The 147th birth anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala is being commemorated today.
Anagarika Dharmapala was born as Don David Hewavitharana on 17th September 1864 and became a pioneer in the resurgence of the Sinhala language, Buddhism and the Sri Lankan culture that were being ruined under the imperialist rule. The Maha Bodhi Society and the ‘Sinhala Bauddhaya’ newspaper are symbols of the mission carried out by Anagarika Dharmapala. His work was not confined to this country alone. He was committed to propagate Buddhism in the international arena. He is also known as the hero who preserved Buddhism in India, the motherland of the Buddha. The work carried out by him in a backdrop of an imperialist and colonial environment, has borne fruit after half a century when Sri Lanka achieved freedom. During an era when the Sri Lankan patriotism should be reinforced before the international community, the country can derive strength from the examples set by Anagarika Dharmapala. The birth anniversary celebrations were held at the Maha Bodhi Agra Shravaka Vihare in Maligakande with the blessings of the Maha Sangha. Ministers, Parliamentarians led by Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne and a special delegation including MPs of the Indian Parliament were amongst those who graced the occasion.