The Diyawadana Nilame of Sri Dalada Maligawa Pradeep Nilanga Dela, handed over the Esala Perahera Scroll to President Ranil Wickremesinghe this afternoon (31). The Scroll highlights the meticulous execution of the annual Esala Perahera at Kandy’s Sri Dalanda Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic), a magnificent cultural festival celebrated with great reverence for ancient traditions.
Accompanied by the Nilames of Sathara Maha Dawala and Pitisara Dewala, including the Diyawadana Nilame of Sri Dalada Maligawa Pradeep Nilanga Dela, the procession made its way to the Kandy President’s House. The President warmly welcomed them at the main gate of the premises.
In accordance with custom, the Diyawadana Nilame formally presented the Scroll of Memorandum to the President. As a symbolic gesture, the President offered a fruit treat to the baby elephant “Sindu”, reminiscent of the elephants that graced the procession. Continuing the tradition, a group photo was taken with the Nilames and the President.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe took the opportunity to honour the artists who participated in the Perahera by presenting them with traditional gifts and awards. Additionally, he extended financial support to ‘Pitisara Devala’ through the “Esala Perahera Trust” and shared the book “Sacred Dalada Culture,” a compilation by the Central Provincial Ministry of Culture.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, expressing his deep gratitude to all those who supported the Perahera, including the Diyawadana Nilame and led by the Nilames of the Sathara Devala, emphasized the significance of safeguarding the historical Kandy Esala Perahera. He highlighted that this event was not only a religious and national celebration, but also a grand cultural festival that showcased Sri Lankan heritage to the global stage. President Wickremesinghe stressed the importance of carrying this legacy forward.
Acknowledging the importance of elephant protection, the President also underscored the need to preserve and uphold our ancient customs. He called for the resolution of challenges such as acquiring tame elephants for the Perahera through constructive negotiations. Additionally, President Wickremesinghe noted that Kandy’s esteemed Esala Maha Perahera would hold a special place in a program designed to enhance progress in Sri Lanka’s tourism sector by the upcoming year.
The event saw the participation of several notable figures, including Central Province Governor Lalith U Gamage, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, State Minister Lohan Ratwatte, State Minister Dilum Amunugama, Member of Parliament Gunathilaka Rajapakse, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, Secretary of the Ministry of Buddhasasana Religious and Cultural Affairs Somaratne Vidanapathirana, as well as various government officials and the chiefs of the three armed forces. Additionally, the Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela, along with Basnayake Nilames representing the Sathara Maha Devala, Pitisara Devala and other Nilames were also present at the event.
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