By Yohan Perera
The Venerable Battaramulle Seelaratana Thera of the Warana Rajamahavihara is hoping to contest for the presidency as a candidate from his own political party ‘Janasetha Peramuna’ and said he would handover his nomination once the date was set.
He said he was approached by several political parties in the government and the opposition but he would contest on his own under the party symbol ‘tractor’.
The Ven. Thera said he would welcome the support of any political party which accepted his party policies.
He said he felt that the executive presidency should remain in place to ensure Sri Lanka’s stability.
“The 30 year old war was won because of the executive presidency and therefore it should remain,” he said.
The Ven. Thera said his party was for securing the rights of all communities and religions while giving the foremost place to Buddhism and pledged to make Sinhala, Tamil and English state languages.
He said his economic policy was based on developing agriculture and on the restriction of vehicle imports and public servants would be compelled to use locally manufactured vehicles.
The Ven. Thera said his party had been organized in 10 districts and a large number of party men would come forward to support him once he hands over nominations.
The Venerable Battaramulle Seelaratana Thera will be the first Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka’s history to contest for the presidency.