Under mentioned areas are identified as Sacred Areas,
- Sacred places of important and of special significance.
- Sacred places with provincial importance
- Sacred places with archaeological aspects and historical values
- On the basis of religious and social services rendered of provincial level by each historical sacred place.k
Such sacred areas will be declared sacred place. Several areas declared by gazette notification under the Town and Country Planning Ordinance No 13 of 1946.
Accordingly financial assistance is granted for the development of sacred places on consideration of religioun. Archaelogical importance historical importance cultural importance, environmental importance and economical and social importance.
List of the Sacred Areas
Sustainable Punyagrama Project
A punyagrama could be defined as a village free of poverty and indebtedness, with human resources filled with proper nutrition and leading a healthy life free of drugs and insensibility, free of harmful acts and with a spiritually high mentality, filled with knowledge and with developed personality with good conduct.By infusing the concept of the past, the village and the temple among the rural community for fostering and protecting Buddhism through motivation to engage in good economical activities according to the teachings of Buddhism is expected through this program.The objective of the Punyagrama is to protect the person, family and the villageby creating equality in consuming resources.For this purpose spiritual development programs for preserving moral values and physical and economical programs are implemented with temples as the center point. The Ministry of Buddhasasana has planned to implement the Punyagrama program in the year 2018 to create a society filled with virtues by consolidating the people in the village with the temple of the village and also by developing temples facing difficulties with less facilities and those villages for the purpose of creating an economically sound village.
Program proposed to be implemented under the Punyagrama Program and the objectives.
- Program for preserving moral virtues.
To produce a healthy and economically strong community while assisting to protect the social virtues based on Buddhism.
To assist in minimizing the trend of infusing unsound anti - social activities into the society.To act as an active stakeholder to build a good relationship between the parents and the children
To assist in bringing the participation of temples, bhikkus for daily social activities to a sound level.
To introduce a program to obtain the active leadership of bhikkus for broad social activities not limited only for religious activities.
- Physical and Economical Programs with temples as the center point
To assist in building a rural economic system that could be developed with the temples as the center point
To introduce a process to supply the necessary leadership through temples to convert the rural economy as an effective productive, economical criteria to refrain from economical activities which leads to social devaluation such as sending women to foreign countries and child labor
Developing a common building of the temple for the useof the rural community
Maintaining a rural data system with temple as the center point that could be utilized in assisting the economical activities
Re-establishment and Reconstruction of Ancient Temples
Implementation of Budget proposals Budget proposal No.161 of the General Treasury had allocated Rs.Mn. 250.00 for the year 2018 also for re-establishment and reconstruction of ancient Raja Maha Vihara temples and places of worship with archaeological value. Under this proposal provisions of Rs.Mn.175 have been allocated to the Ministry of Buddhasasana. According to a decision taken after discussion with state level institutions such as Archaeological Department and Physical Planning Department it was planned to implement this program through proposals obtained at Divisional Secretariat Divisions level. In this regard since these development activities are obtained on the recommendation of the Archaeological Department the supervision and guidance too was assigned to the said Department.
“Mathata Thitha” Liqour / Narcotics Preventive
“Mathata Thitha”(Liqour/Narcotics Preventive Programme) Programme is the National Level Programme for producing a Society free of Liquor / Narcotics as mentioned in the Mahinda Chinthana manifesto. This programme which was initiated in 2007 is now being activated by the Notional Navcatics Prevention Steering Unit which is established under the Ministry of Buddhasasana and Religious affairs and under the patronage of Rev.Athuraliya Rathana Thero.
Project for Recreating the Sakya Kingdom
The Light of Asia Foundation agreed to invest Rs.Mn. 500 for this project which is being implemented based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Ministry of Buddhasasana and the Light of Asia Foundation on 30.07.2017 and to complete the project within 03 years from the date of signing the MOU. The Sakya Kingdom Trust have been established for the formal management and supervision of the project and the meeting of the Trustees review the progress of this project at the meeting of the Trustees which meets once in two months. As at 31.12.2018 Sakya Kingdom Trust had conducted 06 meetings and the construction works of this project have been lined up according to the following development plan.
Re-construction of Temples damaged due to the Earthquake in Nepal
Large number of religious places were damaged due to the grave earthquake in Nepal recently and it was proposed that one or some religious places be reconstructed with the intervention of the Government of Sri Lanka taking into consideration the longstanding diplomatic and historical relationship between Sri Lanka and Nepal, and the gravity of the damage due to the earthquake'
Accordingly is was decided to reconstruct a Buddhist temple and a Hindu Kovil so damaged, by the Government of Sri Lanka. Accordingly it has been selected to reconstruct the Ananda Kuti Buddhist temple in Swayamboonath and Ratho Machchindranath Hindu Kovil in Lilitpur out of the damaged religious places located in that country. The contribution of the Government of Sri Lanka was conveyed to the International Aid seminar for Re-building Nepal damaged due to the earthquake held on 25th June 2015, with the concurrence of the authorities of that country regarding the selection.
It was expected at the beginning to spend Nepal Rs.203,617,620.00 (SLRs.Mn277) to reconstruct the Ananda Kuti Buddhist temple in Swayamboonath and Nepal Rs.50,000,000.00 (SLRs.Mn 68) to reconstruct the Ratho Machchindranath Hindu Kovil according to the Expenditure estimate submitted by the Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Nepal.
By 31.12.2017 Rs.Mn.245 had been allocated for this project and the cumulative cost on that date is Rs.Mn.179.50 .
Approval was granted for the Cabinet Memorandum submitted on 11.04.2018 to obtain additional cost of Rs.Mn. 105.00 that should be incurred to complete the work of this project as mentioned at the 12th steering committee meeting which examine the progress of this project. Accordingly, the total cost estimate of the project had been amended as Rs.Mn.450
Vidyalankara International Buddhist Conference Hall
This building has been constructed as a modern conference hall of Vidyalankara Pirivena premises at peliyagoda with 1200 seating accommodation to fulfill the requirement of an International Conference Hall for exchange of views on Buddhist Philosophy by Buddhist Priests and laymen of both Sri Lanka and other countries. In addition to the Main Conference Hall it consists 2 committee halls with 400 seating accommodation in each hall.
The intellectual group who pioneered to rejuvenate Buddhist education the Vidyalankara International Buddhist Conference Hall which produced a center fulfilling the objective of providing facilities for the research abilities and training necessary for the Buddhist community and as a center point of disseminating Theravada Buddhism to the world was constructed by investing State funds from the year 2005 has reached its finals stage.
It consists a new auditorium with 1400 seating capacity with new components, 02 meeting halls with 400 seating capacity approximately an exhibition hall to accommodate 350 members simultaneously and in conjunction withAir Conditioner systems, fire fighting and security systems , rest rooms sanitary facilities and internal and external vehicle parting facilities in addition to facilities that should be in an international conference Hall.
This project which commenced in the year 2005 is being implemented for 13 years under the supervision of the two line Ministries, namely the Ministry of Urban Development and Sacred Areas Development and the Ministry of Buddhasasana (including the former Ministry of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs).
The Rajarata Circuit Banglow at Kurundankulama
The Rajarata Circuit Bungalow at Kurundankulama Anuradhapura is a holiday resort managed under the Ministry of Buddhasasana to provide lodging facilities to persons in public service and persons who are not so when touring to Anuradhapura. This holiday resort located at Mihinthalaya Road, Anuradhapuraya consists of rooms water supply and sanitary facilities could accommodate lodging facilities to 30 persons simultaneously.
Buddhasasana Fund wich was built with a solid fund for the sustenance of Buddhasasana is a statutory institution established and maintained under the Buddasasana Fund Act No.35 of 1990.
For this Fund which was built to protect and foster Buddhasasana a Board of control has been appointed under the Chairmanship of the Hon.Prime Minister for the Administration, Management and to formulate provisions relevant to the Act. This consists of members appointed ex – officio and two members appointed by His Excellency the President.