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Srilanka - News And Discussion

Quote:Ruminations of a Sri Lankan Tamil

16/02/2010 15:35:22

By Romesh Jayaratnam,

Kandy, Sri Lanka

When an individual repeatedly fails to achieve his aims in life, it is only natural that he look inwards and analyze the reasons for his failure. The same principle would apply to a people. The Sri Lankan Tamils had fared well before independence. I attribute this to its vibrant Tamil Hindu political, religious and intellectual leadership. Arumuka Navalar, Muttu Coomaraswamy, Ponnambalam Arunachalam, Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Waithialingam Duraiswamy, Swami Vipulananda, Kandiah Vaithianathan, Yoga Swamikal, Ananda Coomaraswamy and Arunachalam Mahadeva stand out as pre-eminent visionaries. Unfortunately, Sri Lankan Tamils have had a track record of failure since 1956. Part of this can be attributed to the refusal of the Sinhalese Buddhist to accept that the Tamils have lived and intermittently ruled in Sri Lanka for the past 2,200 years. This led to a policy of discrimination against the Ceylon Tamils in land alienation, employment in the state sector, university admissions and language policy.

However, the purpose of this article is to look inwards at those contributory factors internal to Sri Lankan Tamil society. Although the current Sinhalese polity is dysfunctional as witnessed in the high handedness of the Rajapakse administration, this should not detract the Tamil community from its own introspection. We need to review the legacy of post-1956 Tamil politics in a detached manner. The politics of barren confrontation has failed to deliver the goods. The inheritance of Samuel James Chelvanayakam and his Federal Party, now the Tamil National Alliance, achieved little for the Tamil community since that year. It only triggered riots, bombs, displacement, refugee camps and the destruction of Tamil villages and homes. It provided the opening for Sinhalese belligerence. We are now a people largely displaced and bereft of confidence.

There are three Tamil speaking groups in Sri Lanka. The indigeneous 'Sri Lankan Tamils' are one. Sri Lankan historical chronicles describe the first Tamil invasions of the island in the 2nd century BC. Three Tamil kings stand out in the pre-Christian era i.e. Senan, Guttikan and Ellalan. The colonial-era Tamils of Indian origin, also known as the 'Estate Tamils,' are a second category. The Tamil-speaking 'Sri Lankan Moors' are a third. The Moors define themselves by the Muslim religion, not by language. The Tamil language has not been a sufficient glue to unite the three census categories. The indigenous 'Sri Lankan Tamils' have disproportionately suffered since the 1990s. Let me focus on them at this point.

The Sri Lankan Tamils are divided by religion. The Hindus constitute 85% of the Tamil community. A well organized and well funded Tamil Christian minority also exists. The Sri Lankan Tamils are likewise divided by geography with those in the East refusing to accept the leadership of the North. The East never owed allegiance to the pre-colonial Kingdom of Jaffna. The regional divisions as epitomized by the more recent Prabhakaran-Karuna conflict helped the Sri Lankan military defeat the LTTE. Sri Lankan Tamil politics has had no achievement since 1956. The Tamils have only faced defeat, destruction and mayhem due to their own lack of political common sense.

Tamil Christians played a disproportionate role in this myopic self-defeating post-1956 secular Tamil secessionism. Samuel James Chelvanayakam jettisoned the pre-independence Tamil Hindu caution and practical good sense in favour of a strident Tamil nationalist politics. The objective was to appeal to a broader pan-Tamil separatism, encourage Tamil secessionist politics in Tamil Nadu and facilitate the conversion of Tamil Hindus to Christianity. It was Chelvanayakam who first spoke of a Dravida Nadu that would straddle either side of the Palk Straits. The Federal Party's appeal to a transnational Tamil identity succeeded when the DMK assumed power in Tamil Nadu in 1967. Fortunately for India, the economic integration of that country pre-empted the Tamil secessionist impulse.

The defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009 likewise weakened this brand of Tamil nationalism within Sri Lanka. This version of Tamil nationalism is now kept alive in North America and Europe. Segments of the 400,000 strong Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in those lands try hard to keep the fires burning. Let us not forget however that most overseas Sri Lankan Tamils are devout Hindus. It is they, not the Indians, who built most Hindu temples in Australia, Canada, Europe and New Zealand. This said, the Tamil Christian diaspora controls the English-language ethno-Tamil internet , as epitomized by websites such as Tamil Net and Tamil Canadian. These on-line journals exert a lopsided influence.

TamilNet had a feature article today on the settlement of Sinhalese villagers in Tamil areas. It highlighted efforts to change the demographic character of what it called the predominantly 'Tamil Muslim' (an oxymoron in the Sri Lankan context) and 'Tamil Christian' district of Mannar. Muslims in Sri Lanka, quite aptly, refuse to define themselves as ethnic Tamils. Further, they had been subject to what had been, in the eyes of some, a Tamil Christian-sponsored ethnic cleansing of the Mannar district in 1990. What Tamil Net in reality laments is the movement of Buddhists into a Christian neighborhood! It appears eager to retain the Christian character of that district which had been achieved in 1990 with the eviction of the Muslims. While it is quick to flag Tamil Christian interests, it refuses to use the word Hindu on its website. It views it ok to use the word Christian but never to use the word Hindu! Tamil Net went on to condemn the political role of Buddhists monks in Sri Lanka taking pride in the alleged fact that Tamil nationalism would never permit Hindu priests to play a similar role. And yet, it has repeatedly supported a highly political Roman Catholic clergy. It is ironic that Tamil Net is purportedly dedicated to a people, four fifths of whom are Hindu!

The Toronto-based Tamil Canadian website likewise is quick to reproduce feature articles on the Sri Lankan conflict that appear in a multitude of Roman Catholic on-line journals. It rarely provides space to Hindu websites. I would add, however, that it is unfortunate that most Hindu websites rarely include Sri Lankan Tamil perspectives.

A belligerent Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism is intended to facilitate evangelization. The war-related destruction assists conversions to Christianity as witnessed in East Timor in 1975 which had until then been predominantly animist, in southern Sudan, the Biafran conflict in Nigeria that resulted in the conversion of the Igbo tribe, the Karen revolt in Myanmar, the Naga rebellion in India and in the Korean civil war which facilitated subsequent Christian missionary outreach.

The Tamils need to avoid this catastrophe. The time has come for a change in Tamil self-definition in Sri Lanka. Hinduism defined the Tamil identity in Sri Lankan history. The Tamil Buddhists in early and medieval Sri Lankan history assimilated into the Sinhalese population. The once Tamil speaking Roman Catholics living in Sinhalese areas similarly merged with the Sinhalese speaking Christians. They now speak Sinhalese and not Tamil. I refer here to the Christian residents of Negombo, of Chilaw, the Bharatas and the Colombo Chetties. The Tamil speaking Muslims in Sri Lanka never considered themselves ethnic Tamils to begin with. Many Muslim students now learn Sinhalese in lieu of Tamil. 70% of the students in Zahira College, Sri Lanka's pre-eminent Muslim center of learning, studies in the Sinhalese language. It was the Saivite Hindus alone who kept the Tamil identity and language alive in the context of pre-colonial and colonial Sri Lankan history.

Let us emphasize our Tamil Hindu roots in Sri Lanka. Let us mobilize our people on Hindu religious grounds to invest in development, re-integrate the refugees, educate the poor and increase employment opportunity for the rural hinterland. Let Hinduism be leveraged to develop our areas. Let us emphasize the rights of the under-privileged and marginalized. Let us strengthen the Young Men's Hindu Association, the Young Women's Hindu Association and other grass roots Hindu social service outfits in Sri Lanka. We need to revive the Hindu Board of Education to administer Government-run Hindu schools in the North and in the East. Let us start Hindu Chambers of Commerce to invest in our villages. Let us restart the Jaffna-based Hindu Organ that once provided a media commentary on current affairs. We need Hindu professional networks. Let us revive our pre-independence legacy and work towards the Loka Kalyana or the weal of all. The time has come for an enlightened political Hinduism to replace that destructive Tamil secessionism. Are we ready to rise up to that challenge?

