For the First Time, Buddhist Prelate in State Delegation

Mar 25 2018 - Sri Lanka’s foreign policy initiatives have gone one notch higher with the inclusion of a member of the Buddhist clergy in a delegation for top level talks between President Maithripala Sirisena and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

This is the first time in seven decades that a cleric has been included in an official delegation by a head of state or head of government, said a Foreign Ministry official who did not wish to be named. He is Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thera.

Ven. Sumangala Thera does not hold any official Government position but is an activist against corruption and drug abuse. He is the chief incumbent of the Dharmayathana Temple in Narahenpita. He also serves in the 30 member council of Buddhist intellectual leaders named by President Sirisena.

This story was originally published by The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka

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