Modern-day Devadattes all out to destroy livestock industry - minister


By Saman Indrajith

Livestock and Rural Community Development Deputy Minister HR Mithrapala told Parliament yesterday that the ongoing Opposition-led campaign against consumption of meat was meant to hinder the development drive.

Participating in the debate on Regulations under the Imports & Exports (Control) Act, the Deputy Minister said that a vicious two-pronged attack backed by pro-Opposition media would undermine livestock industry and cause malnutrition among children.

"Consumption of meat is vital for the nourishment of growing children. Those who support the campaign against meat eating are putting our next generation in harm’s way," he said.

The minister said that Buddhism was not against consumption of meat. According to the Buddhist liturgical sources, Thera Devadatte, the arch rival of the Buddha, once approached the latter and demanded that a precept should be postulated forbidding the Sangha and the laity from eating meat. The Buddha rejected this request and said that consumption of meat could not be stopped on practical grounds.

"That is what the Buddhist teaching says. But, today we see some modern-day Devadattes have come up with the same demand. Those Devadattas are preaching against the words of the Buddha. They are campaigning against consumption of meat," the Deputy Minister said.

Deputy Minister Mithrapala said that it was the UNP that had introduced open economic policies and discouraged the development of local industries. "It was the UNP that promoted importing chicken and eggs. We changed that and today this country is self-sufficient in chicken and eggs. The UNP introduced importing eggs and chicken from South Africa. We changed that. We would not allow these Devadattas to undermine the development drive."

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