Musical Chairs

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 election of nine Buddhist monks in Sri Lankas elections has sent parliamentary officials scrambling to make suitable seating and dining arrangements for the “honourable venerable.”rn
The saffron-robed monks elected from an all-clergy list put forward by the radical National Heritage Party also known as the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) require special chairs and a vegetarian menu.rn

rn Parliamentary officials said they were engaged in a quest to locate a separate dining area as well as rest rooms for the monks in the sprawling building on a lake-island near here.rn

rn “We will have to ensure the clergy can have privacy,” one parliamentary official said.rn

rn “While the monks will enjoy all the privileges of honourable members of the House, we will also have to give them a separate resting area away from the lay legislators.”rn

rn Members of parliament have their own dining area where five-star meals are provided at heavily subsidised rates, but the monks would be given a separate area,