The gratitude Sinhala Buddhists get from its minorities
In a disillusioned world where false flags and fake news gains momentum daily, it’s not surprising that distortions are taking place. Iraq was destroyed based on a false weapons of mass destruction propaganda, Libya, from the most developed country in North Africa, is in ruins today after promising ‘liberation’ from a dictator but not getting it, hired mercenaries and trained rebels have ruined Syria and we can give enough & more examples of how lies have been promoted and accepted and it is in this same context we must highlight the newest lie to claim Sri Lanka is not a Buddhist country. For 514 years now a systematic, well-coordinated and well-funded attempts are taking place to remove the 2600 year Buddhist civilizational history.
Firstly, let us put to right that Sri Lanka is an island nation where its populace comprises Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers in terms of ethnicity while in terms of religions Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Catholic, Islam constitute the main faiths.
While, undeniably Sri Lanka belongs to all citizens belonging to the above mentioned ethnic groups, the island civilization developed by a Sinhala Buddhist-Cultural heritage aligned on the dasa raja dhamma (10 principles of Buddhist governance) which even the South Indian invader rulers adhered to including King Elara.
The Sinhala Buddhist kings that ruled Sri Lanka on the basis of the Laws of Manu and customary Buddhist laws upheld the Buddhist precepts that all living beings are to be protected with reverence for life. The governing rules of law were clearly articulated. The place of Buddhism in the country’s landscape was inviolable and that place was also guaranteed in the Kandyan Convention of 1815 “the religion of the Buddha professed by the chief and inhabitants of these provinces is declared inviolable and its rites, ministers (monks), and places of worship are to be maintained and protected”. This is why any government after independence are bound to maintain the sacred place held by Buddhism for over 2500 years. Later day arrived people or faiths cannot seek to have on par status except to have the rights to practice their faiths without discrimination and have the country law applied equally to all. So long as the law is equal to all – no one is a second class citizen.
So undeniably, the island nation’s civilization was built upon the tenets of Buddhist philosophy and principles which the King and all in the kingdom island followed.
While there is no doubt that man originated in Africa and spread to all corners of the world from where mixed groups of people emerged, Sinhalese people remain the only group of people who evolved in Sri Lanka with its own language & culture. Sinhalese are not found in any part of the world whereas Tamils & Muslims are.
Though Tamils claim a separate land, they are yet to prove that they are not linked to Tamils in Tamil Nadu because the Tamil language and cultures originated in Tamil Nadu. This is why 72m Tamils live in Tamil Nadu as against just 2m Tamils in Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu & Sri Lanka was never linked at any point of time and after the arrival of the 3 colonial invaders they transported scores of Tamils to Sri Lanka to work on their plantations and these Tamil Nadu Tamils continued to stay on though some returned after the Srima-Shastri Pact. Statistics by the colonials prove that there were more Tamils in Sri Lanka brought after 1505 then there were before which nullifies claims that Tamils ran a kingdom of their own because to date they have not produced names of kings who are not linked to India/South India and colonial records are clear that there were no independent or separate kingdoms except kinglets that are no different to the present semi-autonomous provincial council system we have.
The artificial ethnic group ‘Ceylon Tamils’ entered census in 1911 by a Tamil.
Queyroz book ‘Conquest of Ceylon’ records 15 ‘kinglets’ in Sinhale in 1505 when Portuguese arrived and the head of the kinglets was the “emperor’ and there was only one Emperor in Sinhale. Queyroz’s book:
‘As long as Rajapure (Anuradhapura) was the capital of Ceylon, the whole island was subject to one King”
The writings of Queroyz, Baldeuz and many other historians clearly establish this while at all times the Eastern Province had remained under the Kandyan kingdom/King.
It was the Kandyan King Senarath who dispatched his trusted commander Mudaliyar Attapattu with some 10,000 Sinhala army to save the Tamils from Portuguese attack in 1619. Now shouldn’t we ask why the Sinhala Buddhist king Senarath would dispatch an army to save Tamils in North Sri Lanka from Portuguese if the area did not belong to him? Just as the Sinhala king sent his troops in 1619, the Senadhinayake 387 years later, dispatched his army to save close to 300,000 Tamils, held hostage by LTTE and eliminated LTTE ground force in May 2009.
The defeat of King Senarath’s troops in 1619 led to a Portuguese inquisition that resulted in death and conversions of Tamil Hindus in contrast the Buddhist Sinhalese looked after the minority Tamils in areas where Buddhist Sinhales were in majority with full respect for the religious rights of the Tamil Hindus.
Tamils did not originate in Sri Lanka and neither did the Tamil language but both Sinhalese people & language originated in Sri Lanka (how mixed that was is irrelevant because a new people with new language and culture originated and evolved in Sri Lanka). Tamils never evolved in Sri Lanka. They came as migrants and after invasions first with the Chola invasions during the 13th century till the Aryacakravarti rule.
Can migrants seek homelands in countries they migrate to?
If Tamils were the original inhabitants in Sri Lanka how can there be millions more Tamils in South India? The same ethnic group cannot evolve from 2 different countries? Let’s not forget that Tamil Nadu has been claiming the self-determination rights before the Tamils in Sri Lanka. There cannot be 2 homelands for the same ethnic people.
Up until 1505 there were only Sinhala Buddhists and a small number of Tamils. All Tamils were Hindus and all Sinhalese were Buddhists. It was after mass conversions by Catholic/Christian colonial invaders that Sinhala Christians/Catholics and Tamil Christian/Catholics and Burgher Christian/Catholics emerged.
