[CITIZENS' Mail - (26-11-2018)] | Daily News

[CITIZENS' Mail - (26-11-2018)]


Recent newspaper reports say Cabinet has approved a proposal to enact laws banning the ritualistic sacrifice of animals in Hindu Temples and its precincts will be prohibited. It also states the Minister for Hindu Cultural Affairs had consulted Hindu organisations and heads of Kovils. This would mean the existing provision in the Constitution of the DemocraticSocialist Republic of Sri Lanka under Article 14[1][e] has to be amended or changed, especially to include rites and rituals of Hindus -Article 14 [1][e] reads “The freedom either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private to manifest his religious or belief in worship, observance practice and teachings.[f] The freedom by himself or in association with others to enjoy and promote his own culture ad to use his own language.”

The question arises whether those Kurukals or Poosaris have the authority to override a devotee’s faith as clearly stated in the provision in the Constitution mentioned above. Is this not blatant violation of an individual’s freedom and right? There are Hindus, I know, who firmly believe in these rituals who say they have been benefitted. If the heads of Hindu Temples and Hindu organisations have agreed as stated by the Minister for Hindu Cultural Affairs, surely they can enforce it by not performing such rituals in their temples rather than involve the government to legalise.

Has the authorities unknowingly creating a rift between those Hindus who believe these rituals and those who do not?

Then comes the question why only marginalise Hindus. What about those of the Islamic faith where animal sacrifice is mandatory, especially on Eid-Al-Adha festival. Any killing of an animal for food is done praising Allah.

Then comes our Kattadiyas who sacrifice roosters to drive away devils or evil spirits in haunted houses or those possessed.

All these offerings, after they are performed, come to the table as tasty dishes.

Go to any market, there hangs carcasses of bulls, pig and chicken, all with licenses issued by the authorities.

The other latest news, although not a religious ritual is the lifting the ban of killing wild boar. This is doneto save the Chena cultivator of wild boar damaging their much-laboured cultivation. Could this be a blessing in disguise to Chena cultivators? Now, without toiling and keep watch at night, they could hunt for wild boar and make quick money as its flesh could be sold at over Rs.1,000 per kilo.

Whatever it be, it should be the holy duty of our monks of all religions to educate their flock of the age old meaningless practices to desist from killing any animal and convince them they are taking away another life. Also convince them that we humans have come a long way in civilization from that prehistoric homo-sapiens who hunted animals for food.

G. A. D. Sirimal



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