16th May 2017 23:44:29 Hours
Army troops serving island-wide Divisions, Brigades, Training institutes and other formations, adding their share to the successful conduct of Vesak festive arrangements, launched a multiplicity of commemorative events at their respective places during May 9 - 15.
53 Division Headquarters and its Brigades on the instructions of Major General Dushan Rajaguru, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 53 Division, put up a series of decorative Vesak arrangements in front of the Divisional Headquarters premises in Inamaluwa, Dambulla during the festival season.
Mannar-based 54 Division troops of the Security Force Headquarters - Wanni (SFHQ-W) with the support of all under command Brigades and Battalions meanwhile, erected a Vesak Zone in the heart of Mannar town to coincide with the National Vesak Festival. Brigadier Jayantha Senevirathne, General Officer Commanding, 54 Division inaugurated the Vesak zone lighting the first lantern.
Troops of the 55 Division of the Security Force Headquarters - Jaffna (SFHQ-J) conducted a grand Dansela (free eatery) for all communities in Kaddaikadu area, close to the 55 Divisional Headquarters premises on Thursday (11) and it was opened by Brigadier Aruna Muhandiram, General Officer Commanding, 55 Division, as the Chief Guest of the day. Religious dignitaries, Brigade Commanders, Commanding Officers and several Police Officers were present at the occasion.
Troops of the 12 Division under the Security Force Headquarters - Central (SFHQ-C), together with the support of members of the ‘Divineguma Gramiya Praboda’ association held a blood donation campaign at Tissapura Kanishta Vidyalaya, Hambantota on Saturday (13). A group of Army personnel started the programme before civilians joined the donation.
62 Division Headquarters meanwhile organized a series of religious programmes to celebrate the 2561th Vesak festival during 10-11 May on the directions of the General Officer Commanding, 62 Division, Brigadier Sanjaya Wanigasinghe.
A total number of 150 Army personnel took part in the programmes, comprised of Dansel, offerings and a sermon conducted by the Chief Incumbent of the Veheragala Rajamaha Viharaya, Ven. Imbulgoda Panngnaseela Thero. Brigade Commanders of 622 and 623 Brigades, Commanding Officers and staff Officers of the 62 Division supported the arrangements.
In line with the thematic ‘Yapa Patunai Daham Amavai 2017’arrangement, troops of the 551 Brigade organized a 'Vesak Dansela' for all communities in 551 Brigade area on Vesak day (10) at the 551 Brigade Headquarters premises.
Mr. J. Jayasilan, Divisional Secretary at Point - Pedro graced the occasion as the Chief Guest for the inauguration of the Vesak Dansela.
Inmates at the ‘S.K Elders’ Home at Malayalapuram, Kilinochchi were entertained to a sumptuous lunch and given gift parcels on account of the ‘Vesak’ festival on Thursday (11) after arrangements to this effect were jointly coordinated by the Security Force Headquarters - Kilinochchi (SFHQ-KLN), 57 Division Headquarters, 571 Brigade Headquarters and the troops of the 9 Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (VIR).
Major General Ajith Kariyakarawana, Commander, Security Forces - Kilinochchi, attending the occasion as the Chief Guest participated in the offer of meals and distribution of gift parcels among 30 adults, resident in the Elders’ Home. In addition, several inmates in appreciation of the treat volunteered to sing a couple of songs during the interaction and made the occasion interesting.
The arrangement, as one more programme of the series of Vesak commemorative events, organized by the SFHQ-KLN, was attended by Major General Jagath Gunawardena, General Officer Commanding, 57 Division, 571 Brigade Commander, 9 VIR Commanding Officer and several Other Rankers.
Gemunu Watch Headquarters
Several Vesak programmes, organized by the Gemunu Watch (GW) Regimental Headquarters at Kuruwita during 10-14 May. Included Sil programmes, Dhamma orations, Bodhi Puja, Dansel and the colourful display of many Vesak lanterns.
GW Centre Commandant as the Chief Guest inaugurated the evening programme by lighting colourful Vesak lanterns, crafted to suit different Buddhist themes. Over 1500 Vesak sightseers enjoyed free food offered in the Dansela.
The Centre for Army Vocational Training (CAVT) at Saliyawewa, Kala Oya, contributed to the Vesak commemoration by erecting a Vesak zone at its Headquarters premises where a large number of Vesak lanterns were exhibited. Conduct of Dansel, devotional songs (Bethi Gee), etc were among the other highlights.
Elaborate Vesak arrangements with the active participation of the troops serving the Security Force Headquarters – East (SFHQ-E) got underway in the East of the country during May 10 - 14.
Ven Delwita Meththalankara Thero, Incumbent at Welikanda Buddhist Centre delivered a Dhamma sermon at the SFHQ-E Headquarters on May 10 before the display of colourful Vesak lanterns began at Welikanda town. A Belimal Dansela was also conducted in the city by the SFHQ-E troops.
Major General Nandana Senadeera, Commander, Security Forces - East as the Chief Guest opened the display of Vesak lanterns at Welikanda and the Vesak zone at Pulathisipura, Kaduruwela. 23 Division and FMA - E troops supported the conduct of Vesak zone at Kaduruwela. It included devotional song concerts, Dansels and display of a large number of lanterns.
The Incumbent Thero of Buddhist Centre at Welikanda, conducted a Bodhi Pooja Programme and commemorated importance of the Vesak day. A large number of civilians representing all communities participated in the events conducted in Welikanda City.
Clergy, District Secretary for Polonnaruwa Mr. Ranjith Ariyarathne, Major General E.M.M Ambanpola (Retd), General Officer Commanding 23 Division Major General H.W.S.D.B Pananwala, Commander FMA-E Major General M Mudannayake, Brigade Commanders of 231, 232 and 233 Brigades, Senior Staff Officers, all Commanding Officers and a large number of civilians of all ethnicities participated in these programmes.
SFHQ – Wanni
Troops serving under Security Force Headquarters - Wanni celebrated Vesak by displaying lanterns, staging devotional song programmes and conduct of Vesak Dansel, etc.
As the first segment of the series of religious events, a Bodhi Pooja plus the conduct of Vesak lantern competition took place, in which Major General Ruwan Kulatunga, Commander, Security Forces - Wanni participated as the Chief Guest.
The ‘Osu Pen Dansela’ organized by the troops of the Security Force Headquarters – Wanni and the display of Vesak lanterns attracted hundreds of sight seers.
All Divisions, Brigades, Special Forces Brigades and formations under command to the SFHQ-W contributed to the success of the programmes.
SFHQ - Central
A special ‘Buddha Rashmi’ Vesak zone, surrounding the Diyatalawa, Security Force Headquarters - Central (SFHQ-C) was organized giving priority to the conduct of Dansel (free eateries), Vesak lantern competitions, devotional songs (Bakthi Gee), cultural shows and display of Vesak lanterns during May 10 – 14 at the Mutthukumaru grounds in the heart of Diyatalawa town.
Major General Upul Vithanage, Commander, Security Forces – Central (SF-C), supervised the arrangements at Diyatalawa with the support of under command Divisions, Brigades and battalions.
The first place in the Vesak Lantern competition was awarded to the 17 (V) Corps of Engineer Services (CES) of the SFHQ-C.
The Vesak programmes, organized by the Security Force Headquarters – Kilinochchi (SFHQ-KLN) got underway at the Kilinochchi Central College playground during 10-11 May.
Under the guidance of the Commander, Security Forces - Kilinochchi, Major General Ajith Kariyakarawana, the programmes continued under the theme, ‘Peaceful Vesak Asiriya for Kilinochchi people’.
Exposition of sacred relics, conduct of Danselas, Vesak devotional songs (Bakthi Gee), and display of colorful Vesak lanterns featured prominently during the arrangement.
The ‘Kilinochchi Vesak Zone’ was opened on the first day by Mr. Suntharam Arumainayaham, District Secretary for Kilinochchi and Major General Ajith Kariyakarawana, Commander Security Forces – Kilinochchi as Chief Guests.
On the second day, SFHQ-KLN distributed first-aid boxes among pre-schools in Kilinochchi district free of charge.
Major General Duminda Keppetiwalana General Officer Commanding, 66 Division, Major General Sarath Weerawardena, General Officer Commanding, 65 Division and Major General Jagath Gunawardena General Officer Commanding, 57 Division, Major General Bimal Vidanage Commander Forward Maintenance Area, Kilinochchi were among major organizers of this successful event.
Meanwhile, with the aim of assisting low income groups who are living in Kilinochchi district, a distribution of cattle among civilians took place on 10 May at Lumbini Maha Viharaya in Kilinochchi.
People from Visuwamadu, Poonakaryen and Mallavi areas in the meantime received those cattle and dry ration packs.
Mr. Suntharam Arumainayaham, District Secretary for Kilinochchi, together with Commander Security Forces Kilinochchi graced these events in the company of the Chief Incumbent at Lumbini Maha Viharaya, Deputy Inspector General – Kilinochchi, General Officer Commanders of 57, 65 and 66 Divisions.
On the directions of Major General Harin Perera, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 12 Division Headquarters on account of Vesak put up a special Vesak Zone in Hambantota during 10-14 May.
Scores of colourful Vesak lanterns, Vesak Dansel and a devotional recital programme were included in the Hambantota programmes.
121 Brigade troops meanwhile offered fried rice treat near the Kumbukkana junction to more than 8000 sightseers in Hambantota area.
Meanwhile, 23 Gajaba Regiment and 3 (V) Sri Lanka National Guard troops also conducted separate meritorious programmes to commemorate the Vesak festival.
Sri Lanka National Guard (SLNG)
Sri Lanka National Guard (SLNG) Headquarters troops in Wehera, Kurunegala contributed to the national Vesak festival by displaying Vesak lanterns around the Regimental Headquarters and at Gangaramaya premises.
The Vesak lantern, submitted to the Buddha Rashmi Vesak zone in Gangaramaya has secured the first place in the defence service category and the second place in the overall competition. More than 400 competitors were there in the Buddha Rashmi Vesak Zone at Colombo 2.