Buddhist devotees gather around an illuminated Kelaniya Buddhist Temple during 'Vesak festival', which commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, in Kelaniya on May 7, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
COLOMBO – Sri Lanka's Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious, and Cultural Affairs is drafting a new law to promote religious harmony, state media reported on Sunday, quoting the ministry's chief Vidura Wickramanayaka as saying.
Wickramanayaka said that the new law would require all religious institutions in Sri Lanka to register with the government, which would allow the government to track and monitor religious activities, and to intervene if necessary to prevent religious conflicts.
By registering religious institutions, the government will be able to better understand the religious landscape of Sri Lanka, Wickramanayaka said.
The minister added the new legislation is necessary due to various issues associated with the management of religious institutions.
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He stated he will present a draft bill promoting peaceful religious coexistence to the cabinet within the next few weeks.