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.
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.
JHU, which is currently spearheading a move to control tobacco and
alcohol sales in the country, appears to be keen to avoid the Dalai
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
said that "in any event, the Dalai Lama is from the Mahayana
school of Buddhism, and not from the Theravada form practised in
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.
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.
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.