Press Release. Photographs by Tissa Madawela
Sri Saddatissa Commemoration Day 2019
Aggaamahapandita Venerable Galayaye Piyadassi, MBE, Head of the Sri Saddhatissa International Buddhist Centre and Chief Sangha Nayaka and Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka of UK organised ceremonies at the SSIBC on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th February 2019 to commemorate the 29th Anniversary of the passing away of Most Ven. Dr. Hammalawa Sri Saddhatissa Nayaka Thero.
The programme commenced with the Buddha Puja at 7.00 PM on Saturday 16th and All nigh Pirith Chanting Ceremony at 8.00p.m, Sanghika Heel Dana on the morning of Sunday 17th February. A unique "Gokkola Pirith Mandapaya" for the Paritta Chanting was built using Young Coconut Leaves by Jayaratna Bandara, A.P.Attanayaka, their family members and friends including Rasika Attanayaka, Trila Bandara, Manju and Indu Wickramarachchi,Vajira Liyanage,Indika Singappuly,Kanishka Chaturanga,Upul Abesinghe,Sunil Jayakody, Mahasen, Suran Silva,Jeewantha,Chathura,Rupasinghe,Heshan,Duminda,Nishantha, Bandara, Ananda,Sumanasiri, Vineetha Thalpawila,Sriyani( Punchi) Malkanthi,Ramya Jayawardene and Melony.
Ven. Galayaye Piyadassi Nayaka Thero welcomed the gathering and briefly stated the importance of Ven. Hammalawa Saddhatissa in the establishment of Buddhism in this country and especially the London Buddhist Vihara, and introduced the visiting and participating Maha Sangha. Ven. Dr. Handupelpola Mahinda Nayaka Thero of Sri Saddatissa International Buddhist Vihara, Ven.Dr. Murungasyaye Gnanissara Nayaka Thero ,Head of Jethavana Maha Viharaya in Paris and Chief Sangha Nayaka of France, Ven. Dr. Akuratiye Nanda Nayaka Thero, former Chief Editor of Sinhala Dictionary, Ven. Professor Deegalle Mahinda Thero of Bath Spa University, Ven. Makure Mangala Nayaka Thero, Head of East London Buddhist Cultural Centre, Ven. Akurala Samitha Thero, Head of Letchworth Dhamma Nikethanaya, Ven. Uluwitike Bodhiseeha Thero, Head of Katctchuwaththa Purana Vihara in Galle, Sri Lanka, Ven. Mathugama Palitha Nayaka Thero, Head of Cambridge Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Waththahene Sumana Thero from Galle, Sri Lanka, Ven. Welivitiye Chandima Nayaka Thero of Dutugamunu Raja Maha Viharaya, Baddegama, Sri Lanka, Ven. Yatawaththe Dhammananda Nayaka Thero, Head of Bahirawakanda Sri Maha Vihara in Kandy, Sri Lanka,Ven. Hewesse Seewali Nayaka Thero, Head of Sambuddhaloka Viharaya in Mahauduwa, Sri Lanka, Ven. Tawalama Bandula Thero and Ven. Kalugamuwe Kassapa Thero of the London Buddhist Vihara,Ven. Mapalagama Soratha Thero, Ven. Unapaana Soratha Thero and Ven. Godamunne Gnaanissara Thero of Jethavana Buddhist Vihara, Birmingham, Ven. Rakwaane Sumanaananda Thero of Alen Mathiniyaaraamaya, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Ven. Wanduramba Kassapa Nayaka Thero, Head of Heathrow Athula Dassana Buddhist Centre, London, Ven. Viharagala Kusala Thero of Leicester Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Dediyawela Wimala Thero of Letchworth Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Gunnepaane Sumanaaraama Thero, Head of Edmonton Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Nepale Sumana Thero, Ven. Halindola Hemaloka Thero and Ven. Galayaye Dhammadassi Thero participated.
Mr Jayarathna Bandara on behalf of the devotees extended the invitation to the Maha Sangha for the Pirith Chanting. Ven. Tawalama Bandula Thero of the London Buddhist Vihara administered five precepts. Venerable Dr Murungasyaye Gnanissara Nayaka Thero delivered the Anusasana in Sinhala and Ven. Deegalle Mahinda Thero delivered a Sermon in English.
Among the distinguished guests were High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in the UK H.E. Manisha Gunasekera, Deputy High Commissioner Mr. Sugeeshwara Gunaratne and Mrs. Gunaratne.
At the invitation of a regular devotee Mr. Vajira Liyanage, a Dansela with a tasty vegetarian meal for all the lay devotees attended was organised by a Catholic Family Mr. Lassantha Jayakody and his wife Manjula Jayewardene, to celebrate Mr. Jayakody's birthday. Their family members and friends including Sujeewa Rajapaksa, Jayani Matharaaarachchi, Baheendran Ganesh, Ashika Baheendran and Chandrakaanthi Perera, helped in organising the Dansela. The Sanghika Heel Dana took place at 7.00 AM on Sunday 17th February followed by the Pan Vadima in which Venerable Hammalawa Saddhatissa Nayaka Thero’s relatives, Mr and Mrs Nimal Bannahaka also participated. A large gathering of devotees participated in the event.Ven. Aggamahapandith Galayaye Piyadassi Nayaka Thera paid Punyaanumodanaa for all the monks, every one who worked tirelessly to make this year's commemoration Day a great success and all the devotees who participated.