YAHAPALANA VERSUS MAHA SANGHA
Posted on July 19th, 2017

KAMALIKA  PIERIS

19.7.2017 Revised  4.5.2018

Yahapalana won the election in 2015, due partly to the enthusiastic support of   the Maha sangha, notably Ven.  Maduluwawe Sobitha.   Unlike in the 1956 election, where the sangha were making demands and actively pursuing those demands, in 2015, they were blindly supporting an externally introduced plan.

The Maha Sangha were originally an important part of the ‘regime change’ strategy. The Mahanayakes of Malwatte and Asgiriya were regularly visited by   ministers and members of Parliament, to state their positions on political issues. These visits were televised and we saw them on TV news. These visits were not confined only to Buddhist politicians. Christian and Muslim politicians also are shown on TV news, prostrating themselves on the floor in worship, and gifting ata pirikara. Ravi Karunanayake, who is, I believe, Roman Catholic, was also shown worshipping at the Dalada Maligawa.

A few bhikkus stayed loyal to Yahapalana.  Ven.  Thiniyawela Palitha asked Supreme Court to declare that the Central Bank bond auctions were done correctly according to Central Bank rules.  Lawyer S.A. Parathalingam appeared for him. Senior state counsel was S Gnanarajah.

But most admirers of Yahapalana soon found that the government was not delivering what it had promised   and several leading monks turned against the government. Ven. Bellanwila Wimalaratne of Bellanwila Raja Maha Vihara said Yahapalana has fooled and deceived the people. They promised a surangana lokaya of dushana ne, vancha ne, horokam ne. The public were bamboozled with fairytales, he said. Bellanwila Wimalaratne  was thereafter charged and remanded for keeping  an unregistered baby elephant in  his temple.

Ven. Kappetiyawe Siri Wimala, chief incumbent of the Getambe temple, Kandy   who is now getting high profile visits from politicians, told MP Bandula Gunawardene in July 2017 that Yahapalana had not carried out its promises. The public thought the country would overflow with kiri peni, instead Yahapalana is robbing the people. Yahapalana has no proper plan of government and no idea whatsoever of how to run a country. The country   is about to  go down a precipice, he said.

There is a conspiracy to destroy the country, said Ven. Medagoda Abayatissa . People who supported the government are now cursing it. The only thing this government has done is to take revenge against all those who supported  Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Ven. Galagodaathe  Gnanasara  said at a press conference in March 2017 that his organization was planning to stage an agitation with the participation of   7000 bhikkus countrywide against the suppression of democratic rights by the government Appearing  with him were  Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda, Itthekande Saddhatissa , Akmeemana Dayaratne and Galagama Dhammaransi.

The Pavidi Handa Organisation said in July 2017, that a massive sangha conference would be organized shortly to protest against the harmful and anti-people social and economic programmes of the Yahapalana government .We are in the midst of a comprehensive political and economic crisis created by this Government, Pavidi Handa Convener Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda said.

Yahapalana government had promised a number of benefits and relief to the people, but when we look at what is currently taking place in the country, it is doubtful as to whether any real change had taken place, continued Ven. Ananda .Country is leading to destruction and lots of people are pushed into poverty. The tremendous work undertaken and completed by the previous government is yet  visible. This government has not started a single development project. Leaders of this government are still opening only the projects that former government commenced, he said.

The Yahapalana government is today engaged in arresting bhikkus who have raised their voices for the protection of Buddhism and our own self-identification, Ven. Ananda continued. Even though the government promised to give foremost place to Buddhism, it is now engaged in sealing the charity boxes of temples. Bribery and corruption are pervasive within the last two and half years. We are ready to reveal all information related to these corruptions in the near future. Further the government is trying to hide the figures of dengue death cases and has directed the hospitals not to divulge details. But, we have actual details of hospital admissions and deaths occurred by dengue and they will be revealed to the country soon, concluded Ven. Ananda.

Yahapalana held the inauguration ceremony of the Sri Lanka-China Industrial Zone in Mirijjawila, Hambantota in January 2016. The  sangha  actively   participated in opposing the handover of Hambantota to China. Hundreds of protesters, including the sangha defied the court ban relating to the function, and tried to storm the venue. The police and STF brought the protests under control using tear gas and water cannon.  52 persons, including a Buddhist monk,  were taken into custody. Orders were issued on nine Buddhist monks.  Ven. Vimalabudhi   head of the Beragama Buddhist temple had spoken to the President, about Hambantota. His temple is ‘now a protest command centre, used by villagers to mobilize against the project,’ the media reported.

