Org.s & civil activists urge govt. to take action
Several organizations, individuals and members of Sri Lankan and international civil society say that they condemn the recent wave of violence against the Muslim community.
The complete press release is as follows :
Sri Lankan Government: Take Urgent Action to Stop Attacks on Muslims
We the under signed organizations, individuals and members of Sri Lankan and international civil society condemn in the strongest possible terms the latest wave of horrific violence led by the extreme right-wing Sinhala Buddhist organisation, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS – The Buddhist Power Force) against the Muslim community of south-western Sri Lanka in the towns of Aluthgama, Beruwala, Velipenna and Dharga Town.
According to reliable sources in the area, in the last two days at least four Muslims and one Tamil have been killed by mobs following a BBS rally led by Its General Secretary, the Buddhist Monk Galagodaaththe Gnanasara in which he referred to the Muslim community in the most inflammatory and threatening terms after days of inter-communal tension and clearly inciting hatred and violence. A further eighty people have suffered serious injuries including shooting and knife wounds. Mosques have been torched and stoned and many Muslim owned houses and businesses attacked and destroyed.
It is noticeable that there has not been an official call from the President of Sri Lanka (apart from two twitter messages) to bring an end to the violence or to provide clear orders to the security forces to maintain law and order. The BBS has been allowed to lead a systematic and sustained campaign of violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka attacking individuals, places of worship and business over the past three years. Recent tensions in the area were well known and have been brought to the attention of the political leaders of Sri Lanka but they have failed to act decisively.
Despite heavy presence by the Sri Lankan security forces now in the area, there has been very little meaningful protection and a night time curfew was not respected by the mobs. The riots have not been controlled and instead have spread to neighbouring villages, where innocent men, women and children are fearful for their lives. So far not many arrests have been made and the BBS General Secretary Gnanasara is allowed to roam the area freely inciting further hatred and violence. Independent journalists, community leaders and politicians have been refused entry into the area to report on events or to seek ways to address them. Vans carrying relief supplies into the area have been set alight.
Therefore, we call on the Government of Sri Lanka to take immediate and effective action and ensure that all perpetrators of this shameless violence are arrested without delay and that peace is immediately restored.
The Sri Lankan government bears ultimate responsibility to contain violence against religious minorities. The President who is also the Minister of Law and Order, and Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Secretary of Defence, are both abroad on foreign trips but should return to the country immediately to ensure law and order is maintained and reassure their citizens that appropriate actions are being taken by deploying adequate security forces to protect minorities from further violence.
The Government must also act to allow independent journalists and community leaders to enter the area safely to report on events and seek to address them in a peaceful manner.
Further, the Government must act now to bring to an end this three year campaign of hate speech and violence by the BBS – enough is enough
We call upon the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation at the highest level to communicate its grave concerns to the President and Government of Sri Lanka, calling upon the authorities to act immediately to curb attacks on Muslims in Sri Lanka.
We call upon all Buddhist nations to express profound concern at the systematic and sustained violence perpetrated in the name of the Lord Buddha.
Finally, we call upon the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Heiner Bielefeld, to take this issue up in the strongest possible terms with the Sri Lankan government and to request permission to undertake an urgent visit to Sri Lanka and report on these events.
We stand in solidarity with the victims and survivors of the villages of Aluthgama, Beruwala, Dharga Town, Walpitiya and Velipenna.
