Galkande Dhammananda Thero’s Calming Appeal for Sanity

A Message from Ven. Galkande Dhammananda of the Walpola Rahula Institute in Sri Lanka:, https://youtu.be/2sWW7cFzlYo

“Once again as a nation we have approached a juncture. Now Muslim people live in fear. So do Sinhalese people who have to pass through Muslim inhabited villages. Therefore no one is feeling safe at this moment.

Now we need to think about how we face this situation. Are we going to make the same mistakes we made in the past and create an era where multiple generations will end up suffering? 

Pic courtesy of Colombo Telegraph

Or are we going to manage this wisely. I think the responsibility of our generation is to get involved in managing this wisely. 

 At this moment, I urge community leaders to come forward. The Buddhist monks, Muslim religious leaders, school headmasters, village leaders. Everyone should get together. Join with the security forces and intervene to protect your village, residents of your area as well as private properties.

I have a request for our younger generation. It may seem entertaining and heroic to join various ideological groups that emerge. I lovingly request you to fully understand the devastating nature of what you are getting involved in. It is very easy to start a fire, but very difficult to put it out.

I ask the adult community who experienced the violence of 1983 to make our youth aware of what you saw and how many years did it take to overcome the effects of the hatred that was spread very freely? How many human resources and material resources were destroyed? Please pass on that message to the new generations.

Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948. Eight years later the first community tension started. From then on in 1956, 1958, 1971, 1977, 1983, 1987 to 1991 and then from around 1981-2009, Sri Lanka witnessed bloodshed and many people died.  If you divided the number of years Sri Lanka existed in peace by these incidents of bloodshed we see that the average duration that the country has lived in peace is less than 7 years.

It is our responsibility to stop this bloodshed happening over and over again.

I would also like to request our youth to abstain from sharing messages that spread hatred, anger and division among different ethnic groups across the internet.

I would also like to address officers in service with the national armed forces and police. Each one of you may have a personal religion or belong to a certain ethnic group. But since you became a member of the public security forces you are the security personnel responsible for protecting citizens. Your duty is to ensure the safety of vulnerable people in front of you and protect them from the group’s intent on harming them. The ethnicity or religion of the perpetrators should not affect your duties, so please carry out your responsibility diligently. We can prevent this country from moving towards destruction only if you act this way.

I would like to request from the educated groups and intellectuals, there is no use of your education or intellect if you cannot assist in resolving problems like these. Therefore, your role now is to prove your credibility as an educated individual or intellect. So please intervene.

The responsibility of not managing situations like this effectively in the past falls on the people who lived then. But the responsibility of resolving the issue now belongs to all of us who live in this day and age. Therefore, I urge everyone to get involved in managing this situation wisely.

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video කාරුණික ඉල්ලීමක් (2018.03.08)

කාරුණික ඉල්ලීමක් (2018.03.08)

ALSO LISTEN

Kumar Sangakkara’s  Admonition to Fellow-Sri Lankans =

Galkande Dhammananda Thero Speaking https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sWW7cFzlYo&feature=youtu.be

4 Comments

Filed under accountability, atrocities, Buddhism, communal relations, cultural transmission, education, ethnicity, historical interpretation, life stories, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, tolerance, trauma, unusual people, world events & processes

4 responses to “Galkande Dhammananda Thero’s Calming Appeal for Sanity

  1. chandre Dharmawardana

    Do racial upheavals happen in other countries?
    The Ven. Monk says:
    “Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948. Eight years later the first community tension started. From then on in 1956, 1958, 1971, 1977, 1983, 1987 to 1991 and then from around 1981-2009, Sri Lanka witnessed bloodshed and many people died”.

    The first communal riot happened in 1939 at Nawalapitiya when GG Ponnambalam addressed a meeting and attacked the Sinhalese (calling them a mongrel race) and also allegedly twisted the story of the Mahawamsa to claim that the Tamils are the first citizens of Sri Lanka.

    Ponnambalam had thought that his audience was mostly Tamil.
    It was NOT.
    Riots had started and violence had begun to spread. But the British ACTED FAST, and THE POLICE WERE DEPLOYED DECISIVELY AND SWIFTLY. LAW AND ORDER WAS ENFORCED.
    The riot did not have a chance to grow into a full scale blood bath of national proportions although it lasted a day.

