Buddhist Monks Expect Victory in Upcoming Elections

March 30, 2004

Source: Sify News


On March 30, 2004 Sify News posted an Agence France Presse article that reported, "Sri Lanka's Buddhist monks ended their election campaign Tuesday with a public rally that reinforced their hopes of emerging as king-makers in a hung parliament. Monk Athuraliya Ratana said the public response to the first ever election bid by an all-clergy list of candidates from the National Heritage Party (NHP) had been 'unbelievable.' He added the NHP expected to secure the post of parliamentary speaker, the top job in the assembly and third nationally after only that of president and prime minister. 'We are confident that we will emerge the decisive force in the next parliament formed after Friday's vote,' he said at the NHP's final campaign rally, at which traditional Sinhalese dancers blew conch shells before monks began their speeches. Ellawela Medalankara, the monk who is offering himself as candidate for Speaker, said they entered the fray because leaders had let down the majority Sinhalese community since independence from Britain in 1948."