In a way, the Grandpass incident seemed like an answer to the Weliweriya mass uprising. In spite of stories made by the pro-government media, the protest of masses against the water pollution started out of their genuine concern for their basic health right. Water in that whole area was becoming unusable for day-to-day home use. The acid level rose sharply in the last few years.
Though there could have been number of reasons, people were certain that some factories had been responsible for the continued increase of pollution. Hence masses were demanding the government to safeguard their access to safe water. It was a spontaneous mass movement led by religious leaders who were in contact with these people on a daily basis.
The Government claims that there was a terrorist or conspiratorial group which created an incident for the army to be called in. It is still not clear who and for what reason the army was sent there to carry out a brutal attack.
"We have seen in the history how fascists mastered this kind of ‘conflict creations’. Saving the majority nation from the minority groups is a very powerful slogan that could undermine campaigns on social and democratic issues"
Only a fascistic conspirator could create such a genocidal attack to suppress a genuine mass movement which only demanded a basic human need. Thus this repression created a mass anger towards the government, and protests erupted in many areas condemning this military action.
The opposition declared that they were organising a huge demonstration in Fort on August 14. It is possible that the conspirators responsible for the military action concluded, unless the mass attention is diverted towards Sinhala chauvinism, on going mass protest could multiply into a mass rebellion. It could spread at least within the western province. Did they use a simple dispute that was there during the fasting period to produce a dirty Muslim Buddhist conflict in Colombo? It can develop into a controversy affecting many areas in the country.
We have seen in the history how fascists mastered this kind of ‘conflict creations’. In Germany, they claimed to defend the German race from conspiracies of Jews. Law was taken into their hand to display heroism on behalf of German people. Jews and other minority groups were attacked in order to mobilise German people on racist basis.
In the final analysis, it had been done to counter the upsurge of social struggle and spread of democratic and socialist ideas among the German people.
Saving the majority nation from the minority groups is a very powerful slogan that could undermine campaigns on social and democratic issues.
It is easy to arouse chauvinism and religious fanaticism among the majority, and divert the attention of the working masses within the majority nation, from social problems.
"Are they spreading Buddhism or destroying the very essence of Buddhism? So, these organisations that claim to defend Buddhism, but resort to criminal actions and violence against other faiths, do nothing to defend Buddhism, but do much harm to Buddhism"
Hence, always fascistic interventions take place whenever there is an upsurge of mass unrest based on social democratic issues. One can understand the rise of Sinhala chauvinism, but it is really surprising the use of Buddhism for the benefit of chauvinist campaigns.
Buddha promoted only four feelings and advocated suppression of ‘thrushna’ for this purpose. Those four feelings are Meththa, Karuna, Muthitha, and Upeksha.
Meththa means to accept and stand for the right of life of the other, to defend the right of existence of the other; Karuna means to accept and stand for the share of the other, to defend the share of the other; Muthitha means to appreciate and praise achievement of the other, to defend the creation of the other; Upeksha means to be patient and merciful for other people’s faults etc, to forgive and forget the mistakes of others. In order to establish such consciousness one has to defeat the deployment of ‘thrushna’ in one’s mind.
"The Buddha said he fought and defeated the ‘Maara’. ‘Maara’ means death and destruction. So what is before us today in the political domain is the struggle to defeat MAARA--the force of destruction"
Now the question arises whether those who claim to defend Buddhism work according to this fundamental teaching of Buddhism. At least, do they attempt to work according to such noble Chethana or intentions? Clearly the answer is no. In that case, how could such people do any good to Buddha’s preaching?
Are they spreading Buddhism or destroying the very essence of Buddhism? So, these organisations that claim to defend Buddhism, but resort to criminal actions and violence against other faiths, do nothing to defend Buddhism, but do much harm to Buddhism.
Such organizations and their leaders are really agents of ‘thrushna’. The word Buddha is related to the Tamil word ‘Puthiya’. It means awakening or the beginning.
The Buddha said he fought and defeated the ‘Maara’. ‘Maara’ means death and destruction. So what is before us today in the political domain is the struggle to defeat MAARA--the force of destruction.