Concerns raised with President over misconduct of some monks

Saturday, 23 May 2020

The Maha Sanga (Chief Prelates) today enlightened President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on the necessity of a religious discourse due to the misconduct of certain monks that will cause discredit to Buddhism and Tripitaka.

The President said that steps could be taken to rectify the situation during his tenure of office if corrective measures are proposed, the President’s Office said.

Meanwhile, President Rajapaksa is to appoint a Presidential Task Force under the Defence Secretary to conduct a comprehensive survey of archaeological sites in the East and to take measures to preserve them. Several parties have voiced their concerns regarding the destruction done to historical monuments. After considering all aspects, a broad programme will be launched with the support of the Department of Archaeology in order to preserve historic sites, the President’s Office said.

The President had expressed these views during the second meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat today (22) with the Buddhist Advisory Council which is scheduled to meet on the third Friday of every month. The clergy commended the initiatives launched under the guidance of the President to protect the entire citizenry in the wake of global pandemic of COVID-19 which has caused a devastating impact on every country in the world.

The President pointed out that it is a great achievement that not a single person from the community was found infected after April 30. He said that those who are returning from abroad are being sent for quarantine. Of these returnees, a few from Dubai and Kuwait have been infected with the virus. Safety measures are underway to examine people arriving from overseas under the instructions of health authorities.

The Buddhist Advisory Council discussed at a length on Pirivena education and school education system in the country. The Maha Sanga pointed out how attempts were made to remove the subjects of Literature and History from the school curricula during certain periods in the past. While pointing out that education is the first and foremost priority in his election manifesto President said preliminary steps have already been taken to implement a National Education Policy.

The Maha Sangha stressed on the need of effective implementation of a comprehensive programme to defeat the drug menace threatening the country. The Theros further said that there is a huge responsibility lies with the Maha Sangha in this regard in the same manner as that of the government.