Source: BBC News
On April 5, 2004 the BBC News reported, "'Don't call us MPs. Call us advisers to the people,' the ochre-robed Buddhist monks tell a gathering of devotees at a temple on the outskirts of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. 'You have given us strength by electing us.' The crowd erupts in applause, as six elected monks sit on a platform flanked by a giant granite rock statue of Buddha on a muggy evening. It is a celebration for the winning monks who contested last Friday's parliamentary elections. Some 280 monks took part in the vote - the first time such a large number of clerics have stood for election in this predominately Buddhist country. They came together under the banner of the National Heritage Party - the first all-monk party, which will have nine seats in the new parliament."