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Background of the Department

The Department of Buddhist Affairs has launched  numerous projects mainly for the propagation of Buddha Sasana and for the maintenance of a righteous Buddhist society . Further responsibilities entrusted to the Commissioner General of Buddhist Affairs by the Buddhist Temporalities  Ordinance No. 19 of 1931 viz. providing necessary administrative assistance to use property of Buddhist places of worship solely for fostering of Sambuddha Sasana, development of viharas, development of education in Dhamma school and maintenance of a register  of all samanera / upasampada Bhikkhus in the island, are also being carried out.

The Department of Buddhist Affairs has the following divisions to perform these activities successfully.

  1. Administration Division
  2. Accounts Division
  3. Buddhist Temporalities Division
  4. Development Division
  5. Dhamma Schools Division
  6. Projects Division
  7. Bhikkhu Registration Division
  8. Information Division

In order to facilitate Services in terms of the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance to Buddhist monks living in remote places of worship, regional offices have been established at Kandy and Ratnapura. The department carries out the following projects and programmes for the sustainment upliftment and promotion of Buddha Sasana.

  1. Maintenance and implementation of Sasanarakshaka Mandalas.
  2. Dhamma School Work:
    1. Printing and distribution of Dhamma School books.
    2. Conducting different grade examinations of Dhamma Schools in the entire island.
    3. Conducting Dhamma School students skills evaluation programmes at divisional, district and all island levels.
    4. Conducting Dhamma Teachers’ Certificate Examination for upliftment of the educational standard of Dhamma School teachers.
    5. Supplying uniforms to Dhamma School teachers.
    6. Issue of identity cards to Dhamma School teachers.
    7. Conducting Training Workshops for Dhamma School teachers.
    8. Providing assistance for constructions of Dhamma School buildings.
    9. Providing desks and benches to Dhamma Schools with financial difficulties.
    10. Issuing certificate of Evaluation to Dhamma School teachers who have served for long periods continuously.
    11. Conducting classes and examinations on Pali Language for Dhamma School teachers for enrichment of their Pali Knowledge.
    12. Implementation of “Daham Sarasaviya” programme in collaboration with the University of Jayawardhanapura and the Buddhist and Pali University for the purpose of providing higher education to Dhamma School teachers.
    13. Providing Library Allowance to Dhamma School teachers.
  3. Coordination of work with the departmental officers, establishment matters, building maintenance , postal duties and vehicle duties for achieving purpose of the institution.
  4. Management of expenses of funds of the institution’s vote, preparation of statement of accounts, payment of salaries and handling of other financial matters.
  5. Appointment of Basnayaka Nilames / Guardians to places of worship that come under the control of the Commissioner General of Buddhist Affairs in terms of Section 4(1) of the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance and supervision of their administrative work.
  6. Providing assistance in the administration of properly of Buddhist religious places. In this connection lands owned by the religious places are given on long term lease with the necessary approval for the religious place to obtain the income generated thereby. Taking action to safeguard immovable property owned by Buddhist monks and intervention in matters of disputes on property of religious places for setting them.
  7. Registration of all Viharas in the island in the Department of Buddhist Affairs and recognition of Viharadhipathi position.
  8. Providing assistance to temples, assistance for four requisites, and assisting temples undergoing financial difficulties.
  9. Matters relating to establishment of regional Sasanarakshaka Mandalas.
  10. Providing assistance to cremation of remains of monks.
  11. Making arrangements for the commemoration of the Independence Day, Wesak Day and Poson Day.
  12. Registration of Viharasthana Karya Sadhaka Samithi, Dayake Sabhas and Arama Dayaka Sabhas of temples.
  13. Giving necessary recommendations for charging concessionary rates for facilities such as telephones, water, electricity etc. used by temples.
  14. Affairs relating to sects (nikaya) and chapters of the sect.
  15. Ordination of young children and their higher ordination.
  16. Payments to headquarter of Sects (Drivers / labourers)
  17. Purchasing of books under assistance to writers.
  18. Duties relating to Dasa Sil mathas (nuns)
    1. Registration of Aramas
    2. Issue of identity Cards
    3. Works relating to educational institutes.
    4. Work relating to meetings and commemoration of Theri Sanghamitta
  19. Registration of Samanera bhikkhus and Upasampada bhikkhus.
  20. Preparation of identity Cards of Buddhist monks.
  21. Work relating to temple property and money available in bank accounts.