Buddhist Monk In Batticalao Abusing Officials, I’m Silenced – Minister Mano Ganesan Tells Civil Society

Minister of National Coexistence Dialogue and Official Languages and Colombo District Parliamentarian Mano Ganesan called the Sinhala civil society to have a look at the Batticaloa Buddhist monk Ampitiye Sumanarathana of Mangalarama Temple who abused the Grama Sevaka Niladhari few days ago.

The minister in an open letter to the Sadharana Samajayak (National Movement for Social Justice), Professor Sarath Wijesooriya, Sisira Jayamaha, Palitha Lihiniyakumara, R.S.Jayarathna, J.C. Waliamuna Rev.Father Ried Shelton Fernando, Lal Wijenayake, Dr. Jayantha Dhanapala, Saman Rathnapriya, Gamunu Wijerathne, Richard Thanippuliarachchi and Wasantha Kulathunge, urged to have look a at the 2.23 minute video where the monk is abusing the government servant.

“What shall we do on this? What is your stand? I am a Cabinet minister in this government. Besides, I am the Minister for National Coexistence Dialogue and Official Languages. I am not impotent. I demand action,” he lashed out.

He said he has seen worst cases than this during the last regime.

“I have come through the murderous path of the former regime. Therefore I will not think twice to open my mouth. But I am requested to maintain patience.

“The usual theory is that, “such are isolated incidents. And they need to be ignored. If responded such would disturb the good governance path of the government”. Therefore, anybody in robe and also in uniform go scot-free. They have the impunity.

“If I demand action it will be easily twisted as a Tamil against Sinhala Buddhists. But if the right thinking Sinhalese are going to maintain silence we will have no option. When Respectful Ven. Sobitha Thera formed his organization National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ), and announced it at a media conference at the library services hall, I was seated on his right. I translated the name title of his organization in Tamil. Now we are not there as we are engaged in other activities. But I am glad you gentlemen are carrying his flag steadily.

While opposing and campaigning against corruption, why don’t NMSJ also campaign against the racism and in this case here filthy racism? Let us face the fact. BBS general secretary was taken to courts some time before, when it occurred in the south between Sinhala based political and social forces. But when such hate speech and communal action of such kinds occur against the Non-Sinhala Buddhist, they are tolerated. It is an indirect license to communalism against minorities. Hooligans are given informal nod to continue with their hate campaign. “Jathiwadaya Walakweeme Panatha” (Counter-Communalism Act), is the sensible idea.

But we need to push for it. We need acts to counter terrorism as well as counter communalism too. Weeks before, an innocent Tamil family was manhandled and threatened by the mob led by a monk in Rathmalana.

In another incident few hooligans used filthy threatening language against Muslim community in daylight in front of the Fort Railway station. All are in the face book social media obtaining large numbers of ‘likes’. Where are we, as a country going from here? I am bombarded by the queries of Tamil and Muslim communities. I wish we have a discussion to plan action on this so that I can inform the alarmed the members of Tamil and Muslim communities, that progressive right thinking people in the south are attending to your worries. (By Myrna L)

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