Sinhala Buddhist Rationale In An Omnivorous Society

Photo courtesy Ada Derana

My new neighbour, a quiet middle class, young Sinhala Buddhist professional from beyond Matara, who started constructing his own house, brought down a “Kattadi mahathtaya” from his village to evoke blessings on the property, the new construction and on himself and his young family, before the foundation stone was laid. The ritual went on with loud chanting and drumming through midnight, a public nuisance, but tolerated in silence, as it was his belief for which he also had a right. Early morning we woke up when a cockerel screamed it’s life out. The final sacrifice of a “life” made in this ritual called the “Bhahirava poojah”.

This is no isolated event in this Sinhala Buddhist society, where people construct their own houses and often indulge in such sacrificial poojahs. May be there are other similar rituals too, when “life” of animals and birds are sacrificed, in lieu of a safe and prosperous future for the person(s) who provides that animal/bird life to his or her preferred God.

Yet, this year when in Munneswaran Kaali Temple, the annual festival had goats and poultry lined up for “sacrifice” by Tamil Hindu devotees, this Sinhala society took it upon themselves to go against “cruelty to animals” at this Hindu festival and stop their religious ritual.

Munneswaran temple had been in existence, even before the 12 century, as records say, King Parakramabahu who had the whole island under his reign, brought down an artisan – “Silpačãri” – group from Kapilavastupura to renovate the temple. Pleased with the work, the king had conferred the title “Mutugala Rãjakarunadi Viravardana Viskammandana Ačãri” and given land for the whole group to “reside and enjoy until the sun and the moon would last”.

This ritual of animal sacrifice, is thus over 10 centuries old in practice and the annual festival with animal sacrifice at Munneswaran is a Hindu religious belief that had continued for that long. After all these centuries of seeing, accepting and may be participating in this animal sacrifice, what provoked the Sinhala Buddhists to go hard line “animal lovers” ?

There is definitely “Sinhala politics” in it, for the Sinhala Buddhists to take up cudgels against this ritual, as it is now practised by only the Tamil Hindus in this form of a festival. The hyped trend against other minority religions is an extension of what was cropping up now and then against different unorthodox Christian sects over the past decade or two. On 10th September Saturday, reports say a Buddhist monk, Amatha Dhamma thero led a mob of Sinhala youth to destroy an ancient Muslim “shrine” within the Anuradhapura sacred city. The Buddhist monk’s claim according to a BBC report was that, the land belonged to Sinhala Buddhists for over 2,000 years.

If historical length is the defining factor for ownership, then a 10 century old religious ritual is also one that can not be denied. Tamil Hindus thus have a right to continue with their religious identity where the festival at Munneswaran with animal sacrifice is a historical presence. It is for that reason, the Sinhala Buddhist fundamentalists have opted to use the slogan, “stop cruelty to animal” for that fits in with “Buddhist compassion” and also the modern law. Thus Mervyn who tied a public servant to a tree, attacked the media every now and then and leans on ugly, obscene retorts on TV shows, too becomes a “lovable” hero for this Sinhala Buddhist gallery.

What nevertheless baffles rationality in this argument against animal sacrifice is, why they were not worried about killing of animals for sacrifice, all these decades. Why suddenly now? Is cruelty to animal defined in terms of “killing for sacrifice” and not on “killing for human consumption”? There can not be any difference to an animal, whether it is taken to Munneswaran kovil to be beheaded as a sacrifice, or to a Municipal slaughterhouse, to be killed and sold.

Even in Sri Lanka, Tamil Hindus don’t consume “beef” for they take the cow as holy. Beef is consumed only by other religious groups including Buddhists, Christians and Muslims. Some one would have to do a count on cattle that is slaughtered daily in municipal and other licensed slaughterhouses, for their consumption. In 2004, the Colombo Municipal Council had a project to renovate and modernise their Dematagoda slaughterhouse to accommodate 250 cattle per day.

Goats have become more popular with scattered campaigns against slaughter of cattle. A survey done on goats and their diseases by the Peradeniya Veterinary Research Institute and the Colombo Municipal Council, led by R.P.V.J Rajapaksa and A.C.M. Faizal has recorded that around 125,000 goats are slaughtered annually in Sri Lanka, for consumption.

According to Sunday Times (10 April, 2011), the present demand for chicken is around 8.5 to 09 million kg per month as told by the Chairman, All Island Poultry Association of Sri Lanka. That’s about 102 to 108 million kg annually and roughly about 70 million birds killed every year. The best part of these lives definitely go to feed the Sinhala society. This is leaving aside all the billions of lives of fish, eaten and exported dead.

“Life” in Buddhism has no varying values according to varying kinds and sizes of animals, birds and fish. There is also no justification in Buddhism for killing animals, birds and fish, for any reason. “Killing” is killing and killing cannot be any humane, when killed for consumption.

Where then is this Buddhist campaign against cruelty to animals perched, with its consumption of thousands of metric tons of animal flesh ? There certainly is a politico religious bias in this intervention that obstructed a religious belief. A racist bias, against the minorities. It can not be otherwise, in this heavily omnivorous Sinhala Buddhist society.

  • Blue Sky

    Thank you for this great insight. Personally, I’m against to any kind of animal slaughter in the name of religion for I believe no religion would accept harming a living being. Yet, I’m hundred percent agreed of what you have said as why suddenly they are going to take a “dramatic move” in the name of “Buddhism”. At a strategic moment like this where the country is looking forward for reconciliation from a bloody conflict, such attempts would definitely stand as barriers when one group of the community is not allowed to practice their religion.

    If the country is about to end cruelty against animals then it should be applicable to every community irrespective of any ethnic or religious difference. For a common campaign against animal slaughter I would give my fullest support but not for something which would be a definite root cause for another conflict.

  • anbu

    Interesting article and here are few of my points

    Most religions explicitly or implicitly practice animal sacrifice.
    During Christmas, Id Ul Fitr etc the consumpution of animal meat goes up. Infact during the last Christmas season SL had to import chickens from abroad to quech the need for this ‘sacrifice’

    Within Sri lanka the Tamil Hindu community has propotionately more vegetarians than any other community.
    Even the non vegetarians very rarely eat meat( for religious and economic reasons). There fore when the Tamil Hindu makes an animal sacrifice and it becomes front page news in SL it is a symptom of an unholy alliance of post Anagarika Dharmalapaesque puritant Buddhism meets Buddhist nationalism. Vegetarianism becomes the arbitrator of morality for a certain ilk of Budhist and this is used to taunt a minority. what is further ridiculous is that most Buddshit countries including SL are carnivourus( this includes the Bhikkus too).
    Infact in my view Buddha didnt explicitly preach about meat eating. Of course the new brand of Ananda/ Nalanda college educated types will find
    some theological source to prove their puritant point.

    • anbu

      Furthermore it will be intersting to see this from a class and caste angle too. priests serving in agamic temples are usually brahmins and vegetarian. people from lower castes and socio economic classes might practice animal sacrifice by a designated member from their own community instead of a brahmin. Whilst this particular incident has a virulent racism behind it if one looks at it from a South Asian point of view such incidents are hapening in India too. Usually educated upper class and caste people (mainly new vegetarians as opposed to generational vegetarians) with self righteous views of their position use vegetarianism to impose their upper caste value systems on the lower castes.

  • yapa

    As usual Kusal Perera is trying to throw a stone at hornets nest writing this article. His ideas/conclusions generated in his articles by nature are controversial,provocative but are not lack of good examples and facts as well.

    I have been wondering about the specialty of his writing, about the ability to arouse people. One reason I observed was he is very clever at identifying topics for the objective.

    However, some other writer writing on the same topic would have little chance to produce the same effect. This fact shows that his writing as a whole(fabric)contains this effect, which should be attributed to some unique moral fiber of the writer.

    When most of his examples are true and facts are reasonable, how come the conclusions could be controversial, I think the most pertinent question, that would lead to quench my thirst came to my mind.

    In writing we use reasoning (Logic) to arrive at conclusions. Based on facts or examples we argue to arrive at conclusions. In the terminology of Logic these basic facts/examples ate called “PREMISE” and the new knowledge we generate is called the “CONCLUSION”, as it is called in the normal language as well and the mechanism to generate “conclusion” from the ” premise” is called “ARGUMENT”.

    A conclusion in Deductive reasoning is always true, if the PREMISE is true and the ARGUMENT is sound, necessarily its conclusion should be true. (I will deal with the Inductive reasoning used in the writing separately)

    “Deductive reasoning, also called deductive logic, is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises or hypotheses. A deductive argument is valid if the conclusion does follow necessarily from the premises, i.e., if the conclusion must be true provided that the premises are true. A deductive argument is sound if it is valid and its premises are true. Deductive arguments are valid or invalid, sound or unsound, but are never false nor true. Deductive reasoning is a method of gaining knowledge. An example of a deductive argument:

    1. All men are mortal
    2. Socrates is a man
    3. Therefore, Socrates is mortal

    The first premise states that all objects classified as “men” have the attribute “mortal”. The second premise states that “Socrates” is classified as a man – a member of the set “men”. The conclusion states that “Socrates” must be mortal because he inherits this attribute from his classification as a man.”

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

    I have said that his conclusions are controversial and provocative. Controversial conclusions are not essentially true conclusions, as true conclusions do not generate any suspicions as in the case of the Socrates example as given above. No one would argue that the conclusion, Socrates is a mortal is wrong and there cannot be controversial or provocative to anybody. This means Mr.Kusal Perera’s deductive reasoning shows some flaw, that generate incorrect “CONCLUSIONS” from true “PREMISES”. Invariably, his “ARGUMENTS” should be “UNSOUND”, as per the above law of the Deductive Reasoning.

    Now we will see whether my “conclusion” about KP’s argument is sound by testing it with his writings.

    Please look at the following part from his article.
    …..

    1. “Munneswaran temple had been in existence, even before the 12 century, as records say, King Parakramabahu who had the whole island under his reign, brought down an artisan – “Silpa?ãri” – group from Kapilavastupura to renovate the temple. Pleased with the work, the king had conferred the title “Mutugala Rãjakarunadi Viravardana Viskammandana A?ãri” and given land for the whole group to “reside and enjoy until the sun and the moon would last”.

    This ritual of animal sacrifice, is thus over 10 centuries old in practice and the annual festival with animal sacrifice at Munneswaran is a Hindu religious belief that had continued for that long.
    ……….

    Here,

    PREMISE: Munneswaran temple had been in existence, even before the 12 century, enjoy until the sun and the moon would last”.

    CONCLUSION: This ritual of animal sacrifice, is thus over 10 centuries old in practice and the annual festival with animal sacrifice at Munneswaran is a Hindu religious belief that had continued for that long.

    Here, the conclusion is not necessarily correct as, we don’t know when that ritual began, though the the premises says the temple was began in the 12th century. There is s possibility that the ritual had began in a later stage. He has not provided any evidence to say that both events began simultaneously.

    This wrong conclusion is used as a premise in the latter part of the article to build up his final conclusions.

