Jathika Hela Urumaya and the Anti-Mahavamsa Movement in Sri Lanka -Part-II
Posted on July 23rd, 2017

C. Wijeyawickrema, LL.B., Ph.D.

(This essay was written 13 years ago, in support of the JHU when it was formed. Because of the failure of JHU to deliver what the late Ven. Soma envisaged, BBS came to agitate on behalf of disillusioned masses. After the Asgiriya Declaration on June 20, 2017 and the notice given on July 4th to the government, whether one likes it or not, a new era of conflict between the temple and the black-whites of Sri Lanka has arisen. This essay contains lots of facts that could help in understanding the path Asgiriya-led Buddhist revolt needs to take. The original long essay is divided into two parts).

The 1956 silent revolution and the American Civil War 1861-1865

The 1956-59 Wave was similar to what had happened in America after the Civil War. For about ten years former slaves enjoyed political power and human respect. But soon they came under white supremacy, lynching, KKK and separate public toilets that created a new kind of slavery until the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s (Lies My Teacher Told Me: everything your American history textbook got wrong, James W. Loewen, 1995). This was exactly what had happened to the Sinhala Buddhists. Some extremists sent SRI busses to Jaffna, JRJ became a target of the Imbulgoda hero (S D Bandaranayaka), English was neglected as a subject, state corporations became job avenues to party supporters, checks and balances in the constitution were removed, private constitutions came in to force and people like us who tried to serve the motherland left it for mental peace. A handful of families from Colombo 7, ruled and ruined the country, and today they are ready to divide the country so that they can rule the south portion and continue the same old game. The situation became a death trap with AJ Wilson-JRJ bahubootha vivasthava and the electoral system controlled by criminals and millionaires. In 1924 there was a Tamil demand to not allow the majority to have more than 50% of the parliament seats and AJ Wilson was able to deliver this, almost in 1978.

In this game Buddhism was the bait. Buddhist universities, Poya-pre Poya holidays, Buddhism in the constitutions, Bens cars to the two Kandy Mahanayakes, a Buddhism minister, Premadasa erecting huge chetiyas, Buddha statutes at every junction, starting viyaparas with a traditional visit to the Dalada Maligawa or the Siri Maha Bodhi, these are the baits. But just like Ananda Guruge copied the Peradeniya university act to create Vidyodaya and Vidyalankara, the foremost place to Buddhism gave to the world an impression that Sri Lanka has a government helping Buddhists at the expense of Christians. So not only Buddhists did not get any special help but they were branded as favored by the government. Buddhism ministry was the biggest insult to Buddhism. Now monks in remote temples had to beg for government funds from politicians. The temple problems are now documented and Christian NGOs buy this information from ministry officers to target financially troubled temple priests. Monks who do not want to go after the politicians do not get funds. Villagers are not willing to give even the small donations that they used to give, because they think now the government dole is taking care of the temple buildings. While Buddhism minister is busy Bamian Buddha is destroyed, despite warnings given to him one year in advance. Then the day of the destruction, Buddhist PM Wickremanayake went to see an Afghan man in Pakistan.

The Economic Mess

A Chemist who wished that he should have studied arts instead of science once told me that the British kept in their hands three functions during the Donoughmore period (Finance, Foreign Affairs, Public Service (including the judiciary) and the politicians since 1948 messed up these three areas. While government functions are inter-related one can isolate them for study purposes.

What are Sri Lanka’s economic problems which allowed Christian NGOs to come and play havoc? As a country under a nation of shop keepers Ceylon provided raw materials to London and received food and finish products from Liverpool. This was called an open economy. Like in other colonies the roads collected raw material like rubber or graphite (blood) and brought them to the Colombo port. Tea plantations cleared forests and the Mahaveli became brown with soil from erosion. Some governors tried to renovate irrigation tanks in the Raja Rata or resurrect the Gamsabawa. During the war time attempts were made to produce food locally or a few industries to produce consumer items difficult to import due to war hostilities. But otherwise Colombo-centered, Colombo paradigm controlled the country. At the time of 1948 or in 1931 the need was:

  1. diversification of economy

modern plantation sector but neglected peasant sectors

grow food crops and non-traditional export crops

develop an industrial sector (agriculture and industry are two legs of a country)

develop import substitution

new economic sectors-limited tourism sector, export of gems, flowers

  1. reduce the gap between Colombo and rural areas
  2. reduce the gap between the rich (Colombo) and the poor (rural/urban, just 10 miles out side Colombo)
  3. reduce the existence of two countries (English language (5%) vs Sinhala/Tamil language country (95%), two nations)
  4. reasonable and fair readjustment of the effects of the divide and rule colonial policy (minorities vs majority)
  5. wisdom in dealing with the separatist movement in the Tamilnad (Valvetithurai smugglers of goods and people)
  6. reasonable and fair readjustment of victimization of Buddhists by a Christian government.

In all these the black whites failed. JRJ had the last chance to correct all the mistakes of his class. People gave him the power. That is why some call him Sri Lanka’s kaputu bo tree. He destroyed everything he touched. His Mahaveli made the country a debtor for generations, while so many made millions in Swiss bank accounts. This person who said that CBK was a school girl, ended up as a puppy in the hands of an airplane pilot who enjoyed driving his car so fast that his security team cannot keep pace with. He insulted Indira in the company of the urine-drinking Moraji Desai, and finally he had to ask Dixit to provide him a ship in case he had to evacuate. His successor suffered from a fatal inferiority complex and died without a trace. People acted so inhumanly towards him that they lighted fire crackers after hearing his death. What remains of him now are the abandoned clock towers that he built all over the country.

The Ven. Soma Effect

Ven Soma was a symbol of the Sinhala educated Buddhist rural youths’ reaction to the black white political game. If 1971 and 1989 JVP clashes were violent reactions against the black white establishment, Ven. Soma’s was a non-violent Buddhist reaction. Just like Gandhi’s or Martin Luther King Jr. Ven. Soma’s movement won but he lost his life. Ven. Soma was a Paul Harris in brown color. Ven. Soma had no degree or pedigree. He was subjected to ridicule and discrimination when alive. This was the history of such people. Anagarika Dharmapala was attacked by so many that he left Ceylon wowing never to come back. Today everybody is a relative of Anagarika Dahrmapala. I remember Anil Moonasighe having a life size picture of him in the CTB office. Simon Bolivar who is worshipped now in South America had the same experience. He wanted to leave Venezuela for good. Ven. Soma lost his life in so human and a mysterious way. All we know as proven facts are that one of Lalith Kotalawala’s chief editors later joined Ven. Soma’s organization as its editor and that this editor’s brother, a crook, secretly arranged a Ph.D. donation for Ven. Soma. Apparently, the brother working for Ven. Soma did not know his brother in Leningrad was a Christian.

MaoTse-tung and Martin Luther King, Jr. created movements. Movements have its own lives and the creator becomes separate from the movement. The FBI of Edgar Hoover secretly recorded MLK’s bedroom sounds and Mao wanted a daily supply of virgin teenage girls. Ven. Soma as a pruthajana, swallowed a Ph.D. bait, just like Lalith Kotalawala got one from Epitawatte of Vidyodaya. Richard Pathirana got one too. Sarvodaya’s Ariyaratne and Ananda Tissa de Alwis both deserved one. But W. Dahanayake did not. To her credit CBK refuse an offer by a VC from Peradeniya. A graduate from a French university is called a doctor anyway, just like law graduates in the USA.

Ven. Soma became the hope of Sri Lankan villagers and the poor and the rural youth who die in politician-mismanaged war in the north. I wrote several essays supporting Ven. Soma as a presidential candidate, but I heard that the late Ven. Madihe Pannaseeha advised him not to. But a movement once created gathers its own momentum and Ven. Soma had no choice. This was what Ven. Madihe did not realize at that time. Ven. Soma was getting ready with a shadow cabinet. One JHU monk reported recently that Ven. Soma had told him that he was going to contest. Therefore, anybody objecting to JHU is objecting to the movement created by Ven. Soma. This is where Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekara, Nalin Silva and the PNM are in a dilemma.  Who is the genuine, reasonable and justifiable inheritor of Ven. Soma’s mantle?  CBK, with her GLP-Neelan package of federalism, MangalaS with the dust bin of history and sudu nelum? Or the JVP who got pirith nuul from the monks waiting for them on the roadside? As a person who was sympathetic with the JVP movement of 1971 (not with its leaders or the plans of killing the opponents), I think the NPM and JVP should work with CBK and come to an agreement with JHU on certain key issues such as de-merging N-E, junking the bahubootha constitution, going back to village councils and electorate-based parliamentary elections

