24 October, 2017

Misbehaving Clergy Must Face The Law

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

“if you maltreat a penguin in the London Zoo you cannot escape the law on the grounds you are the Archbishop of Canterbury” ~ Lord Bingham.

Buddhist Monks are All Over

The Buddhist clergy are all over Sri Lanka these days! Name a TV channel, and a monk is there. Name a street protest, and a monk is there. Name a subject, and  a monk articulates about it. Even if it be the constitution, a monk knows it-although we have only a subcommittee report before us at this stage. It doesn’t matter. Some monk or another will rise up in a stadium and analyse the constitution or what he thinks the constitution is going to be.

The fact is, after the landmark decision of monks to enter parliament under the banner of the Jathika Hela Urumaya it has never been good days for the Sanga. One wonders what is happening in their temples? Villagers who flock for a Pooja? To tie a Pirith Nool? To seek consolation under the  Dhamma? To practice meditation? Where have the monks fled?

Sri Lanka had a short time like this soon after the victory of SWRD Bandaranaike and his MEP. in 1956. I remember those days vividly as a youth. However, that era ended with the assassination of SWRD himself by two monks -Somarama and Buddharakhita. Civil society spurned monks for a long time after that. But here, we are now in a repeat of that era. Hope this, too, would not need a tragedy of that sort. The fact that civil society had been able to curb the previous episode is a clue to the solution of Sanga omnipresence. Only organised civil society can curb all this.

Violence

Unlike in the old days, we have Facebook and social media catching images instantly and relaying them to the world. Fortunately, nobody can censure that. A good and effective social control device. The images being splashed daily over social media seem to dramatically question whether Buddhism is any longer the most peaceful religion in the world. What’s the difference from Islamic fundamentalism? Perhaps guns have not yet entered the scene.

Many images show monks lunging forward in hateful manner to shout protests or to assault. I have heaps of them sent to me by friends. If proof be needed I can furnish that.

Some months ago, we had Galagoda Atte Gnanasara once again in action going at Muslims. This man is so ingenious that he even imported Myanmar’s violent protest -monk called Wirathu to Sri Lanka. That was during the previous regime. Gnanasara is kept under some control now; yet government is scared to act against him. When questioned after the Kurunegala episode months ago as to why Gnanasara isn’t arrested despite court orders to do so, a cop exclaimed: “how can we arrest a Buddhist monk.?”

Recently, we had news stories about monks belonging to some Sinhala Jathika Balamandalaya gathering around a safe house where Rohingya Muslims are being kept. These monks lashed filth and assaulted some of the Muslims. These hapless Rohingya people and their trailing little families were rescued by our navy and brought to the safe house under UNHCR instructions. However, our knowing monks rushed to the scene and abused the poor folk who had their eyes looking for mercy.

One of the offending monks have been arrested while the other heroic one is in hiding. A nasty Facebook comment on the image of the arrested monk entering the police van remarks: “Go in the van and reach Nirvana quickly!” Public anger is there, but it is not organised  and those against the government stand aloof or enjoy with vicarious pleasure.

This sector of monks seem to know everything accept the Dhamma. Where are the  four Brahama Viharas of karuna, metta, Mudita and upekkha? Could any human treat vulnerable and helpless families so cruelly looking in their eyes that cry for mercy?

After Gnanasara and before these two anti-Rohingya monks performance we had the case of a high profile monk who was charged with the theft of elephants and also charged with the abuse of the public address system. This case is at large.

The trend seems exponential and we will see more of this unsavoury developments in the future.

Violating the Vinaya and Transgressing the Law

Violating the Vinaya rules pertaining to the conduct of monks and transgressing the laws of the land are two separate classifications off misbehaviour. As far as the Vinaya rules are concerned they are supposed to be enforced by clergy authority itself. On the other hand, the problem about the Buddhist Sanga is that there isn’t any hierarchical command line that can execute this task. It is sharply different with the Christians and Muslims. The Catholics have a strong hierarchy of parish heads, bishops, archbishops -all going up to the Pope in the Vatican. This isn’t the case with the Buddhist Sanga where Mahanayakes are mostly symbolic positions. The individual Buddhist monk thus possesses a free space to act. In the ancient history of the Sanga, Sri Lanka did have an abundance of individual monks who were thoroughly disciplined and deeply tied to their vocation. They spent their time in temple and in scholarship as our temples became the only formal institutions of learning for a longlong time. It is a different game nowadays. The social and religious scenario is changing radically. No longer are temples the sole institutions of education.

