Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamils - a Nation without a StateStruggle for Tamil Eelam  > Sinhala Buddhist Ethno Nationalism - Masquerading as Sri Lankan 'Civic Nationalism'


A Picture speaks a Thousand Words

Understanding the Aryan Theory Culture and Politics of Identity in Sri Lanka, Marisa Angell

Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa's Theory of Reconciliation: Intermarriage, 7 July 2009

மகாவம்ச சிந்தனை ஒரு வரலாற்று மீள்பார்வை - V.Thangavelu, 26 December 2008

 Sri Lanka: The State Changes Face - Jayadeva Uyangoda, 25 October 2008

Sinhala Member of European Parliament, Niranjan de Silva Deva-Aditya, frequently wonders about converting Tamils to Buddhism, 30 July 2008

The Mask Slips... Sri Lanka Parliament's Buddhist War Monk, 25 March 2008

'National Ideology' in a Buddhist Country - Kanishka Goonewardena, 30 October 2007

There is a great conspiracy for Tamils from the North to link with Tamils in the East, with the Indian Tamils in the estates and with the Tamils in Colombo and trap the Sinhalese on the island. Add to this the 50 or is it 70 million Tamils of South India all waiting to swim over� - Champika Ranawake, Cabinet Minister and JHU Member of Parliament in Al-Jazeera television documentary �Monks of war�, 29 August 2007

On Sinhala-Buddhist ethno-supremacy: Second Sivaram Death Anniversary: Memorial Lecture, Laksman Gunasekera, 21 June 2007

States of Mind and States of History: The Future in Sri Lanka Can Be Decentered - Dr.Roshan de Silva Wijeratne, 2006 "In the classical Theravada polities of Sri Lanka and South East Asia, the Sangha was able to develop an institutional relationship with society and was able to actively transform that social order. In Sri Lanka this relationship combined with the way in which the Pali Chronicles, principally the Mahavamsa (The Great Chronicle of Lanka) associated the island with the Sinhalese and Buddhism as Sinhadipa and dhammadipa (the island of the Sinhalese and Buddhism respectively) have combined to construct a discursive frame within which the Sangha imagines its role in Sinhalese society as guarantor of the Sinhalese Buddhist nation.." more

The Only Practical Solution is Genocide of Tamils - D Kannangara, 7 August 2006

Reflections on the Buddha and the myth of the Sinhala Buddhist origin - Dr. Alvappillai Veluppillai, 9 July 2006

The Sangha & its Relationship to the Peace Process in Sri Lanka
A Report for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Buddhist Monks and Ethnic Politics: A War Zone in an Island Paradise - Prof. H.L.Seneviratne, 2001 with front note by Sachi Sri Kantha

Buddhism Betrayed? - Religion, Politics & Violence in Sri Lanka - S.J.Tambiah

Sinhala Nationalism in Namo Namo Matha - 'National' Anthem? What 'National' Anthem? - June 2003

Buddha’s Statues - Symbol of Sinhalese Hegemony, A.Thangavelu,  31 May 2005

புத்தரும், சிங்களப் பௌத்தர்களும் - Buddha and Sinhalese Buddhists - Sanmugam Sabesan, 24 June 2005 “ If Jayewardene was a true Buddhist, I would not be carrying a gun”
– Tamil Eelam National Leader Mr. V. Pirapaharan

Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalism & the Destruction of Hindu Temples in Tamil Eelam and Sri Lanka - M.Neiminathan, 2000

Three Christian Churches attacked by Sinhala Mobs led by Buddhist Monks, May 2006

JVP  threatens to quit ruling coalition over Joint Mechanism for Tsunami Aid, June 2005

Monks Protest Against Tsunami Aid Deal, June 2005
Sinhala Buddhist Vote � Road to Independence from Christian Domination, 2004
Conference on 'Buddhism and Conflict in Sri Lanka - Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 2003
A Buddhist analysis of The Ethnic Conflict - Venerable Athureliye Rathana, 2003 "..In any country, there is a dominant national strain. The main community living in this island are the Sinhalese. Their civilisation and unbroken history has been clearly and unambiguously chronicled...It was only the Sinhalese who fought the British in the name of their civilisational heritage.... The incidents of 1958, 1983 etc. were tragic. They were the result of outpouring rage. For the most part they were not organised attacks... The real victims of ethnic conflict are in fact the Sinhalese..."
Monks demonstrate demanding consultation with Maha Sangha, 23 March 2003
monk2a.JPG (43683 bytes)
 Sri Lanka monk vows to recruit 20000 soldiers, 2000
Meeting of Sinhala 'Ethnonationalists' in Stockholm - Report by Peter Schallk, 2000
Monks and soldiers trod war road together,  September 1999
Sinhala Commission - Interim Report on the Government's Proposals for Constitutional Reform, 1997
Obstacles to Peace: Political Buddhism, Ana Pararajasingham, 1996
Buddhaputra and Bhumiputra? Dilemmas of Modern Sinhala Buddhist Monks in Relation to Ethnic and Political Conflict by Sarath Amunugama, 1992
Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalism in Marxist Garb...The Gospel - According to Rohana Wijeweera and the Jathika Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), 1986 ".. it is wrong to say that there exists in Sri Lanka either a Sinhala nation or a Tamil nation. Marxism-Leninism does not accept this. What exists is a Sinhala nationality, a Tamil nationality, a Moslem nationality and only a Sri Lanka nation...  The proletariat opposes the establishment of a federal system as a form of decentralization. The north and the east cannot be one autonomous region...It is equally reactionary to consider the north and east as the traditional homelands of the Tamil nationality.."
Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinism & the Buddhist Clergy - Brian Senewiratne, 1988

