Dalai Lama formally accepted request to visit SL – Mahanayaka Thera



The spiritual leader of Tibet – His holiness Dalai Lama has formally accepted an invitation to visit Sri Lanka, says the most Ven. Waskaduwe Mahindawansa Mahanayake Thera of the Amarapura Sri Sambuddha Shasanodaya Maha Sangha Sabha.

The Thera said this during the ‘Multilingual Scholarly Symposium’ held at the University of Kelaniya on July 06th as a tribute to the spiritual leader. The event also coincided with his holiness’ 88th birthday.

This event was held with the coordination of the University’s Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies, Department of Philosophy and the Department of Sanskrit & Eastern Studies as well as that of the Foundation for Buddhist Brotherhood, International Buddhist Confederation and the Sri Lankan Tibetan Buddhist Brotherhood Society.

According to the Mahanayaka Thera, this invitation was extended in 2022 when His Holiness started his annual visit to Bodh Gaya, where the Mahanayake Thero was also present with a Sri Lankan delegation.

Emphasising the importance of a visit by the Dalai Lama to Sri Lanka, the Mahanayaka Thera pointed out that that such a visit would also mark the arrival of countless Buddhist devotees around the globe which will definitely lead to a revival of tourism as well as foreign investments.

“Damage to Sino-Lanka friendship”

However, in a special interview done with ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ last January, Mr. Hu Wei, Acting Ambassador of the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, said that a visit by the Dalai Lama could damage the friendship between Sri Lanka and China.

Explaining that the mutual trust between the two countries is based on the ‘One China’ policy, Mr. Hu Wei explained that Jaffna or Kandy is a part of Sri Lanka and Tibet is not an independent country but a part of China.

Mr. Hu Wei had further mentioned that he had discussed this with the Maha Nayaka Theros and monks during his visit to Kandy back then, and was assured that none of them had extended such an invitation.

Meanwhile, during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart – Mr.  Qin Gang in Beijing last month, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister – Ali Sabry had assured Sri Lanka’s continuous adherence to the ‘One China’ policy and to build the Belt and Road Initiative.

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