The Sri Lanka Navy which is aptly known as the ‘Golden Fence around the Nation’ is celebrating her 69th anniversary today (09th December). Following the directives and able guidance of Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, a wide range of religious, Corporate Social Responsibility programmes as well as customary naval ceremonials have been organized to mark this momentous occasion.
The series of religious activities organized by the Navy to coincide with the 69th Navy Day celebrations commenced with the Navy Flag Blessing Ceremony and Kapruk Pooja held at the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura on 27th and 28th November. Meanwhile, the Joint Christian Commemoration and Thanksgiving Service was held at St. Lucia’s Cathedral in Colombo and the Islamic Religious Ceremony was held at the Jummah Masjid Mosque in Chatham Street, Colombo. A special Hindu Religious Ceremony was conducted at the Shri Ponnambalawaneswaram Hindu Temple in Kotahena.
In parallel with these religious activities, an all-night Pirith Chanting Ceremony was held in Welisara on 29th November. The event was followed by an Alms Giving and Pirikara Offering for Maha Sangha. During these ceremonies, blessings were invoked on fallen naval war heroes, those who were disabled as well as Commander of the Navy, all naval personnel and their family members.
Meanwhile, another procession of religious ceremonies took place along with a ‘Gilanpasa Pooja’ held at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy on the 08 and 09 December. Subsequently, the 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 to the sacred Tooth Relic, an Alms Giving to Buddhist monks was also held.
The President of Navy Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs. Arundathi Udithamala Jayaneththi, Chief of Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, Area Commanders, Director Generals, senior officers, sailors and their family members were present on these religious events.
Further, Commanding Officer SLNS Parakrama, Captain Mahesh De Silva inspected divisions held at the base and addressed the crew, giving prominence to rich naval traditions associated with Navy Day celebrations. The traditional meal partaking of ‘Barakana’ was also held with the attendance of Director General Operations, Rear Admiral Nandana Jayarathna, officers and sailors attached to the Naval Headquarters and SLNS Parakrama.
Apart from these activaties, a wide range of religious and community service programmes have been organized in all naval commands across the country, as part of the anniversary celebrations.