Commercialisation and politicisation has invaded the temples. Monks and temples are being politicised  and our politics have been religionized. That is the story in a brief slogan. Fortunately, good monks are still the majority in number and many such spiritual leaders are in the forest hermitage tradition. On the other hand, the evil trend is dangerous for the health of the Buddhist Sanga.

Slippery slope

The connection between Vinaya violation and law violation isn’t all that disparate. There is a slippery slope about permitting even Vinaya violations among monks. That slope has the potential to lead on to violations of the law and to crime. It is just a step or two away. Hence the government that is encharged with the protection of the Sasana and the broad Buddhist masses must take serious note of both types of misbehaviour. Organised civil society at village and urban level can be mindful of the first type. Government must be mindful in particular of violations of the law.

‘Be you Ever so High the Law is Above you’

Regardless of the denomination-Christian, Muslim or Buddhist- if  the fundamental principle of peoples’ sovereignty is to be kept, the law of the people must be above all. Corrupt or murderous politicians-whoever they maybe-must be brought before court and required to account for their public behaviour. The same law must be applied to clergy-however sanctimonious they may be in society. There was a time in England when a legal understanding prevailed about ‘the benefit of the clergy.’ That went away long ago. The first principle of the rule of law formulated by Thomas Fullers stated: Be you ever so high the law is above you.” As lord Bingham explained,” if you maltreat a penguin in the London Zoo you cannot escape the law on the grounds you are the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Special Influence of the Clergy

Actually, in the case of the clergy there is a very special reason for the urgency of the application of the law. What is that?  Their psychological influence over followers are potent by virtue of themselves officiating as clergy. In the case of Christians and Muslims, clergy represents a kind of go-between with God. What happens when communion is given in church? A transubstantiation miracle of turning bread into wine is claimed to occur. What happens at Confession? The priest intercedes with God on behalf of the “sinner,” and gardens the latter under conditions.  A whole host of sacraments are administered by the priest. I am not familiar of the details of the clergy in Mosques; it is certain to be characterised similarly. The Buddhist monk does not play an interceding role as Buddhism is a different corpus altogether. However, he is said to hold the key to spiritual success even as far as the ordinary Buddhist goes. In the case of popular Buddhism, the monk is in charge with numerous ceremonies and ritual and the Sanga is one of the triple gems in Buddhism.

In  Sri Lanka, the influence of monks has been compounded by a historical myth that Buddhist monks are protectors of the state. There is much truth in the perception that our monarchs of the past often used to seek the advice of monks in governance matters. Whether that “advice,” had been typically symbolical and a pretence is another matter. On the other hand, during those ancient times the Buddhist monk represented also the learned community. Today, it is a totally different scenario where the education levels of the broad lay community has generally exceeded that of most monks.

Sexual Abuse Allegations about Christian Priests

The spiritual control of clergy over their faithfuls is, therefore, overt. On the basis of a principle of behaviour that any holder of power has the potential to try and abuse that power such members of a clergy, therefore, are in a position to more easily abuse power in various ways.

Serious sexual abuse of children and women by Christian clergy all over the world have been reported over the years. Court cases in the USA of clerics sexual abuse of youth have given rise to over a billion dollars of compensation. In the Republic of Ireland sexual misconduct recently received widespread publicity. The same in Australia where a Royal Commission had to be appointed to go into allegations of the public. The Commission reported  widespread and serious abuse. Evidence that the Vatican had protected wrong doers by transfers have also been unearthed in all these countries. The Archbishop of Australia is  fighting for his life facing monumental charges of sexual molestation and abuse. Victims are said to have have been pressurised to keep things cover. The result has only led to a repeat of such offences. In international law there is a thing called ‘command responsibility,’ over human rights transgressions.  Most of the victims in all these cases have claimed ‘soul damage,’ and persistent trauma.

