Dickwella religious representatives exchange numbers – No room for external influences

98d4d27e6017baaec533fdf3014d7435_MIn an exemplary act of solidarity religious leaders, both Muslim and Buddhist, met at the Muhiyibdeen Jumma Mosque at Yonakpura, Dickwella, recently. Chief Incumbent Priests of eight Buddhist temples in Dickwella led by Dickwella Shasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya President Ven Godellewela Rathananda Thera spent close to two hours at the Mosque last Monday night. The decision to visit the mosque was made on the instructions of Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dullas Alahapperuma.

The delegation of monks accompanied by members of Dickwella Pradeshiya Sabha led by Chairman Krishali Muthukumarana, Dickwella Police OIC, Lasantha Dadallage and other Government officials were warmly welcomed by the Moulavi of Muhiyideen Jumma Mosque Mohamed Akbar Mohamed Shamil.
Speaking to The Nation, Dickwella Pradeshiya Sabha led by Chairman Krishali Muthukumarana informed that such acts of solidarity were nothing new to Dickwella. “Due to a conflict that occurred in Dickwella a few years ago, we decided to form a conflict reporting committee,” said Krishali Muthukumarana. Over the years , the Dickwella Conflict Reporting Committee met regularly in order to solidify religious and racial harmony.

“On the instructions of Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, the Committee met again last Monday at an emergency meeting held at the Dickwella Pradeshiya Sabha,” informed Krishali Muthukumarana. Both Muslim and Buddhist religious leaders, Dickwella Police OIC, Lasantha Dadallage, members of Dickwella Pradeshiya Sabha and representatives of Dickwella youth took part in the discussions.

“As a result of these discussions the Moulavi of Muhiyideen Jumma Mosque at Yonakpura, Dickwella,  Mohamed Akbar Mohamed Shamil extended an invitation to Chief Incumbent Priests of eight Buddhist temples in Dickwella to visit the Mosque.”
Dickwella Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, Krishali Muthukumarana explained that conflicts take place due to lack of understanding. “If a Buddhist bumps into a Buddhist there is no problem. But if a Muslim bumps into a Buddhist, it’s a big issue. Muslims are not familiar with Buddhist culture and Buddhists are not familiar with Muslim culture. This sort of environment is conducive to conflict. At village level cricket there are separate teams for Muslims and Sinhalese. But in Dickwella it’s different. This sort of solidarity has to seep into village level community based activities as well,” reiterated Krishali Muthukumarana.

“The president of the Muhiyibdeen Jumma Mosque, who was abroad at the time of the Aluthgama incident saw this as a great opportunity to further strengthen our religious and racial ties,” said Muhiyibdeen Jumma Mosque, Dayaka Sabha Secretary,  Mohammed Affan. “We welcomed the Nayaka Theras in the traditional Muslim way, with both hands. We don’t have chairs in the mosque. But we brought a few chairs in for the event.”
According to Affan Dickwella’s religious solidarity dates back to 1452, when the daughter of Parakrama Bahu VI, Bisomenike married Yemenite, Ashek Kuthud Muhammad. They were gifted Dickwella, then Digali Gambaraya, Kuwaiti for ‘prosperous earth’, by the King.

“Since then the relatives of princess Bisomenike and those of Ashek have been living in harmony,” said Affan. In 1575, the Mosque built by Ashek was leveled to the ground by the Portugese, explained Affan. “It was the monks of the Galkanda and Digawalukarama Temple who helped the Muslims who still help and work together with us to this day.”
“All these conflicts, including the conflict that took place in Dickwella in 2009, were the result of external influences,” pointed out Affan. “We must work together to reject such influences, leaving no room for rumors. During the discussions that followed the Aluthgama incident we exchanged phone numbers, so the truth to any rumor can be determined right away.”

“When Aluthgama launched harthal, we didn’t. Therefore there was no harthal against the harthal,” said Dickwella Shasanarakshaka Bala Mandalaya President Ven Godellewela Rathananda Thera. “It’s because the situation was remedied before it blew out of proportion.” Godellewela Rathananda Thera explained that the conflict that took place in Dickwella few years ago acted as a precedent.
Moreover, he commended the residents of Muslim Street, in which Budu Raja Maha Vihara is located, for organizing the Dansala that coincided with the temple’s Vesak procession. “Dickwella was spared of a full-fledged conflict due to the unity of the mosques and temples in the area. We are positive that nothing bad will happen in Dickwella as long as this solidarity is maintained.”

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– See more at: http://www.nation.lk/edition/news-features/item/30519-dickwella-religious-representatives-exchange-numbers-no-room-for-external-influences.html#sthash.6OEPvPrN.dpuf

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