Sunday 29 March 2015

MR and LKY: The Dividing Line


A few days ago, a Malaysian friend of Indian origin asked me an interesting question.

"Don't you have your own LKY there?"

Little puzzled, I asked, "whom did you refer to?"

"That guy, Mahindaa Rajapakshaa", he said with his typical Indian accent.

"That's quite a complicated question," I told him but didn't give him a direct answer. 

Today while talking with a Singaporean of Chinese origin living in Malaysia, whose unprecedented political superstar is Lee Kuan Yew, I asked him what makes LKY the sole hero of Singapore's 4-decade economic revolution. His detailed explanation, followed by several other sources on the net for verification, provided me with a clear answer to my friend's question on the previous day.

Are they the same...?

MR and LKY have many similarities. Both are very charismatic leaders with strong political personalities, Both had their respective countries in their hands at extremely troubled periods and handled the chaos well. Both had a genuine vision of developing their countries (this is my opinion). Both were harsh on their rivals. Both made their families become the richest in their respective countries...... 

Then while one lead the country for the world record period of time and finally closed his eyes amid praise and admiration from even his long-term rivals, the other was kicked out within 10 years and now plays desperate games to keep clinging to the power.

Where is the line between the two.......?

They had the same great vision.... But totally different missions

The Mission-LKY

In 1965, when Singapore was expelled from the Malaysian Federation, LKY was left with an island with no water or agricultural land to feed the mouths and no natural resources to buy their living. Then he determined that he will somehow pull up his country. There was no other option.

There were two points in his mind.

The country should have zero racism as racism and development don't go in harmony. Thus, he made the official language English and started only Singaporean schools; no Chinese schools, Tamil schools, Malay schools etc. Anyone could speak patriotism but not racism. So they talked about "proud of being a Singaporean" but not being Chinese, Malay or any other. Those leaders who were taking the advantage of racial sentiments were put into jail without trial. 

The second point was on the sources of income. LKY knew that the country cannot be developed without foreign investments (note that it is not foreign aid). To attract worthy foreign investors, social security and non-corruption were identified as key factors. He imposed the strictest rules to make the country safe for any foreign traveller and corruption-free for a potential investors. Many people, even leaders had to undergo severe punishments for not working in these directions.

As the economy of the country booms LKY's family slowly acquired the business sector. Today they earn billions and so does their country, 'cause all LKY family members that run the country's business are highly qualified people in their respective fields.

So today Singapore is where Singapore is. The economy is massive. People are well off. They all speak fluent English. Yet they could speak their respective native languages well (Chinese, Malay, Tamil etc.). Collectively, they think as Singaporeans but individually they follow their native customs.

The Mission-MR

MR's post-war mission was the complete opposite of that of LKY. 

Due to some pathetic reasons, he decided to run the country on racism and theories of foreign conspiracies. 

War kills human beings in thousands, war makes people crippled, blind, deaf, disabled and suffer for the rest of their lives, war creates wounds in hearts that heal very slowly, war destroys resources that could have been utilized for decades, war turns landscapes unsuitable for human habitation for centuries. In simple terms, war is a curse.  Wise people start a war when it is the last option and try their best to erase the scars of war as soon as it ends. 

Unfortunately, MR started repeatedly trumpeting the war victory, as soon as he ended it. The celebrations took millions of national wealth and scratched the wounded hearts frequently without letting them go through natural healing. Tamils started feeling that they are Tamils in an alien country and Sinhalese started feeling that Sinhala existence is threatened in their own country. No one had the feeling that they have to bring up their country.

..... And came the religious menace in the form of BBS and Ravana Balakaya. The support and maintenance by MR regime have been written all over the activities of these idiot-groups. They made Buddhists think that Muslims are going to eat them up while Muslims started thinking that they are at risk of being wiped out. At a less-intense level, idiot-groups even created imaginary Christian devils, who are ever looking for demolishing Buddhism. Doubt, mistrust and frustration overshadowed true patriotism. 

When it comes to the economy, the painful truth is that Sri Lanka lives almost 100% on foreign aid. Once, the Secretary of Finance Ministry of MR regime stated that "in order to pay the next month salary, we have to either borrow money from other countries or mint currency notes". Still, no politician tells you this pathetic reality (whether it is MR regime or not). While the government was going around the world begging for yet another loan, they made a huge ghost in front of the public, named "Foreign Conspiracy". The Facebook postings and a casual chat with an average Sri Lankan will show that a majority in the country thinks that there is no work for Americans, Europeans and Indians other than planning and executing conspiracies against Sri Lanka. 

