Sunday, June 3, 2012
It is high time the arrogant Clergy are put in their place
Mr Wijedasa Rajapakse MP, who I hold in high esteem, and who was the first sitting MP to be elected to the Presidency of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has put forward a proposal to ban all members of clergy from holding political office.
I wholeheartedly support that and I do believe that since the ascendency of Buddhist Clergy to the Sri Lanka Parliament, divisive views that are anathema for religious tolerance have exploded. I do believe it has been at the cost of Buddhism which is now being incorrectly portrayed as a very intolerant belief owing to the views of a few extremist who sadly have been elected by a populace also holding such views.
As I have said before and say again, ALL religious or race based political parties MUST be banned in Sri Lanka as they are a main reason for strife. I know many minorities do not feel that main parties offer any solace to their views and so join such parties who represent their interests. However in the interests of peace and tolerance their views must be represented by their religious order, and NOT by an elected political party, as then a small minority view of a particular religious grouping gets an airing in the national stage far above its real following in terms of numbers representing those views. This airing make it more divisive giving them a level of publicity that attracts a further following, increasingly giving an unfavorable weighting, and not reducing an already delicate balance.
Revd, Ellawela Medananda Thero of the Hela Urumaya challenged this proposal because he has achieved a sense of notoriety as a result of this permission that is going to be removed. He would not have been able to make explosive comments had he not been in this party, to say nothing of his candid comments, about searching for artifacts by the government as a duty of the state! May I remind the reader that he is a prominent archeologist and so should do his utmost to preserve, not vandalize history by way of twilight backhoe exploration using metal detectors and the like, irrespective what has happened in the past!!
I trust sense will prevail and we can ban these characters from defiling world religions for personal and selfish aims, not in keeping with the principles of Buddhism which they have had the unction to so violate.
I wish to highlight that the Clergy I refer to above is possibly less than 5% of all Clergy, and they act as if they represent 50%+ giving a very false impression of their following, and belittling the name of Buddhism due to their sacrilegious behavior.