Conclusion

Sri Lanka must follow these modernised societies and ensure that any member of the clergy guilty of violating the law  is put behind bars. Government must make a forthright announcement so that societal expectations are established. Such a step would also be a further step in progress toward the desired secularisation of our society.

*The writer can be contacted at sjturaus@optusnet.com.au

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  • 12
    1

    Mr.Shyamon Jeyasinghe,

    Many would fully agree with your above rational views.
    If the SriLankan Scociety has to change for the better on the race , religion & politics issues, patriotic people like Dayan Jayatileke, Malinda Seniveratne, Nagananda Kodittuwaku, Mahinda Rajapakse & Bros , G.H Peiris, Gomyn Dyasri , and few others have to respond to your views in a positive way in the media of their choice if not through CT.

    • 1
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      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/

    • 11
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      100% in agreement

      The only difference between Islamic Fundametalism and Buddhism is that the monks are yet to take guns and the way it is at the moment, it is a matter of time.

      What should be done?

      1 enforce the law equally
      2 Chief priests of the four nikayas have to wake up and take control
      3 Improve the governance structure in the temples
      4 transfer every monk after three years from current temple to another temple
      5 ban monks from contesting elections
      6 ban monks from accepting board positions in companies ( Lanka Hospitals PLC)
      7 ban monks from appearing on TV other than for religious sermons
      8 ban monks from being involved in politics and getting onto political platforms
      9 temples should not be used for political purposes (Abhayaramaya Narahenpita)
      10 monks should not be involved with trade unions (nurses union)

    • 1
      0

      This perhaps can be valid to the clergy in Europe and other developed world but not in developing or far poor countries such as hours.

      We the folks have been abused by buddhists priests and then hypocrite politcians for their selfish gains.

      Media biased to those hypocrities would not want to establish balanced thoughts and minds in each of those societies.

      In srilanka, we the nation have been caught by MEDIA MAFIA ORGANIZATIONs. They are fully biased to their favourites men and women in spot light of the country. This is purely a struggle of focusing their revenues to avenues: Today the damage being done by lanken PVT TV channels, are the worst above every other media insitituions.
      The reason why I am telling this is, as it is common an yother society, most make them aware are through TV discussions and news than any other sources of informatoin.
      Today, in srilanka, we have only BIASED media telecasting channels.
      They make every efforts to abuse the gulliable masses for their commercial AIMS.

      I recently raised the question as to why DHERANA NALIKA keeps travelling to KOREA to meet lanken working communities there. Why cant they do it to Australia and England ?
      They focuses only GULLIBLE AND uneducated masses where EXTREMISTS thougths can easily be spread.
      Wimal weerawanse is focusing LANKEN DIASPHORA LIVING in italy. Most of them are house maids, shop keepers or the like that woudl nt see anything beyond their harboured thoughts.

    • 1
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      Mr Jaysinghe,

      “Sri Lanka must follow these modernised societies and ensure that any member of the clergy guilty of violating the law is put behind bars. Government must make a forthright announcement so that societal expectations are established. Such a step would also be a further step in progress toward the desired secularisation of our society.”

      Your conclusion is right no doubt about that, but before asking them to implement this,
      they the politicians should finally take actions shaping up the nation, than anything else. Most of them down there are far from knowing ” good and bad”:
      Most focus on their personal gains; BUT ridiculously enoguh calling them as SINHALA BUDDHISTS.
      iF they are buddhists, those in RESPECTABLE sekte-MAHANAYAKAES should finally wake up and do their due – which is to edcuate lanken SANGA community and then buddhists that have been born into the relgion.

      If these buddhists would turn out to be MYANMAR style buddhists, that would do anything and everything to stand again, non-buddhist ROHIGYA minority but own men of that counry, there we are lost again.
      I thnk RAJPAKAHSE led all extremists groups should be warned NOT to allow those extremist lanken buddhists following those dangerous paths.

      BUDDHIST TERRORIST WIRATHU to allow put his feet in LANKEN SOIL under the guidance of FORMER illiterated, uncrupulous men should be brought before the lanken courts.
      There the buggers betrayed us buddhist in this island. We love promote NON-VIOLENCE rather than any other GOTABAYA or MAHINDA led extremism.

    • 2
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      Dear Shyamon,

      Great stuff!

