Mahavamsa Buddhism of Wigneswaran and Sharmin S
Posted on January 14th, 2014

C. Wijeyawickrema

 Introduction

            Lankaweb readers need to surf Colombo Telegraph (CT) website to get an idea of the crazy things taking place on the other side of their world. It is full of examples reminding us the Sixteen Dreams of the King Kosol. Recently, I saw two news items on CT. First was by one Sharmini Serasinghe, who on her own words “was Director Communications of the former Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) under Secretary Generals Jayantha Dhanapala and Dr. John Gooneratne, with over thirty years in journalism in both the print and electronic media” says the late Ven. Piyadassi of the Vajirarama taught her so many things as a child including the habit to sit at the table with him. The second CT story (Jan 8, 2014) reports, “against this background, Wigneswaran referred to an article published in the Colombo Telegraph, titled ‘Mahawamsa- An insult to the Buddha’ by the Sinhalese journalist Sharmini Serasinghe, saying it was an exceptional article that portrays the truth.

            CT goes on, reporting “…Speaking at the inauguration, of the SOS Children’s Village in Jaffna last Sunday 5th January, Wigneswaran said that Sinhalese Buddhist propagandists, were claiming that Sri Lanka was a Sinhalese Buddhist country, and therefore other communities must live according to how the majority community wished……He further pointed out, that these propagandists needed to be reminded, that the Tamils were always here, as the majority of the North and East of the country. He said that this was acknowledged in a letter to Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam, by illustrious personalities such as E A Samarawickrama, and Sir James Peiris, way back in 1919……He added that, these Sinhalese Buddhist propagandists were using, the 6th Century AD Pali Chronicle- the Mahawamsa, to create ill feeling against Tamils, by portraying them as aliens……Wigneswaran warned that, if the country’s distorted history is continued to be taught in schools, trouble will inevitably ensue. Therefore he suggests, for a panel of Sri Lankan and foreign experts, to be entrusted with the task of re-writing Sri Lankan history impartially, from the earliest times, to that of independence from British rule, in 1948. (The story above is based on the report filed by PK Balachandran‘s to Indian Express).

It was after the second story by Wignes that I decided to read the first story by Sharmini S. I record here what I thought about these two crazy stories.

 Mahavamsa Buddhism

             Sharmini S (SS) says she is a Sinhala Buddhist refined or cleaned by the St. Bridget Convent and trained as a child by the late Ven. Piyadassi, including such new habits like sitting at the same table with monks. One wonders why she lists think kind of habit in public writings (I think, she thinks that she discloses a pure, logical and rational Buddhist (Kovur-Carlo Fonseka type?) living within her by this incident).  The only thing I can remember a female sitting at the same table with a monk was between Buddharakkitha and Wimala Wijewardena having dinner together, implicated in killing SWRD in 1959.

             Why this SS who says she is pure and genuine SB from her mother’s and father’s side despise all kinds of customs and practices by Buddhists in Sri Lanka and elsewhere? We all know there are Hindu influence in Buddhist worship patterns and living patterns. Is she going to start a crusade against them now in 2014? In the past Buddha was remembered in temples by a rock. But in later years the erection of statutes etc. began, especially after the Greek arrival in the Gandhara Region. Now about one-third of the sacred space of a Buddhist temple is devoted to Hindu gods and goddesses.  This influence can be seen so clearly when one considers the custom prevailed with regard to the donation of male infants to the Dalada Maligava by the Kandyans. The infant was placed inside the Relic room and redeemed by making a donation. This custom was not allowed in case of a female infant. But everybody forgot that the Dalada was brought to Sri Lanka by a woman hiding it on her hair on the head!

             Those who live in western cold climates know how important it is to have a temple environment full of shrines, Bo trees and Naga trees etc. where intelligent, very intelligent, not so intelligent, average and even foolish devotees felt calmness, cool or hot breeze and rain and sunshine on temple lands, day time or with full moon. This is why SS warns her CT readers in her essay: “… Caution- The following is more suitable for the broad-minded and the wise. Others are kindly advised to pass!  ….. Wonder if ours might have been a wiser, and a more ‘humane’ society, had our ‘ancient’ history, been based on Aesop’s Fables, instead of the Mahavamsa. For if not for the Mahavamsa, the Sinhalese may not have been endowed, with the reputation, of “Sinhalaya Modaya (The Sinhalese are Fools)”!”  Yes, Buddhism can be on a CD rom and in a library so Einstein kind of people can use it. Why temples and customs and habits?

             Surely, SS is badmouthing. SS should know that the real purpose of offering flowers is to remind people that life is temporary like the flowers are temporary. Everything in the world is impermanent, like the beauty of a young woman. In anything we think bad there is good. SS suggests that the study of religions should be compulsory for all children. This is a wonderful idea. She should convince Wigneswaran to start this in NP schools. She can even develop a course for university students, titled, “Come and examine, not come and believe.”

 Historian Wigneswaran

                         Wignes (W) picked up what he wanted from what SS wrote. SS was confused between the Mahavamsa and the Tripitaka. This is why SS says Mahavamsa was an insult to Buddha! Mahavamsa is a history book, and it was never taught in Sunday Temple Schools as part of Buddhism books. The only connection it had with Buddha was that it was written by a Buddhist monk.  As a history book it helped British historians in mid 1800s to identify King Asoka in India. There were other history books before Mahavamsa and nobody said Mahavmsa was another Bible. It recorded Tamil invasions, Sinhala kings having matrimonial alliances with South Indian kings, using Tamils as hired army etc., but it does not report a Tamil kingdom established in the island. It even gives an impartial account of the temporary Tamil king Elara. By careful study modern historians saw in it how the king Dutugemunu’s war to oust Elara was so well strategically planned by his father.

             Mahavamsa was neutral about W’s claim of two nations. Actually, W’s problem is that he cannot locate any canal, tank or monument to link with his Tamil nation. Yes there were Tamils, but no Tamil nation. They and Muslims lived as Sinhala king’s minority subjects. Not satisfied with this historical reality W began the history of Sri Lanka from 1919, by his famous Thantia talk, which was his debut to TNA politics soon to commence. In a previous essay, Wignes: New Tamil Moses, I discussed this plan of W. “…..Taking a similar stand, Wigneswaran is also cutting out history. His history begins only from 1921 with a James Peiris and a Samarawickrema, not with Elara, Dutugemunu or a Vijayabahu I. This is plain and simple dishonesty on his part. W based his right for a separate country on the agreement two Sinhala Christians made accepting Tamils as a separate nation in the Island!

             …….During 1921-23 there was a conspiracy to make the majority Sinhala Buddhists a legislative minority, by making the combined number of Tamil and Muslim representatives equal to the total number of Sinhala representatives. Wigneswaran is referring to this coup promoted by the then British governor, but flatly refused by the London establishment. The coup was between two Sinhala Christians, and Tamil and Muslim agents….”

             Tamils in Sri Lanka got all a minority group wants to live as equals in Sri Lanka. But W is not happy with it. May be he wants a situation like Quebec in Canada: two national flags, two national anthems and the like. W has become MahindaR’s albatross. He now wants to distribute gifts to Prabhakaran prisoners in jail on the Thaipongal day! He will have a party after the March 28 Geneva victory. He will then has his group to re-write history of Sri Lanka with foreign editors as he wished.

             Folks, two games are going on. W is massaging the Tamil separatist ego with projects like prison foods and re-writing history. This is W’s beggar’s wound. MahindaR has his beggar’s wound in W and Geneva threat. He will use this to win PC elections. The game will go on until Sri Lanka is finished as a Muslim country or an appendage of Tamil Nad. It is time to begin the overland bridge that Ranil W wanted to erect linking Tamil Nad and Mannar!

 P.S.  By the way CT also has even a few objective-minded readers. See the comment below. When Wignes read the SS essay if he also read this comment just below it, perhaps, he would not have praised her essay.

