Pseudo – secular countries want Sri Lanka to be secular
Posted on January 16th, 2017

Senaka Weeraratna

Secularism has become the Buzz word for all those who wish to marginalize Buddhism from public life, both overtly and covertly.

When we refer to secularism we must be in a position to distinguish it from Pseudo secularism.

What is practiced in a large majority of countries in the name of secularism is a pseudo variety of secularism.

We now see particularly in the Western countries in the light of the influx of a large number of refugees from Middle Eastern countries,  deep seated nationalism and patriotic fervor rising to the surface and challenging the ‘secular image’ these European countries had projected to the world in the decades following the end of the second world war.

In other words, beneath the veneer of ‘ secularism’ in Europe lurks innate nationalism that had laid the foundation of the nation state and united the people on the basis of a shared past that bonded one another through affinities to a common religion, ethnicity and language.

Sri Lanka’s 2500 year old civilization was founded on this basis similar to the great Chinese and Japanese civilizations, and several European Christian nations.

Yet, modern day pseudo secular countries particularly in the West want Sri Lanka to  discard its primordial national (Sinhala) and religious (Buddhism) identity, and embrace an artificial secular identity that has neither roots nor been shaped either by history, common values, heritage or destiny.

Pseudo Secularism in India

http://veda.wikidot.com/pseudo-secularism

The whole article is more or less equally applicable to Sri Lanka.

For example, Secularism calls for equal treatment of religions without discrimination.

In which countries is that practiced?

Take for example the status of Buddhism (and other Eastern Dharmic Religions) in Western countries.

In Europe only two countries have officially given recognition to Buddhism namely Russia and Austria.

The rest of Europe with a Christian heritage denies official recognition to Buddhism. In other words, in these countries Buddhism is seen as being tolerated but not granted recognition as a religion on par with Abrahamic religions.

This discriminatory stance has several detrimental effects.

Please refer

http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Official-recognition-of-Buddhism-in-non-Buddhist-countries-122080.html

http://www.sinhalanet.net/world-fellowship-of-buddhists-urged-to-campaign-for-official-recognition-of-buddhism-in-non-buddhist-countries

It is regrettable to note that concepts such as Secularism, Diversity, Multi-culturalism and the like have now become code words for demonizing  the Sinhalese majority and removal of Buddhism (despite its singular and overwhelming contribution to national life since it was introduced by Arahant Mahinda to Sri Lanka in circa 300 BC) from public life.

Secularism in the West began with the objective of separating the Church ( which was trying to usurp the power of the State) and the State. Nevertheless, the Secularism in Christian countries remains unequivocally pro – majoritarian.

In contrast in Eastern countries such as India and Sri Lanka, Secularism has been manipulated to become anti – majoritarian.

Religious discrimination en masse and public policy wise really began in Sri Lanka after the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505. They had an Inquisitorial mindset shaped by events commencing  in Europe in the 15th century which required all non – Christians e.g. Muslims, Jews etc. to convert to Christianity or face the Inquisition which gave a series of harsh punishments including burning the victims at the stake for being ‘ heretics’.

The Portuguese Inquisition in Sri Lanka (1505 – 1658) deserves a close and careful study as it was introduced to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese following the Catholic Inquisition in Europe and the Goa Inquisition. There were several Portuguese Captain – Generals like Jeronimo de Azavedo who were in charge of the Inquisition both in Goa and Portuguese occupied territory in Sri Lanka.

The Cruelest Portuguese

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/07/28/the-cruelest-portuguese/

Secularism as a concept was conceived and evolved in an European context. It is euro-centric in its very nature like the European Union and even the United Nations which today is unashamedly  promoting re-colonization and the right to intervene in the affairs of nation states that seek independence, self – reliance and non – alignment.

Instead of transplanting ideas grown in contexts that are far removed in respect to both time and space, the challenge for us in Sri Lanka is to develop our own home grown political ideas taking into consideration Lanka’s heritage and history, and more importantly the setbacks this country sustained as a result of nearly 450 years of western colonialism.

See

Anglophiles, Eurocentric arrogance and Reality

by J. B. Müller

http://www.colomboherald.com/news/anglophiles-eurocentric-arrogance-and-reality

How should Sri Lanka respond to constant demands made by the European Union and USA, to shape our public policy, Constitution, method of governance, national security and the like in line with hidden Agendas worked out by these countries to suit their parochial interests and objectives?

