President Mahinda Rajapaksa participated in several religious activities at the sacred city of Anuradhapura held to mark Poson Poya.
The President on a two day visit to the sacred city of Anuradhapura to coincide with the Poson Festival, first opened the Bodhi Garaya built to protect the Ananda Bo Tree at Samadhi International Buddhist Centre.
He participated in religious observances and also interacted with the large crowd which included a delegation from the Samadhi Buddhist Association, Singapore who were there to witness the opening.
The President yesterday (23) placed the Sacred Relics of the Buddha in the Sanda Hiru Seya Stupa being constructed in Anuradhapura, dedicated to War Heroes who made the supreme sacrifice on behalf of the nation.
The Sanda Hiru Seya close to the Sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is the first of nine such Stupas to be built in the nine provinces in honour of fallen War Heroes.
The Sacred Relics were received from Chittagong, Bangladesh. This endeavour is a concept of Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The Sanda Hiru Seya, only second to the Ruwanweli Maha Seya in size and extent, will be about 40-50 ft deep below the ground level, 279 feet in height, 255 feet in diametre and 801 feet in circumference.
The President paid homage at the Ruwanweli Maha Seya where chief incumbent of the Ruwanweliseya, Ven Pallegama Hemarathena thera was also present. At the same location, he distributed sil cloth to devotees observing sil at the premises.
He also spoke with the devotees who had thronged the site in vast numbers.
President Rajapaksa also focused his attention and desire on reviving the Mihintale Sacred City to its past glory, majesty and splendour in his quest to develop the country spiritually and economically.
“It is a most noble and commendable decision taken by the saviour of the nation”, North Central Governor Karunaratne Divulgane said following the switching on the illumination for the Mihintale Aloka Pooja on Saturday evening.