At the Bodhu Samuluwa (Buddhist Conference) held at Panadura on 24th Oct 2005, Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thero – Secretary of the JHU (Jathika Hela Urumaya) has accepted the challenge of UNP parliamentarian Dr. Rajitha Senaratna, who in an interview with Sunday Divaina (A local weekly newspaper) on October 23, called for a Buddhist monk or any person to have a debate on Buddhism with his leader Ranil Wickramasinhe.
The Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thero, accepting the challenge for an open debate with the UNP’s presidential candidate Ranil Wickramasinghe, added that they would immediately request the UNP to present a date and time for the debate before the Presidential polls on November 17. And Mr Wickramasinghe could also accompany any number of monks or lay men as his advisers!
How ever the UNF has said that it require the acceptance in writing by 3.30 PM, 25th October (yesterday) at Sirikotha the head office of the UPF; further the UNF secretary has also stated that they would not confirm the reception of the acceptance (confusing statement). Yesterday’s news said that the JHU members had taken a written acceptance to Sirikotha before 3.30 but no one has come forward to accept it. Later they had taken it to the opposition leader’s official residence, and again no one has come forward to accept it.
It seems to be a really cowered act; if they challenged for a debate in public, why can’t they accept a public acceptance? And why couldn’t any one come forward to accept it when it’s provided in writing? If they cannot face a simple debate which they themselves called for; how can they rule a country?
Does any one have more information on this regard?