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DateLine Friday, 16 January 2009

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Soon freedom to visit Solosmasthanaya

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday assured the Maha Sangha that the Government would create an environment soon in which Buddhists could venerate without fear Solosmasthanaya where Buddha is believed to have visited.

The President was speaking via Satellite at the inauguration of the State program at the BMICH yesterday to commemorate the 2600th Anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment which falls on Vesak Full Moon day in 2011.

“I took the reins of the Government at a time when a part of the country had been handed over to the terrorists.

“Buddhists visiting Nagadeepaya, Deegavapiya and even Sri Maha Bodhiya would have been taxed by terrorists, if the Government had not initiated an action to liberate the areas forcibly held by them,” the President said.

The President said the Mahinda Chinthana has clearly outlined the government vision towards the disciplined society which is the key to the prosperity of a country.

The government faced the challenges of eradicating terrorism and illicit drug menace successfully. We don’t think twice when it comes to the eradication of the illicit drug menace, the President said.

The moral and physical development in a village should go hand in hand. We first focused the development of moral values in villages, before dividends of development are brought to the villages, the President said. “There was close connection between the people and the Buddhist monks of the villages and this bond helped protect the moral values and culture, he said.

The Buddhasasana Karya Sadhaka Mandalaya has proposed a 20 point action plan to ensure the preservation of the Buddha Sasana as part of a program to celebrate the 2600th anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment.

This action plans is aimed at moral development by preserving Sinhala Buddhist Cultural identity. The President has also appointed a Task Force comprising 10 Buddhist monks and 10 lay members to monitor the implementation of this program within next three years. The members of this Task Force gave a complete outline of the action plan which will be implemented under the blessings of Mahanayake theras . This action plan has focused on standards of Dhamma education in schools importance of improving the quality of Pirivena and adult education.

Anunayake Thera of the Malwatta chapter of Siyam Nikaya Ven Niyangoda Vijithasiri Thera, Mahanayake of Asgiri Chapter Ven Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Thera, Mahanayake of Ramannya Maha Nikaya Most Ven. Weweldeniya Medhalankara thera and Mahanayake of Amarapura Nikaya Ven. Davuldena Gnannissara Thera delivered anusasana.

Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake and Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara were also present.

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