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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

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Sambuddhatva Jayanthi:

Nation enveloped in spiritual fervour

*Sacred Hair Relics exposition at Kalutara Bodhi

*Eighteen special Vesak Zones in Colombo

*Over 18 pandals in Colombo city

*Amadahara Vesak Zone to attract large crowds

The entire nation is preparing to celebrate the 2600th Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi beginning today, Vesak Full Moon Poya Day. Religious activities including meditation programmes will take pride of place in the Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi celebrations to be held at all temples and Buddhist monasteries islandwide.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday declared the Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Year beginning from the Vesak Full Moon day at the Anuradhapura Jayasri Maha Bodhi and a series of programmes is in store to celebrate this landmark event throughout this year under state patronage.

A number of events have also been planned by the Sri Lankan community overseas and the Buddhist community world over to celebrate the 2600th anniversary of the Enlightenment of the Buddha.

The government appointed a special committee comprising erudite monks representing all Chapters of the Buddhist clergy to plan and implement the 2600th Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi celebrations.

Colombo city has 18 special Vesak Zones where a host of programmes, including Bakthi gee recitals and lantern competitions are to be held.

Tens of thousands of members of the public are expected to visit the Amadahara Vesak Zone which covers the area from Lake House roundabout to the Presidential Secretariat, the Gangaramaya Vesak Zone which begins from Hunupitiya Gangaramaya to Temple Trees, Sambuddhaloka Vesak Zone along Bauddhaloka Mawatha and eight such special Vesak Zones in Colombo city.

More than 18 pandals have been erected in Colombo city and the Nawaloka Vesak Pandal at Peliyagoda is to be opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He will also participate in the opening of the Sambuddhatva pandal in Colombo 07.

The Amadahara Vesak Zone is organized by the Associated Newspapers Ceylon Limited in association with the Sri Lanka Telecom while the All Ceylon Buddhist Conference is organizing the Sambudhaloka Vesak Zone.

A Special exposition of Sacred Hair Relics of Buddha began today at the Kalutara Bodhi premises today. The Sacred Hair Relics of the Buddha, brought from Bangladesh would be displayed in the Kalutara Bodhi premises till May 18.

Meanwhile, the Police department yesterday said special security arrangements covering all areas of the country would be in place from today.

According to Police spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody, a special contingent of police personnel will be deployed for the safety of the public watching Vesak pandals. He said the Police department will implement a special traffic plan in the Colombo city and all other main cities to evade traffic congestion.

All Buddhist temples in the country were requested by the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Presidential Operation committee to mark the dawn of the 2600th Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi on May 17 by ringing temple bells from 5.45 p.m. to 5.50 p.m.

The committee has also requested all Buddhists to observe Pansil at their homes and engage in religious practices once the ringing of bells ends. The Committee has requested the people to hoist a Buddhist flag in their houses and engage in Prathipatti Pooja on the Poya day. The Committee has also requested the people using public address systems to tone down the noise so that they won’t cause obstruction to the Prathipatti Pooja.

The Committee which said the period from Vesak Poya Day this year to that of 2012 has been declared as the 2600th Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi year requested all Buddhists to lead a life according to the Buddhist teachings.

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