Colombo - The Supreme Court
said in its determination that the Bill tabled by Jathika Hela Urumaya
(JHU) seeking to amend the Constitution prohibiting conversion of
Buddhists and binding practising Buddhists to bring up their off
spring in the same religion should be passed in parliament with
two-third majority and also endorsed by the people in the country
in a referendum, as some clauses in the Bill are inconsistent with
the Constitution, legal sources said.
Speaker Mr.W.M.J.Lokkubandara tabled
the determination sent by the Supreme Court when parliament commenced
its sitting Tuesday, parliamentary sources said.
A three-member bench of the Supreme
Court comprising Justices T. B. Weerasuriya, Shiranee Tilakawardene
and Raja Fernando, legal sources said, heard the objections against
the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution brought by the JHU.
The Bill was tabled by Venerable Ellawalla
Medhananda Thera of the JHU in the parliament. The Speaker thereafter
referred the Bill for the Supreme Court to determine its constitutionality,
legal sources said.
In the Supreme Court the Centre for
Policy Alternatives (CPA), the Methodist Church and the All Ceylon
Hindu Congress challenged the constitutionality of the Bill.
The clauses of the Bill were such
that if enacted into law, it would effectively result in religious
persecution not only of minorities, but also in certain respects,
adherents of Buddhism with Constitutional sanction, which was an
objective inconsistent with the very spirit of the Constitution,
a secular state, norms of pluralist democracy and international
obligations of Sri Lanka, stated the CPA in its objection, legal
sources said. [TAMILNET]