Venomous Distortions of The Catholic Church To Insult Buddhist Monks-2

source: Lankaweb, June 13, 2007

"All In The Name of Inter-Religious
Amity"

By The Centre for Buddhist
Action

 

Asian Human Rights Commission-Urgent Appeals Program had circulated
an email worldwide calling readers "to send a letter to the local
authorities to suspend Ven.Harankahawe Chandrawimala's service at school
and to conduct impartial inquiries into this matter." It is a shame
that a reputed organization such as Asian Human Rights Commission would
circulate such an appeal without first checking the accuracy of the
allegations leveled against the Ven. Monk unless ofcourse, the AHRC
is also one of those organization promoting Christianity and antagonistic
towards other religions especially Buddhists and the Buddhist Monks
which are hell bent on venomously attacking and insulting the Buddhist
Clergy in Sri Lanka. Whatever the case may be, the motive of the distortion
is quite clear when reading through the allegations and comparing it
with what the Venerable Monk himself has to say of the story speculated
worldwide.

 

Distortion no. 1 is that Ven. Harankahawe Chandrawimala Thero never
ever worked in Moneragala Vidyalaya as stated in the article below as
"Monerangala Vidyalaya" and therefore, he was never transferred
out of that school due to allegations of misconduct!

The contents of entire letter relating to incidents at Ampitiya Berawattes
College circulated by "Asian Human Rights Watch Urgent Appeals
Programme" is a series of false allegations purely because the
Ven. Monk stood his grounds and did not permit the Catholic Church to
have their own way in interfering in the school which incidentally had
approx.1500 students of whom the majority were Buddhist with only 40-50
approx. Catholic students! Of the teaching staff 80% are Buddhists while
only 20% are Catholics.

Ven.Harankahawe Chandrawimala Thero was on the staff of Ampitiya Berawattes
College from 2001-2005 and from then on he has been teaching at D.S.Senanayake
Vidyalaya to date.

Ampitiya Berawattes College was founded by Reverend Father Berawattes(Catholic
Priest) and was the original Ampitiya Seminary under which the school
was managed, but during the schools take-over in the early 1960s, the
government took over the management of the school as the number of Catholic
students attending was insufficient (Buddhist students were in the majority
even then) for it to continue as a Catholic School managed by the Church.
The Ampitiya Catholic Seminary continued to be within the land premises
of Berawattes College. Originally the extent of land which belonged
to Berawattes College was 19 ½ Acres but the Catholic Seminary
has been encroaching and building Churches inside the premises thereby
reducing the extent of land left for the school presently being only
5 Acres! After the schools take over in the 1960s the school was named
Ampitiya Maha Vidyalaya. The Junior School was named as Dharmapala Junior
School.

14 years ago, the Catholic Church began to interfere in the activities
of Ampitiya Maha Vidyalaya and with the manipulations and connivance
of the regional educational authorities and the Principal of the school
at the time, it was named "Berawattes College" and a statue
of Father Berawattes holding a Bible was erected in the school premises.
The Dharmapala Junior School has been taken as part of the main school
and is part of Berawattes College. With this, the Catholic Church began
to organize the Christianization of the entire school activities in
a school which had a majority Buddhist student and staff population.
The building that was allocated to be the school library was converted
into an area where prayer sessions and Christianity classes were conducted
and Buddhist children were also being forced into studying Christianity
with a view of converting them. It was during this period that even
the School Song was changed to include the name of Berawattes College
instead of continuing with the old Maha Vidyalaya School Song!

The Rest Room set aside for Buddhist Monks (there were 2) Ven. Mungwatte
Dhammananda Thero and Ven. Harankahawe Chandrawimala Thero was closed
down on the pretext that it was to be made into a museum room to exhibit
the history of the school and the two Bhikkus were shut out from using
it thereafter and had no Rest Room. The church influenced Ven.Mungwatte
Dhammananda Thero to the extent that he eventually disrobed and became
a Catholic and he was used against Ven. Harankahawe Chandrawimala Thero.