    If the PREMISE is wrong, even if the argument is sound the “CONCLUSION” is always INCORRECT.

    So, Kusal Perera cannot arrive at true/correct conclusions in the article as his argument is based on the incorrect premise “This ritual of animal sacrifice, is thus over 10 centuries old in practice”. If he to claim his article is reasonable he should prove that “This ritual of animal sacrifice, is thus over 10 centuries old in practice” is true.

    Mr. Kusal Perera can you prove that the ritual of animal sacrifice in Munneswaran temple began simultaneously with the beginning of the temple.

    Thanks!

    (I will show some more fallacies in his writing. My opposition to KP’s arguments does not necessarily approve what Mervyn Silva does. I think no one would come to that fallacious conclusion with my writing.)

    Thanks!

    • stanobey

      Comments in respect of most Groundviews articles tend to miss the wood for the trees. KP’s article seeks to argue not whether animal sacrifice is good or bad – but that the opposition is not based on that point though articulated as such but is based on something else – racism! This is simple and true. If it were not then why does Sri Lanka with such small minorities consume so much meat!!

      • yapa

        Dear stanobey;

        I think KP’s this article is also based on racism, just like almost all of his other articles published on Groundviews. As in the most of the cases, he finds some isolated bad work of a single person or a group and generalizes it as a work of “Sinhalese Buddhists”. Sacrifice of animals or Bahirava pooja are not common rituals among Sinhalese/ Buddhists, though he takes it to represent to Sinhala Buddhists. On what basis the writer attributes Mervyn Silva’s acts to Sinhala buddhists? B Many Sinhala Buddhists do not approve most of what he does. Why KP chose Mervyn Silva as a “representative sample” of Sinhala Buddhists?

        I feel what KP has is some sort of “Indigestion” (ajeernaya) against Sinhalese Buddhists, and he is on vigilance like a hawk to pick some bone to attack them. I think he is suffering from racist bias against Sinhala Buddhists, otherwise why he always try to create things against them in his article.

        Thanks!

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Yapa,

      Excellently written and very well argued.

  • http://yahoo Sandy

    Mervyn must be a total vegetarian?

    • anbu

      I bet he had a hearty meal of fish thel badhum, beef curry and salty seer fish deep fried with rice when he came home.

    • sam

      Mervyn may be a vegetarian. But is a well known fact that he is a tormentor of humans, does not think twice before harming anyone!!

      How come there was no hue and cry when thousands were killed in during various STATE SPONSORED POGROMS and continued bombing and shelling, starving, abductions in the north and east not only during the final war, but was the norm during the 30 year STATE WAR against its own citizens!!

  • Rajiv

    Animal sacrifice is inhumane, barbaric and does not belong in this time and age. I’m sure the vast majority of Sri Lankans regardless of their ethnicity or religion agree with this. The monks and Mervyn(!) have done the right thing in protesting against this brutality. It’s the Tamil Hindu priest who runs this sacrificial show, his followers and the gods/goddesses he worships who should be embarrassed and ashamed.

    • wijayapala

      Rajiv, do you eat meat?

  • http://-- A concerned citizen

    If Mervyn Silva is sincerely against killing of animals as it is against the precepts of Buddhism, he should start a campaign to stop meat eating by the Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Lets hope he will get the government to stop serving meat at State functions and stop the provision of meat in the meals the state supplies to the military in their camps. No license should be issued to any slaughter house and Buddhist restaurants or hotels should be prohibited from serving meat. Lets hope Mervyn will get the support of the Buddhist monks in this noble effort of his and make Sri Lanka a ‘vegetarian’ state and set an example for the rest of the World. The non-Buddhist meat eaters could be told that their their right to eat meat is not infringed by allowing them to do their own slaughtering in their private residences and ban the sale of meat anywhere in Sri Lanka. Jayawewa !

    • kadphises

      Let us all make a start by not serving chicken and fish as Dane to buddhist priests.

      Personally, I find slaughter of animals repugnant. Still, I eat every kind of meat. I am trying to stop eating seafood on account of depleting fish stocks in our oceans. If successful I plan to phase out beef, lamb and chicken in that order.

      I also wonder what would happen to all the domestic cattle, sheep and chickens if we were to stop eating them. I certainly dont want their numbers to explode spreading deseases and consuming the fodder available to wild animals. So we need to find a solution for all these artifically created breeds that could quickly replace native species if allowed to breed out of control.

      With all these contradictions I wonder what right I have to lecturer a butcher or someone who performs a religious ritual involving animal sacrifice. Perhaps we need to modify the law to say any slaughter/sacrifice of domestic animals needs to be performed painlessly. We also need to ensure that the carcasses are not wasted and eaten afterwards.

      In another contradiction one also finds pro-lifers being the biggest supporters of military action against other nations. (as in the US)

      In Sri Lanka the anti animal-sacrifice demographic also happens to be the least troubled by the orgy of human killings in May 2009 in the name of National Sovereignty.

      I guess the conclusion is that we are all ready to sacrifice our dearest principles for a political or religious purpose.

  • wijayapala

    Where then is this Buddhist campaign against cruelty to animals perched, with its consumption of thousands of metric tons of animal flesh ?

    From today’s Island:

    “Having enjoyed the national limelight with his highly dramatized rescue of about some animals, brought for ritualistic slaughter at the Bhadrakali Kovil in Munneswaran on Monday, Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva yesterday declared that he would next move to shut down all meat stalls in the Gampaha District.

    “The minister also called on the students present to abstain from eating meat.

    “Silva has already shut down all meat stalls in the Kelaniya area for more than two years, but no one has so far challenged his action.”

    • Velu Balendran

      An ancient Thirukkural couplet under Abstinence from Flesh chapter states:

      “Kollaan pulaalai maruththaanai kaikoopi
      Ella uyirum tholum”

      which briefly means:

      All beings shall lift their palms in worship to him
      Who eats not flesh nor kills with whim.

      If what Wijeyapala says is true I raise my palms to Merv and promise to be his fan untill the sun & moon exist.

      Another Kural (of the 10) in the same chapter says

      If merciless it is to kill,
      To kill and eat is disgraceful.

      • Velu Balendran

        I confess, we had to memorise all these stuff at school; but it was hard to practice with only limited success- without a Merv around :-)

      • Krish

        Velu Balendran,

        Thiruvalluvar was a Jain Tamilian. As you probably know, Jains are very strict vegetarians even to this day. So, it is not surprising that he favoured vegetarianism or abstinence from meat. As far as animal sacrifices in Hindu society in South Asia go, different cultures have different levels of sacrifices. Among Tamilians (in India for example), Brahmins would never do sacrifice, whereas non-Brahmin Tamil priests in Kali or Muneesaran or Ayyanar temples would offer sacrifice. In Nepal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, it is not uncommon for Brahmin priests to offer sacrifices. In Bengal, Bengalis (including Brahmins) eat fish every single day. But in states like Gujarat, even Muslims try to stay away from meat for it is a highly pro-Hindu leaning state.

        And in the west, if they raise cattle to eat them, they try to kill them as soon as possible. But, in certain sects of Islam, only slow death pleases Allah and therefore they will cut torturously slow.

        I am not sure if this is such an important topic when there are so many other issues in front of us. :)

  • ardneham

    What is the repercussion on the King of the Country when his Minister
    defies a Hindu Religious practice, spevcially when the King follows
    attendance to Hindu Temples in India, for Divine Blessings….

  • sabbe laban

    It’s an utter waste to have those goats yarded in a police station after being rescued. The policemen might eventually do the honours with the yummy mutton. Goats are eventually klled anyway just like the chickens and sold in shops as permitted legally! Have anyone ever heard of a goat or a chicken dying of old age, of natural causes? Maybe in Kelaniya now hahahaaa!

    I eat meat meat and I love it;at the same time I love animals too(those that are alive!);any meat for that matter! What about the fish? Mervyn,aren’t they too animals living in water?

    • yapa

      There are so simple but mysterious contradictions prevailing in the world unable to solved by the mankind. Eating meat and right to live are directly opposing two such ideas, the civilized world has not solved yet. If we accept the right to live as a true idea we should promote and strictly follow, meat eating becomes non-functional idea. On the other hand if we accept the right to eat meat, we cannot avoid violating the idea of right to live.

      Man has resolved and chosen one of the options on more difficult controversies. He has come to the definite conclusion that the earth goes round the sun not the other way round. He gave up the option, the earth is flat, for it is round. But we are still clueless, to decide on the correct option from the two choices, whether to eat meat or to respect others’ right to live.

      Why man cannot give an answer or come to a consensus on this simple question, at least in principle? What factors prevent us from this? Are they external factors of the man or some internal factors emanate from the man prevents it? While this general question is dragging on and on, how come man could resolve and decide on the special case that man’s right to live versus eating human meat? What was/were the factor(s) that persuaded man to use two spoons?

      In a way man is a wonderfully intelligent creature who solves mysteries of the far universe and sometimes a feeble creature who has no mental capacity even to resolve a simple day to day issue. I was wondering about the factors that make this clever man a dumb creature in some occasions.

      Thanks!

  • Johan

    I’ve been a vegan for the last 6 years. I don’t consume animals or animal products, but that is my choice, and not one I would force on others. I don’t think anyone should be killing animals for any reason–ritual sacrifice or for food. But if they want to, that is their right.

  • Nikhil

    Looks like this animal sacrifice is just a business venture of Hindu priests. From the Sunday Times:

    “Animal rights activist G.P.D. Kumarasiri went undercover to gather details of the animal sacrifice which takes place at the Sri Bhadra Kali Amman Kovil in Munneswaram. His investigations revealed the killing of animals as part of a ritual was not confined to the annual festival, but was performed throughout the year.

    He said he approached ‘swamis’ of the Kovil on the pretext of wanting to offer animal sacrifice to gather details on how the ritual was performed. “I spoke to them on September 11 and was told I could bring an animal on the 14th – the day a large number of animals are scarified. When I queried whether I could come on any another day, I was told I could do so on Tuesdays or Fridays on which days the ritual could be performed,” Kumarasiri said. He believed at least two to three animals were scarified weekly in this manner.

    Kumarasiri claims he was told he could either bring the animals with him or purchase a goat for around Rs15, 000, or a chicken for around Rs1, 500 to Rs 2, 000.

    He added the swami informed him he would perform the animal slaughter on those days and once the ritual was performed the body would be given to the person offering it to be cooked for consumption, while the head of the animal would be retained by the temple authorities.

    “This is a business enterprise” Kumarasiri scoffed. Prior to offering an animal for sacrifice the temple authorities have to be paid a registration fee of Rs 2, 500. “It is a mere money-making exercise,” Kumarasiri said.

    He said gullible people were fooled into believing they would be blessed if they scarified an animal at the altar of Goddess Kali.”

    http://www.sundaytimes.lk/110918/News/nws_15.html

    • Amarnath Sunderagama

      Nikhil,
      This supposed animal activist wasted his time and ST space. There’s nothing to go undercover to get all that info….Why not ask most even in Chillaw town ? they know to tell information. That is how whole normal ritual got institutionalised over very many decades. Also as in every other Hindu kovil or Buddhist temple.
      Just visit Kataragama to see how pooja vatties, coconuts and oils and all stuff taken for daily rituals, are organised.
      Visit Seenigama and see how the place is commercialised. See how money is earned around Bellanwila temple, new Pillewa tempe and even historic Mihintale.
      All “very” religious and GOD related places have developed own rituals, run with businesses attached to them.
      Don’t think its illiterate and poor people who are gullible. Count professionals, the rich and middle class who come to these places. This whole,not whole, majority Sinhala people are gullible also.
      Thankyou
      A.S.

    • Amarnath Sunderagama

      Hi Nikhil,
      This activist going undercover to find info was useless and ST space is waste. If he went to Chillaw town, most will tell all that information. All religious places, Buddhist and Hindu temples alike, have businesses like that for people to buy stuff. Go to Kataragama, it is like that. Pooja vatti, coconut, oil, fruits everything is a business and every one know, if a big note is kept in the pooja vatti, you get priority treatment. Seenigama, Kelaniya, Bellanwila, new Pillewa temple, even historic Mahiyangey is all business. Even the Buddhist priests manage that business.
      So it is not illiterate and poor people only who are gullible. Even educated, rich and middleclass people are very gullible, because they want more favours from Gods than poor people.
      Thankyou
      A.S.

  • ChandraJ

    This article by Kusal Perera hits the nail right on the head. There is a lot of hypocrisy in Sri Lankan society about serious observation of the buddhist precepts. I think most buddhists are secular buddhists no different that secular practice of other religions. Whenever my wife’s neighbor wanted her family to consume eggs she had sent over the eggs to be broken by the christians so that the buddhist neighbor is free of guilt. The buddhist priests are the worst offenders, as most of them will instruct the host what preferred meats should be included in an almsgiving daane. If Mervyn Silva is serious he should make all buddhists into becoming vegetarians. Perhaps he should start first with himself.

  • http://srilankalandoftheblind.blogspot.com/ PresiDunce Bean

    Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian. (Darn Godwin’s Law!) :D

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

  • KC Logeswaran

    There is no conclusive proof that Valluvar was a Jain. He may be secularist. In any case he is not one of Hindu Religious saints. This is beside the point. Hinduism which had absorbed several forms of worship and practices over several centurie has unfortunately incorporated this gruesome practice of animal slaughter albeit in only a very very few temples. In Jaffna there used to be temples slaughtering goats as a part of the festival; and in the fifties of the last century there was a strong movement through katha prasangams etc to disuade peolple resorting to this practice and this atrocity considerably abated.I believe the GA of Northern Province at the time, a devout Hindu, was also in the vanguard of this movement.A century before this time Arumuga Navalar issued injnctions against animal slaughter.
    Just because there was an old practice of animal slaughter by itself does not qualify it to be continued. I have the sense that the Hindu Religious Affairs in the ninties of the last century attempted to disuade the Muneswaram authorities to discontinue with this horrendous practice.
    Minister Merwyn Silva may have done several unconventional things which are considered not good but why blame him for a good thing he has done. I am told on good authority he is a genuine animal lover. But then Minister Sir do not get encouraged by what I say and take the law into your hands all the time; as some one said in the column ends do not justify means. I am sure a large number of “omnivorous Hindus” will have revulsion towards animal sacrifices in Hindu temples

  • yapa

    One of the central arguments going underline the article seems to be, the “Freedom to Faith”, if Buddhists can perform their rituals, why others cannot? It seems to suggest all must have equal right and freedom to practice their religions without any obstruction, irrespective of the nature of the religion. Do all those advocate for this good principle also advocate for “Female genital mutilation” based on religious/social beliefs? Do they advocate for the religious practice of some religious groups to drop small children from several floors of a building? If one good practice of a religion is allowed, should all the bad and cruel practices of all the religions should be allowed? (I also might invent a religion with a ritual to have any beautiful women in my bed.)

    I don’t understand why this flat theory of western politics is not questioned by our intellectuals? Those who advocate for religious equality, do not advocate for “Political Equality”, equality of al the political systems. how come they don’t see differences in different religions, but see the differences in different political systems? What moral right they have to say, Democracy is the best political systems, if they do not allow to name a religion as the best religion

    • yapa

      Oh!, sorry the article was posted by accident before I finish it, I would continue.

      ……… Really killing animals is cruel not because it is a precept of Buddhism. I think it is a universal moral principle, that encompasses any religious belief. If you don’t like to be killed, no one has a right to kill you! Do you think this principle has exceptions?(to any religion or any person or any animal)

      There is no reasonable ground for the argument that “as Buddhists have right to observe Five Precepts as a practice of their religion, others also must have right to kill animals as their religious practice, or they should be allowed to perform their religious rituals as the way they want. This is madness.

      The people who worship western ideologies as their religion do not see the obvious contradictions among their principles.

      1. They advocate the equality of religions (as they know their religions are inferior)

      2. They do not advocate the equality of political ideologies (as they know advocating/advertising for Western models are advantageous for them)

      Most of our leading figures are not more than parrots, I should say. Their religion is to worship the western ideologies. However, while soliciting for equality of religious beliefs, the irony of fate is that they always attack Buddhism (and other local religions as ell)whenever they get a little chance and expose themselves.

      Thanks!

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Yapa,

        You have presented an excellent analysis and counter argument to Kusal Perera’s provocative attempt at “Stirring the Pot”.

        It remains to be seen how KP meets your arguments.

        Kusal is presenting a tongue in cheek argument.
        There are many religions that has been stamped out of existence by western civilisation which Kusal is obviously aware of. Not a word about that however.

        You have made an error in the following sentence.

        Sacrifice of animals or Bahirava pooja are not common rituals among Sinhalese/ Buddhists,

        They are not Buddhist Rituals period.
        KP won’t be able to prove it with reference to any Buddhist text.
        A Buddhist ritual if any, would have primarily been practised in Temples.

        His argument is juvenile as no religion on Earth is practised to the letter by a 100% of it’s followers. There are always those who break precepts. Using them as examples is exceedingly juvenile as you have pointed out in the posts referred to below. Using the actions of a clown like Mervin, as representative of over 12 million does not speak well of the writer’s intellect.

        Your point about Genital Mutilation drives home the Juvenile nature of Kusal’s argument.

        God Bahirawa is a Hindu Deity.

        Bhairava sometimes known as Bhairo or Bhairon or Bhairadya, is the fierce manifestation of Shiva associated with annihilation. Bhairava himself has eight manifestations: Kala Bhairava, Asitanga Bhairava, Samhara Bhairava, Ruru Bhairava, Krodha Bhairava, Kapala Bhairava, Rudra Bhirava and Unmatta Bhairava. Kala Bhairava is conceptualized as the Guru of the planetary deity Saturn. Bhairava is known as Vairavar in Tamil where he is often presented as a Grama Devata or folk deity who safeguards the devotee on all eight directions (ettu tikku). Known in Sinhalese as Bahirawa, he protects treasures. Wiki.

        http://groundviews.org/2011/09/17/sinhala-buddhist-rationale-in-an-omnivorous-society/#comment-36815

        http://groundviews.org/2011/09/17/sinhala-buddhist-rationale-in-an-omnivorous-society/#comment-36843

        http://groundviews.org/2011/09/17/sinhala-buddhist-rationale-in-an-omnivorous-society/#comment-36854

        http://groundviews.org/2011/09/17/sinhala-buddhist-rationale-in-an-omnivorous-society/#comment-36857

      • yapa

        Dear Off the Cuff;

        Thanks, as I have said many times, your encouragement has been immensely helpful in building up my confidence in writing and improving it to the present level. One of the other factors I attribute to the above fact is my writing(yours as well)is written for a common cause not with the intention of personal glorification. We think of more social benefits than personal benefits from our writing.

        In the case of Mr. Kusal Perera, I think most of the time he tries to create a pandemonium, through his writing. For him it is the important thing even if such a thing is inappropriate for the situation. This shows his writing is based on a pre-assumed frame, that is on a personal agenda. Further more, he has conveniently pre-decided on his broad scope for his writing, which produces the maximum effect, to arouse the people to its highest end, him to be successful in his objective. To attack the majority and its attributes. Being a member of the majority, this act induces and exhibits some pseudo progressiveness to the writer. Anybody would say, see KP is so unbiased and progressive that he criticizes even the wrongs of his own community. The truth is he does only that, nothing else, that is also to glorify the person and satisfy his ego. He is an ass in a lion’s clothes, who destroys the little plots vegetables of Sinhala Gamarala’s. That is the only service he can render through his writing.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        I would like to try to further expose the callous intention of the writer in writing the article. His main purpose is to highlight the particular incident as hypocrisy/atrocity of the majority Sinhala Buddhists against religious minorities of this country, especially against the Tamil Hindus and to arouse the minority sentiments against the Sinhala Buddhists. There must be some problem with his brain for somebody to exaggerate and highlight a minor issue to create hatred and to make further divisions among the communities in this country. What we need today is to make efforts to heal the wounds of the long lasted mistrust and disharmony among the communities of this country rather than trying to satisfy the abnormalities of our characters. However, we cannot rule out the existence of unhealthy individuals who put their personal satisfaction (kalakanni santhosaya) before the country or the nation. What all we can do in a democratic society is to expose their crooked nakedness to the world, stripping off their emperor’s clothes by writing some lines.

        Please read what he says,

        “There is definitely “Sinhala politics” in it, for the Sinhala Buddhists to take up cudgels against this ritual, as it is now practised by only the Tamil Hindus in this form of a festival. The hyped trend against other minority religions is an extension of what was cropping up now and then against different unorthodox Christian sects over the past decade or two.”

        By using this single incident done by some dubious fellows of the Sinhala Buddhist community, not only he tries to disperse the hared of all the other ethnic/religious communities to day against the Sinhala Buddhists, he tries to spread it along the temporal dimension to the past as well. Not only today’s Sinhalese Buddhists are racial, but it has been the practice and their nature through out, he tries to tell loudly to the world.

        Is really, the particular incident hypocrisy of the Sinhala Buddhist against the other religious/ethnic minorities of the country, especially against Tamil Hindus?

        We have already shown that the group involved in the incident is not a representative sample of the Sinhalese Buddhists of this country, and majority of them do not approve what that group is doing in this country. So is the particular ritual a common ritual among Hindu community of this country?

        To my knowledge, slaughtering of animals is not being reported from any other Hindu Temple other than from the Munneshwaran Hindu Temple. This what a Hindu gentleman has to say about it in this thread on the issue. He says Hindus themselves went against this atrocity in the past to give a it a stop.

        http://groundviews.org/2011/09/17/sinhala-buddhist-rationale-in-an-omnivorous-society/#comment-36851

        So this is not a popular or at least common practice among Hindus, but an isolated much disliked passing away ritual of a single Hindu Temple among hundreds of them prevailing in this country. So can some sane person generalize the ritual as a Hindu ritual and to make a big noise to arouse people against the Sinhala Buddhists on what Mervyn Silva is doing in this country? In contrary, can’t somebody argue that Mervyn is sharing the Hindu sentiments of the GA and the other Hindus who made efforts against this cruel practice, as mentioned by the Tami gentleman above?

        So isn’t this a case of an isolated group of persons against an isolated ritual, hyphened as Sinhala Buddhist atrocity against the religious/ethnic minorities of this country? In the name of doing good what these irresponsible writers are doing? Is it ignorance or some sort of distortion in the mental character?, we don’t know. But we can be certain of one thing. Though the words are of Moses, the voice is of the Satan.

        Thanks!

  • sabbe laban

    Dear Yapa

    Thank you for the philosophical argument about the great dilemma of Meat eating. Man started to defy the laws of the nature at a certain point in his evolution. He did this by brute power and violence against the nature and anything that stood in his way.

    For example the reletionship between the predator and the prey can be sited. In an ecological system there is an equilibrium between the number of predators and the prey. If the predator is removed by some reason the number of the prey will increase and eventually destroy the whole system. But, at one point in the history man broke this law by taking control of the nature. As a result the population of the humans increased disproportionately, but this eventually didn’t bring about their own destruction as in the case of other animals. The reason was that humans were omnivors and they were highly adaptible to any situation. They ate anything from animals to members of rival tribes. They cultivated their food and raised live stock when the supply was short which no other animal was capable of. There is evidence to believe that our ancesters hunted another human species called Nianderthal man about 30,000 years ago.

    Our mere existence is based on our omnivirous food pattern and this could explain why we are so reluctant give up meat eating.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Sabbe Laban,

      I believe that the following statement is incorrect

      “They cultivated their food and raised live stock when the supply was short which no other animal was capable of”

      Ants, Termites and wood boring beetles are known to farm their own food. In fact there is a species of ants known as Gardner ants who even use a pesticide in their gardens. You may have seen some ants taking care of another tree dwelling insect (these are garden pests) but they secrete a liquid that the ants use as a food just like humans use cow’s milk.

      There is also a debate about whether humans are built to eat meat. The length of the elementary canal is sited as proof. Herbivore digestive tract is 12 times body length and carnivore is 3 times body length. Another factor that is cited is that carnivores produce their own Vitamin C and Herbivores get it from food. Carnivores lap up liquid while herbivores sip it. Carnivores cool their bodies by panting while herbivores perspire. Humans are also not agile enough to catch prey like other carnivores.

      At the same time Herbivores do not produce Hydrochloric acid in their stomachs but humans do. So the debate goes on.

      I believe Yapa was not interested in the above but in the irrational connection impugned between meat eating and Sinhala Buddhists (Sinhala Non Buddhists and Buddhist Non Sinhala have been excluded).

      Yapa’s arguments are well presented and we have to wait and see how Kusal responds.

      • sabbe laban

        Off the Cuff

        Thank you for pointing out the error! I was discussing the intelligent animals and not the insect world. But, as you say just because the ants and termites engage in farming and live-stock raising I hardly believe that you include them in the group of “intelligent” animals!

        Insect intelligence is an intriguing topic and brings out the possibility of the existence of such creatures in other planets too, the creatures who have little intelligence as individuals but as a community act as an intelligent entity.

        The other anatomical and physiological features in the human bady you discuss are those of an omnivorous creature, which proves that humans became omnivorous at a certain point in their evolution and that played a major role in our survival.

      • yapa

        Dear Off the Cuff/saban;

        Though a bit deviated from the topic, interesting discussion. Saban’s idea “community intelligence” and possibility of existence of intelligent life in other planet in that form seems to be a very smart scientific guess which really is “brand new” to me.

        However, I have read of relatively high individual insect intelligence in a Science Fiction long time ago. I am not sure I got mixed up two ideas in two fictions, otherwise it was in H.G.Wells’ “First men in the Moon”.

        According to my memory, one scientist discovers a substance that cuts off the gravity and with the use of this substance he makes a vehicle to go the moon. The scientist with some other person travels to moon as the first men in the moon. When the sun rises on the moon they found many lunar plants started growing at an enormous speed to become giant trees in a short period of time. The scientist thought that it was the less gravity on the moon that did not suppress the fast growth of plants as in the case of on earth.

        Later they find that the moon was inhabited by some intelligent beings living in underground tunnels. They make friendly with them and found those beings are more intelligent than humans. They had a well organized society with division of labour and there was a group of people chosen and trained for the very purpose of thinking. They used to think for the whole community, while others engaged in specific work entrusted to them. They also found that the heads of the thinking community was comparatively bigger and they had to be supported with external aid to keep them upright. They were well taken care of by the community. Further, on average they were a more intelligent group of creatures even at individual level than humans.

        I think at the last part of the story, it was indicated that these creatures were non other than termites, whose bodies were grown to bigger sizes under the low gravitational environment of the moon, just as mighty trees grown there.

        The argument for the remarkable intelligence of the beings were attributed to the brain/body weight ratio of the termites. It is said that brain/body weight ratio of termites are higher than humans. If a termite grows into the sizes of a man the size of the brain of a termite should be bigger than a humans brain and hence the lunar creatures must be more intelligent than the humans.

        I really cannot make out whether this story was a single story I read or an unconscious combination of several stories. However, I think an interesting argument and a fiction related to what you are discussing.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear writer of the Article;

        I think you will be responsive to my queries, if you have some sense of responsibility towards our society and of what you write.

        Thanks!

  • http://peramunerala.wordpress.com No Frames

    [This is no isolated event in this Sinhala Buddhist society, where people construct their own houses and often indulge in such sacrificial poojahs]

    What are your evidences to say so? Isn’t this a generalization or stereotyping which Tamil chauvinists are notorious for?

  • georgethebushpig

    Oh the outrage! Poor goats being sacrificed in the name of religion. How dare “they”!

    Er… several tens of thousands of innocent humans were sacrificed at the latter stages of the war… Outrage? Oh no, let’s quickly find an excuse for justifying it!

    And this Yapa guy, is he for real? Or is he a reborn sacrificed goat not fully transformed?

    People should stop acting the bloody goat and focus on what really matters!

  • sabbe laban

    Yapa

    The argument on “double-standards” of equality is thought provaking too. The Western liberal democracies don’t allow any public displays of animal sarifices by Hidus or Muslims. They have even banned the Burka in France and Quebec in Canada! Their interpretation of “freedom to worship any religion” goes as for as it doesn’t cause a revulsion in the mainstream culture and as long as it suits them just like the political ideologies as you have pointed out.

    The irony is they would send a helicopter to save a dog who is stranded on top of a building, but the same animal lovers would turn a blind eye when injured horses are “put to sleep” after a fall, millions of cows, calfs, pigs, sheep, horses and chickens are slaughtered daily for food or when lobsters, crabs and fish are chopped alive in front of everybody including children daily in super markets! Hypocrisy or something bigger?

    • yapa

      Dear saban;

      I feel envy of you for writing what I was intending to write before me. However, it seems chance picks the right man to present important things. Who knows Einstein could be such a pick of the chance. Any way, I wouldn’t have presented the idea so elegantly as you above if I were picked for the purpose.

      KP was trying to ridicule the Sinhalese Buddhist society as a double standard while protesting against “torturing animals” while living in an omnivorous society.

      As I said earlier in my first post, relying on the facts of the amounts of meat consumption of the country, KP over-loads the weight of all the meat on Sinhala Buddhist to name them as omnivorous. Not only that this allegation secretly accuses Sinhalese as animal slaughters in this country. Is this a true picture or a fabrication of an ill-intentioned crafty mind?

      There are mainly of people of four faiths in this country, namely Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and Muslims. It is true that there are Buddhists and Hindus who consume meat today. However, the percentage of non-meat eaters is very high among them compared to the other two groups of faiths. On the other hand meat eating is a more popular habit of the more affluent class living in suburb areas where the Buddhist percentage is comparatively less. If one takes the per-capita consumption of meat of the each religious group in Sri Lanka, the figures of Buddhists and Hindus will be very much less compared to the other two groups. Even in this so called “omnivorous society”, the omnivorous tendency of the Sinhalese Buddhists is still less. Further more, compared to many other societies of the world, naming Sri Lanka as a omnivorous society is not a highly commendable idea. I think the influence of Buddhism for this “less omnivorous nature” of the Sri Lankan society should is of the degree of some significance. So, I think, in these circumstances, the total effect of Buddhism on Sri Lankan society is not “for” omnivorous, but against this. I don’t think anybody can justifiably blame Sri Lankan Buddhists for omnivorous practices for Sri Lanka unless he/she does it with some bias or without an in-depth analysis. On the other hand, it should be noted that very few Buddhists are involved in animal slaughtering business in this country. Therefore the contribution of the Sinhala Buddhists for KP’s “Omnivorous Society” in Sri Lanka is comparatively one could say very low. So, I would argue “the Omnivorous Society” of Sri Lanka is not an idea of the Sinhala Buddhist society or a creation of it.

      Many of the practices found in today’s Sri Lankan society cannot be grossly attributed to Sinhalese or Buddhists. Sri Lankan society to day is a melting pot of many other influences as well. Buddhists as a principle do not approve killing, it is being the first precept of their fundamental discipline, Five Precepts. In Principle as all Buddhists are supposed to observe Five Precepts, a true Buddhist cannot be a killer, or at least cannot do any harm to anybody else. It is true that all did not obey the rules. However, the early Buddhist society prevailed in this country, before it got much influence from outside I think were a society that respected the right to lie of the others. King Deanampiyathissa, banned killing animals. May be in Robert Knox’s book I read the brooks of the country then were full of fish and he could catch enough fish for his meal as Sinhala Buddhists hated killing fish as a mean thing. As Buddhists, they not only refused killing they refused all sort of harm to any other beings. They never had the double standard which KP is trying to load on the Sinhala Buddhist that approving of animal killing and refusing of animal torture. As Saban has correctly and elegantly pointed out, it is a double standard of the much adored “Western Civilized Society”, which has trickled down to and contaminated our society.

      Thanks!

      • yapa

        Correction…….

        “However, the early Buddhist society prevailed in this country, before it got much influence from outside I think were a society that respected the right to [lie] of the others.”

        Here [lie] should be corrected as “live”

        Thanks!

  • http://www.twitter.com/ThilinaRa Thilina Rajapakse

    Campaign against Cruelty to Animals should be welcomed. However Last week’s incident shows the complex nature of the issue. In moral terms saving the animal’s from death-row by coercive or brute force clearly can be justified that ends met the means. But that’s only on the precept that all living beings have the right to live and no one has the right to take it away. It is however at conflict with the established norm that citizens have the right to practice their religion. The latest indication of this conflict is apparent in statements made by Hon. Alevi Moulana pertaining to Hon. Mervin Silva’s statements and the forthcoming Islamic Hajj festival.

