Commander of the Navy attends spiritual event of carrying sacred relics to Deegawapiya
The sacred relics which were recently unearthed from the Deegawapiya Stupa site were ceremonially placed in a “Relic House” at the Deegawapiya temple amidst blessings of the members of Maha Sangha on the ‘Duruthu’ full moon poya day on 17th January 2022. The spiritual event which was held under the patronage of Defence Secretary and the Chairperson of ‘Archaeological Heritage Management Presidential Task Force’ for Eastern Province, General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne was attended by Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne.
The historic Deegawapiya is considered as one of the sixteen places which had been hallowed by visits of Gautama Buddha. The restoration of the Deegawapiya ancient site was initiated as per the directives of His Excellency the President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the aim of preserving this historic Buddhist heritage and passing it on to the future generation. Accordingly, the restoration work is being carried out by the Armed Forces and the Civil Security Department with the assistance of experts from the Department of Archeology, under the guidance of the Chairperson of ‘Archaeological Heritage Management Presidential Task Force’ for Eastern Province, General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne.
The sacred relics unearthed at the Deegawapiya Stupa site were brought in a colourful procession from the District Secretariat – Ampara, their former destination, to the Deegawapiya premises amidst religious rituals on the morning of ‘Duruthu’ full moon poya day. In pious sentiments the relics were subsequently placed in a specially made “Relic House”.
Besides, the Defence Secretary and Tri-Forces Commanders laid foundation stones for the proposed ‘Buddhist Shrine’ at the Deegawapiya temple, amidst religious rituals.
Members of Ven. Maha Sangha including Chief Prelate of Deegawapiya, Ven. Mahaoya Sobitha Thero. Secretaries from Ministries, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, Commander of the Air Force, Director General of Civil Security Department, state officials and devotees were also present on this occasion.
Further, General (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne also paid homage to the ancient Muhudu Maha Viharaya on 16th January and Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne also joined this occasion.