Muslim political parties striking deals with TNA – how many remember Palliyagodella, Kattankudy and other LTTE massacre’s?

November 3rd, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

The ties between SLMC-LTTE-TNA are longstanding and raises how far ordinary Tamils and Muslims are aligned to the deals arrived at by these groups for personal gain which have nothing to do with any national or ethnic interests. The 2002 Prabakaran-Hakeem pow-pow is considered no different to the current discussions afoot to form a Tamil National Council. All these seals of joint cooperation comes with the knowledge that the SLMC and the ACMC are working with the very entities that annihilated entire Muslim villages changing the demography by bloodshed. The Muslims of all areas are in fact asked to take cognisance of the challenges that face the Muslims globally most of which are of their own making and to ask how much of which can be applied to Sri Lanka.

In April 2002 Prabakaran and Hakeem reached an amicable agreement after flying to LTTE Political Secretariat at Skanthapuram in Kilinochchi with a SLMC delegation. They were met by Prabakaran himself. The LTTE team comprised of Political Strategist Anton Balasingham, Political Wing Chief SP Thamilchelvan, Trincomalee special commander Col. Padhuman and Batticaloa – Amparai special commander Col. K Amman and Adele. SLMC comprised of Hakeem, SLMC Ministers Athaullah, Mohideen Abdul Cader, Basheer Segu Dawood, Noordeen Mashoor, senior SLMC Vice President Uduma Lebbe and additional propaganda secretary Mashoor Moulana. The LTTE had even arranged a halal meal prepared by a Muslim!

The Prabakaran Hakeem agreement included

  • LTTE would not harass Muslim civilians in the North and East
  • LTTE would not demand donations and taxes or abduct Muslims for ransom.
  • Joint agreement that North-East was the traditional homeland of the Tamil speaking people and the Tamil linguistic homeland belonging to the Tamils as well as Muslims (though cultural differences were recognized) A shift from the original stance of ‘Tamils practising Islam’
  • LTTE leader told Hakeem that displaced Muslims could return home (25,000 Muslims lingering in Puttalam refugee camps most of whom were farmers and fishermen living in hamlets)
  • LTTE-Hakeem created a joint committee to coordinate and plan the return
  • LTTE in fact went out of its way to restore the Jaffna mosque and arranged places to rest for visiting Muslims.
  • LTTE also agreed to allow Muslim landowners in the east to visit paddy lands and livestock

The prima facie case for LTTE and Prabakaran to engage Hakeem was because he was the perfect man to ‘do business’ with and Hakeem’s actions and inactions were motivated by the ‘profit’ that would ensue personally to himself – just what the LTTE wanted.

If LTTE agreed in 2002 to allow Muslims to resettle in areas that they were chased out from why has the Muslim political parties and leaders not demanded the action of this agreement. Its 2014 – how many of the Muslims chased out by LTTE have been allowed to return to their ‘homes’ and how far have the Muslim leaders demanded the TNA to honor the agreement instead of striking other agreements that benefit the two politically?

It is also noteworthy to wonder how much of the 2002 Hakeem-Prabakaran tete-a-tete had anything to do with the 2003 Oluvil Declaration wherein the Muslims are seeking a separate Muslim state in the East. These demands call to mind the golden words of Anagarika Dharmapala in 1927 wherein he predicted just what the Tamils and Muslims are now demanding and also predicted that the Sinhalese if not awoken will end up in the sea!

Thus we have the Tamils seeking separation through the Vaddukoddai Resolution and the Muslims attempting to do the same via the Oluvil Declaration. Both seeking ‘traditional homelands’ ‘separate self-autonomy’ claiming ‘own identity, religion and culture’. With both seeking the same in the North and East it has been a shrewd endeavour for political parties of both ethnicities to carry out a dual campaign in a joint effort though we know the ultimate penultimate may end up a totally different plan altogether.

While all these conniving cunning plans are set into operation with assistance and support of notorious external factors, what needs to be said is that representatives of both minorities have managed to fool the Sinhala Buddhist politicians over the years into carrying a multicultural beacon. A country with a majority Buddhist population has not a single leader to declare he/she stands for the rights of Sinhala Buddhists while Muslim politicians and Muslims will rally behind Muslim demands, Tamil politicians and Tamils will rally behind Tamil demands! In fact Sinhala Buddhist politicians cringe when asked to even declare Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist nation!

All these leaders are vying for political solutions using Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Buddhist, Hindu, Islam, Christian/Catholic tags to tap into the emotions of the masses but end up drawing up plans and plots only to fool the masses.

While the general public is aware of the ways of politicians, the voting public need to be far more intelligent than they are in considering who to vote for.

With the likelihood of more agreements between the minorities taking place it is good to revisit some of the massacres that the LTTE have committed to simply ask how short people’s memories are.

 

  • How many remember that 20,514 Sinhalese lived in the Jaffna peninsula as per 1971 census?
  • How many even want to find out what happened to these 20,514 Sinhalese by October 1987?
  • How many are aware that since 1984 over 400,000 Tamils have relocated to Colombo amongst Sinhalese when pro-LTTE propaganda claims Sinhalese are discriminating Tamils.
  • How many knows that the present Northern Provincial Chief Minister lived over 72 of the 75 year life in Colombo and now he complains he hears only Sinhalese language?
  • How many know that 54% of Tamils live outside of the Northern and Eastern regions while they claim to be seeking ‘traditional homelands’.

 

  • How many Muslims know that according to the 1981 Census the Muslim population was 50,831 while at the end of 2007 the Muslims in the North was 20,583.
  • How many Muslims know that 13,757 Muslims were living in Jaffna in 1981 and that number dwindled to 299 by end of 2007?
  • How many Muslims are aware that their own people were evicted from Jaffna in October 1990?
  • How many have been told that LTTE and selfish Tamil politicians created the ‘Tamil homeland’ theory ONLY AFTER ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese and Muslims from the North?
  • How many Muslims remember that their own people were given 48 hours warning to leave the North or face death?
  • How many Muslims have grieved the deaths of Muslims massacred from Trincomalee to Batticoloa?

 

The 1995 US State Department report declared that LTTE had expelled 46,000 Muslims from their homes in 1990. The same report declared that in October 1995 over 120 Sinhalese civilians were massacred by LTTE with swords and axes to provoke communal violence.

How many Muslims remember and wish to demand justice for the massacre of their own people:

  1. 21 June 1990, Nintavur, Ampara District – 62 Muslims hacked to death
  2. 05 Aug 1990, Kattankudy, Batticoloa District – 140 Muslims murdered while praying in the mosque and over 66 injured 25 small children butchered too.
  3. 06 Aug 1990, Akkaraipattu, Batticoloa District – 40 Muslims murdered
  4. 10 Aug 1990, Poovaikadu, Kalavaichanai, Batticoloa District – 127 Muslims murdered at the Saddam Hussein village and near Eravur
  5. 15 Oct 1991 Palliyagodella and Alinchinnapotai in North Central Province (Polonnaruwa) where entire village of 172 Muslims was hacked to death when asleep
  6. 1992 – Muslims given 24 hours to leave all parts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu districts or face death

LTTE did the same to the Sinhalese.

Nov 1984 – Kent Farm, Vavuniya – LTTE’s first attack on Sinhala villages

Nov 1984 – Dollar Farm, Vavuniya – LTTE’s first attack on Sinhala villages (over 70 Sinhalese killed in both farms)

May 1985 – 146 Sinhalese men, women and children massacred when they hijacked a bus and drove it to the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura firing at people in prayers.

Nov 1985 – Namalwatta, Morawewa, Trincomalee – 10 Sinhalese villagers shot dead

May 1986 – Mahadivulwewa, Trincomalee – 20 Sinhalese villagers shot dead and houses destroyed

June 1986 – Andankulam, Trincomalee – LTTE shoots 17 Sinhalese including Van, Bakamune Subaddalankara thero

Apr 1987 – Jayanthipura, Trincomalee – LTTE shoots 15 Sinhalese villagers

June 1987 – 35 Buddhist bhikkus travelling in a bus waylaid and butchered in Arantalawa

May 1995 – 42 Sinhalese men, women and children massacred in a fishing village, Kallarawa, Trincomalee

Sep 1999 – over 50 men, women and children hacked to death in Gonagala in Ampara district

While the list is longer the last attacks were in May 2006 first in Omadiyamadu, Welikanda and thereafter on 15 June 2006 in Kebithigollewa where 64 people including 15 school children and several pregnant women and a Bhikku were killed by the LTTE. Then on 3 August 2006, 3 schools in Muttur were bombed, on 5th and 12th April 2007 in Vavuniya LTTE killed 7 storming the village of Aralaganwila and Paleuruwa. On 5 Dec 2007, Kebithigollewa was again attacked when a massive bomb targeted a civilian bus killing 16. Thereafter on 16 Jan 2008 over 28 school children were massacred in Okkampitiya, Moneragala. The last was on 21 February 2009 in Kirimetiya, Ratmalgaha Ella in Inginiyagala Ampara when LTTE stormed a Sinhalese village and indiscriminately fired at a farming community killing 21. These LTTE massacres all fall within the period the UN is mandated to investigate.

While the Sinhalese race has been the majority indigenous race for centuries and can with evidence show that the Sinhalese language is rooted in Sri Lanka alone, Tamils have made their home from immigration from India while Muslims first came as traders and out of the generosity of the Sinhalese kings were given the right of stay – thus both minorities have no right to claim ‘traditional’ homeland.

Maybe it is a good time for the Sinhalese to establish entire Sri Lanka as their traditional homeland too!

 

 

 

Looking through coloured glasses.

November 3rd, 2014

By Charles Perera

 Those who are critical of the  President Mahinda Rajapakse and his government are looking through coloured glasses.  Hence they take irreality of what they see as the reality.

 There are those who looking through  glasses see only corruption, and every thing outside it is blurred and out of focus.  Some question,  what is the use of infrastructure development it is not the immediate need of the people ?  Mostly those who look through these coloured lenses other than those in the opposition  and the Tamil diaspora are those of the  Sinhala diaspora. The colour of the glass depends on their various affiliations, Catholics, anti socialist, those who seek an English educated political leadership etc., and others who have  an axe to grind against the President and his government.

 For some of them the only reason to be thankful to the  President is his elimination and brining peace to the country, the other things are minor details”.

 Some says, they would even bow down to the President for what he has accomplished, but Catholics do not believe in bowing down ,as it is degrading, therefore they are only thankful.  He should be voted some say because he is the best of the worst.  What a generous appreciation of a man who risked his life and gave everything to make Sri Lanka the most fast growing economy in the world ? 

 Oddly that aspect is blurred because of the colour of the glasses they look through.  Yet they are not prepared to give full credit to the President even for elimination of terrorism and bringing peace, as  it is a combined effort they say, with the Soldiers and assistance from India.

 The glasses being dark in colour some fail to see what is evident.  From the time President Mahinda Rajapakse having failed to get the terrorist leader Prabhakaran  to negotiate a peace settlement, resorted to a Military solution , the American Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert O’Blake along with his Western friends did not stop their mantra” that there is no military solution  to end terrorism but only a negotiated settlement.  Then onwards America and the West did not end their effort for a regime change in Sri Lanka.

 What is happening today, with resolutions in the UNHRC, EU quota restrictions issued on export of garments from Sri Lanka, and now with EU sanctions on fish import and lifting the ban on LTTE, are definitely not strictly legal, but a part of a political manoeuvres by the West with the object of a regime change.  

 Ranil Wickramasinghe is a lackey of the West and the EU’s sanctions are to  make the President unpopular and thus help Ranil Wickramasinghe their puppet get the votes of the disgruntled people to defeat Mahinda Rajapakse in a Presidential election.  Ranil Wickramasinghe is of course not a man who could influence the Western leaders to do what he wants, but the Western leaders use him to realise their Agenda of a regime change in Sri Lanka.

 When the Western powers fail to get the government of Sri Lanka to do what it thinks they should be doing, what comes next will most probably be not another resolution but economic sanctions. Most Lankans will have heard of the sanctions against Iran which hurt Sri Lanka as well because we were unable to buy our crude oil from Iran as we used to do. Every motorist in this country knows that the sanctions against Iran hurt us as much as it did Iran.

 However we should understand that the sanctions against Iran were imposed by the UN Security Council over its atomic power program. Even China and Russia have apprehensions about a Muslim atomic bomb because of the presence of Muslim extremists in both countries and they too gave their approval for sanctions against Iran.” Looming  US-EU Sanctions -Island  29 October, 2014.

 That is not a” manthra” but  reality of what is happening which cannot be distinguished seeing through coloured glasses these anti government critics wear.

 The UNP’s main complaint  against the President -the Rajapaksa regime as they call it, is the involvement of the  Rajapakse family in politics.  But again because of the coloured glasses through which they look they do not see the benefits that accrued to the President from his family ties to make a success of most of his undertakings such as  bring peace to the country and develop the North that had suffered  much from terrorism  in a record time.  It is significant  that  the North  has received as much or more development projects  compared to  the South.  While the President’s younger brother Gotabhaya Rajapakse looked after the military aspect his other brother Basil Rajapakse took over the development of the North. Now it is thanks to Gotabhaya Rajapakse that we see development and beautification of  towns in Sri Lanka.

 Because of the colour of the glasses they see through some of the critics do not see the wonder of a Single man’s effort to Unite the Country and develop it from a failed” state to a middle income country with  formidable economic progress never seen before in Sri Lanka.  The IMF and the World Bank had called Sri Lanka a country of missed opportunities, when they were handing out loans on their conditions.  Now the IMF see Sri Lanka in a different light. And that is due to the efforts of the President working with foresight  placing  the correct people in the  correct place.   The coloured glasses cannot  differentiate between the people  with honesty and integrity and a few that is not.

 Those with  coloured glasses see only the negative side of progress and development,  nepotism, bribery and corruption.  Poor countries still on the path of development may also have bribery and corruption, but it is only when there is large scale development with  large investments  the bribery and corruption take a greater dimension.  That could be taken as a sign of vast development projects.

It is best to have zero corruption, but we are dealing with human beings subject to human failings such as attachment(lobha) aversion (dosa) and delusion (moha).  These arguments some  critics say are good for the gullibles, the ordinary mass of people who can see the difference of what it had been Sri Lanka before 2005 and what it is today do not wear coloured glasses and see the reality,     and they are far from being  a gullible lot.  Sri Lanka has an educated population, they are not biased and prejudiced like many of the Sinhala diaspora.  Therefore they understand better  being able to  evaluate development  from ground reality.

 President Mahinda Rajapakse is a good Buddhist.  He is generous not selective in offering assistance for the wellbeing of the people without discriminating against them for their religion, their communal difference or  for their social standing in  society.  He is against all those that cause suffering to the people, whether they are  terrorists, drug dealers, criminals or under world  mafia.  On full moon poya days the residence of the President Temple Trees” become a temple where people gather to listen to Buddhist discourses. It is not to seek popularity, but to make the words of the Buddha vibrate in Temple trees, the residence of the  Citizen number one.

 The President Mahinda Rajapakse  is not a mafia chief as some of the  critics who look at him through coloured glasses say, harbouring drug dealers, rapists , and criminals. A Sinhala Buddhist will vehemently protest against such innuendo against their dear President, who has changed their lives to an unimaginable extent. Those are allegations seemingly made turning towards the  Western enemies of Sri Lanka now preparing for a regime change.  Pointing out that is not another manthra to deceive the gullible.

 Mahinda Rajapakse  has been  the President of Sri Lanka only for 9 years,   and within that period of time he had brought about positive changes to Sri Lanka, which had not seen such a great transformation for the last 57 years since Independence.  Of course looking  through coloured glasses one would see only the elimination of terrorism, and the rest pushed away as  obfuscations.

 President Mahinda Rajapakse  is a shrewd politician, sagacious  and wise.  Though he is the President of a small country, he stands foremost among the world  leaders of today-Barrack Obama, David Cameron, Francois Holland, Angela Merkel, and the rest.  He is more than a  politician.  He is a statesman. He has principles on which he works .  Mahinda Chintanaya is his political philosophy which is the basic document of  his political vision for  the development of Sri Lanka. He does not change the basic principles in the document, but  changes only the means to achieve them. 

 He does not change his principles for the sake of popularity.  He recognises what is wrong and what is right and fights against wrong and stand by what is right.  We have seen in many instances of communal disputes, where he has taken decisions ascertaining what is right and appropriate without allowing the incidents to go out of control. He does not precipitate into action but takes wise decisions.

 President Rajapakse is a man with a foresight and  has a vision of what his country and his people need.  He is able to win over the people around him to believe in him and work with him to realise his objectives which are  beneficial to the people.  He has been able to show the people  the soundness of his actions, and the correctness of his decisions.

 Those who look  at his actions  with bias and prejudice will fail to understand his intentions.

 Some look  through really opaque glasses and is blinded by their own opinions.  They do not   hesitate to insult the president, using lowly uncouth language.

 Despite the wrath manifested by those looking through glasses of different colours the  President stands like a rock continuing to do his work according to his plan- Mahinda Chintanaya for the good of the people and  the country.   He knows how to speak to the heart of the people, without attacking his opponents. He has not abused his executive powers.  He has allowed complete freedom to the media despite rumours spread by his opponents of white van kidnapping, and disappearances of journalists.

 There are hundreds of websites and news papers attacking him.  The only website that allows pro government articles is the Lankaweb.  The Media Federation which always come forward to attack the President and his government and defend the journalists did not come forward to defend the article  written by Shenali Waduge which drew criticism to the  title of the article How meaningful are Jayalalitha’s love letters to Modi ?” The Media Federation defends only journalists who write against the President and the Government.

 Shenali Waduge is one of the best investigative Journalists who exposes dangers to Sri Lanka coming from within and from outside.  Her articles which should be given widest possible publicity are unfortunately not published in National News papers like the Island, the Daily Mirror, and the Sunday Times. The Daily News which published some of her articles seems to shy  away after the incident of the  article about Jayalalitha’s Love letters, which needed an unnecessary” apology by the Foreign Ministry.

 President Mahinda Rajapakse who challenged the most ruthless group of terrorists was the fist in the terrorists killer  list.  But he faced them without fear.  He stood up against the foreign Ministers from UK and France who demanded a ceasefire. He finally eliminated the terrorists and brought peace to the country, but now he is in Western governments list of  regime changes, and war criminals.  The Western Governments  have no principles  and they work under the command” of the pro terrorist Tamil diaspora who provide them votes for political power.

 President Mahinda Rajapakse has no reason to remain in fear.  He is prepared to take risks for the sake of his country and his people.  Sri Lanka has eliminated terrorism, and that is no crime.  The Armed Forces of Sri Lanka was aiming their guns at terrorists and at no time at the Tamil civilians.  The USA and its allies who should look into themselves to see who are  war criminals are accusing Sri Lanka to evade the finger of accusation from being  pointed at them.

 What those looking through coloured glasses do not see are the  enormous development projects of the President.   President Mahinda Rajapakse had been active attending to his duties as the President of Sri Lanka  to take it forward into development and prosperity ever  since he was elected President   in 2005.  He has not allowed himself to get entangled in rumours, scandals, and misleading half truths. But he had organised  his team of Ministers, academics, scientists, and technicians, and the Armed Forces for  a continuous process of development of the country in all sectors. He organised the means to eliminate terrorism, at the same time he set about infrastructure developments.

 To day Sri Lanka is not what it was in 2005 when President Mahinda Rajapakse  was first elected  into office.  He has organised and developed  every sector of the country:  in Tourim, in Agriculture, transport,  Education, taking IT Education to villages, supply of electricity to almost entirety of Sri Lanka , supply of fresh water, development of the health sector, development of towns, opening the train service from Colombo to Jaffna, and reducing  unemployment amoung many other achievements. 

 But  these unparalleled  development processes that modernised  a poor country that had been  suffering under terrorism  for thirty years, within a short period of nine years , are unfortunately invisible for those who are looking through coloured glasses which show only bribery and corruption.

 The USA and the West instead of accusing the President Mahinda Rajapakse for uncommitted violation of human rights or war crimes should nominate him for the noble Peace Price for having accomplished the elimination of a ruthless terrorism which they have so far failed to do.

 The President of Sri Lanka has also been able to maintain diplomatic relations  with the west extending it to Asia, Middle East and Africa.  Sri Lanka  is also participating   in various development project in Africa. Sri Lanka under President Mahinda Rajapakse has provided space and opportunity  for its own entrepreneurs, scientists and technicians to work in harmony to develop their inane talents and capabilities.

 It is in that back ground it has been announced that Sri Lankan engineers have produced the first Super Electric motor Car. Sri Lanka will be in the international spotlight this December when the Lankan owned company Code Gen International reveals its first fully electric super car, ‘Vega’. Brainchild of Code Gen CEO Harsha Subasinghe, this project was initiated to show that Sri Lanka can take on projects of this magnitude and successfully deliver.”

 Therefore those who look through coloured glasses should take them out to see the reality that besides corruption which is a global menace prevailing in every country, there has taken place in Sri Lanka an unimaginable process of modernisation.  And to take it forward until it blossoms into grandeur the President Mahinda Rajapakse should be re-elected for a further term at the next Presidential election.

Don’t kindle communal hatred

November 2nd, 2014

By Rohana R. Wasala

Like many ordinary Sri Lankan citizens who feel genuinely concerned about the future of the country, I have been apprehensively watching a steady flow of potentially inflammatory talk about so-called Sinhala Buddhist extremism against Muslims, as well as actual incidence of violence particularly over the past few months. It is implied that Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism is chronic in our island nation’s politics, and that all minorities are threatened by it, and further that, at the moment, it is being directed at innocent Muslims. Of course, biased criticism of the Sinhalese Buddhist majority is nothing new.

There may have been a few isolated instances of disagreement between certain Buddhist and Muslim groups recently. But these are most probably due to conflicts of interest; they are not due to religious extremism on the part of the ordinary Sinhalese Buddhists. Verbal attacks on the Sinhalese Buddhist majority demonstrate much spleen but little sense. It is usually not made clear in such criticism what special privileges Sinhalese Buddhists enjoy that minorities are denied as a result of their racism, or what the latter’s complaints or grievances are against the majority. Instead, we hear a hateful denunciation of alleged Sinhalese Buddhist chauvinism, fanaticism, extremism, intolerance, exclusivity, and so on.

The special place guaranteed to Buddhism in the constitution is usually cavilled at as evidence of the existence of Sinhalese Buddhist extremism. But the truth is that among the Sinhalese Buddhists themselves there are those who think that such constitutional guarantees to protect Buddhism are not necessary now as they were under foreign occupation, though they acquiesce in the democratic wish of the majority. Such legislation should be condemned if it implies the automatic denial of the rights of adherents of other faiths.

The situation in this respect in other secular democracies is not different. Christianity enjoys a far more conspicuously privileged position in the UK and the US. The supposedly exemplary Americans even print the words IN GOD WE TRUST” in their currency notes though they  violate the principles that that faith demands observance of, through their abominable behaviour in many places in the world; no one objects to such shameless exhibition of religious bigotry; only poor Sinhalese Buddhists are reviled for insisting on the inclusion in the republican constitution of  a clause that even the British imperialists incorporated in the 1815 treaty at the request of the Kandyan chieftains. (The subsequent betrayal of trust by the British is a different matter).

Meaningless anti-Sinhalese Buddhist criticism has been plaguing our country at least for the past one hundred years. Getting denounced for no reason is not an enviable experience for any individual or group, as everyone knows. But there appears to be no prospect of any respite for the majority community from that predicament. In fact, it looks likely that unfounded verbal attacks on imaginary Sinhala Buddhist racism will continue to blight our nation for at least the next one hundred years unless all constituent communities overcome their self-defeating attitudes of mutual suspicion, fear, and alienation, superiority or inferiority complexes and reach out to each other as members of one nation sharing a single homeland in view of our common history, chequered though it certainly has been.

The unfortunate reality, however, is that racist aggression such as by separatist elements is blamed on alleged pre-existent Sinhalese Buddhist extremism. Those who miss no opportunity to remember and condemn the various acts of engineered violence committed by Sinhalese mobs against Tamils between 1958 and 1983 intentionally or unintentionally hide the truth that the overwhelming majority of the Sinhalese Buddhist community never approve of such acts. They ignore the history of the discriminatory treatment of their own (majority) community by foreign imperialists that eventually led to post-independence communal violence. The usual Sinhalese-Buddhist bashers, have always expressed little or no sympathy for the innocent victims of similar or worse atrocities from the other side over many years. International human rights campaigners didn’t care either. It appeared as if they were content to justify prolonged anti-Sinhalese violence by implicitly referring to alleged Sinhalese Buddhist extremism.

The vast majority of Sinhalese Buddhists are tolerant, peaceful, and compassionate despite being always portrayed  as fanatical racists by separatist propagandists and the minority of the Lankan population whose ancestors enjoyed special privileges as the lackeys of foreign imperialists. Some members of the second category, the self-important, so-called westernized elite” wrongly believe that the native past of Sri Lankans was one long night of savagery from which the first Europeans acting on God’s behalf delivered them”, to borrow some words from an essay by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe who said he intended his novels to demonstrate to his (compatriot) readers that they did have a civilized past before the imperialist Europeans arrived (i.e., Achebe said that the past of his people was not one long night of savagery…..”).

To my mind, Sinhalese Buddhists are especially prone to charges of this nature because historically they bore the brunt of numerous colonial assaults on this country’s independence and sovereignty. It has implications for our situation in the country that cannot be ignored. But it doesn’t mean at all that, because of this, the Sinhalese have a right to lord it over the minorities. These implications do not by any means constitute a barrier to the goal of forging a united nation. Pan-Sri Lankan unity will cease to be a mere daydream if our political and civic leaders representing the different communities make peace among themselves, appreciate and accommodate each other’s concerns in a spirit of humanity and generosity which is our common cultural heritage. That is the way that these trivial issues can be resolved in time before they kindle a major communal conflagration.

Police hunt for TNA Vavuniya organiser, Governor takes up Ananthi’s conduct with NPC

November 2nd, 2014

By Shamindra Ferdinando  Courtesy Island

Signatures on blank UN war crimes complaint forms

The government investigating an alleged Tamil National Alliance (TNA) plot to provide unsubstantiated information to UN war crimes investigators wants to question Vavuniya-based senior TNA official Alva Pulle Vijendrakumar alias Sun Master

Authoritative sources told The Island yesterday that the TNA official had hurriedly left his Vavuniya residence and sought refuge presumably in Colombo or its suburbs after his name transpired in the ongoing probe. Sources said that Vijendrakumar had to be questioned to verify the alleged involvement of two politicians, one of them a member of Parliament. Sources said the politicians were responsible for what they called a vilification campaign against Sri Lanka.

A senior investigator said: “The police searched Vijendrakumar’s residence consequent to the recovery of 25 blank UN war crimes complaint forms from Sinnathamby Krishnarasa, a civilian who had received LTTE training. We took Krishnarasa into custody on October 25 at Mulankavil in the Vanni. Under interrogation, the suspect claimed that he received the blank forms from Vijendrakumar on the afternoon of Oct 22 in Vavuniya.”

Krishnarasa quoted Vijendrakumar as having instructed him that he should only collect signatures on UN war crimes complaint forms of those who had suffered during the war. Responding to a query, the official said that of the 25 blank forms, six had signatures though none of them had been filled. “Obviously they were to be completed at the TNA office in Vavuniya on the instructions of its MPs,” the official said.

He said that Vijendrakumar had contacted Krisnarasa over his hand phone while the latter was being questioned by security authorities.

The Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) had been involved in the project, another official alleged. According to him, the TNA’s Northern Provincial Council member, Ananthy Sasitharan, too, played a pivotal role in the operation by requesting the Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to give more time for them to collect information. Sasitharan’s husband was hardcore LTTE cadre, Elilan.

Meanwhile, Northern Governor retired Maj. Gen. G. A Chandrasiri has sought a clarification from Province Chairman C.V. K. Sivagnanam as to whether Sasitharan had moved OHCHR with the approval of the NPC.

The official said that the UN’s refusal to reveal the identities of those who provided information to Darusman panel until 2031 should be examined in the wake of UN using TNA to collect signatures on blank forms.

Sri Lanka emphasizes commitment to address the issue of ‘ethical labour recruitment practices’ during its tenure as Colombo Process Chair  

November 2nd, 2014

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka Geneva

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, has said Sri Lanka which took over the chair of the Colombo Process (CP) one year ago was of the view that if it were to make a difference and ensure that some real benefits would accrue to the people of the member countries, it was important that they address the tough issues, including ‘Ethical Labour Recruitment Practices’. He noted that in ongoing deliberations the CP is seeking to harmonize existing national regulatory frameworks, promote Standard Employment Contracts (including addressing issue of contract substitution and create a registration mechanism for contracts), consider common minimum wage levels, and conditions that promote health and well-being and insurance protection, and to develop a common position on ethical recruitment practices.

 Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations and reviewed the progress made by the CP under Sri Lanka’s leadership, when he addressed an Expert Consultation on Recruitment Practices and their Impact on Human Rights of Migrants, held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 31 October 2014. The consultation was convened by Mr. Francois Crepeau, Special Repporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants and was attended by diplomats, academics, representatives of the ILO and IOM, Recruitment specialists, as well as NGOs involved in the field.

He said the challenge before us remains to address some of the specific problems presented by unethical recruitment, which range from high recruitment fees, and deceit about the terms and conditions of employment, right through to forced labour. He reiterated the timely need for international commitment/cooperation to the protection of human rights of migrants, regardless of their migration status and working towards an effective and inclusive agenda that integrates development and human rights aspects.

(Full statement is attached)

 Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka

Geneva

1 November 2014

Address by H.E. Ravinatha Aryasinha,

Permanent Representative/Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the UN

at the Expert Consultation on Recruitment Practices and

Their Impact on Human Rights of Migrants

31 October 2014

Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants & distinguish guests,

I am pleased to be participating in this consultation on recruitment practices and their impact on the human rights of migrants organized by the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants and thank you for inviting me to be here to share the experience of the Colombo Process countries presently led by Sri Lanka in furthering these objectives.

Considering that in Sri Lanka, over 1.8 million people or 9% of the population reside and work abroad, the issue of recruitment of migrant workers is of particular importance to my country. The Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare oversees the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, which has established appropriate measures for the protection of migrant workers, including the regulation of recruitment agencies. It is noteworthy that Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families”, which entered into force in 2003. These and other protection measures are well-established and are crucial to enhancing the protection of Sri Lanka workers in Sri Lanka, which have grown leaps and bounce over the years.

The Colombo Process is a Regional Consultative Process on the management of overseas employment and contractual labour for countries of origins in Asia. It seeks to provide  member states with an environment to engage in dialogue, exchange of views and cooperate on issues related to contractual labour migration. As Asian overseas worker populations grow in numbers and diversify in terms of destination and source countries, their impact is increasingly felt regionally and internationally. Overall numbers of Asian overseas workers are likely to increase due to declining working populations in many industrialized economies, combined with continued need for skilled / low-skilled workers.

In response to calls from several Asian labour sending countries, a Ministerial Consultation for Asian Labour sending countries was held in 2003 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Since the initial Ministerial meeting in Colombo, the member states of what came to be described as the “Colombo Process” comprised of 11 countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. They have met at Ministerial level in Manila- Philippines (2004),   Bali – Indonesia (2005) and Dhaka – Bangladesh (2011), to review and monitor the implementation of recommendations proposed and identify areas for future action. The Geneva headquartered International Organization for Migration (IOM) serves as the secretariat for the Colombo Process.

The Colombo Process Member States consider human rights of migration population are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, and must be treated in a fair and equitable manner, without the privileging of one set of rights over another. A human rights approach in migration will bring forward the policy dialogue that migration is not merely a political phenomenon but also a fundamentally human process, and by mainstreaming of human rights in migration would thereby contribute to strengthen mechanisms of addressing the root causes of unsafe migration.

During the CP’s last Ministerial Meeting held in Bangladesh in April 2011, the following recommendations were proposed with a view to promoting the human rights of the migrants from the CP countries;

 

  1. To ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of all migrants and their
    families, including their social and economic rights, as well as improving the
    welfare, dignity and well-being of all migrant workers, especially women;
  2. To develop employment and labour market policies and formulate rules, regulations
    and procedures that are conducive to the pursuit of legal, humane and orderly labour
    migration;
  3. To eliminate all forms of occupational and socio-cultural discriminations against migrant workers.
  4. To promote Decent Work for migrant workers, including in low-skill and low-wage sectors, and to design employment contracts based on existing good practice models;
  5. To develop and streamline policy, legal and institutional mechanisms to eliminate unethical practices concerning migrant workers including deduction / non-payment in violation of contractual provisions, rationalize migration costs, promote transparency and openness in recruitment processes, strengthen monitoring and supervision of recruitment practices, and prevent slippage of regular migrant workers into any form of irregularities;
  6. To effectively address the specific needs and concerns of vulnerable groups of migrant workers, especially women, domestic workers, low-skilled and low-wage workers;
  7. To promote rest and recreation facilities for migrant workers and their families, increase opportunities for family reunion, and facilitate their access to basic services, particularly education;
  8. To promote the implementation of migrant-inclusive health policies to ensure equitable access to health care and services as well as occupational safety and health for migrant workers

 

Mr. Chairman,
Sri Lanka which assumed the Chair of the Colombo Process in  October 2013 believes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that the collective voice of the 11 countries together will be stronger than any individual voice. We are conscious that we are competitors on the one hand for markets for our respective expatriate work force, but at the same time have tried to move beyond and work collectively to ensure healthy practices relating to labour migration from which we all stand to benefit.

Over the past year Sri Lanka has ensured that the Colombo Process is not only a forum for members to share experiences and best practices and coordinate issues of common interest on labour migration, but to also collectively enhance dialogue with countries and regions of destination with regard to the protection of migrant workers. To this end, we have sought to engage with vigour and credibility with countries of labour destination through the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) and other international processes including the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).  We have also sought to pursue the interests of Colombo Process countries in ensuring that due recognition is given to migration as one of the priority areas of the post-2015 development agenda. Additionally, with a view to ensuring the long term sustenance of the Colombo Process, we are presently deliberating on modalities to establish a self-funding mechanism.

Shortly after Sri Lanka assumed leadership of the Colombo Process, on
06 January 2014 in his capacity as Chair-in-Office of the Colombo Process, Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare of Sri Lanka Hon. Dilan Perera met Secretary for Labour and Welfare of Philippines and ADD chair Hon. Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, in Manila, Philippines. Among the areas identified for cooperation as issues in the ADD which have synergy with the CP were pre-departure orientation, qualification recognition process, comprehensive information orientation programmes and recruitment standards.
The Strategic Vision/Road map for Sri Lanka’s Chairmanship developed by the Geneva based Permanent Representatives and experts of the Colombo Process countries seeks to strengthen engagement with countries of destination under the overall theme “International Labour Migration for Prosperity: Adding Value by Working Together”. The five thematic areas of our strategic vision are;

  1. i) Review the Qualification Recognition Processes including transnational accreditation and monitoring
  2. ii) Promote Cheaper, Faster & Safer Transfer of Remittances

iii) Ethical Labour Recruitment Practices

  1. iv) Effective Pre-departure Orientation & Empowerment
  2. v) Develop a database on the economic trends in the destination countries

Under the theme ‘Ethical Labour Recruitment Practices’ we have sought to;

  1. a) Harmonize existing national regulatory frameworks
  2. b) Promote Standard Employment Contracts (address issue of contract substitution and
    create a registration mechanism for contracts)
    c) Consider common minimum wage levels, and conditions that promote health and well-
    being and insurance protection.
    d) Develop a common position on ethical recruitment practices.

 

The first Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) held on 6-7 May 2014 in Colombo focused on two thematic areas, which are to promote Cheaper, Faster & Safer Transfer of Remittances and Ethical Labour Recruitment Practices. The comprehensive Concluding Statement adopted in Colombo on 7 May 2014 refers to the tangible action agreed upon by the 11 CP countries on issues pertaining to key labour migration principles, including the promotion of cheaper, faster and safer transfer of remittances,

ethical labour recruitment, as well as cooperation and dialogue with the ADD. Under the thematic area of Ethical Labor Recruitment Practices, the Colombo Process member States have recognized the importance of CP States promoting standard employment contracts that contain basic provisions to protect migrant workers. This includes being covered by social insurance, particularly in the area of employment injury, and also providing migrant workers with access to basic social security guarantees.
The recently concluded Second Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in Colombo on 14 October 2014 also included a session dedicated to further discuss the problems arising from bad recruitment practices and the effects these have on the human rights of migrants. It was noted that in the Colombo Process region the recruitment industry has become an extremely profitable business for various brokers, sub-agents and private recruitment agencies. The challenges faced globally by governments of origin and destination in regulating the international recruitment business and monitoring their conduct are immense, given that intermediaries range from the village headman to multinational private recruitment agencies. It was also noted that the jurisdictional gaps that exist between the regulatory systems of origin and destination countries means that some of the worst recruiters are left unchecked and unpunished for what may amount to trafficking and/or forced labour of women and men across borders. The findings of an important piece of research commissioned by IOM under a regional Colombo Process Project which detailed these challenges in the Colombo Process countries, was also presented during the Senior Officials Meeting.

The challenge before us remains to address some of the specific problems presented by unethical recruitment, which range from high recruitment fees, and deceit about the terms and conditions of employment, right through to forced labour. We reiterate the timely need of international commitment/cooperation to the protection of human rights of migrants, regardless of their migration status and working towards an effective and inclusive agenda that integrates development and human rights aspects.

When Sri Lanka took over the chair one year ago the conventional wisdom was that many of these issues that we have sought to grapple with within the Geneva and Colombo based deliberations of the Colombo Process were beyond the capacity of the group, and that we would be wasting our time trying doing so. However, while having no illusion of the challenges that persist, Sri Lanka was of the view that if we were to make a difference and ensure that some real benefits would accrue to the people of member countries, it was important that we seek to address the tough issues. One year later, having closely followed the discussion, I must say that Sri Lanka has had complete support from the entire membership of the Colombo Process in this quest, and being competitors for the same markets or other national interests have not stood in our way. Translating  the this collective voice of the Colombo Process countries into concrete cooperation remains our challenge.

I believe that with the help of the practitioners from all sides – whether it is labour receiving countries, the international agencies involved, the labour unions, other NGOs involved in the process and of course the Special Rapporteur and his staff who are trying to integrate these activities within the broader framework concerning the protection of human rights of migrants, we could together succeed in minimizing the risks for migrant workers and also that their families do not have to suffer pain due to the malpractices of the recruitment agencies.

I thank you.

 

WORLD’S BUDDHIST POPULATION: Pre-eminence of the Mahayana Tradition    

November 1st, 2014

 Dr. Daya Hewapathirane

It is noteworthy that until about 2010, the estimates made of the Buddhist population of most countries in the world, especially of the traditionally Buddhist countries, have been grossly underestimated. This led to the marked underestimation of the total Buddhist population of the world. Information published not only in most websites, but also reported in nearly all encyclopedias, almanacs and other popular reference sources on population, emanating predominantly from the western world, has been highly misleading, deceptive and grossly inaccurate. Gross underestimation has been the order of the day until very recent times.

The gross underestimation of the Buddhist population in traditionally Buddhist nations with large Buddhist populations such as China, Japan and Vietnam in particular, led to large-scale inaccuracies in the overall estimate of the overall Buddhist population in the world. One reason for this anomalous situation is the fact that population enumerators, especially those from the western world, had problems in identifying or determining who is a Buddhist. In most Far Eastern countries, there are many Buddhists who follow other traditional faiths and it is not clear whether they were counted as Buddhists.

More accurate estimates of Buddhist population of different countries are available today. These are based on studies and investigations that have taken into account all relevant information on people professing the Buddhist faith in different countries. The results of these studies were published in the years 2010 and 2013. (www.thedhamma.com/buddhists_in_the_world.htm 2010; China Beliefs” Justchina.org.,2011; China Culture Exploring Assistant”, China business Interpreter.com,2011, CIA The World Fact book: Populations as of July 2013, The Dhamma Encyclopedia – Buddhism in the World). These estimates  reveal the true situation regarding Buddhist populations in different countries.

In July 2010, the total Buddhist population of the world was estimated at 1.6   billion (1,595,485,458), amounting to about 22% of the total global population. This has been reported as a liberal estimate. China with a current Buddhist population of over one billion (a liberal estimate is 1,070,893,447) accounts for a greater part of the world’s Buddhist population. This has been confirmed by the references cited above,  besides references to China’s Buddhist population in U.S. State Department Report on China, Global Center for the Study of Contemporary China, China Daily, and a report by Christian missionaries in China. These sources report that about 80% to 90% of Chinese identify with Buddhism as one of the several faith traditions they observe. Some recent studies indicate that as much as 98% of Chinese consider themselves as Buddhists, but indicate that they also subscribe to several other Chinese spiritual traditions. (www.thedhamma.com/buddhists_in_the_world.htm, The Dhamma Encyclopedia, Definition of a Buddhist by David N. Snyder).

BUDDHIST POPULATION OF SELECTED COUNTRIES                                         

                                             Buddhists           % of Total Population

1)      China —————– 1  billion                 (80%)(1,070,893,447Buddhists)

2)      Japan —————–  122 million           (96%)

3)      Vietnam –————    70 million           (75%)

4)      Thailand –———–    64 million            (95%)                                              

5)      Myanmar ———––   49.7 million         (90%)

6)      India –——————  36.6 million         (03%)

7)      South Korea –——-  24.5 million         (50%)

8)      Taiwan —————-  21.7million          (93%)

9)      Sri Lanka ———––- 15.2 million         (70%)

10)   Cambodia –———– 14.7 million         (97%)

11)   Hong Kong ———–– 6.4 million         (90%)

12)   USA –——————-   6 million            (02%)

13)   Malaysia ————–– 6.2 million          (21%)

14)   Laos ——————–– 5 million            (67%)

15)   Indonesia ————–- 4.3 million         (01.7%)

16)   North Korea –———- 3.4 million        (14%)

17)   Nepal –——————  3.3 million         (11.5%)

18)   Mongolia  ————— 3 million            (93%)

19)   Singapore ————–- 2.8 million        (51%)

20)   Philippines ————– 2 million           (01.5%)

21)   Russia —————–– 2 million            (01.4%)

22)   Canada –————— 1.2 million          (03.5%)

23)   Bangladesh –———- 1.1 million         (00.7%)

24)   France ————––— 1 million            (01.5%)

25)   Brazil  ——————– 1 million            (0.5%)

26)   Germany —————–  905,657            (01%)

27)   UK –———————–  760,747             (01%)

28)   Bhutan ————––—  609,249             (84%)

29)   Brunei ——————-– 58,498               (17%) (Near Malaysia)

30)   Macau –——————  466,402             (75%) *

31)   Sikkim —————-–-  171,000              (28%) **

32)   Ladakh  —————–  125,000              (45%)***

33)   Christmas Island——    1,554               (75%) (Territory of Australia)

  *  Macau - a Special Administrative Region of China with a high degree of autonomy. Situated near Hong Kong, estimated population of 624,000 and is the most densely populated region in the world. Macau is one of world’s richest cities, with the highest GDP. It is one of world’s largest gambling centres with an economy heavily dependent on gambling and tourism. Macau has the second highest life expectancy in the world and is one of very few regions in Asia with a “very high Human Development Index“.

** Sikkim  located in the Himalayan mountains near Nepal, China and Bhutan, was an independent Buddhist nation in the past, but in 1975 merged with India.

*** Ladakh is a Himalayan region of India in the state of Jammu and Kashmir bordering China. It’s culture and history are closely related to that of Tibet. Almost half of Ladakhis are Tibetan Buddhists.

In recent years, an increasing trend is observed among the Buddhist communities in some non-traditional Buddhist countries in Europe such as Netherlands(201,660), Switzerland (79,960), Spain (300,000), Italy (122,965), Uzbekistan (85,985) and South America such as – Costa Rico (96,733), Mexico (108,700), Panama (68,000), Chile (17,200), Peru (89,500), Argentina (42,600),Venezuela (56,000).

MAGNITUDE OF THE BUDDHIST POPULATION

 There are 25 countries in the world where Buddhist population exceeds one million. Five of these countries – China, Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam have exceptionally large Buddhist populations (I billion, 122 million, 64 million, 50 million, 69 million respectively). In these five countries Buddhists account for more than 75% of their total populations.  In three of them,  namely Japan, Thailand and Myanmar, the percentage of Buddhists amounts to more than 90% of their total populations.  It is noteworthy that among the five most populous Buddhist countries in the world mentioned above, three are predominantly followers of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition (China, Japan and Vietnam) and account for  about 75% of the world’s Buddhist population. The other two – Thailand and Myanmar are followers of are Theravada tradition.

It is significant note that the first three of these countries alone with a combined population of 1.19 billion, predominantly follow the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and account for about 75% of the total Buddhist population of the world. Countries that predominantly profess the Mahayana-Vajrayana and other non-Theravada Buddhist traditions amount to about 85% of the global Buddhist population. The total population of countries that predominantly profess the Theravada Buddhist tradition such as Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh, India and some Western countries, amounts to 248 million or  about 15%  of the world’s Buddhist population. However, it is important to note that predominantly Mahayana countries such as China and Japan have significant numbers of Theravada Buddhists (China – 53.5 million and Japan- 6.1 million).

 In 14 countries the Buddhist populations account for more than 50%. Among them are seven countries where Buddhists constitute for more than 90% of total population:

1)      Cambodia –———- 97%                14.7 million        

2)      Japan —————– 96%              122 million         

3)      Thailand –———— 95%                 64 million                                                           

4)      Taiwan —————- 93%                 21.7million         

5)      Mongolia  ———— 93%                   3 million           

6)      Myanmar ————- 90%                49.65 million     

7)      Hong Kong ——–– 90%                   6.4 million        

8)      Bhutan —————- 84%                  0.609,249           

9)      China —————— 80%            1 billion               

10)   Vietnam –————- 75%                70 million          

11)   Sri Lanka ————- 70%               15.2 million        

12)   Laos ——————- 67%                  5  million            

13)   Singapore ———-   51%                 2.8 million       

14)   South Korea –—–   50%               24.5 million 

 The following are traditional Buddhist regions and not sovereign states with significant percentages of Buddhists:     

Macau –————— 75%                      466,402            

Christmas Island–  75%                          1,554             

Ladakh  ————-   45%                      125,000             

Sikkim ————–    28%                      171,000    

THERAVADA BUDDHIST POPULATION 

Theravada                Percent of Total
Population                 Buddhist  Popul. 

  • Thailand     62,000,382                              99%
  • Sri Lanka    14, 783,720                              99%
  • Myanmar   42,890,727                              99%
  • Cambodia   13,631,883                              99%
  • Laos                5,074,944                              99%
  • India            28,434,850                              75%
  • Japan              6,101,142                               5%
  • China (liberal est.) 53,544,672                               5 %
  • China (conservative est. 33,465,420                               5%
  • Other Asian countries 17,079,430                               8%

Total Theravada in Asia           243,541,751

  • USA 2,147,275                            35%
  • Canada 128,956                              35%

Total Theravada in N. America    2,276,231

  • Germany 452,828                             50%
  • France 386,607                             50%
  • UK 366,698                             50%
  • Other European Countries 274,995                             35%     
  • Total Theravada In Europe 1,481,128
  • Total Theravada in S.America 304,125                           35%
  • Total Theravada in Australia & Oceania 216,563               35%
  • Total Theravada in Africa 68,093               35%

TOTAL THERAVADA IN THE WORLD      –    247,887,891               15%

CHINA – WORLD’S MOST POPULOUS BUDDHIST NATION 

 China is the world’s largest Buddhist country, in terms of its population and size. Buddhists account for more than 1 billion or about 80% of the total Chinese population of 1.4 billion in the year 2014. China accounts for 67% of the 1.6 billion total Buddhist population in the world.  The magnitude of the Chinese Buddhist population is evident when compared to Japan which has the second highest Buddhist population of 122 million (122,022,837), which is 7.6% of the world’s total Buddhist population and about 09% of the Chinese Buddhist population. For purposes of comparison, the estimated Buddhist population of Sri Lanka is 14.9 million (70% of her population) which is a mere 1.4% of the Chinese Buddhist population and less than 1% of the world’s total Buddhist population.

There are more than 240,000 Buddhist monks and nuns in China, more than 28,000 Buddhist monasteries and about 16,000 Buddhist temples. Many of the world’s tallest and biggest statutes of the Buddha and Buddhist deities are found in China and most of them were built in the 2000’s. The world’s tallest Buddha statute is the Spring temple statue located in Henan. The world’s tallest stupa or pagoda  which is the Femen temple of Shaanxi Province of Northwest China, is 148 metres high and was built in the year 2007. (View on YouTube Chinese Buddhist Cave Shrines).

China is a nation entrenched with a distinct Buddhist character and identity. It  is the depository of the largest collection of historic Buddhist scriptures and documents in the world. Buddhism was the primary source of inspiration for the exceptional cultural achievements, the exceptional intuitive, innovative and imaginative powers, spiritual disposition and the outstanding creativity of the Chinese people. This is reflected vividly in the exceedingly rich tangible and intangible aspects of Chinese culture, social norms and values. The largest collection Buddhist sites, temples and structures in the world, are to be found in China. The direct impact of Buddhism is reflected in its unique visual arts and culture evident in its architecture, sculpture, engineering, performing arts, music, dance, drama, poetry and literature.

 BUDDHISM IN CHINA

 The 1978 Constitution of the People’s Republic of China guarantees freedom of religion. Since then, there has been a momentous revival and renewal of Buddhism in China, after the set back during the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to1976. Today, Buddhism is officially considered and supported as an integral part of Chinese culture and Buddhism is given greater support as compared to other faiths. Since the mid-1990’s there has been a massive program to rebuild Buddhist temples destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. This has permitted the rise of a string of outward-looking and ambitious temples in recent years, the most prominent among them being the Guangxiao Temple in Guangdong Province, which claims to be the oldest and biggest temple in south China.

 The most popular form of Buddhism in both mainland China and Taiwan is the Pure Land Buddhism, also known as Amidism. It is a branch of mainstream Mahayana Buddhism based upon the ancient Pure Land sutras which describe Amitabha, an ancient Buddha. It is popular in Korea and is the dominant form of Buddhism in Japan. Theravada is followed by some Buddhists in southwest China and the Tibetan Vajrayana form of Buddhism is found in North China.

CHINA TO SPEARHEAD INITIATIVES TO PROTECT AND PROMOTE BUDDHISM  

 The 27th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) was held in China, from October 16th to 18th, 2014. This highly acclaimed international conference of Buddhists had the participation of more than 600 international delegates from 40 countries. Buddhism and Public-Benefit Charity” was the theme of the conference. The World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB) was founded in 1950, by the late Dr. Gunapala Malalasekare,  as an international organization of Buddhists of all denominations – Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. With its Headquarters in Thailand, it consists of 140 Regional Centres around the world in 35 countries.

THE FORMAL DECLARATION OF THE CONFERENCE

 The formal Declaration at the end of this highly successful Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in China is clearly indicative of the strong ties among the Buddhist nations of the world, their unwavering unity and solidarity and their firm commitment to promote Buddhism for the benefit of humankind and world peace. China as the world’s largest and strongest Buddhist nation declared its commitment to spearhead and support international initiatives to protect and promote Buddhism and Buddhist culture and values.

Among specific objectives set out in the Declaration was to work jointly for the preservation of intangible and tangible Buddhist cultural heritages which are in danger in different parts of the world. This appears to be of particular relevance and significance to Sri Lanka. Indisputably, the Buddha Dhamma is the crowning glory of the cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. The Buddha’s teachings and related cultural norms and values are the greatest inheritance of Sri Lankans. This legacy continues to have an overpowering influence in shaping the lives of many Buddhist Sri Lankans, wherever in the world they have chosen to live. In contemporary times, with the special cluster of bafflement, discord, threats, challenges and uncertainties faced by Buddhists, the relevance of the Buddha’s teachings cannot be overemphasized and the solemn but firm commitment on the part of all Buddhist nations, spearheaded by China, to adopt a joint approach to preserve and promote Buddhism and related Buddhist culture and values internationally, is most commendable. This reinforce the long awaited unity and solidarity among the world’s Buddhist communities.

Master Chuanyin, president of the Buddhist Association of China (BAC), described the event as a milestone for friendship between the BAC and the WFB and that it will help Chinese Buddhists play a bigger role internationally. He said that this event helps to  boost cooperation among Buddhists to  promote Buddhism and to make a greater contribution for the benefit of humankind and to foster world peace. The Head of the Japanese Buddhist delegation stated that through events of this nature he feels strongly the deepening relationship between Buddhists in Northeastern Asia and South Asia, and increasing solidarity among Buddhists across the world. The pledges made at this historic international Buddhist conference by China the foremost economic power in the world today, to protect and promote Buddhism and Buddhist culture and values, is of utmost significance to Buddhists across the world, especially to the traditional Buddhist Communities of Southern Asia who in recent years have been subject to undue threats, harassment and violence by Muslim extremists and by the unethical conversion menace of Christian fundamentalists.

Sri Lanka has an enduring, multi-dimensional and deep-rooted relationship with China. The long-standing ties of friendship between the two countries are underpinned by mutual trust and confidence. Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to recognize the People’s Republic of China, and since then the relations between the two nations have become stronger. Chinese leadership has always appreciated Sri Lanka’s steadfast support on issues of their concern and China has always supported Sri Lanka on all issues of importance to Sri Lanka.  In recent decades, China’s cooperation with Sri Lanka has reached high economic points especially with substantial Chinese investment in Sri Lankan infrastructural expansion. China’s New Silk Road—a strategic engagement with countries along the ancient Silk Road would pave the way for increased involvement of China in the overall development initiatives including promotion of Buddhism and Buddhist culture and to reinforce the centuries old religious and cultural bonds among nations of Southern Asia, especially between China and Sri Lanka.

 Dr. Daya Hewapathirane

dayahewapathi@yahoo.ca

Vietnamese PM Prays at Bodh Gaya, Says Buddhism Binds Both Countries

November 1st, 2014

Courtesy:  NDTV. com

Patna Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visited Bodh Gaya on Monday and prayed at the Mahabodhi temple, Buddhism’s holiest shrine.

Prime Minister Dung, who is in India on a two-day visit, also circumambulated the ancient Mahabodhi tree under which the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment.

Mantras of the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism schools were chanted in Vietnamese as well in deference to Prime Minister Dung and his wife Tran Thanh Kiem.

After the prayers, Prime Minister Dung said that Buddhism binds India and Vietnam together.

He also proposed that there should be direct flights between Bodh Gaya and Hanoi, and sought visa-on-arrival facility for Vietnamese saying it would boost the number of Buddhist pilgrims to the site.

Mr Dung also announced a decision to sign a MoU with India on the Nalanda University as part of reverence for the ancient university where Buddhism studies flourished more than 1,000 years ago, and also to revive Buddhist links, official sources said.

Earlier, the Vietnamese leader arrived at the Buddhist pilgrimage town of Bodh Gaya on a day-long visit.

Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi welcomed Prime Minister Dung at the Gautam Buddha International Airport near Bodh Gaya.

Ahead of the visit, Vietnam’s Ambassador Thanh Tan Saturday visited Patna and met Mr Manjhi.

The 1,500-year-old Buddhist shrine in Bodh Gaya, some 110 km from Patna, is where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment about 2,550 years ago.

Story First Published: October 28, 2014

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/vietnamese-pm-prays-at-bodh-gaya-says-buddhism-binds-both-countries-612715

Courtesy:  NDTV. com

PART II OF III; CURIOS, PECULIEAR WRAPT, deranged MIND-SET OF Islamic Mind-set!

November 1st, 2014

Mahinda Weerasinghe

part II Buddhism was entrenched in Israel and PLASTINE PRIOR TO CHIRSTIAN AND ISLAM DISLOGING IT; YET IT ROVIDED THE WORDS ‘ALLAH’ AND ‘GOD’ BEING ANOTHER WORD ‘BUDDHA’ IN ANCIANT PLASTINE

ttp://archives.dailynews.lk/2005/05/23/fea56.htm

With the publication of a research paper recently by Ven. (Dr.) Paravahera Pannananda Nayaka Thera, the Chancellor of the Ruhunu University of Sri Lanka has caused me think that Arabs was not that insipid?

This learned Thera’s research has identified pre-Islamic Arabia as the possible location of the hometown of a Great Buddhist Monk named Punna Thera who was indeed one of the first disciples of Sakyamuni Buddha.

Indeed this indefatigable research would be ignored by the judo Christian sects at a price, for it would definitely catch the imagination of the global intelligentsia!

In fact Ven. (Dr.) Pannananda Nayaka Thera has linked up with the Sacred City “Mecca” in Arabia, as one of the place where an original Buddhist Shrine was built at the behest of Ven. Punna Thera while the Buddha was still alive.

According to his findings there were four Buddhist monasteries which have been built by the Buddha’s pupil Ven. Punna Thera. And all these four temples were hallowed by the Buddha Himself who had arrived on a visit.  In fact whether  Buddha has visited these places or not is of  no importance,  but if it  can be established as a fact that there were 4 such temples in the sites that  he mentions then it will  upset the whole historical  apple cart.

Until his publication of the Buddhist texts and their commentaries, no one seems to have hit upon, or realised such a possibility; that indeed Buddhism had been established in a West-Asian region, as far back as the 6th century B.C. while Gautama Buddha was still living.

Many civilizations and empires arose in this region; Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Mycenaean, Cretans, Athenians, Persians, Hittite, Mitanni, that had left indomitable marks of their cultures. References to merchants, caravan traders, kings and courtiers and men in search of knowledge and wisdom; trekking dangerous desert terrain from East to West and vice-versa, are found in early Buddhist texts. But these were not taken seriously by the historians or archaeologists history up to now!

There has had been pioneer scholars, the likes of Sir Auriel Stein, Paul Pelliot, Albert Grunweddel, Ludwig Bachhofer, E.J. Rapson, Helmuth Von Glasenapp, Le Gocq, Guesseppe Tucci. They informed the world of the glories Buddhist civilizations which had existed and vanished due onslaught of time and Judeo Christian rapacity!

 

However with this monk’s indomitable work, we challenge the historical status quo! Indeed the glorious civilization which had existed has been marshaled and juxtaposed, tells an incredible tale.  This prodigious work is ground breaking by any standard.

He informs’ that While tracing possible survivals of Buddhism’s expansion from its birthplace, the Middle India, I was fortunate enough to trace a few localities outside India, towards Far West and beyond the Northern barrier of Himalayan terrain where flourishing cultures of Buddhist Kingdoms had sprung up during pre-Christian centuries.” These has sprung up along the “Silk Route” in fact during the very life-time of the Buddha.

Enthrallingly, he informs that whereby I would be able to present a picture of that past golden age during which our Lord Gautama Buddha lived and tirelessly served the mankind for 44 years to aid the sentient beings from “universal suffering” (Dukkha) by expounding; The One and The Only Way, that is the “The Nobel Eightfold Path”

As far as Buddha’s teachings are concerned, the philosophy and the doctrine, it is the consensus of a large number of scholars of the present and the past century, that what the Buddha taught was unique. There was no creator God, no soul, no haven or Paradise was to be found nor hell but suffering. There were no cheap promises of virgin maidens living and some undeclared coordinates.

Teachings of no other founder of a religion on this planet earth can be said similar or identical, let alone superior to the Buddha’s “Dhamma” or teaching. This Dhamma which is better called Saddharma is now enshrined in the copious volumes known as the Tripitaka and penned in Lanka 3rd centenary BC.

Natural to query is if “Buddhism had been introduced to Arabia several centuries prior to the Christian era, why don’t we get any traces of its remains either in the form of religious literature or archaeological survivals?”

Again one may insists that, “had the Buddha been such a supra – human Being, His visit and stay in this part of the world would have made an indelible impression on the minds of the people of these regions. Therefore where is such an impressive effective impact?”The Buddhist texts refer to many instances of foreigners from distant lands coming to worship the Buddha, having heard of His presence ‘that a Great Being who calls Himself, the Buddha has appeared in the world’ and residing in Middle India (Magadha Kingdom). The story of Punna Thera is one such episode in which the main characters, Punna Thera and his brother were caravan traders from Sunaparanta.

According to textual reference, the very first lay disciples of Gautama Buddha, even before the Buddha established His Bhikkhu community namely the Sangha were also two caravan leaders who came from Uttrapatha (the Great Northern Highway) in their trading missions. They were known by their names Tapassu and Bhalluka.

Mahvegga I Speaks   of this meeting in such a manner:

 

Now at that time the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika were going along the

High-road from Likable to that district. Then a devata who was a blood-relation of the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika spoke thus to the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika . ” My good fellows, this Lord, having just (become) wholly awakened, is staying at the foot of the Raj Ayatana, go and serve that Lord with barley-gruel4 and honey-balls, and this will be a blessing and happiness for you for a long time.”

Then the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika, taking barley‑gruel and honey-balls, approached the Lord, having approached, having greeted the Lord, they stood at a respect­ful distance. As they were standing at a respectful distance, the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika spoke thus to the Lord

Lord, let the Lord receive our barley-gruel and honey-balls, that this may be a blessing and happiness for us for a long time.

Then it occurred to the Lord: Truth Finders do not receive with their hands. Now with what shall I receive the barley-gruel and honey-balls? ”

Then the four Great Kings, knowing with their minds the reasoning in the Lord’s mind, from the four quarters presented the Lord with four bowls made of rock crystal, saying: Lord, let the Lord receive the barley-gruel and honey-balls herein.” The Lord received the barley-gruel and the honey-balls in a news bowl made of rock crystal, and having received them he partook of them.

Then the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika, having found that the Lord had removed his hand from the bowl, having inclined their heads towards the Lord’s feet, spoke thus to the Lord : “We, Lord, are those going to the Lord-for refuge and to Dhamma ; let the Lord accept us as lay-disciples gone for refuge for life from this day forth.” Thus these came to be the first lay-disciples in the world using the two-word formula.

Buddhist texts refer to them as the first two lay followers of the Buddha, who surrendered before the Buddha and His Doctrine (who sought refuge in the Buddha and the Dhamma)? The Pali phrase “Buddham Saranam Gacchami, Dhammam Saranam Gacchami” was first uttered by those two trader brothers who offered to the Buddha a regal repast full of “mead and pop-corn (fried grain). This type of food must have been a common food item, if not the staple diet, among the West Asians and those people who lived in the peripheral regions where corn and barley are grown as staple food.

The  curious thing about this meeting with the first lay disciples is that, scriptures does not inform of his very first sermon he would have had given as a thanks’ for the offering of alms to him as these lay disciples were. This part must have been edited off, as finding that these two characters as melted away from history as far as the compilers of the scriptures!

The home country of the two caravan leaders Tapassu and Bhalluka who were the Buddha’s first lay disciples has been located at “Balkh’, a city in ancient Bactria and north of present day Afghanistan, through which ran the famous Great Northern Highway, “Uttarapatha”.

 

The story of Punna Thera as related in early Buddhist texts is exactly a reminder of those ferocious tribes in the Western regions (Aparanta). But Punna Thera, a well disciplined disciple of Gautama Buddha, knew that he could handle those uncouth people who were His kinsmen.

The connection between Ven. Punna Thera and that of  the merchants Tapussa or Bhallika a bit hazy! But I am certain we will get this information soon enough?

Ven. Punna Thera who settled with his own following of monks at Sunaparanta, having caused to be built – four temples at the following sites: Ambahatta Pabbata, Samudragiri Vihara (a temple near the sea) where there was a magnetic rock engirting a stone platform used as a promenade for monks meditation practice.

The first Shrine built for Punna Thera was named Ambahatta Pabbata by the Pali scribes of Buddhist texts. The name suggests that it was either a rock-cut shrine or a temple built on a natural eminence (Amba or Amra Pabbata eminence).

I dare to identify this shrine Ambahatta or Ambatta of the early Buddhist texts with the pre-Islamic shrine Amrah on the Northern end of the Dead Sea.

A modern historian describes this shrine as follows: “Qusayr Amrah” meaning the little castle of “Amrah” stands on the edge of a wadi in the desert of the Northern end of Dead Sea. Here too among the remains of ancient monuments is a structure with a hemispherical dome, resembling a Buddhist Stupa (tope).

The second temple built for Punna Thera was named Samudragiri Vihara which had a magnetic stone promenade within a stone enclosure. But the great noise of the sea prevented Ven. Punna Thera from engaging in his much desired meditation.

I identify this temple site with the famous ‘Temple of Jerusalem’ where a magnetic rock is located. In Hebrew or Aramaic language Sela (which takes the form Patra in Latin or Greek?) refers to a stone or rock. Sela is also traceable to Indo-European origin. In Pali or Sanskrit, Sela-Saila is synonyms for rock, stone, mountain.

I am constrained to identify the Temple site at Jerusalem, the Holy of the Holiest of Christendom, as the exact location of the ancient Buddhist monastery Samudragiri Vihara built for Punna Thera, within close proximity to the sea. This might have been an ancient Judaic religious site where a Jewish temple complex dedicated to Jehovah, the great sacrificial god, existed, and later appropriated by those who were converted by Punna Thera to the peaceful non-sacrificial-ficial religion of the Buddha. This was exactly the case in regard to many early Buddhist religious sites and shrines. This was the case in ancient pre-Christian era Sri Lanka and also in India.

According to the Buddhist texts, the noisy waves of the sea close to this shrine, Ven. Punna Thera had tamed using his psychic (Idaho) powers.

Buddhist textual references mention that Punna Thera through his psychic powers caused the noisy sea to be calm (dead as it was). Hence the subsequent name ‘Dead Sea’ as mentioned above in this essay. Earlier it was known as the ‘Sea of Arabah’. We can check how this noisy sea was really noisy prior to taming by this monk by the preceding scriptures to making it dead subsequent. This is up to the Jewish historian’s to confirm!

The third temple was Matulagiri where the noise of birds troubled Punna Thera’s meditation and finally Ven. Punna Thera left for the fourth temple built for him by his rich caravan trader brother and that was named Makulakarama. This fourth temple is the one which the learned Ven. (Dr.) Pannananda Thera identified as the present ‘Mecca’ shrine in mainland Arabia. Indeed that is the stone the Muslims circumambulate presently

At Sunaparanta, Ven. Punna Thera got down red-sandal wood to build a hall for the Buddha (Candana sala).

According to the story in the early Buddhist texts, the Samudragiri Temple was quite close to the sea, but today Jerusalem stands about fifteen (15) miles away from the Dead Sea as the crow flies.

Those who may disagree with my proposed identification might pose the question “How can a temple lying 15 miles away from the Dead Sea cause obstruction to its indwellers on account of the great noise of the sea? Surely, the Buddhist texts refer to an incident that had taken place more than 2,500 years ago. This can be checked using the Jewish scriptures to check whether prior to the incident did the sea make noise and suddenly it ceased to make a noise, and indeed must have been a miracle! This can definitely be checked for its veracity there must be documents if this was a fact!

It is quite possible that Jerusalem was at close proximity to the “Sea of Arabah’ as the “Dead Sea” was then known at the time of Punna Thera (Cir. 6th century B.C.).

Even the name “Jerusalem” can be considered as an early Aramaic form of ‘Samudra Giri’, the name of the Buddhist Shrine complex. The term giri meaning ‘rock’ can be equaled with the term Sela (later Petra) referring to ‘a rock” among Aramaic or Hebrew speaking people in ancient Sinai-Arabah region. Sala, Saila, Sela (meaning rock or stone), although taken as an Indo-European phonetic term could have either got into Aramaic or Hebrew (both of the Semitic family) or could have been borrowed from Semitic to Indo-European.

‘Jeru-Salem’ if it was an original formation meaning ‘rock near sea’ was expressed in Buddhist text as ‘Samudra – Giri’ when put into early Indian (Sanskrit or Pali). One has to further investigate whether ‘Jeru’ or ‘Jericho’ (another ancient site near Arabah Sea) has any relation to ‘Samudra’ or sea in ancient Indic phonemes.

Although our explanation is hypothetical, yet the fact remains, that Jerusalem was an ancient Holy Place where stood at least some of the items that are referred to in Punna Thera story.

We quote “There was a Sacred Rock (As-Sakhra) at Jerusalem, the place of pilgrimage for Muslims also. This was the ancient rock which formed the highest point in the temple area and on which David’s altar probably once stood.”

“Muslims believe that this was the precise point from which Mohammed had made his miraculous ascent to heaven.”

“The rock on which apostle of Allah set his foot when he ascended into heaven. This reference may be a survival of an historic event that took place in Ven. Punna Thera’s time when Buddha visited and sanctified the Rock Shine and placed His ‘Sacred Foot Print’, on the stone altar or dais there, a practice or an act the Buddha had done in sanctifying and appropriating such stone “Altar Shrines” of pre-Buddhist religious cult worshippers several places such as Sri Pada in Lanka.

Coming back to West-Asia, “Abd-al-Malik (A.D. 685-705) was the builder of the dome of the rock at Jerusalem”.

“Then Abd-al-Malik built above Sakhra a dome and hung it around with curtains of brocade and he instituted door-keepers for the same, and the people took the custom of circumambulating the rock, even as they had paced round the Kasbah (in Mecca!) and the usage continued thus all the days of the dynasty of Umayyad.

The Caliph of Damascus (of Syria, former Aram) of a vast Muslim empire in the 6th century A.D. thus built a dome above the rock and installed a practice of circumambulating at Jerusalem. This practice of worshipping sacred sites or objects is one that is common to Buddhism as has been instituted by Buddha Himself. It is known in Buddhist Texts as ‘Pradaksina that is going round a sacred object or person worthy of worship, in a clockwise manner for three times.

The third temple built for Punna Thera was known as “Matula Giri”, again a rock-hewn temple as the name suggests. This site was found not quite proper for the secluded hermit life of a Buddhist eremite of Punna Thera’s bearing, because of the noise made by large flocks of birds.

It is not possible for us to identify any ancient temple site in this part of Arabia close to “Dead Sea, with this third temple built for Punna Thera.

However, archaeologists have found several ancient temples of pre-Islamic Arabia within this locality. At Petra (or ancient Sela) a city few miles south of the ancient township Punon) referred to above and identified by us as the birth place of Ven. Punna Thera) are remains of large rock-cut shrines. Several cave shrines dating back to the period of the proto-Arabic Nabetean Kingdom of pre-Christian centuries have also been discovered in and around the Dead Sea.

At Petra (Sela), the chief attraction was a rectangular “black stone’ worshipped as a monument for the god of those ancient people. Furthermore the Arab god Allah, Allat, Al-Uzza was worshipped in the kabah and possibly represented by the famous ‘black stone’ in that place.

Our aim in this research study is not merely to identify possible sites in ancient Arabia with those referred to in the story of Ven. Punna Thera, but also to investigate further for more evidence to substantiate the thesis of the great scholar monk Ven. (Dr.) Pannananda Maha Thera who alone had made this remarkable research into Buddhist texts to locate the birth place of Punna Thera in far-West Arabia.”

The learned Thera suggests that the fourth temple named Makulaka Arama built for elder Punna Thera could be possibly the Islamic Sanctum Santorum, the shrine at Mecca. The name mecca (Mekka) agrees well with the temple (Arama) by the name Makulaka phonetically. But the problem lies how to draw a comparison between proper names found in the Indo-European group with one found in a different linguistic family, for Arabic being a language of the Semitic group.

However, the fact that the religious dialect of those regions, West of Hindu Kush up to the Mediterranean lands during the centuries before the Christian era was ‘Aramaic’ and the difference of opinion of scholars whether Aramaic the ‘Lingua-franca’ of the region was of Semitic or Indo-European origin is a matter worth further investigation and careful scrutiny. Even Jesus Christ preached His sermons in Aramaic.

As we have suggested above, the few centuries in between the date of the Buddha’s Presence in Magadha (Middle India) kingdom and the birth of Jesus Christ in Israel (ancient Arabah) have seen remarkable historical episodes in the Kingdoms along which passed the great trunk-route Uttarapatha, the Northern Highway linking East and West of the then known civilized world.

Now one may wonder what is the available archaeological evidence of this region, the North West part of Arabia, to locate possible Buddhist sites that could be traced back to pre-Islamic or even pre-Christian period.

Our investigations proved successful with substantial evidence and we are now able to locate not one but several sites that could reasonably be related to the period of Punna Thera’s habitation in Sunaparanta and the four monastic establishments or temples built at the request of Thera Punna.”

The very name ‘Sunaparanta’ has two words combined to give a meaning – ‘a far away country’, according to ancient Buddhist texts. That is ‘Sun’ and ‘Aparanta’ which also means, Sun of Aparanta. ‘Sun’ a locality in the major region or country of Aparanta. Aparanta according to Buddhist texts is the habitat of Aparantakas (a community or race) from a major region called Aparagoyana which is one of the four great continents according to the geography of the time of Buddha. It is to the West of Sineru. Sineru is the hub or centre of the Earth according to the reckoning of ancient Indian geographers and astronomers.

According to the Buddha’s Sermons (Suttas), when the sun rises in India it is the middle watch of the night in Aparagoyana. The sunset in Aparagoyana is the midnight in Jambudveepa (India), and sunrise in Aparagoyana is noon in Jambudveepa, sunset in Pubbavideha and midnight in Uttarakuru.

When we take into consideration this above explanation in early Buddhist Texts of the position of the sun in relation to the regions of Earth, it can be surmised that Pubbavideha is ‘Far-East’, Uttarakuru is the land of the ‘Americas’, and Aparagoyana is the whole of ‘Europe’.

These geographical identifications of earth’s localities by the Buddha, and commented upon by the Buddha’s disciples of the past, would have made the Europeans of Mediaeval centuries, reeling with laughter and those who pronounced such geographical identifications, (that reveal parts of the Earth having daytime while some other parts in the darkness of night, thereby suggesting the global shape of the Earth), would have been condemned to death on stakes and spikes for distorting the minds of the faithful on the belief in God’s great creation (what the Roman Catholic Church had done to poor Copernicus and Galileo).

The Buddhist texts show how Buddha had rejected over and over the belief in an “Eternal Being”, who is the creator of Earth and heavenly bodies with all the living beings.

Moreover, this geographical explanation is a clear verdict that the Buddha had a very scientific view of the planet Earth and considered it (the Earth) to be a globe around which the light (of the sun) falls in an anti-clockwise pattern. This factor alone shows the great knowledge that Buddha and His Noble Arhan disciples (the Maha Sangha) had about the Earth and other galaxies including our own ‘Milky way’.

Coming back to Sunaparanta debacle, let us continue to untwine the tangle by investigating further some survivals of pre-Christian archaeological data. Suna was a locality of the major region Aparanta (Hence Sunaparanta). Apranta means ‘far-end’ (Anta) of the Western border (Apara), when viewed from Magadha Kingdom in india of the continent Aparagoyana, the early name for Europe as we can now correctly conjecture, where only bullock-cart tracks (Goyana) were available and not great highways like the Uttarapatha and the Daksinapatha opened for thousands of caravan traffic.

Sunaparanta was apparently the Cul-de-sac or the terminus of the ‘Great Northern Highway’ (Uttarapatha, that linked Mongolia, China, Central Asia, South Russia and the major centres of the then known civilized world the Kingdoms of Egypt, Assyria, Aram (Syria), Arabia, Babylonia, Persia etc.

 

Where was the locality ‘Suna’ that has become famous or got such an importance for the Great Buddha to pay a visit and stay there on the invitation of Arhant Punna Thera (Worthy One). Araha or Arahan is an epithet of both the Buddha and His Noble disciples.

We have no hesitation in identifying the ancient ‘Suna’ of Buddhist texts with the historic ‘Sinai’ region between Egypt and Israel. ‘Sinai’ tract has been the bone of contention between the Arabs and the Jews, from pre-Christian centuries onwards. In the recent times ‘Sinai’ area was captured by the Jews from Egypt during the seven days war Israel waged with the combined armies of several Moslem States headed by Muhammed Abdul Nasser of Egypt. It is not etymologically impossible to compare Suna of Buddhist texts with ancient Biblical Sinai. But to strengthen our identification we need further evidence.

It is in the Sinai tract the ancient township Punon is located quite surprisingly yet fortunately helping to strengthen our identification of Sunaparanta with this part of West Asia. We may surmise that Punon is a variant form of Punna Thera the name of the Buddha’s great disciple who dared to go back to His motherland despite the warning by the Buddha that Sunaparanta is a country inhabited by ferocious wicked people, as is aptly described a few centuries later by the anonymous author of the “Periplus’.

On this contention, it is not difficult to locate the ‘Punnon of Sinai’ as the home town of “Punna of Suna” of the major region Aparanta. Hence, Punna Thera of Sunaparanta of the ancient Buddhist texts.

A little towards South of Punon is the ancient city of Sela (or Petra in roman times) which has yielded rock – cut temples, houses, tombs, religious altars, etc. Sela is a city mentioned in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. It was the meeting place of caravan traders from East and West. To quote from a historian: “The historical city Petra was the same as Biblical Sela (or Selah) famous for its beautiful rock-hewn temples, houses, tombs, altars.”

Hence the caravan leaders of the like of Punna Thera and his brother, hailing from Buddha’s time would have easily given their family name to this town, known as Punon or else they got themselves identified with the town that was their place of birth, as Punna of Sunna!

 (Or if modernized Punon of Sinai). Thus, Punna of Suna in the State of Aparanta should no more be a mystery shrouded with the passage of time.

Now the question can be raised, if Punna and Suna as proper names could be derived from existing or existed historical sites, why not the name Paranta or Aparanta? We have found that on the same analogy, even this is not an impossibility if we consider that the ancient Jewish Kingdom or locality Arabah of the lager Nabatean Kingdom was just located in the site where we traced Punon and Sinai.

The world ‘Arabah’ sometimes found as ‘Araba’ could be traced back to ‘Aparanta of early Buddhist texts. It could be surmised that this region that was originally called ‘Aparanta’ in the Pali texts had got into Aramaic or proto-Aramaic, a form like Apara or Abara and had called this region Apara, a short form of Aparanta which term later formed into Araba-Arabah through syncope and metathesis. It should also be noted that according to Bible scholars Aramaic was ‘Lingua-franca’ of the whole of West Asia during pre-Christian centuries. Even the Great Buddhist Emperor Asoka had to issue his rock-edicts in Aramaic and Brahmi both, when he addressed his people in the north-western part of India.

Later, when the Nabatean Kingdom of the Aramaic speaking people who were dominant in this part, fell to Hebrew speaking Jews (after the ruthless and devastating conquests by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans), the Arabahs were pushed southwards. These people begun new kingdoms for themselves of and took the name Araba as their clan name or ethnic identity in contradistinction to Hebrew speaking Jews of Israel. We suppose that our view is a very logical reasoning as to how the Arabs and their country Arabia appeared in the world (Arabi in Sinhalese).

When these Arab Kingdoms were pushed further towards mainland Apranta (Apara – Araba), it is quite likely that the whole region got the name Arabia from pre-Christian pre-Islamic times.

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The possible identification and that also hypothetically of sporadic sites in West – Asiatic region, alone will not help us to determine that Buddhism was established in this part of the world during the very lifetime of the Buddha and prevailed as the religious faith of many people throughout the pre-Christian centuries.

Therefore we have extended our survey into the field of religious cults and practices as well as ancient religious literature, art and architecture also to trace possible clues of Buddhism’s penetration in to this region so that our hypothesis should be confirmed absolutely.

Prior to the use of the term ‘God’ in the Holy Bible, as derived from Greek to English the old Aramaic texts of the Holy scriptures (the Bible!) known as Peshitta give the name Alaha for God. This is very intriguing. Even the Holy Quaran has ‘Allah’ for God which is identical with Aramaic Alaha, phonetically.

However, nowhere it is explained how this term Alaha-Allah had entered into pre-Christian and Christian – Muslim religious texts. Finding the origin of this Aramaic term ‘Alaha’ and the Arabic or Islamic term ‘Allah’ has enable us to solve a major riddle in regard to the term ‘God’ which overtook the word Alaha for the supreme Divine Being in the Christian Bible but had been retained in the Muslim Quaran.

Meanwhile it is also noteworthy that the Jewish term Jehowah (Heb: Yahaweh) for the “Creator”, ‘the Divine Being’, ‘Supreme God’ had never been used by Jesus Christ in the Christian Bible or by Prophet Mohammed in the Holy Quaran.

Why did they prefer Alaha and allah to the Jewish ‘Jehowah’, needs explanation by both Bible and Quaranic scholars, and how these terms Alaha-Allah for the ‘Supreme Creator’ came into the ‘Holy Scriptures’ of these two major religions, viz. Christianity and Islam also has to be explained and answered.

The other problem that baffled us in our present quest is the word ‘God’ which is widely used in almost every theistic religion, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Shikh, Parse, Bahai and may be English translations of the Texts of Judaism when they refer to their Supreme Divine Being and explain their doctrine in English.

I continued my search in every available dictionary, lexicon and encyclopedia, but not trace was there in any of these publications for the etymological origin of the word ‘God’ to determine whether it is from an Indo-European origin of Semitic origin or from any other linguistic family.”

Now, back to “Punna of Suna” (or Punon of Sinai).

Punna Thera, the great disciple of our Buddha had attained the highest path in Buddha’s dispensation. Therefore he was one of the ‘Maha Araha’ a great worthy one (also, Arahan or Arahat).

Had the Great Elder Punna Thera established Buddha’s dispensation (the Church or Sasana) in this part of Arabia (the “Sinai-Arabah” region) and had there been several hundreds or thousands of Ven. Punna’s converts to Buddhism, and among them a few hundred had entered the Buddha’s order of monks and had attained the final stage of liberation called the stage of Araha.

Therefore we are very happy to declare for the great delectation of Buddhists all over the world, that the strange word ‘Alaha’ by which the old Greek bible or the proto-Greek Aramaic Bible also known as the Peshitta manuscripts, identified the Glorious One, the Blessed One, The Supreme One, the God was nothing other than the epithet ‘Araha’ of our Buddha which even today millions of Buddhists all over the world in Buddhist countries especially, chant as a devotional hymn in praise of the Buddha.

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Thus we have solve a major part of the mystery in regard to the epithet for the Supreme Being, the glorious, sinless Lord, who is Araha – Alaha – Allah, in Buddhism, Christianity and Islam all was no other than Buddha.”

One may question us how can Araha become Alaha and more so Allah? The answer is quite simple to linguists and philologists, who are aware of the linguistic law – Rhotacism – whereby ‘R’, and ‘L’ can interchange. (Refer also, Lambdacisms)

Historians of Arabic and Jewish religions have found that Alaha, Allah and Allat had originated from the Sinai region, which is exactly the location we have identified with Suna – Aparanata of the Punna story of early Buddhist texts. So this part of the world deified ‘Buddha” with acronym Allah.

Let us now turn to the other problem, the most baffling question of the etymological origin of the word ‘God’. We have searched high and low, to solve the mystery of ‘God’. We turned our investigations into almost every available lexicon, dictionary and encyclopedia, without any avail.”

Indeed he stresses that; We can now with assurance declare that the word ‘God’ is derived from nothing else but the word ‘Buddha’, “How could that be?”

Our researches proved that this word “God” is nothing but a derivative of the word “Buddha” from the secondary formation “Boddo”, an early form, how the ancient Indo-Greeks, (also known as Bactrian Greeks), Sakas, Parthians, and Kushanas (Yue-Chih) used in their documents to name the Great Lord, Bhagavat Buddha.

They make a jaw breaking effort, yet without success and pronounce, ‘Buddha’ like ‘Buddo’ or ‘Boddo’ (‘d’ as in ‘door’ or “do”). Sometimes I got amused but often disappointed, yet I could not help it but had to tolerate their great difficulty in pronouncing the name ‘Buddha’.”

However, now I feel happy that I had the good occasion to confront with such people because this very experience has been a pointer to solve the most intriguing thing, how the mystery word “GOD” appeared in the world.

In the coins issued by early Indo-Greeks (also known as Bactrian-Greeks), Scythians, Sakas and Kushanas of West Asia who were converted to Buddhism (a few centuries after the Alexandrian conquests of Persia and other kingdoms of Middle East) have for the first time in history of Buddhist iconography, the image of Buddha on the obverse side of their coins. This numismatic evidence is like “God sent” to me, the only clue to solve the present problem of the etymological origin of “God”.

Through my recollections, how my American and Australian students pronounced the word “Buddha” during my university lectures, I managed to trace its roots in the Indo-Greek numismatics. It could be presumed that the same problem had been encountered by the western people whether they are Greeks of West-Asians. They too must have pronounced the name “Buddha” as “Boddo” and inscribed it on the reverse side of their coins. The best example is the coin issued by the great Kushana Emperor Kanishka, with a standing image of the Buddha (on the obverse) with the legend BODDO.

Araha and Allah

I am sure the Bactrian Greeks (or the Indo-Greeks) as they were called by several scholars, to distinguish them from Selcuicid Greeks) had not used the dental ‘d’ in BODDO legend of the coins that was inscribed on the obverse side. Thus Bhagavat Buddha had been introduced to West-Asia and Middle East, as a Great Superhuman being worthy of worship, under the epithet “Boddo” during the first century of the Christian era and would have possibly replaced the former ‘Araha’ -Alaha (Allah) ideal of the original Buddhism.

Thus within a century at least of the Christian era, the Buddha – Boddo – Bod – God, ideal had been established and had penetrated into the region of Sinai-Arabah where the Araha – Alaha Allah concept of the supreme sinless compassionate Lord, was prevailing.

Based on our new discovery, we do not hesitate to declare that the mystic word ‘GOD’ has gone into the Holy Scriptures of at least some of those West Asiatic people (who held Araha – Alaha – Allah as the Supreme Being) through the linguistic or philological formation of BODDO’, during the first century of the Christian era.

Jews who held “Torah” as their foremost Sacred Holy Scriptures would not have yielded to those extraneous religious texts or scriptures of the Buddhist Sects established by Punna Thera, wherein Araha, Alaha or Allah appeared variantly. This can be clearly seen in the firm stand of Jews in recognizing Jehowah (Yehoweh) as their Divine father, the Supreme Creator, right throughout from pre-Christian centuries up to now, and not Alaha or even Allah as it has gone into Aramaic and Arabic Holy Scriptures, and more so the all loving compassionate Boddo, Bod, God who they thought would not conform to their ideal of an Eternal Creator God – Jehowah who does not hesitate to punish those who go against his commandments and covenents.

There must have been bitter resentment between the two factions, namely, the priests (or priest – kings) of Jehowah worshippers and the cave dwelling eremites who rejected the Jewish torah since the days of Ven. Punna who preached the peaceful doctrine of “Araha Sambuddo” and the “Kingdom of Righteousness and baptised their newly ordained novice monks (a custom that is still being continued in Theravada Buddhist countries), and eschewed circumcision and totally opposed animal sacrifice and killing in whatever form to appease a ‘fictional’ being.

“Allat according to recent study of the complicated inscriptional evidence is believed to have been introduced to Arabia from Syria”. (Ancient Aram) With the rise in power of Jehowah faction of the primary Jewish tribes who allied with the Alexandrian Greeks

Thus the Araha – Alaha worshippers, the peace loving original Sinai people continued to stay in the region with their cave dwelling monks, later known as Essenes (may be a derivative from Suna-Sinai), performing their religious rites and obligations based on high ethical order, morality and righteousness, and safeguarding and promoting the study and practice of their original Holy Scriptures the “Peshitta”, as opposed to the Jewish Torah.

However, they too would have had to face occasional persecution according to the whim and fancy of the Jewish priest kings.

Buddhist Greek Kings

During the same period one can witness that a neo-Buddhalogy was just emerging in the former Bactrian-Greek satrapies with territorial expansion of the imperial Kushanas under the great Buddhist Emperor Kanishka (cir.first.Century,A.C.)

Bactrian Greek Kings like Minander (of Milindapanha fame) had already become devout patrons of Buddhism. The rule of emperor Kanishka gave a great impetus to Buddhism by spreading it in far away territories beyond his imperial frontiers.

It could be surmised that the “Arahan Buddha” followers were still holding on to their scriptures the “Peshitta” and the temples in the vicinity of Jerusalem.

Their presence during the pre-Christian (pre-Jesus) days can be definitely proved by the re-discovery of the famous “Dead-Sea Scrolls” in the early fifties of the present century, the scriptures that belonged to the cave and forest dwelling monks known as Essenes and written in arachic Aramaic script.

According to the scanty information that was made available to the scholarly public by those Jewish-Hebrew scholars who jealously guard the “Dead-Sea Scrolls” for nearly fifty years without publishing them, under various pretexts, these documents belonged to the monks dwelling in forest or cave hermitages and were later called Essenes.

The ‘Dead-Sea Scrolls” do not refer at all to a higher Divine Being by the name of Jehowah, unless the recent editors (who jealously guard these documents) tend to interpolate or smuggle in, the name Jehowah, in between the lines of these ancient religious scriptures written in Aramaic.

It is remarkable that without any such evidence at their disposal, as the newly discovered “Dead Sea Scrolls”, some European scholars of the early decades of the present century have suggested that the “Essenes” could be an “original forgotten Buddhist Sect.”

Although the Jews rejected “the religion of the Araha” (or Alaha), the Arabs, from the original Arabah stock, were fortunate enough to have adhered to the great doctrine found in the “Scriptures of Araha” and preserved by the monks of the Sinai-Arabah region, (the Dead-Sea region).

That is why the scholars of Islam have found it possible to declare that the concept of Allah is pre-Mohammed and had possibly derived from a religious concept got down from Sinai-Arabah area (or Israel-Palestine of the present day).” This observation confirms our derivation of Essenes from an original religious community from Sinai.

Most of the pre-Christian and later (appropriated) Islamic temple sites in Arabia as referred to above, including the famous shrine at Mecca (which was identified by the great scholar monk Ven. Dr. Pannananda Mahathera, as the Makulaka monastery of the Buddha’s day) has as the central object of worship a “Sacred stone dais”.

We wish to present a few more evidence to substantiate our thesis that the Buddha’s religion introduced to West Asia by Ven. Punna Mahathera, survived as a counter religious force to Judaic Monotheism, (in the same way original Buddhism played as a counter force to monotheistic, animal sacrificing Brahmanic Hindu religion in India) for many more centuries, preserving its originality intact until it was absorbed and assimilated into the two faiths namely. Christianity preached by Jesus Christ and Islam preached by Prophet Mohammed, yet preserving a good portion of Buddha’s original Doctrine – “Saddharma” and early Buddhist religious cults and practices like, circumambulating sacred objects of worship. erecting domes above shrines to symbolize the vastness of Buddha nature like the ‘vault of the sky’ or heavenly spheres; worshipping the great Buddha symbolically in the sacred seat or dais, fiery flame; crescent moon to remind the Buddhist Sabbath or Poya retreat; rejecting anthropomorphic images of the Supreme Buddha who is ineffable, elevating the Doctrine (Dhamma) on same part with the Great Divine Lord.

