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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 76

Secretary Defence declares opens Pilgrims Rest at Girihandu Seya

Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared open the newly constructed pilgrims Rest cost over Rs. Seven Million, at the Girihandu Seya Temple premises in Thiriyaya at the invitation of the Senior Presidential Advisor, Mr. Milinda Moragoda. The "Urumayaka Ulpatha" Foundation coordinated the entire process in collaboration with the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs and the Department of Archaeology to make the noble concept a successful one.

Mr. Rajapaksa unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion amidst the blessings of the Maha Sanga. Most venerable Kotugoda Dhammawasa Anunayake Thero, Amarapura Sanga Sabawa presided over the religious proceedings during the opening ceremony. Mr. Milinda Moragoda appreciated design for Mr. Ashley de Vos, construction was undertaken by Civil Defence Force personnel, funding support from the John Keells Foundation and CTC Corporate Social Responsibility and furniture supplied by Trance International. During the terrorist conflict pilgrims were unable to visit the Girihandu Seya as the region faced immense threat from terrorist activity. Since the end of war the area has been cleared by the security forces and now hundreds of people from around the country visit here.

Girihandu Seya Situated in the Thiriyaya region of the Trincomalee District is located atop a 212ft rock near the Yan Oya estuary. According to the annals of history, on the 50th day of enlightenment of Lord Buddha, Thappassu and Balluka offered bees-honey as alms and listened to the Dhamma upon which they became the first devotees of the Buddha. In order to perform their prayers a deposit of Lord Buddha's omniscient hair was offered. As traders, they journeyed far and wide crossing oceans to reach distant lands. It is on such a journey that they landed on the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka and placed the revered omniscient hair in a place atop the Girikanda rock, which later came to be known as Girihandu Seya. Thus, it is said that Girihandu Seya is the first Stupa in Sri Lanka.

Devinuwara Chandima Thero Girihandu Seya Temple delivered anusasana at the ceremony and Mr. R. A. D. Sirisena General Secretary ‘’Urumayaka Ulpatha" Foundation, Members of Parliament, Commander Security Forces East Maj Gen Lal Perera, high ranking officials of the tri forces, and state officials were also present.

- Asian Tribune -

Secretary Defence declares opens Pilgrims Rest at Girihandu Seya
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