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Measures in place for Poson festival in Anuradhapura

All infrastructural facilities such as drinking water, electricity, sanitation, transport and security have been arranged for devotees arriving in Anuradhapura during the national Poson religious festival season, said the head of the Poson celebrations Steering Committee and Anuradhapura Government Agent R.M. Wanninayake.

He said although floods and drought was experienced in many parts in the country, around one million devotees are expected in Anuradhapura during the Poson festive season. “Almost all small tanks in the Anuradhapura district have run dry. Even in the major tanks, the water levels are rapidly decreasing but we have made arrangements to provide sufficient drinking water to the devotees. The national Poson festival commenced yesterday and will culminate on June 11. During this period, all liquor shops and meat stalls will be closed. The police and Excise Department will implement a continuous raiding programme to detect liquor and narcotic dens in the sacred cities,” Wanninayake said.

The traditional week long Poson Pirith chanting ceremony commenced at a special Pirith Mandapaya in Mahamewunawa yesterday after the water from Tisawewa was taken in procession from the Isurumuniya Raja MahaViharaya to the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya before commencing the traditional pirith chanting by the Maha Sangha headed by Atamasthanadhipathi Ven. Pallegama Siriniwasanayaka Thera.

The Lake House Mihinthala Aloka Pooja will be held for the 55th consecutive time at Mihinthale for five days. The President and Prime Minister are expected to participate in the switching on of the illumination program on June 8, Poson Full moon day. The Lakdanaw Institute will contribute towards the illumination of Ruwanweli Chaithya, Jethawanarama, Abayagiriya, Lankarama and Mirisawetiya Chaithyas. It is reported that additional transport services are being operated from other stations to Anuradhapura and Mihinthale by CGR, CTB and the private bus associations during the Poson week for the benefit of devotees travelling to Anuradhapura and Mihinthale from all parts of the island.

Although the water levels of the water sources in Anuradhapura and Mihinthale are low, steps have been taken to maintain lifesaving activities and disaster prevention service close to the reservoirs such as Mahakanadarawa, Nuwarawewa, Tisawewa, Basawakkulama etc, for the protection of devotees.

The theme of the 2017 national Poson festival is “Let’s protect the Mihindu Culture – let’s line up to follow such policies”. Accordingly, devotees who wish to come to Anuradhapura on Poson pilgrimages are requested to clad in white sans liquor, gambling etc,during their stay in Anuradhapura and Mihinthale sacred cities for worship.

“I would like to request the government and private sector business enterprises to refrain from unwarranted advertising and launching dancing and musical items concerning and confined to business purposes during the Poson religious festive season in Anuradhapura, Mihintale and other sacred areas which would spoil the spiritual atmosphere that should prevail during Poson. Poson is a religious festival, commemorating the Mahindagamanaya and should not be a carnival session,” emphasized Ruwanweli Chetiyaramadhipathi Ven. Pallegama Hemarathana Nayaka Thera.

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