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Sri Lankan minister pledges to ‘develop’ 2,000 Buddhist viharas across island

Sri Lanka’s Buddhasana Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said that some 2,000 Buddhist viharas across the island will be “developed” with extra facilities and accommodation for monks, according to a report in the Daily News.

The minister stated that about 2,469 temples “have no basic facilities” and these would be developed with support from the Education Ministry, Prime Minister’s Office and the Presidential Secretariat.

Earlier this year, the United National Party, of which Mr Perera is a member, pledged to build 1000 Buddhist viharas in the Tamil homeland, under the guise of reconciliation.

The Sri Lankan state has stepped up the construction of Buddhist shrines across the Tamil North-East since the brutal end of the armed conflict in 2009, often with Sri Lankan troops involved in the building.