JHU Slams Move To Keep Monks Away From Parliament
- Though this letter is a reply to an article in The Sunday Leader of June 3
It is being copied to other newspapers as this subject is widely discussed in all newspapers and for Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thero, Leader of Jathika Hela Urumaya to know what the masses feel.Add New
Firstly what was the reception he got when he first entered parliament. Wasn’t he manhandled by a section of unruly Parliamentarians and had to be hospitalised, disregarding the yellow-robe he wares and we Buddhist respect and venerate, thus bringing disgrace and disrepute not only to him but also the sacred robe. Isn’t it sacrilege?
The other is the famous Benz car saga, purchased on a duty free permit issued to parliamentarians and was sold by Ven. Medananda Thero. This incident was highlighted in the press and the cartoonist had a field day making a joke of it. Today’s [June 5] The Island paper reports ‘that a businessman has been fined Rs. 40 million by the Sri Lanka Customs for having 40 cars imported on duty free permits acquired from Buddhist monks, at a car sale belonging to him’.
When Buddhist monks lose their respect in parliament, it comes down to the ordinary man in the streets to disrespect monks. It is the view of many that since Buddhist monks entered parliament and took to politics they neglected their sacred duty to cater to Buddhists needs. My personal experience in the Buddha Jayanthi year is most humiliating and disgusting when I was refused a minor religious rite, saying he has other important work, and it is a nuisance; disrupting other work. I refrain from elaborating, to conceal my shame. It is therefore no wonder there is conversion of Buddhists to other religions, due to the disgrace brought by Buddhist monks by their behaviour mainly because of their involvement in politics to get personal favours. One good example is the Chief Priest of Kelaniva Rajamaha Viharaya extolling the virtues of Minister Mervin Silva, who the country knows for his uncivil behaviour. The Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thero says that there is a hidden hand behind this move. Sure enough, as we read and hear of treasure hunters ransacking ancient temples where in some cases Buddhist monks are allegedly involved. Has the JHU raised any voice in parliament, not to speak of the theft of artifacts from the museum?
Next he says the JHU strengthened the hand of the President to fight terrorism. But , subject to correction, I have not heard of the JHU raising a voice to free Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who commanded the army to end terrorism.
He speaks of the achievement in banning smoking in public places. Anti-tobacco cry is world wide and we, just on May 31, saw Dr. Carlo Fernando being honoured with an international award. Time will come when smoking or use of tobacco will be globally removed. So there is no reason for the JHU to take credit or crow about.
He also says JHU had acted against tobacco and liquor companies. The irony is this same party voted for the casino bill which, as any person with an iota of grey matter up there knows, is a social menace encouraging all vices. It would not be out of place to mention here, the Rev. Uduve Dhammaloka Thero, seeing what damage is being done to Buddhism by monks engaging in politics and also entering parliament, reverted to preaching of the Dhamma.
If the Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thero wishes to have representatives in parliament to safeguard Buddhist interests, then he could have laymen like Patali Champika Ranawaka , Udaya Gamanpila. Haven’t religious prelates of other religions in this country brought pressure on the government to accede to their requests, without being represented in parliament? It is a myth to say the Buddhist monks safeguard and foster Buddhism. It is the humble and pious Upasaka Ammas and Upasaka Mahathayas who do that duty, while Buddhist monks in yellow robes remain SIGNAL POSTS provided with food, clothing and shelter. Perhaps the Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thero may be under the impression that JHU is popular now. It is a mistake as people have witnessed the disrespect Buddhist monks get. Winning at the elections was mainly due to contesting under the UPFA banner. If contested separately, the results would have been different. It is hoped the Speaker, and the leaders of all political parties call for a free vote, for MPs to vote according to their conscience, of course if they have one.
Shall wind up by quoting the Dhammapada Yamaka Vagga – Verse 9: ‘THE PURE ARE WORTHY OF THE YELLOW ROBE BUT NOT THE IMPURE `
Anikkasavo kasavam yo vattham paridahessat
Apeto damasaccena na so kasavam arahati
[Whoever, unstainless, without self control and truthfulness, should don the yellow robe is not worthy of it]
Clergy Of Many Other Religions Involved In Sex Abuses
The Sunday Leader on June 3 carried a front page striking news item of a Chief Sanganayaka of the Thames Buddhist Viharaya, UK, sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for child abuse. Either this news item had been given prominence to discredit Buddhism or a warning to Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka to mend themselves as similar cases are reported as in the case of the Chief Monk of Mihintale Raja Maha Viharaya.
Word Review magazine published by The Island paper had been reporting worse sex crimes in the Catholic Church of nuns being raped by Catholic Priests, abortions in nunneries, and the wide publicity given recently, where even Pope Benedict XVI is accused of covering up homosexual activities of bishops and priests. Therefore, sex abuses are not confined to Buddhist monks but all religions where celibacy is compulsory.
Both in Buddhism and in Catholicism, celibacy is a must to be ordained to the priesthood. That was for priests to devote their entire life in the service to God and in the case of Buddhist monks to preach the Dhamma. The difference in Buddhist monks taking the oath of celibacy is different to the Catholic Church. Lord Buddha wanted monks to take the oath to give up worldly pleasures, practice his teachings and preach, while in the Catholic Church it is a Vatican rule and not the Lords.