Nadesan Satyendra

Multi Ethnic Plural Society,1992
Peace with Justice, 1992
Ethnic Problem? What Ethnic Problem!, 1993
Multi Ethnic Plural Society, 1993
The Talkative Brigade, 1993
D.B.(What ethnic problem?) Wijetunga, 1993
President Wijetunga's Tamil bashing, 1994
Sinhala chauvinism bears its fangs, 1994

Related Offsite Links

Buddhist Monks and Politics in Sri Lanka - James J. Hughes
Buddhist Fundamentalism and Minority Identities in Sri Lanka
Eds., Tessa J. Bartholomeusz and Chandra R. De Silva,1998

Unholy Economics - Puthu Sivaguru "..Sinhala Buddhist fundamentalism comes in all shapes and sizes. Chauvinist ideology is part and parcel of everyday political life in Sri Lanka. The country�s politicians preach their divisive rhetoric, the state�s military machine turns the lethal words into deadly bullets and the island�s media faithfully recounts racist dogma.."


- masquerading as Sri Lankan 'multi - ethnic civic nationalism'

"...In the Sinhala language, the words for nation, race and people are practically synonymous, and a multiethnic or multicommunal nation or state is incomprehensible to the popular mind. The emphasis on Sri Lanka as the land of the Sinhala Buddhists carried an emotional popular appeal, compared with which the concept of a multiethnic polity was a meaningless abstraction..." [Sinhala Historian K. M. de Silva in Religion, Nationalism and the State, USF Monographs in Religion and Public Policy, No.1 (Tampa, FLA: University of South Florida 1986) at p31 quoted by David Little in Religion and Self Determination in Self Determination - International Perspectives, MacMillan Press, 1996]  

 �The central place of Buddhism in the constitution of the Singhalese territorial relation of a nation goes back to the Sinhalese histories of the fourth and fifth centuries of the Christian era, the Dipavamsa and the Mahavamsa. There one finds the myth of the visit of the Buddha to Sri Lanka, during which he freed the Island of its original supernatural and evil inhabitants, the Yakkas. As a result the Buddha had sanctified the entire island transforming it into a Buddhist territory. These histories thus asserted a territorial relation between Sinhalese and Buddhism, the stability of which was derived from a perceived order of the universe, that is, the actions of the Buddha. The reaffirmation of that relation may be observed to-day in the shrines throughout the island at Mahiyangana, where the supposed collarbone of the Buddha is kept, at Mount Samantakuta, where the Buddha�s supposed fossilized footprint may be seen and the most important one at Kandy, supposedly containing the relic of the Buddha�s tooth." Stephen Grossly, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Clemson University on The primordial, kinship and nationality�. �When is the Nation?� Edited by Atsuko Ichijo and Gordana Uzelac Routledge (2005) p 68

During the past several decades, Sinhala Buddhist Ethno Nationalism (masquerading as Sri Lankan 'Civic Nationalism')  has not been backward in giving expression to its views on the role of Buddhism in Sri Lanka's body politic. Some of the statements by Sinhala Buddhist political leaders and monks are set out below. And often, their words have been matched by their deeds. And, as always, the record speaks...

Buddhist Monk inspects Sri Lanka artillery
at the war front in 1998

0upS.gif (883 bytes) The Gospel according to Anagarika Dharmapala

Anagarika Dharmapala was born as David Hewavitarana in 1864, and received his early education  at Christian schools (not unlike Arumuga Navalar). In 1891 he founded the Maha Bodhi Society to spread Buddhism throughout the world. Dharmapala published the Mahabodhi Journal and the Sinhala Bauddhaya in the 1910s  and  his virulent attacks on the Moors and Tamils led to his internment in Calcutta by the British in 1915.   He died in December 1933 aged 69.

