Accuses Govt. of exploiting religion for political gains while mistreating places of worship
Says imposition of substantial electricity bill has inconvenienced the Chief Incumbent, other Bhikkus, and pilgrims
Reveals funding to settle the bill was secured from party members and well-wishers
The main opposition party, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) yesterday took steps to clear the outstanding electricity bill of the Mihintale Sacred City amounting to Rs. 4.1 million.
The electricity supply to the sacred grounds including the Mihintale Raja Maha Vihara was disconnected by the Ceylon Electricity Board on Wednesday due to the non-payment of arrears accumulated over several months. Issuing a statement yesterday the leader of the party, Sajith Premadasa strongly criticised the decision to disconnect the power supply to the Mihintale Sacred City.
“The Government’s imposition of a substantial electricity bill on the historic Mihintale Raja Maha Vihara has led to significant inconvenience for the Chief Incumbent, other Bhikkus, and pilgrims,” he said. Premadasa accused the Government of being opportunistic and exploiting religion solely for political gains, while simultaneously mistreating places of worship in this manner. Premadasa said the party had settled the outstanding arrears in full. He said the decision to pay off the arrears was reached after holding discussions with party members and the Samagi Buddhist Advisory Committee. He said the funding to settle the bill was secured from party members and well-wishers.