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A Sad Example Of Mob Violence Fomented By Buddhist Zealotry

© Suni Perera ~ Frontiers For Religious Tolerance for LankaWeb

Aug.21st 2006

For generations past Sri Lanka has been a nation of tolerance and compassion based on the principles of Ahimsa and the great Buddhist teachings of the Lord Buddha but in early August 2006 this concept has been tarnished as A 200-man mob, accompanied by extremist Buddhist monks, has attacked a children's home, which was being run by the Dutch Reformed Church in Central Sri Lanka at Balana in the Kandy district in an apathetic rampage which has indicated total lack of self restraint by a group of Buddhist monks who have incited mob violence against an institution run and maintained by the Dutch Reformed Church and comes across as a shocking and bewildering leaving much anxiety amongst the Christian populace of Sri Lanka.

This incident was never reported in the media and objective of this insert is to alert the Sri Lankan authorities to the great injustice perpetrated on a much respected Christian orginaztion namely the Dutch Reformed Church of Sri Lanka whose integrity and credibilities have prevailed for over 300 years and it is shameful that a handful of radical monks have incited mob violence and has brought disrepute to the good name of all respectful peace loving Buddhists within Sri Lanka who must view this incident with contempt as this is a totally unjustified act of violence based on fanaticism and misguided religious animosities and zealotry in a land which has fostered compassion and tolerance of all religions and ethnicities for centuries.

It has been reported by the National Christian Evangelical Alliance Sri Lanka(NCEASL) and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a human rights organisation which specialises in religious freedom around the world, that the mob fiercely attacked the home, following which, they climbed to the roof and planted a Buddhist flag on the roof in a primitive and uncivilized manner in an attempt to assert their religious superiority which in Sri Lanka a predominantly Buddhis nation seems totally unnecessary.

Prior to the the attack the group responsible led by certain radical Buddhist monks in the area are purported to have put up posters demanding that the Dutch Reformed Church cease renovation work on the orphanage. The building was under renovation at the time of the attack, and no children were present. According to a report from the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), the staff of the children's home were warned that if they did not leave the premises, they would be "burned alive".

The house parents who managed the home fled on Sunday night.This has been confirmed by the CSW report who said that the mob had forced their way into the children's home at a time when renovations were being carried out and assaulted staff and threatened to kill the "house parents" who had fled as a result of the attack in fear for their lives. The violent mob had stoned the house and broken roof tiles and rainwater gutters. The fence surrounding the property has been completely destroyed.

The incident has been reported to the police.The NCEASL said: "It is imperative that the Sri Lankan Government take immediate action to prevent such acts of violence and intimidation."

Tina Lambert, Advocacy Director of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said: "We are extremely concerned about the continuing violence against Christians in Sri Lanka. This latest incident, in which child care workers have been threatened, is unacceptable and we urge the Sri Lankan authorities to bring the perpetrators of such violence to justice."

"What is our net worth as humans, particularly as religious leadersif we in a moment of impassioned religious fervour based on unjustifiable insecurity of our own perceptions of religion lower our ethics whereby we are reduced to subhuman degenerates and contradict all concepts between good and evil in a single display of irresponsibility towards influencing gullible masses to commit violent acts ?"
S.P.



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