From Return to Righteousness: A Collection of Speeches, Essays, and Letters of the Anagarika Dharmapala, Guruge. ed.,Colombo, Government Press, 1965:

"In the year 237 B.C. the Tamil invader Elala, usurped the Sinhalese throne. But for several years anterior to that event there had been a suspension of religious activities in the northern part of the island. The Tamils, fiercely antagonistic to Buddhism, committed acts of vandalism in the sacred city of Anuradhapura, and, for a time, there was none to deter them.

At this crisis there arose a wonderful Prince, whose father was then reigning in Southern Ceylon. He was in his previous birth a young Bhikku (Buddhist monk, who, when dying, was solicited by the queen to be re-born in her womb. Particulars of this phenomenal birth are given in the Mahavansa, Chapter 22.

This young prince, Gamini Abhaya, (also known as Dutugemenu) after he had reached maturity, made war upon the usurper, Elala. After a series of pitched battles, the Sinhalese prince defeated Elala in single combat and slew him on the battlefield. Then began the building of magnificent temples, dagobas (monuments), by the conqueror, who, reducing Lanka (Ceylon) under one rule, became king. From the world renowned ruins of these dagobas at Anuradhapura an idea of their original splendour may be obtained.

The war that Gamini Abhaya waged with Elala was so a religious character and he made it known by a solemn proclamation that "this enterprise of mine is not for the purpose of acquiring the pomp and advantages of royalty. This undertaking has always had for its object the re-establishment of the religion of the supreme Buddha. By the truth of this declaration may the arms and equipment of my army in the hour of battle flash, as if emitting the rays of the sun" (Mahavansa, chap. 25).

It is said that one day when, after his victorious conquest the king was reflecting with dismay on the recollection of numerable lives sacrificed in the attainment of his end, eight holy saints (termed Arahats) came to him miraculously and administered spiritual comfort.

And the king said, "Lords what peace of mind can there be left to me, when I have been the means of destroying great armies?" And the saints answered "Supreme of men, from the commission of that act there will be no impediment in the road to salvation. Herein no more than two human beings have been sacrificed; the rest are heretics and sinners, who are on a par with wild beasts. And as thou wilt cause the religion of Buddha to shine forth in great splendour, on that account, O ruler of men, subdue thy mental affliction!" (Mahavansa, chap, 25). Thus was the king consoled.

It was always a custom with the Sinhalese kings when engaged in wars to take with them the "sons of Buddha" evidently to show that the wars were conducted in a spirit of religion. To these rulers nothing appeared more supreme than this religion, which was called the "religion of the conqueror", and was thus completely identified with the racial individuality of the people....

1. We Sinhalese should remember that our ancestors came from Lada, a territory between Bengal and Kalinga about 2,400 years ago, and that they settled down in that part of the land now known as Anuradhapura......

2. When the ancestors of the present holders of our beloved island were running naked in the forest of Britain with their bodies painted, and later on when their ancestors had gone under the imperial rue of Rome, and some of them were being sold as slaves in the market place of Rome, our ancestors were already enjoying the fruits of the glorious and peaceful civilisation whose seeds were sown by the scions of the Sakya house 540 B.C........

3. Tamils, Cochins, Hambankarayas are employed in large numbers to the prejudice of the people of the island - sons of the soil, who contribute the largest share........

4. About two years ago the Buddhists of Gampola carried a procession from the temple to a certain place, and on the way the Muhammedans objected to the procession passing by their temple or mosque with music; without music the Buddhist procession was incomplete. The police prohibited the procession to pass the place. The Buddhists had to turn back. The Muhammedans were not allowed to become permanent residents in Ceylon in the Dutch period. They were allowed to permanently reside after the island went under British rule.....................

5. Buddhism was the religion of the state in Ceylon like the Church of England in the British Isles......

6. The Muhammedans, an alien people, who in the early part of the nineteenth century were common traders, by Shylockian methods became prosperous like the Jews. The Sinhalese, sons of the soil, whose ancestors from 2358 years had shed rivers of blood to keep the country free from alien invaders, who had constructed gigantic tanks to irrigate millions of acres, who had built the most artistic temples which have today become the admiration of the antiquarian and scholar, today they are in the eyes of the British only vagabonds..........

7. The alien South Indian Muhammedan comes to Ceylon, sees the neglected illiterate villagers without any experience in trade, without any knowledge of any kind of technical industry and isolated from the whole of Asia on account of his language, religion and race, and the result is the Muhammedan thrives and the son of the soil goes to the wall.......

8. But behind all this present neglect and land alienation law the Sinhalese villager can never forget his religion. It is in his blood. He has ancient traditions going back to several thousands of years, and he has his history in the Maha Vansa, Dipa Vansa, Bodhi Vansa, Thupa Vansa, Datha Vansa, Sattharmalankara, & c., and he deplores his wretched lot........

