Addressing a ceremony to mark the admission of a new batch of student monks to the Buddhist and Pali University, the minister said that Nayaka Theras of village temples educated the Samaneras and guided them on the right path. The government gave the Buddhist monks a comprehensive education at the Buddhist and Pali University and Sri Lanka Bhikku University so that they could back to their temples to serve the spiritual needs of the community better.
“If bikkhu undergraduates disrobe in Bhikku universities we will have to expel them,” Dissanayake said, adding that the government had established separate universities for Buddhist monks.
He said that the dark era of Sri Lankan universities had started in 1984 -85. The JVP controlled the universities in the South and the LTTE in the North. They had established their power by killing or threatening Vice Chancellors, lecturers and undergraduates, the minister said.
Dissanayake said that appointments to Student Unions had once been made with the concurrence of the JVP or LTTE.
“Many university teachers left the country due to that situation in our universities,” the minister said, claiming that the Mahinda Rajapaksa government had liberated the universities too from the JVP and LTTE.
Vice Chancellor of the Buddhist and Pali University Prof. Iththademaliye Indrasara, Vice Chancellor of Sri Lanka Bikkhu University Prof. Thumbulle Seelakkanda thera, Ven. Thrikunamalaye Ananda thera, Secretary of the Higher Education Ministry Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne and Additional Secretary Piyasena Ranepura also attended the ceremony.