All forms of animal cruelty carried out in the name of religious beliefs should be put to an end and parliament should pass the Animal Welfare Bill without further delay to make such possible, Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera said yesterday.
Addressing a news briefing organised by the Justice for Animals Organisation at the Ramanna Nikaya Headquarters in Colombo, the prelate said many people believed in the myth that the world is only meant for humans.
“Therefore, humans believe that they can use animals for their gain by hook or by crook. They think animals have no feelings or mental capacity and consider them as materials. We should oppose animal cruelty and animal killing,” the Thera said.
He said animal cruelty under the guise of religion was a grave crime because religions should be able to pave the way to create peace in the world.
Commenting on the recent Court of Appeal ruling which set aside the judgment of the Jaffna High Court which prohibited the animal sacrifice ritual in the Northern Province, the prelate said the Court of Appeal ruling was disappointing.
“Mahatma Gandhi said the parameter of a society's civility depends on how society treats animals. In Sri Lanka, Muslims kill animals in the most cruel way and it is well-known. Hindus perform sacrifices at Kovils while a large number of animals are being killed for meat for Christmas. There is no room for such a thing or cruelty in Buddhism. If and when that happens, we are completely against it as it goes against Buddhist preaching. The world today blames Buddhists for animal cruelty because of the practice of using elephants in peraharas. We should deplore it too,” the Thera said.
The Thera said even people are being killed in the old ritual of keeping elephants in captive and that Ven. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera’s demise was a result of this ritual.
“The world is evolving. There were elephants and horses at the war front in the past but not any more. There should be a modernisation in the affairs where the elephant is being used. Buddhists should think about it. Instead of tuskers, can’t we use a ‘Ransivi Geya’ or a vehicle as a replacement? It wouldn’t be bad to call it the ‘Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera memorial programme’. At the same time, people should not abandon cats and dogs at temples,” the Thera said.
Considering all these, the Thera said the Animal Welfare Bill should be passed in parliament to protect the rights of the animals.
“We have highlighted the importance of this Bill in every possible manner to our public representatives but no one is interested in getting it passed in parliament. Because, if they did that, they will not get donations or funds from organisations which back animal cruelty and killings. We request the parliament to get the Bill passed immediately. This law reform is an integral part of a civilized society. The President, Prime Minister and parliament should get this passed in the name of civility,” the Thera said. Ven. Sobitha Thera acts as an advisor for the Justice for Animals Organisation.
National Bhikkhu Front President Ven. Rajawatte Wappa Thero, Protect Sri Lanka President Ven. Pahiyangala Anandasagara Thero and Justice for Animals Vice President Sunil Atapattu were also present at the briefing. (Lahiru Pothmulla)
Another law ...another law that will be ignored by Sri Lankans ...but will give the impression to the world that something is being done ...seat belt law ,use of mobile phone while driving ...loud vehicle horns ...all against the law but not enforced ..pissu
Ishan Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:01 AM
Then use of all animals in parades and sacrifices should be banned in the country.
Hans perlee Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:07 AM
It is also against Buddhist preaching that Buddhists monks get involved in politics.
Munsir Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:15 AM
More than animals fetus are killed in Sri Lanka.
I thought vegetable also has feeling like animal
Aviator Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:15 AM
Totally agree with you Ven. Thera. Unfortunately, we have a useless set of 'leaders'. Hope we can change this by the end of this year.
Milindha Morahela Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:24 AM
Pass the Law!
Dee Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:39 AM
Wholeheartedly agree. It's stupid to sacrifice a lamb and save a cow in the name of religion. The ecological balance should be left to its own.
Sunil Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:40 AM
I deeply appreciate the timely advice given by the Venerable Thera. We are living in a very civilized world and people should consider that any form cruelty to animals, whether done in the name of religious beliefs or otherwise should be abhorred.
If the current laws are insufficient to prevent such barbaric acts, then it is indeed the duty of the law-makers to have laws preventing cruelty to animals enacted as soon as possible.
QUESTION MORE Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:45 AM
OK - but , a big BUT, my dear thero - please turn the searchlight inwards , and confirm that your priests do not request for meat at pirith dhanas and also not consume meat at all.
Kanchana Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:51 AM
Any kind of animal cruelty is bad. World is moving towards veganism. Time to change. Lord Buddha said all beings fear death and harm.
Casanova Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:52 AM
Yes, only Human cruelty should be allowed in SL.
Colombo Man Tuesday, 23 July 2019 10:57 AM
A Welcome suggestion provided all types of insects which has life should be protected including fishing, chickens , vegetables which has life should be banned from eating by humans.
I raise both my hand for this suggestion.
Rhonda Taylor Tuesday, 23 July 2019 11:01 AM
Hats off to you Venerable Thero for highlighting cruelty to Animals which is a deplorable situation in our Country.
