Uva Mahanayake’s eleventh request!

A Mahanayake of a well-known temple in Uva province went to the presidential secretariat recently to meet the president. The president knows this Thera, who comes to him with various problems in the province and of Buddha Sasana. The president promptly resolves all those problems, but his last request is an impossible one. The president tells that the request will be considered, worships him and sends him off.


For the past two and a half years, he has come to meet the president on 20 to 30 occasions. He uses small issues of the people of his area to get a big thing done through the president.

Last time, when the president saw the Mahanayake Thera, he summoned a secretary of his and told him, “This Hamuduruwo makes at least 10 requests. All those can be given. But, the last one is not possible. Therefore, talk to him and send him off.”

The secretary went to the Thera, worshiped him and asked what he could do for him.

The Thera frowned at him and said, “Where is the president? I do not want to meet you. I want to meet the president.”

The secretary replied, “No, Apey Hamuduruwane, the president told me to get your requirement attended to. The president is very busy today as he has some scheduled appointments.”

“Is that so? Is that how we are treated? We worked at the risk of our lives for his victory on January 08. Now, those are forgotten.”

The secretary took him to his room and solved all his problems.

Then came the 11th request. “I have been making this request for the past two and a half years. Every day, I am told it will be considered. Had we worked for Mr. Mahinda and requested him, we would have received it within 24 hours. Now, we have neither of them.”

“Don’t be angry, Hamuduruwane. What do you need? Tell me, I will give it a try.”

“For the past two and a half years, I made only one request. I did not ask for Benz cars. The Mahaweli ministry is under the president. What I ask for is 500 acres out of the land under the ministry. I will develop those 500 acres for the good of the country. I will not gain anything out of it.”

“Apey Hamuduruwane, I cannot promise you that. Even if a Benz car is given, this request is not an easy one. Not even the president can give land at his will. Make a request in writing. Then, the president will give a reply.”

Telling the secretary that he knew what the reply would be, the Thera took his fan and bag and was coming out of the room, when he saw a group of Catholic priests leaving after meeting the president.

“Huh, do you see? He cannot meet us. He can meet the catholic priests.”

The secretary replied, “Don’t be angry, Apey Hamuduruwane, the catholic fathers come here to give something, not to ask for something.”

The Mahanayake Thera ignored that and left.

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