SINHALA BUDDHIST ETHNO nationalism
Masquerading as Sri Lankan multi ethnic 'Civic
"...If (Sri Lanka
President) Jayewardene was a true Buddhist, I would
not be carrying a gun..."
Velupillai Pirabakaran, Leader of Tamil Eelam,
Interview with Anita Pratap, Sunday
Magazine, India 11-17 March 1984
The Mask Slips...
Sri Lanka Parliament's Buddhist War Monk
Rathana,M.P., Leader of Jathika
Hela Urumaya "we can sort this out on our own...
Am I an extremist? Sometimes I am. Sometimes I
Sinhala Buddhist Monk at
the war front in 1998
Pictures that speak a Thousand Words...
Wednesday, 26 March 2008] Athurliye Rathana, a
celebrated monk and a Sri Lanka parliamentarian, “sounded
more like an army general than a legislator or monk” when he
said, "[w]e can sort this out on our own.
We tried to discuss things, but the
LTTE always wanted to fight. We must do our duty on the
battle field," Washington Post said in an article that
appeared in the Wednesday edition.
Jathika Hela Urumaya parliament group leader Rev. Athuraliye
Rathana speaking to journalists at the Sri Lank Development
Forum. “Rathana is a celebrated figure in this predominantly
Buddhist nation, where monks are cherished for their
spiritual guidance. But he is known for more than just his
religious leadership. Dubbed the Parliament Monk and the War
Monk by the Sri Lankan press, he is a legislator who has
pushed for the use of military force to end this island
nation's 25-year civil war, which has left 70,000 dead and
displaced nearly a half-million people at its height,” the
"Am I an extremist? Sometimes I am. Sometimes I am not,"
Rathana said over green tea, when asked about reports from
foreign human rights groups that accuse his party of
hindering peace talks. "The point is that we need to end
this war. And
we are forced into a military solution," the paper said
quoting the Buddhist monk.
Noting that Rathana fits into the tradition of monks who
have embraced political causes, the paper said , “Rathana's
party, the Jathika Hela Urumaya, is led by monks and is the
staunchest supporter of the government's military
offensive.” The paper quoted Rathana as saying, "[a]s a
Buddhist monk, I think
every bad thing should be finished. Here in Sri Lanka,
we have terrorists who brutally murdered people.
As monks, we must defend ourselves and fight back. That
As many as 30,000 mostly Sinhalese young men have signed up
for the army in the past few months, spurred in part by
activism by Rathana and others.
Buddhist Monks signing up to join Sri Lanka Army, 2000
The Tigers still control the northern tip of the country
and have vowed to continue
their struggle for a separate Tamil homeland, the paper