Aroused by Akon’s Sexy Bitch: the Rise of Sinhala-Buddhist Fundamentalism?

Could it be that the sight of the Buddha statue was a complete turn-off to those who were utterly aroused by the dancing girls, the ‘sexy chicks’, seen in the music video ‘Sexy Bitch’, by David Gruetta, which featured Akon? If not, can such a scene, which in this particular video lasted for not more than two seconds, truly give rise to the kind of intolerance in a Buddhist; which was shown when stones were hurled at the MBC office? A further question that arises is the following: how many more seconds would it have taken, of that or similar kind of scene, for these people to strap a bomb round their bellies and blow themselves up in front of the MBC Office? Surely, if one or two seconds caused such anger and hatred, things would have been much more serious if the entire music video featured a Buddha statue or a temple in it. More fundamentally, then, are these protestors who shout and scream and throw stones, including some monks, really ‘Buddhists’?

Perhaps as a nation, we have reached the stage where the kind of absurd protests that take place in the name Buddhism need to be critically analyzed. There is a great danger in not doing so, because obviously, the impression that is sent out by the silence of those who are disturbed by such protests is that of ‘acceptance’; acceptance of every barbaric thing done in the name of Buddhism, mostly by politicians who hide behind religions. This is a classic case of silence amounting to acceptance, as this is how silence is interpreted with regard to issues of such nature; issues which involve religion and politics. And these are the same people who cry out thereafter that the whole world is against it, about conspiracy, about Western threats directed at Buddhism and the predominantly Sinhala-Buddhist State, Sri Lanka.

There seems to be a complete misunderstanding of Lord Buddha’s teaching here, when ‘Buddhists’ and in particular ‘Buddhist monks’ appeal to a Government in such an aggressive fashion, calling for the rejection of Akon’s visa. Surely, this is not the way in which Prince Siddhartha, and later Lord Buddha, dealt with matters that involved controversial questions involving women. Surely, the kind of anger shown by those protestors certainly go against the fundamental teachings of Buddhism; compassion, equanimity, the noble-eightfold path, the importance of forgiving, etc. This goes against the most fundamental and invaluable lesson of the Buddhist philosophy; the need to realize the nature of impermanence, which would have meant, at least to a Buddhist monk, that one had to contemplate more seriously on what one was truly seeing in that music video, i.e. the shaking of a mass of flesh, a body consisting of bones, blood, marrow, pus, sinews subject to birth, disease, decay and death; that the feelings which may have been aroused, of anger, even lust, would pass away with a more focused mind directed towards insight meditation; that what was seen in the form of Akon is that of a truly misguided and ignorant fellow who would have not known what on earth this philosophy of Buddhism taught, and therefore a human being, who certainly deserves to be forgiven for the mistake made wittingly or unwittingly; that a Buddha statue is simply a symbol, and that the Buddha resides not in a statue made of clay, cement or stone, but in the very teaching he expounded; that you ought to see the Buddha not in a statue, but in his sublime teaching; and that even if the video scenes were reasons to cause discomfort, the methods adopted to show one’s protest simply go against the serenity and gentleness exemplified and advocated by the Buddha and his teaching.

Given the kind of extreme compassion that the philosophy of Buddhism teaches us, it is certainly not incorrect to call the scenes about which one read and saw recently, to be a reflection of a kind of fundamentalism that goes against the entire Buddhist philosophy; a kind of extremism and fundamentalism that could soon turn into the kind of violent Islamic extremism and fundamentalism seen in the modern world; which is again a sad case of a peaceful religion being misinterpreted to suit the needs of a group of misguided and ignorant people. Generally, we see these signs and tend to shrug it off, believing that similar incidents would not happen again, that these are actions of a lunatic fringe, a small one, things that happen only during election time. But this is what we thought when Sharuk Khan’s concert was attacked, did we not? We believed that it would never happen again. But there is, there seems to be, no end to this.

Why is this a case of Buddhist fundamentalism, or a case of Sinhala-Buddhist fundamentalism? It is not because the entire Sinhala Buddhist population threw stones and screamed and showed their anger. Certainly not. In any case, it does not need to happen that way.

But if one looks more critically, the danger is this: that even though it was a relatively small group that resorted to such action, that group is extremely influential today, so much so that such action has received Government approval. So, when it is reported in the press that at the end of a meeting between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Tourism Minister Achala Jagoda the decision had been taken to reject Akon’s visa application – what you saw there was not only the stamp of rejection on Akon’s visa, but more seriously, the stamp of approval on the kind of intolerance and extreme attitude shown by those who are supposedly very sensitive ‘Sinhala Buddhists’. In short, the fundamentalist attitude shown by some has received State approval. So, in a sense, Buddhism, today, needs to be protected not only from those who misinterpret it, but also from the very Government that is turning out to be (if it has not, already) a sorry outfit. Is it under such circumstances that the Constitution gives prominence to Buddhism? It would have been (or it is) far better to scrap that provision entirely from the Constitution, and revert to a more correct form of teaching, a re-teaching of Buddhism, in the country. But again the question is; who is to teach, and how can this be done, when the teachers (even the guardians) themselves are responsible for the present state of affairs?

And take note, for a moment, of the kind of hypocrisy and absurdity shown by a Government that rushes to conclude that girls dancing in front of a Buddha statue offended Buddhists and their sensibilities. Think about the kind of persons in Cabinet who would have met to discuss this matter and ‘ratify’ the decision to not grant visa to Akon. Could you name a few? What of their respect for Buddhism and other moral and ethical considerations? If not for one’s own political advantage, do these people really care about Buddhism in the first place? And are they not the people who embraced Myanmar’s General Than Swe? Or, the kind of people who benefit, today, from those who were responsible for the attack on the Dalada Maligawa? If the likes of Pillayan and Karuna who were instrumental in carrying out that attack can be forgiven, surely, Akon can be easily forgiven? Why is it that there is forgiveness only when Karuna and Pillayan apologize and capitulate, and not when Akon apologizes? Is it then about Akon, or is it about his local sponsors? And so we return to that obvious question; is it all about politics, and nothing but politics? And the politics of which group, which party, which politician?

These are the questions that arise. And it is the approving nod given by the leadership of the State which marks that slide towards, or the rise in, fundamentalism, or the creation of an extremist mentality. And this comes especially at a time when the teachings of the Buddha – the Buddhist philosophy – should have been utilized for the greater good of the people, for ethnic reconciliation purposes, for spreading the message of tolerance, of harmony, of peace, or of forgiving even your most brutal enemy. The Government, for numerous political reasons, seems to be going with the tide, unable to take a principled stand, unable to draw the line; unable or unwilling? Even the Mahanayakas seem to be tight-lipped, more concerned with matters relating to politics, and not Buddhism. And this is where that question posed by Malinda Seneviratne needs to be posed; is the Buddha Sasana one big NGO?

Given all this, there is another simple question that we may need to brutally, and honestly, answer; a final question: what is, or what should be, more disgusting, more offensive – to witness ‘scantily clad’ girls dancing in front of a Buddha statue thousands of miles away, or to witness, right in front of your own eyes, a Government dancing to the tune of a bunch of ignorant people who seem to have lost perspective and direction and seem to be denigrating Buddhism so openly, so obviously?

  • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

    Related story – A BAHRAIN resident has been arrested in Sri Lanka after converting to Islam and writing two books in Sinhalese allegedly offensive to the spiritual leader of Buddhism. See http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=274019

  • Malinda Seneviratne

    Let us assume there were NO PROTESTS at all.

    Does anyone here have a comment on the ‘tolerance’ and ‘moderation’ (counterpointing the ‘intolerance’ and ‘extreme attitude’ of the protests) of AKON, the organizers, Tourism Ministry, MTV and others associated with the event?

    Remember how the Catholics and Christians of other denominations wanted ‘The Da Vinci Code’ banned? Remember how Catholics and Christians of other denominations wanted ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ banned? Remember how they were in fact banned?

    ‘Faith’ is a simple thing and the sensibilities of the faithful are fragile and there should be sensitivity to such things, I believe. True, there is nothing in Buddhism prohibiting such things. The Buddha in fact never prohibited anything. There is nothing in the Bible prohibiting similar ‘desecrations’ either. Does this mean we should have people smashing Buddha Statues and/or urinating on the image of the Virgin Mary (Blue-eyed, blond-haired and Caucasian though she was not)?

  • Malinda Seneviratne

    Will Kalana or better still someone who considers him/herself to be a devout Christian call upon Christians to protect the teachings of Jesus Christ from those who misinterpret it?

  • http://darksidedaily.blogspot.com Gehan

    an interesting article. with respect to Malinda Seveviratne’s comments, i believe that perhaps his example is not entirely on topic. the case of the Da Vinci code and the Last Temptation was that those movies denegrated and mocked the Christian faith in essence. while i am a christian, i do not condone the banning of the movies, but i can understand the point the protesters made then.

    perhaps a better example would have been if these semi-nude women were dancing around a statue of Jesus in the background for, as this article states, the same 2 seconds that caused all this uproar. I sincerely doubt u would have people stoning MBC for that.

    as for urinating on Mary and all, well, thats jus irrelevant.

    anyway, i agree that this is definitely not a reflection of the majority of buddhists (at least i sincerely hope not!) but just an extremist minority that sadly has enough power to get their way. hopefully this is not a precedent for the future.

  • http://bailabeat.blogspot.com confab

    This hypocrisy is unbearable. Is this not the same government that threatened the Maha Sangha to prevent the Maha Sangha from issuing a decree critical of the government? Where were these ppl who apparently “uphold buddhism and its values” then?

  • Asanka

    Well, Milinda, but constantly us Buddhist seem to think of ourselves as being superior to them Christians and our entire philosophy is supposed to be based on tolerance.

    But that said, haven’t heard cases where Dan Brown was stoned by the Christians (in a completely non-ganja sort of way) You hear more of that in places like India, or elsewhere where protest against religion – any religion – takes a tribalist form.

  • Mackie

    It’s sad when people were denied the right to see “Da Vinci Code”, no one talked about the rise of religious fundamentalism in Sri Lanka. Buddhists are taught to be passive hence the lack of crusades. But points have to be made that this still is a Buddhist country. I do not agree with attacking MBC nor do I agree the banning of visa for any Int’l artiste. But no one can deny a clear message has been sent to the world (if not it would not appear in billboard.com).

  • Victor

    So I am guessing the banning of The Da Vinci Code heralded the rise of Sinhala-Catholic Fundamentalism?

  • http://javajones.wordpress.com Java Jones

    Malinda – The fact that “Catholics and Christians of other denominations” were “intolerant” (and also stupid) doesn’t make it right for folk of other beliefs to act like they did. The ‘truth’ of the matter is that the goons who were responsible for the violence were ‘wrong’ – no matter which way one looks at the incident. And I think that what Kalana is attempting to get across is that it makes matters that much worse when these actions are apparently ‘encouraged’ by the powers that be as well as the monks.

    Have any of the Mahanayakes responded to this with any statements with regard to the action being “Wrong Action” – one of the precepts of the Eightfold Path?

  • D

    It’s increasingly obvious those people used Akon’s video to carry out their own agendas right? And not really a passion for Buddhism. Also feel that the gov did it as a precautionary measure, though rejecting his visa was just plain knee-jerk.

    A public apology, a word for calm from Mahinda and tight security would have been a better bet methinks.

  • Victor

    “haven’t heard cases where Dan Brown was stoned by the Christians ”

    But have you read the Bible itself:

    And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him (Leviticus 24:16)

    So the Bible actually teaches Christians to stone those who blaspheme God.

    If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers … thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die (Deuteronomy 13:5-10)

    But I agree the stoning of MTV building was not justified under any circumstance, despite it actually being done by rent-a-thugs of a certain minister. I think he thought it was an easy way to take vengeance on MTV who have been labelled as anti-government and non-patriotic.

    One of the problems is that in Sri Lanka, a lot of people (non-Buddhists included) wear their religion on their sleeves. It plays no real meaningful role in their lives but at the drop of a hat they will run about trying to defend it.

  • ordinary lankan

    A debate by learned gentlemen (and ladies) on buddhism should throw some light rather than heat …..

    let me ask a simple question – who is a Buddhist? do we become Buddhist by birth? is there such a concept in buddhism itself? NO. Buddha said “you do not become a brahmin by birth BUT BY ACTION. To me there is nothing more buddhist than the qualities of humility and wisdom encapsulated in the following stanza.

    ‘Let none find fault with others;
    Let none see the commissions and omissions of others;
    But let one see one’s own acts, done and undone’

    [Dhammapada 50]

    There are people in this country who follow this injunction – not all of them may be “officially” buddhist like Malinda above but they embody these qualities.

    Life is not complicated. We have only made it so by hardening our egos by following a destructive path laid by dictators. True religion is to soften our ego, to start communicating and learn the true art of human co-existence. It is to get out of the child mode of constant blaming, of finding scapegoats for everything. The latest is the Buddha sasana is NGO story.

    Buddhism says RUN OUT OF SCAPEGOATS – YOU ARE THE PROBLEM AND YOU ARE THE SOLUTION. take responsibility for yourself and stop blaming others.

    Human conflict is based on delusion – the failure of communication; failure to see things as they are and the resultant re-creation of the playground mentality of us v. them. Till we learn to distinguish the game from life we will not be able to get on with the serious business of life itself.

    This serious business of life begins when the human being elects to work for true liberation. To do this he must find out who he is and then relate to his whole environment – not merely the tamil, sinhala or muslim environment. He or she must train in conscious living to tread the path of freedom and happiness. This work is slow and it requires enormous patience. But as Nyanaponika Mahathera assured us:

    “The resolute turning away from disastrous paths, the turning that might save the world in its present crisis, must necessarily be a turning inward, into the recesses of man’s own mind. Only through a change within will there be a change without. Even if it is sometimes slow in following, it will never fail to arrive.”

