Justice Minister denies govt taking decision to open bars on Poya days


By Cyril Wimalasurendre

KANDY – Justice and Buddhist Affairs Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse said in Kandy yesterday that some NGOs surviving on foreign dollars were obstructing the progress of communal and religious reconciliation.

 Minister Rajapakse made the observation fielding questions from journalists after calling on the Mahanayake Theras yesterday (23).

Ethno-religious harmony was extremely important but certain NGOs and a section of the media were all out to prevent the country from achieving it, the Minister said.

 Asked whether the minister had discussed with the Most Ven. Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya the recent statement issued by the latter, the minister answered in the positive.

The Mahananayake Theras always expressed valuable views, Rajapakse said.

 The minister disclosed that several laws and regulations pertaining to Buddhasasana had been passed by Parliament other than the Buddhist Temporalities (Amendment) Act and the Sanghadikarana Act.

 Responding to another query Dr Rajapakse denied that a decision had been taken to open liquor bars on Poya days.

Anyone could make any statement, but no such decision had been taken, the minister insisted.

Secretary Ministry of Buddhasasana Chandraprema Gamage was also present.

Minister Rajapakse called on the prelate of Asgiriya at the Sri Dalada Maligawa and the prelate of Malwatte at Malwatte Maha Vihare.

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