Though being a Buddhist by birth and also by conviction, I do not
hesitate to disapprove of the manner in which the Bhikkhu protesters
acted in the course of their protest March. They must know they are not
above the law, and if they violate orders issued by the authorities they
would have to accept the consequences.
The Buddha preached contentment as the greatest wealth and the
virtues of frugality and these Bhukkhu, if they are followers of the
Master, should follow His directions and be content to accept what the
Government provides for them, according to available resources.
Instead if they act like unruly laymen they have to accept the
consequences, since they are violating the code of conduct which has
been handed down by the Buddha, and they have only themselves to blame.
This action of the Bhikkhus at this particular period, could even be
interpreted as being politically engineered as several political parties
are planning disruptive campaigns at this crucial hour, to disrupt the
advance of the Security Forces.
Therefore the Mahanayakes and other responsible monks should issue an
admonition to these misguided monks to conduct themselves in a manner
befitting the yellow robe, or honourably remove it and protest like
normal laymen, and also be prepared to accept the consequences if any.
The Constitution of the country, the Vinaya or the other legislation,
has not granted monks immunity from the general law of the land and it
should be told to them in unequivocal terms.
J. C. BOANGE
Following are some suggestions to bring down petrol consumption:
Confine the use of petrol vehicles (other than motobikes and three
wheelers) of Registration Numbers that add up to an ‘even’ figure, to
Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Those adding up to an odd figure may use
the vehicles on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. On Sundays, all vehicles
can get on the road.
This would minimise the use of petrol. Also, considerably ease
traffic, thus further saving petrol.
If given ample warning by the Traffic Police and other relevant
authorities that a scheme such as this will be adopted, the public can
plan ways and means to comply. Public transport, taxis run on diesel and
three-wheelers will be available everyday, for regular petrol vehicle
users to attend to their needs.
As recently as June 29, a ‘car free day’ was organised in downtown
Jakarta. Apparently it will be in operation every last Sunday of each
I suggested that the traffic authorities try this out for two weeks,
and get a feed back from the public and the petrol stations. If it is
successful in saving petrol (a barrel of crude is touching US$143 now)
it should be implemented in the long term. In this situation, we have to
V. P. DE A DE ZOYSA