Anandasangaree’s eye sore | ආනන්දසංගරීට ඇස් රුදාවක් වූ බුදු පිළිම

  • Anandasangaree’s Eye Sore

by Taboo Subjects (


Anandasangaree’s eye sore | ආනන්දසංගරීට ඇස් රුදාවක් වූ බුදු පිළිම

Posted by Taboo on April 7, 2010

Post-war controversial Buddha statue in Trinco

This blog normally does not reproduce from other sources. This is an exception. In the absence of any other media publicity, a letter by V. Anandasangaree, President, Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) to the President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reproduced below fully with only few format changes, but not content or language edits.

My interest is mainly on last few paragraphs where Anandasangaree emphasises the folly of erecting Buddha statues in areas of no Buddhist population.


His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa,
President of Sri Lanka,
Temple Trees,
Colombo 03.

Your Excellency,

There are a lot of matters I wish to bring to your notice. I am so sorry to say that Mahinda Chinthanaya had been polluted with the Chinthanaya of many others to the extent of Mahinda Chinthanaya losing its originality, with the end of the war, people expected many changes to take place. But unfortunately for them, nothing happened to their expectation. Their way of life has not changed. They did not see the promised land of hope. But contrary to this they faced only disappointment.

They claim that you promised to get them all what they lost. But they hardly got anything. They lost all their possessions and many of their dear ones. But so far the Government did not bother to take an inventory of all what they possessed and lost. The Government has not yet prepared a list of persons killed during the war the cause of death and what they had left behind. Announcements were made at the IDP centers asking everyone who had undergone training even for a day to surrender with a promise that they all will be released, after inquiry. All of them are detained for a long periods.

The parents who were promised immediate release of their children are thoroughly disappointed that the Government had failed to keep its promise. Some of those detained as LTTE cadre are the sole bread winner of the family. Some had followed various courses in the university and some other Educational Institutions. Some of them are only one child to the parents. They are compelled to live in pigeon hole type to tents for months. Some for more than a year. Many live like nomads and beggars but they are shocked to see some persons in authority inviting heads of many voluntary organizations and trustees of temples and giving away large some of money.

Under what budgetary provision is done is what the people want to know. Can this happen under your Government?

What is the Development going on in the North although ministers and officials come and go frequently? I hardly see anything worthy of boasting. More than one hundred and fifty thousand houses are destroyed in Vanni of which how many had been renovated? long ago I requested the Government to pay a pittance to enable the IDPs to make small purchases like salt onions etc.

Since no such allowance was paid, they had to sell some of the dry provisions and as a result forego many meals. It is unfortunate that this was not brought to your notice although some officials and volunteers had been making a lot of money in various ways.

There is one more serious and very sensitive issue which I am sure you are not aware of. The days in which religious beliefs were forced on the people with the power of weapons, are no more. Let such things not be repeated after a lapse of 200 years, in this country. Permit me to bring to your notice the adverse comments I hear from various people at various places and at various levels. The whole country is aware how devoted I am to Buddhism. You are not unaware of this fact. I have lost count of the number of visits; I paid Mahiangana, Nagadeepa and Kelaniya.

Although I am Hindu I had paid homage of Lord Buddha’s sacred Tooth Relics several times. I got the blessings of the Mahanayakas off and on. Therefore I have a moral duty to point out to you what the people here think and talk about. They are not anti Buddhist. They take pride in saying that Sangamitta theri landed with the sacred Bo-sapling in Kankesanthurai in Jaffna. What they are now talking about is the manner in which Buddhism is forced them in an area under military control, where people will not dare to talk. I had said more than once that on the humanitarian side, their contribution is wonderful. I have seen it myself during my rounds in Jaffna. People are very appreciate of the conduct of the army but seen to be objecting seriously, the manner which Buddhism is propagated in the North. Let the Government leave it to the clergy to propagate Buddhism and not to the forces.

The way it’s done will boomerang on government and will certainly not have the desired effect. On the contrary if the Government had decided to propagate Buddhism compulsorily, I do not think that such step advisable. Placing Lord Buddha’s statues at places where hardly one Buddhist lives one will consider it as an insult to Lord Buddha and his preaching’s furthermore this will give opportunities for chauvinist elements to create unnecessary problems. The people are not in a mood now to say for or against it openly, But the General feeling is that the hard won freedom will soon end up in another form of dictatorship. This may be the work of some innocent persons or person without any malicious intentions. If your Excellency do not step in at this stage and advise the concerned parties to stop forthwith any action taken to disgrace Lord Buddha at a time there is no peace in this part if the country, and that anything unusual should wait till normalcy is restored I the country, the country’s further will be bleak.

