Tension in Trincomalee

Athula Devasinghe

As a Buddhist I find it very sad to see Tamil people throwing grenades at a Buddha statue and killing Sinhalese businessmen for not shutting their shops. The Buddha statue stands for peace and harmony, not violence and bloodshed. I wonder what the Tamil sage Thiruvalluvar would say about this mindless violence aimed at the representation of the Buddha.

Without meaning to be rude at all, I have to ask whether this is what the great 5000 year old Tamil culture has produced today. Previously, many Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka were destroyed by South Indian armies and Buddhist monks and nuns were killed and chased away. Is the Chola mentality taking over again? I really do hope not, because a conflict between Buddhists and Hindus - brothers in arms - is not what Sri Lanka needs at this moment.

It is high time that the Tamil community take a good hard look at the forces of fundamentalism that have taken root and are threatening to take it into the abyss. These forces are trying to drive a wedge between the Buddhists and Hindus and create a religious conflict that never existed before.

When Sri Lankan Buddhists worship at Hindu Kovils, pray to Hindu Gods and keep pictures of Hindu Gods in their homes and vehicles for protection, it is really disturbing to see certain people attacking the Buddha statue in Trincomalee.

How petty and pointless can these demonstrations get?

Already an innocent person has lost his life over this hatred against the Buddha. It is my fervant wish that the mindless people attacking Buddhists and Buddha statues will at least take a break from their anger and delusion and start spreading some love for a change.



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