Now that we have produced substantial evidence to prove that they very name ‘God’ is a derivative of the name ‘Buddha’ through the Bactrian Greek – Saka – Scythian – Kushana word Boddo – Bod, it is incumbent on us to provide further facts to strengthen our thesis.

Jesus never preached on an everlasting, eternal heaven or Hades as is found in most other theistic religious systems. Jesus categorically denied such beliefs when He declared “heaven and earth will not last but my doctrine will last.” Jesus emphasized that everything will pass over. This is in conformity with Buddhism which declared everything is impermanent (anicca) and the ‘Doctrine’ of Nibbana the Supreme Bliss is eternal, Santana Dhamma. Jesus said, “my doctrine is not mine.”

Allah-hu-Akbar

As foreseen by the Buddha, in his admonition to Ven. Punna, ‘under violent, inhuman persecution and threats by the followers of Jehowah (the Jewish priests) of Sinaiparan (Sunaparanta) original Buddhism established by Punna Thera and his disciples and followers of the Nabatean kingdom of Arabah (around Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth) up to Sinai area, had retreated to mainland Arabia and Syria where they continued to survive as Arabs (or Beduin Arabs – Buddhist Arabs!), who build shrines with crowning domes, just like the Buddhist architectural type found in stupas (dagabas) in honor of their supreme blessed One, Alaha or Allah (or Allat) who was eventually deified as a merciful being, the Supreme Lord who is the great divine ruler (Allah-hu Akbar).

If our surmise and explanations can be justified, then it could be argued that in those Arab states where the Aramaic language prevailed, the Buddhist scriptures and practices too continued to serve with occasional changes and growth of extraneous cults and practices. That is why in every pre-Islamic Arab shrine we get domical structures which surmount the main temple like in Buddhist stupas. There are also sacred stone altars, platforms and stone daises that are the main attraction in those shrines e.g. at Jerusalem, Amrah, Petra, Mecca, etc.

Yet, we are fortunate to get a few survivals among which are early representations of the Buddha (in the exact manner how the Buddha images were carved in early sites of traditional Buddhist countries), crudely carved, e.g. the stone image of ‘Amado of Shukayamim’. According to a recent scholar this is ‘a complete statuette in the round, carved in alabaster. The modelling is done with care but the lower part of the body is quite out of proportion, due no doubt to considering the head as the most important part. The inscription of the base gives the name of ‘Ammyada’ of ‘Shukaymim’.

It could be presumed the name ‘Shukaymim’ of the figure represented in this statute as given in the archaic inscription carved out at the bottom, have preserved for posterity the revered name ‘Shakyamuni’ of Bhagavat Buddha, how the Lord Buddha is reverently addressed by the Buddhists in India, Tibet, China, Korea and Far-East as well as in Theravada countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Kampuchea, Laos, Vietnam and was also found in the earliest pillar inscription of emperor Asoka installed at Lumbini.

Thus by the time of Prophet Mohammed (cir 6th century AC), the origin of the concept of Alaha and Allah, worship was totally forgotten and shrouded in obscurity, excepting a few surviving early religious cults and scriptures handed down from generation to generation which preserved the basic tenets of former Arahat (Arahan) ideal of original Theravada Buddhism introduced by Ven. Punna, such as a high moral code (Sila), belief in rebirth in heaven and a final eternal blissful state (devaloka, brahmaloka and Nibbana), perambulating as a mode of worship (Pradaksina), wearing white clothes to signify religious sanctity (odata vasana), repeating many names of the Lord in praise of Him (nava arahadi Buduguna), no anthropomorphic images but aniconic, symbolic representations of the Lord (like a dais or altar, asana, flame of fire; foot print, dome or domical roof.)

God from Buddha

The reader of the present essay may now seek an explanation from us as to why and how the word ‘God’, if it was derived from ‘Buddha’ giving ‘Buddo-Bod’, was used by Jesus Christ and His followers had the Buddha been worshipped and was known as Araha or Alaha (and later Allah) among the West Asian countries of Aramaic speaking people including the communities with whom Jesus had moved. This was exactly a problem that had baffled us also. The answer to this problem can be found in the religio-cultural developments in the region under review.

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Had we embarked on our investigation on the origin of the word ‘God’ without understanding and analyzing the political and religious background of this region, we would not have been able to find any answer to the problems that we faced.

The period during which Buddha was preaching His ‘Saddharma’ and establishing the ‘Kingdom of righteousness’ or ‘Buddha Rajjyaya’ (Buddha Khetta) in the circa sixth century BC had witnessed the emergency of various kingdoms and their merging into powerful monarchies in and around India, e.g. China, Achaemenid Persia, Egypt, Syria, Assyria, Greece, Crete, Babylonia and the Magadha Kingdom of India.

Middle East and West Asia had witnessed the greatest impact of politico-cultural upheavals of this period, mainly because of the influx of so many people to these regions through the great international highway, the eponymous Uttarapatha (Silk Route, as some do call). We have already referred to this phenomenon. The availability of such an international trunk-route that served as quick passage for information also,

Aramaic world

By the time Jesus was born in Jerusalem, Buddhism in its stronghold kingdoms in north-west India had developed into Mahayana under the patronage of Saka-Kushana monarchs as has been explained above. The Aramaic speaking territories of pre-Christian centuries received all the inspiration from those Buddhist kingdoms and more so when emperor Kanishka expanded his territories under the Kushana empire.

Hence the change of doctrinal policy of Buddhism in these kingdoms it was natural for the ‘Aramaic world’ of West Asia also to receive its influences and impact.

Therefore it could be easily explained that Jesus Christ also had become an ardent follower of the new school of Buddhism which had powerful and rich monastic centers in the Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asian region that was the territory in the heart of the powerful Kushana Empire. This has been proved with evidence through archaeological discoveries by research scholars, who have found tangible evidence to prove Jesus’ presence in Kashmir which was the part of the great Buddhist Empire of Sakas and Kushanas both, during the first century before and after the present era.

It could be surmised that Ven. Isa or Jesus the Jew. was sent to Israel, with the backing and blessings of the powerful Mahayana Buddhist monks of the Kushana Empire who still would have had contacts with Alaha (Araha) Buddhists in Arabia and Palestine.

 

Dead-Sea Scrolls

It would be interesting to refer to the hermit monks known as ‘Essenes’ who lived in caves and grottoes around the Dead Sea region and the discovery of religious scriptures written on parchments from sanctuaries near the Dead Sea and referred to as ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’. After nearly five centuries of the establishment of Sinai (or Esseni) Buddhist Church by Ven. Punna Mahathra, it could be presumed that there could have been a substantial number of followers of the great Alaha, the supreme compassionate teacher and his peaceful ‘Doctrine of righteousness’, even at the time of Jesus, both within Israel and in Arabia Proper.

The new teachings of Jesus must have brought shock waves on traditional Jews who during the pre-Christian centuries have been successful in curbing the extraneous Peshitta Scriptures and driving out the ‘Alaha’ followers beyond their territories to mainland Arabia, although they might have tolerated or were compelled to connive at some of the Suna (Sinai) monks, later called Esenes, who followed Alaha’s Dhamma to remain within their territory as long as they confine themselves to their cave dwellings and do not interfere with Jewish mainstream religio-politics with a vibrant monotheistic creator Yheowah  orientation.

Jesus Framed

Whatever the case may be, original teachings of Jesus Christ had to face great challenges and resulted in revisions and alterations, after several synods and colloquiums held by the Christian church fathers, before being acceptable to the rulers of Rome and their religious hierarchy to become one with the “Holy Roman Empire” which proved to be not so holy.

The very word ‘Peshitta’ for the Aramaic-Christian or proto-Christian canon can be traced back to an original Buddhist word for Lord Buddha’s teachings, namely ‘Bhashita’ which means “What was spoken” or the ‘original word’, ‘Truth’ and is also known as ‘Buddha Bhashita’.

The word “Peshitta” means “straight, sincere, true that is “the Original” and given to the ancient authoritative text to distinguish if from the other Bible revisions and translations.

Persian Empire

Our contention that Buddhism in its original doctrinal form had spread along the Great Northern Highway, the Uttarapatha to several other kingdoms and regions outside India, during the very life time of the Buddha can be further substantiated if we analyze the religion of Ahura Mazda preached by Zoroaster in the Persian Empire of Achaemenids (present day Iran).

The God of Zoroaster was “Ahura Mazda”. Zoroaster was a contemporary of Gautama Buddha and was born around 570 B.C. according to ancient Iranian historiographical chronology.

The word “Ahura Mazda” has very close resemblance to “Arahan Buddha” which name had already spread beyond Arabia towards the Sinai-Jerusalem region through Ven. Punna’s mission and to the very heart of Achaemenid-Iran through the very first lay disciples of the Buddha, namely the two caravan leaders Tapassu and Bhalluka. It had been found that the birth place of Bhalluka was the township Bhalk a border township on the great trunk route Uttharapatha, close to or within the then achaemenid Empire.

The great Achaemenid (Persian) emperor Xerxes says: “That Ahura Mazda made his father Darius the Great, king of kings, while his grandfather Vishtaspa and great grandfather Rshama were both alive.

The Arab historian, Mazudi (A.C. 956), states that king Histaspas’s (Vishtaspa, grandfather of Emperor Xerxes) residence was in the city of Balkh, the capital of Bactria.

In my article on Balkh (which appeared in the “Encyclopedia of Buddhism”) and ancient site where very early Buddhist monuments have been discovered, I have referred to the fact that the first two lay disciples of Lord Buddha namely, Tapassu and Bhalluka the caravan traders, had hailed from Balkh and had come through the northern high way (Uttarapatha) to India and met the Buddha. The two brothers became the first two lay disciples of the Buddha, by surrendering themselves before the Lord (see supra).

Zoroaster a Buddhist

If the very first lay disciples of the Great Buddha were also Bactrians from Balkh, it is not unlikely that Zoroaster also had met the Buddha himself like the West Asian Ven. Punna the Arab (or Jew), who was a caravan leader himself from far away Sinai-Arabah (Suna-Apara). According to the same historian, “Zoroaster converted Vishtaspa, the father of Darius the Great and brought the kingdom under Righteousness”, also “the deliverer of the imperiled Empire with great wisdom and efficiency.”

The date of Zoroaster is further confirmed by the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus (cir. 360 A.C.), who says, “about the Magi and holy rites…. to this science the Bactrian Zoroaster made many contributions and after him the wise king Hystaspes, the father of Darius,” ….”Therefore it is possible when a date around 570-493 B.C. is assigned to Zoroaster lends some support.”

However, the above statements further confirm that Zoroaster was a Bactrian from Balkh, the place of origin of the very first, two lay disciples (Tapassu and Bhalluka) of the Buddha. Furthermore it is stated that “Airan-vej’ the place where Zoroaster was born, “was in the direction of Ataropatakan (Azervaijan).”

Ataropatakan” can easily be identified as an early Iranian term for the eponymous “Uttarapatha”, the Great Northern Highway which ran through ancient Iran via Balkh in Bactria, in north-western part of India, and connected Middle India up to Sri Lanka through Dakshinapatha (Dekkan) the Great Southern Highway.

According to Zoroaster’s biography, ‘he was taken to Ahura Mazda (Arahan Buddha) by an arch angel named ‘Vohu Manah’. It is likely that Vohu Manah may have been a great disciple of the Bhagavat Buddha. We may identify ‘Vohu Manah’ tentatively with ‘Moggalana’ the Great Buddha’s chief disciple along with Sariputta.

On the command of Ahura Mazda, Zoroaster went to meet king Vishtasp (father of the great monarch, emperor Darius) and converted him.

The above passages suggest that Ahura Mazda (Arahan Buddha) personally instructed Zoroaster at a very friendly level and that incident was not a mysterious divine intervention as some modern writers and pundits try to interpret without giving any thought to the historical background, and the political episodes that took place in the Achaemenid Imperial Court, and also the unforgettable geographical factor, the northern Highway’ Uttarapatha (“Ataropatakan” in ancient Persian), that linked northern India and Persia.

Light of Asia

As modern historians’ interpretations go Zoroaster’s founding of fire temples does not necessarily mean that the Zoroastrian religionists were fire-worshippers. They must have definitely lighted oil-lamps, and burnt incense, joysticks etc., in honor of the Great Compassionate Lord, the Bhagavat Buddha, the Supreme Light (“The Light of Asia” as Sir Edwin Arnold said, the flame of fire, the symbol how the Buddha was aniconically represented in pre-Christian art and sculpture), because Zoroaster’s teachings do not speak of fire-worship, or any invocation or incantation to a fire-god as the “Agni” cult of Indian Brahmins.

Zoroaster’s teachings are nothing but an emphasis on “Great Righteousness” like in the case of emperor Asoka’s conversion to Buddha’s doctrine of “Great Righteousness”.

Few religious terms of Zoroaster’s teachings as recorded in the Holy Text “Avesta” can easily help, even a modern day Buddhist layman, to understand the similarity of these doctrinal terms of Avesta with original Buddhist Textual terms, as for example, the selections of the book “Arda Virad” are called ‘Zad-Sparam” which can be easily compared with the Buddha’s noble Doctrine “Sad Dharma”.

The Holy Text ‘Avesta’ can be compared with the Buddhist term ‘Vastu’ or ‘Vattu’, e.g. Katha Vattu, and many Sanskrit Buddhist texts with name ending “Vastu” e.g. Maha Vastu.

The holy hymns or the stanzas of the sacred text Avesta are called ‘Gathas’ which is exactly the term used in original Buddhist texts and never found in contemporary religious texts of India or Vedic of Hindu origin.

When Zoroaster was killed, his temples and all his religious scriptures were put into flames. This shows that the killing of Zoroaster was an act of religious fanaticism. But the Doctrine of Ahura Mazda the Supreme Lord, the Great Compassionate Arahan Buddha, as we now dare to identify Him with Ahura Mazda, prevailed in Persia for nearly 300 years until the last of the Achaemenid emperors Darius II was killed and his city Persepolis, the metropolis, the metropolis of a universal emperor who ruled a vast empire from Mediterranean sea up to the Himalayas in “Righteousness”, the pride of whole Asia was totally destroyed and ruthlessly burnt with all her buildings, religious scriptures and monks and monasteries by the vicious, bellicose Alexander the Greek who set forth from Greece having murdered his own father and mustering only 20,000 (twenty thousand) foot soldiers to meet the mighty Persian army of 600,000 (six hundred thousand soldiers).

Alexander in hell

In the ancient Iranian (Persian) records, this pathetic story is mentioned thus: “Alexander had destroyed all priests and learned men and self destroyed and he fled to hell.

All these historical episodes prove beyond doubt, one salient fact, namely, although Buddhism the compassionate teachings of the Buddha for the establishment of righteousness (Saddharma) through moral order and mental culture, attracted to it vast crowds and was appealing to the intellectual community of the day, like the proto-Arabian Nabetean Kings, Syrian monarchs, emperors like Darius, Xerxes of Persia, Asoka of India, the Selcuicid and Bactrian Greek Kings like Minander (of Milindapanha fame), Kanishka the mighty Scythian-Kushana emperor, Devanampiyatissa of pre-Christian Sri Lanka, et al, and proved itself to be a great civilizing factor, yet it also proved to be a disastrous factor to great Kingdoms and empires to change from traditional jingoism to peace-making and peace-keeping with their powerful military machines put into cold-storage.

The name Abdullah also suggests that there were practicing Alaha religionists before the founding of Islam by Mohammed. It is quite obvious that Mohammed’s Islam is nothing but a revival of “Aloha’s Doctrine of Righteousness” the Saddharma of the Great Alaha (Arahan Buddha).

We believe we have marshalled sufficient evidence to prove that the Buddha was the Great Supra-human being worshipped as Alaha in pre-Christian West-Asia, which name later changed through linguistic formations into Allah from the original Buddhist concept Araha, a synonym of the Great Buddha which means the “Sinless One”, the most worthy Lord, deserving worship and veneration both by the humans as well as divine beings (Araha Sambuddo Sattadevamanussanam).

Now let us analyses Islamic (Muslim) religious textual passages for possible survivals of Buddhist concepts and parallel terms.

A noteworthy discovery is the statue of ‘Ammyad Shukaymim’ carved out of alabaster stone in the round. This statue resembles very much a Buddha image. We have already referred to the inscription on the pedestal of this statue and compared it with the name of the Buddha Shakya-Muni. Several other statues like this one in more or less worn out state have also been discovered from ancient Himyante Kingdom of South Arabia dating from pre-Christian centuries up to the 6th century A.C. (cir: 115 B.C.-525 A.C.)

The chapters of Holy Quaran are called ‘Surah’ which is quite identical with the Buddhist term Sutra (Sutta) for chapters or separate sermons or for the entire Buddhist Sutta Pitaka.

The practice of worship with circumambulation of sacred objects of shrines in Islam has its origin in early Buddhism in the practice of “Pradaksina”. This practice is said to have revived and re-instituted by Mohammed himself at such holy places like Sakhra in Jerusalem temple and Kabah Mecca temple.

In the present research study I have ventured to trace historical evidence based on literary and archaeological data to substantiate further our original hypothesis, that is, Buddhism was introduced to Middle-East and West-Asia (Arabia-Persia-Syria-Palestine-Israel, the Sinai Arabah in ancient documents, etc.) during the very lifetime of the Buddha.

Dead Sea Scrolls

We wish to add a further note regarding the original site that we have identified with the story of Punna Thera, that is the region around the ‘Sea of Arabah’ or ‘Dead Sea’ in Palestine where scholars have yielded some very valuable documentary evidence known as the “Dead Sea Scrolls” as far back as the early fifties of the present century.

We now suspect and our suspicion is not without justification, that these ancient documents from Dead-Sea cave temple sites have also something to do with original Buddhist missionary activities conducted by the pioneer Jewish, Arab, Buddhist monk, the noble Thera Ven. Punna.

These ancient documents speak of a leader or teacher of righteousness, who is the head of the eremites of the Qumran group of caves. This teacher of the Qumran group was addressing his adversary, the Wicked priest of Jerusalem.

The editors of these documents say: “we really don’t know who is speaking and who is being addressed”.

Another statement of the modern editors is as follows: “The third section of the MMT states that, ‘we have separated ourselves from the multitude of the people”, but it is uncertain whether this recalls a separation of the Qumran Sectarians from the mainstream Judaism as represented by the temple authorities in Jerusalem or some internecine dispute with the sect itself. It is not even, entirely clear that the ‘they’ group and the ‘You’ group are the same.”

According to our researches given in the present study the reader will not find it difficult to identify who these two groups are, the ‘they’ and the ‘you’ groups.

We may add emphatically that the ‘they’ group represents the wicked Jewish priests of Jerusalem who relentlessly opposed the Peshitta-Alaha ‘we’ group of the Sinai (Essenes) Buddhist patriarchs.

However the modern editors have, got a remarkable guess in regard to the ‘we’ sect when they say: ‘In some ways they look like Essenes”, thus giving a final approval, as it were to our thesis.

Mahinda Weerasinghe

24.10.2014

Author of : Origin of species According to the Buddha

රනිල් දිනය්  ද ?

October 31st, 2014

ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න.

 ධර්මපාල තුමාටත්   රටෙන්  යන්නට වැඩ කල ඩී  එස් ප්‍රමුඛ  එ  ජා  පයේ  අ  ය සියට 30 -40 රටේ ඉන්නවිට    , සිංහල බෞද්ධ  පුනරුදයක්  ඇති කරමින් සිටි සෝම හාමුදුරුවොත්  නැතිවී ගිය විට   ජාතික වාදී පක් ෂත්  එකතු නොවන විට  බටහිරයෝ දෙමල බෙදුම් වාදීන්ට උදව් කරන විට  රනිල් දිනන්නත් බැරි නැත.

ගැටඹේ හිමි ”””ද්‍රෝහියා ”’ යය කීවේ රනිල් ගේ මාමා වන ජේ ආර් ට  වුවත් රනිල්  දෙගුණයක් ද්‍රෝහීයෙක්   ක් බව නොදන්නේ කනවා බොනවා හැර ඉතිහාසයක් නොදන්නා එ  ජා පාක්ෂිකයෝ පමණි.

රටටම හොරෙන් කොටි  සමග  ගිවිසුම් ගසා රට පාවාදුන් හොරෙකුට  වුනත් චන්ද දෙන්නට මිනිස්සුන්ට හිතෙන්නේ අපේ කරුමයටම නොව  මහින්දලාගේ අයගෙත් දූෂණ ඉහවහා ගොස් ඇති නිසාය.

මහින්ද  ගේ පුතාලට   ලම්බෝගිනිය.  ජනතාවට බඩගිනිය  බඩගින්න වදිවෙනවිට  හොරකම් ගැන තරහ එනවිට  ජනතාව මබ්බෝ ද  විය හැක.

 මම  අලුත් දතක් දමා ගන්නට මහරගම දත් වෙදදුරෙක් ලඟට ගොස් වැඩේ අවසානයේ  ”””” කොච්චර කල් මේ දත තියෙය් ද  ඩො ක් ටර් ”””  කියා ඇසුවේ  ගනන  සැ ර නිසා මය.  උත්තරය මෙසේය.””””” රනිල් ජනාධිපති වෙනකම් ””””’මම ඉන්සෑ හීමට පත්වුනෙමි.  

මෙවරත් රනිල් පරදින බව  ඉන් මා තුල විශ්වාසයක් ඇතිවිය.

මහින්ද හරි පාරේ ගෙනයාම ජාතික වාදීන්ට බාරය. නැත්නම් ඔහු දිනුවත් වැඩක් නැත. 13a  අහෝසි කර පළාත් සභා අහෝසිකරන තුරු   රට ගොඩ එන්නේ නැත.   හොඳ එකෙක් කී පාරක් ඉල්ලුවාම මොකද දෙය්යනේඑක්වරක් දෙවරක්   චක්කරේ  කියා කියා ඉඳල හරියන්නේ නැහැ  13  අහෝසි නොකලොත්    

සරත් එන්. සිල්වා, අනුර දිසානායක සමඟ අතුරලියේ රතන හිමි ජනපති මහින්දට එරෙහි වේදිකාවේ..(ජනාධිපති මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතාට ජනාධිපතිවරණය සඳහා තුන්වරක් තරඟ කිරීමට බැරි බැවින් නීති විරෝධී ජනාධිපතිවරණ නොපත්වන ලෙස බල කරමින් ඊයේ නුගේගොඩදී පැවති ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය සඳහා ජනතා ව්‍යාපාරයේ විරෝධතා රැස්වීම සඳහා ජාතික හෙළ උරුමයේ සභාපති අතුරලියේ තරන හිමියන්ද එක්විය.) 

Fast food – Pay one price and eat as much as you like, WOW!

October 31st, 2014

Dr Hector Perera         London

Unlike the present day, fast food is everywhere, no waiting to cook, one can get it without delay from so many places or home delivered hot hot in no time. The weather may be rain or shine, you get the meals to the doorstep. Some people say it’s cheap, tasty and saves time in cooking. Sometime ago this kind of food was not so common in Sri Lanka but now the things are changed for better or worse, the best thing is you decide. I think an occasional treat in moderation cannot do any long term harm but the problem is the people get quickly addicted to those kinds of food. Most of the fast food contain SOS that is sugar, oil and salt in excess amounts to make it more adorable or palatable and addictive to fast foods. Also don’t forget they put additives, colourings and so many different sweet or sour sources as well at no charge.

Eating fast food is a kind of addiction

A study in 2003 controversially suggested that fast food was as addictive as heroin due to the sugar and fat content, and that some people simply couldn’t stop eating it because their bodies craved the taste. Perhaps they think it’s worth to starve a few hours until they get the favourite meals at the takeaways so they drop into takeaways on their way to work or to school and even some University students often eat those kinds of food.

It was also suggested that eating these foods created what they described as ‘pleasure chemicals’ in people susceptible to the addiction. This theory could well be borne out by the 2008 survey that showed 44% of Americans and 45% of Brits didn’t think they could give up their fast food fix because it tasted so good, any survey to modern Sri Lankans?

Dial a pizza, Indian or Chinese

People are paid to drop countless takeaway leaflets through letterboxes up and down the country, so there’s no shortage of numbers to dial if you want pizza, Indian, Chinese or any other delicacy that can be delivered. Too many people take these leaflet distribution as an easy job, no experience or qualifications are required, just drop leaflets through the letter boxes. Some lazy leaf distributors dump most of the leaflets in paper recycle bins and pretend to their boss that all delivered. Those leaflets display a variety of food including the dial up number and the prices so it becomes an easy way to get a meal any time. If money is not in hand they take credit cards and they are delivered in a matter of minutes to your doorstep. Sometimes they give a large bottle of fizzy drinks as a bonus when you order some food for more than two people. Eat it from the box and you won’t even have to do any washing up!

Takeaway deliveries even in Colombo

One might say that kind of fast food home delivery service is limited to Western world but the fact is currently to any part of Colombo they deliver those takeaway food. Some people visit Sri Lanka from other countries on short holidays and during that time, they are not prepared to cook at the place where they stay for a short period, instead either eat out or get some food delivered. Most of them not prepared to stay with relatives or with friends due to various reasons so they choose to stay in short let flats and apartments, then they are free of commitments.

 Once we were coming along Galle road then we inquired from the taxi driver about any decent places to eat. I think it was somewhere near Mt Lavinia, just by the road side, so one cannot miss the place. Then he took to a place where one pays a fixed price to eat as much as one could eat. One good thing about their adverts was, they clearly displayed the price, Eat as much as you like” for this price. There was rice and curries on the menu so we felt like home meals. It was a perfect buffet, just serve yourself whatever you want then sit down. Sometimes they help in bringing drinks as well so who is not tempted to go there again? There were far too many varieties of curries and rice prepared in few different ways such as fried rice, plain rice and yellow rice.

Is this another kind of fast food service?

That is not all then there were different desserts such as watalappam, fruit salads and ice creams. What about fresh fruits such as pineapples, mangoes and bananas as well included. The question is how much one can eat to feel comfortable? If necessary tea and coffee as well are also served. Who would not be tempted to come back again to the same place? Is that is another kind of fast food service?

It’s Convenient

Gone are the days where most mums were at home with the kids and could spend time preparing every day’s meal from scratch. Most households now have both parents, and the lone parent out at work, and time poor parents tend to rely on convenience foods after a long day.

Frozen and chilled ready meals can be bought cheaply from many supermarkets, and save the cost of individual ingredients as well as cooking and preparation time. Some ready meals can be even bought in a can ready to be heated in a saucepan. Quick, cheap and easy. It’s not that we don’t want to cook when we get home – it’s just that by the time we do get back from a day in the office, or wherever, we don’t have time.

More and more people live alone, too, so there’s more reliance on meals for one and eating out instead of cooking a meal from fresh ingredients just to sit and eat it alone in front of the television. Lifestyles have changed to make home cooking a luxury for most of us, while throwing something in the microwave or ordering in seems like the better, faster option! Most of the University students eat nothing but takeaways.

Teens and fast food

With a different study (Eating Among Teens, involving data from 2,500 teens, also from the University of Minnesota) showing an increase in the amount of fast food that America’s teens are eating, it’s crucial that the right messages are being sent.

Teens and college students, in particular, are unlikely to listen to don’t eat fast food because it’s bad for you”. Now as a rule no takeaway or fast food places are allowed to function or open up to a certain distance from schools otherwise the children run away even during the short intervals to these places.

Many reasons why choose fast food and risking health

Eating junk food regularly is linked to obesity and chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, but many people still choose junk food sources over their healthy, nutritious whole food counterparts. Junk food is typically cheap, processed and pre-packaged, making it easily available, but there are several psychological motivators that predispose people to choosing it as a meal or snack.

Desperate to eat

Busy schedules often diminish the amount of time people have to prepare healthy, nutritious meals, so they opt for faster, easier options. Whole foods such as vegetables and meat take time and kitchen equipment to cook properly, while fast food hamburgers are usually served within minutes of ordering. Over time, that convenience becomes a habit and eventually a perceived necessity to keep up with such a fast-paced society. Disrupting that routine requires an investment of time, and most people prefer to stick with the faster option.

Easing anxiety

A peripheral result of this fast-paced culture is increased levels of stress and anxiety. Increased stress levels cause the body to expend more energy, stimulating hunger for calorie-dense sustenance and driving people to eat fatty, sugary junk food. High levels of anxiety also cause people to seek out junk food as a means of comfort. When stressed, people look for ways to calm themselves, and junk food’s positive effects on the reward centre of the brain make it a comforting go-to choice.

Suffering from lack of sleep

There is also evidence to suggest that sleep deprivation motivates people to choose junk foods over healthy foods. They are tempted to watch far too many films and late night programmes so they get lack of time to sleep and rest. Many years ago there was just the radio as the entertainment but now there are far too many channels to watch too many films.

Just wait for 3D TV

I still remember Karunaratne Abeysekera’s one children’s programme called Lamapitiya”. We just had to visualise things because it was just a radio show. Then there was Muwan Palessa”, a real drama but still over the radio. One person called Kadira” was a real entertainer with his accent and the shot gun. I am sure many enjoyed that kind of radio shows but now more than 150 channels of TV, far too many to choose. Even if one watched one minute a channel, how long it takes to see all? How about 3D TV programmes, it’s on the way, just wait.

May be after a hard day’s work, they get an excuse to watch late night movies then hardly any time to sleep. When sleep is restricted, the primal reward centre of the brain becomes more active while executive functions of the frontal lobes become more suppressed. This effectively diminishes willpower, making people more likely to seek out foods high in fat and sugar, which are logically poor choices that trigger the reward centre.

Chemicals in food make you addicted

People may also choose junk food simply because they have developed a mild physical dependence on it. Studies show that binge eating foods high in sugar or fat results in neurochemical changes in the brain similar to those that develop in drug addiction. According to a study published in Physiology and Behaviour” in October 2011, rats that habitually eat foods high in sugar and fat mentally crave more of those substances and experience withdrawal-like symptoms if they do not get access to it. After developing the habit, people may be neuro-chemically driven to choose junk food.

