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It is very unfortunate that these saffron robed people are deceiving the innocent and the unsuspecting Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka with help of Buddhist business tycoons

Commented by Karu J, Most respected Sinhala Buddhist politician

As you are already aware this situation has created a huge rift among the Buddhist monks and perhaps done more damage to the Buddhasasana than any other elements cited by the Urumaya. This would leave a permanent dark patch on the Buddha Sasana with a stench that would surpass the actions of Buddhist monks who were photographed with clubs rampaging
during the 83 riots
.

Whatever these Urumaya supporters say we all know how egomaniacal most of these monks are and how they love to invite the political elite to temple ceremonies and also how they love to be photographed with them. Well, we can understand that as they have not attained even the Sovan status but they unlike us should strive to achieve higher levels of spirituality if they choose to wear the saffron robe.

When you look at the luxurious villas that have become the abodes of certain Urumaya candidates, especially the "Asapuwa" of Tuduwe Adhammaloka or the land in Kotte that belong to the "Miracle Sumangala Baba" it is difficult to say how they acquired such ultra-expensive properties!? There is something wrong here as they have chosen to walk
away from the temples they ordained.

Some idiots say that we should experiment with saffron robed people since the other parties have failed but you have to remember that these people failed to adhere to follow the Buddha Dhamma, even before they decided to run for public office. How do we expect them to protect the rights of the ordinary people, the constitution or the nation when they couldn't convince our people with the teachings of Buddha Dhamma? Commented by Karu J Most respected Sinhala Buddhist politician

 

It is very unfortunate that even leading Buddhist Business families are using their family influence to prop up these saffron robed people to save our country, religion and nation when they themselves openly refuse to abide by the vinaya rules which is very much entrenched in the true concept of Buddha Dhamma. We should be thanful to the unbroken lineage of Sanga who have consistently upheld and protected the Vinaya rules for almost 2,600 years that we find ourselves today with the luxury of receiving the priceless teachings of Dhamma. Were it not for the Vinaya rules, specifically Patimokkha rules in Vinaya Pitaka, and for those who continue to abide by them even today, there would be no Buddhism for our future generation..- Commented by a Sinhala Buddhist from UK).

 

These points were extracted from the 'Kinihira' Political Program on Swarnavahini on 24th Feb.2004.

Participated- Puravidya Cakravarthi Ellawala Medhananda Thero
Dr.Omalpe Sobhitha Thero
Athureliye Rathana Thero
Kotapola Amarakiththi Thero
Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero
Kolonnawe Sumangala Thero

Topic - To explain why the Supreme Sangha Council decided to contest the upcoming General Election on 'Jathika Hela Urumaya' ticket.

Conductor of the Program- Shan Wijethunge

(The following Comments By PUNYAWARDANA-

Shan is an UNPeer , He manipulated the discussion in such a way to benefit the UNP. And that is what is expected from him when he was given the job.All the participants were very careful in adhering to ' Yanne Koheda Malle Pol' theory

But even the Chakrawarthies were not able to fool the Buddhists.
The basic question of the Sinhalese/Buddhists is, Why do these bhikkhus are so fond of going to Parliament, which is established, meant and framed to divide and destroy the Buddha Sasana, Sinhala Nation and their Country. They themselves say it is a cesspit.That bhikku by the name of Omalpe Sobhith never answered that question, why they are going to the cesspit.
If somebody wants to clean the cesspit,certainly he will never get into it.He will also be so careful not to fall into it. What is happenning is therefore very clear for the Sinhalese as well as the Buddhists in Sri Lanka.
a. Rathana -Champika duo wants to take revenge from the JVP which has hijacked the Sinhala Buddhist slogans of the ordinary genuine Sinhala Buddhists.
Neither Rathana Champika duo nor the JVP are interested in reestablishing the Sinhala Buddhist Nation, they want to use those slogans to get into the cesspit.In the contention the JVP has been able to use the slogans more effectively because of their sheer dedication.
So the Rathana Champika duo is very much jealous of it. Therefore the Duo want to take revenge.
b. Then there were a set of Bhikkus who have gained cheap publicity by deceiving the innocent and helpless bhuddhists.They want to glitter themselves.Going into Parliament,if there is a chance, is GOD sent chance according to them.
c. Then Rathan Champika duo got a bright idea, to use these Chakrawarthies, to get into the Paliament,chances for them to go into which is very distant.
d. So they put forward the plan to field more than two hundred bhikkus to collect sufficient votes, for the duo to get into parliament.
The Sinhala Buddhists know this whole thing.Those who do not want to know this, and want to fool others are the labeled Sinhala Buddhists.
The intention of these Bhikku candidates may be quite different from each other,they may be on contract for different promoters.But the ultimate and commen denominator will be they are accelerating the destruction of the Buddha Sasana, Sinhala Nation and their country.That is what is expected from the Parliament when it was established. They will be blessed by the GOD.
)


Shan- as Bhikkus, why did you decide to come into politics?