Around this time, a leading politician of the Hambantota area, (name withheld) had succeeded in getting a group of bhikkus to call a media conference in favor of the Hambantota handover. This came on TV news. Before the meeting could even start, cameras showed some persons entering the meeting to confront the speakers.  The three bhikkus quickly left the podium and went away. Ven. Pitigala Premaratana  who remained announced that all the Nayake theras of the viharas in Hambantota were against the Hambantota agreement.

After the Yahapalana victory,  Sri Abhayarama Temple in Narahenpita became ‘a  much talked about and highly politicized Buddhist temple in the country’. Abhayarama functioned as the focal point between Rajapakse and his public.  Abhayarama has had a long connection with President Rajapakse. In 2014 he celebrated his 69th birthday with a dane at the Abhayarama. Abhayarama was the venue for press conferences. Rajapakse announced his decision to participate in the 2015 elections at a press conference held at Abhayarama Temple.  In October 2015, Rajapakse explained the purpose of the underground bunker at Presidents House, he said similar facilities existed at Temple Trees and elsewhere. He spoke from Abhayarama. Abhayarama was also the place where his now adoring public could meet him.

In 2015,  Mahanayakes resident overseas  in US, Singapore, Australia and India addressed  a press conference at Abhayarama.  These Mahanayakes observed that some UNP candidates, such as  Vijayakala Maheswaran  used  a poster  showing the UNP elephant and a map of  Eelam during the election.  Walpola Piyananda,  Mahanayake of UK  added that  majority of Buddhist  abroad are worried. There are many NGOs working overtime to destabilize the country.  This unfortunate situation would not have risen if  had there been a stronger President and stronger government in power.

A centre called National Assets Protecting Centre was started at Abhayarama, with the participation of party leaders of the Joint Opposition. Setting up a centre and creating a movement to protect public assets at this moment is the need of the hour as the government has lined up several state ventures to sell or privatize,”  said  Mahinda Rajapaksa  at Abhayarama.

in February 2016, Ven. Pathberiye Wimala Gnana    filed a lawsuit against the Chief Incumbent of the Abhayarama Vihara Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda  requesting an injunction order against the holding of political meetings and trade union meetings at Abhayarama . Abhayarama has been the centre of activity of the ‘Joint Opposition’ which backs former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he said.. Press conferences are held at Abhayarama by Joint Opposition stalwarts regularly. The temple is being discredited in the eyes of Buddhists since it is been used for political, trade union and commercial purposes

Pathberiye Wimala Gnana  had earlier  filed a case in the Colombo District Court against Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda  saying Muruttetuwe  Ananda had no right to head the Abhayarama.  In 1998 was made the Chief Incumbent of Sri Abhayaramaya Narahenpita; Purvaramaya at Kirulapone, Rilawala Susimaramaya at Polgasowita, Vapikaramaya at Boralesgamuwa and Kiriporuwe Nagharukkaramaya at  Eheliyagoda on the death of the then Chief Incumbents of the above temples Ven. Radalle Sri Pangaloka and Thalawitiye Pemaloka.. Court has  issued  an interim order on Abhayarama to stop using the property for political, commercial and trade union activities till the case by  Ven. Pathberiya is heard.

Yahapalana government retaliated against the bhikkus who had criticized Yahapalana . Over 81 bhikkus have been remanded from January 8. 2015 to March 2016 said Minister of Justice. They were remanded for theft of artifacts, financial fraud, child abuse, rape, and so on. The total number of monks remanded or convicted from 1948 to Jan 8, 2015 was 172.  Yahapalana also tried briefly to introduce new laws to control the Maha sangha. This was interpreted as  an international conspiracy, to wipe out Buddhism from Sri Lanka. The Yahapalana government has taken a contract to help achieve this by devising these news laws.’

Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha, head of the NGO ‘National Movement for Social Justice”, founded by him, gave tremendous leadership to President Sirisena’s campaign and helped him to win the election. Sobitha was a highly visible, highly vocal supporter of Yahapalana. K.H.J. Wijedasa said that Sobitha was one of the people who masterminded the Presidential election, in close consultation with Ranil Wickremasinghe   and Chandrika Kumaratunga. But when he saw what Yahapalana government was doing, and the direction that Yahapalana was taking Ven. Sobitha turned against the government.

