Former glory of Deegawapiya Stupa to be restored | Sunday Observer

Former glory of Deegawapiya Stupa to be restored

18 July, 2021

Defence Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne responding to the media regarding the damage to Mannar religious shrines by pelting stones recently said that directives were given to the law enforcing agencies to conduct an inquiry with immediate effect to nab all those involved.

He also pledged that every action would be taken to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents in future by executing legal proceedings against the wrongdoers. The Defence Secretary and Chairperson of ‘Archaeological Heritage Management Presidential Task Force’ (PTF) for Eastern Province, Gen. Kamal Gunaratne (Rtd) made these said during an inspection visit made to the Deegawapiya construction site on July 15.

Sri Sambodhi Maha Vihara Chief Prelate and the Buddhist Media Network Director Ven. Boralande Vajiragnana Thera, Deegawapiya Temple Chief Prelate Ven. Mahaoya Sobitha Thera, Assistant Coordinating Director for Piriven Education in Eastern Province, Ven. Kirindiwela Sri Somarathana Thera and Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa were also present during the visit.

“It is glad to catch a glimpse that a substantial work portion has been completed thus far” Gen. Gunaratne said while adding “We are accomplishing the task within the next two and a half years”.

Citing the fast-tracked standard brick production process planned for the project, he said since the inauguration, we have reached to a height of 10 feet of the Stupa as of today. The Defence Secretary said that much valued inward flow of funds for the project from various devotees also requested contributions for the noble endeavour from devotees through the account maintained at the Bank of Ceylon.

“We have strengthened the force involved in the process and also expect to reach 12 to 15 feet elevation in a short span”, he said the former glory of the Deegawapiya will be restored in the year 2023.

Illustrating on improvements in the pipeline, Gen. Gunaratne said “A fully-fledged Pilgrims Rest (Vishrama Shala) would be constructed while setting a charming environment surrounded by trees”.

The Relics chamber construction, natural resources for standard brick production and planting of tree saplings were the other areas concerned during the meeting convened separately with the project stakeholders.

The Buddhist Media Network donated three tractor machines and hand gloves to the Deegawapiya Stupa restoration project in a bid to brace the enormous effort undertaken by the military and the Civil Defence Force.

Twenty tablet computers were also presented to the Piriven and School students in the area to facilitate their education on the sidelines of the event.

Minister Weerawansa responding to the media during the session said an avenue would also be sought to assist the standard brick production through the Ceylon Ceramics Corperation resources.

Ven. Maha Sanga, Public Security Ministry Secretary Maj. Gen. Jagath Alwis (Rtd), Director General of the Civil Security Department Maj. Gen. Ranjan Lamahewage (Rtd), Director General of Archaeology Prof. AnuraManatunga, Ceylon Ceramics Corporation Chairman Jude Fernando, Military Liaison Officer of the Ministry of Defence Brig. Dinesh Nanayakkara, Senior Military and Police Officers, Architects, Archaeologists, Engineers and regional State Officials were also present.

Defence Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne made a recent visit to the Deegawapiya Stupa site. He was acompanied by Minister Wimal Weerawansa, Senior Security Force officials and a section of the Buddhist cleargy