The new draft constitution has given Buddhism the foremost place, signifying the responsibility of the State to protect and foster the religion.
To add more strength to the chapter on Buddhism in the existing Constitution, the draft Bill has proposed to form a Supreme Council consisting leading Maha Nayakas.
The new Bill also gives, the Minister of Buddha Sasana provisions to consult the Supreme Council on matters relating to the Buddha Sasana to take `necessary measures for the protection and fostering of the Sasana.'
The Old Chapter:
"The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana by assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14 (e) (E).
The new Chapter of the Bill :
(1)The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give Buddhism the foremost place and, accordingly, it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana while giving adequate protection to all religions and guaranteeing to every person the rights and freedoms granted by paragraphs (1) and (3) of Article 15.
(2)The State shall, where necessary, consult the Supreme Council, recognised by the Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers in Charge of the Subject of Buddha Sasana, on measures taken for the protection and fostering of the Buddha Sasana.
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