JRJ electoral system removed the sovereignty of the people from people. It is a fake democracy. Sri Lanka must go back to the local government system resurrected in modern times by the British governors Gordon and Ward in the 1860s and 1870s. This was recommended by the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Local Government Reforms, Sessional Paper No. 1 of 1999 [Abeyawardana Report]). Dinesh Gunawardena’s tinkering of this subject is an establishment approach of survival in cut-throat politics. Parliamentary electoral system was another death trap. Not only it took away sovereignty from people but it made the MP a robot, a puppet in the hands of officers nominated by the ruling class leaders. Any person with an iota of brain or dignity or dedication will not think of becoming an MP under this system. The JRJ system was a coup by the A J Wilson crowd. What Tamils did not get from the British, AJ Wilson got from JRJ. Quoted below Some incidents from history taken from the book, Communalism and language in the politics of Ceylon,” Robert Kearney (1967):

In the early 1920s an agreement was reached between the leaders of the Ceylon National Congress [black whites?] and the Tamil-leadership for a ratio of one Tamil for two Sinhalese representatives, which was the result produced by the 1924 constitution. Tamil pronouncements to the Donoughmore Commission appealed for the retention of this ratio, which with the representation of other minorities deprived the Sinhalese of an absolute majority in the legislative chamber. The commission [Donoughmore Report, pp. 92-93] rejected outright the idea of fixing   relative proportions of Sinhalese and Tamil legislative seats and proposed an essentially majoritarian scheme with territorial constituencies of approximately equal population…”  (P. 33). …The organization, founded by G. G. Ponnambalam, insisted on constitutional and statutory guarantees to protect the minorities against Sinhalese domination after independence. The Tamil Congress took up and championed a plan called by its advocates balanced representation” and popularly known as the fifty-fifty” scheme. The scheme, prompted in part by the creation of the pan-Sinhalese ministry [black whites?], would have limited the Sinhalese to half the seats in the legislature and reserved the remaining half for the minorities. It would have restricted by statute the members of any community who could serve in the Cabinet to less than half of the Cabinet’s membership. Thus, its advocates argued, no community would be in a position to impose its will on the others. The fifty-fifty” scheme was vigorously urged by the Tamil Congress…The Soulbury commission rejected the fifty-fifty” scheme. [Soulbury Report, pp. 66-67], (p. 37).”

I embedded [black whites] in the quote above, because black whites had no problem to this design then, and they have no problem with it now as who suffered then and now are the Sinhalese and their religion, Buddhism. In between, the black whites of the UNP, SLFP, LSSP and CP deprived a reasonable accommodation of minority rights within the unjust demands of the Christian-Tamil black whites of the Federal Party. No wonder not only Nanda Malini withdrew her song Me Sinhala Apage Ratai” from circulation, refused to sing it in London, but apologized for singing that song in the past! Fear for life or near sainthood? We know that NM and Colvin gave up fifty-fifty” after 40 years, because all the other minorities in Sri Lanka are majorities outside. The only land for the Sinhala Buddhists is Sri Lanka. When I type the word Sinhala” on my computer the word is not recognized even by the computer word dictionary! The White commissioners rejected the demand (long before 1956) because what if it were to apply to the English versus the Welch, Scottish or the Iris?  They rejected it because it was not workable. They rejected it because they new that a society cultivated in Buddhist principles will not ill-treat minorities. Chelvanayagam’s best friend was Jayatilake, the chief justice. When that class found that the two-nation division between English and Swabaha with which they had the control over the masses was about to lose control under the universal suffrage they concocted a language based two nation theory. So today, JRJ and AJ Wilson are in their graves after laying the foundation for the creation of a Tamil country which will be at border war with a south quadrant because the geography of this tiny island does not simply support such division by lawyers.

This is why JHU must come and change this system within and outside. Sri Lanka needs a people-based, people-designed, people constitution that will unite all the ethnic groups (against the black whites) within a unitary Sri Lanka with no separate ethnic enclaves.  If Nanda Malini is frightened or brainwashed so are the other so-called Sinhala Buddhist leaders. Sri Lanka must go back to the old electorate based system with proper safeguards for minority protection and run-off elections to ensure the requirement of 51% votes for the winner. JHU asked CBK for a meeting to discuss these urgent national issues but she delayed or ignored them. If SLFP-JVP is genuine in protecting Sri Lanka they must be able to recognize the Ven. Soma effect.  I think NPM and Nalin de Silva have no moral right to blame JHU for its decision to go it alone.

A Buddhist Political Science

Some black whites and some foreign NGOs think that they can get Prabakaran to wear a 3-piece suit. But they and the NPM accuse the JHU monks stating that the monks cannot become Tony Blairs or Ronnie de Mels. This is exactly what the masses do not want from the monks. Whether they get 5 seats or 15 seats or 25, what people want is JHU to act like acid on a sheet of iron. To corrode the sick 200-family exploitation system call Sri Lankan democracy of the UNP and the SLFP. These Christian dominated families brought the Sinhala Buddhist civilization of 2500 years to the brink of death. In modern political words JHU will derail the UNP-SLFP game within and outside the Parliament building. It is full of criminals, bribe takers and those who got rich by unethical deals. The country is pawned to the IMF and politicians have Swiss bank accounts. Sasanka cites his student’s statement, under the present conditions of corruption and lack of ethics, even if Lord Buddha was sent to our parliament, he too would have been corrupted.”  We disagree.

