A Tale of Two Countries

srilankabuddhistprotestpic2

Image from Niti Central

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way….”

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Over the past year, one can be forgiven if one thought that in fact that there were two countries called Sri Lanka or at least two visions for a country called Sri Lanka.  Both have seemingly emerged out of the shadows of the end of the bloody 26 year old conflict when Sri Lanka faced a cross roads in terms of moving forward cleansed of the past and with a chance to develop a common vision shared by all towards collective nation building and prosperity.  One version of that vision for the country has emerged of a nation struggling to rebuild, reconstruct and reconcile.  It is one where economic and infrastructure development whilst not being matched by good governance or the creation of a secure environment of equity and social justice, still provides some hope for what might come.  The second version of the vision for the country is one of extreme nationalism and ethnic and religious hatred; being pushed forward by a small minority speaking on behalf of the majority Sinhala Buddhist who are intent on propagating the spirit of separatism, oblivious to the disastrous consequences from the past and for the future. With the lens of the latter vision,  Sri Lanka is seen through a singular lens of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ and an ‘us’ vs. ‘them’ attitude which perpetuates deeply delusive and divisive assumptions of single exclusive identities by these sectarian activists, who want people to ignore all affiliation and loyalties in support of one specific ‘religious’ identity. Such exclusive identities stress difference rather than belonging and ‘opposition to’ rather than ‘support for’ a Sri Lanka that follows the first vision. The result is that these conflicts manifest themselves into rumour, hearsay and generalization which are the first steps towards the stereotyping of people (their faith, their culture and identity) and the denial of a diverse, lived reality, the opposite of respect, understanding and acceptance. It thus describes a vision where hope begins to fade for the country to move forward.  As a result, the gap between these two visions for Sri Lanka seems as stark and vivid as Dicken’s account of two capitals in his Tale of Two Cities.

The rising anti Muslim rhetoric over the last 4 years, led by Buddhist monks, is symptomatic of the second vision and have involved public meetings, the distribution of pamphlets and articles in mainstream Sinhala and English papers which have ‘borrowed’ rhetoric being used globally to demonise and stereotype Muslims (especially by Islamophobes in the west).  It is an irony that the same anti Muslim movement are as dismissive of the west as they are of the Muslim community but use rhetoric available from the west to justify their stances,  oblivious to the lived experience of Sri Lankan Muslim society and the context in which the rhetoric is being used in the west.  The Dambulla Mosque incident of April 2012 and the recent proclamation of the halal boycott are aimed at hitting the Muslim community in areas that aim to ‘decrease’ their visibility and thereby the ‘threat’ to Sinhala identity and ultimately Sri Lanka (in the eyes of the protagonists).  This is in line with many of the right wing racist and conservative movements in the US, UK and Europe such as Geert Wilders (from the Netherlands) or Pamela Geller (from the US) who are intent on limiting the presence of migrants and especially Muslim migrants.

These types of views in Sri Lanka would be laughable in this day and age, given the fact that those targeting Muslims in the west use the issue of immigration to stop their communities becoming heterogeneous (in culture and colour) whilst in Sri Lanka, we are talking about people from the same country, if the potential consequences were not so tragic and dangerous.  The views are not only factually wrong but employ a level of ignorance, naivety and immaturity with respect not only to international relations but also actually to history.  By perpetuating these anti Muslim sentiments, there is also a sense of ingratitude to the fact that large parts of the Muslim world (and domestically the Muslim community) have been supportive of Sri Lanka in many international fora and during the times of the conflict and continue to do so despite the international pressure and scrutiny. However future support from such countries could be questionable given the sentiments being expressed in the country.

