SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist leader

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by Ray, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    CM candidate of Sri Lanka Tamil party compares national hero to slain terrorist leader

    Sept 20, Colombo: The Chief Ministerial candidate of Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) former Supreme Court judge C. V. Wigneswaran has compared a national hero to the slain Tamil Tiger terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

    Reiterating his statement that Prabhakaran is a freedom fighter, Wigneswaran has told the Indian daily Times of India that a national hero of Sri Lanka Keppetipola Disawe was once considered by the British as a dangerous criminal but now has roads named after him and statues built for him.

    "Prabhakaran was a freedom fighter. He may have been brutal, but so is the government," he has said in an exclusive interview to TOI when asked about the allegations that he has glorified the LTTE and its leader as a 'Maveeran' in his election campaign.

    "It is all perception. If you are going to call him a terrorist, should I also not address those who are being now hauled up in the international forum for war crimes as terrorists?" the TNA candidate has asked.

    Speaking of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo in November Wigneswaran has said that India should attend the summit and not boycott as political parties in Tamil Nadu demand.

    "We must have the courage of conviction to tell the Sri Lankan government that it has done this and this and what does it got to say... It is better you say it at the CHOGM rather than keep away," he has said.

    Wigneswaran has accused the Tamil Nadu politicians of playing with the Tamils' issue by treating it "like a tennis ball".

    According to the CM candidate, India owed it to the Lankan Tamil community to help revive democratic institutions, especially the support of south India.

    He has called the government's development projects in the North as "mere propaganda" that benefits the army to control the people in the electorate.

    "Roads and other infrastructure projects are just showpieces. The roads have been put up with the help of foreign collaborations and donations. They have been most beneficial for the army to keep the electorate under control," the TNA Chief Ministerial candidate has said.

    The Sri Lankan government says that massive development projects in the war torn in the Northern Province were carried out at a cost of Rs.393 billion.

    Wigneswaran has expressed confidence that the TNA, once considered as a proxy party of the defeated terrorist organization, would get a majority in the Northern Provincial Council at Saturday's elections.

    Sri Lanka : CM candidate of Sri Lanka Tamil party compares national hero to slain terrorist leader

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    While Wigneswaran may have good reasons to feel and say what he has felt and said, but this is the time for reconciliation and reconstruction.

    It will not serve any purpose to raise the ghosts of the past because it will only infame the people on both sides and that will be counter-productive to the interest to the progress of the Tamils of Sri Lanka.
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    Food insecurity, debt rise in Sri Lanka�s north

    Mon, Sep 23, 2013, 11:09 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Sept 23 (IRIN) COLOMBO- In two northern districts of Sri Lanka, now slowly recovering from decades of conflict, almost seven out of 10 households are "food insecure", according to a recent survey.

    Of the 300 households interviewed over two days in Vavuniya and Mullaitivu districts in August 2013, half reported selling jewellery to cope with falling income and rising debt.

    Food cost 10 to 30 percent more in local markets in the two surveyed districts than in the Northern Province�s central markets, which have better road access. This is on top of an estimated 12 percent increase in the average cost of food nationwide.

    While there is still enough food in the smaller number of villages surveyed, fewer people can afford it, said Kathy Derore, head of the programme unit at World Food Programme (WFP) in Sri Lanka.

    The situation has worsened since 2012, when a more comprehensive assessment in late March 2012 in Northern and Eastern Provinces found that 44 percent of the population could not get adequate, nutritious food.

    Some households have not recovered from a year-long drought that began in late 2011 and ended abruptly in December 2012, when fatal flooding affected more than 400,000 people, Derore told IRIN.

    Although more than half of the families received some form of drought aid, it was still �inadequate� said Derore. In response to WFP�s appeal earlier this year for $2.6 million to provide three months of aid to 60,000 flood survivors, no donors responded and no distributions were made.

    Sri Lanka : Food insecurity, debt rise in Sri Lanka’s north

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    If Wigneswaran does become the CM, then this is what should concern him more.
     
  4. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    Sir

    It's Simple Most of the Srilankan Tamils and Tamils All over The They calls Prabaharan as a Leader and their Freedom Fighter

    Just an Imagination

    If tamils Rules Sri lanka their Leader was Prabaharan and they will erect his statue in every Streets
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    That is perfectly justified.

    However, this is the time to consolidate.

    “Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.”
    Mao Tse-Tung

    It is time to consolidate, gain strength and health and then think about future actions.

