The 156th birth anniversary commemoration of Anagarika Dharmapala was held under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The ceremony took place at Mahabodhi Agrashravaka Maha Vihara in Maligakanda today (17).
President was received by the Chairman of Mahabodhi Society and Chief Sanghanayaka of Japan Ven. Banagala Upatissa Thero at the venue.
After paying floral tribute to the memorial of Anagarika Dharmapala, President Rajapaksa planted a sapling of Rath Handun to mark the launch of “Suwa Dharani”, the traditional medicine preservation project by the Ministry of Promotion of Indigenous Medicine.
President who engaged in religious observances at Dathu Mandira at Agrashravaka Vihara paid floral tribute before the Dharmapala statue inside the main hall.
Addressing the gathering Ven. Upatissa Thero said President Rajapaksa who leads the country along a nationally recognized thinking is the only leader, he saw, to follow the path of Anagarika Dharmapala.
The Governor of the Central Bank, Prof. W. D. Lakshman presented the Dharmapala Commemorative Coin of Rs. 500 denomination to the President.
Mr. Sudhammika Hewawitharana, a relative of Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala presented a souvenir with the image of Anagarika Dharmapala to the President.
President Rajapaksa presented mementos to Bodhi Chiththa Bhikkhuni, the Head of the Vietnamese delegation and to Mr. Dilshan Jayasuriya ,Secretary of the Mahabodhi Society, now in Sri Lanka to attend the Anniversary celebrations.
The President launched the Relax TV channel on Peo TV 113 which will go on air under the guidance of the Board Member of the Sri Lanka Mahabodhi Society and the Chief Incumbent of the Agrasrawaka Maha Viharaya, Ven. Monaragala Pannalankara Thero.
Ven. Upatissa Thero handed over 10 locally manufactured bicycles, donated by Managing Director of the Raleigh Bicycle Company Mr. J. Perumal to the Mahabodhi Society, to the President.
The Maha Sangha including Most Venerable Ittapane Dhammalankara Thero, Ministers Dinesh Gunawardena, G. L. Peiris, State Ministers Nalaka Godahewa, Sisira Jayakody and UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardena were also present at the occasion.