Great Sangha leader and dedicated voice of the people | Daily News
Chief Sanganayaka of Western Province Most Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera:

Great Sangha leader and dedicated voice of the people

The Chief Sanganayaka of the Western Province, the Chief Incumbent of the Abhayarama, the Chairman of the Public Services Nurses Union, Most Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera marks another mile stone in his most precious journey of life.

We would like to extend our heartfelt blessings to this great Sangha leader who emerged as a weapon of power which he gained by leading a great and unstained monkhood as well as a great leader who became an irresistible force in the protection of the sovereignty of the country and freedom of its people.

Ven. Most Ven. Thera was born to a respectable family in Mureththettuwa, a rural village in the Sabaragamuwa Province. After ordaining to Bhikkuhood he completed the Piriven education successfully as a member of a honourable Bhikkhu tradition.

Accordingly, with the blessings of Most Ven. Pathberiye Dhammaloka Thera and Most Ven. Radelle Panyaloka Thera and as a Bhikkhu of the KotteKalyana Samagri Dhamma Sadha, Ven. Thera initiated national, religious and social services. It is not an exaggeration to note that Thera’s arrival at the Abhayarama four decades ago was the beginning of a new era in the Abhayarama and an exciting turning point in the life of the Thera to achieve all his goals in life.

Decades ago, the Abhayarama which is in the city of Colombo, was seen by many as an abandoned temple with dilapidated old buildings in a desolate state. After Thera assumed the leading role at the Abhayarama, this religious institution flourished and made an unimaginable progress by adding massive storied buildings year by year according to a systematic plan.

Today one cannot see the glimpse of the past devastated state of the Abhayarama since it has been converted into a perfect temple with all features of a temple along with modern amenities.

Ven. Ananda Thera should have the honour of this transformation of this religious institution. It has been an annual event to add a new building in celebration of his birthday. Hence, the Thera is fondly known among the Monks as one who cannot stay idle and always engages in some other work.

The Ven.Thera converted the Abhayarama into a centre where local and foreign ties are established and various projects are carried out for the welfare of the innocent people with the patronage of local and foreign devotees. The Abhayarama Purana Viharaya which has a well-organized Dhamma School for the children of the devotees as well as a strong Dayaka Sabha is a testament to the strength of the leadership of the Most Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera.

At every dawn, anyone who visits Abhayarama will be able to see the daily rituals of devotional Buddha Pooja and Bodhi Pooja performed in the most respected manner by the Thero himself, no matter how busy he is. The Ven.Thera possesses all the strengths that an incumbent of a temple should have and he gives the proper leadership.

Meeting the needs of the temples, developing and caring for them, working with donors and assisting the Bhikkhus Ven. Ananda Thera holds various positions based on the social needs of the community. The leadership he gives by protecting the Bhikkuhood is commendable.

It is well known that Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera is also the leader of the Public Services United Nurses Association which leads such a large social group of nurses in Sri Lanka today. He may be the only monk that leads a highly successful trade union in Sri Lanka for the first time. That leadership is sustainable and courageous. It should also be noted that many of the professional rights and privileges enjoyed by nurses in the nursing profession today would not have been possible without his leadership.

This strong leadership of the Ven. Ananda Thera has been a headache for many political leaders who ruled the country. Therefore, there were many incidents where they tried to find the faults in his Bhikkuhood to tarnish the Thera’s noble character.

Politicians who could not find any faults with him, could only imprison the Ven. Ananda Thera. It should be noted that the people concerned then came to co-operate with him and the rulers had to kneel before him because of the Bhikku personality he had so well protected. It is also worth mentioning that the establishment of the Professional Education professionals’ Association in the teaching profession of this country and the courageous leadership given to win the struggles against the education authorities and bureaucrats were extraordinary events.

The contribution made by Ven. Mureththettuwe Ananda Thera in rescuing the country and the nation from the menace of terrorism for over 30 years is significant. His leadership given in commencing various bhikku organisations and national organisations and mobilising patriotic monks in the country was commendable.

The Narahenpita Abhayarama was a place of indignation of rulers but also a place being shot and attacked when meetings and dicussions were held. None of these incidents could change the attitudes and policies of our Thera and he and other patriotic Monks were in view that terrorism should be eradicated in response to terrorism itself.

He is celebrating his birthday today with great joy in a country that has been liberated from terrorism. During that time, various patriotic individuals and organisations were mobilised to defend the country and not only mobilising them but also encouraging the soldiers of three forces who were on duty in the bunkers on the battlefield were still in our minds.

Ven. Mureththettuwe Ananda Thera has shown great leadership in leading religious and social organisations and giving the righteous leadership to devotees to make various virtuous and philanthropic contributions to the needy. Also, the Thera has boldly extended his leadership in national and religious confrontations.

No one can forget the commitment made by Ven. Thera to bring the present Government into power. At the same time the efforts taken by the Thera to guide and direct the present Government in the correct path to protect the sovereignty of the country are commendable.

After assuming duties as the Chancellor of University of Colombo, Most Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera initiated many projects to uplift the conditions of the hostels by providing the necessity requirements of the hosteller and committing his best to increase the hostel facilities with new hostels.

Further, a thousand scholarships are given annually for the under-privileged students to successfully complete their degrees.

We wish the Ven. Mureththettuwe Ananda Thera, who is engaged in such a great national, religious and social service, good health and eternal life.

Ven. Gawaragiriye Pemarathana thera
Chief Advisor Buddhist Brotherhood
Royal College
Colombo 7

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