Medhananda Thero-Even the Lord Buddha was involved in politics for 44 years. He taught the
people how to live in harmony. At the time the Buddha attained
enlightenment, in India the society was reeking with caste
system-inequalities. According to the teachings of the 'Brahma", the society
was divided into 04 categories of people.
1.Brahmin
2.Kshathriya
3.Vaishya
4.Kshudra

Each of these groups was treated differently.

The Lord Buddha changed all this by creating a society, which consisted of
04 groups- Monks (Bhikshu), Female Monks (Bhikshuni). Lay Men (Upasaka) and
Lay Women (Upasika). Even the King belonged to one of these categories. They
all sat together at the feet of the Buddha irrespective of who they are. In
other words they were all equal.If this is not Politics what is? After the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka by Arahant Mahinda the above way of life as taught by the Lord Buddha was adopted in our country too

.(If we use the definition of Politics as described in the Webster's New International Dictionary of 1920 "1. The science and art of government; the science dealing with the organization, regulation, and administration of a state, in both its internal and external affairs... 2. The theory or practice of managing or directing the affairs of public policy, then, Lord Buddha was not practising any politics and it was how Lord Buddha through his loving-kindness (metta) treated people when he propagated the philosophy of Dhamma. He never changed the society; even today the Indian society is clearly differentiated into conspicuously idiosyncratic cast system. Commented by a Sinhala Buddhist from UK)

Shan- Why was this decision to enter politics taken so suddenly?

Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero-

We saw that during every election, the politicians gained power though the
vote of the innocent Sinhala Buddhists. But when they get elected, they
completely forget their aspirations. We have noticed that the politician of
today, work according to the wishes of the western powers.

(The ground reality is that Sri Lankans are living on borrowed money. My estimation is that every citizen in Sri Lanka, sooner or later, will have to pay back approximately Rs70,000 to the world bank . This is what Sri Lankan politicians have been begging from the World Bank on people's behalf for the last 20 years. In order to sustain Sri Lankan economy for more than 6 months before it collapses , Sri Lankans have to beg more money from the Western World I don't think that these saffron robed people have got a magic solution to go against the western powers..Commented by a Sinhala Buddhist from UK)

(We are not against the Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya. JSS should have come forward as an independent organization/lobby group to defend Sinhala Buddhist rights. (Muslims in France, Jews in the US, Catholics in the Philippines, Sheiks and Native Indians in Canada are powerful lobby groups). They should have united all the Bhikkhus under one banner. JSS should have put forward their own candidates (lay people) under the JHU or any other political party and supported them throughout the country. In contrast, the JHU has put the cart before the horse. That is why they have failed to attract people. Commented by Gamage Palihapitiya),

Kotapola Amarakiththti Thero-

The only way in which we can achieve a better future is through a
'Kingdom of Dhamma'. Dhamma is the correct way of life. It is a great
philosophy which is incomparable. I know, when people realize what we
are trying to do they would praise our efforts. Even the Mahanayakas
would give their blessings I am sure.

("Corruption is a symptom of institutional dysfunction, thriving where economic policies are poorly designed, education levels are low, civil society is underdeveloped and the accountability of public institutions is weak" (Anti-Corruption Knowledge Resource Centre). In an attempt to curb the spread of corruption, many international organizations have been creating programs aimed at showing the public and private sectors how much damage corruption is capable of creating. These organizations are targeting those countries displaying the previously noted characteristics and challenging them to improve their governance in order to indicate that corruption will no longer be tolerable.- International Business Ethics Anti-Corruption Strategies in International Organizations by Tara Caranic)

(If these saffron robed people who called themselves Buddhist priests discovered an easy managerial solution to this colossal problem of the modern world, they should clearly identify their strategies and inform promptly those organisations such as The International Monetary Fund(IMF) , United Nations Development Programme and Transparency International. I have no doubt that they will be nominated for the noble price for their achievement-Commented by a Sinhala Buddhist from UK

 

Shan- the Ven.Kotapola Amarakiththi Thero compared Politics to a cess
pit. Are you also going to fall into this cess pit? Why can't you work
to clean it without contesting?