Such mentality of the public made them look at any foreigner with a suspicious eye. Many white-skinned travellers underwent harassment and sometimes even murder. The crime rate escalated and most of them were politically based. No one with political clout was given deserved punishment under the law. The outcome was the parting of many countries with good potential investors. Instead, what came into the picture were the Chinese money lenders who have a notorious reputation in South America and Africa. Even the current government is booby-trapped in the nets laid by these Chinese plight-mongers who fish in troubled water.  

A rather non-threatening political leader was taken into custody, not because he was spreading racism but he challenged the regime by contesting the presidential election. The chief justice was disgracefully ousted for not giving judgements that the regime desired.

LKY let his family manage the country's wealth as the economy shaped up well. On the contrary, MR did the same while the country's economy was struggling to pass the toddler's age. The critical economic centres were handed over to kith and kin who are totally unsuitable for such jobs. One good example is the plight of the national carriers. Instead of gaining profits out of business and pocketing a chunk of that, these cronies siphoned the loans obtained to develop the business at staggering interest rates. 

Screwing the mind-set

In many countries, even in Europe and USA, the mass public has no intelligence or knowledge to self-analyze the situation of a country and take the right decisions. A majority of them think in the lines of what politicians tell them. Perhaps, artists and intellectuals may make a limited influence. 

MR mechanism was clever enough to take almost all good charismatic orators in the country including artists and religious leaders under its payroll. Then they were programmed to tell or do exactly what the regime needed. The mindset of Sinhalese Buddhists which constitutes the majority of the vote base was screwed up with foreign invasions, Tamil attacks and Muslim-Christian dominance. It happened and even is happening at this very moment. 

Unfortunately, the ousted MR and the clans have been successful up to some extent in screwing the heads of a good part of Sinhala Buddhists so far.  They are trying to come back to power by the same theory..... foreign conspiracy, Tamil dominance and Muslim-Christian invasion......

The big question is WHY...? Why does the MR regime need to do this unscrupulous act of mind screwing of the public?  

The logic is very simple. You make a paper tiger. Show it to the villagers and say that it is coming to eat them alive. The scared villagers ask you how to kill the tiger. Then you point them to the inflated hero. 

"That's the only one that can kill the tiger. Feed him well. Treat him well. Give him whatever he wants.... and he will save you from the tiger". 

The paper tiger never dies, so does the hero..... and you get your fox's share...... and live happily for the rest of your life............    

In my opinion, MR regime was a wasted opportunity. There were many talented and skilled people in it, such as Gotabhaya Rajapaksha and Champika Ranawaka. It was only a clever and shrewd leadership that was needed to get the maximum out of them for the benefit of the country. A smart leader could have made even cronies like S B Dissanayake and Mahnidananda Aluthgamage to do a valuable service to the country. When the leader fails the ethics (or epics), the whole system fails. 

Thursday 26 March 2015

ජාතික ගීයේ සිංහල අනන්‍යතාවය

දුටු ගැමුණු රජ සමයේ සිංහලයාගේ ජාතික ගීතය කුමක්දැයි මා ඔබෙන් ඇසුවහොත් ඔබ දෙන පිළිතුර කුමක්ද? සීතාවක රාජසිංහ සමයේ සිංහලයාගේ ජාතික ගීය කුමක්ද? 1815 දී ලංකාව සුද්දාගේ අතට පත්වන විට සිංහලයාගේ ජාතික ගීය කුමක්ද? 1948 දී සුද්දාගෙන් රට බාර ගන්නා විට සිංහලයාගේ ජාතික ගීය කුමක්ද?

ඉහත කිසිම පැනයකට ඔබට පිළිතුරු දිය හැකියයි මම නොසිතමි. මක් නිසාද යත් සිංහලයාට එවන් සමයන්හි ජාතික ගීයක් නොතිබුණු බැවිනි. සිංහලයාට තබා ලාංකිකයාට, සිලෝනිසයාට, තැප්‍රෝබෙනුවාට, සෙරන්ඩිබයාට හෝ හෙළයාට වත් එලෙස ජාතික ගීයක් තිබුණු බව අපි අසා නැත.

