|Wednesday, 2 June 2004|
Advent of Arahant Mahinda marked dawn of new civilization : President
The advent of Arahant Mahinda Thera in 3rd Century B.C. on a day such as today marked the dawn of a new civilisation in this country.
The guidance and inspiration of Buddhist philosophy promoted our material and spiritual development, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga states in her Poson message.
The President in her message said:
"Those were the beginnings of a nation that loved all beings, the environment, one that respected other religions; shed all differences of race and caste.
We now enjoy a relative peace, after decades of suffering as a result of a conflict that ravaged the whole country.
This year we celebrate Poson at a time when the whole nation is yearning for a permanent and durable peace with dignity.
I believe the teachings of Buddha will inspire us and help us realise our aspirations and overcome the obstacles lying ahead. On this Poson Poya day I trust the Buddhists of this country will have the courage, strength and wisdom to defeat extremist forces that have emerged in various guises, forces likely to lead to the destruction of Buddhism.
I appeal to all Buddhists to shun malice and hatred and celebrate Poson Poya day by giving pride of place to religious observances, with love and compassion to all beings."
PM seeks help of all to build prosperous Lanka
Poson Poya Day on which Buddhism venerated by the entire Buddhist world including the learned here and abroad is an ever venerable historic day for Sri Lankan Buddhists, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse said in his Poson Message.
The Prime Minister in his message states: "Due to the arrival of Arahanth Mahinda over 2300 years ago on a day like this, there was development in all aspects such as economy, literature, culture, arts and architecture.
This was due to the knowledge and discipline the Lankans gained through Buddhism. With the arrival of Sangamitta Theranee in Ceylon, a culture based on Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura commenced.
The women of this country received the benefit of entering the Sasana. It was the arrival of Arahanth Mahinda which paved the way for all these.
Although an intelligent and civilised society emerged with the arrival of Arahanth Mahinda, the development of the present day society has been hindered due to getting away from the Buddhist teachings which attach importance to human values. Having realised this situation, let us determine during this Poson Season to act in a virtuous manner and with responsibility.
The Poson Full Moon Day occurring at a time when the Government is engaged in a peace process with an honest intention to solve the ethnic crisis which is a threat to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity, would be very important to Sri Lankans.
I solicit the co-operation of all to build up a prosperous Sri Lanka where all of us can live happily, peacefully and with mutual understanding.
Commitment to build up a humanity loving and beautiful country would be a sacred tribute to Arahanth Mahinda.
I wish on this Poson Full Moon Day, that it would be possible to achieve this great objective, with the blessings of the Triple Gem".
Produced by Lake House