Tuesday 1 September 2020


Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

01 September  2020



Muslim Fostering Buddhism?


During the discussion on  IBC Tamil TV, on the pros and cons of the recent Sri Lankan Elections, author  Mr Kuna Kaviyalagan referred to Makkal / People.  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ahaN8wYkK8)

As per my understanding he made a distinction between voters and Makkal / People. Accordingly he said that those whose minds are thinking through politics would change the current  structure to bring about a more balanced governing power. That was how I interpreted his explanation of Makkal.

The basis of my interpretation is the power of Belief which like the Coronavirus spreads exponentially and has a mind of its own. It was this power in self-governance / sovereignty  that defeated the exponential spread of that King virus. As per my experience, when we believe, we access Universal Energy. Hence the democratic vote which is clean of relativity is named  Universal Franchise.

We may say that someone is family. One who merely carries the family name but without belief is the parallel of the voter without belief. One who feels for another as if the other is part of her/himself and therefore the pain happened to her/him is true family.  Those who are travelling towards this are relatives. They need laws which carry the Energy of our past and/or current leaders in a sovereign structure.

I am People in both my nations – Sri Lanka as well as Australia. It is important to me that they have strong Common values. Then when I have an experience in one, it is naturally shared with the other through that Universal power. Likewise, when I complete an experience in Sydney where I live it is naturally shared with Melbourne where my children live. In Sri Lanka, when I complete an experience in Jaffna, it is naturally shared with Colombo and v.v.

Completion confirms Absolute power. When we complete our duties as per our position, we naturally get promoted to the higher position/s that were supported by our contributions as juniors. Then we become common and are no longer junior-senior. Such common folks are the People of a nation. They influence outcomes through Absolute power of truth.

It was rather disappointing for this People to read the Island report headed ‘Sabry asks MPs to abhor Machiavelli type behaviour’ according to which :

[Participating in the debate on vote on account, the Minister said that the members had taken oaths to uphold and protect the Constitution and not to directly or indirectly within or outside of the country to support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage and advocate the establishment of a separate state within the territory of Sri Lanka. “If that is the case we should never by our act or conduct espouse that kind of thing,” Minister Sabry said.]

To my mind, members take oaths to uphold the Sovereignty of Sri Lanka. The Constitution that the members of Parliament used towards this is the pathway to that Sovereignty. The former is Absolute Power and the latter is relative power. The former is the destination that articles 10 and 14 promise to lead to. The latter is the destination that Articles 9 and 12 promise to lead us to. Dr Sabry presents his mind as follows:

[The Minister said that they had to abide by the Article Nine of the Constitution which gave first and foremost place to Buddhism. “Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e)”. The Article 10 of Constitution says that every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice. Article 12 of the Constitution says that no citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any one of such grounds. “Now, the time for everyone to read and understand them,”

Minister Ali Sabri said: “We have got to protect the Constitution and if so we have to foster Buddhism. In the meantime we have got to guarantee the right to religion and to treat all equally. If we read them clearly we don’t have to listen to those unnecessary statements made by some here. It is enough.]

Dr Sabry is a Muslim. Parliamentarians’ primary duty is to make laws as per their belief on behalf of the ‘People’. Whoever made ‘Buddhism foremost’ law made it for Buddhists. They did not have the authority of a democratic parliament to make Articles 10 and 14(1)(e) . They had only Administrative rights in relation to these laws. Articles 10 and 14(1)(e) are taken to have been made by non-Buddhists in Parliament – who were by their religious diversity – Equal Opposition to Buddhists in Parliament. Dr Sabry is their heir and not the heir of Buddhist Parliamentarians.

Dr Sabry is reported to have concluded as follows:

[“I remember the inaugural speech of the late Gamini Dissanayake mentioned a quotation from French revolutionary Camille Desmoulins -‘Let us watch in which diversion the mob is running, so that we can lead them.’ But, that is not the leadership. Leaders need to find for themselves what is right for this country and it is that direction they should lead followers, lead them to safety, dignity and integrity of this nation. That is how we can build this country. It is no point in positioning yourself at the front of the mob and getting their votes to be on this side or that side. We have to find what is right for this country. We must give leadership to this country. That is exactly President Gotabaya Rajapaksa wants. He made it very clear in his address before this august assembly that he wants to create a country where all citizens will feel safe, secure and dignified. I invite everyone to join hands, forget the past and move on to build a Sri Lanka which is inclusive. That is called inclusive nationalism. We do not want any sort of division. It is with unity we can build this country and go towards prosperity.”]

To the extent this government expressly asked for two thirds majority, it was also looking for mob rule. One who believes does not need to ask. S/he would have the courage of that belief to act. Belief would lead that person. Such a person would not need written laws but would make her/ his own pathway,  the law for others. When President Gotabaya Rajapaksa writes his laws they would be heavily infected by his military genes which would suppress civilian rule and would look to use such civilian skills as being subordinate to military skills. They certainly would not promote Ahimsa that was the basis of Lord Buddha’s pathway. To foster Buddha Sasana, Military President Gotabaya Rajapaksa would first need to become the heir of  Emperor Ashoka about whom Wikipedia presents the following picture:

[Ashoka waged a destructive war against the state of Kalinga (modern Odisha), which he conquered in about 260 BCE. He converted to Buddhism after witnessing the mass deaths of the Kalinga War, which he had waged out of a desire for conquest and which reportedly directly resulted in more than 100,000 deaths and 150,000 deportations. He is remembered for the Ashoka pillars and edicts, for sending Buddhist monks to Sri Lanka and Central Asia, and for establishing monuments marking several significant sites in the life of Gautama Buddha]

The Lankan parallel was the war in 2009 under the Military leadership of Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Until her renounces the benefits from that war – he is not eligible to lead through Buddha Sasana.

The true Constitution of Sri Lanka is already written through every completed experience. Every Buddhist who discovers her/his soul has written Buddhist articles. Likewise every Christian, Muslim and Hindu to whom Sri Lanka is home. Such Hindu saints known to me are Swami Vipulananda of Eastern Sri Lanka, as well as Yoga Swami, his guru Chellapa Swami and his guru Kadayit Swami all of Jaffna. They are part of the constitution of Sri Lanka to the extent they were citizens of this land we now call Sri Lanka. Every believer in such souls continues to add to that Constitution through her / his own completed independent experiences.

It would be foolish to try to cage all that in written form by those who are yet to make their own contribution through their true experiences. Those who are part of the ‘mob’ would need larger and larger majority to ‘show’ that which is not there. The more we ask for  majority power the less we have the real power.

Dr Sabry was not elected to his position but was ‘given’ the position by Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa. There is a saying in Tamil that the foot without metti/ toe-ring should not tell the foot adorned by metti. The elected member is the latter who has been crowned by the People. Metti is traditionally put on the toe of the bride by the bridegroom to confirm her chastity. Usually the foot is placed on the grinding stone which denotes strength of character. Once Dr Sabry gets the metti from the people – confirming his chastity in politics – he can tell those who come into parliament through subjective powers of leaders. Until then he is only a draftsperson to any new law, including the proposed 20th Amendment  to the constitution.

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