PM stirs up a hornet’s nest over casinos

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 00:39 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Ashwin Hemmathagama –  Our Lobby Correspondent Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne stirred up a hornet’s nest in Parliament with his remarks on casinos and clergy. Jayaratne who is also the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs said he refuses to take the advice of the Mahanayake Bikkus of the four chapters – Asgiriya, Malwatte, Amarapura, and Ramangnna on the issue of casinos. Prime Minister Jayaratne who termed the four Mahanayake Bikkus “robe bearers without brains” stated that he will not accept their advice and preaching with regards to the controversial casino deal. “All what was published in the newspapers cannot be considered as the truth,” the Premier added. UNP MP and Chief Opposition Whip in Parliament John Amaratunga who questioned the Prime Minister’s unclear position over the Casino Bill said: “Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and the Archbishop of Colombo have condemned the setting up of a casino village to attract foreign investment to the island nation. Apart from them all religious leaders have expressed their concern and have requested the Government to abandon the casino projects. Give this house an assurance that the Casino Bill will not be brought forward.”