Sri Lanka Buddhist monks demand driving licenses

ColomboPage News Desk, October 24, 2006

Colombo,Sri Lanka -- Sri Lanka's Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and five other respondents have been summoned by the Court of Appeal to show cause for the rejection of driving license applications submitted by two Buddhist monks.

Traditionally Buddhist monks do not drive vehicles. But in recent times many other activities including parliamentary politics that were conventionally shunned for monks have been practiced by them.

The monks have petitioned against the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and five others as the Commissioner rejected their application for driving licenses that the monks say produced after fulfilling necessary requirements. They cite that anybody who is eligible should be granted a driving license under the 127th clause of the Motor Vehicles Act.

The monks further say that the Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs, who is also a respondent of the case, has no powers to advise the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles on this matter. Therefore they appeal from the court to order the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to accept their applications and issue driving licenses.