A noble erudite monk bids adieu to the Nation

The cremation of Mahanayake of the Ramanna Maha Nikaya Agga Maha Panditha Most Ven. Napane Pemasiri Thera took place at the Warapitiya SWRD Bandaranaike National College grounds in Pallekelle with full State honours yesterday.

The Maha Sangha led by New Mahahanayake Thera of Ramanna Maha Nikaya Most Ven Makulewe Wimalabhidhana Thera, Anunayake Thera of Malwatte Chapter Most Ven Dimbulkumbure Wimaladhamma Thera, Anunayake of Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven Wedaruwe Upali Thera, Acting Mahanayake Thera of Amarapura Maha Nikaya Most Ven Ganthune Assaji Thera, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Cabinet Ministers and people’s representatives were in attendance in compliance with the health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The funeral procession carrying the remains of late Mahanayake Thera started from Vidyasagara Piriven Mulaviharaya, Hurikaduwa to the SWRD Bandaranaike National School grounds yesterday noon. The Sri Lanka Army carried out a 17 gun salute in honour of the late Mahanayake Thera.

Large crowds thronged the sides of road for a final glimpse of the Thera who left an indelible imprint in the minds of Buddhists in Sri Lanka as the funeral procession was proceeding to the school ground.

The funeral proceedings started after the casket was placed on the special dais. New Mahanayake of Ramanna Maha Nikaya and Chief Incumbent of Vidyawasa Maha Pirivena in Minioluwa, Mirigama Ven Makulewe Wimalabhidana Thera in an Anusasana said the late Thera embellished priesthood for 88 years.

Most Ven Napane Premasiri Thera led an altruistic life giving pride of place for the promotion of the Dhamma. He had been a patriarch of the Maha Sangha and symbol of meaningful depiction of the teachings of the Buddha, the new Mahanayake Thera said.

Anunayake Thera of Malwatte Chapter Most Ven Dimbulkumbure Wimaladhamma Thera in his Anusasana said that the late Mahanayake Thera expressed his views when the country and religions faced various challenges.

He always came forward for the protection of the Buddha Sasana and the country. He strove for the unity of Maha Sangha belonging to all Chapters, the Anunayake Thera said.

Anunayake of the Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven.Wendaruwe Upali Thera said the demise of Most Ven Napane Premasiri Thera is a great loss to the Three Chapters. “He set an example to both the members of Maha Sangha and laymen by leading a disciplined and exemplary life,” the Thera said.

Acting Maha Nayake of Amarapura Maha Nikaya Most Ven. Ganthune Assaji Anunayake Thera, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa and Chairman of Ramanna Nikaya Arakshaka Committee and former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya were present. Here are some highlights from the cremation:

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