Buddhists in Sri Lanka Getting a Raw Deal! – A CHRISTIAN

It is always the same. Buddhists are the aggressors when they are actually the victims.  Evangelists are proselytizing and exploiting the poverty of the rural people and luring them into church will promises of material benefits including employment. Then, when Buddhists protests, there is a hue and a cry about lack of religious freedom. Recently the President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation called proselytizing “horrible, horrendous, dehumanizing behaviour.”  A systematic effort to erase the Buddhist heritage including the encroachment into Buddhist temple lands, blaming the Buddhists without investigating the reasons for the reactions of the Buddhists,  refusing to recognize that Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country with a history dating back to over 2500 years, demonizing Buddhists by a biased media…

Read on to see what a Sri Lankan Christian has to say.

"Hold on a second before everyone joins the Buddhist bashing which has become quite a Colombo-topic for the majority populace that prevails and that majority are not Buddhists. This is the only country in the world that a country that has over 70% Buddhists would have less than 14% Buddhists in its capital. Now that is something to really be amused at. So should we be surprised when all the media – print, electronic or even word of mouth that generates from Colombo should be anything but anti-Buddhist? I thought so too.

 Lets get these truths out in the open. Take the Island Newspaper. Its ownership may be Buddhist, but take a sample of a weeks newspaper to see how many anti-Buddhist columns the editor produces and he thinks giving a monthly supplementary column for Poya day would balance the daily negative vituperative that comes from the likes of Jehan P, Maureen S and regular contributors who have not a single word of nicety to say about Buddhists at any point and they get full publicity to brainwash readers. The editor does not entertain rights of replies either. Then we come to the Daily Mirror – here you have the regular columnists Pakiasothy, Pinto, Shanie, Tissaranee who never rests but to attack the Sri Lankan state and whitewashing the LTTE and their voices is what ends up being quoted by every foreign embassy and media agency. Then we have the likes of Sri Lanka’s own public officials – GLP’s, Rajiva W, Dayan J’s all personally inclined towards devolution, separation and all these Western-backed notions which have really no appeal or use to Sri Lanka. But by virtue of their positions we can but shiver at what they actually discuss or convey as those messages from the Head of State. Can a nation trust a man who went round the world praising the 2002 cease fire agreement which almost handed over parts of the country to the LTTE terrorists? God knows what he is capable of doing?

 Christians and Catholics of Sri Lanka may have been non-Christians prior to 1500 and eventually converted but speaking on behalf of the people I can definitely say that we go to Church not with the intention of handing over the country to another nation or bashing Buddhists as some of us are currently doing. All I can say is that these people are not fit to be called Sri Lankans pretending to be high and mighty they are all probably being paid or given other such remuneration for the manner they are gathering in groups to ridicule the Buddhists.

 May I remind all of them that it was these Buddhists who fought the colonials, it was these Buddhists that fought the LTTE sacrificing their life and limb and it is these Buddhists who are seeing the likelihood of their nation loosing its Buddhist identity and that is why these Buddhists are alert. I do not find anything wrong with that. So all these folk making judgements from their confines in Colombo need to first ask exactly what they contributed before passing judgements.

 As for all these hues and cries over media freedom. All I can say is that if one just peeps at a fanatical Christian website doing the rounds these days and read the scores of Buddhist bashing articles that are a regular feature one can say there is ample freedom of media in Sri Lanka. Even a MP referred to Buddhists as Taliban so what more do we need to say, there’s another lady, Buddhist she says who is thinking she is the only true Buddhist is Sri Lanka and calling all sorts of names for Buddhists and there are cheers and bouquets for her from all quarters. Then there’s a RM Senanayake whose another die-hard Christian and he too has nothing nice to say about Buddhists either and is all the while churning out reasons for separation of Sri Lanka. I almost forgot, there’s another who worked for the former President. He too is given a column in the Daily Mirror and now he too joins that mudslinging clan.

I can understand perfectly what the Buddhists are saying and they are not targeting any ethnic group and they never did – it was all the work of the Christian dominated media that made out to the world that Buddhists were horrible people. I can say that these were all lies that were churned to suit the agenda.
  
A few days back I wrote on the halal and without dealing with the issue the Muslims have conveniently found escape in projecting an anti-Muslim notion using their paid stooges, the same people that promoted the anti-Tamil campaign to go tell the world that the Buddhists are after the Muslims. This is insane.
  
All we need to understand is the logic that if Muslims ate without halal labels/certificates and therefore there is no reason for new labels/certificates on the same food. If the ACJU think anything is haram they can ask the people not to eat the stuff. ACJU has not been able to stop Muslims from taking liquor, drugs or cigarettes so what is this fuss. But the real agenda that the Buddhists have seen through is that the halal notion means that the entire food chain must be touched by a Muslim to become halal – it is impossible to only employ Muslims in the food chain therefore it is a farce but with the steady flow of mosques, loudspeakers and animal slaughter which is against Buddhists and Hindus… the Buddhists rightly fear a situation like what happened to Maldives. When I read about the actual history even I wonder what may happen to the Hindus, Christians and Catholics in such an eventuality….. so I am definitely with the Buddhists in wanting to secure Sri Lanka because Sri Lanka is far safer in the hands of a compassionate religion like Buddhism than the Abrahamic religions. Whatever they say they do not have a proud past to be going preaching to any other religion and that is telling the truth frankly.

 So this entire drama of Buddhists attacking the other ethnic groups is all a sham. Thankfully the Buddhists are realizing because they have come to understand that even the politicians are falling prey to the non-Buddhists who are steering the country away from its sovereign status.  Now the Buddhists are reminding their politicians how they came to power and it is not because Jehan P, Paki, Sharmini, the Colombo Muslims, the TNA, Dayan J, Harim P voted for them – it was the rural Buddhist votes and the politicians need a good shaking to remind them of this fact…. Because they are showing no gratitude for the people that voted them into power. Now the Buddhists are realizing the ground realities and thankfully they will finally set the country in order.
  
I do not take those who are paid to write or say what they do seriously because there is nothing original or genuine coming from them when they speak about national topics …. They are only told what to say or what to write. We do not need to take them seriously.

 How can there be no freedom because every website, every newspaper, every elite in Colombo are all bashing the Buddhists and that is really unfair and unethical and it is downright too low and I for one feel ashamed of what these people are doing. 
Ernest Perera

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