    See ‘Moulana wields axe at Mervin’- Daily Mirror 19 September 2011. http://www.dailymirror.lk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13655&Itemid=425

    Couple of weeks ago I had an interesting debate between a good friend of mine regarding what is ‘Truth’. My friend said “There is nothing called Truth – Justice or otherwise. It’s a mere culture blended conscious initiated pattern, Written and (Law) Respected (Value) in a given frame work”. In away he is correct. It all depends on how we relate to them in our own ethical judgement. Which could be argumentative and perceived differently by different stakeholders. The broader issues as Kusal highlights, are related to culturally/religiously embedded beliefs and established laws pertaining to humans in a post conflict society and their ethical discrimination of application. Customs have evolved over a period of time. That is why we see a clash between Customary Law and Law of the Land. We also see a gulf in law enforcement mechanisms. People campaigning cruelty to animals need to establish what is ‘Cruelty’. That needs to be established harmoniously amoungst different religious and ethnic groups in advance. Once they establish such principles and any breach of it can be prevented by law enforcement or when in doubt through peaceful protest such as in ‘Sathyagrahas’ or similar means.

    People campaigning against Animal cruelty need to demonstrate the morality of their actions. Here I am refering to the fact that animals often saved from sacrifitual rituals doesnt always experience a natural death afterwards. Animal lovers should establish proper animal welfare standards too. They should not just stop at saving the animals and handing over to police. What gurantees fate of the animal’s werent different from the one that they were just saved from? Equaly important questions would be; how many people campaigning for animal rights wear, leather goods? How many make a concious effort to buy soap products which arent manufactured from animal fats? How many indirectly aid and abate animal killings by consumption? Markets for animal products wouldn’t have been established unless there were no demands.

    Finally, my point of view is that, at such a fragile period where people are working on reconcilations for a longer lasting peace, the moderate majority who care about it should persuade the radical activists to prevent intervening in to communal/religious customs until they establish a peacefull accord on ‘Animal cruelty’, otherwise it will only lead to ‘Human Cruelty’.

    • anbu

      well said. What guaratee there is that at the hand of the police that the animals are treated safely. I bet the police sold the animal to the local abbtoir to increase his income

    • anbu

      I hear that Mervyn Silva is taking steps to close the fisheries ministry down since it promotes animal cruelty. Millions of fish killed by SL fisherman every day

      • http://Asyouyourselfproclaimedthatyouareunabletograspwhat“ordinarylankan”says,itcouldbreakdownintothesecondofthosereasonsalone; yapa

        Dear anbu;

        You have misunderstood the western concept of “Cruelty”. Bad treatment like beating the animals is not cruelty, and not killing. When you shoot an injured horse, as Saban said it is saving the animal from suffering from pain.

        You don’t have to close down the Fisheries Ministry. You can kill fish safely without violating that sacred principle, no cruelty is involved in fishing.

        Same way you can kill enough number of people like in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya without any Human Right Violations, if you do it according to the rules set out (by?). But it could be HR violation in the case of a single person, if not done according to the rules. Long Live the King!

        So is the marvel of the divine principles of the West.Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • http://Asyouyourselfproclaimedthatyouareunabletograspwhat“ordinarylankan”says,itcouldbreakdownintothesecondofthosereasonsalone; yapa

        Correction….

        “You have misunderstood the western concept of “Cruelty”. Bad treatment like beating the animals is [not] cruelty,….”

        should be changed as’

        “You have misunderstood the western concept of “Cruelty”. Bad treatment like beating the animals is cruelty,………..

        Thanks!

      • http://www.twitter.com/ThilinaRa Thilina Rajapakse

        Dear Yapa

        Your statement ‘You can kill fish safely without violating that sacred principle, no cruelty is involved in fishing.’ is false/mythology.

        Fish are killed in the cruellest form; asphyxia. Its a slow and a painful death.

      • yapa

        Dear Thilina Rajapakse;

        Then on the basis of “western Principle” I accept “fishing with cruel methods are wrong”,as it involves cruelty, still the concept of killing fish is not wrong.

        What we have to do is to devise some “standard non cruel methodology/ies” for killing fish,like in the case of slaughtering farm animals in developed countries like Great Britain and United States of America. The problem is with the methodology, and not with killing. So killing fish can be done without cruelty, just improving the prevailing methodologies.

        However, do you think one of our local inventions, use of dynamite, is a safe method from cruelty in killing fish,? It doesn’t give any pain to fish, instant death. (We might be able to apply for an international patent for that innovative devise.) Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear Thilina Rajapakse;

        Slaughtering animals in the developed western countries is not cruel, because it is that much instant and painless. It is said that it is not only painless but it is a pleasurable experience to the animal.

        You can have a guess about how much the experience is pleasurable, from the following story.

        In the west, it is said that when a pig is inserted to the machine, in a jiffy you can take out a couple of dozens of fresh canned ham. To tell you further how it is a painless and pleasurable process, if you insert those canned ham into the machine, you can find the pig coming out of the other end of the machine wagging its tail in gratefulness to the machine operator.

        Thanks!

  • http://srilankalandoftheblind.blogspot.com/ PresiDunce Bean

    Why aren’t there Sinhalese people campaigning against cruelty against Tamils since 1948? Most people (unless they are Rip Van Winkles) must know by now what has been happening for 63 years to the Tamils and how many thousands of them have been killed, tortured and incarcerated because of a hang up of the Sinhalese of safeguarding their language, culture and religion…

    • Dedan Kemathi

      Dear Precidunce Bean

      Indeed! Many a Sinhalese campaigned for Tamils often at a great personal risk to themselves and many continue to do so in many a fora.
      What we didn’t see was Tamil people (especially the Lilly white HR activists of the Tamil Diaspora )campaigning against the cruelty of LTTE at the time they were a force to be reckoned with.
      Hmm…… I believe tribalism is not a charectersitic limited to Sinhalese Buddhist Chauvinists .

      • http://srilankalandoftheblind.blogspot.com/ PresiDunce Bean

        @Dedan Kemathi

        Please stand corrected. There were not ‘many’ Sinhalese who campaigned for Tamils often at a great personal risk to themselves like you state…but there were and are a ‘few’ who do so.The ‘many’ just remained silent when any kind of oppression was taking place.

      • Off the Cuff

        @PresiDunceB,

        Dedan Kemathi is right.
        There were many Sinhalese who risked not only their lives and property but even the lives of their wives and children to save their Tamil friends.

        We have not only transported our Tamil colleagues from office to safety but have kept them safe in our homes along with our Tamil neighbours families for days until the danger subsided.
        The danger was not only to the Tamil friends we were harbouring but equally to the lives of our families and our properties as well.

        There will be many a Tamil within the Diaspora who can testify to this but strangely I have seen only a handful of them acknowledging this publicly.

        I do not know whether Dedan Kemathi is a Tamil but if s/he is, then s/he may be writing from experience.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear PresiDunce Bean,

      Invite your attention to the posts at the following links

      http://groundviews.org/2011/09/28/cheran/#comment-37282

      http://groundviews.org/2011/09/28/cheran/#comment-37315

  • Off the Cuff

    Kusal Perera has failed to Defend his Thesis to date

    Was he trying to Stir the Ethnic Pot by adding Religious overtones?

    Any Defence Kusal?

  • wijayapala

    Poor Kusal seems to have been really misinformed:

    HACK ATTACK and religious tosh

    “In addition to the Buddhists and animal rights activists, this year, the All Ceylon Hindu Congress (ACHC) and several Catholic priests in the area condemned the planned animal sacrifices. ACHC General Secretary, Kandiah Neelakandan in a press statement said, “Our religion treats even animals as children of His Almighty – and not only the killing of animals, but even any cruelty to them cannot be tolerated in the precincts of a Hindu temple.

    “However the kovil’s chief priest refused to budge, stating that the sacrifice ritual had been taking place for generations. He claimed that people brought animals to the temple to be sacrificed to the Pathirakaliyamman Goddess.
    “The rebuff by the Court and the attitude of the chief priest, which many found haughty, led to several protests which attempted to disrupt the kovil festival.

    “Fearing that these protests could escalate, the Chilaw police went before the Magistrate Courts seeking a suspension of the ritual of sacrificing animals. After considering the motion, Additional District Judge and Magistrate for Chilaw, R.M. Jayawardena issued an injunction on the animal sacrifices at the Bhadrakali kovil on Monday. Later the same day, the Additional District Judge rejected another motion by the kovil authorities to set aside the injunction issued earlier by the Court on the slaughter.
    “It is at this juncture that Minister Mervyn Silva appeared on the scene and confiscated some animals which the police had already saved from slaughter. However the mainstream media reported the incident as if it was Silva who had rescued the animals despite the fact that it was the Chilaw police who went before the Court, and stopped the slaughter preventing the sacrificing of hundreds of animals.”

    What now Kusal, will you now cry police brutality?

    • Kusal Perera

      Sinhala Buddhist Rationale in an omnivorous South – Response to All

      There are plenty challenges thrown at me by just two or three to answer their comments, that I don’t see as worthy of an answer. They simply have wasted their time as well and GV space too, to “miss the wood for the trees” as “Stanobey” has commented in short.

      There was this person also who think that, as the police went to the Chilaw Courts asking for a stay order, and with Mervyn taken away from the picture, the racist Sinhala Buddhist factor gets negated. Pity their short intellect. The police would not have gone to Courts, had there been NO threatening Sinhala Buddhist dominance in this society that even the governing regime is using for their brutal existence.

      My argument was therefore very plain. The Sinhala Buddhist fundamentalists living in a society that kills around 125,000 goats and over 70 million birds each year for consumption, with CMC alone slaughtering over 250 cattle per day, go out marching against a Hindu religious ritual conducted once every year, raising a banner against cruelty to animals, is sheer racist. They forget they also have religious rituals that is not without animal sacrifice.

      I backed this by saying it was no isolated event in Anuradhapura, where a Buddhist monk was reported to have led a mob to demolish a Muslim mosque. There were previously similar incidents where unorthodox Christian sects were attacked and their churches damaged. Of course, those who lead such vulgar raids, always come out with some excuse they could easily market in the Sinhala Buddhist society. That is what this society is and that is what this society accepts.

      It is now the mindset of this Sinhala Buddhist society running with stickers on vehicles that read “This is Gauthama Buddha’s land”. It is now the belief of this one track society that goes around erecting Buddha statues all over in every nook and corner on roadside trishaw parks. It is also the inferior mindset of these fundamentalists, that have loudspeakers blasting “pirith” for long hours, unconcerned it amounts to public nuisance. It is this Sinhala Buddhist mindset that accepts “pervs” like Merv as heroes and bless them with religious rituals.

      This wholly adulterated Buddhism is one, Gauthama Buddha would immediately disown, if he is here to see and hear what these men do and say in his name. This is no Buddhist philosophy but a poor ritualised Buddhist religion used as a social force in Sinhala South to prop anti minority politics by the urban Sinhala middle class, who have no political intellect to accommodate a pluralistic, secular and a democratic society with a futuristic programme.

      Thus in answering these comments, I opted to waste a bit of my precious time, but again thought this would at least serve those who wish to dialogue without bias, against any social division.

