Shame on India for attacking a Sri Lankan Buddhist priest

– By Shenali Waduge –

There are no suitable words to condemn the manner in which India has stooped to such low depths as to attack a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk visiting a temple. It simply showcases to Sri Lanka and to Sri Lanka’s leaders that there is nothing we can expect from India other than insult over insult that has now piled up over decades and possibly centuries.

While Sri Lanka’s External Affairs head may still be asleep there is still no statement coming from Sri Lanka’s authorities denouncing the rising acts of violence on Sri Lankans visiting or studying in India and the act of physically attacking a person in robes is downright shallow and not becoming of a nation supposedly aspiring to be given a seat in the UN Security Council.

India’s aspiration to be a member of the UNSC must seriously be reviewed in the rise in its human rights violations as seen by the manner it is treating its women where every second a rape is taking place and the number of little children being raped is appaling to say the least. Now even tourists face danger of visiting India as the likelihood of them being gangraped is something their embassies and travel agents should take into consideration given that practically every State is having its dosage of rapes and other attacks. The response by India is that “changes” that will protect women is still “coming” – that was what the female President of Congress recently claimed.

The attacks on Sri Lankan visiting India is nothing new. Our children visiting India to take part in sports had been attacked and even threatened to return to Sri Lanka, Asian sports events had been cancelled by a Chief Minister who has amnesia in her choice of supporting LTTE, the Sri Lankan military personnel going on training have also experienced their share of abuse as has the many pilgrims whose buses have been attacked and many of these pilgrims are senior citizens. Therefore, it is a real come down on the Indian authorities who simply think issuing a statement about how “friendly” the two nations are will suffice to satisfy what the public feel about India.

India may forge ties with the Government officials in Sri Lanka but the majority populace find India one of the most uncouth neighbors we have had the destiny to find ourselves next to.

Never has there been a time that we can say the friendly ties have been superior to the antics of destabilizing that Sri Lanka has experienced covertly and overtly. As we speak there are possibly scores of Indian intelligence outfits upto mischief planting all sorts of destabilizing ventures tapping upon the weakness of our own people.

If the Indians can call Sri Lanka’s envoy over Indian fishermen poaching on Sri Lanka’s water denying Sri Lankan fishermen a means to their livelihood what is stopping GLP from doing the same now that a Buddhist monk has been attacked again. If Sri Lanka’s envoy in Delhi thinks it is alright for India to vote against us at Geneva that is certainly not what the Sri Lankan populace think. Similarly, we are waiting for statements from the Buddhist organizations in Sri Lanka condemning this attack since they are ever ready to be issuing statements on non-Buddhist related incidents especially the Buddhasasana Ministry.

This is not the first attack on Buddhist monks in India either. In January 2011, three Buddhist monks, including a chancellor of a Sri Lankan university were attacked at the Maha Bodhi Temple in Chennai.

It has now come to a stage where apologies do not suffice. We are well aware that India is a major player in the Asian region but at no time has Sri Lanka used its geopolitical advantage against India though India cunningly uses that to always destabilize Sri Lanka and humiliate Sri Lanka on international podiums as we see happening in Geneva and to top it all makes speeches of “friendship” which is more of an insult than a bouquet.

The safety of Sri Lankans visiting India is certainly a risk factor and it is the duty of authorities to ensure that no Sri Lankan citizen becomes a victim to the shallow acts that India is now adopting.

India may like to make note that scores of Indians visit Sri Lanka many illegally overstaying and probably many more illegally taking residence in Sri Lanka especially in Sri Lanka’s North over the past so many decades which accounts for the confusions in the population demographics but no India has been harmed or abused to date – which shows how Sri Lankans behave compared to that of a handful in India and despite India banning LTTE we would like to know why India continues to allow LTTE supporting Indians to run amok in Tamil Nadu?