Shenali D Waduge
When out of 19 members selected by the Prime Minister only two (Kushan de Alwis & M K Nadeeka Damayanthi opposes the removal of Article 9 it revealed beyond doubt the objective. 70% comprise Buddhists in Sri Lanka and only 2 stood for the sacrosanct status of the country’s historical ethos. The composition of the committee was clearly aimed to be a transit constitution enroute to fulfilling the unfulfilled goal of Christian colonial rulers. This constitution is nothing but a betrayal of our history, it is a conspiracy against Buddhism and the proposals to change the flag, the anthem, the Buddhist history, culture destined to be wiped out. Even LTTE would not have gone this far. Is this the outcome that the ranaviro fought and died for? What right do people who played no role in protecting and standing up for the sovereignty of the country have to use their pen to remove centuries of history and heritage? It is upto true patriots to come forward to stop these satanic forces from turning our country towards another South Korea or Philippines.
Why is it that only non-Abrahamic countries are being targeted with the multicultural, multifaith, secular gavel? Why is it only Dharmic countries that must wipe out their historical past and give equal status. How many of these members in the constitutional committee are aware that only Russia and Austria have given Buddhism equal status as a religion?
Has a single Muslim majority nation been tasked to change their constitutions to give equal status to non-Muslims?
Isn’t the Vatican City the only nation that has been created for a religion?
When colonials arrived their main objective was to Christianize all of the territories they forcibly held and wipe out the ancient cultures, values, traditions, customs and systems that were practiced. Decolonization has only meant the creation of a Euro-centric Anglo-American set of rules and laws that are viewed from the spectrum of what the West believes to be right. No respect or due diligence has been given to the ancient laws, customs or values of the Eastern civilizations. How right is this? Now with the strength of the West’s power yielded over politics, trade, AID, human rights and across the floor of the UN, nations that follow Dharmic faiths are being targeted to lay to rest whatever remaining of their historical pride they are trying their best to preserve. It is shocking when local agents of these sinister motives are pushing the neo-colonial agenda of late.
The new constitutional amendments in Sri Lanka is nothing to be surprised about. We knew that the attempt was clearly to remove the colonial objective of wiping out the historical hold Sri Lanka had to preserve the Sinhala Buddhist identity. Clothed in decorated jargon of ‘equality’ the gavel is set to remove the history of Sri Lanka an unfulfilled objective by all 3 colonial invaders. What is never argued is why Sri Lanka cannot maintain equality by law without removing the historical place that must be due to the Sinhalese who built the civilization and the Buddhist faith that was the State religion. All Kings including Indian invader Elara followed the dasa raja dhamma. In fact Elara killed his own son who had killed a calf as the royal decree was that all sentient beings had a right to life. Can anyone argue against the compassion of allowing an animal the right of life?
From North to South, East to West it is only the remnants of the Sinhala Buddhist civilization that exists and affords tourist value. Artefacts clearly showcase the magnitude of the civilization that prevailed. This rich past cannot be matched by any other ethnic group claiming to have a homeland. Those claiming to have had a homeland cannot even prove how they survived and lived when the man-made reservoirs and irrigation works by the Sinhala kings are evidence of how the Sinhalese occupied and ruled the entire island nation.
If a country has a judicial system that any citizen can take their grievance to and be equally treated before the law that is all that should matter. No Western-liberal thinkers tasked with changing the constitution can touch the historical place that the Sinhalese Buddhists have a right to preserve.
The Vatican City was created on 11 February 1911. It is the only religion to be given a whole state to call its own. It is the only official religion that has a member status in the UN. Wherever the Pope travels to he is propagating the Roman Catholic faith. How equal is this? Thousands of non-Roman Catholics visit the Vatican City but will the Vatican City ever consider becoming multicultural or multifaith?
Islam is the State religion in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritiana, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.
In 6 Muslim countries, Islam is the declared state religion, provide no constitutional provision at all concerning religious freedom specifically. Article 8(1A) of the Bangladesh constitution provides that “Absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah shall be the basis of all actions.”
Yet, more than half of the world’s Muslim population (estimated at over 1.3 billion) lives in countries that are neither Islamic republics nor that have declared Islam to be the state religion.
Sri Lanka is faulted for fostering and protecting Buddhism while Germany and other European countries deduct Church tax which goes to the upkeep of the Church. €5 billion (us$6.4 billion) was collected by taxpayers in 2011.https://www.thetrumpet.com/article/99184.108.40.206/religion/why-is-germany-collecting-taxes-for-the-catholic-church In 2010 the UK Government gave £5million to the Church of England.
French MP Nadine Morano a member of Nicolas Sarkozy ’s opposition Republican party, said on TV: “We’re a Judeo-Christian country of white race”.
Germany’s leader Angela Merkel, TIME Magazine’s 2015 Person of the Year belongs to the political party, CHRISTIAN Democratic Union. In a 2010 speech, Merkel denounced multiculturalism in no uncertain terms, saying, “Of course the tendency had been to say, ‘Let’s adopt the multicultural concept and live happily side by side, and be happy to be living with each other.’ But this concept has failed, and failed utterly.”
