Source: The Buddhist Channel/Lanka Daily News
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to be presented with a 24 carat gold medal for his efforts to propagate Buddhist cultural values and precepts by the Honganji Foundation when the Lankan leader visits Japan this week.
This is the first such honour bestowed on a citizen of any country by the Honganji Foundation responsible for erecting the Bamian Buddha statue in Peraliya to replace the one devasted by the tsunami.
Honganji is a Mahayana Sect in existence for over 800 years and has a large following in Japan and other parts of the world.
The Bamian statue was unveiled at the second anniversary of the tsunami attended by the Chief Incumbent of the Honganji Viharaya Choujun Otani where Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake was the Chief Guest. The chief incumbent was subsequently presented with a plaque by President Rajapaksa in appreciation of the gesture.
The area surrounding the statue has already been declared sacred and also serves as a symbol of friendship between Japan and Sri Lanka.