    This is the essence and spirit of buddhism – and I am not so foolish as to expect politicians to follow this – IT IS UP TO US AS ORDINARY PEOPLE TO FOLLOW THIS

    Rights without relationships are empty. They are not worth the paper they are written on. Relationships are the key to happiness if they are handled with maturity. In fact they will make ‘rights’ a residuary mechanism for immature people to get advice from professionals as to how they should lead their life.

    Let us all learn and understand our great religious traditions and use them for our common good. Let us stop being neurotic fools and avoid the temptation of using or perceiving religious symbols as instruments of racial hegemony.

    Who cares about Akon? I care more about all you gentlemen who are my countrymen and i care that you should communicate in the right spirit especially when you discuss religion ….

    Buddhism does not expect that leaders in a ‘buddhist country’ should behave. In fact in buddhism there is no concept of a ‘buddhist country’ – there is a concept of human beings who follow the noble eightfold path – if you want to call them buddhists that is up to you. they are not concerned about the labels. So in Buddhism there are NO EXPECTATIONS …. because when you have expectations you get disappointed.

    the problem here is that we have accepted the falsehood perpetuated by the state that it is buddhist and all that – no like all cancerous politicians they will use anything for their benefit.

    separate fact from fiction – the sooner we do this the better – then we can deal with criminals as simple criminals ….

  • Waruna

    OMG! Please correct me if I am wrong…was ‘The Da Vinci Code’ (movie and/or the book)banned in Sri lanka?

  • http://www.peace.lk Sarwan

    A statue of Buddha is an idol made of stones and cement or plastic. No one can offend it. Buddha himself was not concerned about the statue for himself and religionising, becuase they can only harm a man spiritually.

    It is the practicing of the principles of Buddhism that is needed. Not doing meaningless rituals to idols. But in SL, “Buddhism” is an idoltry than practice. It is a cult without any spiritual fruits.

    The request for banning of Da Vinci code was because of the propagation of untruth about Christianity. But nothing like that has happened here !!!

    Further, in Sri Lanka , even the athiests are called “Buddhists”. A few rubble rousers have controlled SL in the past and even now. Those who seek the truth and justice should stand up and silence their big mouth..

  • Malinda Seneviratne

    things that hurt religious sensitivities should be treated with caution, that’s all that i am saying.

    desecration is desecration, whether it is grinding one’s butt against a buddha statue or urinating on a picture of mother mary, and whether it happens for 2 seconds or 2 hours.

    yet to hear some christian saying anything about protecting christianity from fundamentalist christians…..

  • Victor

    Nice write up ordinary lankan… wish there were many more who thought like you…

  • Malinda Seneviratne

    java jones….i never said it was right to throw stones.

    as for taking issue with the mahanayakas, you are absolutely right…..i have made the same point in some of my articles. on the other hand, would u tell off any christian priests for encouraging or engaging in wrongdoing? haven’t seen a lot of that happening.

    and thanks ‘ordinary lankan’ for an excellent exposition that complements the main article.

  • Lankan Thinker

    I would like to echo the thanks to Ordinary Lankan for an excellent comment on this issue.

    I have seen a windshield sticker on Sri Lankans’ cars that read, “Be a Buddhist by Practice” – my hope is that we can attach this affirmation to our hearts than just our cars.

  • Christian

    Actually Malinda, dozens of Catholics are leaving the church which is in turmoil over the pedophile scandals. In Germany a Bishop was sacked for drink driving. Christianity is in turmoil today because of the power fighting and inflexibility in adapting outdated rules (created by man but not by God to control the masses and exploit vast financial resources) but, those who don’t like it leave the Church. It’s important that the State does not use or twist religion for gain control over the masses, especially when that mass comprises the poor and not so educated. That is why I keep harping on education, meaning the right education, that allows people to be a bit more tolerant of freedom of expression. I am personally shocked by the shameful nature of this video. But, that is the music industry these days and as long as there is free internet access, our youth are going to see this and much more. Most of the kids who would have gone to that concert have seen a whole lot more of life and experiences. It is those that don’t that we have aroused (no pun intended) an interest in the music and vulgarity of the videos produced today. Now everyone is rushing to the closest internet cafe to find out what this was all about. We have shot ourselves in the foot opening up this Pandora’s box. If this had been handled diplomatically behind the scenes, the Devil would have not won the day!

  • 2nd Southerner

    Not just Sinhala Buddhists but also Buddhists from around the world have been putting with the non-sense use of our religion from the west. The religion is being is insulted. So when Akon does something that disrespect’s our religion worshiped by 70% of the country, one would think that maybe its not such a good idea to let him in after all, organizers should have known better. Organizers and sponsors should have evaluated should have seen this coming.

    I myself would have wanted to see him in performing in SL, Grammy award winner, world star and the youth would have liked to see him perform in SL. But just because of those does not mean he should be allowed in. If Akon really did want to come to SL then he should have made a public apology to the people of Sri Lanka which actually meant something, and not coming up with some PR statement which has little value. Organizers should have recognized the problem and apologized as well rather than standing in limbo waiting for answers.

    SL gov is simply exercising their right as to what any western country do on a regular basis, deny visas. Rappers have been denied visas so many times, Snoop Dogg was denied visa to enter UK back in 2007. Denying visas to rappers is nothing new. Again, Organizers and sponsors should have seen all this coming.

  • lankanbob

    Where are those who crticise gone when the monks protsting on street , leading thugs to attack Tamils …damaging businesses and womanizing in Temples. What a hyprcatic Releigion is this. Mahanayake’s mouth are shut long time ago, who cant even hve a convention of their Releigion

  • cherry

    “If you have something bad smelling in your pocket, Wherever you go it will smell bad. Don’t blame it on the place”- Ajahn Chah

  • Heshan

    Wow, such in-depth analysis of a music video… I very much enjoyed it! Can the author do MIA next? :)

    But yes, I agree with the spirit of the article, that if Buddhism takes impermanence as its fundamental premise, then raw emotion – within such a context – has little rational value.

    It is also worth noting that given the digital age we live in, such caricatures – of everything and everyone – of the sacred and the forbidden, of the unusual and the mundane – are unavoidable. For example, you give me a photo, and with a few keystrokes of Photoshop an entirely different image can be created – one that the potential to intimidate, entice, etc, depending on how you look at. There are entire industries built around just this software.

    So in the final analysis, religion (and adherents of religion) must learn to accept that this is the way of things – that, in fact, everything is now open to critical interpretation and satire. Sri Lanka, with its conservative value system, has not quite reached that stage yet.

  • veedhur

    Now I start wondering….what about all those Sri Lankan damsels so scantily clad (a la bollywood) doing ‘kandyan dancing’ in public and state functions where our venerable monks sit in front rows!!

  • veedhur

    A great article that made things CLEAR to me….it was after all the intolerance of some buddhists who were enraged by the acts of Akon and reacted like muslims and christians and hindus (no offence to those faiths, just that I had come across stone throwing in the scriptures of the first two and ‘being stoned’ as a practice among some hindu sages around vaarnasi)! What bliss!

    And here I was thinking that it was the act of a thug backed and sanctioned by more thugs to send a message to the TV station…..!

  • American

    A SL born Sinhala-Buddhist, I live in the US. We come across this situation regularly here: Buddha statues sold in garden shops; Happy Buddha restuarants; Laughing Buddha decorations; using Buddha statues as background for high fashion models. Whenever my wife and I encounter these situations, we approach the vendors, owners or sponsors and courteously explain to them the how their treatment of these statues could offend Buddhists. At minimum over 50 such situations over the last 20 years or so, and in every single case except two, they aplogized and went out of their way to remediate the situation. The typical response, “Thank you so much for bring to our attention – we simply did not know…”. Pls. believe Akon when he says he did not know – this is typically American (more than West European). Sri Lankans assume that those in other countries know the values pertinent to Lankans. Most Americans don;t even know where SL is? – this is not as an insult but as a fact. Secondly, Sri Lankans often re-act driven by their tense angers (due to myriad of reasons) and hardly respond with rational measured actions. In this case, many had assumed that Akon and the producers has done this intenionally to desecerate Buddha! Absolutely and categorically NO! It was a dumb oversight on their part. What should have been done is to conact Akon through private channels, explain the offensive nature of the video and request a voluntary public response from Akon. Oh no, that kind of a peaceful approach is never enough for revenge seeking Buddhist, they always have to prove their point that Sinhalese-Buddhists are the true masters of the Universe and the only way is to get tough with the trashy Americans. The nationalists have no idea what they are doing to themselves by distancing from America/West and aliging with the much less tolerant and totalatarian East. Those who have visited China and lved there for an extended period know how the Chinese people dire to become like the Americans – emulating American pop culture, sports, music, technology, and yes, even looks (plastic surgery that makes eyes large is one of the fastest going sugical procedures in China.) Yet in Sri Lanka, the nationalists think the China is a more culturally suited alignment than America. While it is certainly not suggested that Lanknas adopt Americanism, it is certainly suggested that Lankans figure out, after 62 years of independence, what on Earth they really want? Absent a Prahabakaran or an LTTE to bash at any longer, the Sinhalese-Buddhists have seem to have lost a common cause. Please don’t pick on the American babes or Akon – stupid? yes – disrespectful of others – absolutely NO!

  • ModVoice

    It is ironic that the same Buddhists who protested Akon have war-mongered few months back – could there be any worse insult to Buddhism than the Sinhala Buddhists themselves?

  • Carli

    Kalana Senaratne: Attacking MBC or any other institution should not be condoned, but before making comments either way I would request everyone to view the video http://pandagon.blogsome.com/2007/04/22/hip-hop-star-akon-dry-humps-14-year-old-onstage/ . This will give you an idea of who he is and what he is capable of. Leaving religion aside, this guy does not deserve to be on any stage anywhere.

  • Dissanayake

    Just imagine a Buddhist (there are undisciplined people irrespective of their religion or faith) did similar act of desecration to any religion, what these so-called human right crusaders will tell to us? They will hammer on innocent Sinhala Buddhists. They will tell to the world there are no freedom for faith and no human rights in Sri Lanka. All other people can do whatever they want to us, all Buddhist should tolerate until they vanish from this universe. That is what they want? The same argument was there when King Dutugamunu want to defeat King Elara. Had the King Dutugamunu has not taken the right decision that day; there won’t be any Sinhalese in this land today. My argument is not to encourage taking law to their hands, but these do gooders should stop barking on innocent Sinhala Buddhists by their spinning arguments. It is Buddhists who do not have any right and threatened with Christian hegemony in this world. Faro, Portugal

  • wijayapala

    Here are the beautiful, thought-provoking, and truly humanistic lyrics that the people of Sri Lanka were denied by Buddhist fundamentalists:

    Sexy Bitch (the title says it all):

    Yes I can see her
    Cause every girl in here wonna be her
    Oh shes a diva
    I feel the same and I wonna meet her

    They say she low down
    Its just a rumor and I don’t believe em
    They say she needs to slow down
    The baddest thing around town

    She’s nothing like a girl you’ve ever seen before
    Nothing you can compare to your neighbourhood hoe
    I’m tryna find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful
    The way that booty movin I can’t take no more
    Have to stop what i’m doin so I can pull up close
    I’m tryna find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful

    Dam girl
    Dam you’se a sexy bitch
    A sexy bitch
    Dam you’se a sexy bitch
    Dam girl

    Dam you’se a sexy bitch
    A sexy bitch
    Dam you’se a sexy bitch
    Dam girl

    Yes I can see her
    Cause every girl in here wonna be her
    Oh shes a diva
    I feel the same and I wonna meet her

    They say she low down
    Its just a rumor and I don’t believe em
    They say she needs to slow down
    The baddest thing around town

    She’s nothing like a girl you’ve ever seen before
    Nothing you can compare to your neighbourhood hoe
    I’m tryna find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful
    The way that booty movin I can’t take no more
    Have to stop what i’m doin so I can pull up close
    I’m tryna find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful

    Dam girl
    Dam you’se a sexy bitch
    A sexy bitch
    Dam you’se a sexy bitch
    Dam girl

    Dam you’se a sexy bitch
    A sexy bitch
    Dam you’se a sexy bitch
    Dam girl

    Dam you’se a sexy bitch
    A sexy bitch
    Dam you’se a sexy bitch
    Dam girl

    Dam you’se a sexy bitch
    A sexy bitch
    Dam you’se a sexy bitch
    Dam you’se a sexy bitch

  • devotee

    Hi every body,
    I welcome the decision to refuse the visa for akon, for two reason. our culture would be spoiled by semi-nude women and it will avoid another calamity of bomb blast by so called buddist fanatics. I cannot agree to the govt’s reason for banning it. the statue is only appearing in the background of the concerned song. it is purely coincidental. if their main theme was the buddism, the action taken is totally correct. if you place a nude women in the colombo street or kandy for that matter and take a snap I think 5 out of 10 times you will capture the budda in the background. I would like to clarify myself if budda ever asked any one to place his statue in the prominent places.

  • Ann Coulter

    You guys over there are losing your freedom of expression too, huh?

    Well, I received death threats from students attending University of Ottawa once they heard I was planning to give a talk there.

    Can you believe this sh*#? What is happening to the world? First AKON, now me!

  • In Your Face

    Why are Buddhist extremists trying to immitate other religons?

    AKON would melt like butter if he were introduced to Buddhist philosophy. They all do!

    Relax, AKON is just trying to make a buck in this recession. Sheesh!

  • FEROZ

    Hello Countrymen , wake up!
    I am not accepting to discredit any religious value , it is wrong Director of the Sexy Bitch just over looked and gone music video filmed in front of Lord budddhas statue.
    How my countrymen accepting the regime and planning reelect this regime who just few months ago planned to Bomb sacred holi place Among with Monks.

