By Yohan Perera in Mihintale
Chief Incumbent of the historic Mihintale Rajamaha Viharaya Venerable Walawahengunawawe Dhammaratana Thera yesterday handed over a letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe requesting him to declare ‘Mihintale’ a national heritage site and gazette the Poson celebration a national festival.
- Mihintale is the place where Panchaseela was performed for the first time in Sri Lanka
He handed over the written request at the annual ‘Aloka Pooja’ held at the temple last evening.
In his Anusasana, the venerable thera expressed his dissatisfaction at the absence of a suitable environment to hold the procession this year. “You sent some funds for the procession a week before Poson Poya, but we did not have enough time to organize it. Besides this, the funds were not sufficient,” he said.
He said Mihintale should be given the foremost place for Theravada Buddhism. This is because it is the place where Arahat Mahinda arrived, bringing the gift of Buddhism over 2000 years ago. “Mihintale is the place where Panchaseela was performed for the first time in Sri Lanka. It is also the place where the remains of Arahat Mahinda is buried. This is where the Buddhist civilization began and therefore it is appropriate to declare Mihintale a national heritage site,” the thera said.
“The Prime Minister is duty bound to see that Mihintale is developed and to see that Poson is celebrated in a fitting manner as he represent a special family,” the thera said.
“Nothing can be achieved if the President and Prime Minister continue to be at loggerheads with each other. The rail lines run parallel to each other. They never cross each other. Likewise, the two leaders should act in the same fashion.
He also requested the Prime Minister to take action against a UNP member of the Mihintale Pradeshiya Sabha who had allegedly assaulted an officer from the Department of Archaeology on Saturday. He said the member had assaulted the officer when he had explained the necessity to remove unauthorized structures put up in the sacred area.
The rail lines run parallel to each other. They never cross each other. Likewise, the two leaders should act in the same fashion