This (SS essay) is an evangelist-sponsored project. Cant one see that from the language/arguments used -no different from what the Evangelists are teaching children in their Baby classes at Polonnaruwa are asking, as some one remarked ” and the popularity rating of near 775 responses received, just like in best sportsman of the year or best website contest. It is all part of the game/the pop. quiz et al. There is nothing new said here except recycling old hat. The missionaries used this language she has spoken/arguments used for over three centuries in this country.The Portuguese Bishop in Goa even pulverized in a crucible, an alleged Tooth Relic of the Buddha when the King of Burma had offered handsomely for its possession. It is not what is said that is important but the cheer crowd. That is the new strategy. Just as the missionaries did in the 19th century Ceylon, buy tapping the rich and the influential,including a few Buddhist Bhikkus like the one who came to be known as David Silva and became a spokesman for the Christian religion, today’s Evangelists know whom to tap. In Africa they first converted the prostitutes and through them their clients. Clients were satisfied:God was honoured! No difference here. They have known whom to tap. Though the writer may not have the academic learning of a David Silva, she has other attractions, notably communication skills, all round. That is far more important today. She [Edited out] That is where the crunch is. Don’t blame the Buddhist extremists. Extemism begets from challenges like this, whether it is in the form of BBs or Ravana Balaya,or Vadamal Thailaya. That is how Arumuka Navalar was produced in the Jaffna society and Anagarika Dhemapala among the Sinhalese Buddhists. it is the “Challenge and Response” as the Historian said. Next time, Why does not she write about the “Immaculate Conception’ of the Christians, or the Hindu women tonguing/or rubbing against stone male stone Linga (penis); or the Gay rights? Will she try to get away saying, No I am no Christian, or stone Linga -grabber, nor Gay. What happened to those within the the Christian fold who questioned the Immaculate Conception. Ex-communicated? or sent to oblivion like one of our own fathers. What about the gay supporting Christain priests? What happened to the popularly exhibited French film “Nun for Christ”? Did the film makers get away easily? Does her claim to some Buddhist connection make her the right choice -the medium -for on going bashing of last vestiges of Buddhism remaining in the form of ritual, belief system etc? the game is clear enough. the writer is playing ball with anyone who pays. A former Director General of SLBC, who was declared Buddhist in his days at lest openly went over as a Christian propagandist and that for money. Why doesn’t she declare herself, likewise?.

 

20 Responses to “Mahavamsa Buddhism of Wigneswaran and Sharmin S”

  1. Samanthi Says:

    Please read the following article from the Island of 13th January, 2014 about Wigneswaran.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    By Norman Palihawadana
    An attempt by Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran to hand over presents only to LTTE suspects at the Welikade prison in view of tomorrow’s Thaipongal festival was thwarted by prison officers.
    When the Chief Minister wanted to handover presents to LTTE suspects, the prison officers have told him that it would amount to discrimination if only the Tiger suspects were considered and told him to consider all Hindus serving prison terms at the Welikade jail.
    Wigneswaran relented to the request made by the prison staff.
    http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=95802

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Now Viggie is trying to REWRITE SL history.

    Whose fault is it? The govt.

    Why have this DIVISIVE PC system and TNA – a DEADLY COMBINATION.

  3. mjaya Says:

    This is somewhat related…. Endia is just trouble…. because of the Endian 13A we have Viggie….

    Because we give visa to Endian “Tourists” this is the result (from Adaderana)

    “Five Indian women who were working at a night club in Borella while remaining in Sri Lanka illegally were arrested by the Borella police. The Manager of the night club too was arrested, the police stated.

    The five Indian suspects came to Sri Lanka on tourist visas while they were handed to the Immigration Department which will take the necessary legal action against them.

    The Borella police are conducting further inquiries into the incident.

    Meanwhile, another Indian national was arrested in Valaichchenai after engaging in trade activities while being in Sri Lanka on a tourist visa. He is scheduled to be presented to the Valaichchenai Magistrate court.”

    WHEN WILL OUR IDIOTS LEARN??????

