Mar 27, 2019

Buddhism and Reconciliation

As a country coming out of the terror of war, we are in a sensitive position. Terms such as reconciliation have been tossed around so much since the end of the war by the government and at politically convenient times by the opposition that it truly becomes a blur about what is good for the country and what is bad.

There are tensions between communities and in our own way we try out best to make the right choices and the best decisions to protect our families and our nation. But what is the right choice and what is the best decision? It is a simple answer. We don’t have to look far but only within ourselves and at the Dhamma that is in our hearts.

While many families are suffering without the truth about what happened to their loved ones, as Buddhists and as Sri Lankans we cannot stand against searching and investigating into missing persons. This is a way of bringing families together, even if it means to tell them that their father, mother, brother or sister is not among the living anymore. The Office on Missing Persons functions to investigate into missing persons cases and find the answers to these family’s questions.

The Office for Reparations will be established to provide support to families who are still suffering the traumatic effects of war and conflict. It is not only about providing money but also other forms of support such as education, heath care, clean water facilities, support to build their livelihoods, and even psycho-social support.

We have learned about the four sublime states of loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. As a Sinhala Buddhist we must consider how we can apply this to our daily life. How can the Dhamma help us to make choices in a complex political space. We must show loving kindness to those of all races and religions. We must show compassion to victims and those who are in pain due to the loss and tragedy of war. We must develop sympathetic joy for those who are now free from years of suffering. We must judge our world and make our decisions with equanimity or a stable balance of mind, undeterred by political manipulations.

We are a cultured nation and if we are guided by our religions we will know that reconciliation is inherently part of our learnings.

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