Astrology Becomes Political

Astrology Becomes Political

Sri Lanka’s government-backed traditional astrologers have failed to unanimously agree on dates for new year rituals, with squabbling seers warning of “disaster” and accusing rivals of misinterpreting the position of stars.

Now the issue has become political because som argue that getting the auspicious times and dates wrong may be bad for the government and now even high-ranking ministers are involved in the squabble.

Astrologers are hugely influential figures consulted by both the island’s Buddhist and Hindu communities, and their advice for auspicious dates guides everything from marriages to business deals — and even national elections.

But the 42-member group of astrologers employed by the island’s Cultural Affairs ministry said they were split for the first time on deciding the best date for new year celebrations.

“We discussed very deeply,” said Ananda Seneviratne, the spokesman for the New Year auspicious time committee.

“After a lot of deliberations, we finalised the auspicious time through a majority decision.”

The majority set the dawn of the traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year on the night of April 13.

But dissenting seer Roshan Chanaka said the time was wrong and would lead the country into “disaster”.

Sri Lanka “will go up in flames” if the “official times” are followed, he added, without giving further details.


Related Articles