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Bill to stop monks from becoming MPs

31 May 2012 06:31 pm - 117     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


United National Party (UNP) front-liner Wijedasa Rajapakse yesterday submitted a Private Member’s Bill asking that Sri Lanka’s Constitution be amended to prevent a priest of any religion becoming a member of parliament.

Mr. Rajapaksa said this Act may be called the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. “The Article 91 of the Constitution be amended by adding the Article 91 (H) Priest of any religion,” it said. The Bill also mentioned that the, ‘Amendment shall come into operation soon after the expiry or the dissolution of the 17th Parliament.’

Mr. Rajapakse said he had decided to bring this amendment for the purpose of maintaining and preserving religious dignity and holiness of all religions.

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  Comments - 117

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  • Rilwan Thursday, 31 May 2012 06:44 PM

    Its a good move, and the bill should be passed without any hazzle to protect religious dignitty , it should be applied to all priests from any religion in the Island.

    Fusion Thursday, 31 May 2012 06:48 PM

    Fantastic Mr. Wijedasa Rajapakse! Great to see someone with at least a bit of a spine in the parliament. But sadly I doubt the bill would pass

    Lanka Puthra Thursday, 31 May 2012 06:53 PM

    better latet than never

    balugood move Thursday, 31 May 2012 06:55 PM

    very good move

    nnn Thursday, 31 May 2012 06:56 PM

    good move

    Observer Thursday, 31 May 2012 06:55 PM

    Really good move...You should be commended for your vision. We are Buddhists but ashamed to see Buddhist priests seated in parliament with other parliamentarians when their rightful place is in the temple. They must learn to follow in the footsteps of Lord Buddha and leave politics to politicians. Ethical values have eroded in society mostly because Buddhist priests are no longer focusing in propagating Dhamma.

    minipe Thursday, 31 May 2012 07:01 PM

    what a good bill to pass.

    Shai Thursday, 31 May 2012 07:34 PM

    You mean the people in parliment have no dignity.

    PERERA Thursday, 31 May 2012 08:14 PM

    nice one. confine them to the temples wheren they belong

    Voter Friday, 01 June 2012 02:02 AM

    YES a great move, all religious dignitaries from what ever religion should spend their time preaching their religion and not be on political stages

    rakesp Friday, 01 June 2012 02:30 AM

    good moove Mr WR,
    we are happy to have a such knowledge person as a parliamentarian in our period.
    go ahead,god bless you gentleman.

    CW Friday, 01 June 2012 02:30 AM

    Also, prevent other monks making political statements criticising the Govt of SL and participating in protests.

    siri Friday, 01 June 2012 02:31 AM

    About time too! The Buddhist monks,(representatives and symbols of a scientific philosophy for the benefit of ALL beings) can learn a thing or two from other clergy. Monks should realise that they are not beyond correction.

    mew Friday, 01 June 2012 02:42 AM

    Hats off to you Wije

    Angelo Coonghe Friday, 01 June 2012 02:41 AM

    very good ,Bring another one to stop monks to becoming -
    Manthacharya (Hora ved)du

    chatu Friday, 01 June 2012 02:51 AM

    its a good move...also everyone has to support it

    PKR Friday, 01 June 2012 02:49 AM

    Crap Idea. Unconstitutional. Breach of fundamental right.
    Politicians and parliamentarians has no right to decide who can or who can not elected to parliament. It is the voters, people of this country who has that inalienable right to select their representative. If people dispice or dislike religious leaders, let them to reject or not elected them. Let people to decide. Members of parliament including Wijedasa Rajapakse can not beat if a respected, able monk or religious figure contest in the election. This attempt is to unduly secure seats for mean political candidates and not allowing religous leaders to get a opportunity to have saying in governance.
    Wijedasa, the new leader of bar association, are you afraid of religious leaders coming to politics? Whom do you trying to save? Religion? Buddhism? Surely are trying to secure more seats for crap laymen politicians. Surely this is infuriority complex.

    BlindSide Friday, 01 June 2012 02:54 AM

    At last some sanity into Sri Lanka parliament.

    Dee Friday, 01 June 2012 02:57 AM

    This should have come 10 years back, tad too late now. not only clergy , but those who shed the robes are also in. thats even worse.

    Dunstan Friday, 01 June 2012 02:57 AM

    Well done Mr.Rajapakse, You are a true Buddhist. But wonder whether this bill will be passed under this Govt.

    hb Friday, 01 June 2012 03:04 AM

    great move but govt will oppose because of JHU

    SUNILA Friday, 01 June 2012 03:00 AM

    Hats off to Mr. Rajapaksa for standing for the preservation of Religions.Gather people around you for this move.You have been silent these days. As you are a person with integrity we like to see you in action in Parliament and outside.