1930 ගණන්වල භාරතයේ සංගීතය හදාරමින් සිටි ආනන්ද සමරකෝන් මහතාට එවකට විශ්ව කීර්තියට පත්ව සිටි රවින්ද්‍රනාත් තාගෝර් මැතිතුමා තනුවක් සදා දුන්නේය. ආනන්ද සමරකෝන් මහතා ඊට "නමෝ නමෝ මාතා" ලෙසින් ඇරඹෙන ජාත්‍යානුරාගී පදවැලක් එ
ක් කළේය. මෙම ගීතය පසු කාලයක 'රේඩියෝ සිලෝන්" ගුවන් විදුලි සේවයේ බොහෝ ජනප්‍රිය විය.

1950 වනතෙක් "ගෝඩ් සේව් ද කිං" කියමින් සිටි ලාංකිකයාට සුද්දාගෙන් ස්වායත්ත ජාතික ගීතයක් වුවමනා විය.  ඒ සඳහා තෝරා ගැනුණේ ඉන්දියානුවෙකුගේ තනුවට ගැයුණු ආනන්ද සමරකෝන් ගේ නමෝ නමෝ මාතා ගීතයයි. එම ගීතය, ජාතික ගීය වුයේ ශ්‍රී ලාංකිකයාගේය. එහි දෙමළ පද රචනයක්ද 1951 වන විට එකම තනුවට නිර්මාණය විය.

1959 දී බණ්ඩාරනායක මහතා වෙඩි වැදී ඝාතනය වූ විට බොහෝ දෙනෙකු පැවසුවේ එය ජාතික ගීයේ පද රචනයේ තිබූ දෝෂයක් නිසා සිදුවූ බවයි (මේ අනන්‍යතාවය නම් අපට හැමදාම තිබී ඇත). මේ නිසා "නමෝ නමෝ මාතා", "ශ්‍රී ලංකා මාතා" ලෙස වෙනස් වුයේ එහි මුල් රචක ආනන්ද සමරකෝන් මහතාගේ දැඩි විරෝධය මතයි. දරුණු සිත් තැවුලකට පත් ඒ මහතා මේ ගැන ලිපියක් ලියා තබා සිය දිවි නසා ගත්තේය. මෙහි යුක්තිය අයුක්තිය කෙසේ වෙතත් ලාංකිකයාට ඇත්තේ ජාතික ගීය නිසාම එහි රචකයා වස පානය කර සිය දිවි නසා ගත් ජාතික ගීයක් බව නම් කිව මනාය.

"ජාතික ගීය" නමැති සංකල්පය අපිට ලැබෙන්නේ 15 වන ශත වර්ෂයේ සිටම "දෙවියෝ අපේ රජා රැක දෙත්වා" කියමින් තුති ගී ගායනා කළ ඉංග්‍රීසිකාරයාගෙනි. එහි තනුව ලැබෙන්නේ ඉන්දියානු ජාතික ගීයේ නිර්මාතෘවරයාගෙනි. සම්බන්ධ වූ එකම සිංහලයාත් සිය දිවි නසා ගත්තේය.

තව කී දෙනෙක් ජාතික ගීයේ සිංහල අනන්‍යතාවය වෙනුවෙන් ගිනි තබා ගනී දැයි මම නොදනිමි. 

Sunday 22 March 2015

The Power of Why

This is a story from nowhere.

Once upon a time there was a wise man, Shashwaka, of a certain religion, who found that according to the scripts of his religion the best of the best gift that earns the highest merit is the gift of knowledge.  Let me call his religion Xst. Being a devoted Xstist, Shashwaka decided to give away the knowledge he possessed whenever he gets a chance.

Once, on his way to a distant city across the thick forest, Shashwaka met a young traveler, Vihaka, who became very friendly with him. Understanding that Shashwaka is a very wise person, Vihaka asked Shashwaka to give him the knowledge. Being a Xstist himself, Vihaka started treating Shashwaka as his guru and absorbed everything that Shashwaka taught him without any question or argument.

As they came to a very turbulent river without a bridge, Shashwaka asked Vihaka to gather few medium sized logs from the forest and also to cut long strips of bark from Asanawa trees. While tying the logs with Asanawa bark strips, Shashwaka told Vihaka that he should always use strips of Asanawa bark for making a raft that has to be used in fast moving turbulent water. Vihaka absorbed this knowledge up to the word.

