The China Mail.
Monday, August 12, 1957.
RELIGION CLASH AT SCOUT JAMBOREE
Sutton Park, Aug. 11.
A Church of England clergyman tonight issued a statement at the World Scout Jubilee Jamboree here after an incident between himself and the Deputy Leader of the Ceylon scout contingent in a tent reserved for religious services earlier today.
The Reverend Cecil Lewis, who has been acting as Chaplain in the sub camp where the Ceylon contingent has been living during the Jamboree, said he regretted that there had been an "Impression" in the camp that he had said "more than was altogether justified" when he discovered his church tent was being used for a Buddhist service.
Some of scouts from many nations watched silently when an altercation between Mr Lewis and Mr Clarcoce Wanigatunge, the Ceylon contingent's Deputy Leader, just before a Buddhist service was held in a large marquee reserved for religious services.
Mr Lewis walked into the marquee and demanded to know what a Buddhist priest and Buddhist scouts were doing there.
Earlier in the day, the marquee had been used by scouts for a Church of England service.
When Mr Lewis, in scouts uniform, walked into the marquee, Buddhist scouts were preparing their altar - a white cloth draped over a table on which were arranged flowers, two images of Buddha and several other ornaments.
Mr Lewis looked around the marquee and declared: "I walk into this marquee and I find my altar has been removed and another one put in its place."
Addressing the assembled scouts and A.Saddha Tissa, a Buddhist priest who had traveled here from the London Buddhist Villare (temple) to conduct the service, the chaplain added: "I would like to know what right you have in being here? Who gave you permission?"
He went on: "And I demand an apology."
Scouts who had gathered for the service from Ceylon, Canada, Austria, Switzerland and many other nations, stood stuck still and silent. The Buddhist priest refused to be drawn into an argument.
Mr Wanigatunge said that he was in charge. "I can tell you that we have been given permission to use this marquee for our religious service by the Jamboree Headquarters," he said. "We have invited all contingents here to the ceremony." Then, he added: "I apologise and we are very sorry."- Reuter.