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President Wickremesinghe Visits Balangoda Sri Dharmananda Vidyayathana Pirivena, Announces New Initiatives for Buddhist Education

June 28, Colombo (LNW): President Ranil Wickremesinghe visited Balangoda Sri Dharmananda Vidyayathana Pirivena on Thursday (27), where he received blessings from the Amarapura Maha Sangha Sabha Chairman and Mahanayaka of the Rassagala Chapter of the Amarapura Maha Nikaya of Sri Lanka, Most Ven. Karagoda Uyangoda Maithri Murthi Maha Nayaka Thera.

During his visit, the President briefed the Mahanayake Thera on the economic and financial progress Sri Lanka is making and held a brief meeting to discuss the development of the temple. President Wickremesinghe handed over a cheque for Rs.1 million, provided by the Sabaragamuwa Province Governor’s Office, for the renovation of Sri Dharmananda Vidyayathana Pirivena.

In his discussion with Uyangoda Maithri Murthi Maha Nayaka Thera, President Wickremesinghe highlighted the growing global interest in Theravada Buddhism. He announced plans to establish a centre for the study of Theravada Buddhism in Anuradhapura, which will offer opportunities for both local and international enthusiasts.

He also mentioned the establishment of an institute dedicated to Buddhist teachings in California, USA, for Mahayana Buddhism, and expressed the need for a similar educational centre in Sri Lanka.

Addressing the discipline of Buddhist monks, the President emphasized that such matters should be managed by the respective Nikayas. He drew a parallel to Catholic priests in schools controlled by the Bishop’s House, who are not permitted to engage in trade union activities, and expressed concern about the diminishing respect for the teaching profession due to the actions of teachers’ unions. He stated that future measures would ensure no trade union activities during school hours and mentioned the possibility of implementing emergency laws to secure children’s education if necessary.

The visit was attended by Minister Manusha Nanayakkara, Sabaragamuwa Governor Navin Dissanayake, Senior Adviser to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, MP Akila Ellawala, and other dignitaries.

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