Violent pro-war Buddhists


by Sunny
28th August, 2006 at 10:17 am    

No really, they do actually exist. A Sri Lankan peace rally in which “saffron-clad Buddhists monks and Catholic priests and nuns in white [were] joined by Muslim and Hindu leaders” was disrupted by angry pro-war Buddhist monks.
Fistfights ensued. A tragic-comedy perhaps? [via Akram's Razor]


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  1. Vikrant — on 28th August, 2006 at 12:19 pm  

    Soo typical of you Sunny… Maligning Buddhists just coz it suits you. Were these pro-war monks in question using any religious justification for war? methinks these were just nationalistic religious nobodys expressing their personal opinion, much like the assortment of “sants”,”sahus” and “babas” who throng Hindutva ranks.

  2. Tasneem — on 28th August, 2006 at 1:17 pm  

    I wonder if these guys were right on a brief by the Sri Lankan Military/Intelligence. Any pointer on that? Off/on note, that’s a very common practise in Bangladesh: Army Intelligence using mullahs for street protests.

  3. Sunny — on 28th August, 2006 at 2:05 pm  

    Heh, Vikrant, being a “pro-war Buddhist monk” is a description. I haven’t implied they used their religion as a justification. Though people use anything to justify war and killing these days.

    Tasneem – good point but the article doesn’t suggest anything along those lines.

  4. Kisan — on 28th August, 2006 at 3:34 pm  

    More on the lines of moral equivalising to whitewash Islam from Sunny as per usual.

    I had a chance to see your sister site (asians in media) with its various apologetic articles about Tableegi Jamaat and interpal and why Rauf must be innocent.

  5. DR1001 — on 28th August, 2006 at 3:46 pm  

    At least there is some attempt to show other religious zealots or people that should know better being bhuddists an all.

  6. Vikrant — on 28th August, 2006 at 4:09 pm  

    I hate to tell you this Sunny but “moral equivalence for Islamist terror” is how this article comes across. Though i’m sure your intentions were different.

    BTW I’m it surprised you havent covered SGPC’s antics over a silly incident in India last week.

  7. Vikrant — on 28th August, 2006 at 4:17 pm  

    Sunny,

    Dude i sent you an email 3 days ago.. you still havent replied… heck i’m in Hounslow… dont make me call upon you ;)

  8. mirax — on 28th August, 2006 at 4:34 pm  

    >>No really, they do actually exist.

    You just realised this? Naive or what?!?

  9. Bert Preast — on 28th August, 2006 at 5:13 pm  

    I’m trying to shake an image here of a load of Jackie Chans in orange robes laying nuns out left, right and centre.

    Is the image accurate? I quite like it if I’m honest.

  10. mirax — on 28th August, 2006 at 7:14 pm  

    Next job for Sunny : find a Jain mass murderer.

  11. Angry Vikrant — on 28th August, 2006 at 8:55 pm  

    Next job for Sunny : find a Jain mass murderer.

    Not to mention bucthering Bahais and Zoroastraisn and Charvaks (if they r still around)

  12. Ismaeel — on 28th August, 2006 at 11:18 pm  

    Wow, i actually get to stick up for Sunny for once….
    Actually the Monks do use their religion as an excuse, my father is Sinhalese and i know a fair bit about this conflict. Buddhism is the national religion of Sri Lankan and historically the first Buddhist Kingdom, the myth goes that the Indian Buddhist convert Emperoer Asoka said a cutting from the original tree (sorry forgotten it’s name) under which Buddha recieved enlightenment to Sri Lanka to Sri Lanka. The people were consequently converted en masse and legends link this to a prophecy by Buddha himself. One of his teeth is purportedly housed in a famous temple in Kandy. Certain monks consider all of Sri Lanka a sanctified Buddhist land for Buddhists first and foremost, the idea of dividing the island or even devolving power to another religious community is considered sacriligious, or so goes the official line. Certain monks have supported many war mongering presidents, policies, parties and opposed many peace negotiations. They have also encouraged a very aggressive Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism which affects all non-Buddhists on the Island
    The reality however is rooted in the fact that the vast majority of monks in Sri Lanka are recruited from street children, becoming a monk is a way off the streets and a way to power, prestige and a lot of money. It is not uncommon to see monks driving around in flash cars, wearing silk robes or to see monks taking seats on buses from pregnant or old women. No doubt i will seem biased, but these are the complaints i hear from Sinhala Buddhist friends and contributed to me being put of Buddhism when i first visited Sri Lanka at a time (before i embraced Islam) when it was of great interest to me.