Thanking you.
Yours sincerely,

V. Anandasangaree
Tamil United Liberation Front

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21 Responses to “Anandasangaree’s eye sore | ආනන්දසංගරීට ඇස් රුදාවක් වූ බුදු පිළිම

  1. T said

    April 7, 2010 at 7:39 am

    I can’t figure out the point Mr Sangaree is trying to make. is it erecting Buddha’s statues or keeping the Tamils under the thumb of SL forces that has mattered to him? in my view, the former is only a consequence of the latter.

  2. T said

    April 7, 2010 at 7:42 am

    and I think the heading “Anandasangaree’s eye sore” gives kinda wrong assessment to the problem.

  3. Achala said

    April 7, 2010 at 9:02 am

    “Placing Lord Buddha’s statues at places where hardly one Buddhist lives one will consider it as an insult to Lord Buddha and his preaching’s”

    But… dont Christians purposely build their prayer centres in areas hardly where any Christians live in order to engage in evangelisation? Are they all an insult to Christ’s teachings? It is happening all over Sri Lanka and has been for a very long time. Christian prayer centres are mushrooming in virtually 100% Buddhist (and Hindu) villages. And wherever there are a few Muslims, a mosque will be built, followed by a madrassah. So why shouldn’t Buddhists follow their cue and build Buddha statues in areas where there are no Buddhists. In this case, there are many Buddhist soldiers…why shouldn’t they be denied the right to worship in a Buddhist temple? If Christians can do it why cant the Buddhists? Isn’t it freedom of religion? Christians say that Jesus Christ commanded them to go out and share the gospel…. the Buddha asked his disciples to do exactly the same thing with the dhamma.

    • Taboo said

      April 7, 2010 at 11:07 am


      I beg to differ. I am yet to see a Buddha statue at road side being worshipped by soldiers or any other. Aukana replication in front of BMICH, Buddha statue at Viharamahadevi park, Buddha statue at Thunmulla, Buddha statue at Panadura…etc. Do you see even a single lamp or flower in front of them? :-)

      - Taboo

      • Achala said

        April 8, 2010 at 7:56 am

        We must see different statues then…. I have seen flowers, lamps and vesak koodu at different times. But I don’t see them everyday so can’t say what happens on a daily basis.

    • isurujosh said

      April 7, 2010 at 7:06 pm

      So Achala, do you want buddists to react in the same manner as Christians and Muslims? You seem to have a good vision of buddhism. Bravo!

      • Sri said

        April 8, 2010 at 5:34 am

        Isuru Josh,

        Where will your thinking lead to? You dont talk abour controlling malicious work of Christians, Muslims.

        Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism has always started as a defensive one rather than an offensive one – After being subjected to offensive attitude and work of the minorities who abuse the liberelism and tollerence of Sinhalese.

        There may be few ad hoc cases here and there contrary to this scenario, but this is the larger picture of the issue.

      • Achala said

        April 8, 2010 at 7:54 am

        Yes Isurujosh, Buddhists should take up exactly what the Christians are doing. Because Christians do not listen to pleas for their aggressive evangelisation to stop. Christians go out of their way to “plant churches” and “harvest souls” for their religion. They consider it as their god-given right. It is the actual policy of Christian evangelisation groups to build churches and prayer centres in non-Christian villages and gain converts. Not only in Sri Lanka, but in all the other countries where they are active. So why shouldn’t Buddhists “plant temples/Buddha statues” and “turn people to the Dhamma” along the same lines? The Buddha very specifically asked his disciples to spread the Dhamma. If it is “freedom of religion” for Christians to build their churches and prayer centres in areas where there are no Christians, then the Buddhists should have the same right to build Buddhist temples and statues in areas where there are no Buddhists.

      • Taboo said

        April 8, 2010 at 8:14 am

        The fact is while Gautama requested his disciples to spread Dhamma, he never asked to built his statues. When asked for an object to be worshipped in his absence he selected a (Bo) tree. The first Buddha statues appeared nearly four centuries after Gautama’s demise.

        - Taboo

      • Achala said

        April 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm

        This is true. But when did Jesus ask his disciples to build status of Christ, Mary and all the saints? When did Jesus ask his disciples to build prayer centres and churches? When did Jesus ask for priests and the pope? The fact is that religions change over time and adapt new practices. You are right about Buddha statues though, they are a later invention…. but now Buddha statues are very typical of Buddhism. It is an icon in and of itself in much of the world, including the west. Each of the Asian countries where Buddhism has had a strong influence have their own versions of the Buddha statue. For example, Japanese and Chinese Buddha statues are different to Sri Lankan Buddha statues. Thai Buddha statues are similar to Sri Lankan Buddha statues but still different. The Indonesian ones at Borobodur are also another in a unique style. The Afghanis have some of the nicest style of Buddha statues in my opinon – influeced by the Greeks.

