Special prayers and ceremonies were held by people of different faiths across Sri Lanka on 8 May for the wellbeing of people of India in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The extent of diversity in these solidarity ceremonies was a true manifestation of camaraderie and connect between the peoples of India and Sri Lanka.
A multi-religious, country-wide ‘Vishwa Ashirwada Horawa’ was organised by the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Cultural and Religious Affairs, headed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, from 5.30 to 6.30 p.m. High Commissioner Gopal Baglay attended the special ceremony held at Sri Gangaramaya Temple. The sacred Rathna Sutra and Jwara Pirith were also recited on the occasion. Ambassadors of Japan, Vietnam and several other diplomats also attended the pious event.
Mahamritunjaya maha yagya was held simultaneously at the five Easwarams in Sri Lanka. Out of these, it may be recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Naguleewsawaram Temple during his visit to Sri Lanka in March 2015 and as a mark of his symbolic participation at the event, his photographs from the visit were displayed at the site of the ceremony.
Like authorities of Naguleewsawaram Temple, office bearers of Kondavil Ayyappa and Maaviddapuram Kandaswamy Temples also handed over letters of solidarity addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi to Consul General of India in Jaffna S. Balachandran.
Catholic churches in Jaffna dedicated a one-hour prayer service to the people of Sri Lanka, India and beyond. Parallel prayers were held at private houses as well during the same time.
It may be recalled that the multitude of such prayers and ceremonies held over the previous weeks across the island nation was listed out in the Press Release of the High Commission on 5 May. High Commission reiterates its sincere gratitude and sense of appreciation to all sections of the Sri Lankan society for firmly standing by their brethren in India and the sentiments, empathy and concerns for them during these unprecedented times.