By declaring Sri Lanka as a ‘Sinhala only’ country, those perpetrating this mindless rhetoric of Sinhala supremacism presuppose the acceptance of Sri Lanka as a land sacred to Buddhism with Sinhala Buddhists as its chosen people. According to this vision, minorities, including Sinhala Christians are not co-owners or even guests (because guests have to be given certain privileges and rights) but they are second-class serfs (untouchables) who should thank the benevolent majority for being given the chance to live there.  In so doing, these organisations have completely rewritten the rich history of a country whose mosaic is made up of different ethnicities, faith and culture. They have chosen to rewrite a history of the accumulation of unfinished business, the piling up of debts and the stacking up of fortunes and misfortunes.  Whilst it is true that Sri Lanka is the only place in which there are Sinhalese and where the Sinhalese language is spoken, this doesn’t equate to ownership of the island solely by one race or another nor does it speak of the rich inter mingling of all races and faiths that influence much of Sri Lankan culture, food, art and music today.  It also does a huge disservice to the Buddhist way of life which is about peace, tranquillity and tolerance of others.  Declaring Sri Lanka Buddhist doesn’t preclude it from having minorities of other faiths and ethnicities coexisting with equal rights.

As a country under scrutiny for its treatment of minorities, these actions provide ample fodder for those anxious to paint the incident as one more infraction of an increasingly intolerant country.  The forces that have been anti Sri Lanka have wasted no time in rejoicing in the public relations victory that had been handed to them by this stupid and mindless ignorant group, made even worse by the muddled responses emanating from the Government.

However for me what has been even more disappointing has been not only the deafening silence of many prominent  Sinhalese activists, a large number of them friends, but the actual support for some of these  statements and actions by a lot of educated people worldwide. I have been especially disappointed that those who vociferously campaign in the interests of the country’s unity have been so far quiet as this rhetoric threatens to set off events that could lead to another July ’83, and even more inter ethnic conflicts.  It is the tragedy as Martin Luther King said, ‘that it is not the bad people are very loud but the good people are very quiet’.  For too long, incidents across history in Sri Lanka have happened because a lot of good people were very quiet and this has condemned the country to the state that it is in today.  If we want a semblance of the first vision for the country, as outlined above, this can no longer be the case.

I say this as a Muslim and a person with a shared Sri Lankan heritage – if we want to cohesively move forward, we must be prepared to condemn those unjust acts perpetrated by our co-religionists or from the same ethnic background supposedly in our name.  As a Muslim, I am continuously challenged on this for incidents my co-religionists have done globally.  I choose to do that not because I am solely a Muslim, but because it is about speaking out against injustice and oppression and being a voice for the voiceless no matter who they are.  Hence we do not and should not respond because we are Sinhalese or because someone has said something in favour of Tamils or we are Muslim.  We respond because we are Sri Lankan and we believe in justice and equality even if it is against our own community and society.  This is the sign of a mature and intellectual community.  This is also the sign of a society that has learnt from past mistakes where silence has meant complicity for what the country has suffered in its entirety.

So where do we go from here?  What are the possible lessons we can derive from the past that can help us out of this abyss we as a nation are staring into?

Firstly, the rise of such rhetoric is a wakeup call to those who are engaging in reconciliation work in Sri Lanka that a lot more needs to be done at the grass roots level.  It is fine to talk about political solutions but if people at the grass roots still do not trust each other or even know each other, then political solutions will just be a band-aid to a deep burn.  The vitriolic rhetoric that has been bombarded around is testimony to the fact that we need to start once again from scratch in developing a discussion that is not only top down but bottom up.  There needs to be parallel efforts to build trust between people and communities through multi faith interactions and crossing ethnic divides.   This is the role that the civil society and in particular the religious leaders should be playing  in order to bring out about reconciliation that rebuilds trust though reducing suspicion and  infusing human values with an understanding of the need to move away from apportioning blame for deceit and destruction.   Trust can only be rebuilt when a space is created for effective dialogue and understanding.  This space is one that starts at community levels with community organisations, leaders and intellectuals.  It is not just the sole responsibility of the political establishment but of everyone interested in this endeavour. Rebuilding trust is about honouring unity and celebrating diversity, working towards equity and justice and ensuring the eradication of social prejudices in building a collective identity.  We cannot abrogate our individual responsibilities in this task.  The simple question to ask ourselves, is how much do we know of and understand  our friends / colleagues (who come from a different faith and ethnicity)?  By knowing, understanding and respecting each other’s faith and community, we move from just tolerance to acceptance.  These are  the first signs of a mature diverse society and democracy.  It is the first part in accepting the social contract of citizenship of a nation.