    BE STRICT ON INDIANS WHEN ISSUING VISA!!!!!! Stop this “on arrival” nonsense for Endians.

  4. Nanda Says:

    Endians are not giving on arrival visa to Lankans. They give unofficial citizenship to LTTEers before even arrival.

  5. douglas Says:

    Mr. Wijayawickrama: I read this same article published in CT and commented on one information you provided in para two of the Introduction.

    I invite you to read it. I do not wish to reproduce it here too. There is another reader who refers to Lanka Web and paint it with an adverse reference. I have met that too. If interested you can read both the comment and my reply.

    Thank you.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    SAARC rule of ‘visa on entry’ has to be removed in Sri Lanka. Already we have thousands of Tamil illegal migrants from Tamil Nadu. Recently, some 600 Pakistani people have entered Lanka and are claiming help from Catholic people of Lanka (presumably they are Catholic Pakistanis). There are many thousands of Maldivians in Lanka too. Can Sri Lanka afford to host these people on a permanent basis ?

    The TNA got a large vote bank due to the Tamil illegal migrants from TN who were given ID cards (temp) and told they can vote.

    India has already removed the visa on entry regulation, so why shouldn’t Lanka ?

    SAARC countries are all very poor. Sri Lanka is not a large country in area and not a rich country either. Those who dump themselves on Lanka from these poor country will prove to be a burden on Lanka GoSL and taxpayers. They may prove to be fodder for mischievous elements here. In short, they are illegal migrants who do not know the language, history or the culture of the country and cannot fit in and must be deported however sorry we feel for them. If anyone wants to help these people they ought to go to those countries and help them there.

    Mr Wigneswaran has said that he is for a Federal State in the North. He is for the Army out of the North too ! The Vaddukoddai Resolution is still in place calling for violence to get Eelam. If a peace with the North is to be negotiated, then the V’Resolution, all calls for Separatism etc. must be removed through a document signed by all Tamil leaders of all the Tamil political parties.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Thanks for sharing Samanthi.

    An attempt by Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran to hand over presents only to LTTE suspects at the Welikade prison in view of tomorrow’s Thaipongal festival was thwarted by prison officers.

    When the Chief Minister wanted to handover presents to LTTE suspects, the prison officers have told him that it would amount to discrimination if only the Tiger suspects were considered and told him to consider all Hindus serving prison terms at the Welikade jail.”

    Viggie is VP reborn!

    A self created MENACE of the govt.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    A PEACE IN THE NORTH MUST BE A NEGOTIATED PEACE. IT CANNOT BE TAKE ALL ONLY BY THE TNA. THE VADDUKODDAI RESOLUTION IS STILL IN PLACE. THE THESAWALAMI LAW IS STILL IN PLACE EVEN THOUGH THE DUTCH HAVE LEFT LANKA. THERE ARE OTHER CONDITIONS THAT MUST BE ADDED ON REGARDING THE 13-A (WHICH OUGHT TO BE REMOVED).

    NEGOTIATIONS MUST NEGATE BOTH THE V’KODDAI RESOLN. AND THE THESAWALAMI LAW IN A SIGNED DOCUMENT FROM ALL TAMIL LEADERS.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    I DISAGREE on “negotiated peace”.

    There is NOTHING to negotiate. ALL “negotiations” are done and dusted in the BATTLEGROUND. They are NOT up for anymore negotiation!

  10. Nanda Says:

    There was a terrorist problem and it was solved. Peace it already there but law and order is not there in the whole country, not just North.
    Now then peace is there just RUN the country ! Why LLRC ? for what ?

  11. Charles Says:

    Thank you CW for your excellent article. It makes one’s blood boil. The Sinhala Buddhists have never gone against the Tamils. The Sinhala accommodated the Tamils. The Tamils cannot refer to the riots in which the Tamils in the South suffered the making of Sinhala Buddhists. There were many instances where the Sinhala risked their lives protecting the Tamils during those riots. The Sinhala Buddhists never expected any obligation in return from the Tamils when the Buddhist Sinhala Soldiers went to fight against the terrorists who were first endangering the lives of the Tamil civilians them selves.

