State has no power to interfere in Buddhist Temples: Wijeyadasa

30 June 2017 02:23 am - 21     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The sole authority in the administration of Buddhist Temples rests in the hands of the chief prelates of these temples and hence neither the State nor any State institution has any right to interfere in their administration or to intervene in their affairs in any way, said Minister of Buddha Sasana and Justice Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe when he spoke on Wednesday at the Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya.

He stressed that no state institution will be allowed to intervene or meddle with the affairs of these temples. "If the Lord Buddha was alive today, he would have thought that this is the ideal time to make his fourth visit to the island having considered the frustration prevalent in our society today".

The minister went on to say that from the time of the Kandyan Convention of 1858 till the 1978 Constitution it has been a responsibility of the government to give the pride of place to Buddhism and to nourish it. "We are working with a great awareness of this position. At a time the International Vesak Festival was celebrated in our country and a great resurgence and awakening of Buddha’s teaching is taking place, it is not a shock that people with ulterior motives are trying to undermine this resurgence. Facing these moves is not an issue for us," he said.

"We were very hurt by come of what is being said in the media with regards to our temples. There are reports of financial misappropriation taking place at the Rangiri Dambulu Raja Maha Viharaya. I as the Buddha Sasana Minister wish to clarify our position in this regard. Our responsibility does not end with only protecting temples. Among the Nikayas there are traditions that have gone on for thousands of years.

For example the Asgiriya Chapter has traditions handed down from the Anuradhapura era and the Malwatta Chapter too is the same. The Asgiriya Maha Viharaya Karaka Sangha Sabha controls many temples around it including the administration of the Athkanda Viharaya where the Anunayake Thera resides and this Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya, Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya, Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya and the Rambewa Viharaya in a manner that is different to the administration of ordinary temples. They are administered under a special system, by the Asgiriya chapter. During the recent past there was criticism and allegations with regard to the running of the Rangiri Dambulu Viharaya by the Cultural Triangle and institutions such as the Archaeological Department.

It should be noted that the present incumbent of the Rangiri Raja Maha Viharaya, Dr. Godagama Mangala Thera was not the Chief Incumbent during the time the alleged discrepancies took place. Therefore the Cultural Triangle and the Archaeological Department should probe these irregularities and take action against those who were there at the time when these alleged incidents took place. No one has the right to put the blame on the Sangha for this,"he said.

The Minister made these remarks while participating at a ceremony to ordain 48 novice monks at the Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya.

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  Comments - 21

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  • Namal Perera Friday, 30 June 2017 07:13 PM

    Looking back, it is quite obvious almost all the Nationalized ventures in our Country are failures. For instance, the once profitable Plantations that were taken over by the Government, most are ruined and abandoned now. It is the same with almost all the State owned ventures. Are they crazy to now interfere into the affairs of Buddhist Temples and destroy them completely?

    Snowy Friday, 30 June 2017 08:42 AM

    "The state has no power to interfere with Buddhist Temple". Ah, so they can interferer with other temples, mosques and churches What a pin head!

    AjithZ Friday, 30 June 2017 08:53 AM

    If Lord Buddha to visit our country now, the very first thing he would do is to kick out all the rouges in robes in our temples. The main problem is, these chief prelates do things the way they want and just no control. Next problem is there's no overall in charge as such to guide and control them. It's a free for all for these chief prelates.

    TONY Friday, 30 June 2017 09:21 AM

    NO ONE DARES TO EXPRESS FREELY AND WITHOUT FEAR AGAINST THE BUDDHIST. NO WONDER MORE AND MORE BUDDHIST CLERGY IS TAKING TO THE ROADS

    Lima Friday, 30 June 2017 10:19 AM

    FIRST NEED EDUCATION TO ALL THESE SO CALLED PRELAES , THEY DO NOT KNOW HEAD OR TAIL AND SIT ON THE WEALTH OF THE OTHERS . THIS IS WHY THEY BECOME BORNE TO ALL TYPES OF RACISM AND CREATE TROUBLE IN A COUNTRY WHERE THERE IS ALL RELIGIONS ARE BEEN PRACTICED . FIRST TEACH THEM OF THE CREATION HOW IS BEEN DERIVED BEFORE ANYONE ACT UPON IT

    ceylon Friday, 30 June 2017 10:22 AM

    then buddhist temples also has no power to interfear state.most temple are corrupt and cheating buddhism. via DM Android App

    Daily Boru Friday, 30 June 2017 10:51 AM

    Please Lord Buddha don't come. We have more important and stronger politicians and monks in the country. Don't disturb their apple carts. They will not like it at all. We can't guarantee your safety.

    Ravi Wikramasinghe Friday, 30 June 2017 10:57 AM

    many of other faiths are increasingly forgetting the relationship Buddhism has with the majority of this country. Right follow own religion doesn't allow anyone to question what majority inherits from their ancestors.

    Thanos Friday, 30 June 2017 11:05 AM

    True that barring some exceptions the state should not interfere with temple activities but at the same time Temples should not interfere with the state in matters of governance. They can advice but thats it. Separation of religion and state.

    good Friday, 30 June 2017 11:15 AM

    well said

    rasheed Friday, 30 June 2017 11:15 AM

    UNP will loose the next election because of him.

    Lankan Friday, 30 June 2017 11:21 AM

    You are another failure from Yahapalanaya government. We cannot expect anything positive until you are removed from both your ministries as you only talk.

    Sincere Friday, 30 June 2017 11:44 AM

    If it is so, then why should there be a Minister of Buddha Saasana?

    hari Friday, 30 June 2017 11:51 AM

    This man is taking the country down destruction. The country is ruled by corrupt political goons whether in north or south.

    Ganesh Saturday, 01 July 2017 06:24 AM

    Unless Srisena was voted to power with overwhelming majority by Tamils and Muslims this fanatic Minister would never have come to power .Why this type of conservative and primitive a kind of religious mental was added to the cabinet

    Ram Friday, 30 June 2017 12:44 PM

    Buddhist Temples are Sanghika property. When a chief priest die the Senior Pupil become the head. Proof of seniority is verified by the Public Trustee on the Upasampada certificates that are registered with the office.. So the Public Trustee has some control over the temples though he keep silent

    OTHER FAITHS Friday, 30 June 2017 12:45 PM

    Wijedasa - will the same apply to places of other faiths ?

    Ajithj Friday, 30 June 2017 01:06 PM

    If state can not control some thing within the state it will become separate state. Tax them to oblivion.

    Shrikharan Saturday, 01 July 2017 09:04 AM

    " State has no power to interfere in Buddhist Temples: Wijeyadasa"What about christian churches, Muslim mosques and Hindu temples? Does the same rule apply Mr. Minister?

    concerned Friday, 30 June 2017 02:50 PM

    Hand over the government to the temple and make WE the executive president via DM Android App

    Lal Friday, 30 June 2017 03:15 PM

    If that is the case there is no use of you and your ministry.


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