President Gotabaya Rajapaksa noted that the wisdom in Dhamma, purity and virtue possessed by the Most Venerable Aggamaha Pandit Napane Premasiri Thero, Mahanayaka of Ramanna Maha Nikaya were a blessing and exemplary to society.
President added that the void the Most Venerable Napane Premasiri Thero would leave in his absence for Sambudhdha Sasana, the nation, for all the Buddhists across the globe and personally for the President himself is immense.
President made these comments at the cremation ceremony of Chief Incumbent of the Ramanna Maha Nikaya and Chief Incumbent of the Menikhinna Vidyasagara Pirivena, Most Ven. Napana Premasiri Mahanayaka thero at the S.W.R.D Bandaranaike National Playground, Kundasale, Kandy today (Nov. 22).
On arrival at the cremation site, President Rajapaksa paid his last respects to the thero and made a special note in the condolences book (Nov. 22).
Thero was born on November 30, 1922, in Napana village, Kandy and was 98 years old at the time of his demise. Thero entered the monkhood in 1933 and was higher-ordained in 1943.
The Most Ven. Napana Premasiri Mahanayaka thero was accorded with the title of ‘Aggamaha Pandit’, the supreme accolade presented for reputed Theros across the globe by the government of Myanmar. The thero was appointed as the Chief Prelate of the Sri Ramanna Maha Nikaya in 2012 and carried out duties in this capacity until his demise.
President noted that the Maha Sanga’s service to enlighten the society with the profound philosophy rooted within Lord Buddha’s teachings and to build its own unique cultural identity is monumental. “The contribution of the Maha Sangha to promote co-existence and peaceful living with all other communities in the country while preserving Buddhism, culture and the Sinhalese is enormous.” President further added.
The cremation ceremony of Most Ven. Aggamaha Pandit Napana Pemasiri Mahanayaka thero was conducted with full state honours.
The Chief Incumbents, Anunayake Nayaka Theras, the Maha Sangha, other religious leaders, the leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa, Ministers and Members of the Parliament, Dayaka Sabha members of the Sri Lanka Ramanna Maha Nikaya including the Chairman, Karu Jayasuriya and the general public were present at the occasion.