21 October, 2019

Blog

Breaking News Example Of Yahapālanaya In Australia: Cardinal George Pell Found Guilty & Set To Go To Jail 

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

“Technically, even if a Buddhist sees a robe hanging on the washing line they should, under this social logic, run and worship the piece of fabric. Mercifully, we don’t witness that!”

Could this ever happen in Sri Lanka?

Could this ever happen in Sri Lanka if a Mahanayake of any of the nikayas was found guilty of criminal conduct like sexual abuse and rape of kids under their care? Or a Muslim Mullah? Or even our own cardinal Revd Malcolm Ranjith? However serious the case may be, it would never have reached court in the first place. Furthermore, if it was a high politico, the complainant would have been sent missing under Gota’s kind of ‘disciplining.’ That has become the Sri Lankan way.

Cardinal Pell’s Case

The case in Australia is about a most sensational court verdict handed down to one of the Catholic Church’s highest ever dignitaries. The Cardinal was found guilty by a Melbourne County Court of sexually abusing two choirboys in St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne. This incident had been 22 years ago. However, the issue was raised a few years ago and authorities had to act on the complaint as the law requires.The verdict was given as on December 11th last year but Australian media has been barred from reporting the verdict until now, due to a court-imposed suppression order. The details were out today (26/2/19).

As stated by The Age Newspaper columnist Tony Wright, “[the verdict] will rattle confidence in the structures of the Catholic Church, all the way to the inner sanctums of the Vatican City, as no sex abuse scandal has done before.”Adds Wright: “Here is a Prince of the Church, handpicked in 2003 by a Pope himself, John Paul II, as a cardinal; a prelate, set above others, entitled to be called His Eminence.” Cardinal Pell was one of those 113 privileged Cardinals who sat in conclave at the Vatican to appoint the new Pope Francis. Every reason for special hush hush and protection in a Sri Lankan context.

Law above Persons

On the other hand the scenario is vastly different here in Australia. No person, however eminent and powerful can escape the law. The Australian law stands above everyone. This also means the judiciary, which is at the pinnacle of legal system, is held sacrosanct and is never interfered with. This is the essential core idea of our own Revd Sobitha’s yahapalanaya mission. The United Front government campaign in 2015 was for replacing the lawless and arbitrary regime of the Rajapaksas with a system where the law is above all. Maitripala Sirisena was made common candidate while Ranil Wickremesinghe, head of the largest single party in Sri Lanka, voluntarily sacrificed the opportunity he himself had.

19th Amendment

There are many critics of Ranil Wickremesinghe and the United Front government  but what cannot be denied is that this government managed to bring in the 19th Amendment and this bit of law had provisions embedded to keep the law above all. Unfortunately, the new law could not do away with the absurd immunity allowed for the Executive President. Maybe because that provision needed a referendum. The rest was fine. President’s direct ability to pick members of the judiciary was taken away as the the Constitutional Council was entrusted with the task of picking form among the nominees given by the President. I think even that amount of leavage should not have been left for the President. The structure of the Constitutional Court  reflected an adequate amount of political representation but its independence had been made secure. 

And see the results today: Judges and judgments are free from the President’s and Prime Minister’s interference. No Chief Justice had  been obligated to give the verdict required by any political power.

The power of the yahapalanaya concept was more than amply demonstrated when our judges saved our democracy both from a crazy President who joined  the Opposition forces led by Mahinda Rajapakse in the shameless and frightening October 26th coup that went on for 52 days stalling the operation of governance in the country and holding our people to ransom.

No Remorse

That both Sirisena and Mahinda do not feel remorseful for what they did is clear because these two blokes are now on a campaign to attack the Constitutional Council- the creator of the independent judiciary. Sirisena is madly upset because, occupying as he does the mindset of the incumbent of the President’s  office prior to the 19th Amendment, he thinks he is the big boss who can appoint judges without restriction. Knowing the man only too well and being too close to the coup episode, it is easy to imagine what kinds of judges Sirisena would pick. Their attacks on the Constitutional Council and on our judges  is totally without logic, reason and evidence. It is an expression of mere frustration-aggression.

