GAMBLING in Sri Lanka
Posted on November 18th, 2010

by hela puwath

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke).

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The subject of Gambling has been addressed in all religions.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  No religion condones gambling.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  All religions condemn gambling, unanimously. In Sri Lanka, recently, Buddhist monks and perhaps clergy of other faiths have objected to the Casino Gambling Law.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  What ever may be the basis of objections of other major religions to gambling, in Buddhism, it is not based on a divine revelation, or the fear of a higher power.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In Dhamma the reasoning is clear and succinct: it is simply about what gambling does here-and-now. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The Dhamma explains the cause and effect of gambling on oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s psyche, on oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s wealth, on oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s livelihood, and on oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s family. The Buddha spoke extensively about ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the right livelihoodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚, Jesus rebelled against gambling and money lending, and in Islam gambling is simply prohibited. The Buddha spoke about the right livelihood and also about the suitable place to live. Therefore, according to the Buddha, if one has to live in a place infested with gamblers, and surrounded by Gambling Casinos, that is not the right place to live. Sri Lanka is a small island, and the only place to call home! ( in anticipation of those mischievous comments).ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Having said that, the fact that the clergy stands up against gambling, does not make gambling simply a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-religious issue.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  It is a societal issue – but first and foremost – it is a family issue. It is about the gamblingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s insidious effect on family ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” women and children, foremost.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  And by extension, it is about gamblingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s corrosive effect on society as a whole.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Another important point to drive home is about politics in Sri Lanka:

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The point that we write strongly against this Casino Gambling Law is not because we support one political party or another.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Just as in the case of religious objections, the fact that some political parties such as the UNP in Sri Lanka parliament objects to this legislation, does not make us UNPers or any other ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  We have no political axe to grind: we have no religious axe to grind: we have no financial gain to make. We like millions of (silent) others who love this country oppose this Gambling Law, because of what gambling does to our families ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” no less, no more!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In parting, while on the subject of politics, we like to steal the comments by a Lankaweb reader:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The biggest curse to this country is people who praise everything that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-their peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ do and criticize everything the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-othersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ do. I see things for what they are. I support the Hambantota harbour, Mattala airport, the massive development projects initiated by this government 100% but ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-oppose CEPA and the proliferation of gambling 100% as well.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚¦Its wise to think about the old adage ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-a little bit of cow dung will spoil the whole pot of milkƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. The present government should understand that in the eyes of the general public, all good things done from ridding our motherland of terrorism, building of the Hambantota harbour, Upper Kotmale, the Norochcholai coal plant, Mattala Airport etc. will simply be meaningless when compared to a single wrong decision like this.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ [mjaya ]

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke).

Dear Mister President, VETO THIS MADNESS !

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

3 Responses to “GAMBLING in Sri Lanka”

  1. Nihal Fernando Says:

    Almost every country has gambling one way or the other. Even in Saudi Arabia they discreetly sell Thai Lottery. We cannot categorize only casino as gambling, how about selling all kind of lotteries in Sri Lanka? How many millions out of our population buy them regularly? Please do not take me wrong. I am not for gambling but against it. In this material world everything is commercialised and gambling is also part of it. In that ‘industry’ there are losers and winners but eventually winners will also become losers.

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    The rich can afford to gamble, but the poor man certainly cannot afford to gamble. We have known men of the Lankan middle class get caught up in the gambling fever and lose much hard earned money. It is really up to the individual to resist gambling.
    Buying lottery tickets is also a type of gambling. So in reality types of socially acceptable gambling has been going on in Lanka for quite some time.

    But, in gambling houses, there is a false excitement created through the rolling of the dices or dealing of cards. It is this EXCITEMENT & THE ATMOSPHERE that is addictive and is different to purchasing a lottery ticket. Also, liquor and women go with the gambling fever. So, all in all, we too are not for legalized gambling which will unleash gambling, big time.

  3. Nanda Says:

    I agree with you. Commecial world is different, but I am not sure much research was done in legalizing gambling as applicable to Sri lanaka.
    If it is ging on underground anyway, are we going to crack down ?

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