Ravana Balaya, a militant Sinhalese-Buddhist organization, has urged the Sri Lankan government to erect a statue of the ancient Lankan king Ravana, before letting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to build a temple for Sita in the country.
“Before allowing the Sita temple, the Lankan government should honour Ravana, the first Lankan king to resist a foreign invasion. If Sita is a Goddess for the Hindus, Ravana is a God for us,” Ravana Balaya chief, Ven Iththakandhe Saddhatissa Thero, told Express.
The Buddhist monk was responding to reports that the BJP leader and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, had announced that the Lankan government would help the BJP build a temple for Sita at Divirumpola in Central Sri Lanka, where Sita had gone through the Agnipariksha or the Fire Test, to prove her chastity to Lord Rama.
Ravana Balaya, which is a pro-Rajapaksa organisation, had earlier demanded a ban on Tamil films featuring stars who had sat on a fast in Chennai, to condemn alleged atrocities against the Tamils in Lanka. India Should Help
Ven Saddhatissa Thero suggested that India should help erect Ravana’s statue in Lanka, “to help cement India-Lanka ties”.
The Hindus should have no difficulty in accepting this idea as the Sinhalese Buddhists had been very accommodative towards Hinduism, he argued.
“All Buddhist temples in Lanka have, within their precincts, shrines for Hindu Gods like Ganesha, Vishnu and Hanumantha,” he pointed out.
Need for Ravana
Asked why he was promoting the Ravana cult, Ven Saddhatissa Thero said that the Ravana Balaya, which had come into being to promote Lankan nationalism, saw Ravana as the first major Lankan king to resist a foreign invasion.
Besides that, he was a man of many talents and virtues.
“Ravana fought Rama’s powerful army very hard. It took Rama eight years to defeat him.
“Although Sita was in his custody, he did not molest her. The Lankan government should revive memories of such kings, who had fought for the country and not betrayed it,” Ven. Saddhatissa Thero said.