Abuse Of Minors In ‘Miracle Of Asia’
Not a single day passes without a news report on a sexual assault on a minor girl child appearing in the media. The tragedy of the 7-year-old girl being raped and murdered a few days ago is a tragic occurrence. Also the 13-year-old girl from the deep south (territory of the all powerful clan) being raped by no less than 13 men is a sickly frightening scenario. The main reason for this type of crime occurring, as far as the Child Protection Authority is concerned. is the porn websites being viewed by young males. Whilst accepting that this too may be a contributing factor to this sordid situation, one cannot get away from the fact that elderly men have been arrested in connection with the assault on the 13-year-old girl. It is very unlikely that a male of 60+ years will be driven to these sadistic acts by pornographic websites. These are well known business men of the area with all the money at their disposal and who have no respect for fellow human beings, leave alone a little girl. There is no doubt that these sadists will get themselves released due to the pressures executed by the all powerful beings for whom money from these perverts will be of greater value than the life of an innocent girl. The so-called law enforcing agencies, in simple language, are USELESS.
It is absurd to say the least that the Child Protection Authority had the audacity to raid an orphanage in Moratuwa some months ago and to declare the Missionary Sisters in charge were selling babies on the Internet. This raid was obviously instigated by a religious figure of questionable repute in the vicinity and a well known media outfit which declared in their news broadcast that similar to purchasing a packet of milk powder from a super market, a child could be bought from this institute. The Sister in charge was arrested and subjected to inhuman treatment. Unfortunately no strong protest was forthcoming from the Catholic Church, only a whimper. No surprises here as the higher up a.k.a. ‘The Holy Stooge’ in the church pays obeisance to the all powerful one of our country. The biggest joke was the head of the Child Protection Authority to declare that she was unaware that this orphanage even existed. It was founded on a property donated by a well known and well loved doctor of Moratuwa and was functioning as an orphanage since the 1980s. Goes to show how well informed people in authority are. All charges were dropped due to lack of evidence and worldwide attention drawn to the incident. But no apologies for the trauma and stress caused to the Sisters and Inmates have been forthcoming.
This surely is the MIRACLE OF ASIA. If this sordid situation is to be changed, law enforcement authorities must act impartially without favor to anyone and people in power should not interfere with the enforcement of the law. Stiffer penalties should be imposed on the offenders. May be even castrating the offenders. Parents should be more vigilant when it comes to children be they are male or female.
Last but not least, a more dedicated, honest and informed Child Protection Authority to act ALWAYS to protect the children of our country is absolutely essential.
Mrs. L. S. de Mel
Clergy And Parliament
I read with interest an article published on June 24 in your esteemed journal under ‘The Murder of a Philosophy’ written by a learned PC. I am a laymen and not willing to comment on his philosophy.
I wish to quote a few lines from a small book entitled Constitutional and Administrative Law – fifth edition, written by Greer Hogan, L.L.B, M.A., Deputy Head of the Law School, University of Northumbria. Ouote: Disqualification for membership of the House of Commons.
“(e) Clergy ordained in the Church of England and Ireland, Ministers of the Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic Priests”.
The learned PC has quoted Oliver Cromwell. I also wish to quote a few lines from World History from 1500 written by J. Michael Allen & James B. Allen:
“Cromwell’s army meanwhile, conquered both Ireland & Scotland. A Member of Parliament, Cromwell also called for various other reforms, When these reforms were not forthcoming, he marched in and disbanded parliament in 1653. The following year a new assembly, controlled by Cromwell, named him Lord Protector. For the next five years he was virtually a military dictator”.
Thomas Paine – an Englishman who moved to America in 1774. His phamphlet Common Sense helped to galvanize American opinion in favour of independence from England in 1776.
Paine, in 1794, in The Age of Reason – “I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church”.
I also wish to quote the following passage from the World History:
“The human race’s capacity for inhumanity was nowhere better illustrated than in the persecution, thought control, torture, intrigue, execution, murder, and war all carried out in the name of religion”.
SRI – Ratmalana
Crime And Child Victims
The frequency of children being sex victims is rapidly increasing and the efforts of the police and the publicity in newspapers to apprehend even the politically powerful culprits should be appreciated. The normal legal procedure to obtain a conviction is a lengthy procedure as evidence from public awareness and from the print knowledge in the book, ‘Lore of the Law and Other Memories’ but to support the police and the newspaper efforts to convict the guilty and not allow the guilty politicians to escape, could the legal authorities appoint a panel of three High Court Judges to hear all such cases to ensure early conviction. The public are aware of instances where absence of evidence was declared by the authorities to institute legal action which prevented the political powerful being legally prosecuted.
