A different take from the Sangha: The dhamma and religious co-existence in Sri Lanka (UPDATED)
[Editors note: Sanjay Senanayake in a comment below raises a number of concerns regarding inflammatory statements made by Rev. Dambara Amila Thero in the past, which invariably inform the appreciation of the interview below. Sanjay also alleges that the thero had in the past assaulted journalists from Young Asia Television, which produced this video. We have asked them for a response.]
When first put online by Young Asia Television after it was broadcast on Sri Lankan TV, Groundviews requested the producers to sub-title this video in English to make more widely accessible what Rev. Dambara Amila Thero has to say about the practice of the Dhamma in Sri Lanka today, his views on political Buddhism and religious co-existence in Sri Lanka.
What he says is particularly important and resonant in light of the outrageous violence spearheaded by the Chief Prelate of the Dambulla temple a few weeks ago.
This interview is essential viewing for those who expressed their condemnation over the violence in Dambulla, and refreshing take on the Dhamma over what is today the popular fashion of publicly worshipping the Buddha to bestow blessings on even the most heinous of deeds and men. At around 18 minutes into the interview, Rev. Dambara Amila Thero also supports religious co-existence and comes out strongly against religious extremism – noting that anyone who is such, is not really a Buddhist.