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Religion, end to discord?



Imagine that your religion, like most religions, does not consider changing faith as a punishable offence – say, Buddhism. If one of your family members changed her religion, for example, to Hindu, but continued to live the same good life she had been living till then, would you have any objections regarding her change of faith? Is it likely that you would condemn her for what you call a disloyalty of sorts?

There is no reason why you should feel bad about it unless you think that changing one’s ‘faith’ is improper. If this family member starts living an immoral life after changing track, you have reason to be worried. However, if she does not show any decline in her conduct, you have no basis for worry unless you are unjustly biased against anyone changing one’s religion. However, most families, irrespective of their faith, would at least try their best to dissuade her from taking up a new faith. And, surely, the resistance of the family would depend on various factors including the intensity of your faith in your religion, the levels as well as the nature of education of the family members, your general outlook on life, how open-minded you are about sensitive issues and the binding nature of the decrees of your religion. The pressure your family would bring to bear on the nonconforming member would be the net result of all these factors.

If the majority were more tolerant the objection from the family is likely to be minimal and the ‘rebel’ would make the transition with no loss of face. Further, the less stringent your religion was regarding codes of discipline, the less disquieting the defection would be for everybody concerned. Now, think of a whole family changing faith. The situation would be equally disconcerting, or much worse this time, for they would incur the displeasure of a larger religious community, be it neighbours, friends or relatives. The disapproval would once again depend on the factors mentioned above and, perhaps, more. Besides, their displeasure, if not censure, would be immediate and, what’s more, it would certainly not come from any fear of the nonconformist family becoming immoral.

However, this sort of negative reaction flies in the face of what we are frequently made to believe about the civilizing nature of all established religions. Priests and laymen tell us frequently that all religions are set to make us behave more virtuously and hence we should not show any disregard to other religions. This sounds great. If these claims were genuine, no one – priest or layman – could have any difficulty whatsoever in readily consenting to any person of any faith switching allegiance at any point in his life. Sam Harris, the neuroscientist, philosopher and writer expresses the same sentiments more pointedly and with no trace of ostentation when he says, “Just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, we will see that there is no such thing as Christian or Muslim morality” (The Moral Landscape). In sum, morals are useful recommendations for good conduct no matter whichever religion you inherited from your parents. It’s a plea for scores of humans who remain haplessly divided by historical circumstances despite their capacity to agree on codes of behaviour based on love and compassion, which we all are capable of feeling, whichever religion we were initiated into as children by circumstances.

Suppose, religion, at its best, is a way of helping people to realize their best selves, through which they can maximize their sense of togetherness, collective well-being and happiness. As we may all agree, morals prescribed by any religion can stand on their own without reference to other religions. This is true of all religions, be it Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, etc. What if one were to ask why not distil the morals of all the religions practiced in your society and formulate a common schema agreeable to all? He would say that it would enable our next generation to live in a society which will not be compartmentalized by religions imposed on them by their parents whom they didn’t choose. However, such a proposition would be summarily dismissed by many of those who profess the uniqueness of each religion. Why?

The reason is, for an overwhelming majority of us religion is much more than a manual for a good life. In addition to the ethical aspect, there is, in every religion, an intricate web of worldly as well as supernatural features that engage us both physically and emotionally. Ninian Smart in his book The Religious Experience of Mankind sums up the many-sidedness of religion when he says, “it is a six dimensional organism, typically containing doctrines, myths, ethical teachings, rituals and social institutions, and animated by religious experiences of various kinds.” As the title of the book indicates, the ‘experiential’ element plays a significant role in tying us to our religion. It seems that the bewildering variety of all the above features of religion that creates the deep divisive lines between one religion and another, which we cannot circumvent easily despite our efforts to bring about religious reconciliation. Ironically, this goes against the avowed mission of all religions to make the world a better place for all humans. Our obsession with the ‘other world’ enunciated, differently, by each religion eclipses the brotherhood they seek to promote. This is sad, isn’t it? However much we reject it, don’t we have the deep-rooted feeling that our religion holds the key to truth and ‘ultimate salvation’ and thus the moral precepts of our religion have more authority compared with those of other religions? Our early indoctrination makes us feel reluctant to look at ethics as useful and modifiable standards of behaviour. It is not open-mindedness but an attitude of insularity and fussiness that robs us of the opportunity of uniting under one banner.

