11/07/2021 Sri Lanka (International Christian Concern) – According to the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), Christian leaders in Sri Lanka have urged the government against its plan of introducing a “one country, one law” concept. Sri Lankan Christians fear the imposition of more restrictions on their faith community as the presidential task force drafting the “one country, one law” concept is chaired by a hardline Buddhist monk.
In a statement issued on November 2, Bishop J. Winston S. Fernando, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka, said that leaving out Tamil, Hindu, Catholic, and other Christian minority groups from the task force was a lost opportunity. He went on to question the appointment of Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, a hardline Buddhist monk known for his anti-minority rhetoric.
“To appoint a person without considering any past records to the chair of the presidential task force is adding insult to injury,” Bishop Fernando said. “The appointment has been made without any consultation of the legislators and it is a disregard for the legislature.”
According to an extraordinary gazette notification issued by the president, the task force is required to submit reports to the president monthly and the final report is due by February 28, 2022.
Christians and other minorities, both religious and ethnic, fear the enactment of a “one country, one law” concept will lead to more persecution in Sri Lanka. Judging by the appointments to the presidential task force, it seems that the “one country, one law” concept would heavily favor the country’s Buddhist majority, who overwhelmingly supported the current government in the 2019 elections.
Jesustoday.lk, a news website, said that the “one country, one law” concept is likely to be a dangerous slogan that will erase the diversity of Sri Lanka. The publication went on to say that the concept will likely make the will of the majority the only law.