Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy (SIBA) was established in February 2009 as a higher educational project of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy, Sri Lanka. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, better known as Sri Dalada Maligawa, is the most venerated Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. It is here that the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha is enshrined. The new Academy acquires its singular significance and uniqueness particularly among Sri Lankans and Buddhists in general due to its association with the Sri Dalada Maligawa.
The initiative for setting up the Academy was taken, with the advice and blessings of the most
Venerable Prelates (Mahanayake Theras) of the two chapters, Malwa-
tta and Asgiriya, of the Buddhist Sangha of the Syamopali Mahanikaya, by Hon. Pradeep Nilanga Dela, the Chief Lay Custodian (Diyawadana Nilame) of Sri Dalada Maligawa. The concept paper for the establishment of the academy was written by Dr. G.A. Somaratne, Professor in Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Peradeniya.
The Academy was located at the Buddhist Research Centre at Pallekele, Kundasale, and on 1 June 2009, academic work began with the appointment of Prof. J.M. Gunadasa, former Vice-Chancellor of University of Peradeniya, as SIBA's founding Rector.
With the invitation of Hon. Pradeep Nilanga Dela, the Chairman of SIBA, the first batch of Buddhist Leadership students for the BA degree program-
me in was ceremonially admitted by His
Excellency Mahinda Rajapakse, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, on Thursday 23 July 2009. His Excellency the President together with the Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Government and the Chairman SIBA laid the foundation stone for the new SIBA building complex and also launched the SIBA website on the same day.
The new building complex was opened by the Most Venerable Prof. Dr. Dharmakosajarn, Rector of Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University on August 10, 2010, and the classes for the new academic year began on 11 August 2010.