After the ‘War on Terror’

After the "war" there should be a presence of Buddhism in the North and East, to counter the influence of the Catholic Church, and to unite the Communities.

by Charles.S.Perera

(September 04, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Single handed, without any Powerful Nation to help, the Sri Lanka Security Forces are doing remarkably well in the « war » front against terrorism, while the American army equipped with sophisticated military arms, and supported by able armies of several Western Countries have not even been able to weaken the terrorists, let alone eliminating them from Iraq and Afghanistan.

May the Triple Gem protect our valiant armed forces !

As the SLSF are sending reports of their continued successes, those international terrorist supportive media, INGOs, the human rights activists, and the local anti war lobbies seek international intervention to save what remains of their pet rebels. One does not know to what extent Mano Ganeshan is a patriot, but one could be sure he is one who would like to resuscitate the dying terrorists, to preserve his popularity among the International Embassies, and poisoning the environment with his racist anti Sinhala, anti Government propaganda.

That said, it should be reminded to the people and all concerned in Sri Lanka, that the time has come to reflect on what changes there should be after the elimination of terrorists. The Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and all other Communities, should do all that is possible, to see that this peril of terrorism will not happen again. And if this is not to happen again we have to resolve to unite under one flag, as one nation leaving aside all our differences and forgetting for once and for all, all that had happened in the past that left rancour and ill will within us.

It had been reported some time back in France, when many Jewish tombs were desecrated by bands of youth breaking into the Jewish cemeteries, that it is a phenomenon of the generation gap where the atrocities suffered by those who went through the holocaust had been forgotten by the present generation. The present generation unable to imagine the horrors of the period , take the mass murderers of yesterday as their heroes.

This is a phenomenon against which the government and the people of Sri Lanka should prepare themselves after terrorism. The religion should play a significant role to keep the youth from resorting to violence to win their rights. In that respect Christianity has failed to play that role in the West. In America where Evangelist Churches play a very important role in spreading the message of God, the statistics relating to criminality among American youth show that the incidents of drug violence and criminality is dangerously high.

In Sri Lanka the incidences of youth taking guns to settle problems, and drug related violence is happily absent.

Despite that remark of the well behaved Sri Lankan youth, we have to take into account the JVP revolt of the youth which claimed many lives, before they embraced democracy. Next Prabhakaran's terrorism, that began 30 years ago. But, Prabhakaran was used and encouraged with ulterior motives by India, and subsequently aided and abetted by the Tamil diaspora, to make of him a terrorist leader- a ruthless murderer, to create a separatist Eelam State, at whatever the cost.

In the North and East the religion that had a greater influence was the Catholic Church.

As it had been in the West, the Catholic or the Christian Churches in the north and east could not stop the youth from following a destructive path to win their rights. The Hindu Kovils imparted the blessings of the deities, and created God fearing religious families with dutiful parents, who devoted their lives to make their children good citizens.

But the Kovil did not interfere into their private lives. The youth of the North and East should therefore be given more opportunities to shape their lives according to their religion, through their association with the elders and participating in religious , and cultural activities. The sports too is an activity that should be encouraged as it brings communities together.

With the Madhu Church in the North and the earlier influence of the American Missions in Jaffna, it may not be wrong to infer, that the youth of the North had been drawn away from their own culture, to adhere to what is not theirs. Prabhakaran is perhaps a Christian ?

This separated them from the other communities, and the influence of Buddhist philosophy. That may be the reason why there are so many Tamil writers, who denigrate Buddhism using " Buddhist" as an addendum of insult to Sinhala. They have a wrong conceptual understanding of the Sinhala Community, and the Mahawamsa.

Buddhism is associated with the Sinhala, and as a result the Tamils who are prejudiced against the Sinhala Community, separate themselves from Buddhism even though there is no great difference between the two philosophies of Hinduism and Buddhism. The Buddha had been a good Hindu to begin with and differed from early Hinduism as he thought that development of mind to understand the reality of life was more important than religious rituals to get the blessings of the deities.

But unfortunately, despite many ruins of early Buddhist Monasteries in the North and the East , Buddhism has not influenced those people of the North and East. The only Buddhist temple in the north- the temple in Nagadipa is out side the mainland. The north and east were on the other hand under the influence of the Catholic Church, a religion which is completely outside their Culture.

The Catholicism was one of the arms - a part of the military baggage the conquering Christian nations, brought with them to convert the indigenous "savages", to their religion to make them better, docile servants of their masters-the occupying armies. It was the role of the Catholic missionaries to turn away the indigenous population from their proper religion, to accept their "foreign" Gods.

The greatest obstacle to their plan of Christianisation of Sri Lanka was Buddhism, which they did their best to keep away from the north and east. The result is that the great philosophical influence of Buddhism is today lost to those people.

After the elimination of terrorism the Government should set about the preservation of the ruins of the Buddhist Monasteries in the north and east, and build temples, not to oust or diminish Hinduism, but to be a complementary influence among the Hindus, as the Hindu Kovils are influencing the Buddhist population in the South. This will help to bring about a better understanding between the communities.

There are Buddhist temples in South India, as well as in Bangladesh.

Had their been a Buddhist influence in the north and east, with temples and Buddhist monks and Nuns, there would have been a better understanding between the Communities, and terrorism may not have gained ground, to the extend it has.
- Sri Lanka Guardian