Who eats the most fast food?

A survey from the journal Obesity, they found that younger people, singles and males ate more fast food than older people, married couples and women. They also found that people who think fast food is convenient, and those who dislike cooking, were considerably more likely to eat fast food. Interestingly, people who thought fast food was unhealthy ate as much of it as those who didn’t think this.

The researchers believe that this indicates the current health messages just aren’t making an impact, they know very well but they just don’t care.

These findings suggest public education regarding the unhealthfulness of fast food may not influence fast food consumption. Interventions targeting the issue of convenience and quick or efficient preparation of nutritious alternatives to fast food could be more promising.

How to cut down fast food

Perhaps nutritional bodies and concerned adults should be putting forward more positively framed messages. Home cooked food can be just as cheap as fast food and much better for you. Anyone can learn to cook. You can prepare a nutritious snack or meal in minutes. Unlike in the past now there are ingredients in convenient packs and bottles. I know in the past our servants had to work so hard to grind the ingredients on so called Mirisgala” but now simple electrical gadgets do the job in a matter of minutes. If you are too lazy to cut the vegetables into smaller pieces such as carrots, potatoes and onions or even Mukunuwenna”, just choose the correct machine to do the job. If one cuts coconut kernel into small pieces then put into a liquidiser, you can get the same job as done by Hiramonae” but much quicker and easily. There are grinders, slicers and liquidisers to meet your requirements so why not try some home cooking?

Our servants back home struggled in firewood stove kitchens to cook food but now gas and electric cookers, ovens, grill cooking and many more gadgets and facilities are at your service. Once you invest on that kind of kitchen appliances you would soon realise the benefits. If the parents and adults didn’t motivated their growing up children to cook something healthy, they might get tempted to eat junk food when they went for further education in Universities.  Your comments are welcomed perera6@hotmail.co.uk

මක්කම යන්නේ මක්කටද

October 31st, 2014

ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න

ඉස්ලාම් නොවන අ  ය මරා දමා  දෙව්ලොව යන්නට මගක් කොරානයේ තිබියදීත් මුස්ලිම් වරු  මක්කම ගොස් ගලක් ඉඹලා  එන්නට යන්නේ   එසේ මරන්නට තමසිත් කළුගල් මෙන් තද කරගන්නටද .මේ  අයට   එකාරිය කරගන්නට බෞද්ධ මහින්ද ජනපති ආධාර කරනවලු. සිංහලේ   ෂරියා නීති හදන්නට  හකීම් පත් කර ඇත්තෙත් ඒ නිසා විය හැක. මහින්ද චින්තනයේ  බොහෝ අඩුපාඩු ඇතිබව නම් දැන් හොඳටම පැහැදිලිය. එය අපේ උරුමයට නොපෑහෙ .

ජාතික වාදීන් මේ ගැන මහින්ද දැනුවත් කර  සුමගට ගත යුතුමය. ළඟදී කෝවිලක  උඩුකය නිරුවත්ව නළලේ අළු ගාමින් සිටි බෞද්ධ මහින්ද ජනපති ගේ පින්තූරයක් මම පත්තරේ  දුටුවෙමි. කෝවිල් ගියේ  උදේ පන්සිල් ගෙන  ”මට වෙන අන් සරණක් නැත”’ යන  තරුම ඇති පාලි ගාථාව  කියා විය හැක. පාලියේ කියූ නිසා තේරුම නොදන්නවා වියහැක.

පිරිත් නූලක් බැඳ ගැනීමට පන්සලට ආවිට  හාමුදුරුවරු  මෙහි තේරුම ඔහුට කියා දුන්නොත්  හොඳය.   තිස්ස අත්තනායක  ඉල්ලා අස්වීමදී රූන් කියා ගියේ තිරුපති කොවිලටය . සාය්  බබා සිටිද්දී  බොහොමයක් බෞද්ධ නායකයෝ  දිව්වේ  එහිය.  අළු පිටින්ම  පන්සලටද ගියහ .හාමුදුරුවරු  උන්ට බුදු දහම කියා නොදී  පිරිත්  නූල් පමණක් බැන්දාහ.ඒ ඒ ආගම්  ඒ ඒ අ  යටය.හැම ආගමටම ගරු කරමින් තමන්ගේ ආගමට අනුකූලව පමණක්   වත් පිළිවෙත් කරන  සිංහල බෞද්ධ නායකයෙක් අපට අවශ්යය .

එබඳු අයෙක් වහාම ඕනෑ   කරතිබේ .  2015 ජනවාරියට පෙර අයදුම් කරන්න.     ඉ    තා   හ   දි  සි  ය් . ඉල්ලුම් කරුවෝ බොදු බල සේනාව ඉදිරි යේ දිවුරුම් දිය යුතුය් (. දිවුරා බොරු කරන  යට   අබසරනය්)

  මේ පත විපත  තේ වත්තේ රැඳී  ඇත

October 31st, 2014

ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න

කඳු කඩා වැටී  මහා විශාල විපතක් සිදුවී ඇත. තව ඉදිරියේ දී තවත් මෙවන්  විපත්  සිදුවනු නොඅනුමානය.  සුද්දා අපේ කලේ එළිකර  වාණිජ වගා වැව්වේ  නැත්නම්  අද මේ සුඛෝපභෝගී  යාන වාහන  හා සැපසම්පත්  අපට කොයින්දය් අසන අමන රැ ළට භූ   විද්‍යාඥයින්ගේ  අදහස්  තේරෙන්නේ නැත . බුද්ධියක්  තියා  උගත් කමක්  පවා නැති උන්ට මොන ප්‍රග්නාවක්ද. එහෙත් ජ වී . පෙ    විජේවීර ලා නම්  ඒ  දවස් වලත්  කන්දේ    මේවා ගැන කියාදී ඇත,

කන්ද විලිවසා ගන ඉන්නේ  කැ ලේ නමැති රෙ ද්දෙනි. මුළු සිරුරම  හැකිතරම් ආවරණය  රෙද්ද ඉවත් කර  යට ඇඳුම ක් වැනි තේ පඳුරු පමණක් ඉතිරි කල විට  වහින වැස්සට සකල සර්වාංගයම තෙතබරිවී  සියල්ල නගන වෙය් . එපා එකත් ඕ නෑ  එකත් විනිවිද පෙනෙන තත්වයට පත්වෙය්.

ලැජ්ජාවට පත්වෙන කඳුකර කොමලිය  බිම පෙරලි පෙරලී  හඬා  වැටෙය්. මහා ජලාශ  තැනූ  ප්‍රදේශවල  පොලොව  ඉරිතලමින් ඇත  භූ විද්‍යාඥ  විතානගේ වැනියවුන්  මේවා කිරීමේ විපාක  බොහෝ කලකට පෙරම පෙන්වා දුන්නද  අපේ කාලකන්නින්ට අවශ්‍ය වුනේ  බට හිරයන්  උජාරුවට පෙන්වන සංවර්ධනය  නම් වූ විසන්වර්ධනය  මගින් ජනතාවට   අබින් කැවීමෙන්  මුසපත් කිරීමය.

සුද්දා කලේ  අපේ රට  විනාශවෙන දේමය. සුද්ද පිට  ඒකාය  අපේ උන් සුද්දගේ ලනු කා රට විනාශ කරමින්  සුද්ද නැත්නම් අපි තවමත් වැ ද්දෝයය් කින විට උහුලාගෙන සිටිය හැකිද.

යොදා අලෙ වංගු වැඩිය එය දිග හරිය උන් කෑ වෙත්  සුද්දගේ අධ්‍යාපන ලනුවය.  සුද්ද කදු ගන්න ගල නොවිද්දේ නම් නුවර උන් කොලඹ බලල හමාරය්  කියන ගොන්නාම්බන්  හෙවත් තකතීරු ද්‍රෝහීන්  කියවියුතු පොතක්  එක මහාචාර්ය වරියක් ලියා ඇත. ඒ පොත  ලංකාවේ ඉපැරණි මහා මාර්ග  ගණය .

විජය බාහු  දෙපැත්තකින් පොලොන්නනරුව  වට කලේ  අහසින් නොවේ. ගැමුණු    විජිතපුර ගියේ  මුහුදෙන්ද ? සන්දේශ  කාව්‍ය  ව ල  පක්ෂීන් ගිය මාර්ග  ගැන   කිසිවක්  මේ  අමනයෝ  දනීද. සිංහල  කමට   ගරහමින්  තව තවත්   නොමග ගියොත්  සි දුවන්නේ රට  විනාශ වීමය ගැමුණුකුම   රු  සැඟවුන ගමේ  ගෙවල් ඉරි තාලන්නට  පටන්ගත්තේ  මීට වසර 20 කටත්  පෙරය   

PART I:  HOW KISSING A BACK STONE IN MEKKA IS NOT IDOL WORSHHIPPING; IT IS SOMTHING ENTITRELY UN-DEFINABLE AND UNMENTIONABLE, LIKE A FOUR LETTER WORD!

October 31st, 2014

Mahinda Weerasinghe

PART I (OF III PARTS) CURIOS AND UNHINGED  ISLAMIC MIND SET!

Prophet Muhammad claimed that the black stone was sent down by Allah to give the precise location of where the Kabah was to be built.

The Muslim commentators of the connected fairy tale of ‘Adam and Eve’ are of the opinion that;

The story as related in the Qur’an of Adam and Eve is, though it is similar in many as found in the surviving remnants of the previous scriptures, yet has some important principles differ.

 God created Adam, fashioning him from clay. He breathed the soul into Adam, and did the same thing to his wife, Eve.”…

Hold on now, how on earth did she happen to be his wife, before eating the forbidden fruit?   So did this God declare both are husband and wife at this point of time? But even then that is impossibility for if so they should be having intercourse from the start…?  For that’s what the newlywed do!

After they started reproducing there must have been incest for the sons should also sleep with the mother in order to get this population on its feet with brothers and sisters and mother! Remember she was the one and only women created by this peculiar God. From then on incest was a fact of life?

Looks to me as if the creator of this myth has not thought this tall story thoroughly before feeding this miss mash to the gullible Arabs!

And the rest of this tall story is explained in such an illogical manner, it seems that;

The Muslims go on to inform God allowed them to dwell in Paradise with free will. God said to the angels, Bow down to Adam” (They did so in a form of respect, not worship). Satan was present among the angels, though he was not one of them. He was of the jinn, a race of beings possessing free will that God created before Adam from a smokeless flame of fire. When God ordered the angels and those in their company to bow down to Adam, they all did so except Satan, who refused out of pride and arrogance, claiming to be better than Adam because he was created from fire, whereas Adam was created from clay.”

Indeed ‘Islam does not give Satan any share of God’s divinity. It does not attribute to him any godlike or divine qualities. Islam rejects the notion that Satan went to war with God and took a third of the hosts of Heaven with him. Satan is an avowed enemy of humanity, but he is merely a creature, absolutely dependent upon God for his very existence.’

 Can anyone understand the logic of such arguments or the following ones?

The following is a summary of the trial of Adam and Eve in Paradise: They enjoyed perfect freedom and happiness in Paradise. God told them to eat of the fruits of the Garden with pleasure and delight as they pleased. He forbade them from approaching one tree, and warned them that if they did, they will both be of the wrongdoers. Satan came and deceived them, saying that God only forbade them from eating of that tree because it would make them immortal or they would become like the angels. They were thus deceived by Satan and ate of the tree.”

The story is so absurd and confusing even kindergarten children would not believe it today!

Then Adam and Eve felt shame. They turned to God in sincere repentance and God, The All-Forgiving, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful, forgave them. Islam clearly rejects the concept of original sin, or the notion that all humans are born sinners because of the actions of Adam. No human shall ever bear the burden of another (for God is The Just). Every human being is responsible for his or her actions and is born as a Muslim, pure and free from sin. It is important to note that Islam does not place the blame on Eve. Both Adam and Eve had free will. Both of them ate of the tree. Their sin and disobedience was a joint venture. Islam rejects the idea that women are wicked temptresses or cursed with the burden of menstruation and pain of childbirth due to the sin of Eve.”

 Then it seems;

God removed Adam and Eve from Paradise and made them dwell on earth. God had earlier said to the angels that He was placing a new being on earth. Earth is where God, from the time of creation, in His timeless knowledge, wanted us to be.”

Just connect to Muslim version of Adam and Eve in the Internet’, and you will find tons of such absurd story farfetched and fanciful!!!

How bowing to the Kabah is NOT bowing to an idol, or going round a stone and kissing a stone does not make them idol worshippers, it simply makes them stone kissers!

Indeed Prophet Muhammad claimed that the stone was sent down by Allah Almighty to, to give the precise location of where the Kabah was to be built by Abram and Ismail. They insist that Prophets Abraham and Ishmael built the Kabah.  Western Scientists have confirmed that the black stone, which resides near the Kabah in the Holy City of Mecca, is an outside METEORITE OBJECT!

So what?    No names of such Western Scientists are given?

These Muslim thinkers inform that ‘while there are traditions about kissing or touching the Stone, its real significance is as marker of the point at which one starts the Tawaaf (circumambulation of the Kabah as part of hajj or omra.)  Even the traditions which talk about kissing or touching the stone are VERY CLEAR that the Stone is JUST A STONE!

 ‘Natural they can kiss a stone and call it a stone but Buddhists venerate a figure cut from stone mind not kissing it and the Prophet Request believers to kill them for such venerating practice? So where is the logic in this religion of peace?

The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war on nonbelievers. 

And especially idol worshippers should be dealt with summarily. In fact they are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding.  Muslims who do not join the fray are called ‘hypocrites’ and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join in the slaughter.

Indeed, Prophet Muhammad not only continued observing certain pagan practices such as kissing and touching the black stone even after his alleged prophetic ministry had also begun, also kissing it, mind after Allah has spoken to him!

What is the purpose for doing so!

Some of the believers also were truly confused, by his conflicting and contradictory actions?

Here are some of the documented stone kissing and loving instances…. not only by the believers but the prophet himself?

Ibn ‘Umar said: “Allah’s Messenger faced the Black Stone, touched it, and then placed his lips on it and wept for a long time.” ‘Umar also wept for a long time. The Prophet said: ‘O ‘Umar, this is the place where one should shed tears.”’ (Reported by Al-Hakim, who considers it a sound hadith with a sound chain of authorities)

BUKHARI:

Volume 2, Book 26, Number 667: 

Narrated ‘Abis bin Rabia:  Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said “NO DOUBT, I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A STONE AND CAN NEITHER BENEFIT ANYONE NOR HARM ANYONE. Had I not seen Allah’s Apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you.”  

Volume 2, Book 26, Number 675:

Narrated Zaid bin Aslam from his father who said:  “Umar bin Al-Khattab addressed the Corner (Black Stone) saying, ‘BY ALLAH! I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A STONE AND CAN NEITHER BENEFIT NOR HARM. Had I not seen the Prophet touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you.’ Then he kissed it and said, ‘There is no reason for us to do Ramal (in Tawaf) except that we wanted to show off before the pagans, and now Allah has destroyed them.’ ‘Umar added, ‘(Nevertheless), the Prophet did that and we do not want to leave it (i.e. Ramal).”

MUSLIM:

Book 007, Number 2914: 

Abdullah b. Sarjis reported:  I saw the bald one, i. e. ‘Umar b. Khattib (Allah be pleased with him). kissing the Stone and saying: BY ALLAH. I AM KISSING WITH FULL CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE FACT THAT YOU ARE A STONE AND THAT YOU CAN NEITHER DO ANY HARM NOR GOOD; and if I had not seen Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) kissing you. I would not have kissed you. The rest of the hadith is the same.

Its been commented that At hajj time you are actually unlikely to see the Black Stone: Masjid Al-Haram is just two crowded.  There is a line on the floor of the Masjid to tell you where the line of the Black Stone is.  Many hajis must perform Tawaaf NOT on the Kaaba floor but on the SECOND OR THIRD STORIES of the Majid Al-Haram!

  It is Sunnah to perform certain acts in tawaf as given below:

Facing the Black Stone at the start of the tawaf while uttering a takbir (Allahu-Akbar), and a tahlil (La ilaha illahlah), and raising one’s hands as they are raised in prayers, and if possible touching it with both hands and kissing it quietly, or placing one’s cheek on it. Otherwise, one may touch it with one’s hand and kiss the hand, or touch it with something, and then kiss it, or if even that is not possible, one may just point to it with a stick, etc. as is mentioned in some of the hadith given below.

It is reported by Ibn ‘Abbas that ‘Umar bent down towards the Black Stone and said: “By Allah! I know that you are A MERE STONE, and if I had not seen my beloved Prophet kissing you and touching you I would have never done so.” The Qur’an says: “You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct).”‘ (Qur’an 33.32) This was reported by Ahmad and others in slightly different words.

Nafi’ said, “I have seen Ibn ‘Umar touching the Black Stone with his hand, and then kissing his hand and saying: ‘Ever since I saw the Prophet doing this, I have never failed to do that.”’ (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)

Sowayd bin Ghaflah said: “I have seen ‘Umar kissing the Black Stone and touching it.” He further said: “I know that the Prophet was especially very particular about it.” (Muslim)

Ibn ‘Umar reported that Allah’s Messenger used to come to Ka’bah, touch the Black Stone and then say: Bismillahi wallahu akbar (In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest.)” (Ahmad)

Muslim has reported on the authority of Abu Tufail that he said: “I have seen the Prophet making tawaf around the Ka’bah and touching it with a stick and then kissing the stick.”

Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Daw’ud reported that ‘Umar approached the Black Stone and kissed it. Then he said: “I know that you are A MERE STONE that can neither harm nor do any good. If I had not seen the Prophet kissing you, I would have never kissed you.”

Al-Khatabi said: “This shows that abiding by the Sunah of the Prophet is binding, regardless of whether or not we understand its reason or the wisdom behind it.”

Such information devolves obligation on all those whom it reaches, even if they may not fully comprehend its significance. It is known, however, that kissing the Black Stone signifies respect for it, recognition of our obligation toward it, and using it as a means of seeking Allah’s blessings. Indeed Allah has preferred some stones over others, as He preferred some countries and cities, days and nights, and months over others. The underlying spirit of all this is unquestioning submission to Allah.

In some abadith which say that ‘the Black Stone is Allah’s right hand on earth’, we do find, however, a plausible rationale and justification for this statement. In other words whosoever touches the Black Stone he pledges allegiance to Allah, as it were, by giving his hand into the hand of Allah, just as some followers do pledge their fidelity to their kings and masters, by kissing and shaking hands with them.

Al-Muhallib said: “The hadith of ‘Umar refutes the assertions of those who say that ‘The Black Stone is Allah’s right hand on earth wherewith He shakes the hands of His slaves.”‘ God forbid that we should ascribe any physical organs to Allah [sic]. The commandment to kiss the Black Stone is meant to test and to demonstrate palpably as to who obeys and submits. It may be compared with the command to Iblis to bow to Adam.

We have no definite evidence, however, to believe that any of the stones used in building the Kabah originally (by Ibrahim and Ismail), is still in existence today excepting the Black Stone.

In fact most people including the Muslim followers    of Prophet Mohamed’s actions!

There is no rhyme or reason for his actions of kissing a stone it seems?

Yet in fact there is especially valid reason for his actions, and I will led bare logic behind prophets actions in Part III . In fact by elucidating the whole logic of this religion of peace, which is now un-peacefully accelerating in its decline and imploding into pieces.  Naturally the believers should understand that there is no halfway house?  In other words nitpicking and one should  either believe or not that is the question.

Mahinda Weerasinghe

28.10.2014

Author of : Origin of species According to the Buddha

THE BANKRUPT opposition

October 31st, 2014

Nalin de Silva

Only some middle class elements living around Colombo city limits would be thinking of a UNP President next year. They would be imagining various scenarios including an insurgency with the help of the JVP during the period after the first count. The JVP has already begun implementing their plans claiming that the forthcoming election is illegal whatever it means. They are with Sarath Nanda Silva and claim that Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot contest for a third time. However, it is not clear how the Presidential elections would become illegal simply because Mahinda Rajapaksa contests for a third time. Who has the jurisdiction to decide whether the election is legal or not? Is it a former Chief Justice or the leader of the JVP?

We do not know what would be the final outcome at the Supreme Court decision but if the Courts decide that Mahinda Rajapaksa could contest a third time then no matter what the JVP thinks the Presidential elections would be legal. The JVP wants to create the impression that the elections are illegal and organize street fights. The JVP leader has requested the UNP not to contest as the Presidential elections are illegal. It is very unlikely that the UNP would agree with the JVP leader on that and the party most probably would field Ranil Wickremesinghe as one of the so called common candidates.

Street fights

However, the JHU, at least the Ven. Rathana faction, is also of the opinion that the Presidential elections are illegal, and they are supposed to have discussions with Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera on a common candidate. If a political party is against the presidential elections they could boycott the elections. However, if the party is only against Mahinda Rajapaksa contesting the election then they could field a common or uncommon candidate against Mahinda Rajapaksa. The JVP is boycotting the presidential elections with ulterior motives. As we have said they are interested in capturing power, meaning Anura Dissanayake being made the President of the country, through street fights.

The UNP on the other hand wants to contest the Presidential elections with as many “common candidates” as possible and then force the commissioner of elections to go for the count of the second preference. During the nonagatha period we have already described in these columns the UNP wants to stage their version of street fights. They would be hoping that the JVP would not destroy their plans by resorting to premature street fights.

Yal Devi train

As it is at least a faction of the JHU would remain with the government, with Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera joining hands with Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera who is increasingly becoming isolated from the public. Ven. Sobhitha Thera has some support among a few University Academics who are associated with FUTA and some left out leftists. In the end there is a possibility that Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera would become the common candidate of this outfit.

The UNP would like to have more common candidates with the hope that Mahinda Rajapaksa would not receive fifty per cent of the valid vote in the first count. It is in this context that the UNP would oppose a candidate from the TNA or the SLMC. The UNP wants the Muslims and the Tamils to vote en bloc for Ranil Wickremesinghe. Their tactics would be focused on increasing the vote of Ranil Wickremesinghe while reducing the vote of Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, what the UNP and their advisors both local and foreign would forget is that some Muslims and some Tamils would vote for Mahinda Rajapaksa. In the final count Mahinda Rajapaksa would end up with 55 per cent of the valid vote without going for the second preference at the Presidential Elections.

The TNA has claimed that they were the people who obstructed Yal Devi going to Jaffna (probably with the help of the LTTE) and they would resort to same if the train continues to run to Jaffna. It is clear that the TNA like the UNP and the JVP has run out of slogans and they would have to consult their sponsors in UK, USA and the other Western countries. I do not mean only the dispersed Tamils in those countries but the so called statesmen as well.

The government of Sri Lanka is unlikely to accuse the Western states for their support for Tamil racism and Tamil terrorism, and they will continue to refer to the so called diaspora. The government cannot be blamed for this position as the Western states would deny their involvement in Tamil racism and Tamil terrorism. However, blaming only the dispersed Tamils (so called diaspora) is not going to help the government of Sri Lanka as there is no leadership or organisation that could be identified with the dispersed Tamils.

The government is engaged in a fight with a shadow instead of the real enemy but we have to understand its limitations. The reply to the Western states has to be given by the people at the Presidential elections by electing Mahinda Rajapaksa as the President for a third time with an overwhelming majority.

The bankrupt opposition was also exposed at the budget 2015. The opposition has no slogans and they cannot mislead the people. There are some trade unionists especially in the health sector with LTTE connections and they would resort to the lies that the LTTE is infamous for. Some of these trade unions for some time had been demanding the special living allowances paid to the public servants be added to the basic salary.

It is exactly this what the government has done in the budget 2015, with the result the basic salary of public servants increasing substantially from 2005 to 2015. With this the pension contribution, and other benefits increase as known to all the public servants. If that is not the case why did the LTTE connected and other trade unions demand that the allowances should be added to the basic salary. Was it to give the person engaged in the subject of salaries some arithmetical exercises?

To make it worse the trade unions connected with the opposition claim that the special living allowance given to the public servants in the 2015 budget is a compulsory increment that should have been provided anyway. This is as if the UNP had been giving special living allowances to the public servants when Ranil Wickremesinghe was the Prime Minister for a short period and making use of the opportunity to sign the so called ceasefire agreement with Prabhakaran under the auspices of the Western governments with Norway in the limelight.

The opposition is bankrupt and has run out of slogans and about to use the misery of those affected by the earth slip at Haputale, for their benefit. The government should make use of all the facilities available to help the victims and think more radically on the entire plantation economy. The earth slips could be avoided by transferring to some other economy and by depopulating the areas under threat as a long term remedy. The government is in a one horse race at present which is becoming boring to the public and may think of increasing the allowances of the opposition so that they could hire some slogan writers.

Lockheed Martin scientist on deathbed says aliens are real (VIDEO)

October 31st, 2014

RT

The controversial 33-minute video was made shortly before Boyd Bushman died on August 7, 2014. However, the footage has only recently emerged and is starting to garner widespread attention.

I do have a top secret clearance,” he affirms at the beginning of the video. He goes on to state that incidents such as Roswell in 1947 – when a military Air Force surveillance balloon crashed – happened at the hands of aliens.

Bushman shared details about aliens, UFOs, and anti-gravity technology – which he says is being developed by US, Russian, and Chinese scientists at Area 51 (the US military facility).

In the video, Bushman is seen holding up second-hand photo evidence” of aliens while describing them to viewers.

They were approximately four and a half to five feet tall,” the former top aerospace scientist said. They have three back bones. They’re actually cartilage,” he added, stating that they had fewer ribs than human beings. These aliens have fingers and toes like human beings.

He went on to state that their eyes and noses are different from humans, and that they are telepathic mind readers.

“They’re able to use their own voice by telepathy to talk to you,” he said. You walk in the room with one of them, and all of a sudden you find yourself giving the answer to your question in your own voice.”

Still from YouTube video

 

According to Bushman, there are two different groups of aliens.

According to Bushman, there are two different groups of aliens.

It’s like a cattle ranch,” he stated, adding that some can be up to 230 years old. One group is wranglers, and the others are rustlers – the stealers of cattle.”

Wranglers” are much more friendly and have a better relationship with us.”

Bushman seemed to have known the details of where and how those aliens live.

He claimed the creatures are inhabitants of a planet called Quintumnia. It is located 68 light-years away from Earth, yet it takes them only 45 minutes to travel to our planet. At home, they commute through telepathy, Bushman insisted.

The deceased scientist went on to say that he actually saw their homes because he gave the aliens a camera to take pictures with. It is, however, hard to say what those pictures contain because the images turned out blurry.

In another revelation, Bushman said there is a special flight path from space to Area 51, a mysterious base in central Nevada where it is believed that aliens and their spacecrafts were stored.

He added that there are Americans working on UFOs from outer space 24 hours a day, reported the Metro.

With respect to the alien craft, we have American citizens who are working on UFOs 24 hours a day,” he stated.

However, the alien seen in Bushman’s photographs is actually available to buy at Walmart, according to an investigation by Quebec station TVQC.

Full Story

http://rt.com/news/200903-aliens-lockheed-martin-pictures/

USA deliberately pushes Russia into China’s arms

October 31st, 2014

Pravda.Ru

The United States refused to negotiate with Russia on the deployment of GLONASS navigation system on its territory, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said. According to him, there are no negotiations being conducted on the subject.
“We made the statement in spring. I offered to initiate talks with the United States to deploy GLONASS infrastructure on their territory. For the time of the talks, we offered to suspend the existence of GPS stations infrastructure on the territory of the Russian Federation. The Americans, against the backdrop of sanctions, did not agree to conduct any negotiations. That is the question makes zero sense in terms of perspective,” Rogozin said, TASS reports.

As a result, he continued, Russian specialists technically excluded the possibility to use GPS stations on the Russian territory for military purposes.

“I will not expand on how we did it for obvious reasons, but we did it,” said Rogozin. “We do not want to cut off the nose to spite our face to deprive our users of the ability to work with GLONASS and GPS. Why should we create fewer opportunities for our own people? But we have completely destroyed any prospect, even an indirect one, for the use of the American navigation system for our high-precision guidance weapons,” said the official.

USA deliberately pushes Russia into China's arms. 53873.jpeg

At the same time, it was reported that Russia and China would discuss possible joint projects in the field of space exploration. According to Rogozin, the two countries cooperate in the field of space, working on “possible joint projects in the field of space exploration.” The official said that China and Russia were having a “pretty tumultuous relationship,” and “we would like to say a big thank you to Western countries for their active development.”

Chief analyst at nonprofit partnership GLONASS, Andrei Ionin, in an interview with Pravda.Ru, commented the news on the USA’s refusal to negotiate the deployment of GLONASS satellite system on the American territory.

“As a result of the refusal, Russian experts have completely excluded the technical ability to use GPS stations for military purposes on the territory of Russia. Does it mean that common people can do it, but the military can not?”

“No, the question is slightly different. It will not affect the population – no one will ban GPS in Russia. Yet, it will create inconveniences for the American side, for the bodies that manage the GPS system. This is rather a political move. That is, to effectively manage a group, it is desirable to place stations throughout the Earth’s surface. The Americans decided that in the 1990s, placing some stations on the territory of Russia, although they were formally scientific stations. No one will ban these stations, but information from them will be coming to the US GPS control center with delays, which will bring a possibility of using this information for military purposes down to zero.

“That is, it will not affect either the civil population of Russia, the world or scientists. Moreover, this is a diplomatic step, because the Americans, in my opinion, had no reasons to refuse Russia in installing such stations on their territory.

“Both GPS and GLONASS are systems of dual purpose, used by civil populations all over the globe, regardless of the country and the purpose of that use. The signal is free, which is fixed at the highest level.

“In addition, of course, the systems are used for military purposes. Each of these systems have specific signals of increased accuracy and reliability that the military use.”

Pravda.Ru


Russia won’t be lost without GPS

This is why the Russians want to tightly regulate foreign NGOs

October 31st, 2014

Courtesy The Saker

How is that for a “watch” of human right?

The fact is that western human rights organizations are below contempt. Some are political tools in the hands of the Empire (Human Rights Watch), some are full of western intelligence agents (Medecins Sans Frontieres, OSCE monitors), some are lead by cynical bureaucrats who use idealistic young delegates as cannon fodder (ICRC), some are used by big business as a tool (Greenpeace) while others are quasi-official CIA tools (NED, Freedom House, Open Society Foundation, etc.).