Let me conclude with an edited quote from a very perceptive Indian writer:

I would like to reiterate that non-Europeans are better off being always suspicious of the motives behind the preaching of democratic, liberal and civilized forms of governance by the west. Being at the receiving end of colonial oppression for centuries, non-Europeans should naturally be distrustful of those lecturing them about the virtues of liberty who had trampled these virtues the most. Just recount these events in last couple of centuries, Atlantic slave-trade to plantation slavery in Americas, violent and repressive colonies in Asia and Africa, brutal world wars in a span of thirty years accompanied by genocide (by U.S. in Japan) and holocaust (by Nazis on Jews) on a scale never seen before, waging a cold war in its most violent form in Asia. If this were the track record of those lecturing the virtues of democracy, liberty and human rights then only an insane would listen to their diabolical propaganda. China feeds more than 1.2 billion of her people and the west is too worried about the lack of democracy in China. Let China start taking the western panacea (by the way, isn’t communism a western theory?), famine would run havoc, automatic weapons will flood the streets of her cities, drug and narcotics will intoxicate her people and a total lawlessness will pave the way for western powers to intervene and colonize using R2P. Therefore, we should remember that preaching western (Anglo-Saxon) style democracy and liberty to any non-westerner for serious implementation would be a one way ticket to frustration, chaos and turmoil in a non – western country”.

Senaka Weeraratna

 

2 Responses to “Pseudo – secular countries want Sri Lanka to be secular”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Secularism demand on Sri Lanka is pushed by the West, India (also known as Hindustan) and Tamils (87% of them Hindus). They are hardly secular within themselves. India is only namesake secular and is very much a Hindu country. The only non-Hindu majority states (Jammu and Kashmir) want to leave Hindustan. Caste is stated on Indian birth certificates. That is a Hindu practice, not secular.

    Secularism is yet another Hindu (and western) attempt to wipe out Buddhism from Sri Lanka as they succeeded in doing in India where Buddhists are only 0.7% of the population. Buddhism has been wiped out in all Hindu majority districts of Sri Lanka except Nuwara Eliya.

  2. Nimal Says:

    Secularism is the order of the day for any country and it’s people. Most religions bring death and distraction and above all division of communities.
    Right wing groups are emerging in the West due to the fear of refugees that are coming and diluting their living standards. They fear that the new visitors are not willing to absorb the secular values the Western countries live by.
    Sri lanka is one failing state that the ruling politicians are using the main religion to hood wink, manipulate and even control the people. Most of the writers seem to enjoy the trappings of the secular Western countries they live but seem to deny it to the suffering people left behind.
    Therefore as some say that religion is the opium of the masses, which means it is addictive and destructive. Only people that ever helped me in my life are the people who hardly or never being to a church or temple.
    Yesterday I had to attend a funeral of a Srilankan and one of the mangers of my business where my wife is daily engaged was not relived by the manageress who is looking after in the day because he was adamant to attend the daily church as usual in the evening forcing us to drive like mad in the horrible rain to take over the business, though my secular sudda manager of the other business was willing to replace my wife and look after the business which is several millions(£) worth but he was not aware of the procedures and not familiar with the health and safety issues. Also the business that my sudda manager ruins for me is very much different and I deliberately separate one from the other. I don’t want my people to disturb a well running business with our bad habits.
    Let me inform the readers about how vital to absorb the modern life style if to survive in this world.
    My first few years was not a bed of roses as I had to face the usual prejudices and without giving up hopes I battled on.When I passed out from the university we were all offered jobs in most of the engineering companies where one of my English colleagues and I was selected to the same well known company where my friend was offered a managerial post while I was offered and non managerial post.During the first two or three years in the job my friend showed much sadness that I didn’t get the job I wanted and to my luck the technology changed and most of the mates I worked was moved side ways to replaced by technology savvy young recruits. My University colleague kept a close eye on me.My immediate manager kept me out of the management ladder as he may have feared….
    In the mean time I got on well with the new batch and moved with them socially, most probably in the pubs and restaurants where we had events, official or otherwise.
    In one such occasion in the pub I asked my young lads if they mind if I ever became their manager as My immediate boss could not cope with the emerging technology. They all said in unison that they would delighted to work under me as we are all ‘mates,.
    My boss who had a pint in his hand was so delighted he immediately rang his boss and it was declared I would succeed him, all in the pub.I always believe a bit of drink relaxes the mind and dispel fear and even stupid prejudices inbuilt.
    I have never seen my bank but my bank manager visits me to make proposals to offer me using their money as dedicated workaholics like are priceless to their culture. Interpersonal skills are so vital in this day and age and we must throw religions in to history and absorb modernity which is the order of the day and don’t allow conniving leaders and politicians to hood wick us using a religion as one could see it is the religion that is destroying the nations because people are too scared and weak come out of it.

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