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Mihintale Aloka Pooja:

Devotees free to worship any religious place now - Chief Minister

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 illumination.

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.

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