I care only about SL's Tamizh Hindus, never the christians who sneak in under the cloaking term "Tamils" (<-this invisible identity takeover was the intention of christianism). Am glad the above article made the clear distinction. Wish all Hindus would consciously stress this distinction, because

1. It will allow Hindus to recognise that 1. there is NO connection between christo converts of SL and the Hindus;

2. It refuses to grant any blanket (collateral) sympathy and support of any kind to the christians (who have been able to partake of the benefits of such Hindu recognition all this while only because of their thus-far automatic inclusion in the "Tamil" term) and redirects Hindu sympathy and humanitarian aid away again to the sole deserving: the Tamizh Hindus in SL.

Christianism must be divorced from Sri Lanka's Hindus in the public (Dharmic) understanding, and the Hindus there freed from being forcibly grouped with christians under the term "Tamizhs" which grants christianism all the dangerous powers and advantages of cryptoism (because of invisibility).

If Hindus originating from the Indian subcontinent who are sympathetic to the Tamizh Hindus of SL were to stress the Hindus alone (i.e. direct their efforts at helping only the *Hindus* among SL's Tamizhs, as opposed to blindly helping generic "Tamils" - which then ends up including the enemy ideology), then SL Tamizh Hindus' Hindu identity will no longer be covertly assimilated into christianism as has been happening so far. It will reverse the invisible christian hijack of all Tamizh identity in SL, thereby finally allowing the real refugees/victims among the Tamizhs there to get a voice again.

Also, so far the dravoodioid christist parties of TN were trying to use the "Tamil" SL cause to beat "North India" and the centre-of-gravity of national governance with. But I find that Indian Hindus' sympathy for SL Hindus always existed (this does not imply that it comes at the expense SL Buddhism). It just got thrown off at times by the "Tamil" word and the company that therefore inevitably aligned itself to that word: the anti-Hindu and anti-Indian christian dravoodian ideology in TN, along with the christian coin-boxes collecting for the unidentifiable "Tamils" in SL.

While the SL Hindus are Tamizhs, "Tamizh" no longer directly implies Hindu (neither in SL nor in India's state of TN), the way "Indian" no longer directly implies "Dharmic". Both identifiers have been appropriated by and for the terrorist ideologies to lend themselves validity and the cloak of indigenousness.


Quote:The Tamil Canadian website and Tamil Hinduism

08/01/2011 11:26:43 Raman Kulasingham

The Tamil Canadian website is not accessible in Sri Lanka due to internet censorship. The Government of Sri Lanka has done no disservice in blocking this website. The political leadership of the Sri Lankan Tamils has made numerous blunders in the last 60 years. We need to now strategize afresh. Whereas the Rajapakse administration may not be helpful in my view, this does not mean that Tamils should persist with the failed politics of the past. We need to forge a strategic partnership with the progressive elements in the Sinhalese and Muslim communities.

Internet websites such as Tamil Canadian need to be situated in a broader political context. Tamil Canadian is intended to selectively spotlight unresolved Tamil issues in Sri Lanka, radicalize Tamils domiciled in Canada and [color="#FF0000"]use[/color] Tamil secessionism to undermine Tamil Hinduism. While part of the blame in my view is Mahinda Rajapakse himself, elements of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora are not clean.

