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Photographs by Tissa Madawela

Aggamahapandita Ven. Galayaye Piyadassi , Sangha Nayaka Thero of the UK organised a religious ceremony at the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre in Kingsbury,  at 6.00PM on Sunday 4th February 2018 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of  Sri Lanka regaining Independence.

The programme began with the hoisting of the National Flag by Venerable Galayaye Piyadassi Nayaka Thero to the playing of Magulbera by A.P.Attanayake, leader of the SLECWF Cultural Troupe , followed by the singing of the National Anthem by the gathering. Next seventy candles set in the formation of  number 70 were lit by Ven. Piyadassi and the resident monks as well as some of those gathered for the ceremony.

Venerable Dr.Handupelpola Mahinda Nayaka Thero offered Pansil. Mr Chandra Monerawela , the Trustee,  welcomed the attendees on behalf of the Sangha Nayaka Thero. He stated as a true patriot Ven. Piyadassi  Thero has always celebrated the Sri Lanka National day since the inception of the SSIBC in various ways. In 1988 a publication was also produced with valuable information.  Exhibitions were also organised from time to time. He then briefly outlined some actions of the British that were  beneficial to Sri Lanka carried out by  British Civil servants who grew fond of the country- as finding and   restoring  irrigation works and Buddhist Monuments hidden in the jungles, building roads ( of course for them to make it easier to control the country). The first history book in English about Sri Lanka was also written by Codrington. They introduced Universal Adult Franchise ahead of most countries. Established the University in Peradeniya. Sri Lanka was the only country at the time to regain Independence from a colonial power without bloodshed. 

A short documentary film with many historic footage depicting the history from 1948 up to that morning’s Independence Celebrations in Colombo, was screened. 

Dr Aruna Gamage, a Senior Lecturer at the Kelaniya University, presently at SOAS, was the guest  speaker. He addressed the gathering on the True Meaning of Independence quoting abundantly from the Buddhist Scriptures and the scholarly talk was very much appreciated by the gathering.

At the Pujava, Blessings were extended to the President, Prime Minister , the Government and people of Sri Lanka.

Devotees of the Temple, United National Party, Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Podujana Peramuna UK Branches jointly supported the event and provided Gilampasa for the Mahasangha, short eats and refreshments for the others attended.

 

 

 

 


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Photographs by Tissa Madawela

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