1. A.M.Faaiz, Attorney-at-Law Director, Secretariat for Muslims
2. Ahilan Kadirgamar
3. Aingkaran K. Attorney-at-Law
4. Aino Salish Kendra, Dhaka, Bangladesh
5. Aliya Firozvi
6. Amarnath Amarasingham
7. Ameena Hussein
8. Anberiya Haneefa MWRAF
9. Anenta Ratneswaren - UK
10. Anita Nesiah
11. Anthony Anghie, University of Utah
12. Anuraj Sinnaththamby – UK
13. Anushka Kahandagama
14. Arjini Nawal
15. Aruni John
16. Asha Abeyasekera-Van Dort
17. Ashika GunasenaSerasundera
18. Bhavani Fonseka
19. Cassam Uteem, Club de Madrid and former President of Mauritius
20. Chandra Lekha Sriram Professor of International Law and International Relations University of East London
21. Chinniah Rajeshkumar
22. Chulani Kodikara
23. Dayapala Thiranagama
24. Deanne Uyangoda
25. Delores Robinson GROOTS Trinidad and Tobago
26. Dennis McGilvray, Professor Department of Anthropology University of Colorado at Boulder
27. Dharmasena Pathiraja Film maker and academic
28. Dinusha Panditaratne
29. Dr. Udan Fernando, Visiting Academic, Open University of Sri Lanka.
30. Dr. Varun Soni, Dean of Religious Life, University of Southern California
31. Dr.SamanthiJ.Gunewardena Lecturer in Gender and Development Monash University.
32. E. Valentine Daniel
33. Einul Azeema Lal Director, Kaleels Maradana Nursing Home
34. Estella Schmid – UK
35. Faizun Zackariya- Co- founder, Chair, Director of Muslim Women's Research and Action Forum
36. Farzana Haniffa
37. Fr. Jeyakumar
38. Fr. Sebamalai (Mannar Citizen’s Committee)
39. Gananath Obeysekere
40. Garvin Van Dort
41. Gayatri Wijekoon Academic
42. Ghulam Mustafa Dulal , Executive Director, Gonoshasthaya Kendra
43. Godfrey Yogaraja Executive director, Religious Liberty Commission, World Evangelical Alliance
44. Harshini Ranasinghe
45. Herman Kumara National Fisheries Solidarity Movement.
46. Jayanta de S wijeratne
48. Jeanne Marecek, PhD. Wm. Kenan Professor Emerita, Swarthmore College. USA
49. Jothie Rajah, Research Professor, American Bar Foundation.
50. Judith Large
51. Juwairiya Mohideen
52. Karamat Ali, Executive Director, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, Karachi, Pakistan
53. Karunai Karunailingam – UK
54. Khushi Kabir Human Right Activist, Bangladesh
55. Kirupa Hoole
56. Kuhanithy Gunachandran
57. Kumudu Kusum Kumara
58. Kumuthini Samuel
59. Lakshan Dias Board member Rights Now and Chairman SANRIM
60. Lareef Zubair Visiting Lecture University of Peradeniya
61. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna- Samarasinha
62. Luz Mendez, Executive Board, National Union of Guatemalan Women
63. M A Sumanthiran B Sc LLM, Attorney at Law, Member of Parliament (TNA)
64. M Y M Siddeek – UK
65. M. Mangaleswary -Attorney-at-Law
66. M.K. Perinparaja, Attorney-at- Law Kalmunai
67. M.Rahman, Mannar
68. Mahaluxumi Kurushanthan , Mannar
69. Mahendran Thiruvarangan
70. Mala Liyanage, Executive Director Law and Society Trust.
71. Mario Gomez
72. Matt Withers
73. Mihiri Varnasuriya
74. Mihiri Warnasuriya
75. Mohamed Adamaly
76. Mohamed Farook, Attorney-at-Law, Akkaraipattu
77. Mohamed Rayees
78. Mushtaq Fuad
79. Nagulan Nesiah
80. Nalini Ratnarajah
81. Neloufer de Mel
82. Nilakshi de Silva
83. Nimmi gowrinathan
84. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri.
