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Last updated: 19 February, 2010 - Published 14:03 GMT
 
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Govt. 'trying to destroy Buddhism'
 
Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka
The monks were threatened 'to be bombed' if convened in Kandy on Thursday, UNP says
The main opposition in Sri Lanka has accused the government of violating the constitution by trying to destroy the Theravada Buddhism in the island.

Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe said a certain section of Buddhist monks (a Heretic Sect) have threatened to divide the main Nikaya among the four major Buddhist chapters.

Speaking to journalists in Colombo, he said the alleged threats made to Mahanayake thero of the Malwatta Chapter, Most Ven. Thibbotuvave Sri Sumangala thero, has been warned by certain leading Buddhist monks to cancel the Thursday's proposed Sangha convention or they would divide the Malwatta Chapter.

The United National Party (UNP) leader alleged that the government, which is bound to secure and protect Buddhism as per the country's constitution, has been "sponsoring" these threats.

'Bombing' the monks

"These monks have said that they would take over some temples belong to Malwatta Chapter and hand over them to another Chapter. These statements were made under state sponsorship. State sponsorship for a creating a new Buddhist chapter dividing Malwatta chapter is a violation of the constitution," he said.

 The government is on a path to destroy Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Buddhist monks were threatened; they were told they would be bombed if they convened to Kandy. We condemn all these actions
 
Ranil Wickramasinghe, opposition leader

Mr. Wickramasinghe said those monks have no right to hold any position in the government, including the post of Chancellor of universities or Head of Pirivena.

"The government is on a path to destroy Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Buddhist monks were threatened; they were told they would be bombed if they convened to Kandy. We condemn all these actions," he said.

The opposition leader said the Buddhist devotees and public in Sri Lanka have a right to know who threatened the most sacred Buddhist leaders in the country.

However, the government denied any involvement in the postponement of the proposed Sangha convention.

Religious Affairs minister Pandu Bandaranaike told BBC Sandeshaya that the decision was taken by the Mahanayake theros after considering the safety and security of the monks and the devotees.

 
 
LOCAL LINKS
"Maha Sangha Assembly never cancelled"
18 February, 2010 | Sandeshaya
Buddhist conference postponed
16 February, 2010 | Sandeshaya
Mahanayakes call for a crisis conference
12 February, 2010 | Sandeshaya
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