Let’s take the following scenario to help us understand our self-indulgent blinkeredness more objectively. Imagine that all living beings and plants were to be wiped out from this earth one of these days either by a chemical mishap or a much more virulent pandemic than the current one. It will perhaps take millions of years for intelligent beings to evolve again on earth. They will never have heard of any of our religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hindu, Islam, etc. However, they are sure to develop their respective religions that are likely to interpret things like good and bad which could not be detached from their irreconcilable interpretations of ‘after life.’ Now, being millions of years distanced from them, we would be able to better understand their predicament as ‘outsiders’ without sharing their emotional attachments to their religions. What advice can we offer them to make their world a place of less turmoil? The best instruction would be to urge them to formulate their morals free of religious tones so that they would avoid endless frictions that are likely to lead to disunity and enmity. We may tell them that morals work best without religious stamps on them, if our experiences are anything to go by.

Now take the train back to the present moment. If example is better than precept, what will be our first step towards a more peaceful world? It will be to encourage people to, firstly, understand the applicability of morals devoid of their religious flavour and, secondly, go easy on the non-verifiable and mutually exclusive claims about ‘after life.’ Will science be able to help us in this project?

Although science has constantly been taking over spaces occupied by magic and religion in the past, many people remain pessimistic about science ever coming to throw light on ‘after life.’ However, Yuval Noah Harari, renowned historian and philosopher, says, “In premodern times religions were responsible for solving a wide range of technical problems in mundane fields such as agriculture…when an agricultural crisis loomed…, farmers turned to the priests to intercede with the gods. Medicine too fell within the religious domain… if you were ill you were likely to go to the witch doctor rather than to the doctor…” (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)

Surely, unlike our ancestors, we are far too enlightened to trust religion any longer to solve our day to day problems. However, with regard to ‘after life’ we don’t seem to be that much better informed than our ancient cousins. As such, the confusion about what happens after death has caused human beings the world over to be more divided than united. All religions, as we said previously, claim to know the ultimate truth about where we would ‘go’ after death. As religions don’t rely on empirical methods of verification of this claim, it is unlikely that they will be any wiser in this regard even in the next millennium. Let’s hope science will throw some light on the issue sooner than later and save us from being divided on the basis of unverified claims till the cows come home. If consensus on ethics can unite us why let unearthly and nebulous issues thwart it?


Susantha Hewa

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WHO taken hostage by global corporate network



by Dr Wasantha Bandara,
The Secretary,
Patriotic National Movement

According to the reports of various independent research institutes in the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) is currently contemplating bringing the entire decision-making authority of the global health system under its control. It is also reported that WHO is planning to use two main devices for that purpose: the revision of the International Health Regulation system (IHR), and the signing of a new global epidemic convention to bind all countries of the world to the organisation’s strategic plan and the guidelines based on it.

This process is called “One Health Agenda” and that will give power to make decisions in respect of all areas affecting public health under the authority of the World Health Organization. Accordingly, the World Health Organization will have the power to influence decision making at the global level in relation to many fields such as food, agricultural production patterns, animal production process, environmental protection, population variables, etc. This situation is very serious due to the fact that the big companies that provide funding to the World Health Organization have been given decision-making power over the process and fields of deploying those funds. For example, if funds are provided for a specific project, the organisation does not have the power or ability to deploy the funds according to the priority, no matter how critical the priorities are. As such it cannot be hidden that the World Health Organization currently determines technical decisions and set priorities according to the wishes of funders.

