Princeton prof. says 'No' to Sri Lanka child monks

Japan Economic Newswire, July 21, 2001

Princeton prof. says 'No' to Sri Lanka child monks

Lanka's prime minister to recruit 2,000 children into Buddhist monastic orders to cope with a shortage of monks has met criticism from a scholar who says child ordination is against Buddhist doctrine.

Gananath Obeyesekere, an anthropology professor at Princeton University, says the campaign targets children as young as 5 years even though Theravada Buddhism doctrine states that a boy must be at least 15 years of age to become a monk...

...Obeyesekere, in his remarks published in the Colombo newspapers Sunday Island and the Daily News, says if more monks are needed for the orders, older people should be recruited as they are increasingly given to meditation and usually have a good knowledge of the Buddha teachings....