What do we do with Bodu Bala Sena
Posted on May 16th, 2014

 Donald.Chandraratna, Perth, W.A

There is plenty of talk in the media about racism, racial vilification and incitement to violence against minority groups in the country, allegedly orchestrated by various organisations, religious as well as civil. Hence there is an appeal to the ruling party by a number of lobbyists to bring in legislation and other punitive measures to silence groups such as Bodu Bala Sena and others. These commentators in your columns argue from the premise that if such measures are not put in place there could be a pent up tide of bigots on the rampage soon.

My argument, borne out of past experience is that these spasmodic social movements are best handled by open debate because history demonstrates that such movements attract very little public support and are short lived. Banning or legislating against will only give them prominence. If they have a valid point to prove the best answer is not to drive them underground but to confront them in the market place of ideas, as long as they are not transgressing the law of the land, particularly those that safeguard the public. If the groups are allowed to air them publicly they need to be refuted by those who want them driven underground. The public will soon judge and adjudicate that wilful falsehoods of race mongers have no place. The public will come to the sane conclusion that they are not prepared to fall in line with identity-based politics. A sensible conversation is a better way to down the pernicious elements than outright legal blocks demanded by the lobbyists. While charging the government for veering towards totalitarianism the same lobbyists are paradoxically demanding another kind of velvet totalitarianism to curb free speech and freedom to demonstrate. Answering the charges than censoring will educate the public for the future. We all know that freedom of speech and protest are costly but that is the price of liberty that peace-loving people in democracy are willing to pay.

 

The reluctance on the part of the government to come too heavily on these movements is proving post ”facto, time and time again, that it is the correct stance in the long run. The insidious argument on the part of some columnists that lack of hasty action banning or curbing free speech is tantamount to ruling party backing is a red herring. The hypocrisy of the argument is that restricting free speech by one section of the society protects the weaker minority group, which is untrue because free speech in a democratic society is the right of all groups. Free speech is for everyone. It is all legal until it is made specifically illegal. Restrictions should be placed only when that right transgresses other rights. Rather than restricting free speech, the forum should be enlarged so that accountability and responsibility increases with the correlating larger audience. In fact the freedom to express one’s views on any subject increases the powers of the minority against the majority and vested interests. Moreover speaking freely increases the capacity of the person to stand up against unjust irrational prejudice.

 

In countries like ours it has to be accepted that the rich and powerful have a way to express themselves to get their message out and giving voice to the powerless is the role of the state. Censorship assists the powerful for they are able to use the court system to silence their opponents. Court systems are generous towards the rich and hence minority opinions also need space. Culturally ingrained prejudices have to be dealt with in the open through public debate. Many who rant against Sri Lanka in the international arena are reluctant to engage in open debate and dialogue. Without substantiating the allegations of discrimination and abuses they run to international forums at the drop of a hat. Open forums encouraging free speech will force these miscreants to argue their case before running to a blissfully ignorant audience. The international watch dogs will bark at any tree these days if the tree is a powerless twiggy but they shy away from the giant tress who are normally their paymaster. Disparaging a government usually from Asia or Africa and blindly going along with the dissident allegations has eroded the credibility of many international bodies, which are adept at issuing demarches gratuitously to the third world governments who refuse to toe the line of hegemonic powers. We are aware that the new kind of imperialism is cloaked in human rights garb. The time that credible international bodies took responsibility for the accuracy and impartiality for their products appears to be long since gone.

 

 

5 Responses to “What do we do with Bodu Bala Sena”

  1. Muhandiram Says:

    Buddhists revival should come through the practice of Buddhism by Buddhists,not by racism orchestrating by name sake Buddhists.(Monks,layman etc).

  2. Nanda Says:

    “If they have a valid point to prove the best answer is not to drive them underground but to confront them in the market place of ideas, as long as they are not transgressing the law of the land, particularly those that safeguard the public. If the groups are allowed to air them publicly they need to be refuted by those who want them driven underground. ..”

    _ Very true. Why the government react and change ? Because the Gov is at fault.
    Bodu Bala Sena has become the SHADOW CABINET OF Sri Lankan government ( perhaps at the cost of Buddhism, which MR does not mind despite his cunning quoting of Dhammapada) !

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    What to do with SLMC is a more important question. BBS is only a REACTION to SLMC racism.

  4. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    I agree with Lorenzeo. SLMC doing enormous damage to the country by their racist,
    reckless promoting of xxxxlam in the country. They encourage breeding, put up mosques every
    street corner to drive out natives from the areas, use loud speakers to iritate and drive out non-believers
    from the areas, encroach on government land and say they been living there for centuries when even
    a blind man can sense it is blatant lies, take over town by town, by land at high prices to drive out
    Sinhalese and Tamils from areas, run drug cartels, distribute sterile-agent laced sweets to
    Sinhalese youth. List goes on.

    All the politicians keep quiet about these xxxx’ actions for their vote.
    Only BBS bring these diabolical actions to light. Without them Sri Lanka will be turning to a mossie
    country in no time. We have to thank Unpatriotic Party (UNP), Traitors National Alliance (TNA), traitor diaspora etc
    for this plight. If any of those support the President, he wouldn’t need to rely heavily on the mossie vote.
    But this is Sri Lanka, this is Sinhalese, this is Tamils. Both races will be destroyed if they carry on like this.
    Afganisthan, Iran, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakesthan, Maldives, Indonesia, Malaysia are good lessons to these
    selfish, greedy 2-leggged, pea-brained creatures.

  5. Senevirath Says:

    AT THIS TIME WE NEED B B S . MAY BE THEY USE VERY HARSH WORDS BUT IT IS ONLY A REACTION TO MUSLIM ACTIONS. ONLY VEN GALAB
    ODA ATTE CAN TALK AGAINST DILAN PERERA OTHERS KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT

    B B S IS TRYING TO REMIND MUSLIMS THAT THEY WERE REFUGESE DURING THE PORTUGESE AND DUTHCH TIME AND WERE SAVED BY SINHALA KINGS AND SETTLED
    THEM IN SINHALE

    WHO IS GOING TO DO THIS WITHOUT B B S . THIS GOVT?

    ERADICATE THE ROOT CAUSE FIRST. DONT ACCUSE B B S THAT IT IS FUNDED BY NORWAY, EVEN IT IS TRUE BECAUSE THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF OTHER N G O S FUNDED BY FOREIGN CONTRIES TO DESTROY SINHALA BUDDHISTS

    “””” 75% SINHALOYO BUDIYAGANA INNADA KIYANNE HONDATA HITIY……..”””””””

    .

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