Row over Buddhist Prayer Boycott

November 21, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: BBC News

The conduct of councillors who opted not to take part in a Buddhist prayer before a meeting is to be reported to the Standards Commission for Scotland.

Three Conservative members of Dumfries and Galloway Council said they made the decision on religious grounds.

The prayer and blessing were to mark the 40th anniversary of the Samye Ling Monastery at Eskdalemuir.

Labour councillor Ted Brown said the stay-away showed "disrespect" towards the Buddhist religion.

"Councillors swear an oath upon taking office to represent their constituents irrespective of race, colour or creed," said Mr Brown.

He said he did not see how the councillors could reconcile that with the stance they had taken.

"I think the best way forward would be for these councillors to find some way to offer some apology," he said.