Samaraweera is responding to advice given by Anu Nayake of Asgiriya Chapter Wendaruwe Upali to former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to rule the country like another Hitler if he is elected the next executive president.
The prelate has told Gotabhaya that he was being referred to as Hitler, and that it was the Buddhist clergy’s advice to him to shape the country by becoming even a person like him.
Referring to that, Samaraweera says that he is ashamed as a true Buddhist who accepts the Buddhist philosophy to hear the prelate’s grave and malicious remarks.
He says that anyone knowing the nature of the military rule of Hitler and having an iota of sense will not make such a shameless statement.
Nowhere in Buddhism is any reference to give counsel to such dictatorial rulers, he notes.
A descendent of the Devadatta?
Only a descendant of the Devadatta will make such an extreme and dangerous remark, he says.
Briefly detailing how Lord Buddha preached how a country’s governance should be, Samaraweera says even schoolchildren knew the importance of social justice and righteousness.
He urges the country’s Buddhists to pay serious attention to the Anu Nayake’s remarks.
Sri Lanka never allowed dictators
Explaining the character of Hitler and comparing it with the Rajapaksa rule, he says that in Sri Lanka, the people never allowed dictators to rule the country.
He points to the notorious remark by a female singer after Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the 2015 presidential polls that he should have killed to preserve his position, and says the latest example shows that that extremist thinking has come to stay among the Buddhist clergy too.
Stressing the need to protect Buddhism from the unworthy, the minister calls for an immediate convocation of Buddhist monks to clense it.