Sunday, January 27, 2013
The Bodu Bala Sena – they have reached the limits of absurdity –
do we now ignore them or suppress them by accusing them of illegal activity?
The latest step of the daily litany of bizarre behavior by a militant band of self proclaimed Buddhists, is the storming of a hotel in the Southern Coastal Belt, because the word “Nirvana” was used in the description of a dinner a group of tourists were having at a hotel. If this is any indication of things to come, very soon there will be sufficient incidents to deter tourists from visiting Sri Lanka.
If we determine that certain words are offensive to people in Sri Lanka, then let us prepare a booklet for all including the tourists of the words that we are unable to use as it may offend sensitivities. One cannot keep adding to that saying they have forgotten!!!
When I use the word Nirvana, I do not necessarily associate it in the Buddhist context, but if it is hurtful to the religion, then it has to be included in the booklet if it is to be banned. We cannot pick on words as and when and create a scene!
All religions must be consulted and terms in each religion must be included. After all I believe Muslims do not like the word Mohammed referred to in a derogatory way, though I know enough derogatory people called Mohammed who are using the name of the prophet in vain, but that appears to be allowed. That is also a reflection of the schizophrenic nature of these religious extremists. They are inconsistent in their hatred in their extremism, and are merely opportunistic.
This latest act, and now I am not restricting it to this particular group as new groups appear to outdo the other in their religious intolerance, and lo and behold they seem to be tolerated by the Govt. effectively implying that they receive their blessings. Accordingly no matter any words to the contrary this govt. is fuelling religious intolerance by their inaction and lack of understanding of the seriousness of what is taking place. This inflammatory behavior is the beginning of a crisis in religious intolerance, and if it is not nipped now, the consequences are too awful to speculate on.
At the root of this issue is the clear distinction in the Constitution that this is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, and the non acceptance of this both by the Hela Urumaya and the fringe groups. Unless the Govt. takes a firm stand and asserts this fundamental clearly and precisely, we will have this continuing.
IF the Govt. does not wish to do so, then make the contrary statement as required by the extremists and live with the Consequences. Only then will people really understand how wrong they have been in following charlatans, and that their Govt. is also part of, where they by their actions have abused the religion they profess to preach and should be banned by their own religious leaders as unauthorized people spreading falsehood and hate, funded by an INGO to destroy the country.