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Toe the line or lose Uni and temple

2013 Nov 21

By Wickrema Relapanawa – Anuradhapura



Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake, yesterday (20) warned that, if student Buddhist monks withdrew from their temples, they will be removed from Buddha Shrawaka's Pali and Buddhist Universities, the following day.



The minister made this statement while addressing a gathering at a training programme organized for novices of both universities held in Anuradhapura.



Dissanayake said he took that decision as it was necessary to direct the Sangha to the temples in villages, as pious Buddhist priests.



"I have identified the forces that make priests disrobe and have taken measures to put an end to this trend," he said.



"I request all the chief incumbents of temples to be vigilant of the activities of their novices. If the novices don't return after the holidays, the head priests should find out the reason why they had not returned. If the novices have left the temple permanently, the chief priests should inform the university authorities immediately," the minister said.



Dissanayake further said, there is a dearth of Buddhist priests in the country. "I appreciate the dedication of the Maha Sangha to enter novices to the Buddhist Order. We can't close our eyes to the fact that the Sangha is being ruined, day-by-day.

I know the reason for this degradation.



A few extremist Buddhist monks didn't allow monks who are lecturers to remain inside the universities after the end of academic activities for the day because they can rag the novices."



The minister continued, "This is another warning. Picketing and/or protest campaigns by priests may lead to them losing the opportunity of serving in their temples."

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