Sri Lanka: Minister shaves head to mark anniversary of Buddhism
Colombo: Members of Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a political party in Sri Lanka which is led by Buddhist monks, including the country's Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka on Sunday shaved heads before going into a week of meditation marking the 2600th anniversary of Buddhism.
"They will dedicate themselves to the religion throughout this week and indulge in religious activities for 10 days including meditation", Reverend Athuraliye Rathana, a JHU senior and a member of Parliament said.
Ranawaka and Udaya Gammanpila, a ruling party minister in the western provincial council, were among those who shaved their heads today at a ceremony here.
There are many state sponsored events to mark the 2600th anniversary of Buddhism, the religion of 74 percent of the island's population.
Some 2600 temples and Buddhism teaching schools are to be developed at state expense, officials said.
The central bank is to issue two special coins of rupees 1000 and rupees 10 denominations while a series of new postal stamps is also to be released.