President to seek assistance from Japan to build Maha Vihara University
Posted on May 20th, 2023

Courtesy Adaderana

President Ranil Wickremesinghe stated that he intends to seek the Japanese Government’s assistance during his upcoming visit to Japan, to establish a Maha Vihara University, an international standard university to study Theravada Buddhism.

The President expressed that the hope is to get the contribution of Buddhist countries like Thailand and Bhutan for this purpose.

The President made these comments while visiting the Chief Prelates of the Malwathu & Asgiri Chapters, this morning (20 May).

President Ranil Wickremesinghe also submitted a bill to amend the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance & establish a Theravada monk discourse to seek the guidance of the Chief Prelates of the Malwathu & Asgiri Chapters.

The Chief prelates pointed out the importance of formalizing the Tripitaka Conservation Bill and the Buddhist Publications Regulation Act, and the President instructed the Secretary of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana to prepare amendments to the Tripitaka Conservation Bill & the Buddhist Publications/Texts Regulatory Act to be submitted to the Cabinet.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who first arrived at the Malwathu Maha Vihara this morning, visited and received the blessings of the Chief Prelate of the Malwathu Chapter, Most Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Mahanayaka Thera, and engaged in a brief discussion.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayake, Senior Adviser to the President on National Security and Chief of the Presidential Staff, was also present on this occasion and the Maha Sangha led by Chief Incumbent of the Malwathu Chapter chanted Pirith, and offered his blessings to the President and the delegation.

According to the request made by the Chief Prelates of the Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters, at the Presidential Palace in Kandy on February 19, the bill was completed in three months and presented again for the admonition of the Chief Prelates.

Emphasizing the need to develop Kandy as a state-of-the-art city by developing the infrastructure, the President said that the development activities related to the Kandy Metropolitan Plan will be started this year, and that all major city development plans in the country are planned to be implemented and completed promptly.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe mentioned that Pathahewahata and Kundasale local councils are expected to be converted into municipal councils and it will be implemented under the Kandy city development plan.

The President also stated that plans to develop Kandy’s old prison and post office as a tourist attraction will be implemented in the future while preserving historical values.

Also, the possibility of extending the expressway from Kurunegala and Galagedara to Katugastota, and the benefits of it, was also focused on.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe further stated:
My intention is to develop Kandy City immediately under the municipal plan. I believe that the country’s economy will be able to be brought to a certain stable level by next September after the debt restructuring program is successful. There after a lot of investment is needed to strengthen the country’s economy. Also, more tourists should be brought to this country. The Trincomalee New Town Plan is now in effect. We are working to commence the Kandy Metropolitan Development Plan this year. After that, Jaffna will be developed.

It is also expected to establish the Maha Vihara University to study Theravada Buddhism under Japanese aid. In particular, a program should be developed to teach Artificial Intelligence (AI) and developing the mind.

Also, we have focused on modernizing agriculture. It has the potential to harvest 8 metric tons per hectare in the future. The ability to get 10 litres of milk from one dairy cow can be done through this agricultural modernization program.

Arrangements should also be made to retain visitors in Kandy for a day or two. It is also critical for tourist guides to be registered. It is necessary to improve their knowledge about the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic ‘Dalada Maligawa’, the Buddhist history and the history of the Upcountry.

Following that, President Ranil Wickremesinghe visited the Asgiri Maha Vihara and met with the Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter, Venerable Sri Gnanarathana Thero, and engaged in a brief conversation.

The President inquired regarding the development operations of the Asgiri Maha Viharaya and Maha Sangha led by the Chief Incumbent of the Asgiri Chapter chanted Pirith, and offered his blessings to the President and the delegation.

The leading Executive Sangha Committee led by Chief Incumbent of the Asgiri Chapter expressed their gratitude to the President for establishing the appropriate social framework to host the last Vesak festival in a grand manner.

Central Province Governor Attorney-at-Law Lalith U. Gamage, and Secretary of the Ministry of Buddhasashana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Somaratne Vidanapathirana were also present on this occasion.

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