    Kumara Friday, 01 June 2012 03:05 AM

    That's true. Day by day we loose our respect towards our Monks, and the main reason is they are stuck inside this dirtiest politics. It is a must to bring them out of it and gain back the respect.

    Prasanna Friday, 01 June 2012 03:11 AM

    Wish u all best

    Wara Friday, 01 June 2012 03:14 AM

    That' good.

    Black Mamba Friday, 01 June 2012 04:21 AM

    My sentiments exactly but it's better to give it a try!

    j Friday, 01 June 2012 04:21 AM

    Keep religion away from politics.

    citizen1 Friday, 01 June 2012 04:27 AM

    No offence, but come on now.. that is freedom of speech... where do we draw the line?

    Had enough Friday, 01 June 2012 05:03 AM

    Good , keep those corrupt men in robes out of parlimentary politics. the insult our great philoserphy.

    Lilith de silva Friday, 01 June 2012 05:22 AM

    There is no problem in monks becoming as MPs
    But in Sr Lanka we have Bunch of thugs and
    Hullo gens under the religious banner
    Wear the Robe and come to the parliament
    and have a havock . They are thugs not monks.

    Bill won't change any thing they will change the costume
    With the traditional national dress.

    Kalana Friday, 01 June 2012 05:23 AM

    Good one, also should bring a bill to stop doing Jobs. After Premadasa allowing doing jobs to Monks, our monks got corrupted. Also, universtity entrance should be stopped if we want to protect our Temples.

    Jim Hardy Friday, 01 June 2012 05:26 AM

    From the comments here we can judge who is for & not, good move.

    Some Buddhist racists may not like it.

    Chinthaka Friday, 01 June 2012 05:28 AM

    Bro, Buddist monks are the ones who follow Lord Buddha.. Lord Buddha Left his palace kingdom and every thing to become a Lord of Buddhism. so that mean a buddhist monk should not come into politics...

    PKR Friday, 01 June 2012 05:42 AM

    So you like this because you are non buddhist racist?

    jegss Friday, 01 June 2012 05:46 AM

    It is against fundamental rights of human being. Every individual have their civic rights. It should be in the hands of the people whether to elect them or not. It is the political parties to decide whether it is appropriate for them to nominate religious leaders as a candidate in the elections.

    Nodrog Friday, 01 June 2012 05:59 AM

    Already the monks are protesting so now we know where their true aspirations lie. Politics and religion should never have been allowed.

    TMA Friday, 01 June 2012 06:01 AM

    This will easily be defeated. They'll also add a 'Christiany/Muslim Conspiracy to this'

    Mason Friday, 01 June 2012 06:07 AM

    A good piece of legislation if you can get it passed. At least the monks will not have their hands tainted with bribery.

    janak Friday, 01 June 2012 06:06 AM


    saliya Wickremesurya Friday, 01 June 2012 06:14 AM

    Kalana, go get a life.

    Joseph Friday, 01 June 2012 06:21 AM

    Excellent idea.Sooner the better.

    dev Friday, 01 June 2012 06:27 AM

    A good move!!!
    after becoming MP's they change their style of talking as well, it sounds weird

    parak Friday, 01 June 2012 06:45 AM

    religion has become a business. They have plenty of other ways and means to do this. I stopped visiting temples long ago because I can not cheat myself..

    Fusion Friday, 01 June 2012 06:43 AM

    You can't be a monk & politician at the sometime. Politicians are lawmakers! They create a constitution, laws enforced by punishments. they choose to go to war. Someone who calls himself a monk cannot enforce laws on lays. From the days of the Great Lord Buddha monks played an important advisory role, but never imposed their will on others! If a monk wants to enter politics, simple, disrobe! Theraputtabhya, disrobed before he joined King Dutugemunu. Once the war ended he re-ordained actually became an 'Arahath' at the end.

    raja Friday, 01 June 2012 06:50 AM

    if you do not restrict all criminals will enter parliament, there are people to vote or they will be forced to vote for those criminals

    Rahumathullah Husain Friday, 01 June 2012 06:49 AM

    Sir, this means you admit that politics in Sri-Lanka is dirty and unholy for the holy people? We expect this from ruling party politicians.

    V Andrew Friday, 01 June 2012 06:54 AM

    I am really impressed by Mr. Rajapakse (no not MR). It takes guts to come up with such a suggestion, knowing how bad the Buddhist Monks react to such suggestions.