Leading academic ,Nirmal Devasiri  said  that it  is no secret that Sobitha was bitterly disappointed with  the Yahapalana government. He was very critical of the government and made public statements to that effect.  Sarath Wijesooriya   who took over the National Movement for Social Justice after Sobitha also said that Sobitha had been very disappointed.  Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka said that Sobitha has told him that he, Sobitha was dissatisfied at the direction the country was moving in.

 

Ven. Sobitha had been openly critical of the President at a convention held by his NGO on 1.3.2015.   Ven. Sobitha was the first to criticize the new government   for not doing election reform as promised, for appointing defeated candidates onto the government and creating a huge cabinet, said an observer  ‘Sobitha realized that the path on which the government was heading was not right, and was not afraid to say so. We also are now beginning to realize that the Yahapalana was not what was expected,’ he concluded. Sobitha  was a  strong critic.   As a high profile critic, he could cause much damage to the government.  In fact Ven. Sobitha could have brought the government down single handed.

But  within a week  of         starting to publicly criticise Yahapalana  Ven. Sobitha was taken ill.            He was first seen by the doctors at  the National Hospital, Colombo.  He was then operated on by a cardiac surgeon at a private hospital in Colombo.  ‘By-pass was done, he had recovered and was discharged.’  For convalescence he had  been admitted to anther hospital, then transferred back to the first private hospital. between September 10 and November 8 he had been moved to six different hospitals, with his consent. C.A. Chandraprema says that neither President Sirisena nor Prime Minister  Ranil visited  Ven. Sobitha when he was ill. Then a ‘political decision’ was made to take him to Singapore. Ven. Sobitha  died of heart failure at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital on Nov 8. 2015.

There was a large attendance at his funeral. Those who wrote to the Sunday Island praising Sobitha included  Jayantha Dhanapala, H.L. Seneviratne, A.C. Visvalingam and Elmore Perera.  There was a  service of thanksgiving for Sobitha by the Catholic Church. Rev Duleep de Chickera, Head of the Anglican Church also   praised him.

Since Maduluwawe Sobitha died soon after he started to critique the government,  several well-known bhikkus alleged that  his death had not occurred due to natural causes and requested a high powered commission to look into the matter. The request was made by Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda, Ven. Elle Gunawansa and Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka.

They held a press conference at Abhayarama. Uduwe Dhammaloka said that there was a conspiracy behind the death.     The surgery performed on him had been successful and he had recovered. Therefore there are serious doubts about his death.    ‘When I complained to the top persons in government they brushed aside my concerns.’

Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda  also said  that it was he who usually recommended doctors for late Sobitha thera. But this time, others had  admitted him to hospital. ‘Suddenly the doctors who were treating him were changed. We were not informed of the treatment he was undergoing either. While he was being treated his condition changed. We were suspicious.’

Muruttetuwe Ananda  said ‘When I visited the National hospital upon learning that he was in the Intensive Care Unit, Sobitha held my hands and said ‘Ananda we made a mistake. We have been deceived’. Had he lived he would have been an arch enemy of this government.  His death is highly suspicious.

Ven. Elle Gunawansa   said that there were some monks who died mysteriously after doing a great service to the nation. These he said included Ven. Gangodawila Soma and Ven. Panadure Ariyadamma. We are still suspicious about their deaths as well.” he said.

The ‘National movement for social Justice”  also called for an impartial probe into Ven. Sobitha’s death.  So did Udaya Gammanpila. Gammanpila claimed that Gangodawila Soma had also died under mysterious circumstances. Kotagama Vachissara and Labuduwe Siridhamma who rose against the then UNP government had also died under mysterious circumstances. A group of Sri Jayewardenepura undergraduates asked the Sri Lanka Medical Council to conduct a fresh inquiry into Sobitha’s death. They stated in the letter that there is an element of suspicion in people’s minds about this death.

The CID initiated an inquiry since Uduwe Dhammaloka and National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) had called for an impartial probe. Court directed National Hospital Director Dr. Anil Jasinghe to appoint a special panel of doctors to investigate the death of Ven. Sobitha Thera . This team   looked at the local medical records.  Sobitha was a high risk patient with lots of complications, they said.  The Singapore hospital did not send their records but the  team accepted the cause of death given in Singapore, saying it was in keeping with the clinical features of Sobitha’s illness. The team stated that there was no evidence of negligence. The charge that Sobitha had died due to medical misadventure  was strongly  contested. The clinical skills of the Sri Lanka doctors were far superior to those in other countries  where they greatly rely on technology, the team said.

