Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister reiterates pledge to protect Buddhism

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe reiterating his pledge to protect Buddhism said certain individuals abuse Buddhism for their narrow political objectives and a true Buddhist cannot do that.

Speaking during a religious ceremony held to inaugurate a new Ran weta at the Sedawatta, Veheragoda historic Temple today, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said his main objective is to protect Buddhism and he doesn’t need to announce it.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe pointed out that there is no need for publicity to protect and respect Buddhism.

“Publicity is not needed to protect Buddha’s dharma. Popularity is not a deciding factor to be a follower of Buddhism. That is the true Buddhism. No need to beat a drum claiming to be a Buddhist.”

The Premier said that certain individuals who claim they are Sinhala Buddhists have not served the real purpose of Buddhism added that they are doing so for politics.

“Those who work for the benefit of Buddhism only prove their devotion through actions and not words,” he said.

“Our work is to protect the teachings of the Buddha. As a government we will do more work to protect Buddhism,” the Premier said.

Ven. Ambanpola Gnanaloka Thero, Chief Incumbent of the temple addressing the gathering said the Buddhism is given the foremost place in the Constitution and everyone should work to protect its place.

“These days there is a big crisis called a constitutional crisis demanding the foremost place for Buddhism in the Constitution. I would like to tell our Maha Sangha that Buddhism has the foremost place in Constitution and we should work towards it. We all should play a role in the development of Buddhism.”

The Premier said there is no new Constitution and not even a draft bill has been compiled yet. Even the proposal made by the United National Party was also withdrawn, he said.

Minister Daya Gamage and MP S. M. Marikkar also addressed the gathering.

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