February 19, 2020
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    Tripitaka as world heritage document; President will appeal to UN Chief Featured

    January 06, 2019

    The Government will appeal to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to declare the Tripitaka as a world heritage document to be protected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday.

    The President made this announcement at the ceremony held at the Matale Aluviharaya to declare the Tripitaka which contains the teachings of the Lord Buddha as a National Heritage. The Mahanayakes of the three chapters and about 1,500 Buddhist monks were present at the ceremony along with many other dignitaries.

    The President described the declaration as the most meritorious act that he had been able to undertake during his tenure as President. He said he considered it a great blessing that he was able to initiate the process which led to the Tripitaka being declared a national heritage.
    He said that in September, last year, he, along with Buddha Sasana Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera and the then Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, submitted a joint Cabinet proposal to name the Tripitaka as a national heritage.
    The President said that with yesterdays’ declaration, the reprinting, translations and other activities related to the Tripitaka could be carried out only under the supervision of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana.

    He said that generations of members of the Buddhist clergy had safeguarded the teachings of the Buddha, memorised them and later recorded them in Ola leaves so that the teachings would be handed down throughout the ages. “The Tripitaka is a national heritage and is for all Sri Lankans not only the Sinhalese. We hope to make it an internationally protected document, so that the teachings of Lord Buddha will be preserved and studied worldwide,” the President said.


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