Can these two leaders be educated about the beauty of the Australian example as manifested in Cardinal Pell’s conviction? This is a subject that our print and electronic media should take up in seriousness for the sake of raising the consciousness of our people to the vital need for a strong and independent justice system that catches all without reservation.

Clergy Issues in Sri Lanka

With regard to clergy issues, the Sri Lankan culture is also to be blamed. Buddhists give uncritical respect for anyone who dons the robe.This inspite of Buddha’s own advice to be wary of monks  who misbehave. Technically, even if a Buddhist sees a robe hanging on the washing line they should, under this social logic, run and worship the piece of fabric. Mercifully, we don’t witness such enslavement!

Our political and other leaders are seen on a daily basis  pandering to the Sanga sans reservation. 

Ravi Karunanayake

The other day, I observed two shocking incidents in this regard. One is when  Minister Ravi Karunanayake and some Opposition MPs visited the jailbird  raucous monk Galagoda Atte Gnanasara in prison. This monk  has  a terribly bad reputation. However, Ravi Karunanayke is reported to have advised the monk to come out of jail and restore the purity of Buddhism!! It is unlikely Ravi was giving expression to some intelligent sarcasm. Sarcasm, if it was, would have been in bad taste and politician’s don’t do that sort of thing. I think Ravi Karunanayake is a disgrace.

Gotabaya and Bro with Revd Pitiduwe Samantha Bhadra

The other episode was about prospective candidate Gotabaya and his former powerful brother Mahinda paying a visit to Pitiduwe Samantha Bhadra on the latter’s birthday. This monk is a sort different from GA Gnanasara. However, he falsely claims he has reached the ‘rahath state,’ and so he has managed to get thousands of gullible pilgrims visiting him on a daily basis with gifts (pirikara). He gets his followers to arrange lavish displays on every birthday. This practice is incongruent with the doctrine of selflessness (empty self or sunya) in Buddhism. Yet, for the miserably credulous this wouldn’t matter. My point is why did these two politicos go there? Obviously to boost their vote-base among Sinhala Buddhists. In the process of this selfish thrust they only help to cement the false social consciousness around Samantha Bhadra. Our leaders should never set examples like this.

To add to the campaigning politicos, did I not spot Dhammika Perera-Sri Lanka’s richest man- pouring over luxury gifts got down from France? I am hoping that was an optical illusion. It is reported that this ‘Rahath monk,’ was made richer by over 20 million gifts on his birthday!

Instead of uplifting the social consciousness of our people towards modernity, these leaders are working towards a regression of our society.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    GLAD you wrote about a serious issue in Australia, your homeland. Here is another excerpt from NYTIMES Nov 26, 2009

    The Roman Catholic Church and the police in Ireland systematically colluded in covering up decades of child sex abuse by priests in Dublin, according to a scathing report released Thursday.

    The cover-ups spanned the tenures of four Dublin archbishops and continued through to the mid-1990s and beyond, even after the church was beginning to admit to its failings and had professed that it was confronting abuse by its priests.

    But rather than helping the victims, the church was concerned only with “the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the church, and the preservation of its assets,” said the 700-page report, prepared by a group appointed by the Irish government and called the Commission of Investigation Into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin.-END OF EXCERPT

    Maybe a commission should be set up in Sri Lanka for religious sex crimes because otherwise I do not see victims in a culturally subservient, classist, casteist society being bold enough to speak out against Buddhist Monks, Catholic Paadiliyas, Imams or Poosari pedophiles. Remember culturally boys are allowed to sleep with white Sudu Mahattaya pedophiles form Germany,. USA or whereever in beach resorts. How many Sinhala and Tamil and Muslim mahattayas must be pedophiles too?

    I say disrobe that bugger and expose him to the public.

  • 2
    0

    Why are people reluctant to report pedophiles and rapists in nations like Sri Lanka and India and Pakistan? I can understand backward Islamic laws that are totally one-sided when it comes to rape, but surely in India and Sri Lanka there is civil law and people can be prosecuted? You want to be real? STUDY the research done on sex-tourist-pedophiles in beach resorts; Meegamuwa is one of the key areas along with the south where pedophiles sponsor families and stay long term.

    But facts are that you do not present facts about pedophiles in Sri Lanka but talk about a clown who claims he is an Arahant. Who cares? I have seen more real buddhist monks in the USA. Also the facts are that Pell committed those crimes in 1996. This is 2019. Also the Church said they will “WAIT until the appeals are heard” to defrock him. So what if he gets away on appeal because there was tainted evidence? He denied it too. But then again in the USA pedo-priests have been moved and hidden from one Parish to another when they were threatened of being exposed? Also see “SPOTLIGHT” mate; it is no Netflix. Learn more about Australian and Irish cover-ups mate. For me, religion should be a fucking private matter; and any Buddhist Monk, Paadili, Imam or Poosari engaging in rape of nuns or pedophilia be it with boys or girls must be dealt with severely. Do not talk about Gota; because the Batalanda cops talk about a VVIP gleefully watching rape torture of boys. I wish you really examined facts Mate; but thanks for the lovely start to what should be a serious discussion. Rule of law in Ireland and Australia and USA ? COVER UPS?

    The Roman Catholic Church and the police in Ireland systematically colluded in covering up decades of child sex abuse by priests in Dublin, according to a scathing report released Thursday.

    (NYT 26-11-2009)

    • 1
      0

      Mano,
      There is in fact a flap in India about rapes by Catholic clergy. Some have been arrested.
      Clergy in India are respected by the public but don’t even have reserved seats in buses, unlike here.

  • 1
    1

    Mr SJ: good place to start but you change from a pedophile conviction in 2019 for covered up crimes committed in 1996. Then you talk about a monk not a pedophile but a dude claiming to be Arahant and the subservient society paying homage to him in western style. Have you forgotten gullible Americans and that ***ker Rajneesh and his harem and Rolls Royces? How about CHRISTIAN Evangelical frauds like Jimmy Swaggart and that awesome trickster Teleevangelist Jim Bakker and his now dead wife? or Other such greedy bastards who became fat rich evangelicals in US OF A? CHRISTIANS man gullible ***king Christians who still act the same way and send money to Jesus through these humbugs. So this is the ugly truth of religion sometimes mate because dumb-assed millions who do not question Gods or Deities; but in case of Buddha, he taught us to QUESTION his teachings because unlike Christians and Muslims where the theology requires and demands FEAR and unquestioning obedience to a Deity/God, buddhism does not have that. But each his/her own mate each hisher own.

  • 1
    1

    Now for all our Expatriate/Emigre’ readers of this forum, I share parts of a posting from a dear former student of mine. I will use his whole story to write an opinion column later but I want Mr.SJ, and rest to all read the following. I have his permission to repost it, but I will not reveal his name. The molester was a Warrant Officer of the US Airforce and a Scout-master. Cover ups? and ugly sordid evil pedophiles in USA in Christian USA? GASP.
    POST
    This is the face of a child predator. This man sexually abused me on an almost-daily basis from the ages of 13 to 16. When I attended his funeral in 2015, I was hoping for closure. Instead, I got to sit through an hour of testimonials about how great of a man he was, and all the good things he did in the community.
    Child predators come from all walks of life. The most dangerous of those are family friends, especially those that put a lot of effort into seeming beyond reproach. What this man did to me (and at least 2 other young boys) has caused lasting psychological affects well into adulthood. Following 4 years of intensive therapy, medication changes, and psychiatry appointments (not to mention a few hospitalizations) I *still* struggle with debilitating depression and crushing anxiety.
    What makes this all worse is that the majority of his preying upon children was done while he was a Boy Scouts of America leader. But that’s not even the disturbing part- complaints were made against him by parents/children directly to BSA. Before trying to discredit the victim and tell them they had no case, ultimately BSA did the right thing in no longer allowing him to participate as a scout leader. But instead of parting ways completely, they instead allowed him to *still participate as a parent*.

    • 3
      0

      Mr Ratwatte, it is the type of people like you who (inadvertantly, I hope) become tools in the hands of the evil forces that are scheming to destroy all religions, philosophies and political views that are detriminetal to their plans for the earth and all its inhabitants.

      Now, there is no doubt that the Catholic Church, like any other human organisation would have ‘bad apples’ among its structures including the clergy. But the campaign of tarring the entire organisation of the church on their account is a campaign organised by the enemies of the church who haven’t still got over the fact that the Christians , followers of Jesus Christ, destroyed their mythical belief system. After all, they betrayed him to the Romans as revenge.

      Read the comment by S. Jayasuriya above to gain an insight in to this case, and ask yourself he question why is that a rabbi caught abusing children never never faces justice in England, Australia or US, and they flee to Israel where they receive state protection, whi;le their brethren are busy painting the Catholic Church as the worst evil on earth, on account of a few bad apples among billions of Catholics.

      I pity your rants that are based on ignorance and the hype of the Western Corporate media juggernaut. Get yourself a brain, please.

  • 3
    3

    What do you know about Singhalese Buddhists? Many don’t give a shit about a robe hanging in a washing line. The reason, why I hate this guy’s writing, is he always somehow connects GR and MR for something and completely forget about crimes done at Batalanda and around Sri Lanka killing 62000 youths by UNP and JVP. Once in a way talk about your god RW and crimes he committed and his visits to various Hindu Temples in India and why he is not holding elections. Dont write to unversities to give him another doctorate. Ask people who were in the Uni how he got the degree.
    For an example When you write about GR and MR using white vans ensure to include how white van culture started in 1971 insurrection because there were not enough vehicles for services and white vans were used by every government and extensively from 1986 to 1989 by UNP government where your god RW was a very senior minister who personally supervised what was happening in Batalanda killing fields.

    • 2
      0

      Indeed Freeda, that is the other side of this. RW loves to go worship at Hindu Temples just like MR before. CBK never did. So why is he talking about a robe hanging to dry? I NEVER heard that before about “respecting” a bloody clothing item on a clothesline. Is it fact? Is it in the teachings? As for Batalanda, and the Sinhalese killing Sinhalese in the south, lots of the UNP folks are always silent or quick to say that happened long ago. Really? And White vans are more exaggerated than real I think. Yes some were abducted, but the way they try to portray it, thousands were abducted. NO EVIDENCE. SL fought a horrible war and one day a Truth and Reconciliation committee can look at war crimes from both sides. No one still talks about war crimes in Vietnam by Christian USA.

  • 0
    0

    DO NOT COMPARE ASUTRALIA AND SRI LANKA. THESE TWO COUNTRIES ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT IN EVERYTHING. 120 SLR = 1$.

  • 1
    0

    News. Hee hee, One one side, an all seeing, all knowing God and now in defense, he is apparently unaware..

    THE VATICAN last night dismissed suggestions that the God our father had any knowledge of sexual abuse scandals committed by 4,392 Catholic priests over the past 60 years.

    A spokesperson for the Vatican denied that God, 84tn-years-old, knew about the ongoing molestations prior to the first reported case twenty five years ago.

    The supernatural creator and overseer of the universe is named with hundreds of other church officials in a letter written in 2005 suggesting he, and all those who worked for him, were aware of paedophile priests.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 0
    1

    Australia has a Kangaroo Court. Pell is innocent. Release him.

