Sixty bhikkhus in election fray | Sunday Observer
Despite appeals to amend election laws

Sixty bhikkhus in election fray

2 August, 2020

At least 60 bhikkhus are contesting at the forthcoming parliamentary elections with the highest number (18) from the Jana Setha Peramuna led by Baththaramulle Seelarathana Thero.

Our Power of People Party which is led by Athureliye Rathana Thero and Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero has also fielded a large number of bhikkhu candidates.

The most number of contestants, totaling 10 are contesting from Anuradhapura followed by Gampaha 8. Digamadulla has six Bhikkus while Colombo, Nuwara Eliya, Kegalle and Ratnapura has four each who, if they garner enough votes, would represent their respective districts in parliament.

This comes despite the plea from Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanaratana Mahanayake thera of the Asgiriya Chapter to make amendments to the election laws prohibiting granting of nominations to bhikkus to contest elections.

On March 3, during a visit by Elections Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya to Kandy the Mahanayake thera said the present laws are outdated and that they need to be amended.

Chief prelates of all Chapters have made similar requests from the contesting parties to refrain from fielding bhikkhus as candidates.

The list of political parties fielding bhikkhu candidates.

Western Province:

Colombo -Jana Setha Peramuna, Independent Group 15
Gampaha - Our Power of People Party, Jana Setha Peramuna, Democratic United National Front, Sinhaladeepa Jathika Peramuna

Central Province:

Mahanuwara -Our Power of People Party
Nuwara Eliya -Sri Lanka Labour Party, Sri Lanka Freedom Party

North Western Province:

Badulla -Our Power of People Party, Sinhaladeepa Jathika Peramuna

Southern Province:

Galle - Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, Independent Group 10, Independent Group 12
Matara - Our Power of People Party
Hambantota - Our Power of People Party, Jana Setha Peramuna

Sabaragamuwa Province:

Rathnapura -Our Power of People Party, Jana Setha Peramuna, Democratic United National Front
Kegalle - Our Power Of People Party, Jana Setha Peramuna, Sinhaladeepa Jathika Peramuna

North Western Province:

Digamadulla - Jana Setha Peramuna, Frontline Socialist Party, Independent Groups

Eastern Province

Batticaloa - Independent Group

North Central Province:

Anuradhapura - Jana Setha Peramuna, Independent Group
Polonnaruwa - Our Power of People Party, Jana Setha Peramuna, Independent Group

North Western Province:

Kurunagala - Jana Setha Peramuna

Northern Province:

Jaffna - Independent Group
Vanni - Jana setha Peramuna, Sinhaladeepa Jathika Peramuna