By Umesh Moramudali and Aisha Nazim
The amendment moved by UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe, to debar monks from entering Parliament does not have the support of major political parties, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said, today.
JHU deputy secretary Western Province Minister Udaya Gammanpila revealed this during a media briefing held in Colombo, today. According to Provincial Minister Gammanpila, the UPFA, UNP, LSSP and DNA are against this amendment. He further said that UPFA leader President Mahinda Rajapaksa strongly opposed the amendment and had said he will advise other UPFA parties to vote against it.
Furthermore, main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had told the JHU that it was a private member’s motion by Rajapakshe and did not represent the views of the UNP. The UNP, he said, has not reached a decision regarding the amendment as yet, but will inform the JHU regarding their decision when it is presented.
“Sarath Fonseka’s party said that such a decision should be made by monks themselves, not by ordinary people. Meanwhile, the LSSP is completely against banning monks from politics, and told us that they are already taking steps against this. 150 votes are needed for the amendment to be implemented, and according to what we can see, most of the parliamentarians are already against this and will not vote in favour of it,” said Gammanpilla.
Furthermore, a debate between Wijayadasa and the JHU, regarding whether monks should enter politics or not, is scheduled to be televised on Derana TV tonight at 9:30 p.m., he said. Gammanpilla alleged that Wijayadasa has been postponing a public confrontation a number of times, and refused to participate in an open debate with the JHU.
He also charged Rajapakshe was guilty of tax evasion, and not following the rules and regulations of examinations he was sitting for, at the Ruhuna University. He also said that though the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had begun investigations the matter regarding his examination frauds, the investigations were dropped due to Wijayadasa’s political influence.