Sinhala Buddhists protest against autonomy

[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 July 2000, 17:19 GMT]
The protest was organised against the constitutional reforms aimed at giving autonomy to the Tamils and changing the system of government.

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Sinhala Buddhists say that the amendments proposed to the Sri Lankan constitution by Tamil parties would do away with the foremost place given to their religion in law.

The Sri Lankan government and the main opposition have buckled under criticism from their main Sinhala nationalist constituency that they have compromised the status of Buddhism in the discussions with the Tamil parties to evolve a settlement to the ethnic conflict in the island.

The UNP said that the proposals on constitutional reform should be placed before the Buddhist clergy for its perusal. The government also for its part announced that it would not compromise the status of Buddhism in the constitution.

Article 9 of the Sri Lankan constitution says that Buddhism shall have the foremost place and that state should promote the Buddha Sasana.

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