2ND LEAD (Update)

Militant monk warns Tamils not to challenge ‘foremost’ stake of Sinhala Buddhism

[TamilNet, Sunday, 16 June 2019, 21:39 GMT]
Sinhala extremist militant monk Ven Bengamuwe Nalaka Thero, the chief organiser of so-called ‘National Rights Movement,’ was visiting the disputed heritage site, Neeraaviyadi in Chemmalai-East, Naayaa'ru, in the district of Mullaith-theeevu on Sunday. He was taking hardline Sinhala protesters in three buses from Colombo, Anuradhapura and the Sinhala colony of Janakapura at Weli-Oya (Ma'nal-aa'ru) in Mullaiththeevu to stage a protest against the removal of the Sinhala name board of the illegally constructed Buddhist temple at the disputed heritage site. Nalaka Thero, along with a couple of other speakers, issued a stern warning to the Tamils that they better dare not to challenge the heritage genocide being waged by the Sinhala Theravada Buddhist establishment and the SL ‘Army and Archaeology’.

Neeraviyadi, Nalanka visit
Neeraviyadi, Nalanka visit
Neeraviyadi, Nalanka visit
Neeraviyadi, Nalanka visit
The militant protesters went on record reiterating that the island was a ‘chosen land’ to protect Buddhism and that the Sinhala Buddha religion and its heritage must remain the foremost one in the island.

The militant Thero also made it clear that the warning went to the Tamil diaspora not to challenge the Sinhala Theravada Buddhist project in the island.

He mentioned the name of a leading Tamil civil activist Navaneethan by name as being opposed to their heritage project.

Nalaka Thero served as an official advisor to the former SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He is the author of ‘Viruvan Aesure Suvisi Wasarak’ (twenty-four years among war heroes).

During the war, the extremist monk was campaigning among the Sinhala soldiers conveying the message that they could attain nirvana, the ultimate goal of the Buddhist faith, by ‘selfless’ acts of killing to defend the island and the Buddhist religion.

Ven Kolamba Medhalankara Thero, the ‘chief incumbent’ of the so-called Gurukanda Purana Rajamaha Vihara also addressed the meeting.

A recent poster put up at the site was making claims to a large extent of land, encapsulating 33,376 hectares, to the southeast of Naayaa'ru lagoon as a Buddhist heritage site.

The giant Buddha statue was installed by the SL Army contradicting the injunction order by the courts.

The SL Army and the Archaeology Department were unrelenting in creating a new status quo by forcibly installing a small statue and then replacing it with a large one. Then, they went removing the name of the Hindu temple and Sinhalicising it.

The Sinhala name board was removed two days ago according to a court instruction to the police. The name board had been put up without getting clearance from the SL Road Development Authority.

* * *

Article 2 of the SL Constitution says that ‘Sri Lanka’ is a unitary state.

Article 9 (Chapter II) of the SL constitution says that "[t]he Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana."

Similarly, the articles in the first two chapters that deal with the national flag, national anthem, language status, are all entrenched clauses in the SL Constitution.

These articles could only be amended or repealed with the support of two-thirds of all the members of the SL Parliament and only if the people thereafter approve such amendment or repeal in an island-wide referendum. Besides, the executive SL President should also support that change.

Such conditions cannot be met under any internal circumstances through the electoral politics due to the ethno-nationalist nature of the Sinhala Buddhist establishment in the South.

The unitary paradigm has been directly and indirectly promoted by the global and the regional powers that have been trading strategic inroads into the island with the unitary state in Colombo.

The inalienable democratic rights and distinct sovereignties of the peoples constituting the island have been decaying from within ever since 1972 due to the entrenched clauses and the amendments to the unitary constitution.



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