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Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 5.21 GMT
Focus on Buddhist approach to reconciliation


President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphasized the importance of incorporating inputs from different religions and cultures in the debate on jurisprudence as we live in a globalized world. I must also emphasize that the sophisticated religious and philosophical traditions of this part of the world are unparalleled, he said in a message to the symposium on Buddhist jurisprudence, with particular reference to the concept of reconciliation held at the Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) on Monday (September 9).

President Rajapaksa noted that the teachings of Buddha is equally relevance to the issues of governance today as it was 2600 years ago when the Lichchavis, one of the earliest recorded democracies governed on principles of Buddhism. Since the arrival Arahat Mahinda Thero during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa, Sri Lanka too incorporated the ideals of Dharma Rajya into the system of governance. The Buddhist value system has highly influenced the socio cultural development of the country too, he pointed out.

Chief Justice Mohan Pieris and External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris made the main presentations. Senior members of the Maha Sangha were present. Examples drawn from the Buddhist Scriptures were cited and discussed as evidence of a rich body of doctrine embedded in the teachings of the Buddha on the subject.

Contrasting concepts and approaches of Western legal systems were identified and discussed.

President's Counsel Prasanthalal de Alwis and Manohara de Silva spoke at the event, while Judges of the Supreme Court, the Acting Attorney-General, senior members of the Attorney-General's Department, University of Colombo, Faculty of Law Dean and representatives of the business community, media and civil society were present.

Both the Chief Justice and the External Affairs Minister pointed out that knowledge derived from Western sources could not justifiably be looked upon as the sole repository of wisdom in this field.


A section of the Maha Sangha and other officials at the symposium

A large number of members of the Maha Sangha, judges, lawyers, politicians and academics expressed their views. It was decided to continue the project and to apply its conclusions for a variety of practical purposes.

Among those who expressed opinions were, Dharmapala Vihara, Mt. Lavinia Chief Incumbent Ven. Kotugoda Dhammawasa Anunayaka Thera, Naga Vihara, Kotte Chief Incumbent Ven, Maaduluwawe Sobitha Thera, Gangarama Vihara, Hunupitiya Chief Incumbent Ven. Galaboda Gnanissara Thera, Jathika Hela Urumaya Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera, MP, Amarapura Nikaya and Wajiraramaya, Colombo Chief Incumbent Ven. Thirikunamale Ananda Anunayake Thera, Sunethradevi Pirivena, Papiliyana, Chief Incumbent Ven. Medagoda Abayatissa Thera, Kotte Sangha Sabha Secretary Ven. Prof. Kotapitiya Rahula Thera and Asgiri Viharaya Committee Member Ven. Medagama Dhammananda Thera.

Sambodhi Vihara Chief IncumbentVen. Daranagama Kusaladhamma Thera, Gangarama Vihara Secretary Ven. Dr. Kirinde Assaji Thera, Swijing Nikaya Secretary Ven. Buthpitiye Samitha Thera and Chief Incumbent of the Sri Vijayarama Viharaya Ven. Ahangama Ananda Thera also attended. Also contributing to the discussion were Prof. Harischandra Wijetunga, Jathika Hela Urumaya Provincial Councilor Udaya Gammanpila and President, Young Men's Buddhist Association Suren Abeygunesekara.






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Last modified: September 11, 2013.

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