Citing threat to Sinhala Buddhists
Hela Udawa
calls for baby boom, slams Punchi paula raththaran concept

Claiming that the very survival of the Sinhala Buddhists was at stake, the newly launched Hela Udawa Jathika Viyaparaya yesterday said that there should be at least three children in a family. Citing medical reports and surveys, the group said that failure to take remedial action would cause a catastrophe.

Ven. Mawarale Bhaddiya, an advisor to the group said that people would have to get out of what he called Punchi Pawula Rattharan mentality. "A family used to have at least five children. There were families with seven or more children. But today, a family will have just one or two children," he said. He said that their effort was not directed against any community. "We are not asking other communities not to have large families," he said, emphasising that the government shouldn’t turn a blind eye to rapidly dwindling birth rate of the Sinhalese.

Accusing the government of allowing abortion clinics in the city and its suburbs and the provinces, Ven. Bhaddiya urged families to hand over unwanted children to the temple. "Please don’t kill them. If you don’t want them hand them over to us," the monk said. He said that these unwanted children could be ordained as there was a severe dearth of Buddhist monks.

He asserted that a heavily funded media campaign carried out in the 80s had caused irreparable damage to the country as a whole and the majority community particularly.

Dr. Roy Perera said that the Sri Lanka Insurance would launch a special scheme shortly to inspire couples to have at least three children. They would be offered a range of benefits depending on the number of children, he said. "We, too, will offer them economic assistance," he said, urging Buddhist monks to use every available opportunity to propagate the concept of a large family. Although the idea was to encourage the Sinhala Buddhists, Hela Udawa wouldn’t oppose other communities joining the proposed insurance scheme.

Asserting that there was an international conspiracy to weaken the Sinhala Nation, he revealed that they were in the process of studying the entire gamut of issues before exerting pressure on the government to review its position on existing family planning measures.


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