      Please keep pressurizing the government into developing a spine and doing away with the notion of selective justice. Currently, they haven’t the guts to do it on their own free will. One of the reasons could be that some high rankers in government are already in the clutches of the forces that governed previously, which prevents the incumbent lot from doing the right thing.

      Either way, the country will suffer. If those in the saddle cant deliver, they must go and make way for fresh faces to fill their vacant positions. That means, the same government remains but with new drivers…

      This country will survive the loss of Ranil and Sirisena since no one is indispensable.

      • 3
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        Further to above, the very valid statements made by Shyamon must be underlined.

        1. Nobody – absolutely nobody – is above the Law. This does not apply in this country as amply illustrated, not just with priests alone.

        2. “Sri Lanka must follow these modernized societies and that any member of the clergy guilty of violating the Law is put behind bars”.

        Sorry. Taking point 2 for discussion, Sri Lankan rulers have no idea of what a modern society is. To them, modern society is depicted by large and ugly modern buildings and infrastructure. Modern thinking which should be the cornerstone, isn’t a part of their scheme of things. Our “leaders” are incapable of it.

        This country can never turn the corner unless and until it has, wise, forward looking, modern leaders who are able to grasp modernism and implement it strongly, through the application of the Law. Both Ranil and President Sirisena have been found wanting in this aspect, and it is showing.

    • 2
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      Shyamon Jayasinghe,

      RE: Misbehaving Clergy Must Face The Law

      “if you maltreat a penguin in the London Zoo you cannot escape the law on the grounds you are the Archbishop of Canterbury” ~ Lord Bingham.

      Unfortunately, the Para-Sinhala “Buddhist” Saffron clad Monks are except, because the constitution says that the Buddhism is given a Foremost Place, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, illegally occupied by the Para- Sinhala.

      Does protecting Buddhism means that protecting the Monks as well, because they are part of the so-called Triple Gem, Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha? The Catholic Church and the Islamic Mullahs are not protected that way. They all have to face the Law of the L:and.

      This is why, there should be separation of Church, Temple, Mosque and the State.

      Mahavamsa- An Insult To The Buddha! – Sharmini Serasinghe

      Para-Sinhala “Buddhism” and its Monks are insults to Buddhism

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/mahavamsa-an-insult-to-the-buddha/

      In this “wonderland” called Sri Lanka, and in this day and age, one still comes across ‘academically’ educated, and supposedly intelligent ‘Buddhists’, but sadly lacking in wisdom, who reverently believe, that the Buddha walked out of his mother’s womb, and walked seven steps, while lotuses blossomed, under his feet!

      • 3
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        CORRECTION

        Shyamon Jayasinghe,

        CORRECTION:

        “Unfortunately, the Para-Sinhala “Buddhist” Saffron clad Monks are except, because the constitution says that the Buddhism is given a Foremost Place, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, illegally occupied by the Para- Sinhala.”

        CORRECTED

        Unfortunately, the Para-Sinhala “Buddhist” Saffron clad Monks BELIEVE THAT THEY are EXEMPT because the constitution says that the Buddhism is given a Foremost Place, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, illegally occupied by the Para- Sinhala.

      • 1
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        Please note Lord Buddha never wrote his last will giving sinhala race the ownership of budhism. Buddha never preached to budhist. All his sermons are directed towards every living being.
        This is a false theory propergate by Mawansa writers. written by a monk/s you cannot expect him to write unbias history of our nation. It is full of lies, half truths and total lies
        KIng Dutta Gamini was high lighted as the greatest king of Srilanka . There are many other kings did great things, like waging war against intruders, making Tanks as big as sea etc.

    • 0
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      No…no…..
      Why should anyone listen to his story and act…?
      He should be the President of this Country at the next election

  • 15
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    It Depends on the Definition of Misbehaviour!
    Some Sinhala/Buddhists would celebrate the Behaviour of some of these Yellow Robes as Heroes, Safeguarding Buddhism

    • 2
      13

      Yes we do! So suck your big toe, or something nearby and go to bed, you gutless Buddhism basher. You live in hell. You don’t know it.

      • 8
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        Ranjit Edirimanne

        “Yes we do! So suck your big toe, or something nearby and go to bed, you gutless Buddhism basher.”

