The National Freedom Front (NFF) today urged the government to withdraw its decision to prohibit pandals on Vesak and Poson Poya Days without underestimating the Buddhists in the country and claimed it was an unwise decision.
The government yesterday decided to prohibit pandals on Vesak and Poson Poya Days to stress the need to focus on the spiritual aspect of religion rather than on mundane activities.
NFF leader and MP Wimal Weerawansa said the erecting of pandals was not inappropriate on Vesak and Poson Poya Days because it was one of the main ways to convey the meaning of religion to people especially for children.
“Buddhists usually engage in religious and spiritual activities in the daytime on Vesak and Poson Poya Days and visit Pandals in the night. Nobody has requested to prohibit pandals on these Poya Days though requests have been made to prohibit private tuition classes on Sunday mornings to allow students attend Sunday schools,” he said.
Mr. Weerawansa said the government was attempting to undermine Buddhist culture and asked on what basis the government was prohibiting pandals on these Poya Days despite the same government constructing the tallest artificial Christmas tree though it was disapproved by Colombo's Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith. (Kalathma Jayawardhane)