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Citizens' Mail

Where does the Buddhist refuge lie?

We Buddhists start our prayers by uttering Buddhan Saranan Gachchami. With that utterance, we pledge our allegiance to the Buddha. The word Buddha derives from the Sanskrit ‘Buddhi’. It means wisdom. Siddhartha Gautama reached the extreme of wisdom, Enlightenment. Thus he earned the title the Buddha.

Hence, does it not mean by uttering Buddhan Saranan Gachchami that we seek refuge in wisdom? If we do want to take refuge in Siddhartha Gautama, should we not say Gautam Saranan Gachchami? Will someone knowledgeable please enlighten us? If the intention is to refer to Siddhartha Gautama then a suitable change should be made. An error cannot continue when the error is found. One may argue when saying Buddhan it refers to the Buddha who is also Siddhartha Gauthama. But should we not be specific?

It is said in Parinibbana Sutta, when Venerable Ananda Thera asked how Buddha Gautama should be worshipped when he is no more, the Blessed One had replied saying by following and observing the Dhamma which he had preached is the way to honour and remember him.

In Christianity, earlier, the prayer starts with ‘In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost’. Seeing that Holy Ghost refers to apparitions and not acceptable to the present day educated people the Church has changed the prayer to read as ‘In the name of the Father, Son and The Holy Spirit. This is more acceptable and sounds pleasant.

It should be understood that these prayers have been prepared by laymen or the clergy at the time when knowledge and intelligence were not so advanced.

Please do not misunderstand me. This is not to discredit any religion but to rectify a wrong if it is so.

G. A. D. Sirimal


Reimplementation of the Capital Punishment

In Sri Lanka reimposition of death penalty is going to be entailed given the unflagging magnitude of crime waves of which drug trafficking and smuggling have been raising its ugly head triggering humanguous catastrophe particularly for the posterity of the country.

In this context, as the head of the country the incumbent president many a time has emphasized the dire expediency of the reimposition of the Capital Punishment on criminals. Right thinking and law abiding masses explicitly and dogmatically have been displaying the green light for same. But facts remain that this aspect has been a controversial factor in the midst of some people and some politicians. There are two schools of thought in respect of this debatable matter. One is standing up for the Capital Punishment whereas the other one is standing up to the same.

But today at this point of critical time almost all the parents whose inspiration is their children, and logical and rational thinkers unhesitatingly accept the fact that reimposition of death sentence on the cold blooded murderers, inhuman rapists and deleterious drug dealers should be considered sine qua non as per the policy of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Imposition of punishment on offenders will act as a deterrent to others in the society. It is quite evident that the crime wave of this country is getting snowballed day in and day out. For some underworld thugs and drug dealers, imprisonment cannot be a punishment because they make it an another contrivance for continuation of their same business. Today high profile criminals do not fear incarceration, but unequivocally they experience intense trepidation to go to gallows.

Thus we can evidently and dogmatically take in that imposition of death sentence can be the realistic ways and means for mitigation of the escalation of crime waves of the country. So the vast mass of people of our country en masse confirm that the decision taken by the president for implementing Capital Punishment on high profile offenders is on the mark lock, stock and barrel.

M. T. E. Perera

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