Dr.Omalpe Sobhitha Thero-

The Lord Buddha at the time of his Parinirvana saw the 'new' problems
the Bhikkus would face in the future. Thus the Lord Buddha too advocated
that without harming the main Principles the bhikku too would have to
change to suite the time. Nowhere in the Vinaya pitakaya has it been
said any thing about 'Viharadhipathi' or 'Nayake' status. But now we
have so many of them. No body says that it is against the Vinaya. It is
a requirement of the times. If we did not change according to the times
(within the main guidelines set up by the Lord Buddha of course), then
bhikkus too would have been extinct long time ago.

("It is not fit, foolish man, it is not becoming, it is not proper, it is unworthy of a recluse, it is not lawful, it ought not to be done. How could you, foolish man, having gone forth under this Dhamma and Discipline which are well-taught, [commit such and such offence]?... It is not, foolish man, for the benefit of un-believers, nor for the increase in the number of believers, but, foolish man, it is to the detriment of both unbelievers and believers, and it causes wavering in some." Lord Buddha on Vinaya (The Book of the Discipline, Part I, by I.B. Horner (London: Pali Text Society, 1982), pp. 36-7.)

(For a time after the Buddha first established the Sangha, the community lived in harmony without any codified rules of conduct. Over time, however, as the Sangha grew in number and evolved into a more complex society, occasions inevitably arose when some members would act in unskilful ways. Whenever one of these cases was brought to the Buddha's attention, he would lay down a rule establishing a suitable punishment for the offence, as a deterrent to future misconduct.The monastic tradition and the rules upon which it is built are sometimes naïvely criticized -- particularly here in the West -- as irrelevant to the "modern" practice of Buddhism. Some see the Vinaya as a throwback to an archaic patriarchy, based on a hodgepodge of ancient rules and customs that only obscure the essence of "true" Buddhist practice. by Thanissaro Bhikkhu)

(Vinaya Pitaka -Sanghadisesa-10. Should any bhikkhu agitate for a schism in a Community in concord, or should he persist in taking up an issue conducive to schism, the bhikkhus should admonish him thus: "Do not, Ven. sir, agitate for a schism in a Community in concord or persist in taking up an issue conducive to schism. Let the venerable one be reconciled with the Community, for a Community in concord, on complimentary terms, free from dispute, having a common recitation, dwells in peace." And should that bhikkhu, admonished thus by the bhikkhus, persist as before, the bhikkhus are to rebuke him up to three times so as to desist. If while being rebuked up to three times he desists, that is good. If he does not desist, it entails initial and subsequent meetings of the Community. -The Bhikkhus' Code of Discipline Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu )

Shan- By plunging into the political mess don't you think that the power
of Buddhists (Bouddha Balaya) might be weakened?

Kolonnave Sumangala thero-

What do you mean by the power of the Buddhists? Is there such a thing in
this country? If Dhamma prevailed in this country would there be -so
many slaughter houses? so many robberies, killings, lying, rape, drugs,
bars etc? Could the people in a country be divided so much (on
ethnicity, religion)?

The main income in this country is from liquor.

There is no country like ours which preaches 'bana' so much. Still we
have a very high rate of crime.

This shows that the power of the Bhikkus has weakened.

How many of our educated youth are without jobs? You can see so many of
them on roads demanding jobs. If you go near the prisons, you can see
how many innocent people have become victims of the bad influences of
the society. So how can any one say that the Pure Buddha Dhamma is
shining?

The Buddha Dhamma will be preserved in a society that observes the 5
precepts. We strive to achieve that.

