Press Release on religious riots at Beruwela and Aluthgama in Sri Lanka
Posted on June 26th, 2014

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . Canada

24 June 2014

Andrew Bennet
Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom 
Foreign Affairs, Sussex Drive Ottawa, Ontario

Dear Andrew:

Your Statement on behalf of the Canadian government condemning the outbreak of communal violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka, is fair dinkum to a point. The whole world seems to be condemning it and so have the Sri Lankan Government, the Sri Lankan Buddhist prelates, as well as the majority of Sri Lankan expatriates around the world and those living in that island nation. They are incensed.

Your smug, we are goody-two-shoes arrogant statement comes amidst news that pours in from around the world of atrocities by Islamists against members of communities of other faiths. Wow! Andrew, you all at the Foreign Office certainly know how to play a game of Blind-Man’s-Bluff with Sri Lanka with an anti-Sri Lankan fervour.

I am a practicing Buddhist and I too did condemn the riots at Beruwela and Aluthgama. For the records, I also condemned the Taliban-Islamists publicly when they blew the two 6th century Bamiyan Buddhas in the Hazarjat region of central Afghanistan when the whole Buddhist world begged them not to do it. My condemnation came in the last two stanzas of my poem The Bamiyan Buddhas which was published in several Buddhist publications and it went like this:

By then the civilized world was in shock/ by the dastardly act, a knock/ on the belief/ that religions can co-exist. It was an act of Islamic religious bigotry/ and perhaps/fundamentalist medieval brutality.

Among the Buddhists/ there is revulsion at the thought/ that the Talibanis think the act was fine, / but they stand/ condemned in the eyes of mine/ and that of the civilized world.”

Was this act a cause for a religious riot between the angry Buddhists and Muslims in Buddhist countries around the world? Of course, it was, but tolerance prevailed and the Buddhists adorned cloaks of saints, and left the Muslims alone. It was a tough call. Did you know that, Andrew?   Buddhists are not that bad people as you Conservatives think they are.

And indeed if there had been riots your practicing Canadian nomenclature would have said – ‘anti-Muslim riots by the Buddhists around the world’ without even mentioning the genesis of the riots and that the Talibans provoked the riot by blowing up the Bamiyan Buddhas.   Yes? This is exactly what gets my goat, Andrew. The Buddhists are portrayed as the bad guys.

Use your telescopic-binoculars and look around the world Andrew, almost every country in the world has had these religious riots – UK, US, India, Ireland, Uganda, Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, Myanmar you name it, they have all experienced it. But the religious riots nomenclature would almost always, always give the benefit of the doubt to the minority religious community even though they had provoked the riots. They would automatically be projected as the victims.   Did Canada experience any religious riots?   Of course we had our fill with the Jubilee Riots between the Catholics and the Protestants. So we are not lily-white either and Canada should look at such riots with a non-prejudicial mind-set. That is not difficult, is it now, Andrew? And that is what is expected of you as the Canadian Ambassador for Religious Freedom. Am I right?

Notwithstanding your bombastic press release, Andrew do you know what? Sri Lankan Buddhists have taken too many provoking knocks challenging our patience which could have ended in religious riots.   But sensibility prevailed and all of us changed our gears to tolerance’ and wore halos above our heads which came with it.

Here’s Incident 1:   On 14 May 1985, the day of Vesak the Buddhists holiest day, the Tamil Tigers who were of the Christian and Hindu faiths shot and killed 120 white-clad Buddhist devotees who were meditating under the Bodhi Tree in the sacred city of Anuradhapura. These Buddhists who were killed also included children and they also wounded and maimed for life another 85.

If the Buddhists rioted going after the Tamil-Christians and Hindus in the North for killing these Buddhist devotees, no doubt your nomenclatures would have announced in your Press Release that: Canada condemns violence by Sinhalese-Buddhists against minority Tamil-Christians and Hindus”. Right Andrew! I just don’t trust you guys at the Foreign Office one bit.

You know what Andrew, Canada didn’t care two sweet puffs from between a beaver’s hind legs whether 120 Sri Lankan Buddhist meditating devotees were killed or 200 of them by the Tamil Tigers of the Hindu and Christian faiths. That is where the rub is! No harsh words protesting this act by the mostly Christian and Hindu Tamil Tigers. Why?

