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Dambulla – Our Story

4 June 2012 06:30 pm - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By H.M. Muhuthar, President, Matale District Masjids’ Federation
I refer to the article 'Dambulla - Untold Facts' published on 28.05.2012. The article refers to this so called mosque as not having any features of a mosque and states that there was no mosque in the location to begin with. This news is misleading.

I doubt whether the Joint Committee of the Buddhist Organisations had studied the bona fides of the real situation without being misled by the priest in charge of the Ranagiri Vihara who was a young priest when Rev. Ananda Nayake was living. Rev. Ananda Nayake was a close friend of my late father and on route to Kekirawa, Maradankalawala and Dambulla, my late father never failed to visit him. As my father never missed his prayers five times a day, we would attend this mosque for prayers. This was since the 1960s.

The article clearly states that the lands were blocked out and sold and the Muslims have owned it since 1950. It is also evident that unlike those of other religions Muslims do pray five times a day and it is compulsory on Fridays. If not for the mosque, where would the Muslims in the area have prayed? I have attended various functions with the Mosque Committee with our priests in which Hon. Janaka Tennekoon participated. I can remember having met his late father Hon. T.B. Tennekoon who encouraged the building of the mosque. Therefore the Minister cannot hide the fact that he has known to be true from his young days.

Everyone in Sri Lanka knows that there was a mosque in the said premises. For Muslims, even a cadjan shed could easily be looked upon as a mosque and is treated as holy. It need not be a luxurious building in the manner of present day mosques that are being built.

I appeal to the Joint Committee of Buddhist Organizations to rectify the wrong statement that was published. I live in Ukuwela and the Wehigala Viharaya is opposite the mosque. We live very cordially and partake in all activities along side the Nayake priest Sarananda. When he wanted to get electricity to the vihara, it was taken through the mosque. We even cooperated in the building of a bridge to cross the river.

The Muslims in Matale live peacefully together and the tragedy is that an extremist group is creating a very serious division amongst us and trying to agitate the Muslims. We all must unite without bringing disharmony among communities as Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and live without differences of caste, community, and religion. We all must unite to build Sri Lanka and make our country prosperous as our motherland. We must do this together.
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  Comments - 18

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  • Mr.M Tuesday, 05 June 2012 06:14 AM

    Mr B

    non of the so called muslim countries are ruled with correct islamic principal.i am working in saudi arabia since long time but still we are working as slaves here even though i am a muslims.this is the reality for any forigners in this country.
    if you want sri lanka (multi ethnic) to be same like saudi arabia(100% mulims) towards his citizen.
    you will never get a peace what we want.

    Sapumal Bandara Tuesday, 05 June 2012 11:17 AM

    TYPICAL ARROGANT JIHAD ATTITUDE.

    ramesh Thursday, 07 June 2012 05:34 AM

    if you are having sucha big mouth. Why non muslims of Srilanka go to muslim countries to work mostly as labours and maids. The problem here is that you are afraid that muslims will dominate one day. which I should say is just a phobia. What about Bangladesh where Buddist have no problem with Muslims. Dont you see the positive side of anything. You are a hypocrite.

    Hussain Tuesday, 05 June 2012 07:17 AM

    The day all religions are banned from this earth, will be the day all people would be happy & live in peace with one another. If not for religion people would not be so divided & categorized into groups. Not only is there not the slightest jot of evidence for the existence of anything which we might think of as "God", there is no need for such a myth to explain the universe.
    That being said, however, many, if not most, human beings are determined to believe in a god, and it is unlikely that they can be persuaded otherwise, even though we non-believers find it baffling that apparently intelligent people can still cling to this superstitious nonsense in the 21st century.

    indike Monday, 04 June 2012 09:00 PM

    it starts like that, yes, they start praying at a home very cunningly, and slowly it becomes a umma mosque. that's what starts all the troule. this house has been there for 50 years you say? well it belonged to buddhists for 2000 years, until muslims were given refuge.

    Hazik Tuesday, 05 June 2012 12:23 PM

    Has this boundary been declared by Lord Buddha or ha this boudary been defined by sacred Buddist scripts at the time of Lord Buddha? Claims of thare nature are baseless and subject to total refute.