85. Nirmala Rajasingam
86. Nisreen Jafferjee
87. Pakkiyanathan Vijayashanthan
88. Prashanth Kuganathan, Teacher's College, Columbia University
89. Priyanthi Fernando
90. Professor Maithree Wickramasinghe
91. Qadri Ismail University of Minnesota
92. Raghu Balachandran
93. Rajan Hoole
94. Rajany Chandrasegaram, Jaffna
95. Ramani Muttettuwegama
96. Ratnajeevan Hoole
97. Rishana Haniffa
98. Rohini Hensman
99. Ruki Fernando
100. S. Nanthikesan
101. S.H.M. Manarudeen, Attorney-at-Law, Maruthamunai
102. Saadiqua Fauz
103. Samantha de Silva
104. Sarawanan Nadarasa
105. Savi Hensman
106. Shahul Hasbullah
107. Shamila Daluwatte
108. Sharika Thiranagama
109. Sharm Aboosally
110. Shayani Jayasinghe
111. Sheba George, SAHR WARU Women's Action and Resource Unit, Ahmedabad
113. Shreen Abdul Saroor
114. Sithiravel Ithayarani
115. Sithy Zulfika
116. Suba Sivakumaran
117. Sumathy Sivamohan
118. Syed Mohammad Ali, Post-doctoral Fellow, McGill University – UK
119. Tanuja Thurairajah
120. Tasneem Ahmar, Director at UKS- Research centre on women and media, Pakistan
121. Teesta Setalvad Journalist and Secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace in the state of Gujarat
122. Thenuwara Chandraguptha
123. Usha Ganapragasam Akkaraipattu
124. V.V. Ganeshananthan Lanka Solidarity- USA
125. Vairamuttu Vardakumar and Tamil Information Centre- London
126. Vanie Simon Akkaraipattu
127. Vasuki Jeyasankar
128. Vasuki Nesiah, Assoc. Prof. of Practice, New York University
130. Yasmin Sooka , Executive Director Foundation for Human Rights, Former member of South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Former member of Sierra Leonean Commission.
131. Zafrullah Chowdurry Gonoshasthaya Kendra, Bangladesh
132. Zareen Rasheed
133. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
134. Campaign Against Criminalizing Communities (CAMPACC)
135. International Centre for Ethnic Studies
136. Lanka Development Journalists Forum
137. Mannar Women’s Development Federation
138. Muslim Women Development Trust
139. Peace in Kurdistan Campaign (PIK)
140. Program for Women’s Economic Social Cultural Rights (PWESCR)- Delhi
141. UK Tamil
|Date: Jun 18, 2014, 12:00 PM|
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Guru Nanak in Sri Lanka
Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, like the Buddha earlier, sowed the seeds of spiritual democracy. The process of its germination and growth is still in progress and continues to flourish due to the Guru's message for the world at large, conveyed through his writings and personal visits to the then known countries of the Asian sub-continent.
This paper seeks to examine the historicity of Guru Nanak's visit to Sri Lanka. The Guru, possessing neither territory, nor wealth, nor aided by the forces of arms, preached his doctrine of peace in the countries during the course of his travels including Sri Lanka.
The paper concludes that much evidence, in both written and oral traditions, is available with regard to Guru Nanak's travels, beyond the limits of Hindustan, including Sri Lanka , then known as Simhal Dweepa, to spread his message of virtue and righteousness.
The paper tries to put at rest the controversies relating to Guru Nanak's visit to Sri Lanka and establishes his visit as a fact and not as a poetical imagination, a reality rather than just a myth.
Here are some places related to Guru Nanak during his visits across Sri Lanka.
1 Article by M.S Ahluvalia
1.1 Guru Nanak’s Travels
1.2 Haqiqat Rah Muqam Raja Shivnabh Ki
1.3 Raja Shivnabh
1.4 Sri Lanka In the Early Sixteenth Century
1.5 Cultural Impact of Tamil Domination
1.6 Guru Nanak and Buddhism
1.7 Which Kingdom Did Guru Nanak Visit?
3 Bhai Bala Janamsakhi
4 Max Aruther Macalluife
5 Gurudwara Pehli Patshahi (Battikola)
6 Gurudwara Pehli Patshahi (Koti)
7 Gurudwara Pehli Patshahi (Kurukal Mandap)
8 NOTES AND REFERENCES
Article by M.S Ahluvalia
Guru nanak sri lanka.jpg
Even before the advent of Islam, India was torn into warring sections and subsections. Casteism had reduced the body-politic into a listless and ineffective, almost lifeless, mass lacking any cohesion. The ground was thus fertile for Muslim invaders, who, from Mahmud Ghazni onwards, could plunder and subjugate the entire community and its teeming millions without any effective show of resistance on the part of the latter. Islam, which was the religion of the conquerors, remained the state religion with conversion of unbelievers as the chief aim of state policy. Apart from this assault from above, there was an inbuilt situation of unmitigated exploitation by the superior classes of Hindus of their low caste [[Hindu] brethren.
At this juncture Guru Nanak appeared on the scene, and declared the fatherhood of God above, and the brotherhood of man below on earth. His Gur-bani(gospel) acted as a new challenge of a committed individual soul to the seemingly invincible might of the all powerful State and its policies — based on religious intolerance, hatred and exploitation of man, by man, on grounds of religion and caste superiority.
In fact all those factors for the reduction of which the great Guru took four hazardous journeys to the four corners of the known countries of his times, were directed towards a harmonious socio-religious order and national integrity. To achieve his aim Guru Nanak traveled far and wide, and visited almost all centres of bigotry, Hindu as well as Muslim, as a student in quest of an abiding solution to all the social ills, which had bisected society. He carried within himself a heart brimming with humanistic compassion and a mind with an insight that could diagnose correctly.
Guru Nanak's name is interlocked not only with the idea of one integrated India, but also with the vision of one world and with the unity of man. When he started his mission, the first slogan he raised was: "There is no Hindu and no Mussalman." He meant thereby, that all human beings were brothers and sisters, being the scions of one Almighty God. The Guru taught:
Sab mein jot, jot hai soi,
It is the same Spirit that pervadeth all.
Tisde chanan, sab mein chanan hoi.
It is His light which illuminates every being.
The crux of Guru Nanak’s teachings and solutions to all ills, was the realization of the Truth and after that the realization of the self. Then the self needs to be developed and elevated. It has to soar above the ego and obsessions of superiority and inferiority complexes which carry the seed of hatred. Self, when purely developed, will stand up in self-confidence, in a sense of equality and as an institution in itself. For this purpose the Guru gives the instructions and sets examples, but at the same time envisages individual independent effort and action. The freedom for the individual to proceed along the right path is therefore, of utmost importance.
Guru Nanak’s Travels
Beginning from 1507, Guru Nanak (after quitting his job as a store keeper under Daulat Khan at Sultanpur) became a faqir and undertook four missionary journeys.
Along with Mardana (the Muslim minstrel of Talwandi), and later Bhai Bala, the Guru and his companion/s commenced their wanderings over many lands, interviewing saints and gathering spiritual experience. During the course of these journeys, Guru Nanak visited all holy places and towns of importance in India, Ceylon, Persia, and Arabia. These journeys seem to have taken a total of about fifteen years which the Guru spread out over the last forty years of his life.
Soon after Guru Nanak’s death in 1539, there grew a legend of his visit to Sri Lanka. It is further pointed out that at the time of compilation of Guru Granth Sahib in 1604, Guru Arjan Dev had sent one of his disciples to Sri Lanka to bring Pran Sangali, which was composed and left in Sri Lanka by the founder of the Sikh religion. However, according to the same author, Guru Arjun Dev did not find the work to be genuine and hence did not include it in the Adi Granth.
Haqiqat Rah Muqam Raja Shivnabh Ki
However, some unknown person recorded an account of the route leading to Sri Lanka on the flyleaf of a manuscript copy of the Adi Granth. This account is captioned - Haqiqat Rah Muqam Raja Shivnabh Ki. It seems to have been copied later by several other scribes.
