MS, RW urged to give Buddhism foremost place

Published : 8:00 am  January 11, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (569) reads | 

Untitled-4The Buddha Sasana Karya Sadhaka Mandalaya comprising of the Maha Sangha and several leading Buddhist organizations have appealed to President Maithripala Sirisena that article 9 of the present Constitution, which ensures that Buddhism be given the foremost place and also guarantees that it is the duty of the state to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, should be included in the Constitution of Sri Lanka without any amendments.

The proposals presented to the President, the Prime Minister and the Government of Sri Lanka by the Buddha Sasana Karya Sadhaka Mandalaya in order to ensure that the sovereignty, unitary character, and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka is protected through the Supreme Law of this country. “Even during the British colonial rule, every attempt was made to guarantee the preservation of the Buddha Sasana and our national heritage. Our history is a chronicle that will instil pride in everyone. Language, both Sinhala and Tamil, is the main instrument to bring about understanding, cordiality and reconciliation among the different communities. Our ancient history is a national heritage that should bring satisfaction to all communities living in this country,” the letter said. Submitting a 15-point proposal the Karya Sadhaka Mandalaya also requested that the National Flag or the National Anthem should not be changed. However, Tamil speaking people may have the right to sing the National Anthem, which is in the 3rd Schedule of the present Constitution (Sinhala version), in the Tamil language, without changing the meaning of its words or its music.

Since both Sinhala and Tamil languages have been recognized as official languages of the state, every citizen shall have the right to transact all business with the Government and the Judiciary in Sinhala or Tamil. It is the paramount responsibility of all of us to rectify any past lapses on our part when steps are being taken to enact a constitution for the third time since Sri Lanka became a Republic. In this regard, we consider that it is our responsibility to work amicably within a unitary Sri Lanka without dividing ourselves by ethnicity, religion, or language. It will not be possible to promote reconciliation among ethnic groups, and bring about peace and prosperity if people are to live in separate regions based on ethnicity, religion, or language. All citizens of Sri Lanka are of equal standing. They have to submit themselves to a single corpus of laws. Laws have to be promulgated by the Parliament of Sri Lanka, which should be the supreme law making body. It is not at all beneficial to divide or separate the country by regions and prepare separate laws. Even in the implementation of laws there should not be any division.

The most worthwhile task before every one of us today is to develop Sri Lanka as a single, undivided country, rallying under one national flag, and governed by a single legal system. While executive powers of the people (including Defence) shall be vested with the President and/ or the Cabinet as the case may be, any executive powers so exercised by anyone else or by any other institution, should be subject to the directions of the Government of Sri Lanka.

No Foreign Government or Foreign Institution should be allowed to exercise judicial power or to interfere in our Judiciary. No Political or Administrative Unit, based on Race, Religion, or Language should be established within Sri Lanka in as much as amalgamation of Provinces in such a manner is not conducive to peaceful co-existence of communities. The office of President, Minister, Member of Parliament, including any office in the Executive, Legislature, or the Judiciary, should be held only by a citizen of Sri Lanka who is not a citizen of any other country. Police powers and powers relating to law and order of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall not be alienated to any provincial or regional organ.

The Sri Lanka Police Force shall be under the Command and Control of the Inspector- General of Police of Sri Lanka who shall be the head of the Sri Lanka Police. All State Land shall be vested in the Republic of Sri Lanka. Utilization, Administration, and Distribution of State Land, shall only be done by the Government of Sri Lanka in accordance with the laws made by Parliament. Entering into of all agreements which are injurious or which has a prejudicial effect on Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, unitary character, territorial integrity, and national security shall be prohibited, and any such agreement in relation to sovereignty, unitary character, territorial integrity, and national security of Sri Lanka shall only be valid upon the approval of Parliament. The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall not be more than 35, and the allocation of subjects to each such Minister shall be based on a scientific classification. No other Minister shall be appointed other than a maximum of 35 Deputy Ministers. Ven. Diviyagaha Yasassi Nayaka Thera (President), Ven. Dr. Ittapane Dhammalankara Mahanayaka Thera, Ven. Dodampahala Chandasiri Mahanayaka Thera, Ven. Kotugoda Dhammawasa Anunayaka Thera, Ven. Walamitiyawe Kusaladhamma Nayaka Thera, Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Nayaka Thera, Ven. Tirikunamale Ananda Mahanayaka Thera are among the signatories.