May 15, Anuradhapura: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared a Vesak Year yesterday at the state ceremony of the 2600th Sambuddathwa Jayanthi, officially inaugurated at the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura.
The Vesak year declared will be from May 17, 2011 this Year’s Vesak Poya Day to next year’s Vesak Poya Day.
The President also declared open the 2600th Sambuddathwa Jayanthi commemoration monument constructed in the middle of the Anuradhapura town and the road where the monument situated was named as Sri Sambuddathwa Jayanthi Mawatha.
Four stamps to commemorate the Sambuddathwa Jayanthi were also issued at this ceremony. The President offered the first day covers to the Maha Sangha. These stamps depict locations where the significant events of Buddha’s life took place.
The government has declared May 14- 21 as the Vesak Week to coincide with the 2600th Sambuddathwa Jayanthi celebrations. The government said Buddhist flags will be displayed during the entire week with illuminations in all government building.
During the Vesak all liquor shops will be closed and the sale of liquor and meat has been proscribed.
Atamasthanadhipthi Ven. Pallegama Sirinivasa Thera and North Central Province Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake were also present.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)