You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Lanka restricts 5-day national Vesak festivities to 2 days after Easter bombings

Topics
War Conflict

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

The Sri Lankan government has restricted the five-day national Vesak festival celebrations to just two days citing the prevailing security situation in the country following the massive Easter Sunday bombings.

Vesak, the Day of the Full Moon in the month of May, is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world and this year it was expected to be observed from May 17 to 21.

Sri Lanka's top leadership has said that authorities have arrested or killed all the militants responsible for the deadly Easter blasts, but warned that the country still faces the threat of ISIS terror attacks.

Buddhist Affairs Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said that the five-day festival will now be limited to two days on May 17 and 18.

Sri Lanka Chief Prelates (Mahanayakes -- a high-ranking member of the clergy) of four Buddhist chapters have requested the public not to hold celebrations on a large scale.

In a joint statement, they said that the fundamental aim of celebrating the Vesak Full Moon Poya Day should be to wish for mental happiness for Sri Lankans affected by the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks.

Priority should be given for spiritual values leaving out external functions, they said.

The Mahanayakes have requested to give priority for the advice given by security authorities and for public safety in organising all Buddhist functions.

Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and as many luxury hotels on April 21, killing more than 250 people.

The ISIS terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) for the bombings. The victims included over 40 foreigners, 10 of whom were Indians.

Vesak, also known as 'Buddha Jayanti', is a holiday traditionally observed by Buddhists and some Hindus globally.

It was on the Day of Vesak two and a half millennia ago when the Buddha was born. It was also on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha in his eightieth year passed away, according to the UN.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, May 08 2019. 15:40 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU