Sri Lanka: Buddhist Temporalities Act to be amended

By L.B.Senaratne, Daily Mirror, Oct 27, 2008

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- A ten member committee from the Asgiriya and Malwatta Karaka Sangha Sabhas have been appointed by the two Karaka Sabhas to form the nucleus to come up with amendments to the Buddhist Temporalities Act of 1931.

The committee also includes a senior Basnayake Nilame Rohan Paranagama as a lay member. Their main purpose is to propose the amendments to strengthen the disciplinary aspects of the Sangha and to ensure the well being of the laity in the service to society by the Sangha.

The Legal Advisor to the Committee is a senior member of the Kandy Bar Upali Bogahapitiya ,an eminent legal luminary in the field of temple issues particularly of the two Chapters.

At the moment, there is no rule or law in the civil society to disrobe any monk who does not adhere to the rules of the Buddhist clergy and there seems to be no other relevant rule in the civil society to disrobe any monk who masquerades as a Buddhist monk. This lapse, it is learnt, is misused by other organisations and individuals to forward wayward individuals for various activities bringing disrepute to the Buddhist establishment.

It is also learnt that the committee is to scrutinise the election process of various positions in the Buddhist Society and recommend the need for a rigid set of rules to fill positions by persons who uphold Buddhistic principles.

The committee is also to go into the rules and regulations beyond the 1931 Act and if there are any issues that needs to be placed in the amendments, these would be discussed before the draft proposals are acted upon.