Laws needed to bar monks from contesting polls - Asgiriya Chief Prelate | Daily News


Laws needed to bar monks from contesting polls - Asgiriya Chief Prelate

Amendments should be brought into the Election laws to prohibit the granting of nominations to Bhikkhus to contest elections, Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratana Mahanayake thera of the Asgiriya Chapter said.

The Mahanayake thera said since the present election laws are archaic this should be done forthwith by bringing in the necessary amendments soon. The Mahanayake thera expressed these sentiments when Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya called on him in Kandy yesterday (3).

The Mahanayake thera said the sasana suffered degeneration when bhikkhus dabbled in politics directly. The duty and role of the Maha Sangha was to offer counsel to the rulers to govern the country in a righteous manner as in the past. If the Maha Sangha went beyond this limit and got directly involved in politics, it would result in a severe degeneration of the sasana. Elections Commission chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said in response that the Mahanayake thera of the Malwatte Chapter expressed identical views when he called on him and received his blessings.

The Elections Commissioner said even though candidates standing for election could call on the Mahanayake theras to seek their blessings during the period a General Election was called, they are prohibited from speaking to the media within the sacred compounds. They could only speak to the media outside the limits of the sacred precincts.

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