Ratnasiri Wickremanayake’s statement that the two parties utter lies and the party which utters bigger and better lies wins the election must be supplemented by the new phenomenon of a file maintained in a Colombo company office to blackmail politicians.” All have become ati kehel gilapu uguduwo. This blackmailing is no different from what JRJ did with MPs and SC judges with undated letters of resignation. The cancer has spread all over the body politic and JHU monks cannot be like those Tibetan monks who meditate outside in a cold night wearing wet robes and in a few minutes steam comes out of their robes. But in Sri Lanka a near miracle is not impossible.

An example from the Mahayana Buddhism could perhaps help Christians to understand (including Tambiah, GananathO and HLSenevi) why JHU could deliver. People are wondering in a hostile inhospitable and rugged environment—say an Arabia or Haiti or Afghanistan kind of physical environment— in search of salvation or the proverbial garden of Eden. The crowd includes Mahayanis as well as Heenayanis. After a hazardous climb of a mountain a heenayani discovers on the other side a land with flower gardens, water falls and fruit trees. He jumps in as he has found his personal salvation. Not knowing all of this a mahayani later discovers the same land. But instead of jumping in he stays on top of the mountain shouting and directing others wondering down about the Eden on the other side. The West thinks Dalai Lama is Buddhism. So, we could have a little bit of Mahayana in Sri Lanka! JHU cannot tell Muslims not to eat beef or Hindus not to eat pork. It cannot force Buddhist eggs on Buddhists. I think this is what people fear as possible theocracy. Before feeding a starving person with something, Buddhist laymen from Colombo homes cannot tell them to be vegetarians.

Just like the Buddhist Economics of Schmacher in the 1960s (was this not Gandhi said previously which Nehru did not follow), there is a body of texts called Buddhist Political Science. Politics is the art of compromise. The art and science (math) of getting maximum benefits out of otherwise limited resources. Perhaps this is why RPrema said that he can balance the budget on the other side of bus ticket! Largest happiness of the largest number of citizens (while not depriving basic human rights of every individual). This is the essence of Buddhism. When Friedrich Engels wrote in 1844 (The condition of the working class in England) about the situation that a pregnant woman had to come to work in the crammed factory full of cotton dust in the air and stay standing for 10-12 hours a day, and she worked like this until the day of delivery or the moment of delivery and then had to come back to work the day after the delivery, what would Buddha say about that system?

Was it not this art of compromise that is a central concept of Buddhism, the Middle Path? A cancer among politicians all over the world is the two-valued orientation—s/he is my friend or my enemy— , and not willing to have a multi-valued orientation— s/he is not my friend but he is not my enemy either, degrees of difference— in their daily practice of state craft (Language in Thought and Action, S. I. Hayakawa, 1939 [1990], page 112). The two-valued orientation creates dictatorships, the second democracies, and in Buddhism 2600 years ago the second value was enunciated and practiced by monks. An author comparing the lives of Jesus and Buddha asks a question why Jesus lived less than 2 years in to his public service whereas Buddha served for 45 years (Jesus and Buddha: the parallel sayings, Marcus Borg, 1997). Perhaps, Buddha did not have to face the power of a mighty Roman empire, but more importantly, he followed the art of persuasion, compromise and non-involvement. He did not tell the Indian kings or sitanans not to have harems, but he expressed the rule of celibacy for monks and the value of kamesu mechcha chara to the laity. He did not approve prostitution, but he did not reject them when they needed real help. Is there any other priest group in the world who can claim this kind of life time of training?

People who did not go to a village temple, who did not know the ABC of Buddhism have become experts after a few years of stay in a western country. This was what had happened to NM, Colvin, Leslie and Phillip in the late1930s. They did not try to work with Ven. Kalukondayawe Pannasekhara’s rural development and crime eradication movement of the 1930s-1940s. They worked separately in the Malaria eradication work. What Ven. K tried to do was a people’s economics program with village-level participation. Economics in this sense is inseparable from politics. He worked with Tamils as well as Muslims. The CCS crowd obstructed him. His supporter, the young ASP Osmond de Silva was finally transferred to the Police training school at Bambalapiya, the only place in police department where no farmer will come into contact with Osmond. What Vincent Subasinghe did in Sanda Lankawa was also Buddhist economics and Buddhist politics. What Wilmot Perera did in Horana was also Buddhist economics.