    I am in doubt are this current regime leaders is real Biddist?? Or They just follow some other religeion?, I mean Darkest religion?

  • Sinhala_Voice

    I guess my question is :

    To whose benefit is this concert organised for ?
    Akon must surely sing in English but English / English slang literacy in Sri Lanka is soooo low. So people listening to this does not understand….Therefore, they have to go by the visuals…These visuals are bordering on R-rated or XXX rated…

    BUT listen Sri Lanka poronography is banned offically…So WHO ordered or commissioned these shows when there is a likelihood that there is open pornogrphy on live TV with this show if it is broadcast live.

    My point is before the type of liberal environment that Kalana is talking about we have to mature as a society in addressing matters of sex education, relationships, talking about sex in open….etc….

    As a society we have done fairly well on the AIDS front as a conservative valued society as compared to promiscious / open sex countries in the world.

    For me having a Buddha statue in the background is not an overly offensive matter. Again, I wish it was not the case.

    Because, Buddha is someone who deplored sensual glorification of sight,hearing,touch,smell,taste. WHICH THIS VIDEO SEEMS TO ENCOURAGE.

    More to the point is that throughtout the world the sensual cravings have been depicted as the RIGHT or CORRECT or SKILLFULL way to lead your life. But from experince has shown across ALL humans that this behaviour is NOT VERY SKILL at ALL. (In the west as well as in the east)…

    SO WHAT ARE WE PROMOTING TO OUR YOUTH WHO WILL ATTEND THIS CONCERT by a large majority THROUGH THIS akon – guy ???

    —>This is the way to live your life. Having many sexual partners as possible, screwing around…..Do bit of drugs on the side talk in funny broken, incorrect English not even English native speakers understand…..>>>>>YES If you want to do that sure go ahead and promote these kind of rap “artists”.

    I THINK THESE ARE THE REAL ISSUES. It is good that someone has taken a stand against pure marketing of popular culture without considering the ETHOS of the country and the PEOPLE inside that country.

    Perhaps it is disheartening to COLOMBO ELITE who have their feet in Sri Lanka but mind in LA or Hollywood. But not for me……LET’S NOT MISGUIDE our youth into thinking AKON is the way to go.

  • Palitha. Ranatunge

    I am happy that this western artist’s visa application was rejected. Afterall we have a rich culture in our beautiful land.We have musicians in our country who could draw thousands of people to watch them perform,why should we allow this vulgur performer to perform in our country.Money is not everything.

  • niranjan

    heshan,

    “So in the final analysis, religion (and adherents of religion) must learn to accept that this is the way of things – that, in fact, everything is now open to critical interpretation and satire. Sri Lanka, with its conservative value system, has not quite reached that stage yet.”- well said.

  • ordinary lankan

    Lets take something GOOD out of this. we should not get carried away by irreligion – intolerance and ignorance. The decision to refuse visa has been taken – its finished. It may be justified – I dont know – I dont need to decide this – no one will pay me for it!!

    We are still left with this ignorance and anger. THE ROOT CAUSES. I believe that every religion worth its name starts (and continues and ends) with your own self ….

    Why fight external battles when everything originates RIGHT HERE. Fight the internal jihad – it is more interesting and fulfilling. For all locals I have a humble suggestion – while you are here make use of the great opportunity to learn and experience real Buddhism – yes if you look for it you will find it. There are some outstanding Christians like Fr Marcelline Jayakody and Dr Michael Rodrigo who did this and gave a wholly bigger dimension to themselves – then there is Mohideen Baig … I myself have on ocassion fasted on an odd day in Ramazan just to experience what its like –

    This is a religious country – and of course there are all types … but people are still moved by this one factor – TISL – This is sri lanka …

  • http://na balla billa

    I cant understand what this fuss is all about. Go visit the Chinese antique shops in Canada, Bangkok, Hongkong and other cities. You will come across enough statues (mostly made of jade) of the Buddha in various unspeakable acts like copulating, urinating, exposing himself (this one cloaked, otherwise), having sex with boys etc. So whats the great deal about scantily clad chicks cavorting in front of the Great One? Believe me, there is even a spring device manipulated one which ejects an upright organ at the slightest touch. Malinda seems to be having a very sensitive skin. In the name of protecting his Buddhist feelings, he needs to climb Sigirya with a tin of DULUX weathershield to give the bare-breasted ladies there some bikinis. Im sure he will find the climb worth the effort even despite the hornets. Stimulating, at least.

  • http://na asif nadeer

    Palitha Ranatunga, yes indeed, we have a rich culture. We also have musicians who could draw thousands of people to watch them perform. But if you are thinking what I am thinking, then please dont dish out Amaradeva or Nanda Malini Gokula to me. Id rather spend my evening with a video of AKON and his sexy bitches.

  • Indira

    If you ask me, I think it is nothing to do with the Buddha or any religion. It has everything to do with who the sponsors are and the government’s “relationship” with them.

  • Indira

    Else, why pull this stunt at almost the last minute? What was the ministry or authority concerned with entertainment, doing before the event was booked, venue arranged and tickets sold? They wanted the sponsors to suffer the maximum loss of money and integrity.

  • Vino Gamage

    The rate at which Buddhist statues have been coming up in the Northeast, …

    Is this why it has been so difficult for foreigners to get into Northeast…

    http://news.rediff.com/slide-show/2010/feb/08/slide-show-1-the-story-of-sri-lanka-then-and-now.htm
    The story of Sri Lanka, then and now, 8 February 2010:

    ”Prof Adele Barker(University of Arizona): The military presence in the country is enormous, much greater than when I was there in 2006 … I was stirred by so many things. … It took me four months to get authorisation from the Ministry of Defence to travel north…. It was clear to us that the government was not eager to have foreigners or NGOs up there. Strangely, it was easier to go there in 2005 than it was this December. ….”

  • empee

    It was a sorry sight to see such hatred in the protesters eyes. MTV has beautifully captured this on video!!!! The hypocrisy is that they were protesting about a few seconds of a song without any violence in front of a Buddha statue. But they threw stones and showed anger and violence at MTV when there was pirith chanting in the back ground. If you can lay your hands on the video aired by them – you will realise what I am writing. Wish MTV could release that clip commercially – it will expose the hypocrites and be a best seller too.Hats off to the MTV camera and office team – you are indeed number 1!

  • Rohana Arambewala

    There are so many to make comments and ridicule when sinhala/buddhist people try to protect what is their right to protect. Does anyone bother to answer what happens if it was Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews leaders picture he was dancing like that? I can tell you by now he would have been killed. Do you know that Akon was banned touring Australia, and has anyone even bothered to ever question why from Australian government? So, I can tell you to those selfish anti buddhists to just get on with your life if you have one.

  • http://www.esteem.com Justin

    If Buddhism is being insulted all over the world, it is purely because of the absurdity and impracticality of its pronounced principles.

    Can some one answer me the following questions?

    1. Buddhism says one must denounce all your desires. Every man has desires, many of them. The desire to live, have sex, marry, eat, and have money are a few of them. Can any person ever…. I mean ever live without any desire?

    2. Can any person, I mean any person …. including the best of monks ever, follow the eight fold noble path and attain “Nirvana” The answer is “No”. therefore, is “Nirvana” is an abstract form envisaged?

    3. Buddhism believes in humanly degrading caste system and it fails to recognise that all men are absolutely equal though science proves all men, their muscles, skeleton and blood are alike.

    4. Lastly, Buddhism does not accept the presence of the help of supernatural force. It does not believe in a God who created this world. But the scientists, including those in China believe that evidence proves that the earth and the living beings were created by a creator.

  • ordinary lankan

    As I see it – some sinhala ‘buddhists’ (I have discussed earlier who a Buddhist in fact is) – some of them vociferous and violent are remarkably ignorant about the letter and spirit of the dhamma.

    Some of those who criticize them are no better – from a spiritual standpoint

    you need two hands to clap right?

    since two wrongs dont make a right why not go for the real thing – authentic religion – which is manifested in authentic human communication

    if you do this you will realize the principle of moderation – and yes it applies to your religion too. TOO MUCH DEVOTION – EVEN TO THE BUDDHA is not a good thing. It can make you arrogant and violent.

    Cool it friends – have some upekkha. Today unlike 100 years ago buddhism enjoys popularity all over the world. 100 years ago buddhism in sri lanka was in survival mode trapped in a bitter competition with ignorant and hostile missionaries. THE WORLD HAS CHANGED. Buddhists have friends in a lot more places – BUT – and here’s the catch – only if you behave like buddhists – because more people around the world now know who a true buddhist is – you cannot fool them now …

    your speech has to be gentle, useful, timely and true

    Buddha called the other forms of speech – animal talk ….

    thank you Akon – you have been of some use to some of us ….

  • Piyumi Wickramasinghe

    To those who think that Buddhists are going over the top or we are becoming less tolerant…..

    We have been tolerant enough. I’m not saying that violence is the right path to choose. But it is our duty to educate people around the world (through peaceful protests or even visa cancellation for that matter…if we can get their attention!) that Lord Buddha (in any form) should be respected. Buddhism has been taken for granted by many for a very long time. And it is because we Buddhists keep our mouth shut. Not many of us show concern. It may be because we are more tolerant and forgiving?

    In 2007, I went to watch the movie Music and Lyrics with few mothers from by daughter’s playgroup. And my heart stopped beating for a second. It wasn’t anger, I had tears..it was pure sadness. I don’t know how many in Sri Lanka has watched this movie. For those who have made such unfair comments, check the links below. OPEN YOUR EYES!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7cvHwJqJCQ&NR=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m4OvOzZAR8&feature=fvw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ephr43fk6DA&feature=related

    May be I should have walked out of the movie hall that day. May be I should have let the others know how I felt. But I did nothing. At the end of the movie all the ladies were commenting about the movie and then I wanted to say ” I really didn’t like the part when that young chick (showing off her bum) came out of a Buddha statue!” But I didn’t!
    And also I should have said something to the restaurant manager when I saw a Lord Buddha’s statue (just the head) in a salad bar!!!!

    So to all those ignorant people out there…. think before you write!

  • Sam

    Akon says in his press release that “violence is not the answer”…. so why did he physically assault his fans (including a woman) at a concert in Guyana? Akon says that he was “not aware” that there was a statue of the Buddha on the set… Does he actually expect people to believe that when he is standing right in front of this huge statue? So either Akon is a liar or he his eyes are stone blind.

    I think the right message was sent out by refusing him a visa. America has Christian pressure groups and Sri Lanka has Buddhist pressure groups. Violence is condemnable but I believe it was nothing but a few thugs sent by a minister who attacked the MTV office… perhaps next time Akon can have half naked women pulsating in front of a statue of the prophet mohamed or Mary….

  • Piyumi Wickramasinghe

    Hey Kalana,

    Why don’t you post these too? I guess you never saw this huh? What you have posted lasts for 2 seconds…that’s true! And you can hardly see the statue hey?

    BTW, I checked out the video clip after I wrote the previous comment…
    And then I too thought for a min. ‘ ahh is that all? ‘

    AND THEN I saw THIS..you better have a GOOD LOOK too!

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3770029&id=723651945#!/photo.php?pid=3120062&id=262702627464&fbid=366584932464

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3120058&id=262702627464

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3120058&id=262702627464#!/photo.php?pid=3120059&id=262702627464&fbid=366584577464

  • Egad!

    @Kalana
    Spot on!

    @Malinda
    “things that hurt religious sensitivities should be treated with caution, that’s all that i am saying.”

    Why? Why should religion be immune from criticism, parody and satire? In the dark ages, it was, and we all know where that took us.

    If the adherents of these religions practice what they preach, surely it should not be hard to lovingly dismiss, in great compassion, the criticisms and failings of other human beings? We certainly saw a lot of forgiveness and compassion here!

    I also recommend to everyone this video from the ACLU and why they represent even Nazis and the KKK. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3b-Xbau0nY
    Curtailment of free speech.

    Akon may be a laughable character. His slimy undulations may be repulsive to most of us. He may not say or do things that we agree with, but he has broken no law with this act.

    So to quote Evelyn Beatrice Hall: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

  • yapa

    Dear Justin;

    All can not learn advance Maths. Many cannot understand Philosophy. Such endaevours need some mental capacity.

    Even if some have some mental capacity they don’t see truth when they are blind with prejudices such as hatred and fear. One should be moderate to achieve anything. Otherwise they can keep radiating hatred for ever.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    What a philosopher is this writer. He will soon recommend this video to the Buddhist meditation centers for Buddhist monks to see to realize anicca (impermanence). I wonder why the Lord Buddha did not get valuable this idea.

    These are the kind of people we are having in this country. (Abuddassa kale)

    One of my friends told me an interesting story. He told me that if pig’s own leg is cut and given to it, it will never hesitate to consume it. Let them consume everything.

    ( This writing angered me more than the video.)

    Thanks Piyumi for your courage to oppose cynicism.

    God! Forgive these people as they don’t know what they are doing.

  • http://www.diyfilmmaker.blogspot.com/ Sujewa Ekanayake

    Justin,

    Re:

    “3. Buddhism believes in humanly degrading caste system and it fails to recognise that all men are absolutely equal though science proves all men, their muscles, skeleton and blood are alike.”

    Buddhism is against the caste system. Very similar to how even though core ideas of Christianity is against racism (anyone from any nation or tribe can join that regligion, just like Buddhism) many Christian nations practiced slavery & racism (a form of a caste system) for centuries. The effects of those practices are just starting wear off in some parts of the US, since the Civil Rights revolutions of the 60′s, & the rest of the west is also slowly catching up. So, even though, at its core Buddhism is against the caste system, Sri Lanka – at present a culturally & intellectually underdeveloped country in some aspects (meaning – there is widespread belief in the race theory, practice of racism, & caste system, or the quality of humans is not widely recognized or practiced) – is not; but, in time, I think most Sri Lankan will adopt an anti-caste & racism/race position since 1) it makes sense to do so (makes life better for most people), & 2) at its core Buddhism is not in favor of racism, caste system, etc.

