– by Janaka Alahapperuma – pix by: Sudath Silva –
President Mahinda Rajapaksa called on Chief Incumbent of the Mallikarama Viharaya in Ratmalana, Rajakeeya Pandith, Vinaya Visharadha Dhammakeerthi, Most Venerable Weligama Sri Gnanarathana Nayaka thero whose 101st birthday fell on 14 October. The President visited the Mallikarama Viharaya to look into the well being of the Maha Nayaka thero and wished him good health and long life. The President extended his greetings and birthday felicitations to the Nayaka thero. The President also had a brief discussion with the Thera.
President Rajapaksa also participated in a series of pinkamas organized at the temple in connection with the prelate’s birthday and exchanged pleasantries with devotees present there. The President also unveiled a plaque of a silver plated statue of the Ven. Gnanarathana Thero erected at the Viharaya premises. This felicitation ceremony was organised by the Vihara Dayaka Sabhawa. Members of Mahasangha and a large number of people living in the area were also present. Nayaka thero is seen here blessing the President.
In the meantime President Rajapaksa also visited former Ayurvedha Commissioner Dr Upali Pilapitiya and inquired into his well being. The President visited the Veda Medura, residence of Dr. Pilapitiya in Piliyandala. After a cordial discussion with him, the President inspected the Veda Medura herbal garden at the location.