Jaffna peninsula and Nagadipa is mentioned when Buddha first visited Sri Lanka. Yapane derives from Sinhalese Yapapatuna. Nagas who were related to the ruling royal family in Kelaniya who were the ancient inhabitants of Jaffna. Paul E Pieris claims that Nagadipa was the name given to entire Jaffna peninsula and its islands.
King Devanampiyatissa’s envoys set off to India from Jambukola port the same port that Sanghamitta theraniya came with the sacred Bodhi tree. Here too a temple was built and a sapling planted by King Devanampiyatissa.
We must also not fall prey to Sinhalese originating from Prince Vijaya. This is another myth fed into our system. There were 4 tribes known as Sivu-hela and this in time came to be Sinhale and they were living in the island far before Vijaya and his men landed.
Sinhale denoted the Island and the Sinhalese with people living in Sinhale as Sinhale Tamils etc – though this was replaced with Sri Lankan in 1972 so the Sri Lankan identity is only 47 years old whereas Sinhale identity is thousands of years old. It was with the Sinhale nation that the British signed the Kandyan Convention.
The same king Senarath and his son saved scores of Muslims from being killed by Portuguese/Dutch too and gave them refuge in his kingdom to live and work on his lands but Muslims were not given land ownership.
It is also to be reminded that the Muslims had no land rights in Sri Lanka until 1832 (Muslims have enjoyed land rights for only 187 years).
Robert Knox writes
“there are Moors, who are like Strangers and hold no land, but live by carrying goods to the sea-ports”.
It was the Sinhalese patriots and the Buddhist kings who protected the nation from enemies (except for Don Juan Dharmapala who betrayed the nation, the Sinhalese and Buddhism). Anyone who disagrees please produce evidence.
That minorities enjoy more than enough religious freedoms can be proved by the increasing mosques, churches, kovils, madrassas, prayer/faith healing centres mushrooming throughout the island. If Sinhala Buddhists were marginalizing minorities how can Muslims have a parallel quasi-law, religious food labeling, religious banking system, Muslim daycare/international schools/ Arabic schools etc??? With existence of such all others are secondary citizens in reality because the State has given into the rights of only this minority unfairly.
Politicians & NGOs funded by external parties are striving to change the history of Sri Lanka, many are openly floating false notions and trying to dilute the Buddhist influence in Sri Lanka completely ignoring that there is 1000 year’s difference in Buddhism and birth of Abrahamic religions! Much has happened between this period before Christianity/Islam was even birthed. The architectural marvels, manmade irrigational marvels of Anuradhapura were built long before Islam originated.
It was Arabs who came to Sri Lanka first as traders and not Muslims. Arabs were not originally Muslims nor did they follow Islam. Arabs and Persians converted to Islam only after Islamic conquests using the sword. All Arabs were not Muslim – there were Christian Arabs too. The Islamized Arabs that went to South India began learning Tamil and since they were only males they married South Indian women & travelled later to Sri Lanka which explains the dark-colour of their skin. Majority Muslims speak Tamil and even the Koran was in Tamil.
Most Muslims refer to Yonas during King Pandukabaya’s time but these Yonas were not Muslim because there was no Islam during that period. Islam came 350 after Christ. Christianity as a religion emerged in 4th century 200 years after birth of Christ.
Reverence given to Buddhism was such that all Kings prohibited animal slaughter and everyone had to adjust to the prevailing Buddhist ethos & Governing law. King Kirti Sri Nissankamalla prohibited killing of all living beings. King Elara punished his own son with death for running over a calf. No Muslim living even as aliens indulged in ritual animal slaughter under Sinhala Buddhist rule. John Doyly also notes that the Sinhala law prohibited hunting but British killed thousands of elephants as a sport.
Recently, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith declared that this is a Sinhala Buddhist nation and foremost place must be given to Buddhism, he went on to say that even Catholics can follow the teachings of Buddha while being Catholic as it has nothing but good. Buddhism does not define non-Buddhists, nor defines how to treat non-Buddhists. Non-Buddhists are not called non-believers, kafirs, infidels or zimmis. Nowhere in Buddhas teachings tell its followers that it is not a sin to deceive non Buddhists, to lie to them in the name of Buddhism or to show two faces to others. There is no ‘out of context’ arguments either.
There are no inducements in Buddhism other than to gather good merit or karma. Buddhists do not have rich lobby groups or spend on promoting to convert. Buddhism spread from Persia to Indonesia without a sword or forced conversion whereas others spread brutally & with much bloodshed and explains why their numbers have increased.
For 514 years systematic, well-coordinated and well-funded attempts are taking place to remove the 2600 year Buddhist civilizational history and it is being craftily done through politicians who have no morals, no value for Sri Lanka’s historical past, who will barter Sri Lanka for any personal or political gain and have no qualms about the injustices they are doing. For cheap publicity they will say anything stupid like the former foreign and present finance minister is doing claiming Sri Lanka is not a Buddhist country.
Sadly, since history Sinhala Buddhists have shed blood protecting the nation & minorities against enemies that set foot in Sri Lanka. We did so throughout colonial rule, we did so during LTTE terrorism (helped by a handful of patriotic minorities) and now we are doing so again in the light of another radical element surfacing. Again it is the DNA of the traitors who are responsible for the present peril.
Sadly, majority in the minorities greatly influenced by external forces are shy to openly shower gratitude to the Sinhala Buddhist majority though a minority amongst the minorities do so & against much pressures by their own.
While many may try to gain cheap publicity by claiming Sri Lanka is not a Buddhist country the Catholics know that they are safe amongst the Sinhala Buddhists, the Tamils know they too are safe amongst the Sinhala Buddhists. Muslims lived following their faith & respecting the Sinhala culture until radical Islam got the better of some of them and before long they too will realize living among Sinhala Buddhists is better than falling prey to radical Islam.
Shenali D Waduge