19 May 2008

Journal 38

I returned to Akuressa - 9 miles - along the same road of dull-witted villages, where I learned, after seeing the dead and bloody bodies of dogs lying by the road, that the government actually pays a man or men to go about shooting the animals - anti-rabies, I am told (they could justify shooting people on the same grounds) - and this from a government which styles itself 'Buddhist' - see the very first of the five precepts incumbent upon all who wish to style themselves as Buddhists, against the taking of life - and the villagers do themselves no good by permitting or even, perhaps, co-operating with such a project, which is carried out against dogs who are invariably timid - they are unbelievably mal-treated, quite causelessly as I have seen myself on many occasions - and finally I reached Akuressa, where I was summoned to the cop shop.

The top cop wanted to see me out of curiosity, apparently, not suspicion - though he did mention that there had been 2 murders in the last week I was not asked to account for my whereabouts. Then one of his other curious visitors lashed into an attack on the poor behavior of Ceylon's monks, as if he were giving me information I did not already have. I smiled to myself and continued on…

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