29 September, 2020

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An Appeal To The Congress Of Religions

By Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

The General Secretary,

Congress of Religions,

C/O. The General Secretary

National Christian Council of Sri Lanka

368/6 Bauddhaloka Mawatha,

Colombo 07.

 

Dear Sir,

Representations to the Select Committee of Parliament to Recommend and Report on Political and Constitutional Measures to Empower the People of Sri Lanka to Live as One Nation, Promoting Social , Economic, Political and Cultural Development and Ensuring that All People will Preserve and Promote Their Respective Identities and Live With Dignity and Security as One Nation and Enhance the Unity of People of Sri Lanka

I am unaware whether the Congress of Religions, has already made or will be making, by the closing date of 15th August 2013, submissions to the Select Committee of Parliament appointed to recommend and report on above.

In pursuit of long term religious amity in Sri Lanka, and to foster the unity amongst people living in one nation, recognizing the rights and freedoms enjoyed by all people of Sri Lanka, I have placed before the Parliamentary Select Committee referred to above, the under noted submission,( amongst other suggestions), for their due consideration;

  1. In order to ensure religious amity and foster the unity of people living in one nation, and recognizing the rights and freedoms enjoyed by all people, Article 9 be amended by its deletion and substitution with a new Article titled, “Right to Freedom of Religion” which shall read as follows;

9. All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion; and

9(a) without in any manner regulating, undermining or restricting the generality of the application of  (9) above, Right to Freedom of Religion, the foremost place shall be accorded by the state to Buddhism, being the religion practiced by the majority of the people.

  1. Consider amending the constitution to bring in to effect an appropriately amended section similar in scope of section 29 of the Soulbury Constitution which reads as:

“29. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Order, Parliament shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Island.
(2) No such law shall –
(a) prohibit or restrict the free exercise of any religion; or
(b) make persons of any community or religion liable to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of  other communities or religions are not made liable; or
(c) confer on persons of any community or religion any privilege or advantage which is not conferred on persons of other communities or religions ; or
(d) alter the constitution of any religious body except with the consent of the governing authority of that body, so, however, that in any case where a religious body is incorporated by law, no such alterations shall be made except at the request of the governing authority of that body

(3) Any law made in contravention of subsection (2) of this section shall, to the extent of such contraventions, be void.

I appeal to the Congress of Religions, to make its own submissions, in time, to the Parliamentary Select Committee and thereafter through effective advocacy, promote such position across the island, recognizing that religious amity will be a significant pillar, in achieving the long term objective of people of Sri Lanka living as one nation.

Yours Sincerely,

Chandra Jayaratne

10th August 2013.

CC. Most Rev. Itthapane Dhammalankara Thero

Most Rev, Prof. Bellanwila Wimalaratne

His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith

Rt. Rev. Bishop Duleep de Chickera,

Rev. Dr. A. W. Jebanesan

Mr. Javid Yusuf

Mr. K. Neelakandan,

Editors of Media,

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Section 29 of the Soulbury constitution,if it had been incorporated into the present constitution,would have prevented much misery and needless loss of lives.
    But the present Sinhala Buddhists will not allow it to be brought back.
    The other impediment to harmony is the Sinhala Only Act – which affected more sinhalese than tamils.
    Millions of children were prevented in acquiring degrees in english and furthering their education abroad – many would have returned with broad political outlooks and the history of the nation may have altered,to produce real national leaders.
    Even London exams conducted by the Examination Department were banned.
    Most tamils who escaped abroad in ’83,and their children, are prospering – and most diehard sinhalas are now realising their folly.
    The sinhalese too who claimed asylum abroad, are prospering.
    These religious leaders too have realised this and hence their well intentioned effort.
    But the country is in the grip of a strong Rajapakse dynastic caucus and it is doubtful if these recommendations will be even considered.

  • 0
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    Chandra Jayaratne, you are in a dream world or is it just that you want to say that you have done something which amounts to nothing…??

    The GOSL has a 2/3 majority in Parliment, so much can be accomplished but yet we are having so much conflict… why?

    There is nothing independent in this country….

    All are serving their masters and lifting the leg to the weak

    No one yet and not even you will stand up and point the finger as to where the problem is

  • 0
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    Why are you appealing to the body can’t able to do nothing , appeal to the government head MR , he is the one time to time invite all religious leaders to his resident and give broken promises and fool you all

  • 0
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    Definitely, Chandra Jayarathne is living in his own hypothetical world. the real world is far different from what you think.

  • 0
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    Hehe Chandra,

    Look at 9(a) of your proposal again. Look at it from my perspective.

    ‘the foremost place shall be accorded by the state to Buddhism,’. Herein lies the lie. If one religion is placed high above the others – all others by inference are inferior and below par. You have already created discrimination.

    The elevation of one religion above another is unnecessary for good governance. Good governance should be based on equality – lock stock and barrell.

  • 0
    0

    I agree wholeheartedly with James, and Jim. The words ring hollow, when we all know they are being made just to make it known that they were said.

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