Colombo, September 6: The Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on Sunday performed the Adhishtana Poojawa and Satyakriya at the Kirivehera in Kataragama. Gunawardena performed the ritual to preserve the unitary character of Sri Lanka and the wellbeing of its people. The ceremonies were organized by the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) which is Gunawardena’s political party.
The Prime Minister gave a solemn pledge to protect the unitary state, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, which was safeguarded by our forefathers for several centuries. The pledge delivered by the Prime Minister to the vast gathering further promised to safeguard the Buddhism, the teachings of the Buddha and the Mahasangha as it was protected by the ancestors for over 2500 years and to protect environment, flora and fauna, forest and water resources and to make the country self-sufficient. They also pledged to protect the women and children, provide skills to the youth to strengthen them to reach their rightful place.
The Prime Minister stated his policy of participatory democracy in which more powers will be devolved to the Parliament and Local Government bodies by establishing a mixed system of elections of representatives in a constitutional amendment.
The religio-political ceremony was meant to signal that in the confused political situation in Sri Lanka, Gunawardena is preparing to strike a distinct political path based on Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism which does not support devolution of power to the provinces, two of which are ethnically defined (Tamil and Muslim), but to local bodies which are very small territorial units.
Ven. Kobawaka Dhamminda Thero, the incumbent of the Kiriwehera Rajamaha Vihara, stated that Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has done a great service to the country for a long time, especially since the establishment of Mahajana Eksath Peramuna.
“I pray that you, as the second citizen of the country, will have the strength to build this country as the most suitable person to hold the position of Prime Minister and we highly appreciate your decision to accept this great burden at this difficult time with the commitment and determination to uplift the country,” he said.
Ven. Kapugama Saranatissa Thero, Kataragama Abhinavaramadhipati explained that, “The special quality we have seen from Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena is the sacrifice he makes by supporting the existing government and the country whenever there is a disaster in the country and the people irrespective of the fact he is in the ruling party or in the opposition. It is because of his nationalism that he makes such sacrifices for the sake of the country, regardless of race, religion and party.”
“I think this quality came to him from his father Mr. Philip Gunawardena. Mr. Philip Gunawardena made great sacrifices for the nation and for the freedom of this country. Gunawardena’s generation is such a generation. At a time when this country is in a great disaster and no one is coming forward to take over the country, you came forward and took over a fire that was lit from all four corners,” he said.
Those who were present included, Ven. Omare Kassapa Thera, Anunayaka of Sri Rohana Parshwa of Shyamopali Maha Nikaya, Ven. Heelle Gnananda Thera incumbent of the Vadasitikanda Rajamaha Vihara, Ven. Murutthettuve Ananda Thera incumbent of Narahenpita Abhayarama, Ven. Kotahene Narada Thera incumbent of Kotte Naga Vihara, Ven. Kokawala Kosala Thea incumbent of Sankhapala Raja Maha Viharaya, Ven. Thangalle Gotama Thera, Ven. Malewana Dharmavijaya Thera, Ven. Madawalathanne Jinarathane Thera, Ven. Wagegoda Sheelananda Thera.
The other dignitaries including MEP General Secretary Tissa Yapa Jayawardena, Vice President Member of Parliament Sisira Jayakodi, Deputy Secretary Member of Parliament Yadamini Gunawardena, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Deputy Speaker Ajith Rajapakshe, Members of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa, Wimalaweera Dissanayake, Vijitha Berugoda, Shashindra Rajapaksa, Anupa Pasqual, Chamara Sampath, Rohana Dissanayake and other public representatives, representatives of national organizations and members of Mahajana Eksath Peramuna participated at this occasion.