      Kusal Perera

      • yapa

        Dear Kusal Perera;

        You have not answered a single query I have raised against your writing. I have shown that it is full of logical fallacies which had invalidated whole of your article, in the first place. Other than that I have very specifically raised queries against your main arguments and shown that they were biased misinterpretations of the facts. Why don’t you answer them?

        What you have done. is your own appreciation and certification of your writing without answering any query raised, with just additional insulting against Sinhala Buddhists without any facts or evidence. You indicated wijayapala’s facts again had negated whole of your arguments, but simply just add “not” to say they were not negated.

        Your prejudice and rage against Sinhala Buddhist are not any bad of Sinhala Buddhists, but they are “bads” of yours.

        I challenge you if possible refute my posts, specifically. Please refute the fist post of mine, then I accept you have refuted all of my posts. (You have not touched a single of my many posts, while answering the one and only post of wijayapala, I think it is not fair.)

        Mr. Kusal Perera, Just the first post. Then your narration would be justified.

        I am looking forward.

        Thanks!

      • wijayapala

        Dear yapa

        while answering the one and only post of wijayapala, I think it is not fair.

        Looking at the low quality of Kusal’s response (he does not take criticism well, I’m afraid), you can believe me when I say I was not honored at all to be the unnamed subject of his inadequate response.

    • Off the Cuff

      Kusal Perera,

      What a Grand Stand!!!

      The question is not the number of people who questioned you but your ability to answer the questions put to you.

      Yapa has done an excellent analysis and questions your motives. Apparently you don’t have the ability to defend what you write hence you hide behind rhetoric and climb the intellectual high horse, hardly realising that it is lame.

      Well done, you have only underlined your Bankruptcy.

      You wrote “There are plenty challenges thrown at me by just two or three to answer their comments, that I don’t see as worthy of an answer.”

      I completely agree with you when you say “adulterated Buddhism is one, Gauthama Buddha would immediately disown”. But not only the Buddha, the majority of Buddhists who understands the basics will whole heartedly disown the adulterated form. All the Buddhist that I know do not subscribe to fundamentalism I wonder how many Buddhists that Wijeyapala and Yapa associates with subscribe to Fundamentalism (if any).

      Are the Buddhists that you associate with, fundamentalists?

      It is unfortunate that you wasted your invaluable time and GV space in writing a post that could not address a single question put to you.

  • wijayapala

    Dear PresiDunce

    The ‘many’ just remained silent when any kind of oppression was taking place.

    Were you referring to the ‘many’ who remained silent when the LTTE cleansed Jaffna of Muslims?

  • Gordon Smyth Guru

    Human sacrifice of Tamils & Sinhalese in the last 30 years
    also a kind of animal sacrifice. Let us save lives from today.

    Gordon Smyth Guru.

  • W. Pedidurage

    The writer of this artical is trying tp mislead viewers. Your neighbour has done a NON BUDDHIST ritual. Do not think that buddhism has riuals like this. Even The Lord Buddha was against these types of rituals.

  • sabbe laban

    Kusal Perera

    Your contention that Buddhism practises animal sacrifice arises out of prejudice or your ignorance, to say the least. It’s Buddha who opposed the practice of animal sarifice in ancient Vedic India!

    The fact that some Buddhists in Sri Lanka engage in these pactices doesn’t in no way proves your point. For example I can remember how my neighbour was keeping two goats tied to a tree to be used as food for the monks in his alms-giving! You can accuse Buddhism of this act as well, Kusal! Why doesn’t West allow such public animal sacrifices in religious events?

  • Senaka

    The Buddha was against animal sacrifice
    By Professor Mahinda Palihawadana, President of the Sri Lanka Vegetarian Society.

    The Buddha was against animal sacrifice. He had to be, for he was staunchly opposed to killing. Killing, not just human beings, but all beings without exception. He expressed the view that it was all beings (sabbe sattaa/ sabbe bhuutaa) that deserved our compassion.

    For more read this article

    http://sinhale.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/the-buddha-was-against-animal-sacrifice/

    http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=8,665,0,0,1,0

    Senaka

    • yapa

      Western ideology is against cruelty of animals, but not against killing them.

      Isn’t killing a form of cruelty?

      Thanks!

  • Burning_Issue

    What Kusal Perera has pointed out on his article is the blatant hypocrisy of the Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists; he has not mentioned about his personal views about the animal sacrifice and religion; I am sure he has his own views on that. However, what is amusing is that, as soon as there is a reference to the Sinhala Buddhism that is shown in bad light, whether the argument makes any sense or not, there are people who will jump to defend, even the infamous M Silva is projected as a saint!

    That aside; I was a teenager living in Jaffna during the 70s, when there were resentment to animal sacrifice practices at some Hindu temples. I along with my friends went to such a temple and forced the organisers to stop such practices. I must say that, we agreed mutually that, the event will take place for that year and no more in the subsequent years. Such resentments were omnipresent throughout Jaffna and Jaffna got rid of such ugly practices for good. It is sad that some parts of the country it is still being practiced. To be honest, I do not mind whether one is a Sinhala, Tamil, or a Muslim, I would welcome anyone who will raise objections to such crude, barbaric, and uncivilised practices. I was born in a Hindu family; though I do not practice any religion, one has to have a sense of judgement on such practices. All-in-all, I am glad that this issue is at the forefront and no more such practices are carried out in the name of Hinduism and blood sacrifice.

    My other point is that, while I understand the feelings about such cruelty among those who tried to prevent it including DR Mervin Silva; I ask where was that humanity and kindness; when masses and masses of Tamil people were being killed at the last stages of the war. Does this mean that the Tamils are below those animals that were waiting sacrifice? Or are the Sinhala Buddhists suddenly suffering from the realisation that they are the super human beings with high morality and looking at the inferior Tamils with a view to civilise them?

    • yapa

      Dear Burning_Issue;

      “However, what is amusing is that, as soon as there is a reference to the Sinhala Buddhism that is shown in bad light, whether the argument makes any sense or not, there are people who will jump to defend, even the infamous M Silva is projected as a saint!”

      Why did he show Sinhala Buddhism in bad light in a place where it is not applicable? That is our objection. We are demanding him to show if it has any sense.

      No one has defended and projected M Silva as a saint. However, his act here does not become infamous just because it was done by M Silva. You say you have done the same thing in Jaffna, then you also must be included in the M Silva’s category if you paint him in black. Do you say some idea is good when you hold it and the same idea is bad when done by M Silva?

      Your balance of mind seems to broken with some bias.

      Thanks!

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear Yapa,

        Unlike some other contributors here, you have always been honest about your views right from the start, I respect you for that; it does not mean I concur with some of your views.

        “Why did he show Sinhala Buddhism in bad light in a place where it is not applicable? That is our objection. We are demanding him to show if it has any sense.”

        Correction; Kusal P did not show Sinhala Buddhism in bad light, but he did point out the hypocrisy of the Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists. Did the hat fit you? Do you regard yourself as a chauvinist?

        “Do you say some idea is good when you hold it and the same idea is bad when done by M Silva?”

        One has to look at the motives of this individual; he tied a man around a mango tree and humiliated him in front of the national media; he supports and fosters thuggery; he intimidates his opponents often using violence as a means of settling disputes; such an individual have suddenly developed compassion for the animals that were waiting sacrifice; come on Yapa, have some sense!

      • yapa

        Dear Burning Issue;

        Thanks, for every good word said about me. I also accept that you cannot and necessarily should not concur with my views. Same way, especially in this case I also cannot concur with your views.

        I think especially in the last post, you have put Kusal Perera’s dirty clothes into a washing machine, and have bought a new pair for him and say, Hey!, See Kusal perera’s clothes are spotlessly clean, come on Yapa, have some sense!

        I am in good sense, however, Kusa Perera is without his clothes after you removed them, please give him his dirty clothes back and talk about them and not about the Levis you bought for him.

        You say,

        “Correction; Kusal P did not show Sinhala Buddhism in bad light, but he did point out the hypocrisy of the Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists. Did the hat fit you? Do you regard yourself as a chauvinist?”

        Against this correction only we had built our whole arguments. Do you say that was his position not the opposite?

        I will quote a single sentence from his article, to back what I say.

        “There is definitely “Sinhala politics” in it, for the Sinhala Buddhists to take up cudgels against this ritual, as it is now practised by only the Tamil Hindus in this form of a festival.”

        Definitely (as he emphasized)his motive was to brand Sinhla Buddhists as a pack of good for nothing culprit culprits using this isolated incident which really had been initiated by Tamil Hindu masses of the area, as later pointed out by wijayapala. How can anybody attribute an incident initiated by non Buddhists and generalize it to the whole mass of Sinhala Buddhists. He should have accepted his folly as a mistake at least when wijayapala shown that the campaign was not an initiative of Sinhala Buddhists, but of Tamil Hindus. His total argument that the incident was atrocity against Tamil Hindus by Sinhala Buddhists, was totally collapsed with the wijayapala’s information.

        On the other hand, as Off the Cuff rightly pointed out how could you neglect our counter arguments against Kusal’s post and come to your above presumption?

        Do you really believe,”Kusal P did not show Sinhala Buddhism in bad light”? Please read, all our arguments had been against this contention,then you must be able to refute them before coming to that conclusion to use it as the presumption/premise of your arguments. Your presumption has not yet been established to begin your arguments. First establish your presumption, breaking our arguments.

        You say;

        “One has to look at the motives of this individual; he tied a man around a mango tree and humiliated him in front of the national media; he supports and fosters thuggery; he intimidates his opponents often using violence as a means of settling disputes; such an individual have suddenly developed compassion for the animals that were waiting sacrifice; come on Yapa, have some sense!”

        I think I don’t have to go far to test this argument of your, just common sense is sufficient.

        Say an IRC fellow who had spent his life for 30 years in jail for various crimes committed, has found your lost wallet with Rs. 500, 000 and returned it to you. Do you say as the the motives of this individual in the past were non acceptable, you should not appreciate the good work he did to you? Do you appreciate work of him or will you hand over him to the Police in suspicion of him for stealing your wallet?

        Thanks!

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Burning Issue,

        Wijayapala has already pointed out in his post of September 23, 2011 • 7:31 am that the animals were saved by Court injunction obtained by the Police due to a collective protests by the Hindus, Catholics (clergy) and Buddhists in the Chilaw area.

        Yet it is ignored in your post of September 27, 2011 • 3:58 pm four days later.
        Why was it ignored?
        Was that an inconvenient fact in bashing the Buddhists?

        You have decided to support Kusal’s biased article when he could not support it himself.

        Why did you ignore the counter arguments placed before Kusal before irrationally accepting what Kusal wrote?

        Like Kusal, do you believe that a Mervin acting the goat, is representative of over 12 million Lankan Buddhists?

        You seem to be having an irrational Burning Hatred for Sinhala Buddhists that prevents you from rational thinking.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Burning Issue,

      Picking up where Kusal left off?

      Why don’t you answer the excellent counters made by Yapa and Wijayapala? Kusal was too much of a coward to do so.

