Buddhist monk seeking job of police officer turned down in Sri Lanka

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 Associated Press, 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, reports AP.

Sri Lanka's police play a crucial role against Tamil rebels who began fighting in 1983 for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.1 million minority ethnic Tamils.

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