Ban on holding political events at religious places | Daily News


 

Election Commissioner notifies Chief Prelates:

Ban on holding political events at religious places

Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya with the Malwatte Chief Prelate Most Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Mahanayake Thera and Asgiriya Chief Prelate Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Mahanayake Thera.
Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya with the Malwatte Chief Prelate Most Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Mahanayake Thera and Asgiriya Chief Prelate Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Mahanayake Thera.

Holding political events at religious institutions such as temples, churches, mosques and kovils, and promoting political candidates during religious ceremonies have been banned by the Election Commission.

Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya met with the Malwatte Chief Prelate Most Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Mahanayake Thera and Asgiriya Chief Prelate Most Venerable Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Mahanayake Thera yesterday to notify them the decision taken to ban any religious institution being used for political activities and the promotion of candidates during religious ceremonies.

The Election Commissioner told the media after meeting the Chief Prelates that such activities would be banned under Paragraph 79 of the 1981 Parliamentary Election Act.

However, he said that despite the ban on holding political meetings at religious establishments, there is no ban on religious leaders participating in political activities, adding that this ban is applicable not only to Buddhist temples, but also to other religious establishments.

He noted that as the country’s majority is Buddhists, he had taken measures to notify Buddhist religious leaders first, regarding this decision and said he would notify other religious leaders as well. The Election Commissioner said this decision was taken to ensure that the upcoming General Election is held in the fairest manner.


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