After crossing the river with the aid of the hastily made raft, Vihaka said that as he now possesses a good knowledge of making a raft he can start a transport service to people who cross the river a few miles downstream, where there were few villages. Shashwaka was very happy that the knowledge he gifted to this young man is going to be a fruitful venture that will help many people.  

Vihaka went downstream parallel to the river and Shashwaka went away from it. As Shashwaka was less than one mile away from the river, he met another young man, Derudan. After having a chat for a while Shashwaka asked Derudan about his way of living.

“I provide a rafting service to the villagers downstream, but most often my raft is out of order so that sometimes for days the service is interrupted” said Derudan.

“What do you use to tie the logs of your raft?” Shashwaka asked.

“Ropes made of Jute”

“That’s where your problem lies. Use the strips made of Asanawa bark. That will solve your problem”

Derudan didn’t accept Shashwaka’s words as it is. After several questions and clarifications Derudan thanked Shashwaka and went on his way.


After a few years, Shashwaka came back on the same way and reached the river. Instead of making a raft himself, Shashwaka thought why shouldn't he walk few miles downstream and get the service of one of the young men to whom he gifted knowledge.

As he came to the village he found that there are about 5 rafts in a small pier. None of the drivers of the rafts were either Vihaka or Derudan. He approached one of the rafts and asked the driver whether he knows either of the two. The driver said that Derudan is their boss whom can be met inside a small shed nearby, but Vihaka was killed together with five villagers as their raft got disintegrated in the midstream on a stormy day, several months ago.

Shocked by hearing this tragedy, Shashwaka went straight to the hut where Derudan is having his office. After the formal greetings Shashwaka asked Derudan about the incident.

In a calm voice, Derudan explained what happened.

“After I met you, I re-made my raft with Asanawa barks as you instructed me. Then I found that another person, Vihaka, was also making a raft in the same manner. Later I found that he has also got the guidance from you. We both had very good income and the villagers were very happy for the continuous service”

“Then what went wrong?”

“During the last summer, we found that Asanawa trees in the whole forest have been infected with a certain disease so that its bark became unsuitable for tying the raft as the strips became weak and could not survive much longer in water”

“Ok then what you did”

“I was looking for a similar or better alternate and found that strips of raw bamboo strips, do the job even better than Asanawa barks”

“What about Vihaka?”

“Although I kept on telling him this solution, he said that according to you, he should always use Asanawa bark strips for tying the logs”

..........Shshwaka started recalling his dialogue with Derudan few years ago during their brief meeting.

“Why do you say that I should always use Asanawa barks to tie the logs?” Derudan questioned politely.

“Because, Asanawa bark is the only material in this region, up to my knowledge, which is able to keep the logs tied for a long period in water”

“What makes it keep the logs tied tightly for long time in water?”

“Look at the Asanawa barks, they have long fibers which are very strong and also water resistant”

“So finally what I need is not Asanawa bark but something having strong fibers and water resistance”

“Yes, but in this area, only Asanawa bark has those qualities”

“That’s what you think, but there may be some other materials as well”

“Yes, but Asanawa barks are everywhere in this forest. So you don’t have to worry about other materials”

“Yes, but one day we may need. Thanks for the valuable knowledge you gave me”


Shashwaka was painfully shaken by the tragedy of Vihaka and started wondering whether there is something wrong with the Scripts of Xsitism

Many centuries after, I also find the same situation in my teaching career in science. Almost all my students are looking for knowledge transfer from me. Most often the transferred knowledge is accepted unchallenged....................... and I know that I have been generating hundreds of Vihakas for all these years. 

Recently, I found a lead to the solution of this issue. There was nothing wrong with the Scripts of Xstism. The issue is in the nature. You can gift the knowledge to others, but not the intelligence. This is a universal truth. No one can transfer the intelligence to others. Gifting the knowledge may most often be beneficial to the human kind, however, there is a chance that the knowledge transfer may also be ending up in total disaster. 

Although the intelligence cannot be gifted, there is a way of stimulating it. That is to train the human beings from the right beginning to question "WHY" before they accept the knowledge. 

Train your child, train your student, train everyone to ask "why?". That will make the human mind filtering off good knowledge from bad knowledge and right knowledge from wrong knowledge. This analytic skill itself is a part of intelligence.

The present day human calamities show that how dangerous the transfer of knowledge is, when the receiver has no intelligence to ask "why?". 

The "intelligence" can never be developed within a human mind, even if you pour the person with sea of knowledge, unless you make the person aware of the power of "WHY" .......... !!!!!!!


