Govt. moves to reassure Maha Sangha

Asgiriya Maha Nayaka on four-day Jaffna visit


Ven. Dr. Warakagoda Thera

by Shamindra Ferdinando

The government has arranged for a high level delegation of Buddhist monks to visit Jaffna peninsula following recent disturbances there.

A senior Jaffna based military officer told The Island that a delegation led by most Ven. Dr. Warakagoda Dhammasiddhi Sri Pagnnananda Gnanarathanabhidhana Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter of Siam Nikaya was expected to arrive in Jaffna on Aug. 28.

The delegation is scheduled to be in the peninsula till Aug 31.

The official said: "The Mahanayake and Maha Sangha will be participating in a conference with other religious leaders at the District Secretariat Office on the morning of Aug 30."

The government has directed Security Forces headquarters, Jaffna, situated in Palaly to facilitate the visit. Authoritative military sources said that they wanted to reassure

the Maha Sangha the government was firmly in control of the situation in the peninsula.

The armed forces brought Jaffna under government control in Dec 1995 during Mrs. Kumaratunga’s presidency.

Recently, Mahanayake theras expressed their concern over what they called rapid deterioration of security in the Jaffna peninsula when Army Chief Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake paid courtesy calls on them.

Jaffna based sources said that the visiting delegation would have an opportunity on Aug 29 to meet senior armed forces and police officials in charge of security in the Jaffna peninsula, at Palaly. A spate of incidents, including two killings in separate incidents since July 9, led to a large scale operation by police commandos with the focus on the Vadamaratchchy east area.

Military sources alleged that various interested parties had been propagating lies in a bid to cause confusion among the public.


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