Tricycle: Sri Lanka Struggles to Contain Its Violent Buddhist Extremists


Many times it does. The so-called “lone wolves” are often found to make similar ideological arguments on social media. Of course, that ideology isn’t solely to blame for their actions. Ultimately, people are to blame for their actions.

Unfortunately, this is true. For example, Afghanistan used to be a Buddhist country until it was invaded. Regardless, extremism and terrorism are always wrong. A better approach would be to only defend when attacked, have a smart immigration policy, and to let the existing migrants live in peace.

But does it really make sense to blame Buddhism for the bad acts some Buddhists do? As far as I know, ethnic cleansing isn’t condoned anywhere in the Tipitaka.


I have refrained from injecting too much of my politics into discussions on this site because I think the dhamma should provide refuge from worldly political storms, and I don’t want to contribute to destroying the atmosphere here more than I perhaps already have. I am much more open in other contexts, so if you want to look me up on Twitter, for example, you can get lots of information on just what I think about the US imperium, it’s wars and militarism, it’s inegalitarian economic system, etc.


Just to keep this all in context, the article appeared in a Buddhist magazine, and so it is by no means aimed at blaming Buddhism in general for the uprisings in described. But it does blame some Buddhists. It implies that the Buddhism of the nationalists whose actions it reports is not incidental to their violent actions, but a key part of the motivation for the actions - it’s a spefically Buddhist nationalism. And at least one of the participants in the discussion here seems to accept that characterization of the issue.


The Wakaraka sect whose teachings you proliferate on forums such as this and DhammaWheel, what with these nationalistic claims above, that is part of the problem.

As to the above, it’s not an imperfect way of safeguarding the Dhamma in an imperfect world. It’s a monstrous way of demolishing the Dhamma in an monstrous world.

For more lighthearted material on the Waharaka sect see here, or the embarrassing thread on this very forum trying to spread the conspiracy theory that the Buddha was Sri Lankan.


I do not follow Ven Waharaka anymore though. If re-instating the correct Buddha history is deemed "nationalistic " so be it. I do not care about labels - only outcomes.

Buddha would not endorse it. I personally do not endorse it either. Although part of the reason why the teachings are still available is because someone may have taken difficult decisions in the past. I am sure they have paid if any sins were committed too.

There is no need to get judgemental only understand and sympathise it may have happened.


Well I apologies about any misrepresentations as to your sect then.


Some in Sri Lanka think that the dhamma is only found in Sri Lanka. Hence protecting the nation equals protection of Buddhism. That idea is probably outdated by about 1500 years.


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This topic has wandered too far from the OP, and political arguments are not suitable for the watercooler category