Mahanayake firm on status of Buddhism


By Cyril Wimalasurendre

KANDY: Most Venerable Mahanayake Thera of Malwatte Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala told the Chairman of the Committee recording proposals from the public with regard to drafting the new Constitution that the place enjoyed in the existing Constitution by the National Flag, Buddhism and National Anthem must remain unchanged.

"Moves to amend such constitutional provisions are bound run into stiff resistance," said the prelate when the Chairman of the Committee Attorney at law Lal Wijenayake called on him yesterday (30).

The Most Venerable Mahanayake Thera expressed the view that "the status given to Buddhism and other religions in the existing Constitution should remain as they are."

As regards the Executive Presidency steps should be taken after consideration of views on all aspects, the prelate said, adding that according to the former President the executive presidency should remain.

Attorney Lal Wijenayake said that there would be no change in the status enjoyed by the Buddhism and the main items in the existing Constitution.

Wijenayake said that his Committee was assigned to ascertain the views of the public on the new Constitution to be drafted.

However, he said, there had been no proposal from any person or group in favour of a federal state or the merger of the North and the East.

The country required a new Constitution to replace the existing one with a large number of amendments, the senior lawyer pointed out, adding that the new Constitution should be one that could be easily understood by the people and that would be acceptable to all groups.

Wijenayake called on the prelate to educate him on the findings of the Committee he chaired. He also presented a booklet containing the views of the committee.


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