TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Maagalkande Sudaththa, a firebrand Sri Lankan monk, said Monday that he would resist a new power-sharing agreement with Tamils, which is being drafted by the government, as it would run counter to the interests of Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese ethnic group.
“Monks are going from district to district to educate their followers about the dangers of the proposed constitution,” Sudaththa said in a briefing with reporters in Colombo.
The monk said Sinhalese lawmakers in Sri Lanka’s parliament were ignorant of the new constitutional arrangement, accusing them of being "uneducated.”
"About 70 percent of MPs are asleep in parliament when important issues are discussed," Sudaththa said.
This came as the 225-member national parliament is currently drafting the legislation on President Maithripala Sirisena’s promised power-sharing agreement with Tamils.
Sirisena, himself a Buddhist and a Sinhalese who was elected to power in 2015 partly on the back of support from Tamils, has defended the deal as a way of ensuring a lasting peace in Sri Lanka. He says the new political system would prevent a repeat of the bloody war between the government and the Tamil Tigers, which started in early 1970s and led to the deaths of some 100,000 people between 1972 and 2009, Presstv reported.
Tamils mostly live in the northern and eastern regions of Sri Lanka, a country where Buddhists make up some 70 percent of the population. Monks hold a huge sway in Sri Lanka’s political and social system and have repeatedly opposed any concessions to other ethnic groups, including Tamils.