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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Myanmar, Sri Lanka Maha Sangha have close links - Amarapura Sangha Sabha

*********** From, Daily News:

Myanmar, Sri Lanka Maha Sangha have close links - Amarapura Sangha Sabha

As a common and trusted friend of the Myanmar Sangha and the Myanmar people would be ever ready if called upon to provide a bridge of trusted communication between the various parties.

May the Triple Gem bless the Sangha, the laity and Government of Myanmar and help them towards justice and freedom of the mind, the release of the Amarapura Maha Sangha Sabha says in a media release.

The full text of the statement: "The Maha Sangha of Sri Lanka and Myanmar enjoy a close relationship for over 1,000 years. When the Cholas attacked Sri Lanka in the 11th century and destroyed all our temples, the Burmese Sangha gave refuge in their temples to the fleeing Maha Sangha of Lanka.

When in the 12th century during King Vijayabahu's reign, the Maha Sangha of Sri Lanka was established in Myanmar to become the leading Nikaya (lineage) in Myanmar.

During the reign of King Buvanekabahu VI (1469-1476) King Dhammaceti of Pegu sent Myanmar monks to receive higher ordination at Kelaniya in Sri Lanka. And the returning Myanmar Sangha re-ordained many tens of thousand Myanmar monks in the Sinhala lineage.

Following the prolonged colonial occupation that they destroyed all Buddhist monasteries they could reach; it was also the Myanmar Bhikkus who came to our help in the restoration of our Sangha and established of the three main Nikayas (lineages) in contemporary Sri Lanka namely the Amarapura and Ramanna Nikayas named after Burma.

These are only our close interactions, for example the illustrated history of Sri Lanka painted on the 12th century Pagan temple of Mynkabau.

It was, therefore with extreme sadness and deepest concern that we the Maha Sangha of Sri Lanka recently watched in dismay the silencing of voices of the Myanmar Sangha.

We deliberated patiently without making precipitous and hasty comments. Yet, our common faith believes in the free expression of views and thoughts and it's unfettered.

Expression espoused by our founder, The Buddha, greatest Democrat of all, most notably in the Kalama Sutta the world's first charter of free thought.

We believe, as our great teacher taught, that there is an inalienable human right by both monks and laymen to criticize and point out wrong views as our teacher the Thathagata said referring even to his own teachings.

There is also in inalienable right of peaceful demonstration and dissent (Yassa Nakkhamathi Sobhaseya. Vinaya Pitake) as the Buddha himself was subject to a peaceful protest demonstration by the Buddha's own foster mother Prajapathi.

We do not want to interfere in the internal political affairs of Myanmar, for the resolute actions they have taken against those forces inimical to Sri Lanka's well-being. In this hour of deep sadness, we the friendly Sangha and laity of Lanka extend our hand of friendship to our fellow members of the Sasana and Sangha in Myanmar.

We request the government of Myanmar to follow in the footsteps of the Buddha and the great Myanmar king Anuruddha (Anawratha) and show respect for free expression as well as the deepest respect for the Myanmar Sangha.

We the Sinhala Sangha of the Myanmar lineage on our part believe in the path of just reconciliation. We as a common and trusted friend of the Myanmar Sangha and the Myanmar people would be ever ready if called upon to provide a bridge of trusted communication between the various parties.

May the Triple Gem bless the Sangha, the laity and the government of Myanmar and help them towards justice and freedom of the mind."

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Military attack against Buddhist Monks in Myanmar condemned

The World Buddhist Sangha Council express its heartfelt concern and strong condemnation and displeasure towards the military rulers regarding the recent unfortunate incidents happening in Myanmar, one of the prominent Buddhist countries.

"First we express our sympathy to those affected and share the pains and suffering experienced by non-violent innocent Buddhist monks civilian masses. The Buddhist Monks who have come forward to voice out the continuous hardships of their people through peaceful mass protests in order to request the Government to take measures to alleviate the suffering of the people," the release says.

"We are horrified to understand through International Media, the harsh, brutal and inhumane way the rulers are going on crushing and suppressing the un-armed protesters, by using their military might.

People watched in utter disgust and sorrow the rotten bodies of Buddhist Monks tortured and killed by the military, floating in the rivers makes us extremely sad and to know the precious and spiritual lives of many monks and poor people are lost or severely damaged by the harsh measures of the rulers."

The World Buddhist Sangha Council appeal to the United Nations Organisation to take immediate action to convince and compel the Government of Myanmar to exercise restraint compassionately and stop killing, Torturing and detaining innocent non-violent monks and civilian protesters.

World Buddhist Sangha Council is an International Buddhist Organisation of Buddhist monks around the world representing Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

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