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The monk who wants to be a cop

The Sri Lankan police has asked the Buddhist monk to give up his saffron robes and leave the monastery if he wants to join the force.

world Updated: Mar 22, 2007 18:45 IST

A Buddhist monk who wanted to join Sri Lanka's police force had his application rejected and told he'd first have to give up his saffron robes and leave the monastery.

The monk was among nearly 1,000 people who applied for a job on the force, said Neville Piyadigama, chairman of the National Police Commission, an independent body that handles recruitment.

"We rejected his application," Piyadigama told the agency, asking how a Buddhist monk bound by nonviolence could "perform the duties of a police officer, as he has to wear a uniform and carry a gun".

Piyadigama, however, said the monk could join if he resigned from the monkhood.

The name of the monk was withheld by the commission.

A vast majority of Sri Lanka's majority ethnic Sinhalese are Buddhists and monks consider themselves guardians of the nation.

Sri Lanka's police play a crucial role against Tamil rebels who began fighting in 1983 for a separate homeland.