JHU washes hands of Dalai Lama dispute
Sri Lanka's only Buddhist monk driven political party, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), has said that it will not support moves to invite the world reknown Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama to Sri Lanka later this year for the Buddha Jayanthi celebrations.

As the issue of the proposed visit of the Dalai Lama to Sri Lanka gathers momentum, the JHU monk-MPs seem uninterested in wanting to have the Buddhist leader visit the country saying the matter is left for President Mahinda Rajapakse to decide.

The JHU, which is currently spearheading a move to control tobacco and alcohol sales in the country, appears to be keen to avoid the Dalai Lama visit.
JHU leader Ven. Ellawela Medananda Thera said the party would not get embroiled in "this controversial issue" and added that he saw a "conspiracy" behind the move to invite the Dalai Lama.

He said that "in any event, the Dalai Lama is from the Mahayana school of Buddhism, and not from the Theravada form practised in Sri Lanka”.
JHU Parliamentary Group leader Ven. Athureliye Ratana Thera said the party would not interfere in the government’s foreign policy and therefore would not get involved in the Dalai Lama issue.

JHU spokesman Kamal Deshapriya said the Dalai Lama should not be given Head of State status because it would antagonise China, with whom Sri Lanka had good relations.

Meanwhile, President Rajapakse is expected to submit a special cabinet paper shortly reiterating Sri Lanka's 'One China policy', aimed at banning government officials from having any diplomatic ties with officials from Taiwan or Tibet. China annexed Tibet in 1956, and considers US-backed Taiwan, a province of mainland China.

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