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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SinhaLe …. 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
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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
Ashin 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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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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