The Sri Lanka Army’s ‘Army Day’ commemorating the Army’s 66th anniversary will be held on October 10. Elaborate arrangements have been made by the Army to commemorate the occasion. The formal inaugural ceremony for the commemoration was held last Monday (September 28) with the flag-blessing ceremony at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy.
In Kandy, offer of Buddha Pooja, alms and Ata Pirikara to 66 members of the Maha Sangha, Pirith chanting and invocation of blessings symbolically on all the Army flags made up the inaugural ceremony in connection with the Army anniversary.
Monday (28) morning’s second segment in the commencement of anniversary programs saw 66 Buddhist monks, led by Most Ven. Dr Niyangoda Vijitha Thera, Anunayake Thera of the Malwatte Chapter and Most Ven. Warakawe Gnanarathana Thera of the Asgiri Chapter partake of the alms (Daana), offered by representatives of the Army at the Sri Dalada Maligawa premises.
Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the Army as the Chief Guest attended the ceremonies with a representative gathering of senior officers, officers and other rankers. The Army Commander is due to attend all commemoration ceremonies of the Army this week.
On Wednesday (October 30), Hindu religious observances, organized by the Army Hindu Association took place at Sri Ponnambalam Vaneshwar Kovil at Colombo 13 and the traditional flag blessing ceremony at Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi was held on Friday (October 2) with the participation of the Commander and a large gathering of Army officers and other ranks.
Islamic prayers to bless the Army are scheduled to be held on October 6 at Jumma Mosque in Colombo 03, following arrangements made by the Muslim community and the Muslim Association in the Army.
The Katharagama Kiri Vehera and Devala precincts will be adorned with Army flags and illuminations on October 7 for conduct of religious ceremonies on account of the Army anniversary and it will be arranged on a grand scale. Both places will be offered Gilanpasa and Muruthen Poojas during the ceremonies before 1500 coconut lamps are lit at the Kirivehera premises. A special Perahera with Kavadi dancers of the Army will adorn the sequence of religious programs at Katharagama.
On October 9, members of the Christian faith in the Army will gather at the All Saints Church at Borella for a special service to bless the Army as organized by the Christian Association of the Army.
The climax of the commemorative ceremonies to coincide with the Army’s 66th Anniversary reaches on 10 October (Army Day), in which the incumbent Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva is accorded military salutes in a Guard Turnout plus a Guard of Honor at Panagoda Army Cantonment. On the same day, the Commander of the Army will show his gratitude to the inmates at Ragama Ranaviru Sevana by visiting them as a token of the Army’s concern and goodwill towards them.
On the Army Day ( October 10) night, a special overnight Pirith chanting ceremony will take place at Sri Bodhirajaramaya (Army temple) Panagoda where the Commander of the Army as the Chief Guest is expected to carry the relic casket and invite the monks for chanting.
As the final segment of the anniversary programs, offer of Heel Daana (breakfast) and lunch (Sangika Daana) to 66 monks at the same Panagoda temple venue, the following day (October 11), will bring the anniversary events to an end.