    But from 1956, law and order was NOT enforced.
    It is NOT a question of the community leaders or leaders of ethnic groups coming together that is needed. In fact, such people tend to be politicized,
    sectarian, and also do not know how to act in such riot situations. They tend to inflame situations rather than calm situations.

    Instead, what is needed is to give firm orders to the Police, and if necessary to the security forces to move in and maintain LAW AND ORDER.

    Racial clashes occur all the time even in England, France, USA etc (more so recently, with Islamic Fundamentalism as well as Right-wing what supremecist groups having become militant). But they don’t develop into full scale ethinic riots because the LAW IS ENFORCED.

    • Dear Chandre,

      It is true that other countries do sometimes have riots and that Sri Lanka since 1948 has had many riots resulting in deaths, injuries, property loss and an increase in intercommunal bitterness. So it is a case of whichever is the Sri Lanka Governing party at the time of that particular riot either shooting itself in the foot or the Opposition party managing to shoot the Governing party in the foot. But in the end, it is the entire island population which loses out. In the case of the Nawalapitiya Incident in British controlled Ceylon, there was no democratic process, there was no Opposition political party – so the British could bring the full hammer of the Law down on the angry and out-of-control rioters and the opportunist criminal miscreants who always make the most of such opportunities of anomie.

      But if you look at the 1915 riots, it is a whole different fish-kettle! There the British vastly overreacted, panicked by the failures on the battlefield of the Great War in Europe to imagine that the Sinhalese community as a whole were in league with their German and Turkish enemies ….as if!!

      So I’m afraid that your nice easy equation — more Law ‘n Order and less prevarication may not always work….it depends how strong the Governing party is (or feels itself to be)…and even then, there can be massive miscalculations. JR’s Government in 1983 was very strong but it didn’t stop it creating the ’83 riots and shooting itself and the entire island in the foot, head, balls etc….

      Sri Lankans, like the rest of the world’s population, are only human and capable of the most dreadful mistakes and can be addicted to their baser passions of greed, vengeance and power hunger…but there are lovely Sri Lankan humans too..capable of great sacrifice, loyalty, dedication, calmness and wisdom…much of which is shown when riots take place and they stand up against the rioters in one way or another….so, no answer then….just prayers that sanity will prevail all the best Jane Russell

  2. While the mini-pogrom directed at those who were called “marakkala” or “Moors”(then in the early 20th century) should not be passed over, I note here that there were minor ethnic clashes between Sinhala Buddhists and Catholics of different ethnic groups at Kotahena in 1884 and anti-Moor “riots”(attacks) in such towns as Kurunagala, Gampola and Galle at different moments in the three decades before the major violence in May-June 1915.
    There have been the occasional minor affrays I the bazaars every now and then in the last 150 years. For information on these one has to visit the works by , John Rogers, GPV Somaratne, PVJ Jayasekera, myself, PTM Fernando, Kumari Jayawardena, Charles Blackton, Ameer Ali, et cetera.
    A reasonable bibliography up to 1993/94 can be accessed in my book EXPLORING CONFRONTATION … and its principal essay on the topic of the 191 riots is reproduced in Confrontations in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese, LTTE and Others printed by Vijitha Yapa Publications in 2009. Jayaesekera has managed to address the topic in his recent book 92017) without accessing that study.

  3. While the mini-pogrom directed at those who were called “marakkala” or “Moors”(then in the early 20th century) should not be passed over, I note here that there were minor ethnic clashes between Sinhala Buddhists and
    Catholics of different ethnic groups at Kotahena in 1884 and anti-Moor “riots”(attacks) in such towns as Kurunagala, Gampola and Galle at different moments in the three decades before the major violence in May-June 1915.
    There have been the occasional minor affrays in the bazaars every now and then in the last 150 years. For information on these one has to visit the works by , John Rogers, GPV Somaratne, PVJ Jayasekera, myself, PTM Fernando, Kumari Jayawardena, Charles Blackton, Ameer Ali, et cetera.
    A reasonable bibliography up to 1993/94 can be accessed in my book EXPLORING CONFRONTATION … and its principal essay on the topic of the 191 riots is reproduced in Confrontations in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese, LTTE and Others printed by Vijitha Yapa Publications in 2009. Jayaesekera has managed to address the topic in his recent book 92017) without accessing that study.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s