    One should not take an antagonistic stance when one has been bloodied and hurt.

    One must think with his head and not his heart in such times!

    Already the Tamils are on the way up - got the SL Govt to give them their Govt through elections, got the world community aflame against SL genocide.

    Therefore, the time is to consolidate and use the world's sympathy to further the aim, whatever that be!

    BTW, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers cannot rule Sri Lanka.

    The Constitution and the numbers are against such an eventuality!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  6. HeinzGud

    HeinzGud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    This is the real situation in Sri Lanka Mr. Ray. It is better that you understood it. We Sinhalese have nothing against Tamils. We are even would go to the end of giving self governance to Tamils but Tamils do not want to live with us (Tamils means not the entire population but the elite Tamil leaders). Moreover they are basing there Tamil eelam on a historical disproved hypothesis.

    The land of Sri Lanka or Sinhale belongs to the Sinhalese. If Tamils want to live there, there is no problem. But if they want to cede, I do not think that will be granted.
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    I agree you have nothing against the Tamil.

    You want to eliminate them and make them nothing!

    Tamils are also Sri Lankans.

    Forgotten that?

    Treat them as equal citizens and they will be of no problem to you!
     
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  8. HeinzGud

    HeinzGud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    Why do you think we want to do that?

    Does that make them racist to demand a separate area for Tamils only? Where do Sinhalese demand such a democratic idea?

    Such as Tamil equal treatment to other ethnacities in Jaffna?
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

     
  10. HeinzGud

    HeinzGud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le


    Autonomy? Which means that any ethnic group can claim a area for themselves and bar any other ethnic group from settling in that area is it?

    Any problem? Where is the democracy? Why can't a Sinhalese for an example cannot buy land and settle in Jaffna and Wanni? Why TNA and you cry foul over that?

    Where is the equality and justice preached by those Tamil leaders? Does the equality and justice is only for their benefit only?
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  11. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    @HeinzGud SL friends are really confusing! why was Mr Wig. even given a venue in the first place to sing high praise of a terrorist P who had bn liable for the calamity and put salt on the unhealed wounds? ok SL perhaps as a "democracy", freedom of speech etc. but definitely Wig.'s is off limits. a former Supreme Court judge? he clearly has no SL as a whole in mind!?

    and TNA , isnt it identified as a PROXY of LTTE? then how comes it running in elections? SL gvmt is just allowing it to brew the next storm as in 3rd world countries unsophisticated voters often toe the ethnic line thus Tamils naturally voting for Tamil parties into your Northern Province(?) to become a state inside your state against majority Sinhalese, following Cyprus pattern where Turks republic was propped up externally by Turkey.

    hv SL politicians taken this seriously, and addressed fm the root?

    Sent from my 5910 using Tapatalk 2
     
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  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    And your suggestion to SL?
     
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  13. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    I offered my recipe to SL bhais long long ago, i.e. what's feasible within a 3rd world democratic edifice

    In http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...anka-water-down-tamil-power-sharing-plan.html
    As reference I cited Constitution of Mali - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - an African democracy
    I predicted on 10-01-12 in http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...-sri-lanka-ready-give-land-police-powers.html
    Also as reference el Sisi of Egypt prohibited Muslim Brotherhood even though it won the election.
     
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  14. HeinzGud

    HeinzGud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    Indeed. Many people have advised the government on this issue but I think the government is holding on because of the commonwealth summit.

    If this is happen in another country, including India I do not think people like Mr. Whig can survive.

    No he don't. He do not want to take the oath with the president of Sri Lanka.

    No they do not contest. They contest as ITAK. Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Even though if needed government can ban TNA and ITAK as a whole. But the government is not doing that because of the international pressure. But government should ban TNA at least.

    This election should not have happened because as most of the people know it Provincial councils are just white elephants. They do nothing for the country or the local people but drains resources from the country. The only reason for keeping Provincial councils are because of the Indian pressure. But I think in the future PC's will be disbanded and the power will be transferred to the districts as it had been before 1987.

    Ture. This could happen.

    Our decision makers are aware of this very well I think they do something for this.
     
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  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    The problem is that if religion does not play a role in SL Politics, the monks will rise in rebellion.

    Who Betrays Whom? Buddhism and Monastic Politics in Modern Sri Lanka

    The ever stronger monastic politics in Sri Lanka is fast changing the rules of power in the tiny island nation.


