Sri Lanka Army

Defender of the Nation

04th November 2022 18:08:04 Hours

First 'Katina Cheevara' Pooja at Sandahiruseya Held on Grand Scale

The 'Sandahiru Seya' at Anuradhapura, the monumental tribute to the heroism of Tri service War Heroes, Police and Department of Civil Security members with the participation of the top brass in the defence establishment on Thursday (3) evening had its first 'Katina Cheevara Pooja', one of the most meritorious acts in the Buddhist calendar.

General (Retd) Kamal Gunarathne, Secretary to Ministry of Defence, General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, Commander of the Army, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, Commander of the Navy, Air Marshal Sudarshana Pathirana, Commander of the Air Force, Major General (Retd) Ranjan Lamahewage, Director General Department of Civil Security, spouses of Secretary to Ministry of Defence and tri service chiefs, Commander, Security Forces - Wanni, General Officers Commanding 21, 54 and 56 Divisions, Commander Forward Maintenance Area (North Central), Adjutant General, tri service Officers and Other Ranks, together with devotees were associated with the 'Pinkama'.

The inaugural segment of the ceremony at 'Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya' saw General (Retd) Kamal Gunarathne carrying the sacred 'Katina Cheevaraya' wended its way to the 'Sandahiru Seya' in a colourful procession along with General Shavendra Silva, Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, Navy and Air Force Commanders. The 'Perahera', organized by the Army consisted of a variety of drummers, dancers, flag-bearers and members of the Army cultural troupe.

With the offer of the traditional 'Dehet Wattiya' (tray of betel) to Ven (Dr) Rajakiya Panditha Waththewewa Sumana Thero, the chief incumbent at Medawachchiya Kidalegama Sri Dalada Viharaya, the day's religious observances began with several participating monks, reminding of the times of the Buddha who advised monks to be confined to monasteries during 'Vassana' (rainy) season without wandering for delivery of sermons outdoor.

Friday (4) early morning, the apex of the religious segment got underway with the offer of the 'Katina Cheevaraya' to the designated monk who uninterruptedly performed the practice as has been the tradition since the times of the Buddha. The occasion transferred merits to the fallen War Heroes, invoked blessings on all wounded War Heroes and serving ones, the country and its people before the monks joined partaking of the 'Heel Dana' (breakfast).

At noon on Friday (4), the series of 'Katina Cheevara Pinkama' culminated with the offer of 'Sangeeka Daana' (alms) to the Maha Sangha. The 1st 'Katina Pinkama' at Sandahiruseya was organized on the instructions of the Ministry of Defence by the Army with the support of Navy and Air Force members.

Erected to immortalize the memory of all War Heroes and civil staffers who laid their lives for defence of the country, the ‘Sandahiru Seya’ was unveiled and consecrated before leaving it formally in the custodianship of the members of the Maha Sangha.