Burma, Tibet and Sri Lanka: There countries that assult Buddhists monks
Posted by Ajith on June 28, 2008
First Lady Shiranthi Rajapakse is a Catholic devotee. Had Catholic priests been tear-gassed and beaten by Police in the middle of Colombo she would have felt down. She would have not liked to see a beaten Catholic priest is being forced to a police jeep as if he were a common criminal.
However, I am not sure without a Buddhist background she would have felt any empathy when the Buddhists monks were tear-gassed and beaten by Police last week.
I do not what religion President’s sons follow. But all three of them have schooled at an Anglican college. Had the Anglican priests were beaten so unsympathetically they might have felt sad. Again, without any Buddhist background it is doubtful they would have felt the same for Buddhist monks. Probably for them Buddhist monks are a set of aliens arrived from another universe.
Unlike them, I have studied at a school with a very Buddhist background. This is what makes me sad. Whatever their politics (I do not approve Buddhist priests getting into politics) Buddhists monks should not be beaten in this manner. There are better ways to handle situations. There is a big difference between armed terrorists and unarmed protestors who use only means of non-violence.
Sri Lanka is not the only country where Buddhists monks get such harsh treatment. Burma and Tibet (China) are two good examples. However the situation is not the same Burma is ruled by a Christian junta government, which is obviously hostile to Buddhists. Tibet is under the control of Chinese communists, which does not give a darn about Buddhism.
Sri Lanka is different. We are ruled by a leader who does not even miss a single opportunity to project his Buddhist backgrounds. We also remember how he carried ‘mal vatti’ from temple to temple before the elections. Can we expect such harsh treatments to Buddhist monks from a ruler who claims to be a devoted Buddhists upasaka mahattaya? That is what puzzles me and most of the Buddhists in this country.
Burma, Sri Lanka and Tibet are all predominantly Buddhist societies. Unfortunately these are the same places where Buddhist priests receive the worst treatment from the governments. Surprisingly the majority of Buddhists in these countries maintain their silence. Not a single Buddhist organization yet condemned the ruthless attack on Buddhists monks last week. Have the Buddhists become so spineless? Has somebody robbed the spines of the Buddhists?