The funny thing in this case is that the photo is not taken in Russia, but in the Ukraine, and the riot cops shown here have Ukrainian unit badges.  But then, who cares anyway?  It’s not like “truth” is a topic that matters to HRW…

The UN Investigative Panel must probe TNA-LTTE links

October 30th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

The UN Investigative Panel must probe TNA-LTTE links

The UN investigative panel was mandated to conduct investigation during the period of the LLRC. That was between 2002 and 2009. The UNHRC has given itself an additional two years. With the LTTE designated as a foreign terrorist organization and following Sri Lanka proscribing 16 LTTE fronts and declaring 424 individuals incorporating the UNSC Resolution 1373 as supporting LTTE terrorists and with the UN Security Council Counter Terrorism Committee head in Colombo, the UNHRC cannot omit from investigation and comment in its March 2015 report the links between LTTE and the Tamil National Alliance and the LTTE Tamil Diaspora now banned.

 

LTTE TNA

Allegations against the LTTE for links with the LTTE and pro-LTTE groups

  1. An unregistered alliance of Tamil political parties formed on 22 October 2001 before the Norwegian backed cease fire agreement of 2002 and immediately after the 9/11 attacks and the war on terror.
  2. The TNA was signed by 4: TULF represented by R Sambathan, ACTC represented by N Kumarakuruparan, TELO represented by N Srikantha and EPRLF represented by Suresh Premachandran.
  3. It was after the 10th Oct 2000 Parliamentary elections that LTTE realized that it was losing its grip in both the North and East where its people were not getting represented. Even Sambanthan was not elected in Trincomalee.
  4. It was former Daily Mirror” columnist Dharmalingam Sivaram alias Taraki who gathered interested parties and promoted the need to unite under an umbrella organization to prevent votes splitting. What is important is that Taraki (Sivaram) suggested that the new organization must be supportive of the LTTE.
  5. LTTE formed TNA to promote LTTE’s political interests both in Sri Lanka and Abroad
  6. The TNA comprised (TNA is also dubbed Tiger Nominated Agents’)
    1. All Ceylon Tamil Congress ACTC
    2. Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front EPRLF
    3. Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization TELO
    4. Tamil United Liberation Front TULF
  7. TNA were political stooges of the LTTE and were directly controlled by the LTTE
  8. TNA contested under TULF symbol in 2001
  9. TNA contested under ITAK symbol of the house
  10. TNA candidates were chosen by LTTE for the 2004 elections – list finalized by Thamilselvan
  11. TNA-LTTE rigged votes in the 2004 elections – the 2002 ceasefire allowed LTTE to manoeuvre itself islandwide and set up TNA offices that ‘employed’ LTTE cadres to do propaganda work for the TNA which in reality was promoting LTTE agenda.
  12. TNA took oaths in front of Prabakaran despite taking oath to safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka as per Sri Lanka’s Constitution.
  13. The leadership of ITAK was forcibly taken from Avarangal Sinnathurai who was living in London and given to R. Sambanthan as a result of LTTE threats and intimidations against Sinnathurai http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2010/01/24/tna-parliamentarians-what-they-are-unmasked
  14. The TNA was meant to be the political face of the armed LTTE giving them international acceptance.
  15. It was the LTTE who chose candidates for the General Election of 2004 – LTTE even fielded its nominees under the parties that constituted the TNA. When TNA won 22 seats the TNA winners were all summoned to Wanni and given strict orders by the LTTE and Sambanthan was selected as the TNA Parliamentary group leader.
  16. TNA-LTTE rigged elections :
  • In Jaffna and Batticaloa the LTTE cadres together with pro-tiger student organizations in the Thirunelvely and Vantharumoolai campuses engaged in election propaganda
  • LTTE bicycle brigades started intimidating rival candidates (TULF Anandasangaree & EPDP Devananda)
  • 5000 LTTE ‘volunteers’ helped rigged polls and TNA won in North and East (election rigging by TNA with LTTE for the 2004 general elections needs to be investigated)
  • It was because of the rigging that TNA got 8 out of 9 seats.
  • It was because LTTE rigged the polls that Selva.Gajendran, Pathmini Sithamparanathan, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam,Suresh Premachandran, Nadarajah Raviraj, Somasundaram Senathirajah, Sinnaiah Sivanesan and MK Sivajilingam won parliamentary seats – investigate.
  • It was because LTTE helped rig the polls that TNA got five of the six seats in the Wanni. Selvam Adaikkalanathan, Vinotharahalingam, Sivasakthi Anandan, Sathasivam Kanagaratnam and Sivanathan Kishore
  • It was because LTTE helped rig the polls that Sambandan and Thurairatnasingham got elected from Trincomalee – investigate if false.
  • Of the 22 TNA MPs that got elected 11 were from the original 4 constituent parties of the TNA – Sambandan,Thurairatnasingham, Senathirajah, Raviraj,Pararajasingham (TULF) Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam (ACTC)SElvam Adaikkalanathan, Vonoharahalingam. Sivajilingam (TELO) and Sivasakthi Anandan, Suresh Premachandran (EPRLF). – See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/dbsjeyaraj-column/49301-birth-and-growth-of-nexus-between-the-tna-and-the-ltte.html#sthash.dUBw24J1.dpuf

 

  1. TNA members involved in LTTE propaganda work on the pretext of fund raising for the well being of Tamils in the North and East.
  2. TNA MPs have abused their Parliamentary privileges to transport LTTE cadres and thus escape checking by security forces.
  3. TNA MPs are accused of violating Parliamentary privileges and Sri Lanka’s Constitution by carrying out LTTE propaganda and participating in pro-LTTE events overseas inspite of these organizations being banned and linked to LTTE
  4. Relatives of TNA MPs are already being investigated for crimes that include assassination and murder
  • TNA MPs are regularly travelling overseas to attend events/conferences/dinners/fund raising campaigns of proscribed pro-LTTE groups – who is funding the TNA MP travel and accommodation and other expenses. Investigate who funds TNA MP overseas travel to trail the link to pro-LTTE groups
  1. TNA MPs are seen with pro-LTTE group leaders all of whom have been proscribed by the GOSL – guilty by association is a legally accepted norm.
  2. TNA MPs have been called to attend meetings headed by LTTE leaders in the Wanni pre-2009 and covering the UN investigation period thus the UN investigators are bound to look into not only the ties between the LTTE-TNA but how far the LTTE ruled over the TNA. This would establish that TNA and LTTE are one and the same and the TNA was formed primarily to carry on the LTTE goals and objectives politically.

Evidence of LTTE-TNA links

  1. LTTE & TNA demands are virtually one and the same – refer the manifestos / refer TNA speeches in Tamil / and most importantly at NO TIME throughout LTTE reign of terror has any TNA member condemned LTTE atrocities publicly. At no time has the TNA appealed for the LTTE to release civilians that LTTE kept as human shields/hostages. At no point in time did TNA give a single packet of rice to poor Tamils to claim concern for them.
  2. 2001 TNA election manifesto declared LTTE as the ‘sole Tamil national entity’ and the ‘sole representative of the Tamil people’ and that LTTE had the right to negotiate on behalf of the Tamil people.
  3. 2004 TNA election manifesto declared
    1. “Accepting the LTTE’s leadership as the national leadership of ‘Tamil Eelam’ Tamils and the Liberation Tigers as the sole and authentic representative of the Tamil people, let us devote our full cooperation for the ideals of the Liberation Tigers’ struggle with honesty and steadfastness. Let us endeavour determinedly, collectively as one group, one nation, one country, transcending race and religious differences, under the leadership of the LTTE, for a life of liberty, honour and justice for the Tamil people.”

http://www.tamilsydney.com/content/view/1210/37/

http://www.tchr.net/rsdetr_decl_tna_election.htm

 

  1. 2004 EU Election Observation Mission Chief John Cushnahan released the EU report on June 17, 2004 clearly establishing the LTTE-TNA alliance: Quote: Firstly, the LTTE intended that no other rival Tamil party (or Tamil candidate from the mainstream political alliances) to the TNA would be able to claim to represent Tamil interests. A chilling message to this effect was sent early in the campaign when a UNP candidate and an EPDP activist were murdered. Incidents such as this seriously restricted the right of the parties other than the TNA to campaign freely in the Northern and Eastern Districts. During the 2004 elections, the major incidents of violence was perpetrated by the LTTE, whereas at the earlier elections; the primary source of the violence (although not all), were the two largest political parties. Unquote
  2. Foreign mission reports/country facts/data mention TNA as being a pro-LTTE political party. Foreign mission reports have mentioned TNA as being pro-LTTE
  3. A letter by Anandasangaree to the Indian Prime Minister dated 2 October 2014 declares that LTTE made use of Senathirajah, the President of the ITAK ,to strengthen their position. Anandasangaree also accuses Senathirajah of unfairly reviving ITAK “TULF MP Mavai Senathirajah who is in the process of reviving the Federal Party visited Killinochchi and had meetings with the LTTE Deputy Political Commissar Thangan on 14-10-2003. The revival of the Federal Party is being undertaken at the behest of the LTTE”.
  4. Anandasangaree goes on to say All concerned parties should now accept that both the TNA and the ITAK had been revived by dishonest means on the instigation of the LTTE to lookafter their interest. It is this TNA that nominated candidates for all electoral districts in the North and in the East for the 2004 elections, Mr. Thamilselvan retaining half the number of slots in each one of the electoral districts. Of all the members elected to the 2004 Parliament, majority belonged to the LTTE. Not only that, the worst part was the declaration, the four secretaries of the four Parties made was carried in the manifesto issued by them for the 2004 Parliamentary Elections. The signatories were M/S Mavai Senathirajah, G.G. Ponnambalam, Presanna Indrakumar, and Suresh Premachandren representing the ITAK, ACTC,TELO, and the EPRLF respectively.”
  5. Anandasangaree translates that declaration thus :-“Accepting the leadership of the LTTE as the National Leadership of the Tamil people and also accepting the LTTE as the real sole – representatives of the Tamil people, we honestly and firmly pledge to give our full support for the struggle the LTTE had undertaken on behalf of the Tamil Nation”.
  6. TNA holds meeting with Global Tamil Forum head Father Emmanuel in South Africa on 8th January 2012. Global Tamil Forum is proscribed by GOSL and its head is also declared a LTTE supporter under UNSC Resolution 1373.
  7. TNA is also associated with Rudrakumaran the head of the TGTE both organization and leader proscribed under UNSC 1373. Rudrakumaran’s policy statement of 1 January 2012 states: At present we are also making steady progress in expanding our ties to the nations of the World. We have established several contacts with many political entities including the nation of South Sudan, the government of Northern Ireland, and ANC of South Africa… we shall be able to make steady progress in our march for liberation in year 2012…”
  8. Both TNA and GTF were invited by the African National Congress to its Centenary Celebrations. TNA MP Sumanthiran gave BBC a statement We are trying for a political solution that recognises Tamils as a nation and South Africa’s help will be vital for both the TNA and the government in achieving that”. The European INGO that funded the TNA visit to South Africa needs to be investigated.
  9. TNA MP Sridharan was an ardent supporter of the LTTE and was a member of the LTTE for a brief period
  10. TNA MP Sridharan is married to the sister of Theepan (one time head of LTTE military wing)
  11. TNA MP Sridharan’s brother migrated to Switzerland and is running anti-SL websites promoting LTTE ideology. The two sites are very popular among Tamil Diaspora.

(1)       lankasri.com

(2)      tamilwin.com

  1. TNA MP Sridharan has launched his own website to promote himself as a future leader sridharan.com
  2. TNA MP Sridharan and his brother have organized a Youth Front in Switzerland to gain support of Tamil youth in Sri Lanka and to that end he formed a Youth Front in Vavuniya on 13 December 2012 with TNA MP and head of ITAK Mavai Senathirajah. The Youth Front is named as ‘Federal Party Youth Front’
  3. TNA MP Sridharan has links with Nediyavan, Rudrakumaran, and Vinayagam – all named and banned by the GOSL in order to raise financial support and Reggie has sent money to MP Sridharan to look after Mahaveer families, LTTE disabled cadres and to start orphanages in the North. These actions are a direct threat to the national security of Sri Lanka.

 

 

TNA-LTTE links shown in photographs

In 2003 TNA leader Sampanthan with LTTE’s Anton Balasingham and Tamilselvan

 

TNA leader Sambanthan paying homage to dead LTTE

TNA Leader Sampanthan with Prabakaran and Tamilselvan

Notice the LTTE flag – LTTE’s Tamilselvan at head table, TNA leader Sampanthan and present ITAK leader Mavai Senathirajah

 

 

In the words of veteran political commentator DBS Jeyraj adequately sums up the TNA-LTTE links.

PULIPPAATTU”

Many including myself hoped that the TNA would make a clean break from the past after the LTTE was decimated in 2009.That however has not happened. In perhaps the greatest disappointment of all former Supreme court Judge CV Wigneswaran started singing the Pulippaattu” (Tiger song)after being nominated as TNA chief ministerial candidate for the Northern provincial council
Sadly this sorry tale of the TNA toeing the tiger line continues even after the fall of the tigers. The TNA is unable to break away from its pro-tiger past and is generally adopting the extremist line propagated by LTTE and pro-LTTE elements in the global Tamil Diaspora. The perception that the TNA is aligned to the LTTE is one that seems to gaining ground mainly due to the party’s woeful conduct in the post – May 2009 phase.
One way of shedding this image is for the TNA to assert itself independently by boldly exposing the human rights violations of the LTTE before the UN panel probing the seven year period between 2002 – 2009. Since the TNA –LTTE Nexus prevailed throughout the seven yer period under review the TNA should have no difficulty in doing this. The question at this critical juncture is Will the TNA do so”?

DBS Jeyaraj

Thus not only is the Government of Sri Lanka bound to investigate TNA ties to LTTE and LTTE Tamil Diaspora but the UNHRC Investigation needs to in the light of its mandate period investigate the links as well.  If the previous elections had been rigged that brought TNA initially to Parliament, do we not have every reason to suspect mischief at play in every election that TNA has won? If so, should both the GOSL and UNHRC not insist that an investigation be launched into TNA to establish once and for all if TNA continues to have ties to the LTTE and the LTTE Tamil Diaspora which is very much active.

 

Shenali D Waduge

Blank forms for Tamils only from the UNHRC to file deceitful war crimes complaints against Sri Lanka

October 30th, 2014

Patriots For United Sri Lanka 

To all members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. 

We the majority of peace loving people of Sri Lanka appeal to you to not be misled by the deceitful practices, lies and criminal activities that have been the order of the day for the pro LTTE Diaspora and some proven, trained LTTE terrorists who have taken a Human Rights Persona after breaking all international conventions against Terrorism.   Infiltration to western countries by those with terrorist connections is a serious issue around the world.

We the people of Sri Lanka are fully aware that every member country of the United Nations that voted for the Resolution 1373 brought forward by the USA on November 24, 2001 after 9/11 that was unanimously voted has an obligation to prevent terrorism and bring to justice all those who were directly involved in terrorism and or provided material support to terrorism where ever they may be located.

We want to also remind the legislators in the USA that the people of Sri Lanka remember and appreciate the support rendered by the USA to the Sri Lankan Government and Military with weapons and other support directly or indirectly to fight terrorism and eradicate the LTTE.  The LTTE on the other hand decided to use the USA for support to save a criminal leader which fortunately did not happen under the persistence of the Sri Lankan Authorities. Sri Lanka suffered for 30 years when the death and destruction of innocent civilian life due to the Tamil Tiger suicide bombs and destruction was never an issue in the world media or the Human Rights radar.

As a result, we note that there is a dichotomy in the way Sri Lanka is hounded for Human Rights Violations when worse situations in other parts of the world are ignored.  It is a common practice of terrorists to take a cowardly path hiding behind civilians as a cover and continue on a terror trail.  Civilians as cover are deliberate ways to later accuse retaliatory fire from their opposing military to accuse them of civilian casualties.  It was no different in Sri Lanka to what we see today.  The LTTE committed unconceivable atrocities against civilians of all ethnicities.  They professed to be the saviors of the Tamil people but killed more Tamils than other ethnic groups.  We are seeing the actions of ISIS today.  The finger prints are the same, only the names are different.  They operate out of the same manual.

In the special investigation it has come to light that the wife of an LTTE terrorist who was responsible for conscription of children for battle and even killing parents who resented abductions who has now turned to mainstream politics through the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) .  She is in Geneva championing Human Rights and the same deceitful practices continue between the UNHRC and TNA to distribute blank forms for signature to file false war crimes against Sri Lanka.

The US Congress is humbly reminded that the Resolution 1373 applies not only to countries of choice but to all countries including Sri Lanka.  How can terrorists be exonerated and a government be taken to task when your own resolution in the UN should be the bond that ties and protects countries that are fighting a common enemy?  Don’t be fooled by the pro LTTE Diaspora.  Taking their political donations, or even opening doors to them to make a deceitful case for ongoing abuse of political asylum and refugee immigrants, to bleed systems in developed nations and carry on fund raising under a façade of charity in the hope of financing terror in another country is dangerously close where ever they are admitted.

US Congress, please honor your own resolution 1373 and take time to study the mockery made of the United Nations and the UNHRC that has been hijacked by pro terror elements.

https://ltteirony.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/why-the-witch-hunt/

China must lead the Buddhist World

October 30th, 2014

by Senaka Weeraratna

In as much as two global religions Christianity and Islam are today given leadership by powerful countries based in the West and Middle East respectively, the time has come for the oldest of the three global religions namely Buddhism to be backed by a powerhouse to dispel the widely circulated myth that it is a weak religion sustained by relatively weaker countries in Asia despite Buddhism’s unmatched contributions to the sustaining of world peace, unqualified respect for the natural environment including reverence for the lives of all living beings and promotion of Ahimsa and non – violence as the basis of resolution of conflict.

No other country today fits the description of a powerhouse with a close association with Buddhism lasting for more than two millennia than China.  It has re-discovered the priceless value of Buddhism and the role it must play in the dissemination of Buddhism worldwide.

The 27th General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists that was held in Baoji, Shaanxi Province, China recently i.e. from the 16th – 18th October , 2014, being the first occasion a WFB Conference was held in mainland China, was a clear indication of the   new role that China has embarked upon. It was meant to send a strong message to the rest of the world that the China of the future will not only be a supplier of goods and services but also a source of enlightened thinking based on Buddhism.

Though there have been major upheavals from time to time in Chinese history e.g. the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution ( 1966 – 1969), there is no gain saying that Buddhism is deeply rooted in China and is very much a part of the Chinese culture and civilization. Chinese Buddhism together with Confucius values will be a major export in the very near future. Using the country’s spectacular advancements in science and technology, Chinese Buddhism can be expected to  blend with modern technology and re- focus on social engagement within China leading to its emergence as a major force in China with the support of both Provincial Governments and local government i.e. Municipal authorities.

China’s new leadership is no longer doctrinaire Communist.   China’s President Xi Jinping has been quoted in the world press as saying that he believed China was losing its moral compass and he wanted the ruling Communist Party to be more tolerant of traditional faiths in the hope these will help fill a vacuum created by the country’s breakneck growth and rush to get rich.

Xi, who was raised in Chairman Mao Tse Tung’s puritan China, is dismayed by what he sees as the country’s moral decline and growing obsession with money. Xi has expressed the hope that China’s “traditional cultures” or faiths – Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism – will help fill a spiritual void that has allowed corruption to flourish.

The WFB Conference held this month in Baoji, Shaanxi Province and for the first time in mainland China, may well be considered as a  new starting point for both Provincial Governments and the Central Government of China to foster Buddhism and it will not be a surprise if the world were to see Buddhist missionaries from China emerging very soon to spread the teachings of the Buddha all over the world in a manner similar but more ethical than Christian evangelists from USA and other western countries engaged in spreading Christianity in former colonies.

China must claim the leadership of the Buddhist world to better project its image and Chinese culture, which is rooted in Buddhism, and in addition to effectively counter aggressive foreign religious evangelism in many parts of the world.

Furthermore If there is any cultural and spiritual base that can unite Asia that is Buddhism primarily because the other two great Asian nations namely India (birthplace of Buddhism) and Japan are heirs of a great Buddhist civilization that spread to the far corners of Asia long before the entry of foreign political and religious influences from the west.

 

On the day of the inauguration of the WFB Conference at the magnificent Famen Temple in Shaanxi Province i.e. October 16, 2014, China’s major television network CCTV broadcast a news item worldwide showing the grand opening ceremony and an interview with a Sri Lankan appealing to China to lead the Buddhist world and then quoting him as saying that if that were to happen Sri Lanka will fully support such a claim by China.

Please click on the web link below to watch the interview ( in English) at the tail end of this short news item broadcast in Chinese.

Duration: 2.05 minutes

http://search.cctv.com/playVideo.html?detailsid=743155617fd4421fb6fdd61417694424&ad_maima=860010-1102013400&title=%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD%E6%96%B0%E9%97%BB

Senaka Weeraratna

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Hill Shooting

October 30th, 2014

Asoka WeerasingheKings Grove Crescent . Gloucester. Ontario . Canada

30 October 2014

The Editor

The Hill Times

Dear Editor:

In your report on the Hill Shooting you say ‘PM Harper vows to fight terrorism after Hill shooting but others urge caution.’  And so do I.

If I were Prime Minister Harper, I would be careful to try to eliminate Terrorism as it has its drawbacks.  As he would  very likely be hauled in front of an International Crimes Court for Human Rights violations.  He knows what I am talking about, as he is one country leader who has been voicing voraciously wanting to haul Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa in front of an International Crimes Court for alleged Human Rights violations while eliminating the most ruthless terrorists in the world, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam aka Tamil Tigers who killed over 100,000 innocent people, detonated 388 suicide bombs and perfected the art of suicide bombing by inventing the body pack.

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s soldiers liberating 295,873 Tamils from the clutches of the Tamil Tigers who were used as a human shield, was no where shown in the international radar screens on positive  acts of Human Rights, and not even in Harper’s Canada.

The warning for Prime Minister Harper is that the political world is still under the planetary influence of the Planet Looneybin and Planet Liar.  So he will have some drawbacks vowing to fight terrorism.  A good example of such a drawback is Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa who almost single handed eliminated  Tamil Tiger terrorism militarily in 30 months of a 27 year bloody war.  And now the western world wants to charge him for Human Rights violations in an International Crimes Court.  I say to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, “Be careful Prime Minister as what is been authored  to bite some one will always  go around and come around to bite you.”  That is the rub!

Asoka Weerasinghe

Life Abroad – Part 102 DIPLOMATIC CONTROVERSIES

October 30th, 2014

Dr.Tilak Fernando

In the 1990s Britain was considered as one of the biggest aid donors to Sri Lanka. However, an unfortunate incident that sparked off in May 1991 managed to stir the hornet’s nest by the then British High Commissioner, David Gladstone CMG (most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George – an order of chivalry founded on April 28, 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV), in Colombo causing much embarrassment to the decorated diplomat himself, who was a descendent of one time British Prime Minister, William Gladstone.

David Gladstone

David Gladstone served in Sri Lanka as the British High Commissioner from 1987 to 1991. This incident undoubtedly managed to bring an equal share of the disturbed hornet’s nest upon the shoulders of both countries, Sri Lanka and Britain equally.

Small things go a long way!

It all began out of a ‘trivial incident’ that sparked off as a routine police entry by the diplomat David Gladstone at Dickwella Police station where he recorded ‘having observed some irregularities during the local elections held on May 11, 1991’. This created headline news in the Sri Lankan media and the British High Commissioner immediately became enmeshed in the election incidence while the Sri Lanka government went hell for leather in gathering ‘sufficient information’ with a view to taking severe action against the British diplomat.

This debacle was followed by a hullabaloo and clamourous noises emanating from the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa with threats to evict the diplomat out of the country with strong statements to the effect, I will throw him out on his ear….”!

On May 27, 1991 such rhetoric came to reality when David Gladstone was declared persona non grata for ‘interfering with the country’s internal affairs’. His expulsion, therefore, was confirmed ‘in conformity with the normal protocol procedure whenever a member of the diplomatic corps abused his/her privileges’.

Dossiers of news coverage that followed this rare incident highlighted how the diplomat had been kept under surveillance by the then UNP government, which exposed ‘his activities of notifying the international community about human right violations that prevailed under Premadasa regime’.

Rubbing more salt into Gladstone’s wound, so to speak, in certain affluent circles some gentlemen began to loosen their tie knots and started lubricating the gossip machine by focusing their main conversation on the ‘Gladstone affair’! In the meanwhile, an effective media campaign was set up against the diplomat for ‘interfering and meddling in country’s internal affairs’. Premadasa government in its defence of the act maintained that ‘the expulsion was purely in conformity with normal protocol practices whenever a member of the diplomatic Corps falls out of line’!

British intervention

On June 11, the then British Prime Minister, John Major, wrote to President Premadasa on a pertinent level making it very clear that the High Commissioner, David Gladstone’s expulsion was considered as an inappropriate reaction and that he (the British Prime Minister) was fully satisfied David Gladstone has had ‘no intention of interfering with local elections nor did his conduct amount to interference’.

While the Sri Lankan government took a stern attitude over the matter, Britain’s immediate reaction for expelling David Gladstone from Sri Lanka and making him persona non grata was to cancel an already scheduled visit to Sri Lanka by the then British Foreign Office Parliamentary under secretary Mark Lenox-Boyd.

Ending weeks of speculation in response to Sri Lanka’s expulsion of the British High Commissioner from Colombo, in June 1991, Britain decided to ‘freeze all future aid to Sri Lanka’ and declared its intention ‘to restrict arms sales’ to Sri Lanka, which was very much a necessity during the height of the LTTE terrorist war.

Castigation

On June 21, 1991, the European Union Membership issued a joint statement deploring the Sri Lankan government’s decision and reiterated that they (EU) had already announced cancellation of high-level visits of British officials to Sri Lanka (e.g. Mr. Lennox-Boyd’s due visit to Sri Lanka in June in 1991). In July 1991 the British Foreign Office issued a further vital statement, which read as follows:

In reporting the call on Mr. Lenox-Boyd by the Sri Lanka High Commissioner, General D. S. Attygalle, we had made it abundantly clear that we considered the Sri Lankan action wholly unjustified and planned to send a successor soon as possible”.

We have decided not to request withdrawal of the Sri Lanka High Commission from Colombo, instead Mr. Gladstone’s successor will be appointed quickly to ensure that Her Majesty’s Government’s voice continued to be as effective as possible in Sri Lanka, especially on human rights matters. We have also informed the Sri Lankan government of a number of other measures we have decided to implement viz:

(a) To make no new major aid commitments at least until our new High Commissioner is in place, and then to renew any such proposals in the light of human rights situation at the time.

(b) To adopt a more restrictive policy on arms sales to Sri Lanka

(c) To suspend all goodwill visits to Sri Lanka (e.g. By the Royal Navy).

In response to the Foreign Office disclosure, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in the UK at the time, General Sepala Attygalle, made an official statement as follows:

The existing aid agreements are not affected and could be reviewed subsequently. The British government will be guided by the new High Commissioner who will be posted to fill the vacancy of David Gladstone in the matter of restoring the traditionally friendly relationship between the two countries”.

Finally Mr. John Field assumed duties in Colombo as the new High Commissioner for Britain in Sri Lanka and served from 1991 to 1996.

Plunged into a pioneer situation

Subsequently, David Gladstone during a BBC Sandesaya, Sinhala program in London stated the idea of war on terror offers legitimacy to criminal groups whose strategy is to terrorise civilians. I personally don’t believe on war on terror. I don’t know what it looks like. I live in London and I can’t say that I feel like in a war situation. It only glorifies those who are setting up bombs”!

David Gladstone continued stating: The clear instructions by the British Government to interfere to help protect human rights in Sri Lanka marked a new chapter in very long tradition of international diplomacy whereby diplomats did not openly criticise their host countries. But rules of diplomacy have actually changed. I was thrust into the situation to pioneer (in 1991) a new approach to international diplomacy while I was in Sri Lanka.”

Action and reaction

On July 8, 1991, the oldest Sri Lankan English tabloid published in the UK Silvarrow carried the Gladstone story with a headline banner calling, Britain suspends Aid to Sri Lanka – Human Rights issue plays a major role”. The tabloid which had been distributed free on a monthly basis from the Sri Lanka High Commission, as one of its popular despatch outlets from its first publication, was immediately banned by the then High Commissioner which caused an unwarranted hue and cry amidst the Sri Lankan expatriates in the UK.

Diplomats in dog house

This was not the only occasion where diplomats have been in the proverbial ‘dog house’ by trying to interfere with internal affairs of Sri Lanka. In October 2007 Sri Lanka called for the expulsion of Icelandic diplomat Bjarni Vestmann immediately, after he entered the country on a tourist visa and went to the North to meet with Tiger rebels.

In 2008, US Ambassador, Robert Blake, got his image tarnished when he sought a meeting with the Elections Commissioner to ensure free and fair Provincial Council elections in the Eastern Province.

Then again, much later to Gladstone saga, a British diplomat, who was the Head of its Political and Development section, had to visit a local police station for taking photographs of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s motor cavalcade using his mobile phone.

The UK High Commission in Colombo was reported as saying that ‘the diplomat was new to Sri Lanka and he made a genuine innocent mistake in taking the photograph for personal interest as a souvenir and no other intention behind the action. The matter was dropped without much of a hue and cry.

tilakfernando@gmail.com 

– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/diplomatic-controversies#sthash.RVFyGebX.dpuf

Does Ranil Wickremasinghe really want to lead Sri Lanka?

October 29th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

Let’s stop for a minute and take a step back before imagining how Sri Lanka would be under the stewardship of Ranil Wickremasinghe and just ask ourselves whether Ranil Wickremasinghe actually wants to lead Sri Lanka or does he simply enjoy the fanfare associated with bringing him to power? The question is important in the light of the fact that while he has been a serial failure in Presidential, General and even local government elections for decades he continues to remain the most popular opposition leader and we can but wonder whether he relishes that Opposition title than the burden of delivering the needs and demands of 20million people.