      • isurujosh said

        April 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm

        I travel Europe quite frequently. I can assure you that a vast majority of Christians here don’t give a rat’s ass for their religion. It’s only a handful in Europe and quite a few in America who are offensive in spreading their religion. So let us not generalise Christians. I don’t have a problem with erecting the said Buddha statue over there but I have a problem with Achala’s attitude of “tit-for-tat”. We Buddhists are not that. Let’s just say that I only disliked Achala’s attitude and approach of justifying.

  4. Kalana Mithuru Dhamma said

    April 7, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Mr Sangaree has made the statement by just considering his personal view . Only the real Theravada Buddhist knows the REASONS and the EFFECT off constructing such a great statue . I think this is not the forum to explain those things. A ” Buddhist statue ” is symbolize and reminds lord Buddha and his greatness .

    Saudi has all Mosques around the country !
    India has the Hindu Temples!
    Why not a country where there are 70 % Buddhists , have the right to have Buddhist temples and statues ?

    • Dilshan said

      April 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm

      Only having statues all over the place does not make the country or it’s people Buddhists… only by living what Lord Buddha preached would do any good… I think most people have got this two mixed… I believe building these statues is nothing but trying to say that this is a Sinhala Buddhist country you better live by what the majority says… with the number of sinners in SL I doubt Lord Buddha will ever keep his step in SL again… Most of the Buddhist’s are Name sake otherwise how can we have the highest liqueur consumption… you tell me…

      • Achala said

        April 8, 2010 at 7:58 am

        I agree a lot of Buddhists in SL are Buddhists in name… but this is no different to every other country on planet earth. Most Christians in SL are also only Christian in name. Same for the Hindus and Muslims. Only the minority in each group actually practice their religion properly.

  5. April 7, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    It is very much easier to build a statue to remind ourselves of Buddhism and propagate “feel good Buddhism” than to understand and follow 5 precepts of Buddhism. Or is it a question of these 5 precepts being percepts? Same question rises when reading your last post “Do good Buddhists eat more meat.”

  6. baassa said

    April 7, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    දෙමළ සහෝ ල බුදු පිලිම දැකලා මොකට කලබල වෙනවද?

    20% ක් විතර වෙන දෙමළ සහෝ ල වෙනුවෙන්, දෙමළ රාජ්‍ය භාෂාවක් කරලා, දෙමළ සහෝ ල නැති දකුනෙත් බෝඩ් දෙමළෙන් බෝඩ් ගහලා තියෙන්නෙ. (එහෙම නැත්තං, ඒකත් අඩුවක් කියලා මැරෙන්න හදන අයත් ඉන්නවා නෙ). ඉතින් 70% අදහන, රාජ්‍ය අනුග්‍රහය ලැබෙන ආගමේ පිළිම දැක්කම කලබල වෙන්න නරකයි.

  7. Lassanagama said

    April 8, 2010 at 1:22 am

    This letter is too long and confusing. What does he ( AS) Ananda-Sangaree want. Does Mahinda Care for Ananda -Sangaree- He defeted Prabhakaran. He fears No one. I cannot understand who is wrong here. Letter too long to read.

    ( please read official letters of PM Vincent Churchill – who once said ). British would contemplate forming an allegiance with the Devil himself – if Hitler invades HELL. ) in his grand grim voice.

    My Grand mother once told me ( died 92 years). When you are small and young you get blamed for doing wrong. and as and when you grow up you normally get blamed for doing right and being impartial -doing the correct thing. ( I now believe her)

  8. Kudulal said

    April 8, 2010 at 3:58 am

    අනේ බොස්, ගෑනු හෙළුවෙන් නටන පිහිනුම් තටාක ගාව බුදු පිළිම හදන්ඩ හොඳ නම් ඔය පාරක් අයිනෙ හැදුවට මොකෝ? මොකද කපුටන්ට පරෙයියන්ට බෙටි දාන්ඩ ඔනෑ උනහම ඒකටත් තැනක් තියෙන්ඩ එපායැ! උනුත් ආස ඇතිනෙවැ බුදුන්ගෙ ඔළුවට බෙට්ටක් දෙකක් දාන්ඩ.

    ඒකොන් වත් කිව්වෙ නෑනෙ මෙච්චර ක්‍රිස්තියානි රටේ බුදු පිළිම හදන්ඩ එපා කියල. තමුසෙට මොකද ඔච්චර ඒ ගැන රුදාවක්?

  9. Nilupul said

    April 8, 2010 at 7:26 am

    අනෙ ආය්බොවන්, මෙ ආනන්ඩ සනගරියා ඉස්සර දිගටම ‘තාම්බි’ කිය කියා ප්‍රාබාකරන් ගොයියට ලියුම් ලිව්වා.
    දැන් මහින්ද අප්පුට ලියන්ට පටන් අරන් නොවැ!