Secondly solutions are needed for the restitution of a fractured polity which involves a healthy acceptance of the minorities. Dayan Jayatilleka goes further in saying that the minorities (like the Muslims, Tamils, Hindus, Christians) are the bridges between the Sinhalese and the outside world “and if those bridges are burned the Sinhala heartland will find itself isolated– which ironically, is exactly the situation in which those hostile to Sri Lanka want to place the State and the Sinhalese!”.  Hence there must be legal and constitutional structures that not only guarantee equal rights for citizens and freedom of religion but legislates against incitement for racial and religious hatred and discrimination.  No one argues about removing the privileged place of Buddhism in the country or doing away with rights of the majority, but it is expected that the spirit of Buddhism has to ensure a tolerance and respect for the other with legal safeguards in place to enforce this.

Sri Lanka is now staring into an abyss of uncertainty with bitter interethnic rivalries fanned by divisive politics. It is in the choices that are made and actions that are taken that will determine whether its inhabitants will be able to live in peace and harmony.  Transparency, accountability and social justice are the pillars of a mature democratic society.  Sri Lanka’s journey is still very early in trying to achieve this, but nevertheless it has started. The rise in anti Muslim hatred is not helpful in this journey as it sets the country back decades.

Constitutional amendments and projected development though are not enough to make hearts to forget or forgive. It needs a platform for genuine and objective discussion in the hope of moving forward towards achieving reconciliation and a new direction for the country.  This has to start at the grass roots and involve all aspects of society.  Reconciliation has to ultimately work through the hearts of individuals who harbour pains from the long years of their inability to meet basic human aspirations or from loss of loved ones and properties as they became innocent victims of calculated and indiscriminate violent attacks between fighting forces.

We are twenty years on from those horrible riots that sent the country down a treacherous path because it is exactly the same scenario where toxic Anti Tamil propaganda was pumped out in the years preceding the final riots of July ’83.  Lessons should be taken from history.   However it is obvious as Georg Wilhelm Hegh said “what experience and history teach is this – that people and governments never have learnt anything from history or acted on principles deduced from it.”  If we want to aspire to the first vision for the country (as articulated above), then the challenge for us is to actually learn from what has happened in order to have a county that respects its diversity and is united in its principles and values (that are influenced by Buddhism); otherwise we condemn future generations to the vicious cycle of hated, intolerance and violence that can only destroy the country and not unite it.

  • Dinuka

    Beautifully written article.

    • Amjad Saleem

      thank you for your comments

      best

      Amjad

      • Sanath

        Hi Amjad,
        I have something to say but, I will start with true story:

        In early 1990s, a Muslim friend of mine took me to a place called ‘Discover Islam’ in Bahrain. Though, we were told that it was a ‘social gathering for Lankans’, we realized well in advance that the organizers were having a different agenda. There were many charts and other exibits displayed in the hall showing the progress made in propagating Islam in Lanka. One of the exibits cleary said ” Converting Sri Lanka to a Muslim Nation by 2010″ and under the topics displyed in the chart, “Issuing Halal Cerfications” was listed very clearly. A Sri Lankan Ulama from Kandy was also presnet in the gathering to deliver a speech.

        Anyway, this is what I have to say:

        Islam, Christianity & other faiths are thriving in Lanka becuase of the Busddhists and the secularism of Buddhism. If any other religion other than Buddhism was introduced to Lanka in the 4th century, Sri Lanka today is either Christian or Muslim country without a trace of Buddhism. This is exactly what happened in Afganistan, Indonesia and Phillipines.

        • Amjad Mohamed-Saleem

          sanath
          thank you for your comments. i can not comment on the bahrain story because i am not familiar with the stories, but suffice to say, i am not advocating the propogation of one against the other. there must be some internal conversations taking place within the muslim commjnity as well to ascertain whether they have lived up to their terms of the social contract. this doesn’t mean that the reactions of bbs can be justified. sri lanka has always been a tolerant country towards minority religions. this is no doubt. i take your point fully with regards muslim countries. they are not paragons of coexistence, but the fact is that we can not use them as examples to justify what is taking place in sri lanka.

          the thing is not to politicise religion and use it to incite hatred

          • Gihan Jerome De Silva

            You say “there must be some internal conversations taking place within the muslim community as well to ascertain whether they have lived up to their terms of the social contract”
            Yes,this is very important because I feel some times that Muslims like to be & show they are different from other Lankans, wearing headscarf, from recently (which we never saw some 25 years ago),wearing Hijab, men sporting beard & Halal food, trying to identify themselves a separate community, so by this alone don’t they deserve to be treated as such ( what they are asking for)? Would you think Muslim people be better off, if remove all those things ? as a matter of fact in Muslim Turkey those headscarf/hijab are not allowed & one woman parliamentarian had to remove her headscarf as most of other parliamentarians opposed it. I think Muslims got more than there fair share of all in Sri Lanka during Tamil separatist war & thought those would be permanent, but pl. note those were ignored by Sinhala people because they thought defeating Blood sucking Terror was no.1 priority, now they take on other things they don’t like to see.
            Muslims should change themselves & be only Sri Lankans & should stop cheering for Pakistan at Premadsa Stadium as they play against Sri Lankan Cricket team. I think Muslim got handful of things to sort out among themselves , never to forget whole Western Christian world & Israel would only support Sinhala people if ( I never think or expect) they take on Muslims.

  • dingiri

    Great article Amjad. I think you’ve said it all.

  • Jayalath

    Kindly could you tell me some one or the writer of this artical what do you precisely believe the reason for these fanatic singhalese to stand against the Muslim or Islam in this moment in this way after living for many years together and also being bloodily relating each other or a part of reason has been caused like developing adversities around the world against the Muslim Alquida in the world for their vicious atrocities waged last few decades ???

    The reason I want to know is that I understood after reading out some articals related to this subject last few months that most articals only had one side of out break , therefore , I would appreciate if some one can explain it in a balance manner . When a poisonous snake stung you, we take the patient to a hospital , then the DR, who first place ask from the patient , ( if he still breathing ) or who ever accompany with the patient , do you know the snake stung him , the reason is , it is easy to treat to the patient immediately . so , i hope you will understand my point .

  • georgethebushpig

    Dear Amjad,

    Loved the article although I do not believe we need to justify or validate the existence of Sri Lankan muslims on the basis that muslim countries support us. This is a dangerous route to take as it cuts both ways; we saw how tempers flared with the bombing of the Bhamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan. Sri Lankan Muslims are Sri Lankans, period.

    Regards
    GTBP

    • Amjad Saleem

      Dear GTBP

      many thanks for your comments. I do agree with you on this 100%. We oppose this not because we are Muslim or Sinhalese etc, but we do it because we are Sri Lankan.

      Thank you

      ps..love the name

  • Mimosa

    A great article. It is interesting that the writer has made a connection to Pamela Geller. She is a hate monger and a pro Israeli racist, who has caused many problems for the Muslims in the US, including putting up anti Islamic posters in the subways, and protests the building of mosques. She is backed by millions of dollars contributed by anti Muslim elements. Wikipedia mentions that she is referred to as a zionist and an “Islamaphobe”.
    This is definitely a deliberate plan to systematically attack the Muslims on all fronts, including the halal issue, and the wearing of hijab, which seems to upset many. The Muslims have lived peacefully with their neighbors for years, and minded their business. It seems there are elements who have taken advantage of ignorant minds, to provoke and propagate their evil agenda – cause communal problems within this country, that is just recovering from a brutal war because of communal problems. Lessons not learned, and a government that keeps showing disinterest and unable to nip things in the bud. This is an explosive matter, that would get entirely out of control, if the leaders in the country do not step in, right now. The Muslims have so far shown restraint and are not responding to this unfair attack on their community and property.

    Evil comes in many forms, and right now the country is used by unseen evil hands to further their anti Muslim agendas. Be warned Sri Lanka.

    • Amjad Saleem

      thank you Mimosa for your comments. I totally agree with your sentiments. lessons need to be learnt and you are spot on about the unseen evil hands that seem to want to push the country towards this point

      best

      Amjad

    • Jayalath

      To mimosa .

      We understand the anguish , but nothing is too late to cross the red line of issueing irresponsible statements to provoke the public . And what ever the out come the sufferers are poor Muslims and poor singhalese.the history will be witnessed .
      I suggest to calm down and exercise the restraint by every one untill discover the roots for these evil activities .
      I request if there any one available to know me why some singhalese are behaved in this way to provoke Muslim community . Because it will help to Start a good level of discuss to this matter what now is spinning in inappropriate manner.

      I would like to point you out two incidents occurred only last two days in the UK on 21st and 22 of this month , on 21 st three Muslim fanatics were guilty for possessing of explosive that can use for a massive carnage in London ( which had assessed 10 times worst than the london bombs ) and today the 22 nd that group of muslims carried out a massive protest in the universities of London for not having substantial facilities to their prays .

      This is only a few incidents , among many , therefore , there are majority people in London are very worry and show their disgust on this growing situation of some Muslims . I hope this type of incident would not happen in Sri Lanka .

    • Gihan Jerome De Silva

      Mimosa,
      “Be Warned Sri Lanka” perhaps rephrase it Be warned Muslims in Sri Lanka. If & When Sri Lanka take on Muslims , Billions of US$ would flow to Sri Lanka, Don’t you know tiny Israel gets over 05 Billion US$ from US/West annually, just because they keep on fighting against Muslims in Arab , (though I wholly support/sympathies with, innocent Arab Muslims). This is a problem Lankan Muslims not Sinhala Buddhists /Christians

  • sinhala_voice

    Let’s get to the bottom of the problem.

    Sri Lanka will and can be Sinhala and Buddhist as long as the population in Sri Lanka is 50% + 1 is Sinhala Buddhist.

    What has become evident is that at a future date Sri Lanka will NOT be Sinhala and Buddhist OR definitely not Buddhist….

    This I believe is the reasons for protest etc…As well as the Muslim community is itself changing to the requirements of outside (ie outside Sri Lanka) influences. (eg: 20 years ago there was no Hijab wearing females in Sri Lanka)….

    Also Sri Lanka is one of few majority Buddhism countries and by definition secular. Because , Buddhism is secular (as compared to monotheistic religions)…

    We don’t derive the power to govern from an almighty but from a numerical majority (thus democratic)….and we respect that….

    regards

    • Jayalath

      To singhala voice

      Thank you for the brief statement . First thing we need to realise is the changing world .we cannot stop of losing the status of majority , but every one need to know the facts , the fact is the quality not the numbers. The second one that we need to understand is , the rising population . To a size of country like Sri Lanka the present population is already too much , because this world is not only for the human animals .therefore we need to impose a control of population after analysing how many children should allow to each family without considering the race of religion .

      This is compulsory,Unfortunatly I cannot see that has been regarded by the stupid government . This is most important theory for the whole world not only to Sri Lanka . Because we do not need to be like India or china , can you see how do they suffer now ?

