President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning received the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics at the tarmac of the Katunayaka International Airport when the relics were brought here by the Indian Minister of Culture, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja.
The relics were brought in this morning at 10:15 hours in a special Indian Air Force aircraft. The exposition of the Kapilavastu Relics will take place in Sri Lanka from 19 August 2012 to 4 September 2012.
A large number of Buddhist monks in a religious ceremony chanted the Pirith at the ceremony. The Sacred Relics were then taken in a procession to the first venue of exposition at the Manelwatta Maha Viharaya, Kelaniya. Earlier in the morning, a special religious ceremony was organized at the Delhi airport before the Sacred Relics left for Sri Lanka. It was attended by the Buddhist Monks, senior officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India.
Minister Kumari Selja, accompanied by the High Commissioner of India and senior officials of the delegation called on the President following the arrival of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics where the President thanked the Minister of Culture for bringing the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics to Sri Lanka, a news release from the Indian High Commission said.
It is for the second time since their discovery, that the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics have travelled to Sri Lanka from India’s National Museum situated in New Delhi.
The first Exposition of the Sacred Relics in Sri Lanka was in 1978. The exposition of the Sacred Relics in Sri Lanka has been organized at the request made by the President to the Prime Minister of India as this would provide an opportunity to the followers of Buddhism in Sri Lanka to pay homage to the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics.
The schedule of the exposition of the Sacred Kapilavastu Relics in Sri Lanka is as follows:
19, 20 &21 August 2012 Western Kapilawasthu Hall, Manel Watta Maha
22 & 23 August 2012 Sabaragamuwa Rajamaha Viharaya, Pelmadulla
24, 25 & 26 August 2012 North Central Jayanthi Viharaya, Anuradhapura
27 & 28 August 2012 Eastern Agrabodhi Viharaya, Kantale
29 & 30 August 2012 Central Naranvita Temple, Gampola
31 August & 1 September 2012 North Western Sri Sumangala Pirivena, Wariyapola
2, 3 & 4 September 2012 Southern Matara Bodhiya, Matara