PM distributes funds for Buddhist temples

Published : 8:55 am  August 16, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (162) reads | 


By Yohan Perera   

Economic issues that are prevailing in the country will not stop the government from allocating funds for the development of Buddhist temples, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday.   

The Prime Minister made this remark during the distribution of funds for 150 temples at Temple Trees last evening.  

“There are issues pertaining to the economic situation of the country. but we are able to provide assistance to the temples as the economic problems are controlled by this government” the Prime Minister said.   “ Assisting the temples is a tradition carried out by kings such as Devanampiyatissa, Keerthisri Rajasinghe and others. Sri Lanka was able to secure the position of being the centre of Therawada Buddhism as the temples were safeguarded. Sri Lanka’s population was not more than 200,000 during the ancient times. However, the population has grown to over 22 million today. The number of temples has increased with the increase of population. The number of temples has increased only during the last fifty years” he said.  

“ The government has decided to renovate the golden canopy of Dalada Maligawa which was constructed during the time of President Ranasinghe Premadasa. This is important as the Dalada Maligawa is respected by all Buddhists including those who follow Theravada, Mahayana and Wajrayana doctrines. We have also embarked on renovating the Maha Vihara in Anurdapura. The Sangawasa has already been relocated. The Mahavihara will be upgraded to the same status which is enjoyed by Mecca and Holy Land. Buddhist all over the world will flock in to visit Maha Vihara in the same way the Muslim’s visit Mecca and Christians towards Holy Land. The Sri Lankan government will also donate $ one million to renovate Kapilawasthu” he added.  

However, the Premier said the government will safeguard other religions as well while safeguarding the status enjoyed by Buddhism.