Sarvodaya movement began as a Buddhism-based self-help movement, but it later became a foreign fund-based white elephant. After 30 years of work how come villagers are still starving and embracing Christianity to survive? Ariyaratne’s book, the Power Pyramid and the Dharmic Cycle” (1988) is one of the best examples of how Buddhist economics and Buddhist politics mix in harmony for the benefit of people and the environment. Those who question how monks can guide on how to run a country should start with Ariyaratne’s book. We should borrow whatever is good from the West, but we should not become slaves to the West.

Nalin Swaris in his book, The Buddha’s Way to Human Liberation: a socio-historical approach (1999) tried to look at the East-West interdependence, and he was a mixture of Christianity and Buddhism.  The big mistake NM Perera did was he thought that his London School of Economics made him wiser than a learned Buddhist monk like Ven. Kalukondayawe. I have no doubt that the Greek ideas of democracy were influenced by ideas found in Buddhist India in the 5th century BCE. What the Lichchavi kings were doing was what UNO, WTO, EC and other are asking countries to do. The speaker of the house in England is an idea the Buddhist Sanga has. Colonial rulers destroyed the Sanga society as explained in Prins Gunasekera’s book, Vihara Neethi Vitthi” (1956). No other religion can claim the autonomy a Buddhist temple has from central control. This is what Montesquieu (M) said about the separation of powers. The new interpretation given to his doctrine, which is called M standing on his head, expects the distribution of sum total of power to as many units as possible, rather than three separate branches of power.

In Sri Lanka, Marxists tried since1943 (Gautama the Buddha and Karl Marx: a critique and comparative study of their systems of philosophy by S. N. B. Wijeyekoon [pseudonym Leuke] cited in Origins of Trotskyism in Ceylon” by G. J. Lerski, 1968, page 169) to show that Buddhism and Marxism have similarities. JRJ himself once wanted to create a Dharmista Samajayak.” One must read the late Professor Sarachchandra’s book, Dahrmista Samajayak” (1982) to understand JRJ’s role in destroying it! JRJ once changed his name to Jeewaka Ravindra and his son became a Buddhist priest for a short time. If at age 70, JRJ could pay lip service to the Dharmista concept why cannot a group of monks try to really implement it?

The following are concepts/examples/writings relating to a Buddhist political science:

  1. Buddhism and Human Rights, L. P. N. Perera, 1991
  2. Buddhism and International law, K. N. Jayatileka
  3. World Court decisions with Buddhist examples, Justice Weeramantry
  4. Birth control and Buddhism (in Buddhism, its religion and philosophy, W. S. Karunaratna, 1988)
  5. Putting Buddhism to Work, Shinichi Inoue, 1997
  6. What Would Buddha DO? 101 answers to life’s daily dilemmas, Franz Metcalf, 1999
  7. What Would Buddha Do at Work? 101 answers to workplace dilemmas, Franz Metcalf and B. J. Gallagher Hateley, 2001
  8. Inner Revolution, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Real Happiness, Robert Thurman, 1998

Putting Buddhists on the defensive

  1. J. Tambiah and his Boston group ask Buddhists (or monks?) a question, How come believers of a religion that preaches ahimsa kill?” How come Buddhists betray Buddhsim? Tambiah was in Thailand studying this 30 years ago and Gananath Obeyesekera is an expert on this subject. But Tambiah is deliberately fooling the international readers of his book by this question. Theravada Buddhists are a minority (50 million?) in the world. In Cambodia and Thailand they now eat rats and therefore, the number can be even smaller. Powerful and rich countries in the world are Christian or Islam and Islam has oil and cruel dictatorships. My Christian American professor friend has a small ranch where he rare cattle for sale as beef. He uses all possible strategies to maximize his profit margin. Can I tell him about my Buddhist nonviolence and ask him to grow corn or cotton instead of the violent killing of cattle? How come Tambiah, HLS and GO all forget this simple reality and hold only Buddhists to a high religious/moral standards? Mother Teresa sent a letter of support on behalf of Keeton who provided her planes to travel and lots of money. The California district attorney traced Keeton money trail and found some of the money that he stole from the retired and poor Americans went to Mother Teresa. He asked her to return this money, but got no reply. Boston archbishop finally resigned after hiding for so long the sex acts of his priests still the whole truth is not out.

