President Ranil Wickremesinghe inaugurated the ‘Buddha Rashmi’ Vesak Zone, which is the National Vesak celebration organized by the Hunupitiya Gangarama Temple in Colombo on May 03. The Vesak program includes various events organized at the Galle Face Shangri-la Green and Presidential Secretariat Premises on May 03, 04, 05, and 06.
During the inauguration, the President switched on the lights to mark the start of the Vesak program and attended the ‘Bhakthi Gee’ event on the steps of the Presidential Secretariat. After that, he offered flowers to the Buddha statue and participated in religious rituals at the Seemamalakaya of the Gangarama Temple.
The President also illuminated the “Buddha Rashmi Vesak Kalapaya” electric lights to inaugurate the Vesak celebration. The South Asian Embassies and High Commissions had created exhibition booths at the Vesak Zone to showcase the Buddhist heritage of the Vesak region, which the President visited. He observed the designs and asked for details from the designers.
The President also made a note in the commemorative book at the exhibition hall of the Pakistani Buddhist heritage. Later, he visited the Gangarama Temple and received blessings from Venerable Dr. Kirinde Assaji Thera, the Chief Incumbent of the Temple. Additionally, he had a friendly conversation with the local and foreign devotees who had come to visit the Buddha Rashmi Vesak program.
The Venerable Sangha community, including Ven. Kollupitiye Prof. Mahinda Sangharakkhita Thera of the Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Ministers Bandula Gunawardena, Manusha Nanayakkara, Naseer Ahmed, Minister of State Suren Raghavan, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President, Sagala Ratnayake, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General Kamal Gunaratne (Retired), Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Mr Gopal Bagle, Pakistan High Commissioner Major General Umar Farooq Burki, General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Army Commander Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, Inspector General of Police C D Wickramaratne, Foreign Ambassadors, High Commissioners and several others also participated in this event.