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Photos by Wickrema and Lahiru

The Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre held a combined Vesak and Poson celebration at the Brent Town Hall on Sunday 16th June 2013 with the participation of a large gathering of distinguished guests, devotees and well wishers.

The programme included a keynote address by Dr Sarah Shaw of Oxford who spoke on 'A Sense of Belonging and the Eightfold Path'; a Sermon by Ven. Dr. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Nayaka Thero and a Bodhi Puja by Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero; A Buddhabhivandana - Song Dance and Bhakthi - Song Dance by the Sri Lanka Educational, Cultural and Welfare Foundation Dance Troupe, trained by Professor Dr. Mudiyanse Dissanayake of the University of Visual and Performing Arts; A Vap Magul Pelahara - Song Dance by the Sri Saddhatissa Dhamma School Dance troupe, trained by Mr and Mrs A. P. Attanayake; and, Bhakthi Geeta by Sangeetha Visaradha Archana Dissanayake and SSIBC Musical group.

Before the commencement of proceedings, Pansil was administered by Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thero, Head of the London Buddhist Vihara. Among the other distinguished members of the Maha Sangha present were Venerables Dr. Akuratiye Nanda Nayaka Thero, Dr. Nagoda Amarawansa Nayaka Thero, Jankurawela Sirinivasa Nayaka Thero, Rekadahene Rathanasiri Nayaka Thero, Uluwitake Bodhiseeha Nayaka Thero - all from Sri Lanka and Nayaka Theros and monks from Temples in UK. Venerable Chueh Ru Shih, Chief Abbess of the Fo Guang Shan Temple in London also participated.

His Excellency Dr Chris Nonis, High commissioner of Sri Lanka was the chief guest. The other distinguished guests were Hon. Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Minister of Sports, Sri Lanka; Councilor Bobby Thomas, The Worshipful the Mayor of Brent, Councilor Melvin Cohen, the Worshipful The Mayor of Barnet and the Mayoress Councilor Wendy Prentice; Councilor Nana Asante, the Worshipful the Mayor of Harrow, Hon. Mei Sim Lai, Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Brent; Mr Neville De Silva, Deputy High Commissioner; Mr Nimal Fernando, CEO/ Director Bank of Ceylon and Mrs Fernando; Mr Dhammika Muthukuda Aracchi, Deputy Manager Bank of Ceylon; Mr Kishore Hirdaramani. Chairman Hirdaramani Group; Mr Nikil Hirdaramani, Chief Executive, Hirdaramani Group and Mrs Anushka Hirdaramani, Mr Prasad Rosa, Director LycaFly Travel, Mr Indunil Wijekoon, Sales Manager, Sri Lankan Airlines; Mr Shaheed Ahmed, Managing Director, One 2 One Minicab; Councillor Lakmini Shah, Eastham; Councillor Harshadbhai Patel, Brent; Councillor Kana Naheerathan, Deputy Mayor, Brent;C ouncillor Nizam Ismail, Harrow; Councillor Mrinlal Choudhry and Mrs Choudhry, Harrow; Councillor Mano Dharmarajah and Mrs Seedevi Dharmarajah, Harrow; Councillor Mark Cummins, Brent; Dr Elizabeth Harris of the Liverpool University; Mrs Sonali Wijeyratne, Minister - Economic Affairs, Mr Chaminda Kularatne, Minister Counsellor, Dr (Mrs) H.K. Waidyaretne, Minister-Counsellor, and Mr H.M.K. Herath, First secretary of the Sri Lanka High Commission.

The students of the Sri Saddhatissa Dhamma School did extremely well at last years YMBA Examination and the certificates of the 95 students were presented to them By Hon Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Minister of Sports and Dr Chris Nonis, High Commissioner.

A traditional style decoration had been created on the stage by the master craftsman Jayaratne Bandara of the Bandara Art Products, which reminded one of the parapet wall in front of the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy. Instead of the ceremonial oil lamp been lit the VIPP lit candles placed in the cavities of the parapet wall.

The event was Sponsored by LycaFly Travel and Co-sponsored by the Bank of Ceylon, SriLankan Airlines and the Hirdaramani Group. A Souvenir for the occasion was also printed with the help of advertisements from devotees and well wishers.
 


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Photos by Wickrema and Lahiru

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