    Fah Friday, 01 June 2012 07:00 AM

    Very good move, I hope all in their right mind and understands Buddisum will vote for it! Good luck Mr.WR

    piyal Friday, 01 June 2012 07:06 AM

    we saw very recently remark made by one monk - upto what extent you may willing to corrupt your buddhist values in order to get that extra buck - it is indeed heart breaking to see as buddhists - we know why our religion our temples getting ruin day by day -
    The worst is no body think this govt will endorse this very important bill which will preserve our sacred religion from these rogues - wait and see it would not happen - but one day this should happen - and it will

    roshan Friday, 01 June 2012 07:12 AM

    wonder if anyone remembers during Chandrika's term of presidency she had appointed a committe of retired supreme court judges which came up with a report recommending Monks should not be allowed to enter parliament. So all WR is asking now through the private bill is to implement the recommendations of the Hon.Judges appointed by the previous SLFP govt.

    If politics is more dear to some monks then they should not seek votes in robes.

    Ronny Friday, 01 June 2012 07:13 AM

    This is a fantastic move. Hope the Govt. MPs will support this move. Isn't it also better to have a minimum educational qualification level for anyone contesting to become a Parliamentarian or a Pradeshiya Sabha Member . If minimum educational qualifications are required even to become a junior clerk/messenger/peon in the public sector, there should be a higher standard of level to be an MP or PS Member. Then thugs like ....... will not be able to become MPs, or Ministers and ruin our country.

    Nishantha Friday, 01 June 2012 07:14 AM

    Why only parliament? why not provincial council and pradeshiya saba? Are parliamentarian priests a treat to your political agenda? You are the one who hurriedly prepared a federal constitution to CBK!

    Anton Weerasinghe Friday, 01 June 2012 07:16 AM

    A sensible move. we need sensible people like you in the Parliament Mr Wijedasa

    Sumedha Friday, 01 June 2012 07:15 AM

    Very good move..

    Sankapudy Wijesinghe Friday, 01 June 2012 07:19 AM

    Buddhists monks shoud follow the Vinaya.
    Is it allowed for them to take part in politics?
    I think not.

    SK Friday, 01 June 2012 07:23 AM

    I agree with the university entrance part...they should be educated at Privenas/ Seminaries and not in Universities.

    dinesh Friday, 01 June 2012 07:28 AM

    This shd be implemented. It is gud for the society.If you want to come into politics disrobe the monk and then come into politics

    Existentialist Friday, 01 June 2012 07:36 AM

    If we are to go by your logic, people who voted for them do not understand Buddhism?

    lal Friday, 01 June 2012 07:49 AM

    Congratulation!This is good move.Please get approval of the parliament and implement this sooner than later.This is what we need.The priest became MP's is one of worst happen to our religion Buddhism.For another 100years or more any other religion other than Buddhist monks won't be contest to the parliament.

    Cyril Alwis Friday, 01 June 2012 07:58 AM

    Also, Priests must not be allowed engage in any business. At leats, 25% of our monks are businessmen.


    Sumanasiri Friday, 01 June 2012 08:01 AM

    Excellent effort by WR. It should have been done by Mahanayakas ages ago.

    buffaloa citizen Friday, 01 June 2012 08:07 AM

    It is the duty of buddhist clergy not involve themselves with buddhism. It is also the responsibility of all buddhists from voting and nominating monks into politics. We know that this problem in SL is only with the buddhist clergy and not at all with other religeons. However sinhalese buddhism is a poor example of buddhism, thus whatever legislation, the poor culture and discipline will not get corrected or improved.

    Das Friday, 01 June 2012 08:12 AM

    It is against the fundamental human rights. It is not the priests or politicians to blame. Why the hel people vote these guys?

    Ralph Anthony Kernr Friday, 01 June 2012 08:16 AM

    It is a very good suggestion. Your will receive the backing of the entire public.

    Aney Machang Friday, 01 June 2012 08:15 AM

    Very good iniatiative! the comments on the above suggest over whemling majority support for your bill. I hope the men who matters give you the numbers in Parliament to pass this.

    The next bill should be, convicts should not enter Parliament, then the next bill should be only Professionals to enter Parliament.
    SL then will be wonder of Asia!

    aafi Friday, 01 June 2012 08:26 AM

    with due respect all religious leaders should try to preach for a better society. right now this is not happening except from a very few.

    Teshan Friday, 01 June 2012 08:31 AM

    well which one is not a criminal from the current lot ?