The Teacher's Quarters when it fell vacant when the teacher occupying
it went on transfer was taken over by The Seminary through a Parliamentary
Gazette Notification on the grounds that there was no necessity for
such quarters during the period approx.2002(later)-2004. At the time
Catholic politicians like Dr.Jayalath Jayawardane began to write to
the school suggesting that the Teacher's Quarters be handed over to
the Carmelite Sisters/Convent. During this time, Ven. Harankahawe Chandrawimala
Thero was vehemently opposed to this move since he felt that the Teacher's
Quarters must continue to be used for that purpose. He went to Courts
and managed to get a Court Approval to give the use of the Staff Quarters
to another teacher of the school and his family instead of being handed
over to the Carmelite Convent.

Subsequent to obtaining the Court Order to give back the use of Staff
Quarters to the teachers, Ven. Harankahawe Chandrawimala Thero who saw
through the Catholic agenda, organized to erect a Buddha Statue with
a glass enclosure and work on the "Budhu Medura" was completed
within the school premises so that the Buddhist children could offer
flowers and conduct Buddhist observances instead of having to follow
Christianity and be converted into Christianity. It was through this
period, that the Catholic Church commenced their aggressive harassment
campaign against the Venerable Monk because the Monk blocked the agenda
of the Church within the school premises! A Catholic Nun on the staff,
objected to children plucking flowers in the mornings to offer at The
Budhu Medura and this angered the Monk who went and questioned as to
who stopped children from offering flowers? The said Nun subsequently
had instructed some other students to uproot all the flower plants and
throw them into the rubbish heap! When the Monk got to know this incident,
he had scolded the Catholic Nun as to why she should be so wicked as
to get the plants uprooted ( this probably is what the Asian Human Rights
Watch claims to be "mental and physical harassment of teachers"!)
On another occasion, another Catholic teacher by the name of Shyamalie
Bandara had used very abusive language and insulted the Monk to which
the Monk had told the School Principal that he demanded an apology from
the said teacher, failing which he would go on a hunger strike until
the said teacher was reprimanded (this again is used in a distorted
version by Asian Human Rights Watch). Subsequently, as there was no
way out the teacher had made a very unwilling apology to the Ven. Monk.
Another Catholic teacher by the name of Sachini Surasena was also involved
in using Buddhist children(on the sly) to teach them Christian hymns,
Scripture and training them for Nativity Plays without permission from
the Monk who was their Buddhism teacher.When the Monk heard of this
practice, he had actually pulled up the Buddhist children because their
parents would eventually find fault with the Monk for not checking their
children's activities.

When the Church pressures could not deter Ven. Harankahawe Chandrawimala
Thero's activities to safeguard the Buddhist children and their activities
in the school, the Church paid Rs.40,000/= to another teacher who appeared
to be a Buddhist, to make a complaint at the Police Station against
the monk on allegations of sexual misconduct against a student but on
examination the OIC found that the charges were unfounded and the matter
was dropped. This same teacher had on one occasion invited the Monk
to Dane subsequent to which on a later date had brought a plate of boiled
Jak fruit and offered it to the Monk as a special offer of Dane. A few
days after consuming this boiled Jak, Ven. Chandrawimala Thero had fallen
seriously ill with a urine infection which developed into a serious
kidney complication. The Medical Officer who attended to Ven. Chandrawimala
Thero had diagnosed his condition as food poisoning after conducting
various tests. The kidney condition worsened to the extent that the
Monk had to travel to India and get a kidney transplant operation done!
Now it would be obvious to the readers as to who harassed whom? After
he became sick, it was the Venerable Monk who feared for his life at
the hands of the Catholic Church and its well known conspiracies!

The allegations stated in the Asian Human Rights Watch "Denial
of the children's freedom of religion and degrading treatment"
in which they state 2 incidents of Ven. Harankahawe Chandrawimala Thero
having instructed Catholic children to draw a Cross and Bible on the
sand/ floor and walk over them and then to insult them by criticizing
them- are total fabrications which the Venerable Monk had never done!
At the beginning of letter circulated by Asian Human Rights Watch-Urgent
Appeals Programme where it is stated in the 2nd paragraph (quote): "More
seriously, it is alleged that Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala assaulted
two his fellow teachers physically and mentally several times. One of
the two teachers made a complaint to the police station but there has
been no serious action taken by the police yet. Even though parents
of the children have made several written and oral complaints to the
principal, nothing happened to correct this matter. Now the children's
parents fear that their children would soon become victims of rape or
torture if this matter is not settled immediately" (end quote)
is a total fabrication and a method of trying to instill a fear psychosis
in the minds of the readers. Are we to believe that, had the Monk truly
acted in the manner he is being accused of, that disciplinary or legal
action would not have been taken against him? His crime, was that he
stood for what was ethical in terms of safeguarding the interests of
the Buddhist teachers and students of Berawattes College.

