The Army 65th Anniversary and Army Day commemorative ceremonies in the year 2014 drew to a close on Saturday (11) afternoon at Panagoda Sri Bodhi Rajaramaya (Army temple) after an all-night Pirith chanting ceremony, the previous evening and an alms-giving to 65 monks, led by Ven Dr Ittepaane Sri Dhammalankara Mahanayaka Thero of Kotte Sri Kalyani Samagri Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha, who invoked blessings on the country, HE the President and the Army’s 65th Anniversary and Army Day (October 10).
Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, Commander of the Army at the invitation of the Army Buddhist Association attended the occasion as the Chief Guest in the company of Mrs Damayanthi Ratnayake and a large gathering of senior officers and other ranks.
Soon after a colourful procession, comprised of dancers of the Army cultural troupe, conducted members of the Maha Sangha to the Dharmashalawa (preaching hall) at the temple, the Commander of the Army, in keeping with ancient traditions, offered the tray of betel (Dehetwattiya) to members of the Maha Sangha, seated in the Pirith Mandapaya, inviting them to commence chanting until the following morning (11).
A special Anusasana (oration) delivered by Ven Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thero before the commencement of the chanting, praised the Army’s diverse roles and wished good luck with its onward march as defenders of the nation.
Principal Staff Officers, senior officers, Chairman and office-bearers of Sri Lanka Army Buddhist Association and a large gathering of officers and other ranks, joined the Pinkam, organized to bless the anniversary.
A Heel Daana (breakfast) on Saturday (11) plus a Sangeeka Daana (alms giving) to 65 members of the Maha Sangha, the same noon culminated the series of religious ceremonies that commenced in late September in connection with the Army Anniversary and Army Day.
Meanwhile, an all rank dinner on Saturday (11) night at Panagoda Army Cantonment, headed by the Commander, was to formally bring the anniversary programmes of the military nature to an end.