Feb 03, 2018

UNP pledges propagation of Buddhism in North, East

The Government coalition partner, the United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made the announcement at an election rally held in Vavunia recently that 500 million has been allocated for the construction of 1000 Buddhist temples in the north and east. This was revealed in one chapter of a hand-out distributed in the public rally addressed by the PM, titled 'reconciliation'.

tamilversionSinhala-Buddhist supremacy

With regard to the mention of 1000 temples, the Tamil version of the hand-out had been edited in an obscure manner in an obvious attempt to avoid offending Tamil voters.

The hand-out, "Government Rebuilding Villages" outlines the UNP vision for local government bodies.

Angered by the UNP announcement Tamil politicians have described the move as an indication of Sri Lanka retaining the foremost place granted to Buddhism even though plans are afoot to reform its Constitution.

“This clearly shows that the Sinhala, Buddhist supremacy in the Tamil areas of north and east continued by Sinhala governments for ages is not going to stop,” said Viswalingam Manivannan, the Jaffna Mayoral candidate of the Tamil National Peoples' Front (TNPF), speaking to journalists in Jaffna.

Chinese funds

State sponsored Buddhist temples have been mushrooming in the war torn Tamil areas since the military took over its control from the Tamil Tigers in 2009.

Earlier in 2016, the government approved plans to rehabilitate one hundred Buddhist Temples in the north and east utilising Chinese Funds.