President says at the concluding ceremony of the Dalada Perahera
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that despite the challenges and obstacles the country would have to face, there are a number of national responsibilities and duties that need to be fulfilled.
The President noted that the rulers throughout history had believed that the rituals and offerings conducted on behalf of and devoted to the Sacred Tooth Relic as the foremost duty.
The President made these remarks during the ceremony organised to mark the successful completion of the historical Dalada Perahera at the President’s House, Kandy this evening (23).
The Esala Perahara Sandheshaya (scroll) to indicate that the Kandy Esala Perahara, which is known to be the most vibrant cultural festival of the country, has been successfully concluded in line with historical traditions was handed over to the President by Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela, the Chief Custodian of the Dalada Maligawa.
The President offered fruits to the elephant ‘Bandhaa’ symbolically marking the offer of fruits to all elephants and tuskers that participated in the procession.
The President posed for a group photo with Diyawadana Nilame, Basnayaka Nilames and public servants who provided assistance to the conduct of Perahera.
While presenting the Sandheshaya (scroll), Diyawadana Nilame Nilanga Dela expressed gratitude to the government and all others for providing assistance to conduct the historical Dalada Perahera successfully even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Rajapaksa said that ‘We preserved the ancient tradition by holding this year’s Dalada Perahera festival while strictly adhering to the health guidelines in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic in order to carry forward this important tradition to our future generations.’
The President furthermore said that the veneration to the most Sacred Tooth Relic could be considered as a commitment made towards the country and nation.
Secretary to President P.B. Jayasundera and government officials were present on the occasion.
Speech by His Excellency the President at the occasion of receiving the Sandeshaya (scroll) indicating the successful conclusion of Dalada Perahera
22-08-2021 (At President’s House, Kandy)
Diyawadana Nilame Nilanga Dala,
Nilames of Sathara Devala and other Devalas,
Secretary to the President and other Government officials,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have been able to conduct the ‘Sri Dalada Perahera’ festival this year as well in line with ancient traditions and customs and it is a “Buddhalambana” bliss to all Buddhists.
On behalf of the entire Buddhist community, I warmly welcome the Diyawadana Nilame at Sri Dalada Maligawa and the Basnayaka Nilames of Sathara Devala and other Devalas who are present here to announce the successful completion of this noble task.
I recall with gratitude the guidance and the blessings of the Maha Sangha including Maha Nayaka Thero of the Malwatta Chapter Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thero, Maha Nayaka Thero of the Asgiri Chapter Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thero and the Anu Nayaka Theros, to conduct the Perahera in line with health guidelines and by preserving the identity, the respect and the blessing of this Maha Pooja that is being held on behalf of the Most Sacred Tooth Relic.
Whatever challenges and obstacles befall on the country, we know that there are a number of national responsibilities and duties entrusted upon us that we should fulfill. Since ancient times our rulers believed that the performing of respectful rituals to venerate the Most Sacred Tooth Relic should be given utmost priority. They handed over that tradition from one generation to the other. I am also committed to perform all the rituals to venerate the Most Sacred Tooth Relic with utmost respect by following the way of the ancient kings and all the previous Heads of the State.
We acknowledge the Most Sacred Tooth Relic as the most revered treasure in our country. The immense devotion of the Buddhists towards the Most Sacred Tooth Relic can be considered as a noble veneration we pay towards the Buddha.
Even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to preserve the ancient tradition of holding the Dalada Perahera festival this year as well with great respect to carry forward this important tradition to our future generations.
We can be contented as a government that has continuously set forth the traditions of the past. Under the guidance of our venerable Maha Sangha, you have upheld the traditions preserved by our ancient kings.
Nilames and honourable guests,
We consider the commitment towards Most Sacred Tooth Relic as a commitment made towards the country and the nation. We wholeheartedly believe that every successful step made for the betterment of the country had the protection and blessing of the Most Sacred Tooth Relic.
We extend our gratitude to everyone including the artistes who were committed to making this procession to the Sacred Tooth Relic a reality this year as well.
May you all be blessed by the Most Sacred Tooth Relic!