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No need for a new Constitution, Buddhist prelates decide

No need for a new Constitution, Buddhist prelates decide

The chief prelates of two main of the Buddhist chapters yesterday issued a special announcement saying Sri Lanka did not need a new Constitution or amendments to the present Constitution of the country.

The members of the Maha Sangha Sabhas of the Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters convened yesterday at the historic Temple of the Tooth in Kandy to discuss the proposed new constitutional reforms.

Following the meeting, the Anunayake of the Malwatte Chapter, Ven. Dimbulkumbure Wimaladharma Thera, told the media that the proposed Constitution was detrimental as it will devolve such power not even the parliament will have to the provincial councils and pradeshiya sabhas.

“We have been specially discussing the new Constitution because a panel of experts informed us of this. This Constitution provides for the allocation of powers to the pradeshiya sabhas and provincial councils that even the entire Parliament doesn’t have. Therefore, this Constitution is unsuitable. We decided that this Constitution would be inappropriate. We also say that no new Constitution is needed. The current Constitution is good for us,” the Anunayake Thera said.

He said the chief prelates of the other two Buddhist chapters, Ramangnna Nikaya and Amarapura Nikaya, as well as the entire Maha Sangha will be enlightened on the reforms and their strong opposition to a new Constitution will be expressed.

“We ask the Government to halt this Constitution-drafting process immediately. The old Constitution is good for us. The President’s powers should also be retained but an electoral system based on the first-past-the- post system should be instituted,” the Thera said.

Ven. Dhammananda Thera said this was the opinion of the chief prelates of both the Asgiri and Malwathu Chapters.

“We decided that the entire Maha Sangha should oppose this Constitution,” the Anunayake Thera revealed.

(FT)

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