Monk withdraws from Presidential election

The Venerable Batharamulle Seelaratana Thera, who was contesting the 2010 presidential election from the Janasetha Peramuna, has withdrawn from the race and pledged his support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Daily Mirror reported that Seelaratana Thera decided to support the president after having discussions with the President at Temple Trees last night.

Source: Daily Mirror


Sarath Fonseka Gets a To-Do-List

As pravnj pointed out today, politics is trickling down to Religurd, and don’t we have a fine catch today. Presidential Candidate Sarath Fonseka received a grocery list from “a group of Buddhist clergy” (The Nation), in exchange for their support in the upcoming election, at the Vihara Maha Devi open air theatre (today?). Well the Nation didn’t call it a grocery list, it was apparently “a list of duties he should carry out on behalf of the country on being elected”. Hmm, what possibly could they be?

Source: The Nation – Thanks to kolitha for the tip!

Questionable Investors In Golden Key List – Continued……..

Continued from –

I won’t generalise all Buddhist priests, there are plenty of good Buddhist priests in SL who are devoid of wealth and yet helps the society and are well respected and treated by the people. But I think I can safely say that this isn’t the case for most major cities, for e.g. Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Kalutara etc.

But then many would say, “may be the money was saved to build a statue, to upgrade a temple or simply donations which some well connected temples receive”.

Again, in my opinion, this is a classic example where religion has got it priorities wrong, it has become a state affair, a extravagant one. I wont say this is a problem that happened recently, its been happening since I don’t knows when, but is it so hard to understand that we really don’t need a Rs 41 million statue? Do we really? Did Lord Buddha want himself represented by a pile of rocks and cement worth millions, overlooking the shanties a few miles way? I think Lord Buddha wants to be represented by good honest people with good morals and values, not by towering structures.

And note I don’t use words like Buddhist people, or Christian people, or Hindu or Islamic people, because that’s another form of labelling brought forward by people who see their world through their own eyes. That’s another discussion for another time.

Sorry to mention this again, but donations to build a statue or otherwise shouldn’t be going into a investment firm into an investment account. Key word there being investment. I’m sure any bank would jump up and handle money on behalf of a temple on legitimate matters, using things called savings and current accounts. And I assume there must be Buddhist organisations that handle these kind of things. Surely donations to the temple won’t involve Treasury bills and bonds, high yield high risk investments, and dropping interest rates?

Questionable Investors in Golden Key list

Read a recent article on the great philanthropist Lalith Kotalawela and the Rs 26 BILLION scam he’s involved in, and here are some investors found on the list. These are individual deposits, money under their name.

Bishop of Ratnapura, Dr. Cletus Chandrasiri Perera – Rs. 40 million

Ven. Rathanasara Thero from Kegalle – Rs. 17 million

Ven. B. Somawansa Thero – Rs. 41.4 million

The high priest of a temple in Matara who also requested anonymity has invested over Rs. 17 million in Golden Key. He said the money does not belong to him but to a Japanese national who is a “close friend.” (Ed – yea, of course, and the fairies in Sinharaja forest are always seen with unicorns. These Swiss banks these days, so untrust-worthy, the best place I can hide my money is with a Buddhist monk who can invest it under his name)

I’m not knowledgeable on the matters of the Church and its clergy, so I can’t comment, but on Buddhist clergymen, I think I can. Somebody please give me a reason why a Buddhist man of the cloth should stockpile 41 big ones? Money he inherited? Earnings before joining the clergy? To build a temple or statue? I would not step into a temple built with 41 million when there are people in SL who have nowhere to live and nothing to eat in refugee camps.Would you?…To be continued.