Buddhism was wiped out from India by the Hindus and Muslims because Buddha did not teach how to use guns. As Nanda Malini sings one cannot take the navaguna vala to the battle filed. You take the sword and later when you have peace with no enemies coming to kill you then you get back to the navaguna vala. According to Tambiah there is no need to guard the Dalada Maligawa or the Siri Maha Bodi! Or are we forgetting that God’s standards are set by the human agency? Take for example the concept of self defense and three religious approaches.

  • If my life is threatened, I can kill the attacker – no legal liability, no sin (Christian, Jews, Islam believers?)
  • Even if my life is threatened, try to run away or die rather than killing the attacker – no legal liability no sin (Buddhists?)
  • Try to run away, avoid confrontation, be humane and humble (or escape even I have to kiss the a..) to avoid killing the attacker, but if I have no other choice then totally and completely annihilate the enemy (Bhagavad Geeta’s advice to Arjuna)

When Prabakaran kills only the Catholic archbishop of Colombo could say P is a humane person. Because, P helps Christianity and P wants to destroy Buddhism and Buddhists.

The society has become so corrupt over the past 25 or 40 years because of politicians. It will not be easy to introduce Metta, Karuna, Muditha and Upekka that soon. First you have to get rid of the guns and bombs in the hands of so many. The names of Vessantara and Siri Sangabo are used in Sri Lanka today in exactly the opposite way the meaning of those names described in the Jataka stories. For example, people today call a husband a vessantara, if his wife is sleeping with another man, knowingly or unknowingly to him. A siri sangabo is one who stupidly puts his neck out and gets it cut. Today there are no morals in the country. All running like mad dogs thinking the mirage they see is water.

Sri Lanka’s Future and the American People

If God created the world he was so generous toward what later became the USA. I am grateful to America for sending Colonel Olcott in the 1880s to help in the establishment of schools for us, the poor Sinhala Buddhists. American people are as innocent as the Sri Lankan people. American people are different from the American political establishment, run by two political parties. Ralph Nadar is fighting the same battle in America that the JHU has just started to fight in Sri Lanka. In Milinda Moragoda’s book written for him by a retired CCS, the American Senator John McCain admits so honestly that the American society can learn from what is happening in Sri Lanka. This senator was in a Vietnam prison and a survivor. American missionaries established schools in Jaffna as early as in the 1820s. They would never support forced or bribed religious conversions if they come to know about it.

The present habit of cowing people by political opportunist black whites is the problem. For example, what is the use of marching against the Pope’s visit in Colombo, when in Ratnapura resides the Pope’s cabinet minister in charge of propaganda with million of Vatican dollars?  Why not fast unto death before his church at Ratnapura, if that is a strategy. The Colombo marches by yellow-robbed monks shouting slogans was perceived as an act of religious extremists behaving like angry workers on strike. Also, what is the justification to shout at Chris Patten before his hotel, when he came to Sri Lanka at the invitation of the government of Sri Lanka?  This is why a real Buddhist Politics is needed. In a new era of preemptive strikes implemented by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, a Buddhist government in Sri Lanka, could show to the world that criminal terrorism cannot be won by legal terrorism. The end of history that the western professors predicted with the fall of the Berlin wall was a western idea and not a Buddhist idea. The World Court judge Weeramantry has used a lot of Buddhist ideas in his court opinions.

This means there is a big information and communication gap. Hating America without knowing reality and truth is ignorance and stupid. So many things in America are bad and wrong just like the American style roofs that we embraced in the 1950s not knowing the carcinogenic effects of asbestos. But whether it is on morality or on war no country on earth can escape the good or the bad influence of USA. Rather than a love (privately) and hate (publicly) relationship, Sri Lankan leaders in the former SU, JVP, NPM, MEP and other nationalist writers or in the JHU need to use critical thinking and analysis. They should meet with the new ambassador who speaks and writes in Sinhala. He will also decide to wear a national dress.

It is important for the JHU to show to the world and America that it is morally wrong to divide Sri Lanka or pave way for a division via a federal panacea.  The geography, history, social and political realities do not support a federal system for this tiny island. If rather than shouting at America as an enemy they should use their brain and use persuasive arguments to convince them. All what the Tamils need to achieve their aspirations could be granted within a united, undivided island with no ethnic enclaves and no discrimination against the majority. If the American Congress thought so Sri Lanka would have been a divided country for some time by now. In the American Congressional Committee hearings, when all the others talk and submit documents against the Sinhala Buddhists (including even the Sri Lankan embassy) congressmen ask questions such as, if we have a black as our chief justice, how can we say there is genocide against blacks?”; If Hitler had Jews in his war cabinet how can Jews complain?” or where are the British, they created this mess by their divide and rule policy?”  In fact a congressman nominated JRJ and RajivG for a Noble Peace Prize! (Hearing before the subcommittee on Asian and Pacific affairs of the committee on foreign affairs, House of Representatives, 100 Congress, First session, August 6, 1987, page 1). Those who think of GL-Neelan Package, I think it was a package came from America. Those who think of Norwegian peace processors, I think it was a deal arranged by America. There are all kinds of Liam Foxes.

