Dec 08, 2016

NPC's resolution against Buddhist temples not valid: Lanka govt

Sri Lankan government today said that a recent resolution adopted by the Northern Provincial Council prohibiting the construction of Buddhist temples in the Tamil-dominated North will have no legal standing.

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told Parliament that there were no constitutional provisions for provincial councils to introduce such resolutions and that the government would in no way accept such a resolution.

The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) controlled by the Tamil National Alliance has been expressing opposition to erection of Buddhist religious sites by the military in the north since the war with the LTTE ended in 2009. Tamil Hindus dominate the region.

The NPC Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran took exception to the move by publicly raising opposition.

The extreme Buddhist nationalist groups blamed the government of the President Maithripala Sirisena for not safeguarding the Buddhist religious sites in the former conflict zones in its desire to achieve reconciliation with the Tamil minority.

It was only this week that Sirisena said he was to appoint an all religious steering committee to defuse potential religious unrest created by certain extremist elements representing all religions.