• Parliamentary Complex, Sri Jaywardenapura Kotte, Sri Lanka
  • +94 11 2777627

Press release on behalf of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly

Matter pertaining to the invitation of the Most Venerable Maha Nayaka Thero of the Asgiriya Chapter to the Conference on Constitutional Reforms held on 28th June, 2017:

Some newspapers in the mainstream media have reported that the Ven. Maha Sangha including the Most Ven. Maha Nayaka Thero of the Asgiriya Chapter and/or his representative has not been invited to the Conference on Constitutional Reforms held on 28th June 2017, at the BMICH. It is also reported that the Sangha Sabha has concluded that the conference has proceeded without due invites being sent to the Ven. Maha Sangha.

The Steering Committee wishes to clarify that invitations were duly conveyed to the Most Ven. Maha Nayaka Theros of the Thry Nikayas [Siyam, Amarapura, Ramanya] as well as to other religious dignitaries.

The invitation cards were dispatched by the Constitutional Assembly Secretariat by speed post on 21st June 2017. This was the day following the date on which the Steering Committee met (20th June 2017), and the matter of the conference was discussed at the committee and the agenda for the conference endorsed (as amended).

Additionally, prior to the dispatch of formal invites consequent to final consideration of the event by the Steering Committee, the offices of the respective Nikayas/Chapters were contacted by the Constitutional Assembly Secretariat on 13th, 14th and 15th June 2017, in order to find out the availability of the Most Venerable Mahananayaka Theros to attend the Conference on Constitutional Reforms to be held on 28th June, 2017.

It was conveyed by the office of the Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thero of the Malwatthe Chapter, that there is a possibility for the Most Venerable Mahanayake Thero to attend the Conference.

The office of the Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero of the Asgiriya Chapter indicated that due to the Nanumura festival scheduled for the said date, the Most Ven. Maha Nayaka Thero would be unable to attend.

It was also informed that the Ven. Napana Pemasiri Thero, Most Venerable Mahanayake of the Ramannya Nikaya, will be in Myanmar on the day of the Conference and that another Ven. monk would be nominated to deputize the Mahanayake of the Nikaya.

The Most Venerable Kotugoda Dhammawasa Mahanayake Thero of the Amarapura Nikaya indicated that he intends to attend the Conference at some point during the proceedings on the 28th of June, 2017.

However, on 27th June 2017, the Constitutional Assembly Secretariat was contacted (on the RSVP number indicated on the invitation card) by the office of the Most Ven. prelate of the Asgiriya Chapter, and was informed that the Most Ven. Maha Nayake Thero was overseas.

On the same day, it was also conveyed to the Constitutional Assembly Secretariat that the Most Venerable prelate of the Amarapura Nikaya was unable to attend the Conference due to the demise of a Nayaka Thero in Niwithigala.

As the Most Venerable Mahanayake Thero of the Ramannya Nikaya, Ven. Napana Pemasiri Thero was in Myanmar and unable to attend the event, the Ven. Madagamuwe Wijaya Maithree Thero was nominated to deputize the Mahanayake of the Ramannya Nikaya at the Conference. This nomination was made by the Ven. Matale Dhammakusala Anunayaka Thero.

The most venerable prelate of the Malwaththa Chapter regretted his inability to attend and Ven. Weliwita Soratha Thero was nominated to deputize the Mahanayake of the Malwaththa Chapter. The Ven. Thero was present throughout the proceedings of the Conference.

[The above account is based on facts that were brought to the attention of the Steering Committee by the Constitutional Assembly Secretariat on 5th July, 2017.]

Niel Iddawala,
Secretary to the Steering Committee