Buddha’s preaching and politics
The core of Lord Buddha’s teachings rest in
what we know as the Middle Path. The path enunciated by Lord Buddha has been
explained by the Four Noble Truths: They are suffering, the cause for suffering
is craving, if craving ceases, suffering ceases and that there is a path to the
cessation of suffering. That path was called the Noble Eight Fold path: Right
Understanding (Samma Ditti), Right Thought (Samma Samkappa), Right Speech (Samma
Vaca), Right Action (Samma Kammanta), Right Livelihood (Samma Ajiva), Right
Effort (Samma Vayama), Right Mindfulness (Samma Sati) and Right Concentration (Samma
In a population of 20million people Buddhists in Sri Lanka account for 71% of
the population. Yet, in a land where Buddhism takes such prominence,
unfortunately, it is this very craving that has proven the undoing of Sri Lanka
and the disintegration of its society over the years following Independence.
Our political arena is in a sorry state. We pass on governance every six years
to a party / individual with faith that he/she and his new government will free
is from this oblivious state, we have fallen into – a few months is perhaps all
the public receives as acknowledgement of thanks, and then we see a return to
corruption, commissions and chaos and all the ills associated with bad
governance. Each time the public expects a change, they are sadly disappointed.
The cravings that Lord Buddha so rightly spoke of, and advised us not to fall
prey to, have led these men and women in Parliament to be blind to the Noble
Truths and the teachings of Lord Buddha.
It is easy to palm the blame on the politicos, but apart from a handful of
Buddhist clergy in remote temples in Sri Lanka, the rest of the Buddhist monks
are really no better. A simple dana has been turned into a sumptuous buffet.
Some Buddhist monks give their preferences where the menu is concerned. Their
cravings, today, far exceed that of ordinary laymen.
Is this really what Lord Buddha has preached? Our younger generation is not
learning what Lord Buddha has preached, but a distortion of what people have
customised to suit their existence.
With more and more followers of Lord Buddha increasing globally, it is sad to
say the least that our politicos, our clergy and even the people are not
following the correct Path, that Lord Buddha has preached.
Save your bank accounts
Please publish this for the sake of innocent
internet users, who receive fake e-mails saying, that they have won a large sum
of money, as randomly selected by a computer and internet. This comes from a
fake National Lottery Board in the UK. They ask for your personal details, and
account details to credit this winning money. If you supply your details, they
will systematically drain your own money out of your account, instead of
crediting your account.
There is no such system called UK National Lottery, which selects winners from
internet. This is called ‘Physhing’, an organised criminal gang targeting poor
internet users, and trying to rob their money. The only UK Lottery is a company
called ‘Camlot’ which does not have any sort of internet winners, and do not
give away any money for selected winners, from internet. The only winners are
those who purchase a Lotto from a shop, or online from ‘Camlot’ for a one pound
You are warned not to send even a reply when you receive these e-mails. Many
friends of mine from Sri Lanka, have received such e-mails, and fortunately they
inquired from me and I told them the inside story.
Please do not let your readers become innocent victims of these organised
criminal gangs, and steal your hard earned money.
There are so many other methods of ‘Physhing’ where people pretend to be Bank
Managers, prince in exile or an exiled royalty who offers a percentage if you
help them to transfer some money out of their country, and ask your bank
details. Please do not even reply to these e-mails.
Why is Saudi Arabia devaluing Prophet Mohamed ?
The Saudi regime, since it came into power in
1926 with the help of the British, has unrelentingly tried to devalue and
de-sanctify the image of the Prophet Mohamed (AS) by declaring the Prophet’s
birthday celebration as an innovation, referring to the Prophet as a postman and
reducing the Prophet’s personality as to that of an ordinary person. The Quran
in contrast refers to the Prophet as a mercy unto the universe, the best of
creatures and a model for mankind.
This year, the Saudis came in for a rude shock when all over the world the
birthday of the Prophet Mohamed (AS) was celebrated in an unprecedented manner.
In Sri Lanka, there were innumerable recitals of Mawlid for the Prophet (AS) in
mosques and Muslim homes. In addition, schools, Madarasahs, and Islamic
associations celebrated the occasion with competitions and prize givings, where
even non-Muslims participated. A special feature this year was the conducting of
processions, and the publishing of innumerable articles relating to Prophet
Mohamed’s (AS) birthday in the newspapers.
Eighty years of trying to make other Muslims not celebrate the birthday of the
Prophet has failed as it is natural for Muslims to celebrate the birthday of the
Prophet (AS). In addition, ever since the Saudis came into power, they have
systematically destroyed the Prophet’s house in Mecca. The dilapidated state of
the Jannat-al-Baqi reflects the stunning disregard of the Saudis for the members
of the Prophet’s family who are buried there.
While they destroy the heritage of the Prophet (AS), they have maintained a
museum for the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Saud Ibn Abdul Azeez.
While they don’t celebrate the Prophet’s birthday, they have a grand celebration
for Saudi national day. In other words, the Prophet is devalued but the Saudi
monarchy in over-valued.
