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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Vote for the man with roots – Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera

[b]Vote for the man with roots – Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thera[/b]

By Anne Rodrigo - Asian Tribune

[b]Colombo, 02 September, ([/b] Elle Gunawansa Thera, leader of the National Patriotic Movement known as “Desha Hithaishi Jathika Vyparaya”, in his characteristic outspoken way, admitted that there is hardly any choice between the two candidates of the mainstream parties at the upcoming Presidential election.

“After all, we have to go for a product that is on the shelf, whether we like it or not. There is no way I can import something completely new, for lack of a choice here”, the thera said in a bantering tone, referring to both UNP candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe and SLFP candidate Premier Mahinda Rajapakse.

“We had true leaders like SLFP’s Sirimavo Bandaranaike and UNP’s Ranasinghe Premadasa and D.S. Senayake. Those leaders were born, not made.”

He observed that Cambridge and Oxford educated leaders often led the country into a mess. “Premadasa, Sirimavo and DS were never Cambridge or Oxford products. But they put the country on the right track.”

The monk dodged an answer, when asked whom he would support at the election, but hinted that whoever he supports should be a “man who has his roots” very much in the country. “ I have been approached by both parties. But I am yet to decide about it”, he told an interview with the Asian Tribune.

Sharing a bit of his philosophy, the monk said there should be only two parties -- which are the clergy and the layman and none beyond that. He said the clergy is not a party who should get into dirty politics instead should occupy a spiritual position, leading the politicians in the right path.

“Then one might ask what I am doing leading the National Patriotic Movement. Has anyone seen me on a political stage? No. The clergy should know where they should be.”

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