Public Petitionary Protest against the Virulent Fundamentalism of a Powerful Buddhist Monk


  1.   Please visit this site for the U-Tube which records the denunciation and attack on a Muslim mosque near the Buddhist Temple at Dambulla mounted by Ven. Inamaluwe Sumangala Thero and a substantial crowd of Sinhalese …. Absorb.
  2. Then take in this open letter and public petition of protest initiated by GROUNDVIEWS and the Centre for Policy Alternatives …….………. Consider.
  3. And then SIGN if you agree and wish to add your name to the protest on behalf of all those who wish to sustain a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society in Sri Lanka.

Michael Roberts

My name is now part of the Petitionary protest, with a comment.

Name: Michael Roberts
Comment: Thank you for your initiative — it is as pointed as vital. The extremist position of Inamaluwe Thera and his supporters cannot be considered an isolated incident; while the deafening silence of the leading members of GoSL is disturbing in its future implications.
Inamaluwe Thera can hardly be placed in the lunatic fringe so his initiative has many potential ramifications. One is the erosion of the middle ground of politics and the promotion of extremism on all sides of Sri Lanka’s multi-cultural mosaic.

PS: Inamaluwe was also part of the wheeler-dealing associated with Rangiri Stadium in cohorts with Thilanga Sumathipala. Here the President did step in behind the scenes and sort matters out — after prompting by some politically astute members of Sri Lanka Cricket.

PS 2 on Rangiri Stadium: This stadium stands on grounds belonging to the Dambulla Temple and was built by Thilanga Sumathipala when chairman of the Sri Lanka cricket on a legal arrangement that effectively made the site into a personal fiefdom and pocket borough of Inamaluwē Sumangala Thera and Sumathipala in tandem. This may have been well and good when Sumathipala was in charge of SLC. But, when he was not in office this meant that the two between them held SLC to ransom if and when the Rangiri Stadium was needed for international matches.

SEE Roberts, “Rangiri Cricket Stadium and its Tempestuous History,” 10 July 2007 in rangiri_cricket_stadium.html

Roberts, “Governing Sri Lanka Cricket: Sumathipala as Premadasa,” in Essaying Cricket: Sri Lanka and Beyond,” Colombo: Vijtha Yapa Publishers, 2006, pp. 120-22.



Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, disparagement, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, racist thinking, Rajapaksa regime, sri lankan society, violence of language

2 responses to “Public Petitionary Protest against the Virulent Fundamentalism of a Powerful Buddhist Monk

  1. chandre dharmawardana

    I think what happened in Dambulla is not an ideologically driven act to label it as fundamentalism, virulent or otherwise. Fundamentalists are people who literally accept a religious or philosophical position word to word, “according to the book”, and act upon it, no matter the consequences . Here I see no sign of fundamentalism — more a battle for power and land between two groups fighting for hegemony over matters that concern mammon and not ideology. We see this kind of battle for land (under the cover of religion or ethnicity) happeniing all the time in Cyprus, Bosnia – need we mention Jerusalem, or Ireland? In Jerusalem and Ireland there are genuine die-hard fundamentalists acting “according to the inalienable word of God”.

    But in Dambulla, a landowner monk is clashing against others who he regards as encroachers — well then, the two sides should go to courts and determine ownership and land titles, the right to expand the existing mosque further etc. Instead mobs are mobilized and passions are roused to obfuscate justice.

    A majority of Sri Lanka’s problems after the end of terrorism arises because the judiciary, and the imposition of law and order have been sevearly damaged by a 30-year war. The much shorter wars in Iraq or Bosnia, civil strife in Pakistan, Bangaladesh have left those countries also in a doubtful state of law and order where the courts do not function efficiently in important cases. The Dambull incident should not be viewed as a case of religious activism and solutions should NOT be sought within such a perspective. The solution must be sougth in an overall re-strengthening of the judiciary, and the capacity to enforce the judgments of the courts without being influenced by pressure groups. That is, the civil administration has to be de-politicized.

    Thus in my humble view, talking of virulent religious fiundamentalism is totally misleading. The public petition is addressing the wrong issue and missing the real problem – the real problem is the need to reassert law and order .

  2. Happy Heathen

    The Groundviews website is invented for one reason only: To bash Sinhalese Buddhists.
    Just like the Rajapaksa & Co. they cannot stand dissent and or alternative views. Citizen’s Journalism my ****. What a load of crock!

    I have been banned from leaving comments on that web page, because I challenged the reason for only publishing selectively prejudicial views on one particular race and a religion, which amounts to bigotry and racism.

    Please do read my comments on

    We truly live in a Flat Earth Society with pseudo intellectuals like Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu.

    I sincerely believe that Michael Roberts would not fall in to that category.

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