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Govt. to conserve 12,000 Buddhist temples - PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe offering Ata Pirikara to the Mahanayake of the Amarapura Chapter Most Ven. Kotugoda Dhmmawasa Thera. Picture by Saman Sri Wedage

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday asked as to why the previous regime failed to conserve and develop Buddhist temples in the country by using the funds available at the Central Cultural Fund.

The Prime Minister added that the government is in the process of conserving and developing 12,000 Buddhist temples island wide by making use of funds at Central Cultural Fund.

He said that the funds belonging to the Central Cultural Fund had gone missing in the past and the Maha Sangha should find how these funds have gone missing.

Speaking at the second stage of the national programme to conserve and develop 12,000 Buddhist temples around the country at Temple Trees, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government has succeeded in providing assistance to the highest number of temples

The Prime Minister added that the priority will given to conserve the Lovamahapaya, which is considered the centre of Theravada Buddhism for centuries on a request by Amarapura Nikaya Mahanayake Most Ven Kotugoda Dhammawasa Thera.

The Prime Minister said the government is committed to protecting the country's unitary status while giving precedence to Buddhism.

Mahanayake of the Kotte Sri Kalyani Dhamma Maha Sangha Sabha, Most Ven. Ittepane Dhammalankara Thera and Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Pallegama Sirinivasa Thera and Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam were present.