Muddy Waters

Sri Lankas Buddhist clergy Monday accused President Chandrika Kumaratungas Marxist allies of launching a “smear campaign” against them in the run up to parliamentary elections.
The Marxist JVP, or Peoples Liberation Front, which partnered with Kumaratungas Freedom Alliance for the snap April 2 polls, had began clandestinely distributing pamphlets protesting the entry of clergy into the political race, the monks told reporters at a Buddhist shrine here.rn

rn “The alliance has got a Buddhist monk to say that those who vote for us will end up in hell,” said monk candidate Ellawela Medananda.

“But, it is those who distort the teachings of the Buddha who will go to hell first.”rn

rn He said Kumaratungas alliance was worried monks would split its vote but the clergy was confident of getting more widespread support, even from members of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghes United National Party (UNP).rn

rn “What we are doing is a meritorious act. That is to enter politics to take this country