Thursday, November 3, 2011

Child Abuse by Buddhist Clergy

The Time Has Come To End Child Monk Sex Slavery - Pedophilia Among The Buddhist Clergy

Professor Gananath Obeysekara's views on buddhist child monks and sexual abuse within monastery

In a recent article Dr. Obeysekere was quoted regarding his views on child monks. The article stated:

" ... But one major reason Obeyesekere opposes child recruitment is that the very young are vulnerable to sexual abuse, which he says is ''notoriously associated'' will all forms of institutionalized monasticism.

The possibility of child abuse in Buddhist monasteries ''must be faced honestly and squarely,'' he stressed.

Unlike adult monks, children have little chance of resisting sexual advances, the professor added.

''Even the presence of guardians or sponsors is not protection. How does the guardian inquire into such possibilities when the mere talk of homoerotic practices is taboo?,'' Obeyesekere asked.

He also asked why those promoting the campaign have not set an example by being ordained themselves or having their own children or grandchildren ordained.

The prime minister's office, however, reacted hotly to the criticism.

One of Wickramanayake's personal assistants said any opposition to the project ''was affiliated to a conspiracy to wipe Buddhism from the country.''

Pedophilia is no longer a forbidden delicacy limited to the Catholic Priests - Let's be sincere and open about what happens inside Buddhist Temples in Sri Lanka. Let's also question the responsibility and effectiveness of our National Child Protection Authority!

NCPA must take action to propose changes to legislation to ban all ordinations under the age of 18. Children's rights must be on the top priorities of a progressive nation, and the well being of its children and their rights for safety and protection reflects the values and ethics of the entire society.

Sexual abuse of children inside the Buddhist monastery has been so widespread but it has become a crime that is very difficult to bring to justice. What happens behind the doors remain a secret in most occasions, and only in an extremely rare occasion those actual charges get filed in a court. Even when it does arrive at the courts, the judges find it difficult to address the grievances of the abused child due to lack of hard evidence. A conviction for a serious crime cannot be made on vague evidence and statements, and the accused gets the legal advantage or the benefit of doubt.
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I wanted to raise an issue that I am inclined to believe to be extremely important for a free and ethical society in Sri Lanka, yet nobody has gone in depth (as far as I know) in collecting data to present a scientific case study. This is however not directly connected to 'Secularism in Sri Lanka' but I am sure you will be interested in the topic as a problem rising out of the existence of a Buddhist theocracy. This is just an introduction to a massive problem of injustice that plagues Sri Lanka, sometime in the near future I would like to research more on this topic, and hopefully reveal a more in-depth report validated by collected data.

While reading the news articles on 'Child molestation cases against Catholic monks' over the last several years, and Pope Benedict's coverup efforts, I started to think: is this kind of sex abuse absent in the Buddhist Monastery of Sri Lanka? If pedophilia is present in the buddhist temples and monasteries, is it at the same statistical levels as non-monk (gihi janathawa) population? Is it higher, if so, how high and how serious is it? Based on recent research in USA and Europe I read in news recently, Catholic monks have a higher pedophilia rate than the outside of the church Catholic population. Abuse has been in ultra large scale compared to what usually happens outside the church. These numbers are available on the web, and I will not discuss Catholic issue here. The important finding from the study to take is that an average Catholic monk has a higher statistical chance of committing pedophilia than an average citizen. My initial suspicion regarding Buddhist monks is that it is highly unlikely that Buddhist monks behave any 'better' than the 'celibate' Catholic monks knowing the human nature, social power and authority Buddhist monks carry and their biological composition. And, whenever such a child abuse accusation comes out, the public generally reacts negatively towards the innocent victim of abuse and rally behind the 'venerables' and the 'sacred' institutions. Knowing the culture and customs of Sinhalese Buddhist population, those child victims tend to shy away and move on with their lives quietly suffering from those scars and injustices throughout their lives. Children are most vulnerable because they do not have a direct voice in protecting themselves as the parents want to keep things quiet as going public can harm their child further. Even if the parents seek legal help, it is very difficult to provide evidence in seeking a conviction.

