The Government should be hailed for handling the recent private bus
strike with utmost firmness, in the public interest. We also wish to
thank you for the editorial in D/N of 10/08 for the candid expressions
made therein on this critical event.
The people will be delighted if the punishment meted out for the
following traffic offences are further enhanced.
(i) Driving against red warning.
(ii) Driving without a licence of competence.
At the same time, the Government will do well to formulate a scheme
of training for all private bus drivers and conductors, with an emphasis
on civility, and make it mandatory for them to possess such certificate
on a future date.
We need hardly stress that the state bus sector needs expansion
The subject of unsatisfactory infrastructure is a long story. We are
confident that every future Government will improve same in stages,
depending on availability of funds.
It has been revealed that Department of Examination has decided to
conduct practical tests for music in GCE (O/L) from the next examination
to be held in December 2005. Due to the sudden decision by the
Department, students face severe difficulties in preparing for the
In the past as the practical tests were not conducted the students
prepared only for written examination. Further the students never
expected such an immediate decision.
In the case of practical for music, it is not only a time consuming
exercise, it involves high investments. For example due to limited
resources in schools one cannot expect to depend on the facilities
available in schools and it is compelled to have own instruments for
Pianos which needed for practical in Western Music are currently
around Rupees 100,000 which is unbearable by average parents. In this
situation, solutions are not available within a shortest period.
Taking into consideration of difficulties, attention of the
Department of Education is drawn to re-think the decision to hold the
practical tests for GCE (O/L) and request to postpone the decision for
at least for one year.
Reading the newspaper article on the above subject saddened me as a
Buddhist layman. We know that Monks must strictly adhere to Vinaya rules
(code of disciplinary conduct) if they are to remain as Buddhist monks
possessing nine noble virtuous qualities.
Dr. Paragoda Wimalawansa as admitted is a teacher in a Government
school receiving a monthly salary contributing to the (W&OP) widows and
orphans fund. No true yellow robed Buddhist Monks who are supposed to be
mendicants should receive such salaries, as it is a transgression of one
of the precepts undertaken by them on entering the Order giving up all
Buying and owning a car is not only a violation but also a negation
of the primary objects of becoming a Buddhist Monk.
Further, the Bhikkhus are forbidden to touch money. Vinaya rules
forbid enrolment as Bhikkus, persons who are in Government employment.
To say that there was no legal or moral bar for a Buddhist Monk to
obtain a driving licence, is not only a wilful misinterpretation of the
disciplinary rules but also a misleading statement by an educated person
Buddha had never expected His disciples to sell knowledge or Buddhism
to schoolchildren and earn money. Buddha also did not drive vehicles.
Reference made to Ulapane Pangnananda driving a vehicle to practise
medicine is an argument put forward by him in support of his
The Buddhist clergy who are most vociferous against unethical
conversions should take up this matter seriously without allowing these
so-called educated to ruin the unparallel noble doctrine of the Buddha
and His Order of Sangha.
The Chief Prelates of the Nikayas to which these two Monks belong
should take immediate action to disrobe these un-virtuous Monks and
ensured the purity of Sangha. Buddhasasana Ministry also should
intervene in this matter.
We Buddhist laymen are not prepared to respect or venerate drivers of
vehicles. There cannot be a class of drivers called venerable drivers
dressed in yellow robes going about in luxury cars according to the
doctrine of the Buddha who only went about on foot for propagation of
the Noble Dhamma.
What happens when such yellow robed drivers knocked down persons or
crash into another vehicle injuring or killing other people or animals?
What when police making on the spot fines for speeding up or other
violations of traffic rules.
What if Police taking into custody driver monks, as law requires for
infringement of road rules?
Aren't these drivers demeaning the other members of the Community of
Monks. Do not Monk drivers in addition to other punishments meted out
according to the laws, qualify to disrobe themselves if they happen to
kill a man even by an accident?