20th June 2020 23:50:06 Hours
HE the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces on Saturday (20) morning, giving prioritized prominence to religion on his birthday participated in a variety of religious observances and blessing ceremonies at most sacred Anuradhapura Ruwanweli Maha Seya, together with Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa, First Lady, close relatives, Hon Prime Minister, Hon Minister, Chamal Rajapaksa (MP), Former Minister, Hon Basil Rajapaksa, Hon Namal Rajapaksa (MP) and well-wishers.
Offering of 'Aloka & Suwanda Dum Pooja, (lamp lighting incense), 'Kiri Pindu Pooja' (milk rice), 'Kapruk' around Stupa, Gilanpasa Pooja, amid reverberating traditional drums, HE the President and his retinue paid their obeisance to the sacred Ruwanweli Maha Seya where relics of the Enlightened One remain enshrined. Reminding of age-old rites and rituals, the traditional 'milk-pot' boiling practice was also conducted before HE the President garlanded the statues of King Dutu Gemunu and Queen Vihara Maha Devi inside the premises. Offerings were also made to the Shrine (Budu Medura) at the Ruwanweli Seya, prior to his participation in the offer of alms (Heel Daana) to venerable members of the Maha Sangha.
Offer of 'Ashtapariskara' and other 'Pirikara' to members of the Maha Sangha followed brief orations (Anushasana) of the Maha Sangha who invoked blessings on HE the President. Ven Dr Pallegama Hemaratana Nayake Thera, Chief Incumbent, Ruwanweli Maha Seya, Ven Nugatenne Pannnananda Nayake Thera of the Sri Samuddhatva Viharaya, Ven Walahahengunawewe Dhammaratana Nayake Thera, Incumbent, Mihintale Raja Maha Vihara, Ven Ralepanawe Dhammajothi Nayake Thera, Lankarama Viharadhikari and a gathering of monks were there to invoke blessings and receive alms.
Secretary Defence, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, Navy and Air Force Commanders and hundreds of well-wishers were also associated with the day's ceremonies.