A meeting presided by Secretary to Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Prof. Kapila Gunawardana to discuss arrangements for the forthcoming National Vesak festival at Kuragala Rajamaha Vihara and the National Vesak Week, was held on 28 March at the Ministry.
Ven. Waturakumbure Dhammaratana Thera, incumbent for both Kuragala Raja Maha Viharaya and Nelligala International Buddhist Centre, together with General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, Major General Ajith Dissanayake, Chief of Staff at the office of the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Deepal Pussella, Adjutant General of the Army, Major General Anil Udaya Kumara, Director, Directorate of Personnel Administration, Senior Officers of the Navy, Air Force and the Police, Anoja P Guruge, Additional Secretary, State Officials and several provincial administrator attended the meeting.
Discussions revolved around efforts to conduct a peaceful Vesak festival at Kuragala Raja Maha Viharaya ; its inauguration of new structures, Vesak Day programme on 15 May, Vesak week (15-22 May) and arrangements for ‘carriage of the sacred pinnacle and the relic casket’ for veneration and all other related arrangements.
As the incumbent at Kuragala, Ven Dhammaratana Thera outlined the proposed programme of events that mark the Birth, Enlightenment and Parinibbana of the Buddha and its universal importance at a time when the Buddha’s teachings have attracted universal attention.
General Shavendra Silva, highlighted the importance of the National Vesak festival, to be held with State patronage and commitment from all stakeholders. ”Kuragala State festival would add more colour since it is the first time Vesak is held on a scale of this nature in Kuragala which has now received a complete facelift,” General Silva added.
The Secretary to Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Prof. Kapila Gunawardana also expressed the support of the Ministry and relevant officials to celebrate the National Vesak festival on a grand scale.