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President agrees no need for new constitution claim Buddhist clergy

The chief Buddhist monk of the Asgiriya Chapter said Sri Lanka’s president had agreed there was no need for the island to have a new constitution, according to a report in the Daily Mirror.

Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana met with former Sri Lankan Minister and National Freedom Front leader Wimal Weerawansa and told him that Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena shared his views on a new constitution.

“Although the President said so, the government is apparently in the process of promulgating a new constitution,” said the Buddhist monk. “However, we told him that we would not agree to a process delegating more powers to the provincial councils.”

The monk went on to single out the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council C V Wigneswaran, stating that he “has insisted that the Northern province should have a federal system”. “It is inevitable that the other provincial councils would demand a system with similar powers,” he continued. “With this in view we highly appreciate the step taken by you to resign from the constitutional assembly.”

He also applauded the decision of the NFF to pull out from the constitutional assembly on the advice of the Buddhist clergy.

“If the Mahanayake Theras were not agreebale to a new constitution, we should not continue to function in the constitutional assembly,” said Mr Weerawansa. “We are not prepared to support any move rejected by the Mahanayake Theras.”

“The government empowered the entire parliament represented by 225 members to function in the capacity of constitutional assembly,” he added. “After five members resigned, the constitutional assembly is defunct now.”

“We have compelled the government to give up the process. Only the individuals having relations with NGOs are behind this secret ploy to transform the country into a federal state.”