  13. Kismet Hardy — on 29th August, 2006 at 12:22 am  

    I’m starting a new movement. The Buddhist Punks

    My tagnut: Don’t be a shouldist, couldist or a wouldist, be a buddhist.

    I meant to say tagline and not tagnut, which is a dingleberry, aka the bit of poo crusted to your bum hair, but I’m gonna keep it in cos I’m a Buddhist Punk

    Stand by your mantra you crazy fuck monkeys

  14. Realist — on 29th August, 2006 at 6:19 am  

    This is the most racist blog I’ve ever read in my life! Get a life

  15. Deane — on 29th August, 2006 at 7:01 am  

    I think ismaeel comment above is rather misinformed.

    Sri Lankan Monks who engage in politics doesnt use Buddhism to advocate war. Probably because it’s impossible.

    Buddhism also is not the ‘national religion of Sri Lanka’ it has a constitutionally guaranteed special place. but officially it’s not the ‘state religion’.

    these monks who disrupted the rally, were Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalists which is a sort of a mind-set of superiority few people in Sri Lanka seems to promote and even fewer practice.

    Its important that you don’t judge Buddhist monks in general and believers in buddhism in SL by the actions of a few agitated elements.

    for the record, I’m not a Buddhist but I live in Sri Lanka.

  16. annon — on 29th August, 2006 at 8:31 am  

    They were probably paid to be clad in them clothes. Later that evening they got together for a drink i suppose at some well known polititians residence? Money can get you anything in SL.

  17. Kismet Hardy — on 29th August, 2006 at 11:17 am  

    Read the bit in Metro today about Eminem’s lyrics being Buddhist. It’s fairly amusing

  18. soru — on 29th August, 2006 at 2:38 pm  

    ‘doesnt use Buddhism to advocate war. Probably because it’s impossible. ‘

    Few if any things in human culture are impossible.

    http://faculty.uml.edu/enelson/buddhismandwar.htm


    He also shows the uses that the military intentionally made of Zen, such as modeling military life upon Zen monastic practices (from the organization of units down to mess-kits) and cultivating a philosophy which made Japanese indifferent to death and suffering—whether one’s own or others’. If a soldier did not care about his own life and was resigned to death, how much value could he see in the life of others?

    Lots of other interesting stuff on that page, including more on the Buddhofascist monks of Sri Lanka.

  19. Deane — on 29th August, 2006 at 3:53 pm  

    still, (i didnt bother to read) it doesnt negate the fact that they dont use, in any practical sense, buddhism to advocate war. if at all it’s their stature they use as monks.

    and they werent paid goons who dressed up as monks, there were a few recognizable faces. there is also no consensus among ‘monks’ on the conflict either, there are ‘monks’ on either side of the debate, of course the hardliners are more vocal.

  20. Sunny — on 29th August, 2006 at 3:57 pm  

    Whether one used religion, politics or the lack of peanuts to advocate war – war is still war and people still die in all contexts. The second world war wasn’t based on religion but guess how many people died.

    There seems to be this unnatural fixation with religion based war as if its historically shown to be more brutal than others. I’d like to see the evidence.

    Anyway. My point was not to say that these buddhists were using their religion as a pretext for war. Some of you chose to read it that way.

  21. soru — on 29th August, 2006 at 4:24 pm  

    It is not so much that religion is a pretext for war as vice versa.

    At one level there is the well known saying about fox-holes and atheists, at another, from the same link as above:


    Given Buddhism’s declared commitment to non-violence and compassion, how could Japanese Buddhists justify an aggressive and offensive holy war against the west and the colonization (in the name of liberation) of Japan’s Asian neighbors?

    Japanese scholars maintained that Japanese Zen was the perfection of Buddhism, one that overcame the pacifism and weakness of Asia.

    The government sought to legitimate its exploitive occupation of East and Southeast Asia in part by appealing to Zen’s role in creating a “pan-Asian” Buddhism capable of resisting Western colonialism.

    Which is, as the documentary the Power of Nightmares points out, a pattern of thought common to both neocons and Islamists: if we want to win wars, then we must have a warlike religion.

  22. Kismet Hardy — on 29th August, 2006 at 4:28 pm  

    “The second world war wasn’t based on religion but guess how many people died.”

    So it wasn’t about hating jews then?

  23. Suren — on 30th August, 2006 at 1:25 am  

    Bravo to pro-war monks

    David Warren, The Ottawa Citizen

    Published: Sunday, August 20, 2006

    My spirits were lifted this week, when a bunch of “pro-war Buddhist monks” (so described by the news agency) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, attacked a rostrum full of Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Buddhist clerical peaceniks.

