‘Nearly 8,000 bhikkhunis have no franchise’

Nearly 8,000 bhikkhunis have no voting rights, All Ceylon Bhikkhuni Bala Mandalaya Lekakadhikari bhikkhuni Kothmale Sumedha said.

She said that as citizens of Sri Lanka, bhikkuhinis fundamentally have the voting right. She said the Bhikkuhini Sasana was set up in Sri Lanka in 1997 under the initiative of Ven. Inamluwe Sumangala Nayake Thera of the Asgiriya Viharaya’s Dambulla Chapter.

“No government had so far taken action to issue an official identity card for bhikkhunis, and they have been denied the opportunity to sit the GCE Advanced Level Exam on account of this although the postal identity card was valid for the Ordinary Level Exam.

She said the country has 346 aramayas (abodes) of bhikkhunis, but they have not been registered with the Department for Buddhist Affairs or with any divisional Secretariat. Over 8,500 bhikkhunis resided in these abodes and nearly 2,000 of them had received higher ordination. Bhikkhuni Sumedha, who is also attached to the Faculty of Bhikkhuni Education, said this when asked for her comments on the Presidential Election due shortly a month after the Binara Pasalosvaka Poya Day, which marked the anniversary of setting up the Bhikkuhini Sasana, which denotes the democracy in the history of Buddhism.

 

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