04th May 2023 19:35:46 Hours
Hon President Ranil Wickremesinghe, together with a retinue, inclusive of Hon Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Speaker, Hon Minister Bandula Gunawardene, Mr Sagala Ratnayake, Chief of Staff of the President and National Security Advisor to the President, Mr E.M.S.B Ekanayake, Secretary to the President, General Kamal Gunarathne (Retd) WWV RWP RSP USP ndc psc MPhil, Secretary to Ministry of Defence, General Shavendra Silva WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc MPhil, Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage RWP RSP ndu, Commander of the Army, Inspector General of Police, Senior Tri-Service Officers on Wednesday (3) evening joined the ceremonial inauguration of the Gangaramaya 'Buddha Rashmi Vesak Zone' where members of the Army have added a number of colourful, decorative and creative spectacles for display during the Vesak week (4-10).
Just minutes before his arrival at Gangaramaya, Hon President as the Chief Guest went to the Presidential Secretariat premises and adjoining Vesak decorations in the Shangri La Hotel area. At first, he switched on the illuminations there amidst blessings of 'Pirith' chanting and watched the display of devotional songs (Bakthi Gee) for a few minutes, presented by a bevy of Presidential Secretariat officials to the soothing music, tuned by the Army Band.
Before the inauguration of the exhibition of those lanterns and decorative items at Gangaramaya Vesak Zone which are dedicated to the memory of the Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and 'Parinirvana', Hon President and invitees observed religious rites and rituals inside the Gangaramaya temple compound. Ven (Dr) Kirinde Assaji Nayake Thero, acting incumbent, Gangaramaya with accompanying buddhist monks delivered a special oration and highlighted the phenomenal significance of 'Vesak' to the world and all Buddhists.
After a while, Hon President was invited to switch on the illuminations in the Vesak Zone before he visited a few stalls where creative Vesak lanterns and decorations, crafted by Tri- Service, Police, Civil Security Department and different organizations were on display and spent a few minutes talking to those contributors. He also called at the mock exhibit, 'Apaaya' (hell), designed by Army personnel of the Directorate of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and shared a few words with those Army personnel after inaugurating the exhibit.
While visiting the stalls, the Army Chief mingled with Army contributors of different regiments to the Vesak Zone and appreciated their creative talents for the event. A few minutes later, Hon President along with invitees visited several stalls and admired creative talents on display.
Major General M.G.W.W.W.M.C.B Wickramasinghe RWP RSP ndu psc, Adjutant General and Major General J.A.R.S.K Jayasekara USP psc, Director General Electrical and Mechanical Engineers were also associated with the inaugural arrangements of the Vesak Zone at Gangaramaya and also at the Presidential Secretariat premises.