      And we have identified the main mechanism behind the rising numbers of these animals are religions. ( Philippine is one example ) because in some religions the contraceptives are prohibited therefore they give a rise of thinking their almighties and the next stupid rise also come from the religions because each and every religion are encouraged people to have more animals than others .

      This is the danger of these animals ( I call animals because majority of us are pure animals ,they do not have thinking ability ,) so, my point is to point out the governoment to consider to put a control of rising population .

      If we failed to do so , the day is not very far that we all suffer . That is why we need a gov , to think appropriately about what is happening tomorrow .not only to steal our money and kill us slowly . Some people might say , can we do that , how can I stop another child and it’s God wish , but I must say very very sternly , we need to stop this NONSENSE ,
      In the name of peaceful world or we have stop this by force regardless any race or religion .

      If you cant think about this matter as a gov ,and do it fairly , please expect anarchies very very very near future . That’s all my friend .

    • Tridax

      @SINHALA_VOICE,

      You are confused .

      1. Your thoughts on secularism is oxymoronic.If Sri Lanka is secular , no religion should get special preference unless you have redefined the term secular. Name one country which is secular by law and gives special prominence to any religion due to it being the majority ?

      2.
      Except for the mere fact that majority in Sri Lanka claim to be Buddhist laws are passed by these so called buddhists which goes against buddhism. Why cannot the Sri lankan government ban Alcohol. It is one of the main reason for so many social problems in Sri Lanka.
      Followed by Gambling. If the majority is willing you will definitely get the backing of everybody to abolish them. But the Sinhalese government and its supporters cannot do it because they only pay lip services to Buddhism. If you want to protect buddhism start practicing it.

      • Jayalath

        To tridax .

        It is a good and rational thing if we can renounce the religion , but why we still segregate and try to kill each other in the name of religion is because we are still tribes althought we wore cloth to cover our naked . Why the Alquida kill people around the world ? Are they because of religious or alcoholic ? .
        Some people are wobbling when they come to speak on religions . The religions are venomous , and it is only capable of assigning us to a slow and painful death. The world history will witness it .

        I will ask you a silly question ,please do not get it offensively , put your argument in this way , one day you will have a choice of moving to another country , one is pakistan and europe , pakistan is islamic country and you will not have any hesitation with your culture or religion , but we know the Europeans Are alcoholic and they enjoy their sex life with few partners before they die , the most of them are not with their married partner at the time they die , but this is normal and they do not care at all . And they know what is the life meant to be ,And they have no hidden agenda to say some thing and do some thing .

        But you may say , they are alcoholic , evil and very immoral and every thing else you can say , I know that ., so, my question is if you had a chance or any other Muslim person had a chance with an open appeal , where would you go ? Will you choose to go to Pakistan or Europe ?
        Certainly I can guess the choice, and why is the choice ?

        • Tridax

          @Jayalath,

          1.You have got the wrong end of the stick . Was it deliberate or inadvertent. Your arguments are not addressing my points but i will address them, nevertheless.

          Your first point is a strawman.My previous post did not advocate the renunciation of religion. My contention was the Sri Lankan constitution gives foremost place to Buddhism . Hence Sri Lanka cannot be secular. This was to refute the claim that Sri Lanka is secular. It’s quite simple.

          My second point was since Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country why it cannot pass legislation to comply with the Buddhist principle.Alcohol and Gambling were two examples which every sane person would advocate its abolition because of the social problems created from road accidents , to broken families and economic problems. If Sri Lanka was actually secular country like the european countries then there is no problem justifying the existence of Gambling and Alcohol. But still in secular societies the problems caused by Alcoholism and gambling still remains. But that is a different issue.

          Ok . you gave two options. Pakistan or Europe. I will opt for Pakistan in lieu of Moldova which is a country in Europe. Why Pakistan , Because i get the chance to pray in a mosque and also one of the cheapest places to live as per the recent survey apart from the abundance of halal food available.

