Mihintale Aloka Pooja:
Devotees free to worship any religious place now - Chief Minister
Nimal Wijesinghe - Anuradhapura Additional group
Devotees could travel freely to worship not only Mihintale but any
shrine as terrorism has been wiped out from the country, North Central
Province Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake said.
Devotees at Mihintale. Picture by Kithsiri Wanasinghe
“During the last three decades, we participated in the Mihintale
Aloka Pooja with fear of being attacked by the LTTE. But since May 18,
2009, the fear, suspicion, violence and terror has been wiped out by
President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the help of war heroes,” he said.
Dissanayake was speaking after inaugurating the Mihintale Aloka Pooja
on Saturday at the Mihintale Raja Maha Vihara.
The Aloka Pooja sponsored by Lake House for the 47th consecutive
occasion, ends today. The Ceylon Electricity Board has sponsored the
Ministers Tissa Karalliyadda, S. M. Chandrasena and Duminda
Dissanayake jointly switched on the illumination system, amidst the
chanting of sadhu by about 10,000 devotees. The CEB has fixed nearly
35,000 bulbs to illuminate the Mihintale Amba Wanaya including the
Mihintale Maha Seya.
The Chief Minister appealed to the devotees to invoke the blessings
of the Triple Gem and the deities on injured war heroes for their quick
recovery and also merits to those who have sacrificed their lives in the
eradication of the LTTE.
“The country today is under the shelter of one flag and one leader.
We must determine to rally round the President,” Dissanayake said.
He paid tribute to the late D. R. Wijewardene and heirs for
pioneering to illuminating the Mihintale Sacred land 47 years back and
Lake House Management and staff for their support.
Before the inauguration of the illumination system, the Chief
Incumbent and the Custodian of Mihintale Raja Maha Vihara Ven. Namalwewe
Rathanasara Nayaka Thera and Maha Sangha perform the Pancha Seela and
other religious observances.
Ven. Walawahangunawewa Mahindharathana Thera, an incumbent of
Mihintale temple and a lecturer at the Buddhist and Pali University
delivered an anusasana. A large number of Buddhist devotees including
nearly 500 members of the Singapore Buddhist community led by Ven.
Alawwe Gunarathana Nayake Thera were in attendance. Anuradhapura
Government Agent H. M. K. Herath, CEB Chairman E. A. S. A. Edirisighe,
Public Trustee Sarath Seneviratne, Mihintale Divisional Secretary
Manjula Madahapola, Lake House General Maneger Abhaya Amaradasa, Lake
House Director (Operations) Upul Dissnayake, Director (Legal) Rasanga
Harischandra and Budhusarana Editor Nelson S. Perera participated.