Saturday, November 16, 2013

Full Moon Observance/War Crimes

Lunar observance flyer
November 17: The Los Angeles Buddhist Vihara in Pasadena is a Sri Lankan Theravada monastery and temple complex. It observes the traditional lunar observances (uposathas), which include the practice of the Eight Precepts (sila or sill), meditation (bhavana), hearing the Dharma (bhana).
  • Next lunar observance: Sunday, Dec. 11, 2013 - Sill Program (Eight Precept observance and meditation)

Sinhalese war crimes against Tamil minority
Krishnadev Calamur (, Nov. 15, 2013)
Rajapaksa (Chris Jackson/PA/Landov)
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa defended his country's human rights record amid a barrage of criticism as the [largely Buddhist] Indian Ocean island-nation hosts the Commonwealth summit [with prominent nations boycotting].
"Civilians, women, children, and pregnant women were brutally killed by the terrorists continuously for 30 years, and none are being killed now," Rajapaksa said [as if to justify the war crimes he committed and those of previous administrations]. "That is the peace the country has won."
Sri Lanka has only recently emerged from a bloody decades-long civil war [the longest in Asia], which pitted the country's Sinhalese [Buddhist] majority with separatist [Hindu] Tamil rebels in the north and east of the island nation. [Tamils have lived on the island, coming from neighboring Tamil Nadu, India, a few miles away by a strait, Palk Bay, that is sometimes traversable by foot.] 
Buddhism traveled through Asia from India
Human rights groups allege that tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed [in a genocide that followed decades of prejudicial treatment by the majority Buddhist Sinhalese] in the final push against the few rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
The issue has dominated the Commonwealth meeting, which begins in [the Sri Lankan capital of] Colombo this week. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Canada's Stephen Harper are among the leaders who have stayed away [boycotting the meeting to demonstrate against human rights abuses by Pres. Rajapaksa and previous administrations]. India has a significant Tamil population of its own.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is attending the meeting, says he will ask Rajapaksa "tough questions" on human rights and war crimes charges.

Rajapaksa heads the Commonwealth for the next two years. The group comprises countries that were former British colonies. [Sadly, not all Buddhist monks stayed neutral during the civil war, evincing nationalist sympathies against the direct calls of elder Sangha leader pleading for peace and neutrality.]

Sri Lankan war crimes
North was once a Tamil majority area
Wisdom Quarterly (COMMENTARY)
Wisdom Quarterly is a great fan and supporter of Sri Lanka, a beautiful Buddhist island nation and former colony of the British and Portuguese. But one need not be blind to love it. We will not defend, conceal, minimize, or collude with ANY country's government engaging in systematic institutional racism, war crimes, genocide, or abuse of its citizens, not even if that country is our own.
Our weapon-dealing, conflict-loving USA is much to blame for the civil strife in Sri Lanka, playing the Gandhi Family's India and Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan against Sri Lanka's majority government. There is perhaps no country in the world that is not touched and ruined by our CIA, which has now become a transnational institution unto itself, an ally of the military-industrial complex rather than the vast majority of American citizens. Americans know more about the secret NSA and its illegal activities than we even begin to suspect about the CIA and its push to destabilize governments worldwide to serve the interests of business and multinational corporations.

While we do not agree with the Tamil separatist movement, it is certainly understandable why it happened: decades, perhaps centuries, of abuse by the majority Sinhalese population. The island's civil war was never a religious conflict, but it certainly got painted as such. Nearly all Tamils are traditional Hindus. And there are sizable Muslim (as in the nearby Maldives), Christian (remnants of British rule), and Catholic (remnants of Portuguese) minorities.

Sri Lanka's government repeatedly colluded to lengthen the war rather than rushing to end it at all costs. A previous president was assassinated for playing both sides (Tamil and Sinhala) to advance his own hold on power. A Gandhi was taken out by a disgruntled Tamil on account of the civil war, India never being able to overtly support the Tamil separatists, though perhaps aiding them covertly. CIA and British involvement is implicated, with America working its own strategy of supporting and pressuring all sides and all countries involved. The US trained Sri Lankan government and police services, so their draconian use of force was not completely unexpected. 

Indian atrocities
The same outrages occur in Kashmir between India and Pakistan and China. It is impossible to fully side with India against Pakistan because of its unconscionable abuse of Kashmiri Muslims. Indian militants -- sent to occupy the Himalayas by the Indian government to maintain its Line of Control (border) with Pakistan, China/Tibet, and Afghanistan -- disappears, imprisons, tortures, recruits, beats, and murders Kashmiris on a regular basis. This behavior against its Muslim-majority neighbor (Pakistan), created by the exiting colonial British with their successful "divide and conquer" strategy, is not limited to a sworn enemy. It is visited upon tiny landlocked Nepal, which is utterly dependent on India economically and politically. 

Nepal is mainly Buddhist, as all Himalayan nations (former kingdoms) traditionally were. But it is now the world's only "Hindu nation." This is brought about by Indian influence and census manipulation. Nepalese cry out every time we point out that the Buddha came from India. The Buddha was not born in India. He came, according to Dr. Ranajit Pal, from what is now Afghanistan and what was then the northwest frontier of greater India (Bharat) in the region of ancient Gandhara. There was no organized or united "India" at that time, only loosely affiliated maha janapadas (great clan territories).

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