    Given the categorical departure of religion and politics, Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka maintains its apolitical entity and separation from the political sphere. Since the early 20th century, however, it has become impossible for scholars to ignore the intimate relationship between Buddhism and politics and the gradual politicization of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist monks’ active involvement in social politics presents different spectrums of modernized Buddhism and has puzzled observers and political analysts. In the mainstream media today, we see monks organizing public demonstrations and political protests that can be categorically called monastic politics. With the rise of Buddhist monastic politics, protests, religious nationalism and Buddhist radicalism, Sinhala Buddhism is reinventing its political history of religion.

    Walpola Rahula (1907–1997) and Gangodawila Soma Thero (1948-2003), among others, are the two notable Buddhist monks who have played roles in the formative development of monastic politics and the legitimation of monks entering political life, thereby creating a new Sri Lankan sociopolitical structure. Rahula had binary lives: as an internationally reputed Buddhist scholar-monk, and as a political protagonist and social activist. Monk Soma Thero was an extremely popular dhamma preacher and TV personality, but he too shared the vision that monks should enter politics to reform political systems in the country. Before his untimely death in Russia in 2003, he established many Buddhist temples for the Sri Lankan Buddhist diaspora in Australia. Mahinda Deegalle, a Harvard and Chicago trained historian of religion, argues that a fraction of monks, identified as the Jathika Helu Urumaya-monks, exploited Soma Thero’s death by spreading conspiracy theories and rumors about the event.

    In 1974, Walpola Rahula published The Heritage of the Bhikkhu. The book called upon Buddhist monks to take more interest in social and political activism. Subsequently the degree of monks’ participation in national politics increased significantly and developed into extreme radicalism. By February 2004, the monks in Sri Lanka had their own political party called the Jathika Helu Urumaya (National Sinhala Heritage), from which, by 2012, it further advanced into more radical groups such as the Bodu Bala Sena (Army of the Buddha’s Power), the Ravana Balaya (Force of Ravana) and the Sinhala Ravaya. The Jathika Helu Urumaya (JHU) was established by a group of highly influential and politically motivated Buddhist monks. The political ideology of the JHU is based on Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism, cultural integrity, and ethnic identity, with Theravada Buddhism at the center. The progenitors of the JHU are followers of noted monks, Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero, Ellawela Medhananda Thero, Kolonnawe Sumangala Thero, Dr. Omalpe Sobhitha Thero, and Athuraliye Ratana Thero. They felt that power hungry politicians had betrayed their own people. Given their authoritative status , they argued that they had a moral obligation to rid the political process of corruption and abuse of power by entering politics.

    In the first election it contested in April 2004, the JHU party won nine out of 225 seats at parliament. With success came the label of "monk-politicians" – a nomenclature that accentuated the contrast between their Buddhist philosophy of worldly abandons and their new political avatar. The concepts of preservation and protection of Buddhism and Sinhala nationhood as cultural hegemony, became political manifestos and active voices for the JHU monks. During the election campaigns, they effectively used the statement of "unethical conversions," which was a rhetorical religio-political agenda to deceive people and garner sympathy and votes. The idea of "unethical conversions" was extremely contagious and highly effective. JHU monks’ image of nonprofessional politicians ironically helped them win their nine seats. In the presidential election in 2005, the JHU party supported President Mahinda Rajapakse, thereby cementing its role in national politics. The emergence of the JHU as a distinctive political affiliation and the success of the JHU monks, had various results: it created a new political discourse led by monks; it underlined the symbolic unity of a Sinhala Buddhist nation; it also spawned controversies, and subsequently public ridicule.

    A month before the 2004 elections, the JHU monks organized a massive march towards the Tooth Relic Temple, Kandy from Colombo. Thousands of Buddhist monks and their supporters participated, sharing the same mission of restoring the glorious past of the Sinhala Buddhist civilization and the state promotion of Buddhism. Buddhism became not only the tool for the political reproduction of a potent past, but also a driving force for the continuity of religious identity and tradition.

    Similar to the late Bal Thackeray’s establishing of a Hindu nationalist party in 1966 in India, two Buddhist monks, Kirama Wimalajothi and Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, recently established the Bodu Bala Sena, a religio-political organization. Both of them were former members of the JHU and had left the group due to ideological conflicts. Like the JHU, the BBS also promotes Buddhist nationalism and Sinhala supremacist ideals.