Uduwe Dhammaloka , an influential monk  was now  openly against the government.  Yahapalana  retaliated. Uduwe Dhammaloka  was charged and remanded for keeping an  unregistered baby elephant in the temples. The Wildlife Department officials had taken into custody a two and half year-old elephant calf found inside the Alan Mathiniyaramaya Temple in Polhengoda.

Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka it is alleged had kept this calf in his temple knowing, that it had been stolen. He was charged   under Fauna and Flora Protection (Amendment) Act of 2009 and Public Property Act.  The indictment has been filed over two counts come under section 22 (12) of the Fauna and Flora Protection (Amendment) Act, No.22 of 2009 and section 5(3) (a) of Public Property Act..

The Attorney General maintained that Dhammaloka Thera had illegally possessed a stolen property, a baby elephant without a valid licence, an offence under the Fauna and Flora Act. The Attorney General further alleged that the accused had also committed a punishable offence under the Public Property Act since he had intentionally kept a baby elephant without a valid licence. There are legal provisions to charge three times the value of the elephant calf as a penalty 19 persons have been named as witnesses in the case and three documents will be presented as production items in the case, sources said. Senior State Counsel led the evidence of 13 witnesses including State Minister of Foreign Affairs Wasantha Senanayaka.

Uduwe Dhammaloka thera  said the elephant calf had been left in the   temple by an unknown person.The Thera  said that elephants brought for peraheras of various temples in Colombo, were kept at his temple.He had no connection with the capture or sale of elephants.

Uduwe Dhammaloka was arrested and remanded in March and released on bail in June 2016.  This is the first time in Sri Lanka, an accused had been indicted in the High Court by the Attorney General over an offence of possessing an elephant without valid licence following the amendments to the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance in 2009.

In addition, Uduwe Dhammaloka was remanded over using loud speakers in his temple in Polhengoda causing a nuisance. A private plaint was brought against Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka of Alan Mathiniyaramaya Temple in Polhengoda that       loudspeakers used by the temple was causing an annoyance and disturbance to the residents. The complainants Gavinda Jayasinghe Dr. Kalinga Kaluperuma, Diren R. Hallock, Milinda Moragoda, Kamalesh Johnpillai and Centre for Environmental Justice. They said they were compelled against their will to listen to the amplified sounds which emanate from the loudspeakers at the Alan Mathiniyaramaya Temple.

In December 2016, Court issued a conditional order preventing Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka from using loudspeakers in a manner causing nuisance at his temple between 5.00 a.m. and 6.00 a.m. the case is continuing .A warrant was issued for his arrest,   he was granted bail in March 2017.

The position of Buddhism in the north-east of Sri Lanka under Yahapalana rule has also caused concern. There was   an attempt to demolish Sambodhi vihara in Mullativu. There have been religions tensions relating to Buddhism in the east.  On one occasion police did not allow  bhikkus to use a certain route to a temple since a group was waiting to pelt stones at them. An NGO had organized a demonstration against a  Buddhist  monk in Batticaloa  at Pattiyamalai, closing down the Pattiyamalai  DS office and blocking the road, demanding that legal action be taken against a Buddhist monk who     had allegedly scolded government officials and obstructed them.

A lawyer filed a Fundamental Rights application in August 2016, challenging the vandalizing of Buddhist statues in north. He cited the case of the shrine room in Mankulam built by the army, but stated that this was not an isolated instance. Over the past few months there have been constant demands for the removal of Buddhist temples and  Buddhist statues located in Northern Province. Objections have been raised over the construction of new Buddhist temples.  Buddhist archaeological sites in Northern Province are under threat.

Thereafter, TNA MPs    met the Prime Minister and raised concerns about Buddhist temples and Buddhist statues being built in their area.  They are not against resettlement of Sinhalese. A complaint was made that  there were plans to build  a Buddhist temple and Buddhist statue in Kilinochchi. D.M. Swaminathan stated in Parliament that no one will be allowed to remove Buddhist temples or statues in the north.  Buddhist monks and devotees had the right to built temples and statues in any part of the  Northern Province.

