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Conspiracy against Buddhism

Mohan Silva

Dear Editor,

When I saw the news item in the Daily News yesterday regarding the new film 'Hollywood Buddha' I felt I should write this regarding this theory of some Buddhists that there is a conspiracy against Buddism in Sri Lanka as well as the whole world.

All this started few years ago when a certain Buddhist monk who thinks he is right on all issues commenced expressing his views publicly. I understand from many people who have associated with this monk that he attacked anyone forcefully if a view other than his was expressed. And sometimes these attacks even became personal. My feeling is that he used popularistic views (expressed as nationalistic or can I say religionistic) to become popular. First he said that the temple in Deegavapi historically had thousands of acres of land donated by a king and that a certain Muslim politician was distributing this land to Muslims. He had a public debate with this politician on TV and all Sri Lankans watching this debate realised that he could not prove his point and lost the debate that day. He realised that Muslims in Sri Lanka are too powerful to go against. What can he do next to become popular? He turned against Christians and created this story of ‘unethical conversions’.

After his untimely death, another group thought that they could now travel on his casket. They claimed that there was a conspiracy and some Christian group murdered this monk. They demanded a presidential inquiry. The only thing they did not stop and ask themselves is why this monk trusted an individual from a fundamental Christian group (so hated by him) and why his trip to Russia was kept so confidential. However, they managed to fool a group of people in the country at the last election and got a group of yellow robed individuals into the parliament. Actions and reactions of this so-called Monk MPs during the last few months prove whether they are suitable to wear the robe. What are the two main promises given by these Monk MPs prior to the elections? Demand a presidential inquiry to investigate the death of the Monk and an act against the so-called unethical conversion. Well over the last couple of months they are silent on both issues.

Now they have turned against the film directors. First they objected to a Sinhala film merely because the film carried a character of a Samanera in it. They protested and organised rallies against the film. The Honorable Mahanayakes of the country watched the film and declared that there in no harm to Buddhism in the film. Letters to the newspapers still continue claiming that the film is harmful to Buddhism. The masses proved they are wrong. The film is running here for 9 months breaking all the box office records. I understand that the film has had greater acceptance in some overseas cities and that for the first time the film has been screened in Melbourne for six shows with house full. Ironically it was shown in Melbourne in aid of a Buddhist temple.

Cannot beat a local director, well they have now turned against an American Director. Protests in front of American embassy and at the Buddhist Affairs ministry have once again turned into waste of time and energy. The Daily News yesterday carried new item claiming that a group of Buddhist monks living in USA and some leading Buddhist scholars have watched the film and have declared that there is nothing defamatory in the film to the Buddhist religion. In fact it gives a good message.

When will this paranoid minority realise that there is no one interested in destroying Buddhism from this world? It is such a great philosophy, that much bigger force than few fundamental Christians and film directors are required to do that.

I would like to end this letter by drawing your attention to the article in the Asian Tribute by Dayan Jayathilleke on US signals Sri Lanka on religious issues. Well if these idiots can turn the majority living in the super power against the Buddhists, then they might sleep, that sufficient force is created to destroy this great philosophy.


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