Should Sri Lanka’s Parliament control only Buddhist monks?Some facts to think about the controversial Theravadi Bhikku Kathikawath Bill
Posted on February 21st, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

 Some facts to think about

  • Buddhism is the predominant religion in Sri Lanka. Yet there are other global religions with very powerful institutional backing like Christianity/Catholicism and Islam
  • How can an unruly Parliament which is jumping from one party to another with no sense of ethics or morals change Theravada Vinaya rules that have been practiced for centuries?
  • A constitution grants and guarantees equality, if so why only one religion and the representatives of that religion should be targeted while other religions and their representatives committing the same offences are not.  Why should only Buddhist priests be reprimanded, arrested and dismissed as Buddhist monks. This is a very dangerous future scenario.
  • Vaticans wealth (disclosed and undisclosed) run into billions. Vatican as a religion has a country and member status in the UN. Powerful governments/countries ensure the Catholic faith is upheld and its beliefs and ideologies are spread.
  • Islam’s wealth (disclosed and undisclosed) run into billions. Billions are allocated to spread Wahhabi ideology through mosques and madrasas. There are over 50 powerful Islamic majority countries which only give a place to Islam and the Islamic way of living (Shariah)
  • Is it only Buddhist monks who are disobedient? It is a violation of the human rights of Buddhist monks when only they are being targeted by a Parliamentary bill when Christian/Catholic, Islamic and Hindu priests are not subject to any state laws and can do the very activities that Buddhist priests are being denied via a Bill.
  • The Bill does not define occult practices. Therefore, Buddhist priests that do religious poojas can also be faulted and imprisoned for no reason whatsoever while other religions practicing the same continue regardless.
  • Let us also remind that Pope Francis called upon Catholics to return to medieval traditions like ‘casting out devils’ and ‘evil spirits’ and Pentecostal Christians also practice ‘healing’ rituals which also belong to the category of occult practices. There have been instances that due to Pentecostal practices children have denied because the parents were forbidden from taking the child to hospital/medicines.
  • The Vatican has recently announced that Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse in other words paedophile monks will not be reported to police and abuse of children inside the Church will continue. (One in 50 priests is a paedophile: Pope Francis says child abuse is ‘leprosy’ infecting the Catholic Church)
  • If the Parliament wants to protect the People from frauds and quacks why is Parliament stopping the priests of one religion only? If it is about frauds and quacks then all religions and their priests must be subject to the same laws equally. Only one religion and the representatives of that faith cannot be subject to laws by a Parliament elected by the People for a term.  
  • If the Government is saying that the Bill empowers the Mahanayaka theros why should Parliament pass a Bill when the Mahanayake theros can come out with their own Bill. Parliament cannot target one faith or one group only. It is unparliamentary and not following democratic governance to which Parliament is bound.


    Questions for people to think about


  • Can an unruly Parliament which cannot control itself or has yet to come up with a code of conduct for itself control only one religious sect ignoring other religious denominations?
  • More importantly, the political party introducing the bill has never been exponents of upholding Article 9 of the Sri Lankan Constitution giving foremost place to Buddhism and the party has at all times favoured minority rights and minority religions over Buddhism.
  • Is it only Buddhist monks whose behaviour has been wayward? What about instances of Church priests openly advocating separatism and having direct links with the internationally banned LTTE and collecting funds and helping promote LTTE and the division of the country? Are these behaviour not more harmful to the nation than the alleged wayward behaviour of a handful?
  • Why should ancient customs carried out by Buddhist monks over centuries (Angulimala piritha etc) be categorized as occult practices?
  • What about the other religions that are also practicing these occult activities openly – Evangelical churches healing people etc omitted ?
  • Is it only Buddhist monks that pursue trade, business and obtain driving licenses etc? Is it not due to practical reasons that overseas the Bhikkus learn to drive because they cant expect people to drive so many miles to the temple to pick them up/drop them?
  • Are these codes just another smokescreen to produce the red card against Buddhist monks and imprison them or derobe them/expel them from the temple with a long term intention of totally annihilating one of Buddhism’s key pillars?
  • Shouldn’t the mahanayaka theros that had been playing a key role in the affairs of the country during the times of the Kings play a bigger role than just agreeing to politicians without realizing the deeper ramifications and long term plans against Buddhism. The Buddhist priests were advisors of the all the Kings of Sri Lanka and without the consent of the Buddhist priests none of the Kings took decisions. This historical fact cannot be changed due to new liberal slogans.
  • Should the Buddhist Theravada practices and laws be allowed to be overridden by a Parliament that is only elected for a term?
  • Moreover, the Buddhists also have a role to play. If they knew their religion properly they would not go to any Buddhist monk or encourage any Buddhist monk following what is not taught in Buddhism. Therefore, the dayaka committees of the temples have a bigger role to play by ensuring true Theravada Buddhism is practiced in the Temples and by the Buddhist worshippers too.
  • All non-Buddhist religious make it compulsory to give a % of one’s earning to their religious institution, these religious institutions are rich. Vatican Bank (known as Institute of Works of Religion has $8 billion in assets and 33,400 accounts. A US Catholic priest says the Catholic Church must be the biggest corporation in the United States. We have a branch office in every neighborhood. Our assets and real estate holdings must exceed those of Standard Oil, A.T.&T., and U.S. Steel combined. And our roster of dues-paying members must be second only to the tax rolls of the United States Government.’” Catholics are bound to give 10% of their earnings to the Church. Mormon church earns $7 billion a year from tithing Let us also not forget that the bulk of NGOs operating world wide are Christian/Catholic missionaries and charities collected by showcasing humanitarian woes all are used to promote the Church faith globally.
  • In 2015 Saudi allocated $32billion to spread Islam/Shariah globally. Muslims have to give a tithe(Zakat) of 2.5% of their annual income (Zakat is based on income and the value of all of one’s possessions) Calculate 2.5% into worlds 1.3billion Muslims to see the wealth of Islam. ‘Data we have collected for Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, which make up 17% of the world’s estimated Muslim population, indicates that in these countries alone at least US$5.7 billion is currently collected in Zakat each year.
  • 2013, faith-based organisations received and delivered between US$420 million and US$434 million (15–16%) of all international humanitarian assistance channelled through non-govermental organisations (NGOs). Between 2011 and 2013, international humanitarian assistance from governments within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) grew from US$599 million to over US$2.2 billion. There is no such system for Buddhism.
  • Buddhism/Buddhists have only the ‘pin kataya’ and the GOSL demands through the bill that half this earnings are given to the State if not the temples will be charged and priests punished.    

