By Harishchandra Lokumanna –
After hypocritical rounds of cries about the supremacy of Sinha Ley and displays of ‘Sinhala flags denoting unfounded patriotism, the Nation has now been given the next dose of entertainment – Arrest of Gnanasara and the unruly behaviour of so called ruffians in saffron clothing. In fact, this is not the first time where he has been taking both Buddhists in particular and Sri Lankans in general on a jolly good ride into make them believe as if he is some sort of born again reformist working to protect the interests of this country. Neither will this be the last, knowing his desire to a ‘card board martyr’ to a pseudo cause. Gnanasara ( Apologize! I hesitate to use ‘Prefix ‘Ven’ as I do not consider him as a Buddhist monk) after the infamous Aluthgama attack said that what he follows is Sinhala Buddhism, and not Buddhism, exposing his actual personality and reinforcing the view that Sinhala Buddhism since Independence has mostly taken a violent direction.
In this instance in Homagama Courts, the only good indication was that it has nothing to do with his oft repeated racist outbursts against Muslims. It was a ‘home and home’ match where he once again displayed his nasty and foul mouthed verbal diarrhoea, this time within the 4 walls of a court of justice and desecrated the course of justice, when the case of an abducted person Prageeth Ekneligoda was taken up for hearing. He also insulted a woman too (Prajeeth’s wife), in very disparaging terms, which further speaks of his low bred character ( in ordinary parlance, Sinhalese people call such characters who show their macho powers to women by various names).
It is no secret that ISIS has always been an embarrassment to Muslims in general whether in ME or elsewhere in view of the fact that they try to hide behind Islam and its’ teachings hypocritically and distorting its’ true message, in order to justify their disgusting violent conduct. The same applies to Gnanasara and his group of hooligans too , who also hide behind their yellow robes to break the law, disrespect the process of law and even to violate basic norms of civility and acceptable behaviour in a society. In the case of Gnanasara, his behaviour has been light years from what can be called Buddhist conduct as we have seen from his drunken behaviour not only in Sri Lanka in the streets, offices and meetings , but even from the recent video about his drunken dance in Japan as well.
PM Ranil has already ordered an investigation whether those so called hooligans in saffron clothing seen protesting in Homagama against Gnanasara’s arrest were in fact Buddhist monks as their conduct were totally unacceptable, let alone from a Buddhist monk. Anyway, what was seen in Sri Lanka in 2014 by BBS and their sister hate groups were also in total contradiction to the Buddhist teachings as well. We also heard that Gnanasara was also hospitalized as well after his arrest, in keeping with the practice followed in respect of political VIPS, which indicates that he is being treated in the same level .
I wonder what BBS discussed with President Sirisena recently. Whatever were discussed, it is important that President Sirisena gives effect to what he kept on promising the Sri Lankan electorate since his election and also at a recent meeting as well that he will not tolerate extremist views of any religion including Buddhist extremism. The Sri Lankan nation expected that this government will take decisive measures to eradicate and arrest this situation and also bring those culprits who brought havoc on our nation through their hate rhetoric and campaign against the minorities, to book . But it is a matter of regret that this government too has been dragging its’ feet to do so and to ensure that all nationalities are treated with equal respect .
Although BBS and its’ sister groups were thrown out of the political process by voting them out by the people of Sri Lanka , still they are following their anti-nationalistic agenda, which should not be tolerated any further. In 2015 and 2016 , they are still popping up under various other ruses like ‘Sinhaley’ and attempts to create unrealistic fears among Sinhala people that Tigers are once again rising from the ashes with those rejects like Gammampilas and Weerawansas. Therefore it is important that law should be upheld against every one alike whether a clergy or laity. Gnanasara should not be given any special treatment at any cost. He also should not be allowed to gain martyr status among the Sinhalese. Therefore Sinhalese specially should be kept informed about the need to uphold Vinaya Pitaka among those who are supposed to guide the Buddhist people – the Maha Sangha. If the fence itself is stealing the crop, as they say, whom shall we complain to? The breakdown of morals and good conduct among the Maha Sangha is a serious concern for us as Buddhists and therefore should be attended to, if need be with an iron hand forthwith and the culprits like Gnanassara should be dealt with without dilly- dallying.
Of course, Sri Lanka had its’ fair share of racist icons – Cyril Mathews, Rajaratnas and Sihala Urumaya politicos in its’ Post Independence era. But, those characters did not inflict the irreparable damage to the inter communal amity like what Gnanassara and his stooges did. He will be remembered for this destructive role by historians who will write this challenging chapter in our history.
With this Homagama incident, he has taken a step further than a mere racist hate icon, but a law and order problem too. Gnanasara in this sense has become not only an embarrassment to Buddhists, but also a threat to the law and order of the country as well. Let us therefore provide a better example to the future generation by weeding out these types of comics, and viruses at least now so that those who will take over from our generation will not repeat the same mistakes we did in our times. We also should write the next constitution which will reflect the aspirations of all communities and treat all of them alike and not allowing any future Gnanasaras to harp on crooked clauses like giving prominent places to Buddhism, to avoid majoritarian clashes in this country in the future. Over to this government ! Please do not let go this opportunity to bring in better times for Sri Lanka.