The self immolation of the Ven. Bowatte Indarathana Thera in front of the hallowed Dalada Maligawa on Vasak Day in support of the growing campaign for a ban on cattle slaughter needs to be addressed urgently and effectively so that this sacrifice could be turned into a positive dimension for religious and ethnic unity in diversity.
Unfortunately after the monk—a former member of the Jathika Hela Urumaya—died last Saturday night some extremist elements try to create trouble which could have escalated into religious strife. There were heated and angry disputes among some groups and the police outside a funeral parlour in Colombo last Sunday when the police apparently acting on the orders from the top carried away the monk’s body from the backdoor of the parlour and took it to his temple in Kahawatte. The furious demonstrators including some Buddhist monks said they wanted the body kept in Colombo for at least two hours to enable people to pay their respects. But the authorities probably feared this could stir up religious tension and rejected the request. The furious demonstrators then marched down Bauddhaloka Mawatha and wanted to go to Temple Trees to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa. They were stopped at Thunmulla junction and only a small delegation was allowed to go to Temple Trees for a meeting with an official of the Presidential Secretariat while the other demonstrators sat on Galle Road and disrupted traffic.
On Tuesday when the monk’s funeral was held at Kahawatte, trouble erupted again and people jeered at a senior minister who was scheduled to deliver the funeral oration.
The tragedy has now led to an intensified campaign for a ban on cattle slaughter as a first step to a possible ban on the killing of all animals. One of Sri Lanka’s most qualified nutritionists Dr. Damayanthi Perera says there are solid and scientifically proved health reasons, moral and ethical factors for a ban on cattle slaughter. She believes school children and others should be made aware of the brutal way in which cattle are killed in most slaughter houses so that they will willingly and voluntarily support a ban on cattle slaughter as a first step towards the wonderful concept of vegetarianism. Most nutritionists believe Sri Lankans could get all the protein and nutrition they need through vegetarianism while animal protein is restricted to the milk of cows or goats. Most Buddhist and Hindu people who are sincere in their commitment to their spiritual principles do not eat beef or any form of meat and live a healthy life. While most Hindu or Saiva hotels maintain strict vegetarian meals, it is sad that many hotels owned by Buddhists sell all sorts of meat products. They also must be made aware of the need to practise what is preached in the Dhamma and put spirituality before profit.
The Catholic and Christian community in Sri Lanka also needs to seriously consider the need to avoid cattle slaughter as a first step to move towards vegetarianism as an act of unity with the Buddhist and Hindu people.
During the Vesak season this year Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo, appealed to Christians to avoid meat eating. We urge the Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka to consider possibility of supporting a ban on cattle slaughter as the first step towards stopping the killing of any animal for human consumption. This could be an important step towards strengthening the dialogue with all religions.
Some members of the Muslim community are also supporting such moves. As a compromise it is suggested that small quantities of beef and other meat could be imported for those who still want it.
You can ask the people to stop eating meat,but you can not force them,if they do what next ?
LK Thursday, 30 May 2013 11:10 AM
what are we going to do with cattle then ? No more space in parliament also ,
dinesh Thursday, 30 May 2013 11:19 AM
i have no idea all gona mad, look at other countries they have no problem on cattle slaughter, all the problem in sri lanka. eat and electricity. there is no freedom for eating meat in this island.
Avb Thursday, 30 May 2013 11:39 AM
What about chicken. They scarifie their unborn childs (eggs), Sinhalese Buddhist too eat all eggs and then consume chicken. You can keep eating pigs who eat garbage.
raj Thursday, 30 May 2013 11:48 AM
it is against Buddhist & Hindu traditions to eat another living creature for your sustenance. Cattle take up large amount of resources to produce one pound of flesh. others are able to convert us go against our religious traditions and then they can claim why don't you join their faiths.
DoRa Thursday, 30 May 2013 11:51 AM
Sham Friday, 31 May 2013 06:20 AM
shouldn't we banning alcohol! sarcasm............
Thaha Muzammil Saturday, 01 June 2013 08:39 AM
Don't spray insecicides in agriculture, that kill trillions of lives; Never use soaps, toothpaste that kill bacteria; Never boil water, that kills insects; Never cook foods, that kills too; Don't look for leather products as they are from slaughtered animals; Can give an unending list
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