Tuesday, February 23, 2016
What a dumb thing to do? Just shows you have more money than sense!
I don’t know if they paid for it, or got it free, but the Sunday Lankadeepa had a half page ad taken out by the Board of Trustees of the Kalutara Bodhi Trust, pleading that they use all the millions put into the ‘Pin Kataya’ by the superstitious and faithful for purposes beyond reproach! BTW the ad would not have been noticed by 99% of readers.
I believe this was as a result of an allegation in a news item, that the money of the faithful have gone to fund the personal fortunes of the Trustees, just as much of the funds that are put into all sorts of places, like Kovils etc, are purloined by the Kapurala or some such person, and NOT used for either helping the upkeep of the religious site or for charitable purposes.
The reality in Sri Lanka is that there simply must be a law that says that if funds are collected in this manner from the thousands of these offerings, that there is a official plaque saying they are regulated by the state, where the takings are reported and their use clearly shown, and the state then puts this on line, so that any potential donor sees what is being done with this money. It is quite a simple thing really to put this on line so quarterly returns are filed and uploaded.
I am not asking for them to be audited, as that would be a boon for auditors, but let the donating public know how much these places collect and how it is spent. Mark you, the fact that the trustees have the power over their spending makes them very powerful people in their own right, so they have a duty to the public to account.
I note that the AD did not give ANY idea of what the takings were, and how it was spent, except saying that all collections are carefully counted and banked. Hell that is NO guarantee of how it is spent. It is just a ruse to fool the people.
I am not accusing the trustees of wrong doing, but I am accusing them of spending 500,000 thousand of their own money to show nothing and justifying their behavior! That is simply not acceptable, and a complete waste of space. Unless they disclosed the accounts for the past year for all to see, this is just a smoke and mirrors job that is simply disingenuous
No point mentioning what pillars of society the trustees are, as that does not mean anything in this context of trust, and truthfulness. I am simply astounded that such high society, resorted to such low balling statements to try and answer the allegation, which actually shows that they have something to hide! Don’t be embarrassed to show how many millions you collect a month, just do it!