    Mr. B Wijeyasingha Monday, 04 June 2012 11:12 PM

    The twisted logic of Mr. H. M. Muhuthar is telling. Dambulla is a sacred and historic Buddhist place for centuries. It does not matter if that Mosque existed for 50 years. It can be said it took 50 years to finally address the issue of a Muslim edifice in Buddhist sacred site. If the Muslims in that area need a Mosque build it outside Dambulla and make the trip to that mosque. praying five times a day occurs where ever a Muslim is and not in a Mosque. The final irony is his platitude when he states "We must all unite..." That is fine and dandy for him to say that in Buddhist Sri Lanka but can a Buddhist priest say the same in Saudi Arabia or in most of the 52 odd Muslim nations without being summarily tossed out of the nation? religions tend to evolve with the changing times but Islam has not and it is time those words uttered by Mr. Muhuthar echo in Muslim lands as well. When a Vihara is built in Mecca then lets talk about the Mosque in Dambulla.

    M.V.R.Perera Tuesday, 05 June 2012 08:04 AM

    I am a not a Buddhist or a Muslim but why not the Muslims who when they were persecuted by the Portuguese because of their religion given refuge by the Sinhala Buddhist who were in Sri Lanka for over 2000 years vacate the premises voluntary without this being made into a Sinhala Muslim row

    Sri-Lankan Lover Thursday, 07 June 2012 07:58 AM

    Dear Indika,

    If you dont know about Muslims please shut your mouth

    lee Tuesday, 05 June 2012 09:22 AM

    When the Portuguese persecution happened the Muslims were already living in the country and the records says Arab traders have been visiting the Island for over 2000 years. The local kings patronized the Arabs who later became Muslims because they were the masters of sea who connected this Island to the international spice trade. Besides Muslims were a major power dominating all of Asia and SInhalese / Tamil kings of this country had every reason to maintain good relationship with them........ Mind you the generosity was linked to the benefits. Hence we are not in an inferior position to give up anything that is our right.

    Bonnie Malli Tuesday, 05 June 2012 09:26 AM

    Co's every Sri Lankan has equal rights.... are you telling me if a buddhist today becomes a muslim he will have less rights to practice the faith he has chosen?

    Bonnie Malli Tuesday, 05 June 2012 09:28 AM

    Co's every Sri Lankan has equal rights.... are you telling me if a buddhist today becomes a muslim today he will have less rights to practice the faith he has chosen?

    Bonnie Malli Tuesday, 05 June 2012 09:29 AM

    Co's every Sri Lankan has equal rights.... are you telling me if a buddhist today becomes a muslim today he will have less rights to practice the faith he has chosen?

    Ashik Tuesday, 05 June 2012 09:34 AM

    I believe you have not visited Indonesia which is the worlds most populous Muslim nation. Please make a visit and see all the historical Budhist monuments well protected there in spite of Budhism being less than 2% of the population. On the way you pls stop over at Malaysia as well to see more sacred Budhist monuments... up on your return please visit Pakistan and go to Taxila and report back to us on what you sae there. I hope you know what does Taxila means to Budhism.

    Wayne Tuesday, 05 June 2012 10:34 AM

    what happened in dambulla was very ugly and the monks who took part are a disgrace. On the other hand, many Muslim nations are intolerant of other faiths. Would a temple be allowed in Saudi Arabia.? Even in the Maldives Islam is state protected. The sl Muslims have to understand that dambulla is a sort of Buddhist Mecca and refrain from encroaching.

    kudu Tuesday, 05 June 2012 05:47 AM

    another case of monks and mullahs
    using religion
    to grab state land
    too bad there is a lot of ignorant goofs in this country
    who buy into this cock and bull
    and adding fuel to the fire we have
    a corrupt bunch of ministers
    in modara there is a mosque
    these guys are expanding by encraoching on state land
    creating a dangerous situation for the residents of that area
    the earth bund that holds the reservoir in the eliehouse park
    has been taken out
    then came the CMC workers who are building a mini temple
    inside the elie house park
    all appeals fell on deaf ears
    even the mayors orders to stop building was not heeded
    slowly the playground has been rented out or donated to privete companies or individuals
    the cost is more poor children in the area do not have a place to participate in sports activity

    kudu Tuesday, 05 June 2012 05:48 AM

    stealing from the poor and little children deserves the death penalty

    kudu Tuesday, 05 June 2012 05:51 AM

    monks and mullahs are destroying society
    competeing against each other
    building bigger mosques and temples
    with the help of corrupt criminal politicians
    bigger speakers blaring sound
    competing to make the biggest noise
    people living in the area have to scream to be heard


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