All religions teach people to be kind and humane to animals as they too are living beings and feel pain and suffering,
Sena.S Tuesday, 23 July 2019 11:04 AM
A former president brought 2 big goats from Pakistan ,they were fed at Temple Trees and sacrificed at Muneeswaram Kali Amman temple. These offerings were common a few years back .It's about time Parliament makes the necessary laws to curtail these old practices
MHM Tuesday, 23 July 2019 11:20 AM
Must closed down all the five star hotels. Fishes and dry fish also must be stopped
John Redman Tuesday, 23 July 2019 11:34 AM
Please listen and act on what this man is telling, he is correct.
Musa Roshan Jurangpathy Tuesday, 23 July 2019 11:55 AM
Thera.. There cant be two rules as you all are shouting from morning to evening..Stop killing and torturing all animals ( Not just what you dont like ). ask your aligned people to present a bill to stop killing and consuming all meat including fish and chicken.Also champion a program to release all elephants currently held in temples and declare it as illegal any more. Then we will take all your words.
Borat Tuesday, 23 July 2019 12:04 PM
Animal cruelty in many forms . Bulls iltreated and elephants owned mainly these monks also ill treated. So why one sided
Sunil Tuesday, 23 July 2019 12:07 PM
Good thoughts but need a bill at parliament to stop human crutelety on the name of religion
Muthu kesavan Tuesday, 23 July 2019 12:29 PM
If any religious / political leaders want to do anything about animal cruelty,Please stop killing
Roshan RA Tuesday, 23 July 2019 12:43 PM
Please set an example by first prohibiting antibiotic , fishing and poultry farming.
We should not base our ethics or values of animal life on size of the Animal . Life of bacteria and cow the same
kumar Tuesday, 23 July 2019 01:21 PM
concerned about animals good;, but how about human beings of other religion and races?
Shunmugam Tuesday, 23 July 2019 01:27 PM
As a Jaffna Hindu Tamil I fully agree with the Buddhist Priest. I want to just mention that vast majority in Jaffna do not subscribe to animal slaughter in Jaffna Hindu Temples, unfortunately
it is the lower castes in Jaffna who are engaged in this cruel practice.
eranda Tuesday, 23 July 2019 01:28 PM
We can be the worlds first vegetarian country.
Is that really possible? Seems not practical.
gamini Tuesday, 23 July 2019 01:31 PM
So the Buddhists don't eat meat? Okay ... Eating fish is okay as it's not a living creature? Okay.... Stop this attack on minority food habits. Clean-up your own issues first.
Siri Herath Tuesday, 23 July 2019 01:42 PM
You are so right Venerable Sir. Animals are there for their own reason not as objects to be used, misused, hurt, mutilated, caged, tortured, eaten or used as sacrificial objects. Like humans, they too feel pain and desire to live but cannot speak up for themselves. Unstunned killing of animals for meat is barbaric. These unholy books that advocate such, should be revised!
R.M.S. Samaranayake Tuesday, 23 July 2019 01:44 PM
A great need of the day indeed. Hats off to the noble thero for his kindness.
Professor David E. Cooper Tuesday, 23 July 2019 02:00 PM
The Ven. Sobitha Thera is right. A religious doctrine that requires cruelty to animals should be abandoned. It is important, however, that the Thera and his Buddhist colleagues work with Muslims, Hindus and Christians who are themselves opposed to their religions' practices toward animals. Otherwise, criticisms of these practices will be portrayed and rejected as attacks on the religions themselves.
Sando Tuesday, 23 July 2019 02:08 PM
Must be permitted in the North as practiced. Are we to use Horses/ Goats for the Kandy Perahara. Another Western Conspiracy.
Sisil Sudesh Tuesday, 23 July 2019 02:17 PM
Very good effort. Also let us not forget the welfare of perahera elephants, undergoing too much hardships.
Hans Perlee Tuesday, 23 July 2019 02:45 PM
There is also no such thing as political involvement in real Buddhism.
Lokka Tuesday, 23 July 2019 03:51 PM
This world belongs to all living beings, and they have a right to live without being harmed. Man is an intelligent being and he should be more aware of this fact. As the Ven'ble Thero rightly said where ever possible, killing of animals should be prohibited. It is a disgusting and a primitive practice to sacrifice animals in the name of religion. Can one assume that 'God' or deities derive pleasure from animals being sacrificed in His/their names?
Amith Jayasooriya Tuesday, 23 July 2019 05:31 PM
This is good. But do not limit it to just cows and goats. Fish and Chicken are living beings too!
Lakminiha Tuesday, 23 July 2019 05:39 PM
Its summer time again.
George Harry Tuesday, 23 July 2019 07:48 PM
Not only on the religious ground but also enact a law to shut-down the BEEF-STALL islandwide.
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