Buddhist clergy complain against treatment on flight

By Cyril Wimalasurendre
Kandy: The Air-hostesses of the SriLankan Airlines should be given an education with regard to the culture and the Buddhist religious norms of Sri Lanka, stressed the Mahanayake Thero of Asgiriya Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha and the chief custodian of the Sri Maha Bodhi, Anuradhapura Ven. Pallegama Sirinivasa Nayake Thero, yesterday (01).

The Air-hostesses are unaware even of the fact that the Sangha do not consume solid food for the night, the Maha Theros said yesterday (01).

The Nayake Theros registered their disapproval of the services of the air hostesses after the personal experience they (the prelates) had in the 423 flight from Bangkok in the early hours of yesterday (01).

Describing the shoddy treatment the prelates were given in the plane, Ven Pallegama Sirinivasa Atamasthanadhipathi told ‘The Island’ that an air-hostess of the plane 423 that took off from Bangkok airport at 11.15 p.m. inquired from him and the Asgiriya Mahanayake Thero, what they wished to eat.

The air-hostess was told that the prelates did not want anything to eat but a cup of plain tea would be enough.

Subsequently the air-hostess returned with two sets of cups and saucers placed them in front of them and went away, the prelate said.

All the passengers aboard were treated to dinner with food and drinks and later after about two or two-and-a-half hours an air-hostess came to serve tea which the prelates refused.

Ven. Sirinivasa said that they were about to reach the Katunayake International Airport by that time.

This is shameful. The crew of the only and the most praised airline of our country the SriLankan Airline does not possess an iota of the knowledge of the customs, traditions or norms of the people of the Sri Lankan society, he said.

The crews do not know how to treat the Sangha, Sri Lanka being a predominantly Buddhist country, Ven. Sirinivasa Nayake Thero noted.

However, we are making representations to the Prime Minister, the minister in-charge of aviations and the authorities of the SriLankan Airlines to educate the airline crews on the culture of the country the Ven. Nayake Thero added.

The prelates returned to the island in the early hours of yesterday (01) after attending a Buddhist religious ceremony in Thailand.