Sri Lankans hope to build Buddhist temple in P.E.I.

The Sri Lankan community wants to build its own Buddhist temple on P.E.I.

Community of about 90 Sri Lankans currently worship in people's homes

Thilak Tennekone says the Sri Lankan community will bring a Buddhist monk to live in P.E.I. (CBC)
The Sri Lankan community wants to build its own Buddhist temple on P.E.I.

There are about 90 Sri Lankans on the Island, mostly living in the Charlottetown area. More are expected to make the province home in years to come.

Currently, they worship in people's homes, and a Buddhist monk in Ottawa performs the service over Skype.

The group's first step is to rent a facility this fall for worship and hire a Buddhist monk to live here, says Thilak Tennekone, a member of the Sri Lankan community. 

"Theravada Buddhist monks are not supposed to make money, they have to depend on what the laypeople have to offer them," said Tennekone.

"So we have to give them their food, which is called alms-giving, and we have to make sure that they have enough [of] their day-to-day expenses. So our community is going to help the Buddhist monk stay here."

Over the next five years, the Sri Lankans and others hope to eventually build a temple, perhaps in Stratford, says Tennekone.

He says they would do their own fundraising, and ask for help from governments. 

But at this point, they don't know how much a new temple would cost, says Tennekone.

The Sri Lankan Buddhists in Charlottetown are a different sect than those living in eastern P.E.I.


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