        If you are angry with your absentee father you should be screaming at your mum not here.

        ” You live in hell. You don’t know it.”

        It appears you too live in hell because you have seen your father there.

        A word of advice, when you rage do it in front of a mirror.

        • 1
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          • 3
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            Ranjit Edirimanne

            Brilliant.
            Thanks
            Keep up your good work.

      • 4
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        Ranjit,
        This is where you need to know the difference between Buddhism and the violent preachers of Buddhism. Shyamon talks about real Buddhism and those who misuse Buddhism for their personal benefits. Use conscience first and tell us Monks involving in violent is good for Buddhism? For the past 70 years this country was ruled by Buddhists, not by Islamists or Hindus or Christian. When this country was ruled by Europeans, there was not many Buddhists were murdered but the number of Buddhists murdered by Buddhist lead rule was unimaginably high and even after you had speacial place for Buddhism it was unimaginably high. This is the impact of the role of Buddhism in the governance. In fact, Buddhist involvement in politics is the main cause for the breakdown of law and order, juustice and massacre of thousands of Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim brothers.

      • 1
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        Ranjit Edirimanne ,

        There is Buddhism and Maraism. Para-Sinhala “Buddhism” is not Buddhism. It is very close to Maraism.

        Now remember that the so-called Sinhala and Buddhism in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, is really Para-Sinhala Para-Buddhism, and not Buddhism.

        Shaymon Jayasinghe is clarifying this differentiation.

        Remember, Mahawamsa is an Insult to the Buddha. -Sharmini Serasinghe

        Para-Sinhala ‘Buddhism” is an insult to Buddhism.

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/mahavamsa-an-insult-to-the-buddha/

        Caution- The following is more suitable for the broad-minded and the wise. Others are kindly advised to pass!

        Wonder if ours might have been a wiser, and a more ‘humane’ society, had our ‘ancient’ history, been based on Aesop’s Fables, instead of the Mahavamsa. For if not for the Mahavamsa, the Sinhalese may not have been endowed, with the reputation, of “Sinhalaya Modaya (The Sinhalese are Fools)”!

        In this “wonderland” called Sri Lanka, and in this day and age, one still comes across ‘academically’ educated, and supposedly intelligent ‘Buddhists’, but sadly lacking in wisdom, who reverently believe, that the Buddha walked out of his mother’s womb, and walked seven steps, while lotuses blossomed, under his feet!

  • 10
    0

    Modify the behaviours of the monks by giving them a choice to marry, work, politics, etc. and at the same time dedicate their time to teach Buddhism.

    My solution from a layman’s perspective. If I am contended with my life, it will work for monks too

    • 1
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      Goraka, or emasculate them the moment they enter the robes.

  • 11
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    Monks were accomplice in the rape case regarding the rohingiya girl 15years. Who was raped by the off duty policeman.
    Policeman gave the contract to the Galkissa chief monk to chase the Rohingiya people from the safe house.
    Now monks have been exposed.
    Gnansaraya is in Japan or France gone with the blessing of the President.
    No justice will lead to anarchy.
    Monks should be stripped off there cloth and be answerable for crimes committed.
    Nobody should be above the law.

    • 3
      17

      Jehan: Mohommad, your Ulemas in the country are all responsible for what you muslims do to muslims women taking them as sex slaves to reproduce and grow up your rats.

      • 6
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        Dumb Jimbo,
        What about your Sinhala buddhist sex slaves in Saudi? Are you responsible?

    • 2
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      Before going to the hospital, the 30 year old Police Officer who is known as Awas made a call to the patient through Nihara (45) female cleaner at the detention center who knows the Hindi Language.

      http://www.thestateless.com/2017/06/rohingya-woman-raped-by-sri-lankan-police-officer.html

  • 0
    9

    Shaymon, you talk so much about corruption and try to pretend to be a very decent expat. This is only when Rajapaksa clan is involved. Don’t you anything about your mate Ranil and his clan cleaning the treasury?

    Why don’t write about them ? You prefer to chicken Out. Looser!

  • 0
    8

    Misbehaving (i.e., breaking the law) individuals should be punished, whether it be Clergy or Layman, Buddhist clergy or Christaian Priests who were caught helping Tigers to transport guns, or Muslim Mullahs who Quazi who allow women to be exploited for the benefit of lecherous men

    Doesn’t this author understand that NO ONE should go unpunished?

