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Special courts for monks requested

  • Omalpe Sobitha Thera writes to President

By Pamodi Waravita

 

Sri Lanka Ramanna Sect Southern Chapter Chief Sanghanayake (Leader of Monks) Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera has written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa requesting the establishment of courts and tribunals dedicated to the Buddhist clergy.

In the letter, the Thera has urged the President to enforce Article 105 (4) of the Constitution which provides for the creation and establishment of courts, tribunals, or institutions for the settlement of matters specifically relating to bhikkhus, in the performance of services or in relation to temples, or with regard to any dispute between bhikkhus (Buddhist monks).

“Currently, bhikkhus are forced to settle legal disputes relating to temples and discipline-related behaviour and conduct through the usual legal system and courts, which has led to bhikkhus being mocked in the presence of lawyers who may hold different views,” Dr. Sobhitha Thera claimed.

The letter further claimed that bhikkhus being forced to access normal courts has also resulted in Buddhist monks being forced to subject themselves to orders that are outside of the discipline, exorbitant legal fees, and a lengthy time period when following the legal process.

Thus, the monk has requested urgent and special attention to the matter from President Rajapaksa.