To the great alarm  and consternation of  Yahapalana, the Maha Sangha of Sri Lanka, decided in June 2017 to   move to center stage. The Maha Sangha  issued two statements which   greatly upset Yahapalana .

In June 20. 2017  the  Mahanayakes of the three Nikayas and their Sangha Sabhas issued a statement, which  said that there is no need or urgency to bring  in another Constitution or  Amendment to the Constitution and also that   the Bill to implement the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPAPED). should be delayed.   They also asked that a special committee be appointed to look into the grievances facing Buddhists, Attention must be paid to protecting religious places of archeological interest in the country . Buddhism must be given the foremost position in the constitution.

Yahapalana was shaken by the Mahanayake views on Constitution Reform. Laksiri Fernando observed that Yahapalana fully expected obstructions to constitutional reform from other sources, but not from the Sangha. The Maha Sangha have now turned into unexpected obstacle, an anticipated hurdle for the new constitution making process, said Laksiri Fernando. The opinion of the Maha Sangha is considered so important that Yahapalana has already withdrawn or postponed the second reading of the ICPAPED Bill, earlier scheduled for the 5th July.

There were a few comments in the media regarding the Mahayanake position on Construction reform.  One critic argued that Mahanayakes are entering the political sphere, undermining the democratically elected Parliament with the intention of acting as a ‘shadow state’ behind the existing one.

Another critic said that the Mahanayake statement   on constitution reform was ‘an invasion of the constitutional space of Parliament’, an’ invasion of the political space of the country’s elected representatives,’ and an ‘invasion of the sovereignty (sic) of parliament’ said this critic. Does the Sangha think it is within their territory of immediate concern to ask for a committee to be appointed to look into the above mentioned issues, this critic asked.

These observations are   a load of  nonsense. The  making of a constitution is  not a ‘prerogative’ of parliament,  nor a  ‘constitutional right’ of Parliament. Constitutions are made by constituent assemblies and Parliament functions under the Constitution, not the other way round.

A second critic observed that the Sangha are not experts on constitutions. If they have had any bright ideas about matters like independence of the judiciary or the system of devolution they could have expressed them during the public consultation process, said a second critic. The opposition to a New Constitution at this moment even without waiting for a draft, is a political act and not a religious mission.

The Maha Sangha,  it must be pointed out, are first and foremost, individual  citizens of Sri Lanka , with all rights and privileges  enjoyed by citizens, They can vote at elections, speak at meetings  and have the right  to study and  comment on political issues. The argument that the Maha sangha should only deal with Buddhist matters and keep quiet about everything else cannot be accepted. That argument has been concocted to silence the sangha.

In order to further support their       argument these critics stated that Gautama Buddha involved himself in social matters, but not politics. Similarly the sangha should also confine their attention to Sasana and not politics. They should keep away from controversial politics   and express opinions only on social, religious and moral concerns continued the critics.

There are over 30,000 Buddhist monks in the country, continued the critics. They are ordained into various levels by these three Nikayas. However, it is not clear how far the Mahanayake Theras represent the opinions and wishes of the general Sangha. On many occasions, divergent views are expressed, continued this critic. There are also visible class differences among the Sangha, apart from caste. There are ‘rich sangha’ and ‘poor sangha.’ poor sangha  in remote temples who have to struggle for their day to day survival, while rich temples are patronized by the State, politicians and the elite.

Then there are over 14 million Buddhists in the country, young and old, and it is not clear how far they would adhere to the advice of the Mahanayake Theras in respect of politics and constitutional matters. The statement of the Sangha may be looked upon as a directive to the Buddhists. If so the Sangha becomes a contributor to conflict situation in society.   That is incorrect. Buddhists know that the Maha sangha  only express  views, Buddhists are not given directives by the clergy.

Following a meeting of the Karaka Sangha Sabha, the Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, the Most Venerable Warakagoda Gnanaratana Thera sent out a  second missile, also on June 20, 2017. In a strongly worded statement  he said, although we do not approve the aggressive behavior and speech of Bhikku Galabodaatte Gnanasara the viewpoint expressed by him cannot be  discarded, without trying to find out whether there is  any truth in  what  he says. The statement continued, bhikkus have been insulted by various groups. Political monks have been spoken of  ‘without respect and addressing them by name.’ We cannot condone this either.

