Govt. trying to dilute authority of Mahanayake Theras: Ranil
BY YOHAN PERERA AND DARSHANA SANJEEWA
Mar 12, 2014

Opposition United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday alleged that the Government was making subtle attempts to undermine the hierarchical powers of the Mahanayaka Theras of the four Nikayas. He made this allegation at a media conference after he met former President Chandrika Kumaratunga at his office to discuss how best to establish religious harmony in Sri Lanka.

He said all four Nikayas were governed by the Mahanayake Theras and the Karaka Sabhas but the Rajapaksa regime was attempting to change this structure and remove the authority wielded by the Mahanayake Theras for centuries.

Mr. Wickremesinghe alleged that this regime was moving away from the traditional patronage bestowed on the Mahanayake Theras and was planning to transfer some of the authority to extremist groups. He charged that by diluting their authority the Government was attempting to silence the Maha Nayake Theras from speaking out against casinos and religious extremism.

Mr. Wickremesinghe said he raised this matter with Ms. Kumaratunga as well and added that though the UNP as a political party would not support former Presidentís campaign for religious unity, its members would be permitted to participate in it on an individual capacity.

UNP Leadership Council Members Ruwan Wijewardene, Mangala Samaraweera, Ravi Karunanayake and Tissa Attanayake were also present at the discussions.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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