New group to protect our heritage
Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera has spearheaded the formation of a new organization known as “Sri Lanka Deshabimani Sanvidanaya”, to protect the country’s heritage.

He said its objectives would be similar to those of the National Patriotic Movement (NPM) which was formed nearly two and half years ago, but it would cater to a different membership.

“The main objective is to ensure that the ideas and views of professionals can be made use of to achieve our objectives. There may be some people who may not be willing to join the NPM as they do not want to be branded as politically aligned”, he said.

He said the NPM would continue to function, but the purpose of setting up the new organization was to make use of the knowledge of the country’s intellectuals.“There are persons practicing various professions such as doctors, administrators, lawyers and journalists. We want to make use of their knowledge to achieve our objectives”, he said.

“Political differences do not matter. Anybody from any party can join us”, he said. “The tradition in our country is that people get divided on political lines. There should be a group which does not take political sides. We have not progressed since independence as we have not taken the ideas and views of intellectuals for consideration”, he said.

He dismissed speculation that he was going to support Mr. Sirisena Cooray who was appointed as an organizer of the UNP for Anuradhapura district.

“Those reports are not correct. Mr. Cooray is a close friend and a dayakaya of my temple. But I do not take sides when somebody who associates with me takes a side. I do not get involved in their politics”, he said.

He said that in keeping with his policies he will not speak on behalf of anybody who gets involved in politics, though he received invitations to do so.

“Today’s politicians are like those who are selling in a market. They are telling the people ‘vote for me because I promise to provide essentials and fertilizer at a lower price’, but they are not thinking of the national interest”, he said.
He said that it was unfortunate to see Buddhist monks getting involved in politics as monks should be in a position to give advice to people and should command the respect of the people.

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