PM extols Lord Buddha’s efforts to bring peace, at Mahiyangana

Saman Indrajith reporting from Mahiyangana
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Saturday that he is fortunate to worship at all three places visited by the Lord Buddha in Sri Lanka within a very short period of his appointment and said that he would develop these places in accordance with the kings who ruled the country centuries ago.

The Prime Minister after declare opening the Wahalkada at the entrance to the Mahiyangana chaitiya said that he would endeavour to bring peace enabling people to worship at Mahiyangana, Nagadeepa and Kelaniya — places visited by Lord Buddha according to the Mahawamsa.

"Lord Buddha’s first visit to Mahiyangana was to quell a conflict between two tribes. He preached a way of bringing solutions by gathering, discussing and dispersing peacefully. His Lordship’s preaching was democratic and we would adhere to this democratic way to bring peace to the country," Mr. Wickremesinghe said.

"Today we have our Leader of the Opposition with us in this historic moment of declaring open the Wahalkada. We, despite political divisions, are in a collective endeavour to find a solution to the national problem," he said.

The Premier indicated that Lord Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka was to put an end to a conflict between two tribes, and after 25 centuries our country has been confronted with a similar situation. He emphasised that we must follow the ways and means prescribed by the Lord Buddha in order to bring solutions to the national problem.

"According to the Mahawamsa, after King Parakramabahu the Sixth ruled a unitary Sri Lanka, the first Sri Lankan to rule a united Sri Lanka was the first Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake, whom we commemorated yesterday. He also ruled the country as our ancient kings and developed these places. It was he who initiated Minipe and Soraborawewa projects. Once the A-9 road is opened our people will be able to go to Nagadeepa for religious observances," the Prime Minister said.

Opposition Leader, Mahinda Rajapakshe, said that the Opposition will extend its fullest support to the government’s peace effort. "We would not hinder the ongoing peace initiative of the government," he said.

Ministers, members of parliament and religious leaders were among the thousands of people who attended the the ceremony.