A letter under different titles on the conduct of Buddhist monks by Rajah Kuruppu, Vice President, Colombo YMBA appeared in all English papers; one such caption was as above. In fact, the word supposed, should have been omitted and read as monks should be a model role for lay people.

He goes on to explain what or how a Buddhist monk should act or behave, referring to monks’ walking throwing their body and arms around and gesticulating to emphasize their arguments and of monks grappling with Police Officers at a demonstration. In short, he refers to vulgar hooliganism. It is not only the public display of hooliganism but also the worst is when monks refuse to perform Buddhist rites and rituals, saying they are a nuisance and disrupts other work, as I had personally experienced in my famous local temple. I remember sending a detailed account of my harrowing, disgusting experience to Rajah Kuruppu some time back.

It is a pity Rajah Kuruppu, though exposes the misdeeds of Buddhist monks, perhaps expecting monks to correct themselves, has not suggested or recommended measures to be taken by authorities, be they the Mahanayaka Theras, government or Buddhist organisations, such as the YMBA, where he was once the Secretary and now a Vice-President, to stem this trend or rot.

In my view, it is the duty of lay Dayakayas of temples to guide and advise the monks and not be ‘Ehei Hamuduruwane’ to whatever the Chief Monk says or does. One clear case is the setting up of a political party office headquarters at a temple with permission of the Chief Monk or on his invitation. The other is distribution of Silredi, canvassing votes for a particular political party or individuals. Had the Dayakayas objected, perhaps this desecration of the holy premises would not have taken place.

It is here Buddhist organisations of the standing of YMBA takes a definite stand, contact the Dayaka Sabha members of such temples, educate them as to what their duties and obligations towards the temples and monks to the extent of not cooperating with the monk, will bring, I am sure, salutary results, to make our monks return to their legitimate religious duties, preaching the Dhamma, for which they have been ordained and don the yellow robe. Practical solutions are needed, rather than writing letters.
G.A.D. Sirimal Boralesgamuwa