Podi Hamuduruwo: A Constant Support
Ven Galaboda Gnanissara Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Gangaramaya Temple has always been the strength that guided us and has been with us during our times of need. Words cannot express our appreciation towards the Venerable Thero.
‘Podi Hamuduruwo', has long been known to uphold Gangaramaya Temple as one that transcends divisive boundaries of society and faiths. While providing spiritual guidance the Thero greatly focuses on social welfare and cultural upliftment. A major aim of his work is to provide underprivileged children and youth opportunities through education and vocational training, which continues to date.
Assisting families in rural areas through the provision of seeds, agricultural input and equipment have been some of the many activities, through which the Thero has provided support to farmers.
The provision of 3,000 bicycles that were fitted with luggage racks and dynamos to farmers that would provide both a mode of transport as well as an alternative form of income was done so with the contribution of the Business Today TOP ranking corporates.
With many of the paddy farmers being affected by the droughts recently, the Venerable Thero aims to donate hand tractors to farmers, which will enable them to use this vehicle for various agricultural activities as well as to generate electricity and provide alternative forms of income.
The Gangaramaya Temple has always been a place of worship to all religions, a place of hope irrespective of area, race, religion, caste or creed. In an age where reconciliation and harmony are of great importance, Podi Hamuduruwo teaches by example. On November 14, 2016, Podi Hamuduruwo opened a Kovil dedicated to God Ganesh, which was built on a temple property in Slave Island. It was built according to Indian tradition. This area reflects religious harmony as there is a Church, Mosque, Kovil and Temple. It is while renovating the enclosure of the Bodhi tree that the Kovil was built on the adjoining space.
Ven Galaboda Gnanissara Thero always thinks of the country first. His actions speak more than words.
We Must Develop the Country Together - Ven Galaboda Gnanissara thero, Chief Incumbent of the Gangaramaya Temple
The Venerable Maha Sangha, distinguished invitees;
As a monk who has been part of this endeavour from its commencement, I am happy to speak on this occasion representing the clergy of all religions. It is a marvel that Mr Mathi Parthipan, his wife and their staff have been organising this event for 19 years, maintaining cordial ties with members of the country's distinguished corporate community and with no breach in goodwill with anyone. It is a cause of pride for our country that Mr Parthipan, his wife and their close staff have been continuing this event in harmony with people of all races and religions and with no political friction. The magazines they are publishing have been on a par with the best standards of the developed world; they are also a cause of pride for us. We are thankful for the efforts of Mr Mathi, which elevated the magazines to such a level that these are perused by a learned, esteemed, distinguished readership worldwide.
The event began with ten awards and has now evolved into thirty. Our blessings has always been bestowed on the winners so that they will prosper more and do a greater service to the country, and we are glad that our wishes in this regard have come to pass. As Sri Lankans we should all be proud of the service done by these publications in spreading information on our religious places, our culture, religion, literature and many other topics.
As a monk who has been part of this endeavour from its commencement, I am happy to speak on this occasion representing the clergy of all religions.
I recall how at one time, during the time when Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe was Prime Minister, there was a severe drought in Hambantota. At that time this award ceremony was limited to ten awards. The ten awardees contributed to support the PM, and our initial plan of renovating 16 reservoirs in the afflicted area was increased to 18. Then, during the time of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, running water was provided from those reservoirs and bicycles were also provided to the poor.
The illustrious Ray Wijewardene, son of D Wijewardene, was Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's uncle. It was Ray Wijewardene who introduced the tractor, which is called Land Master, 40-50 years ago. This tractor was utilised to harvest and process paddy, generate electricity and pump water. It then became indispensable to agriculture worldwide. Sadly, it has not been made use of in recent times in Sri Lanka and as a result our agriculture has suffered.
I suggested to him that we donate a Land Master each to a village to resuscitate abandoned paddy fields. I mention that need here as a plea to all you distinguished corporate leaders.
I recalled to Mr Mathi how we, together with corporate leaders, made donations of bicycles, plants and seeds to the poor for the betterment of the country. I suggested to him that we donate a Land Master each to a village to resuscitate abandoned paddy fields. I mention that need here as a plea to all you distinguished corporate leaders.
I am happy to mention the names of Mr Rienzie Wijetilleke, formerly of the Hatton National Bank, Mr Harry Jayawardene and Mr Hari Selvanathan among the many people who sustained us. Due to time constraints it is not possible to mention everyone here.
Expressing my happiness at the presence of the Prime Minister in this gathering, I urge you all to come together to develop our country. I remind you to give attention to the development of this country, religion and language while developing your businesses.