Lankan monks to take Tamil lessons

Express India, Jun 21, 2010

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- Colombo Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka plan to learn Tamil language to create greater harmony and heal the decades old animosity between the majority Sinhalas and the minority Hindu community in the country.

The All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC) has sought funds from the Sri Lankan government to commence Tamil classes for Buddhist monks to create greater harmony among the two communities.

A letter in this regard was sent to the Buddhasasana and Religious Ministry requesting SLR Rs 208,400 to commence Tamil classes for the Buddhist monks.

The ACBC will launch the programme to build harmony between the ethnic groups and propagate Buddhist principles among the Tamil speaking Hindus. It will also help to reactivate the deserted Buddhist temples in the North and East, the state-run Daily News reported.

The first course commences in Colombo this month.

Meanwhile, a delegation of religious leaders from India, headed by Swami Dayananda Saraswathi, visited Sri Lanka on a two-day tour to promote and foster the "historic religious and cultural ties" between the two neighbours.

The Indian religious leaders along with the members of the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka took part in a two-day symposium on Inter-religious Cooperation.

The dialogue focused on exploring ways to further promote mutual trust and confidence between the majority Sinhala community and the minority Tamils, restoring Hindu temples in Sri Lanka, creating harmony and understanding between Buddhist and Hindu communities.

They also met the Sri Lankan Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne during this tour, which ended on Sunday.