(Sri Lanka has been a multi cultural, multi lingual, multi religious state since immemorial times. Both you and I were born into that environment/society. We can't change it now. We got to live with it whether we like it or not. However, the majority should rule. Our leaders should come clean. They should maintain their distinct national, cultural and religious identities, wherever they go, whether it is the Kovil, Mosque or the Church. Late H.E. William Gopallawa took his oaths as the President of Sri Lanka in front of a Buddha Statute, while Mrs. Bandaranaike made her maiden speech at the UN in Sinhala.mage -Comment by Gamage Palihapitiya),

(SU Party Leader and the Former Chief Police officer was partly blamed for the worst corruption in South Asia -Survey Report -

Police, then judiciary most corrupt public institutions in South Asia, reveals TI survey-

Law enforcement authorities are perceived to be the most corrupt public institutions in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka

Corruption in South Asia
Insights & Benchmarks from Citizen Feedback Surveys in
Five Countries-Transparency International Press Release:

Sectors perceived to be the most corrupt in the region

Countries
Three sectors perceived as most corrupt
Bangladesh Police (39%) Health (25%) Land Administration(18%)
India Police Health Power
Nepal Land Administration (50%) Customs (41%) Police (24%)
Pakistan Police (28%) Power (15%) Taxation (13%)
Sri Lanka Police (39%) Health (5%) Education (4%)
  • Prior to being asked about their actual interactions with the sectors,
    respondents were questioned on which of the seven sectors they perceived to be most corrupt. Very clearly, the police comes out as the sector perceived to be extremely corrupt in all five countries, except Nepal. This finding points to the need for law enforcement reform - a concern repeatedly expressed by various civil society organisations. Equally worrying is the finding that health figures prominently in the list of most corrupt sectors in three out of the five countries

Sri Lanka

The police was perceived to be the most corrupt sector in the country, followed by health and education. Government institutions dominate the education sector. Almost 55% of users reported that they had accessed the institutions through irregular means. An alarming 61% of those who interact regularly with the institutions report encountering corruption; irregular fees of various kinds constituted the most common form of corruption cited. Sixty-two percent of the victims of corruption reported that money was directly demanded. Teachers and the members of the management committee were identified as the major facilitators in this sector. Excessive bureaucracy and discretionary powers were identified as the main reasons for corruption in the education sector.

 

Most of the users (97%) of health services visit public hospitals; 18% of them reported using irregular processes to access the services. More worryingly, 92% of users report of corruption after admission, with the highest number of cases reported for getting prescribed medicines and also for receiving proper treatment. Hospital staff were identified as the major instigator of corruption in the sector. While 30% report of extortion in the corrupt exchanges, 19% said they paid bribes voluntarily to ensure proper services. Monopoly and discretionary powers were cited as the primary reasons for the prevalence of corruption; interestingly, 23% identified a shortage of resources as a major cause. Most of the users (97%) of health services visit public hospitals; 18% of them reported using irregular processes to access the services. More worryingly, 92% of users report of corruption after admission, with the highest number of cases reported for getting prescribed medicines and also for receiving proper treatment. Hospital staff were identified as the major instigator of corruption in the sector. While 30% report of extortion in the corrupt exchanges, 19% said they paid bribes voluntarily to ensure proper services. Monopoly and discretionary powers were cited as the primary reasons for the prevalence of corruption; interestingly, 23% identified a shortage of resources as a major cause.


_ Securing an electricity connection through irregular channels was found to be very common (63%); most of these connections were made by paying bribes to the office staff. A similarly high number of respondents (63%) reported encountering corruption in regular interaction with the power department, with 42% of the victims paying bribes to ensure proper power supply. Repairmen and department officials were identified as the key facilitators of corruption in the power sector. An equal number (33%) of cases of extortion and voluntary bribery was reported. Monopoly power and low salaries were cited as the major factors contributing to corruption in the power sector.


_ Only 9% of respondents reported interactions with the land administration department. An overwhelming 98% reported encountering corruption; interestingly, more than half of the victims of corruption (54%) were unable to identify the perpetrators. Monopoly power and a lack of transparency were quoted as the key facilitating factors for corruption in Land Administration.


_ All respondents who interacted with the police department during the past year reported encountering corruption. Police officers and investigating officers were identified as the key perpetrators of corruption; one-third of the respondents reporting of corruption paid bribes voluntarily. Discretionary powers and influence of powerful interest groups were cited as the major factors contributing to corruption in the police department.


_ Very few respondents (6%) reported interacting with the judiciary during the past year; 44% of them interacted in the capacity of an accused. Corruption in the judiciary was reported by all users; interestingly, most victims could not identify the key perpetrator. Monopoly power and excessive bureaucracy were cited as the key contributory factors.
)



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