    Despite its controversial image both inside and outside Sri Lanka, the Bodu Bala Sena gained a large number of followers who share similar ideologies and goals. Since its inception, the BBS has engaged with many campaigns, including those dedicated to securing dignity and religious freedom for Sri Lankan Buddhists working in the Middle East and the abolition of halal food products in Sri Lanka. In reaction to the destruction of over 20 Buddhist monasteries, and the attacks on Buddhist minorities in Bangladesh by Muslim extremists in September 2012, the BBS held a protest at the Bangladeshi High Commission in Colombo and demanded the protection of Buddhists in Bangladesh.

    In less than a year, the organization has become sufficiently powerful to force both the Mahinda Rajapaksa government and the main opposition to acknowledge its political capital, and hold parlays with BBS leaders on several occasions. On March 24, 2013, the BBS held another rally in Panadura, a suburb of Colombo, in which it urged action against Christians and Muslims. It declared that Sri Lanka had been a Sinhala Buddhist country, not a multiracial or multi-religious country, and hence it should remain a monolithic Sinhala Buddhist nation. Their anti-Muslim and anti-Christian call not only disrupted ethnic harmony, but also received international criticism. President Rajapaksa has since called upon the BBS monks and their associates to refrain from violence.

    The rationalization of political Buddhism and monastic interest in politics, go back to the early 20th century; these began in reaction to the colonization of Sri Lanka by the British Empire. Thus, the historical past became a justifiable playground for the monks to legitimize their involvement in secular politics. Although monks are not permitted to partake in political activism in any form, they validate their stance for entering state politics when it comes to the issues of Sinhala ethnic identity and the survival of Buddhism.

    Regardless of their justification, the monks’ active involvement in politics brings one back to the central argument introduced by Stanley Tambiah in his controversial book: Buddhism Betrayed, in which he claims Buddhism is all about betrayal. Although Tambiah’s claim may find many subscribers on account of the civil war, ethnic conflicts, and violence that was prevalent in Sri Lanka at the time. The author, however, does not address the philosophical questions of who betrays whom and what betrays what. Does Buddhism betray Buddhists, or do Buddhists betray Buddhism? Scrutinizing such questions might surprise us with the deepest truth or the gravest lie about the philosophical, social, and cultural complexity of contemporary Sri Lankan political landscape.

    Who Betrays Whom? Buddhism and Monastic Politics in Modern Sri Lanka | Fair Observer°
     
  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    Rajapaksa family shower blessings upon Bodu Bala Sena: Min. Rajitha

    Minister Rajitha Senaratne announced Rajapaksa family always shower blessings upon Bodu Bala Sena which continuously attacks minority communities in SriLanka.
    Theory of Buddhism stressed to respect Lord Buddha, his speeches and Buddhist monks.

    Buddhist called upon Thunruwan. When blessing people they always say “Thunruwan Saranai”. At present BBS receives blessings from five individuals they are, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Namal, Gotabaya, Chamal and Basil Rajapaksa.

    Government headed by president Rajapaksa strongly denies their support towards BBS. However statement made by the minister Rajapaksa clearly proves that government stand beside BBS.

    Minister made this statement while addressing an event at Kudawela area in Galle recently.

    Minister further added Buddhist monks should not follow anti democratic pathway.

    News view - LankasriNews.com

    [​IMG]
    Images of President Mahinda Rajapakse receives blessings from Buddhist monks during a special religious prayers for President Rajapaksa in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 24/01/2010. Two celebrated heroes, president Mahinda Rajapaksa and army chief General (retired) Sarath Fonseka who helped end Sri Lanka's long and brutal war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrillas, are now contesting for the Presidential election 2010, 26th Jan.

    http://www.demotix.com/news/229231/religious-prayers-president-rajapaksa#media-229212
     
  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    Buddhists Behaving Badly
    What Zealotry is Doing to Sri Lanka


    In Sri Lanka last September, a Sinhalese mob led by some 100 Buddhist monks demolished a Muslim shrine in the ancient city of Anuradhapura. As the crowd waved Buddhist colors, gold and red, a monk set a green Muslim flag on fire. The monks claimed that the shrine was on land that had been given to the Sinhalese 2,000 years ago -- an allusion to their proprietary right over the entire island nation, as inscribed in ancient religious texts.

    The Anuradhapura attack was not the only recent incident of Buddhists behaving badly in Sri Lanka. In April, monks led nearly 2,000 Sinhalese Buddhists in a march against a mosque in Dambulla, a holy city where Sinhalese kings are believed to have taken refuge from southern Indian invaders in a vast network of caves almost two millennia ago. The highly charged -- but largely symbolic -- attack marked a "historic day," a monk who led the assault told the crowd, "a victory for those who love the [Sinhala] race, have Sinhala blood, and are Buddhists."

    Such chauvinism is at odds with Western preconceptions of Buddhism -- a religion that emphasizes nonviolence and nonattachment -- but is in keeping with Sri Lanka's religious history. Militant Buddhism there has its roots in an ancient narrative called the Mahavamsa (Great Chronicle), which was composed by monks in the sixth century. According to the Mahavamsa, the Buddha foresaw the demise of Buddhism in India but saw a bright future for it in Sri Lanka. "In Lanka, O Lord of Gods, shall my religion be established and flourish," he said. The Sinhalese take this as a sign that they are the Buddha's chosen people, commanded to "preserve and protect" Buddhism in its most pristine form. According to myth, a young Sinhalese prince in the second century BC armed himself with a spear tipped with a relic of the Buddha and led a column of 500 monks to vanquish Tamil invaders. In addition to defending his kingdom from mortal peril, the prince's victory legitimized religious violence as a means for national survival.

    Militant Buddhism was a driving force behind the 25-year war between the majority Sinhalese (74 percent of the population) and the minority Tamils (18 percent), who were fighting for an independent state in the island's north and east. (Muslims, who make up six percent of Sri Lanka's population, were often caught in the middle.) During the war, monks repeatedly undercut efforts to work out a peace agreement.

    The sangha, as the clergy is collectively referred to in Theravada Buddhism, has historically exercised political power from behind the scenes, embodying a broad form of religious nationalism. But in the later years of the war, it became more overtly politicized. In 2004, the hard-line National Heritage Party (known as the JHU) elected seven of its members to Parliament; all were monks, and the party ran on a platform calling for a return to Buddhist morality in public life. Soon after being seated, the JHU staged an intramural brawl on the floor of Parliament.


    The JHU also worked to scuttle a March 2002 Norwegian-brokered peace settlement that called for limited Tamil autonomy. Monks declared that Sri Lanka had always been a Sinhalese kingdom, that autonomy violated the near-mystical idea of a unitary state, and that there was no option other than a military one. Peace negotiations simply made the Tamil Tigers stronger, as one of the party's more outspoken clerics, Athuraliye Rathana, whom the Sri Lankan media dubbed the War Monk, argued. "If they give up their weapons, then we can talk," he said. "If not, then we will control them by whatever means necessary. We should fight now and talk later." In the spring of 2006, monks attacked an ecumenical group of peace marchers and led a long sit-in against a cease-fire agreement that soon came apart, leading to another round of fighting.

    As the bloodshed wore on, much of the Buddhist clergy gave its blessing to a final offensive on the separatist Tamil Tigers. In May of 2009, the Sri Lankan military emerged from that battle triumphant. But its brutal offensive against the Tigers has made President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government the target of broad international condemnation. Reliable estimates of civilian deaths range as high as 40,000, and Britain's Channel Four has documented summary executions of Tamil Tiger prisoners in its program "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields." Although human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and the UN Human Rights Council, have called for an investigation into humanitarian abuses and possible war crimes, the Rajapaksa government has resisted. The monks have backed this obstinacy, saying that such demands attack what Sinhalese refer to as the Buddhist "motherland."

    Since the war ended, Buddhist clerics have been at the forefront of promoting punitive triumphalism. The Sinhalese majority widely views its victory over the Tamils as a ratification of its scripturally ordained dominion, with other groups occupying a subordinate position. Accordingly, steps toward reconciliation have been faltering. Government efforts to resettle the nearly 300,000 Tamils displaced by the fighting, now mostly accomplished, were slow and chaotic, leaving resentment. The military has established large cantonments in Tamil areas, treating civilians with a heavy hand. According to the International Crisis Group, "When challenged by public protest, the military has shown itself willing to physically attack demonstrators and is credibly accused of involvement in enforced disappearances and other extrajudicial punishments." Although the rehabilitation of former Tiger cadres -- as many as 11,000 individuals -- has largely proceeded according to schedule, there have been accusations of mistreatment of prisoners while in custody and harassment of them after their release.

    Defense Minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the President's brother, recently said that the north and east were not exclusively Tamil areas, hinting that the government might resume Sinhalese land colonization programs, which were a major point of friction in the run-up to the war. Meanwhile, Tamils have complained that the military has allowed Buddhist temples to be erected where Hindu temples had been destroyed in the fighting, or near traditional Hindu shrines. There are also accusations that monks have taken advantage of the postwar confusion to seize Tamil land, especially in areas adjacent to new military bases. Last year, the ICG warned of a "recipe for renewed conflict" and said that reconciliation "seems harder than ever."

    Another sign of militant Buddhism's enduring power is the government's refusal to confront the human rights abuses committed in the war's final push. President Rajapaksa, who went to Kandy, the cultural capital, immediately after the 2009 victory to genuflect to the country's top Buddhist clerics, has rejected a UN Human Rights Council resolution, passed in March, that called for an inquiry into humanitarian abuses and possible war crimes. Only recently did the Rajapaksa government concede that there were any civilian casualties at all. In fact, as the UNHRC voted on the March resolution, hundreds of Buddhist monks led a prayer vigil in Colombo against it. Hundreds more led protests when it passed. The Los Angeles Times quoted one demonstrator as saying, "Evil forces both local and international have joined hands to deprive Sri Lanka of the present environment of peace and take this blessed island back to an era of darkness."

    Some see an irony in Buddhist monks aligning themselves so closely with a government that resists accountability for humanitarian abuses. But the greater irony is that, in protecting and preserving their particular form of Buddhism, the Sinhalese seem to have injured it gravely. The sangha's preoccupation with politics has come at the cost of spiritual focus. Most monks in Sri Lanka no longer meditate, which is supposed to be Buddhism's core. Some Western Buddhists have gone on missionary trips to Sri Lanka to revive meditational practice. But success has been fleeting.

    There has also been a breakdown in monastic discipline. Last February, a monk was sentenced to death for murder -- the first monk so sentenced since Talduwe Somarama killed Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in 1959 after he reneged on the full implementation of a Buddhist nationalist agenda. Over the last decade, there have been nearly 100 cases in which Buddhist monks have been charged with sexual abuse of minors, and many instances of monks, particularly young ones, being cited for public intoxication and hooliganism. The fundamentalist idea that Buddhism is a unique national possession has encouraged a sense of moral superiority, which makes it hard for many Sinhalese to accept how bruised their Buddhism has become. As one prominent lay Buddhist painfully (and discreetly) explained to me more than twenty years ago, "Buddhism is hollow now in Sri Lanka. We are only going through the motions." Today, those motions are growing ever more disturbing.

    Sri Lanka's toxic identity politics are not altogether unique, especially in other Theravada Buddhist nations. Buddhist nationalism in Myanmar, for example, provided a similar rallying point against British colonialism. But the conflation of "the land, the race, and the faith" among the majority there, along with a view that this majority is the steward of its own uniquely pure form of Buddhism, has been a great source of political and cultural disharmony with the country's many non-Buddhist minority groups, most recently the Rohingya Muslims. Although Buddhism might eschew violence on a doctrinal level, it is not immune from nationalist myths that see a place for it.

    Buddhists Behaving Badly | Foreign Affairs
     
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  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    Buddhism plays a major role in SL and SL politics and that cannot be changed by Sri Lankans.

    Even their own President SWRD Bandaranaikya was assassinated by a monk!

    One may wonder what has the monks to do with politics or governance to assassinated the Head of their State.
     
  19. HeinzGud

    HeinzGud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    Protestantism plays major role in British Politics, Hinduism plays major role in Indian politics. It was a Hindu radicalist that killed Mahatma Gandhi.

    Monks are human beings and political animals also. They can vote for what ever party they like. They can be elected for parliament also. That is there political right. That is democracy. Not all monks are destine to become self meditating holy men.
     
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  20. HeinzGud

    HeinzGud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    Give one other country who has settled the displaced people in such a short time against all the odds. Give one.

    "slow and chaotic" my foot. Then what should we call for the resettlement of Palestinians?

    So the down south should be exclusively Sinhala areas. No Tamil could settle there including the state Tamils you sympathies over.

    What a racist idea you have.

    What a hilarious excuses do these people have to go against Sinhalese.

    Is it any ones concern what happens to Sri Lankan Buddhism. May it go down or prosper. It is a matter of Sri Lankan people. No outsiders should be disturbed by that.
     
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: SL Leader Wigneswaran compares national hero to slain terrorist le

    You are too ill read and too indoctrinated to discuss with.

    Please read to realise the role played by religion in the nations that you mention and then compare it with your own country.

    If anyone is hilarious, it is YOU!
     

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