    Even today the Sinhala Buddhists are only asking the Tamils to join the other communities to forma larger Nation of Sri Lankans. It is the Tamils who are seeking separation. We invite the Tamils to join the rest of the communities while they seek separation and even rewrite the Sri Lanka History claiming that North and East Belongs to them.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    In the end, all attempts for a peaceful settlement with the LTTE came to naught. That is why a WAR was decided upon. Although the WAR was won by the Armed Forces for the State of Lanka, the People of Lanka including the Tamil Civilians, there is no appreciation shown for this peace. The Tamil clergy of the North lie blatantly about the facts of the WAR and the Chief Minister is inclined toward a Federal State and wants the Army out of the North. So, the next thing to do is to negotiate a permanent Peace.

    It appears that the LLRC & PSC are not enough for the powers in place in the North. Therefore, a Negotiated Peace.

    A Negotiated Peace :

    That is, Development of the North & East will continue in Lanka at taxpayer costs in lieu of removal of the V’koddai Resolution as well as the Thesavalami Law, no more calls for Separatism, allow removal of the 13-A, peaceful resolution of all other problems. All this under a signed document, signed by all the leaders of all the Tamil parties.

    No more Tamil political parties or any other political parties should be allowed in Lanka. As it is there are over a 100 political parties. To whom are our Lawmakers listening when they allow unlimited numbers of political parties and the 6-A is not even activated ? It seems ridiculous – a sure no win situation, and an assured ongoing conflict with the V’koddai Resolution still in place.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    When a WAR is won, the ‘winning side’ lays down the conditions for future rule as in a fair a manner as possible. In Sri Lanka we have the reverse – those who have LOST the WAR are laying down the rules of future engagement, accompanied with lies to boot ! The Sinhala folk and others are not gloating over a win here – we only want a just peace for all.

    Why is that ? How did matters come to this sorry state of affairs ?

  14. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    “When a WAR is won, the ‘winning side’ lays down the conditions for future rule as in a fair a manner as possible. In Sri Lanka we have the reverse – those who have LOST the WAR are laying down the rules”

    Unfortunately true.

    BUT the solution to that problem is NOT a NEGOTIATED SOLUTION!!

    No way! That will FURTHER this nonsense.

    The solution is SCRAP 13 amendment, DEPORT illegals, HANG traitors, KILL terrorists, DESTROY their “Mahaveer” monuments, ERASE their identity and REDUCE their numbers.

  15. Lorenzo Says:

    We must realize WAR and CONTROLLED violence is ESSENTIAL for peace.

    e.g. Peace through war (2009).

    As long as we deny this, the LOSERS WILL dictate terms to us.

    Now they want to REWRITE OUR history and DISCREDIT Buddhism too!!! Even LTTE didn’t do that!

  16. Nanda Says:

    Lorenzo,
    “WAR and CONTROLLED violence is ESSENTIAL for peace”., yes only for those who are not diligent enough to maintain peace by peaceful means.

    You do not clean your floor properly, lazy, you will see ants invading.

    We did a pest control in 2009 because we have not been diligent enough in the past.
    We had a pest free house in 2009 ( except the hidden ones) but not diligent enough to give a good proper clean even when we had the opportunity.
    Now we see big ants, cockroaches, moving freely here and there. Another pest control will save lives in the future, but may harm us as well.
    We have to diligently keep the house clean- need not kill a single ant. After you keep it clean for 5 years, the process will be easier, since children will get used to cleaning rules.

  17. Nanda Says:

    In the process of keeping clean, it is unavoidable the some ants get killed in the expulsion process.

  18. Lorenzo Says:

    Nanda,

    True.

    Housekeeping involves CONTROLLED VIOLENCE in which dozens of lives are lost and somewhat harmful to humans too. but it MUST be done.

    SAME THING applies to a nation.

    SL had PERIODIC VIOLENCE for the past 3,000 + years.

