Leading Buddhist monk MP resigns

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 October 2004, 09:08 GMT]
Ven. Kolannawe Sri Sumangala Thero, MP, the National Organiser of Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a Sinhala Buddhist nationalist party, resigned his seat in Sri Lanka’s Parliament Friday. Informed sources close to the JHU said long simmering contradictions between the party’s lay leadership and monks who were elected to Parliament led to Ven. Kolannawe Sri Sumangala’s resignation. Mr. Tilak Karunaratna, who led the party when it was known as Sihala Urumaya, left the JHU recently and joined the United National Party earlier this week.

Ven. Kolannawe did not go to Parliament Friday. He arrived after the house adjourned and tendered his resignation to Parliament secretary general, Ms. Priyanee Wijesekara.

Nine Buddhist monks from the JHU were elected to Sri Lanka’s Parliament in April 2004. Two of them crossed over to government ranks soon after Parliament began sittings in April. JHU has been wracked by controversy since then.

The party was involved in providing support for the paramilitary Karuna Group led by renegade LTTE commander Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan to carry out attacks on the Liberation Tigers in Batticaloa.

 

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