Amarakeerthi’s female underwear
Posted on May 5th, 2013

C. Wijeyawickrema

Source: Anti-Sinhala Buddhist website Colombo Telegraph

 The writer Liyanage Amarakeerthi (Islamic Culture And The Challenge Of Buddhist Fundamentalism) is a senior lecturer at department of Sinhala, University of Peradeniya, and visiting scholar at university of Santiago, Spain

            One can understand all out anger against Bodu Bala Sena from the English-speaking people. BBS is an idea, a plant or a germ, a paradox originated with a group of relatively unknown four Buddhist monks and a layman just one year ago. It spread like wild fire. One can understand a Christian Marxist like Dayan Jayatileke shouting against BBS, but how can a village boy like Amarakeerthi who got the opportunity to receive a higher education in USA, who cites Dhammapada claiming his Buddhist background talk of Buddhist fundamentalism and female underwear?

            We expect such people, who think they are the cream of the university culture to be objective and reasonable. They should analyze data and be of balanced learned men. They should not get biased and thus get cheated on their own simply because there are websites like the Colombo Telegraph to use them.

            Is Amarakeerthi an educated man?  On what grounds he says that BBS is Buddhist Fundamentalism? About his female underwear problem, does he not know that chemical contamination is possible, and a woman can be made barren by the use of contaminated underwear? In any case how can a Peradeniya university teacher who craves to tell the reader his Harvard links use this female underwear case to sling mud at the BBS movement?

            It is Amarakeerthi’s right to praise and embrace Muslims or Islam culture. But can he ignore or try to bury all the cruelties of Islamic rulers did to other people?  One must be able to see both sides. Amarakeerthi speaks of “savagely racist” speeches of BBS in Kandy.  I did not see any racist speeches. I saw facts disclosed and giving Muslim employer an opportunity to defend or disprove. Racist is the one who says Muslims are bad because they are Muslims. To disclose to the general public that a certain Muslim business man is exploiting poor Sinhala girls and boys is not racism.

            I have two simple reasonableness tests for this Amarakeerthi.

(1)   Not eating pig meat or any meat is a good idea. But is it reasonable to ask non-Muslims to not eat pig meat by forcing a halal certification on them? Who wants to worry about whether a tooth brush or a comb has pig oil or not? When one group in society wants halal certification introduced what is wrong with another group affected by it wanting to remove halal certification. For example when Muslim MPs want the speaker to stop serving pork curry at the Parliament subsidized canteen, what happens to John Amaratunga’s or Rosy Senanayake’s right to eat pork?  

(2)   A woman can cover her whole body or part of the body as long as it does not become a public pollution or provocation issue. If a Muslim woman covers her face with a mask with only two holes for the two eyes, and begins this in Sri Lanka suddenly after 2009, can the state prevent it for security reasons? Under the gonibilla cover can be a Muslim wahabi woman, man or a terrorist or a rapist. If tinted car glass windows are prohibited why not the gonibilla cover in public? If the police is unable to stop this why not people demand it with rotten eggs after adequate warning. Are there any rights without duties? If a halal head (gonibilla cover) has a haram bottom (exposed bottom with clear cleavage), then does not halal become a political tool rather than a calm-meditative mind?

Because Amarakeerthi hates arrack, I must say I am for what NM Perera suggested in the 1960s to allow each household to make toddy from one coconut tree, just like in USA marijuana is becoming legal one state at a time. This is better than people drinking rat juice or battery acid brew illegally and secretly.

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