Buddhist Leader Calls for Crackdown on "Unethical Conversions" in Wake of Tsunami

April 17, 2005

Source: Asian Tribune


On April 17, 2005 the Asian Tribune reported, "The Venerable Medagama Dhammananda Thera of the Asgiriya Maha Vihara has called for strong legal measures to protect Buddhists and Hindus from dollar-waving ‘religious’ pied pipers. Hordes of them from the West and their local supporters were spreading out to the island’s remote corners to 'save souls,' while their own countries were relying on modern science to save people’s lives from natural disasters. One of the island’s remote areas, which these proselytizers are targeting is Koboneela in Meemure, a 100 percent Buddhist village in the Central Province, the monk alleged. In the meantime there were also plans to build new prayer houses along the coastal area, according to the venerable monk. He also notes that Norway is funding a Christian church building project in the North and East. Ven. Dhammananda is also the Project Director of Jayagrahana Sri Lanka and Honorary Secretary, Lanka Buddhist Conservation Council... The Ven. Dhammananda emphasizes that the only way to maintain the status quo and ensure religious tolerance was for the law to come down hard on unethical conversions."