Concerned Buddhists are raising the question as to why a Christian fundamentalist, Arun Dias Bandaranaike (Jehovah’s Witness) was invited to compere at the most important international Buddhist event on May 12? Could not the organizers find a Buddhist to be the English language compere at this ceremony? Which other predominantly Buddhist nation would do so? Will Muslims invite a non-Muslim to compere an Islamic event? Will Catholics invite a Jehovah’s Witness to be the compere at a religious event of theirs – let alone a Buddhist or a Hindu?
Surely did not the organizers have enough intelligence to realize that this was NOT a non-religious event where the compere’s religion does not matter?
The activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses have already been suspended in Russia, an Orthodox Christian country, over allegations of extremism. (I recall former Russian Presidential Candidate General Alexander Lebed saying in the 1990s that his country has four main religions – Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism – and therefore did not need any more)
The dolts who organized the international ceremony at the BMICH were blind to the fact that it was essentially a Buddhist religious and cultural event – NOT a multicultural one. This is the second attempt to multiculturalize a Buddhist event. The first attempt was made during the 2600th Sambudhhatva Jayanthi in 2012 but did not succeed because of strong protests by concerned Buddhists.
Arun Dias may be a good presenter but that was not reflected at this event for reasons best known to the presenter.
He hardly had any praise for Buddhism or the Buddha in comparison to the Buddhist lady compere in Sinhala. Instead he adopted the multicultural line of speaking about inclusiveness, which was not relevant to the occasion. The content of his presentation differed qualitatively from the warm glowing presentation made in Sinhala by the other compere a lady who is a Buddhist.
His body language as a compere at the inaugural session of the UN Day of Vesak 2017 did not reflect great warmth towards the subject of Buddhism. There was no enthusiasm in his choice of words. This is to be expected given his close ties to an aggressive evangelical organisation.
Listen to the presentations by the two comperes and note the difference.
Extractd from the article of the same title by Janaka Perera, LankaWeb May 13th, 2017,http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2017/05/13/christian-evangelist-comperes-at-global-buddhist-event/