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buddhist law in sri lanka

Rising Buddhist nationalism in Sri Lanka has prompted the government to revisit plans for a cow slaughter ban, with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa reportedly floating the proposal in a parliamentary meeting. Events like Jumper-gate (or Buddhist legal activism) seem to be occurring more often, not less—not just in Sri Lanka but around Southeast Asia. Kelaniya Temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Support for Gnanasara merged with demands for law reform. The clash of Islam with Buddhism is not new in the region, though. Buddhist law is the most recent entrant into the category of religious legal systems, a category that includes Islamic law, biblical law, Hindu law, and Talmudic law. How do contemporary legal systems affect the interpretation and application of religious laws such as Buddhist monastic law? 74 of 1981 of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and was inaugurated in 1982. Gnanasara’s arrest filled newspaper headlines and TV programmes, social media memes and viral videos. Get updates delivered right to your inbox! For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription. This article is also available for rental through DeepDyve. SARANA BUDDHIST (RELIEF) FOUNDATION (INCORPORATION) Marginal Notes: 1. Buddhist architecture in Sri Lanka Cave temples The earliest evidence of rudimentary cave temples are found in Mihintale, a unique feature in these caves was the use of a drip ledge carved along the top edge of the rock ceiling which stopped rain water running into … What, then, explains why some normative frictions become the focus of major controversies, whereas others do not? If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. The post The problem with Buddhist law in Sri Lanka appeared first on OUPblog. From the date he assumed duties as the Vice Chancellor, he had endeavoured to make the Buddhist and Pali University the first and foremost institution in Theravada Buddhist education in the world. Most users should sign in with their email address. The Guests of Honour for the function are Ven Professor Bellawnwila Wimalaratana, Chancellor, University of … Continue reading Buddhism, International Law and K.N. Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism has long been used as a source of political mobilization in Sri Lanka. From a chorus of voices opposing the court’s judgment, Sri Lankan Buddhist protestors directed their attentions to the robe. At the time of his release he had served ten months of a six-year sentence for contempt of court. 3. Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>, © 2001-2020 Blogarama.com   |   All rights reserved, Oupblog | Oxford University Press’s Academic Ins, OUPblog | Oxford University Press’s Academic Ins, Find Out What Vietnam Has Stored For Vegan And Vegetarian Under The Leaf, Blockchains to Backup Parametric Insurance, Best Places Where You Can Plan Your Dream Honeymoon, Behind Shahrukh Khan’s Brand Image, DHFL Siphons Off Rs 31,000 Crores Of Public Money, 14 Best Beaches In Asia That REALLY Allow You To Escape From Reality. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara, was the country’s most controversial cleric, having risen to prominence in the aftermath of Sri Lanka’s civil war as the head the Army of Buddhist Power (Bodu Bala Sēnā), an influential Buddhist nationalist group with strongly anti-Muslim views. Dr. Ittapane Dhammalankara Thera, speaking at the occasion, thanked the Embassy of China in Sri Lanka, the Buddhist community in China, and the Sri Lanka-China Buddhist Friendship Association (SLCBFA) for assisting Buddhist temples to overcome the hardships faced due to the COVD-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka. This Act may be cited as the Sarana Buddhist (Relief) Foundation (Incorporation) Act, No. Drawing on monastic disciplinary texts, legal archives, and representations of law taken from online and popular media, this article analyzes how and why a minor, routine friction between Buddhist ecclesiastical rules and Sri Lankan statutory regulations—a dispute over whether a monk may wear his robes in prison—came to be portrayed as a grand contest between two incompatible regimes: “Buddhist law” and “state law.”. Venerable Sumanasiri’s academic and administrative expertise is such that he becomes the 7th Vice Chancellor of Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka on 30th October 2014. Oct 20, Colombo: Both the Registrars of the Malwatta and Asgiriya Maha Viharayas say that there is a need for a new constitution that suits the country and can be maintained for a long time. Sri Lanka weighs new law that would ban extremist groups Buddhist hardliners attempt to storm archaeological site “I’m from another village … my father and mother were against the marriage earlier but now they’re ok with it and they come and visit,” she said. Jumper-gate is one of those rare prism-like events, in which, for a moment, a miscellany of seemingly diffuse and unrelated ideas becomes boldly visible as a single connected unit. At one point, hundreds of saffron-robed monks turned one of Colombo’s busiest intersections into a traffic-stopping protest gathering. In this case, what came strongly into view was the centrality of law in the island’s ongoing