For some background, the BJT edition the articles mention is indeed written in very formal literary Sinhala. In addition, rather than try to translate tricky words into Sinhala, many have been Sanskritized. This may seem odd, but people do usually use the Sanskrit version of Dhamma words, although there are some pure Sinhala Dhamma words. Sowan comes to mind for stream enterer.
However over 10 years ago Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda started translating into a more modern, less formal Sinhala and because of this he has received both praise from people who could finally read the suttas as well as condemnation from people who didn’t like his translations. He has never contested the BJT version and encourages people to try to read it (it has Sinhala on one page and the Pali on the opposite).
But even the BJT edition was hard to find until about 20 years ago when there was finally a complete printing.
Another bit of background is the fact that in truth or in myth, there is an ancient history of kings taking actions to preserve and at times “purify” Buddhism in Sri Lanka. So among people in Sri Lanka the notion that a government would act to protect Buddhism is quite a sensible thing. In fact, the current constitution gives Buddhism a special place in the country and charges the government with protecting it.
Even the question of whether the country would be better off with a real king is not something outrageous. If you look at the government, the primeminster and president are brothers and have installed many of their close relatives in very high official positions. Obviously this doesn’t make opponents happy, But it’s nowhere near the scandal it would be in other countries.
I hadn’t heard about this bill, but if I had to guess it’s one of those things that plays well to the current government’s base but will have no chance of passing. But that’s just a guess!
To be fair, someone did try to call on the support of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana in Sri Lanka to try to oppose the book.