9. What the German is to the Britisher that the Muharnmedan is to the Sinhalese. He is an alien to the Sinhalese by religion, race and language. He traces his origin to Arabia, whilst the Sinhalese traces his origin to India and to Aryan sources........

10.To the Sinhalese, without Buddhism death is preferable. The British officials may shoot, hang, quarter, imprison or to do anything to the Sinhalese, but there will always be bad blood between the Moors and the Sinhalese. The peaceful Sinhalese have at last shown that they can no longer bear the insults of the alien. The whole nation in one day have risen against the Moor people.......

11. The British officials are not experienced and are rather haughty. It is good to make them, when they arrive, to study the Maha Vansa, the history of the island. Two and a half millions of people of the Aryan origin with a most noble religion, with noble traditions should not be treated as upstarts.

12 Brahmanism is only for the three twice-born castes. The Brahmins were proud of their mantras. The Brahmin rishis were great in their selfishness. They had spiritual power even to frighten the gods; they cursed the later when they were angry. It said that the rishis Durbhasa and Bhrigu cursed both Vishnu and Shiva. The rishi Gautama cursed Indra. The Brahmin rishis organised the caste system vesting all power in the Brahmins. They organised animal sacrifices. They drank wine, ate beef and took women from the other three castes. It was their privilege. They made laws prohibiting the three castes from taking Brahmin women. They laid down the rule that the issue of a Brahmin women by a non-Brahmin husband is to be recognised as a Chandala......

13. The Bhikkhu Sangha became a universal brotherhood, and the refuge of the high and the low. All Asia heard the law of compassion, the religion of wisdom was preached to all, and the Dhamma of Karuna and Pragna was accepted by men and Gods. Jehovah, Allah, Vishnu, Shiva, Kali, Durga, Jesus were names not yet heard in the civilised world. The European races with the exception of Romans and Greeks were then in a state of Barbaric paganism. The ancestors of the British were then living naked in the forest. The Nordic races were still savages........

14. The destructive hordes of Islam had then not been born. Buddhism was then flourishing in Gandahar, Afghanistan, Kabul Valley and Turkistan. Two centuries later a new factor came into existence in India which helped to destroy the individuality of the Buddha Dharma. Kumarila began to preach his new doctrine which weakened the power of the Bhikkus. His successor was the Malabar Brahmin Sankara. Driven out from his native land, young Sankara came to Jubbulpore and was admitted to a monastery where he learnt Buddhism. Having studied the Upanishads, he gave a new interpretation to the latter. He poured new wine into old bottles....................

15. Islam, Brahmanical ritualism and Christianity are the three forces that are at work today in India. Brahmans through sheer selfishness rejected the noble Aryan Dharma from its native soil and India fell. Brahmanism is only for the high caste. Islam and Christianity are both destructive.......

16. Brahmanism, Christianity and Islam lack the spirit of compassion. The basis of Buddha's Dharma are Ahimsa, Karuna and Pragna. These are the ethics needed......

17. We call on every Sinhalese Buddhist who loves his religion to contribute whatever he or she can to this fund. The Britishers are giving us opium, ganja, whisky and other alcoholic poisons and are introducing every kind of abominable vice that is helping to undermine the vitality of our people. We, on our part, should with a loving heart, give the Britishers the ennobling and purifying faith of our Tathagato.

18 The Sinhalese people are between the deep sea and the devil. They have either to accept Christianity or become Moslems.

19. Buddhism was not the only religion that suffered persecution at the hands of the Muhammedans. The whole of Zoroastrian literature was swept off and the whole religion effaced out of existence in Persia. The destruction of the magnificent collection of books in the Alexandrian library; the extirpation of Christians in Alexandria, Asia minor and Turkey all-these fiendish acts were committed by the fanatics of Islam, who loved to dwell in darkness and ignorance, and who have made

"The sun like blood, the earth a tomb,
The tomb a hell, and hell itself a murkier gloom"

0upS.gif (883 bytes) D.S. Senanayake, Sinhala Leader of the Ceylon State Council (and later the island's first Prime Minister in 1948) on 31 July 1937:

"We must realise that the Sinhalese are the rightful sons of this fair country, and that we must organise ourselves into a determined body and even risk our lives in doing it service. The minorities choose to believe that we are not trustworthy. That is because we, Sinhalese, have been so tolerant and so just. We, Sinhalese, must become conscious of our birthright."

0upS.gif (883 bytes) Ven. Walpola Rahula Thero, later Vice Chancellor of the Sri Lanka Vidyalankara University (Monks and Politics -1946):

We believe that politics today embraces all fields of human activity directed towards the public weal. No one will dispute that the work for the promotion of the religion is the duty of the bhikkhu. It is clear that the welfare of the religion depends on the welfare of the people who profess that religion.

