The fifth meeting of the 47-member leading committee of the 8th State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee kicked off at the Maha Pathana Cave in Thiri Mingalar Kaba Aye Hill in Yangon yesterday.
The meeting was attended by the members of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee led by Chairman Sayadaw of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee Abhidhaja Maharattha Guru Abhidhaja Agga Maha Saddhamma Jotika Bhamo Sayadaw Dr Bhaddanta Kumarabhivamsa.
Also present at the meeting were Union Minister for Religious Affairs and Culture Thura U Aung Ko, and officials of the ministry.
Bhamo Sayadaw Dr Bhaddanta Kumarabhivamsa presided over the meeting and Joint Secretary Sayadaw of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee Agga Maha Panditta Agga Maha Sadhamma Jotikadhaja Bhaddanta Silacara Bhivumsa acted as the master of the ceremonies. In his opening address, Bhamo Sayadaw stressed the importance of judging the religious issues without bias to ensure the decisions made by the committee would be accepted by over 500,000 Members of the Sangha in Myanmar.
Speaking at the meeting, Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko called on the Members of the Sangha for timely preventing ideology, teachings and distribution of books which are in contradiction to the teachings of the Buddha and posing a danger to the Theravada Buddhism.
Besides, the Union Minister also urged the country’s highest Buddhist regulatory committee to give advices to the Buddhist devotees on making Buddha statues in conformity with the guidelines of the Theravada Buddhism to ensure that the statues are graceful for the Buddhist devottees.
He said the government removed 109 Buddhist statues housed at the Seintarmuni Minn Win Mountain Pagoda in Nay Pyi Taw Pyinmana on 6th July as they went against the Theravada Buddhism.
The Union Minister also called on the members of the body, joining hands with local authorities and Sangha bodies, to enforce religious rules on monks, novices and nuns as part of efforts for purification of Buddhism.
Afterwards, the meeting was followed and members of the 8th committee discussed the measures taken during the first period of the duty taken by the third branch of the 8th State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee and made resolutions.
During the meeting, members of the Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee discussed religious issues including arbitration of disputes in accordance with the rules, learning and teaching of Buddha’s teachings, and the meeting came to an end in the afternoon.
Nearly 90 per cent of Myanmar’s population practices Theravada Buddhism, the more conservative of the two major branches of the religion. —MNA