Monks call for political opposition to devolution package
[TamilNet, Thursday, 29 June 2000, 18:52 GMT]
A leading Buddhist monk, Venerable Maduluwe Sobitha Thera, appealed on Thursday to members of Parliament belonging to the two major Sinhala dominated political parties not to become traitors to their own community by supporting the devolution package prepared by their leaders.
A press conference was held today in Colombo by the National Joint Committee that opposes the government's move to submit draft devolution proposals to the Parliament as an attempt to find a political solution to the ethnic problem in the country.
A former Supreme Court Judge S.W.Walpita presided.
Ven.Maduluwewe Sobitha Thera speaking at this press conference said that the establishment of an interim council for the northeast province would do immense harm to the Sinhala community.
He reminded everyone that at the last presidential election, when the leader of the United National Party (UNP), Ranil Wickremasinghe, suggested that he would set up an interim administration for this war-torn province to bring peace when he was elected, Ms Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge opposed it as a move by the UNP to hand over the North-east province to the Tamil Tigers.
Now both leaders have joined hands to hand over the northeast province to separatist elements in the country, he said. Patriotic Sinhalese should oppose this move, he further stated.
He appealed to the Sinhala masses to exert pressure on their elected members of parliament not to vote for any move that would ruin the pristine glory of the Sinhalese community in the island.