Yesterday, the 22nd, representatives of Buddhist International met Maha Nayaka Theros and called on their interference in the process of forthcoming constitutional reforms, and also to exhort the government to retract the Theravada Bhikku *Kathikāwath* Bill with all due respect. BI representatives have met most venerable Galagama Attadassi maha nayaka thero of the Asgiriya chapter of Siyam maha nikaya (sect), and most venerable Napane Pemasiri Maha Nayaka Thero of Sri Lanka Ramagngna Maha Nikaya. “We also handed over their proposals to several other prelates of these chapters yesterday”, a spokesperson from BI said.
In their press release on this regard, the BI states;
We, the Buddhist International hear that a Theravada Bhikku *Kathikāwath* Bill has been tabled in the Parliament with a view to take actions againstBuddhist monks who ‘breach’ the *vinaya* rules (code of discipline) in
the *Sāsana*(dispensation of sangha).
We would like to broach the following points in this regard for the attention of discernible people;
– This bill could pave the way to a schism among the local community of monks which would surely affect the Buddhist laity in reciprocation, resulting a sudden deterioration in Buddha Sāsana in Sri Lanka.
– We believe this Bill is a part of a master plan implemented purely to silent the voice of Buddhist monks against the anti-Buddhist diaspora.
– We also question the right those corrupted politicians have to help promulgate disciplinary rules for those untarnished Buddhist monks? Are they going to start teaching the Vinaya Pitaka in Law Faculties and the Law
College in order to produce lawyers with Buddhist Vinaya-knowledge?
– In such a dispensation of monks which is more than 2500 years old, where the Buddha had promulgated all the necessary disciplinary rules with His profound all-embracing wisdom, what is left to be done for those secular
men and women to regularise the discipline of monks?
Therefore, we, the Buddhist International, would like to take the honour to emphasize that the prevailing government should *first* take necessary measures to table the; The anti-conversion bill which is meant to stop unethical religious conversions in Sri Lanka, and then the *Sanghādhikarana* bill which is meant to re-establish the special judiciary for Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka, before presenting the so called Theravada Bhikku Kathikawath Bill to Parliament.
Very simply, the Parliament or any other lay-establishment has no authority or any ethical right to promulgate or help promulgate disciplinary rules for noble Buddhist Sangha at any rate. Therefore, we reiterate that its better to retract this Theravada Bhikku Kathikawath Bill in this stage with all due respect before it is too late.