A visit to Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
On Saturday this week I decided to visit the ‘Uda Maluwa’ (as we refer to the shrine) to pay obeisance to the sacred Bodhiya. I am putting pen to paper to bring to the notice of the Buddhist public of this country a wholly unacceptable situation that prevails there. In the first instance I was required to park my vehicle and walk a distance of over quarter mile even though I have disability. I encountered two other barricades before reaching the temple premises. There were many old pilgrims and others with various disabilities who were compelled to walk to the ‘Maluwa’. The next harassment was equally ludicrous, every one including old and feeble ‘upasakammas’ are required to undergo a body search before they enter the precincts of the Bodhiya! This is not only ridiculous and humiliating but wholly unacceptable. Now the question arises as to why these precautions are taken, when I inquired I was given a silly answer -"LTTE!" I was surprised and told the policemen that the LTTE attack on the ‘Maluwa’ was in May 1995, that was almost 15 years ago and six months had now elapsed since the LTTE was annihilated and that it was sheer nonsense to say that the security arrangement was because of the LTTE. The policemen agreed but said that they had orders from their bosses all of whom and the politicians of course have free access. No, this situation cannot be allowed to continue. The Police MUST be removed from the premises and the peace and sanctity of this hallowed place must be restored. Finally it must be understood that this hallowed shrine belongs to us Buddhists and not to anyone else. I do hope the President himself will immediately rid us of this unnecessary hindrance.