Here’s Incident 2. I told you earlier that we Buddhists had taken too many knocks and our sensibilities did not want us to go after the Tamil Hindus and Christians of the North over this incident.

On June 2, 1987, close to the village of Aranthalawa in the Ampara District in the east coast of Sri Lanka, the Tamil Tigers mostly Hindus and Christians stopped a bus carrying 33 Buddhist monks, 30 of them were novice monks, shot them with machine guns and hacked them with swords as if chopping animal carcasses in a butcher’s shop. Four civilians were among the dead. They were on a pilgrimage to the Kelaniya Raja Mahavihara.

If a stone attack of a Buddhist monk in a car by two Muslim youth was the genesis of the Aluthgama religious riot, then was this Aranthalawa provocation of the Buddhists brutal enough to go after the Tamil-Hindus and Christians in the North by angry Buddhists and the families of the novice monks who were killed.  Of course it was. If harming of a monk is considered to be one of the highest offences in Theravada Buddhism, then this massacre was brutal enough and a perfect recipe for a religious riot. But sensibilities kicked in and doused the angry Buddhists to retaliate. And there was no religious riot and the Sri Lankan Buddhists quite rightly earned their saintly halos.

Andrew, if a riot did happen Canada wouldn’t have cared two prairie straws waving in the summer wind and the Foreign Affairs nomenclature would have produced a pathetic Press Release saying – Canada condemns Sri Lankan Buddhists for attacking the Tamil Hindus and Christians in the North of the island.   I am prepared to bet my last dollar on that Andrew, and that is where the rub is. I just don’t trust you guys for a moment when it comes to expressing the Conservative Canadian government’s sentiments on Sri Lanka.    And the Sri Lankan Buddhists, and I am one of them, have been insulted and sullied by the Canadian government many times and been knocked around, and even a Muhammad Ali shuffle wouldn’t have helped us. And as you see, stop portraying us Buddhists as the bad guys in religious riots. Be honest with yourself and say… to hell with the anti-Sri Lankan rhetoric by the Conservative government. I am performing my job in all honesty. And that is what my Mother taught me!”

And here is Incident 3 and this takes the cake. It happened on January 26, 1998, when 12 unarmed innocent civilians were killed by a high explosive laden truck when it rammed in to the most sacred and holiest Buddhist Temple of the Buddha’s Tooth relic (Dalada Maligawa) in Kandy. It was the Tamil Tigers, mostly Hindus and Christians, who murdered these people and the three suicide bombers blew themselves up with the killing.

What mattered most for these mostly Hindu and Christian Tamil Tigers was to provoke the Sinhalese-Buddhists to riot going after the Tamils, but it didn’t happen. There was a start of it with an initial anger but it fizzled out quickly as the Sinhalese were smart enough to restrain themselves not wanting to fall into the July 1983 trap.

This 18th century Buddhist holiest temple, the Buddhist’s Mecca in Sri Lanka, and the Buddhist’s Vatican in Kandy had its façade destroyed. While the police were collecting the dismembered bodies of the 12 who died, some Buddhist monks sitting at the front of the bomb-attacked sacred temple sobbed and others chanted pirith in unison, and a 90-year old Buddhist man summarized this dastardly act by the Tamil Tiger terrorists, mostly Hindus and Christians, saying, You terrorist, go ahead and kill us, eat us, but don’t attack our shrine where Buddha lives.”

You know what Andrew, Canada didn’t care two dead capelin washed onto the shores of Conception Bay in Newfoundland, as perhaps a comment wouldn’t have bode well with the Sri Lankans as the explosives that were packed in the truck were bought from a Chemical factory in the Ukraine with a cheque cut from a Tamil man’s account from a Bank in Vancouver in 1994, and the Canadian government looked the other way to let it happen.

So don’t give me that preppy-lip insults on us Sri Lankan-Sinhalese-Buddhists, which happened to be the majority of the population in Sri Lanka, when ever there is a communal religious riot in Sri Lanka.   Andrew, perhaps it would make sense for you to do your research before you open your mouth and shoot from your hip on Sri Lanka’s Freedom on Religions.

