Readers Comments

Jan 15 (IL)

Dear Sir,

Tilak Dias comments on the Mahanayake's in essence was correct, however he disregarded some facts. If not for the rich and powerful mahanayake's, there wouldn't be any person to be called a Buddhist in Sri Lanka since about 400 years. He should look into the Sri Lanka history of late, how the last Malayalam Kings tried to promote Hinduism over Buddhism. It was that hopeless once for the Buddhist that there was no ordained Buddhist priest but laymen named "Ganinnanse", to perform Buddhist rights at the funerals etc; Mr.Dias himself, from his family name I presume is a descendant of a Portuguese converted Christian even though he tries to present himself a Buddhist. He could well also be a re-converted Buddhist for personnel gain, like many of the influential politicos of yester year and current. With all the drawbacks of the Buddhist priests it will not be able for a Buddhist to attack the Mahanayake in such manner. I greatly respect the Vietnamese priest for his generous gesture. There are only a extremely few number of such persons in this world. Most of us are not in that category, including Mr.Dias. So why ask only Mahanayake's. The pope too made a similar comment, even before the Mahanayake's did so. Would Mr. Dais ask the pope to sell his estate and give the proceedings to the Tsunami victims?

The Mahanayake's in Sri Lanka, I believe is an asset to us Buddhists, especially Buddhism is under attack They have to be powerful and rich, to counter the riches and power of the Christian and other churches and their onslaught of missionary activity. Looking after the welfare of the people is the business of the government. Advising the government on occasions of danger is the duty of the Mahanayake's, as they did advice the Sinhala kings before. And by advising to shed the differences and unite was most timely at least to the UNP leadership, to try to clear up the mess they put the rest of the country irrespective if sinhala, tamil or muslim, by signing a unilateral MOU with the LTTE excluding the rest of the political parties as if they did not exist and also recognizing LTTE from organizations such as the TRO as an NGO. It seems to be that Mr. Dias is oblivious to these facts.

Secondly, Mr. Dias attacked only the Bandaranayake family. Why did he not attack the UNP which too governed the country for long period just as the SLFP did. Mr. Dias's otherwise valuable critical article, I regard simply as a misguided politico/religious attack on the Mahanayake's priests.


Ranjit Wimalaratne