Top Buddhist priests denounce move to change Sri Lankan constitution

MENAFN - NewsIn.Asia, July 4, 2017

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- Sri Lanka's top Buddhist priests have jointly appealed to the government not to proceed with its plan to write a new constitution for the country or even amend the existing constitution.

<< Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena with the Mahanayake and Anunayake of the Asgiriya Nikaya in Kandy

Called the 'Mahanayakes' (Chief Incumbents) of the three main Buddhist Orders ( Nikayas) the High Priests met on Tuesday and unanimously decided that there is no need for a new Constitution or even an amendment to the existing constitution.

However, they added that, if necessary, only the election system may be amended.

The Mahanayakes who belong to the Malwatte, Asgiriya and Ramannya Nikayas, also opposed the presentation of a bill in parliament to incorporate into domestic law, the International Convention on Enforced Disappearances.

It is feared by Sri Lanka's opposition parties, that the Convention will result in Sri Lankan military men being arrested and hauled up for alleged war crimes in courts in various Western countries and also before the International Criminal Court.

A bill to incorporate the convention in domestic law is to be presented in parliament on Wednesday.

Former Sri Lankan President and Joint Opposition leader, Mahinda Rajpaksa, had already issued a strong statement against the adoption of the convention.

It is said in political circles that the Mahanayakes' statement on constitutional change and the Convention on Enforced Disappearances might have been influenced by the Joint Opposition led by former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

A section of the government also shares the view of the Mahanayakes. The Sirisena faction of the #SriLanka Freedom Party (SLFP) also wants only electoral reforms and not a new constitution with more powers devolved to the provinces especially the Tamil province in the North.

The Minister of National Dialogue and National Languages Mano Ganeshan said that government cannot go back on its electoral promise to re-write the constitution to promote post-war ethnic reconciliation.

'This government was elected in 2015 with a promise to abolish the Executive Presidency, change the constitution, and bring about electoral reforms. The majority Sinhalese as well as the minority Tamils and Muslims supported the present leaders on the basis of these promises. The minorities, especially, wanted all these three promises fulfilled. They would not accept piece meal implementation of the promises,' Ganeshan said.

Asked what might happen now that the Buddhist High Priests have spoken, Ganeshan said that the ball is in the government's court.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP and spokesman M.A.Sumanthiran said that the Mahanayakes' statement might not be set back for the constitution remaking process.

'We will have to first find out who is behind this statement. We will be talking to President about this,' he said.
We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: