Dare to be different

Ajith P. Perera, Chief Organiser, Bandaragama, UNP – අධිනීතිඥ අජිත් පී. පෙරේරා, ප්‍රධාන සංවිධායක, බණ්ඩාරගම, එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂය

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?


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6 Responses to “Burma, Tibet and Sri Lanka: There countries that assult Buddhists monks”

  1. Monks said

    If buddhist monks spend their time in meditation and prayer, I don’t think any government would object to their presence in the society. It’s when they take to the streets in bloody riots, burning cars and killing innocent people, that’s when the law should come down hard on them. We have seen this happen in the recent riots in Lhasa. Why can’t monks be monks?

  2. sam said

    You cant really compare Tibet , Burma and SL .. isn’t it? after all, in Tibet and Burma, it is monks trying to get something for people – democracy or freedom or whatever it is..
    But in SL, it is just monks want some more.. and more and more.. from people. Not that we give them the best food we can afford, best treatment we can think of, but they want more from our tax money. And when it come to tax money – everybody is equal. If not, it should be.

  3. woundmore said

    Dalai disqualified as a “negotiator”

    Dalai has appeared to be a representative of Tibetan people. So let’s discuss by which standard can he declare he is able to represent Tibet.

    Dalai is a representative of theocracy in Tibet before the New China was founded in 1949. His serfdom system had long been lagging behind the democratic systems in other countries, not to mention the de facto slavery at his rule. Serfdom and slavery were the two most hated backward things that no one wants to esteem. Freedom and democracy, which Dalai now repeatedly extols, denounce the old serfdom and slavery systems.

    At the time being, Dalai has only two choices. One is to be a living Buddha and keeps himself away from politics; the other one is to be a person who really cares for people and who has no religious belief. He cannot be both. However, even if he takes off his cassock, he still has to admit he is a Chinese citizen. Chinese citizens have to uphold the Constitution which protects the unity of China’s sovereignty. As a Chinese citizen, Dalai should comply with China’s laws and stop separating his country. He is surely disqualified as a negotiator for the upcoming talks.

  4. georgia said

    In our class we are doing a study on tibet and china and I think if monks stay out of the goverments way they should not be punnished. Though in china it is not the monks it is tibet the dahlia lama and the monks
    ps: write back to me when you have more info on Tibet and China
    My address is georgiam3.edublogs.org

  5. razz said

    guys its a heartbreaking things happens even in buddhist countries

  6. Franklyn Fernando said

    All that the author says about the incidents may be true. but how he do that at the expense of another religion. If he closely study the teaching of Buddha, he will not be able to worship him as God. It all later development. whatever it may be, how can he be jealous of another religion? if the Buddhist monks are not respected in the country he has to address the issue as such without creating unnecessary commotions in the community. it is clear evidence how politicians provoke people and enjoy them.

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