To produce exemplary citizens, the new generation should follow the path shown by Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera... - Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena

The 82nd birthday celebration of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, which was organized by Kotte Naga Vihara, and in line with that the awarding of certificates go or creative Vesak greeting card design competition, which was conducted among Dhamma Schools, organized by Naga Vihara Youth Organization, under the guidance of the Prime Minister’s Office, in collaboration with the Colombo District Secretariat, was held on 30.05.2024 at the Temple Trees.

The Prime Minister at the event commented that-

"We all remember Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera as an eminent monk who has awakened our nation. For the sake of the country, for the sake of Sambuddha order, for our language and culture, we recall the exemplary path taken by Maha Sangha. His sermons have reached the people of our country as well as the international community.

There was no limit to his service. The countrymen thus honores him for the contribution made that can be remembered again and again for the present and the future. He has visited thousands of villages. Even at that time, efforts were made to generate solar power in our country. How many youths, engineers, artists, literates and professors worked with him. He always intervened in extremely important challenges for the country. He traveled not only across the country, but also through areas that were not traveled at that time. He has stood unswervingly against movements that threatened to divide the country. The youths who were with the Naga Vihara continued following in that path. If they had left the country then, the history would have changed a lot.

He made Theravada Buddhism the centre of this country and dedicated himself to work with our neighboring countries. Even today, researchers and professors from various universities in Asian countries come to our country for research as the centre of Theravada Buddhism. He always worked with the will of uniting in the task of bequeathing the Dharma of Gautama Buddha to the world. By doing so, the existence of Buddhism was given to the world in depth and the friendship between Theravada countries were confirmed and strengthened. The example he set selflessly to protect our national and religious identity is very important for the entire Sangha generation and society..."

Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera, Chancellor of the University of Colombo, addressing the gathering said -

"Sobitha Thera dedicated himself to change this society. He is a national assett, a lion that awakened the people. He wanted to build a fair future. He dedicated himself to it.

The Prime Minister was with us for the country that day. International Labour Day was abolished at that time. Then MP Dinesh Gunawardena, now the Prime Minister, asked me that shall we celebrate the May Day? Ven. Sobhita Thera joined us. May Day was celebrated amid challenges. We tell the Prime Minister not to forget the name Boralugoda Sinhaya (Lion of Boralugoda). Don’t forget it.

We should also follow the path of Sobitha Thera. Our concern and respect for Sobitha Thera is that we should all work together to follow the path he showed..."

Ven. Kotahene Narada Thero, the Viharadhikari of the Naga Vihara, who addressed the event commented that -

"Maduluave Sobitha Thero’s service to this country since his youth is immeasurable. In this place, the both living proofs of how he stood up against any danger or calamity in this country are present. One of them is Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera. The other person is the Prime Minister of our country Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena.

As in the current struggles, Biryani parcels, buffets from hotels and hundred thousands of money to accounts did not come to the struggles in those days. Sobitha Thera told us, that after eating one or two parcels of rice brought by Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, they directed the struggles amidst the violent situations that day. Also, Muruththettuwe Thera was detained up on the fourth floor for several months. Today’s society does not know about the time when our chief incumbent monk hid in different places to escape from getting arrested with Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena. By doing such a mission, we were able to prevent the damage that happened to this country that day. Today’s young people do not know what are the dangers, challenges and obstacles faced by this country. They don’t know who is Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera and who is Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera. It’s not their fault, it is ignorance of history.

We need to see this country move forward with our generation that has an understanding of our cultural heritage and our civilization. As the Maha Sangha our responsibility is to compile the necessary factors for that. The temple must be the centre for that. And the political authority should draft the necessary laws for that. Great harm to the Maha Sangha, Sambuddha order and Dharma are taking place today. It is emphasized the importance of bringing the necessary laws against these soon. This government should fulfill the responsibility of protecting this Sambuddha order as soon as possible by bringing the necessary legislations within the current government."

Maha sangha including Ven. Kobawaka Dhamminda Thera, Chief Incumbent of Kiriwehera Rajamaha Vihara, Ven. Elkaduwe Nagitha Thera, Chief Incumbent of Pushparamaya, Advisor of Naga Vihara Youth Organization, MP Yadamini Gunawardena, Colombo District Secretary K. G. Wijesiri, scholars, Dhamma school teachers and students, and parents joined this event.

Prime Minister’s Media