Wednesday 11 March 2015

රැජිනකගේ අයිතිය (The Rights of a Queen)



මට මතක ඇති විදියට ඒ 1997 වසරයි. අප ස්වීඩනයේ සිට කෙටි නිවාඩුවකට ලංකාවට පැමිණියේ නිලන්තිට අපගේ දෙවන දරුවා ලැබීමට ආසන්නව පැවතී කාලයේය. එවන විටත් අපගේ නිවස සාදමින් පැවතුන බැවින් අපි නිලන්තිගේ දෙමව්පියන්ගේ දෙහිවල පිහිටි නිවසේ නතර වී සිටියෙමු.

දිනක් සවස් වරුවේ මම අපගේ පළමු පුත් අශේන් නහවමින් සිටියෙමි. එවකට වසර දෙකක් පමණ වයසැති අශේන් සෝදා පිරිසිඳු කිරීම ඉස්සෙකු නහවනවාට වඩා අපහසු කාර්යයක් විය.

ඇඟේ සබන් තවරාගෙන නාන කාමරය පුරා දුවන මේ සිඟිත්තා විටෙක මගේ ඇඟට පැන මගේ ඇඳුම් තෙත් කර දමයි. මා කෑගසමින් පාරක් ගසන්න හදන විට ඔහු ආඳෙකු මෙන් ලිස්සා දුවයි. ඊළඟ මොහොතේ අපි දෙදෙනාම එකට බදාගෙන මහා හඬින් සිනාසෙන්නෙමු. එකම කාල ගෝට්ටියක් වන ඒ සුන්දර පැය භාගය මට සදා හද රැදී මතකයකි.

එකවරම නිලන්තිගේ නැගණිය, සජීවනී, නාන කාමරයේ දොර ලඟට පැමිණියාය.

"අයියේ, ශාන්ත අයියා ෆෝන් එකේ, ඔයාව අහනවා, මම මොකද කියන්නේ?" ශාන්ත යනු එවකට සිටි මගේ ලඟම මිතුරාය.

"කියන්න මම පුතා නාවනවා කියල"

"එහෙම කිව්වට කමක් නැද්ද? මම ඔයා ගෙදර නැහැ කියන්නද?" නංගී කටහඬ බාල කරමින් අසයි. ඇය ඇත්තටම අදහස් කරන්නේ මට විය හැකියැයි ඇය සිතන අගෞරවය මගහරවා ගැනීමටය.

එවකට කොළඹ විශ්ව විද්‍යාලයේ වෛද්‍ය ශිෂ්‍යාවක් වූ ඇය අද පිළිකා රෝගය පිළිබඳව විශේෂඥ වෛද්‍යවරියකි. මේ දෙබසින් ඔබට පැහැදිළිව පෙනී යනු ඇත්තේ උගත්-නුගත්, නගරබද-ගම්බද කියා වෙනසක් නොමැතිව අප සමාජයේ පවතින යථාර්ථයකි.

දරුවන් ඇති දැඩි කිරීම, කෑම පිසීම, රෙදි සේදීම, ගේ දොර නිසි පිළිවෙලට තබා ගැනීම, නිවසට අවශ්‍ය කළමනා රැගෙන ඒම ආදී දහසකුත් දෑ ගැහැණියට පමණක් අයිති කාර්‍යය වේ. ඒවා පිරිමියකු බැරි වෙලාවත් කළහොත්, සමාජයෙන් එය සැඟවිය යුතුය. මේ ලාංකීය මානසිකත්වයයි. ලාංකීය පමණක් නොව කළාපීය මානසිකත්වය යැයි කීවද වරදක් නැත.   

දකුණු ආසියාතික කළාපය ආර්ථික හා සාමාජීය වශයෙන් පිටු පසට ඇද දැමීමට අතිශයෙන් ඉවහල් වන සංකල්පයක් ලෙස මම මේ "කාන්තාවන්ට පමණයි" ලෙස වැඩපල ලේබල් ගැසීම දකිමි.

