On 31 January, Sri Lanka’s president Ranil Wickremesinghe attended the inauguration of a new building of the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies at the University of Kelaniya. The premises were declared open at precisely 9 o’clock in the morning. Guests also included minister of education Dr. Susil Premajayantha, minister of state for higher education Dr. Suren Raghavan, the vice-chancellor of Kelaniya University Prof. Nilanthi De Silva, Burmese ambassador Mr. Han Thu, the Most Ven. Prof. Kotapitiye Rahula Anunayake Thero and other members of the monastic community. (President’s Media Division)
Mr. Wickremesinghe, at the inauguration of the Kelaniya University Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, emphasized the importance of cultivating an enlightened and cultured society for a strong national economy. He also presented Prof. K.L. Ven. Dhammajoti, one of the founding teachers of the Institute, an award of appreciation. The president highlighted Sri Lanka’s role in strengthening Theravada Buddhism and announced plans to establish a research institute dedicated to its promotion globally.
“As the then-prime minister, I came to lay the foundation stone for the construction of this building in 2019,” said the president in his speech. “As a government, we are working to provide support to take Theravada Buddhism to the world. Through this institution, relations between Buddhist countries can be established internationally. Also, the free trade agreement to be signed with the prime minister of Thailand in the next few days is expected to expand the relations between two Buddhist countries [Sri Lanka and Thailand]” (President’s Media Division). Mr. Wickremesinghe also addressed the evolving technological landscape, expressing a commitment to modernizing the education system by introducing artificial intelligence courses across all universities. He also noted that that AI should be deployed for the country’s religious development and dhammaduta work.
Since 1975, the respected Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies (a part of the University of Kelaniya), has provided postgraduate Buddhist studies programs and attracts students from all over the world. The Institute offers a range of courses, including an MA, postgraduate diploma, and postgraduate certificate course in Pali, Master degrees and postgraduate diplomas in Buddhist Studies, and a program in Buddhist Ayurvedic counselling and an MA in Buddhist counselling, which can be done online or offline. Higher research degrees are also offered.
Prof. K.L. Ven. Dhammajoti has a long academic history with the University of Kelaniya. Last year in August, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the institute. It was conferred in recognition of the university’s “exceptional contribution made by Ven. Prof. Emeritus Kuala Lumpur Dhammajoti for the upliftment of Buddhist academics, for the betterment of the University of Kelaniya, and for working toward increasing the international recognition of the University of Kelaniya.”
In his speech, Ven. Dhammajoti said: “I studied in this institution. A greater development has taken place in this institution now than when we studied then. Back then, we had to engage in educational activities from several places. But today we have the facilities to carry out all of them and spread Buddhism from one place. Due to the dedication of all the doctors and professors here, the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies has flourished and it is an excellent platform to raise our Buddhist education to the global standard.” (President’s Media Division)
දැනුම්වත් සහ ශිෂ්ඨ සම්පන්න සමාජයක් තුළින් රටක ආර්ථිකය ගොඩනැගිය හැකියි (Tamil only) (President’s Media Division)
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