    Russel Friday, 01 June 2012 08:37 AM

    It's not a good move! The constitution has already a respecter of persons restricting anyone other than the Sinhalese Buddhist from being the leader of the nation! I believe that the people should have the right to chose! Restricting certain groups of people from contesting is not the answer to the problem! Strengthen the rule of law! May the people choose! Don’t bind the choice of people! If it is a priest, monk, a labourer,it be a sinhalies, Tamil or any one for that matter have to be voted in has to win the hearts of the people! We the people of Sri Lanka should not be narrow minded! We need to get these petty differences between ourselves away with, if we are to build a united Sri Lanka!
    We should learn to look at people beyond the language that they speak, race religion or any difference between us!
    Look at the character of a person and the fruits he has yielded in what he has done!

    Hubert Friday, 01 June 2012 08:33 AM

    This what we need urgently

    pension kaaraya Friday, 01 June 2012 08:46 AM

    i salute u Mr. M P. you are doing a loan overdue job to rescue "BUDDHDA SAASANAYA"

    Suren Friday, 01 June 2012 08:41 AM

    Cat out of the bag.. seems like some one is hurt becos of this "Purawasthu Horakam"... Further too easy for TNA pals to tell lies about the history .. what a shame !

    Manik Friday, 01 June 2012 08:49 AM

    Leading Buddist prelates should support this move. When priests become MPs they get ridiculed, insulted and even attacked and end up in hospitals like what happened in Parliament few years back.

    Dayan Friday, 01 June 2012 08:51 AM

    Brilliant MOVE and all religious persons should be engaged in fighting against corruption, creates harmony, convince good governance to rulers and not behave like third class uncivilized politicians.

    Also you did a very commendable job as a Chairmen of the COPE in comparison to your successor.

    God bless you WR

    Dr.De Silva Friday, 01 June 2012 09:03 AM

    To Jegss, Yes you are right,then every Budhisdt monks would havr right to marry a woman,drink liquor ,gamble etc.Then what you mean by Buddhism. I feel you consider Budhist monk as normal human wrpeed with a yellow robe!.

    banda Friday, 01 June 2012 08:59 AM

    I too agree that the buddhist monks of our country should not do politics because the religious leaders are respected for keeping the buddhism alive and specially to educate masses with regard to doctrine of buddhism. We can now see what the presnt monks who have become members of the parliament are doing and what kind of benifits enjoyed by them which are not suitable to clergy persons. The monks were there in the past to advice the rulers but not become leaders of the masses. If any monk who wants to participate in active politics are free to derobe and do politics. Mr Rajapakse has taken a good move.

    buffaloa citizen Friday, 01 June 2012 09:02 AM

    Mervyn is also a proffessional! Many war criminals also have got doctorates. How do you stop that?

    shantha madawela Friday, 01 June 2012 09:09 AM

    ho! what a bad time to bad monks....

    marina Friday, 01 June 2012 09:08 AM

    All religious preachers must be asked to do their work only in religious matters and shold not be allowed to become politicians.

    Hasthi Friday, 01 June 2012 09:14 AM

    you are right on not being narrow minded. But clergy has a different role and they are respected due to that role. If any clergy seriously think he has a role in politics, trade unions, business etc. let them leave the 'robes' 'cassocks' or whatever that distinguish them as clergy and compete on equal footing with the others.

    It is bad for their faiths and the following when they are involved in lay people's activities while still clinging to their role as clergy.

    ajith Friday, 01 June 2012 09:21 AM

    I am totally agree with you!!

    Haris Friday, 01 June 2012 09:27 AM

    All Religious should be banned from politics, including performing hunger strikes, picketing, speaking in political rallies etc


    Smith Friday, 01 June 2012 09:29 AM

    I don't think even the Buddhist Monk understand what is expected of them, otherwise will they enter politics?

    Mayu Friday, 01 June 2012 09:40 AM

    A constructive development. I support your move.

    Gamunu Friday, 01 June 2012 09:41 AM

    good ..move but it should be applicable to all steps in plotical areana starting from Pradeshiya saba, Palath saba etc.

    wasantha Friday, 01 June 2012 09:42 AM

    excellent decision sir

    Leela Friday, 01 June 2012 09:43 AM

    The man is trying fst one to be popular.

    Saskia Friday, 01 June 2012 09:42 AM

    Very good move. In the current government, there are also some monks who are blocking the devolution of powers to Tamils.

    deva Friday, 01 June 2012 09:50 AM

    Excellent move.

    Aruna Friday, 01 June 2012 09:55 AM

    This move could have been much nicer had this come from some kind of governing body of inside the monks themselves to dispel from monkhood them of monks who goes for politics.
    If they had kept silence, then at least this is better done by WR

    ajith Friday, 01 June 2012 09:58 AM

    Quite rightly so...Should also applied to all those who were robe wearers before and became politickas.....

