Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera Honoured
I am confident that Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera will do his utmost to develop the University of Colombo during his tenure as Chancellor, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Tuesday (11).
The PM was speaking at an event held at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre to officially welcome the Thera who was appointed Chancellor of the University of Colombo.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa and Speaker MahindaYapa Abeywardena were among the invitees present.
The Ven. Thera is also the Chief Incumbent of the Abhayarama Temple in Narahenpita.
The Chancellor of the University of Rajarata Chief Incumbent of the Mirisavetiya Raja MahaVihara Ven. Eethalavatunaweve Ghanathileke Thera, head of the Sinhala Faculty of the University of Kelaniya
Ven. Dr. Malwane Chandaratana Thera, Chief Editor of Silumina Dharman Wickremaratne spoke on the journey traversed by Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera.
Speaking at the event the Premier said, “It is a pleasure to be involved at an event where Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera is being felicitated following him being appointed Chancellor of the University of Colombo. The services rendered to the Buddha Sasana and this country by
Ven. Ananda Thera while continuing to be the Chief Incumbent of the Abhayarama Temple is enormous. He is widely known for being involved with the nursing fraternity.
We also know that the Thera continues to be at the helm of the Public Services United Nurses Union (PSUNU) since its inception. Through the PSUNU he continues to look into the rights and plight of the nursing fraternity of this country. Today the PSUNU has emerged as one of the most powerful trade union in the health sector, thanks to his efforts.
I must also recall the many occasions the Thera has come forward to give invaluable advice and instructions to politicians of the day whenever the country was faced with a crisis. I also came to know that our Thera has taken measures to grant 1,000 scholarships to students for higher education. The work rendered by the Ven. Ananda Thera during the signing of the controversial Indo-Lanka Peace Accord, 35 years ago cannot be forgotten. Also it must be mentioned that whenever any person goes to meet the Thera, he never turns them away I can vouch for this. Furthermore the invaluable support that I had received during my political career has to be mentioned. Whenever I met the Thera he always spoke to me on the importance of propagating the Dhamma and the sustenance of the Buddha Sasana in this country. Hence I take this opportunity to thank Ven. Ananda Thera for the assistance he has given during my political journey and also towards this Government to put it back on track. The work rendered by the Thera as the Chief Incumbent of the Abhayarama Temple helped us to elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa as President. But, it’s sad to say that many had forgotten the tireless work done by the Thera. I am also confident that under the stewardship of the Ven. Ananda Thera the University of Colombo will go from strength to strength.”
Head of the Sinhala Faculty of the University of Kelaniya Prof. Ven. Malwane Chandaratana Thera said,
“I have associated with the Ven. Ananda Thera over a long period of time and from my experience I can vouch for the fact that the Thera will do his utmost to develop this university and bring it on level with other distinguished universities in the world. The vision of the Ven. Ananda Thera is to provide an equal opportunity to all segments of this society to pursue higher studies and I am of the view that during the Thera’s tenure as Chancellor of the University of Colombo it will undergo a transformation and become a beacon of light in the education sector.
Chancellor of the University of Rajarata Ven. Dr. Eethalawetunawewe Ghanathileke Thera – The university sector has to be upgraded to such an extent where a well-rounded could be released to society. We need to address the issue of developing our university education to meet the global standards or we will continue to stagnate in the eyes of the rest of the world. We need to churn out youth from the university who would aspire to the leadership ranks of this country from several sectors, not only the political firmament. We also need to improve the facilities offered to undergraduates if youth are to be equipped to face challenges posed both locally and globally. Hence I have no doubt that under the leadership of our Thera, the University of Colombo will aspire to become one of the leading University’s in the South Asian region.
Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera said, “I have never hankered after posts. This has to be clearly stressed. I only accepted it as an honour that I thought of bestowing on the President. Hence I take this opportunity to thank the President for appointing me as the Chancellor of the University of Colombo. I also have many plans to bring this university on par with other universities both here and overseas. As part of this plan I intend to offer 1,000 scholarships from this month and urge you to grant us a piece of land to build a hostel for students. I hope that the President will consider my request and approve it shortly.”