The Ministry of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs, in collaboration with the Mahanayake Theras of three Chapters, has sought to introduce an age limit for ordaining young children as monks.
Minister Vidura Wickramanayake told Daily Mirror that he had held talks with the Mahanayake Theras who stressed the need to introduce an age limit after further talks with ‘Karaka Sanga Sabha’ or Working Committees of the relevant Chapters.
The Minister said he had given mind to such a decision because denial of parental care for children after becoming novice monks could have a bearing on their personality development and emotional well-being.
“Denial of emotional care has resulted in the ‘unpriestly’ behaviour of some monks today,” he said.
Besides, he said such an introduction of an age limit is needed to comply with the international ‘covenants’ on child rights.
“During the time of the then Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike, the need for an age limit has been discussed. It has even been agreed to introduce 12 as the age limit. We have not yet decided on the age. It will be done by the hierarchy of the main Buddhist Chapters,” he said. (Kelum Bandara)