    The peaceniks were promoting various acts of appeasement toward the psychopaths in Sri Lanka’s northern jungles who are called the Tamil Tigers.

    But mostly, they were like peaceniks anywhere — on the lookout for a photo opportunity.

    I must admit, there is a certain thrill in sanctimony, even when, as in the West, it involves taking no risks — and the harm you do, by undermining people who are risking their lives, can only come to others. That does not make it less evil, however. In my experience, the sanctimonious pose is the invariable indicator of a fraud, before God and his fellow man. You find that the moment his ideals are put to the test.

    Whereas truly righteous indignation is not a pose, and will endure testing.

    Naturally, the peaceniks fought back when attacked. Their prescriptions are only meant for others. It was a good scuffle, according to Reuters journalists, although “there were no reports of any serious injuries.”

    Hundreds of people have been slaughtered this year alone by the Tamil Tigers, who use — who pioneered — many of the techniques that fanatical Muslim terrorists now use around the world. They are the original “suicide bombers,” according to one account, and pioneering recruiters of women and children. Their fanaticism is more ethnic than Hindu — but anti-Muslim as well as anti-Sinhalese. Arguing with them is as pointless an activity as this planet offers. They are armed, organized, determined, ruthless and the thing to do is kill them. Capturing them is only a holding action, because they will return to slaughter when released.

    As usual, the western media tend to romanticize the Tamil Tigers, and give easily distracted attention to any “war crimes” that could possibly be charged against the legitimate forces of the government of Sri Lanka. What can I say? It is hard to account for the behaviour of some western journalists without a theory of demonic possession. I’m sure the pro-war Buddhist monks would agree.

    All I can say is, “Bravo, pro-war Buddhist monks!” You do honour to your saffron robes.

    Am I a warmonger, as many of my correspondents, and some journalistic colleagues, suggest? I am glad they are able to get something right. When there is a war to fight, and no alternative to fighting it, you bet I am a warmonger. The sooner we have destroyed the enemy, the sooner we can get back to sucking our thumbs.

  24. Luqman — on 30th August, 2006 at 1:39 am  

    Weren’t Buddhist monks the people who invented all those cool martial arts?

  25. Sunny — on 30th August, 2006 at 1:55 am  

    Damn to hell all those appeasing the soft and cuddly LTTE cubs! How dare they?

    What makes me really laugh about people, as part of wider communities, is that they think their actions are unique or that they’re different.

    9 times out of 10, you put any person of any race or religion in a given situation, they’ll behave predictably. I think that is perhaps my only underlying philosophy to all this.

  26. Roy — on 30th August, 2006 at 6:17 am  

    The peaceniks of the “anti war front” in Sri Lanka are a bunch of violent people who just preach “peace.” When it comes to practicing what they preach it is an entirely different matter as was displayed on TV. Funny how they have all the time in the world to protest in Colombo but not in Kilinocchi among the LTTE.

    And BTW Sunny, do you think Buddhist kings had no army? Never fought wars? Just gave up their kingdom to invading armies and said “love to all!”? History shows a different story. Buddhists are not pussies, and nor should they behave as such in the face of violent aggression and terrorism.

  27. mirax — on 30th August, 2006 at 6:34 am  

    Buddhists are not pussies!

    You just put Kismet’s efforts to launch a new slogan for pro-war buddhists to shame.

    Funny how young men with an obscene fascination for death often try to justify themselves with references to female genitalia and fluffy kittens.

  28. Roy — on 30th August, 2006 at 6:37 am  

    Buddhists are regarded as pussies. That’s why it’s a big deal when Buddhists show any tendencies towards war. If they become assertive in any manner Buddhism is used as a stick to beat them with. I guess all those folks in the Thai, SL, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Taiwanese armies etc are not “Buddhists” eh? Even the Dalai Lama owns an air rifle.

    Get over it.

  29. mirax — on 30th August, 2006 at 8:15 am  

    “Even the Dalai Lama owns an air rifle”

    He he! If only the chinese commies had been apprised of this fact; still Tibet might yet be free, once the buddhist ummah girds up for global warfare, eh?

    Do you realise that you come across as an extremely silly twerp, Roy?

  30. Sunny — on 30th August, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

    And BTW Sunny, do you think Buddhist kings had no army?

    I’m a big fan of King Ashoka (post enlightenment of course), so no I don’t.

