( December 9, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The 66th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Navy which claims for an unblemished and illustrious history falls today, on 09th December 2016. While performing its noble service and being the golden fence around the nation, the Sri Lanka Navy celebrates its 66th Navy Day giving prominence to religious activities, social welfare activities and time-honoured naval customs and traditions. All these Navy Day programmes were initiated under the expert guidance and directives of Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne.
The series of religious activities organized to coincide with the 66th Navy Day included the Navy Flag Blessing Ceremony held at sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura, Joint Christian Commemoration and Thanksgiving Service held at St. Lucia’s Cathedral in Colombo, Islamic Religious Ceremony held at the Jummah Masjid Mosque in Chatham Street, Colombo and a special Hindu Religious Ceremony conducted at Sri Ponnambalavaneshwarar Hindu Temple in Kotahena.
In parallel with these religious activities, lamps were also lit at the Naval War Heroes’ Memorial at SLNS Gemunu, rejoicing in merit on fallen naval war heroes. The occasion was also attended by members of naval families and relatives of the naval personnel who paid the supreme sacrifice in honour of the motherland. Moreover, an All-night Pirith Chanting Ceremony followed by a Mid-day Alms Giving was held with 66 Bhikkus in attendance, invoking blessings on all naval personnel and their family members.
Meanwhile, yet another series of religious ceremonies took place with a “Gilanpasa Pooja” held on the 8th evening at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. Further, Commander of the Navy also called on the Most Venerable Mahanayake Theras of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters to receive their blessings for the anniversary celebrations. On completion of a special Buddha Pooja dedicated for the sacred Tooth Relic, an Alms Giving to 25 monks was held on the following day to bestow merit on the naval personnel and their families. Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, the President of Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs. Yamuna Wijegunaratne, the Chief of Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral, Sirimevan Ranasinghe, Area Commanders, Director Generals, senior officers, sailors and their family members were present on these religious events. Besides, a Gilanpasa Pooja, a Bodhi Pooja and a Dharma Deshana programmes were also held at Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya to coincide with the Navy Day celebrations.
Apart from these activates, a wide range of religious and community service programmes have been organized in all naval commands across the country as well. The Sri Lanka Navy, being the first line of defence of the nation, continues to protect the motherland and its countrymen for all eternity with pride, dignity and professionalism.
– Source: SL Navy Media