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Monks in Sri Lanka to turn off temple lights to protest rising cost of electricity

"With the increase in the cost of electricity it seems that the government wants to punish religious places,” said Venerable Omalpe Sobitha Thero

A group of Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka will turn off their temple lights during the next full moon celebration on October 9 to protest the 555 percent increase in their electricity bills.

“With the increase in the cost of electricity it seems that the government wants to punish religious places,” said Venerable Omalpe Sobitha Thero, head of the Sri Bodhiraja temple in Ambilipitiya.

He said his temple, which houses 75 monks, incurred from 60,000 (US$167) to 300,750 rupees (US$837) in electricity bills in recent months. “So this is not a punishment?” Asked the monk.



The Sangha Sabha (Council of Monks) in the Central Province of the country met recently to decide how to deal with the situation.

AsiaNews reported that the monks who participated in the discussion said many temples cannot afford to pay the new rates electricity rates imposed by the government.

Revenues of places of worship, especially in rural areas, have declined in recent months due to the pandemic.

The country’s, Energy Minister, Kanchana Wijesekera, said places of worship can install solar panels to address the problem. – from a report on AsiaNews

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