Did it happen in Sri Lanka’s Buddhist sacred city?

Buddhist monk shames Buddhism in Dambulla

| by Mohamed Marzook

( May 05, 2012, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Neither the authenticity of the video clipping has been challenged nor the incident has been denied by the alleged offenders or any responsible authority. So it has to be taken that the clipping is the true version of an incident that happened. Thus, it has received wide media coverage.

The recorded scenarios of a Buddhist Monk removing his Saffron Robe and exhibiting his semi-nakedness towards the Mosque in Dambulla.

Should not the clipping be recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records or the best of International Awards given as “The Best Ever Recorded Video Clipping” as it is a recording of a most despicable incident?

They do not want places of worship of other religions to exist in the sacred Buddhist Area of Dambulla. So a group of monks led a mob, attacked the Mosque and desecrated it, but the climax of the incident was one monk, a preacher of Buddhism, removing his robe and showing his semi-nudity towards the Mosque. If other places of worship are not sacred, have the monks themselves behaved to preserve the sanctity of Buddhist sacredness?

Such an act of the lowest level of even ordinary human decency has never been seen or heard anywhere in the world up to now. But that it has happened in Sri Lanka which claims to be having a 2500 years old Buddhist culture should be a matter of concern to any. The person or persons who recorded this historical shame of the country should receive the highest of commendations.

The law of the land has still not acted on the monks who led the mob to attack the mosque and threatened the peace. Whether it will be done is questionable, as the offence in Anuradhapura is still on the list of offences to be inquired into if at all it is to be.

Whether there is a process of inquiry with the Buddhist hierarchy responsible for the conduct of Buddhist monks and meeting punishment to the monk who shamed his own religion is not clear. What is the reaction of the Buddhists of Sri Lanka on them being shown before the world as a shameless lot because of the behaviour of a few who do not obey any discipline, either their religious or the law of the land and run amok? What is or who is the cause of such degeneration? Are there answers to these questions?

Answers and reasons could be many stemming from the thinking and approach of the persons responding, but the indelible slur brought upon the country will remain as long as history will. Is there any doubt in it?

(Note: The writer was a Member of the now defunct Campaign for Peace and Unity in Sri Lanka-UK that lobbied against LTTE activities in the UK and engaged in programmes organised by the Sri Lanka High Commission in UK, , during the period 2006 to 2008, to demonstrate the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural characteristic of Sri Lanka).