History bears evidence to the fact that whenever the Sinhala nation - which was essentially a Buddhist nation - was prosperous, Buddhism also flourished.

We, therefore, declare that it is nothing but fitting for bhikkus to identify themselves with activities conducive to the welfare of our people - whether these activities be labelled politics or not - as long as they do not constitute an impediment to the religious life of a bhikku.

monk2a.JPG (43683 bytes)
Buddhist Monks blessing Sinhala soldiers at the war front in the Jaffna Peninsula in the Tamil homeland

We cannot forget that from the earliest days the Sinhala monks, while leading the lives of bhikkhus, were in the forefront of movements for the progress of their nation, their county, and their religion.

Even today bhikkhus by being engaged actively in education, rural reconstruction' anti-crime campaigns, relief work, temperance work, social work and such other activities, are taking part in politics, whether they are aware of it or not. We do not believe that it is wrong for bhikkhus to participate in these activities.

In ancient days, according to the records of history, the welfare of the nation and the welfare of the religion were regarded as synonymous  by the laity as well as by the Sangha. The divorce of religion from the nation was an idea introduced onto the minds of the Sinhalese by invaders from the West, who belonged to an alien faith. It was a convenient instrument of astute policy to enable them to keep the people in subjugation in order to rule the country as they pleased.

It was in their own interests, and not for the welfare of the people, that these foreign invaders attempted to create a gulf between the bhikkhus and the laity - a policy which they implemented with diplomatic cunning. We should not follow their example, and should not attempt to withdraw bhikkus from society. Such conduct would assuredly be deplorable act of injustice, committed against our nation, our country, and our religion........

0upS.gif (883 bytes) D.C. Wijewardena  (Revolt in the Temple: Composed to Commemmorate 2500 Years of the Land, the Race and the Faith, 1953)

"The history of Sri Lanka is the history of the Sinhalese race... The Sinhalese people were entrusted 2500 years ago, with a great and noble charge, the preservation... of Buddhism.. in 1956 will occur the unique three fold event - the completion of 2500 years of Ceylon’s history, of the tie of Sinhalese and Buddhism... The birth of the Sinhalese race would thus seem to have been not a mere chance, not an accidental occurrence, but a predestined event of high import and purpose. The nation seemed designed, as it were, from its rise, primarily to carry aloft for fifty centuries the torch that was lit by the great World-Mentor (the Buddha) twenty five centuries ago...... The Sinhalese Empire, stretching from the Maldive Islands to the Shan States in the12th century, was the outcome of Sinhalese reaction to unprovoked foreign aggression and wanton insult to the Sinhalese name. ... In less than four generations, barren wastes were turned into fruitfulness by thousands of immigrants from Northern India... Most of these people were Sinhalese in heart and mind before they left their motherland... And Aryan culture was bodily transported to create and enrich the virgin soil of Lanka. These Aryans dotted the country with settlements of farmers.."

0upS.gif (883 bytes) Rodaya (Wheel) in the run up to the 1956 General Elections -  25 February 1956

"The bhikkhus should be present in every polling booth. They should explain to the people how to use the vote correctly .... A Government that will work for the country, religion and its culture should be elected. The end of the Sasana will not be very long if we remain in silence .... We appeal to Bhikkhus to visit every Buddhist home and to direct them on the right path. You may have to confront many difficulties. But be ready to sacrifice your life to restore a Buddhist Ceylon."

J.R.Jayawardene, Sinhala Buddhist Opposition Leader, later President of Sri Lanka
- reported in Sri Lanka Tribune, 30th August 1957
"...The time has come for the whole Sinhala race which has existed for 2500 years, jealously safeguarding their language and religion, to fight without giving any quarter to save their birthright... I will lead the campaign..."
W.J.M. Lokubandara, Sinhala Buddhist M.P. - in Sri Lanka's Parliament, July 1981

"If there is discrimination in this land which is not their (Tamil) homeland, then why try to stay here.Why not go back home (India) where there would be no discrimination. There are your kovils and Gods.There you have your culture, education, universities etc. There you are masters of your own fate....   It would be advisable for the Tamils not to disturb the sleeping Sinhala brother. Everybody knows that lions when disturbed are not peaceful."

Wimala Kannangara M.P., Sinhala Buddhist Minister for Rural Development
- in Sri Lanka's Parliament, July 1981

"If we are governing, we must govern. If we are ruling, we must rule. Do not give into the minorities. We are born as Sinhalese and as Buddhists in this country. Though we are in a majority, we have been surrendering to the minority community for four years. Let us rule as a majority community".