    Lion Friday, 01 June 2012 09:54 AM

    Please bring this as fast as you can.Great philasohpy founded by Gathama Buddha has been tarnished by those profess to protect it by getting in to the parliment.

    roshan Friday, 01 June 2012 10:32 AM

    you can add to this list being members/ leaders of Trade Unions etc. Basically any activity other than that for which they took to the robes

    warra85 Friday, 01 June 2012 10:29 AM

    Goody move mate.. coz they are the trouble makers.

    shantha madawela Friday, 01 June 2012 10:40 AM

    good suggestion, don't know whether it will pass....

    G.Amaraweera Friday, 01 June 2012 10:50 AM

    Wimal W .Is this another International Conspiracy? HE....HE

    ck prahalad Friday, 01 June 2012 10:57 AM

    good move....secular SL is a better place to live....

    jegss Friday, 01 June 2012 10:55 AM

    OH do not suggest anyhting like this. If so only very few will join the priesthood.

    Tokyo Friday, 01 June 2012 10:58 AM

    This is surely a dream!! Because, they( people with robes) said that they are willing to go even supermarket rather than" kade" just before few days.. They are blessed by top..

    Nodrog Friday, 01 June 2012 11:04 AM

    The JHU monks entered politics vowing to make parliament cleaner and corrupt-free. Unfortunately they too were sucked in to the world of greed and power making them no better than the people they were trying to change.

    kandana Friday, 01 June 2012 11:24 AM

    When some one decide to be a politician they should give up the robes and come out as layman to run for the parliament. I am sure these people canot get there votes witout the robe. What is happening here is some people using the repect to the robe as tool to get in to there worldly compasions.
    Unfortunately mst of these pople using to get there power over others by being parlimentarian. The superimness of this position should be downgraded like in first world countrys and Paelimentarian should be purely a volunteer than a paid public worker.

    mathan Friday, 01 June 2012 11:27 AM

    People are fools in this country! Educate them! Everyone knows that it is difficult to educate Sinhalese!

    sahdi Friday, 01 June 2012 11:27 AM


    ward Friday, 01 June 2012 11:43 AM

    politicians to parliament & monks to temple. simple as that dudes.

    Purohitha Friday, 01 June 2012 11:53 AM

    Hey, Can you include few others too in the new bill..
    Actresses, mentally retaded sons of politicians, money sucking cricketers, mentally retaded doctors too...


    zimzi Friday, 01 June 2012 12:01 PM

    we should hav taken this step a long time back,but still its a very good move

    S de Silva Friday, 01 June 2012 12:06 PM

    Very good move at least at this late hour.

    Jeya Friday, 01 June 2012 12:19 PM

    Good one. Everyone has rights to enter politics that is Fundamental human rights. If religious leader interest to save people via politics , they should leave from religious. They can't bahave as religious and politician .

    Namz Friday, 01 June 2012 08:30 PM

    Sanga has been assigned with a list of what to do and what not to do by The Great Lord Buddha himself. Who the heck is this guy to do that?

    Purple Saturday, 02 June 2012 03:48 AM

    Monks should set an example. Should also give up their luxury items like smart phones (whom are they calling anyway??) and iPods.

    Ranasinghe Saturday, 02 June 2012 03:56 AM

    While there are few very good monks in Sri Lanka, the majority of Buddhist monks corrupt. First of all the Buddhist has to realize that Buddhism is not a religion but a way of life.

    Even lord Buddha escaped to the forest without living his people, so what can we expect from the modern day Buddhist monks.

    I know most of the Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka are in to sexuality or politics. They cheat the poor citizen’s with their dress and preaching philosophy

    God save Sri Lanka and Sri Lanans.

    VICTOR Saturday, 02 June 2012 04:21 PM

    Leela = JHU

    xlntgson Saturday, 02 June 2012 05:03 PM

    Cat's paw: Those who drag monks, priests, clerics and poojaris do so with the intention curry favouring in favour future benefits whip up hatred, of the ten MP monks how many still continue, to whom they handed over?

    Nodrog Sunday, 03 June 2012 07:09 AM

    PKR.....this is possible with an intelligent vote base but not here where sentiments and personalities rather than common sense influences the voters.

    Mohammad Ali Khan Sunday, 03 June 2012 10:41 PM

    It is a difficult question?

    Every citizen should have the right to run for election.If monks get elected, they should uphold the laws of the country, and make laws which are just to all the citizens of the country.

    This is a sign of a mature democracy.

    Apsara Tuesday, 05 June 2012 04:28 AM

    What will happen to JHU mouthpiece, C. Ranawake then?

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