Monday, September 15, 2008

Buddhist Fundamentalism

Have you come across the term Buddhist fundamentalism? My realisation that this is a rather unknown term came about in my final year as an undergrad when my Professor mentioned something during one of my tutorials.He said that the only religion which does not have a fundamentalist, extremist movement is Buddhism! It reflected the popular assumption of Buddhism being a religion of non-violence and peace which is certainly true except when you look closely into the politics and rhetoric of Sri Lankan Buddhist monks who have their own political party(Jathika Hela Urumaya) and radical ideology which so often calls for more blood and seldom sounds consolatory with reference to the ongoing civil war which has claimed more than 60000 lives.

Well, it just revealed his ignorance and i was too tempted to correct him thus i said to him that Buddhist Fundamentalism is very much alive and growing in Sri Lanka.That is where you have Monks actively participating in radical activities besides mantaining a presence in parliament(9Mp's, all of whom are monks).

The monks consider themselves important guardians of state affairs and of Sinhalese Buddhist culture, which they feel has come under threat from Western materialism and from the Tamil Tiger rebels, who are predominantly Hindu.

You could learn more by visiting these links:

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