Ambalangoda is famous for puppet shows. The puppeteer, as we know, operates from behind the screen. The audience doesn’t see the puppeteer.
The puppet show put together by the Bikkhu Collective for Good Governance was different. The bikkhus puppets as well as the puppeteer were all visible.
The Chief Prelate of Wayamba and Chief Incumbent of the Tissawa Raja Maha Viharaya Ven Mugunuvatavana Siddhantha Thero, The Anunayaka of the Amarapura Central Council Ven Madampagama Assaji Thero and the Adhikaran Sangha Nayaka of the Ramanya Nikaya Ven Professor Attangane Rathanapala Thero played the main role.
Here are the others: The Deputy Chief Prelate of the Sathara Korale Ven Mahagalkadawala Punyasara, Chief Prelate of Kalutara Thotamune ven Bopitiye Dammissara, the Chief Adhikarana Prelate of Polonnaruwa and Thamankaduwa Ven Professor Legumdeniye Piyarathana Thero, the Secretary of Social Development of the Ramanya Nikaya Ven Karakole Piyadassi Thero, Anunayaka of the Amarapura Sangha Council Ven Madampagama Assaji, Ven Theeniyawala Palitha Thero, Amarapura Dhammarakkita Niyaka Chief Prelate of the Western Province Ven Kithalagama Hemasara Thero, Ven Nikaweratiye Mangalanayaka Thero, Ven Ulapane Sumangala Thero, Ven Deliwe Narada Thero, Ven Elabadagama Seelakkhanda Thero and Ven Kotmale Dharmapriya Thero.
And here are the puppeteers: former Speaker Deshabandu Karu Jayasuriya, Champika Ranawaka, Tissa Attanayake, Mano Ganeshan and some ‘civil society’ activists and university lecturers.
And the following are some of the issues they were concerned about:Certain individuals nominated for various commissions by the Parliamentary Council, a situation where bikkhus are unable to express their views freely, political victimization of several government servants including the highly respected police officer Shani Abeysekera.
It is good that these respected members of the Maha Sangha have suddenly woken up. What is perplexing is the fact that they were in deep slumber from January 8, 2015 until the Presidential Election of 2019. Perhaps, for them, the Chief Prelate of all Prelates was Ranil Wickremesinghe. Maybe they didn’t represent the Buddhist Order but the Yahapalana Nikaya of the UNP Order.
Some of them have lost director posts in Boards they had been appointed to. The Litro ‘alms’ has grounded to a halt. And so they are awake. Oh dear!
Sadhu! Sadhi! Sadhu!!!!
Well then, The Gadfly just wants to ask some questions that those who call themselves journalists did not pose to the puppets and puppeteers:
# What did these respected bikkhus do when Shani Abeysekera was tasked to hound the political opponents of the Yahapalana Nikaya?
# What do these respected bikkhus have to say about the telephone conversations between Shani Abeysekera and Ranjan Ramanayake which clearly indicate interference in judicial processes?
# Did these respected bikkhus recoil with disgust and want to throw up on account of the telephone conversations between Judge Padmini and Ranjan Ramanayake?
# Did these respected bikkhus forget to call a media conference when for the very first time in the history of parliamentary affairs in the world the Speaker gave a determination based on sound levels?
# When the Hambantota Port was sold, when the Mattala Airport was used to dry paddy, when the Central Bank was robbed, were these respected bikkhus fast asleep?
# Was it that these respected bikkhus had acquired ‘maarga pala’ when Hoole, the maverick member of the so-called ‘independent’ election commission petitioned court to prevent elections being held (!)?
# When the Yahapalana Government went to Geneva and connived with the USA to cede the nation’s sovereignty, had these respected bikkhus gone on a long pilgrimage to some unknown destination?
# Was it because they approved of such things that these respected bikkhus remained silent when fellow bikkhus were hounded by the Yahapalana Government?
# Do these respected bikkhus have any moral right to say anything now, having sealed all orifices while all of the above happened before their very eyes?
Maybe the venerable ‘just society’ bikkhus believe that the people of this country are stupid. The people know that although the hand belongs to Esau, the voice is Jacob’s.
[English version of the original Sinhala article published in the website www.theleader.lk]