I notice that the Muslims in Sri Lanka are clamouring to have the UN look into why the riots happened. Good, and I like it!

Let’s find out why the Government of Sri Lanka has found it difficult to rein in the Buddhist and Muslim extremists, whether they are wearing a yellow cloth or a white cloth, as a multi-ethnic civilized society has no room for such extremism.

Yes, let us find out why Muslims, a 10 per cent of Sri Lanka’s population are self-alienating from the majority of the Buddhist-Sinhalese who form 70 per cent of the island’s population, as reported by Dr. Ameer Ali, a prominent Islamic scholar of Murdoch University.   Why the two-and-one -half square kilometer town of Katankudy with 50,000 inhabitants, mostly of the Islamic faith in the east, as pointed out by Dr. Ameer Ali, wants 58 mosques, perhaps a concern and an irritant for the island’s majority Buddhists. Well, Andrew, to get a good handle of this kind of piety, you may want to ask the Muslims of Ottawa’s Orleans, why the Muslim population of 5,000, which represent approximately 1500 families do not have two mosques or three mosques let alone 58 mosques to justify their religious needs.   Interesting!

Yes, let us find out why Islamic extremism is spreading in Sri Lanka like wildfire. Wahhabi, Deobandi, and Mawdudist are some Islamic organizations that are active in Sri Lanka. As has been mentioned often, are there foreign hands helping these groups to prosper with the intention to destabilize Sri Lanka.   Let’s find out to whom these foreign hands belong to.

Let’s go the whole hog, Andrew. Are the Americans involved and are the Canadians involved also. Similar to how the US nurtured the Taliban who later turned against them, is US Ambassador Michele J.Sisson nurturing the Sri Lanka Jihadist groups thus jeopardizing the security of the island.   The reason for all these suspicions are because US, UK as well as Canada wants a regime change. It is that simple as one need not be a Rhodes Scholar to figure that one out. I certainly am not.   I am just a Simple Simon with my antennas stuck out trying to figure out why all you characters want to hurt my Motherland, Sri Lanka and us Buddhist-Sinhalese that form 70 per cent of her population.

And don’t you forget that most of the Sinhalese-Buddhists in Sri Lanka are still polishing their halos that were bestowed on them having practiced Buddha’s tolerance against other religious adversities shot at them..

Just for your records, Andrew, I had to deal with two Tamils, a Roman Catholic and the other an Anglican cloaked in black cloth and with white collars starched towards heaven for spitting at the Sinhalese-Buddhists in Sri Lanka unfairly from their pulpits in front of their congregations in Ottawa and Montreal. And I did shame them for being uncouth and roguish and will do it again if I have to. Bringing their hate towards Buddhists-Sinhalese all the way from Sri Lanka into Canada and spitting at us from pulpits just has to stop.

Sincerely,

Asoka Weerasinghe

6 Responses to “Press Release on religious riots at Beruwela and Aluthgama in Sri Lanka”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    After NURTURING Taliban, USA now talks BS.

    The best SL can do is to create an ARTIFICIAL LTTE and attack the JIHADISTS. Let the fun unfold!!

    That will look Aluthgama events as child’s play.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    “The two-and-one -half square kilometer town of Katankudy with 50,000 inhabitants, mostly of the Islamic faith in the east, wants 58 mosques.”

    Bloody hell!! That must be one of world’s MOST DENSE places with 20,000 per 1 SQ KM. 58 mosques!

    LTTE has to pay some attention to this threat. Soon East will FALL OFF mythical Tamil Elam and join Wahabistan.

    UK will become an Islamic republic in another 1 generation (25 years). Even Queen Kate will be wearing the hijab!

  3. SA Kumar Says:

    LTTE has to pay some attention to this threat. – Not need because all Muslim are Thamil Muslim .

    UK will become an Islamic republic in another 1 generation (25 years). Even Queen Kate will be wearing the hijab!- worry about your own cuckoo land.

  4. douglas Says:

    I have given some of my thoughts on this subject of “Beruwala and Aluthgama” episode in a comment posted in reference to a “Statement by the Expats living in Toronto”.

