by Neville Chinivasagam
The film "In the Name of Buddha" has an award winning international track record. Produced in Kerala, India, it was awarded the Best Foreign Film Award at the prestigious Beverly Hills Festival, Hollywood. It was again shown in North California in July at the Wine Country Film Festival.
I certainly recommend every Tamil, Sinhala and non-Tamil (or Sri Lankan) to see this film. It gives the true and factual events of racial harassment, atrocity, torture and genocide of the Sri Lankan Tamils. It is presented very well.
It starts by showing a young Tamil (a medical student), Siva, who arrives, undocumented, at London's Heathrow International airport. He is taken into custody for arriving illegally. On the flight to London he looked forward to the questioning at immigration to relieve himself by telling to another his pitiful reason to dare the trip as an illegal immigrant. He finds it difficult to tell his story because he must remember the evil hostility of the Sinhala. The worst is the betrayal by his Sinhalese best friend. Siva finds a human and understanding Immigration Officer, an elderly lady. When he finishes, she rolls up her sleeve and shows him her Hitlerian concentration camp number. He is admitted to Britain as a political refugee.
"In the Name of Buddha" is damning to Siva's innocence. The film is the unfolding of his story. The film has English subtitles. It is a "MUST SEE" film.
As an Indian film it was produced by two young local producers as showing contemporary landmark events, and therefore contributive to future historians, philosophers and theologians. In the Name of Buddha ranks equally with American and European films on world racial, sociological and religious discrimination. Likewise it depicts to the civilized world that governmental evil, brutality and genocidal tendencies are abhorred by the UN Charter and Human Rights as disgusting, subversive and repulsive for democracy, good government and international peace. The basis for the secular UN Charter and Human Rights flows from spiritual teachings. It is Christ in European and Russian civilization. It is the Prophet Mohammed in the Moslem civilization. It is principally Hinduism in Indian civilization, and Buddhism, an outgrowth of Hinduism, clarifies the Hindu teaching more strictly and clearly for secular civic governance and the individual Self for spiritual success. The 19-years old Prince Siddharatha Gautama renounced acceptance to rule his father's kingdom and instead went away to search for the spiritual meaning of life on earth. He attained spiritual Enlightenment as The Lord Gautama Buddha by being His Own Accuser of the temptation to do evil tempted by the Devil. He taught Peace, Love, Understanding and Sharing Life; the last as not killing even a fly or a worm. Any statue of the Lord Gautama Buddha shows his face radiating the achievement of Celestial Peace, and his teachings tell us that we too can in our earthly incarnation; like Christ's teachings that we are images of the Christ spirit to follow good and not evil temptation. In the Name of Buddha shows the geographically midget-sized Sri Lanka as a mixed-up kid gone wild. Sri Lanka's official religion is Buddhism.
Please contact the Sangam if you are interested in showing the film in your area.
Posted September 27, 2003