of the elephant. They are not able to see the whole animal. The same applies to God and to religions. No one will see Him completely.” .

    Bodu Bala Sena will go strength to strength as people realise that politicans are selling the country.
    They will defeat “Boru Senadhipathis”, the cospirators with the west.

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    Sunil,

    With all due respect I disagree.

    COEXISTENCE is our aim. But to do that TNA and SLMC must come to the party. I’m sure you have studied GAME THEORY. I want to go the the ice hockey (to see the fights than hockey!) but my partner wants to go for some soap opera. But if I go to the hockey without her I don’t enjoy. If she goes to her crap without me, she doesn’t enjoy. So what I do is go with her to her opera BUT KEEP COMPLAINING I don’t like this crap but I enjoy it because she enjoys it. She does the same with hockey. So what happens is we BOTH participate in each others’ likes WITHOUT COMPROMISING EACH OTHERS’ LIKES.

    This is what BBS does.

    By doing what TNA and SLMC does, BBS FORCES them to feel their MESS. By doing that all three will have to settle for a compromise NOT TO stand on each others’ feet. Now TNA and SLMC racists take Sinhala Buddhists for granted. NOT after the BBS!

  14. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    If the debate over the Dhammapada and the contestations for its accuracy of the English version which some of you find contentious may be put into perspective, perhaps you had better overview the title of this item and forget about your bickerings. Is it not a fact that Buddhist Fundamentalist Attacks On Christians And Other Minority Religions In Sri Lanka are Deplorable or are all you pundits contesting the moral of the submission on the basis that these atacks are justified and that the BBS has become a moderator for something which is contemptible even in the teachings of the Buddha? I doubt if anyone of you could give a relevant answer based on logic and rationality as the concept is TOTALLY WRONG! There will be no further responses!

  15. Lorenzo Says:

    All these attacks ARE deplorable. No argument.

    BUT BBS has NOTHING to do with these attacks.

  16. S.Gonsalkorale Says:

    Dhammapada never mention or support a creator God. Twisting it to respect a creator God or his avatar is a subtle attaack on Buddhism. Similaraly,deleberately selecting a translation that contains the statement “The same applies to God and to religions. No one will see Him completely” when tens of better translations exist is anti-Buddhist act and the person doing it could well be an enemy of the Sinhala Buddhist. There is no need for further responses, Buddhists will decide based on the fact presented by various commentators.
    Furthermore, accusing BBS for crimes or attacks they never commited is also work of the anti-Buddhist supporters.

    The good writers “Saraths” should understand this come clean with an apology rather than arrogant counter arguments that make no sense.
    We support BBS, not because Buddhism but because it is one of the few groups fighting for justice for the Sinhala Buddhist.

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