Violent Extremism Distorting Buddhism: Lankan PM

Poson Poya\'marks the introduction of Buddhism to the island nation by Indian Emperor Ashoka’s son, Prince Mahinda, in 250 BC.

Published: 01st June 2015 08:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2015 08:49 PM   |  A+A-

COLOMBO: Violent extremists are trying to distort Buddhism, a religion which had given to Sri Lanka the philosophy of peace, non-violence and inclusive development, said Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his message on the eve of Poson Poya on Monday.

Poson Poya'marks the introduction of Buddhism to the island nation by Indian Emperor Ashoka’s son, Prince Mahinda, in 250 BC.

“No invasion has taken place in history to propagate Buddhism. Buddhism has a unique place among religions and philosophies because it creates a conducive environment for co-existence by respecting other religions and cultures. However, in today’s world, this noble teaching based on compassion and non-violence, has been challenged by extremist, short-sighted and violent acts. This is regretful,” Wickremesinghe said.

“It is our responsibility to change this situation. Let us enrich our lives spiritually, not materially, and co-exist, respecting other religions and cultures,” he said.

Reasons For Concern

The Prime Minister’s concern stems from the fact that Buddhism has become a tool in the hands of Lankan politicians to whip up national jingoism and anti-minority communal sentiments for narrow political gain. A universalistic religion has been made to serve partisan ends with every political party having monks in its ranks to help score points in competitive communal politics.

Buddhist communalism and its offshoot, Tamil radical sub-nationalism, tore Lanka apart through war and terrorism over a 30 year period.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp