BUDDHISM IN AUSTRALIA
often hear about Radicalisation and in Sri Lanka, the ethnic conflict between Muslims
and Buddhists is a current issue which has been blamed on Muslim
Radicalisation. Wikipedia includes the following presentations:
[The Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) defines radicalization as “A process
by which a person to an increasing extent accepts the use of undemocratic or
violent means, including terrorism, in an attempt to reach a specific
For the purposes of
the UNESCO report, radicalization is defined by these three points:
"The individual person’s search for
fundamental meaning, origin and return to a root ideology;
"The individual as part of a group’s
adoption of a violent form of expansion of root ideologies and related
"The polarization of the social space and
the collective construction of a threatened ideal 'us' against 'them,' where
the others are dehumanized by a process of scapegoating."]
What happens when a religious leadership is part of Government
of a Multicultural society?
In Democracy, one form of belief based structure becomes the
opposition of another form of belief based
structure, provided that the commonness between the two is a stronger force
than their differences. Where commonness is weaker the two sides become enemies
and one loses the moral authority to govern the other.
In Sri Lanka, religious differences are part of the Government
structure. As per common interpretation, Buddhism is the governing power. The
question is whether this has been taken beyond Sri Lankan borders to wider
world – including Australia.
The Sunday Times reported as
follows on 03 January 2021:
Ven Uvathenne Sumana Thera who was sentenced to life imprisonment for
possessing a firearm during the 2010 presidential election has received a
pardon is subject to the condition that he withdraws an appeal filed against
Ven. Sumana Thera who was a supporter of the then Presidential candidate former
Army commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka was sentenced for the possession of
a T56 firearm.
was also accused of possessing 50 hand grenades and 210 rounds of live
ammunition, but the charges were dropped later.
thera was the chief monk of the Sri Bodhirajarama temple in Maligawatte,
Nation reported as follows in January 2010:
[Arms cache in temple
By Ishtartha Wellaboda
Commandant of STF, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), K M L
Sarathchandra told The Nation that the arms cache was recovered from the
bedroom of the Chief Monk of the temple, Ven. Uvathenne Sumana Thera.
He also said that it was too early to comment as to
whether the suspects had any links with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE) although the possession of a cyanide capsule indicated such a
Police spokesperson Senior Superintendent of Police
(SSP),I.M. Karunarathna confirmed that two T-56 rifles, 56 grenades, and 762
rounds of ammunition, two smoke grenades, six T- 56 magazines, forty-one 9 mm
rounds, 700 micro pistol bullets and Rs.200,000 in cash were found at the
He said that the raid was conducted on a tip by an
informant and the Police intelligence was keeping a close watch on the temple
premises. At the time of going to press the police were yet searching the
temple. Investigators suspect that there was a possibility of these weapons
being used for violence in the run up to Tuesday’s election.]
On 09 March 2004, Daily News report headed ‘Passing
Away of Ven. Soma Thera : Eminent Buddhist monks call for appointment of
commission’ concluded as follows:
Atthangane Rathanapala Thera, Ven. Dr. Vilegoda Ariyadeva Thera, Ven. Rukmale
Dhammkitthi Nayaka Thera, Ven. Wadduwe Dhammawansa Thera, Ven. Kalawelgala
Chandraloka Thera, Ven. Thunthane Pragnamoorthi Thera, Ven. Thissamaharamaye
Devananda Nayaka Thera, Ven. Uvathenne Sumana Nayaka Thera and Ven. Kongala
Siridhamma Nayaka Thera were among the signatories to the Petition.]
The question is whether Ven. Uvathenne Sumana Nayaka
Thera inherited the genes of Ven. Soma Thera who established Sinhala Vihara in
Melbourne, Australia. Given that English is Australia’s common language, one
needs to ask whether the above move was an indicator of separatism? Separatism
combined with Administrative powers over ‘other groups’ confirms
radicalization. The parallel Hindu formation would be Hindi Temple. When the
known coverage of a religion is limited to a smaller body it could be for the
purpose of Specialization or Radicalism.
purpose of the above petition was reported as follows:
[ to ascertain not only the fact whether a conspiratorial
force was behind his passing away, but also to inquire whether the late Ven.
Gangodawila Soma Thera himself was in the grip of a conspiratorial force]
the above manifestation in Australian ‘Free’
space contribute to death in Russia’s St Petersburg?
Gangodawila Soma Thera of the Vajiraramaya Maharagama died in St.
Petersburg, Russia on 12 December 2003 in his 56th year. He was in
Russia to accept an honorary doctorate conferred by the Russian Government. He was rushed to a hospital
in St Petersburg after a heart attack.
He underwent two emergency operations.
Sri Lankans were
shocked and saddened by his death. The circumstances of his death aroused
suspicion. Some accused Christian Fundamentalists. Special Presidential
Commission appointed to inquire and investigate into this tragedy by President of Sri Lanka. In the aftermath
of his death Christian churches were attacked by Buddhist fundamentalists who
blamed Christians for the death]
above mentioned ‘fundamentalism’ would take the form of any body when it
becomes the ultimate reality of a group. The core reason is within us. We know
that a Hindu pulled the trigger of the gun that killed Gandhi. Likewise, when
Mr SWRD Bandaranaike was killed by a Buddhist monk. But in the above case we
know that Buddhist fundamentalists pointed the finger at Christians
in whom the Sri Lankan government had no belief based intuitive power.
The Greater freedom top practice religion in
Australia, would have come from Christians. If the Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thera meditated into his own mind, he
would identify with the Buddhist Fundamentalist in himself as the karmic
reason. The monks who blamed Christians avoided this truth and thus facilitated
other religious fundamentalism to thrive in Sri Lanka.
the above pictures included in Professor Stephen C. Berkwitz’s paper ‘Resisting
the Global in Buddhist Nationalism: Venerable Soma's Discourse of Decline and
Reform’ the first one carries
the following description:
widespread appeal of Venerable Soma among different classes of Sinhala
Buddhists is often evidenced by the photos of him that are placed in peoples
homes, cars, and businesses. In this small hair salon, the stylist has
hung a picture of Venerable Soma under his Buddha shrine and next to a poster
of a European model, illustrating the somewhat ambivalent juxtaposition of what the late monk represents with the
global diffusion of Western standards of beauty]
per my direct reading of that picture:
hierarchy is as follows:
row – Hindu deities including Ganesh and Saraswathi.
row – Lord Buddha
row - Venerable Gangodawila Soma Thera
our ‘free’ environment we tend to bring
out our truth.
middle picture confirms the following message:
roadside signboard erected outside the entrance to the temple in Maharagama
where Venerable Soma resided honors the late monk with his image and a
Sinhala nation and the Dispensation of the Buddha are in the blood that runs
throughout my body I am ready to offer my life on behalf of the Sinhala
nation and the Dispensation of the Buddha.]
sound very like the LTTE slogan.
third one confirms the effects of it – which is to suppress the elders:
[Several miles outside Colombo near the town
of Piliyandala,one finds a statue of Venerable Soma that has been recently
added to a roadside shrine originally built to honor the Buddha and to
protect a Bodhi tree. Although the proliferation of Buddha statues
Island’s roadways and marketplaces
has been taking place for several decades, it is extremely unusual to see
another figure from recent Sri Lankan history to be honored in the same space as
the Buddha and the Bodhi tree.]
23 July 2005, I published through Lanka Newspapers.com:
[As for the Buddha statue I did find a
similar temple in front of the Hindu temple on the sacred Hill at Kataragama,
an act of violence. If the Buddha statue was placed to obstruct a physical
identity of another religion, it is wrong. Otherwise, the government has the
right to place the statue. Lord Buddha would answer only to those who pray
sincerely, with or without a statue. If through this statue, the government
violates the rights of sincere devotees of other religions those who invest in
this place of worship would have their merits reduced to that extent. God
balances where we fail.]
Virus cluster at Sri Lankan fish market
Health authorities temporarily closed the fish market on
Colombo's outskirts on Wednesday after 49 traders tested positive for the
coronavirus. By Saturday, the number of cases went up to 609.
The land carries the Truth registered in that area. The change would have contributed to loss of protection in that area. The land carries the Truth registered in that area. The change would have contributed to loss of protection in that area.