Saffron Power

Nationalist party, Sihala Urumaya said Tuesday that it was exclusively fielding Buddhist monks to contest the 225 seats up for grabs at snap parliamentary elections.rn
The Party said it will bank on saffron power for the April 2 elections called by President Chandrika Kumaratunga after she dissolved parliament nearly four years ahead of schedule on February 7.rn

rn”Ours will be the only party in Sri Lanka ever to field only Buddhist monks as candidates,” party leader Tilak Karunaratne said. “There will be no laymen among candidates.”rn

rnHe said fielding only saffron-robed monks would avoid the bitter intra-party rivalries that plague politics in the Buddhist-majority country.rn

rnThe Sihala Urumaya (Heritage Party) will nominate the required 291 monks to contest the 225 seats, Karunaratne said.rn

rnThe dissolved parliament had the countrys first Buddhist monk legislator elected from president Chandrika Kumaratungas Peoples Alliance coalition.rn

rnThe Party won one seat at October 2000 parlia