What Colombo can learn from Bangkok

An article in the Daily Mirror  of 22 April reports a call from the National Sangha Council  that asks that Colombo not be made a Chicago or a Bangkok.  It is a protest against the casino bill that will be presented to the Sri Lankan parliament this week.  I don’t know about Chicago, but I am right now in Bangkok, and I marvel, as I have always done, how Thai people practise their religion, Buddhism, alongside their highly consumerist life style, with little pretense or hypocrisy. 

The Sanga walk collecting alms every morning in the city.  I have never seen that in Colombo.

And it would seem that the gods of consumerism and the gods of religion sit comfortably side by side, with the people of Bangkok constantly worshipping at street temples in the course of their day to day activity, showing respect to the gods as they go about their daily routine.

May be a little more Bangkok style Buddhist piety,  may not be a bad thing for Colombo after all. 


  1. The Sangha Council can't know much about the US - because it is Las Vegas, and not Chicago, that is the sin city of the US, Giving alms and lighting incense sticks at the ubiquitous altars of Bangkok does not absolve its priesthood or its people of their tacit acceptance of the sexual exploitation of teenage women throughout the country by tourists who bring in billions in foreign exchange each year. But at least their monks are not involved in politics the way they are in Sri Lanka. Now THAT is what the Sangha should be putting a stop to - including gambling. Any bets on either of these campaigns being successful?!


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