Mar 23, Colombo: The occasion of religious significance of presentation of the proposal to declare the Theravada Tripitaka, the sacred scripture of Buddhists, as a World Heritage as a Memory of the World to the UN Representative was held today (23) at the Maha Maluwa (Great Terrace) of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.
President Maithripala Sirisena handed over the proposal officially to the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Ms. Hanaa Singer.
Recently, President Sirisena took steps to declare the Theravada Tripitaka as a National Heritage to ensure the sustainability of the pure Buddhism, and not limiting to this noble endeavor, he initiated the process to declare the Tripitaka as a World Heritage with the aim of preserving it for another thousands of years.
Addressing the ceremony the President said that the legacy of protecting, nurturing of the Tripitaka, which included the preaching of Gautama Buddha, and to present it to the world in writing, was lies on us as Sri Lankans. He also said that till the Tripitaka published it was preserved by the Maha Sangha of Sri Lanka and further said that this by declaring this noble inheritance as a world heritage, Sri Lanka will receive an opportunity to obtain the ownership and trusteeship of it.
Furthermore, the President said that despite the opposition by some people with vested interests and attempting to challenge and confront this endeavor, the steps to take forward the objective to declare the Tripitaka as a World Heritage will move ahead successfully.
President Sirisena said that the Tripitaka is a vast knowledge resource apart from being a religious philosophy. He also said that he is pleased to see that all the Maha Nayaka Theros of all the Nikayas sitting together invoked blessings for this noble task.
President Sirisena recalled that former Burmese Prime Minister U Nu said in 1953 that Tripitaka was the most important historical heritage of Buddhism and described how it was first preserved by memory and then written on ola leaves in Sri Lanka and finally scripted in stone.
The President said even in non-Buddhist countries like Germany there were laudable comments of Tripitaka in their ancient chronicles.
Delivering special sermon at the event the Maha Nayaka Theros pointed out that the initiative taken by the President to declare the Tripitaka as a World Heritage will be appreciated by all the Buddhist community in the world.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Sajith Premadasa, former Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, ministers and parliamentarians participated in the event.