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No racial or religious PTF recommendations, claims Gnanasara Thera

BY Budddhika Samaraweera

 

In response to the Government’s recent decision to not proceed with the recommendations mentioned in the final report of the “One Country, One Law” Presidential Task Force (PTF), PTF Chairman Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera claimed that the said report does not contain recommendations targeting any race or religion, and that therefore, it is the Government’s responsibility to implement it.

Speaking to The Morning, he said that the PTF has fulfilled its responsibility by preparing the final report after gathering the ideas of several parties, and that it is the responsibility of the Government to make use of it by implementing the recommendations that have been made.

“It is said that the Government has decided not to implement the recommendations due to alleged opposition from some parties including the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC). However, there is nothing negative in this report. It is a very good report and it does not contain any recommendation targeting a particular religion or nationality. Therefore, those who criticise it should first go through it and see what it contains,” he said.

Claiming that a few parties have alleged that the report contains recommendations to scrap certain laws that are relevant to minorities including the Muslim community, the monk said that no recommendation has been made by the PTF to such effect. He said that the PTF has only made recommendations that are applicable to all nationalities and religions, and added that the Government should therefore work to implement them.

Several political parties including the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the Tamil Makkal Thesiya Kuttani (TMTK) and the SLMC had recently expressed negative views regarding the said PTF and its final report, with the SLMC calling for the said report to be scrapped. Against this backdrop, well placed sources told The Morning recently that in the current situation, a number of other important issues have arisen that require more attention than the concept of “One Country, One Law”, adding that the recommendations mentioned in the final report of the PTF would therefore not be implemented.

The final report of the PTF on “One Country, One Law” was handed over to then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa by Gnanasara Thera on 29 June 2022. The President’s Media Division stated at the time that the report is composed of eight chapters with 43 recommendations, and two appendices, covering more than 1,200 witnesses from all parts of the island, including professionals, non-governmental organisations, religious groups, various communities, university students, and legal professionals.