The controversial Japanese Mahayana Temple located in an apartment at the Liberty Plaza in Kollupitiya said it would continue its religious activities in Sri Lanka despite an attempt by some Buddhist monks to stop them.
A woman worshipper yesterday rejected allegations that the temple was a fraud and said it was purely a place where one could practice the teachings of the Buddha.
She said the temple which had been operating for 17 years was registered with the Public Trustee as a Buddhist Centre. The Temple owned by a Japanese lady known as Ms. Komotso is married to a Sri Lankan and funds the temple and pays a monthly rent of Rs.100,000 to the Liberty Plaza.
Last week several Buddhist monks and laymen protested outside the temple premises during a prayer session conducted by the Japanese monks.
“The Buddhist monks forcibly entered the premises shouting out that we stop our prayer session. The monks said we should only have Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka and not Mahayana,” the worshipper said.
She said worshippers had to spend nothing more than Rs.7,000 for a Pooja though some of its detractors had claimed that worshippers were asked to pay more than Rs.500,000.
The worshipper said this kind of interference by Buddhist monks had occurred on three separate occasions and the protests were led by a person alleged to be a Peradeniya University Professor who had been visiting the temple since late last year.
“We found out that the so-called professor who was asked to leave the university now works as a tuition teacher,” she said.
Meanwhile police spokesman Maxie Proctor said the police had come to the premises because of a breach of peace and said no one was arrested and no action was taken against either party with regard to Saturday’s incident. (Olindhi Jayasundere)