Such is the state if Saudi Arabia, which has self-appointed itself as the
guardian of the two mosques in Mecca and Medina.
The Sharia and Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia is an aberration of the true
More and more Muslims are finding this out. The increase in the celebrations of
the Prophet’s (AS) birthday this year is a clear indicator that Muslims will not
listen to the edicts of the Saudis who practice the heretical and deviant Wahabi
brand of Islam more akin to the Taliban and the murderous Salafi groups.
Things which cannot be explained
I quote below the following which requires
clarification from the authorities:
(1) Gratuity Act
In an establishment, if the number of employees is more than 15, gratuity has to
be paid, or else the Commissioner of Labour will take proper action. If the
number of employees is less than 15, the employees have to apply to the Labour
Tribunal, who will decide whether a payment can be made, or not.
I am at a loss to understand as to how the number 15 has been selected. As far
as I am concerned, all employees who complete 5 years of service should be paid
gratuity. Whether the number of employees is 1 or 2 is immaterial.
(2) Liquor & Cigarette Law
In keeping with the recent Law, liquor and cigarettes should not be sold to a
person who is less than 21 years of age.
I was aware of this accepted rule that you become a major when you reach 21
years of age. Later this was reduced to 18 years. Accordingly, on reaching the
age of 18 years, a person can possess a car licence, operate a bank account,
purchase a motor vehicle in his/her name, but not cigarettes or liquor. It is
left to the public at large to decide how absurd this requirement is.
(3) Protection of endangered species
I admit the law to protect endangered species has to be adhered, or otherwise
these species will be diminished.
However, the similar protection is not given to human beings. For eg: if a man
shoots a crocodile which disturbs the men fishing in the river, a big cry is
raised, but when a crocodile attacks or kills a human being, no such protest is
made. I feel this problem should be approached in a better way than sticking to
(4) Consumption of meat
There is a big protest against eating meat, opening of meat stalls etc. I admit
that animals undergo agony when they are slaughtered for meat, but no cries are
raised when fish are taken for consumption. I am aware that fish suffocate and
die when they are taken out of water. Similar suffering is endured by crabs when
they are immersed alive in hot water before preparation.
I request the banning of meat eating, opening of meat stalls etc. is mere
hypocrisy. Sri Lanka is a country of mixed races and religions. We should not
force everybody to be vegetarians, which will result in our resources being
wasted and no economic growth being possible.
S. R. Balachandran
“National Policy on Issuing Stamps”
A news item in a daily newspaper of 23rd April
2007 states “On the direction of Subject Minister Rauff Hakeem, the Ministry of
Post and Telecommunications is to introduce a national policy on stamps
shortly……..” The same article states “According to the new policy the number of
commemorative stamps issued per year would be limited to 35. These would include
four stamps for Vesak, two for Christmas and 2 stamps each to commemorate Hindu
and Islamic festivals.” According to this article, the issuance of normal stamps
would be increased outside the above mentioned special stamps.
Politicians, who take on new portfolios, are naturally enthusiastic to make
their presence felt as new ministers. They will no doubt come up with new ideas,
which is highly commendable. However, there are many areas such as archaeology,
culture, industry, health, education, transport, telecommunication, electricity
and agriculture which definitely need the GOSL to introduce “national policies”
with a view of having a continuous policy irrespective of which political party
secures power. There is no dire necessity to introduce a “national policy”
towards issuing stamps in this country which is a low priority compared to other
more important areas which directly affect the citizens of this country. Up to
now, this area has not had problems.
So far, the GOSL has decided to issue commemorative stamps relating to incidents
or personalities in this country who have created a deep and indelible
contribution and irrevocable service towards Sri Lanka. Never have stamps been
issued based on religion or religious incidents as a priority! What is the
earthly reason to issue commemorative stamps for all important religious
holidays on an annual basis? This year happens to be the culmination of 2550th
Buddha Jayanthi Year-this is a historical event and therefore, it was deemed
important to issue a commemorative stamp. If other religions also have such a
landmark event in the history of our country, it would be in order to issue a
commemorative stamp-if not, this, should in no way become an annual event!
Let not the issuance of commemorative stamps end up like erecting statues for
insignificant politicians(example the late Nalanda Ellawela-nothing personal
against him) who did nothing worthwhile(for his young age) with a long-term
impact, for this country in terms of “national service.” Let it also not be like
the naming of streets and stadiums after political figures of no historical or
cultural value to this country-except to serve their egos. The issuance of
commemorative stamps must only be for landmark events or personalities who have
rendered yeomen service to this country. Those who have contributed towards
making an impact internationally or historically may also be considered where
necessary. What history has been preserved for us must be looked upon as
lessons. Old street names must not be changed to suit the whims and fancies of
politicians. Newly opened streets can be used for such purposes without wiping
out the history of this country!
It is sincerely hoped that the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications will
re-think his plans for a national policy on commemorative stamps and shove it
aside. There are far more important issues in this country which must receive