Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi has agreed to visit Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Friday.
After holding a meeting with Buddhist monks and Hindu priests jointly at his Temple Trees office, Mr. Wickremesinghe said he had sent his representative recently to invite the acharya.
Jayendra Saraswathi would meet Hindus in the Northern and Eastern Provinces besides those in the Central Province, also called the hill country. Leaders of other religions in the island would also meet him. The acharya would take a look at the status of education of Hindu clergy and teaching of Hinduism. Mr. Wickremesinghe recalled that Pope Francis visited Sri Lanka in January .
D.M. Swaminathan, Minister for Resettlement, Reconstruction and Hindu Religious Affairs, said the visit of the acharya is likely in September.
Announcing that his government would host an international Buddhist conference on May 20 in Jaffna, Mr. Wickremesinghe described it as “the first of its kind,” in which 60 to 70 delegates from southern parts of India and nearly 300 from Sri Lanka would take part in the meet. He pointed out that there were Tamil-speaking Buddhists in the Northern Province and Buddhists in Tamil Nadu and the rest of south India. He also explained how south India was a key centre of the spread of Buddhism in the olden days and the last Buddhist and Jain institutions were in Kancheepuram.(The Hindu)