Government Should Safeguard Buddhist Philosophy, Emphasizes Buddha Sasana Minister Vidura Wickramanayaka
February 05, Colombo (LNW): Buddha Sasana, Religious, and Cultural Affairs Minister Vidura Wickramanayaka underscored the importance of preserving Buddhist philosophy, stating that regardless of the political party or government color, it is imperative to safeguard the Dhamma and related aspects. Minister Wickramanayaka made these remarks during an event where the ancient Buddha statue at the Dimbulagala’s historic Kandegama Dhananjaya Rajamaha Vihara had its eyes restored and was ceremonially laid.
Minister Wickramanayaka emphasized the need to protect the rich heritage of the country, acknowledging the vast number of ancient antiquities and archaeological artifacts in Sri Lanka. Despite minimal resources, he expressed determination and dedication to preserve these treasures, calling for cooperation and support from the Maha Sangha, officials, and the public to ensure the transfer of these heritages to future generations.
He disclosed plans for a new Act aimed at strengthening laws related to archaeology, intending to evoke emotions in the future generation regarding heritage preservation. Minister Wickramanayaka urged all citizens to act with dedication to safeguard the splendor and grandeur of the nation’s past.
The merit event, held under the Minister’s patronage, involved the restoration of a more than fifteen-hundred-year-old reclining Buddha statue at the Dimbulagala’s historic Kandegama Dhananjaya Rajamaha Vihara. The statue, previously at risk due to invasions by treasure hunters, was renovated, including the placement of eyes, under the guidance of the temple’s Chief Incumbent, Dr. Kandegama Deepawansaalankara Thera.
Financial contributions from donors facilitated the restoration, conducted with the total supervision of the Archaeology Department and the Central Cultural Fund. The reclining Buddha statue, discovered during the 2020 Central Cultural Fund Polonnaruwa Project, has now been unveiled for devotees to pay their respects.
The event saw the participation of the Venerable Maha Sangha, led by historic Dimbulagala Aranya Senasanadhipathi Dimbulagala Rahulalankara Thera, Highways State Minister Siripala Gamlath, Polonnaruwa District MP Jagath Samarawickrema, Central Cultural Fund Director General Prof. Gamini Ranasinghe, Archaeology Acting Director General Nishanthi Jayasinghe, Polonnaruwa District Secretary Sujantha Ekanayake, and other attendees.