Wanting to lead and been able to lead are important factors. A leader in any realm will reveal the burden of responsibilities associated with that leadership. Being nominated for that leadership role is just as exciting as the contest leading towards the leadership title. Campaigning entails a boost in ego, a showpiece ‘you are our man’ satisfaction, prominence, recognition, cheers, funds and numerous other support mechanisms place the aspiring candidate on top of the world for an interim period leading to the D-day of actual election. It also affords a lot of opportunities to promise this that and the other in one’s heart knowing that these are unlikely deliverables. Anyone can promise the sun and the moon it is only the chosen leader that ends up having to deliver promises made.

What if that interim period brings more delight, oomph and satisfaction than actually been handed the title and thereafter delivering on the promises made. Given this scenario the public need to question whether the character of the current Opposition Leader is such that he enjoys his Opposition role and delights in it sans any responsibilities or whether he really wishes to represent and work on behalf of the 20million citizens of Sri Lanka.

The UNP may want him to lead, the UNP supporters may want him to lead, the UNP G20 may want him to lead and daresay Mr. Wickremasinghe himself may want to lead but is that desire extended only so far as hoping he would remain the Opposition leader for he remains leader sans the headache of a nation which we have to admit he does not connect with. We also have to admit that Sri Lanka and 20million lives and needs of people cannot be measured or benchmarked according to what the Colombo clan of people that Mr. Wickremasinghe intimately associates with desire. The grand ole party and its support base across the island remains because of the memories of former leaders and not any special achievements or gratitude for Mr. Wickremasinghe.

When a country is picking a leader, the voting public needs to think intelligently. They must ascertain that their chosen leader has genuine concerns about fulfilling the needs of the nation but most importantly has a commitment to ensuring the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country is not compromised. Simply because a handful of supporters see economic and commercial gains for themselves and their families it is not a criterion on which any candidate should be promoted.

In this instance the example of the 2002 ceasefire agreement keeps haunting us. Mr. Wickremasinghe was very much in control over governance despite the President being Chandrika Kumaratunga. Ranil Wickremasinghe’s leadership was seen in his choice of agreeing to enter an agreement with a designated terrorist organization when alternately Sri Lanka could have dealt with the LTTE by joining the ‘war on terror’ that the US was championing. Instead, he fell for the Norway googly of placing the Sri Lankan Government and LTTE on par and ridiculed the forces and officials to the extent of shaking hands with murderers. If that was not all, the agreement officially demarcated territory and placed these under LTTE control, LTTE was given rights to travel around the country and even overseas. The cream of Sri Lanka’s intelligence and minorities that helped the forces were exposed and their names revealed which ended up with the LTTE gunning them down one by one.

The question for people who argue that the best leader Sri Lanka could have is none other than Mr. Wickremasinghe is for them to first answer how far did his solution of the 2002 ceasefire actually curtail the LTTE? Are we exaggerating if we say that the LTTE used the ceasefire as a means to raise funds, openly lobby overseas, increase child soldiers, pile weapon stocks etc to wait for the opportune time to strike the nation? Was this not the real story of the 2002 ceasefire agreement which to the Colombo coterie was the best deal of the century simply for the selfish reason of not having to face the hassle of checkpoints most of which were all withdrawn by the Wickremasinghe government. That open visa given to the LTTE in 2002 contributed in large measure to the venom with which LTTE hit back and there is nothing that the Wickremasinghe supporters can argue to the contrary.

Sadly what the nation ails from is the absence of being able to elect leaders who are national leaders by which connotation implies electing people who care for the nation and its people and not themselves or the people they associate with. Elections end up a wastage of funds for all parties because they have all fallen for the petty ploy of attempting to tap people’s personal agendas while departing from what the country needs.

People need to start elevating their demands to ensuring that leaders they pick whether as President or even local government are those that will carry out a principled policy fairly and without bias. Picking people simply because these candidates provide personal benefit will not serve anyone in the end. This is why party manifestos become a joke unless people start to hold leaders and parties to fulfilling the commitments made.

Returning to the question of whether Ranil Wickremasinghe actually wants to lead the country is perhaps not a question many would have thought about. He may want to be the President of Sri Lanka, he may even secretly imagine himself as President but the more important question is does he really want to be beholden with all the responsibilities of being a President and equally important is whether he is committed to fulfilling the rights of all equally when his mindset is programmed to concentrate and think within the limits of his Royal upbringing and superstar Colombo status and among elite Colombians?

Ranil Wickremasinghe is undoubtedly the leader of the UNP and had it not been for him the UNP would have been rechristened but the story of Sri Lanka and the future of Sri Lanka is not confined to keeping the UNP together alone and whether Ranil Wickremasinghe is able to and actually wants to protect the country and protect the people from foreign incursions and not only himself and his coterie is a question the nation should seriously start asking themselves.

Some people have it in them to lead, it’s a natural trait, some people are trained but however much they are trained they just don’t have it in them to lead and with time they are happier in their secondary role because it has all the perks and privileges sans responsibilities – Is this the person the people want to force into a role that is not in him to deliver?

Before we ask when will Ranil Wickremasinghe lead Sri Lanka or even can he lead Sri Lanka, we need to ask does Ranil Wickremasinghe actually want to lead Sri Lanka?

Some food for thought for all voters….

UNP Leader’s Aspirations To Win Presidency Appears To be A Pipe Dream!

October 29th, 2014

Lankaweb Weekly Editorial

October 29th. 2014

 While most contestants of such competition dream of winning a Presidency during their lifetime they do so with an unblemished track record and the backing of the majority vote!! This seems hardly likely in the case of the UNP’s Ranil Wickremasinghe as he has disentitled himself to the privilege on many counts and has virtually proven himself to be a mere power hungry aspirant to the title sans the credential needed a he has already had his chance and apparently totally blown it.

 What shows him in the guise of a dreamer becomes painfully apparent when scrutinising his track record where he has on more than one occassion showed the willingness to sell out the country to western powers who were prepared to use him as a pawn to undermine the present admninistration as well as his willingness to bargain away Sri Lanka to her adversaries such as the mendacious Tamil Tigers who at one time appeared to dictate terms to him and precipitated his virtual demise as a resul when he defaultedt.There could have been severe reprisals for Sri Lanka had Ranil’s covert alliance with the LTTE borne fruit but fortunately for the Nation it did not. Perhaps due to the perceptions of the present Administration itself although it did not come down hard enough on him when it should have.

  Synonymously when the main opposition United National Party (UNP) in a news bulletin says ” it is confident of securing a historic victory” at the next Presidential elections they must surely be deluding themselves or contemplating a leadership change prior to that but unlikely based on the time factor involved although stranger things have happened in the political spectrum of Sri Lanka although no leadership change appears to be capable of tarnishing or altering the huge popularity ratings President Rajapaksa has in Sri Lanka today!

 The simplest question needs to be asked “What Has Ranil Wickremasinghe Done For Sri Lanka To Deserve The Presidency And What Are His Credentials Which makes Him So deserving ?” to which the sad answer would be “Practically Nothing Other Than Attempt At Any Cost To Grab Power ~ by hook or by crook to put it simply!

 Therefore when UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, speaking at a UNP rally held at Hyde Park in Colombo recently , says that his party has just a short way to go in its climb to the top of the mountain, he must either be dreaming or very persevering in his attempt to climb to the top of this mountain he refers to and virtually an attempt at Mt. Everest ( the outcome of that needing no rocket science to interpret!).

 On a more realistic note UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa when saying that “the UNP cannot win without the support of the party organisers and supporters around the island and calling on them to rally around the UNP to attempt rather than ensure its victory which seems more plausible than the exhortations of pipe dreamer Wickremasinghe and perhaps in a hypothetical sense had the former been the leader of the UNP  the outcome might prove to be indicative that the voting public may be more favourable towards him relatively although hardly strong enough to grant him incumbency over the present regime as the Nation truly appreciates what it has done for Sri Lanka under the present leadership.

 When musing  that I can tell you we will secure a historic victory be it at a Presidential or General election,” Premadasa seems to have done exactly that( Muse) with a bit of wishful thinking attached to it albeit softer toned  than Mr.Wickremasinghe who sounds as though he it attempting to fool all the people all the time with nothing substantial to offer them beyond his rhetoric!

 To add to what many believe is his deceit and duplicity, Wickremesinghe has  insisted that” he never met the pro-LTTE diaspora in London during his recent visit to the UK.” when all the news reports indicated that he had done exactly that and that his mission was to coincide with the EU’s lifting its ban on the proscribed LTTE or be part and parcel in its execution confirmed by very reliable sources.There are many who have drawn conclusions given his track record that this was yet another attempt on his part to discredit the present Sri Lanka Administration, so is this the kind of leader the Nation needs? one might ask, to which the answer is self providing in a very negative sense !

 The denials of his culpability to barter with as well as compromise the best interests of Sri Lanka towards his own gain is nothing new  with the UNP leader where there is more than one situation during his political career indicative of this. That he has not been taken to task  for such is a remarkable portrayal of tolerance on the part of the Administration where there are some who insist that his actions are treasonous which to the more conservative observer might seem debatable!

 While he has said that some newspapers had published a photograph claiming it was his meeting with the diaspora he has insisted that he had never met such groups. either in London or in any other country indicative of his capability to stare one right between the eyes and deny blatant facts with all the incriminating evidence staring him right in the face. The information obtained was posted with confidence and credibility that traversed the international Press where had it been innuendo would hardly be worth a second glance. It seems to have caused quite a furore instead which attests to its veracity!

At the appropriate time Sri Lanka should and will have a regime change but in all probabilities never accommodate the likes of Wickremasinghe who should gracefully bow out of aspirations beyond his capability as it would certainly be in the best interests of Sri Lanka!

Sri Lanka must demand : Investigate the Investigation (UNHRC /UN and its Resolutions must be probed)

October 29th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

With just days for the UNHRC Panel to conclude accepting submissions it has emerged that the UNHRC has been cheating the system by providing UNHRC war crimes forms to only one party and that too clandestinely with links to LTTE-TNA. The shocking discovery immediately takes us back to sample formats appearing on internet to help Tamils compile cases against Sri Lanka during the Panel of Expert investigation. We now question how many of the ‘witnesses’ that the Panel of Experts claimed to quote from were bogus people. We question how many witness accounts were lies. The discovery of signatures being collected on blank forms to write lies to establish a case for the UNHRC panel against Sri Lanka should make the UNHRC ashamed. The Government of Sri Lanka must not waste any more time but to publicly and internationally make its case and immediately demand an investigation into the investigation that started out with lies, is continuing with lies and is likely to end in lies to create a precedent and establish an agenda that will be detrimental for the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and the region as well. The officials of the Government must immediately get into action and prepare their case that Sri Lanka is not going to accept any more allegations until an investigation is launched and concrete evidence is given for the allegations that have been made against Sri Lanka since 2009. Sri Lanka must also demand that an investigation be launched into all parties that have been carrying out an anti-Sri Lanka campaign and reveal who funds them and why.

UN Must Investigate Why UN must investigate
Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General initiated a 3 member advisory panel to advise him on ‘alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law during the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka’

 

http://www.un.org/sg/statements/?nid=4627

 

  • This was NOT a UN General Assembly or UN Security Council appointed Panel. It was a panel appointed to advise the UN Secretary General.
  • The panel was to advise him on the final stages of the conflict – the Resolutions have gone beyond the final stages of the conflict and involve post-conflict scenarios where only the GOSL is targeted since there is no LTTE ground force following its defeat in May 2009.
  • How did an advisory panel, appointed to advise the UNSG on a private capacity end up becoming the basis on which Resolutions and UNHRC reports have been based? There is an illegal dimension to what has transpired. If so who will investigate?
  • Why have successive Resolutions gone beyond the final stages of the conflict wherein the post-2009 allegations are meant to solely target the GoSL?
The Ban Ki Moon appointed panel was to advise him on ‘the implementation of the commitment on human rights accountability made in the Joint Statement issued by President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka and the Secretary-General’ when he visited Sri Lanka on 22 May 2009
  • That joint statement being referred says thus The Secretary General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. The Government will take measures to address those grievances
  • (Nowhere does the Sri Lankan Government commit to undertaking an investigation nor does the GOSL agree to an international investigation)
  • Why did the UNSG appoint a panel when there was no such undertaking by Sri Lanka to conduct an investigation in the joint statement that is being referred to?
  • How did a Panel appointed for personal advisory opinion end up as source for successive UNHRC Resolutions and the basis on which UNHRC head based her reports?
The appointment of a Panel inspite of the GoSL appointing its own panel
  • The LLRC was appointed in March 2010
  • Why did the UNSG not give Sri Lanka any time to carry out its own investigation?
  • The PoE was appointed in June 2010 hardly a month after the Sri Lankan Government appointed the LLRC – this is unfair and does not indicate any respect or regard for domestic mechanisms.
Questioning the modalities of the Panel

 

 

The Panel says ‘it is not a fact finding or investigative body’ if so on what basis of evidence did the Panel conclude that

  • Violations of humanitarian law occurred and classified sources as ‘confidential’ denying cross-examination by Sri Lanka for 20 years
  • On what grounds did the Panel characterize LTTE as ‘the most disciplined and most nationalist of the Tamil militant groups’.
  • Why did the Panel state that the conflict ended ‘tragically’ when the entire country was relieved that they could walk out of their homes without fear. Only LTTE supporters would have felt a tragic end to the conflict!
  • Why does the Panel refer to and make comments on the family of HE the President when their mandate was only the last stages of the conflict – another instance of bias of the Panel?
Questioning the appointment of Maruzuki Darusman as Chairman of the PoE The panel appointed to offer advice must be minus prejudices.

Ban Ki Moon chose Darusman inspite of his criticism of the GOSL while he served as a member of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons appointed in 2007.

The IIGEP including Darusman refused to participate in the sessions of the Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights violations.

Ban Ki Moon was wrong to appoint a biased Darusman while Darusman himself should have declined to accept given his bias.

Appointment of Yasmin Sooka to the PoE. She has been since associated with pro-LTTE groups and is now serving in the Advisory Council of an anti-SL campaign

 

The conflict of interest are highlighted:

http://www.onlanka.com/news/is-yasmin-sooka-biased-and-prejudiced-against-sri-lanka.html

  • She was employed and funded by a EU established entity serving as Executive Director for the Foundation of Human Rights. As EU were en bloc pushing for charges against Sri Lanka the biased nature of her selection to the Panel needs to be investigated.
The PoE in its report of March 2011 declared that it found ‘credible allegations’ of crime
  • Organizations and Media have substituted ‘allegations’ with ‘evidence’.
  • The guilty are Amnesty International, International Crisis Group, Australian Red Cross, Human Rights Law Centre, ABC Four Corners, ABC Radio Australia, AFP, BBC, Channel 4, Groundviews, Reuters, Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, Voice of America, Gordon Weiss
The Poe in its report of March 2011 declared that there could have been as many as 40,000 civilian deaths.”

 

http://www.onlanka.com/news/how-media-and-hr-groups-purposely-misinterpreted-ban-ki-moons-panel-of-expert-report.html

  • ‘as many as 40,000’ became 40,000 and more deaths quoted without any sources/evidence
  • The guilty are India Today, PBS, NDTV,
Challenging the 40,000 and more dead figures
  • Accusers need to give valid explanation and evidence as to why GOSL should wish to kill 40,000 and more while physically saving close to 300,000 at the risk and loss of lives of their own soldiers?
  • Whether deaths were 40,000 or more the accusers have yet to give a single name to the dead.
  • Accusers need to explain why US satellite failed to pick up 40,000 or more burials. US satellite found only 3 mass graves – 1 was a LTTE grave.
Investigate the dead figures

 

Investigate on what grounds the PoE refused to accept the UN Country Team estimate of 7721 deaths a report which the UN is not making public?

 

Investigate how and who started making obnoxious death toll figures and how the media was allowed to ridicule and humiliate a country without any basis for accusations.

  • 13 March 2009 – Navi Pillay quoted 2800 deaths
  • 24 April 2009 – UN gave 6432 deaths
  • 13 May 2009 – UN country team gave 7721 deaths
  • SL government census in the war zone which was carried out by Tamil teachers in the region in Feb/March 2011 came with a figure of 7432 un accounted
  • Even pro-LTTE website gave death total as 7,398
Investigate the Charles Petrie report
  • Investigate why the UN did not wish to disclose the UN country team death estimate report
  • Investigate why Charles Petrie report was established to create the notion that because of its conclusion that the UN Failed the report was kept from being made public
  • Tell the Sri Lankan public why the UN failed the 20m people throughout 30 years by the UN doing nothing to stop LTTE terror
Investigate Gordon Weiss
  • He was the UN Spokesman in Colombo
  • Investigate his associations with pro-LTTE groups and in what capacity he is attending pro-LTTE events and speaking at pro-LTTE events as well
  • Investigate on what basis he hyped civilian death toll figures from initial 10,000 to 30,000 and 40,000
Was there an official NO FIRE ZONE
  • Rule of armed conflicts and establishment of a no fire zone requires both parties to the conflict to agree and officially accept the demarcation. There was no such accepted written agreement.
  • The No Fire Zone was only a one sided demarcation created by the SL troops to ask civilians to move to safety.
  • Investigate why LTTE moved into an area that was meant to be for civilians
  • Investigate why LTTE moved artillery into the area and fired from within civilians
 

Allegations of Navi Pillai taking case of Sri Lanka

  • Conflict of interest in her ethnicity
  • Her neutrality questioned in using LTTE sources she has issued derogatory statements against Sri Lanka from her office without any evidence or quoting from LTTE sources
  • Ignoring 30 years of LTTE crimes and insisting only on the last 3 months of the conflict
  • procedural bias by circulating her own incriminating report while refusing to attach Sri Lanka’s response
  • attempting to polarize communities by bringing up isolated cases of religious issues while totally ignoring the over 700 attacks of mosques in the UK and attempting to link rapes in the North with military presence in order to use that as a ground to demand the removal of the military, another imperial outsourced agenda item.
  • making statements without substantiate evidence in accusing the GOSL as being ‘authoritarian’.
Investigate the credibility of the 3 members appointed by Navi Pillai

 

http://www.onlanka.com/news/navi-pillai-appoints-martti-ahtisaari-bribed-by-albanian-mafia-to-deliver-kosovo-independence-to-investigate-sri-lanka.html

 

  • Has the UN conducted and concluded an investigation on Marti Ahtisaari accused of accepting bribes by the Albanian Mafia to deliver Kosovo independence

 

Investigate how UNHRC war crimes forms came to be in the hands of TNA-LTTE
  • This is the most shocking and astonishing disclosure and completely exposes the UNHRC
  • An immediate investigation needs to be launched as to how UNHRC war crimes forms have been given to only one party
  • This connects to former allegations of how sample letters of how to lodge complaints to the PoE was made available via internet and questions the credibility of the PoE witness sources too though these sources have got 20 years anonymity.
Investigate the organizations taking an anti-Sri Lanka campaign
  • The organizations that have teams tasked to campaign against Sri Lanka need to be investigated. Who is funding them, why are they been funded, how much are they paid, what is the motive behind the funding – if parties are being paid to carry out an anti-Sri Lanka campaign of slander, lies and distortions all these entities need to be investigated.
  • Ex: Canadian Tamil Congress is proscribed as a pro-LTTE organization by the GOSL, the same CTC donated $50,000 to Amnesty International and AI has been at the forefront of anti-SL campaigns.
Investigate Foreign Parliamentarians coerced into supporting pro-LTTE and taking an anti-SL line using their portfolios

http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=YOUR_MAJESTY_Are_you_aware_that_UK_MPs_openly_support_LTTE_terrorist_fronts_20130306_03

  • All foreign parliamentarians and international officials need to be investigated for their association with the proscribed entities named by the GOSL
  • These investigations will reveal in what manner these foreign MPs and international figures have agreed to provide backing to pro-LTTE groups
Investigate Channel 4

 

 

http://tamiltigeractivities.wordpress.com/2014/09/17/ltte-member-vany-kumar-how-many-ltte-terrorists-have-become-witnesses/

  • Who funded the Channel 4 documentaries
  • On what basis can a documentary which inserts edited clippings and inserts them to a storyline the producers and funding parties wish to convey become a transparent and factual account?
  • Investigate some of the characters that C4 interviews for many of the star witnesses have been proven LTTE members
  • Investigate and disclose the sources to verify authenticity of the video and whether the clips were actually taken from mobile phones as was claimed.
Investigate the documentary ‘Lies Agreed Upon

 

http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=lies_agreed_upon_20110801

  • Testimonies of over 50 Tamil civilians that confirmed there was no direct fire from SL forces
  • Testimonies that praised the SL forces
  • Testimonies that the SL forces only returned fire when LTTE fired first
Investigate the 6 Tamil doctors and their affidavits

 

http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=Vanni_Pocket_in_Refutation_of_Channel_Four_20140108_06

 

http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/dr-varatharaja-show-his-true-colours-geneva

 

  • Investigate the doctors confirming adequate medical supplies
  • Investigate the doctors assessment of civilian deaths
  • Investigate the doctors who confirmed that LTTE repeatedly located their artillery in close proximity to hospitals
Investigate all the 16 organizations and 424 individuals most of whom are now holding foreign passports
  • GOSL has banned 16 pro-LTTE organizations and declared 424 individuals as supporting terrorists under UN Security Council Resolution 1373
  • All members of the UN who have endorsed the Counter Terrorism Committee Resolution 1373 need to assist the GOSL to investigate and charge these entities and individuals for their links to a designated terrorist organization.
  • All foreign passport holding Tamils need to be thus investigated immediately
Investigate the precedent being created
  • Sri Lanka is the first country that the UNHRC is investigating a concluded conflict without UN Security Council or UN General Assembly sanction.
  • Sri Lanka needs to know why throughout 30 years the UN did not investigate or declare the LTTE as a terrorist entity despite its terror ways and despite LTTE being designated as a terrorist entity since 1997.

 

The UNHRC panel must have already prepared their report but the compelling data available is sufficient for the Sri Lankan State to demand that answers to their questions be given first before the UNHRC reveals their report to make recommendations we know will only target the Sri Lankan Government which has been the plan all along.

We need to be given a rational, a logical, a legal and acceptable answer to all and more questions above.

The Sri Lankan Government must now itself demand that questions to their queries must be answered before the UN points any incriminating fingers at the Sri Lankan nation or attempts to make any proposals that set out to divide the country.

 

 

 

The Bear and Dragon Chronicles – Western Myopia

October 29th, 2014

Eric Kraus Courtesy Russia Insider

Carnegie publishes a textbook case of getting the whole thing wrong. Out come the bear’s (and dragon’s) claws, shredding it piece by piece…

The attentive reader will have noted an odd transformation in the Western narrative regarding Russia-China relations – the Bear and Dragon story which the current author has been arguing for over the past 15 years:

Six months ago, the Western media were in unison, laughing off the suggestion that the Bear and Dragon could find an entente – much less a true alliance. The two countries were divided by a difficult history, unbridgeable cultural differences, and divergent economic geostrategic interests.

The gas deal had been postponed ad nauseum for a decade; China, we were told, had failed to support Russia in Crimea, and would never sacrifice its vital relationship with the West to defend renegade Russia. Indeed, no two countries could be more different than Russia and China (n.b. there ARE clearly two countries more different than Russia and China: America and Japan – which has not prevented them from entering into an alliance” which has seen Japanese foreign policy become totally subservient), glossing over the imperative Chinese need for a safe and peaceful Northern border, as well as a reliable source of resources/energy not susceptible to American naval blockade.

What a difference six months makes!

With new deals now announced almost daily – not just in the energy/resources sector but also in finance, technology and agriculture, and China again Russia’s largest source of investment capital, the previous discourse has become simply untenable. China and Russia are stepping up cooperation at the UN, the SCO,  while creating new alternatives to the World Bank and IMF, and overtly supporting each other’s domestic and foreign policies – obvious to anyone bothering to read the original sources (e.g. China Daily) rather than the Western renditions of Beijing’s positions.

Something had to be done to rescue the imperilled narrative! A new discourse has thus been trotted out to explain away the egregious own-goal scored by Western diplomacy; after some initial hesitation, the new Party Line is that yes, Russia and China are drawing closer together, but it will be Russia who pays a terrible price by being subsumed into an unequal alliance as a junior partner.

Needless to say, these same commentators would never imagine that Russia could (or should) be treated as an equal by Washington – but that is different – American domination is considered to be a healthy thing for Russia (tacit the terrible Yeltsin years).

The most hysterical commentators note that a teeming China abuts upon an empty Siberia (demonstrating a comical ignorance of geography – Chinese population is heavily concentrated in the East/South East, with North-Western China almost as sparsely populated as is Siberia) which they would soon overrun.  For reasons best known to the authors (or those who pay their salaries) when Europe imports Russian gas, Europe becomes dangerously dependent upon Russia – but when Russia sells its gas instead to China, then it is Russia who becomes dependent…

Chin – chin …

Rhetoric aside, much work still needs to go into building a durable relationship, and Russia will benefit only if the current reorientation is accompanied by major and much-needed reform – corporate governance, capital markets, and de-offshorisation/anticorruption. Success is by no means assured, however Russia minds have been focused on the simple reality – that their integration with the West is a one-way street, leaving them dangerously exposed to the threat of economic blackmail for political gain.

We are of the Realist camp – both China and Russia seek to further their own interests – not to bring gifts, however from the Russian standpoint, there is a vital difference between China and the US:  unlike Washington, China shows benign indifference to the domestic affairs of its partners, and would never dream of  soliciting their advice regarding its own. Thus, no colour revolutions” – no democracy support” – no sponsorship of coups in Russia’s neighbourhood.

Chinese diplomacy’s motive forces are commercial – not ideological. This is as it should be, indeed, those who truly believe in the current liberal orthodoxy that good business relations based upon enlightened self-interest are conducive to international peace and prosperity can only applaud the Chinese approach.

Declining at least in relative terms, the West is undergoing a difficult transformation, and is faced with myriad dangers – in particular, a danger arising from its systematically triumphalist discourse – a form of wishful thinking that has taken the place of rational analysis and objective debate. As an example, we dissect a recent paper by Carnegie – characteristic of what currently passes for learned analysis of the Eurasian relations.

For Russia, Asia Is No Substitute for the West, by Akio Kawato. (Former Japanese diplomat and blogger)   October 16, 2014

“Facing Western sanctions, some Russian pundits are rushing to find an easy way out through increased cooperation with Asia. But their expectations are built on an illusion.

Firstly, neither China nor Japan possesses the technology needed for exploitation of non-conventional oil and natural gas. Japan has a monopoly on gas liquefaction technology, but that is another matter, because, if new sources of natural gas are not developed, liquefaction plants will be of no use. China may be able to provide huge advance payments for oil and gas from Siberia, but Russia will not be able to find any other suppliers of long-term credit in Asia.”

The assertion that China and Russia – which can launch manned rockets into space and build the world’s most extensive high speed rail system cannot master the relatively simply and now widespread technology behind non-conventional oil and gas is laughable.  There are tens of thousands of trained engineers from numerous countries, and the technology has been widely applied in Russia. The notion that someone could not simply copy the machinery suggests a large dose of wishful thinking.

“Secondly, Siberia and the Russian Far East are too economically feeble to become a dynamic member of the East Asian economy. Industrial products made in European Russia face high transportation costs en route to Asia, and the natural resource wealth to the east of the Urals needs money and time to be further developed.”

Transportation costs, though high, form a negligible component of the cost of industrial products – unlike Russian raw materials, which despite higher transportation costs – are moving en masse toward Asian markets. The New Silk Road promoted by China will certainly ease whatever bottlenecks still exist. Indeed, the relative weakness of Siberia and the Russian Far East are precisely the reason they need to become more integrated with Asia.

“Tensions with the United States have led Russia to look inwards and eastwards, imperiling its own position in the global economy.”

Russia is looking Eastwards – not inwards. Not coincidentally, the world’s largest and by far its most dynamic economy (with 5x the GDP growth of the US – not to mention recessionary Europe) happens to be located on Russia’s Eastern border.

“Contrary to Russian conventional wisdom, the United States does not always impose its terms” on other countries; many countries benefit politically, economically, and militarily from their relations with Washington.”

Some have – many have not. Anyone travelling around America’s backyard – Mexico and Central America, will be struck by the misery and chaos – which has sent hundreds of thousands of unaccompanied children – many as young as 9, fleeing across the border to America – from whence they are now being deported. The supine diplomacy of Japan and some of the European countries having the most to lose from to a break with Russia demonstrates the degree of dominance of Washington.

“The U.S. dollar remains the international reserve currency because it is the most reliable, universal, and convenient currency for business.”

The US dollar remains the global reserve currency as a hangover of the post WWII economic order when the US alone accounted for slightly more than 50% of global GDP, as well as the fact that all commodities are still priced in dollars. As a first step, the de-dollarization of trade between the BRICs means that the US dollar will increasingly be used as an accountancy unit, without actual dollars changing hands.  As the US share of global production drops towards 20%, and it is overshadowed by China as the world’s largest trading nation and the source of virtually all global economic growth, the financial mechanisms will inevitably evolve towards a multi-currency system.

“The global free market that arose after World War II has given countries like Japan the opportunity to achieve rapid growth. Negotiations over the TPP (Transpacific Partnership) and the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) are stalled for now, but not because Japan and Europe have chosen to stand up to U.S. pressure; Japan, for example, is simply unsure whether the agreements will be ratified by the U.S. Congress without amendments. Otherwise, the industrially developed countries see serious advantages to promote free trade.”

The TPP and TTIP have been described by Hillary Clinton as an economic NATO” – they are nothing more than an attempt to castle out of check – which is not allowed by the rules of chess.

China is the new global source of capital and of markets – witness the frantic diplomatic efforts of Europe in the direction of Beijing. Any attempt to freeze out the Dragon will obviously be stillborn.

“The ruble and the renminbi are used in international transactions, but only on a limited scale as mere accounting units in bilateral payments. In this way, they remind us of the transferable ruble” used by the socialist COMECON” countries during the Cold War; the currency existed on paper but did not contribute to an expansion of trade.”

Obvious nonsense. While the ruble is not likely to become a major basis for international settlements,  the RMB is on its way to becoming a global trading currency rivaling the dollar, while the aggressive policies of the US have accelerated the perceived need of the emerging markets – which now account for 60% of global GDP – to escape from the dollar cage.

