Chief Prelates deny statements attributed to them on 20A
The Chief Prelates of Amarapura Nikaya and Ramanna Nikaya yesterday stressed that they did not hold any official discussion on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution nor were they aware of the media statements issued on Monday with regard to that matter.
Sri Lanka Amarapura Sangha Council President and Udarata Amarapura Nikaya acting Chief Prelate Most Ven. Ganthune Assaji Thera and Ramanna Nikaya Chief Prelate Most Ven. Napana Pemasiri Thera, in two separate statements, said that their Sects had not arrived at any official stance with regard to the proposed 20th Amendment.
“Many inquired about our opinion on the 20th Amendment, but our Sangha Council or Executive Council has not held any discussion on that matter. One has to analyse the Amendment Clause by Clause if that person wants to speak its good and bad. The Government has stated that it intends to reconsider certain Sections of the Bill at the Committee Stage debate. We are not aware what those amendments are. We are also not aware of the Court’s decision on the petitions challenging the 20th Amendment. One has to take them also in to account when expressing an opinion. I personally believe the Executive should be strengthened than it is now.
It is also my view that the constitutional makers should listen to constructive criticism,” Ven. Assaji Thera said in a letter.
Ven. Napana Pemasiri Thera in his statement reminded the Sangha of his Sect that they should not meddle in political affairs.
“Ramanna Kathikawatha explicitly states that it is inappropriate for Buddhist monks to participate in political activities. It is important to honour that tradition. The Buddhist monks must be able to differentiate between politics and the Government affairs. The Buddhist monks should always work for the betterment of the society. Due to physical constraints I do not travel much. However I should have been informed of any meeting of the Sect. The Lekakadhikari monks and others should know that it is inappropriate to make statements without the knowledge of the Maha Nayaka Thera,” he commented.