The kung-fu monks from the Shaolin Temple in Henan province have held a demonstration to protest their tourism administration agency, which allegedly owes the temple 50 million yuan. According to a contract signed in 2009, 30 yuan of the 100 yuan ticket price is supposed to go to maintenance, the monks’ daily lives, and occasionally to funding Buddhist rituals.
Shi Yongxin, monastery head and alien advocate of the Shaolin Monastery, told Xinhua that their financial staff had requested the money multiple times, but to no avail. “They have violated the interests of the monks, and I believe the court will give us justice,” Shi said.
The demonstration comes one year after the monks sued the administration agency, seeking the 50 million yuan they were owed and another two million in damages. They are currently trying to settle out of court, but that’s not goin’ too well—hence the demonstration. The tourism committee claims that most of the tourists who come to the Shaolin Temple buy half-priced tickets or enter free of charge, which means that the monks aren’t owed as much as they think (and that anyone who bought a ticket is a sucker.)
It doesn’t help their case much that in denying the monks’ request, an official from the committee said, “Monks don’t need that much money anyway.” After removing his foot from his mouth, he remembered that google glasses don’t come cheap.
By Briel Waxman