Two years ago a close relative in my family mentioned about a male school teacher making 'unwanted' physical advances towards her son of 11 years of age and she immediately stopped sending her son to that teacher's tuition class. Luckily for her, she had good communication with her child and the son reported the issue to the mother. She never wanted to raise the issue in public or with police because that leads to further difficulties to the child. While I agreed with her keeping the issue in silence after rationalizing validity of her arguments, it made me think how this silence allows the predators to continue such crime with other innocent children. This particular case is of course not connected to a Buddhist monk but a school teacher. However, when a Buddhist monk is involved, the victim is more vulnerable and become more quiet. Child protection becomes very difficult, in fact impossible in a monastic life setting when children are forced to live in 'jail' like conditions away from family and loved ones. Their interests and well-being can be neglected and become exploited very easily by the adult strangers and monks that surround them over the years. When we understand our conservative culture, prevailing monastery conditions and its authoritative power, lack of reliability of police and legal system, it seems very hard to prosecute the accused and collect required evidence to present to a court towards needed justice. A major part of the solution involves reforms to the Buddhist monastery regarding their practice of celibacy, child recruitment in to the monastery, so that children are less likely to become victims of sexually deprived monks.

Do I have evidence for this accusation against these "venerable monks" of Sri Lanka'? Yes, but amount of evidence out there is very little at the moment like a tip of an iceberg due to reasons described above, and lots of reasons to believe it is an epidemic in Buddhist monastic life right next door to our homes and across the entire nation in very large scales. There are few cases of child molestation that became public. I don't think the problem ends at those cases, and we should not consider these as rare and isolated cases of anomaly. A good analogy for this: when you see one rat in your house and manages to catch it, you should not come to the wrong conclusion that there was only one and the problem is now over. We need to address this issue towards a permanent and long lasting solution through preventive action along with deterrent punishments in a judicial setting.

My suggested solution: I think there should be a legal ban on recruiting children under 18 years of age as Buddhist monks, and also influence the monastery to reform and relax its practice of celibacy and promote reforms to adopt practices of liberal Buddhism (Japan, Korea) where monks are allowed to have sexual partners. One good article regarding this: www.american-buddha.com/child.monks.htm . I am not against adult monks having straight or homosexual relationships with other consenting adults, but pedophilia should have zero tolerance in our society through strict law enforcement. We would need more robust social and legal reforms in child protection regulations to bring required protection and develop a progressive environment that addresses preventive measures.


Buddhist monastery is not a 'pure' and 'sacred' institution that they portray to the general public. Sexual relationships among buddhist monks and with outsiders are no secret. I have heard in many occasions where Buddhist monks have had several children, having mistresses, homosexual relationships with other adult monks, graffiti in temple toilets accusing adult monks having sexual relationship with child monks (samanera) and child workers of the temple (ebbittiya). These are indications that require further study and collection of more strong data about this social issue. I have witnessed during my visits to neighborhood temples how youth monks abuse alcohol and cigarettes to extremes in their dormitories during my rare visits to temples. The problem is not that they behave this way, it is because they have to do these things in secrecy away from the public eye that leads to further serious crimes by the monks. I am not against these physical indulgences by the monks in anyway; it is just we need to understand their human nature and provide freedom in their monasteries for what is legally permissible. I am inclined to think when the monks are given enough freedom to express their sexual needs with other consenting adults, and a legal ban on underage monks in monastery, the pedophilia problem will be solved in the long term. Without such reforms we may only hide a problem that nobody wants to discuss in public.