D.M. Chandrapala, Sinhala Buddhist M.P. for Kundasale - in Sri Lanka's Parliament, July 1981

"Now, Sir... what should we do to this so called leader of the Tamils? If I were given the power, I would tie him to the nearest concrete post in this building and horsewhip him till I raise him to his wits. Thereafter let anybody do anything he likes - throw him into the Beire (lake) or into the sea, because he will be so mutilated that I do not think there will be life in him. That is war."

G.V.Punchinilame, Sinhala Buddhist M.P. for Ratnapura - in Sri Lanka's Parliament, July 1981

"Since yesterday morning, we have heard in this honourable House about the various types of punishment that should be meted out to them (Tamil Parliamentary leaders).

The MP for Panadura (Dr Neville Fernando) said there was a punishment during the time of the Sinhalese kings, namely, two arecanut posts are erected, the two posts are then drawn toward each other with a rope, then tie each of the feet of the offender to each post and then cut the rope which result in the tearing apart the body. These people also should be punished in the same way..

...some members suggested that they should be put to death on the stake; some other members said that their passports should be confiscated; still other members said that they should be stood at the Galle Face Green and shot. The people of this country want and the government is prepared to inflict these punishments on these people."

0upS.gif (883 bytes) Cyril Mathew, a Senior Sinhala Buddhist Minister in President J.R.Jayawardene's Cabinet, who was also present in Jaffna on the day that the Jaffna Public Library was burnt - in a leaflet published in 1982, an year before Genocide'83:

"The link between the Sinhala race and Buddhism is so close and inseparable that it had led to the maxim, "There is no Buddhism without the Sinhalese and no Sinhalese without Buddhism." This is an undeniable fact.

The literature of the Sinhalese is Buddhist literature. The history of the Sinhalese is the history of Buddhism. The language of the Sinhalese is enriched by the doctrine of the Buddha. The era of the Sinhalese is the Buddha Era. The culture of the Sinhalese is Buddhist culture. The flag of the Sinhalese is the Sinhala Buddhist flag."........

`'With the establishment of Buddhism, the Sinhala culture and civilisation took on a new orientation. The life of the Sinhalese began to he guided by Buddhism. Their very creation, every work,was full of the influences of Buddhism. Villages and temples, homes and palaces, all were refined by the spirit of the Buddhist teachings. From the north to the south and from the west to the east, the entire length and breadth of the Tri- Sinhala kingdom had only one culture; that was the Sinhala Buddhist culture Yet from a few years ago, there has been an organised movement of anti-Sinhala, anti Buddhist barbarians to destroy our invaluable archaeological ruins and Buddhist shines."........

"We all know that in every civilised society the civilisation has grown by basing itself on the cultural values and the religious ideology of the majority population of those countries. Sri Lanka is known as Sinhala. It is a Buddhist country. Nobody can deny this fact. No rulers can forget this fact. If they do I do not think such a ruler will last for more than twenty four hours."

"Even though Prime Minister Bandaranayake, and former Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake were so intimidated by the Tamil parties that they were prepared to grant them a Tamil state, under the pretext of setting up district councils or regional councils, the Sinhalese forces that rose up in protest were so strong that one was forced to tear up the agreement, while the other had to rescind the legislation."..........

J.R.Jayawardene, Sinhala Buddhist President of Sri Lanka  - Daily Telegraph, 11th July 1983

"I am not worried about the opinion of the Tamil people... now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or their opinion... the more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be here... Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy."

Gamini Dissanayake, Senior Sinhala Buddhist Minister in President J.R.Jayawardene's Cabinet (later Presidential Candidate in 1995), addressing members of a Tamil Estate Workers Trade Union in the aftermath of Genocide'83 - October 1983

"Who attacked you? Sinhalese. Who protected you? Sinhalese. It is we who can attack and protect you. They are bringing an army from India. It will take fourteen hours to come from India. In fourteen minutes the blood of every Tamil in the country can be sacrificed to the land, by us. It is not written on anyone's forehead that he is an Indian Tamil or a Jaffna Tamil, a Batticaloa Tamil or up country Tamil' Hindu Tamil or Christian Tamil. All are Tamils. We have decided to colonise four districts including Mannar with Sinhalese people by destroying forests. A majority of Sinhalese will be settled there. If you like you also can migrate there."

Ven DimbulgalaThero, August 1984

'You are assembled here today, not only to get a piece of land for you to live on, but for more lofty purpose. This country is going through her worst period in history. We are being threatened from all sides by the separatists. What the separatists want is land. A contiguous block of land which they propose to call Eelam. You are going to break that contiguity.......Remember your eternal hero, King Dutagemunu. We are going on a holy mission. Now let us go on our journey.'