    “4. Lastly, Buddhism does not accept the presence of the help of supernatural force. It does not believe in a God who created this world. But the scientists, including those in China believe that evidence proves that the earth and the living beings were created by a creator.”

    Where is the proof for the helpful supernatural force? I am not talking about theoratical science such as quantum physics that is being used by various religions to justify their take on the world – still w/ out proof – but simple, observable proof that supernatural forces help humans (as described in Christianity & other religions). For example, if someone tells me to believe that there is a supermarket that sells food down the street i can go & verify this for myself, but what the religions are selling – the claims that they are making – are of/with far greater consequences to the individual – so – the burden of proof on religions is far greater than that placed on the supermarket promoter i mentioned. But for several thousand years none of the major religions in the world have been able to prove that god, gods, or nirvana/karma have a heavy hand in human affairs or even that they exist. And even if you could show such proof for a supernatural force as you said, can you also prove that that supernatural force is in fact what is described as God in Christianity? Nirvana is the heaven or God concept in Buddhism. Both Buddhism & Christianity use myth & superstition, & other un-provable things, to get people to belive in their religions – in order to controll them – sometimes for good, sometimes for evil.

    The sad fact is that both Buddhism & Christianity are thousands of years old attempts at explaning the universe, the individual’s relationship to the world, etc. to humans. Luckily people were able to use their brains & come up with better ideas or at least recognize that metaphysical speculation does not help solve urgent problems such as building roads, creating enough food for people, defending people from enemies, etc.

    Also, a religion & a culture & a nation that is afraid of a musician of questionable talent is not a very healthy one. What all believers of any religion should ask is; why am I so afraid of criticism & open discussion or even insults aimed at my religion? If my religion is so weak – cannot stand up to challenges posed by intellectual devices (speech, music videos, etc.) – and I have to manipulate the government into shutting down any such challenges – why do I devote my time & money to this set of weak ideas called the X religion?

    The world became a lot better off when people were able to, or decided to, often at risk of death, challenge the nonsense & taboos & trickery used by priests to control people & governments. This is why places where there is freedom from religion (don’t have to believe in some silly creator idea or bow down to statues) are highly attractive & desirable for millions of people world wide. Or, getting away from religious control over human thought has been very good for humans thus far – look into it if you can (you may not be able to, if religious control over your brain, emotions, self-identity is/are very deep, but try).

    - Sujewa

  • wijayapala

    Sujewa,

    Nice try but it is clear that Justin is quite ignorant of Buddhism and deluded by his belief in a God.

  • yapa

    Dear Egad!;

    “Why? Why should religion be immune from criticism, parody and satire? In the dark ages, it was, and we all know where that took us.

    If the adherents of these religions practice what they preach, surely it should not be hard to lovingly dismiss, in great compassion, the criticisms and failings of other human beings? We certainly saw a lot of forgiveness and compassion here!”

    No problem about fair criticisms, but not only religion, anything should be immune from unjustifiable criticisms, slinging mud and insults. No one has a right to such things. One can rotate his stick, but he can not hit anybody’s nose.

    Rights – one of the most abused words today.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    According to my understanding west is materially advanced than us. But culturally, spiritually , historically and philosophically they are far behind the east. Just because they are materially advanced, many think that they are ahead of us in all respects. This is a myth. They have to learn a lot from us in these spheres.

    These videos show that their behaviour is not dissimilar to the animals. They don’t know spiritual leaders, they have no respect to their parents or adults. Are these the things we are anxiously looking forward to copy from them? Are you ready to see your sons and daughters dance like in this video? Do you approve such behaviours of your sons and daughters? Open your eyes fools!

  • yapa

    A very popular Sinhala song comes into my mind.

    Kanna Denava nam
    Bonna Denava nam
    Mona kengediyada thawa
    Oone karanne….II

    Can somebody translate this into English for me?

    Thanks!

  • Laughing Out Loud

    I wonder how many of the passionate defenders of Sinhala-Buddhism, 2,500 years of history and culture actually send or desire to send their children to the corrupt, Christian west to study and then work and live there and then send for their families to migrate there too. Maybe, they are already there…??? Any courages confessions anyone?

  • Human

    Yapa here you go:

    “If you’re allowed to eat,
    If you’re allowed to drink,
    What the hell else,
    do you need?”

  • Human

    These people are not Buddhists. Sri Lankan don’t practice Buddhism properly. The JHU is a sham and an insult to Buddhism. That is all.

  • http://positivehuman2010.blogspot.com/ Sujewa Ekanayake

    Yapa,

    Re:

    “According to my understanding west is materially advanced than us.”

    At this point in time, when so many ideas have been barrowed from various cultures & refined & used to solve (or attempt to solve) local problems, it is difficult to say that there is a clear difference between the East & the West in most signigicant areas related to running a nation or developing a nation or a state of a nation (except when you are talking about Taliban controlled or similar ultra-ultra-conservative/fundementalist provinces, etc. – where they have a suicidal disregard for any potentialy useful or new or foreign knowledge). On a small scale, on an individual scae, there definitely is no difference between Eastern & Western for billions of people world wide. So, in a sense, there is no East or West any more. Since money/investments, political ideas, individuals, creative ideas can easily travel to Sri Lanka from the so-called West & other potentially useful ideas (ancient historical details, perhaps Sarvodaya type ideas, maybe even ideas on how to battle & defeat irregular armies, etc.) from Sri Lanka can travel easily to rest of the world, including the West – I see it difficult to create a hard division between the East & the West. If you want to isolate or define the two cultures by sets of behavior even then it is difficult to do so – how people treat others in Sri Lanka has also happened in many Western countries & will continue to happen, same in reverse. As far as technological or material advancement, it does not matter too much at this point (except when you are talking about nuclear weapons or ability to travel to space – not items of general use), any technological advancement that is needed in a given ountry can be bought or borrowed from a country that has it – generally (except in certain military related cases, due to defense related restrictions practiced by various countries).

    Re:

    “But culturally, spiritually , historically and philosophically they are far behind the east. ”

    I would have to say “wrong” on that one. The vast majority of cultural, spritiual (another aspect of culture), and philoshopical advances over the last couple of thousand years or so (let’s see: democracy w/ out tribal borders/universal democracy, international empires – idea probably developed to a high degree by Alexander – then refined by Romans, etc., the enlightenment – which freed humans (at least in europe) from religion, establishment of modern democracies – which freed people from monarchs, battle against & victory over official racism & segregation, invention of film, radio, the list goes on & on) have come out of the countries you would call “the west” – old europe, US, etc. But on the Asian side, there’s Japan, very competetive w/ “the west” for a couple fo hundred years now – at least in technology areas & for a bit militarily.

    Re:

    “Just because they are materially advanced, many think that they are ahead of us in all respects. This is a myth. They have to learn a lot from us in these spheres.”

    What are some ideas that are present in Sri Lankan culture, that are unique to Sri Lanka or the “East” – that “the West” needs? Please illuminate.

    “These videos show that their behaviour is not dissimilar to the animals.”

    Animal like behavior is not limited to any one group of humans, as I am sure you know by having an understanding of modern & ancient Asain history.

    “They don’t know spiritual leaders, they have no respect to their parents or adults. ”

    Wrong. This is a myth that some people in ultra-conservative Asian countries like to belive. But, there is quick availability of ideas by spritual leaders of all types here in the US (probably same in Europe), w/ a lot of Americans claiming themselves as believers of one religion or another (the majority).

    Also, plenty of people in America have respect for parents & adults. What they may not have is the ability to blindly submit to negative or useless ideas held by the previous generation – which make change possible in “the west” – faster than in cultures where the will & opinion of the previous generation is held as somewhat sacred/unquestionable. Dynamic cultures vs. static/unchanging/slowly to change cultures. Guess which ones generally produce more desirable (to most) results?

    “Are these the things we are anxiously looking forward to copy from them? Are you ready to see your sons and daughters dance like in this video? ”

    People have been dancing (& having sex, since the criticism leveled at dancing from conservatives has to do w/ the acts relationship to sex) for hundreds of thousands of years. It has not done humanity any significant harm. People who get angry at people who sing & dance & then proceed to attack them, on the other hand, has probably done a lot of damage (i don’t have a lot of examples to point to here from modern times, maybe just the Taliban – once more, or ultra-conservative Muslim countries that ban music, dance, etc. – not places most people would want to live in if they had a choice, also not great models for vibrant & competetive & attractive cultures or nations).

    So, bottom line, a self-imposed animosity towards “the West” is no longer necessary. A better way to go, perhaps, is to maybe look at all human ideas, products, behavior from all areas of the planet & then pick & choose what is useful to solve a given problem at a given place & time – instead of having a blind attachment to some ideas & practices just because they are or were popular where you live. Anyway, I think those days of strict separation from “the West” are definitely over for SL & a lot of other Asian countries, probably for the benefit of both SL/Asia & “the west”.

    Rising above the East/West dynamic & developing a highly adaptable outlook (that takes best ideas from any place & improves on them) may give SL a competetive edge over many other countries. It would be cool to see SL go from a defensive/clinging to the past/looking back/afraid of the present & future stance to one that is open, dynamic & innovative & fearless (hey, just like than lion on the flag, right? :). The great material & other advances made in “the west” can easily be duplicated or improved upon in SL or anywhere else (all things will be improved upon by someone, & some of that might as well happen in SL so ppl there can benefit from the result/business), if people are to attempt to do so, & also help carve out space for such potentially useful experimentation.

    - S

  • Piyumi Wickramasinghe

    Can someone please help JUSTIN?

  • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

    Smack that!” – On Akon’s Sri Lankan rejection, by Ayeshea Perera – http://blog.livemint.com/the-expat-blog/2010/03/25/smack-that-on-akons-visa-denial/

  • Tharaka

    Those who say hat Akon has not done any thing wrong do not realize there there are two aspects of Buddhism co existing in any buddhist country.
    1. One philosophical Buddhism
    2. Popular Buddhism

    Few among us practice Buddhism in first way. May be mostly among the urban educated.

    Huge majority belongs to second category. It is a cultural practice just as hindunism some ritualistic beliefs buddhist too have assigned religious reverence to some symbals. Buddha statue, Bo Tree, Dharma Chakra , Sri Pada etc etc. There is no question of right or wrong is applicable as long as wider section of people revere them one has to respect them. Just as one has to restpect other religious symbols cross, crescent, shiva linga etc etc.

  • Atheist

    While listening to Neil Young’s “Keep on Rocking the Free World”, I happen to click on Carli’s link connecting us to AKON’s infamous concert video in Trinidad.
    I call someone like Neil Young a great artist, and musician. Why on earth did the Sri-Lankan Tourist Board invite AKON, such a disgrace to art? AKON is indeed a misogynist and a source of visual pollution to the sensitive viewer. I wonder if any women were involved in the decision making process either with the Tourist Board or Sirasa. I guess not.

    When my children were growing up, they used to listen to Guns N’ Roses among other music. I was dismayed by my kids’ choice in Guns N’ Roses. Now, in looking back, I feel that the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses, Axel Rose, had talent both as a singer and songwriter.

    I don’t care about AKON’s personal business, but I object to him trying to cover up his lack of talent with cheap theatrics. Can’t the Sri-Lankan Tourist Board find someone who has at least a wee bit of talent?

  • Atheist

    Correction: “Keep on Rocking in the Free World” not “Keep on Rocking the Free World”

  • American

    The view held by rigidly minded Sinhalese Buddhists that their way of life, their Sinhalese culture, their version of Buddhism, are superior to the ways of other cultures, other religions and values of others are at the root of all the problems of the Sri Lankan nation. Their rigid attitude is in fact directly contrary to what Buddha taught as the capacity for ‘adaptation’ – the ability to adapt to one’s environment. In a globally connected environment that has been rapidly changing over the last 200 years, influenced significantly by Jeffersonian democracy, Keynsian economics, American technology and pop culture, Sri Lanka is yet to successfully integrate traditional values with these contemporary ones so that the old and the new can thrive within a system of graceful tolerance. Though perhaps as tiny community of couple of million people thousands of years ago, the Sinhalese must recognize that in the 21st Century they no longer live in an island as an isolated tribe. With a population nearing 22 million and lacking in strategic economic resources, they, like most small nations (such as Singapore, Taiwan) are inescapably dependent on the outside world for their survival. Out of the 62 years since national independence, Sri Lanka has been in armed conflict for 38 years (with the JVP in the 70′s and the LTTE till 2009). Both conflicts have their roots in policies that were based on misplaced SInhalese-Buddhist pride. The “Sinhala only” policy in addition to alienating the Tamils also gave rise to an edcuated generation of youngsters who, despite their education, could not speak a word of English and thus completely unmarketable.

    The Lankans ability to become a successful as society devoid of internal strife will depend primarily on the deliberate willingness of the influential Sinhalese-Buddhists to become flexible and tolerant of others who are unlike them – Tamils, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Whites, Foreigners, and others – and bestow the minorities also the identical respect and dignity that the Sinhalese confer on to themselves. Though many Sinhalese crow about how tolerant they truly are, all one has to do is to take one look at the national flag to see the intentional delineations of the major ethno-religious groups of the nation – a lion portion of the flag with an intimidating Lion holding a sword surrounded by 4 bo leaves attributed to the majority Sinhalese-Buddhists and two separate small strips to represent the “smallness” of the two key minority groups, Tamils and the Muslims. The falg overlooks the Burghers, the Malays, those born to mixed parents, and others. Are they not Sri Lankans? Whether it’s the Tamils, Akon, a Sinhalese woman who has authored a Muslim book, Christians, or bikini clad babes – until time the Sinhalese-Buddhists become more tolerant, it is highly unlikely that the island will become a place of peace or prosperity – and its labor force will mostly remain as tea pluckers, maids and seamsters, tailoring those skipy bikinis for Akon’s sexy models.