දරුවෙකු සෝදා පවිත්‍ර කිරීම, රාත්‍රිය පුරා නිදි වර්ජිතව කුඩා දරුවකු රැක බලා ගැනීම, දවසේ වැඩි කාලයක් ආහාර පිසීමට වැය කිරීම, ගේ දොර සුද්ද පවිත්‍ර කිරීම ආදී ක්‍රියාවන් ඇත්තෙම්ම ඉතා වෙහෙසකරය. බොහෝ පිරිමින්ට මේ පිළිබඳව හැඟීමක් නැත්තේ ඔවුන් කෙදිනකවත් මෙම කාර්යයන් සිදු නොකරන බැවිනි.

මේ කාන්තාවන් පමනක් කලයුතු යැයි සම්මත කරගත් කාර්ය භාරයන් මා බොහෝ විට දකින්නේ අඩු-දියුණු රටවල විශේෂත්වයක් ලෙසටයි (මේ රටවලට දියුණු වෙමින් පවතින රටවල් යයි කියන්නේ හිත සනසන්නය).

මෙහි ප්‍රතිඵලය වන්නේ මානසිකව පිරිහුන, ශාරීරිකව වැහැරුණ, රෝගී කාන්තාවක් ජාතියට දායාද වීමයි. මෙහි ඊළඟ ප්‍රතිඵලය නිරෝගී නොවන දරු පරපුරක් බිහිවීමයි. මේ නිසා රට දිගටම "අඩු-දියුණු හෝ දියුණු වෙමින් පවතින රටක්" ලෙස ලේබල් වේ. මෙය අකාරුණික චක්‍රයක කැරකෙමින් අපේ රටවල් නොදියුණු තත්වයකම තබයි. මේ ගැන අන්‍යන්ට දොස් කීමෙන් ඵලක් නැත. 

අද අප සමාජයේ කාන්තාවන් කීදෙනෙක් වයස 35 පසු කරන විට කොඳු ඇට පෙළ ආශ්‍රිත රෝග වලින් පෙලෙනවාද, කී දෙනෙකුට දණහිස සහ අස්ථි වල ආබාධ පවතිනවාද. කී දෙනෙක් නිරන්තර හිසරදයෙන් දුක් විඳිනවාද?

මා දකින ආකාරයට මේ සියල්ලටම හේතු පාදක වන්නේ ආසියාතික ගැහැණියට අත්වන දැරිය නොහැකි භෞතික කාර්ය භාරයයි.

"ගැහැණිය නිවසේ රැජිණයි" යනුවෙන් බොරුවට පත්තර පිටු ගණන් ලියා වැඩක් නැත. රැජිනකට, රැජිනකට අයත් සෑම දෙයක්ම ලබා දෙන්න. පිරිමියකුගේ ප්‍රෞඩත්වය විය යුත්තේ එයයි. 

   "ධනවතෙකු වීමේ මග" - 10 වන පරිච්ඡේදය     

Thursday 5 March 2015

Insulting Buddhism

Insulting Buddhism

In 2008, while attending a conference on Natural Disasters in Kunming, China, I met a Mongolian Professor who told me the following story during an over-the-coffee discussion on religions.

Long ago, there was a very clever military commander of a certain dynasty (Let me say in Meng Kingdom), Yeming, who was regarded as a key figure in the country for protecting and uplifting Buddhism. He was well known for both bravery and wisdom. 

The ruler of a neighbouring non-Buddhist state who was looking for a reason, for sometime, to declare war against Meng Kingdom, got a canny idea to fulfill his desire. He called a semi-lunatic person who was asked to go to Meng kingdom and insult Buddhism in front of Yeming. 

The man traveled a long distance to reach Meng Kingdom. Arriving at the king's palace, he walked into the vicinity of Yeming, who was at an open court in the Palace with his friends. The person then started using the filthiest language in insulting Buddhism. Everyone around was looking at Yeming, expecting him to go wild in rage and behead the insulting person. 

Surprising everyone, after listening to all sorts of screaming and shrieking in filth on Buddhism by the lunatic, Yeming stood up and asked one of his aides to give that person some food and water as he may be hungry and thirsty after a long journey and shouting a lot. 

The bewildered friends asked Yeming, why he was not angered by the outcry of that person against his beloved religion. Smile in his face and with a dignified and sedate voice, Yeming explained.

"Buddhism is a philosophy that explains the cause and effect. It is not a belief of a virtual entity which lives only in human imaginations.  Only those who worship something in imaginations get scared when someone insults their belief, simply because, they are afraid of getting their imaginations shattered".

