“When the saffron robe has the final say” The Hindu

A monk’s cremation on a temple’s premises, in violation of a court order, has triggered protests.
The recent passing away of a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka and his subsequent cremation in the northern district of Mullaitivu has brought to the fore an old concern — the power wielded by the Buddhist clergy and the impunity shielding them. It wasn’t the monk’s cremation that was the problem, it was the site.

On Monday, a group of saffron-robed men, led by controversial monk Gnanasara Thero (in picture) of the Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force), gathered near the Neeravi Pillaiyar Kovil (temple) well in Mullaitivu, even as their supporters swiftly made arrangements for the cremation to be held there. They completed the final rites, defying a court order barring it on the temple’s premises. Around noon the same day, the Mullaitivu magistrate court had ruled that the cremation be held by the sea, near the Army camp facing the temple.

“When I returned from the court to the temple, I was shocked to see the monks going ahead with the cremation there, despite the court ruling against it. There were some 40 bhikkhus (monks) and maybe around 200 supporters with them,” said Kanagarathinam Sugash, attorney-at-law, who appeared for the temple administration in the case.

As the news spread, several locals — mostly Hindu Tamils — gathered around the temple in protest. “When I tried to draw the monks’ attention to the court order, one of them, speaking in broken Tamil, turned very aggressive towards me and told me — ‘This is a Sinhala Buddhist country and monks come first, they are above all’,” recalled Mr. Sugash, who was assaulted in the ensuing clash. The Jaffna-based lawyer found the monk’s remarks most telling. “He [the monk] was effectively telling me that monks are above the courts, above law and order.”

via: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/when-the-saffron-robe-has-the-final-say/article29543715.ece?fbclid=IwAR1axiUgfCI1NMF_cpgA-2zsQ-aHOeU5Mg0nPHtsvHHaJcSqA0kdtCPo39Y

“Freed Sri Lanka Buddhist monk vows to expose Islamist militancy” Reuters

“Gnanasara was convicted in 2018 on four counts of contempt of court. The case stemmed from a 2016 court hearing on the abduction of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda over which military intelligence officials were accused.

Gnanasara shouted at the judge and lawyers because the military officials had not been given bail. He also threatened Eknaligoda’s wife.”

via: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sri-lanka-monk-pardon/freed-sri-lanka-buddhist-monk-vows-to-expose-islamist-militancy-idUSKCN1SY1CH?fbclid=IwAR1QbGOcXCU31EcJbVboI-MWCaXrF7Gy32TFhwJclF_pkNOXM_E7VQEpdrA

“Sri Lanka president pardons hardline Buddhist monk” Aljazeera

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has pardoned a hardline Buddhist monk who is accused of inciting violence against ethnic minority Muslims and convicted of contempt of court, officials said on Wednesday.

via: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/sri-lanka-president-pardons-hardline-buddhist-monk-190522192204588.html?fbclid=IwAR2iG9DpUU-Z0BxyQrn3HQ371nnQ4REqB3H2COQCi06j-_speyHiTIJ7RYU

“The Stream : The violent side of Sri Lankan Buddhism” by Aljazeera

We like to share a link to access a stream from Aljazeera about Hardline Buddhists in Sri Lanka and how they are making new enemies of Muslim and Christian minorities.

via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRB3aS75ZLY

source: Aljazeera