  31. mirax — on 30th August, 2006 at 8:46 pm  

    SL truce monitors accuse GoSL of murdering 17 aid workers in Muttur:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5298470.stm

    Will this be headline news at PP, the way another atrocity in Kashmir was laid at the Indian Army’s door?

  32. Vikrant Singh a.k.a Amey — on 30th August, 2006 at 8:51 pm  

    I’m a big fan of King Ashoka (post enlightenment of course), so no I don’t.

    Not me though, it was precisely self-defeatist pacofost philosophy that Ashoka introduced in Indian politics, made India such a pushover for Islamic hordes centuries later…

  33. Vikrant Singh a.k.a Amey — on 30th August, 2006 at 8:52 pm  

    Will this be headline news at PP, the way another atrocity in Kashmir was laid at the Indian Army’s door?

    Which atrocity mira? Sunny jumped the gun on that article by believing Pankaj “rumour mill” Mishra.

  34. mirax — on 30th August, 2006 at 9:02 pm  

    Damn! Who let the boy loose on the blogosphere??!!

    Do I have to call you Amey now? Have fun, Amey, tilting away crazily on the pinko-leftists…

  35. mirax — on 30th August, 2006 at 9:11 pm  

    >>Sunny jumped the gun on that article by believing Pankaj “rumour mill” Mishra.

    Well yes but it took him a long time to admit it. It seems in the I-P conflict, terrorist groups are given a nuanced teatment as opposed to governments that respond to their tactics whereas SL appears to be a much more clear cut case here on PP, going by Sunny’s reproachful exhortation to SL Tamils to disawow the LTTE. I also remember Sajini’s paean to Mahinda Rajapakse when he came to power last year. I hold no brief for the LTTE but wonder how PP’s writers come by this selective moral clarity?

  36. mirax — on 30th August, 2006 at 9:12 pm  

    >>tilting away crazily ‘at’

    Must go to bed now, fingers falling asllep…

  37. Sunny — on 30th August, 2006 at 9:16 pm  

    Will this be headline news at PP

    mirax – should it be?

    as opposed to governments that respond to their tactics

    Again, making assumptions to suit your own agenda. Tell me – what is my position on the US, Indian, Israeli govts that never sway regardless of the situation?

    going by Sunny’s reproachful exhortation to SL Tamils to disawow the LTTE

    Neither do I make exceptions for other people supporting Hamas, Hizbullah or the Kashmiri groups.

  38. mirax — on 31st August, 2006 at 10:27 am  

    >>mirax – should it be?

    Why not? The cold blooded murder – shot at close range- of 17 aid workers is not egregrious enough? To put it up for discussion, rather than bury it? There are only allegations at present, no hard proof, but let’s look at the source of the allegations, the SLMM and its credibility. I am disappointed that PP is more caught up with the nuances of Chavez cosying up with dictators or the chance to take a cheap shot at buddhist monks’ shuffles than spend serious time on what’s happening in SL.

    >>Again, making assumptions to suit your own agenda

    Nope telling it as I see it, though I allow that I may be wrong. I’d bet that if an NGO were to make a similar accusation about say, the Isreali government, ‘allegedly’ acting thus in Lebanon or Gaza, we’d have seen a dozen headline posts by now, all hyperventilating outrage. Raz said it best on the other SL thread at the time of the school bombing in jaffna – over 60 girls killed- when he said that if this was the ME, the shit would hit the fan. Ok I grant that that reflects the obsessions/bias of the mainstream media but I was under the impression that PP aimed higher and was an Asian blog of sorts.

    >>Neither do I make exceptions for other people supporting Hamas, Hizbullah or the Kashmiri groups.

    You attempted a sleight of hand, excusing Hamas and Hezbollah as “NGO’s”, not so long ago! Maybe what we need to see from you is a headline post exhorting the Palestinians and Lebanese peoples to stop supporting their terrorist groups, eh? I think that you do make exceptions – not so much on bad faith but because you don’t think enough about the consistency of your own political positions and the conseqeuences thereof.

  39. Deane — on 2nd September, 2006 at 6:16 pm  

    “..the school bombing in jaffna – over 60 girls killed..”

    There was no school. it wasnt in Jaffna, Jaffna is under the control of the SL Government, this was in a LTTE held area. The LTTE claimed it was a first aid camp. Govt is saying it was a traning camp, and it was some of the LTTE child soldiers (of about 17) who was killed.

    the UN agencies said that the numbers dead were far less and and somewhere in the 20s. They also said it could have been a first aid camp.

    nobody knows for sure. it’s doubtful that anybody will know for sure. whatever the case, training Camp or AId camp. it was a stupid move by the govt.

    Deane.

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