COLOMBO : President Gotabaya Rajapaksa took part at the State Katina ceremony and the festival of saffron colouring of robes were held at the Sri Miyugunarama Raja Maha Viharaya, Colabagama in Kurunegala, Sunday, November 14.
This is considered to be the second occasion since the reign of King Parakramabahu II to hold a Katina ceremony sponsored by the state, the President’s Media Division said.
It is the tradition since the days of ancient kings to cultivate cotton, spin yarn and use the cotton cloth woven from yarn to sew the Cheevara (Bhikkus robe) and presented to Maha Sangha.
Arriving at the Katina Cheevara Pooja ceremony organized by the State Ministry of Batik, Handloom Fabric and Local Apparel Products under the guidance of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President met the Chief Incumbent of Sri Miyugunarama Raja Maha Viharaya, Ven.Galhepitiye Pemarathana Thero and received blessings.
Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara conducted the ceremony of saffron colour dyeing of robe, mixing medicinal herbs to the dyeing pot and offering it to Mahasangha.
President bequeathed the Katina Cheevara to Maha Sangha, the PMD said. The noon alms were offered by the President and Ministers to the Maha Sangha.
President Rajapaksa presented the credentials cast to the Chief Sanghanayaka of the North Western Province and the Chief Incumbent of the historicTissawa Rajamaha Viharaya Ven. Mugunuwatawana Sidaththa Nayaka Thero, after Mr. Kapila Gunawardana Secretary to the Ministry of Buddha Sasana reading the credentials document.
The President handed over identity cards to six parents who had bequeathed their children to the Sambuddha Sasana, marking the inauguration of the ‘Buduputh Mapiya Harasara’ national programme stated in the National Policy Framework ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’.
The President also attended the rituals held at the ancient Vishnu Maha Devalaya at the temple premises.
President Rajapaksa inaugurating the programme to plant 100,000 Gini Waraka plants island wide under the theme ‘Bath Gasata Pana Demu’ planted a Gini Waraka plant at the temple premises.
Simultaneously, a programme to plant one million jackfruit plants within three years was also launched.
Minister Johnston Fernando, North Western Province Governor Raja Collure, Northern Province Governor Jeevan Thyagaraja, State Minister D.B. Herath, MPs Gunapala Ratnasekera, Shantha Bandara, Charitha Herath, Diana Gamage, Sumith Udukubura, Jayaratne Herath and Diyawadana Nilame Nilanga Dela were also present on this occasion.