Multi-religious leaders present proposals for presidential candidates

Multi-religious leaders present proposals for presidential candidates

Written by Staff Writer

06 Aug, 2019 | 8:09 pm

Colombo (News 1st): A series of recommendations were presented by multi-religious leaders to presidential candidates today (August 6), under the auspices of the Chief Prelates of the three sectors. The event was held at the BMICH Colombo and was attended by the Maha Sangha, the Chief Prelates of the three sectors and several multi-religious leaders.

President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and several ministers and MPs from the government and the opposition attended the event.

The recommendations include the amendment of the presidential and provincial council election acts, the consideration of the qualifications of the candidates put forward for elections, and the provision and monitoring of funds for election propaganda activities. The document containing the series of recommendations was signed by multi-religious leaders.

Speaking at the event Secretary of the Buddhasasana Board Most Venerable Thrikunamalaye Ananda Thero noted that the candidate should be free from any crime including those related to elections. He added that it is also recommended to ensure the candidate is educationally and professionally qualified. He said nominations will not be awarded to those who own permits for casinos and alcohol.

Adding to this Chairman of the Buddhasasana Board Most Venerable Diviyagaha Yasassi Thero noted that it has now come to a point where aspirations and requirements of the general public are not fulfilled by most of the public representatives. He said this situation cannot be tolerated by the people.

Anunayake of the Asgiriya Chapter Most Venerable Anamaduwe Dhammadassi Thero said if there are leaders who don’t take responsibility and serve the people, it is a crime. Therefore, he noted that they have to be mindful. He added that when leaders of the country are weak, it leads towards the downfall of the country. The Thero pointed out that they have seen how certain sectors and the political arena lacks integrity.

President Maithripala Sirisena addressing the audience said that the rights and privileges demanded by MPs and above are endless. He noted that he recently had a debate about a proposal put forward by the government, about privileges enjoyed by MPs, the proposal was to provide Rs. 200,000 to MPs in addition to their salaries and bonuses. The President noted that he does not agree as currently, an MP gets more than Rs. 400,000. He said if their political parties reach a common agreement, it will not be impossible to achieve what’s in these recommendations.

Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa noted that they as a party agree with the recommendations put forward to ensure integrity in the system. Meanwhile, JVP MP Sunil Hadunnetti noted that the main point here is that politics in the country failed to create an environment suitable for our future generations. He said recommendations of this nature will not be presented today if a proper system was in place. He believes they all should look at it as something that affects us in general.

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