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Jul 07, 2017

Will not deny Buddhism its due place – PM Featured

Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe reiterates that there is no plan to deny Buddhism the constitutional protection and place already given it, when formulating a new constitution.

The president, everybody in the UNP, SLFP have all agreed, and I don’t believe anyone will oppose, that the priority given to Buddhism will be removed, he told parliament yesterday (06) in response to a question raised by joint opposition’s Dinesh Gunawardena.

The PM said he had personally met with the top Buddhist prelates and informed them about the decision.

Document distributed, discussed?

Gunawardena claimed a document calling for a revision to clause nine of the constitution that required the state to protect and nurture Buddhism had been distributed and discussed at a meeting at the BMICH in Colombo last week, attended by the PM.

However, Wickremesinghe maintained that no new constitutional draft has so far been formulated.

A discussion is ongoing, various suggestions are forthcoming, and briefs have been made, but we have never made a report out of them or released them, he said.

Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella too, denied the existence of a document as claimed.

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Anunayake of Asgiriya Chapter Ven. Anamaduwe Dhammadassi Thera

On July 04, the three Buddhist Chapters met in Kandy and informed the government that the country needed no new constitution or constitutional amendment.

After the meeting, Anunayake of Asgiriya Chapter Ven. Anamaduwe Dhammadassi Thera said it was wholly inappropriate to bring in a new constitution that would create non-existent problems.

Responding, cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the government had no intention of going against the public mandate it had received, at both the presidential and the general elections, to formulate a new constitution.

President’s assurance

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Top Buddhist prelates meet president

Meanwhile, president Maithripala Sirisena assures the Buddhist clergy that they will be informed if even a draft for a new constitutional is formulated.

He tweeted after meeting them in Kandy yesterday that the formulation of a new constitution was a transparent process.

Mahanayake of Malwatte Chapter Most Ven. Tibbatowawe Sri Sumangala Thera has said there should be no undue fears with regard to a new constitution.

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