This statement received weightage as it was  the decision of the Karaka Sangha Sabha of the Asgiriya chapter. Alarmed  supporters of Yahapalana reacted strongly to this ‘Asgiriya declaration’. This statement, titled  ‘A Kind Notice to the Government,’  containing two prefatory paragraphs and eight hard-hitting operational paragraphs, was like a political party manifesto, they said. It started by declaring, “We all know that the Buddhist monks acted when there was any threat to the security of our motherland, Sinhala nation and Buddhist Sasana.” but it said nothing about the Dhamma. By this statement, Asgiriya Mahanayake Theras are dragging  other bhikkus also into politics. Asgiriya Mahanayake Theras also should kindly realize  that, if the monks get involved in controversial and rather muddy politics, then they must be able to face counter criticisms, concluded the critics.   ( continued)

13 Responses to “YAHAPALANA VERSUS MAHA SANGHA”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    RECONCILIATION AND RACISM

    A former Tamil Tiger terrorist CHILD SOLDIER kid Velu Skandarasa asks his mother, “Amma, what’s the difference
    between Reconciliation and Racism?”

    Mother (wearing Pottu) – “Pillai, Reconciliation is when Singhala modaya taxpayers work hard every day, in the middle east, garment factories, etc. so that we can get all our benefits, aspirations and fix our grievances, you know, like free housing, free health care, free education, colonize Kalompu, Kandy, Negompu, Panathurai, army camps, navy camps, etc. and money to build Mahaveer monuments and kovils everywhere, political solutions, more welfare payments than Singhala pensioners get. That’s Reconciliation. Sariyaa?”

    “But Amma, don’t the Singhala taxpayers get angry about that?”

    “Appah! Sure they do. That’s what we call Racism.”

  2. SA Kumar Says:

    Ananda-USA your Thambi is doing very good job for his pay master India , soon he want will bring IPKF 2nd batch.

  3. Dilrook Says:

    Sadly, the other camp was not very different.

    In 2005, Mahinda entered into a pact with the JHU thanks to which he won the election. However, he disregarded the 9 Buddhist monks after winning the election. They had to resort to other means to influence the government. Things worsened after 2010. Even the Chief Prelates were disregarded. Rulers were rarely seen at Buddhist temples. They were far more frequent in other places of worship including the Vatican, Wailing Wall, Thirupathy, Nallur, Our Lady of Matara, soothsayers and associated deities. Buddhists were let down and sought to regain relevance using other means like BBS and RB which resulted in electoral damage to the government. Venerable Ellawala Medhananda was sidelined. He could have saved ancient shrines in the north and east if given the authority.

    JO still has not complied with the Maha Sangha demand that there is no need for a new constitution. Why does the JO still remain in the Constitutional Assembly and some committees?

    UNP, SLFP and JO take Buddhists and the Maha Sangha for granted. As a cartel they don’t undermine one another. If one of them stands by the Maha Sangha, it has an unfair advantage over the others but they don’t do it. NFF is a small party of 5 MPs. It cannot make a huge impact.

  4. Vaisrawana Says:

    Kamalika is always dispassionate in her surveys of media opinion. Here too she demonstrates that quality. Her concern for the accuracy of facts is also obvious. However, her claim that Ven Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera was charged and remanded for keeping an unregistered baby elephant at his temple the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya might not be correct. I cannot confidently contradict her statement because I don’t know whether this actually happened. I can only say that it is highly unlikely. Wasn’t it Ven Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera who experienced that predicament? If the popular preacher monk Dhammaloka’s case received the wide media attention it got, the well known academic, and Nayake Thera (potentially more influential with the government whichever party is in power at any time) would have aroused overwhelming publicity and public outrage. (Yet, strange things happen these days!)

    A monk like Thiniyawela Palitha should hardly be regarded as representing the Maha Sangha. His action in support of the bond thieves surely has a mercenary motive. He could be a rogue in robes. Why should a Buddhist monk get involved in defending a suspect in a criminal investigation, a non-Buddhist alien citizen at that?

    It seems that Kamalika has been obliged to include the names of persons like Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, Sarath Wijesuriya, and Laksiri Fernando. But the poor worth of their opinions as ‘intellectuals’ bearing on the subject is not unknown to us.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    Our heartfelt thanks to Kamalika for her sincere attempts to get the truth out to the public.