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    @Sujeewa E. and Yapa

    Sujeewa, it’s great to hear from someone who seems to share similar views on these subjects, especially on religion (i.e. The need for evidence based reasoning and the absence of it in religious mythology including Buddhist mythology) . I’ve argued at great length with Yapa on a different thread about this, and it may be useful to your current debate in understanding where the proponents of these “east is superior to the west” theories come from. (http://www.groundviews.org/2009/11/25/the-transformation-of-buddhism-in-sri-lanka/). I ultimately had to abandon that thread due to its excessive length but I believe I had given sufficient reasons to buttress my reasoning and there was simply no need to run around in circles covering the same ground again, argumentum as nauseum.

    Yapa, I regret to observe, that you seem to be raising arguments once again which I thought we had conclusively debunked in our last discussion. I sincerely hope Sujeewa can do what I failed to do, but I’m now sadly convinced that you’re neither capable of, not desirous of grasping the point. To explain why in your own four valued logic:
    Do you understand what we are saying? I would have to say no.
    Do you not understand what we are saying? I would have to say no..
    Do you want to understand what we are saying? I would have to say no.
    Do you not want to understand what we are saying? I would have to say no.

    I hope the analogy above helps you to understand where the failure to grasp the essence of these arguments occurs.

    Also Yapa, even as you forced yourself once again into a false dichotomy between the east and the west, you had the “desire” to assert superiority over the west. Have you heard or read, apart from the ancients like Socrates, of people such as Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Emmanuel Kant, John Rawls etc? The philosophy of the west was also developed over centuries and any boundless “desire” to assert otherwise will not belittle that fact or the importance of their thinking in anyway.

    cheers!

  • Heshan

    “I wonder how many of the passionate defenders of Sinhala-Buddhism, 2,500 years of history and culture actually send or desire to send their children to the corrupt, Christian west to study and then work and live there and then send for their families to migrate there too.”

    Exactly… just look at Nalin De Silva – educated entirely in classical Western science, and now denouncing the West left and right.

    If Sinhala-Buddhism is truly superior to immoral Western culture, then Nalin and the politicians who denounce the West ought to send their children to the vihara to be educated.

    On another note, had the Europeans not colonized the island, half of these anti-Western rabble-rousers would be picking coconuts or fishing. 2500 years of culture and civilization, indeed – but let us not forget who it was that broke the caste and class barriers.

  • yapa

    Dear Sujewa Ekanayake;

    “I see it difficult to create a hard division between the East & the West.”

    To see whether the west is not more developed than us and to see how they achieve them, I would like to recommend you to read

    1. World Bank Report (Re: per capita GDP of the countries of the world)

    2. Human Development Report (Re: other development indexes of the world)

    3. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

    I also recommend you to read Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples by Hajime Nakamura.

    Under prestigious democracy of the west;

    Don’t we have the freedom to think our way, behave our way, to safeguard our identities? Is their no freedom for other countries to manage their thing in their ways? Why western democracies thrust upon their ideas on other and force them to follow their toes? Why don’t they live and let live? Are western democracies act democratically on other countries? Are their foreign policies democratic? How can you justify invasion of Iraq by the “most democratic Nation” of the world? How can any democracy endorse the behaviour of Israel in the Middle East? Can you justify many international treaties and agreements which always give the lion share to the west?

    West has many beautiful stories and lullaby to console the victims.

    A peculiar question often comes to my mind. Is democracy democratic? Is democracy democratic about the point of views of others? Is the principle of equality in democracy applicable to towards different ideologies? Do they treat all ideologies equally? Why don’t they radiate their principle of equality t towards the other ideologies? Is democracy democratic towards all the countries of the world?

    I think democracy has no beauty it shows, from within it. (At least in the present context of world affairs)

    Thanks!

  • ordinary lankan

    In every struggle
    Every fight
    We forget
    Our true objective
    And the victor reaps
    A bitter fruit
    We fight the label
    In the world out there
    And leave the substance
    Within undisturbed
    In our fiery debates;
    About Buddhism
    We forget Buddhism itself
    And as we struggle for democracy
    We leave democracy behind
    Don’t worship reason
    Don’t be so irrational
    As to think
    All people think rationally
    Relate, relate, relate
    To what IS
    And capture the spirit
    Of Buddhism, of democracy
    Then you will be
    A master of reason
    Not a slave

    Let me reiterate again – I am less concerned with Akon and more concerned with the spiritual well being of my fellow buddhist brothers and sisters (and of course all other religious people here). Buddha was very clear –

    “do not be heedless – dont waste time. if you really want to respect and honour me – PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE”

    then whatever others do or dont do you will understand and bear with wisdom, understanding and equanimity. Even if you decide to speak out – it will be the voice of sanity and reason – not its opposite.

    i am trying to keep the precious dhamma in the picture …. its not easy

  • Observer

    Banning Akon was probably over kill. But in the context that majority of the Sri Lankan populace does not endorse the behaviour and attitude that Akon promotes has to be considered.

    But if you want a technical justification, how about the policy of taking into consideration a person’s record before granting an entrance visa?

    http://www.tmz.com/2008/12/17/akon-pleads-guilty-in-kid-tossing-incident/

    This is not the only incident. There is that other famous incident of dry humping a teenage girl on stage.

    Refusing entry based on assault charges of a minor is something serious that should be considered. In fact it can be argued that the government did not take necessary steps to protect the safety of minors if such a person was allowed entry. For a minute, strip his celebrity status and ask your self, would you be comfortable granting entry visa to a person who has no respect for minors is such a great idea.

    Either way, autotune is not talent. I couldn’t care less if Akon came or not.

  • yapa

    This is Modern Fundamentalism. Buddhist fundamentalists protests at least against something relevant to them. But modern fundamentalists protest against anything whether its relevant to them or not but they think they should.

    Some are Democratic Fundamentalists. They launch protests against anything whatever they think anti democratic. But mot of the time they have no fair idea what democracy is.

    Some are Liberal Fundamentalists.They protest against whatever they think illiberal, but most of the time they are ignorant of deep liberal values.

    Whatever happen to the country, nation culture or the heritage they are deaf to such issues. When some trivial thing happen to an unimportant individual in a so called democratic or liberal world here they come making big noises.

    We have to identify and beware of this new mode of fundamentalism.

    BEWARE OF MODERN FUNDAMENTALISM!

  • yapa

    Looking at the videos presented in this thread a popular Sinhala song sung by Pandit Amaradewa came to my mind.

    “Sansara gamane
    Thanha asha
    Klesha mara sena…II

    Swarna lovata Yana maga giri durga sadanne
    Bihisunu rudu vesa mava maga avranne

    Sansara gamane……..

    Why should we entertain Thanha, Rathi, Ranga.

    They are trying to break up our value system uttering beautiful words like democracy, freedom etc.

    These are Cultural Hit Men!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    Welcome back. I was wondering why you were not present in the forum. Nice to enjoy your views again.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Heshan;

    “On another note, had the Europeans not colonized the island, half of these anti-Western rabble-rousers would be picking coconuts or fishing. 2500 years of culture and civilization, indeed – but let us not forget who it was that broke the caste and class barriers.”

    I know it is reasonable for you to safeguard and white wash the colonials. British colonials favoured Tamils who were loyal to them over Sinhalese who fought to push them back. Tamils were a privileged community under British colonials. It is proper you talk on behalf of them. You are a grateful son of colonials.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    “Yapa, I regret to observe, that you seem to be raising arguments once again which I thought we had conclusively debunked in our last discussion.”

    I don’t think it happened so, but believe it happened the other way round. Must have forgotten what happened as it is a long time. Just shake your head and try to remind. You owe me several things too. I think it was not the reason why you were absent for sometime.

    Anyway, this time you want to teach me a lesson by sending somebody behind me? But he knows me before you.

    I never use mean tactics. And also I am firm on my footing as ever, no worries.

    Thanks!

  • Observer

    This is what you’re missing out on…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXW-ZEx_Kfs

    absolutely no decency.

  • Sinhala_Voice

    MY ANSWER TO JUSTIN:::::::> In CAPITALS

    If Buddhism is being insulted all over the world, it is purely because of the absurdity and impracticality of its pronounced principles.

    WHY DID SOME GOD BELIEVERS THINK THE EARTH WAS FLAT AND THE EARTH WAS THE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE ?????

    Can some one answer me the following questions?

    1. Buddhism says one must denounce all your desires. Every man has desires, many of them. The desire to live, have sex, marry, eat, and have money are a few of them. Can any person ever…. I mean ever live without any desire?

    >>>ANSWER:
    BUDDHISM DOES NOT SAY YOU MUST DENOUNCE. BUDDHA SAYS YOU MUST ERADICATE ALL FORMS OF DESIRE. ANALYSIS YOUR THOUGHT PROCESSES AND YOU WILL REALISE WHY YOU NEED TO DO THAT.

    2. Can any person, I mean any person …. including the best of monks ever, follow the eight fold noble path and attain “Nirvana” The answer is “No”. therefore, is “Nirvana” is an abstract form envisaged?

    ANSWER::::> THE METHOD TO ACHIEVE NIRVANA IS SATIPATTANA MEDITATION. THE ANALYSIS OF PHYSICAL SELF
    THE ANALYSIS OF FEELINGS
    THE ANALYSIS OF THOUGHTS
    THE ANALYSIS OF PHENOMENA (DHAMMA)

    THIS IS THE PROCESS OF THE 8 FOLD PATH IN PRACTICE.
    NIRVANA IS NOT ACHIEVED IN THE NEXT LIFE. IT IS RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW PHENOMENA.

    3. Buddhism believes in humanly degrading caste system and it fails to recognise that all men are absolutely equal though science proves all men, their muscles, skeleton and blood are alike.

    ANSWER:::::>>>>
    BUDDHA SAYS CATEGORICALLY THAT BY YOUR ACTIONS ONE BECOMES HIGH CASTE OR LOW CASTE. YOUR MENTAL, VERBAL, PHYSICAL ACTIONS ALONE DETERMINE YOUR SOCIAL POSITION. (NEEDLESS TO SAY IN REALITY WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT.)

    4. Lastly, Buddhism does not accept the presence of the help of supernatural force. It does not believe in a God who created this world. But the scientists, including those in China believe that evidence proves that the earth and the living beings were created by a creator.

    ANSWER::::>
    BUDDHISTS BELIEVE EVIDENCE BASED CASUAL —EFFECT CYCLE.

    WE ALSO BELIEVE {{{GOOD IS GOD}}}>>>> not GOD is good LIKE SOME GOD BELIEVERS WANT US TO BELIEVE.

    I HOPE I HAVE ANSWERED YOUR QUESTIONS TO YOUR SATISFACTION.

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    I don’t think it happened so, but believe it happened the other way round.

    If you feel that way, I have no problems with it. I am currently too occupied with my own work to explain these things in great detail, but if you bother to re-read my posts with an open mind, you’ll see that I’ve already done all the explanation I need to. The answers you seek are all laborious explanations for concepts already explained in brief. In any case, any reader is free to form his/her own opinion, that’s precisely the notion of individual liberty that the oh so dastardly “west” advocates. What’s good for you is not necessarily what’s good for someone else. It is based on that simple notion that the concept of individual liberty comes about. It’s ironic to see you saying the same thing for Sri Lankans without even realizing that the concept originates from applicability to individuals.

    As for western philosophy, its theories of justice and its supposed failings, I strongly recommend this series of lectures from Prof. Michael Sandel. It’s best to at least have an idea of what it is you’re condemning in a blanket fashion, before you do so, don’t you think?
    http://www.justiceharvard.org/

    cheers!

  • wijayapala

    My dear Heshan,

    On another note, had the Europeans not colonized the island, half of these anti-Western rabble-rousers would be picking coconuts or fishing.

    And on yet another note, had the Europeans never left the island in 1948, you would still be rubbing gingelly oil in your hair and drinking toddy instead of pontificating to us how superior the West is.

  • Heshan

    yapa:

    It doesn’t matter what I think. I am not stating personal thoughts, I am stating facts. The fact is that despite 2500 years of culture and civilization, the Sinhalese-Buddhist society was built upon a foundation of caste and class, with zero chance for upward social mobility. It is not an accident that monks are so heavily involved in politics today. Or that many wished to venerate Mahinda as a King after the war (let us remember who owned the land for 2500 yrs!) Some tendencies die hard!

