Following is an extract from the article "The Constitution is a Social Contract" by Mr. Nihal Jayawickrama which was published on "The Island" newspaper. (See full article: http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=814 )
National reconciliation and reintegration require that Sri Lanka should assert its secular character, as India and Singapore have done. As a Buddhist, I believe that tolerance and pluralism form the basis of the philosophy that the Buddha preached. I am saddened by the worldly roles that monks have arrogated to themselves and politicians have bestowed on them. I consider that providing monks with official residences and ostentatious limousines is a desecration of Buddhist philosophy. If others too believe as I do, they would insist that there be no reference to Buddhism in the constitution. It was a mistake to have done so in 1972. It is time we recognized that in this multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious country; everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and does not need the intervention of the state to exercise that right. In some countries, the clergy are prohibited from seeking election to parliament, the rationale being that a priest is capable of exerting undue spiritual influence on the voter. Is there any good reason why we should not follow that example?