Someone mentioned: “There is something wrong with Sarvodaya. It became only the name now.” I agreed with the statements. Sarvodaya is one of the biggest NGO’s in Sri Lanka, which was once recognized as a world-widely renowned organization based on Buddhist philosophy. Now corruption is prevailed through the entire Sarvodaya society, especially among the district coordinators. Not only Director in Headquarters, but also most of the district coordinators I worked with were cooperating with COINTELPRO harassment.
As mentioned in the previous report, Mr. M, the Badulla District coordinator, and his friends committed so to speak “COINTELPRO stalkings” against me almost every day. In addition, when I revealed their covert harassment by Mr. M, he became extremely “defensive” to deny the facts.
Moreover, when I worked in Gampaha, Mr. N, who is Gampaha District coordinator committed harassment on me every time I stayed at his district center, too. For instance, at around 10:30 pm, the moment I turned off the lights and started meditation in my room, always he suddenly turned on the radio and played a live rock music program in extremely loud volume until midnight so I could not concentrate on meditation nor go to sleep. Eventually, he started refusing my stay in Gampaha District center, always excusing: “All the rooms are full today.” Consequently, we had to find another place outside Sarvodaya for our martial arts practice. Also some people are saying that Mr. N always looks drunk – even during the daytime.
Furthermore, in Kegalle District center where I stayed for my volunteer activities in February and March, 2014, the staffs sometimes implied that they were monitoring what I was thinking by so called “mind-reading devices.” I posted this fact on Twitter. Since then all the students stopped coming although they had been enjoying my class for a couple of weeks. Moreover, when I had to carry three heavy boxes of textbooks, dictionaries, teaching materials and clothes from Gamapha, I asked the Kegalle district staffs to pick me up at Rambukkana station because a local bus conductor refuesed me carrying those boxes into the bus. The staffs promised me TWICE on the phone to pick me up in fifteen minutes. They kept me waiting at Rambukkana station for three hours, but they never showed up. It seemed that they did so on purpose to enjoy watching my reaction. In fact, when I uploaded this incident on my facebook, one Sri Lankan man wrote a comment: “ha ha.”
It will be needless to mention Ms. N, the Marawila District coordinator, because in the beginning of the series, I already described in details how evil she was.
During the one year volunteer service for Sarvodaya, I heard several times the staff saying that Sarvodaya faces the most critical financial crisis ever. In fact, Sarvodaya is rather facing a serious “moral crisis,” which may collapse the organization from the basement. I wonder how much of the facts Dr. Ariyaratne, the founder and President of Sarvodaya, is aware of.
Last year in June, just a year ago, I chose Sri Lanka to stay for my volunteer service because this country is said to be a sincere Buddhist country. However, after a year of my observation, I witnessed so many people who boast: “I am a Buddhist,” but do not practice what the Buddha taught – no harming others’ life, no stealing (including others’ privacy and time), and no lying. Instead, they merely pursue money and/or higher social status just as most Americans do. These people totally changed my image of Sri Lankans. I came to Sri Lanka to practice Buddhism, but I sometimes feel that this was a wrong expectation after experiencing so many disappointing incidents as I described in this report.
Is your bird dead or alive?
Nevertheless, there are a certain number of people as well who sincerely try to help me out. I will never forget their kindness. This is a true hospitality of Sri Lankan people that I will deeply appreciate even after I leave here. Even if the majority of Sri Lankan people changed to in a bad way as the result of “mass mind control,” this handful of pure-minded people will humbly redirect Sri Lanka to a good direction.
In the meantime, we should open our eyes to the both aspects –good and evil –within the same person. For example, Ms. N, Marawila district coordinator, lied to me to cooperate with sabotaging my activities in the district. However, on the very last day of my stay in the temple she kindly helped me with packing after she saw the true face of “the yakuza-looking man in monk robe.”
Here is my favorite Buddhist anecdote relating to our moral issue:
Once upon a time, a bandit caught a monk in the forest. When the bandit was about to kill him, the monk said: “You can kill me now, but before that, I can teach you one Buddhist wisdom – how to become a good man.
The bandit scoffed and said: “How could I become a good man? I have killed many people.”
The monk said: “Suppose you hold a small bird in your hands. If someone asks you, ‘Is it dead or alive?’ you can squash the bird with your hands, and answer: ‘It is dead.’ On the other hand, you can open your hands, let the bird fly away, and answer: ‘It is alive.’ In a nutshell, it is you who decide to be good or evil. It is you who always have a choice to become a good one.” Listening to his sermon, the bandit became a monk, and eventually achieved enlightenment.
No matter how tough the way to become good may be, I choose to answer: “It is alive.” I cannot pretend that the facts about COINTELPRO and mass mind control were merely delusion of paranoiac people.
How about you, ladies and gentlemen in Sri Lanka? Is the bird in your hand dead or alive?