Minister G.L. Peiris extols the virtues of Anagarika Dharmapala

Minister G.L. Peiris extols the virtues of Anagarika Dharmapala

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External Affairs Minister, Professor G.L. Peiris, speaking on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of the late Anagarika Dharmapala at the Mahabodhi Society in Colombo, on 17th September, referred to several aspects of the life and work of the Anagarika, which have special relevance to Sri Lankan society today.

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External Affairs Minister, Professor G.L. Peiris, speaking on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of the late Anagarika Dharmapala at the Mahabodhi Society in Colombo, on 17th September, referred to several aspects of the life and work of the Anagarika, which have special relevance to Sri Lankan society today.

He spoke of the late leader’s commitment to the country’s own cultural traditions and his role in engendering an atmosphere which served as a backdrop to Independence which was achieved fifteen years after his death in Sanchi. The Minister paid tribute to the Anagarika’s success in propagating the message of Buddhism in terms which had a powerful appeal throughout the world. He made special mention of the Anagarika’s emphasis on the scientific foundations of Buddhist doctrine, and his references to Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. The persuasive appeal of his rational, analytical approach received wide acclaim in international fora, including the Congress of Religions in Chicago, the Minister said. An important facet of his work was the importance he attached to the laity and the relevance of Buddhist values to everyday life, especially in relation to vocations and livelihoods. Prof. Peiris characterized the Anagarika as a role model whose example serves as a continuing inspiration today.

The keynote address was delivered by India’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Yashwardhan K. Sinha. Mr. Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Education, distributed Awards on the invitation of the Mahabodhi Society. Among the participants were delegates from India, Korea and members of the Japanese Parliament.

Senior prelates of the Maha Sangha graced the occasion. Ven. Banagala Upatissa Thero welcomed the gathering.

 

Ministry of External Affairs

Colombo

19 September 2014

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