A baby tusker was gifted to the Bellanwila Rajamahavihara by the Government of Myanmar, stated the Ministry of External Affairs.
External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris was present at the handing over ceremony at the temple yesterday (4). Venerable Dr. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Thero, presiding over the ceremony, explained the importance of the tusker for the purpose of conducting the annual perahera and for participation in other formal events in the calendar of the historic temple.
He described the efforts to find a tusker after the death of the magnificent elephant which belonged to the temple previously.
Prof. Peiris, in his address, referred to the illustrious history of the temple and its connection with the sacred Bodhi Tree in Anuradhapura. He traced the relations between Sri Lanka and Myanmar, highlighting the support rendered by each country to the other over the centuries in the cause of strengthening the Buddha Sasana and especially in maintaining the upasampada tradition.
The Minister referred to the initiative of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in making this donation possible, and the sustained efforts to achieve this result. He expressed warm appreciation for the generosity and support of the government of Myanmar.