All Sri Lanka patriots should ponder over aftermaths of the Dambulla Mosque incident.
First of all it is worthy of mentioning that there was a rumor spreading in foreign lands that a mosque has been demolished or burnt down by a mob attack lead by Buddhist priests. Such rumors have surely been purposefully alighted by anti- Sinhala-Buddhist enemies within and the evil west. No such incident took place.
Watching the incident one can clearly see the agitated crowd marching towards a poorly constructed shed used as a mosque by Dambulla Muslim community. Intention appeared to be causing damage to the controversial shed constructed illegally(as alleged) in the sacred area of Rangiri Dambulla and to show off the mighty people’s power. Peoples power movement and protest method of removing regimes was a new method introduced by the west to get rid of long standing single party governments and dictatorships ( as they call it). It is the reaction to such protest by armed forces that will normally fuel the process further to continue and grow. However, police forces acted extremely well to contain the anger of people and the heated arguments followed.
What was interesting was the dialogue took place between a female Muslim resident and the yellow robed person acting as the Chief Monk. The lady spoke with respect to the person in robes and said that the mosque was there for a long time. While the reason given by the lady would not validate the legality of the presence of the mosque in the sacred area of cultural heritage, the reply of the robed person was harsh, arrogant and is an insult to Buddhism. This is where the systematic demolition process of Buddhist culture is clearly evident as taking place.
This yellow robed person is not a “Buddhist Monk”. The proof of this statement is given in Kakachupama Sutta. Here, the Buddha has described his followers as follows.
Monk should be trained this way. In any event, you should train yourselves:
• ‘Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words.
• We will remain sympathetic to that person’s welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to the great earth — abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.’ That’s how you should train yourselves.
As an example The Buddha goes on , “ If a Bandit were to carve your limb savagely with a saw?
Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled
saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding. Even then you should train yourself.
After the incident government has indicated the intention to relocate the praying shed to a location outside the Dambulla sacred area. Neither demolition nor burning down took place and the Government acted in a commendable way with the help of police forces and officials.
Leaving aside the incident, disgusting behaviour of persons wearing robes of traditional Shagha and calling themselves as “Sangha” should be condemned by all Buddhist. If the person is really the Chief Monk of Dambulla, he should be removed immediately, even before the demolition of the shed used as the mosque. That will be a great benefit to Buddhism.
Results of this act by yellow robed bandits is a complete insult to Buddhism and what would probably happen is that the Muslim residents will get a properly constructed beautiful mosque somewhere else instead of the shed and this incident would likely to add fuel to diminution process of real Buddhism in Sri Lanka, unless these yellow robed persons are not allowed to lead the general public in a disgraceful manner.
Meanwhile Islamic extremism will be spread gradually, unless proper legal methods of containing aggressive movements determined to demolish Sinhala-Buddhist culture in Sri Lanka are established.