The building of new places of religious worship should be in proportion to the number of followers whether in the North, East, or South of Sri Lanka
Posted on August 5th, 2022

Janaka Perera

The building of new places of religious worship should be in proportion to the number of followers whether in the North, East, or South. No matter which religion, Sri Lanka does not need any more ‘Kattankudys’ (where the mosques far outnumber the Muslims there). This policy should be enforced constitutionally. It would be necessary to conduct a survey to find out how many new places of worship have come up disproportionate to the number of its adherents in areas where the buildings have been constructed.

All citizens/individuals without question should have equal rights.  But when it comes to equal rights to communities it is a different matter altogether. In any country, it is the majority community that creates its national and cultural identity. Even in the countries where religion is separated from the State, they cannot escape from the cultural-religious heritage that shaped the evolution of that nation over the centuries, though subject to various external religious/cultural influences.  

No country however allows parallel cultures. The best example is Western countries where the predominant religion, Christianity, is separated from the State. Although non-Christians and atheists live in those countries the main holidays and cultural events are linked to Christianity – except events like Independence Day or National Day, War Victory day, etc.   

This is best illustrated in the short story the well-known satirical Sinhala writer T.G.W. de Silva wrote around 60 years ago. There is a heated debate in Parliament on the issue of public holidays. MPs representing different communities demand that events related to their religion too shroud be made public holidays.  Eventually, they all find a solution: To make all 365 days of the year public holidays so that every community is happy!!

 Janaka Perera 

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