How many ‘wayward’ priests are we talking about to come to such rash generalizations? Can the behaviour of a handful result in gagging an entire religion while ignoring all others who also have wayward priests?

By drawing the attention of the people using media to direct attacks only on a handful of Buddhist monks showcasing a scenario that all Buddhist monks are similar a very dangerous Bill is attempted to be passed. Such generalization is totally unfair and uncalled for.

If Buddhist priests are behaving waywardly it is timely for the mahanayaka theros of all denominations to call for a conference and layout their own rules and regulations on how to preserve the pristine and prestige of Buddhism. They can call the Buddhist public to put forward their proposals which can be reviewed by a panel combing representatives of the nikayas and even Buddhist scholars.

A Parliament that represents the people for a term of office cannot bring legislation to target only one group (that too the predominant religion of Sri Lanka). This is unethical, unparliamentary and totally against all norms. Moreover, this same Parliament has yet to produce its own code of ethics and the manner its members behave inside Parliament does not warrant them to be laying out behavioural laws upon any group especially a religious sect.

Here are some examples of the behaviour of Sri Lanka’s Parliament


‘UNP MPs engaged in incessant table thumping, tearing, burning and throwing of order books towards the government benches, hurling unprintable abuse and vile epithets when the President presented the draft Constitution in Parliament, reported the Daily News of 4/8/2000”


3 Responses to “Should Sri Lanka’s Parliament control only Buddhist monks?Some facts to think about the controversial Theravadi Bhikku Kathikawath Bill”

  1. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Of course it is for Buddhist monks only. They are the only ones to make any noise about the
    injustices meted out by this traitor deshapaluwan. Almost all Sinhalese deshapaluwan keep quiet when tamils, mussies
    and catholics destroying Buddhism, Sri Lanka and the Sinhalese race fearing they lose their votes. But the Buddhist
    monks are the only ones (except malwatte, asgiriye kapuwa, high priest rathanaya, ambare damiliya etc.) give protection
    to the Sinhalese Buddhists. Even Sinhalese Buddhist policemen, army, navy, air force personnel keep quiet. That’s how helpless the Sinhalese Buddhists are. Remember the war displaced Sinhalese in the north and east? Tamils and mussies were resettled without any delay. Sinhalese? No such luck for them in their own country. Even MR didn’t take action. Remember wilpattu destruction by ever multiplying mussie xxxx? Nobody taken any action. Maru sira promised action. Like his other promises, it came to nothing. Now wilpattu is a fast growing mussie town!

    Now catholic traitor chief pol pot ponil aka PM (pathala man) running Sri Lanka and the best time to silence the Buddhist monks. They putting the ground works to show they have to be reined in by imprisoning number of monks while terrorists, bank robbers, murderers, kidnappers etc. etc. let out to roam the streets freely. Now Pathala Man with his pathalayin and toothless Sinhalese deshapaluwan, the bill is going to be passed without a hitch.

    Only thing Pol pot ponil (PM the pathala man) has to do is show his pirith nool clad right hand, and a lot of traitor Sinhalese donkeys will vote for him with their feet. That’s how pathetic some Sinhalese donkeys are! We challenge this token Buddhist, die hard catholic to say ‘Musa vadha vera mani sikka padan samadiyami’ in public!

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    When thousands and thousands of Sinhala/Buddhists are killed/get killed for various political reasons, the IC is silent. No protests, no demonstrations, no foreign agents visiting Lanka, no UN agencies and VIPs pouncing of govts here etc.

    It is the Sinhala/Buddhist armed forces mainly that protect Sri Lanka. We the Concerned Citizens of Lanka, within and without, must take care of the Sinhala/Buddhist people. They have no one else, it seems.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    Some govts of Lanka, such as the present govt., appears to be a govt from another country/countries. It seems to us that at present there is no real protection for the Sinhala/Buddhists or the Buddha Sasana – strange country.

    Do the Sinhala/Buddhists have a country ?

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