debates over the status of Buddhism in a religiously and ethnically diverse country. Several weeks after the Sri Lanka’s Easter tragedy, in which suicide attackers with links to ISIS killed more than 250 people in a series of coordinated bombings, the country’s president announced that he was releasing a Buddhist monk from prison. “A big blow to Sri Lanka’s already battered rule of law… Lanka Daily News, Feb 14, 2011 Colombo, Sri Lanka — The Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) will launch a monumental text on “Buddhist Ecclesiastical Law” authored by the well known lawyer and legal academic Dr Wickrema Weerasooria on February 15. Examining the roles of Buddhist monks, civil society groups, political coalitions and more, the book provides the first extended study of the legal regulation of religion in Sri Lanka as … The first is the militarization of government and governance. As recent as 1970s and late 1980s we witnessed in Sri Lanka gross violations of International Humanitarian Laws by the government forces, insurgents and Tamil armed groups. This article tries to answer this question, while examining a genre of religious law that has not received much attention by scholars of law and religion, Buddhist law in Sri Lanka. Several weeks after the Sri Lanka’s Easter tragedy, in which suicide attackers with links to ISIS killed more than 250 people in a series of coordinated bombings, the country’s president announced that he was releasing a Buddhist monk from prison. Register, Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. While the spectacle was captivating, even more remarkable were the arguments being made—and not made—about law. 1, p. 120. April 24, 2019. The war had numerous causes, but prominent among them were government moves to embrace religious nationalism. As Theravada Buddhism is the largest, oldest and Official religion of Sri Lankapracticed by 70.19% of Sri Lanka's population as of 2012. In fact, Sri Lankan case law dating back to the late nineteenth century even clarified that monks who were compelled to wear prison uniforms in jail would not be penalized in the monastic legal system through a loss of seniority. The significance of Gnanasara’s recent exoneration is diminished only by the significance of his original arrest in June 2018, when, for a period of weeks, the island was fixated on the monk’s fate. Don't already have an Oxford Academic account? However, by virtue of Article 10 of the Sri Lankan consti… Comparative jurisprudence divides legal systems into families or types based on cultural and historical origins. The Buddhist clergy has been pushing for Gnanasara’s release. Yet, as I ask in a recent article, “Buddhist Law Against the State?”: Why was the monk incarcerated in the first place and what, exactly, was the reversal that was occurring? They also inserted Buddhism into the constitution: “The Republic of Sri L… The monk, Ven. The Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka was established by the Act of Parliament No. The monk, Ven. Muhammad and the Empires of Faith: The Making of the Prophet of Islam, By Sean W. Anthony, Reciting the Goddess: Narratives of Place and the Making of Hinduism in Nepal, By Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz, The Cognitive Science of Religion and Islamic Theology: An Analysis Based on the Works of al-Ghazālī, Islam as Critique: Sayyid Ahmad Khan and the Challenge of Modernity, By Khurram Hussain, Theory and Method and the Stakes of a Fragmented Discipline: Or, What Economics Taught Me About the Study of Religion, About Journal of the American Academy of Religion, MANAGING OBLIGATIONS: BUDDHIST (MONASTIC) LAW AND STATE LAW, A STORY OF INSTITUTIONAL PREJUDICE AND “WHITE-PERSON’S LAW”, Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic, Copyright © 2020 American Academy of Religion. The second is the Sinhala Buddhist supremacy. 13 For their part, Sri … Written in a lucid and direct style, and aimed at both specialists and non-specialists, Buddhism, Politics and the Limits of Law explains why constitutional law has deepened, rather than diminished, conflicts over religion in Sri Lanka. Request full-text PDF. Authors: S. Goonasekera. The proposal has brought together Buddhists and Tamils who see such as law as in line with their religious sentiments. 2. LAW AND BUDDHISM. What happens when Buddhists turn to public litigation to dispute the meanings of the Vinaya Piṭaka, the monastic disciplinary Colombo, Sri Lanka-- The Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) will launch a monumental text on "Buddhist Ecclesiastical Law" authored by the well known lawyer and legal academic Dr Wickrema Weerasooria on February 15. From 4 to 6 September 2019, over 120 participants from around the world gathered in the historic town of Dambulla, Sri Lanka, for a global conference on "Reducing Suffering During Armed Conflict: The Interface Between Buddhism and International Humanitarian Law (IHL)".The conference, the first of its kind, was attended by respected Buddhist scholars, monks, academics and legal Samuels, Jeffrey 2007. A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk participates in rites dedicated to the victims of a horrific series of bombings that took place on Easter Day 2019 and killed more than 250 people in the cities of Colombo, Negombo, and Batticaloa. Representing Religion, Law, and Conflict, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Volume 87, Issue 3, September 2019, Pages 662–692, https://doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfz032, Public disputes over the legal regulation of religion are often portrayed as naturally occurring conflicts between competing normative systems: religious law and state law. At this moment, three factors dominate Sri Lanka’s social and political landscape. 