08th October 2019 12:00:47 Hours
The customary all-night ‘Pirith’ chanting, organized by the Army Buddhist Association at Bodhirajaramaya, Panagoda (Army temple) on account of the forthcoming Army Day (10) got underway on Monday (7) evening amid a huge gathering of Army personnel and family members.
Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Army, together with Mrs Sujeewa Nelson, President, Army Seva Vanitha Unit, Major General Sathyapriya Liyanage, Chief of Staff, Mrs Liyanage, Major General Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Director General Army Medical Services, Mrs Munasinghe, Major General Mahinda Mudalige, Commander, Security Forces - West, Major General Nishantha Hettiarachchi, Chief Signal Officer, senior Officers and Other Ranks participated in the meritorious programme.
Soon after a colourful procession, comprised of dancers of the Army cultural troupe led the members of the Maha Sangha to the ‘Dharmashalawa’ (preaching hall), the day’s Chief Guest, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva in keeping with ancient traditions, offered the tray of betel (Dehetwattiya) to Ven Dr Ittapane Dhammalankara Thero, Maha Nayaka of Kotte Sri Kalyani Samagri Dharma Maha Sangha Sabha, seated in the octagon for chanting and symbolically invited the Maha Sangha to commence chanting until the following morning (8).
The Maha Nayaka Thero on behalf of the members of the Maha Sangha delivered an Anusasana (oration) and invoked blessings on the organization, injured War Heroes and transferred merits on the fallen, recalling the glorious past history of the organization. He also praised the Army's diverse roles and wished good luck with its onward march as defenders of the nation.
More than 1000 members of the Army representing All Rankers joined the meritorious programme. Chairman and office-bearers of Sri Lanka Army Buddhist Association and a large gathering of Officers and Other Ranks, joined the ‘Pinkama’ (meritorious act) that blessed the forthcoming anniversary.
At the end of the day’s main event, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva took part in another meritorious deed by distributing a herd of 33 cattle among selected needy people in and around Panagoda giving a helping hand to their livelihood. The Commander of the Army symbolically handed over five cows on the occasion. The donation of cattles was made by the Army farm at Panaluwa to coincide with the 70th Army Anniversary.
With a ‘Heel Daana’ (breakfast) on Tuesday (8) plus a Sangeeka Daana (alms giving) were offered to 70 monks, bringing the series of religious ceremonies to end.
Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva took time off to participated in the ‘Saangika Daana’ (alms) on Tuesday (8) afternoon. He also served meals to members of the ‘Maha Sangha’ and shared a few thoughts with them.