A call to Buddhist and Christian leaders
It is nothing less than tragic, as I see it, to observe the sort
of unholy war developing over the allegations of unethical conversions
of poor Buddhists by some evangelical Christian groups.
if the cases and the extent of such conversions have not been disclosed,
the issue has, by its own momentum, been shifting from the unethical
aspect of conversions to conversions itself, a different and much
a Christian, I would confess to a feeling of shame if in fact such
unethical acts as alleged have been committed and even if to no
significant degree. At the same time, knowing as I think I do of
what is in the Buddha Dharma, I would, if I were a Buddhist, be
no less ashamed of what has been the Buddhist reaction in speech
and action, if media reports of them are substantially correct.
Rather than let these reactions develop as they well might, and
be left to the government to control, it seems to me that Buddhist
and Christian leaders should together deal with them. To me this
seems a good opportunity for Buddhist and Christian leaders to pool
their religious resources in working out how the present tensions
had best be resolved.
this could well also be the beginning of a joint effort in building
up and helping Buddhists and Christians to the kind of relationship
based on the values in Buddhism of maithri (compassion), karuna
(loving kindness), and upekkha (equanimity), as taught by the Lord
Buddha; and in Christianity of the selfless and self-sacrificing
love as taught by the Lord Jesus Christ.
would recall these words of the founder of Buddhism: "Hatred
never ceases through hatred in the world. This is an eternal law."
Christians may be reminded of these words of Christ in His Sermon
on the Mount: ".....but I say unto you, Love your enemies,
bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray
for them which despitefully use you and persecute you....."
Via e- mail
to the polls
The final results of the General Elections of December 2001, at
a glance, reveal much that is relevant to the present scenario,
as it would virtually be the take-off point for the next general
election. UNP 4,086,026 votes and 109 seats.
PA 3,330,815 votes and 77 seats
JVP 815,353 votes and 16 seats
TULF 348,164 votes and 15 seats
SLMC 105, 346 votes and 5 seats
EPDP 72,783 votes and 3 seats
all the gerrymandering with the Constitution under PR, a breakdown
of the voting pattern is most startling! While the UNP with 4,086,026
votes gained 109 seats, the PA with 3,330,815 votes gained 32 seats
less. What is crucial is that the UNP gained a mere 608,252 votes
more than in October 2000, against the loss of a mere 570,086 votes
by the PA to produce this result. The JVP too increased its score
to 815,353 with a gain of 296, 579 votes (16 seats).
to say, a crucial factor on which the country would vote, will be
the peace talks with the LTTE. With the multitude of other issues
that have surfaced, the party at the wicket seems to be groping
for survival -why not appeal against bad light ?
have not witnessed in Sri Lanka an avalanche since PR was introduced,
but the present polarization of forces is so formidable that a clean
sweep at the polls with even a 2/3rds majority cannot be ruled out.
To get that, all the alliance has to win is 130-135 seats with two
thirds of the National List seats making up the balance.
are many more singles, doubles and trebles yet to come into the
alliance. Those who gave birth to PR should already be turning in
fasts: Illegal? Unbuddhistic?
Death fasts are the 'in thing' these days, even among the
I wish to pose two sets of questions with regard to this practice
of 'self-murder', to two different groups of experts.
first set is addressed to those well versed in the law.
1. Is 'attempted suicide' a punishable offence?
2. Is not 'fasting unto death' attempted suicide?
3. Is it not obligatory on the part of law enforcers to prevent
a punishable offence?
If the answer to the above three questions is yes, why is it that
'fasters unto death', are not arrested within 24 to 48 hours of
embarking on a fast, which, they have admitted, is with the objective
of killing themselves?
Have they not admitted 'guilty' to the crime of 'attempted suicide'?
second set of questions is posed to those who really know and understand
'The Word of the Buddha'/Buddha Dhamma, as it appears in the recognized
Pali canon. It is not addressed to those self-appointed 'Crusaders',
'The Defenders of the Faith', who in the process of advocating their
brand of Buddhism, spew hate by word, electronic mail and even by
arson (there are so-called intellectuals among these 'Crusaders'
who adopt this advocacy in very subtle ways), thereby striking at
the very core of the Buddha's teaching of metta, towards friend
and perceived foe, alike.
Is not one of the five precepts an 'undertaking not to take life'?
2. Does the above not apply to the taking of one's own life, to
3. Is it ethical for a Buddhist to take his own life?
Is it ethical for a Buddhist monk, whose fundamental obligation
to society and to himself is to spread the Word of the Buddha, to
take his own life, even if he believes it is to 'save the religion'?
I shal1 await the answers anxiously.
cry for my Negombo
I don't see the beautiful sunset on the beach anymore
The smell of rotten fish and little huts all over
Where can I sit and see the waves roll over
The esplanade where many games I cheered
Why can't they get it cleared ?
crabs have I none
Can I have them even for fun ?
Why oh! Why cannot we get men of steel
Who can look after all these without a deal?
Negombo where is your mighty son
Who will work and fight not for a sum
Come send him to us soon
Before all these smells go to the moon.
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