President steering country in right direction
Mahanayake tells Archbishop of Canterbury:
KANDY: President Mahinda Rajapaksa is now steering the
country's administration on the right track, hence it was the bounden
duty of the clergy and religious leaders to extend the hand of support
and not interfere with the administration, and bring undue pressure and
distract him from the course he is following bringing the country back
to normalcy, said Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter Most Ven. Udugama
Sri Buddharakkitha Ratanapala Thera.
He was receiving the Archbishop of Canterbury Most Rev. and Hon.
Doctor Rowan Williams at the Asgiri Temple Simamalakaya, Kandy
The Asgiriya Prelate said the duty of the religions whether in Sri
Lanka or outside world was not to get involved in the internal matters
of administration but help the leaders to carry on with their
"Our role is to advise, and guide them to follow the correct path.
That is the "noble duty" which the country expect of us". The Mahanayake
There is no division among the people in this country. They do not
divide people on the basis of caste, creed or their nationality. The
people would like to live in peace and harmony as one family-brothers
and sisters, he said.
It is just a handful - a group of people who respect nothing and show
no regard to human life and human rules who had taken up arms and try to
create mayhem, the Mahanayake said.
They are guerilla groups and they have created rifts and ethnic
strife we experience today. The peace-loving ordinary and simple people
of the Tamil community have been caught up in this strife. But what is
heartening to note is despite all these there is brotherhood, and
friendship among people of all communities that comprise this beautiful
island, the Prelate told the visiting religious dignitary.
The Mahanayake Thera expressed fear that if the conflict situation
continues the country would have to face more hardships. The rulers,
laity and religious leaders of all religions wish to see that all people
live in peace and harmony. That is our wish. Your visit to Sri Lanka at
this juncture is most welcome," the Mahanayake Thera said.
Malwatte Chapter Mahanayake Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha
Sumangala Thera said Sri Lanka and Britain maintain cordial relationship
for many long years. Over centuries has been immensely supported by your
country and we appreciate that.
Most Rev. Hon. DOC. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury said
he came to Sri Lanka with a view to meet all religious leaders. "Sri
Lanka is held in high esteem and we come here to express our love and
warmth to the people living in harmony though belong to different ethnic
and religious groups. You have set an example for others to follow.
It is however regrettable this beautiful country is saddled with an
etnic strife. It is something very surprising to us.' We are very keen
to see that all of you belonging to different groups and religions live
in harmony as you did in the past," the Archbishop said.
From the depth of our hearts we bless you, bless the people of the
country so that they can live once more as brothers and sisters," Bishop
of Kurunegala Kumar Illangasingha, British High Commissioner Dominic
Chilcott and Colombo Bishop Dulip Chikera were present.