Posts Tagged ‘elephants’

It’s my goat and I’ll kill it if I want to!

August 26, 2010

It’s been a really long time since I’ve actually written anything in here. Probably because I didn’t really have the time and also because there wasn’t much happening that I felt needed writing about. But that’s changed over the last few days.

For the last couple of days I’ve been seeing a lot of uproar in the newspapers and on the net about a certain group of people sacrificing some goats and chickens in order to appease a certain deity. And to tell you the truth, I’ve been left a bit confused as to the whole hullabaloo.

Apparently, a certain Hindu Kovil has a traditional celebration (For lack of a better word), in which the devotees make animal sacrifices to the resident Goddess. This has been going on for many years without anyone raising any issues about it. But this year, certain members of the public and a section of the Buddhist clergy have decided that they need to put a stop to this ritual.

Naturally, this has led to a certain amount of ill feeling and tension between the two groups and also in the immediate area of the Kovil, leading to the authorities having to call out the riot police in order to prevent the situation from escalating.

Now, as for me, this is where the confusion starts to set in. I thought that we were living in a multi-cultural, multi-religious country? A country in which the constitution, while giving prime position to Buddhism, still allows for the free practice of other religions.

I do understand that some people may be quite shocked at the thought of animals being sacrificed to the Gods in this modern day and age, but then what about the hundreds if not thousands of cattle, chickens and fish that are ‘sacrificed’ on the alter of our appetites on a daily basis? I seriously doubt that many of those people who are crying copious tears about this ritual can honestly claim to be vegetarians!

I believe it says somewhere “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”

IMHO, if it’s alright for some of us to pay people to catch, kill and butcher animals just for the satisfaction of eating their flesh with much smacking of lips and sucking of bones, then it is perfectly alright for others to kill other animals in the name of their religion. After all, what’s the difference, both practices end in dead animals ya?

Now some may argue that animals that are killed for food purposes are not treated in the ‘barbaric’ manner in which the sacrificed animals are killed in these rituals, but I beg to differ, all it will take to put this argument to rest is to take a tour of the nearest abattoir and see how exactly your meat ends up in your plate!

But what really gets my goat (Excuse the pun), is the audacity of these protesters in thinking they have the right to demand that another religion bows down to their petty moral standards! Who or what gives them the right to do so? If they believe they actually do have the right to express their outrage, then IMHO, I too have the right to protest in front of the Sri Dalada Maligawa during the Perehara because I believe it involves extreme cruelty to elephants and should therefore be stopped with immediate effect! I would love to see what the reaction to that would be.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, we all need to be a little more tolerant of other people’s beliefs and practices. They may not sit very comfortable with us, but if we appreciate Sri Lanka for what it is, we need to have an open mind.

For the record, I’m not a Hindu or Buddhist, nor do I practice ritual sacrifice of animals, but I believe as a citizen of this country I have every bloody right to kill a goat if I feel like doing so!

Of Elephants, Priests and Conspiracies…!

July 31, 2009

I have been reading quite a bit of news items and blog post recently about the on-going drama surrounding the abduction (Not in a white van tho) of two baby elephants from the orphanage, but a couple of news items today just took the cake!

It seems that certain prominent Buddhist clergy members have taken upon themselves to publicly defend the forced abduction of these elephants. I guess they have the right to their own opinion, but the manner in which they seek to justify these events just seems a bit mind boggling to me.

Apparently, the statement issued by them accuses the members of the public who raised their voices in protest, to be hypocrites who are not worried at all about the many killings of elephants in the wild. Now my confusion starts here, what exactly are they trying to say here? Is it that all animal lovers should immediately invade the wild life parks and hold protests about the killings?

It seems rather that these senior clergy members are saying that since lots of elephants are being killed off in the wild anyway, it’s perfectly OK for them to forcibly separate 2 baby elephants from their mothers even before being properly weaned!

But what really prompted me to write a post after quite a few weeks is the even bigger accusation being made by them. They’ve actually gone to the extent of saying that all the people who have protested are part of a foreign NGO conspiracy to wipe all traditional Buddhist festivals from Sri Lanka…!!!

Please excuse me while I sit here speechless for a few moments…

How in the hell can these people actually believe something as stupid as this? I mean it has to take a really twisted and paranoid mindset to see a huge anti-Buddhist conspiracy in the outrage expressed by Sri Lankans from every religion! To my limited knowledge, not a single protest was made with the intent of stopping the annual Perahara, rather every single article, post and comment I’ve seen has simply spoken out against an act of cruelty that these elephants have been subjected to.

I guess these clergy members too have seen the wisdom of jumping on the hysterically nationalistic Sinhala Buddhist band wagon in order to justify their actions. After all, anyone who has the balls to speak against them has to be a traitorous, NGO loving, bastard ya?

So, the next time you see someone throwing a stone at a dog, be careful of chastising them. You may run the risk of being accused of trying to destroy Buddhism in this lovely paradise isle of ours!!!