    But he has only praise for the crooks who run the country, and focus on a few silly monks whose impact is no worse than the students rioting for something or other.
    The crooks praised by this writer are occupying the highest levels of executive and legislative power. They have broken the law blatantly; manipulated the AGs dept, or even dissolved parliament (e.g., to avoid the COPE report) when needed. A man accused of money laundering was appointed to the highest levels of the finance ministry and managed to make sure that the money-laundering files are lost. The man was absolved, and allegedly went onto hatch the bond scam.
    But his collaborator Rajaratna in USA went to Jail.

  • 7
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    Brilliant stuff! Congrats Shyamon Jayasinghe!

  • 0
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  • 1
    1

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  • 3
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    Shaymon, you are right.The solution is to pull out their eye, cut open their stomach and roast them alive.

    • 4
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      Gunawanse E

      “Shaymon, you are right.The solution is to pull out their eye, cut open their stomach and roast them alive.”

      Did you work for Jagath Jayasuriya at Joseph Camp Vavuniya or Dr Gota at other camps in rest of the country?

      • 1
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        He worked for Prabhakaran most of the time, and when off duty in Dehiwalai he worked for Gota.

  • 1
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    Shaymon,

    100,000 of them

  • 12
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    If the Buddha were to visit Sri Lanka today and preach the tolerance and compassion of the dhamma, I am certain these yellow robed wonders would stand up in protest and seek his expulsion from the land as an interfering Indian.

    • 2
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      Muthu Banda, How right you are.
      If a Monk explains the Buddha’s Words, in a language that People could Understand, He is not considered a Proper Monk, because He did not use the Pali words!

  • 4
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    ‘Misbehaving Clergy Must Face The Law’ Absolutely correct. Nobody is above the law & those who are expected to lead a pious life as an example, should know better.

    If I am not mistaken, it was SWRD who brought the Sangha in to politics. He was the first to exploit the Sinhala Buddhist sentiment & the Rajapakses took it to a new level In fact, MR authorized the SL high Commission in London to pay for all the legal fees of the monk who abused young girls at the Vihara in Chiswick, years ago. This monk, despite the massive support of the Sri Lankan community in UK who were in denial, was found guilty & sentenced to prison, thereafter, deported to SL. No doubt he is still continuing as a monk in some temple & up to his old tricks as nobody dare accuse a monk for such behavior in SL.

    The absence or the ineffectiveness of a hierarchy to monitor the conduct of the Buddhist clergy has led to the current situation of Buddhist monks, literally, going on rampage. I am not sure if, even the senior Buddhist monks & those who are supposed to look after Buddhist affairs in the Ministry themselves, have an in depth understanding of Buddhist philosophy. If they did, Buddhist monks engaging & entering politics, dabbling in trade union matters & leading in racist & violent protests, would have been stopped long ago.

    It’s time the top monks of the ‘nikayas’ came down from their ivory towers & publicly condone these yobs dressed in robes, & allow the law tobe enforced accordingly.

    • 3
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      My apologies for the final statement in my above comments. What I meant was that it is time the senior monks publicly acknowledge the despicable behavior of these yob monks as ‘un-Buddhist’ & let the law take it’s course without interference, not condone the behavior. May I also add that any monk who receives a jail sentence should be immediately disrobed publicly.

    • 0
      3

      Why did the Sangha come into politics? Hasn’t our SriLankan Bishops, Vicar Generals, or Bishops in Ireland, Bishop Makarios in Grece, and many others being doing politics? Didn’t the Pope divide the world and give one haf to the Spanish, and tell them to have the Bible in one hand, and the sword in the other? What about Islam, where all the top religious leaders right from the time of the Prophet, and today’s Ayatollahs, been also military leaders?
      The Buddhist Sangha also have the same democratic rights as any one else to assemble, and to fight for their rights PEACEFULLY and democratically.
      If ANY ONE (including the governor of the cenrtal bank and his buddie the PM) break the law, there are mechanisms in place to deal with it. USE THE LAW. This write is a mouth piece of the government and seeks cheap publicity by attacking the Sangha. If some monks continue to behave badly, it is a failure in law enforcement.
      Don’t blame the Sangha.