Adding further Yeming said "If I kill that person, tomorrow there will be another one who will do the same at the outskirts of the city. If I go there and kill that one then there will be someone on the mountains doing the same. If I waste my time and energy to ride there and kill him, there will be hundreds across the border insulting Buddhism in filth. Attacking them will start a war that will kill thousands and destroy much wealth. Finally, what is the purpose of doing that? We do something totally against Buddhism and waste many resources, just because we were foolish enough to get provoked by something that someone has uttered". 

The same Yeming, fought vigorously, many times during his life when enemies attacked Buddhist monasteries in his country.

Understanding the "cause and effect", is the essence of Buddhism

We hear a similar story, much recently from the famous Buddhist Monk, Ven. Ajahn Brahm in Australia. When he was asked about his reactions, if someone tears the Thripitaka (the sacred scripts of Buddhism) and flush it in toilet, Ven. Ajahn Brahm replied with a smile..."I will immediately call the plumber".

There were many occasions, during his life-time, that Lord Buddha himself experienced incidents of insulting; 'even a woman once came with a pile of firewood under the clothes to imply that she was pregnant and the father is Lord Buddha'. Buddha was unmoved and let the truth be unveiled with time. If you are confident about yourself there is no need to bother about what the others say. 

Around 10 years of age, I had my first experience of someone insulting Buddhism. We were enjoying a cup of tea at a neighbour's place after an intensive game of cricket (in Sri Lanka even if you are a total stranger that steps into a house, you cannot escape without enjoying a cup of tea).

One of our playmates was quite elderly (in the early 20s), who was a devoted Buddhist; a daham paasal teacher at Vajira Ramaya, Bambalapitiya at that time.  Let me refer him as 'Wasantha Ayya'. 

We also had quite a number of non-Buddhist friends as well. One of them was very nice in all occasions other than in the discussions of religion. 

Unfortunately, that day the topic sailed into Buddhism due to an on-going Perahara at that time by Bellanwilla Temple. This boy gradually heated up and started telling nasty things about Buddhism. None of the Buddhists started counter arguing although all of us were not very happy about his utterance. 

Then this boy grabbed a pencil and a paper and sketched something like a Buddha statue. 

He showed his sketch to us and yelled "this is your Buddha, I hate him, hate him" and then started stabbing at the sketch repeatedly with the pencil.

One of our Buddhist friends stood up to tell or do something, but Wasantha Ayya calmed him down and raised his mild voice.

"Malli (means younger brother), you are an idiot. You drew something, defined it as something and ruined it in rage. You can do it any number of times, but please use your own pencils and papers. We will not even look at you". 

Burning with fury the boy shouted "I will go to your temple and demolish all the statues".

With a wry grin Wasantha Ayya said in a low voice "try it and see. you may order a stretcher as well; or better call an ambulance before trying that".  

Then he patted the angry boy in the shoulder and said "Malli, now you see, you spoiled the nice evening we had, developed lots of toxic in your blood and I am sure that you'll have a sleepless night today. For what purpose? It is simply because you were scared that our discussion will change your mind about your religion. You are not sure what you believe. Now take a deep breath and relax yourself. We are still your good pals".

Then Wasantha Ayya gave an unforgettable advice to all of us. 

"Buddhism cannot be insulted by any one, but a Buddhist himself. If you claim that you are a Buddhist and then violate Pansil, utter filth, act indecently and hurt others, then you are not only insulting but also destroying Buddhism".

Now those who have read some of my articles may understand why I was highly critical on Gnanasara Thero and BBS. They were claiming that they are protecting Buddhism but their behaviour was a total insult to the religion. 

It is absolutely pointless in worrying about what people in other countries do about Buddhism. They may publish articles or cartoons, display banners, operate Buddha Bars, have Buddha prints in their under garments, create songs with girls dancing around Buddha statues that they have made for the shooting etc. etc. None of those acts are stoppable and none of them have the slightest effect on Buddhism.

If someone build a statue by sand and cement, call it a Buddha Statue, insult and destroy it, then the whole process showcases the stupidity of that "someone".  No true Buddhist around the world needs to worry about that.

However, if an invader, intruder or insane destroys or deforms Buddhist artifacts or show unruly or indecent behaviour at sacred premises in the country, every Buddhist have the right to stand-up against that; not because the Buddhism was insulted but the culture and heritage of the country is challenged.  

A true Buddhist does not see any spiritual value of a statue made of rock, sand and cement other than making such object an aid to tame and concentrate the mind (clickable link). 

But they do have archaeological or national values........