Oct 18, Colombo: Religious leaders in Sri Lanka have objected to the government's move to legalize casinos and gambling in the country.
Leaders of all religious groups in the country have expressed their views at a news conference held at the Abayarama Temple in Narahenpita, Colombo.
They have warned that they would be compelled to take to the streets on the day when parliament takes up the debate on new regulations under the Strategic Development Act where tax holidays were to be given to casino projects.
The proposed legislation is to be presented to parliament on the 24th and 25th of this month.
Co-chairperson of Congress of Religions, Cardinal Dr. Malcolm Ranjith has said the Catholic Council does not approve of casinos.
"We request the government to stop this programme immediately because this will not benefit the ordinary people of our country. The country can earn revenue through a well-managed tourism industry. We believe that Sri Lanka should not fall to a low level," he has noted.
Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero has said that the country is ruled by a party created by a leader who made the race-course a university and bringing casinos to Sri Lanka after taking over the leadership of the party, is a national crime.
The religious leaders are to meet parliamentarians to make requests to vote against the setting up of casinos.