BBC quotes President of Sri Lanka saying more than 30 Christian churches were attacked by the mobs in the last few years time, while Christian groups claim the number should be at least twice of that.
You do not have to be a Sherlock Holmes to know who were behind all those. For instance Mattegoda church was attacked just three days after JHU had a massive rally at Kottawa junction against so called unethical conversions. Mr. Ellawala Medhananda, leader of JHU who chaired this political meeting requested the brave Sinhalese Buddhists to come forward to suppress the so called unethical conversions.
Anyway, if you think Christianity is the religion that has been suppressed most by the Theravada mullahs of this country over the 2,500+ years history of the country you are badly mistaken.
What had been done to Christianity and Christians is nothing, when compared with what they did to Mahayana Buddhism.
Though no vamsa katha records this fact (for obvious reasons as most of these were written by Theravada mullahs at Mahavihara) the Mahayana tradition in Lanka was nothing short of glorious. The remaining vessels used to cook rice (bath oru) at Abhayagiri vihara themselves are enough to show how many Mahanyana Bhikkus were there in Lanka then. (Unconfirmed reports say more that 3,000 Mahayana monks were there at Abhayagiriya in its heyday)
This rich Mahayana tradition was not just criticized but physically attacked and vadalised by the Theravada Mullahs whenever they got the opportunity as they were perpetually scared by the threat coming from the Mahayana sect. It is useless asking for proof because people who did those dirty things obviously never wanted to write them down.
Perhaps the only proofs we have today are the ruins of few Mahayana temples like Buduruvagala.
Let me tell what we know about Buduruvagala, or rather WHAT WE DO NOT KNOW.
Yes, still we know so little about it. We do not know even the correct ancient name of this temple. Buduruvagala is not its name. It simply means BUDU RUVA GALA or the `Image of Buddha in the rock`. This might be the name given at a later stage by people who discovered that. Obviously there should have been some other name than this very generic one.
Then we did not know for sure who did it for what purpose and when. We can only guess when it was done.
Then we do not know whether the centre statue is a statue of Gauthama Buddha. Some say it is a statue of Deepankara Buddha. If so, it might be perhaps the only ancient statue of Deepankara Buddha found in Lanka.
Even today Bururuvagala remains a largely unknown place. Not many tourists visit that place. One has to travel about 5 km along a narrow road from the WellaWaya-Hambantota Road to find this place. There is only a small temple. Some of the prominent aspect of any Buddhist temple are missing. There is no Chaithya or a Bo tree.
When I asked the priest there why not many people visit the place he reverted saying `Kavuda mahattayo, me kele vatala enne?` (Who wants to come into this jungle?)
What I did not remind him was it was only 4-5 km from the A4 national highway and people still visit places like Somawathie etc which also are in the middle of jungles.
The more appropriate answer would be that many of us want to wipe out every trace of Mahayana tradition in our attempts to make this the Sinhala Buddhist Theravada Taliban society. The Theravada mullahs are not ready to allow a trace of even a sect of the same belief. So we continue to neglect what was left from the Mahayana tradition.
Dont we remember who raised their voices most against the proposed visit by Dalai Lama for the 2550 Buddha Jayanthi?
For those who are interested, here is some more information about Buduruvagala. (Please note some information are still not confirmed and there are controversies)
The seven colossal figures carved out of a rock face at Budurawagala are reached by a side road to the west, five kilometres south of Wellawaya, on the road to Tissa.
The rock itself resembles a kneeling elephant with its head bowed and the end of the folded trunk in its mouth.
Neither chronicles nor stone inscriptions provide any information on the exact period of these east-facing statues. However, it has been determined that they date back to the 10th Century and the Mahayana Buddhist Doctrine, and belong to the latter period of the Anuradhapura Kingdom. It is believed the Buddha statue was created during the reign of King Valagamba.
The name Buduruwagala means `stone images of the Buddha,` and at 51 feet here stands the tallest in Sri Lanka and perhaps in the world, since the Bamiyan figures no longer exist in Afghanistan. The sculpture at Buduruwagala is in lower relief unlike the other comparable Buddha statues in the country at Aukana (46 ft), Saseruwa (36 ft) and Maligawila (36 ft) and for all of which it may have served as a model.
At Buduruwagala the Buddha statue is in the centre with groupings of three figures on each side. Only the portion above the waist is finished, the lower part being in rough condition. The raised right hand shows the fingers in abhaya mudra position, the posture of kindness and freedom from fear. What remains of the his robe (fragments of the original stucco and the traces of orange colour) suggest the images were all once painted.
By the right foot of the statue is a hole carved in the shape of the flame from an oil lamp. From this hole percolates an oil that smells of mustard which was used by adherents to anoint their foreheads before presenting themselves to Tara Devi or Vajrapani to solicit cures for their ailments through sathiyakriya, the use of the power of truth.
The central figure in the group of three to the Buddha`s right still retains much of its white finish. This is the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara who, in Buddhist mythology, granted succour to the helpless, and was named God Natha during the Kotte Period. The lower part of the figure is clothed with a robe and ornamentation, and in the centre of the crown is a figure of the Buddha in meditation.
The female figure to his left, in low relief and the typical thrice-bent posture, is Aryathara (Tara Devi), who was believed to have the power to prevent earthquakes, floods, epidemic diseases and other calamities, and who was particularly helpful to women.
The figure to the right of Avalokitesvara is prince Sudhana. He is also in the typical thrice-bent posture. His is the ability to steer the young on to the right path of good behaviour.
The central figure in the group of three to the Buddha`s left is Maithri Bodhisathva, the fifth Buddha for this aeon. The figure has a crown, ornamentations and a robe.
To his left is Vajrapani (God Sakra) who is holding the hourglass-shaped Tibetan thunderbolt symbol, the dorje, made of quartz. This indicates the sculptures are of the time when the worship of Bodhisatvas and statues was introduced by the Mahayana Sect, and is an unusual example of the Tantric side of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
The figure to the right of the Bodhisathva perhaps represents Sahampath Brahma. The part above the waist is very smoothly worked, but the rock below is roughly hewn. It is possible that the lower parts were once covered in painted finery.