It was in 2015 that Angela Merkel announced without reservation that ‘Multiculturalism is a sham’ “Multiculturalism leads to parallel societies and therefore remains a ‘life lie,’ ” She reiterated that anyone who wished to live in Germany must assimilate to German values and culture, and respect the country’s laws.
David Cameron’s 2015 Christmas message “As a Christian country, we must remember what his birth represents: peace, mercy, goodwill and, above all, hope. “I believe that we should also reflect on the fact that it is because of these important religious roots and Christian values that Britain has been such a successful home to people of all faiths and none.”
In 2016 Cameron declared Britain must defend its Christian values against terrorism and went on to say Christianity had helped make Britain what it is today http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-easter-message-2016-christian-values-christian-country-a6954996.html So if Cameron can say that about Christianity why cannot Sri Lanka speak the same about Buddhism’s place that has a history of over 2600 years? Why should constitutional amendments remove that pride of place?
In 2012 Russia’s Putin argued Multiculturalism “elevates the (idea of the) ‘right of minorities to be different’ to the absolute and, at the same time, insufficiently balances this right with civil, behavioral, and cultural obligations in regard to the indigenous population and society as a whole,” …“This civilizational identity is based on preservation of Russian cultural dominance, which is not only carried by ethnic Russians, but all carriers of this identity regardless of nationality,” He went on to say that multiculturalism creates “closed national and religious communities…which not only refuse to assimilate, but [do not] even adapt.” This is amply seen by the Muslim new dress code which never existed decades earlier and is a means of self-segregation for which they cannot find fault with others. When people cannot see the person they are talking to how can relationships be built?
Constitutional drafters in Sri Lanka have conveniently overlooked ground realities. They ignore that both the Church and Islam are multibillion dollar fundraising entities. The Church has its own military, it has investments in real estate even companies, its assets are worth billions, it is active in the New York Stock Exchange. Its Vatican Bank has assets worth over $8billion. http://money.cnn.com/2015/09/24/news/pope-francis-visit-vatican-catholic-church/
What can the secularists say when the Popes through the churches and local churches are asked to increase their flocks by any means and the work of missionaries in the past are now done through faith-based organizations that are funded by Western-Governments? Bulk of US Government funds are channelled to faith-based organizations. This means the US tax payers most of whom are not Christian are paying to promote Christianity in other parts of the world! http://www.alternet.org/how-religious-organizations-abuse-government-programs-and-duck-taxes
Extremist wahabbi faith is promoted in similar fashion. . Indian intelligence says that in India alone, from 2011 to 2013, some 25,000 Saudi clerics arrived bearing more than $250 million to build mosques and universities and hold seminars. The Wahhabi faith is responsible for the jihadism that is being propagate the world over of late.
Against this backdrop of billions being thrown by Church, the network of mosques, Christian countries, Islamic countries, their institutions etc what does Sri Lanka and 5 other Theravada Buddhist countries have?
They have only their government to foster and protect a religion on whose compassionate concepts their countries were built on. The Buddhists in these countries do not have billions across investments and other assets like Islam and the Church has, this is why Sri Lanka and fellow Theravada Buddhist nations need state patronage. Is it so much to ask that these nations be allowed to continue their identity when clearly what happens the moment that identity is removed can be seen in the examples of two countries – Maldives and South Korea eventually to become Philippines which is named after King Philip II of Spain.
Maldives was once a Buddhist nation. Today the Buddhist history has been expunged from its history books and whatever remains of Buddhist architecture is being targeted and destroyed even by attacking the museum where these relics are kept. Everywhere ground is dug some Buddhist remain appears and each time that historical monument is destroyed. “They have effectively erased all evidence of our Buddhist past,” a senior museum official told
South Korea was once a Buddhist majority nation. Today it is the den of evangelical fanaticism where locals who have been converted want to display their allegiance by even urinating on the Buddha.http://www.koreabang.com/2012/stories/protestant-priest-urinates-on-and-defaces-buddhist-shrine.html
Name a single country that has given ethno-religious minorities privileges as Sri Lanka has done?
Minorities do not appreciate what they enjoy. Not even India has given 76milion Tamils a Tamil word in India’s national anthem but Sri Lanka’s national flag even gives a place but minorities keep demanding more but what are they giving in return? Tamils enjoy national/public holidays as do Muslims & Christians. What do Buddhists enjoy in other countries? There are stamps issued for minority holidays, minority leaders and various other minority events. Can any other minority build churches, prayer centres, madrassas, kovils as minorities are presently doing if they were living as minorities in other countries? We have never had minorities appreciate or even acknowledge what they enjoy, it is always a case of not having enough or demanding more.The Buddhist space has diminished so much as a result of these demands. Buddhists are fighting to preserve the little they have left and then come a bunch of local sepoys ready to hand over that remaining part also.
In 1926 the golden words of Anagarika Dharmapalathuma must echo in our mind always.
Shenali D Waduge
New Constitutional recommendations – https://www.colombotelegraph.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/PRC-Report-English-Final.pdf