In a comment posted on an online petition hosted by Groundviews, the former President said she fails to understand how an Islamist place of worship that existed peacefully, for over a decade, alongside a Buddhist temple, suddenly became a problem.
“This attack and the clumsy, unacceptable handling of it by the authorities has quite certainly not been done in my name.
We have just ended decades of violence, begotten by racial intolerance and hatred, PLEASE let us not start up another conflict, over religion. This land of ours has enough space for all those who’ve lived together for two millennia, one group does not need to grab all for itself.
I fail to understand how an Islamist place of worship that existed peacefully, for over a decade, alongside a Buddhist temple, suddenly became a problem.
I am a deeply committed Buddhist and have been all my life, although I’ve never felt the need to publicise this for political or other gains. I’ve studied Buddhism, Pali and a bit of Sanskrit at the feet of great Buddhist sages, while attending a Catholic school.
A cornerstone of Buddhist philosophy is Loving Kindness, Tolerance, accommodation and renunciation of greed for material things. Buddhism is the only religion that has not indulged in wars, in the name of Religion.
The Dambulla Temple owns over 25,000 Acres of land, bestowed upon it by the ancient Kings. If we follow the teachings of Lord Buddha, rather than resorting to violence to acquire more assets for our temples, shouldn’t we exercise tolerance and generosity towards those who worship another creed?
It is essential that we know that History is replete with leaders who have employed religion for their narrow political gains, to entrench themselves unduly in power. Unfortunately at times, this has been with the acquiescence of some of the clergy.
My fervent prayer is that ,even now, our Government acquires the Wisdom and largesse of heart and mind to do what is necessary to build the bridges between the diverse communities of our fractured Nation, so that we celebrate the richness of our Lankan diversity, rather than allow this to be exacerbated into hatred and more division.
My government achieved many successes in this matter. Hence, I know this can be done.
May the blessings of the Triple Gem be bestowed upon our land, so that the shrill voices of hatred and intolerance of the extremist few be banished from Lanka,” Kumaratunga said.