ICC: Destroying shrines is a war crime – Sinhala Buddhists must showcase the war crimes committed by LTTE-TNA & Muslim fundamentalists
Posted on August 23rd, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

The International Criminal Court has charged Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi of war crimes for the destruction of cultural heritage in Mali in 2012 declared World Heritage sites by UNESCO. On 20 July 1983 the late Cyril Mathew sent a comprehensive report to UNESCO to safeguard and preserve the cultural property in Sri Lanka endangered by racial prejudice, unlawful occupation or wilful destruction. That report covered only a handful of sites that had been subject to rape by parties and individuals attempting to eliminate evidence of Sinhala Buddhist occupation in the North and East and replace with Hindu, Christian/Catholic & Islamic new sites and claim them to be their heritage sites manipulating political correctness, and riding on the bogey of multiculturalism and reconciliation. Such treachery needs to be exposed and the real heritage sites needs to be identified and protected.

There are some key factors to take note of.

The Sinhala Buddhist heritage sites has been target of destruction by Indian invaders, colonial occupiers (Portuguese, Dutch and British & the Church) LTTE-TNA and now Muslim fundamentalists. That historical objective has continued with the modus operandi only changing.

All the while attempts have been made to wipe out the Sinhala Buddhist history of Sri Lanka, denationalize the people of their historical roots and memories and craftily remove Sinhala Buddhist culture, events, traditions etc. An excellent example is the well-funded campaign out to stop the Dalada Perahera by creating a notion of cruelty to elephants while the same activists are stoic silent on animal sacrifice/ritual sacrifice and animal killing and other forms of animal cruelty. Their campaign is only surrounded around stopping the perahera and using the elephant as the scapegoat.

Whether it is the Tamil vellalas, the LTTE or their political arm the TNA, the quest has been to claim a tract of land as their own for which they had been moving earth and heaven. Just because some loose cannon politicians and paid activists claim homelands without historical basis an island nation cannot be separated. This is what foreign envoys, the UNSG, the UNHRC head and even the Western Bloc nations needs to realize and understand. Cross examination of all homeland claims only lead back to Tamil Nadu and ascertains the false notions at play.

With no historical evidence to prove that Tamil language, Tamil people, heritage originated and evolved in Sri Lanka’s north or even east, given the heavy evidence to showcase the Tamil Nadu links to Sri Lankan Tamils the next option was to generate a hyped propaganda of lies and deception through falsified ‘history’ and by attempting to destroy, ruin and deface the artefacts in the North and East of Sri Lanka by Tamil vellalas, TNA-LTTE, the Church-NGOs and Muslim fundamentalists.

In the case of Muslims, who first arrived as traders and were treated as aliens by the Sinhale kings and the colonials initially began trading in coastal areas and were allowed to live as guests though they did not have land rights till after 1800s, therefore they cannot claim any historical area as being their heritage sites given that land rights were not given to them prior to this period. Technically only claims after land rights have been given to Muslims are valid. However, there is much contention with Muslims claiming Buddhist heritage sites to be ‘theirs’ and using media and churning incidents in their favour to win over political correctness and thus ‘secure’ these Buddhist heritage sites as theirs. We can give examples of Kuragala, Muhudumahavihara, Dambulla and a pattern now to claim sites close to all Buddhist heritage sites as a means to surround Buddhist sites and create animosity.

In 1932 Charles Collins the British Civil Servant and GA for Ratnapura in his The Archaeology of Sabaragamuwa, Bintenna” makes note of 7 places – Budu-gala, Kura-gala, Diyainna, Handa-giriya, Kottimbul-wala, Sankha-pala Vihare in Pallebedda and Galpaya tracing inscription to second century B.C http://ratnawalli.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/The-Archaeology-of-the-Sabaragamuwa-Bintenna..pdf please read http://ratnawalli.blogspot.com/2014/03/kuragala-lessons-fighting-with-honour.html

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What is important and has to be reiterated is that incursions have a history. Territories and lands have been confiscated and taken by force with the use of the sword through history and people have been converted with death threats. This is how Islam and Christianity/Catholicism has increased globally. In the modern era, in lieu of swords have been at the extreme end terrorism and at the other more sophisticated end the manipulation of multiculturalism and reconciliation using NGOs and other sophisticated methods all of which have demanded that Buddhists keep quiet while their heritage sites are usurped and replaced with others. Objections by Buddhists is declared as going against reconciliation and multiculturalism and voicing these objections are promoted as racism and those flagging the wrongs are branded as fascists, fundamentalists, radicals and whatever name they can concoct to ridicule the messenger whereby the aim is to dilute and conceal the message.

While Cyril Mathew boldly generated a report with facts, figures and images and sent to UNESCO the present day incursions, destructions and incursions upon Buddhist heritage sites are available and now need to be collected, compiled and correlated to demand that no individual, group or politicians can eliminate or destroy ancient heritage as by virtue of the ICC judgement these are now construed as war crimes.

Moreover, political parties and politicians must be told to desist from using their office to be influenced into allowing incursions by non-Buddhists into Buddhist heritage sites and build new religious sites which lay the foundations for animosities when they demand that their new construction be given prominence over the ancient site. There is a pattern to all these incursions and this needs to be clearly exposed.

The Buddhist organizations must establish a website where they can upload all these incursions so that the truth can be made public as against the falsehoods that are being promoted because money and power & mode of communications are vested in non-Buddhists clearly signalling in imbalance and injustice.

To protect our heritage we must assert our rights. In not asserting our rights we forfeit our right to demand justice and in so doing we will lose what our ancestors had toiled to erect and protect to pass on to us to also protect and preserve. It is our duty and we must do justice to what has been passed down from history. Such magnificent and ancient past that goes back centuries before Christ cannot be replicated even with modern technology which is why anyone attempting to destroy or deface and replace them should be treated as war criminals and the offence a war crime.

Shenali D Waduge

4 Responses to “ICC: Destroying shrines is a war crime – Sinhala Buddhists must showcase the war crimes committed by LTTE-TNA & Muslim fundamentalists”

  1. charithsls Says:

    Just as a continuation which I wrote somewhere else a few days ago, Shenali have you ever touched the silent destruction to our Sinhala Buddhist culture that is far worse that is happening in our country at present. We fight politics for ‘our’ country but is there such a thing, see the underhand revolution going silently,Leaving the hotchpotch of politics aside, see what is happening to Sinhalese culture. Hindi songs Hindi films from radio stations TV stations right throughout the day. Ads are from indian stars. ‘Our’ Women wear indian dress without a shame.
    I’ve not heard any protest from any Sinhala organization or writer writing on these aspects. You say to protect our heritage, first ask are there true Sinhalese now. Very sadly so called our patriotic Sinhalese are fans of Hindi films & songs & I’m sure their women folk drape the indian dress.India establishing cultural centres in many parts of the country, do you think they are offering scholarships to india for merits? to propagate Hindi through these poor students who fall prey.Now going to establish Rama route to a village in SL & in time the whole indian population will overwhelm SL as tourists.Look at silly President (of course MR & Ranil too) worshipping foolishly at Hindu Kovils. Where is Sinhala Buddhism, leave politics out, save our culture.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    This is only the tip of the iceberg.

    The undeniable truth is that Buddhism has been wiped out from all Hindu majority districts of Sri Lanka (0.1%), Hindu majority India (0.7%) and Hindu majority Nepal (10%). LTTE was not alone in doing so in parts of Sri Lanka. India was firmly behind the LTTE. The plan is obvious. India is determined to erase Buddhism through absorption into Hinduism and assigning it a low rank in its hierarchy.

    (Nuwara Eliya still has 39% Buddhists down from probably 100% over 150 years ago. This is due to their recent arrival. But India is determined to do same here as well with a massive housing project for Indians.)

    Due to this very reason, Sri Lanka will be prevented from bringing any war crimes allegation on account of LTTE and other Tamil groups destroying Buddhist places.

    We must not confine protection to Buddhist shrines. Pre-Buddhist Sinhala places of worship including Kataragama have been taken over by Hindus. Kataragama shrine is not a Hindu shrine. It is dedicated to a Sinhala man, a warrior king, by the name Mahasena. Before Buddhism, Lankans worshipped ancestors. Hindu take over of local shrines is another onslaught on Sri Lanka’s uniqueness. Now India plans to launch a massive religious and cultural onslaught on Kataragama according to news reports. This must not be allowed.

    It is worthy to note the destruction the Hindu majority administration board did to Bodh Gaya from 1947 to 2012. Thankfully it was declared a UNESCO world heritage (not just Indian) site. Thereafter in 2012 a Japanese monk Bante successfully petitioned the Indian Supreme Court to assign its administration to a Buddhist only board. They sited the deliberate and wilful disregard of the Bodhi tree and buildings. It is very surprising why this extremely important news item was not given the wide publicity it deserves.

  3. Christie Says:

    We worship gods with six heads, 12 hands, 6 dicks and 12 balls. Our leaders go to Hindu Kovils in India to release a burp or a fart.

    What about the so called Sinhalese in the West, they pretend to be more Indian than the Indians.

    Indian Empire built on nonviolent aggression and oppression and we are the victims.

  4. plumblossom Says:

    The TNA keeps repeating that there should not be any Buddhist temples in the North even during the previous Government’s time. The TNA at the time, inclusive of an official from the US embassy went to Jaffna and threatened Sinhala returnees to the North and demanded whether they were genuine refugees. This is what the US embassy does in Sri Lanka. The US, UK, EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden and India do not want Sinhala people who were displaced from the North (which numbered around 135,000 when taking the Sinhala displaced from the North and the Batticaloa district and their descendants) to return. Only 32,000 Sinhala people have remained the North or returned to the North so far by 2012. The TNA does not want any Sinhala people living in the North.

    However historically Sinhala people have every right to live in the North or anywhere else in the island. It is Sinhala people who lived in the North all this time from 600 BC and earlier until the Sinhala shift from Rajarata towards a more central location i.e. the Kandyan Kingdom. Even then there were still Sinhala people living in the North. This is attested by the many Buddhist archaeological sites, ancient Buddhist temples, ancient Buddhist artefacts found in the North. It is Sinhala kings of Rajarata who built the massive irrigation reservoirs, canals and the extensive irrigation system covering the North, North Central, North West and the East from 600BC all the way to the present.

    The TNA and the US embassy does not have any right to harass Sinhala people’s fundamental right to live in peace in any part of the island which is our fundamental and historical right and most especially harass Sinhala people ethnically cleansed by the LTTE. This idiotic yahapalanaya government should explain this to the TNA and the US embassy in no uncertain terms for the sake of sanity.

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