‘Buddha Rashmi’--National Vesak Zone-- around the Gangaramaya and Temple Trees was conducted for the fifth year with the fullest co-operation of the President’s Office.
Speaking at a religious commemoration at the Gangarama Seemamalakaya in Hunupitiya, Colombo 2, Ven. Galaboda Gnanissara Thera, chief prelate of the Gangarama Vihara said, on earlier occasions the celebration of the three most significant events in the life of the Buddha had wavered between a religio-spiritual event of commemoration and a more materialistic event.
|Chief incumbent of the Gangaramaya temple Ven. Galaboda Gnanissara Thera delivered an anusasana at the opening of the Buddha Rashmi Vesak Zone. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Cabinet Ministers are seen observing the five precepts before the opening.
However today this has changed and the event has now evolved into one of a greater religious observance.
The Vesak Zone was declared open on Wednesday evening by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and ceremonies commenced with the President carrying a casket containing the relics of the Buddha from the Gangaramaya Vihara to the Seemamalakaya in procession.
The Venerable Gnanissara Thera drew the attention of those present to the Dutugemunu - Elara confrontation of the past. He pointed out that King Dutugemumu erected a memorial to the dead king Elara and legalized the paying of homage at his memorial. This was a very noble act he said, and demonstrated that respect should be given even to dead enemies. We are known over the world as a nation which forgives, he said.
We have proved to the world as Sri Lankans we have no enemies and have displayed qualities of Maithriya, Kindness and Charity.
When faced with the most dangerous terrorist outfit in the world, President Mahinda Rajapaksa acted with great dedication, foresight and gave leadership to the struggle. He recalled his brother who was living abroad, appointed him Defence Secretary and gave him responsibility for saving the motherland. Ven. Gnanissara Thera recalled that when the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe objected to the appointment of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Defence Secretary, he (Ven. Gnanissara Thera) communicated to the media the President’s action was proper and commendable.
Unfortunately, he said Ranil Wickremesinghe was not happy and informed the media he would resign from the Dayaka Sabha but he never resigned.
However, I consider him an intelligent person. At present he has extended his support to the President for the development of the country.
|Picture shows rows of decorated Buddha statues at the Gangaramaya temple on Saturday. Pix by Shantha Ratnayaka and Sanka Vidanagama.
The world is amazed at our country’s awakening. The nation is working as one with much dedication and the government has taken steps to re-settle persons displaced during the war and ensure they receive uninterrupted food supplies. All war victims have been given special care and attention.
Many countries including those in the European community are very supportive of our efforts toward rebuilding and reconciliation.
The President did not grab power by deceiving the masses. More than two thirds of the nation voted him into power.
The President ably supported by the Defence Secretary, the three armed forces and the police are striving to build our country into a disciplined force and an example to other nations.
The crowds that thronged this zone moved peacefully and there have been no untoward incidents reported.
All sectors of society have participated in the celebrations this year and attitudes have changed. The festival is no longer one of worldly glamour, but rather a meritorious event complete with compassion.
A presentation of ‘Buddhi Rashmi’ a compilation of literary essays of 75 university academics was made to the President by Presidential Secretary Lalith Weerathunga.
Many religious dignitaries and the Maha Sangha, ministers and senior Government officials were present on this occasion.