    ———-

    As far as I know the story, I think it was Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera who kept an abandoned elephant calf at his Temple and was penalised by Yahap folk for doing so.

    ———

    Some questions to ask :

    1. Buddhist priests entering politics in Lanka – they do this due to failing politics ?

    2. 2010 : An important year re Cold War type politics affecting the entire world, as Russia/NATO relations strained.

  6. SA Kumar Says:

    1956 election, where the sangha were making demands and actively pursuing those demands,- at last We all agreed because of Sangha Oxford return SWRDB passed Sinhela Only ACT than what happen 1956 to 2009 we all know .

    now You know why MS/RW/CBK do not want oeder from Sagha !!!

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    The political system as it exists today is a set up for ONGOING FIGHTING & DISSENT, NOT ONGOING LEADERSHIP HARMONY to solve the problems that face the People !

    Solving Problems of the People ought to be the first priority of any government of Lanka, not pocket stuffing and “Crash & Sell” the Country, as Yahap does !

    The political system is a set up for DIVIDE & RULE, not a set up to solve the Problems of the People !

    Top PATRIOTIC LEADERS should form a group to Govern and to safeguard the People of Lanka and look after the interests of the Country First.

    Question to ask : Are RW/CBK duo Patriotic ?

  8. Christie Says:

    Maha Sanga should stand up to the Indian Imperialism and Colonialism.

    The so called Yahapalanaya was installed by India..

  9. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Traitor catholic run UNPatriotic party promises moon and the earth to get SOME Sinhala modayas to vote for
    them; they get to the winning post first with the guaranteed votes from traitor tamils, mussies and the catholics.
    They also know Sinhala modayas have very short memories. So they exploit this to the maximum. Remember
    traitor alugosuwa (to Sinhalese only) [email protected] promised ata 8 (8 cereals) to win 1977 general election. Sinhala
    modayas gave him almost all the seats. Did he give ata 8? In the end he could give only 2. That’s how
    pathetic these traitors are.

    Last time around traitor chief die hard catholic token Buddhist Bay Gal Karaya Mega Thief Batalande Wadakaya
    Weda Bari Tarzan promied cars, volksvagen factories, million jobs etc. etc. Good thing for him is traitor YAMA
    PALLA can’t remember what he promised the next day. But Sinhala modayas over the moon and fall into hole
    they fell during the day. Traitor YAMA PALLAN showed/showing again they are only good at destruction of
    Buddhism, Sri Lanka, Sinhalese race, murder, mayhem, corruption and grand robberies. Sinhala modayas never learn.

    Traitor catholic run UNPatriotics have imprisoned so many monks, encouraged destruction of ancient Buddhist
    temples by the fast multiplying mussies in the east, trying to loot all major temples including their donation
    boxes, getting rid of Buddhism as the state religion etc. etc. Batalande Wadakaya wants finished the job off by
    breaking up Sri Lanka to please his ardent supporters tamils, mussies, catholics and the catholic west. They are trying to deliver the killer blow while the traitor chief die hard catholic token Buddhist Batalande Wadakaya at the helm.

    His religion of convenience has done irreparable damage. Sadly still a lot of jaathi dhrohee monks support this wolf in sheep’s clothing Wadakaya and his cohorts. Like the chief prelate thibbotte bathgotte devidaththara. Chicken is safer with fox than Buddhism in the hands of catholic run UNPatriotic party YAMA PALLAN. What these YAMA PALLAN don’t realise is they are destroying the only TRUE religion in the world. Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution destroyed the creator god myth. The Theory explains how two legged creatures came to being, just like Lord Buddha preached. One thing is sure, these traitor YAMA PALLAN won’t be two legged creatures in their next lives since they are committing sins by trying to destroy the only TRUE religion in the world.

  10. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Traitor chief die hard catholic token Buddhist Bay Gal Karaya Mega Thief Batalande Wadakaya Pol Pot [email protected] wickamaSinhalakiller’s catholic run
    UNPatriotic party’s anti-Buddhist, anti Sri Lankan and anti Sinhalese activities.

    http://ltte-christian-ties.blogspot.com/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV6_o9txURc

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2015/08/05/christianizing-of-sri-lanka-unps-betrayal-of-buddhism/

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/05/27/ranil-wickremasinghes-new-unp-3/

    http://www.lankagrid.com/soma-thero/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_eJ1gX_fuU

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/09/26/ltte-terrorism-church-links-can-someone-explain-these-photos/

  11. SA Kumar Says:

    Ancient Sinhalaya- Buddhism only TRUE religion in the world- Jeyaveva !!!!

