I have written many times about how there is a militant and bigoted group of Buddhists that includes Buddhist monks who feel that Sri Lanka should be a purely Sinhala Buddhist country and that every other ethnic-religious group does not belong. They have incited mobs to attack non-Sinhala Buddhists, most recently against the Muslim minority. Now a leading monk has gone to the next level, explicitly urging a presidential candidate to adopt Hitler as a model.
A senior Buddhist monk counselling former defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to emulate Hitler and establish a military dictatorship may have seriously hurt his bid for the presidency, according to close associates.
A chief priest of the Asgiriya chapter, Vendaruwe Upali, blessed Rajapaksa on his 69th birthday Wednesday by urging him to follow the German dictator Hitler and take over the country even if it means establishing military rule.
The monk, delivering a sermon at the private home of Rajapaksa, prayed that the youngest among the Rajapaksa siblings should be the next leader of Sri Lanka as the country needed a “Sinhala Buddhist leader.”
“As the clergy, we feel the country needs a religious leader… Some people have described you as a Hitler,” the venerable monk said referring to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. “Be a Hitler. Go with the military and take the leadership of this country.”
“Be a Hitler”.
Now there’s a campaign slogan that one would never have expected to hear.
Mel Brooks’ film The Producers had the production of a parody stage play Springtime for Hitler as its main plot. The humor in the film was based on the absurdity of thinking that Hitler could have a resurgence. But Sri Lanka is just one of the countries around the world where developments have suggested that it is not so outlandish after all.