Ancient Buddha statue sealed in Bandarban, confusion and anger among the people


Hill Voice, 14 May 2020, Bandarban: It has been reported that the Bandarban Hill District Council have sealed the ancient Buddha statue of Rajguru Buddhist temple in Bandarban district headquarters. It is also known that this has created confusion and anger among the local people and Buddhist community.

According to local sources, on May 11, 2020 afternoon, Sheikh Shahidul Islam, the Executive Officer of the Bandarban Hill District Council, and other concerned persons came to the Buddhist temple and sealed the 300-year-old statue.

Later, the Executive Officer of the Bandarban Hill District Council told reporters that he had sealed the statue on the instructions of the Chairman of the Council Kyaw Shwe Hla for fear of theft.

In this regard, the Chairman of the Council Kyaw Shwe Hla told reporters, “The statue is considered as an archeological monument in Bandarban as well as Bangladesh.”

“That is why we have sealed the Buddha statue for fear of disruption in the management of the monastery due to the sudden demise of the late U Saw Hla Bhante, the Head of the Rajguru Buddhist monastery’, he added.

Besides the Buddha statue, they are preparing a list of all the properties in Bihar and will take overall measures to manage the temple, he said.

It is learnt that the Officer-in-Charge of Bandarban Sadar Police Station refused to take the keys of the temple while Hill District Council authority wanted to hand it over to him after sealing the temple.

It is to be mentioned that no other Buddhist temple has ever been sealed in this way by the Hill District Council.

Meanwhile, the sealing of the statue by the Hill District Council authorities has created confusion among the local people and anger among ordinary Buddhists.

Although the devotees can enter the Rajguru Buddhist temple, as the Buddha statue is sealed, no one can go there and pay worship to it.

Thowai Cha Prue Master, President of the Managing Committee of the Rajguru Buddhist temple, said it was “very sad” that the ancient statue was sealed. He demanded that the temple be opened immediately for the worshipers.

According to a local source, the post of Head (Principal) of the Rajguru Buddhist Temple became vacant after the recent death of one of the religious gurus of the Buddhist community, U Pannya Jota Mahathera (U Saw Hla Bhante).

The Temple Management Committee wants to replace one of his disciples, the Buddhist monk Bir Chan Pano Ther, who returned from Myanmar. But some are reluctant to accept it.

A member of the Temple Management Committee, who did not want to be named, reacted by saying that it was not the committee members or the people, but some influential and powerful people who were doing conspiracy for their own interests and the people were afraid to protest against such injustice.