          If you think being drunk and having sex with many partners is the way to enjoy life well be my guest. For a muslim we believe in a God who created this universe and a life hereafter .Hence for us this life is merely a transitionary stage to prepare for the hereafter.Alcohol is a depressant. People who drink alcohol are the most depressed lot in the society. If you think they are the happiest you must be deluded. Happiest of people dont drink alcohol. and Those who drink alcohol don’t end up the happiest. It’s the basic reality none can deny.

          Religion gives hope to people.That’s what people need . A reason to live. Sex and alcohol is certainly not the means to it .

          Suffice is to mention just two well known examples.
          Marilyn Monroe she had the most miserable life despite sex and drugs and everything what a woman wculd yearn for. She committed suicide because she didnt have hope. Elvis Presley is the other example of what a miserable life Alcohol and promiscuous sex offers.

          What are you , Buddhist,Agnostic or an atheist?

          • Jayalath

            Thanks .

            I would pardon for importing a different subject and it wasn’t unwittingly . Sri Lanka is secular in words , and to your perspective which country or area of the world is SECULAR. Are you aware of ?
            And next one you have raised is why can’t legislate to bar of alcohol or Gambling in Sri Lanka .

            It is not necessary to do so because it is freedom , if you want you can drink , it is down to human to think and do what they want , not to put any barriers how they should do . Do you think those who create problems now because of alcohol , no , we need to understand the roots of problems .and treat them . As far as I concern the present situation has caused the label of Halal , it seems to be not a problem because it is a rule of Muslims to display the lable of Halal , but some one else take it as a shame , so , when Thalaban bombed Bhamian statues in Afganistan the Buddhists took it as a shame. Which was the truth and a rational option , but having statues of buddha was a shame to thaleban, because they had no little BIT brain to realise as it is there great History , they were overwhelmed by primitive delution and superstition . See how things work my friend .

            So , these are not come from unknown places , these are massive parts of ingrained delution of man kind , therefore , first thing is to educate people to THINK RATIONALLY , not to teach the people about the religion , because we are heading forward not backward .
            Please think your self , and about your friends and relatives around you , whether they are following the teaching of religions or the religion is in the name of ?

            Please think about how many wrong things you or your friends has been committed or committing in daily basis , do not tell me because it is personal, but think . Your conscience will evidance .

            My personal belief over these matters is politics , our poverty , ignorance ,hopelessness , social deprivation,all has caused the POLITICS.
            The religion can do nothing , but it can do one thing , Make us antagonise .

            Next one is , you may have lied to me by giving the option of Pakistan , because I never heard that people are going to live in Pakistan from Sri Lanka . Ok if your choice is Pakistan then I failed . I’m not going to tell you any more .

  • Tridax

    @Jayalath,

    1. If you care to define what secularism is ,what you meant by Sri Lanka is secular in words and thereafter review my two comments regarding it ,I may consider replying your point on secularism since at this juncture i dont wish to indulge myself in an academic discussion on the technicalities of secularism.

    2.
    If you are against banning alcohol and gambling because it’s against the freedom to choose , why ban anything . Prostitution , drugs,fire arms etc… What you are advocating is a utopia.

    3. In Islam there is no segregation of Theology with Politics. Politics is part of theology. Would you care to reconsider your response in the context of Islam?

    4.
    If you care to think rationally , accepting a religion more specifically Islam would be your inevitable conclusion. Start with the Kalam cosmological argument and ponder over it. YOu cannot miss the obvious conclusion if you thinking is not marred by your present prejudice against religion.

    I conclude this with below quote for you to ponder.
    There is nothing more irrational than a man who is rationally irrational – Le comte

    PS:
    Btw my first preference to live besides Medina/Mecca is Sri Lanka. You asked me to choose between Pakistand and Europe without specifying which county is Europe. Hence i picked Paksitan to Moldova . Just like you have not heard anyone wishing to migrate to Pakistan i doubt you have heard anyone wishing to live in Moldova. As you rightly stated you asked a silly question. Hope you are not offended by my seemingly silly reply.

