Sri Lanka and Tibet

Maradana Road is one of Colombo’s main thoroughfares. Walking along it past the railway station, you soon come to the statue of a Buddhist monk standing on a tall pedestal. It is an unremarkable piece of work, one of many such statues of eminent prelates set up around the city which the crowds rush past and hardly seem to notice. Closer inspection of the name on statue’s pedestal suggests, however, that there is an interesting story behind its monument. For it is a statue not of a Sri Lankan but a Tibetan monk, Venerable Tibetjatika Mahinda. What is a statue of a Tibetan monk doing in the capital of Sri Lanka, that stronghold of orthodox Theravada Buddhism?



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