  10. Kalana Mithuru Dhamma said

    April 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you Taboo.

    All Buddhists will listen to your comment and will stop making Statues again . How hilarious you are ?

    Please do not try to neglect our culture . Keep your finger tips to type the “good ”

    with metta

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6 Comments. Comments Are Moderated for Anandasangaree’s Eye Sore

  1. Mr. Anandasangaree spoke his mind and that is his right. But I haven’t read in the part of letter that you have depicted as Mr. Anandasangaree saying what you are suggesting (the Buddha statue) is an eye sore.

    Fedrica, I think you thrive from the game.

  2. Paul Smith

    Dear Leela

    Buddhism can not be propagated like other religions as it cannot be forced upon on a person. A person can embrace Buddhism only if that person finds it logical. There is concept in Buddhism that nothing should be forced against a person . This is in contradistinction to other religions, which are forced upon the people.
    If not embraced other religions teach them to resort to violence upon that person. . That’s why Buddhism which once extended up to Greek has been erased today and still being hated as it preaches non violence and the truth. Buddhists cannot reciprocate unlike other religions it does not advocate concepts like Holy War.

    • Mr. Paul Smith: You are telling us something that we have been saying all along.

      True; as you say, no coercions, persecutions or fanaticisms play any part in Buddhism. Throughout its peaceful march of 2550 years no drop of blood has been shed in the name of Buddha, no mighty monarch has welded his sward to propagate Dhamma, and no conversions has been made either by force or repulsive methods.

      Leave out Mr. Anandasangre, this Buddha statue where ever it is; is sure to be an eye sore for the writer of this write-up. I cannot understand how a statue could force people to convert. If a Buddha statue is an eyesore where there are no Buddhists I wouldn’t be surprised if one would suggest we have to remove them from Beruwala and Wellawatta as well. Not to mention they would want us to demolish all those Buddhist artefacts found in the North and East as Taliban did.

      Instead of saying things in a roundabout way; “religious beliefs were forced on the people with the power of weapons.” Mr. Anandasangre should come up with the names, addresses etc of those that were converted forcefully to prove his allegations. I am sure the President will see to it then for we do not condone such acts.

      Mr. Smith; evangelists of Christian ecumenical church based in the US have been barging in to our totally Buddhist village hamlets and sought to convert them by Bribe. They have been turning our society upside down for last so many years with their octopus like networks. Their connections with NGOs are like a hand in a glove. Yet, all this time we Buddhists stayed put like deaf and blinds because wrong leaders were at the helm.

      Hidden agendas and the motives of these NGOs can be seen from their activities. Their infiltration to national political parties is so acute that even the leaderships had been fallen prey. They not only guided the political parties to change the political landscape, but also attempt to change the whole culture of this country: They have just one desire; that is to put Christianity at the helm.

      I’ll give you one example: For a long time, evangelists have been scheming to demean centuries old Sinhala Buddhist’s culture and customs. One such deed was to disrupt the world famous ‘Dalada Perahara’. A few years back, unexpectedly, a local evangelist clique had turned to be a kind of animal lovers. They started to pay an overly attention for the cruelty to elephants. Soon enough, the cat got out of the bag. Their real concern had been the elephants that parade in the ‘Dalada Perahara’. They were naive enough to classify blissful parading of splendidly dressed cheerful elephants that longed to carry a casket of relic at its back as an act of cruelty.

      Just to point out their hypocrisy I like to refer to a worse proceed than the worst elephant parade. In Spanish bullfights, a butcher called ‘matador’ batter an innocent animal cold-bloodedly, as if he knew not of remorse. To the cheers of the crowd, the matador or the butcher to be merrily provokes a confined bull by deluding it with a red cloth and repeatedly pricking it with a spear. Thereafter, exhausted and defenceless bull is stabbed bit by bit with his spike. In order to entertain the crowd, the matador prolonged the killing a long drawn one but to eat its flesh merrily at the end. All that merciless killing is done to entertain an evil congregation of a Christian crowd.

      • Paul Smith

        Dear Leela

        I think you have hooked on to the situation.But the Global situation is much worse.What you are seeng, is the tip of the Ice Berg. I would be priviledged if you could write to more about this to my E mail

      • all countries which practice so called this buddhism are flooding in blood bath then and now…vietnam..cambodia. laos…now thailand..myanmar…sri lanka..something wrong with this so called religion…

      • if emperor Asoka live to day he wil commit sucide for sending his son and daughter to promote this so called buddhism to sri lanka…is this religion exist in sinhala sri lankan areas…???..rememmber 1983 july ..masscare of tamils many foreign press titled this event as..sunday sil..monday kill…