Change in the Hela Urumaya leadership nothing extraordinary says Gammanpila

By Ifham Nizam


The appointment of Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thera as the new leader of Jathika Hela Urumaya was a decision taken at the recent meeting of the Executive Committee of the party, JHU Legal Advisor Udaya Gammanpila said.

He said that JHU is a political party based on the Buddhist doctrine which said that nothing was permanent. For the past seven years there were changes in various posts and this year there were recommendations to make Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thera, the leader of the party, he told a press briefing on Wednesday in Colombo.

In response to questions, he assured that the move to remove former leader Ven. Ellawella Medananda thera had no connection with the Mahinda Chintana policies.

He said that the Executive Committee of 39 members decided on the Party’s leadership and it didn’t happen to be the wish of a single person.

He said that the removal of the leader was in line with the normal procedure. Though they had not changed the leader of the party for the last seven years, a number of other posts were changed annually.

Gammanpila said that after the removing of Ven. Medhananda Thera from the leader’s position, electing him to another position was not an extra ordinary act. That was done due to the respect that all had for the venerable monk.

Prior to the change, the Executive Committee had sent two letters by Registered post to Ven. Ellawella Medhananda thera. However, these letters had not reached the former leader. Gammanpila said that the incident had been reported to the Post Master General and he had assured to conduct a full investigation.

He also said that unlike other political parties they didn’t have rifts over the leadership.

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