Malaysia's Chief Monk Brand US
Attacks "Heartless and Mindless"
News Bureau, September 13, 2001
Kuala Lumpur -- The Buddhist Chief High
Venerable of Malaysia and Singapore, Mahanayaka Thera Ven. Dr K Sri Dhammananda has
branded the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC as acts of "heartless and
His comments come in the
aftermath of the worst terrorist attacks in recent memory where commercial aircrafts -
laden with passengers - hijacked simultaenously from three US airports were driven and
plunged into heavily populated buildings during morning rush hour yesterday, American
eastern board time. It is estimated that tens of thousands of lives, mainly working
civilians, have perished in the attacks.
In his exclusive
interview with the Buddhist News Network (BNN) - made via telephone just this morning -
Ven. Dhammananda made it clear that he is not in a position to make any religious comments
on the terrorist acts as it is more of a political issue. However, he has categorily
stated that "no sane mind, religious or otherwise, would contemplate on such cruelty
to kill so many innocent people."
He firmly maintained
that the perpetrators"... have no compassion, no virtues and takes advantage the name
of a religion to justify their barbaric acts." "You can question," he adds,
"what sort of mind these people have developed. How far have they come to develop
such cruelty where so many innocent people have died for nothing?
While the Venerable
acknowledges the anger and suffering the American public is going through, he has
cautioned on the use of force by the American authorities as revenge. "As we condemn
the heartless and mindless actions of certain individuals, we must be mindful that any act
of retribution and retaliation will in time invite more attacks. The American authorities
must learn to overcome this problem by taking all precaution to sift out the perpetrators
without hurting other innocent people."
"The Buddha says
'Hatred will not be overcome with hatred (Dhammapada V.5). If we were to fight hatred with
anger, there will be no stop to this vicious cycle," he warns.
While the world
continues to be in shock over the audacious attacks, Ven Dhammananda urges the Buddhist
communities to offer puja and to radiate metta or loving kindness to all
departed ones as well as those still in suffering (physical or otherwise).
"In the spirit of
common humanity, Buddhists can give moral and spiritual support to all those who have
suffered directly and indirectly by radiating their metta or living kindness. Regardless
of traditions, we can all do this today. By doing so, we transfer our merits to those who
have departed," says the Venerable.
another apparent development, the Dalai Lama has sent a condolence message to US President
George W Bush, extending sympathies from the world's Buddhist community to the American
people of this unnecessary suffering.