Monday, April 08, 2013

The Fashion Bug incident: postlude to the amicable settlement

The attack on Fashion Bug was settled amicably, out of court. Can we now consider the case to be closed and return to our normal lives?

Not quite, because of some of the troubling questions that, as far as we know, have not yet been resolved.

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has sworn to protect the Dhamma and the nation; worthy goals indeed. They condemned the attack on Fashion Bug and called for culprits to be punished. While the legal process has ended, there is no doubt that the BBS will be inquiring into the conduct of the monks who have brought disgrace to the Dhamma; and by association, disrepute to the BBS.

They will also be devising some suitable punishment for the monks. More than any tattoo sported by a tourist or Buddha statues placed in hotels, this incident has caused great harm to Buddhism. Tolerance is central to the Guatama's teachings, these willful acts strike at the very heart of Buddhism, so the punishment meted must be equally strong.

Since this unfortunate incident took place in the full glare of the media, purely from the point of view of repairing their reputation the BBS should publicise the steps taken to correct the errant monks.

Perhaps they have already tendered their apologies to Fashion Bug, as part of the settlement; perhaps they should also do so publicly. Perhaps they should be assigned to meditate in the forest for some months to reflect on their wrongs. Perhaps they should assist in the cleaning and repair of damaged shop. Perhaps they should be banished from the clergy.

The punishments are entirely up to the BBS and the Mahanayake's to decide; we have full confidence that action is already underway, but it should be made public, in the interest of all concerned.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These people are not engaging in Buddhism. They are engaging in nationalism.

Buddhists need not be ashamed on behalf of Buddhism, but should speak against these acts on the principles preached by Lord Buddha.