Author Topic: Thousands of Buddhist monks protest construction of mosque in Sri Lankan town  (Read 15609 times)

ratanasutra

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Sad to read about this..
As a practitioners of all religions, we should not solve any problem by protest isn't it?

Either the place belong to any religion, at the end of day it will bring benefit to people in that religion. Once the practitioners of any religions does protest, it bring down faith of people as it contradict with the essence of the teaching which is about peaceful, compassion and care etc

i not sure how this protest will going to end but i hope, no one get hurt from it.

 

jessicajameson

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Holy mack. This is the first time that I've heard of monks interfering with another religion. I mean there are monks who protest (e.g. for the Shugden ban, in Burma), but never to enter another holy site to chase them out. It's so disrespectful. How can they face themselves to have the arrogance to say what's theirs and not theirs. Do their vows allow them to do that?

I agree with what Drondrop says though, that monks now have to fight for their own rights to preserve the teachings. But how far can they take it? :S This protest harms others...

 

Tenzin K

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Personally, I feel that the protestor has all the right to protest to protect their sacred land but in term of removing worshiping place I can’t really agree much. No doubt the land is a designated area as a Buddhist sacred zone but there would be a better deal/way to protect the harmonious of inter religious. For example having built a new mosque outside the Buddhist sacred as a replacement.

I also disagree about the police intervened as protestor asked the devotees to leave. This is not the way and is a bad way. No respect shown. The real problem is the authorities for allegedly sales the lands. If it’s a sacred Buddhist zone how can it be sold? Obvious reason, Greed!

Klein

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I think these protestors have done right to protest because the mosque was allegedly built on a Buddhist sacred zone.  In the first place why had the authorities sold the land within a Buddhist sacred zone? In the report it said a similar protest in the area in 1992 couldn't prevent the construction of a five star hotel at Kandalama. If the protest is not staged, a precedent will be set where Buddhist sacred land will be sold for commercial or other purposes by the irresponsible authorities! If that happens, more and more sacred lands will be lost.

Nowadays, Buddhists are more proactive and will not remain silent and would take the necessary actions to defend sacred Buddhist sites. Many ancient Buddhist sacred sites and relics have either been stolen, damaged or lost.  If Buddhists remained passive, these holy lands and objects will be gone forever and the future generations will not be able to benefit from them. Buddhists must protect the legacies left behind by Buddha Shakyamuni and the lineage masters thereafter.


What dondrup wrote is very true. The key here is setting a precedence of respect and preservation of the religion for the sake of the spiritual practitioners. A notorious case of destruction with no regards to Buddhism is when the Talibans blew up the Buddhas of Bamiyan.


If no one refutes in peaceful methods and allow others to take away holy sites or destroy holy objects, this set precedence will lead to more destruction. Then the repercussions will not serve the spiritual practitioners ultimately.

Positive Change

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At the end of the day, I strongly believe this article is really not about Buddhism versus Islam. It is, as always, just the press creating sensationalism to sell the story.

This is purely about corruption and its effects. How the violation of basic rights are often disregarded and bulldozed aside. In this instance it so happens to involve a Buddhist sacred site and a Islamic mosque. Purely coincidental but certainly “sensational”!

One needs to go to the root of the problem and shovel out the problem. This like many other religiously laced, political agendas, are very sad because it pushes the wrong issues to the limelight. Sad but it is an often used ruse to get the votes!

The Dorje Shugden ban is no different as at times it seems like Dorje Shugden is used as the scape goat to propel certain political goals… so some people may want us to believe. However I know there is a higher purpose and a greater motivation than just purely political. But then even HHDL knows a thing or two about sensationalism I am sure! ;)

Tammy

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Hey Nmadrol,

Thanks for sharing the news. It is indeed very rarely do we hear of such 'violence' act under the banner of Buddhism. It is never in Buddha's teaching that we are taught to fight but we are to offer victory to others.

Having said the above, I have to agree with the decision of protesting by those monks. They were protecting the right of use of the land, the temple built on it are the means to spread Buddha's teaching hence should be safe-guarded at all costs.

I am not encouraging violent act in any way, shape or form but we must be assertive in defending dharma and not simply surrender to unfair treatments. We should be kind, loving, compassion and embody all good qualities that a good Buddhist should be BUT at the same time be FIRM in defending our rights and not be a sad pushover.
Down with the BAN!!!

Big Uncle

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I think we have very little information with regards to what spurred these monks to protest. I think that the grounds must have holy remains of ancient Buddhis temples, perhaps. Whatever the case, I can't really make the judgement on whether the monks did was wrong or right. I believe either way, if the monks protested in a peaceful manner, it would be alright. As long as nobody gets hurt, it should be alright.

Who are we to judge the monastics? We cannot make judgement of the situation when so little information is presented to us. We still cannot be certain of the true intentions of these monks. I think in the end, this little protest will not inspire other monks to do the same unless the whole monastic tradition is threatened. After all, who wants a repeat of the Bamiyan Buddha situation. That's the only fear and i believe if it takes protests to stop such negative actions, so be it.

Rihanna

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Holy mack. This is the first time that I've heard of monks interfering with another religion. I mean there are monks who protest (e.g. for the Shugden ban, in Burma), but never to enter another holy site to chase them out. It's so disrespectful. How can they face themselves to have the arrogance to say what's theirs and not theirs. Do their vows allow them to do that?

I agree with what Drondrop says though, that monks now have to fight for their own rights to preserve the teachings. But how far can they take it? :S This protest harms others...


I think it is incorrect to judge whether what the monks did was right or wrong. We should instead findout if to refrain from protesting falls under one of the 253 monk vows. If it does not, then that is fine. Being a Buddhist does not mean that you let others step all over you. You have to stand for what is right to protect yourself and also not to let the other party create more bad karma by taking away from you what is rightfully yours. Shugdenpas also protest against the surpression of their practice. So is that right or wrong then??

Vajraprotector

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To me, any religion who protest against other religion is not acceptable. Hearing Buddhist protests against other religion is even more sad because Buddhism has been known for its tolerance on other religions.

I once heard a Lama said, we as Dharma teacher should find the similarities between religions, not to compare the differences. He said, if we focus on the differences, it will definitely create a lot of frictions and tensions. However, if we focus on similarities, then we will work in harmony and people, government, country around us will be happy.

Let's stop the protest and set a good example!

Tolerance doesn't mean we do not stand up for our rights and letting others take advantage and bully us. I do believe that in modern times, it is important to do so and not let the rest of the world label Buddhist as 'passive' and weak.

I am not sure about the details, but I do think there must be something fishy/not right there to the extent that monks have to come out and protest. Why is it that the authority sell off lands that were sanctioned as "Buddhist sacred zone"? Sri Lanka is a predominantly Buddhist country, I think the authority would have some respect for the monks? Or perhaps greed overrides the virtuous mind?

Anyway, I have read claims that a minority was trying to create sectarian problems in Sri Lanka where most Muslims and Sinhalese Buddhists co-existed well. There were news that a group of Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka led a crowd that demolished a Muslim shrine, but no media in Sri Lanka has reported this except for BBC so I am not too sure whether the event actually took place and then the authority tried to do a cover up, or it was just fabricated propaganda.

Read more here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14926002

Aurore

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As Buddhists, one of the verse in 8 verses of transformation is to let others win.
As Buddhists, one should understand that we own nothing and die with nothing.

A mosque is a meant to be a place where people come together and engage in spiritual practice. They may not have the same beliefs but all religions are good. In fact, these Sri Lankans should take this opportunity to make friends and show the world that we accept all religion and can live in peace.

That is what all religion should do ... Promote interfaith religion and harmony to set an example.

bambi

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It saddens me that the monks have to be involved in secular movements and it is because of the way the government work. Just like this one http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=2074.0

And I thought as Buddhists we shouldn't have attachments and this one have to do with a land that we cannot take with us physically. What happened to tolerance and harmony? All of us here do not live in a country that has 100% Buddhists hence there will always be dispute over who it belongs to, why this/that religion can do that, whose religion have more practitioners, etc. HHDL have always time and again promote religious freedom which promotes harmony.

Excerpts from His Holiness the Dalai Lama's address to the inter-faith seminar organised by the International Association for Religious Freedom, Ladakh Group, in Leh on 25 August.

Ladakh has been a predominantly Buddhist area for so many centuries. But other religions such as Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism have also flourished here. Although it is natural for the people of Ladakh to have attachment to and love for their own religions, yet this place has a very peaceful environment with no major problems of religious intolerance. During my maiden visit to Ladakh, I heard elderly Muslims using the phrase "community of sangha" in their speeches. Although such phrases are not found in Islam, yet a reference of this kind invokes a lot of trust amongst the Buddhists. Therefore, people from different religious background in Ladakh are very close to each other and live in harmony.

As far as the Muslims are concerned it is appropriate for them to have complete devotion to Allah while praying in the mosques. This is also the same with Buddhists who are completely devoted to the Buddha when they pray in Buddhist temples. A society, which has many religions should also have many prophets and sources of refuge. In such a society it is very important to have harmony and respect amongst the different religions and their practitioners. We must distinguish between belief and respect. Belief refers to total faith, which you must have in your own religion. At the same time you should have respect for all other religions. This tradition of believing in one's own religion and having respect for others is in existence in Ladakh since your forefathers. Therefore you do not have to invent it. The most important thing at the moment is to preserve and promote this tradition. I would like to thank all of you for working hard regarding this and request you to continue to do so in the future.

If a harmonious relationship is established amongst societies and religious beliefs in today's multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural world, then it will surely set a very good example for others. However, if all the sides become careless, then there is a danger of imminent problems. In a multi­ethnic  society  the biggest problem is that of between the majority and the minority. For instance, in the capital Leh, Buddhists constitute the majority of the population whereas Muslims belong to the minority community. The majority must consider the minority as their invited guests. The minority, on the other hand, should be able to sensitise with the majority. In other words, both sides should live in harmony. In order to sustain this harmony, both sides should not take lightly the sensitive issues between themselves. Indeed, the majority should pay attention to and appreciate the views and opinion of the minority. Both sides should discuss and clearly express what they think about the other's view and opinion. The minority, on the other hand, should be careful about where the sensitive issues of the majority lies and express whatever doubts they have in their minds. If problems are resolved in such a friendly manner; then both sides will gain. Suspicion of each other will only harm both communities. Therefore, it is very important to live in harmony and analyse where the opinion of the other lies. The best way to do this is to engage in dialogue, dialogue and dialogue.