(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The wisdom, virtues and humane qualities of the former Chief Prelate of Sri Lanka Ramanna Maha Nikaya Aggamaha Panditha Most Ven.Napane Pemasiri Mahanayake Thera were a great blessing and example to society, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said yesterday.
President Rajapaksa said that the demise of the Most Ven. Thera is a great loss to the Buddha Sasana, to the nation as well as to Buddhists all over the world and personally an unbearable loss for him too.
The President was speaking at the cremation ceremony of the Aggamaha Panditha Most Ven. Napane Pemasiri Mahanayake Thera which was held at the Bandaranaike National School Grounds in Warapitiya, Kundasale with full State honours.
The President appreciated the service rendered by the Most Ven. Napane Pemasiri Thera and other members of the Maha Sangha in propagating the profound philosophy of Buddhism and being the backbone in cultivating a cultured, pious society.
“The immense dedication and contribution offered by the Maha Sangha to maintain co-existence among ethnicities and preserve and propagate Buddhism as well as culture is highly admirable,” he added.
The President noted that Most Ven. Aggamaha Panditha Napane Pemasiri Mahanayake Thera had mastered Sinhala, Pali and Sanskrit languages that enabled him to disseminate Buddhism internationally.
The President arrived at the cremation grounds and paid his last respects to Ven. Napane Pemasiri Thera. He added a special note expressing his heartfelt sentiments about the Most Ven. Maha Nayake Thera in the special condolence book.
The Most Ven.Thera was born on November 30,1922 and passed away at the age of 98. The Most Ven. Thera entered ordained life in 1943.
Most Venerable, Aggamaha Panditha Napane Pemasiri Mahanayake Thera was accorded with the title ‘Agga Maha Panditha’, the supreme accolade presented to reputed Theras across the globe by the Government of Myanmar.
Maha Nayake Theras, Anu Nayake Theras, Maha Sangha and other religious leaders, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Chief Patron of the Ramanna Nikaya Sabha and former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Ministers and Deputy Ministers were present at the cremation ceremony.