Published on: July 10, 2024

Guidance of the Maha Sangha Key in Building New Economic and Political Systems – The President

President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized the importance of establishing a new economic and political system in Sri Lanka, noting that all other Theravada Buddhist countries have progressed based on an export-oriented economic system, whereas Sri Lanka has faced bankruptcy due to its import-based economic model.

Therefore, the President emphasized the urgent need to establish both a new economic system and a new political system in the country as soon as possible. He also noted that the guidance and advice of the Maha Sangha are crucial in leading the country along this new path.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe made these remarks while addressing the 44th Higher Ordination ceremony (Upasampada) of the Ariyawansa Saddhamma Yuktika sect of the Maha Vihara Vamsika Amarapura Maha Nikaya held today (10) at Karandeniya Siri Abhayatissa Pirivene in Galle.

The Vinaya Kamma of the Ariyawansa Saddhamma Yuktika sect of the Maha Vihara Vamsika Amarapura Maha Nikaya will be held under the guidance of Most Venerable Karagoda Uyangoda Maithri Murthi Maha Nayaka Thero of Amarapura Nikaya from July 10th – 14th, at the Halwathura Udakukkhepa Seema Malaka, Mahaedanda, where 98 novice monks will be ordained into Upasampada.

The Ariyawansa Saddhamma Yuktika sect of the Maha Vihara Vamsika Amarapura Maha Nikaya, representing over 4,000 monks from more than 600 temples, performs the Upasampada Vinaya Kamma ceremony once every two years.

At the event, Parivenadhipati of Karandeniya Siri Abhayatissa, Galle Venerable Ginigala Pedese Sudhamma Thero, presented the commemorative book related to the Upasampada to President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Addressing the gathering, President Ranil Wickremesinghe further stated,

“Upasampada Vinaya Kamma represents a pivotal moment in monastic history. Due to its significance, this event has received government support since ancient times. It is important to note that today’s Upasampada is also state-sponsored. Sri Lanka received Upasampada Vinaya Kamma through two main sources: initially from Ayodhya in Siam, and later from Amarapura in Myanmar.

There was a period when Upasampada Vinaya Kamma was not practiced in Sri Lanka. During that time, the discipline was first brought from Ayodhya in Siam through the efforts of the monks and the support of the state.

When the Upasampada was lost again, arrangements were made to bring it back to Sri Lanka from Amarapura in Myanmar. The Upasampada Punya Kamma continues to be sponsored by the Sri Lankan government. It is also important to acknowledge the significant efforts of the monks in preserving monkhood and order during British rule in Southern Sri Lanka.

Two years ago, the country’s economy collapsed, leading to bankruptcy. This situation arose due to the long-standing import economic policy. In contrast, all other Theravada Buddhist countries have successfully moved towards an export economy.

Therefore, it is imperative to swiftly establish a new economic and political system in the country. In paving the way for this transition and forging a new societal framework, the guidance and guidance of the Maha Sangha hold significant importance”.

Minister of Justice and Prison Affairs, President’s Counsel Wijayadasa Rajapaksa,

When discussing Upasampada Punya Kamma, it traces back to the first Dhamma Sangayana in Sasana history. During that Sangayana, it was taught that as long as discipline is upheld, order will prevail. These words remain relevant today, emphasizing that without discipline, a country can quickly falter. Hence, the principles upheld by Buddhism hold profound importance for the nation’s future.

In times when Upasampada was absent in Sri Lanka, our monks had to journey to Thailand three times to obtain Upasampada. Our Maha Sangha diligently worked to safeguard this Upasampada Vinaya Kamma amidst numerous challenges. Therefore, advocating for the enactment of these teachings, as guided by the Mahanayake Thero, could find support in Parliament.

Attendees included Venerable Ganthune Assaji Maha Nayaka Thero, Ariyavansa Saddhamma of the Amarapura Maha Sect, Mahanayaka Kurunegala Ridhigama Rabbadagalla Vihara Venerable Egodamullae Amaramoli Maha Nayaka Thero, Anunayaka Venerable Valpola Vimalanna Thero , other senior members of the Maha Sangha, Industries and Health Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, State Minister Mohan Priyadarshana de Silva, MPs Vajira Abeywardena, Sampath Athukorale, Gayantha Karunathilaka, and Senior Adviser to the President on Economic Affairs Dr. R.H.S Samaratunga.

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