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    Kumar,

    Core Teachings of all religions are simllar, and are Life Supportive through Self Realisation.

    Scared politics spoil it all.

  13. Ananda-USA Says:

    Meanwhile,

    The YAMAPALANA Cabinet approved the long-term 99-year lease of Hambantota Port to the Chinese yesterday for a 1.12 billion USD payment by the Chinese.

    This will be presented to Parliament for DEBATE ONLY, but NOT FOR APPROVAL by a VOTE, before being SIGNED INTO LAW next Saturday.

    If the Parliament is responsible for ENACTING LAWS, why is it not necessary to be VOTED ON and only DEBATED? The Yamapalanaya wants to CIRCUMVENT the Parliamentary vote and sign the agreement before itruns into ORGANIZED OPPOSITION.

    The agreement provides for ownership of slightly LESS than 50% by China of the Hambantota SERVICES Company, while 70% of the ownership of the Hambantota Port INFRASTRUCTURE Company will be LEASED to China for 99-years. Apparently, various BUY-BACK provisions to REDUCE the lease period from 75 to 65 years after 10-years, and even 100% after 60+ years are also part of the agreement.

    The FAILURE by the Yamapalanaya to SECURE a MAJORITY STAKE in the INFRASTRUCTURE Company is VERY DESTRUCTIVE, and EXTREMELY AGONIZING to me, personally!

    No one but a PARA-GATHI KALLIYA of RANK TRAITORS do things like this.

    The TRADE UNIONS representing the Petroleum Workers have launched a STRIKE to PROTEST the ALIENATION of National ASSETS including the oil facilities at Trincomalee Port, and the looming lease of Hambantota Port to China.

    Let us hope that MORE TRADE UNIONS, POLITICAL PARTIES and ORDINARY CITIZENS rush to JOIN the ONGOING PROTESTS!

    …………………..
    Sri Lanka government approves Hambantota Port deal with China
    Tue, Jul 25, 2017, 08:44 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    July 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s government on Tuesday approved the deal to lease the loss-making Hambantota Port to a State-owned Chinese conglomerate for over a billion dollars.

    Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the Cabinet today granted final approval to sell a 70 percent stake in the strategic Hambantota port for US$1.12 billion to state-owned China Merchants Port Holdings.

    Under the agreement, the Chinese will manage the port operations and Sri Lanka Navy will be in charge of port security.

    According to the agreement the Port will be leased to the relevant company to carry out the operations. The government will also be a partner of the operations.

    The Minister said the Hambanthota Port was a huge burden to the Port Authority due to continuous losses and paying loan installments borrowed for the port.

    “Security of the port will not be given to anyone else. It will be handled 100 percent by Sri Lankans,” the Minister said. “That should allay fears that port could be misused by the Chinese.”

    Hambantota port straddles the world’s busiest east-west international shipping lane across the Indian Ocean and some nations, especially India have raised concerns that it could become a military hub for the Chinese.

    Minister Samarasinghe said foreign naval vessels could call at Hambantota as they did at the main port in the capital Colombo.

    “We will not provide special treatment to any country. We want to maintain good relations with all and we don’t want to antagonize anyone,” Samarasinghe said.

    “We don’t envisage giving special treatment to any one country like during the previous regime,” he said referring to a 2014 incident when two Chinese submarines called at Colombo – the only time any foreign submarines had stopped there.

    The previous government took a $8 billion loan from the Chinese to build the port – a commercial failure which does not even generate enough revenue to pay staff salaries – and other infrastructure.

    The new government, which came to power in January 2015, has been trying to renegotiate the terms of the loan. Samarasinghe said Hambantota port needed a fresh capital injection of $600 million to make it viable, but Colombo could not afford the investment and was banking on the Chinese to turn around the business.

    According to new negotiations, China Merchants Port Holdings agreed to reduce its stake in the Sri Lankan joint venture running the commercial operations of the port from 70 percent to 65 percent after 10 years, the document says.

    Minister Samarasinghe said the deal now needs to be approved by the parliament and it will be presented in parliament for approval on Friday. After debate in parliament it will be ratified, the Minister said.

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