President, PM to launch Mihintale Aloka Pooja | Daily News


President, PM to launch Mihintale Aloka Pooja

Mihintale Raja Maha Vihara Chief Incumbent Ven. Walawahengunawewa Dhammarathana Nayaka Thera told the Daily News that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will switch on the Mihintale Poson illuminations (Mihintale Aloka Pooja) which is organised annually by the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (Lake House) since 1962 to mark Poson Poya Day.  

This year the ‘Aloka Pooja’ is jointly sponsored by the Ceylon Electricity Board.  

The Ven. Thera said the President will also mark World Environment Day which falls on Poson Poya day this year, by initiating a tree planting programme in Mihintale Sacred city.  

The State Poson Festival will be held on June 4, 5 and 6 in Mihintale. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will be the chief guests at the events held at Mihintale and Anuradhapura sacred cities. Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa will inaugurate the three- day event on June 4.  

The President will pay homage to the relics of Arahath Mahinda which will be exposed at Mihinthale temple premises amidst Seth Pirith chanting by Maha Nayaka Theras from three Nikayas, on the Poson Full Moon Day, June 5 evening. The President will also issue the 2020 State Poson Festival commemoration stamp at 6.15 pm after which he will hand over the Sannasa to Maha Sangha, declaring the Mihintale Sacred premises as a national heritage. After the inauguration of Lake House Mihintale Aloka Pooja, an all-night Rathana Suttra Pirith chanting will begin at 8 pm in Mihintale Meda Maluwa.  

Ven. Dhammarathana Nayaka Thera said large crowds of devotees are not expected in view of healthcare restrictions and less public transport facilities available due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

At a special meeting convened by the Presidential Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office in Mihintale recently, it was decided not to allow senior citizens, sick persons and small children to visit Mihintale during the Poson season. Anuradhapura Government Agent R.M. Wanninayaka who was present at the meeting said if the curfew is lifted in the area, residents in the Anuradhapura District would be allowed to visit Anuradhapura and Mihintale Sacred places, strictly adhering to social distancing and quarantine regulations, and healthcare instructions.  

North Central Province Governor Maheepala Herath, Media Ministry Secretary Chulababdhana Perera, Commissioner General of Buddhist Affairs Sunanda Kariyapperuma, officials from the President Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office, Mihintale D.S. Sirimewan Dharmasena were present at the event.  

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