Unbearable Noise And Disturbance
The residents living around Pitawella Road, Boralesgamuwa, north of Ratmalana Airport are facing a grave problem of noise due to helicopters flying very low. This was seldom experienced even during the war against LTTE, but since the purchase of additional helicopters after the war was over, it appears these new helicopters are used indiscriminately. It has become difficult for students to study and also to hear news items over the TV not to speak of enjoying a movie. The elders who take an evening nap too are disturbed. This goes on even during the night. It is expected this noise disturbance will increase when the elections nears as government will use these helicopters to visit Sabaragamuwa, North Central and Eastern districts for their campaigns. The Commissioner of Elections should take note as to whether this usage of government property for election campaigns is contravention of election laws. It may also be of interest to the Committee on Public Accounts, of which Senior Minister Dew Gunasekera is the Chairman, to investigate whether unnecessary or illegal expenditure to move politicians from Colombo to places in the areas where elections are held for the campaign. Whatever it be, could authorities reduce this noise pollution and allow us to live in peace, in this area where the Bird Sanctuary and lush green we enjoy.
Challenge Of Rev. Dr. Omalpe Sobitha, Jhu Accepted
- Copy to Wijedasa Rajapaksa MP and all English newspapers
At a news briefing, JHU President Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thero has challenged Mr. Wijedasa Rajapaksa MP to a public debate on the proposed bill to ban monks seeking election to Parliament. This challenge, although made to Wijedasa Rajapaksa, is best be accepted by the Buddhist public, for they are the people who have to face embarrassment, humiliation and insult. Perhaps Ven Sobitha Thero is totally unaware of the embarrassment caused to Buddhists when he was manhandled by his lay MP colleagues and had to be hospitalised. He not only disgraced himself as a monk but also the yellow robe which Buddhists respect and venerate. Then comes the much talked about sale of a Benz car purchased by Ven. Medananda Thero on a duty free permit issued to MPs, an action which a respectable, responsible and honest person will not stoop to. Can Ven. Dr Omalpe Sobitha honestly say that he has not brought disrespect to the Bhikkus and the venerated yellow robe.
At the same news briefing, Western Provincial Council member Udaya Gammanpila has said “The religious leaders of the Buddhist community only live by the laws prescribed by Lord Buddha himself and will not bow to the laws of others”. The Bible says – Exodus 20, ‘Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name is vain’. Similarly, Udaya Gammanpila should not take the name of Lord Buddha to justify his defence for Bhikkus to enter the dirty game of politics. He too seems to be unaware or ignorant of what Lord Buddha said to the Bhikkus in Dammadaya Sutta Majihima Nikaya. ‘Bhikkus be my heirs in the Dhamma and not heirs in material things’. Instead, what do these political minded Bhikkhus do. This is what Dhammapada says in Baala Vagga-16 ‘Anna hi labhupanisa; anna nibbanagamini – Evam etam abhinnaya, bhikkhu Buddhassa savako. Sakkaram nabhinanadeyya vivekam anubruhaya – Surely the path that leads to worldly gains is one, and the path that leads to Nibbana is another; understanding this, the Bhikkhu, the disciple of the Buddha, should NOT rejoice in worldly favour, but cultivate detachment. May we know from JHU monks and laymen, where does Lord Buddha preach for them to take to politics. The most unbecoming performance of the JHU members in parliament both laymen and Bikkhus, is their voting with the government on the Casino bill. Perhaps these monks do not know what Casino means ands what vices it brings along and encourage – thus eroding our Buddhist values, our customs and culture. And also the 18th Amendment which takes away the democratic rights for fair play and justice.
Haven’t other religious priests won their claims without entering parliament and maintained their respect and dignity? No. Ven. Omalpe Sobith Thero, President of JHU. Send laymen of JHU to parliament and guide them from outside to save Buddhism and anti-social activities, rather than face criticism and humiliation and insults. Take the cue from Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero and pressurize the government to win your demands by being outside parliament or join him to be more effective.
That is what we Buddhists earnestly wish and pray for. Let us Buddhists walk the streets with their heads held high and call ourselves Buddhists Please do not make us be ridiculed by non-Buddhists for actions of Buddhist monks in parliament and how they are treated showing no respect for the yellow robe. At least pay heed to what Mahanayaka of Asgiriya Chapter, who denounces Buddhist monks taking to politics and entering parliament and said so over a TV broadcast. Defying a Mahanayaka Thero’s request is in itself shows what JHU is made up of.
Ven. Dr Omalpe Sobitha Thero and other monks of the JHU should know ‘Balloth ekka nidiyagaththoth negitinna wenne balu mekkoth ekka’. If you sleep with dogs, you get up with fleas.
Mrs Hema S. Weerakonege (Upasikawa)