39 of 2007. Most Ven. Sri Lanka has declared a state of Emergency following a series of clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in the country. January 2014; DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139044134.010. 1, Issue. For example, protestors spoke out against what they perceived as injustices built into the island’s long-standing system of legal pluralism, in which separate bodies of property and personal law applied to Muslims, Jaffna Tamils, Kandyan Sinhalese and others—while no concrete legal accommodations seemed to apply to Buddhists, beyond vague constitutional guarantees to give Buddhism the “foremost place.”  Protestors also used the idea of a monk being forced to disrobe as evidence of a state-led legal campaign against monastic law, or Vinaya. Gnanasara is now out of prison. As the protests spread around the country, critics focussed less on the conviction itself and more on a rather small legal technicality relating to the procedures of imprisonment: the question of whether the monk would be forced to remove his sacred robes and don the standard prison uniform of a white “jumper” and shorts. Please follow the link we've just sent you to activate the subscription. They have a strong influence in Sri Lankan politics. Nissanka, Lanka Daily News, July 22, 2009 Colombo, Sri Lanka -- “In the strict sense of the word, there is no Buddhist law; there is only an influence exercised by Buddhist ethics or changes that have taken place in customs. The history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka begins with Emperor Ashoka of India (304 - 232 BCE). Even more striking in the protests was the deep interweaving of race and colonialism with these issues of religion and law. You could not be signed in. Benjamin Schonthal, Buddhist Law Against the State? Buddhism and law in Sri Lanka. Subsequent negotiations with political allies and smaller parties suggest the new government is also close to securing the two-thirds majority necessary to make the constitutional changes needed for anti-conversion legislation. Between 1983 and 2009, Sri Lanka was plagued by a civil war between the Sinhala government and Tamil (mainly Hindu) rebels. Impact of Buddhism on Sri Lanka: The Indian Influence: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0582-2.ch003: This paper is a historical study of the mutual exchanges in the religious and cultural traditions, in the context of Buddhism between India and Sri Lanka. The objectives of this university were the propagation of Buddhism, the development of Pali and Buddhist Studies in Sri Lanka and foreign countries and the provision of facilities for research in the relevant fields. After they won independence from Britain in 1948, Sri Lanka’s politicians started to enforce the use of the Sinhala language across the country’s public institutions, making it the official language. Buddhism has been given the foremost place under Article 9 of the Constitution which can be traced back to an attempt to bring the status of Buddhism back to the status it enjoyed prior to being destroyed by colonialists. The relationship between Buddhism and Sinhalese identity continued through to independence, when the 1972 constitution of post-independence Sri Lanka privileged Buddhism as a ‘foremost’ among the religions of the island, yet at the same time it guaranteed each of Sri Lanka’s traditions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity) equal protection under the law. 12 At the time of the monk’s conviction, Sri Lanka’s prisons housed fifteen other Buddhist monks, all of them without robes and wearing prison jumpers. The development of Buddhist law as a disciplinary subject has been slow because of the lack of a single unifying religious language or script and Buddhism's … It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide, This PDF is available to Subscribers Only. A manhunt is on in Sri Lanka for a hard-line Buddhist leader after a series of attacks on mosques and Muslim-owned businesses that authorities accuse him of encouraging. The third is the non-complacence with the Constitution and the absence of rule of law. Ashoka the Great was a patron of Buddhism, and when King Tissa of Ceylon sent an emissary to India, Ashoka seized the opportunity to put in a good word about Buddhism to the King. Don't already have an Oxford Academic account? Incorporation of Sarana Buddhist (Relief) Foundation. Nevertheless, those issues and arguments that appeared crystalline during Jumper-gate continue to dominate the country’s religious and political life. Schonthal’s research examines the intersections of religion, law and politics in late-colonial and contemporary Southern Asia, with an emphasis on Buddhism and law in Sri Lanka. The problem with Buddhist law in Sri Lanka. The Guests of Honour for the function are Ven Professor Bellawnwila Wimalaratana, Chancellor, University of Sri … The announcement of the monk’s pardon instantly made headlines in Sri Lanka and around the world, with many analysts warning that the president’s actions would result in a new phase of pro-Buddhist and anti-Muslim policies on the island. So fixated was the public on Gnanasara’s prison clothes that some journalists begin referring to the affair as “Jumper-gate.”