      What is your intent? Denigrating the Buddhists or just the Sinhala Buddhists?

      You wrote “I ask where was that humanity and kindness; when masses and masses of Tamil people were being killed at the last stages of the war”

      The Humanity and Kindness was palpably present when the Tsunami devastated the East on Boxing day and thousands thronged collection centres to donate relief supplies to their Tamil brothers and sisters. The first relief to the East came from the South (even though the South was also devastated) where stores ran out of Milk foods, feeding bottles, bottled water, Medical and Sanitary supplies. It did not come from any rich country. But then you refuse to see what you should see.

      Again where was this concern when Prabha was arming himself with money from the Diaspora? Where was it when the Wanni Tamil children were being used as cannon fodder? Where was it when the Tamil civilians were used as a Human Shield?

      Could not the Tamil intellectuals see where it would lead to?
      Why were they silent?

      You wrote “Does this mean that the Tamils are below those animals that were waiting sacrifice?”

      Trouble makers can interpret anything to their advantage.

      You wrote “Or are the Sinhala Buddhists suddenly suffering from the realisation that they are the super human beings with high morality and looking at the inferior Tamils with a view to civilise them?”

      Language that is intended to “Stir the Pot”.
      Good food for the extremist to feed on.

      The Tamils were never inferior. The High cast Tamils formed the overwhelming majority of Locals in the Colonial and immediate post independence Govts did they not?

  • yapa

    Western thinking is a human centered ideology. It not only advocates the superiority of humans over other animals, but also advocates the right of the humans of taking the destiny of all the other animals into their hands.

    In terms of Science, humans are just another species of animals, with the same building bock of animal cell. Their biological needs are not much different from other animals. The main difference between humans and the other animals is “civilization” the man underwent. Is the ultimate result of civilization is mere cruelty, that gives the living rights of the other animals to human hands?

    As saban said in his first post the mere existence of human civilization is a result brutal power and violence against the nature and anything that stood in his way.

    Have we achieved anything valuable we can be proud of, other than the mere assurance of human existence through the long and hectic process of human civilization? Does the end justifies the means? Can human laws, human ethics and human morality justifiably define the existence of the living/non living world?

    Does the hegemonic western thinking have answers for them or their laws, ethics and morality are mere eye wash, built on collective human selfishness, we? Is it we love us but not others? Is it that we cannot love other than “self”? Have we as humans earned anything through our long process of civilization? Have we marched towards civility or backwards?

    Thanks!

  • wijayapala

    Dear Burning_Issue

    Correction; Kusal P did not show Sinhala Buddhism in bad light, but he did point out the hypocrisy of the Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists.

    I am glad that Kusal has educated you that Sinhala Buddhists can have just as much hypocrisy as anyone else. Unfortunately, you do not see how people such as him are not really helping the Tamils. Stop for a minute and consider: has Kusal benefited Sinhala-Tamil relations by spreading the falsehood that animal sacrifice is part of Tamil Hindu tradition?

    You are inclined to support Kusal because he is not anti-Tamil. However, like most Sinhala people Kusal has zero knowledge of Tamil culture and history (as GV has graciously allowed him to prove here). His anti-Sinhala mindset, which somehow is a requirement to be credentialed as a “liberal” Sinhala, combined with this ignorance is having the effect of driving a wedge further between the communities. Most Sinhala Buddhists who read this article will pick up on his mindset quickly and ignore the criticism of Sinhala hypocrisy. Instead they will absorb the part about animal sacrifice being a Tamil custom, reinforcing racist sentiments against the Tamils.

    If Kusal really wanted to change Sinhala behavior, he would not have brought up the nonsense about Tamil traditions which he has no knowledge of. Nor would he have brought up Mervyn Silva, whom as Lakbima exposed was NOT the real savior of the animals. He simply would have asked the question you ask: how do Tamil lives compare with those of animals?

    To answer your question, for now I would say that because the war is over, non-diaspora Tamil children will no longer be sacrificed on the altar of Eelamism. The guns are silent, the skies are clear of bombers, and there are no more civilian “collateral” casualties. And as much as it angers you for me to remind you, it was this particular regime- not the Sinhala “liberals” who preached appeasement of VP while now screeching for MR’s head- that ended the war.

    We do not need ignorant Sinhala “liberals” to educate the Sinhalese. We do need people such as yourself who can share their actual experiences, such as your efforts against animal sacrifice, to dispel misconceptions about the Tamils.

    • Burning_Issue

      Dear Yapa and Wijayapala,

      I still feel that Kusal’s main message is real; the Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinism is riding high in Sri Lanka and being encouraged by the racist regime. Kusel’s knowledge of the Tamil tradition and culture may not be perfect but his message about Racism in Sri Lanka cannot be obscured with frivolous counter arguments.

      I am going to be away for a week from tomorrow and do not have time to engage. My main complaint about you Wijayapala is that you rightly loath LTTE and its supporters for their antics; they were terrorists and those who supported them were supporting terrorism. On the same token, the MR regime is the racist regime Sri Lanka ever had, yet you always try to trivialise its antics; you try to soften their misdeeds. Since the end of the war, the guns have silenced; no shells are falling, but the act of subjugation of the Tamils with the full support of state machinery is afoot. I therefore regard those who support a racist regime are also supporting racism.

      “You are inclined to support Kusal because he is not anti-Tamil.”

      I support and respect Kusel because he stands up against the racists. This is what I thought you would be doing when you advertised that you were going to educate the Sinhala people. You are not doing any educating but very busy defending racists.

      “We do not need ignorant Sinhala “liberals” to educate the Sinhalese. We do need people such as yourself who can share their actual experiences, such as your efforts against animal sacrifice, to dispel misconceptions about the Tamils.”

      You do not need people like me to stop racism in Sri Lanka; I am the victim; I want people like you to rise up against racism and injustice. I want you to tell the Sinhala to treat the minorities as equal; I want you to educate the Sinhala that the Tamils have every right to use their language as a medium for administration; I want you to make the Sinhala realise that by erecting Buddha Statues in every nook and corner, they drive the non-Buddhist alienated. I want you to tell the Sinhala Chauvinists to settle down and allow the minorities to feel wanted.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Burning Issue,

        You wrote “ ….. but his message about Racism in Sri Lanka cannot be obscured with frivolous counter arguments”

        Frivolity is when one throws accusations that cannot be substantiated such as when you claimed that the former CJ, Sarath N Silva was a Buddhist Monk or when you claimed that Section 9 was invoked “Implicitly” to protect the Trinco statue.

        This time round you have dropped that claim and instead say “by erecting Buddha Statues in every nook and corner, they drive the non-Buddhist alienated“ which of course has substance when it is done with intent to antagonise.

        Yet it must be remembered that Hindu’s and Christians do erect statues and Kovils in every nook and corner where they form sizeable populations but that has not antagonised the Buddhist minorities who live in those areas.

      • wijayapala

        Dear Burning_Issue

        Thank you for finally replying to me. I had thought you were ignoring me in favor of your new best friends OTC & yapa.

        On the same token, the MR regime is the racist regime Sri Lanka ever had,

        More racist than JRJ or SWRD’s regimes where thousands of Tamils were killed in the absence of any armed conflict????

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear Wijayapala,

        Please read the below article and tell me if this is the same Chief Justice who presided over the Trinco Buddha Statue affair:

        http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2011/06/26/one-retired-chief-justice-turns-to-monkhood-while-another-returns-to-advise-a-kleptocracy/

        The article entitled: “ONE RETIRED CHIEF JUSTICE TURNS TO MONKHOOD WHILE ANOTHER RETURNS TO ADVISE A KLEPTOCRACY”

        Thanks

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Burning Issue,

        Ha ha ha … Burning Issue is back with his Burning Issues.

        Trying to prove that you did not lie about Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva being a Buddhist Monk? I pity you.

        You don’t need Wijayapala, try reading your own reference, to the end, with an open mind.

        You did Lie when you reiterated again and again that the Constitutional Primacy of Buddhism was used instead of the Fundamental Right to Equality, in the Trinco Statue case for over 2 years.

        And you did Lie about Sarath N. Silva the former CJ who heard the FR petition in the Trinco case when you said he was a Buddhist Monk.

        Your problem, is your Burning Hatred towards the Sinhalese Buddhists, that prevents you from even reading and comprehending the English Language.

        You read the Headline and thought you understood the article. Your Hate for the Sinhalese Buddhists prevented you from seeing and understanding what the following sentence meant.

        Quote
        “Finally the Chief Justice who became a Buddhist monk was not a Silva from Sri Lanka but an American – Michael Zimmerman, a former Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court.”
        End quote.

        You are Burning at both ends Burning Issue.
        Greed, Hate and Ignorance are the causes of all evil … Buddhist teaching. You have displayed at least two of them.

        You taught me that Thesawalami Law does not prevent a Sinhalese from buying Land in Jaffna. I researched the facts and even provided you with a Supreme Court case reference that supported your contention, when I found that what you said was true. Since then, I have never referred to the Thesawalami as racial legislation, against any Tamil writer, in any forum.

        You on the other hand, continue to spread a LIE about the Constitution and the ability to use section 9 to denigrate other religions in Sri Lanka when the wording expressly prohibits it (prove that it is not so, if you can). You even misrepresent events (Trinco case) to support what you write, even when the true facts are provided to you.

        Please try and get rid of your Burning Hatred.

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear OTC,

        “Please try and get rid of your Burning Hatred.”

        Please do not try to be smart; I dislike Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinism and not the Sinhala Buddhist. You know this very well.

        Regarding the Ex CJ becoming a Buddhist Monk; I accept that I got it wrong on this point. I first read this in one of the Jayraj’s articles; no wonder it is no longer available! You got the Thesavalami wrong and this did not mean you were a Tamil hater or did it?

        I stand by my claim that Buddhist Prominence in the constitution is the catalyst in state funded Buddha project throughout the country. I stand by my claim about the Trinco case too. I can argue in favour of a true secular state; I do not need to be a Sinhala Buddhist hater to do that. Any sensible person would know that, Sri Lanka needs secularist model to galvanise all as Sri Lankans. You need to shed your chauvinistic credentials and look outside the box as it were for goodness sake.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Burning Issue,

        Sorry I did not see this post before I commented on your reply to Wijayapala. If I saw this I would not have posted it. I did not expect you to post a reply to me directly as you were doing it via Wijayapala.

        Your apology re the assertion that you made about the former CJ is accepted.

        You wrote, “Please do not try to be smart; I dislike Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinism and not the Sinhala Buddhist. You know this very well”

        It is not being insolent to base an observation on facts. I observed you using the phrase “Sinhala Buddhists” at every opportunity. Hence I do not know how you separate Chauvinists from the rest. Do you believe only the Sinhala Buddhists dislike the unreasonable claims made by Tamils who talk of Homelands? What about Sinhala Christians? This division of Sinhalese along Religious lines is a ploy.

        You wrote “You got the Thesavalami wrong and this did not mean you were a Tamil hater or did it?”

