Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday assured the House that no steps will be taken to amend Article 9 of the Constitution, which has assured the foremost place and the duty of the State to protect and foster Buddha Sasana, while assuring the rights granted to all other religions by Article 10 and 14 (1) (e ) of the Constitution.
Rejecting the attempts to amend Article 9 in the new Constitution-making process which is now underway, the Prime Minister said: “What are available are summaries of different proposals that had been placed before the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee has not come up with any draft. As long as I hold the position of Chairman of the Steering Committee, Article 9 will not be amended.”
According to the Prime Minister, no draft of a Constitution was published. “I inquired from the Steering Committee and they have informed me that no draft had been put out,” he assured the House.
However, UPFA Joint Opposition group leader MP Dinesh Gunawardena stated a draft of a Constitution had been distributed during a recently held conference at the BMICH.
“The Most Venerable Mahanayaka theros have gotten alarmed over Article 9 of the Constitution. The Prime Minister cannot deny that there is a proposal by some elements to amend the particular article. How can anyone deny this reality? The Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne has no right to state that the Mahanayaka theros have nothing to worry about,” said MP Gunawardena.