    If you take the past 100 years, we had MAJOR VIOLENCE killing hundreds and destroying thousands of property every 18.8 years on average.

    1915
    1939
    1958
    1971
    1989
    2009

    (Next one between 2022 and 2033. Strangely MR’s rule ends in 2023. MR will rule SL for 18 years. The next major violence MAY trigger at the end of his rule or after.)

    So we have to use CONTROLLED VIOLENCE to WIPE OUT trouble makers at inception. If we don’t LARGE SCALE violence will result. That is the choice.

    1. Use controlled violence every year to keep trouble controlled, OR,
    2. Don’t use periodic violence but face LARGE SCALE violence every 18.8 years on average.

    NO other options avaiable.

  19. Nanda Says:

    If we are lucky we might get a leader who is diligent and no violence is needed after some initial relocation of the pests.
    I wish for that.
    I will vote for you if you want to be the “diligent leader”( Sakvithi Raja), not Sakkili Raja.

  20. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo & Nanda,

    Some views on the topic under discussion :

    All the years you mention (1915 to 2009) are the periods from Colonisation to Cold War & aftermath/consequences of those two events impinging on Lanka. All Colonists occupy and use countries for their own benefit, as proven. During Cold Wars, small countries such as Lanka gets squashed/used again. Another Buddhist country, Tibet, has virtually got ‘absorbed’ due mostly to Cold War politics. The Dalai Lama (see film ’10 Questions for the Dalai Lama, parts in the YouTube), admitted that Change had to come in some aspects in Tibet, but did he have to lose his country in order to do so ?
    Unlike Tibet, Sri Lanka leaders were prepared to bring Change, even go to war with terrorists, and thus the country has survived. Keep religion and State separate. We have to all survive in a rapacious world first, and then practice our religion.
    Element of universal religious values such as respect for human life, guarding the environment, etc. can enter the State apparatus in times of Peace. Governance ought to be that everyone gains dividends through Peace.

    In Lanka, at present, using our Democratic values (rule by the People, for the People) to uplift the People is the key. To that end, “Controlled Violence” can be used in the form the 6-A. Activate the 6-A all over the island. Seizing of all property and long rigorous jail terms ought to dampen the spirits of any Criminal elements and Unpatriotic people.

    To this end :

    * Seize all property (moveable & immoveable) of all Unpatriotic people who demand Separatism, deal in illicit drugs, murders and kills at will, create loss of public property through arson and various other means, etc.

    * Create a Fund from all seized property (sell off the Property seized at public auctions) at Provincial level under the Trusteeship of trusted Elders (not politicos) of those areas.

    * Use this Fund to Reward unusual acts of great Patriotism & Talent in those areas or alternately have a common National Fund to reward Patriotism, Talent, Creative business of great use to the country, etc . Parts of such a Fund can sponsor talented individuals/children from that Province or whole of Lanka, build Homes for Elders, etc.

    See article below. The 6-A is already happening to some extent. The People must demand that it is taken further.

    ——

    * Sri Lanka police confiscate Rs. 1.5 billion worth property of drug kingpin
    Sun, Jan 12, 2014, 12:53 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Jan 12, Colombo: The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of Sri Lanka police has taken measures to confiscate all the immovable property of a notorious drug lord.

    The property belonging to a drug dealer named “Moratu Vasantha” is worth nearly Rs. 1.5 billion, according to report in the state-owned Daily News.

    Moratu Vasantha was reportedly involved in an international drug distribution ring and was distributing heroin and other drugs throughout the country.

    The CID has taken measures to confiscate his immovable property which includes an eight-storey building at Wakwella, Galle valued at over Rs. 1.5 billion and also his movable assets including the money in his bank accounts.

    However, the suspect has fled the country despite an operation launched by the CID for his arrest.

    Moratu Vasantha’s involvement in the drug trade has come to light following the arrest of four suspects in possession of heroin at Hikkaduwa recently. Four other accomplices of the drug kingpin are already in remand custody.

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