Above article came from: http://www.secularsrilanka.com/discussions/hemantha-s-rants/pedophila-among-the-clergy

SRI LANKA: Children abused and sexually harassed by the teacher for two years

April 1, 2004

URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAM

2 April 2004

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UA-32-2004: SRI LANKA: Children abused and sexually harassed by the teacher for two years

SRI LANKA: Child Abuse; Sexual harassment on Children; Torture
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Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that a primary school teacher Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala (Buddhist monk) has allegedly harassed children physically and mentally including in sexual ways, and consistently denied their religious freedom for last two years.

According to our source who followed up the case, child abuse by Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala is explained in 20 odd ways. Also, it is reported that he had been transferred from the previous school in Monarangala Vidiyalaya for charges on child abuse. More seriously, it is alleged that Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala assaulted the two his fellow teachers physically and mentally several times. One of the two teachers made a complaint to the police station but there has been no serious action taken by the police yet. Even though parents of the children have made several written and oral complaints to the principal, nothing happened to correct this matter. Now the children's parents fear that their children would soon become victims of rape or torture if this matter is not settled immediately.

Please send a letter to the local authorities to suspend Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala's service at school and to conduct impartial inquiries into this matter.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
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DETAILED INFORMATION:

Name of victims: 1. Students of age 06 to 13 (year 01-08) at the primary school attached to the Ampitiya Berawattes College, 2. Ms. X, 24, a fellow teacher, 3, Ms. Y, A catholic nun and volunteer teacher of the school (Names were withheld for victims' security)
Alleged perpetrator: Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala, 45, a Buddhist monk and teacher of the primary school attached to the Ampitiya Berawattes College
Place of abuse: the primary school attached to the Ampitiya Berawattes College
Period of abuse:
Since in the end of 2002 until now

Case details:

Primary school teacher Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala has allegedly been accused of harassing children and denying their religious freedom at the primary school attached to the Ampitiya Berawattes College since the end of 2002. Moreover, there is allegation that he has sexually harassed the students continuously. Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala has a history of child abuse. (He was transferred from the previous school in Monarangala Vidiyalaya for charges of child abuse.)

The school was by founded by Fr Berawattes but the school administration was taken over by the Sri Lankan government when the catholic students became a minority in the school in 1962. 70 catholic students are currently studying in the school. In 2001, Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala (a Buddhist monk) was transferred to the school. According to the testimony of the students, his harassment of the children started in the end of 2002.

Denial of the children's freedom of religion and degrading treatment

Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala has harassed the catholic children in all forms. Below are just a few examples of them.

1. On 8 February 2004, Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala ordered the catholic students of year 06 to go out of classroom and draw a cross in the sand. He then made all the children jump across it and remarked that the catholic children paid no respect to the cross.

2. On 11 February 2004, Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala ordered some catholic children to draw a bible on the floor. Then, he ordered the catholic students of year 07 to walk on the bible while degradingly making a mockery out of it.

It is reported that he has told to the children that Christ is a terrorist, murderer and womaniser.

Molesting, harassment and abuse of children

Child abuse by Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala is explained in 20 odd ways including touching, removing clothes and using vulgar words. Below are a few examples of them.

1. On 22 January 2004, Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala has molested student A and B of year 7 (names were withheld) by touching the breasts inside of the classroom saying that they should have bigger breasts.

General description of the abuse on the children: The junior catholic children (both male and female) were manhandled, sexually abused and often tortured physically in public. Boys were naked and were caned in the classroom. The students were forded to leave the classroom if they did not denounce Christ. Some students who made a complaint about him were forced to leave the school. Even though the parents have made complains to the principal (an ex-Buddhist monk) and the director of the school several times, no serious action has yet been taken. Not even any inquiry was held. The fellow teachers and parents believe that Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala is mentally ill and not fit to be a teacher. Parents fear that their children would soon become victims of rape or torture if the matter is not settled immediately. The abused students have sent postcards complaining about the incidents to the school principal.

Assault and harassment of colleagues

Case 1: Assault and threat to Ms. X:

On 24 June 2003, the teacher Ms. X (24 years old) was physically assaulted by that Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala in front of students of year 07 in the classroom. She was organising a religious festival on the 10th anniversary of the religion classroom and she selected 4 Buddhist children for dancing during the event. The selected Buddhist children gladly came to participate in the dance but Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala was furious about this and scolded Ms. X in filth. When Ms. X requested him not to scold her in filth, he assaulted her in front of the students. He further threatened her not to come back to the school again saying that if she comes she would be raped. Ms. X went to the Kandy Police Station with her mother and made complaint about this incident but the police have not started any inquiry or investigation into this matter. (the police entry number: C.I.B no; 362/529 of 24-06-2003)

When Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala heard that Ms. X made a compliant against him to the police station, he went to her house and instructed the house owner to chase her family immediately. Ms. X family had to leave the house three days later. Further he threatened Ms. X saying that she would be kidnapped and raped because she made a complaint against him. It is reported that on several occasions, Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala beat Ms. X in the classroom and forced her to leave the school. Ms. X is living with her mother and the younger sister who has disability in speaking. Her father died when she was a small child.

Case 2: Abuse of Ms. Y, a teacher for the catholic religion class:

The Salvadorian catholic sister Ms. Y was teaching in the school from 1 March 2003 to 29 February 2004. Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala often abused her in filth with his friend Laxman who is an outsider but visits the school almost daily. They passed funny remarks about Christ in front of her.

On 12 February 2004, the catholic Sister Ms. Y, who was volunteering of teaching the students, ordered the children of year 7 to remove some flower plants from the flowerbed. When the children were doing so Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala came and started to beat the student C and D among them with a cane. He also lodged a complaint to the education office about removing plants and two officers came to the school twice to inquiry the case against the Sister. Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala also forced her to leave the school and finally she transferred to the Hindagala School from March 2004.

School authority's indifference and the police inaction

Parents of the children have made several written and oral complaints to the school principal, Mr. L.A.B Kularatne but he did not take any action to correct this matter.

According to our source, he commented, "It is difficult to summarise all the incidents that happened during last two years, as it then is more likely to become a book." It illustrates how seriously the children have been abused by Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala. Considering his unbelievable behaviour, parents and the fellow teachers think that Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala is mentally ill. They eager the police to start the investigation about their complaints immediately and bring him to justice by laws.

SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please send a letter, fax or email to the addresses below and request them to suspend Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala's service immediately and conduct impartial inquiries into this matter.

1. Professor Harendra De Silva
Chairperson
National Child Protection Authority - Sri Lanka
NO 330, Thalawathugoda Road, Madiwela,
Sri Jayawardenapura,
SRI LANKA
Tel: +94 11 2 778911 , 2778912 or 2778913
Fax: +94 11 2 778915
Email: info@childprotection.gov.lk

2. Ms. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga
President
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Presidential Secretariat
Colombo-1, Sri Lanka
Fax: +94 11 2 333 703

3. Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy
Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
No. 36, Kynsey Road, Colombo 8
SRI LANKA
Tel: +94 11 2 694 925 / 673 806
Fax: +94 11 2 694 924 / 696 470
E-mail: sechrc@sltnet.lk

4. Hon. Mr. K. C. Kamalasabesan
Attorney General
Attorney General's Department
Colombo 12
SRI LANKA
Fax: +94 11 2 436 421
Email: attorney@sri.lanka.net or counsel@sri.lanka.net

5. Mr. Ranjith Abeysuriya PC
Chairman National Police Commission
69-1 Ward Place, Colombo 7
SRI LANKA
Fax: +94 11 2 669 128 / 691 926
Fax HOME: +94 11 2 674148

6. Mr. Theo C. van Boven
Special Rapporteur on the Question of Torture
OHCHR-UNOG, 8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
SWITZERLAND
Fax: +41 22 917 9016

Sample letter:

Dear

Re: Children abused and sexually harassed by the teacher for two years

Name of victims: 1. Students of age 06 to 13 (year 01-08) at the primary school attached to the Ampitiya Berawattes College, 2. Ms. X, 24, a fellow teacher, 3, Ms. Y, A catholic nun and volunteer teacher of the school (Names were withheld for victims' security)
Alleged perpetrator: Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala, 45, a Buddhist monk and teacher of the primary school attached to the Ampitiya Berawattes College
Place of abuse: the primary school attached to the Ampitiya Berawattes College
Period of abuse:
Since in the end of 2002 until now

I am deeply concerning of the alleged physical, mental and sexual harassment on the catholic children by the shool teacher Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala (Buddhist monk) for last two years. It is also reported that he has consistently denied the children's religious freedom.

According to the information I have received, Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala has been allegedly accused of harassing children and denying their religious freedom at the primary school attached to the Ampitiya Berawattes College since the end of 2002. Moreover, there are several allegations that he has sexually harassed the students continuously. Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala has the history of child abuse. (He was transferred from the previous school in Monarangala Vidiyalaya for charges on child abuse.)

Furthermore, it is alleged that Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala assaulted the two his fellow teachers physically and mentally several times. One of the two teachers made a complaint to the Kandy Police Station (the police entry number: C.I.B no; 362/529 of 24-06-2003)but there has been no serious action taken by the police yet. Even though parents of the children have made several written and oral complaints to the principal, nothing happened to correct this matter. Now the children's parents fear that their children would soon become victims of rape or torture if this matter is not settled immediately.

Therefore, I strongly urge you to conduct an impartial and speedy inquiries into all the allegations about the child abuses and torture of the two fellow teachers by Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala and bring him to justice as soon as possible. I also request you to immediately suspend the service of Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala at school while the investigation is going on. I further urge the government of Sri Lanka to provide compensation to the victims; both of the children and the two teachers.

Sincerely yours,

Above article came from : http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2004/648/

http://www.asiantribune.com/child-abuse-sri-lanka-buddhist-monks



Buddhist monk ingests poison in Sri Lanka


By Shimali Senanayake, Associated Press Writer, May 16, 2005


COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- A monk drank poison and was rushed to a hospital Monday moments after becoming the first Buddhist clergyman to be convicted of the sexual abuse of a child in Sri Lanka, court officials and police said.


Monk Bellana Panniyaloka was found guilty of grave sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl in 2001 and was given the maximum 20-year penalty, court official N.K. Siripala said.

Soon after the sentence, Panniyaloka drank from a bottle he had concealed in his robes and collapsed, Siripala said. He was rushed to a hospital.

"The priest is in critical condition," said Hector Weerasinghe, director of the Colombo National Hospital. He said the 55-year-old monk had consumed insecticide.

The priest belongs to a temple in Nugegoda, just outside the capital Colombo, where the victim was a Sunday school student, Siripala said.

Monday's conviction came a day after a senior Buddhist monk was arrested on charges of sexually abusing a teenager in another Sri Lankan temple, officials said.

The monk, who heads a temple in the coastal town of Matara, 80 miles south of Colombo, allegedly abused a 15-year-old girl, said Dimutu Galappatti, spokesman for the National Child Protection Authority.

Reports of child abuse by Buddhist priests have increased in recent years, but Panniyaloka's trial is the first conviction of a monk on abuse charges.

About 70 percent of Sri Lanka's 19 million people are Buddhists, and monks hold a tremendous influence in this Buddhist-majority country. They play a major role in molding the island's political and social fabric.

Above article came from: http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=43,1174,0,0,1,0

Sri Lanka 'child abuse' arrests



Ten men, including two Buddhist monks, have been arrested in Sri Lanka in connection with allegations of sexual abuse of at least 11 boys in an orphanage in the capital, Colombo.

Two hundred and seventy boys and girls - many of them war orphans - are currently being questioned by police officers attached to the country's National Child Protection Agency.

The head of the agency, Harendra de Silva, said it was possible other alleged child victims would come forward as the 120 girls in the home had not been interviewed yet.

Those thought to have been abused were mostly Sinhalese but included one Muslim boy as well as three Tamils.

An official at the children's home said the two monks arrested were not from the orphanage itself but from a nearby Buddhist temple.

The same official alleged that a lady had come to the home and paid the children money to make false allegations against the monks.

The child protection agency says the 10 arrested men will be charged in court and under amendments to the law will face very tough penalties if found guilty.

Mr Silva said they had investigated about 15 cases in the past seven years where Buddhist monks were implicated in child abuse but he said the judicial process was slow.

Above article came from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3175846.stm


Monks arrested over sexual abuse of Sri Lankan war orphans

Monks arrested over sexual abuse of Sri Lankan war orphans

Wednesday, 08-Oct-2003 4:40AM PDT

Story from AFP
Copyright 2003 by Agence France-Presse (via ClariNet)

COLOMBO, Oct 8 (AFP) - Two Buddhist monks and eight men were arrested in Sri Lanka Wednesday for sexually abusing 11 war orphans between the ages of nine and 13, officials said. The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said it had investigated an orphange for victims of the island's drawn out Tamil Separatist conflict and carried out the arrest after reportsof systematic abuse of children there.The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said it had investigated an orphanage for victims of the island's drawn out Tamil separatist conflict and carried out the arrest after reports of systematic abuse of children there.

The NCPA said boys had been sexually abused by the two monks and eight men at the children's home located near the capital Colombo.

"Although children had complained to the authorities of the children's home, no action had been taken to stop the abuse of children," the NCPA said in a statement.

The home was established during the height of the fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels as a safe haven for children whose parents and close relatives were killed by either side.

Child abuse is a non-bailable offense in Sri Lanka.

The NCPA said it was hoping to take the 10 men, including the two monks, before a magistrate and seek their detention in custody pending further investigations.


Above from: http://quickstart.clari.net/qs_se/webnews/wed/bn/Qsrilanka-children-abuse.RHUz_DO8.html

BUDDHISM'S PEDOPHILE MONKS


by Uwe Siemon-Netto

UPI Religion Correspondent

July 2002

WASHINGTON, (UPI) -- Sex between clergymen and boys is by no means a uniquely Catholic phenomenon, a noted American scholar said Wednesday -- it's been going on in Buddhist monasteries in Asia for centuries.

"Of course, this is against the Buddhist canon," Leonard Zwilling of the University of Wisconsin in Madison told United Press International, "but it has been common in Tibet, China, Japan and elsewhere."

"In fact, when the Jesuits arrived in China and Japan in the 16th century, they were horrified by the formalized relationships between Buddhist monks and novices who were still children. These relationships clearly broke the celibacy rule," said Zwilling, who has written extensively about this topic for more than three decades, and was one of the first to do so.

Zwilling, who holds a doctoral degree in Buddhist studies said in a telephone interview this practice continued until well into 20th century.

Although the Buddha clearly proscribed sex of any kind in monasteries, "we know of incidents where members of the Bob-Dob, an order enforcing discipline among Tibetan monks, fought each other over boys," continued Zwilling.

"They clobbered each other with huge keys that were the tools of their trade. We also know that generations of Dalai Lamas had their 'favorites,' although we have no proof that these relationships were sexual."

Other studies show that Buddhist monks in Japan practiced a non-sexual form of "pedophilia" as long ago as the 10th century, according to Minnesota-based Ralph Underwager, a pastor, psychologist and one of the world's leading experts on child abuse.

In an interview with Paidika, a scholarly journal specializing in the phenomenon, Underwager and his associate Hollida Wakefield pointed out that "the concept of Platonic love as an asexual affection is describing pedophilia."

Underwager and Wakefield explained that the Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, Sophocles, Aristotle, the playwright Aristophanes and the statesman-soldier Alcibiades "all claimed that love motivated pedophilia."

But if they did, it wasn't in the sense of sex.

According to Zwilling, monks having engaged in "sex with penetration and ejaculation" face expulsion from the Sangha, the monastic order that along with the Buddha and the Dharma (teaching) is part of Buddhism's three-fold refuge.

"This is true whether a monk has broken his vow of chastity with a woman, a man or a child," Zwilling said. "The punishment will be less severe if there were no penetration or ejaculation."

In that case, the offender would only be disciplined, perhaps demoted in rank, but not evicted from the monastery, the scholar explained.

"Actually, pedophilia is hardly mentioned in Buddhism's canonical writings," he went on. "I have only come across one passage describing the fate of a man who loved boys. He went to hell and came to a river filled with acid -- and boys swimming it. They were in agony.

"Out of his love for the children, the man jumped in -- and had to suffer their pain."

Peter A. Jackson, a renowned Australian researcher on Buddhism, has pointed out that in this faith all forms of sexuality and desire must be transcended in order to attain the religious goal of the extinction of suffering.

Citing the Vinaya, Theravada Buddhism's monastic code of conduct, Jackson wrote, "Whichever monk has sexual intercourse is ... a defeated one, and will not find communion (in the Sangha)."

The Vinaya is very explicit in condemning sexual misconduct, including auto-sodomy (one of its chapters is titled,

"The Case of the Monk with a Long Penis"). It does not single out homosexuality, though, which is treated as a third gender in ancient Buddhist writings, said Zwilling.

However, the Vinaya does relate that already some 2,500 years ago, the outrageous behavior of one "pandaka" (homosexual, in Pali, the sacred language of Theravada Buddhism), has prompted the Buddha to ban the ordination of such men.

The story reads thus:

"The pandaka had been ordained in a residence of monks. He went to the young monks and encouraged them thus, 'Come all of you and assault me.'

"The monks spoke aggressively, 'Pandaka, you will surely be ... spiritually destroyed. Of what benefit will it be?" ...

He went to some large, stout novices and encouraged them thus, 'Come all of you and assault me.'

The novices spoke, 'Pandaka, you will surely be destroyed. Of what benefit will it be?'

"The pandaka then went to men who tend elephants and horses and spoke to them thus. 'Come all of you and assault me.' The men who tend elephants and horses assaulted him.

"The Blessed One then ordered the monks, 'Behold monks, a pandaka is one who is not to be ordained, ... and (pandakas) who have already been ordained must be made to disrobe.'"

According to Zwilling, homosexual behavior may not land a Buddhist layman in hell. That kind of fate is reserved for adulterers and rapists. On the other hand, a homosexual orientation is an extended form of punishment for those who in a previous life have committed such sins.

Prasok, a celebrated Thai newspaper columnist writing on Buddhism, related that this was the fate of the Buddha's personal attendant, Phra Ananda.

Wrote Prasok, "The reason he was born a kathoey (Thai for homosexual) was because in a previous life he had committed the sin of adultery. This led him to stew in hell for tens of thousands of years.

"After he was freed from hell, a portion of his old karma still remained and led him to being reborn as kathoey for many hundreds of lives."

While this may sound a rather severe punishment for a sexual transgression, Buddhism may have something even worse in store for an unfaithful husband, Zwilling told UPI: "He could be reborn as a woman."

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Above article from: www.american-buddha.com/pedophile.monks.htm

PRINCETON PROF. SAYS NO TO SRI LANKA CHILD MONKS


by Kyodo News

COLOMBO -- A campaign by Sri Lanka's prime minister to recruit 2,000 children into Buddhist monastic orders to cope with a shortage of monks has met criticism from a scholar who says child ordination is against Buddhist doctrine.

Gananath Obeyesekere, an anthropology professor at Princeton University, says the campaign targets children as young as 5 years even though Theravada Buddhism doctrine states that a boy must be at least 15 years of age to become a monk.

The Buddha himself ordained at just 5 years his only son Rahula, but this was regarded an exception rather than a rule, Obeyesekere said.

After being rebuked for the act by his own father, the Buddha specified that one must not only have parental consent to ordain a child, but that the child must be 15 years of age. If not, the youth must have the ''physical maturity'' of a 15-year-old.

Sri Lanka's project to mass-recruit children into Buddhist orders disregards these considerations, says Obeyesekere, himself a Sri Lankan Buddhist.

Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, who is also minister for Buddhist affairs, is the father of the campaign and is encouraging public donations for the endeavor.

The project includes sponsors for each novice monk and a monthly allowance drawn from a fund of contributions.

Reportedly, more than 1,000 people have already applied, although the final figure was not immediately known, nor was the breakdown of their ages.

The prime minister told reporters recently that he conceived the plan after receiving thousands of letters from senior Buddhist monks complaining, among other things, that fewer people were joining the clergy. This, he said, had even led to the closure of many temples around the country.

''I found there was a problem and this is the solution,'' he asserted.

He believes his plan will strengthen Buddhism in the country and bolster the ranks of a clergy that was in danger of dying out.

But Obeyesekere, in his remarks published in the Colombo newspapers Sunday Island and the Daily News, says if more monks are needed for the orders, older people should be recruited as they are increasingly given to meditation and usually have a good knowledge of the Buddha teachings.

Most have meager pensions, so free monastic board and lodging would be added incentives, the scholar, who has written extensively on Buddhism, suggested.

But one major reason Obeyesekere opposes child recruitment is that the very young are vulnerable to sexual abuse, which he says is ''notoriously associated'' will all forms of institutionalized monasticism.

The possibility of child abuse in Buddhist monasteries ''must be faced honestly and squarely,'' he stressed.

Unlike adult monks, children have little chance of resisting sexual advances, the professor added.

''Even the presence of guardians, or sponsors is not protection. How does the guardian inquire into such possibilities when the mere talk of homoerotic practices is taboo?,'' Obeyesekere asked.

He also asked why those promoting the campaign have not set an example by being ordained themselves or having their own children or grandchildren ordained.

The prime minister's office, however, reacted hotly to the criticism.

One of Wickramanayake's personal assistants said any opposition to the project ''was affiliated to a conspiracy to wipe Buddhism from the country.''

The prime minister has only the best of intentions, he said, on condition of anonymity, noting ordinations take place only with the consent of parents and high priests of the temples concerned and the scheme provides children with food, lodging and educa


Above article from: www.american-buddha.com/child.monks.htm

Sonam Kazi Family Values
www.american-buddha.com/kazi.family.htm


Echoes of Nalinika: Monk in the Dock – Enid Adam
www.american-buddha.com/echoes.nalinika.htm


2 comments:

  1. Last, but by no means least, add to the source list on sexual abuse of Buddhist child novices:
    www.lamashree.org/dalailama_08_childabuse_tibetanbuddhistmonasteries.htm
    In Tibetan monasteries often it is not a question of "molestation", it is outright rape. The survivors of years of these predations mature into maladjusted and undereducated adults whose unresolved Post-Traumatic Stress handicaps them in many ways. This has to stop.

    Abandoning children to the monasteries is an outdated practice, anachronistic in the 21st Century's orientation toward human rights for all. I've heard all the justifications: it's prestigious to have a monk in the family; some families can't afford to feed all their children, so at least in the monastery, one child will get regular meals (don't be so sure) and clothing; sending a child to the monastery is the only way to afford an education for the child (what education? Calligraphy, basic math, and endless memorization of texts in an ancient and incomprehensible language?), and so on. A friend of mine who is clergy in an Eastern tradition said "Anytime you house children with celibate adults, you're asking for trouble." Please, one and all, lobby for legislation to outlaw this medieval practice in Sri Lanka, Taiwan, India, Nepal, wherever it is found. Rescue the children!

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  2. Hi, Do you have links to any credible research relating to Buddhist monks and child abuse?

    Thank you,

    Ms. Mealer

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