As such, many researchers have revealed that WHO is almost completely dependent on private funds for all its budgetary requirements. According to Dr. David Bell’s research reports, the biggest funder of that organisation is Bill Gates and the umbrella organisations dominated by him. Dr. David Bell accuses Bill Gates of using his funds as leverage to shut down the entire world and introduce mandatory vaccination programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is no secret that a large vaccine market was created and the accounts of large companies were fattened. It has now been revealed that the Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Foundation invested large amounts of money for it even before the pandemic. However, even though the orders are given by WHO for epidemic control, the programmes in every country of the world should be launched with the funds of the taxpayers of those countries.

Accordingly, WHO is accused of having destroyed 200,000 small businesses in the world while 40 new billionaires were created by the end of the Covid epidemic. The whole process has been dubbed by various researchers as “epidemic industry”. Therefore, in the future, it is possible to present an “epidemic package” with measures such as new epidemics control measures and mass vaccination programmes, as well as imposing restrictions on economic and social activities and shutting down the entire world in the end. The cost will be borne by the taxpayers of the respective countries and the profits will be credited to the accounts of Global Corporate network.

Accordingly, the billionaires can ensure that the process is carried out the way they want through the International Health Regulations and the New Pandemic Convention, which gives WHO “global police powers” as mentioned above. New regulations revealed to be currently being drafted will introduce new criteria for declaring a global pandemic and health emergency. Consequently, by creating an epidemic or emergency situation that can happen or is likely to happen, it is possible to recommend actions to be taken in a real situation. For example, it is possible to completely shut down a country and create a global mass market by implementing mass vaccination programmes or preparing for other medical interventions.

According to the new international health regulations, the directives given by WHO are mandatory and all the countries that were parties in 2005 are obliged to implement those directives. Also, the new regulations empower the Director-General of the World Health Organization as an individual to independently declare a health emergency or a global pandemic. As such, the possibility of the independent expert committees to challenge the objectives of the funders is minimal. A mechanism will also be set up to ensure that the relevant orders are strictly implemented by establishing a very comprehensive centralised enforcement process. Accordingly, member countries are constrained in their ability to seek other options other than submitting to the directives of the Director General of the World Health Organization. As an extension of that, the Director General will be empowered to publish any country’s data without that country’s permission, as well as to provide it to the requesting party to be used for any purpose.

Above all, the Director General will have the power not only to deploy the resources of member countries but also to make decisions on intellectual property rights and will also have the power to censor the disclosure of information. Also, it is considered a very autocratic situation to make individual people bound by regulations. Accordingly, the public will have to be obliged as individuals to submit to the closure of borders, the imposition of travel restrictions, to follow the quarantine process, to submit to medical research, to submit to mandatory medical treatment and vaccinations.

In that way, it is very clear that in addition to binding countries and individuals by the new international health regulations, the new Epidemic Convention creates many other obligations. According to the draft currently under discussion, the power of the World Health Organization will spread beyond epidemic control. For example, a global supply chain will be created under the supervision of the World Health Organization for health supplies. In addition, each country must allocate 5% of the national health budget to maintain the emergency situation management structure of the WHO. As an extension of that, each country should create a specific governance structure for the health emergency situation management process under the supervision of the World Health Organization.

This new global pandemic agreement will expand the mandate of the World Health Organization indefinitely under the umbrella of ‘One Health Agenda’. Accordingly, the control of climate change as mentioned above is also considered as a health emergency and the power to impose restrictions and orders related to it has been submitted to the authority of the World Health Organization or in other Words the authority of the funders. In this way, the World Health Organization will have the power to impose orders overriding the local laws of a country. In such a situation, in the name of controlling climate change or in the name of controlling a related health emergency, the Director General of the world health organization will be able to take over the power to control the entire world’s food production system.