The aggressive character assassination campaign carried out against
Ven. Harankahawe Chandrawimala Thero is because the said Monk made every
effort to stop the Catholic Church from interfering in the internal
administration of Berawattes College and efforts to convert Buddhist
children unethically-a ploy not new to the Catholic Church as we have
seen in the recent past when they attack Buddhist Monks and Temples.

The duplicity of The Catholic Church is visible in every action of
theirs and the efforts they make "religious amity by establishing
"inter-religious committees" and "inter-racial committees"
is merely to hoodwink the public and demean the Buddhists of this country-nothing
else. Religious amity has always been shown by Buddhists until Christian
groups began to undermine the status of Buddhism in this country and
conduct unethical conversions!

Presently Ven.Harankahawe Chandrawimala Thero is not even employed
at Berawattes College and it a question as to why this kind of message
is being circulated by AHRC now in 2007 if there was any validity to
the story given below?


The message circulated worldwide as it appeared: (Quote)
URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION URGENT ACTION

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAM

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that
a primary school teacher Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala (Buddhist monk)
has allegedly harassed children physically and mentally including in
sexual ways, and consistently denied their religious freedom for last
two years.

According to our source who followed up the case, child abuse by Ven
Harankahawe Chandrawimala is explained in 20 odd ways. Also, it is reported
that he had been transferred from the previous school in Monarangala
Vidiyalaya for charges on child abuse. More seriously, it is alleged
that Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala assaulted the two his fellow teachers
physically and mentally several times. One of the two teachers made
a complaint to the police station but there has been no serious action
taken by the police yet. Even though parents of the children have made
several written and oral complaints to the principal, nothing happened
to correct this matter. Now the children's parents fear that their children
would soon become victims of rape or torture if this matter is not settled
immediately.

Please send a letter to the local authorities to suspend Ven Harankahawe
Chandrawimala's service at school and to conduct impartial inquiries
into this matter.

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
—————————————————–

DETAILED INFORMATION:

Name of victims: 1. Students of age 06 to 13 (year 01-08) at the primary
school attached to the Ampitiya Berawattes College, 2. Ms. X, 24, a
fellow teacher, 3, Ms. Y, A catholic nun and volunteer teacher of the
school (Names were withheld for victims' security)
Alleged perpetrator: Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala, 45, a Buddhist monk
and teacher of the primary school attached to the Ampitiya Berawattes
College
Place of abuse: the primary school attached to the Ampitiya Berawattes
College
Period of abuse: Since in the end of 2002 until now


Case details:

Primary school teacher Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala has allegedly
been accused of harassing children and denying their religious freedom
at the primary school attached to the Ampitiya Berawattes College since
the end of 2002. Moreover, there is allegation that he has sexually
harassed the students continuously. Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala has
a history of child abuse. (He was transferred from the previous school
in Monarangala Vidiyalaya for charges of child abuse.)

The school was by founded by Fr Berawattes but the school administration
was taken over by the Sri Lankan government when the catholic students
became a minority in the school in 1962. 70 catholic students are currently
studying in the school. In 2001, Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala (a Buddhist
monk) was transferred to the school. According to the testimony of the
students, his harassment of the children started in the end of 2002.

Denial of the children's freedom of religion and degrading treatment

Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala has harassed the catholic children in
all forms. Below are just a few examples of them.

1. On 8 February 2004, Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala ordered the catholic
students of year 06 to go out of classroom and draw a cross in the sand.
He then made all the children jump across it and remarked that the catholic
children paid no respect to the cross.

2. On 11 February 2004, Ven Harankahawe Chandrawimala ordered some
catholic children to draw a bible on the floor. Then, he ordered the
catholic students of year 07 to walk on the bible while degradingly
making a mockery out of it.

It is reported that he has told to the children that Christ is a terrorist,
murderer and womaniser. (end quote)

 

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