“Some Russian pundits lay vain hope on the increasingly independent” policies of Germany and Japan in relation to the United States. However, this independence has its own limits. Neither country intends to discard its cozy dependence” on U.S. military might.”

Probably true – with disastrous demographics (and, at least in the case of Japan) unsustainable fiscal numbers, together they account for a relatively modest and declining fraction of global GDP. They will clearly remain part of the American bloc…perhaps to their ultimate chagrin. What is in play is the rest of the world – especially the emerging markets.

“Therefore, nothing can replace the West for Russia.”

Nothing more than a statement of personal preferences.

“The best way out for Russia is to go back to the basics: Moscow must reconcile with the West by finding a modus vivendi in Ukraine. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych played the West and Russia against one another to gain financial assistance, but was overthrown by the unexpected rise of the rightist elements of the opposition.”

The Yanukovich government was overthrown in a coup d’etat largely organized by Washington and which has now gone horribly wrong. To expect fundamental reform by a government of oligarchs backed by a militant and heavily-armed fascist faction, is obvious nonsense. Much like the recent US adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and  Syria – it will be the local people who will be left to pay a crushing price.

“The middle way” would have been and continues to be the most pragmatic way forward: to promote gradual reforms in both Russia and Ukraine without attempts to forcibly change the political framework of either country.”

Numerous countries – not least the United States, but also Europe, Russia and Ukraine – are badly in need of reform. Russia has not attempted to sponsor coloured revolutions in Berlin or Washington, and the clumsy attempts of the Americans to do so here have been an egregious failure – witness Mr Putin’s latest poll result: 86% favourable (note that there is only one country where he polls higher than in Russia: the People’s Republic of China, with 92%)

“The devaluation of the ruble has inflated Russian state revenues, creating a false sense of confidence that Russia can outlast the storm of western sanctions. But such a course will mean a desperate race with growing inflation.”

Again, wishful thinking. Inflation has ticked up by about one-half percent. It is troublesome, and will require further hikes in domestic interest rates contributing to a decrease in already-anemic growth (like the remainder of the former G8 which is growing no more) – counterbalancing this, the fall of the rouble will continue to strongly stimulate domestic import substitution (and tourism) while starving the Southern European countries which have become more dependent upon Russia markets and tourists.

“It is time for Russia to come to terms with reality and stop dreaming about a Shangri-La in Asia.”

It is indeed time to stop dreaming – it is time to make it a reality!

interpreting Buddhism

October 29th, 2014

By Nalin de Silva

article_image

I thank Mr. Sena Mahwatta for responding on 24th October 2014 to my article on “Knowledge as construction” in The Island on September 10 2014. He says that he needs clarifications on two parts of my article. The first part is on my statement “I must admit that my Bududahama is not be the same as that of Budun Wahanse and I believe that only another Budun Wahanse and not even an Arahant can “know” the Budu Dahama of Budun Wahanse “. Then he goes on to state ‘Prof. Nalin de Silva (NdeS) further says “My Budu Dahama is my interpretation or better my creation and it is unique to me”.’ The second part is on “Paticcasamuppadas”.

Before we proceed further I must admit that I am no more a professor. I cannot use that title as I am not a professor emeritus in any university. I ceased to be a Professor on December 31 2011, when I relinquished my duties at the University of Kelaniya. Mr. Mahawatta and others who refer to me as professor could face charges in a court of law in Sri Lanka!

Mr. Mahawatta having referred to my views on interpretation of Bududahama quotes two unnamed scholars who have apparently said that generalisation in Buddhism is a cardinal sin! It is not clear whether Mr. Mahawatta is of the opinion that by the above statement I have generalised some statements in Bududahama. If it is so then he is misguided. I have maintained that Bududahama is not context free and that context is very important in understanding the various Suttas. I also agree that Bududahama cannot be generalised into some abstract principles.

All that I have said is that I do not understand Bududahama the way Budunvahanse understood it and further that even Arhants do not understand Bududahama the way the Budunvahanse understood it. When Arhant Mugalan wanted to explore the universe (finding its end) it was clear that the Arhant had not understood Bududahama the way Budunvahanse had understood. In fact, Budunvahanse had to intervene and explain that exploring the universe was a useless exercise.

It is not only Bududahama that is relative and understood by each individual in a way peculiar to him. Even this article is understood by various people in different ways and Mr. Mahawatta had not understood my previous article the way I understood it. Knowledge is created by individuals due to avijja (ignorance) and is created relative to the sense organs, the culture and the mind of the individual. How many people have understood the Budget 2015 the way the President has understood it? Three different newspapers reported that the minimum salary of public servants would be Rs. 15,000, 25,000, 30,000. Of course the so-called correct view would be what the Treasury decides finally and people would have to wait sometime to find out that through the pay packet!

My Bududahama is relative to me (my mind being influenced by my samsaric experience) and I consider avijja very important in this regard though I am not sure of what it means. Is it avijja of caturarta sathya (four noble truths) or of something else? In any event in Bududahama there is no knowledge if not for avijja. It has to be emphasised that what I have stated is my position of knowledge in my Bududahama and it could be different from that of Mr. Mahawatta and also of Budunvahanse.

Why do we have the samsaric experience? It is because we consider that we exist. I wrongly believe that there is an individual referred to as Nalin de Silva when there is no such person. I continue to use the words ‘I’, ‘my’, ‘mine’, ‘me’ etc., in spite of attempting to be against Athmavada. As I have mentioned previously when Descartes said I think therefore I am, he based himself on some kind of vinnavada (idealism). A dravyavadin (materialist) would have said I am therefore I think.

What should a Bauddhaya (Buddhist) say in this situation? Of course, we cannot quote Budunvahanse on this as Descartes lived much later. The answer to the above question is relative to the individual who attempts to answer it and my (though there is no I) answer is I do not think therefore I am not. If I could stop thinking I could attain Nibbana. However, unfortunately that is the last thing I could do, at least in this Bhava.

As Budunvahanse has said there would not be a fire or the fire would cease if there is no supply of fuel. When fuel is withdrawn the fire goes out and nobody could say where it (the fire) has gone. However, this has to be refined further before we apply it to Samsara and Nibbana. We have to say what we consider as fire that “exists” due to our avijja will not be there if we do not supply what we call fuel. Even that has to be further refined.

The above could mean that there is something called fire and it ceases to exist when fuel is withdrawn. This is nothing but “uccedavada” and our position should be as follows. Due to avijja we think (know) that there is fire. The fire is there as a result of fuel that is supplied. However fuel is again due to our avijja and we have to unknow (anna) that there is fire as well as fuel. What we have to do is to “understand” non existing fire as non-existing, and its “existence” is due to our ignorance.

In a sense it is making knowledge non –knowledge and when it is applied to the individual it is a case of realising that knowledge of the individual as such is “mythyadrshti”. Knowledge we thrive to attain whether of the individual or the universe is the “sarpya” (serpant) and all knowledge based societies are full of individuals who are far far away from Nibbana. If Mr. Mahawatta is interested he could attend a lecture by me (so-called me) on November 01 at 3.00pm at the public library auditorium on “denuma nodenuma bavata pathkireema” in connection with the book exhibition and lecture series organized by Visidunu Publishers from October 29 to November 04.

As regards “Paticcasamuppada” I do not consider it to be easy. However, it is not applicable to Arhants in its entirety. The process avijja paccaya sankara end with Phassa pacchaya vedana for Arhants as Arhants do not cling to “vedanas”. There is no more bhava, jathi for Arhnats and “Paticcasamuppada” does not run the full cycle.

However, it is the first part of “Patccasamuppada” that baffles me. If the first part is applicable to Arhants then it means avijja paccaya sankhara is also applicable to them. As Arhants have understood the Caturarta Sathya, avijja here could not be taken as ignorance of four noble truths.

Either one has to start with sankhara paccaya vinnana for Arhants or give a different meaning to avijja. However, if we engage in this exercise without shraddha we would be only drifting away from Nibbana.

 

UNITED STATES – SRI LANKA TRADE AND INVESTMENT DIALOGUE

October 29th, 2014

PRESS RELEASE Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC

Washington DC, October 28: Senior officials of the Governments of the United States and Sri Lanka met recently in Colombo to continue their dialogue on trade and investment issues and for evaluating the progress under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between the two countries. The officials discussed a wide range of issues including market access, the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), labor, trade promotion efforts, intellectual property rights, agriculture, and sector-specific investment challenges. Progress on trade and investment issues fosters economic growth and provides a strong foundation for greater economic cooperation and stronger bilateral relations. Two-way trade between the both countries has now reached USD 3 billion.

The U.S.-Sri Lanka TIFA, signed in 2002, is the primary forum for bilateral trade and investment discussions between the two countries. The TIFA process has been the focal point of a sustained and multi-faceted high-level engagement between the United States and Sri Lanka on trade and investment issues. Delivering the inaugural Address at the 11th Joint Council Meeting of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in Colombo, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen noted that due to the visionary leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka is now on a journey to achieve upper middle income country status in the near future.

The TIFA process encourages public and private sector dialogue, facilitates Private-Public Partnership discussions as well as business opportunities events being held simultaneously with TIFA official meetings. In this context, U.S.-Sri Lanka Business Forum was held under the patronage of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, hosted by the AmCham (America Chamber of Commerce), Colombo and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce at the CCC Auditorium followed by business meetings with visiting US business delegates.

Addressing the Forum, Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri Lankan Envoy to United States, said that being the most liberalized nation in South Asia, World Bank has rated Sri Lanka as the best for business in the region. TIFA provides an important platform for Sri Lanka to address remaining challengers to get to the next level in economic development.

Head of the U.S. delegation, Assistant United States Trade Representative for Central and South Asia, Michael Delaney said that United States is the largest customer” of Sri Lanka, with U.S. importing $2.5 billion worth of Sri Lankan products ranging from apparel, precious stones, rubber, spices, and tea. However, the trade and investment relationship between the two countries is still far below potential” and there is a need for pragmatically review all of the specific problems traders and investors are experiencing, with an eye toward easing barriers, and grow trade and investment to create more jobs”.

Anura Siriwardena, Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce delivered the keynote address and Suresh Shah, President of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Andrew Mann, Charge d’ Affairs of the US Embassy in Colombo also addressed the gathering.

Assistant USTR Delaney delivered a public lecture on Role of Economic Development in Fostering Solidarity” at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies. Later, he joined Industry and Commerce Minister Bathiudeen for the ceremonial launch of Sri Lanka Peace Collection” handloom products designed by War Widows in Sri Lanka, a project assisted by the US Government.

During the visit, the US delegation paid courtesy calls on External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L Peiris, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge.

OPEN LETTER TO CHIEF MINISTER-NPC Hon Justice CV Wigneswaran

October 28th, 2014

Kanthar Balanathan, Australia

28th October 2014

Hon Justice CV Wigneswaran

Chief Minister,

Northern Provincial Council,

No 26, Somasundaram Avenue,

Chundukuli, Jaffna,
Sri Lanka.

Dear Chief Minister,

ACUITY – UNDERPERFORMANCE, LIMITATION & DRAWBACK, ON TAMIL POLITICIAN’S ACCOMPLISHMENT

Introduction

I am a SriLankan, and a strong Hindu with clear-cut belief in the Buddhist doctrine. I take the liberty to write to you, as a SriLankan Tamil / Australian, from a free country, which practices, honesty, justice, promote equal rights, and maintains freedom to all people, in an ideal democratic environment. Well, I can concurrently state that Australia is the best country that practices democracy in an idealistic form. I cogitate that every human who is intelligent and competent, has every right to raise his doubts on the functioning of politicians, technical, and academic persons in the interest of the community and the country of SriLanka.

Sometimes too much freedom gives a free hand to some self-centred, mindset, fanatics who suffer from megalomania and superiority complex. An example is the melodramatic superiority complex of the Tamil politicians in the North of SL, and in Tamil Nadu, and the range of gun killing in the States. An example: USA thinks that they have the right to invade any country on this planet, create havoc in any country, however, stage dramatic, philosophical and political propagation to brain wash humans. This is exactly what is happening with Tamil Diaspora, and some Federal Party (ITAK) stooges.

CM, please take some time to read this document and those in links, and, may be pass it onto Mr. Sambanthar, Sumanthiran, and other ITAK partisans. May be we could clear our mind from some mindboggling theories, which have transplanted a mindset in Tamil’s mind.

I courteously request you to do a bit of research in Jaffna, Baticaloa, Tamil Nadu, and India in general.

It is a view that most Tamils are congenitally imbecile and do not want to dissect, analyse and address issues at diverse & multidirectional perceptions. It would be highly appreciated if literates gain knowledge of problem analysis by restructuring it to see it in many different ways. I am sure you would have read on Leonardo da Vinci’s theories on problem analysis.

Some members of the Tamil community feel that Tamil Diaspora is there to support your (ITAK/FP) confounding political ideology, which I strongly disagree and demur. I can confidently state that there are significant number of Tamils feel the same way. Every Tamil should have the right to suggest a lead to a solution, wherever he or she lives.

Please understand one main theme. Politics is not limited to single group of people (elites) and that others should follow them like cattle, which has been the tessellation over centuries. Well, during my period in the late 50s at Hartley College, politics cuddled my curiosity & attentiveness. I watched the political dominance and supremacy of some Attorneys and elites. If a low caste person disagrees or proves a point better than those elites, they were man handled by force or indirectly made to vacillate. That is Jaffna man’s culture. Jaffna man thinks that politics is not for lower/middle caste people. If someone does not agree with the elites, then use force! This same pattern prevails in India today. Although we boast of democracy, the public do not practice democracy. Even in normal discussion, a low/middle cast person has no right to contribute or add a valid point. These are my observations during my seven-year period at KKS, notwithstanding among Diaspora.

I closely watched Federal Party’s political passages, trivial hostility, and skirmish for licence plate numbers on vehicles, which is the Tamil SRI” instead of the Sinhala SRI”. As a pupil, I pondered this cheap politics by the Lawyers, who were Politicians. Those politicians did not appraise the socio-politico-economic or technological importance for Tamils, or SriLanka, but only their self-centered selfishness of financial position, and political survival. Federal Party was indoctrinating the Tamil speaking people in the N&E, and the Tamil populace was on a wild goose chase. It is a belief that ITAK/FP is still trying to intimidate the people in the North to follow them impetuously and thoughtlessly.

Pre and Post-Independence Era

It is not proposed to repeat the writings of this period here. Please read the documents at:

http://nrnmind.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/19-th-january-2013-he-mr-barack-obama.html

http://nrnmind.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/open-letter-to-ma-sumanthiran-tna-mp.html

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012/07/12/letter-to-mr-gajendrakumar-ponnambalam-of-all-ceylon-tamil-congress-from-kanthar-p-balanathan-melbourne-australia/

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=94075

http://nrnmind.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/open-letter-to-vc-of-ju-kanthar-p.html

http://reconciliationinitiatives.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/we-are-one-people-on-a-small-island/

http://terroristfronts.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/open-letter-to-visvanathan-rudrakumaran/

 If we address and analyze the events at different observations, we could conclude that the snobbish superiority complex, self-importance, and egotism of the Tamil elite politicians, and their deep-rooted hard rock caste consciousness were the main driver for the downfall. They created the racial abomination within the peaceful SriLanka community.

SJVC formed the FP with no political conflict between the two communities then in 1948/49. In fact, SJVC sowed the ethnic hatred, and the chauvinistic, racist, attitude among the Tamils. This was the first step towards disintegration of unison and harmony between the two ethnic groups in Ceylon then. The partisan commotion continued with SJVC staging various acts of Satyagraha”, hartals”, inaugurating their own ITAK postal services violating the Ceylon constitution, and refusing to pay for travel.

It is a pity that you, as CM, and Sambanthar & Co are carrying those chauvinistic racial ITAK philosophy in the 21st century. It is a pity that the flimsy excuse you and Sambanthar may give is: We are not responsible, It is democracy and people want it.

Please refer to the following on GGP’s assets.

(Ref: https://www.cse.lk/cmt/upload_report_file/630_1346326156.pdf)

Most of PR and Arunachalam’s descendants, and the elites did Law and nothing else. No one wanted to be an engineer or have technical expertise, but Law. Do you know why? It is the only tool that could be used to embrace power. This happened in parallel with Tamil Nadu (TN). Most Brahmins became Lawyers.

Political Confusion

 Most of your council members and MPs, frequently make pejorative utterances that Sinhalese people are colonizing Tamil areas, with government acquiring Tamil lands. A country is a self-governing political entity, which share a common culture. When Tamils have taken the liberty to settle in the South or all parts of SriLanka (SL), why cannot the Sinhalese people settle in the North? SL is not a Nation-State, but a self-governing political entity, and every citizen has the right to settle anywhere in SL.

For Tamil politicians to go on making belittling statements to the media of colonisation of Tamil areas: it is inhuman, unethical and may be considered a psychological disorder or suffer from some kind of megalomania or superiority complex.

It is of the view that ITAK politician’s fear of being rejected by the people, if they do not make imprudent utterances quite frequently. CM-Is that Tamil’s third world culture?

CM, the assumption of SJV Chelvanayaka’s stupidity on the question of North & East being a nation in 1949 was categorically incorrect and most of ITAK member’s theory is downright, and unconditionally offensive and indecorous.

Colonisation

Colonization (or colonisation) occurs whenever any one or more species populate an area. The term, which derived from the Latincolere, “to inhabit, cultivate, frequent, practice, tend, guard, respect”, originally referred to humans. During the 19th century, bio geographers appropriated the term to describe the activities of birds, bacteria, or plant species. Human colonization is a narrower category than the related concept of colonialism. Colonization refers strictly to migration, for example, to settler colonies, trading posts, and plantations, while colonialism deals with this as well as the ruling of new territories’ existing peoples. (Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonization)

  1. In this context, I wish to emphasize that SriLanka was historically a Sinhala country with Sangamitta, (King Asoka’s sibling daughter) later went to SriLanka to spread the teachings of Buddha at the request of King Davanampiya Tissa (250 BC – 210 BC) who was a contemporary of Asoka (304 BC – 232 BC).

The Jaffna Kingdom, (1215-1624 CE), also known as Kingdom of Aryachakravarti, of modern northern SriLanka was a historic monarchy that came into existence around the town of Jaffna on the Jaffna peninsula after the invasion of Magha, a rowdy, who is said to have been from Kalinga, in India. The rival Kotte Kingdom eventually overpowered the Jaffna kingdom around 1450. Magha is not Tamil, and Kalinga is definitely not Tamil. It associates with Sinhala people.

Subsequently the Javanese, Cholas, Pandyans, and the Jing bang invaded SriLanka and colonised. We can concurrently acknowledge that Tamil Language and colonisation followed by force, displacing the Sinhalese people and their religion. Dutugamunu freed his territory from the Cholas. Colonisation continued subsequently to the East and West from Kerala, and North from Cholas and Pandyans. Along with the colonisation, people from Karnataka and other places were brought for slave labour.

Therefore, in real terms the Tamils invading the Sinhalese territory initiated Colonisation.

  1. As soon as Tamils sensed declaration of independence or even before that, Tamils, began to move to the South. The elites did not think the move as colonisation as this was within one country. Tamils thought and felt that they have the right to move and settle in any part of the country. So be it, it happened, Tamils moved to every corner in SriLanka. I have seen Tamils in Kamburupitiya, Tangalle, and Deniyaya etc. Right from North to South and East to West. Yes, this was accepted because the movement and settlement was within one country.

However, when the GOSL initiated addressing the demographic pattern, to maximise productivity through exploitation of resources, Tamils started to screech & scream, ”Colonisation of Tamil areas”.

Careful study will reveal that demographic movement of people within one country, to maximise productivity to achieve economic sustainability, is not be construed as colonisation. If politicians do continue to address this as colonisation then, they have a shortfall in perception to the interpretation of the real meaning of colonisation in economic and political terms. The Tamils are only multitalented with the practice of ethnic polarisation and racial polarisation.

What is happening in SriLanka is internal movement (demographic) of citizens on a human geographical perspective to maximise productivity.

Neo-Colonialism

As defined by Dictionary.com: The policy of a strong nation in seeking political and economic hegemony over an independent nation or extended geographical area without necessarily reducing the subordinate nation or area to the legal status of a colony.

Prior to independence Indians colonised the economic and trade circles. As stated by Kumari Jayawardhane in her books (1-Nobodies to Somebodies 2. Ethnic and Class Conflicts in SriLanka”) points down to these people dominated the trade and commerce and the economic center and shift some or all proceeds to their own country, which is neo-colonialism. After independence, Tamils and Muslims dominated the economic, trade and commerce. The people supressed and affected are the Sinhalese.

Political Maturity of Tamils

With due respect: It is an understanding that Tamil politicians are to a certain degree immature. They seem to have a strong focus on power grab. Have your ministers thought about the prioritized needs of the people in the North? Every member’s aspiration is for power and accumulation of wealth, however they seem to fool the general public that it is Tamil’s aspiration for equal rights. CM, are you prepared to give equal rights to lower/middle caste people? Can you get onto a public forum and challenge your elites, to give up their caste culture?

Northern Provincial Council

Article 18 of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka refers to:-

(2) Tamil shall also be an official language.

(3) English shall be the link language.

Section 154B on Governor. This section was categorically ignored by the NPC members for some time. They were calling for replacement of the Governor being an ex-military person. In fact the Governor of Australia is an ex-military commander. Mr. Sumanthiran was wise enough not to talk about it, however, you being a Justice were piling on it. Just a question CM, is it because of your ex position as justice, or inferiority/superiority complex? I have read articles of yours on Colombo Telegraph, which were not conducive to a wide-ranging, diplomatic and peaceable atmosphere to the North.

Your Council members are quite eager to fly to foreign countries to discuss NPC political matters with foreign ministers and MPs. I know some have even come and met AMAF who were once called TamMedAid, a para LTTE service organization. TNA members come and have meeting with TD. Is that a prerequisite to run your NPC?

Sivajilingham a member of the GOSL via the Urban Council, does not understand his responsibility as a SriLankan politician, but go on to utter gobbledygook boloney with lack of perception and understanding. Well, Sivajilingham should have been sent for rehabilitation.

TD in Canada, UK, USA, and Australia have no interest in the socio-economic and technological advancement of the North or East, but go on to blabber about Tamil Elam. Therefore, why would your politicians visit these countries and have meeting with the TD organizations? Is it for funding of TNA?

Has any TD organization committed to fund for the development of the North? Has anyone put up a small scale industry to help those displaced young ones? Only agenda is for the TD members to protect and preserve their land and house for them to come visit on holidays.

It is still the GOSL helping those displaced Tamil youths and elderly.

 Resources

CM, Water has become an issue to the North. Draining water from Iranamadu is unearthly, because Kilinochi is a farming area and already Kilinochi wells are running dry. While I was in the North, I realized that the water level in the wells were quite low as 1½ to 2 feet in Jaffna. Kilinochi wells were dry and students were running to Jaffna for service.

Within the Tamil community we have hundreds of thousands of civil engineers. Has any engineer come forward to propose a solution of building a reservoir? The thondaimannar sluice gates was installed with some intent. It is a request that you surf the map of the vallai to Thondaimannar canal. Well, there is a solution to every problem.

When the wells run dry, then it is hoped that Tamil politicians will not put the blame on the GOSL of robbing water from the North???

Initiative, innovation and creativity is an asset to this issue.

Farming in the North is dependent on rain, and seasonal. Tamil Nadu (TN) has designed and constructed irrigation channels to be independent of seasons, but for continual farming of agrarian products. Well, TN politicians and engineers are intelligent than that of our Tamil selfish engineers. TD civil engineers are warming up city council chairs in Australia.

Economics

 We blabber about our province and boast that we are 5,000, 10,000, years old, however, all these silly talks are worthless. Our culture does not allow us to be patriotic, however, to be strong fervent, self-centered selfish people. It’s our congenital attribute.

It was expected that NPC will educate the people in the North via media to be patriotic, intellectuals, and industrious. However, NPC is zealous in fighting for power and fly to overseas countries to meet heads of states. Still the people are concealed with irrational, illusory, and fairy-tale beliefs and spend millions of Rupees on temple construction.

The local resources could be exploited and cottage industries could be promoted on a large scale. Everyone who is uneducated or has limited education wants to be a government servant. Those who are industrious, produce and market a product, have been classified as low/middle caste. E.g.; toddy, fish, meat. How could we identify Tamils as a race? I consider Tamils as the lowest congenitally imbecilic race. Fishermen and wine makers are rich in Australia. Why don’t we learn lessons from other advanced nations, rather clinging on to old theories?

Has NPC formulated a plan to generate income for the NPC? It is the production of goods and services that will elevate the Council, and attract more allocation of funds from the Center.

Rather concentrating on wasteful propagation, if the Council members, MPs and TNA could plan to further the productivity that would be a wealth for the Province.

Our graduates in economics, have only studied the Production-Possibility Curve, Economies of Scale etc., however, they do not want to apply and put into practice. Tamils think they decide the price of goods. Economies of Scale means nothing to them. Definition: Reduction in cost per unit resulting from increased production, realised through operational efficiencies.

From section 154R of the 13th amendment:

The Commission shall formulate such principles with the objective of achieving balanced regional development in the country, and shall accordingly take into account –

(a) the population of each Province;

(b) the per capita income of each Province;

(c) the need progressively, to reduce social and economic disparities; and

(d) the need, progressively, to reduce the difference between the per capita income of each Province and the highest per capita income among the Provinces.

(6) The Commission shall determine its own procedure and shall have such powers in the performance of its duties as Parliament may, by law, confer on it.

(7) The President shall cause every recommendation made by the Finance Commission under this Article to be laid before the Parliament, and shall notify Parliament as to the action taken thereon.

(8) No Court or Tribunal shall inquire into, or pronounce on, or in any manner entertain, determine or rule upon, any question relating to the adequacy of such funds, or any recommendation made, or principle formulated by the Commission.

NPC could have more seminars and promote productivity, rather having meetings to fight for more power and secession.

Well, your minister for Education could work with the Jaffna University, rather trying to boss the VC, to formulate training and seminars on economics and productivity, and may be research.

Education and Appreciation of the Training 

Students who complete degree programs, opt to go overseas. Those who continue on research do not research into the local needs. What we are trying to highlight is that most of our students/people in the North lack in flexibility, innovation, creativity, leadership, decisive, and to be methodical, organized, initiative, possess analytical skills, self-disciplined, and eagerness to learn. We tend to believe in old customary practice and follow, which plugs down to being primitive. Even a guy who has not qualified to A” level wants to go out of the country. They do not have the courage and determination to rise up to the intellectual world. Albert Einstein is a typical example that Tamils should read about. Tamil Elam and police power will not explain the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.

Jaffna University students do not realize the accessibility for their potential growth of power in knowledge, but resort to wasteful Tamil Elam shout which is a wastage of public funds. TD should be blamed for this along with some of your members who travel and communicate with the TD. We cannot poly-trick with students and education.

People should learn to face challenging and changing situations and consider change is a constant“.   In every one’s personal attributes they should train to possess the above criteria. May be you as CM, and your Minister for Education, Cultural Affairs, Sports and Youth Affairs, could promote more on matters concerning advancement of knowledge to compete in the 21st century.

CM – (1) KNOWLEDGE IS POWER”. (2) SAVE SAFELY FOR SAFE FUTURE

What we could see is that your ministries seem to promote opening buildings in certain areas only, and have cultural affairs to collect votes. Well, schools are required, but only where needed. A typical example is that Tellipalai has a modern base hospital just a few km from the main road. However, another hospital building was opened early this year at Kurumbacheddi, which is only a few km from the base hospital. Any nepotism or favouritism for ITAK supporters? There are no medical facilities available in the Vaddukoddai, Sithangkeni, and Araly area. Services like this are considered to be unfair and a wastage of public funds. We could observe NPC servicing based on caste only.

For god sake, do not ignore places where low/middle caste people are concentrated. Just a few km away from Jaffna, have you considered Araly North for development?

Our current President, the Statesman, HE Mahinda Rajapaksa, has, and, is committed to developing the North, totally impartially. The president does not favour one place or one area. To the President, all are equal.

Minister of Agriculture & Agrarian Services, Animal Husbandry, Irrigation and Environment, Mr. Ponnuthurai Ayngaranesan could work with the University to do research on agrarian services for further products, and not limited to potato only.

Overseas Visits

 

Referring to the following pages:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/chief-minister-of-sri-lanka-northern-province-wigneswaran-to-address-pucl-meet-in-chennai/article6533525.ece

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26274032

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/No-Final-Word-yet-on-Wigneswaran-Visit-to-New-Delhi/2014/10/25/article2492436.ece

What benefit would you and your members get by visiting PMs and Members of foreign governments. We consider it a greediness and avidity for popularity among the illiterate Tamils in the North.

What you and others need is to visit the President in Colombo more frequently to have discussions on the growth of the country than having with Obama or Cameron. You could be Consultants to the President rather being an opponent or adversary.

It is of strong view that NPC should co-operate and work with GOSL. NPC is part and parcel of SriLanka, and you have to respect the Presidency. The President HEMR is the Head of State and the BOSS of SriLanka, and not Obama, Cameron or Mordi.

 For the atrocities, killings and destructions carried out by the Indians over centuries, and LTTE, it is fair to say that TNA leader should tender PUBLIC APOLOGY to the people of SriLanka.

Yours Sincerely

කන්තර්  බාලනාතන්

Government to help less affluent Muslims to embark on the pilgrimage to Mecca

October 28th, 2014

The Daily News

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that he would devise a method that ensures equal opportunities for Muslims when they undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca. There was loud cheering from among the Musim folk present, upon the President’s announcement.

While the rich travel to Mecca many times, the less affluent do not get so much as a single opportunity, President Rajapaksa observed.

He added that he would devise a means which enables the less affluent to engage in the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime.

The President was speaking at Al Tharique Muslim Maha Vidyalaya in Kantale. Later, the President reiterated what he said at Al Hijra Muslim Vidyalaya in Thambalagamuwa, Trincomalee district.

The President opened two Mahindodaya Technological Laboratories at both schools. In addition to the school children, a large gathering of persons was present to witness the opening of the laboratories.

The President’s observations on the pilgrimage to Mecca was met with thunderous applause from the large crowds present.

The Haj is the main Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, which is performed annually and is considered as a mandatory religious duty for Muslims which must be carried out at least once in a lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence.

– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/haj-all#sthash.cRWVQx3m.dpuf


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