Connect with us


Defence Secretary launches Deegawapiya Stupa Restoration Project



Sacred Relics exposition under consideration

The Deegawapiya Stupa will be restored to its former glory, pledged Defence Secretary, Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne.

Previous attempts towards this end were unsuccessful, he said, and added that the restoration process will be completed within three years.

The Defence Secretary was addressing the media at the launch of the Deegawapiya donation account ceremony at the Defence Ministry last week.

“We have opened an account dedicated to the Deegawapiya restoration project following parliamentary endorsement, and it will be launched officially on January 22, at Sri Sambodhi Viharaya, Colombo in a ceremony presided by the Maha Sanga under the guidance of the President and the Prime Minister”, he noted.

Gunaratne said the biggest challenge faced is the manufacture of standard bricks, the core material for the Stupa, its transport and the laying of 28,000 bricks on a daily basis.

He said 23 million standard bricks, 3,977 cubes of river sand, 30,167 bags of cement and other raw materials will be needed for restoration work.

“We look forward to financial assistance to procure the raw materials”, he noted.

Gunaratne said government funds will not be used for the restoration work. “This magnanimous effort requires approximately one billion rupees. Funds will be generated through devotees, local and foreign donors and all well-wishers.

He asked the print and electronic media to support the noble cause by disseminating the message to the public.

He said plans are afoot to structure the Sacred Stone-Paved Precincts (Salapathala Maluwa), a full-fledged Pilgrimage’s Rest House (Vishrama Shalawa) and to have a charming environment by planting saplings of Sal (shorea robusta) and ironwood.

The Defence Secretary said the sacred relics in a stone casket recently unearthed during excavation would be placed in the Stupa after the project is completed.

An exposition of the sacred relics will be held in Colombo and a few other towns for veneration after the coronavirus threat is mitigated in due course, he noted.

“Let’s restore and protect the sacred Stupa for devotees to pay homage and preserve it for future generations to see the pride of motherland”, he added.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Cardinal: Was there any link between passage of 20A and Easter Sunday probe outcome?



… stands by his claim of foreign involvement

By Norman Palihawadana

Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith yesterday said that there could be a connection between the outcome of the probe into the Easter Sunday attacks and the enlisting of Muslim MPs’ support for the passage of the 20th Amendment.

The Cardinal said: “The leader of a Muslim political party voted against the 2Oth Amendment. But his MPs voted for it. The brother of Rishad Bathiudeen too was released around the same time. These are questionable developments. These events could be part of a deal.”

The Cardinal reiterated that international forces were behind the Easter Sunday attacks and that he did not believe that there had been any local political group directly involved in the Easter attacks.

Addressing the media yesterday, the Cardinal said that the remarks he made on Sunday had been misunderstood. He stood by his claim that international forces had been behind the attacks, he said.

“However, some people claim that I said a local political group was behind the attack. I have always maintained that there are international forces that use religious and ethnic extremists such as Wahabists to create conflicts. I was referring to such groups.”

The Cardinal added that only a small group of Muslims was involved in extremism.

The Archbishop also said that former President Maithripala Sirisena believed that taking action against extremists like NTJ leader Zahran Hashim would create unnecessary issues.

“Something along these lines is also in the PCoI on Easter Sunday attacks. The report also implies that the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was lenient in dealing with growing extremism in Sri Lanka.”

The Cardinal urged the government to protect the country and ensure that there would be no repeats of incidents like the Easter Sunday attacks.

The Archbishop of Colombo requested all religious leaders to work on rebuilding trust among all communities.



Continue Reading


AG appeals to Supreme Court against granting of bail to Ravi, others



The Attorney General yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court against bail for former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and seven others indicted in the bond case by the Colombo Special High Court Trial-at-Bar.

The eight accused were arrested and remanded over the bond scams. Later, they were released on bail.

The court warned that if the accused attempted to exert influence on the witnesses, by any means, bail would be revoked and they would be placed on remand until the end of the trial.



Continue Reading


26 more coronavirus cases detected in Jaffna Tirunelveli market area



Another 26 COVID-19 cases had been detected on Sunday, from the Tirunelveli Market in Jaffna, which was the epicentre of the recent outbreak in the town, Dr. A. Kethiswaran, Regional Director Health Services told the media yesterday.

The market and its surroundings had been reopened on April 11 following a 19-day lockdown. However, 378 PCR tests were conducted after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and 26 of them proved positive.

Dr. Kethiswaran warned last week that there might be a spike in COVID-19 cases in Jaffna after the New Year celebrations.

A large number of COVID-19 cases had been reported in Jaffna in the past few weeks. Thus, the people should adhere to health guidelines. If people did not follow the guidelines, there would be a spike in cases and then some places would have to be lockdown, he warned.

“It’s too early to say whether we have to close the area down. We are monitoring the situation,” DR. Kethiswaran said.

Continue Reading