If sufficient time lapses, because the black whites in Sri Lanka have made it an antho jata bahi jata problem, ultimately Prabakaran will fail because he has no moral ground for the sustenance of a movement. In the Milinda Panna, there is an example of accidents.” The wound to the Buddha’s feet from a piece of a chip of rock came from the collision between the rock threw by Devadatta and the rock that met it, was described Bikku Nagasena as an accident (no volition). Similarly, Prabakaran is an accident came out of the slipper of Mrs. Amrithalingam then made of the last Sinhala skin (remember KMP Rajartane’s slippers?).  Already Karuna did what Mahattaya tried to do. Nelson Mandela showed the world what is high moral grounds, even when it came to the divorce case with his wife Vinnie. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. won because of the moral basis of their actions. When King was in a jail in Alabama, the Southern (white) Baptist priests wrote him a letter asking him to leave the South without creating turmoil. The reply that he sent is as historic as the famous Gettysburg address of Abram Lincoln. The south was so big and powerful compared to the north during the Civil War. But ultimately, the south lost because it had no moral basis. It had to ask the slaves to join the army to fight to protect slavery! RanilW, CBK and GLP should read some history books.

Perhaps, the best service that the Sri Lankan Buddhists offer to USA is the use of its seventh great force, to help USA to develop a new foreign policy that will make them the proud leader of the free world. American governments fell from one disaster to the next, because they operated via the eyes and ears of the local black whites (coconuts) in all the countries that they got into trouble. This was so with Din Diem, Marcos, the Shah of Iran, Sadam Hussein, Baby Doc (in Haiti), or Noriega (in Panama) now in an American jail. For example, if the American government tries to understand the Sri Lankan case from the point of view of the Sri Lankan American citizens, it would not ultimately become unpopular among the local masses. As it is the American embassy in Colombo relies on the local black whites within and outside the establishment.  How many Sinhala Buddhist are working in the embassy local staff? Why? Unlike the Cubans or Iranians in the USA, the Sri Lankan in USA are not waiting to go and establish an alternative government filled by exiles.  This is very different from the mind set of some expat Tamil groups who want to go as cabinet ministers of a Tamil kingdom although the sun god had no plans as such.

Sri Lanka’s Seventh Great Force and the Raja Rata Paradigm

Professor Malalasekera’s (who was married to an English woman; Ananada Coomaraswamy was married four times, each time to a European woman) reasonable requirements for Buddhists and CBK’s minimum requirements to develop Sri Lanka are what a group of Sri Lankans are concerned with. In 1956 Five Great Forces put the elephant belly up. Martin Wickremasinghe thought, it was the downfall of the Brahmin caste. He was so wrong here as well as in praising the communist Russia as a near-heaven. Even the best writer on earth could be dead wrong as actress Jane Fonda who sat on a Vietcong gun seat aimed at the American war planes to regret it later. Sir John by kicking M. S. Themis, the 1962 Coup with Sir John, Sir Oliver and Dudley S behind, and finally JRJ in 1978 with AJ Wilson behind proved that the black whites if at all were buried for only three years (1956-59), and they did not die. Now the villages which had the people power via the Pancha Maha Balavegaya are buried under the joke Pradesheeya Sabah and the villagers are divided between UNP versus SLFP under the new parliamentary election system based on a party list decided from Colombo, held on a district basis with a manape.

Ven. Soma overcame the first death trap of JRJ, the village-level unity, and before he overcame the second death trap, JRJ constitution and parliamentary election system, his life tragically ended. Sri Lanka’s Seventh Great Force thinks (as shown by two computer election polls with 40% support for JHU) that JHU is the rightful owner of Ven. Soma’s unfinished business. Sri Lanka’s sixth great force is the janitors and housemaids toiling under semi-slavery conditions shouldering one-third of Chocksy’s budget, yet not even the right to vote! The American Revolution was based on no vote no tax! If these people who sacrifice their human dignity for 100 dollars a month stop remittance for three months Chocksy and the budget will be on logs (kota uda) and the janitor would get a cabinet post for them.

