05th September 2022 13:03:51 Hours
The sacred Nelligala International Buddhist Centre, welcomed Most Ven Wathurakumbure Dharmarathana Thero who was conferred with the honorary title ‘Rathnapura Maha Disawe Pradana Sanghanayake’ and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Shavendra Silva WWV RWP RSP VSV USP ndc psc MPhil who was bestowed with the Buddhist honourary title ‘Mahamannya Prathapadhikeshwara’ recently in a majestic ceremony to the Nelligala International Buddhist Centre on Sunday (04 September 2022.)
The pageantry ceremony was commenced with a spectacular and glamorous procession comprised of nine caparisoned elephants, dances, and pulsating drummers to welcome the Most Ven Wathurakumbure Dharmarathana Thero and General Shavendra Silva. The procession, which was commenced form Kadugannawa to Nelligala Temple via Gannoruwa, was organised by the Young Generation of Kandy. In line with the long-rooted Buddhist traditions in the country, the day’s event was started by observing ‘Pansil’ which is followed by the welcome speech delivered by Most Ven Rathwaththe Somananda Thero.
After offering the ‘Sannasa’ to Most Ven Wathurakumbure Dharmarathana Thero, the ‘Sannasa’ of the Chief of Defence Staff which conferred the honorary Buddhist title ‘Mahamannya Prathapadhikeshwara’ was read to the distinguished gathering by Most Ven Dr Medagama Dammananda Thero, the Secretary of the ‘Asgiriya Sangha Sabha’ and the Same was presented to the Chief of Defence Staff by Most Ven Vendaruwe Dhammakeerthi Sri Upali Thero, the Anunayaka Thero of Asgiriya Chapter, ‘Solosmasthanadhipathi’ of historic Plonnaruwa and Most Ven Dimbulkumbura Sri Saranankara Wimaladharma Thero, the Anunayake Thero of Malwathu Chapter amidst traditional ‘Magul Drams’
During the ceremony, the Anunayake Theros of Asgiriya and Malwathu Temples, Most Ven Vendaruwe Dharmakeerthi Sri Upali Thero and Most Ven Dimbulkumbure Sri Saranankara Wimaladharma Thero commended the dedicated service of Genaral Shavendra Silva discharged to the Nation, Race, and Religion highlighting the reasons for presenting him the highest Buddhist accolade that is bestowed to any lay personality. Further, they emphasised the leadership of the Chief of Defence Staff during the Novel COVID 19 pandemic that provided even an example to the world in successfully controlling the invisible threat. The Venerable Theros further appreciated the commitment that ensured the security of the country and its people. They also confirmed the fact that General Shavendra Silva deserves this title as it gives the due recognition to the services, commitments, and sacrifices the Chief of Defence Staff made during his long-standing military career.
Most Ven Dr Godagama Mangala Thero, along with venerable Theros of both Asgiri and Malwathu Chapters blessed the occasion with their presence. Many lay dignitaries were also attended the occasion.