Sri Lanka: Why do they resign?

Timely needed guidance of most venerable Mahanayake Theras of three Nikayas in Sri Lanka

by SLM Rifai

It is reported that most venerable Mahanayake Theras of three Nikayas had a special meeting today in Kandy (05/06/2019) to discuss prevailing chaotic situation in Sri Lanka. I personally welcome this timely needed meeting by most venerable prelates of Sri Lankan Nikayas. On behalf of 2 million Sri Lankan Muslims in Sri Lanka and abroad I sincerely extend my gratitude and thanks to all most venerable prelates who started this timely needed peace initiative. While Sri Lankan politicians are disputing and arguing for trivial political issues, the most venerable prelates have sincerity to save this nation from an unwanted communal tension and unrest.

It is not in the interest of any community in Sri Lanka to create a communal tension. This kind of communal violence and unrest will not benefit neither Sinhalese nor Muslim community at all. It will bring destruction to our nation and specially, Sri Lankan economy will suffer a great deal due to this continuous unrest as pointed out by our most venerable prelates of three Nikayas. Yet, some politicians do not care about all this suffering and destruction. All what they want is to come back into power by provoking communal violence and unrest in the country. The most venerable prelates have come forward to solve this serious problem at this crucial juncture in modern Sri Lankan history, Moreover, they have advised Muslim ministers not to resign from their ministerial posts. It is reported that this meeting took place under the patronage of Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera at the Asgiri Maha Viharaya. The most venerable prelates have highlighted that Sri Lanka is suffering from serious political, financial, social, religious and cultural crisis at this juncture. Moreover, most venerable prelates have demanded all communities (Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslims, Christians) to act responsibly to maintain peace and harmony at this crucial time. The critical situation of the country was highlighted in this meeting. The most venerable prelates have decided to advise Sri Lankan government to take some strong steps to maintain peace and harmony. Yet, will Buddhist extremists listen to these advices and guidance. Many people have been asking this question. Why Buddhist fundamentalists do not listen to their religious leadership as Muslim community has been? There would not be any difference between Zahran’s group and these radicals among Buddhists if all promote violence.

Seeking guidance, advice and wisdom of Maha Sangha is not new precedent in Sri Lankan history. Historically speaking, prelates have been advising and guiding kings and rulers from ancient time in Sri Lankan history. So, there is no reason why Sri Lankan politicians cannot listen and appreciate the advice and wisdom of these venerable prelates. I think Muslim politicians too must listen to advice and guidance of the venerable prelates on this crisis. In the greater interest of Sri Lanka, all political parties of different communities should take some responsibilities and duty consciousness to bring peace and harmony in Sri Lanka. As venerable prelate pointed out the far-reaching consequences of this unrest (if it continues) will be enormous and serious. Some of them are listed here.

Sri Lanka sends more than 2 million Sri Lankans to Middle East countries. Poor Sri Lankans who work in those Middle countries could suffer due to unrest in Sri Lanka. For a long time, BBS members have been insulting religion of Islam and Muslim community. They use filthy words to describe Islamic cultures and faith. In fact, they have used some vulgar words to describe Almighty Allah and the Holy Qur’an: No Arab with any self-respect would tolerate such uncultured words to describe Allah or His prophet. Despite all this, Sri Lankan Muslim community has been maintaining patience without making any legal pursuit or diplomatic complaint about this. Muslim community has been saying that this problem is an internal problem and Muslim community should resolve this issue through dialogues and discussions with Sinhalese community. We do not like to take up our problem with any international groups or any foreign countries. These are our internal problems. Sinhalese and Muslim communities should sit down and resolve any problem we have in Sri Lanka.

Neither Ranil nor Maithri took any actions against these troublemakers. Many Sinhalese politicians except a few, have been supporting these troublemakers. Even law enforcement agents and Sri Lankan judiciary have been complicit. If all this backfire it is not good at all for Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan community who live in Middle East will suffer a lot due to these unwise behaviours of some extremist Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. Under this prevailing situation, we highly appreciate and respect t all these Buddhist prelates who took some strong decision to intervene on this issue.

Secondly, if this unrest continues, our tourism industry will suffer hugely. It has been picking up for some time and yet, the political coup that took place last year has slowed down it. These troublemakers should know that Sri Lankan tourism will suffer for many years if they continue to create problems in Sri Lanka. This is not merely a problem of Muslim community rather it has become a national problem now. It is going to affect each and very Sri Lankan: Thousands of Sinhalese people will suffer if this unrest continues.

Thirdly, Sri Lankan badly needs the support and cooperation of all communities to build this nation. No longer we could live and work in isolation in watertight compartments in Sri Lanka. Each community interacts and integrates very much closely today unlike in the past. Communities are socially, financially, culturally, commercially and politically inter-connected today in this modern world. This is new social phenomenon that humanity can not avoid it at all. Sri Lanka badly needs skills and experience of Sri Lankan Muslim community to boost its economy through trades and business enterprises. Yet, these Buddhist radicals want to bring chaos into Sri Lanka. what is wrong with these people and why do they harm national interest of Sri Lanka in this way.


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