While emphasizing the government’s resolute dedication to protecting religious shrines and historical sites, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said a committee comprising religious leaders from the respective provinces will be set up aiming at addressing religious matters in the North and East.
“I must emphatically state that we remain resolute in preventing external entities from instigating disturbances. To foster harmony and prevent potential conflicts, we are actively working towards establishing a committee comprising of esteemed religious leaders from the respective provinces. The collective efforts of these leaders are poised to avert any arising conflicts,” he said during his visit to Kandy.
“We hold in high regard the protection of all Buddhist shrines, considering it our paramount duty. In this spirit, we have taken measures to address the challenges faced by the Kurundi temple in the Northern region.
Encouragingly, the Sinhalese, Muslim and Tamil communities of that area have united in agreement, pledging not to involve external entities. In times past, this region was characterized by harmonious coexistence among its inhabitants. Regrettably, the introduction of external groups has given rise to these recent complications. I have also communicated this matter to the leader of Vavuniya.
“In light of these circumstances, it is imperative that access to this area is restricted exclusively to those within our sphere of influence. To ensure the integrity of our actions, the Department of Archaeology has been directed to conduct a thorough investigation. These actions align with the mandates of the Antiquities Act, underscoring our commitment to preserving our cultural heritage.
“Moreover, we are poised to undertake an excavation initiative at the esteemed Maha Viharaya. The on-going excavation efforts in the northern regions continue to yield valuable insights, and these undertakings remain in active progress.
“I wish to clarify that the preceding government took prompt action by deploying the armed forces to expedite the excavation process. However, a definitive course of action is still pending, awaiting the decision of the Department of Archaeology. Rest assured, our future steps will be in alignment with the verdict provided by this authoritative body. It is imperative to underscore our unwavering commitment to safeguarding these sacred regions.
“Our efforts extend to the safeguarding of all Buddhist shrines. Our approach begins with the identification of archaeological sites of significance. Following this crucial step, a comprehensive investigation ensues. Furthermore, it is crucial to highlight our dedication to addressing any challenges faced by other religious communities in this context.
“I must emphatically state that we remain resolute in preventing external entities from instigating disturbances. To foster harmony and prevent potential conflicts, we are actively working towards establishing a committee comprised of esteemed religious leaders from the respective provinces. The collective efforts of these leaders are poised to avert any arising conflicts.
“Furthermore, it is worth noting that the Ministry of Buddha Sasana is presently engaged in substantial discussions concerning the development of new legislation pertaining to Buddhism. This significant undertaking has been initiated, a formal communication has been extended by both the Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters. Our focus remains resolute on this endeavour. To ensure a comprehensive perspective, we have proactively solicited input, suggestions and comments from various denominations,” the President said.