Sri Lanka received a new culture and literature based on Buddhism with the arrival of Sanghamiththa Therani, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
He said that women have played a pivotal role in protecting and promoting Buddhism in the country. The Sacred Tooth Relic and the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya were brought to Sri Lanka by Princess Hemamala and Sanghamittha Therani from India.
The President was addressing the national ceremony to pay homage to Sanghamittha Therani organized by Sanghamitta Saddhakara Padanama. Sanghamittha Therani, daughter of Emperor Asoka of India brought the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya to the country.
She played a pivotal role in the uplift of the country's culture and literature based on Buddhism.
The President was presented a flag and a sticker to commemorate the Sanghamitta Day. President Rajapaksa added that a new literature based on the Jaya Srimaha Bodhi developed with the arrival Sanghamittha Therani. He added that a large number of craftsmen who excelled in different trades also arrived in the island with Sanghamitta Therani and these craftsmen helped in the development of the country.
Buddhism is the best legacy that we can offer to the world. Bhikkunis of our country were involved in promoting Buddhism in foreign countries," he said.
"History says that Bhikkunis brought Buddhism to China too," he said.
The President said that the liberation of women always ensured social protection too. "Whenever women are empowered, our society is protected and our values are protected, " he said. The President added that women are a great strength to a family. They ensure the peace, happiness and success of a family, he said.
President Rajapaksa lauded the services of the Sanghamitta Sadkaraka Foundation for the Dasasil Mathas in the country during the short span of its existence.
"This foundation has a network of organizations around the country. The Dasasil Mathas around the country are receiving protection from this foundation," he said. He said that the life expectancy of women in the country has increased.
The President added that women's representation in all sectors too has increased.
"Women represent more than 80 per cent of the education sector too," he said. The President added that the more women are involved in the decision-making process in the country.
He said that the Jaya Srimaha Bodhi sapling brought by Sanghamitta Therani gives solace to the entire nation. "Whenever we pay homage to the Sacred Bodhiya, we remember the services of Sanghamitta Therani," the President said.