By P.K.Balachandran/ Weekend Express
Colombo, September 10: When the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa got the consentaneous approval of his parliamentary group for legislation to restrict cow slaughter, it was not the really first effort to have really the practice banned. Despite dabbling the concept of restricting cow massacre from time to time, no federal government has actually believed it healthy to enact laws on it.This is most likely due to the fact that cow massacre is knotted with larger problems, which have actually been spiritual, social, economic and political. Of these, the most crucial one has actually been Buddhist-Muslim relations. The cow massacre issue has actually tended to come up when these relations are strained, and brushed under the carpet when they are fine.In his extensive research study of cow protectionism in Sri Lanka, James Stewart of Deakin University (Cow Protectionism in Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka, January 2013) says that it is connected to elements of Sinhala Buddhist culture, its closeness to Hindu beliefs and practices, and similarly a periodical social or political need to use it to differentiate Buddhists from individuals following Abrahamic faiths like Islam and Christianity. The latter need comes to the fore or decreases, relying on the political requirement and cultural environment of the time.In Buddhism, ideologically, all sentient beings (beings which can feel discomfort) are to be valued and protected. No unique place is accorded to the cow. However, the concern of cow massacre tends to come to the fore when the native people have to differentiate themselves from “outsiders” identified with a significantly various culture and set of practices, such as Europeans, Christians and Muslims.Though Theravada Buddhism, which is practiced in Sri Lanka, remains in theory antithetical to Hindu practices and beliefs, Hindu practices and ideologies are an essential part of Sinhala Buddhism at the folk level. Hindu ideas such as cow defense and abhorrence of cow massacre, and dislike of beef eaters have actually become part of Sinhala Buddhist culture.Stewart remembers that Robert Knox, who was a detainee of the king of Kandy in the late 1600s, observed that numerous Kandyans were disdainful of captive Europeans, who they described pejoratively as ‘beef consuming servants’. Dutch records reveal that the Sinhalese in Galle rioted against Dutch traders and soldiers due to the fact that the latter were removing cows for food.However with the decline of Buddhism following the facility of Portuguese hegemony in the 16 th.Century, Sinhalese Buddhists started to consume beef and over the next 300 years of European guideline, beef consuming had in fact wound up being common, states Aryadasa Ratnasinghe in Daily News (Feb 5, 2002). It was only in early 19 th., Century, when there was a Buddhist revivalist movement in Sri Lanka, that cow massacre and beef eating became a concern again.Ratnasinghe recalls how Anagarika Dharmapala, the Buddhist revivalist, went from place to location in his automobile, revealing a banner which had a look at” Gawamas nokanu”( Do not consume beef ). At that time, beef-eating was a typical in Sri Lanka even among Buddhists as it was low-priced, costing 30 cents a pound.Between Anagarika Dharmapala and the 21 st.Century, the cow massacre issue entered into oblivion because the Buddhist-Muslim dispute
had really given way to other issues. However in the 2000s, the issue stepped forward when again with the Lankan federal government buckling down about accommodating the minority Tamils and Muslims in the polity by devolving power to ethno-based provinces( The North-East for the Tamils and a different enclave for the Muslims in the South East). Sinhala Buddhist nationalists and Buddhist monks raised the cow slaughter issue to alienate the Buddhist majority from the Muslims.In 2009, parliament reviewed a personal member’s expense requiring an overall restriction on the massacre of livestock provided by a Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe. Rajapakshe mentioned that a limitation on livestock massacre would offer many new job chances in the dairy industry. He even more stated that livestock massacre had actually ended up giving bribery, corruption and phony licenses. The absence of a ban was likewise responsible for cattle-theft. Sinhala-Buddhist politicians desired the government to surpass the Animals Act of 1958 as modified in 1964, which restricts the massacre of cows and calves below age 12. In September 2012, the Kandy Municipal Council passed a resolution banning animal slaughter within the municipal limits. In 2013, a 30 year old Buddhist monk, Bowatte Indraratna Thera devoted self-immolation in presentation over the killing of livestock by Muslims. The act was committed near the primary entryway of the Temple of the Tooth to have a spiritual result. In January 2016 the then President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, asked the authorities if, in case of a restriction on cow massacre, beef may be imported to please the minorities. However the matter was not pursued as other anti-Muslim issues like Halal accreditation and the burqa got the attention of Buddhist extreme business like the Bodu Bala Sena and the Sinhala Ravaya.Meanwhile, the anti-cow massacre motion was integrated in the bigger animal defense movement. However primacy was given to slaughter of cows in the literature and hoardings of the movement. The Mettasutta, a popular and well-known text among Sinhala Buddhists, was utilized by the Company for the Preservation of Life.The reason for making use of the cow as a symbol in the animal defense movement is that the cow is adored by the Sinhala Buddhists for the milk it provides. Milk is viewed as the source of life, and the cow is corresponded with the life providing and delighting in mama. Stewart explains the popular Baila entertainer Nihāl Nelson who had actually penned a song that deals directly with cow security. The song is called Kiri Ammā which indicates Milk Mother. The tune is a referral to a Sinhalese goddess likewise called Kiri Amma. “It would appear that the deity Kiri Ammā is connected to the Hindu divine being Kāma Dhenu, the mythic cow of limitless lactation. The Organization for the Preservation Life brings a piece of marketing that plainly makes use of an image of Śhiva, Parvātī, and Kāma Dhenu– the latter, obviously, being a precursor divine being to Kiri Ammā
. A billboard of the company brings an image of a cow with a caption asking” How can we consume this?” Arrange of Beef Animals experts Amali Allahakoon, Cheorin Jo and Dinesh Jayasena state in the journal NCBI Resources, that beef is the 2nd most important meat item in Sri Lanka, however far behind chicken. In 2013, in regards to availability per capita each year, chicken came first with 7.09 kg; beef 2nd with 1.8 kg; pork 0.32 kg; and mutton 0.1 kg. Zahrah Imtiaz making up in
Ceylon Today said that
beef production had actually increased marginally from 32.29 mt in 2003 to 35.94 mt in 2011. However, according to the Census and Statistics Department, livestock butchering came down from 207,000 in 2004 to 170,000 in 2013. Beef is exported, with 70.5 metric great deals of it being sent out abroad in 2013. Disadvantage of Slaughter Ban As in 2016, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has actually now stated that while restricting cow massacre, the federal government will allow import of beef to handle areas which consume beef. But this will indicate expenses precious forex when the federal government is severely strapped for it. The other concern that emerges is: After a cow stops to yield milk what will the poor farmer finish with barren cows? The concern of feeding
them will result in him letting them loose to walk easily setting off other issues. Professional dairy farmers will see the expense of keeping old cows as a disincentive. And lastly, If the federal government wants to export barren cows, will Buddhist monks enable it?It is not yet clear if the federal government of the Rajapaksas will really prohibit cow massacre. It is suspected in some circles that the proposition might merely a strategy to get Sinhala Buddhist assistance sometimes when the government is attempting to get the incredibly controversial 20 th., Constitutional Change bill to increase the President’s powers, passed with a two-thirds majority.The latest on this issue is what the cabinet spokesperson Kehliya Rambukwella mentioned: According to him what the Prime Minister said at the parliamentary group conference was just a proposition which at a decision on prohibiting cow slaughter will be taken after a month’s consultation will all stakeholders.( The included image at the top reveals the 30-year old Buddhist monk, Bowatte Indraratna Thera dedicating self-immolation in protest over the killing of livestock by Muslims. The act was dedicated near the primary entryway of the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy to have a spiritual effect) Source.