  • 0
    1

    The writer must be congratulated for having dramtically drawn our nation’s attention to child sexual abuse. The ‘abiththaya,’ (child monk novice) practice in our temples should be stopped immediately. It prevails for the sexual perversions of our elder monks. The kids are sexually abused on a daily basis. I know of a senior monk in Pilimathalawa who gets an abiththaya to perform a blow job daily.

    • 1
      0

      Nonsense

      You must be a Catholic churchgoer to attack our Buddhist Priests

      Any case abitthithiya is not a novice monk but the lay person who does the temple cleaning and similar things

    • 0
      0

      Sounds like ‘abiththaya’ is your mother’s nickname!

  • 0
    0

    Sexual abuse certainly cannot be condoned.More so when the abuse is done by a member of clergy who was inevitably trusted and looked up to.But the important thing to remember is that all religions,schools and organisations are composed of human beings with fralties.The point I wish to make is that there are good people and bad people in this world and you cannot label organisations as being bad because a few individuals are guilty of abuse.Those guilty of abuse must be punished in this world and all Christians believe in the next world as well including those who aided and abetted by hiding the crimed from the respective authorities..

  • 1
    0

    News today in Sri Lanka states a UPFA Pradeshiya Council member has been arrested for sexual molesttion of a young schoolboy. All the evil seems to happen in the UPFA

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 0
    0

    RELEASE INNOCENT PELL TODAY NOT TOMORROW

  • 1
    0

    Cardinall Pell is innocent. A superb man will never do anything like that

  • 0
    0

    Great writing, Shyamon Jayasinghe. You say important things that our nation must be alerted to.

  • 0
    0

    If the Cardinal or for that matter anyone, particularly someone in power, used that power to molest children, they need face the full weight of the law. In this case, it is understood that of the two boys, who are no longer boys but adults, one is not amongst the living. If this is correct, then the case has hinged on the statement of one person who was a boy when this allegedly happened. It is the statement and not eye witness accounts or not even circumstantial evidence that apparently was the basis for a unanimous jury decision. Whether this kind of “evidence” is sufficient to convict a person, irrespective of whether the person is Cardinal or a pauper, needs to be thought of. The Catholic Church in Australia does not have a good name these days after the many revelations about the doings of its clergy. However, while, the plight of the victims must come first, whether culpability can be proven with one statement also needs to be looked at. It appears that in many cases involving child abuse, the accused has to prove his innocence rather than the accuser proving beyond reasonable doubt that the accuser committed the abuse. This is contrary to the usual norms.

    • 0
      0

      In writing about Venerable George Pell Thero of Australia, the writer Shayman J seems to have stepped on the sensitive toes of some blokes. Mano Ratwatte from USA is seeking to counter it by the Catholic or Western examples. Mrs. Udubeddewa has followed suit by branding Kesara Weerasinghe a Catholic church goer. These tirades are not going to absolve the Buddhist monks in Srilanka from their misdeeds.

      What is their logic? Are they saying these things happen also in the west, so our own monks are not blame worthy? Why are they so sensitive at the mere mention of child monks ? Whether they are child monks or lay novices does it make any difference? Why are these ardent religionists take offence at a casual mention of child abuse in temples ? To the contrary only if punitive and reformatory steps are taken forthwith and miscreants weeded out, the reputation of the respective religions will be saved.

  • 1
    1

    Dear Sir,
    Even some Sinhalese Buddhist monks who resides in Melbourne have violated numerous rules and regulations. Two of them were about to be convicted and former High Commissioner intervened to withdraw and revoke the case.
    After they were acquitted they were offered a Sangha Nayaka Titles.

    This what Sinhala Buddhists do even in Australia.

  • 0
    0

    Australia has Kangaroo courts. I do not trust them.

  • 0
    1

    Kesara Weerasinghe must be congratulated for coming out with a hidden truth. Our monks keep Abiththayas in temples and sexually abuse them on a daily basis. The monks hide behind robes and parents are scared of reporting as this is regarded as a shame that should nor be reported.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.