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Sunday, 26 May 2013





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Security Forces erect biggest pandal in North

Vesak is the most sacred day observed traditionally by Buddhists in Sri Lanka and many other countries in Asia and South East Asia. The festival is informally known as "The Buddha's Birthday", and encompasses the birth, enlightenment (Nirvana), and death (Parinibhana) of Gautama Buddha.

The huge pandal in Kilinochchi

The celebration of Vesak this year in Kilinochchi is unique due to numerous reasons. As per the Buddhist calendar the year is 2556 and the Vesak Day falls on May 24, 2013. Kilinochchi being one of the transit places of Mahinda Thera the first-born son of the Mauryan Emperor Asoka who visited Kilinochchi nearly 2319 years ago, will witness a grand celebration of Vesak after so many decades in history.

The Security Forces in Kilinochchi will erect the biggest Pandal in the North in the history of Kilinochchi to mark the occasion. All the service troops including the Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Air Force and Sri Lanka Police join hands in this religious ceremony by contributing financial donations, labour, technological expertise and moral support with sheer dedication and commitment. Many donors will also assist the noble endeavour from around the country.

Construction work has also begun at the Kilinochchi Central College ground complex. The Pandal will be displayed till May 31. The theme of the pandal is depicting the character of Emperor Asoka, who conquered, brought peace and unity to most of present-day India and later dedicated himself to the propagation of Buddhism across Asia. The Pandal will depict the Asoka philosophy since Asoka regarded Buddhism as a doctrine that could serve as a cultural foundation for political unity in India.

The uniqueness of the pandal includes many features. It has over 30,000 coloured bulbs and is 38 ft high and 42 ft long. The digitally controlled modern lighting system developed by the army engineers will add glamour and colour to the pandal and the special technical control room will be open to the public.

The aim of displaying the pandal is to spread the message of peace, sharing cultural and religious sentiments with the people of Kilinochchi who were deprived of the privilege for many years and to enlighten schoolchildren to the splendour of cultural and religious diversity.

A Vesak Kalapaya will be organised at the Kilinochchi Central College grounds including a Maha Bath Dansala, ice cream dansala, Vesak Bakthi Gee and a Vesak drama. The event will certainly provide a novel cultural and religious experience for the communities in Kilinochchi paving the way for religious harmony.

- Thillai



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