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Guidance on Star Gazing: Government to set up Advisory Council for Astrologers?

Banyan News Reporters

Colombo, Sri Lanka - A special Advisory Council for Astrologers is to be established in the lead up to presidential elections to ensure “consistency” in astrological forecasts, claims a source from the Ministry of Indigenous Sciences speaking exclusively to Banyan News Reporters. The Ministry is expected to put forward a cabinet paper in the first week of January proposing the Advisory Council, which will play a supervisory role over all astrologers registered with the Ministry.

“This is aimed at improving astrological predictions and to prevent citizens from being abused and misled by untrustworthy astrologers” claimed a source from the Ministry of Indigenous Sciences. “Some unpatriotic astrologers do not give predictions based on their astrological calculations and just say what they think will please their clients. This is unscientific, unscrupulous and a violation of established cosmological principles” added the source.

The Advisory Council is expected to consist of seven leading astrologers who will oversee the readings of other astrologers. The Council will come up with a code of conduct for astrologers, similar in aim to the Hippocratic Oath. A special set of guidelines will be formulated for predictions on the fate of the country, political issues and the well-being of the President and his family. Astrologers are already required to register with the Ministry of Indigenous Sciences and under the proposed guidelines those engaged in political forecasts will have to apply for a separate registration. Furthermore, their forecasts will have to be forwarded to the Council for a review of accurate planetary alignments before it is submitted to a client.

“The Government is scared of the momentum which is favouring the Opposition in the coming elections” says leading member of Parliament Luvi Rathnayake. “The Government wants to prevent astrologers from forecasting an Opposition victory. This is a Government that first silenced the media, then NGOs, now they are coming for astrologers. Even this bogus registration of astrologers is a way of keeping tabs on the astrologers and our future.”

“The Government will appoint its stooges and ensure that the forecasts are favourable to it” Rathnayake went on to say. He pointed to the review of political forecasts by the Advisory Council members as a clear indication that the resulting readings will not be independent or astrologically accurate. “If at all this astrological Advisory Council should be brought under the Constitutional Council which the Government has failed to appoint in line with the 17th Amendment” added Rathnayake.

Earlier this year, a leading astrologer predicted that in two years time the opposition leader would occupy the most powerful position in the Government. This forecast received much media coverage and the astrologer found himself called in for questioning by the Police who suspected that the planets had been aligned in a partisan manner for this partial reading. The astrologer under interrogation re-cast his astrological chart and found out that he had made a ‘mistake’ and noted that the opposition leader would actually lose all power within his own party.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Indigenous Sciences, Dr Wijeya Weerasinha refused to comment on the rumours of an Advisory Council, but did indicate that there is support for such a proposal within the Ministry. “As the fiasco over that tuppahi astrologer shows we do need to ensure some basic standards to protect the rights of our citizens. And the timing is right for such a council given that it is silly season for astrologers It is the President’s vision of a prosperous future that some of these astrologers try to defile.”

However, when contacted by BNR, the Minister for Indigenous Sciences, Michaelge Kumarage denied that there were any plans for an advisory body from within the Ministry and stated that there is no official move in such a direction. He went on to say that the Ministry had not discussed any proposal and no document had been forwarded to the cabinet for approval. He vehemently denied that the Government would engage in such initiatives.

BNR contacted leading astrologer Muhetigama Wijerama who is seen to be close to the Government for comment. He stated “many of patriotic astrologers are in firm support of such a proposal that will protect national security. Sri Lanka is facing an international conspiracy that is working with traitorous groups within the country against the Government. We all know that the astrologers are one of the most important sectors in Sri Lankan society and are a vulnerable group. Who knows the LTTE may have even paid off one or two astrologers. We must be vigilant. ”

Sudesi Mahindapala, another popular astrologer who has a show on Raja Television (RTV) refused to comment on the alleged proposal but voiced concerns about the pressures faced by astrologers, “Astrology is such a trying and exact science. It has never been tainted by partisan politics, patronage or perfidy. Shouldn’t we let the stars be our ultimate guides?”

A number of leading astrologers were consulted by BNR to forecast our prosperous future, but none of them wanted to be quoted in public. While most privately noted the precarious position facing Jupiter’s transition into a new house, BNR can safely say that the rumours of an Advisory Council has made most astrologers nervous about making predictions on subjects deemed controversial.