Buddhists, Tamils and Muslims from time to time were oppressed by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. But does that now give the majority Buddhists the right to impose their religious and cultural values (not forgetting the "Sinhala Only" disaster of 1956) on the minorities!
1. Under the Solbury constitution all religions were given equal status, but in the 1972 Republican constitution this was changed and Buddhism was given the foremost place. It’s the same with the present constitution.
2. After 1956 people who worked in the public sector who’s mother tongue was Tamil or English, had to learn Sinhala in 2 years time if they wanted to get a promotion.
3. The sale of meat and liquor was banned every full moon day, while all film halls remained closed and after television came along only religious programmes were shown on this day.
4. Private Christian schools were nationalized in the 1960s.
5. Buddhists and non Buddhists were forced to have the Sinhala “Sri” on their vehicles when the Tamils protested over this, they were beaten up by Sinhala mobs.
6. The university entrance exam in the 1970s was standardized and Buddhist students where given preference over Hindu students.
These are just some of the things perpetrated by the majority on the minorities (not forgetting the holocaust of the Tamils in July1983).
In the Bible, Isaiah chapter 55 – verse 8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”
But what do some of our Buddhist clergy do? They appear regularly on tv and try to distort mainly the Christian and Islam religion. The often said thing by them is that all religions ban the eating of meat! THIS IS JUST NOT TRUE!
Meat consumption and the Bible
Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
Deuteronomy - chapter 14 vs 3-21 has this to say on what you can and cannot eat.
3: Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.
4: These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat,
5: The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois.
6: And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.
7: Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you.
8: And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.
9: These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:
10: And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.
11: Of all clean birds ye shall eat.
12: But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and ossifrage, and the ospray,
13: And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind,
14: And every raven after his kind,
15: And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,
16: The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,
17: And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,
18: And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.
19: And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten.
20: But of all clean fowls ye may eat.
21: Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.
Alcohol and the Bible
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus drank wine (Matthew 15:11; Luke 7:33-35) and approved of its moderate consumption (Matthew 15:11). On the other hand, he was critical of drunkenness (Luke 21:34, 12:42; Matthew 24:45-51).
The later writings of St. Paul deal with alcohol in detail and are important to traditional Christian doctrine on the subject. He considered wine to be a creation of God and therefore inherently good (1 Timothy 4:4), recommended its use for medicinal purposes (1 Timothy 5:23), condemned drunkenness (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 5:11, 6:10; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 13:3) and recommended abstinence for those who could not control their drinking.
Though alcohol is banned in the Koran, consumption of meat isn’t
The Koran on the consumption of meat
"Lawful unto you (for food) are all four footed animals, with the exceptions named: but animals of the chase are forbidden while ye are in the Sacred Precincts or in pilgrim garb: for God doth command according to His Will and Plan".
(Sura 5, Verse 2)
In (Sur5 5, Verse 5) it is further written: "They ask thee what is lawful to them (as food). Say: Lawful unto you are (all) things good and pure: and what ye have taught your trained hunting animals (to catch) in the manner directed to you by God: Eat what they catch for you, but pronounce the name of God over it: and fear God: for God is swift in taking account."
That the animals were created for extensive use can be seen from
(Sura 16, Verse 5): "And cattle He has created for you (men): from them ye derive warmth (wool and fur), and numerous benefits (domestic and riding animals), and of their (meat) ye eat."
An additional clarification regarding the use of maritime animals follows in
(Sure 5, Verse 99) "Lawful to you is the pursuit of water-game and its use for food, for the benefit of your selves and those who travel"
and in (Sure 16, Verse 14): "It is He Who has made the sea subject, that ye may eat thereof flesh (fish) that is fresh and tender, and that ye may extract there from ornaments (pearls and corals) to wear."
These quotations make it quite clear that from the Islamic point of view it is basically permitted to use both plants and animals for food, though on condition that they are well tolerated and healthful to men.
There are many non Christians and non Muslims who listen to these Buddhist priests and believe what they say. I hope the verses taken from the Bible and the Koran that are given above would set things straight.