Plus - Letter to the Editor

One must not force anyone to practise Buddhism

As a Buddhist, I am at times astounded at some of the things my fellow Buddhists do. The latest is the decision of the Provincial Councils to ban tuition classes on Sunday mornings and Poya days so that children could attend dhamma classes. It seems that our people have to be forced to practise their religion. Have Christians called for the ban on tuition on Sundays so that their children can attend church?

In addition to this farce, on Poya days, liquor shops and meat stalls are forced to close so that Buddhists do not patronize these places. Of course the day or two before these days, one can observe our co-religionists rushing to liquor shops and meat stalls to buy their requirements and stock them.
Saivite Hindus are vegetarian.

They do not make a big show of this but their eating places and restaurants are fully vegetarian. How many so-called Buddhist eating places are vegetarian? Muslims fast one full month in Ramadan but their eating places and restaurants are not closed during this month, and thus Muslims voluntarily keep away from these places; there is no compulsion here.

So may I ask whether Buddhists have to be compelled to adhere to their religious rules? In addition despite tuition classes being banned on Poya days and Sunday mornings is it certain that these children will attend the Dhamma classes?

It's time we Buddhists be true to ourselves and not attempt to fool ourselves.

P. Sirisena, Dehiwala

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