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Buddhist Advisory Council meets President

The Buddhist Advisory Council has commended President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for following advice and implementing suggestions of the Maha Sangha, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

The member thero of the Council are confident that the policies followed by the President will be instrumental in building a fair and virtuous society.

Five months ago, President Rajapaksa decided to set up the Buddhist Advisory Council to seek advice and views of the Maha Sangha in the process of implementing policies of the Government.

The first meeting between the Maha Sangha and the President took place on 24 April at the Presidential Secretariat. During the meeting, the President had apprised Thero of the measures taken to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the future activities of the Government. He had informed that he intends to meet the Council on the third Friday of every month and invited the Thero of the three Chapters to participate.

The member thero of the Council presented their advice and suggestions to implement strategies pertaining to several areas included in the “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor” national policy statement during the previous five sessions.

The Buddhist Advisory Council which met for the sixth time at the Presidential Secretariat on Saturday (19) reviewed the progress of the implementation of proposals so far.

The Maha Sangha commended and invoked their blessings for paying attention of the Government and executing several proposals put forward by them, including protecting historical places with archaeological value, developing Pirivena education by removing deficiencies, providing deeds to vihara lands, Dhamma School education, National Education Policy, early childhood development, prioritising national security, controlling the drug menace, environmental protection, creating the background for discourse on Buddha Sasana, and taking Buddhist universities under the purview of the Ministry of Education.

The Council has praised the President for taking measures to lay a strong and viable foundation for the future of Ministry of Education by appointing four State Ministers for the first time in history.

The Maha Sangha also pointed out that the decision to amend the Antiquities Ordinance to address the longstanding issues related to viharas built on archaeological sites has been welcomed by many.

While highlighting the importance of the Advisory Council which meets once a month, President Rajapaksa said it had helped him as well as the officials to gain a better perspective of various fields. He assured to take steps to rectify prevailing shortcomings.

The Maha Sangha representing the Buddhist Advisory Council, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, ministry cecretaries, and heads of several institutes were present at the meeting.