President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday opened the new building of the Al- Kabeer Grand Jumma Mosque in Nuwara Eliya as the first Sri Lankan President to open a mosque and the first non- Islamic leader in the world to open a mosque. He opened the mosque after receiving the blessings of Buddhist monks at the Nuwara Eliya Buddhist Centre in the morning. The President also offered a gold plated Buddha statue and atapirikara to the chief incumbent of the Buddhist Centre .
All communities in Sri Lanka stand in togetherness today in the face of attempts by several international forces to divide nations, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. He made this observation at the opening ceremony of a new building at Al- Kabeer Grand Jumma Mosque, Nuwara Eliya yesterday.
President Rajapaksa said the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities have been living in Sri Lanka for a long period and these communities came forward in unison to defeat terrorism in the country. He said all these communities got together with one vision to eliminate terrorism as they love the nation.
He added that the Muslim community too stood shoulder to shoulder with their their Sinhala brethren to defeat the scourge of terrorism.
President Rajapaksa said one cannot become a genuine Muslim by just constructing mosques. “This could only be done by following the philosophy preached by the Prophet.”
President Rajapaksa said while the Prophet preached that all on earth are equal, the Buddha preached there cannot be any difference among humans. He said God will not look at the assets that one accumulates but would consider the purity of one’s heart.
He said one should purify one’s heart by leading a just life.
The President said he always focused on the needs of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka and would not allow a repeat of the Kattankudi incident.
President Rajapaksa also said he intervened to take measures to broadcast Islamic observances five times daily. President Rajapaksa addressed the gathering in both Sinhala and Tamil.
The construction of the new building was funded by Alhaj Maryam Faleel. President Rajapaksa also planted a sapling at the mosque premises.
Private Transport Minister C B Ratnayake, Minister Navin Dissanayake, MPs A HM Azwer and Sri Ranga, Nuwara Eliya Mayor Mahinda Kumar and Deputy Mayor Tissa Seneviratne also participated.