President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated the “Deegavapiya Aruna” fundraising programme for the restoration of the Deegavapiya stupa at the Sri Sambodhi Viharaya in Colombo 07 last week.
Deegavapiya is one of the Solosmasthanas (16 places of worship) and is the fourth largest Stupa in the country. The dagoba was built by King Saddhatissa enshrining the relics of the Buddha.
The reconstruction of the Dagoba project was launched as the first and foremost task of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province following the request by the Chief Incumbent of the Deegavapiya Vihara, Ven. Mahaoya Sobhitha Thera.
The project is scheduled to be completed within three years. One of the noticeable features of this project is that it’s not funded by the national treasury. Both local and foreign sponsors are welcome and are encouraged to contribute finance and manpower as well.
Upon arrival at the Vihara, the President engaged in religious observances. The Maha Sangha led by the Most Ven. Wedaruwe Upali Anunayake Thera, Anu Nayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siam Maha Nikaya chanted Pirith and blessed the President’s wellbeing.
The official website for the programme “Yali Dakimu Deegavapiya” was also launched by President Rajapaksa.
As a foremost contribution, a sum of Rs 100 million was presented to the President by Mr. Chandrakeerthi Bandara, a member of the Dayaka Sabha on behalf of the Senasanadhipathi of the Nauyana Aranya Ven. Angulmaduwe Ariyananda Thera.
In addition, donations by Tri-forces, Sri Lanka Police, Civil Defence Force, Bank of Ceylon, Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama, Head of the Central Bearings and Machinery Mr. Sudath Tennakoon including a donation of Rs.5 million by the Buddhist Channel were presented to the President.
In line with the renovation of the Deegavapi Stupa, it is also planned to construct a rest house comprising four halls and twenty rooms to facilitate and accommodate devotees visiting the sacred site
In line with the renovation of the Deegavapi Stupa, it is also planned to construct a rest house comprising four halls and twenty rooms to facilitate and accommodate devotees visiting the sacred site.
The most Ven. Makulewe Wimala Thera, Mahanayake of the Ramanna Maha Nikaya, Most Ven. Ganthune Assaji Thera, Mahanayake of the Amarapura Chulagandhi Chapter, Chief Incumbent of the Mirisawetiya Vihara Ven. Ethalawetunuwewe Gnanatilake, Archaeology Chakravarthy Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera, Maha Sangha, Minister Sarath Weerasekara, State Minister Vidura Wickramanayaka, Chairperson of the Presidential Task Force for Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province, Secretary of Defence, Major General (Retired) Kamal Gunaratne, Heads of the Security Divisions including Commanders of the Tri-forces and several state officials were present at the occasion.