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President Rajapakse calls on Mahanayake Theras

THE newly elected fifth Executive President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse visited Dalada Maligawa in Kandy yesterday morning, accompanied by his wife Mrs. Shiranthi Rajapakse and received blessings of "Thrivida Ratne" at a colourful and dignified ceremony held in keeping with age-old traditions, on his assuming the highest office.

Diyawadana Nilame Nilanga Dela Bandara received President Rajapakse on arrival at the entrance by handing over to him (the President) a tray of Jesmin flowers and was conducted in a traditional procession to the Maligawa.

On arrival at the Maligawa President Rajapakse was received by former Minister of Posts, Telecommunication and Udarata Development D. M. Jayaratne.

President Mahinda Rajapakse was conducted to the historic "Hewisi Mandapaya" at the ground floor of the Maligawa where Kings of the Kandyan period were coronated and blessed by Maha Sangha headed by Most Vens. Mahanayake Theras on the "Sandakada Pahana" (moonstone).

In keeping with those age-old traditions and customs Mahinda Rajapakse who was elected by the people on Thursday, November 17th, as the 5th Executive President of Sri Lanka was blessed on his assuming new office by Maha Sangha by the chanting of "Seth Pirith".

Thereafter he was conducted to the inner shrine at the upper floor of the Maligawa where he made offerings to the Sacred Tooth Relic and received the blessings.

The members of Maha Sangha of the Malwatta Chapter who officiate the Thewawa (rituals) blessed the new President and Wished that with the blessings of the "Trivida Ratne" President Rajapakse would receive all the power, courage and good health to fulfill his tasks of creating a peaceful and prosperous country - a new Sri Lanka as has endeavoured to.

After the religious performances at the inner shrine President Rajapakse was conducted to the office of the Diyawadana Nilame, where he signed the visitors book.

Thereafter, President Rajapakse called on Most. Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera of the Malwatte Maha Vihara Chapter and Most. Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Ratanapala Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Maha Vihara Chapter at their respective Aramayas. He offered "Atapirikaras" to the prelates before he received their blessings.

Most Ven. Pandith Niyangoda Vijithasiri Nayake Thera the Anunayake Thera of Malwatta Chapter and Most. Ven. Galagama Attadassi Anunayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter also participated at the ceremonies.

President Rajapakse's three sons were also participated in these ceremonies.

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