President Ranil Wickremesinghe inaugurated the ‘Buddha Rashmi’ Vesak Zone, which is the National Vesak celebration organized by the Hunupitiya Gangarama Temple in Colombo on May 03.
The Vesak program includes various events organized at the Galle Face Shangri-la Green and Presidential Secretariat Premises on May 03, 04, 05, and 06.
During the inauguration, the President switched on the lights to mark the start of the Vesak program and attended the ‘Bhakthi Gee’ event on the steps of the Presidential Secretariat. After that, he offered flowers to the Buddha statue and participated in religious rituals at the Seemamalakaya of the Gangarama Temple.
The President also illuminated the “Buddha Rashmi Vesak Kalapaya” electric lights to inaugurate the Vesak celebration. The South Asian Embassies and High Commissions had created exhibition booths at the Vesak Zone to showcase the Buddhist heritage of the Vesak region, which the President visited. He observed the designs and asked for details from the designers.
The President also made a note in the commemorative book at the exhibition hall of the Pakistani Buddhist heritage. Later, he visited the Gangarama Temple and received blessings from Venerable Dr. Kirinde Assaji Thera, the Chief Incumbent of the Temple. Additionally, he had a friendly conversation with the local and foreign devotees who had come to visit the Buddha Rashmi Vesak program.
The Venerable Sangha community, including Ven. Kollupitiye Prof. Mahinda Sangharakkhita Thera of the Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Ministers Bandula Gunawardena, Manusha Nanayakkara, Naseer Ahmed, Minister of State Suren Raghavan, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff to the President, Sagala Ratnayake, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, General Kamal Gunaratne (Retired), Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Mr Gopal Bagle, Pakistan High Commissioner Major General Umar Farooq Burki, General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Army Commander Lieutenant General Vikum Liyanage, Inspector General of Police C D Wickramaratne, Foreign Ambassadors, High Commissioners and several others also participated in this event.
(President’s Media Division)
SLAF receives 2 Harbin Y-12 IV aircraft from China (Pics)
The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) ceremoniously received two Harbin Y-12-IV aircraft at the SLAF Base in Ratmalana today (Nov. 05).
The formal proceedings commenced with the signing of documents symbolizing the transfer of the Harbin Y-12-IV aircraft to the Sri Lanka Air Force. Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Udeni Rajapaksa and Mr. Den Ling from China National Aero Technology Import & Export Cooperation presided over this key moment, marking the official handover.
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China – Mr. Qi Zhenhong, State Minister of Defence – Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, – Mr. Sagala Ratnayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence – General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd), Chief of Defence Staff – General Shavendra Silva, Commander of the Navy – Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, Chief of Staff of the SLAF, Members of the Air Force Board of Management, officials of the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, members of the CATIC from China and representatives of CATIC Sri Lanka, senior officers of the SLAF and other officials graced the ceremony.
Addressing the gathering, Commander of the Air Force, expressed gratitude for the strategic partnership and elaborating the significance of the new additions to the Sri Lanka Air Force’s fleet. He emphasized the continued commitment to strengthening international collaborations, highlighting the value of the Harbin Y-12 IV aircraft in enhancing the Air Force’s operational capabilities.
(pics : airforce.lk)
Returned artefacts displayed at Colombo National Museum (Pics)
Following a milestone in international relations and provenance research, six priceless Kandyan artefacts seized during the Dutch colonial occupation of Sri Lanka have been returned from the Netherlands.
These Kandyan artefacts will be on public display at the Colombo National Museum from today (Nov. 05) until further notice.
A commemorative postage stamp issued during the event serves as a symbolic marker, celebrating the milestone in international relations and provenance research. The event took place at the National Museum today, presided over by the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Vidura Wickramanayake, and the President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka. This marked a significant step in cultural collaboration between the two nations.
The exhibits include golden and silver kasthãné (ceremonial swords), two maha thuwakku (wall guns), and Lewke Disave’s cannon, which were originally taken as war booty by the Dutch East India Company in 1765, during the siege of the Palace of Kandy.
In attendance at this distinguished occasion were the Minister of State for Media, Shantha Bandara, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Sri Lanka, Ms. Bonnie Horbach, the Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Dewi van de Weerd, Ambassador of Egypt in Sri Lanka Maged Mosleh the Secretary to the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Somaratne Vidanapathirana, the Director General of the National Museum Department, Sajani Kasturiarachchi, and several distinguished officials from both the Netherlands and Sri Lanka.
(President’s Media Division)
Russian Lit. Fest held in Colombo (Pics)
The Russian House in Colombo hosted the much anticipated annual Literature festival yesterday (Nov. 22), amid the excitement of Literary enthusiasts in the island.
Russian Literary greats Rasul Gamzatov, Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Turgenev were commemorated at the event.
A unique photo exhibition out front showcased the estates where the literary greats had lived and created their iconic pieces – Tolstoy’s Yasnaya Polyana and Turgenev’s Spasskoye-Lutovinovo. Photo archives were provided by the Director of the Russian House in Colombo, Madam Maria Popova, and the writer for the Russky Mir magazine, Irina Ivina.
Max Dimov, Deputy Chief Editor of “Moscow Media”, addressed the gathering with a video message.
During his visit to the Russian House in July, he had made friends among the founders of the Russian Literary Club, famous philologists, writers and translators Ranjana Senasinghe and Felix Fernando.
For the first time ever, the festival program also showcased the works of contemporary Russian authors in Sinhala.
Felix Fernando presented his translation of an international bestseller book by Evgeny Vodolazkin, ‘the most important living Russian writer’ according to the New Yorker. His novel “Laurus” was dubbed as ‘a new statesman book of the year 2016’. On top of that, Fernando also translated a touching New Year short story “I Won’t Tell!” by an extremely popular Russian author, producer, screenwriter and philanthropist Alexander Tsypkin.
Both authors addressed the audience with a video greeting, deeply touched by the interest in their works and happily responded to the invitation to visit Sri Lanka and personally meet the translator.
(Pics : FB of Russian House in Colombo)
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