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Sinhala Buddhist monk denounces same-sex marriage and dismisses ‘Western pressure’

Sinhala Buddhist Monk Bengamuwe Nalaka issued a warning to parliamentarians regarding their stance on the same-sex marriage bill currently under deliberation in parliament, urging them not to support the bill since it goes against the “Buddhist values”. 

“This bill presents serious implications to our values and principals,” he told a media briefing in Colombo. “Our culture and societal norms are not the same as Western nations. Who is asking for this bill? Are we under pressure from the Western powers?”

He told reporters that the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress is firmly opposed to the legalization of same-sex marriages. He warned parliamentarians, particularly Sinhala Buddhists against voting for the bill and returning to their constituencies.

“Our societal ethos, deeply rooted in Buddhist philosophy, serves as the bedrock of our cultural identity and societal harmony,” the monk claimed.

Nalaka has a history of problematic and racist comments. The extremist monk Nalaka has previously been vocal against the commemoration of the Tamil war dead on May 18 as part of Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day.

“LTTE activities have not stopped completely even today,” he claimed in 2015. “While the LTTE is banned internationally, the government has allowed the TNA to commemorate the memory of dead LTTE terrorists. The TNA considers LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran as its hero.”

Later that year he claimed "there are no extremists in Colombo”. “We are not extremists but patriots. We love this country and want to save our war heroes and protect the peace we won," the extremist monk said.

He has also accused former Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe who was then-prime minister for attempting to appease the Tamil diaspora, as military officers were being investigated for the disappearance of cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda.

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