A cornerstone of Buddhist philosophy is Loving Kindness, Tolerance, accommodation and renunciation of greed for material things. Buddhism is the only religion that has not indulged in wars, in the name of Religion.The Dambulla Temple owns over 25,000 Acres of land, bestowed upon it by the ancient Kings. If we follow the teachings of Lord Buddha, rather than resorting to violence to acquire more assets for our temples, shouldn’t we exercise tolerance and generosity towards those who worship another creed?It is essential that we know that History is replete with leaders who have employed religion for their narrow political gains, to entrench themselves unduly in power. Unfortunately at times, this has been with the acquiescence of some of the clergy. I fail to understand how an Islamist place of worship that existed peacefully, for over a decade, alongside a Buddhist temple, suddenly became a problem.I am a deeply committed Buddhist and have been all my life, although I’ve never felt the need to publicise this for political or other gains. I’ve studied Buddhism, Pali and a bit of Sanskrit at the feet of great Buddhist sages, while attending a Catholic school. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has questioned the actions of some monks in Dambulla over the mosque issue.In a comment posted on an online petition hosted by Groundviews, the former President said she fails to understand how an Islamist place of worship that existed peacefully, for over a decade, alongside a Buddhist temple, suddenly became a problem. My fervent prayer is that ,even now, our Government acquires the Wisdom and largesse of heart and mind to do what is necessary to build the bridges between the diverse communities of our fractured Nation, so that we celebrate the richness of our Lankan diversity, rather than allow this to be exacerbated into hatred and more division. We have just ended decades of violence, begotten by racial intolerance and hatred, PLEASE let us not start up another conflict, over religion. This land of ours has enough space for all those who’ve lived together for two millennia, one group does not need to grab all for itself. “This attack and the clumsy, unacceptable handling of it by the authorities has quite certainly not been done in my name. My government achieved many successes in this matter. Hence, I know this can be done.May the blessings of the Triple Gem be bestowed upon our land, so that the shrill voices of hatred and intolerance of the extremist few be banished from Lanka,” Kumaratunga said.
When he was a young boy his usherette grandmother gave him a lifelong love of the movies and ever since Anderson Jones has dreamt of owning his own cinema.That dream came true when Mr Jones built a 34-seat cinema, in his own garden.The 38-year-old bus driver has spent the past four and a half years, and £70,000 of his life savings, erecting the brick building at his Stoke-on-Trent home.Replete with a 17ft by 7ft screen, red curtains and red seats Mr Jones’s home movie theatre is a homage to the ABC chain of cinemas of his youth. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Mr Jones with son Ethan and wife JaneCredit:Phil Yeoman/BNPS All the fittings, from the door handles to the exit sign, have been reclaimed from redundant cinemas, including the seats, which came from the ABC in Hanley in Stoke which shut down in 2000.Mr Jones even managed to obtain some original ABC carpet, but didn’t have enough to cover the floor of his cinema.He approached a specialist firm who, using samples of the original carpet, managed to make an exact copy.ABC Cinemas was founded in 1927 and in their post-Second World War heyday there were more than 400 of them throughout Britain. But the advent of large multiplexes meant that by the early 1990s the firm was on the verge of bankruptcy, eventually being taken over by Sir Richard Branson for his chain of Virgin Cinemas.Mr Jones says he just needs to get hold of a set of neon lights and tidy up his garden before he can host his own premier next summer. A light fitting at Mr Jones’s tribute to the ABC chain of cinemas, built in the garden of his homeCredit:Phil Yeomans/BNPS The cinema, sited just 15 metres from the back door of his house, has its own projection room and even a foyer with a concessions stand offering popcorn and sweets. “My grandmother was an usherette and ever since I was a small boy I’ve loved films. I’ve always been collecting things from old cinemas, especially movie posters,” he said. “In 2010 we moved into a house with a quarter of an acre of land and not long after I won planning permission to build my cinema.”I used to be a kitchen fitter so I can do plastering and brick laying and built the cinema myself. All my life savings have gone into it.”My wife Jayne loves films and my children, Hannon who is 21 and Ethan who is 16, love the cinema too. I’ve even got their X-Box rigged up to the big screen!”Anderson, a member of the Cinema Theatre Association, said the first screening will either be Back to the Future or Dirty Dancing, with any donations from the audience going to charity. It is adorned with a 40ft long, 22ft wide and 20ft high an ABC sign and takes up half of the garden of his three bed semi-detached house.Mr Jones’s cinema will only be open to family, friends and members of the Cinema Theatre Association, who will not be charged. He has even bought wife Jayne, 47, an old ABC uniform so she can join in the trip down cinematic memory lane.He said: “I’ve been a cinema fan since as long as I can remember and since I was at school I’ve always wanted to build a cinema.“I used to say to friends ‘I’m going to build a cinema in my garden.’ “They didn’t believe me.” The concessions stand offering popcorn and sweets at Mr Jones’ back garden cinemaCredit:Phil Yeomans/BNPS Mr Jones mans the kiosk at his home built cinemaCredit:Phil Yeomans/BNPS