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To revive the ‘Hela’ medicinal benefits Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera urges Govt. to legalise cannabis cultivation

19 Jan 2021 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      



By Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana   

In a bid to reap and revive the ancient ‘Hela’ medicinal properties of the ganja plant, leading Buddhist Monk Bengamuwea Nalaka Thera yesterday urged the Government to take measures to legalise Cannabis cultivation in Sri Lanka.   

Bengamuwea Nalaka Thero who is also the President of Sri Lank Indigenous Medical Congress (Deshiya Waidya Sammelanaya) made the remarks pointing out the fact that even in Buddhism it had been stated the valuable medicinal properties of the ‘Kansa’ or the ganja plant.   

Addressing a press briefing held at Sri Pagnananda Dharmayathana in Kelaniya, the Thera said that even Lord Buddha had stated the medicinal properties of ‘Kansa’, which had been used and practised in both the indigenous and Indian Ayurvedic treatment methods for many centuries.   

The prospects of ‘Hela Wedakama,’ or the indigenous medical system had been brought forward by our ancestors for thousands of years from word of mouth and even to this modern date, it existed in minute form.   
“Although, ganja has been considered as one of the dangerous drugs categorised under the Sri Lankan Penal Code and use of such material for non-medical purposes is a punishable offence, we must change the laws to reintroduce it as a medicinal herb for future benefits,” the Thera said.   

He further said,“It is no secret that even the modern science has discovered the rare medicinal properties of this plant for numerous diseases and is encouraging the legalisation and cultivation process to reap its fullest benefits.   
“We are aware as to how local law- enforcement authorities frequently raid and destroy illegal ganja chenas in rural countryside and take stern action,” he said.

 “Why can’t we get the government to consider this ancient herb as a valuable medicinal plant and allow its cultivation under a regulated framework,” the Thera queried.   

“We request the Government to formulate new laws enabling the cultivation and introduce appropriate license to do so, which will eventually regulate this industry. Even avenues of exporting it to the countries in the West could generate a substantial amount of foreign currency from a very simple and lucrative cultivation in the future,” he said.   

Secretary of the Congress Dr. Sarath Kotteyawatta, Ayurveda Doctor- Anil Jayaweera and Executive Member Ven. Angurugalle Jinananda Thera took part in the event. 



Even Lord Buddha had stated the medicinal properties of ‘Kansa’, which  had been used and practised in both the indigenous and Indian Ayurvedic  treatment methods for many centuries