    • 1
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      “It’s time the top monks of the ‘nikayas’ came down from their ivory towers & publicly condone these yobs dressed in robes”

      Wouldn’t that make matters worse, Mr.Raj?

      • 0
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        LAC3

        What I meant was publicly denounce the barbaric acts of some of the sanga & ‘condone’ is totally incorrect word I had used. I corrected my mistake immediately. Please see my apology following my earlier comment

  • 3
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    “In the case of Christians and Muslims, clergy represents a kind of go-between with God.”
    There is no”go-between” between the believer and the God in Islam. One is directly responsible to God for his/her deeds and actions. There is no clerical hierarchy either in Islam.

    • 0
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      Wasnt the Prophet a warrior, i.e a politician with weapons.

  • 0
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    “In Sri Lanka, the influence of monks has been compounded by a historical myth that Buddhist monks are protectors of the state”

    Be it the witch Doctor of Africa or the catholic monk of France or even the Buddhist monks seek power. The Catholic monks of France learned a good lesson during the French revolution.The Buddhist monks are still to learn that lesson.

    How true is the story that Welivita Saranankara attempted to kill the King when he entered Malwatte Temple?

  • 1
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    Shymon Jeyasinghe,

    You are absolutely right, but what is the solution-Rule of Law and preaching!

    Religion is the opium of the masses!

    Marx is also absolutely right.

    The west had discovered “secularism”: as a way out. But it has not solved.

    When Power, Man and Money are close by-misuse is ever present.

    All species have a right to sex, Why artificially prevent this normal instinct.

    Power,Money and sex are problematic and lead to abuse

    In Sri Lanka we have a hierarchy

    At the top is the Maha Sanga, followed by war heroes, they are above the law, and rule of law is far behind

  • 3
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    The most disturbing sight is when police officers and even judges, bow down with hands clasped to worship these marauding monks, which emboldens them to push their impunity to the next level. Instead of acting tough to take charge of the situation, they play second fiddle to them, and thus diminish their role as long arm of the law to maintain the peace. They act so silly in the presence of these thugs in monks robes, so much these monks know they have the situation under their control.

  • 0
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    Shyamon Jayasinghe quotes Lord Bingham ~ “……if you maltreat a penguin in the London Zoo you cannot escape the law on the grounds you are the Archbishop of Canterbury”.
    Not quite Shyamon. If in Sydney a young person (Arabic let us say) wore a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party, there will be an arrest and further arrests (of course) over several days and a few houses smashed up for good measure. If Prince Harry did this, it will be youthful exuberance as told by Tony Abbott.
    There is a silver lining in the happenings in SL involving monks. Lankans are getting used to identifying duplicity. In Myanmar the Buddhist hierarchy has disowned Wirathu. The Sanga here may do the same to errant monks.

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    “In Sri Lanka, the influence of monks has been compounded by a historical myth that Buddhist monks are protectors of the state”
    Well said, Shyamon. You are a most enlightened writer. Fearless man!

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    Shyamon is an inspiring writer. I agree with you, Aloka

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    Delightfully well stated, and extremely timely. This gentleman does more for the cause of SL from outside it, than a lot of men and women within it.

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    dear Shyamon
    Very good analysis. . The Sangha to most Buddhist monks is another avenue of employment and once they get in they have very little to do in the way of constructive work. Keep up your good work. Bensen Berner

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    Most articles have correct materials. At least can be verified their right-wrong. Then there they end. Shaymans Jayasinghe looks at the wrong direction of the Lankawe politics have taken. But he abruptly stopped there, probably he too may or may not comfortable of dismantling the Buddhist Empire of Lankawe.

