The annual all-night Pirith chanting and offer of alms to 130 Buddhist monks with the objective of transferring merits on 464 War Heroes of the 6 Sri Lanka Light Infantry (6 SLLI) was held for the 16th consecutive year at Mahakandarawa 6 SLLI Headquarters in Mihintale, beginning Saturday (30) evening.
Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, Commander of the Army who himself is also from the same Battalion and has served as the 6 SLLI Commanding Officer many years ago, was instrumental in initiating this meritorious programme sixteen years ago as a tribute to the memory of 447 soldiers and 17 officers who laid their lives for defence of the motherland.
All religious observances, arranged on the kind advice of Ven. Chief Incumbent of Bogahayaya Temple at Mihintale commenced Saturday (30) evening after members of the Maha Sangha were ushered to the 6 SLLI Headquarters in a colourful procession, accompanied by Ves dancers and Hewisi groups.
Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake as the Chief Guest carried the sacred relic casket and placed it in the octagon (Pirith Mandapaya) before the Maha Sangha was invited to begin chanting after offer of the traditional tray of betel to them.
A brief oration (Anusasana) of the Maha Sangha spelt out the objective of having this meritorious event every year and praised the Army for its successful conduct, giving pride of place to the Maha Sangha.
More than 130 Buddhist monks are expected to participate in the following day Heel Daana (breakfast) Pinkama. Troops commanded by Lieutenant Colonel K.A Pushpa Kumara have organized the event on a grand scale.