Hope & Pray

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

The JHU (Jathika Hela Urumaya), will make it a priority to introduce a new law to stop Sri Lankans from being persuaded to change their religious beliefs.
The JHU is hoping to stop the islands majority Buddhists from embracing other religions endash mainly the teachings of various Christian sects now operating freely all over the island.rn

rnldblquote It is one of our priorities to bring a law to stop these unethical conversions,
dblquote JHU media spokesman, Ven Athuraliye Rathana Thero told Lanka Business Online.rn

rnConversion is considered unethical when people are persuaded to leave one belief for another for money, fear or promises of future benefits.rn

rnHowever, its not only the Buddhist clergy that is pushing for such laws.rn

rnBuddhist and Hindu movements claim that a high degree of unethical conversions occur in all parts of the island targeting Buddhists, Hindus and in a lesser degree, even Catholics and Muslims.rn

rnThe debate on the suitability of introducing legislation to s