Category Archives: Bodu Bala Sena

Reconciliation via Cricket and Charity? The Political Ground is a Waterlogged Minefield

Michael Roberts

It is possible that Velupillai Pirapaharan remains a revered leader and symbol of the nationalist drive for Thamililam among some Tamils residing within the island f Sri Lanka today – even though they are circumspect in expressing such thoughts in public. Indeed, it is possible that some Tamils in the island worship him as a deity in the manner espoused in some quarters abroad by Tamils of the diaspora (see image below).

So, how does one measure the political reverberations of the well-meaning efforts towards reconciliation and the bridging of the Tamil-Sinhala divide delineated in several essays presented recently[1] in THUPPAHI?

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John Holt rebuts Gerald Peiris: A Focus on Buddhist Extremism

John Holt, A Short Memorandum addressing Gerald Peiris, 28 September 2017

It is 3 years since I gave the keynote address at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (Kandy) conference on Buddhism in relation to other religions.  My presentation was revised an subsequently published as the lead article in the book that was a by-product of the conference.  My thesis was simple:  to illustrate how recent social, economic and political changes in Theravada-dominated countries have had an effect on their respective religious cultures.  My argument about Sri Lanka was also quite simple:  that 26 years of civil war had contributed to the emergence of Buddhist militancy–the BBS being the classic example.  Immediately following that conference, Gerry Peiris sent out sharply critical e-mails about my presentation to an extended group of his like-minded friends.  When I came to know about his rather personal attacks through some of my own Sri Lankan friends, I quietly exchanged several detailed e-mails with Peiris engaging him quite thoroughly and, as I thought at the time, putting the matters to rest in a civil manner.

Muslims stand next to a burnt shop after a clash between Buddhists and Muslims in Aluthgama June 16, 2014. At least three Muslims were killed and 75 people seriously injured in violence between Buddhists and Muslims in southern Sri Lankan coastal towns best known as tourist draws, with Muslim homes set ablaze, officials and residents said on Monday. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

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Watch Out. The Sinha-Le Campaign gathers Momentum

SinhaLe SINHALE BADGE …. OR “The island nation of SINHALE” as it was phrased in the email circular I received

These images are just what the Tamil extremists wanted… and want. So, as indicated in other posts, we see the two poles stirring each other. It would seem to be a repetition of  a process some of us witnessed in the late 1950s and thereafter. Or is it? There are, surely, some differences? ….even frightening differences? I invite readers to present their thoughts on this point. Michael Roberts

SIHALE CAMPAIGN 1  Continue reading

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Beyond the Saffron Robe: Virulent Bhikkhus in Burma and Sri Lanka

Amanda Hodge, in the Weekend Australian Magazine, 5 December 2015, where the title is “Losing Their Religion” and where the web-version has the heading “Buddhist monks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka preach anti-Islam message” … and do please visit the internet link to see thee many comments drawn by this article, mostly from Aussies but also from “Sunil” — Editor, Thuppahi  = http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/weekend-australian-magazine/buddhist-monks-in-myanmar-and-sri-lanka-preach-anti-islam-message/story-e6frg8h6-1227634213663?sv=b6c5f520b02333c7386c5daca57c0533

aa-wirathu theroAshin Wirathu Thero sits primly beneath a flashing neon Buddha at his Mandalay monastery, a few dozen saffron-robed novice monks at his feet.

The walls of the ­classroom from which he delivers hate-filled lectures are plastered with images of the two most ­dominant Buddhists in this part of the world: Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha, who founded the religion 2600 years ago), and ­Venerable Wirathu himself, the self-styled ­Buddhist defender at the helm of an extremist nationalist movement that threatens to destabilise Myanmar’s democratic transition. Continue reading

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Rajapaksa One-Family Show in the Gunsights at Presidential Election

 Razeen Sally, courtesy of Wall Street Journal 15 December 2014 and The Australian 17 December 2014, where the title reads “Sri Lankan Election is a Chance to end Rajapaksa’s One-Family Show”

AA--the R BROTHERLY LOVE: President Mahinda Rajapaksa (in white and wearing a scarf) rules the country with his son and two brothers, including Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (to his right), and assorted members of the Rajapaksa clan. ASSOCIATED PRESS

When President Mahinda Rajapaksa called a snap election last month in Sri Lanka, it appeared he would cruise to a third term. But a hitherto feeble and divided opposition has since rallied behind a common presidential candidate for the Jan. 8 vote. Only a month ago, Maithripala Sirisena was a cabinet minister and general-secretary of the ruling party. Now suddenly Sri Lanka could be at a turning point after almost a decade of Rajapaksa rule.

The president is campaigning on his economic record after comprehensively defeating the Tamil Tigers in 2009. And on the surface, Sri Lanka looks a lot better off for his leadership. After a quarter-century of civil war, people can go about their daily lives without fear. Roads, bridges, railways and power projects have come to fruition. Colombo and many other towns have been beautified. Tourism has bounced back, with post-war arrivals hitting all-time highs. Continue reading

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A Message for Today and Tomorrow in 2015-and-Thereafter

anti racism 1--Pics by Ravindra Dharmathilake

NOTA BENE: this advice during a poignant moment one July 24th cuts several ways: it must be directed not only at the pukka Sinhalayo, but also at the pukka Tamils, pukka Muslims and the remnant pukka Burghers (if any of the latter still remain in Sri Lanka). Continue reading

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Buddhist Extremists in Sri Lanka and Burma on the Warpath

Latheef Farook, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, 11 October 2014, where the title is “BBS – Wirathu Agreement: Declaration Of War On Muslims In Sri Lanka And South Asia”

Anti Muslim Sinhala racist outfit Bodu Bala Sena(BBS), which does not represent the mainstream Sinhala Buddhists, but had done considerable damage to pit Sinhalese against Muslims in the name of Sinhalese and Buddhism, together with Myanmar’s convicted criminal Ashin Wirathu, have declared war on Islam and Muslims in Sri Lanka and in South Asia. As part of this program the two sides, BBS and 969, also signed a special agreement aimed at creating South Asia free of what they described as (Islamic) terrorism and religious fundamentalism.

bhikkhus listen to Wirathuv-AFP Bhikkhus listen to Wirathu at Sugathadasa stadium, Colombo — Pic AFP

Addressing the Sangha Council meeting, organized with pomp and pageantry by the BBS costing millions of rupees on Sunday 28 September 2014 at the Sugathadasa Stadium, Ashin Wirathu, the dreaded leader of the 969 movement, the architect of the massacre of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims and described by TIME magazine as the “face of the Buddhist terror” told, that his organization 969 would work with the BBS to fight so called Islamic terrorism. Continue reading

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