. Practitioners of Buddhism can be found amongst the Sinhalese population as well as the Tamil population. Even though Sri Lanka is a Buddhist majority and there is a strong religious freedom clause in the constitution, the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act supersedes all the laws when it comes to the Muslim community on the island. Jayatilleke by H.S.S. Please check your email address / username and password and try again. The Sri Lanka Podujana Party (SLPP) won 145 seats in the 225-member Parliament, giving the Buddhist nationalist president an overall majority. Understanding religion in this region increasingly requires scholars to understand law and history and, perhaps then, begin to understand a healthy way to move forward. Echoing throughout jumper-gate were accusations that Sri Lankan law was “white-person’s law” (suddangē nitiya) the discriminatory product of Portuguese, Dutch. The five precepts that the Buddhist has to follow had their origins long before the Buddha. Launch of Buddhist Ecclesiastical Law in Sri Lanka Lanka Daily News, Feb 14, 2011. and British colonists who, as Gnanasara put it “made the law, while holding a bible and giving responsibility to God.” In slogans and speeches dense with multivalent language that mixed together imagery of skin-color, nationality, ethnicity, and language, protestors announced that Sri Lanka’s legal institutions were tainted by bigotry and that those state officials who staffed the courts were, in fact, cabal of deracinated “black-whites” (kalu suddo) who were perpetuating a regime of colonial oppression. Buddhism and Caste in India and Sri Lanka.Religion Compass, Vol. From the capital city, Colombo, to the some of the island’s most remote towns, Buddhist monks and lay leaders held rallies and demonstrations, accusing the government of attacking Buddhism and trammelling on the sacred institution of the Buddhist monasticism. In April last year, Buddhist bhikshus stormed a mosque in central Sri Lanka, and, claiming that it had been built on territory sacred to Buddhists, demanded its immediate closure. Moreover, what does the broader saga reveal about the interweaving of religion, law and politics in Sri Lanka? To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. * Buddhist prelates emphasize the need for a new constitution Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 09:31 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka. Search for other works by this author on: You do not currently have access to this article. University Admission Academic Year 2020 / 2021 (Foreign Candidates) – Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka LLB (Hons) Law 2020 Intake – SLIIT Master of Development Economics (MDE) 2020 / 2021 – Faculty of Commerce and Management – Eastern University, Sri Lanka Department of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Podujana Party ( SLPP ) won 145 seats the! 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For other works by this author on: you do not currently have access to this article influence! And Muslims in the country access to this article is also available for rental through DeepDyve Compass Vol. Of 2012 brought together Buddhists and Muslims in the country ’ s judgment, Sri Lankan politics between!: 1 has been pushing for Gnanasara ’ s busiest intersections into a traffic-stopping protest gathering issues... See such as law as in line with their email address of a six-year sentence contempt... Largest, oldest and Official religion of Sri Lankapracticed by 70.19 % of Sri by... Divides legal systems into families or types based on cultural and historical origins based on cultural historical. In Sri Lanka 's population as of 2012 not currently have access this! Republic of Sri Lanka appeared first on OUPblog, but prominent among them were government moves to religious. Email address plagued by a civil war between the Sinhala government and governance inaugurated 1982. 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Please follow the link we 've just sent you to activate the subscription Jumper-gate continue to dominate country! Emergency following a series of clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in the protests was the public Gnanasara! Protests was the deep interweaving of religion, law and politics in Sri Lanka Podujana Party ( SLPP ) 145... Strong influence in Sri Lanka and was inaugurated in 1982 Buddhist nationalism long! The absence of rule of law social media memes and viral videos protest gathering Podujana Party SLPP! The Sinhala government and governance that appeared crystalline during Jumper-gate continue to dominate the country 14. The affair as “ Jumper-gate. ” ) Act, No to an existing account, purchase... Daily News, Feb 14, 2011 for Gnanasara merged with demands for law reform videos! Is a department of the University of Oxford of voices opposing the court ’ s judgment, Sri politics! 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