Ven. Madihe Pannaseeha Mahanayaka Thera -  Sri Lanka Sunday Times on 29 December 1991

It is true that with the coming into power of the "people’s" government of the SLFP in 1956, many of the privileges enjoyed by our Tamil brethren eroded. This has been interpreted as "discrimination" against them. Anybody, who had spoken and who now speaks for the rights of the majority community and against allowing any more privileges to the minority not available to the majority, are dumped as communalists and Sinhala chauvinists. No one should be carried away and frightened by these slogans....

Ven. Galaboda Gnanassara Thera, the Chief Incumbent of Gangaramaya
- in the Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Times, 29 December 1991

" The majority in this country are Sinhalese. Without the consent of the majority no one can come into power"

Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka President D.B.Wijetunga (in Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Island, 3 February 1994)

"Our children should be able to claim that this country is the Sinhalese land (Sinhala Deshaya). There are no races according to Buddhism, but every country has a majority race. However much I try I can't become the Prime Minister of England. Neither can I be the leader of Japan, India or even Tamil Nadu. They have their majority races. In our country the majority (Sinhala) race is divided because of elections. The major (Sinhala) political parties trust minority races and pledge to offer them everything, whether it is good or bad... Thousands (of Tamils on the plantations) were given citizenship due to this bondage."

0upS.gif (883 bytes) Ven. Walpola Rahula Thero, Vice Chancellor, Sri Lanka Vidyalankara University ("The Unsung Forces of the '56 Victory" in Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Times,25 September 1994)

The main task of the new Balavegaya or the movement was to start Buddha Sasana Samithis throughout the Island, beginning from Ratnapura. The declared motive of the Buddha Sasana Samithis I launched in 1952, was to bring about a Buddhist renaissance all over the county by the Buddha Jayanthi year in 1956.

Though the declared motive was that, there was an undeclared or ulterior motive behind, which was known only to Gnanaseeha Thera and Dias. That hidden motive was to establish a true Sinhala Buddhist government in Sri Lanka in the Buddha Jayanthi year, or the 2500th year after the passing away of the Buddha, which was 1956 according to the Christian era. All the Buddhists, both lay and clergy, gave their fullest support to the Buddha Sasana Samurai movement. (photo below: Leading Buddhist monk, Ven. Maduluwave Sobitha, President of the Sinhala Bala Mandalaya in action)

Ven. Sobita Thera in Action

While the movement was growing by leaps and bounds, one fine day, Gnanaseeha Thera received a message from his long-time friend S.W. R. D. Bandaranaike, requesting the monk to meet him as early as possible.

When Gnanaseeha Thera met Bandaranaike, who was the Leader of the Opposition, at his Rosmead Place residence, the latter said that when he went round the country a few weeks before, he was surprised to learn that a movement called Buddha Sasana Samithi started by Gnanaseeha Thera and N.Q. Dias gathering momentum.

After a long chat Bandaranaike said: "Hamuduruwane, I don't have anyone to help me now. Nobody comes to see me because they all fear Kotelawala. Only Duncan Alwis comes once a day and attends to my correspondence. I am an isolated man. But, my only request to you is to not to forget me'?.

Gnanaseeha Thera who felt so sorry for Bandaranaike, got up and went near him. "Don't have any fear. Be prepared to be the next Prime Minister of this country", he told Bandaranaike and left the place.......

After the victory, when Bandaranaike and the Ministers visited Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, Gnanaseeha Thera warned them in the following manner: "You know why we went all out to defeat the previous government. Mr. Prime Minister, don't forget the fact that we will punish you too in the same way if you also follow the same path".

0upS.gif (883 bytes) David Little in Belief, Ethnicity & Nationalism, 1995

"...The specific role of religion and related cultural factor in the Sri Lankan conflict is clearly significant. While nationalism is a relatively modern invention in Sri Lanka, it nevertheless draws on and puts to use traditional religious warrants. Sinhala Buddhist "revivalists" of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries have artfully manipulated ancient legends concerning Buddha's alleged associations with Sri Lanka, as well as the patterns of cooperation and mutual support between king and monastery that are part of the island's history. These appeals have done much to mobilize support for Sinhala nationalism among the monks and laity, and to provide the movement with sacred authority... What is most menacing about the type of religious and ethnic nationalism that has appeared in Sri Lanka is precisely its more or less systematic incompatibility with the right of non discrimination."

0upS.gif (883 bytes) Ven. Walpola Rahula Thero Vice Chancellor, Sri Lanka Vidyalankara University - Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Times , 5 May 1996

"Get this straight and quote me. Sri Lanka is a Buddhist Sinhala country. Let no one make a mistake. Seventy percent of the country consists of Buddhists and Sinhala people. Also make this clear that Sri Lanka is the only Buddhist Sinhala country in the world. If we don't live here, are the LTTE and some of the Tamil Parties asking us to jump into the sea? I got angry with Mr. Premadasa because he chose to call Sri Lanka a multi-national and multi-religious state. No. It is a Buddhist State but we show no discrimination to other races or religion....... More than 2,000 members of the Sangha including the prelates of Asgiriya and Malwatte, had a meeting at which I too spoke. We cannot support the devolution package It seeks to merge the North and East otherwise the Tamils will not accept it.

