29th October 2018 19:34:09 Hours
Security Force Headquarters - Jaffna (SFHQ-J) and Security Force Headquarters - Kilinochchi (SFHQ-KLN) threw their full weight behind conduct of annual Katina (offer of robes for rainy season) Pooja Pinkama and processions at Jaffna Sri Naga Vihara and Mankulam Sri Sugatha Vihara respectively during 27-28 October.
In Jaffna, the procession (Perahera) carrying the sacred Katina Wasthra (robe) comprised of dancers and drummers of both Northern and Southern traditions coloured the Perahera and it wended its way to the Naga Vihara, starting from the Jaffna Fort.
Many Religious Dignitaries of all religions in Jaffna, members of the Maha Sangha, Consulate General of India in Jaffna, Mr. S. Balachandran, High Court Judge of Jaffna, Mr. A Premasankar, Mayor of Jaffna, Mr. Emmanuel Arnold, District Secretary - Jaffna, Mr. Nagalingam Vethanayaham, Major General Roshan Seneviratne, General Officer Commanding, 51 Division, senior government and private sector officials were present during the ceremony and to witness the spectacular procession. Major General Darshana Hettiarachchi, Commander, Security Forces - Jaffna made all arrangements in this connection with the support of 51 Division and the 512 Brigade.
Meanwhile, the conduct of Katina Cheewara Pooja at Mankulam Sri Sugatha Vihara, situated in the general area of Mankulam, served by 574 Brigade troops of the 57 Division under the SFHQ-KLN got underway during 27-28 October in the temple premises.
Troops of the 574 Brigade, 57 Division and the Forward Maintenance Area under the SFHQ-KLN before the Pinkama cleaned the sacred area and joined the ceremonial opening of the new shrine at the premises. Major General Niyshshanka Ranawana, Commander, Security Forces - Kilinochchi as the Chief Guest unveiled the Buddha statue in the shrine and offered a tray of betel inviting them to begin chanting throughout the night before the Katina procession begins the following morning (28).
Under the guidance of Ven. Hingurakande Sri Sugatha Thero, Incumbent at Sri Sugatha Vihara, 574 Brigade troops under the supervision of their Commander and following instructions of Major General Vijitha Ravipriya, General Officer Commanding, 57 Division, provided alms to the members of the Maha Sangha and the laity who attended the occasion. Nearly 300 civilians in the area took part in these ceremonies.