Buddhist clergy wants birth control operations banned


by Dasun Edirisinghe

The Bodubalasena, an organisation of bhikkus, wants the government to immediately ban vasectomy and tubectomy surgeries in state health institutions as such operations have resulted in a rapid decline in the Buddhist population of the country.

The organisation, which held its first national convention at the BMICH on Saturday, passed five resolutions, including one which called upon the government to take serious note of the dwindling growth rate of the Sinhala Buddhist population and to put an end to the family planning surgeries and stop promotional payments made by the government to doctors and the persons undergoing such surgeries.

Presenting the resolutions at the conference, head of the Bodubalasena and Director of the Buddhist Cultural Centre Nedimala, Ven. Kirama Vimalajothi thera urged the government to close down both state and non-governmental organizations which were involved in conducting such operations within a month.

In another resolution, Vimalajothi thera said that the existing legal system, prepared on the basis of Dutch, Roman and English laws, did not protect and safeguard the rights and identities of local Buddhists, therefore a national movement should be formed to exhort the government to amend the existing laws.

The organisation also resolved to stand against the calls for political solutions to the national problem on the basis of race or religion.

"We also urge the government to stop private tuition classes on poya days and Sunday mornings and to give teacher appointments to those who passed the Dharmacharya grade in the Sunday school examinations and give a bonus point to students who passed the final Sunday school examination when enrolling students to universities," he said.

The organization is also of the view that trained and qualified monks should be appointed to government schools to teach subjects such as Sinhala language, history and Buddhism.

The fourth resolution envisages demanding the government to implement recommendations of the Buddhasasana commission report of November 1959.

The fifth resolution passed by the convention was to urge the government to appoint a regulatory body to supervise the content of books and other materials on Buddhism and to do away with those that had distorted the doctrine.

The convention, titled Kathikawathaka Erambuma (embarkation on a discourse), was attended by over 1,200 bhikkhus and around 300 bhikkunis.

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