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18 May, 2008 - Published 12:30 GMT

Pillayan blessed by Mahanayakes

Sri Lanka’s most Venerable Buddhist Mahanayake’s invoked blessings on the newly appointed Chief Minister (CM) of eastern province on Sunday.

CM Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan visited Kandy to get blessings from Mahanayake theros of Malwatta and Asgiriya chapters of the Siyam Maha Nikaya.

Invoking blessings, Asgiriya Mahanayake Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha thero commended the CM for joining democratic process leaving the arms behind.

Tight security

Accusing "certain Tamil politicians" of trying to provoke Sinhala –Tamil conflict for political gains in the past, the Mahanayake thero urged the CM to work for the national unity.

Security was tightened in the Temple of Tooth Relic as the politician turned militant leader visited Kandy with a group of security personnel on Sunday evening.

Journalist were not allowed to take photographs as Pillayan, who sworn in as the CM on Friday, visited Mahanayakes.

Mr. Chandrakanthan was also blessed by Malwatta Mahanayake, Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Mahanayake thero.

Malwatta Mahanayake thero questioned as to why Sri Lanka’s main communities cannot live in harmony in the east, while they live in harmony in Kandy.

Bomb attack on Dalada Maligawa

The CM offered flowers to the Buddhists’ most sacred temple and visited the place where the Tamil Tigers bombed the temple in 1998.

The LTTE attacked the Temple of Tooth Relic, Dalada Maligawa, on 25 January 1998.

CM Chandrakanthan was a member of the Tamil Tigers at the time of the attack.

He expressed regret after visiting the museum where the photographs of the attack were displayed, journalists said.

Both Mahanayake theros did not mention the LTTE attack with the Chief Minister, they added.

Speaking to the journalists in Tamil the CM pledged to work together with all the communities in the east to develop the region.