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Sri Lankan Buddhist Leaders Hail India's Decision on Ladakh, Say it Will Take Ties Between Countries to a 'Higher Plane'

The remarks came after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by modifying Article 370, and decided to bifurcate the state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

News18.com

Updated:August 9, 2019, 11:34 AM IST
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Sri Lankan Buddhist Leaders Hail India's Decision on Ladakh, Say it Will Take Ties Between Countries to a 'Higher Plane'
Image for representation. (Photo: Reuters)
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India’s decision of separating Ladakh, a majority Buddhist population region from Jammu and Kashmir by bifurcating the state into two union territories, was hailed by Sri Lanka’s high-ranking and most revered Buddhist monks, the Mahanayake Theras of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters of the Siyam Nikaya, in a statement issued Thursday.

Mahanayaka translates to English as 'Great Leader' and is considered to be a very important position held by a monk in the island nation, which is a Buddhist majority country. It is usually bestowed upon the senior Buddhist monks who are appointed as the chief prelates of monastic fraternities known as Nikayas.

The remarks came after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by modifying Article 370, and decided to bifurcate the state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. While J&K will have a legislature, Ladakh will not.

“This would further strengthen religious, political and cultural relations between the two countries and take them to a higher plane,” the statement issued by the Sri Lankan religious leader, added.

Sumangala Maha Nayake Thera, the current Mahanayaka Thero of the Malwatte Chapter said, “India, which had a pluralistic society, has safeguarded harmony and reconciliation in a salutary manner and its decision to proclaim Ladakh with a 70 percent Buddhist population as a separate state was a cause for happiness and pride to Sri Lanka, which is a Buddhist country”.

Meanwhile, Buddhist monk, Gnanaratane Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter said he highly appreciated the decision to declare Ladakh as a separate state. “This would be a boon to Buddhists throughout the world going on pilgrimage to the Ladakh area,” he said.

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