President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the Diyawadana Nilame and Basnayaka Nilames to organize this year’s Peraheras (procession) at main places of worship and Devalas giving priority to traditional and religious rituals.
The President further said that adequate measures should be taken to hold the scheduled processions of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and Devalas including Kataragama, Devinuwara and Sabaragamuwa adhering to the health guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
President Rajapaksa gave these instructions at a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (12) with the Presidential Task Force for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak to discuss a mechanism to organize this year’s annual Peraheras.
The public is not allowed to participate and view Perahera at any religious place this year. It is also not permitted to conduct the ‘Pada Yatra’, the traditional walk by devotees who travel from Nallur, Jaffna, Trincomalee and from several parts of Eastern Province to participate in Kataragama Perahera.
The Presidential Task Force for Prevention of COVID-19 emphasized the necessity of conducting all Perahera festivals with the least number of artistes while following health guidelines. It was also decided that artists who take part in Perahera representing different areas should obtain a report from the health authorities in their respective areas.
The Water Cutting Ceremony should also be attended by the minimum possible number of people. It was informed that the steps have been taken to telecast live the Kumbal and Randoli Perahera of the Sri Dalada Perahara on TV stations during all the 10 days.
Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Secretary to the President, P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Bandula Harischandra, members of the Presidential Task Force for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak, Diyawadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa and Basnayaka Nilames of the devales attended the meeting.