    List of Sri Lankan Castes

    Sinhalese system
    [edit] Kandyan Castes

    * Ahinkuntaya – Gypsies
    * Badahäla (Kumbal) – Potters
    * Bathgama – Traditionally cultivators. Called Palanquin bearers during the British period
    * Berava – Tom-tom beaters
    * Govigama – Traditional cultivators, farmers and herdsmen
    * Hannali – Tailors
    * Hunu – Lime burners
    * Kinnaraya – Outcastes
    * Navandanna – Artisans (many subcategories)
    * Pamunu – Tenant farmers
    * Panna – Grass cutters
    * Pannikki – Barbers
    * Patti- Herdsmen
    * Porowakara – Wood cutters
    * Radala – Nobility of the Kandyan Kingdom
    * Rajaka – Dhobies, Washermen
    * Rodiya – Outcastes
    * Wahumpura – Jaggery makers

    [edit] Southern Castes

    * Ahinkuntaya – Gypsies
    * Badahäla (Kumbal) – Potters
    * Berava – Tom-tom beaters
    * Demala Gattara – Tamil Outcastes
    * Durava – Traditional Soldiers
    * Gattara – Cultivators
    * Govigama – Traditional cultivators, landworkers and herdsmen
    * Hannali – Tailors
    * Hinna – Washers to the Salagama, according to a legend when ancestors of the Salagama community who were Brahmins arrived for the coronation ceremony of Prince Wathhimi the youngest amongst them was always addressed as “Sinna” (in Malayali Sinna = younger or small) & he was given the responsibility of washing the clothes of the older Brahmins, the malayali word became sinhalised & became Hinna, after several generations, they became a separate caste.
    * Karava – Traditional fishermen, but were originally from a south indian Ksatriya caste & arrived in Sri Lanka in many waves,as soldiers,notably when the Sinhala King engaged them to chase the Mukkuvars, “Mukkura Satana” (The Mukkura battle) is a classic example.
    * Navandanna – Artisans (Many subcategories)
    * Pamunu – Tenant farmers
    * Pannikki – Barbers
    * Porowakara – Wood cutters
    * Rajaka (Hena) – Washermen
    * Rodiya – Outcastes
    * Salagama – Cinnamon tapers,Soldiers,& Weavers(Their main ancestors originally arrived in Sri Lanka as Nambudiri Brahmins from Kerala, & also as mercenary soldiers from the south indian Kshatriya Agampadi caste, which is also some times called as RajaKula Agamudaiyar caste, a section of them were downgraded in 1406 by the King of Kotte, as Cinnamon workers, they are currently divided in to 4 subdivisions, which are Panividakara, Hewapanne, Kurundukara, & Uliyakkara.
    * Wahumpura – Jaggery makers

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_in_Sri_Lanka

  • Raji

    “The fact is that despite 2500 years of culture and civilization, the Sinhalese-Buddhist society was built upon a foundation of caste and class, with zero chance for upward social mobility. ”

    No difference from the Tamil-Hindu society then.

  • Rahula

    Can somebody really verify that the monks got Akon’s visa cancelled? All of this sound very made up. How did the monks get to know about a semi-ponorgraphic video, made by a rapper?

    And if Kalana Senaratne is right about Sinhala nationalism, then I think Maharajahs and Sirasa would not exist to begin with, and Akon would not have any fans in Sri Lanka.

    I watched the video many times. I can hardly spot the Buddha statue. In the West they use Buddha statues and paintings as decorations. They don’t even notice that it is the Buddha. If the Sinhalese Buddhists want people in foreign countries to understand what Buddha is, they should choose a different strategy than throwing stones.

    Anyway, 50- 60 Sinhalese do not represent the Sinhalese. The demonstration was surely not done by monks, but by criminals hired by the chief criminal in the country, namely Mervyn Silva.

    I think, a lot of anti-Sinhalese are looking to label the Sinhalese as fundamentalistic, and promote this notion in the western countries, and they grabed this chance and distorted the whole thing, and they are trying their best to make this issue bigger.

    The problem in Sri Lanka, is that we have criminals running the country, or criminals trying to run the country. Mervyn Silva, must be charged and imprisoned for all the crimes he has done. I think if it was a fair society, he would never come out of prison, and would serve at least 10 life sentences.

    When all this is said, I do think that we might have a problem, and we can see a slight tendency in Buddhist monks getting radicalised in the past few years. JHU was formed in 2004.

    Can someone please give a reference to a news article, with direct reference or interview with the monks in question? I have only read about rhe involvement of monks in dubious newsarticles, without any form of reference to the particular monks.

  • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews
  • yapa

    Dear Heshan:

    Why do you always want to highlight unnecessary and irrelevant things . You are always acting with a mind set to do some sort of harm to Sinhalese and to hurt their sentiments. What is the caste system’s relevance here. We don’t want to wash your dirty clothes by analyzing Tamil caste system in this public forum. Further, you have been supporting British colonials again and again to hurt the feelings of Sinhalese masses. Prabakaran and Hitler also said to have suffered from such mental deficiencies to enjoy by hurting others.

    You are always talking about material development you achieved in the west. But you need to have some moral and spiritual development too. That is where the difference between humans and animals lies.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear Groundviews;

    There is no issue of safeguarding the govt. in this case. This is a case of safeguarding a religion and our dignity. By citing the government’s blunders, one cannot justify another blunder. Blunders do not neutralize, but they add up. Government’s blunder is not an excuse or a license for others to perform in the same manner.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    “What’s good for you is not necessarily what’s good for someone else. It is based on that simple notion that the concept of individual liberty comes about. It’s ironic to see you saying the same thing for Sri Lankans without even realizing that the concept originates from applicability to individuals”.

    But I can remember you were telling “Men are created equal”. How can then be something good for someone is not good for somebody else?

    This is your open mindset. You have lost your critical mindset and common sense after gobbing these western theoretical nuts in whole. You have no escape from your bias formed with such contradicting theories. I think you can remember I was telling people were born unequal according to their Karmic forces, that explains the difference in individual preferences. You have no knowledge about these things, do not want to learn them and have no tolerance towards them other than what you were taught in western theories. You don’t care a damn about eastern philosophies and always condemn them without even looking at them. This is an easy way of earning somebody’s living.

    Thanks!

  • nuke77

    Sri Lanka’s majority standing up for and protecting the respect of the Lord Buddha is perfectly alright. If anyone made a music video with Virgin Mary clad in a bikini and dancing while Lord Jesus Christ was rapping a song, the ramifications, outcry and condemnation from the Vatican, Rome and all othr Christian nations would be far, far worse and more destructive beyond anyone can imagine. When DaVinci Code movie was released, it was BANNED in Sri Lanka, as results of Catholic Bishops’ conference protesting about it with government authorities!!! Now, a Danish cartoonist was condemned and tagged with a price on his head for graphically depicting Holy Prophet Mohamed’s cartoon – This artist is in exile in an unknown location indefinitely fearing for his life (there was an intrusion recently to his house). There are Muslim fundamentalists, and there are Fundamentalist Christians (Evangelical Church, Jehova’s Witmesses, etc) and the world is alright with that. But, when Buddhists get stronger to protect thier Lord Buddha’s respect, teachings, honor and dignity, that becomes the problem of Dick, Frank, and Puss. The whole world is intimidating this small mightly nation called Taprobane, Serendib, Ceylon or Sri Lanka – Go pound on your sack some place else. This country just acieved peace after 30 years of fighting terrorists funded and supported by fundamentalist christians, so Akon or any other noise-makers are not welcome in this country. Afterall, all against the dumping of this (c)rapping sump oil can, think about if you saw a video with the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ as pointed out above just for 2 seconds, as well…. if you got offended, you failed the test. Remember, respect is a two-way street. Think Bishop Malcolm Ranjit immediately made a statement denouncing and condemning an election poster with Jusus Christ’s fabricated photo. Ironical, is it not?

    Can a respectable family ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD allow their children listed to the disgusting lyrics of this and many other songs of this man?

    Besides, there is no charity involved – this entertainer wanted to sing in Sri Lanka and earn mega-bucks from the ignorant western-culture-hugging yuppies with tons of money, while making his sponsors in Sri Lanka (Maharaja Organization) also make tons of money. Since they all lost the chance to do so, they are spnding money to insult the cause of show cancellation.

    Buddhists in Sri Lanka are always vilified, insulted, denigrated and pointed-out as the fault of everything happening in Sri Lanka. In case anyone has forgotten, Buddha’s teachings are the only religious theme with NO omnipotent or superhuman God creating everything and everyone. There is no “Creation”, but life is made of air, water, land and fire…. this applies to the whole universe. Perfect alignment with Darvinian Evolution, Newtonian and relativistic dynamics, fundamental particle physics and astrophysics (both theoretical and observational).

    Now let’s put the puzzle together: No wonder all countries with Church-driven political structures are against Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese Buddhists.

    Whatever its implications are, Sri Lanka defeated the worlds’s most ruthless terrorists, and brought about peace. We did not have any bombs going off killing its citizens since May-2009! Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malay’s, Bohra’s, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Ba’hais, and the rest untold. Not to Akon’s money-making booking managers or its money-grabbing sponsors. Culturally rich, diverse coutries with long historical heritage will always defend itsself with tough actions against new invasions, after being battered for centuries by colonial slave-traders.

  • Human

    Heshan,

    those are a bit outdated.. I don’t think I was ever made aware of any of those castes growing up in the 90s in Colombo.

  • Karunai

    Thank you ordinary lankan for your comments. Gives me hope to read them.
    I liked much of what you have wrote, but want to especially comment on this:
    “Rights without relationships are empty. They are not worth the paper they are written on. Relationships are the key to happiness if they are handled with maturity. In fact they will make ‘rights’ a residuary mechanism for immature people to get advice from professionals as to how they should lead their life.”
    I like to hear more about this – can you expand on what you mean by this last line? About the time when rights become a “a residuary mechanism for immature people to get advice from professionals as to how they should lead their life.” I have some thoughts along this line that rights are needed in a society that is fragile or chaotic but that with a resilient society, perhaps when there is a network of relationship with other human beings as well as with nature, that rights will become redundant. I would be curious to hear your thoughts on this. Please write to

  • Karunai

    American, I agree with you thats its ignorance and not malice thats behind Akon’s and in fact, most people’s behavior that others find painful. As for those who take offense at such things, I wonder if some people are just hurting a lot and its like walking around with a sore toe, just a brush against the air can hurt, doesn’t have to take much to stimulate it. So even a few seconds of video footage can be a stimulus for pain, but only because the wounded people are low in their self esteem and are behaving like ones who are looking to be insulted (meaning, they are in a state that even the most minor thing can insult or hurt them).

    As for your comments “The view held by rigidly minded Sinhalese Buddhists that their way of life, their Sinhalese culture, their version of Buddhism, are superior to the ways of other cultures, other religions and values of others are at the root of all the problems of the Sri Lankan nation.” This too I think comes from deep insecurity. When I look inside myself, I find that in the moments when I feel most insecure are the moments when I talk big, as though I am trying to convince myself that I am not feeling small, that I am not nothing. Like trying to fill a hole. I imagine this might be the same dynamic here – when the Sinhalese Buddhists assert that their identity and culture are so superior, my first thought is, hm, I wonder if they feel insecure and afraid – by the way, I am not Sinhalese or Buddhist but am human and at that level can relate to them.

  • Karunai

    I meant to give email address for ordinary lankan but it didn’t come through. So here I will try again: anpu.karunai(at)gmail(dot)com. Would be happy to hear from american or anyone else who wants to write something appreciative or constructive as well.

  • Heshan

    Wijayapala:

    Where did I state that the West is superior to SL ? Can you quote me exactly? My whole argument is that the West is more efficient than the East. Unlike yapa, my concern is with what works, not what could have been or should have been. If you want to deny that it was the Europeans who allowed many of the classes I listed to move up the socio-economic ladder, then proceed to do so.

  • sinhala_voice

    Heshan what about the Hindu society. Where it is to BE RELIGIOUS TO BE CASTE CONSCIOUS.

    That is by birth YOU ARE A BRAHMIN
    by BIRTH YOU ARE KSHATRIYA
    by BIRTH YOU ARE VAISHYA
    by birth YOU ARE SHUDRA
    And the untouchables

    So not ONLY the Sinhala-Buddhist society neighbouring India which is I guess by your standards much more advance STILL has the caste system in place sanctioned by their world view itself.

    The Buddhist world view or the Buddha does not sanction caste system.

    Caste system is a remnant of an earlier society that did not have MONEY or a FINANCIAL SYSTEM.

    Even today if you remove money from circulation there would arise a caste system undoubtedly

  • Observer

    groundviews, you can’t do anything about a paper article now can you? it’s called respecting media. you would be very quick to shout media freedom if anyone took action. but banning a visa to a person with a criminal record does not violate any civil laws. it’s sri lanka’s sovereign right thank you. there is no comparison.

  • http://www.diyfilmmaker.blogspot.com/ Sujewa Ekanayake

    Hey Yapa (& SomewhatDisgusted, thanks for the link, will check it out),

    See my responses below, following quotes from your comment post:

    RE:

    ” “I see it difficult to create a hard division between the East & the West.” (my statement)

    To see whether the west is not more developed than us and to see how they achieve them, I would like to recommend you to read

    1. World Bank Report (Re: per capita GDP of the countries of the world)

    2. Human Development Report (Re: other development indexes of the world)

    3. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

    I also recommend you to read Ways of Thinking of Eastern Peoples by Hajime Nakamura.”

    I am familiar with the history of the development of “the west” or European & related civilizations (US, etc.) – including the negative aspects – use of slavery, colonialism, emipre building, segregation, destablizing wars & military actions, coups, false flag attacks, etc. Also I understand that at this point in time SL is not as wealthy as the US, etc. HOWEVER, to assign all or most of the credit for material underdevelopment in SL & other post-colonial countries to things that primarily/on a large scale happened over 100 to 200 years or longer ago is to remove responsibility from Lankans & the diaspora for their own well being & development. It only takes one generation to make a huge/massive turn around in a country – given that at least a significant minority in the country (& their oversees friends in the case of SL) is open to incorporating useful elements from other countries/civilizations into their own in order to compete & coorporate well with them. One example of this – partially successful – is the modernization of Japan after Japan was “opened” to the West by threat of war (this of course led to Japan going overboard in their immitation of the West & wanting to establish their own empire in Asia, but, point is, it is possible for ancient Asian countries to recognize & adapt useful aspects from other countries into itself).

