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Sri Lanka monks beg for cash to pay corruption fine

Sep 15, 2017 18:47 PM GMT+0530 | 7 Comment(s)

  

ECONOMYNEXT - Dozens of Buddhist monks loyal to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa begged from office to office in Colombo today seeking cash to pay fines slapped on two former top officials convicted on corruption charges.

The monks walked one behind the other with two women leading them and asking bystanders to donate only cash. Usually, monks on routine begging are offered food for the consumption of the clergy.

The Buddhist monks are trying to collect 104 million rupees -- the collective fine and penalties imposed on former presidential secretary Lalith Weeratunga and Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) director general Anusha Palpita.

Both were convicted of criminal misappropriation of 600 million rupees of TRC cash and diverting it to fund "sil redi" or white cloth worn by Buddhist devotees in a bid to boost Rajapaksa's failed re-election bid in January 2015.

The begging monks came under intense social media criticism while the JVP said those clergy taking part in the fund raising were only insulting Buddhism.

JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the monks should have protested the use of religion to bolster Rajapaksa's electoral fortunes.

Both Weeratunga and Palpita have appealed against the convictions. (COLOMBO, September 15)


 

7 Comments

  1. Jagath September 20, 02:23 AM

    There is no need to get offended for saying begging. Originally (you may say true) Buddhist monks were mendicants.
    They had nothing, except a bowl and what they were wearing. There are hardly any mendicant orders left now. The Sutta Pitaka dates back from that time.
    Then came the time of big temples, and associations with the king, revenue from land and property etc.If a monk is a true mendicant (a beggar in colloquial language) in these times he deserve great respect.

  2. Publico September 19, 10:47 AM

    Yes agree this is an unpardonable act by Buddhist monks to beg or ask for cash for this purpose . But I dont think its right to say Buddhist monks routinely beg for food .Buddhists donate food to monks willingly as Monks live on food and medicine given by lay people for their sustenance .But for the article to say that monks beg for food routinely is insulting to the Buddhist clergy .For the writer of the article here is the definition of the so Called begging for food . Be enlightened Its called Pinda patha . food received in the alms bowl (of a bhikkhu) alms gathering to go on an almsround.(Food being offered to the bhikkhus (pinda) bowl (pata)) Fact to go to receive (concerning a bhikkhu) some food (within the bowl), while silently waiting in front of houses, holding the bowl in front of oneself, ready to lift up the lid as soon as someone comes close to oneself for offering food.Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

  3. D PEIRIS September 19, 04:36 AM

    This shows to what extent these men in robes can be (and have been) deviating from the noble duties assigned to them and misusing the respect for the very doctrine and practices they are supposed to represent and stand for - Pathetic

  4. Kumara September 16, 07:15 AM

    Most of people believe this is not a corruption (donation of special clothes to practice religious ceremonies). Furthermore present government reputation has drop drastically and two local government elections postpone over 18 months Such a punishment give to mihinda's supporting powerful men to maintain the reputation

  5. Nana September 16, 09:49 AM

    What a pity site to see Monks are being used as Political tools to fool public. Did Buddha preach to protect corrupted? To break the Laws ? To gain undue advantage using Power(Misuse of Power) ?After sometime they will claim 100 Million collected, but in reality money will come from another source.Let us )General Public) be Fools Forever...

  6. sacre blieu September 16, 08:45 AM

    The most respected philosophy of the world been dragged down to the pit. Monks are also respected for their dedication, but should not be seen touching any symbol of wealth and mostly to depend on alms. Please do not let the Sasana bee scarred as such.

  7. Nana September 15, 09:45 AM

    These monks do not practice real Buddhism. They only chase us away from it. You dont need to go begging. Just ask Namal, Basil etc to remit just less than 1 Money said to be in foreign Banks. That is enough.

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