» 05/29/2013, 00.00
Melani Manel Perera
Sri Lanka split over Buddhist monk who took his own life in protest against conversions
The Ven Bowatte Indrarathana Thero was cremated yesterday in a solemn ceremony amidst tight security. Some in the country said they understood his action even though it was de facto against religious freedom. Others said his action was not worth it, expressing fear that it might lead to copycats. For many ordinary Sri Lankans, instead of self-immolating the venerable should have opposed the killing that took place during the country's civil war.
11/11/2015 SRI LANKA
The Venerable Sobitha Thero, the “revolutionary" father of Sri Lanka’s democracy, is dead
A steadfast opponent of the Rajapaksa regime, the Buddhist monk was a staunch advocate for a democratic society. Sri Lankan authorities plan a state funeral and a national day of mourning. Religious leaders, social activists and political prisoners remember his quest for “the light of truth, a righteous life, overturning mistakes and a free country.”
19/06/2007 SRI LANKA
Bishops’ solidarity with Tamils forced to leave Colombo
In a message published in two local Catholic papers, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka expresses its solidarity with Tamils forced to leave abandon homes and livelihood. Bishops call for respect of the constitution’s human rights provisions.
12/06/2009 SRI LANKA
Jaffna bishop tells government that refugees must go home as soon as possible
About 300,000 refugees are still living in dismal conditions. The United Nations, the Red Cross and Caritas are the only humanitarian organisations allowed inside the camps, all other NGOs are off-limits. For the Venerable Thero, a Buddhist monk and head of the Vipassana Meditation Centre, “Sri Lanka does not need foreign plans or advice. We won the war and we did it by following our own plans.”
06/09/2007 SRI LANKA
Christians and Buddhists remove veil of silence, pledge inter-faith solidarity
In a meeting commemorating a Buddhist monk involved in inter-faith dialogue who was killed by “person or persons unknown,” some religious leaders slam government silence over recent crimes. Participants tell population to learn how to help others irrespective of ethnic or religious differences.
05/05/2011 SRI LANKA
Christian, Muslim and Hindu leaders with Buddhists this Vesak
Sri Lanka is a "pluralistic society as it combines ethnic groups, religions and cultures," says Fr Hettiarachchi from the Inter Religious Alliance for National Unity. For this reason the faithful of all religions should celebrate the 2,600th anniversary of Buddha’s enlightenment.
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