Statement released by the Joint Committee of Buddhist Organisations
The Joint Committee of Buddhist of Organizations did not get involved in this emotional confrontation to aggravate a tense situation that prevailed a few weeks back. However we can no longer be silent on this issue in view of a statement by Minister for Lands Mr. Tennakoon and the aggressive stand taken by Muslim politicians who have made false assertions that a mosque existed at this particular site for over seventy years. On this issue Sinhalese and Buddhists have come under undue, false and unfair criticism both locally and internationally.
The incident in Dambulla should not be taken as an isolated incident. Not even a year has passed since the incident of a mosque in Mahameuna Uyana. With regards to the Dambulla incident, Minister of Justice and SLMC Leader Rauf Hakeem in a statement made to the media states that he is not agreeable to the relocation of the mosque built in the Dambulla Sacred Area. It is very unfortunate that such a statement should come from no other person than the Minister of Justice. He should always allow the Law to take its course.
Several other Muslim politicians and organizations have lodged their opposition to the relocation of this so called mosque on the basis that it had been in existence for over seventy years. This so called mosque does not have any features of a mosque proper although it is claimed that it had been there for over seventy years.
The so called mosque is situated about two hundred metres from the historical Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya. The assertion that this mosque has been in existence for over seventy years at this location is completely false. The land on which this mosque has been built was originally a land belonging to the Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya and had been acquired by the State during the Colonial rule. Subsequently these lands had been blocked out and sold. In the 1950’s a few of these plots had been acquired by Muslims. This land had never been used as a mosque. The Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya did not object to people of other faiths residing on lands around the temple. However we do not consider that the construction of a mosque almost in front of a historical temple is in any way conducive to religious harmony and mutual co-existence.
We regret to note the tenor of Mr. Hakeem’s statement and the statements made by a number of other Muslim politicians. We observe that there is an organized effort being made to build mosques in and around historical Buddhist monuments and temples and to settle Muslims around these temples.
In light of the above events, we call upon the government to ensure the effective and swift implementation of regulations already in place for obtaining authorization for the construction of places of worship, through involvement of religious parties concerned and proper coordination of the activities of Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, Urban Development Authority, Pradeshiya Sabhas and all other relevant government institutions, to prevent further incidences of this nature that threaten peaceful co-existence of numerous faiths in this island.
Maybe what they say could be true, but in the name of decency they should tender an apology for the vulgar and rowdyism and aggression shown by the monks towards the muslims during their prayers.
George Baron Monday, 28 May 2012 05:08 AM
GOvernment is silent on this as they depend total on the loans from Muslim countries. It is very unfortunate that so called Sinhalese leaders pave way for this king of thngs. Without mercy of Buddhists lived in the history, today threre couldn't have been Muslims or any other race in Sri Lanka. specially Muslims estremist always try to take advantage of the prevailing situations in the country. Sinhalese Buddhists have to be very vigilant about these things.
M.F.Najimudeen Monday, 28 May 2012 11:48 AM
What does the Joint committee of the Buddhist Organisation say about the behaviour of some of the so called monks on that shameful day? Their actions spoke louder than words...
finger on the pulse Monday, 28 May 2012 11:52 AM
The Government is reliant on loans from the UN but it did not stop them from being silent on the HR issue. Your statement of the reason for Government silence is seriously floored.
I seem to recall from history that Sri Lanka was not always Buddhist. I do not recal any of Buddhas teachings about having mercy for other religions ?? You sound like multi faiths only exist because of the kindness of Sinhalese Buddhists....what sort of Buddhism do you preach ?
lee Monday, 28 May 2012 12:18 PM
My friend without the mercy of the Muslims ancient kings of Sri Lanka would have probably starved to death as it was the Arab and Muslim traders who took the Sri Lankan spices to the international market and immensely contributed to the wealth of this land. Besides with Ottomans, Persians and Mughals as supreme super powers most of known world was dominated by Muslims for almost 1000 years. Who would've been at mercy you can decide for your self. It was not a question of giving mercy rather mutual interest due to which ancient kings treated Muslims fairly. We Muslims are till today thankful to this nation for the fair treatment offered to us through out the history and we are proud to be part of it.
kamran Monday, 28 May 2012 12:50 PM
Well said Mr. George Bush!1 no no no Baron!
Surely you will be the next President of Srilanka!
Nihal Tuesday, 29 May 2012 05:32 AM
-However we do not consider that the construction of a mosque almost in front of a temple is in any way conducive to religious harmony - so you mean to say the present budhism that the monks created and you follow, doesn't have tolerance towards other religion what do you mean by sarced area? did budha taught dambullla is a sarced area?if not does he gave these so clled monks the right to create such sarced areas after 2600 years? how many sarced areas are you planning to have in future? do something meaningful to preserve the peace amongs human being that is the need of the hour not sarced areas
Samantha Tuesday, 29 May 2012 08:04 AM
The argument that, only a handful of Buddhists are behind this Dambulla incident but a vast majority majority are not for destroying the Mosque, is getting weaker by the hour.
NAK Tuesday, 29 May 2012 10:49 AM
Yes,behaviour of some of the so called monks were shameful...but that does not take the main issue away. Land that the so called mosque stand on, has been accquired by the state some twenty years back and that accquisition has not been challanged in a court of law. So...this tin hut called a Mosque stands on government property illegaly. The muslim people of the area are prepared to to move the preyer house to another location they said that is why they built it temporaryly with tin sheets. Some muslim politicians from out side the area are getting in the way to create a situation from which they can make personnal gains. This is the same kind of thing the Tamil politicians did to the Tamil people. Hope the muslim people don't fall in the same pit as Tamils.
Mohamed Tuesday, 29 May 2012 12:41 PM
with the sincere intention of not trying to fish in troubled waters, here are some beautiful teachings from Gautama Buddha (as received via email from a dear friend) . for the record, I see Dambulla incident; unwarranted and opposed to relocation of the mosque.
If you are right then there is no need to get angry And if you are wrong then you don't have any right to get angry.
Patience with family is love, Patience with others is respect, Patience with self is confidence and Patience with one’s religion is faith.
Every test in our life makes us bitter or better, Every problem comes to make us or break us, Choice is our’s whether we become victims or victorious !!!
Remember me like a pressed flower in your Notebook. It may not be having any fragrance but will remind you of my existence forever in your life.
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