|Monday, 27 September 2004|
|Politics||Today's Top Story|
by Ranil Wijayapala
The death anniversaries of two national leaders who worked towards the uplift of the common masses were commemorated at a solemn but simple ceremony at the Bandaranaike Samadhi in Nittambuwa yesterday morning.
The 45th death anniversary of former Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike and the fourth death anniversary of the world's first woman Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike were commemorated. The Bandaranaike Samadhi where the remains of the two leaders lie, was covered with the national flag to commemorate the death anniversaries.
Sunethra Bandaranaike, the eldest daughter of the two Prime Ministers and son, Industries, Tourism and Investment Promotion Minister Anura Bandaranaike placed floral tributes at the ceremony.
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, away from the country to participate at the United Nations General Assembly, was not present.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, Acting Defence Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, SLFP General Secretary and Minister Maithripala Sirisena were among the large crowd.
Kelaniya University Chancellor Ven. Prof. Velamitiyawe Kusaladhamma Thera recalled the yeoman services of these two leaders to the common masses.
"The late S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike worked towards making the political independence gained by Sri Lanka in 1948, true and complete during his regime," the Thera said.
"These two leaders worked towards eliminating the gap between the poor and the rich and also between the educated and the uneducated through their programs," he said.
The Thera said the people remembered the two leaders with great respect.
One of the main features of yesterday's ceremony was that the Pancha Maha Balavegaya which represent the society as a whole representing the Sangha, Veda, Guru, Govi and Kamkaru (Maha Sangha, doctors, teachers, farmers and workers) making a declaration before the Bandaranaike Samadhi to symbolically represent the Pancha Maha Balavegaya.
Ven. Prof. Kamburugamuve Vajira Thera, on behalf of the Maha Sangha, Dr. Jayasiri Mendis on behalf of doctors, W. G. Wimaladasa on behalf of teachers, T. E. Jayawardhana on behalf of farmers and Jayantha Nissanka on behalf of workers made this declaration.
Viharadhipati of Attanagalla Raja Maha Vihara Pannila Ananda Nayake Thera conducted Buddhist religious rituals.
Students of Nittambuwa Sanghabodhi Vidyalaya sang the Bandaranaike commemorative song while students of Bandaranaike Maha Vidyalaya Gampaha made their salutation to the two leaders.
Produced by Lake House