29th August 2022 16:45:44 Hours
In appreciation and recognition of the noble and exceptional service rendered towards the nation and Buddhism in the country, the present Chief of Defence Staff, General Shavendra Silva WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc MPhil was honoured with the honorary title “Mahamannya Prathapadhikeshwara” today (28 August) in a magnificent royal ceremony.
Declaring the title officially, the Chief Incumbent of the Asgiriya chapter, Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Mahanayaka Thera presented the ‘Sannas Patraya’ to General Shavendra Silva. The highest Buddhist accolade that is bestowed to any lay personality was presented to the Chief of Defence Staff at a prestigious religious ceremony held at the Ceremonial Higher Ordination Hall of the historic Asgiriya Monastery.
The honorary title is a recognition of the noble service, untiring commitment, and enormous sacrifices made by this most senior serving military officer towards the country, race, and religion for decades. The accomplished command over the successful control of novel COVID-19 pandemic in the motherland and during the recent incidents took place in the country was highlighted by the Mahanayaka Theroes and eminent personalities present.
The ‘Sannas Pathraya’ (Parchment) signifying the honourary title, was bestowed by the Most Ven Warakagoda Dhammasiddhi Sri Pannananda Gnanarathanabhidhana Thero, the Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter and on behalf of the Malwathu Chapter, Most Ven Dimbulkumbure Sri Saranankara Wimala Dhammawidhana Anunayaka to the Chief of Defence Staff at the Ceremonial Higher Ordination Hall. Most Ven Medagama Dammananda Thero readout the consent letters of the Ramanna Maha Nikaya and Amarapura Nikaya well educating the distinguished gathering on the title. The conferring of this title initiated by the Ven Maha Sangha of Asgiriya Chapter was endorsed by both the Most Ven Makulewe Wimala Thero, the Mahanayaka Thero of Ramanna Maha Nikaya and Dodampahala Chandasiri Maha Nayaka Thero of Amarapura Maha Nikaya.
The Buddhist Ceremony was blessed by the presence of the Atamasthana Nayaka Thero. This magnificent episode was also attended by the ambassadors and High Commissioners of China, Korea, Pakistan, and Vietnam along with the other dignitaries, Service Commanders, retired and serving senior military Officers of tri-forces, and Inspector General of Police. The day’s event culminated with the glamorous display of the traditional dancers extended in honour of the Chief of Defence Staff and all the distinguished invitees.