    However, Asoka, as you are well equipped with information, I feel inadequate to expand what you have stated,other than to say WELL DONE and Thank you.

    Yet, one more thing I want to say is: Immediately after winning our freedom from “Terrorism” we opened the flood gates to entertain “all and sundry” into the country. A large number of so called expatriates or the “Diaspora” rushed to get their “DUAL CITIZENSHIP” and by the time we realized and imposed a halt on that scheme, it was too late. I do not know of any “screening” done on these people who became DUAL CITIZENS. Anyway the fact remains, sooner or later the Government realizing its own folly, halted it and yet struggling with it. But the damage has been done and how to undo it is any body’s guess.

    Next came the “Visit Visa” system for all those foreign passport holders and that included those Sri Lankans who have obtained citizenship in foreign countries. At the start it was “on arrival” basis and later extended to “on line application and approval on payment of fees”. Under this system too, all “Dick, Tom and Harry” were allowed and welcomed. This step too, introduced in haste without laying down restrictions, brought in “Host of Unacceptable and Unwanted” “criminal elements” and “dignitary types” who had a hidden agenda. We are reaping the results of this too at the moment.

    Better late than never, Government having realized the folly again, has taken action to correct this situation by adding a restriction to that “Visit Visa”, in that, a note is mentioned as:- “You are NOT permitted to use this ETA for any purpose, EX: Business or Trade, Studying, NGO activities, Journalism, Meeting with Political Parties etc.

    From the above you can imagine what damage we have “invited” ourselves from 2009 to 2014. When are we going to learn and do things correctly to minimize the threats to us from within and out side?

  5. jayasiri Says:

    Main issue is the politicians of all stripes try & please the new arrivals, whether they are Muslims or Tamil Christians so that their voting bloc is assured in election times.

    Kathankudy, I am familar with as those days coming from AMPARA to Batti is through Katankudy. Even bus drivers are so fearful as children rush towards the crowded roads because of the over population by residents there. There are no significant Sinhalese population in cities & villages of Eastern Province.

    Politicians MUST REALIZE by allowing same RACE to congregate in a small area ALWAYS creates problems. Those days we never stop along the way TILL WE REACH Batticalo. Now the ppulation must be quite large as they are so bent on creating a SOCIETY for themselves.

    THIS is why even the measures to CURTAIL INCREASE in population to all groups & races including Sinhalese is necessary NOW. BUT I see MOST SINHALESE now have only TWO children per family. I wish Tamils & Muslims too curtial their population increase as SRI LANKA is a small country & cannot be like India in few years time.

    Our leaders continue to PLEASE the minorities as THEY ARE MORE WORRIED than ever, that they may NOT GET ELECTED this time if drastic actions be taken in CORRECTING THESE UNPOPULAR measures.

    Most Sri Lankans are too busy finding how to feed their families & do not have the time to waste on these BURNING QUESTIONS. Expat community must write & inform politicians of the grave danger to the country if the politicians DO TAKE any corrective measures..NOW……..J

  6. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Wonderful rebuff to Andrew in Canada. but PLEASE I BEG THE BUDDHIST SANGA TO TAKE EFFORTS TO PASS PRO BUDDHIST LAWS THROUGH PARLIAMENT THAT WILL SOON MAKE BUDDHISM A STATE FAITH AND BY THAT SET NEW BUDDHIST LAWS THAT PROTECT BUDDHISM USING THE LAW AND NOT VIGILANTISM.

    THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO STOP WORLD WIDE CRITICISM, BRING NORMALCY TO SRI LANKA AND ALLOW THAT NATION TO COMMERCIALLY PROSPER.

    THE RELIGIOUS MINORITIES OF SRI LANKA HAVE TO LEARN BUDDHISM UNDER THE NEW LAWS, ALLOW CONVERSION TO BUDDHISM, CLAIM BUDDHIST HOLY SITES NOW CLAIMED BY THEM, AND LIMIT THEIR SPREAD. IMMIGRATION LAWS SHOULD STRICTLY PROHIBIT NON BUDDHISTS FROM BECOMING CITIZENS OF SRI LANKA USING ANY MEANS INCLUDING MARRIAGE.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2018 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress