FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
LLRC - A Buddhist Response
Posted:May 26, 2012
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Rajah Kuruppu

The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was appointed by the President to investigate and report on the lessons to be learnt from a conflict lasting around three decades and submit recommendations for reconciliation between the different communities, ethnic and religious. It took the Commission around 1-1/2 years to investigate, discuss and formulate its report. The Commission set about its task in a professional manner accepting representations from various segments of the population. More importantly, the Commission gave an opportunity for the voice of the people of the North and the East, who suffered the most from the conflict to express their views regarding this conflict. The Commission took great care to visit the main areas of conflict so that the victims of the conflict could narrate their experiences in familiar surroundings.

The report of the Commission has been hailed by the moderate sections of the people, both local and overseas. The fact that it has been criticised or condemned by extremist elements, local and foreign, is also perhaps a reflection of the moderate nature of the report.

For monks and lay Buddhist scholars and preachers to appeal to Buddhists to adopt an attitude of generosity and consideration towards minority communities and religions is no difficult task. There are many sayings of the Buddha which support such an approach to minorities.

The Buddha did not refer much to communal, national, race, ethnicity and such differences, since they were not that relevant to the society in Northern India at that time. The main factor that divided that society was the caste system where one is born to a particular caste which remains so for life. Under this system different kinds of work were assigned to different castes and one could not pursue work in other areas. With time, there was flexibility and people began to pursue other activities. However, some castes continued to be considered higher and others lower.

The Orders of Bhikkhus and Bikkhunis were open to all people irrespective of caste, wealth and social status. Actually, some of the distinguished members of these orders were from the so-called low castes. In fact, those entering these Orders had to change their names and titles so that they did not indicate their rank and birth in lay life.

Buddhism should and can be a unifying force. The Buddha urged his disciples to promote concord among people and not to sow discord and dissension  An argument in Buddhism against differences between the mankind is biological. It has been pointed out that there are differences between various species of plants and animals. The foot of an elephant is different to that of a horse or deer. Thus, there are differences between animals as well as among plants. On the other hand, the feet of men are not different despite differences in caste, community, nationality, religion or social standing.

The Buddha led an exemplary life treating all people alike and extending goodwill and compassion in equal measure. He did not discriminate even between the good and the evil and helped them all wherever feasible to traverse on the path to liberation.

There have been rare instances where dissension and discord has been spread in the name of Buddhism. Such actions are totally contrary to the fundamental teachings and the spirit of this great religion.

Our nation has witnessed 30 years of war, which caused untold misery and a sense of deep insecurity to a large number of Its people. The recommendations of the LLRC regarding the important role that could be played by religions should be supported by the Buddhists for the welfare and progress of all people that comprise this country.

The Daily Mirror, 25 May 2012

 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
India sees this visit as a marker of a new beginning whose goal is to establish a much stronger relationship with Papua New Guinea, which is the largest in geographical area as well as population, among Pacific island countries. This visit is part of India's growing engagement with Pacific isla...

 
read-more
The closer Barack Obama gets to the end of his second term, the more consequential his presidency seems, both in terms of his policy achievements and as a turning point in America's electoral politics. &...

 
read-more
The first ever state visit by an Indian head of state to Papua New Guinea began on Thursday with remarks by President Pranab Mukherjee brushing aside a suggestion that India was in competition with China in the Pacific region.

 
read-more
Civil-military shadowboxing is an old hat in Pakistan, with a brazen democracy-be-damned approach of the Pakistani generals who have formally ruled for 36 out of the 69 years of independence. In 1958, the first Pakistani...

 
read-more
Saturday’s unprecedented mass protest inside the highly fortified Green Zone in Baghdad is a harsh reminder of the deepening political crisis that has virtually paralysed the government of Prime Minister Haider al-...

 
read-more
Broadly, the Nuclear Security Summits have not only raised the profile of nuclear security issues at a global level but have started a thread of ‘softer nuclear security issues’ that have witnessed a wilful participation of countries. The innovative c...

 
read-more
Column-image

What kind of a person can coolly go around a bustling metropolis with the hidden objective of reconnoitering a series of high profile and bustling targets for a relentless, unconscionable carnage and strike up...

 
Column-image

Ian Morris’ book helps to understand better the productive function of power and the strengths and constrains of a data-driven study of historically embedded arguments. However, his selective treatment of historical occurrences, the narro...

 
Column-image

In the Indian context, these could entail the prospects that could have ensued if Vallabhbhai Patel had been free India's first prime minister instead of Jawaharlal Nehru, or if Subhas Chandra Bose had sta...

 
Column-image

The Lal Masjid stand-off in 2007 after abduction of some Chinese citizens and the bloody clearing-up operation was a watershed for Pakistan, triggering open conflict between Islamist extremists and security fo...

 
Column-image

Written by two IAS officers, ‘The Queen Could Sing’ narrates five different stories in an inimitable style. The delightful verses, fired by a childlike imagination, sparkle with wit, humour and archaic characterizations, instantly c...

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive