from the concluding chapter - Reflections on Failure of Talks:
Maha Sangha and its organised clergy constitute the most powerful
institutionalised structure of the Sinhala-Buddhist racist ideology. As the
ideological apparatus of Sinhala Buddhist hegemony the Sangha wields unlimited
The political system is subordinated to this religious Order which functions
as a form of neo-theocracy imposing its will on the affairs of state.
The Sangha as the divine guardian of the Sinhala race and religion has
always championed the cause of majoritarian absolutism; the tyrannical
system of the rule of the majority that does not allow any from of accommodation
for the rights and liberties of other ethnic formations: particularly the
Tamils. Embedded in a closed system of ethno-religious dogmatism
the Buddhist monks regard the Tamil quest for national identity and homeland as
and any attempts to resolve these demands as treason. In this scenario where
Sinhala Buddhist racism dictates the rules of politics, the Tamil national
question has become more complicated and intractable...
international governments who are genuinely concerned about restoring peace
and ethnic harmony to the island, should not ignore the threat posed by
Sinhala-Buddhist racism to the peace processes aimed at ethnic reconciliation.
This racism, well entrenched and widely institutionalised in the religious and
political structures of the Sinhala social formation has been the real
impediment for peace and for the negotiated resolution of the Tamil ethnic
conflict. The tragic
political history of the Tamils, that spans more than half a century,
with instances of deceits double crosses and treacherous betrayals,
illustrates a salient truth that Sinhala-Buddhist racism has been the real
culprit behind all ill-fated attempts at resolving the Tamil ethnic conflict.
is not the so called 'Tamil terrorism' that stands in the way of a negotiated
political settlement but Sinhala-Buddhist racism that remains the stumbling
block for peace. What is characterised as 'Tamil terrorism' is a bogey created
by Sinhala-Buddhist racist forces to demean and discredit
the armed struggle of the Tamil people and to justify
an unjust war against the Tamil nation. Those who have taken up arms as the
last resort to defend their people against racist oppression and tyranny are not
terrorists. The real terrorists are those who preach the satanic doctrine of
pure race and pristine religion and call for war, violence and bloodbath against
the Tamil people.
Under the facade of a new constitution, the Kumaratunga regime aims to bury
the national aspirations of the Tamils: their aspirations for a homeland and
national identity. The racism that is hidden in her political discourse is very
subtle and sophisticated. It is hidden behind the grand eloquence of one nation,
of one people bound together by one and the only identity: the Sri Lankan
identity. The subtle and invisible chauvinism of Kumaratunga is hidden behind
political doctrine, whereas
the racism of the Sangha is crude and transparent. It is expressed
openly in violent demonstrations, protests, fasts and speeches.
Though there are qualitative differences in the manifestation of anti -Tamil
racism in the political and religious orders, it is on the question of war, on
the war against the Tamils, on the 'war for peace' that both the Sangha and the
government stand together as a single voice of Sinhala-Buddhist racism. It is in
this realm, the realm of war,
the subtle and the crude converge in a conspiracy to subjugate the Tamil nation.
Only when the international community realises that the war unleashed against
the Tamil people is an objective manifestation of Sinhala-Buddhist racism, will
it desist from supporting the war effort by the Sri Lanka government which is
aimed at the
genocidal destruction of the Tamil nation."