Vesak lanterns create furore in Saliyawewa | Daily News


Vesak lanterns create furore in Saliyawewa

Vesak lanterns, carrying the symbols of the ‘Dhamma chakra’ and the ‘Christian cross’ created a furore in Saliyawewa.

Saliyawewa Police on Saturday told the organizers remove Vesak lanterns, carrying the symbols of the ‘Dhamma chakra’ and the ‘Christian cross’, following a complaint by a monk.

The Police Media Division told the Daily News that about 50 lanterns, pasted with the 'Dhamma chakra’ and the ‘Christian cross’ on the four sides of the lantern, were taken down by the organizers on the instructions of the Police.

Saliyawewa residents said the lanterns were made by the Sinhalese and Christians in the area together with their children in memory of all those who died in the Easter Sunday attacks. It was an initiative by a Pradeshiya Sabha member.

A complaint had been lodged by Aluthgama Sri Lumbini Viharaya Viharadhipathi Ven Maanewe Pagngnarama thera, stating that it was “inappropriate to use the Cross in a Vesak lantern”.

“The thera explained that ‘atapattama’ has a specific Buddhist meaning and it is not acceptable to paste the Christian cross in it. Following the complaint by the monk, those who made the lanterns agreed to take them down. As the lanterns were already made, they were asked to display them in their homes, without displaying them on the roads.

The Director General of Buddhist Affairs Department was contacted and he too explained that no signs irrelevant to Buddhism are allowed on Vesak lanterns as per a circular. “There was no clash or a tense situation.

The issue was settled amicably,” Police said. 

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