Not against peaceful demonstrations
by Ven Dharmakara Boda, Los Angeles, USA, The Buddhist Channel, Dec 30, 2007
In her letter, Visakha Kawasaki misrepresents and twists my own statements with the goal of bringing about an end to meaningful conversation in regard to the proper conduct, doing so only as a means to further her own attachment to political agendas.
Why do I prefer the original report of Cambodia throwing rocks? Well, I do not prefer it, but was pointing out that while the article by the Human Rights Watch clearified that plastic bottles were thrown (and not glass), at the same time they failed to address the claim that rocks were also thrown and that these were supposedly carried by the monks themselves.
The word "supposedly" was used, but she decided to ignore it, as well as the advice contained in the Dhammapada.
I have never spoken against peaceful demonstrations, per se, but only about conduct that is inconsistent with the Buddha-dharma, and while we are on the topic of news reports, it's amazing that she would even make such a statement, especially since she was the one who had originally passed around a false report issued by a human rights group which claimed that a respected vihara in Bangladesh had been destroyed --- a false report which only further inflamed passions, dragging more Buddhists into the fray.
No one needs "spin" nor tainted news reports and half truths --- instead we should strive toward full disclosure and examination, even if it calls into question the behavior or perception of certain members of the Sangha.
It's clear that this is what Visakha Kawasaki fears the most, the realization that she hasn't encouraged a raft that will reach the further shore, but that she has booked her passage on the SS Titanic and now a potential iceberg is looming in the distance.
My advice to Visakha Kawasaki and her fellow passengers would be that if you don't know how to swim, you better learn now before it's too late.