Sri Lanka’s Buddhist statues in North-East leave perception of ‘imperialism’ says US State Dept
Posted on August 17th, 2017

Courtesy Tamil Guardian

The Sri Lankan government has continued to build Buddhist statues in non-Buddhist areas in the North-East, despite objections from locals and leaving civil society with the perception of Buddhist Sinhalese religious and cultural imperialism,” said the US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2016.

Non-Buddhist religious groups reported an increase in discriminatory restrictions imposed by local government officials on religious minorities,” stated the report which was released earlier today.

In particular the report highlighted the case of Buddhist monks involved in attacks on Christians and Muslims in 2014 and the failure to prosecute them, noting that the case against them has progressed slowly”.

Authorities did not file indictments as of the end of the year, but the cases were reportedly scheduled to be tried in 2017,” noted the report, adding Muslim lawyers with knowledge of the case stated 42 cases related to anti-Muslim riots in 2014 in Aluthgama remained pending at the end of the year”.

In the North-East, the Sri Lankan government has continued to permit the construction of Buddhist statues in non-Buddhist areas despite strong objections from members of the Hindu, Muslim, and Christian communities,” it stated.

Civil society groups and politicians in the north and east stated the construction of Buddhist shrines by Buddhist groups or the military in parts of the Northern and Eastern provinces became contentious symbols of perceived Buddhist Sinhalese religious and cultural imperialism,” continued the report.

The north and east are predominantly Hindu and Muslim, and some Buddhist shrines were erected in areas with few, if any, Buddhist residents. According to local politicians in the north, the military sometimes acted outside its official capacity to aid in the construction of these statues.”

Sri Lanka’s constitution also continues to grant the first and foremost” place to Buddhism noted the US State Department, recalling a 2003 Supreme Court ruling that determined the state was constitutionally required to protect only Buddhism and no other religion.

The notion of ensuring the state continues to grant Buddhism special protection has been defended by both Sri Lanka’s President and Prime Minister.

See the full text of the report here.

5 Responses to “Sri Lanka’s Buddhist statues in North-East leave perception of ‘imperialism’ says US State Dept”

  1. dingiri bandara Says:

    Before Tamils came the North and Muslims were settled in the East by our kings, it was the Buddhist who lived in these areas and many statues of Buddha and many places worship existed in these ares.Most of these have been destroyed an continue to be destroyed. Many mosques and kovils have been built in predominantly Buddhist.As of today mosques are been in several areas where Buddhists live.
    Are there any new Buddhist statues or places of worship been built in India or any Muslim country?

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    It would be wise for the N&E to diversify re religion and language.
    Dividing tiny Sri Lanka through Language & Religion will spell disaster for ALL in Lanka.

    The North already has a Tamil Buddhist Association.
    They would surely welcome the Teachings of the Buddha to bring Peace & Prosperity to those areas.

    However, the Hindu Dalit based Animal Sacrifice parts have yet NOT been outlawed in Sri Lanka.
    Animal Sacrifice is already outlawed in Tamil Nadu, Homeland of Tamils.

    Why has Sri Lanka not outlawed Animal Sacrifice yet ?
    Over to the Lawmakers of the N&E.

  3. SA Kumar Says:

    Lawmakers of the N&E are the Hindu Dalit so how come We out law our way of living of based Animal Sacrifice ???

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Also, why hasn’t the Vadukoddai Resolution (Eelam through Violence) of 1976 yet NOT been officially revoked in Parliament ?


    Complaints from the Northern leaders include that the North is not at par in development of the rest of Lanka.

    The rest of Lanka complains that during the MR Govt times, most of the Govt funds went to development of the North !
    During the two year Yahap govt times, no real development has taken place anywhere in Lanka !

    Tamil leaders created the LTTE through the V’koddai Resolution (Eelam through Violence), & INDIA GREW THE LTTE by training the LTTE cadre in Tamil Nadu during the 1980s era (Cold War era).
    The LTTE Tamil youth obeyed the negative directions given, and destroyed the infrastructure and whatever they could lay their hands on in the North and anywhere else in Lanka, especially Colombo, viz LTTE bombing of the Central Bank bldg. The Tamil ‘financial section’ via Ranil appointee Arjuna Mahendran continued the destruction of the Central Bank through the Big C’Bank Scam (twice !).

    Watch how Lanka is being systematically destroyed, first through Terrorism, next through the Govt Public financial institution, the Central Bank.

    Who’s wish is this ?

    End result :

    “Crash & Sell” program of Ranil ?
    “Divide & Rule” program from outsiders ?

    In such acts, UNPATRIOTIC Tamil leaders & UNPTARIOTIC LEADERS from OTHER political parties lose respect from others and self respect as well.

    The only answer is true PATRIOTISM to Lanka, from all leaders of Lanka.

    Buddhist Life Values & Core Life Values from other religions can co-exist peacefully in Lanka.
    Respect Life !
    Put the Laws in place to do so !

  5. Nimal Says:

    Sorry I haven’t got the time to read all above.Must say it was the colonials that made Buddhist statues in Kandy which I say in 1947 and erected in Devales and even in Maligawa.The person who made the statues had his workshop and home in Bahrawa Kanda in Kandy.
    British tried to give the Sinhalese their rightful place in the island by turning the Hindu Devales in to temples.Our Sinhalese families in the South vwere urged by the british to move Northwards to places like kotte where our Nindagans given first by the dutch and the British was owned by the Artigalle,Basnayake and other Sinhalese families.They were given lands up to the Kotte temple which still has Dravidan Hindu signs.Maligawa and the Devales were all Hindu dominated structures that was given to us and outb two bit ploiticans and leaders are in denial,wearing their attire.Perhaps they are Dravidans them selves.
    I was shocked to hear the utter false hood on TV the way they described the Kandy Devals as origin for the present Kandy Perahara,supposed to have done by our tyrannical kings and these scoundrels never did any good for the people just as our present politicians.Unless you are here in SL one can’t imagine the suffering and hopelessness of people.
    These past tyrants must have had the Perahara in the jungles around the Maligawa until the British build the present roads from the waste lands.We are in denial of our true recent history which is a tragedy for our generations to come.

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