Would Nathasha Edirisooriya or Fool’s Paradise make comedy of other faiths/leaders?
There are bandwagons of people holding press conferences of late, presenting the notion that the comedy show is nothing for Sinhala Buddhists to get agitated or hurt about and that Nathasha was simply exercising her fundamental right to freedom of expression. Let’s take the merit of this argument and try to answer it with some questions.
Would Nathasha Edirisooriya or SLVLog or Colombo Comedy Central be able to exercise their freedom of expression in a Middle Eastern country?
Would this comedy-team be able to hire a private school to mock at Allah / Prophet Mohamed & would Muslims even attend if they knew this was the objective of the show?
Is freedom of speech confined to tarnish Buddha & Buddhism ONLY while steering clear of tarnishing other faiths? Is this the mighty freedom that the Sinhala Buddhists have to keep silent about without demanding answers?
We challenge this comedy clan to come up with jokes & satire about other faiths & make the audience laugh as they are doing with well-scripted & well-rehearsed anti-Sinhala Buddhist skits.
Would this clan dare to divide their attacks against other faiths, their traditions, their rituals?
Would this clan laugh at the way other faiths dress? Would this clan mock the customs of other faiths?
If they dare not, then we request those who are clamouring to sit behind press conferences to not come and patronize the Sinhala Buddhists & present a notion that they are making a fuss over nothing.
If, in a Middle Eastern country, this comedy clan dared laugh at Allah/Prophet Mohamed would the press conference teams dare to even deliver press conferences & demand freedom of expression and what not? They know what happened to Charlie Hebdo cartoonists & their office, they know what happened to Salman Rushdie.
All that happened in Sri Lanka was people voicing objection & people filing complaint with the authorities to take action as per the law of the land where there are limits to freedom of expression & there are limits to how people can exercise the freedoms given to them.
It is a pity that we have to bring out the hypocrisy of people simply because they abuse their role for selective “rights” and selective ‘topics’.
What is good for the goose has to be good for the gander. If anyone claims they have a right to express their freedoms they cannot exclude one and include another simply because the element of fright dictates that exclusion.
Obviously this comedy clan and even the press conference biased teams know very well the outcome of tarnishing the image of other religions and they steer well away from doing so.
But they all seem to think Buddha & Buddhism can and should be everyone’s target practice. How fair is this? How morally indefensible is this & what audacity they have to come out in public and say there is nothing for Sinhala Buddhists to get upset about.
Taking this to another level – another arm of the same gang are coming up with a notion that the rata-jathiya-aagama theme has emerged again while the co-owner of SLVLog is asking if these arrests are going to reduce poverty, debt or hunger. These are all subtle psychological games being played with people’s minds & showcase that they have undergone foreign training to insert various new points into people’s minds & divert their attention away from the crux of the issue.
There would be no reason for people to get agitated if these cheap comedy stunts did not target Buddha. If any sentiments related to rata-jathiya-aagama emerged it is solely attributed to the actions of these cheap publicity stunts. There is nothing to mock people’s affinity to rata-jathiya-aagama.
It is the gypsies of a society who have no affinity or affiliation to anything or anyone who do so. Their goal is to create or clone more gypsies who end up not defending the nation and leaving a nation vulnerable & exposed to the enemy. These gypsies have no love or pride in heritage or history.
However, look how Pakistan protects the ancient Buddhist sites in Pakistan? Look how Japan, Russia, China & even India protect their heritage sites? What pride they all take in presenting their history & glorious past.
This bunch of comedians and their sponsors want to distance people away from feeling pride & embracing a few cheap moments in lackadaisical banter, laughing away with no care for life or issues prevalent.
Therefore, the argument they present falls flat on their feet because while they claim the Sinhala Buddhists are making a fuss over nothing, these cheap comedians would dare not do similar comedies on other faiths. If they are too scared to do comedies on other faiths, what is their objective in mocking Buddha & Buddhism only?
The SLVLog organizer in a recent interview said admitted there was a political plan behind the comedy & invited everyone to look at their other platforms. Therefore, it is clear that hiring a bunch of people to stage comedy shows was simply to draw people to their portal & subtly present their political plans as phase 2 of their overall plan.
It is for the Sinhala Buddhists to wake up to ground realities that they are being subject to all types of strategies as part of the historical divide & rule policy to split the Sinhala Buddhist vote and split the Sinhala Buddhist pride in their nation as they are the largest & most powerful segment that protects this island-nation.
Sinhala Buddhists should realize these larger goals & be more determined not to fall for these games and use this as an opportunity to unite against these well-funded programs.
People need to realize that no amount of development is worth anything if society’s mind, soul & body are prostituted. It is why we need to protect our character, our modesty, our virtues and our culture. Without these, we, as a nation are nothing. Women must take the lead because women birth the future generations & women must birth strong & righteous individuals not people who laugh & ridicule others & have no pride in anything or anyone.
Shenali D Waduge