Saturday, September 25, 2010

Christians to mobilize against amendment

The religious minorities in Sri Lanka protest against the 18th Amendment to the Constitution

Christians to mobilize against amendment

Published Date: September 24, 2010
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Priests, nuns and laypeople protesting the constitutional amendment

Priests, nuns and laypeople in Sri Lanka have vowed to mobilize Christians across the country in protest against a recent constitutional amendment that gives the president sweeping powers.
Leaders of Sri Lankan Christian movements have called into question the Sept. 8 amendment that also allows President Mahinda Rajapaksa to seek re-election beyond a two-term limit.
They are now urging all Christians who believe in justice as the core of their Christian faith, to press for a constitution based on a common consensus and not forced through by a small minority.
“Sri Lankan society soon or later will begin to feel the negative consequences of vesting all political power in the hands of only one or a few persons,” said Father Sarath Iddamalgoda, convener of the Christian Solidarity Movement.
He was speaking at a meeting of Sri Lankan Christian groups on Sept. 20 in Colombo.
Pushing through the amendment and preventing people from expressing their views was very undemocratic, the priest said.
This is a signal to demand greater freedom of thought and expression, he said, adding that what is needed for future development is more democracy and the sharing of power with people on the periphery.
“Christians have to mobilize to formulate a common program to address the needs of all the people rather than allow a small group to try and repair a constitution that has been amended 18 times,” said Anglican pastor, Reverend Marimuthupillai Sathivel.

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