    It appears to me the Ayatollahs’ power is to grow and mature, as and when the new Secret Solution takes effect, as every Sinhalese wants it as a Buddhist Empire, not as secular land. Sinhalese wants the Buddhism declared the religion of the land. Even Lankan communist are dieing hard for that emancipation. Then, will there a point in blaming a monk? Isn’t every Sinhalese of the land wants the monks to stand in front of every occasion of the land? This is like the army generals have to be invited and honored in every meeting taking place in North. By army being present even in sari ceremonies of private houses, it is believed the country’s sovereignty is being protected. It is the same way by monks being present in every occasion of south, because it is believed Monks are protecting the State Religion. There is no point is blaming monks or SWRD, because it is the state bounded it itself into a never existed Buddhist Empire fallacy by 1972 and 1978 constitutions. When one throw a meat piece in front of a dog, doesn’t the dog thinks that one want it to eat it? Then why the “leashing the dog” comes here to stop to saving the meat? Why did one throw it first to dog?

    Lankawe politics bound to build, years to come, on sentimental instead of serious business. The most notorious anti-Buddhist man used his first name to spread false Buddhist feeling to Modayas and built trace tracks in front Tooth Temple.

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    Though he earnestly believed in “Malayala Manthrikam” and consulted only astrologers for his advices, visited South Indian temples, but distributed Sil Redi for temples to buy the Monks for votes. Is that the mistake of Kandy Ayatollahs, after all some of them had said they are happy of Old Royals losing?
    It is not the corrupted nature of the monks is destroying the political horizon of Lankawe. It is the corrupted politicians who hide behind protecting Buddhism to protect their power of Modaya. Ayatollahs and unscrupulous politicians are only drawing their power from the Modaya mass. The proposed constitution is ensuring by its electioneering tactics for the coming years being spent on ploughing the same field ploughed in the past. It is because Joint Comedy Club, UNP & SLFP are only competing to Sinhala Buddhist Modayas’ votes, not for Sri Lankan Citizens’ votes. This Vicious circle set in from DS time.
    This is not an attribute attached to Buddhism only. This can be achieved in any unthinking society using any of their social norms. This is not much anything differing from how Nazis built the norms of the waring Germany. Lankawe has two ways to not be taken by moon rice based politics and luxury rides of empty pride of Monkhood Buddhism. The politicians who have indulged them into vicious circle will not do it. A social reformer, an anti-Anagarika Dharmapala has to be born to take away political importance of the social engagements of Buddhist life. Ramaswamy and Annadurai achieved this in TN and have created a different province in India, where the religion and their lives are in more or less balanced status. Otherwise Lankawe bound to face the Waring Germany’s end by selling its sea and land to super powers to invite nuclear war on its land.

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    Decent people are happier to suffer a bum rash than put up with the execrable foul-mouthed tick turds in saffron robes who now parade up and down our streets making a downright bloody nuisance of themselves and bringing disgrace on the Sangha and Sri Lanka. Thanks to the wonders of mass media, the whole world can witness the disgraceful scenes (with translations) now being re-enacted in our little paradise. The Mahanayakes are silent. The highest in the land are tongue-tied.

    The world looks on with sadness as the triple gem is tarnished.

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    In this world there is nothing called good behaviour or bad behaviour…

    All are in persuit of their own happiness or liberation in the best known way to them…in that persuit some actions produce miserable consequences and some wonderful consequences… and in that process for some perceive miserable consequences are bad and for some wonderful consequences are good ..

    for those who experience wonderful consequences judge the miserable consequences are bad…
    for those who experience miserable consequences judge the wonderful consequences are bad …

    This is the problem of the mind..

    In other words each person judge or identify the other’s behaviour in comparison. For someone to say that somebody is bad then that someone should be good….

    is it possible..?

    These are mere thoughts….and more a group identifies they are good and become judgmental of others they reach nowhere….because for good to be good there should be bad and vis-a-vis..

    There are people who wish to be with God or reach infinity ..for that they should learn to live without being judgmental of the behaviour of other as Bad ….

    Goodness never liberates anyone as it is perceived in comparison with someone else’s behaviour…

    It is not goodness but a Sickness of mind…

    Someone to speak or write thesies on the Bad/Misbehaviour of Buddhist monks ..that someone should be a good and an exemplary character compared to monks….

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    Jagath Fernando agreed.Monks are maintained by the people re Govt. they are givena stipident monthly.That make them servants of the Govt. Govt Servants cannot participate in politics.

    Discussions on the TV is acceptable if they are on rational and intellectual subjects.

    In the recent past, namely about the last 15 years, reports have appeared in the press about monks sexual abuses. So They promise to be celibate.

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