The core of the seventh great force is the Sinhala Buddhist village boys and girls who went to Sri Lankan universities in the Sinhala medium and who now live in the West as professors, directors of research, medical doctors, scientists and engineers earning their positions after world-wide competition. Just like Ven. Soma they are a branch of the children of 56. Just like JHU they are for a just society in Sri Lanka. They did not have pastures in Sri Lanka like the children of black whites to look for greener pastures, but they left Sri Lanka in disgust of a corrupt political system of UNP and SLFP leadership. Unlike so many including the children of SWRD who could not pass the university entrance exam, they had their brain as their wealth. Even Nehru was so unhappy when Indira failed the exam that would have allowed her enter the London University (The world revolution of westernization: the twentieth century in global perspective T. H. Von Laue, 1987).

These people, who have a country of birth” and a country of choice”, are ready to serve their motherland, if they can be sure that their labor is not a gangata ini kapeemak (not throwing wood to the river).  Hundreds of them from so many countries already serve Sri Lanka in numerous ways as individuals and groups. Most of them are over 50 years of age and those who remained in Sri Lanka who are now retired or about to retire, which the black whites ruling class discard as excess based on IMF conditions could provide the backbone for a real regaining of Sri Lanka from the black whites of Sri Lanka. One branch of the Children of 56, took weapons against the black whites in 1971, but those who now vote for the JVP or all the JVP leaders are not Marxist killers. They have no other alternative of protest against the UNP and SLFP. No government in Sri Lanka can succeed without the power and spirit of the youth of Sri Lanka. The treatment of university students in Sri Lanka as inmates in a prison because the rich now send their children to the international school, a business machine, and then to affiliated foreign universities, must stop and their dignity, resources and a non-political academic climate must be restored. This begins with appointing academically qualified, respectable men as Vice Chancellors. A country which ill-treats and does not take care of its university students is doomed forever.

One advantage of the seventh great force is that they bring a synthesis of the east (village) and the west (highly paid white experts from the west). In other words they pass the have you stepped into a kamatha test” of RPremadasa that he had allegedly asked from appointees to important posts as most of them had the experience of passing a higher test of sleeping in a floor made out of a mixture of cow dung and clay.  When RPrema said he wants a bass and not an engineer, from the seventh great force he would have got two for one, because an engineer in the west is not one who sits in an office wearing a tie and white pants. They understand why the Colombo paradigm (kolambata kiri apata kakiri, system cited by GLP in his youth commission report), must be replaced by a new Raja Rata paradigm, to face new realities of geopolicts, globalism, economic and social justice and the mere survival. Local officers cannot fool them and they know both sides of the coin. Politicians cannot trick them and NGOs cannot bribe them. They cannot be accused as extremists of any view or side as they live in oceans of Christians and whites and they know the psyche of a minority. They (at least most of them) did not accept treatment of them as second class citizens. They understand why a medical doctor who has LRCP, FRCP etc. decides to take kashaya and arista from a village native physician who does not speak English when they get sick in their old age. This is the lesson Ven. Soma taught to the western-educated Colombo group of the UNP and SLFP by his death.

Along with the thousands of retired people whose talent and experience is wasted now by privatizations based on IMF-World Bank dictates, the seventh great force provides an answer to the lack of experience of JHU candidates. People did not vote for GLP or Lakshman Kadir to rule them. JRJ’s constitution allowed it. Once when Henry Ford was told that he was not an educated” person he said, Look at me, I may not have degrees, but I can get the best expert on any subject just by pushing a button on my table.” This is why the vinaya and lack of expertise objection that everybody is talking about is nothing but a story of a cat that did something on a rock?  Why cannot the Sri Lankan parliament have a break for lunch between 11-12 a.m. if Nancy Regan could decide what her husband, the most powerful man on earth, could or could not do at what time and what day based on astrology?

“Your reverence, I dreamed I saw rice cooking unevenly in a pot. Some was overcooked, some well-cooked and some still raw.”

“Don’t worry about this either,” said the holy man. “This dream foretells a time when all will be unwholesome, not like today! Kings will be unwholesome, and so will officials and ministers, priests and homemakers, city and country folks. Amazing as it may seem, this dream indicates a time when holy men will be unwholesome too! In addition, even the gods, tree spirits and fairies will be unwholesome and wicked!

“The winds will change quickly, sometimes blowing too hard and sometimes not at all. These winds will shake the heavenly homes of the sky gods. Therefore, in some places rains will cause floods, it will rain just right in some areas, and there will be terrible droughts in other places. It will be like rice in the cooking pot – some overcooked, some well-cooked, and some raw.

-King Pasenadi Kosol’s Tenth Dream, (India, 545 B.C.), (Source: www.Buddhanet.net)

March 13, 2004

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