Unveiling of ‘Sandahiru Stupa’, a great tribute to War Veterans of our time

November 18, 2021

  •       Recalls the act of bravery as long as the ‘Sun’ and the ‘Moon’ shall endure

Offering the highest tribute to War Veterans of our time, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa vested the ‘Sandahiru Stupa’ in Ven. Maha Sanga during a religious ceremony organized in Anuradhapura at the invitation of Defence Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne today (Nov 18).

The unveiling of revered Stupa ‘Pinnacle’ at the auspicious time was presided over by Ven. Maha Sanga at the request of the President and the Prime Minister amidst religious blessings.

Signifying the culmination of Stupa work and vesting it in for public veneration, the President and the Prime Minister also unveiled ‘Sandahiru Seya Plaque’ at the sacred venue.

Ven. Maha Sanga and distinguished invitees performed religious proceedings arriving at the new ‘Shrine Hall’ in Stupa premises amidst religious observances.

Afterwards, invitees following the President and the Prime Minister garlanded jewels on the ‘Sacred Relics Casket’ placed at the ‘Relic House’.

A two minute silence was observed in honour of the fallen War Heroes during the day’s programme and eternal oil lamp was lighted by the President.

Addressing the gathering the Prime Minister said "it is the duty of future leaders to safeguard the hard won peace and to ensure the safety of war veretans".

Construction of this mammoth revered monument commenced in 2010 with the blessings of the Ven. Maha Sangha according to a notion of the Fifth Executive President and current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to pay the nation’s gratitude to the war veterans who sacrificed their lives and to those who maimed to usher peace to the motherland while eliminating three-decade long conflict.

During the ceremony, a documentary pertaining to Sandahiru Stupa was also displayed and consequently, the President vested the great Stupa in the Ven. Maha Sangha upon the completion of Stupa construction was proclaimed.

Today’s event saw a presentation of a specially designed impressive ‘Coffee Table Book’ titled ‘Sandahiru Se Waruna’, a pictorial compilation of eye-catching episodes of this Stupa construction to the President.

A song composed by Gen. Gunaratne dedicating to the Stupa was also voiced to bestow merit on true sons of Sri Lankan soil. 

Current President Rajapaksa, during his tenure as Secretary, Ministry of Defence eleven years ago took over the responsibility of construction and was the driving force behind the enormous Stupa construction.

‘Sandahiru Seya’, the name precisely chosen for this Dagoba, signifies that this structure will remain shining in glory, as long as the ‘Sun’ and the ‘Moon’ shall endure, bestowing merit on war heroes of Sri Lankan soil. The engineering of a Stupa reflects a profound theistic act, prolific perspective of the country and also a measure to recall war heroes, as a tribute to their noble sacrifices.

Willing contribution of military personnel from their salary and noble donations of various other parties including Ven. Maha Sanga was immensely supported to bear the erection of this Dagoba. The height of the Stupa is 283 feet with a diameter of 231 feet while standing tall on a circumference of 801 feet.

President Rajapaksa presented a special gift to Col. Mohan Kumar of Sri Lanka Army who rendered an invaluable service since the inauguration of this Stupa construction and certificates were also awarded symbolically to selected Tri Forces and Civil Security Department personnel.

The involvement of the current Defence Secretary Gen. Gunaratne who was also among the bunch of officers to break the ground to put up this ‘Dagoba ’initially, was instrumental and was the icon behind bringing this to a reality with a quest to see the culmination of the colossal effort.

Coincidentally, the month of ‘Ill Poya day’ and the Prime Minister’s birthday were too noted on the same day. Defence Secretary Gen. Gunaratne mentioning all those who involved and contributed for Stupa construction delivered the Vote of Thanks culminating the day's proceedings.

Ven. Maha Sanga including Maha Nayaka and Anu Nayaka theros of three Chapters, Speaker of the Parliament, Cabinet and State Ministers, Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda, Governor of the Central Bank, Parliamentarians, Secretaries to Ministries, Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander, Navy and Air Force Chiefs, Inspector General of Police, Director General of Civil Security Department, Former Tri Forces Commanders, war widows, differently able war veterans and distinguished invitees were also present at the event held adhering to healthcare guidelines.