The sacred relics unearthed recently at the Deegawapiya Stupa site were ceremonially placed in a specially built “Relic House” at the Deegawapiya temple premises amidst religious blessings of Ven. Maha Sanga today (Jan 17).
The religious procession carrying sacred relics arrived at the Deegawapiya temple premises starting from the Ampara District Secretary’s Office where they were placed after being unearthed.
The ceremony presided over by Ven. Maha Sangha observing religious proceedings was graced by Defence Secretary and Chairperson of ‘Archaeological Heritage Management Presidential Task Force’ (PTF) for Eastern Province, Gen. Kamal Gunaratne.
Accordingly, the sacred relics were placed at the purpose built “Relic House” to coincide the Duruthu Poya day and the Defence Secretary and Tri-Forces Commanders also laid foundation stones for proposed ‘Buddhist Shrine’ at the auspicious time amidst religious blessings presided over by Payagala Malegoda Sri Pushparama Vihara Chief Incumbent Ven. Malegoda Nanda Thero.
Chief Prelate of Na Uyana Monastery Ven. Angulgamuwe Ariyananda and Ampara Mahavaapi Viharaya Chief Incumbent Ven. Kirindiwela Somarathana theros presided over the Anushashana during the ceremony.
The restoration of the Deegawapiya ancient site commenced under the direction of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa following its derelict condition was brought to his notice by Chief Prelate Ven. Mahaoya Sobitha thero.
The expedited restoration process which commenced under the Defence Secretary’s guidance has witnessed much progress in the restoration work. The process is funded by the ‘Deegawapiya Aruna Trust Fund’ which is generously supported by the Buddhist philanthropists.
Deegawapiya, a place visited by Lord Buddha is regarded as one of the sacred ancient religious sites among the sixteen places of worship of Buddhists.
The day’s proceedings were culminated following alms giving to Ven. Maha Sanga at the sacred venue.
Chief Prelate of Deegawapiya temple Ven. Mahaoya Sobitha thero, Chief Incumbent of Sri Sambodhi Viharaya and Chairperson of Buddhist Channel Ven. Boralande Vajiraghana thero, Ampara Mahavaapi Viharaya Chief Incumbent and Ampara District Sangha Sabha Registrar Ven. Kirindiwela Somarathana were also among the Ven. Maha Sanga present at the historical event.
Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Ministry Secretary Prof. Kapila Gunawardena, Agriculture Ministry Secretary and former Ampara Government Agent (GA) D.M.L. Bandaranayaka, Ampara GA, Director General of Civil Security Department, regional senior military officers, state officials and a large gathering of devotees were present at the event.