It is rightly believed that the Haqiqat Rah Muqam Raja Shivnabh Ki, with the exception of the route of Sri Lanka given therein, is confusing and full of contradictions. Fortunately, however, the recent researches on this issue show that the meager information which is contained in the manuscript is basically true. Since there is a definite mention of the Guru’s visit to Sri Lanka in various traditional sources, it will not be futile to study the whole issue from the point of view of history.
Guru Nanak and Mardana with King Shivanabh, after 1500. Baba Nanak (Guru Nanak).jpg
In the Janam Sakhis it has been stated that Guru Nanak met Raja Shivnabh. The very name indicates that the Guru met a Shaivite Raja. However, Shivnabh does not appear to he a proper name. It only indicates a Shaivite Raja or a Raja who was a follower of Shiva. The ruling princes of Sri Lanka at the beginning of the sixteenth century were either Shaivites or Buddhists. There were two powerful Sinhali kingdoms with their capitals at Kotte and Gampota (Kandy). The rulers of these states were adherents of Buddhism. The third was the Jaffna kingdom with its capital at Nullure. Its ruler was Shaivite. During the same period the rulers of the vassal states on the eastern coast were Shaivites. Guru Nanak appears to have met an unknown Tamil Hindu Shaivite ruler of Sri Lanka.
It is almost certain and agreed by most authorities that Guru Nanak (1469-1539 A.D.) would not have visited Sri Lanka before 1510 A.D., which may be considered as the date of a probable visit to that island. It will therefore not be out of place here to review the political conditions and socio-religious conditions of Sri Lanka in the beginning of the sixteenth century.
Sri Lanka In the Early Sixteenth Century
The political and socio-religious conditions of Sri Lanka in the early sixteenth century was the product of the process of Indian immigration which had been going on for several centuries and to a fairly large extent there had been Tamil immigration from South India since times immemorial. The Tamil immigrants were mostly Hindu Shaivites who had taken refuge in Sri Lanka during the early phase of the Turkish invasions, beginning with the sack of Somnath by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni.
Sri Lanka undoubtedly witnessed a great cultural impact during the period of domination of Pandya and Chola kings. There is also no denying the fact that under the pressures of circumstances created by incessant Tamil invasions of Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese kings left their ancient capitals at Anuradhapura and Polonurwa and occupied the strongholds further down in the south. This led to the rise of the Jaffna kingdom in the North and several vassal states in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, which we find in the beginning of the sixteenth century.
Cultural Impact of Tamil Domination
The cult of Shiva had been very popular with Tamil immigrants in Sri Lanka during the period under review. During the period of the Chola domination of Sri Lanka both the kings as well as the masses belonging to south India were mostly Shaivites. The cultural impact was so strong that the Shaivites of the south had developed their teachings into a philosophical system known as the Shiva Sidhant.
Sir William Jones writes about an ancient Hindu temple at Trincomali which was destroyed by the Portuguese in the seventeenth century -- “The island was peopled, time out of memory, by the Hindu race, the temple which stood at Trincomali is not to be forgotten. It would have remained too, for the present day, a venerable relic had not the misguided religious zeal of the Portuguese razed it to the ground in 1622 to supply building material to one of their fortifications.”
There were three fairly large kingdoms and several vassal states. The most prominent was the Sinhalese kingdom situated in the south-west with its capital at Kotte (near modern Colombo).
|Date: Mar 4, 2013, 4:26 AM|
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Guru Bawa Ashram Window Jaffna
Designed by Bawa Muhaiyaddeen in the 1970's.
These have frosted glass, most are clear.
A lotus grows in ponds slightly above or floating on the surface thus remaining untouched un-effected by the water.
The one is a symbol of that one God. (Islam & Judaism)
The crescent moon signifies the birth or beginning also the ending which will in turn lead to another beginning.
At every moment we are being born and dying and being born again. (Hindu)
|Date: Dec 10, 2011, 2:37 AM|
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