Ven. Pelpola Vipassi Thera distributes gifts to mark birthday | Sunday Observer

Ven. Pelpola Vipassi Thera distributes gifts to mark birthday

Chief Sangha Nayaka of Japan, Ven. Pelpola Vipassi Thera celebrates his birthday tomorrow (March 4).

The Venerable Thera is also President, Pelpola Vipassi Foundation and Japan – Sri Lanka Cultural Friendship Association; Director General, Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Free School and Chief Incumbent, International Pelpola Buddhist Viharaya, Japan.

A Bodhi pooja to invoke blessings on the Thera will be held at the Japan-Sri Lanka Friendship Free School tomorrow at 9.00 a.m. This is in recognition of his yeomen service and immeasurable contribution to the prosperity of our motherland and child education, for more than four decades.

To improve the education among the children affected due to the war against terrorism, the Ven.Thera extended his generosity to the East by distributing much needed school books, school bags and school equipment among more than 1,000 underprivileged children to mark his birthday at a ceremony at the M.K.D.S. Gunawardena Memorial and Town Hall in Kantale yesterday (March 2).

At the age of 14, the Venerable thera was ordained Pelpola Vipassi. He then entered the Maligakanda Pirivena in Maradana. Thereafter, he rendered a great service to Buddhist missionary work in India for more than four years. He has held the position of Deputy Administrator of the branches of the Mahabodhi Society in Calcutta, Buddha Gaya, Sarnath and Mumbai.

Building friendly ties with Japan, since 1974, Ven. Vipassi Thera has made a tremendous contribution to promoting the Buddhasasana between two countries. His forte lies in the fact that he is able to obtain the support of several willing Japanese philanthropists and donors for funds and other assistance for his religions and social work.

The Peace Pagoda was constructed in Sri Pada by the Thera with the assistance of Japanese donors. The Dharmasala beside the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura is another symbol of his philanthropy.

He made an initial donation of Rs 4 million to the President’s Fund on the request of late President J.R.Jayewardene, several other donations to the Mahaweli Fund and the Sevana Fund. He also contributed to constructing a new surgical ward donating Rs 50 million to the Colombo Castle Street Women’s hospital and the Vijaya Kumaratunga Memorial hospital at Seeduwa with the assistance of Japanese funds.

The Thera has also made donations to construct the Kandy Sri Dalada Maligawa ‘Ran Viyana’ (Golden Canopy) by handing over the initial contribution of Rs 3 million to then Prime Minister R. Premadasa.

In appreciation of the services by the Thera, the Japanese government built the International Pelpola Vipassi Buddhist Temple and Peace Centre in Gunma, Japan.

Finance Minister J.R. Jayewardene’s speech at the Japanese Peace Treaty, San Francisco in 1951 was instrumental in uniting Japan, the Thera said adding that the Japanese government is taking steps to include it in Japanese school textbooks.