[color="#800080"](Very correct phrasing of the situation of what christoism has been doing to Tamizh Hindus by making use of their vulnerable situation.)[/color]

The Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora consists of a spectrum of political views, not all destructive. D.B.S. Jeyaraj's TransCurrents is a liberal website based in Toronto although it once featured an anti-Hindu article by Ratnajeevan Hoole. My criticism is directed at internet journals such as Tamil Canadian and Tamil Net. [color="#0000FF"]Let me take Tamil Canadian for purposes of this article.[/color]

If one were to surf their website using a proxy server, one would discover anti-Hindu articles by Barnabas Alexander and Kristoffen Somanader dated 31 October, 2004, an anti-Sinhalese Easter Message by the Reverend S.J. Emmanuel dated 11 April, 2004 and a news item dated 15 September, 2004 on American criticism of Sri Lanka on religious freedom despite its own poor record vis-a-vis Islam. One reads crude anti-Hindu articles by Velupillai Thangavelu in the Tamil Canadian website dated 17 April, 2008, 24 December, 2010 and 6 January, 2011. It published an undated anti-Indian article by Professor P. Ramasamy. It until recently, regularly featured articles by overseas church websites on Tamil grievances in Sri Lanka. It reproduced an undated article by the Late Father Xavier Thaninayakam. [size="5"][color="#FF0000"]In short, this is a pro-Tamil Christian project under the garb of Tamil secessionism. Its objective is to roll back Tamil Hinduism,[/color][/size] vivisect Sri Lanka and destabilize India.

[color="#800080"](Anyone could have figured this out, really: supposedly "Tamil" Sri Lankan mouthpiece peddling anti-Hindu and anti-Sinhalese messages. Can hardly avoid the stench of christianism.

Again: Cryptochristianism ought to be exposed at all times.)[/color]

[color="#0000FF"]Let me recount the highlights of December 2010. Mootharigner Kanthamurukesanar, a Point Pedro native domiciled in Toronto, called for a discussion to jettison the celebration of the Hindu New Year in April in favor of the Hindu harvest festival of Pongal. Velupillai Thangavelu, who uses the pen name Nakeeran and is on the Board of the Tamil Canadian website, wrote on December 24 calling for the dismissal of the traditional Hindu New Year in April. He urged that Pongal, another Hindu festival, be declared the Tamil New Year to accommodate Tamil Christians! [/color]

[color="#800080"](Meanwhile, Pongal is a sacred Hindu festival to Surya, Lakshmi and the Cow. It's not any secularised Tamizh culture. It is Hindu Tamizh religion. Turns out it's also celebrated by Hindu Kannadigas - being a Hindu festival to the beloved Hindu Gods.)[/color]

Pongal is as Hindu as it gets, dedicated as it is to the sun god! [color="#800080"](Grrr. It's Surya, the Sun God. If Hindus don't retain a deep regard for their own Gods - which would be obvious even in expression - then I'm not surprised terrorist others try to trample on them.)[/color]

[color="#0000FF"]A Murugan Temple in Toronto then offered one hundred Canadian dollars to those Tamil families whose children had been born between 2005 and 2010 to legally erase their Sanskrit Hindu names and substitute that for non-religious Tamil language names. Interestingly, no such money was offered to Tamil Christian children to replace their Biblical and Latin-derived names. Indian Hindu activists in Canada are exploring legal options within Canada to contest this issue of bribery and religious discord.[/color]

[color="#800080"](Crypto-christianism alert.

Then again, with their record of beef-eating and burial as rites of passage/entry, the LTTE also proved their religion over and over again.)[/color]

Thangavelu then wrote a Tamil article in December 2010 and once again in English on 6 January, 2011 attacking the Hindu New Year. He appears an obsessive individual who goes off like a broken record ad-nauseam. All this happened in a span of one month! This illustrates that the Tamil Canadian website is intended to roll back Tamil Hinduism. We have to make sure that this anti-Hindu ideology never ever regains a toehold in our polity as in the days of Prabhakaran.

The London-based Tamil Nation website led by Satyendra Nadesan once espoused a similar [color="#FF0000"]stealth Christian agenda.[/color] It shut down in 2009 with the decisive defeat of the LTTE in Mullivaikal that year. [color="#0000FF"]Tamil Net has toned down its anti-Hindu and pro-Christian rhetoric in the past two years[/color] although it retains a vicious anti-India and anti-Buddhist animus.

[color="#800080"](The toning down is just because it is biding its time until such a time as it hopes christianism may have sufficient leverage power again. Christianism only needs Sri Lankan Hindus to use as footsoldiers and as cover-shield in their bi-directional war against all the unsaved of Shri Lanka.)[/color]

The sudden flurry of anti-Hindu activities flagged in the Tamil Canadian site is of concern. The Tigers have been decisively defeated in Sri Lanka. The Tamil diaspora in Canada which would have otherwise reconciled itself to integration with their ethnic brethren back in Sri Lanka would inevitably have become apolitical. Such desperate moves on the part of one or two individuals using the platform of Tamil Canadian is solely intended to keep the Tamil [color="#FF0000"]Christian[/color] secessionist agenda alive.

Tamil Eelam is not in the interests of the Sri Lankan Tamils. While, I do not support Mahinda Rajapakse on the issue of human rights, we need a moderate Tamil Hinduism to rethink Sri Lankan Tamil politics, reach out to the Sinhalese and Muslims [color="#800080"](uh, the islamaniacs? here comes nationalism...)[/color], and redefine Sri Lankan Tamil politics. This alone will meet the needs of the Tamil dispossessed, the war-afflicted and the poor. The dinosaur Tamil nationalism expressed in forums such as Tamil Canadian needs to be exposed.

Sri Lankan Hindus have been a victim of christo-social-engineering plots and political exploitation (with hidden religious intent) for a long time.

Christianism wanted to conquer the Hindus of Shri Lanka for christ using LTTE-ism and an invented Tamil identity made devoid of the innate Hindu nature of Tamil identity. And at the same time, christianism wanted to blow up lots of Buddhists as well. (I.e. convert-and-kill.)

Hindus are just too close to the situation to recognise enemies who are using them and their plight. To be fair, Hindus aren't the only victims in the old christian plot of "inflame strife into genocidal war for converting heathen nation to jeebus, while pretending to be invisible/playing innocent third-party bystander".
EU Pushing Sri Lanka Toward China

By Madhav Nalapat

Western pressure on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the defeat of the Tamil Tigers risks creating another Burma.

Quote:That old habits die hard is clear from the way in which the European Union has been seeking to corner Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for daring to defeat the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, rather than heeding their advice to call a ceasefire when the army had overrun the last sliver of territory controlled by the LTTE.

With each advance the army made in early 2009, the demands for a ceasefire grew more strident. Once it became clear that Rajapaksa wouldn’t bow to Washington and Brussels, punitive measures were imposed on Colombo that continue today, the most recent being the US-EU withdrawal of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences for Sri Lankan textiles in August.

It’s clear Sri Lanka is becoming another Burma—to be subjected to isolation and sanctions—all in the name of human rights and democracy. And, as in the case of Burma, the major beneficiary of the Western boycott will be the same—China.

China has already displaced India as the country of consequence for Sri Lanka. The distancing of Colombo from Delhi began in 1999, when the then Bharatiya Janata Party-led government refused urgent requests for military assistance. The LTTE had been inflicting defeats on a demoralised Sri Lankan army, which was running out of ammunition and weapons. When it became clear that India would refuse assistance because of its own political compulsions (the BJP was being supported by the DMK, a Tamil party that has backed an independent ‘Tamil Eelam’ homeland carved out of Sri Lanka), the Pakistanis stepped in, providing generous dollops of military assistance that enabled the Sri Lankan army to fend off the LTTE.

Ten years later, history repeated itself. This time around, the DMK was a partner of the Congress Party, and was therefore able to ensure that no help was forthcoming from Delhi in the war against the LTTE. Once again, Pakistan stepped in, joining the Chinese in pumping weapons into Sri Lanka. In early 2009, when India’s parliamentary election was to take place, the Manmohan Singh government demanded Rajapaksa call a halt to the offensive—just a week before the capture and killing of LTTE Velupillai Prabhakaran. Since then, it has been the China-Pakistan duo that have become the partners of choice for Sri Lanka (although some care is still taken to avoid making this too obvious lest it provoke an Indian reaction).