    RE:

    “Under prestigious democracy of the west;

    Don’t we have the freedom to think our way, behave our way, to safeguard our identities? ”

    I don’t see how a video image of a bikini clad model/actress(es) close to a Buddha statue is any sort of an existential threat to Sri Lanka or Buddhism, warranting a rejection of a visa (if the visa was rejected just for that). All that happened was economic activity based around an entertainment event was shut down, & it probably discouraged other secular entrepenuers & entertainers from attempting to put on shows in SL in the future. I did not know that SL Buddhism is in competition with AKON (who i am not a fan of by the way, my tastes range more towards punk rock) for the hearts & minds of Sri Lankans. Isn’t Buddhism well established in Sri Lanka? Are you afraid that the few wealthy people who could afford the show will all of a sudden abandon their national identities & religious knowledge due to exposure to Akon’s music?

    Re:
    “Is their no freedom for other countries to manage their thing in their ways? Why western democracies thrust upon their ideas on other and force them to follow their toes?”

    Isn’t Sri Lanka a democracy? Regardless, I seriously doubt if any Western democracies care if Akon gets to play in Sri Lanka. This is more about freedom or expression/entertainment/economic activity being suppresed by hard core followers of a religion – right?

    Re:

    “Why don’t they live and let live? Are western democracies act democratically on other countries? ”

    When it comes to foreign policy, the US does fall short of its relatively excellent democratic & humanistic/positvie practices that are used inside the country. But each administration does things differently, & US public opinion does tend to, ultimately, favor the oppressed (Vietnam, protests against war in Iraq, etc.). This is definitely an area that the US can improve on – treating humans who live outside the country as well as those who live inside the country.

    Re:

    “Are their foreign policies democratic? How can you justify invasion of Iraq by the “most democratic Nation” of the world?”

    I am not down with the invasion of Iraq, bad & useless idea – as far as I can tell (though i am glad that Saddam is out of power, dude sounded like bad news for a lot of people, including a lot of Iraqis).

    Re:

    ” How can any democracy endorse the behaviour of Israel in the Middle East? ”

    Israel is a big topic. Again, government & public opinion re: Israel is split, though Israel is a good ally of the US & the West. Ultimately, I think US will push for & help establish a two state solution that hopefully will end the fighting between Israel & the Arab neighbors. I will leave that subject to someone who has more invested in that region/that conflict.

    Re:

    “Can you justify many international treaties and agreements which always give the lion share to the west? ”

    I would need specific treaties & agreements to see exactly what you are talking about. But, up to the 1950′s probably (or maybe up to WWII) – the US & west was operating still – fully or partially – with a colonialist, racist attitude & approach. But, the horor of Nazi germany (where the myth of racial superiority & civilizational superiority were followed to horrible ends, also the war with Japan) took a lot of the power of those older oppressive ideas out in the US & probably in Europe. Within 5 – 20 years there were massive changes in the US (civil rights movement, etc.), & w/in 50-60 years even bigger changes – stuff that is currently on the way w/ election of Pres. Obama, passing of health care reform, etc. However, all the negative aspects of the US aside, there have been many positive constants here: ability for people from poor countries to immigrate & build wealth here, freedom of thought, to just mention two very attractive aspects of the US.

    Re:

    “West has many beautiful stories and lullaby to console the victims.”

    Also has hundreds of millions of happy citizens who love the freedoms that are safeguarded in “the west”. And, the victims are never permanent victims – US helped or helps to build or re-build many countries around the world -some that were former enemies.

    Re:

    “A peculiar question often comes to my mind. Is democracy democratic?”

    Yes, that’s like asking is water water-like? Yes. As long as it is true democracy – generally accepted to include rule of the people by themselves, as opposed to by a narrow elite such as a line of monarchs, or a military dictatorship or a theocracy (as in Iran) that does not reflect the wishes of a significant number of the populace or various groups w/in the population.

    Re:

    “Is democracy democratic about the point of views of others?”

    Yes, generally.

    Re:

    “Is the principle of equality in democracy applicable to towards different ideologies? ”

    People find some ideologies more useful than others in various places & in various times. But generally, democracies are more open to different ideas or ideologies than countries that are operated under more restrictive methods of governance.

    Re:

    “Do they treat all ideologies equally?”

    You would need to specify who the “they” are. Ancient Greek democracies or modern American democracy or even American democracy 100 years ago are different things. Also, all ideologies are too broad – you will need to specify which idealogies that you are wondering will get a fair hearing in a modern democracy. In general, ideologies related to individual liberty will get a fair hearing in the US – I think. Once in favor of oppression of large numbers of people, theocracies, military dictatorships, etc. will not get a lot of sympathy from most Amercians – I believe.

    Re:

    “Why don’t they radiate their principle of equality t towards the other ideologies?”

    Not all ideologies are equal. Let’s simplify & take a look at this: what are ideas or ideologies? They are human inventions – tools that their authors (the creators of the ideas) believe will solve a specific problem at a specific point in time. Some ideas & ideologies have a track record (as in they worked well at X place in X time or they did not, etc.). So, if a modern democracy is presented with a set of ideas – like re-establishing of a theocratic empire from the middle ages for example (as suggested by the Taliban) – a country like the US & also most countries in Europe will not be very enthusiastic – since they know what those ideas means (religious dominated empires = misery, compared to what we have now in the US, Europe – secular or a clear division between religion & state & freedom from religion & also individual rights & liberties where the individual is not the subject/owned & controlled by the Caliph/king/military dictator supported by the religious order, etc.)

    Re:

    “Is democracy democratic towards all the countries of the world? ”

    Various countries practice democracy to various degrees & they each have a different relationship to other countries based on past activities between those countries.

    Re:

    “I think democracy has no beauty it shows, from within it. (At least in the present context of world affairs)”

    If you have lived in & lived well in SL (an emerging democracy) or the US (a well established democracy) you probably have tasted positive elements of democracies. If you were not happy with what you saw/experienced – where nothing about it was positive – that may have to do with your own personal pessimistic outlook/interpertation of the world & not necessarily the fault of democracy. Democracies (at least the US kind) does not guarantee happiness to every individual but it does allo for many or all of the people in the country to attempt to come up w/ ways in which they can pursue happiness w/ out ancient restraints from monarchs or from religious authorities.

    - S

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    The reason it’s difficult to argue with you is unfortunately not because you raise a profound point. It’s because you make banal criticisms that require repeated laborious explanation – argumentum ad nauseum. We’ve already covered the concept of “all men are created equal”. It does not mean that each and every individual is the same in every way. It means that every human being should be entitled to some basic inalienable rights on account of them being human. I’ve explained this several times, Do you have a counter argument to it that says that all men should not be entitled to such basic rights? Are you saying we should let people suffer or do our best to ensure that they all have some basic dignity?

    If not, are you pretending to be thick or are you raising this point for the sake of a lack of argument?

    As for Karmic forces, do you know what Occam’s razor is? Simply apply Occam’s razor and see for yourself how much benefit that gives in a discussion on the issue.

    As for contradictions, weren’t you the very person who was arguing *for* contradictory statements and that western philosophy could not hold such views? If you watch the series from Michael Sandel, you’ll see that the whole notion of western philosophy is built on trying to deal with such contradictions in a reasonable way, after centuries of debate. Education is far better than prejudice and bigotry!

    Finally, about my rejection of eastern philosophy, that’s an outright figment of your imagination. Tell me where I’ve said such a thing? I’ve never had a superiority complex where I had to prove the east superior or vice versa. As I recall, it was you who were banging on about the superiority of your beliefs. This is what gave me cause to challenge your beliefs, nothing else.

    My position has always been clear. No one is superior or inferior, we learn from the good thoughts of others. The notion of democracy is a good thing, whatever its shortcomings. No one claimed it was perfect. If not for democracy, do you have a better idea in mind? To maintain your eastern superiority, do you wish to go back to a Feudal system?

  • ordinary lankan

    okay folks – hatred is a good meditation topic and so is desire ….
    with so many watching scantily clad women so many times on the u tube thanks to this discussion DESIRE is a timely topic ….

    where does desire figure in Buddhist practice? admittedly we all have desire and therefore this is something we have to learn to deal with -

    on the path we learn that desire leads to suffering
    and suffering leads to both knowledge and compassion
    those two lead to wisdom

    so desire is the unavoidable first step on the ladder – it cannot be bypassed
    deny it and it comes back in another form –
    the experience of desire has to be known thoroughly before it is conquered – how it leads to us wanting MORE AND MORE – the desire to fill the basket with fruits when there is plenty in it already

    ultimately desire itself replaces the object of desire – we get consumed by the feeling and crave for the feeling alone – we cease to know the object altogether

    same with hatred – the feeling replaces the object – and it is a feeling that can never be satisfied –

    we may say LTTE one day and NGO the next and the UN and finally Fonseka!! these are simply objects of hatred – the REAL THING is inside

    Buddhism my friends is about the INSIDE not the OUTSIDE … you need to discover your mind to explore it – till then we can babble on and on without ever getting to the heart of the matter

    HUNDRED UP!

  • Heshan

    Sinhala_Voice:

    Buddhism is just a derivative of Hinduism. However much you try to pretend Buddhism is original, all of the major concepts of Buddhism can be found in Hinduism. It is just like the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. Buddha was first a Hindu – Jesus was first a Jew. Buddha was first educated in Vedas by Brahmins – Jesus was first educated in Talmud. We know from psychology that the childhood influence is always there. Everyone remembers their first school, their first teachers, etc. You cannot remove that influence. Therefore it must follow that Buddha the enlightened “Buddhist” is nevertheless the product of Buddha the naive high-caste Hindu child. The analysis is somewhat more complicated, but remember that Buddha never rejected Hinduism outright; what he rejected are certain Vedic rituals.

  • yapa

    “My position has always been clear. No one is superior or inferior, we learn from the good thoughts of others.”

    Pooh! What a philosophical idea! This idea is really marketable. This will be very popular among people. What a great mind!

  • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

    Govt. Shaken By ‘Lankatruth’ Article – Removes ‘Tattooed Woman’ From Online Copy Of ‘Daily News’ http://www.lankatruth.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5083:govt-shaken-by-lankatruth-article–removes-tattooed-woman-from-online-copy-of-daily-news&catid=35:local&Itemid=62

  • Heshan

    Buddhist leaders have said Sri Lanka is the only Buddhist nation which has barred the Dalai Lama.

    http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx?id=8706&t=0

  • Atheist

    Groundviews,

    It’s too bad the government removed the online image of the “Tattooed Woman” in Daily News. When the government becomes scared of the puritanical, right wing, ‘Lanka Truth’, you know it’s the Sri-Lankan people that lose out in the end.
    I am not in the least bit surprised that puritanical, nationalist, right wing elements in Sri-Lanka are not “shaken” by the violence and misogyny that AKON represents. This is not really about AKON. This is not about media freedom either. This is about disgruntled individuals using AKON for political gain – to resurrect their dying careers. One party is stoning Sirasa while the party is rooting for AKON. While they may seem to represent opposite sides, they are one and the same.

    As for the “Tattooed Woman”, this tastefully conceived image was offensive only in the eyes of the ‘Lanka Truth’ et al. I wonder why. If they had their way, they would ban Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and, of course, our Sigiriya maidens. Where is this going end?

    When a society cannot distinguish between art and misogynistic violence, then, I am afraid that dangerous puritanical forces have been unleashed! Incidentally, these are the same forces that try to enslave women with medieval ideas of “purity” and “innocence”.

    Groundviews, did it anger you that Sirasa aired Malwatte Mahanayake, Sobitha Thera and Amila who spoke out against the stone throwing mob that caused much property damage and wounded staff at Sirasa?

  • Sony

    Heshan declares “… Buddha was first a Hindu…”.

    The following is an old Chinese fable.

    Once a frog that lived in a well bragged to a turtle that lived in the Sea.

    “I am so happy!” cried the frog, “When I go out, I jump about on the railing around the edge of the well.
    When I come home, I rest in the holes inside the wall of the well.
    If I jump into the water, it comes all the way up to my armpits and I can float on my belly.
    If I walk in the mud, it covers up my flippered feet.
    I look around at the wriggly worms, crabs, and tadpoles, and none of them can compare with me.
    I am lord of this well and I stand tall here. My happiness is great.
    My dear sir, why don’t you come more often and look around my place?”

    Before the turtle from the Sea could get its left foot in the well, its right knee got stuck. It hesitated and retreated. The turtle told the frog about the Sea.

    “Even a distance of a thousand miles cannot give you an idea of the sea’s width; even a height of a thousand meters cannot give you an idea of its depth.
    In the time of the great floods, the waters in the sea did not increase. During the terrible droughts, the waters in the sea did not decrease.
    The sea does not change along with the passage of time and its level does not rise or fall according to the amount of rain that falls. The greatest happiness is to live in the Sea.”

    After listening to these words, the frog of the shallow well was shocked into realization of his own insignificance and became very ill at ease.

  • Heshan

    Interesting parable, Sony. But it does not really touch on the main point. In fact, most Buddhists have actually reverted back to the Hindu ways – horoscopes, veneration of statues, numerology, etc. The vast majority have accepted Capitalism as a way of life – which is about as far away from attachment to material possessions as one can stray. Even the Sangha has been thoroughly corrupted – look at their involvement in politics. In Sri Lanka, vast amounts of blood have been spilled to safeguard the so-called “territorial integrity” of the “motherland.” What is the relevance of “territorial integrity” and “motherland” to Buddhist doctrine? Remember that Siddharta the Prince became Siddharta the Wandering Beggar…

    Buddhism works – in theory. But in practice, it is beyond the grasp of most, except for ascetics. The irony is that this is the same reason why Buddha opposed the Vedic Brahmins – he did not see any practical purpose in the hundreds of mundane rituals they practiced as a matter of austerity. Too many rules and regulations are bad, but too few are equally bad. Life is not a science; there is no need to experiment with every concept; some conformity – such as one finds in the “Ten Commandments” of the Christians/Jews, is good.