0upS.gif (883 bytes) Official website opened by the Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka government, to herald the 50th anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence,  December 1997

"The history of Sri Lanka goes back to pre-historic times with a recorded history of over 2,000 years... documented history began with the arrival of the settlers from North India (Prince Vijaya). They introduced the use of agriculture through a rudimentary system of irrigation. They also introduced the art of government. Of the ancient settlements, Anuradhapura grew into a powerful kingdom under the rule of Pandukabhaya. According to traditional history he is accepted as the founder of Anuradhapura.

During the region of King Devanampiya Tissa, a descendant of Pandukabhaya, Buddhism was introduced in 427 B.C. by Arahat Mahinda, the son of Emperor Asoka of India. This is an important event in Sri Lankan history as it made the country predominantly Buddhist influencing its way of life and culture.

In the mid 2nd century B.C. a large part of North Sri Lanka came under the rule of an invader from South India. From the beginning of the Christian era and up to the end of the 4th century A.D. Sri Lanka was governed by an unbroken dynasty called Lambakarna, which paid great attention to the development of irrigation. A great king of this dynasty King Mahasen (3rd century A.D.) who started the construction of large 'tanks' (reservoirs) which in turn fed smaller reservoirs. Another great 'tank' builder was Dhatusena, who was put to death by his son Kasyapa, who made Sigiriya a royal city with his fortress capital on the summit of the rock.

As a result of invasions from South India the Kingdom of Anuradhapura fell by the end of the 10th century A.D. Vijayabahu I repulsed the invaders and established his capital at Polonnaruwa in the 11th century A.D. Other great kings of Polonnaruwa were Parakrama Bahu the Great and Nissanka Malla, both of whom adorned the city with numerous buildings of architectural beauty...."

Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga - television interview in South Africa, September 1998

"They [Tamils] are wanting a separate state – a minority community which is not the original people of the country..."

0upS.gif (883 bytes) Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga - A 'stirring' call to the Sinhala Buddhist Army occupying the Tamil homeland  - from Sri Lanka State Controlled Sri Lanka Daily News, 12 May 2000

Monk"...Throughout history, timely heroes were born against forces which had tried to divide our nation. I think it is due to the inspiration received form such heroes that people like you have been born today... Although there had been setbacks in the past let us resolve to correct our wrongs and re-organise ourselves to defeat the enemy. Sun Tzu, the world famous philosopher on military strategy has said setbacks are stepping stones for future victory. History records that even Kings Dutugemunu, Gajabahu, Vijayabahu and Parakramabahu have suffered defeat at the hands of the enemy at some stage. But each time they faced such setbacks, they had faced the enemy with renewed strength and achieved victory. Dear war heroes, we too have to follow in the footsteps of our past heroes... As Head of State. I assure you that the Government will lend you all support and assistance to accomplish that task. Your blood is boiling to liberate your motherland and I am confident that no one can undermine your enthusiasm and commitment... Heroic soldiers ultimate victory will be yours."

0upS.gif (883 bytes) US Aid - Sri Lanka Democracy and Governance Assessments, May 2001

"...Based on its interviews and review of literature, the assessment team believes that the central Democracy and Governance problem facing Sri Lanka is: The gradual unravelling of the Sri Lankan nation-state due to the combined effects of protracted ethnic-based conflict and deteriorating democratic rights and institutions...The team has identified five key and interrelated causes of the DG problem Sri Lanka faces.. They are:  1) The notion of the Sri Lankan nation subscribed to by many Sinhalese – including most of Sri Lanka’s politically influential Buddhist monks – is based on a firmly-rooted belief in the primacy of the Sinhalese/Buddhist majority and its culture. 2) Elite political competition, principally between two major political parties, fuels ethnically-based majoritarianism and is increasingly undemocratic..."

0upS.gif (883 bytes) A Buddhist analysis of The Ethnic Conflict - Venerable Athureliye Rathana, 2003

 "..In any country, there is a dominant national strain. The main community living in this island are the Sinhalese. Their civilisation and unbroken history has been clearly and unambiguously chronicled...It was only the Sinhalese who fought the British in the name of their civilisational heritage.... The incidents of 1958, 1983 etc. were tragic. They were the result of outpouring rage. For the most part they were not organised attacks... The real victims of ethnic conflict are in fact the Sinhalese..."



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