But apart from pandering to the political demands of the DMK, another factor that would have weighed on the minds of the Singh government would have been the fact that the EU has in essence been a de facto protector of the LTTE. Led by Norway, a country whose propensity for aggressively backing lost causes seems to rise in proportion to its oil income, Europe enforced a ceasefire in 2002 between then-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and the LTTE. This gave the latter effective control over the north and east of the country, and helped ensure the eventual defeat of Wickremesinghe and his United National Front at the polls.

Rajapaksa, who succeeded Wickremesinghe as prime minister before being elected president in 2005, was unique in that he was the first representative of the rural Sinhala Buddhist underclass to

become president of the country. His coming to power by no means scared Prabhakaran, who after all had seen off several heads of state (and dispatched at least one, Ranasinghe Premadasa, who was killed by a car bomb in 1993).

Prabhakaran saw Rajapaksa as less able to rally international support for a united Sri Lanka than rival Ranil Wickremasinghe, and indeed facilitated his 2005 election victory by enforcing a poll boycott in the Tamil areas. But one of Prabhakaran's earlier strengths turned into a weakness—his inability to stop short of the jugular. Although Wickremasinghe had effectively conceded autonomy to him in the north and east of the country (even allowing the LTTE to conduct political campaigns in government-held areas without the government having the right to similarly enter LTTE-held areas), he wanted the Sri Lankan prime minister to concede full independence to the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka, something that was an impossibility. In a miscalculation that was to cost him his life four years later, he regarded Rajapaksa as more likely to help secure ‘Eelam,’ a presumption that seemed to be borne out during the first eight months of the new president’s term, when numerous LTTE attacks went unanswered.

However, during this period, it became clear that Rajapaksa was merely trying to get the measure of his enemy, personally attending each Security Council meeting for an insight into what needed to be done to ensure the defeat of the LTTE. A campaign was quietly launched to burnish the reputation of the army, and within a year of taking office, Rajapaksa had approved an overall increase of 300,000 in army personnel, of which 50,000 were to be recruited ‘immediately.’ Requests were also sent to India for weapons and equipment, but when these were turned down, Pakistan was asked to fill the gap, something that Islamabad (and its ally Beijing) did with zeal.

By mid-2007, the eastern provinces had been cleared of the LTTE, and this time around, the militia wasn’t allowed to return. While army units were sent further north, units from the police, navy and the air force were drafted to ensure that the LTTE cadres were denied entry into the eastern provinces. Slowly, Prabhakaran was being encircled.

It was around this time that the EU, led by Norway (which had built up a close rapport with the LTTE since the 1990s) began demanding that Rajapaksa call off his offensive and agree to peace talks. Until now, every Sri Lankan government since the J R Jayewardene administration in 1978 had been responsive to ‘advice’ from the United States and the EU (in the process setting off India's Indira Gandhi, who began backing the LTTE in 1980 as a counter to Jayewardene's ‘softness’ towards the imperialists). Each time the Sri Lankan army had pushed the LTTE into a corner, professional peacemakers had stepped in and halted its operations, thereby giving the organisation time to recover and to once again emerge as a deadly force.

But this time around, Rajapaksa turned a deaf year to the peaceniks in the EU, India and the US, who were united in asking that he declare a ceasefire. Instead, he publicly assured the armed forces that this time around, he wouldn’t stop ‘until the LTTE was eliminated.’

As in India, Sri Lanka has numerous ‘peacemaking’ NGOs, each of whom are quick to come up with reasons why military force ought not to be used, even in cases where there’s an armed attack on the unity and integrity of the state. In both countries, these are led by well-meaning idealists from the upper echelons of society. While the Singh government has been very receptive to such voices, several times pulling up the armed forces, the Rajapaksa team has ignored them—much to the anger of the NGOs and their diplomatic backers.

But the substantial military assistance given by Pakistan and China allowed the Sri Lankan army to finally destroy the LTTE by the middle of May 2009. Since then, India has accepted the inevitable, while the EU has led on the imposition of sanctions on Sri Lanka. All this has had the (hopefully unintended) effect of drawing Colombo ever closer to Beijing.

There’s little doubt that the ‘beautiful people’ of Colombo dislike the feisty, rural Rajapaksa. However, the reality remains that the president is a hero among the 70 percent of the population that’s both rural and Sinhala. Now that the war against the LTTE has been won, the key is to ensure that the Tamil community is given the opportunity to participate in the political and economic life of the country without discrimination (something that’s still a work in progress).

Meanwhile, with each call from European leaders for a ‘war crimes’ inquiry for Rajapaksa and his close associates, the attraction of China becomes ever greater. It’s ironic that the European Union—and to a lesser extent the United States—is pushing away a country that’s potentially among the most West-friendly on the globe.

Looking at the impasse between Rajapaksa and Brussels, it would seem that Sri Lanka is on the way to becoming another Burma—a country firmly in the orbit of China.

Quote:Updated Thursday, August 23, 2012 0:29 am TWN, AFP Sponsors

French tourists sentenced over 'Buddha kiss'

COLOMBO -- Three French tourists were given suspended six-month prison sentences in Sri Lanka on Tuesday after their holiday pictures appeared to show one of them — a woman — kissing a Buddha statue on the lips.

All three — two women and a man — pleaded guilty to desecrating a Buddhist shrine in the central town of Kandy and were also fined 1,500 rupees (US$11) each, police told AFP.

As well as the woman's apparent kiss, the man tried to imitate the pose of the Buddha and their actions hurt the feelings of Buddhists in the country, police told a magistrate in Galle.

Officers were alerted to the incident after the visitors tried to get their holiday pictures printed.

“The studio employee saw the images and alerted the Galle police who arrested the tourists on Monday and the case was concluded today because they pleaded guilty,” said police spokesman Ajith Rohana.

The tourists were free to go as their jail sentences were suspended for five years and the magistrate did not make any order to expel them from the country, he added.

Sri Lanka is majority Buddhist and is sensitive to foreigners showing disrespect to Buddha images. Shrines and temples have banned tourists visiting unless they are conservatively dressed.

Sri Lanka banned U.S. rap star Akon in March 2010 arguing that he had produced a music video involving scantily clad women in front of a Buddha statue.

Eight years ago, Sri Lanka's Supreme Court ordered police and customs to seize Buddha Bar music and bikinis with Buddha images after monks complained they hurt local religious feelings.

(Well done by SL's courts. Clearly they have a spine.)

And that's yet *another* reason why one doesn't want aliens in native temples. IMO Buddhists would do better to issue a ban without any exceptions.

In any case, "converts", other dabblers and any other aliens (e.g. tourists), should be banned from Hindu temples in India/etc - "conservatively" dressed or not. They have no business there.

Also, since when were aliens invited? More importantly: who invited them? (I don't know of a single Hindoo who wants them there.)

Q: Out of a tiny bit of land in the north of Sri Lanka?

A: To Prabhakaran, winning control over the north and part of the west and east coasts of Sri Lanka would just be the beginning. The intention was to use the territory to "prepare" the Tamil Nadu people to revolt against Delhi the way he had against Colombo. What few know is that some Tamil Nadu politicians encouraged this dream by saying that they too favoured the extension of Eelam to India.

Q: Who were they?

A: I won't reveal their names. All I can say is that Prabhakaran was in regular touch with Karunanidhi, Nedumaran, Vaiko and Ramadoss. All four encouraged him in various ways. One point he made often to me was that Tamil Nadu politicians (who were in touch with him) were supporters of freedom for the Tamils only when they were out of power. Once in office, they became silent about the need for (a greater) Eelam.
Hinduism under threat in Lanka, says Karuna - Kumar Chellappan, Pioneer

M Karunanidhi, the 90-year-old DMK chief and a known baiter of the Hindu religion has warned that Hinduism is under threat in Sri Lanka.


Karunanidhi has created more threat to Hinduism by the dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu

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