WHO is not the only organisation that comes forward to confirm the need for this so-called one health agenda. Not only the United Nations Organization, the European Union, the United Nations Children’s Fund, but also the Global Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have come forward to spend money for that and popularise the concept. Even if this organizations invest in the so-called epidemic industry in this way, the operating costs should be borne by the taxpayers of the respective countries. Hence, Dr. Bell states that the public must invest money for billionaires to make profit and ultimately to become victims of exploitation and destruction. The World Economic Forum has introduced a new theory to provide protection for this evil process. It is known as Public Private Partnership. In order to give it further legitimacy, it is termed as the transformation of the process from the dominance of shareholders to the dominance of stakeholders.

It is very clear that the end result of this private-public or private-government partnership is that the profits of the entire process are accumulated in the accounts of a handful of big companies. To facilitate this process, the World Economic Forum and the United Nations signed an agreement in 2019 and thereby impose the business interests of large companies on sovereign countries through this United Nations and its affiliated international multilateral organisation network. It is in the context that the World Economic Forum gathered in Davos, Switzerland in 2020 presented a new theory called “The Great Reset”. A key device in that theory is contractual private-public cooperation. In other words, the global multilateral institutions system is used to re-establish or reset the world according to the wishes of the global billionaires’ forum or the World Economic Forum. In that process, a Global Decision-Making system will be established.

Eventually, that so-called decision-making system becomes a global governance system or a global government of billionaires. The seriousness of the process is hidden by not naming it the global government but created as a technical decision-making system at global level. But the real situation is the creation of a global government above the independent states of the world. The World Health Organization will become the most powerful tool used to manipulate or control states in the way that the global government desires. Accordingly, the ultimate goal of the new International Health Regulations and the new Global Epidemic Convention should be understood and redefined in this greater context or bigger picture.

It can now be clearly seen that the current moment in which the world is undergoing a great economic depression is being used to pass a critical juncture related to the process of re-establishing the world. It is obviously a kind of imperialist operation. Accordingly, the next World Health Assembly will be used to adopt international health regulations. If that operation becomes a success, the relevant amendments will be put to the vote in May 2024. There, only a simple majority is required to pass those resolutions. But according to the procedure of the conference, the member countries will have a period of 10 months to reject the relevant amendments. As such, in March 2025, the process of creating a new world will begin. If a country has the courage to oppose it, only that state will have a limited space to act according to the international health regulations that have been in force since 2005.

Meanwhile, the World Pandemic Convention will also be put to the vote in May 2024, but will require a special two-thirds majority to pass it. After the adoption of the convention, if endorsed by 30 countries, all signatory countries are bound to implement the convention. But global giants are not waiting until then, and will launch an operation in September 2023 to begin a rehearsal through an operation called the Global Pandemic Response Platform. There is no doubt that it is a rehearsal to guide countries to the 2024 Agenda.

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Of that proposed ‘Climate Change University’



by Dr. Ranil Senanayake

With the Sri Lanka country statement to COP21 held in 2015, Paris being ignored by the ‘Climate Change’ bureaucrats for eight years, there is concern that the agricultural community is running out of time. The recent change in management seemed to show some promise by appointing Eric Solheim as the Advisor on climate change. Thus in August of 2022 the Sri Lanka country statement to COP 21 was submitted to him in the hope that he could initiate the urgent actions that need to be attended to. Sadly, there seems to be no acceptance of this statement by the Government up until today. One trusts that the stupid public statements like “Sri Lanka will take the lead in ensuring the developing economies have the resources to mitigate climate change” have been crafted by the bureaucrats and not the advisors.

Now, we are presented with another silly political gundu, a ‘Climate Change University’. In terms of climate change, they are compromisers of our farmers and our fishermen. They are guilty of not putting in place the official machinery, to prepare for the oncoming stress factors, driven by climate change. Heat stress to our crops and the loss of ocean productivity are the most obvious. A nation would respond to such a scenario by having its agricultural scientists focus on breeding heat tolerance into our crops. We do not need a university to tell us that heat is going to be a problem. It was stated eight years ago in the Sri Lanka country statement to COP21. It said:

“(1) We are aware that the optimum operating temperature of chlorophyll is at 37 deg C. In a warming world where temperatures will soar well above that, food production will be severely impacted. We would request the IPCC to address responses to this phenomenon.”

If we are a nation unable to listen to its own voices or even the voices of others. What can be done to penetrate the echo chamber that politicians benefiting from earmarked funds have created around themselves? Globally, the scientific community are warning us that the crisis coming, we can see the wave on the horizon, but most people are still rooted in the dream that life will proceed as normal and are willing to let the corporations and politicians, calm us by moving the deck chairs a bit more, for us to enjoy our ride on their Titanic.

The oceanic levels are going up as a consequence of climate change. In Sri Lanka the current rate is around 3.6mm per annum. However, research published in February 2022 shows that sea level rise is accelerating and projected to rise by a foot by 2050. If there was any coordination on climate change, we should be mapping out the rice-growing areas prone to salinisation. We should be accessing salt tolerant rice varieties into the national rice breeding programme. We should be evaluating alternate crops for saline areas. We have the resources to respond, we do not need to wait for a climate change university to tell us that.

Without awaiting the lucrative construction of a new university, could we not consider the request of the Sri Lankan Country statement to COP 21 to be considered by the line ministries today and action plans drawn up? If we have funds for this new university is it not better to award the funds to existing institutions to respond to the oncoming crisis.

Sri Lanka Position Paper

To the UN Conference for Climate Change (COP21) Paris 1-10 December 2015

Sri Lanka is a vulnerable island in the face of Climate Change. An increase in the intensity of rainfall will erode our mountains and create increased flood damage. An increase in the sea level will render much of our productive agricultural lands saline. An increase of ambient temperatures will reduce our agricultural productivity. We are in agreement with the view that an increase of the Carbon Dioxide concentration in our atmosphere will contribute to this vulnerability.

We are aware of the great difference in carbon dioxide that is emitted from biological sources and carbon dioxide emitted from fossil sources. One has sequestered rates measured in thousands of years while the other in millions of years. Yet the cost is still the same. We would request the IPCC to address the relative costs of each.

We are aware that the optimum operating temperature of chlorophyll is at 37 deg C. In a warming world where temperatures will soar well above that, food production will be severely impacted. We would request the IPCC to address responses to this phenomenon.

We are aware that the critical Ecosystem services such as; production of Oxygen, sequestering of Carbon, water cycling and ambient cooling is carried out by the photosynthetic component of biomass. This is being lost at an exponential rate, due to the fact that these Ecosystem Services have not been valued, nor economically recognised. We would request the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to examine the value of photosynthetic biomass.

Sri Lanka will place her development agenda on a fossil free target and will promote an economic recognition of the ecosystem services generated by the photosynthetic biomass. In this way we offer to act in a globally responsible manner as well as to contribute in creating a cushioning effect for the climate extremes that are before us.

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The gold and phone smuggling MP



A rogue caught with the goods, literally in the act of walking through the VIP lounge at Katunayake. He walks home Scot- free after paying a fine of some millions; and to cap it all, he walks in to Parliament next day, as though nothing had happened! I wouldn’t have been surprised if the govt. ranks clapped in unison to welcome him! At least the opposition could have booed. Maybe it is not parliamentary practice, but they have done worse time and again.

I think Parliament should rethink the moral code for MPs. It is pretty obvious that there is neither moral rectitude nor ethical conduct among parliamentarians. Or else would the culprit have the brass to walk in to parliament the very next day?

It is a sad state of affairs when people don’t understand, that perks and privileges go with responsibilities and a high moral code. Walking into a VIP lounge with contraband gold is the lowest depths an elected official can descend to.

His explanation after the event is almost vulgar. He says he does not know ,who put what in his bags although he has mentioned a golaya who accompanied him and packed his bags. I doubt even his strongest supporter would believe him. Instead he must be cringing in shame. That statement alone should cost him his seat. He is not worthy of the appellation Hon. MP.

Padmini Nanayakkara

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