Protests and demonstrations not sitting well with all Buddhists
The Buddhist Channel, Sept 10, 2007
Dhaka, Bangladesh -- The executive committee of Mahabodhi Maitri Mandalahas has unanimously endorsed a joint resolution condemning the growing number of protests and demonstrations incited by members of the Buddhist Sangha throughout Asia.
The resolution specifically made references to actions by members of the Sangha in countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar.
Here is the full text of the resolution:
With the growing number of protests and demonstrations incited by members of the Buddhist Sangha throughout Asia, from Sri Lanka and Thailand to the most recent taking of hostages in Burma, there is also a growing alarm being voiced by Buddhist minorities that such behavior is throwing fuel on the fire and doing more harm than good, especially in Bangladesh, where most members of the Sangha have shown enough wisdom and forethought to avoid political agendas and such behavior.
On September 8th, 2007, the executive committee of Mahabodhi Maitri Mandala, which represents the one of the largest international associations of Buddhist Humanists, and the Buddhist Brotherhood Assembly of Bangladesh stood side by side and unanimously endorsed a joint resolution condemning such behavior, as well as voicing their mutual committment to bring an end to such behavior, with the Ven. Sharanananda Bhikkhu and the Ven. J.M. Dharmakara Boda leading the way:
WHEREAS such behavior is inconsistant with the Buddha-dharma, that the obligation of the Sangha is not "social activism" in and of itself alone, but should be that of "perfected virtue"; AND
WHEREAS such behavior is that of a "Dussila Samagama" and invokes the spirit of the Pakasaniya Kamma, the act of proclamation carried out by the Sangha when the words and physical actions of a monk are clearly no longer related to the Buddha, the Dharma, or the Sangha.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Executive Committee of the Mahabodhi Maitri Mandala and the Buddhist Brotherhood Assembly of Bangladesh, that:
1. We denounce such behavior and affirm our strong opposition to political agendas within the life and practice of the institutionalized Sangha, recognizing that any given political agenda has the potential to infringe upon the liberties and rights of minorities, Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike; AND
2. We encourage the members of the greater Buddhist community to refrain from participating and/or supporting such behavior; AND
3. We encourage civil authorities and state governments to use restraint when responding to such behavior.
FURTHERMORE, to whatever extent possible, we shall apply all available resources and energies to the eradication of such behavior within the life and practice of the institutionalized Sangha, doing so through education, dialogue, and intervention.
Source: Mahabodhi IP, the Buddhist Search Engine and Internet Portal