26th May 2016 00:44:34 Hours
All Security Force Headquarters (SFHQs) across the country offered their share to the commemoration of the annual Thrice Blessed Day, Vesak by organizing Aamisa and Prathipaththi programmes and special Vesak illuminations and different religious programmes during May 21 - 22.
Army troops in the company of Airmen, Policemen and members of the Civil Security Department of the SFHQ - Kilinochchi (KLN) set up a Vesak Zone in the playground at Kilinochchi Central College which consisted of free eateries (Dansel), display of lanterns and other colourful decorations.
Hon. Reginald Cooray, Governor of Northern Province as the Chief Guest, together with several other distinguished invitees, including Commander SF-KLN, opened the Vesak Zone that had been crafted by the troops at SFHQ-KLN.
The arrangement, made on the directions of Major General Amal Karunasekara Commander, Security Forces - KLN, was visited by more than 10,000 Kilinochchi people on the first day of the opening.
Divisional Commanders, Forward Maintenance Area Commander, Brigade Commanders, Senior Officers of Tri-services, members of Police and CSD, other ranks, a large gathering of civilians participated in the opening ceremony.
On the Vesak Day (21) troops of SFHQ-KLN organized another event to distribute 29 cows among the civilians in the area on the instructions of Commander SF-KLN. Governor of Northern Province, Divisional Secretary - KLN, Commander SF-KLN, Senior Officers, other ranks and civilians witnessed the distribution.
In the meantime, the Security Force Headquarters - Central (SFHQ-C) organized its Vesak Zone at Muththukumaru grounds, Diyatalawa on the directions of Major General A P De Z Wickramarathne, Commander, SFHQ - C.
The SFHQ-C conducted Bhakthi Gee, a presentation of devotional songs, display of Vesak lanterns and decorations, etc with active support of all the formations under the SFHQ-C.
Sri Lanka Air Force and Training Schools also joined Army personnel and supported the display of colourful Vesak lanterns in the Vesak zone.
The highlight of the Vesak zone was the presentation of Bhakthi Gee (devotional songs) concert, staged by troops of the SFHQ-C, training schools and Units in the area.
Lanterns crafted by the 17 Corps of Engineer Service, the Volunteer Training School and the Sri Lanka Military Academy were adjudged as the first, second and third places respectively.
School students, many of who were the winners in the lantern competition, received gifts from the distinguished guests and a special gift was awarded to SLEME in appreciation of their contribution to the success of the commemoration of Vesak.
Similarly, a special Bodhi Pooja Pinkama held at Bodhikanda Bomaluwa of the SFHQ-C got underway on Saturday (21). Ven Ellewela Sobhitha Thera after conducting a timely Dhamma sermon conducted the Bodhi Pooja.
Mr. Nimal Abeysiri, Divisional Secretary of Haputale as the Chief Guest together with, Commander SF-C visited the Vesak zone, accompanied by the Commander of Army Training Command, Commandant of Sri Lanka Military Academy, senior officers, state officials and several other community leaders in the area before the devotional song concert got underway.
Meanwhile a mammoth Vesak festival, themed as ‘Yapa Patunai Daham Amavai’, organized by troops of the Security Force Headquarters Jaffna (SFHQ-J) in the premises adjoining the public library was declared opened by Major General Mahesh Senanayaka, Commander SF (J), as the Chief Guest on Saturday (21). Soldiers of all battalions based in Jaffna contributed to make the event a success.
Prior to the opening of the Vesak Zone comprised of giant Vesak Pandol lit with 18,500 electric bulbs and other lanterns, Commander SF (J) and all ranks attended a Bodhi Pooja Pinkama held at SF Headquarter premises.
Afterwards the Commander SF-J visited Nawakkuli village and distributed packs of vegetables and dry rations among the needy in the area on account of Vesak.
In the meantime, over 5,000 enjoyed free vegetarian dinner served at the Dansala organized by the Army on Saturday (21).
Another significant feature of the festival was the presentation of Bhakthi Gee (devotional songs), conducted by both troops of the SFHQ-J and students of Nawakkuli Maha Vidyalaya Bhakthi Gee) in Tamil and Sinhala languages.
Religious leaders, Hon Reginald Cooray, Governor of Northern Province, Commander Security Forces - Jaffna, Consulate General of India in Jaffna Mr. A Natarajan, Government Agent Jaffna, Mr. N Vethanayahan, Senior DIG - Jaffna, Mr. W.F.U Fernando and the distinguished guests attended the opening ceremony.
Meanwhile, Muladeepa Viharaya at the SFHQ-Mullaittivu (SFHQ-MLT) premises adorned Vesak garbs and facilitated the conduct of a full-day Sil campaign with the participation of more than 200 officers and other rankers on Saturday (21), Vesak day.
Major General P.U.S Vithanage, Commander, Security Force - Mullaittivu on the same day opened the illuminations behind the Buddha statue and the new Bodhi protective wall.
Meanwhile, SFHQ-West at Panagoda added their creative skills and put up a Vesak zone inside the Army temple, Sri Bodhirajaramaya where all Directorates in the Army Cantonment, Regimental Centres and all Units in the SFHQ-West exhibited Vesak decorations, made up of largely natural raw-materials and scrap materials.
Panagoda Vesak zone will judge the first best three Vesak lanterns towards the final day of the exhibition and award valuable gifts. Arrangements were launched on the directions of Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, Commander, SFHQ-West.
Likewise, Security Force Headquarters - Wanni (SFHQ-W) launched elaborate Vesak programmes in respective areas with the support of civilians, respective commanders and all ranks.
Bhakthi Gee, a presentation of devotional songs, display of Vesak lanterns, Dansela and decorations, etc on the instructions of Major General Boniface Perera, Commander, SFHQ-W with support of all the formations under the SFHQ-C got underway during the Vesak season.
Commander, SF -W together with, Brigade Commanders, Senior Officers, Officers, other ranks, a large gathering of civilians participated in the opening ceremonies of those Vesak arrangements.
Security Forces Headquarters –East (SFHQ-E) meanwhile had their own Vesak programmes in the heart of Welikanda town and elsewhere on the directions of Major General K. M. U Wijeratne, Commander, SF-E. An exhibition of Vesak lanterns, presentation of Bhakthi Gee and other meritorious activities took place, including the Swarnapali Daham school in Welikanda. Hundreds flocked there to witness the illuminations at the Vesak zone in Welikanda. Batticaloa , Ampara and Trincomalee troops also conducted their own programmes separately during May 21-23.