  • Heshan

    *the vast majority have accepted Capitalism as a way of life – which is about as far away from detachment to material possessions as one can stray.

  • yapa

    “Buddhist leaders have said Sri Lanka is the only Buddhist nation which has barred the Dalai Lama.”

    The sole objective of Heshan’s effort always is to find a way to put Sri Lanka and its people into trouble. He digs out all sorts of unnecessary garbage like a scavenger crow with that ill will. He tries to put them into pit falls and entangle them in traps using his shrewd but foul intelligence.

    When the motive is not genuine, but clouded with foul intentions he will never be able to do any good to the world or to himself, despite many competencies. Competencies will not guarantee good acts.They should be guided by virtues and good intentions. Otherwise, competencies act as a catalyst for devastation.
    One should act with good intentions.

    Try to be a good and genuine “Intellectual”, Heshan.

    (Heshan, I like you and hate you at the same time)

    Thanks!

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Yapa,

    “Pooh! What a philosophical idea! This idea is really marketable. This will be very popular among people. What a great mind!

    Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit . I will observe that you have not addressed a single one of the points I’ve raised.

    Arguing with you is also turning out to be like wrestling with a pig in the mud. Pretty soon, you start to realize that you’re getting dirty and the pig is enjoying it. However, since this is an open forum, one can raise an argument and the other person is free to raise a counter argument. If your arguments are more convincing, I’m sure people will pick them up, so don’t worry too much!

    Oh but hang on. Your ideas are too profound to be grasped by others because you use four valued logic and the majority of people on this forum are morons who use two right? So by self-declaration, yours are superior, others are just too dumb to realize it!

    Rarely have I heard a fundamentalist stance like this where other people are actually debarred from the debate by definition! Very convenient. Makes it easier to defend whatever claptrap you have in mind and prevent your mental model from collapsing or even being challenged by contrary ideas. Carry on with your delusions of grandeur my friend, carry on! But at least allow people the freedom to make up their own minds.

    Your “Buddhism is the only truth in the world” mentality, while every one of your actions seems to prove that it has not helped you at all to be anyone but a petty individual, is entirely convincing! Please Yapa, at least materialize outside my door with some “irdi bala” and convince me of your superiority. Perhaps you can do it with good words and action at least? Otherwise, you are no different to me than one of those crackpot Christians claiming to be in holy communion with god.

  • yapa

    “Pretty soon, you start to realize that you’re getting dirty and the pig is enjoying it. ”

    Please enjoy!

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    You are under the influence of hatred (for being defeated), dear somewhatHatred or sorry, sorry, disgusted after the lost. Don’t get angry, it is normal losers get angry. Failures are the pillars of success.Please calm down. Maithree Meditation is good for you.

    (If you want I can show how you ran away from the debates last time and absent for a long time in the forum until the viewers forget them.)

    If the above cure doesn’t work tell me, I can give you the same treatment.

    Thanks!

    Cheers! (be merry!, be happy!!)

  • yapa

    “Buddhism is the only truth in the world’

    If I believe so what is it for you? I think non of your business.

    Please learn Buddhism and see, you also might believe so. But there was a pig slaughter next to the temple where Buddha lived, killing pigs through out his life.

    Manik gele paya hapunata kana ehindal ganeeda?

    May Tripple Gems Bless you!

  • Heshan

    yapa:

    Truth is a killer! It is like the sensation you feel after a strong arrack! The truth is that Mahinda Rajapakse does good business with China and Mahinda Rajapakse has no business with the Dalai Lama. I did not request Dalai Lama to visit Sri Lanka. He made the request himself, China said no-no to Mahinda, and you can guess the result. That is exactly what happened.

  • SomewhatDisgusted

    Dear Yapa,

    Thanks for the advice! May you attain the Nirvana you seek, but please look after yourself first. Don’t try to force the rest of us there!

    Thank you.

  • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

    In a lighter vein, Groundviews received an email today that after all this furore, Akon is now a Buddhist, and goes as ‘Alahakon’! :)

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    It is not very easy to re-establish your broken pride. You cannot do it with semantic tricks alone. It is still harder with me.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear SomewhatDisgusted;

    Shall I now show you how you ran away last time from the debates, as you now indicate you want to wind up the present debate?

    I don’t want to humiliate people, but I would be very much like if you don’t forget your past (and your mother, country, language, religion and be a bit grateful to them too).

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    In a lighter vein, Groundviews received an email today that after all this furore, Akon is now a Buddhist, and goes as ‘Alahakon’!

    It seems that this singer brat is fortunate than so called educated puppets of our country who have no value of anything of this country but worship even shit coming from the west. Our educated imitators are an unfortunate bunch of idiots, who don’t see the gold mine lying under their own feet. They have no dignity, rather than singing praise songs even to the wind coming from the west direction.These educated imitators lick the boots of western ideologies blindly to earn a penny to protect their pot bellies and do not do any productive service to this country. I think some of them will now open their eyes because a a westerner has converted to Buddhism. When the Buddhism is coming from the west our idiots will compose praise songs.

    What a bunch of imitators we are having?

    I think “Munge as gedi walata hena gahala” as Mahinda Thero of Tibet said.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.youtube.com/noealaminsl NoEalamInSL

    We need Sexy Chicks, we need Buddhism (Christianity, Muslim..you name it) too. The issue is how should they co-exist? The concerned video was shot at a pool side. Putting a buddha statue at pool, perhaps intended to have peace/relaxation. It gives an impression that Buddha image has a peaceful impact. Thats why Buddha statues have become more popular in West as an ornament. It gives calming/relaxing affect to people.

    We as Buddihsts should not take Akon as serious as Talibans who destroyed Bamiyan Buddha staues http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/0301-04.htm and should show tolerance towards non-buddhists who use buddha statues as ornaments without knowing relegious value of it.

    Buddha said no use of worshiping my statues or images, if you want to lead a good life follow my Dhamma. Buddha said: If you want to respect me follow my dhamma do not worship staues/image. Now, how many of us followng his dhamma before criticising Akons “sexy bitch”?

    About Sirasa “Stone Protest”, those are political thugs (Kelaniya Dr. Mervin clan perhaps). They should be arrested and send to rigorous imprisonment. If we are real buddhists we should follow “ahimsa”, the Non-violence.

    According Sigmund Freud’ psychoanalytic theory of personality, “sex” and “aggression” are key drives to a persons behaviour or personality.

    Sex: represents our drive to live, prosper, and produce offspring

    Aggression: represents our need to stay alive and stave off threats to our existence, our power, and our prosperity

    The personality is composed of three elements. These three elements of personality known as the id(primitive behaviors), the ego (acceptable in the real world) and the superego (moral standards and ideals that we acquire from both parents and society).

    So, to coexist we need to control ourselves according standards set by the society (maintain “ego” and avoid “id” ). Such standards should seperate sexual arousal out of religious places and symbols.

    May the tripple gem (buddha,dhamma sangha) bless all including Akon!

  • http://www.diyfilmmaker.blogspot.com/ Sujewa Ekanayake

    Hey Yapa,

    Pull the anger waaay back dude, try some of that meditation & try to think rationally about what’s going on. Here are the known facts as discussed at this article & some possible ways things could have been handled better (also, chill out on the “more patriotic than thou” rhetoric – i am sure the vast majority of the people who are here love Sri Lanka one way or another, it’s just this is not the middle ages any more and many well meaning people here see better alternatives to how things were handled re: this Akon vs GOSL & some Buddhists conflict):

    1. US musician accidentally (according to him) insults Buddhism.

    2. In response, GOSL denies a Visa to the musician so that he cannot go to SL & perform/work. A bit overboard of a response, but, that’s from an enlightened modern/secular (or ancient Eastern, take your pick – maybe Lokayata?) perspective that believes in & forgives human faults & also believes in freedom of speech, also the government’s choice to placate a major constituency by responding to their request/sympathizing with their anger over a perceived insult.

    3. So, thus far, a bit backwards, but, alright for an emerging democracy (or even a well developed democracy, such actions – governments doing sometimes bizarre things to keep many of their voters happy happens everywhere – even in the US & “the west”).

    4. But then things go way overboard – what’s up with people attacking a TV station? How is damaging a Sri Lankan institution going to benefit Sri Lanka?

    Anyway, obviously there are many Sri Lankas – just as there are many Americas – the ultra conservative, violent, racist, xenophobic, ultra-religious one as well as the liberal, open, humanistic, humane one to whom entertainment is just entertainment & not some conspiracy to destroy Buddhism or undermine Sri Lanka. So those two sides plus Akon & the GOSL got pulled into this debate/conflict/whatever.

    I think, in the long run (or the short run) what matters to millions of Sri Lankans is being able to survive – having enough work, money, etc, & then building good lives for themselves – now that the war is over (& I seriously doubt that any sane person believes that SL Buddhism is threatned by Akon or any other trivial perceived insult to Buddhism caused accidentally by “Westerners”). From that perspective, the ultra-right wing Buddhist fundamentalists may want to calm down a bit – not get worked up over every little perceived insult & then start a mini-riot. Akon fans are not the LTTE, also people putting on a show to make money is not the end of Sri Lanka. Economic activity is a good thing. This whole issue makes it look like that Buddhist fundamentalists are just looking & aching for the next war – on edge, on alert, can’t handle peace & normal life (that includes people paying money to see a musicians that some say is aweful). What SL may have now (in some parts at least) is not Theravada Buddhism, but a new kind of a Militant Buddhism – thus not Buddhism at all, but a reason to go to war on the pretext of defending Buddhism – perhaps the kind of thing that gave rise to the Kmehere Rouge (sp?) in Cambodia (probably not, but your disdain for educated people who may want to give a fair shot to both Eastern & Western ideas does not look healthy, could lead to very very bad things), also we’ve got shades of Burma/Myanmar military junta feel/ideas going on here.

    Anyway, hope things calm down on this front – not looking forward to hearing about a new war – one between Rural Buddhist Types vs. Everyone Else in Sri Lanka next year.

    Also, keep in mind – Sri Lanka has a lot going for itself – it can be both a great tourist attraction & a place to further develop an ancient, multi-ethnic, multi-religious (yes, mostly Buddhist) & secular country/civilization into the 21st century (& have it do very well in the 21st century). Really, with all its assets, if the paranoid & violent people (& the corrupt) were not to get in the way/kept out of the way, SL can probably pull out of poverty & underdevelopments all kinds in a very brief period of time (& yes, maybe even producing some local international pop stars – Buddhist rap coming out of SL & going global? who knows, everything is possible – as long as the trigger happy folks are kept in check).

    - S

  • Sony

    Heshan says “Interesting parable, … But …”.

    Permit me to use a western phrase. What is all this blah, blah, blah has to do with

    “… Buddha was first a Hindu…”.

  • ordinary lankan

    ZEN PROVERB

    If you have no feelings about worldly things everything is buddhism. If you have feelings about buddhism then it is a worldly thing ….

  • yapa

    The cause for all this hatred running through this web really is not Akon or denial of visa to him. This happened due to the irresponsible writing of Kalana Senevirathna and tis-a-small-world.

    Thanks!

  • yapa

    Correction…..

    It is not Kalana Senevirathna and sholud be Kalana Senaratne who wrote the article
    “Aroused by Akon’s Sexy Bitch: the Rise of Sinhala-Buddhist Fundamentalism?

    Thanks!

  • ordinary lankan

    my great repects to you all …

    a humble poem –

    Don’t stone yourself

    When all illusion
    is stripped down
    To naked facts
    (Naked facts – that go deeper
    than naked bodies)
    Reflect on the words
    Of the Great Master
    Meet our eternal companions
    Our three companions in suffering
    Self deception – our common ground
    And its two unruly kids
    Passion and aggression
    Everything we build
    We build on these three rocks
    So why throw little stones
    At your own reflections
    Your brothers and sisters are
    But mirrors of your soul
    Don’t stone others
    You stone yourself

  • Anaga

    Even if a thousand nude girls dance in a front of the Buddha’s statue, the statue won’t come to life.Further even it comes to life Lord Buddha won’t see them, because he had renounced the worldly pleasures many many years ago.
    IT IS A PITY THAT THE FOLLOWERS OF BUDDHA DO NOT SEEM TO UNDERSTAND THIS.THEY ARE BRINGING LORD BUDDHA DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL.

  • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

    @Piyumi Wickramasinghe and all the other soi-disant ‘good’ Buddhists here, Akon can’t be blamed for http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2010/04/04/sacrilege or for doing this to a Buddha statue http://twitpic.com/1dd5cz

    The same Tourist Board that invited Akon to perform in Sri Lanka in the first place also promoted, as part of its officially sanctioned marketing material, a meditative Buddha tattooed rather attractively on a woman’s bare back – http://www.lankatruth.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5083:govt-shaken-by-lankatruth-article–removes-tattooed-woman-from-online-copy-of-daily-news&catid=35:local&Itemid=62

    One can only gather that being in the Rajapaksa government gives one the license to wantonly desecrate Buddha statues and indulge in the odd tattoo of the Buddha without too much of bad karma, because after all, they are all great patriots, which Akon is clearly not.

  • Suriya

    With regards to the above post by groundviews…but aren’t we being “good Buddhists” by being silent?

    Isn’t this what all those people, including groundviews, wanted us to do? “Practice Buddhism” instead of demeaning the dhamma by protesting? So why make a fuss, just say “whatever” and move on… it’s the best way of standing up for Buddhism isn’t it?

  • sepali

    only a buddhist can write an article under this topic and get away and that is exactly what the way the politician als got away. that politician needs to be punished for it.

  • Lakshan Wickrema

    As a Christian I would be shocked to see a statuse Jesus Christ desecrated, despite me being a liberal and all .

    Same applies to Akon and his insensitivity towards Buddhism .