Sri Lanka: Violence Is The New Nonviolence


A Group of GMOA members and the medical faculty undergraduates were on their way to pelt stones on SAITM building in Malabe. On the way, they saw Lord Buddha meditating under a ‘Bo’ tree. They all went to him and told ‘Oh, Most Venerable! We are on our way to pelt stones at SAITM in order to protect the standard of the medical education of our beloved motherland. Please bless us’.

Lord Buddha opened his eyes and said calmly. ‘My dear children, Although, I have said to follow the path of nonviolence to resolve the conflicts, I have realized that it is not practical in this country. Therefore I ask one thing from you all. You can pelt stones on SAITM, with one condition. The first stone should be thrown by a member of GMOA who had not received his education from public money and does not engage in private practice. The first one should be the one who arrives to the hospital on time to see the patients and does not charge more than Rs. 1000. He or She should be someone who does not receive any commission from the pharmaceutical companies to promote a particular brand when there are cheap generic alternatives. And should be….”

Suddenly Lord Buddha was interrupted by an irritated GMOA member in the group saying that Buddha should properly educate himself on the affairs of the country and the international conspiracies against it. Meanwhile an undergrad in the group started to call Buddha as an agent funded by capitalists. Another called him as someone funded by NGOs. And then the group started to chant slogans calling Buddha as a traitor of the Motherland.

Hearing this, Buddha returned to his meditation and the Anti- SAITM, Anti – capitalism and the Anti – public convenience patriotic movement started its procession.  ~ An extract from the book to be written by V. Kanthaiya.

After two and a half years, now it’s proven beyond any doubt that Yahapalanaya is a complete failure. It is an open secret that Yahapalanaya is a model government promoted by the international well-wishers of Sri Lanka and implemented by the minority of the Majority community and the Majority of the other minority communities. The key reason is nothing new and unusual. This is the typical reaction of the internal factors when and where a strong authoritative power is removed and replaced by more democratic system.

Sri Lanka has been under monarchy for more than two millennia and like all old world countries, we grew up listening to and reading stories beginning with ‘once upon a time, there was a king’. The reality is most of the old world civilizations including Sri Lanka are not culturally and psychologically ready for democracy.

This is the argument told by one of my highly educated, well – mannered friend and a mentor who proudly identifies himself as a ‘Sinhala Buddhist’.

This is not the view of this only individual. This is shared by millions of people in Sri Lanka who clearly identify themselves as educated, polite, refined, cow loving, urban, middle – class professionals and also ‘unique Sinhala – Buddhists’. They also believe that their race is on the verge of rapid extinction due to an unidentified international conspiracy.

The reason of this psychological phenomena is very deep. It all started in 1956, when S.W.R.D Bandaranaike discovered and informed the masses that Sri Lanka indeed belongs only to the ‘Sinhala Buddhist’ ethnic group as they are endemic to this island who do not exist any other part of this universe. This discovery forced the other ethnic groups who also started to believe that they are endemic to this island. What happened next until now is the post – independence history of Sri Lanka. However, that history will vary based on whose version you are reading.

What S.W.R.D Bandaranaike used was just a marketing technique which was first tested and proven by Adolf Hitler. The suspicion and hatred towards the minority ethnic groups by Sinhalese gave S.W.R.D a competitive edge over his rivals back in 1950s to establish himself as the guardian of them, and once the other Sinhalese political parties realized the power of this technique, they also started to adopt this at a higher degree, just to get more votes.

Throughout the history of civilizations, there is a dangerous pattern that religious institutions bonding with and influencing the political system to ensure the mere survival and existence of them. Be it the Catholic Church, Hindu Religious institutions and no need to mention about Islam. The ‘Maha Sangha’ started to practice the same methodology right after the independence of the country, not only to promote and increase the awareness of Lord Buddha’s teachings, but also to ensure the survival and existence of its institutional hierarchy.

So far, the governments of Sri Lanka and the ‘Maha Sangha’ worked in par. In fact, the ‘Maha Sangha’ established its image as a representative of the civil society and the public, throughout the period.  When there are business ventures commenced in rural areas by corporates or other established businesses, two separate donations are generally need to be paid; one to the local ruling party politician and other one to the village ‘Aamaduru’.

Another dangerous aspect in our society is that religious institutions remain above the law along with the military and the political elite. The people of this country believe that it is a sin to take the clergies to the court of law and if something of that nature happens that the Almighty would punish not only those who took the action but also everyone in the country.

Human Beings are said to be the only lifeforms who can rationally think. But religion has effectively made them just to believe what is told. Whoever question the teaching and the preaching of the ‘men of God’ is said to be anti-social.

Sri Lanka introduced the ‘War for Peace’ concept during the Chandrika Regime and the “Humanitarian Genocide’ in Percy Mahendra “Mahinda” Rajapaksa regime. Now the ‘Maha Sangha’ has introduced the ‘Violence is the new Nonviolence’ concept by publicly endorsing the myth that Sinhala Buddhists of this country are under threat from other communities and by saying that the new constitution making process should be scrapped.

This has revealed the root cause of the ethnic conflict and the fact that the Tamils and Muslim communities of this country will continue to be marginalized. However, the biggest revelation is that the ‘Maha Sangha’ has now started to favour more the likes of Galagoda Atte Gnanasara, rather than the teachings of Gautama Buddha.


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