The first Vesak day celebrations after the Hon. Chamal Rajapaksa was elected as the Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka fell on 27.05.2010. Instructions were given by the Hon. Speaker to organize an austere but solemn religious programme on 26.05.2010 to mark the event. Accordingly religious observances were organized under the directions given by the Secretary General of Parliament.
Religious observances in Parliament
Vesak "Dhamma Deshana" was delivered by Ven. Mirisse Dhammaloka Thero in the afternoon of 26.05.2010. This event was organized by the Parliamentary Staff Buddhist Society.
Religious observances at the official residence of the Hon. Speaker
Distribution of 'Sal' saplings brought from the Lumbini Sal grove
Hon. Chamal Rajapaksa, made a pilgrimage to the Lumbini Sal grove as a minister and took steps to bring the Sal saplings, obtained from the seeds of the Sal tree that sheltered Siddhartha Gautama at his birth, to Sri Lanka and planted and protected them in the vicinity of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi at Temple Trees. A brief and austere function was held to distribute these Sal saplings to Kotte Raja Maha Vihara, Kotte Sri Naga VIhara and 12 other temples, schools and many other institutions by the Hon. Speaker himself.
The reverend Maha Sangha including the chief incumbent of the Kotte Raja Maha Vihara Ven. Aluthnuwara Anuruddha Thero, the chief incumbent of the Sri Naga Vihara Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thero, head of the Nedimala Buddhist Cultural Centre Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi Thero, together with Hon. A.H.M. Azwer M.P., Public Trustee, principals of schools & other distinguished guests participated in this event.
A Bodhi Pooja was held at 6.00 p.m. at the sacred Bo-tree in front of the official residence of the Hon. Speaker under the auspices of the Hon. Speaker. Deputy Secretary General of Parliament, Assistant Secretary General, Mrs. Chamal Rajapaksa and a number of devotees participated in this event.
'Bodhu Bethi Gee Kusum Saraniya'
These were presented by 20 students of the Minuwangoda Cultural Arts Forum (Sanskruthika Kala Nirmana Sansadaya). This event was sponsored by the Bank of Ceylon Parliament branch.
• Hon. Speaker and the family members
• Acting Minister of External Affairs Hon. Gitanjana Gunawardena and distinguished guests of the Hon. Speaker
• Secretary General of Parliament, Deputy Secretary General, Assistant Secretary General, Heads of the Departments and representatives of the staff
• Heads of other offices in Parliament
• Representatives of the staff of the Parliament branch of the Bank of Ceylon and ancillary staff
• Representatives of the Association of Retired Members of the staff of Parliament
• Parents and family members of the children who participated in the 'Bethi Gee Saraniya'
At the end of the presentation of 'Bethi Gee', gifts and certificates were given to the children who participated in the event by the Hon. Speaker, the Secretary General of Parliament Mr. Dhammika Kitulgoda and other distinguished guests.
The media coverage of this programme was done by government and private electronic and print media institutions including the Government Information Department.
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