        I do not hate Tamils and have risked my families safety when my Tamil friends were in need. This is the main reason I hate untruthful, biased, propagandist posts by anyone. I have no issue when the criticism is factual.

        In the case of the Thesawalami, your argument created doubt in my mind as to whether it was actually racist as claimed by many (including myself). I researched on my own and found a Supreme Court decision. It was the SC Judges reasons that convinced me that what you said was the the truth. Since then, I have desisted from attacking the Thesawalami and gave you the SC decision that changed my outlook on Thesawalami. Can you point to a single instance where I have attacked the Thesawalami after 2009?

        In your case you claimed that Section 9 (Primacy to Buddhism) was used to protect the Trinco statue. I knew that it could not happen as the wording within that section prevented such use. After research, I provided you with the case details (also reported by DBSJ) which showed that It was the Constitutional Right to Equality that was used as the FR application claimed that there was a total of 17 illegal religious edifices in Trinco of Hindus, Christians and Buddhists out of which only 4 were Buddhist and that the Buddha Statue was SINGLED out for removal. Even in the face of evidence to the contrary you insisted that section 9 was used and not section 12.

        I am not defending the circumstances under which the statue was placed but I am attacking the incorrect and dangerous statements made about Section 9 (primacy to Buddhism) of the Constitution.

        This is the difference between you and me. Where as I accept a proven fact and desists from spreading an untruth, you reject factual evidence and continue to spread what you want, despite overwhelming evidence against it.

        Even today you say that you stand by your claim about the use of Section 9 (Primacy to Buddhism) even though you have failed to provide any evidence to prove what you say. I would respectfully request you to weigh the evidence and desist.

        I hate to see people spreading divisive untruths.
        This is not the Time to do so and we should act with responsibility.

    • sabbe laban

      That, I must say is well written! Kusal is like that proverbial monkey who slashed the king with a sword in order to kill the fly!

      • yapa

        Dear saban;

        You can safely remove the word “like” from your sentence without making any harm to its meaning. ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Wijayapala,

      “because the war is over, non-diaspora Tamil children will no longer be sacrificed on the altar of Eelamism ……and there are no more civilian “collateral” casualties”

      Eelamists did not bother about that as long as their progeny was safe.

  • yapa

    Percy, Mervyn and Bindu……… interesting,

    http://www.sundaytimes.lk/111002/Columns/5thcolumn.html

    Thanks!

  • Amarnath Sunderagama

    These people, most with no real names, are nuisance. Don’t comment to the point. Their problem is Kusal Perera is not supporting Sinhala Buddhists. Otherwise they have no problem with Kusal Perera. So they are talking all sorts of arguments, theory, challenging Kusal Perera to defend. Defend what ? As for me, Kusal Perera’s argument is very clear and there is no special things now to tell anymore. He said, in Sri Lanka every day thousands of animals are killed and eaten. By numbers these animals are eaten more by the majority Sinhala people. He said, animal killed for anything is cruelty. So, why are the Sinhala Buddhists only against Munneswaran animal killings, his argument. That is because they are communal. They attack anythiing, if they are not Sinhala Buddhist. They attack, churches, muslim mosque, mahayana shrine….likewise they attacked Munneswaran hindu religious festival.
    Kusal Perera is very correct in that argument. What more do these people want as proof ? Want to defend ? This is big hypocrassy.
    A.S.

    • yapa

      Dear Amarnath Sunderagama;

      Kusal Perera is very correct in that argument despite all the counter arguments , because, his argument is in compliance with my motives.

      Is that what you are trying hard to say? Your effort is nothing more than mutual backscratching, if you are unable to refute the counter arguments brought in against KP.

      Having real names or not is not the issue. Whether you have arguments or not is what is material. Just narrations or empty utterance in support won’t show anything but ignorance or prejudice.

      No supporters have counter arguments, they want to vote for the favourites.

      Thanks!

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Amaranth Sunderagama,

      Why are you making Juvenile statements?
      How does anyone know whether you are hiding behind an ASSUMED “real name”?

      If you are REALY Amaranath Sunderagama prove it.

      You see Amaranath what is important is to meet the arguments placed before you, not whine about names.

      Why don’t you try your hand at answering the Queries posed by Yapa and Wijayapala (both of which are Real names)?

      Neither Kusal Perera nor Burning Issue (who came up in support of KP) could meet those arguments with logic.

      Here are the links
      http://groundviews.org/2011/09/17/sinhala-buddhist-rationale-in-an-omnivorous-society/#comment-36815
      http://groundviews.org/2011/09/17/sinhala-buddhist-rationale-in-an-omnivorous-society/#comment-36980

      This one is from me but I use a Pseudonym

      http://groundviews.org/2011/09/17/sinhala-buddhist-rationale-in-an-omnivorous-society/#comment-36860

  • stanobey

    Sorry Yapa about missing out on your reply to me on Sept 17. Thank you for your reply. You ask a very pertinent question:

    Why KP chose Mervyn Silva as a “representative sample” of Sinhala Buddhists?

    1. Then why aren’t the SB’s coming out and saying well this is wrong and disown him? On the contrary what we see is that the SB’s put him forward as their representative.

    2. Like when he tied a public official to a tree and was removed by the President the Buddhist clergy protested against the removal! Can you beat that? see http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2010/8/59577_space.html

    3. And then for this particular act they held 1500 Boddhi Pooja’s
    http://www.sundaytimes.lk/latest/11042-over-1500-bodhi-poojas-for-mervyn-silva.html

    He is clearly seen promoted, applauded and protected as Buddhist leader. What more do you want?

  • wijayapala

    Burning_Issue, sorry I had missed your comment.

    Please read the below article and tell me if this is the same Chief Justice who presided over the Trinco Buddha Statue affair:

    What does Sarath Silva or Trinco Buddha have to do with whether MR regime is racist like SWRD’s or JRJ’s??

    • Burning_Issue

      Dear Wijayapala,

      “What does Sarath Silva or Trinco Buddha have to do with whether MR regime is racist like SWRD’s or JRJ’s??”

      Sorry I did no make it clear; this request is not related to MR regime is racist or not; I just wanted you to help me to establish that same CJ who presided in Trinco Buddha case who became a Buddhist Monk. This is to show OTC that I was not making it up; that is all.

      Thanks

      • wijayapala

        Dear Burning_Issue, I never believed that you are making up things.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Burning Issue,

        You were making it up.

        Please re read your own reference.

        Quote
        “Finally the Chief Justice who became a Buddhist monk was not a Silva from Sri Lanka but an American – Michael Zimmerman, a former Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court.”
        End quote.

        http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2011/06/26/one-retired-chief-justice-turns-to-monkhood-while-another-returns-to-advise-a-kleptocracy/

        Wijayapala knows that the former CJ Sarath Silva is not a Buddhist Monk.

        Are you trying to say that Michael Zimmerman, former CJ of Utah SC heard the Trinco Statue case?

        If so, you must be Hallucinating Burning Issue.

  • sach

    This is somewhat an old article yet I would like to post my view about it. Politics and Buddhism has become a very popular topic these days in the sri lankan blog sphere and a method to gain a lot of viewers for one’s post. I myself a sinhalese and a Buddhist and have seen a number of times Buddhism being bashed in most articles these days. According to some the cause of all the ills in SL is the “sinhala buddhism”, but can anybody say what sinhala buddhism is? Give me a definition.
    I believe it is good for a country when there is dialogue about the secularism and impact of religion on politics. But what I see is a constant insulting of a certain community in a most bigoted manner.

    The two incidents that you give is not a fitting example to show the so called hypocrasy of the buddhist people in SL. Here the author uses the word “sinhala buddhist” constantly and deliberately which is a bigoted generalization of the whole community.

    “This is no isolated event in this Sinhala Buddhist society, where people construct their own houses and often indulge in such sacrificial poojahs.”
    I have lived 26 years in SL and amidst sinhala buddhist people but have never ever come across such a practice. I don’t try to deny such things exist in SL, there may be animal sacrifices among sinhala people who are mostly from rural villages and it is very rare. Another thing is the whole Bahirawa Pooja is NOT a buddhist practise. It is an import from Hinduism like many deities among sinhala people. There is nothing buddhist in the whole bahirawa thing.
    Most religious rituals in SL are a complete public nuisance and it is not a monopoly of the Buddhists. Once I did an exam at a school in Colombo and the nearby mosque started prayers in loud speakers when the exam was going on! What I am saying is all the religions do create public nuisance and it is wrong to single out the Buddhists.

    Personally I do not like animal sacrificing and for me it is extremely uncivilized. But i would not try to stop the hindu devotees at the kovil because animal sacrifice is done by all the muslims in the country during the Hajj season. So it is wrong to stop the tamils from doing it while muslims can do it.
    The sinhala buddhists in this country did not go and stop that, some of them are even devotees at the Munneshwaram possibly your neighbour too. The ones who stopped the ritual is Mervin Silva who is despised by a good majority of the people in SL. Since when did mervin silva and clan equal to the sinhala buddhists?
    Mervin silva assaulted the monks inside the parliment and do you think he is backed by the buddhists in SL? Ask someone to do a pooja for your brain.
    It is true sri lankan society is getting religious and no doubt it is not a good trend. The religiosity is rising not only among buddhists but among other religious sects as well. This can lead to a disaster in the future if not managed though I hope I am wrong. We have many nut jobs who have become monks in SL. Some of them do have blind allegiance for political parties; they do not care about the Buddhists or the Sinhala people. For example when Jeevan kumarathunga (non Buddhist) and Mervin Silva assaulted monks in the parliament none of the monks who were with the SLFP utter a single word. They just use Buddhism in this country as a flag for their convenience.
    The very Mervin Silva who stopped animal sacrifice has made many derogatory remarks about Buddhism. Also he built a large Hindu temple in kalaniya spending a fortune. Don’t you think these things do not make him a nationalist Sinhala Buddhist?
    Buddhists in SL may eat beef more than hindus in SL do, but even then beef consumption is rare among buddhists. Therefore it is incorrect to club the buddhists together with christians and muslims. Had buddhists eat beef like the rest the beef price would be very high like chicken, but beef price is lower to that of chicken due to low demand. (I have to say I don’t have anything against anybody eating beef.)
    “The best part of these lives definitely go to feed the Sinhala society.”
    Can anybody be more bigoted than this? Who cares who consume the meat that is produced? After all there is nothing against meat eating in theravada buddhism. Vegetarianism is a concept in mahayana buddhism. Sacrificing animals for rituals is a backward and uncivilized practice and it is different from killing animals for meat. I see no difference in killing animals for religion and for sport. I disagree with the notion that just because we eat meat, animal sacrifice for religious purposes is okay.
    The ones who stopped the animal sacrifice at the hindu temple are a despised politician and his clan. They do not represent the vast majority of buddhists in SL. The very politician assaulted buddhist monks in the parliament and has made many derogatory remarks about buddhism. Since when did this politician represent a large number of sinhala buddhists in this country??

    Another thing is constant and deliberate insulting and attack against buddhists is not only bigoted but damaging to the country as a whole.