Lankans slam bid to invite Dalai Lama

21 March 2015 05:35 am - 22     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The reported bid by a leading Sri Lankan Buddhist monk to invite the Dalai Lama to the island nation, has received flak from official as well as non-official quarters in Sri Lanka.

“It will stir up a hornet’s nest, as it goes against Sri Lanka’s time honored ‘One China’ policy. Lankans are acutely aware of the fact that China does not like any country inviting the Dalai Lama,” said a senior official of the Lankan Foreign Ministry, requesting anonymity.

Ven.Banagala Upatissa Thero, President of the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka, had expressed his wish to invite the Tibetan spiritual leader to his country at a conference organized by the International Buddhist Confederation in New Delhi  this week.   

“The timing of the monk’s announcement is most inappropriate as the Lankan President is to visit China on March 26. We wonder if someone is fishing in troubled waters,” the official said.

According to another official, the move reflects India’s bid to establish “civilizational links’ with Buddhist countries to counter China’s World Fellowship of Buddhists.

The majority Sinhalese community in Lanka views China as a firm and consistent friend, always coming to the island nation’s help in times of distress. When there was a severe rice shortage in Lanka in the 1950s, China agreed to barter its rice for Lankan rubber. Later, when Western nations and India refused to sell arms to Lanka to fight the LTTE, China sold weapons. China has pumped in billions of dollars into post-war infrastructure development projects. And all this, without making any political demands or raising human rights issues, Lankans point out.

In return, Lanka has refrained from inviting the Dalai Lama. Attempts by Buddhist monks to invite him in 1999 and 2006, were shot down by governments of the day.

“The Bodu Bala Sena wanted to invite him last year but the Chinese told the Rajapaksa government that it should not allow it,”  said BBS CEO, Dr.Dilanthe Withanage.

However, former Ambassador Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka said that given the pronounced pro-West leanings of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, government might allow the Lama’s visit. At any rate, the government has already alienated China by stopping its projects.(New Indian Express)
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  Comments - 22

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  • Bala Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:34 AM

    Typical MR protege Dayan - ready anytime to give a side shot at Ranil. Ranil is nowhere in the picture but Dayan good at this game.

    Desapriya Sunday, 22 March 2015 06:01 PM

    We don want Chinese politics and Srilankan politics to play on this topic. Highness Dali Lama should visit us. Whatever the friendship we have with China we should oppose that China illegally holding Tibet using military force.

    brainmaster Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:41 AM

    Soon the Sri Lankans will eat hoppers with chop sticks, just to please the Chinese !

    Sammy Sunday, 22 March 2015 12:59 PM

    Jackson, it was not the Hindus who destroyed Buddhism in India but fanatical Muslims. These Muslims destroyed desecrated many Hindu and Buddhist places and forcibly converted people in many countries in this region.

    stardust Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:53 AM

    Bad move. That shows only how much SL is already depending on China. No interference from USA, yes, but from China!

    aja Saturday, 21 March 2015 12:13 PM

    dam Crazy if the do Invite him

    Tilak Saturday, 21 March 2015 09:53 PM

    Sri lanka is an Independent nation and can invite anyone who it thinks fit to be invited. Dalai lama has visited many western countries as he is a spiritual leader. he is coming here not to propagate anti china sentiments .SRi Lanka Govt, need not invite him , but he should be permitted to get a visa and arrive in Sri Lanka without any hindrance.

    boris Saturday, 21 March 2015 10:14 PM

    I think its part of the Good Governance to allow the Dalai Lama to visit SL, even if the Chinese are against it. The visit of his Highness Pope Francis was a blessing for the country. The visit of the Buddhist Highness would even mean more.

    hari Saturday, 21 March 2015 02:42 PM

    It seems most Srilankans have sold their souls to China.The Dalai lama is the great spiritual leader of our time. Anybody who have had a glimpse of the Tibetans lifestyle would not hesitate to call them the true Buddhist. China had done everything in its power to grab land, steal their natural resources and condemned these innocent souls to decades of misery.

    Dalu Banda Saturday, 21 March 2015 02:46 PM

    " Ven.Banagala Upatissa Thero, President of the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka" Could this Venerable Monk be a " RAW" agent?

    sg Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:01 PM

    Another diplomatic issue will come soon in this regard, carefully handle with this monk. This is not a good invitation. If it is religious matter can be justified rather than hidden political agenda..

    hiran Gunawardena Sunday, 22 March 2015 12:54 AM

    Why they have to invote dalai lama. Lot of people think dalai lama is like Buddha but truth is he is someone causing distress and manipulate monks in Tibet to encourage separatists agenda. via DM Android App

    InvictuSriLankan Saturday, 21 March 2015 03:50 PM

    The present Dalai Lama is one of the greatest Spiritual Teachers of this time akin to Eckhart Tolle, J Krishnamurthi etc. He is an amazing human being advocates Kindness and Tolerance as his Religion, which makes it kind of Ironic that the BBS wanted to invite him, probably just to stir up diplomatic issues and for cheap publicity. I hope that President Sirisena will overlook the political paranoia and see that Sri Lanka indeed need more people like the Dalai Lama visiting us.

    InconvenientTruth Tuesday, 24 March 2015 09:00 AM

    Unfortunately Dalai Lama is and has been used as an anti Chinese propaganda tool by the US, making him into a Hollywood Celebrity, see the article in New York Times from 1998 belowhttp://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/02/world/world-news-briefs-dalai-lama-group-says-it-got-money-from-cia.html

    People Sunday, 22 March 2015 08:21 AM

    Can the Lankans, who claim to be Buddhist, sometimes pure Buddhists, be fortunate enough to see this great man, in fact, one of the greatest few living Buddhist personalities. They have already seen pope first.

    dulan Sunday, 22 March 2015 08:36 AM

    This monk and a group behind is just trying to create problems for President Sisisena .Why did they not invite the Lama when MR and Chandrika was in power for 20 years.

    Rodney Saturday, 21 March 2015 05:52 PM

    You can never trust India. China is a better ally

    Nims Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:16 AM

    Let the idiots to go ahead and lose someone who is always prepared to stand by Sri Lanka

    Jackson Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:26 AM

    India has a history of destroying buddhism, The first persecution of buddhists was began by hindus. North indian upper caste elite hindus plotted the downfall of buddhism in india,Kashmir ,pakistan and afghanistan ..South india chola kings attcked sri lanka ,maldives ,indonesia and malaysia destroying buddhist kingdoms.

    Veritas Saturday, 21 March 2015 07:24 PM

    If Sri Lanka wants to show it is not under the thumb of China..if Sri Lanka wants to demonstrate its 70% adherence to Buddhism...if Sri Lanka wants to be a part of the world that acknowledges the plurality of religious beliefs, then she needs to welcome the Dalai Lama with open arms and a loud Ayuboowan, because the Dalai Lama is the epitome of tolerance. He has been welcomed by the Pope, the president of the United States,and countries around the world. He lives in India, where not all are Buddhists. Narrow minds of course tend to influence the directions of this country.

    Veritas Saturday, 21 March 2015 07:28 PM

    Brainmaster: Sri Lankans are never going to handle chop sticks--most cannot even handle a knife and a fork. Your sarcastic comment produced mine!

    Gobba Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:32 AM

    My My My so BBS racist CEO has been given DR title by the DM !! What kind of a doctor is he ? I thought that the Dalai Lama was highly critical of BBS actions here. How come they (BBS) wanted to "invite" him ?


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