Firstly the Catholic Church recruited eunuchs so that there would be no other desires but preaching and serve the Lord. The other reason was to avoid claims on church property by priests’ offspring. Therefore priests do not own land to transfer to legitimate or illegitimate children. As said earlier ‘celibacy’ is not a Lord’s command but a rule of the Vatican, which if correctly understood is against what is in the Bible – Old Testament. Gchesis.9 – ‘And God blessed Noah and his sons and said unto them. Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth’.
If the oath of celibacy is removed, as done in other Christian denominations, these ugly incidents will not arise. In fact there is widespread requests from Catholic priests and nuns to marry to which the Catholic Church has so far not ‘given adequate thought’. There is a likelyhood it being granted in the future as there is reluctance to enter priest hood, mainly due to the oath of celibacy. This letter is mainly written, if the intention of reporting the sex crime of the Chief Sanganayaka of the Thames Buddhist Viharaya is to discredit Buddhism and draw similar instances in the Catholic Church where celibacy is a Vatican made rule.
G. A. D. Sirimal
TFC Auditors Have Said It All
Due to all the controversy over investment in The Finance Company (TFC) I went through the published accounts of the company for 2010/2011.
Some of the many problems affecting the company are given in the auditor’s report.
l. Nine violations of Central Bank directives are given in Note: 49 to the accounts. Under normal circumstances the Central Bank should have suspended TFC’s licence to operate as a Finance Company. If the Central Bank is so lenient with other finance companies too, there is no assurance for safety of deposits in Finance Companies supervised by the Central Bank.
2. The Company has not provided for deferred taxation Rs 2.2 billion. In Note: 16.3 the Directors have stated no such provision is required as the Company is not expected to make profits.
3. Instead of stating that amount due from related companies Rs 986 million is not recoverable, the auditors state no direct confirmations were received by them.
4. Auditors leave it to the readers to decide whether Rs 750 million due from Sussex Educational Services Ltd has to be written off. The Directors are silent.
5. Auditors also state that considering the massive Rs 9,410 million accumulated loss, it is doubtful that the company will continue to be in existence.
I am not an investment analyst and I do not invest in the stock market. I fail to understand who would recommend investment in TFC when the auditors have stated in a single page this is a sick company. The figures stated above are mind blowing. What made EPF acquire 8.43% stake in TFC? Who recommended to NSB investment in TFC?
The audit report also states that the management is responsible for presentation of financial statements in accordance with accounting standards and maintaining internal controls for fair presentation of financial statements. The auditors clearly state that the management has failed in this regard. Shouldn’t the SEC take appropriate action against the Directors of TFC. What is Corporate Governance? Maybe I am missing something here. Can someone throw some light on this please. The accounts are available on the website. Where can I deposit my hard earned savings?
I was amused to read a front-page news (in brief) item captioned ‘Magistrate in hot seat over mosquito breeding charge.’ The accused – Kurunegala Addl. Magistrate had pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ and had been released on Rs. 10,000 cash bail and Rs. 100,000 surety bail for not paying the Rs. 4,000 fine imposed on the offence!!
To be charged for ‘breeding’ it has to be proved that the accused was wilfully breeding dengue mosquitoes in his garden like breeding dogs, fish or birds, etc. Then what about stray dogs whose number is increasing in every town and village? Do we ‘breed’ the flies, termites, ants in our premises? They just breed naturally.
How can officials invade private premises and charge and fine innocent public in this blatant manner?
Can you publish the final decree of the court case in your journal?
- Senior Citizen
Inspiring Articles Of David Blacker
Congratulations to David Blacker who has written two excellent articles in The Sunday Leader about the heroic deeds of our servicemen who contributed to our winning the war against the Tamil Tiger terrorists. They all died fighting and 23 servicemen were awarded the ‘Parama Weera Vibushanaya’, the most prestigious medal for bravery awarded by the Sri Lanka armed services. Their ranks ranged from Major to rifleman. I believe that David Blacker served with the Singha Regiment in the past and hence his inside knowledge about these heroic battles and his excellent English contributed to the inspiring articles. Sadly, their bravery caused the loss of so many young soldiers. Perhaps he should consider writing a more detailed account of bravery and battles in the form of a book so that posterity will know what sacrifices our soldiers, seamen and airmen contributed for the welfare of our country.
Dr Asoka Thenabadu
Epidemic Of Dengue Fever
A letter sent by Dr Jayalath Jayawardena to Lalith Weeratunge, Secretary to the President:
I am writing this letter to you as an Opposition Parliamentarian as well as a Medical Practitioner. As you are aware, there is a severe dengue epidemic covering the entire country which has resulted in the loss of several hundreds of valuable lives of our country. All our hospitals are full of patients with dengue fever and this is a very, very unfortunate situation, which should be considered as a national issue and nothing to do with politics.
Mr. Weeratunge, you as the Secretary to the President, has sent a circular to the Secretaries of all Ministries as well as to all Heads of Departments, advising them to take steps to prevent the dengue epidemic.
Unfortunately, I am made to understand that most of the Secretaries and Heads of Departments have not adhered to your circular sent to them. I am really shocked about this and I cannot understand why the majority of the Secretaries of Ministries as well as Heads of government departments have not taken your circular seriously. This has nothing to do with politics. It only concerns the lives of millions of Sri Lankan citizens.
I kindly request you to have a progress review to find out what type of action has been taken by the Secretaries of Ministries and Heads of Departments with regard to your circular to prevent the dengue fever.
I request you to take up this issue as a matter of urgency and national importance.
Appreciating an early reply.
Dr Jayalath Jayawardena, MP
Deputy General Secretary of the UNP