    • Jayalath

      To tridax.
      first of all I must correct the interpretation of secular and not secular , because I can see the things have been moving into ridiculous direction due to a minor mistake I made . It should correct as Sri Lanka is not secular in words ,where i meant if there are placed on the teaching of buddha that could have not happened what happened . and next one also should have correct as which country not secular in the world , where I meant the same I mentioned above .

      I believe Buddha, Mohamed , Christs and others had extraordinary wisdom to think about the life , and they literally said how we should behave as humans . And how they felt the future should be .
      And the controvesal between them is the theory of importing from an almighty .

      However , All I feel is regarding to your comment that you are playing a cheeky game to show you ARE ERUDITE and you remind me a saying called in europe “GENE apple do not fall far from the tree “, , I already pointed you out that things in a society caused not because they are not follow a religion , it’s because of politics . ( I do not disregard the some problems cause relation to the Alcholism ) . According to your understanding , I hope the twin tower attackers had consumed alchohol and beenin insanity to commit a such crime rather than religious martyr.

      However, I must ask you this bit as well , unless it seems a lack of some thing . I can see that you are embraced to the religion and bragging it more than necessary of showing a remarkable commitment to that , as far as I know ,Korea , Japan , Taiwan , hong kong , china , thailand, vietnam are graded as well develop countries and devoloping countries scientifically and technologically and mainly buddhists , but i must say they do not practise religion , which is known to any one in this world if they breathe .
      And America and Europe are Christians , they are known as number one countries in the world by wealth and power . But do not care the religions .
      So , my query is to you, according to your perspective these countries are alcoholic , Gambling , immoral , evil , irreligious and every thing else , but Pakistan , Arabia , Syria , Iran ,Iraq , Afganistan , Nigeria , Somali , Bangladesh , Libya , Palestine , these countries are thriving without Alcohol , Gambling , very very religious and following the Islam laws and every thing else , so my query is , according to your knoledge out of those countries with religions ,what countries would you think that people concern as better countries or better governing countries ?
      Also if you think a Muslim person would move if he want without a hesitation . ? Please educate me .

      The next one is about the rationalism of ISLAM , the quaran has emerged certain things about the universe in 6th century , but do not forget the Buddha , and Christ were there long before Mohamed , and I suggest you to find out about ARISTOTAL and ERATHOSTHEN who lived 350 BC , and they had given lot details about the universe too.
      Also the word of Rationalism would profoundly be distorted if you think that Islam is Rational , as it begins with a creator , almighty .
      Therefore I educated you in many ways with spending my valuable time , that I would have committed to do some thing better for man kind or myself .
      AND I must remind you that I do not want to discuss with you about the religions any more as I regard it is certainly wasting a valuable time of us .

    • Jayalath

      To tridax

      As I consider to your preview query related to secularism that I think it is quite confusing my reply to approach a right definition , therefore I decided to make it more clear and distinct picture of defining it , in general it defines in a country as keeping religion out of public life and out of education and further more it defines of removing religion from entirely national life and public life , in this regard your query was whether Sri Lanka is secular or not .

      Sri Lanka is not clearly secular country , in that case you asked , why then they cannot ban the alcohol and Gambling , because those are detrimental to the society . You are right in technical manner, but it is not legislated and I don’t know why , it needs to investigate. but in the same case that can arise few more queries as well . In the constitution there is no right of conducting an illegal arms group by the state , but it was well known that Premadasa regime had a murdering group during his reign of 89,90 called Black Cats and few other , therefore it is quite clear and the history will witness ,and in this world that every thing will not happen legitimately . The UK is not a secular Country but any thing is available free hand .
      So , I hope you agree with my point

  • jehan

    BBS=TERRORIST=DIVISION OF THE COUNTRY=2017