Vesak celebrations in Chennai

By U.Tilakaratne, Daily Mirror, May 20, 2008

Chennai, India -- The Vesak procession, a part of the Wesak celebrations in Chennai organized by the Sri Lanka Mahabodhi Society for the eighth year, was held on Saturday evening in a grand way.

The procession set off from the Nehru stadium in Chennai after paying floral tributes to the Ambedkar statue and paraded the streets of Chennai, with the participation of Buddhist organizations in Chennai and people of all communities. Large crowds lined the streets eagerly to watch the grand cultural pageant.

The city of Chennai vibrated to the sound of drums and the blowing of conches. Several dancing groups including that of Isipathana College awakened the spirit of joy in the spectators through their exquisite dancing. Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner, P.M.Hamza, Prof. Tissa Kariyawasam and several senior officials of the Deputy High Commission in Southern India, joined the procession.

A police contingent of about 50 officers provided security. The Chief Incumbent of the Mahabodhi Centre in Chennai, the Ven, Kalawane Mahanama Thera, organized the event with the help of the Ven.Thiniyawala Palitha Thera, the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner for South India P.M.Hamza, Veteran journalist Saman Athaudahetti and the Buddhist organizations in Chennai

Earlier in the day, the staff of the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Southern India offered midday alms to the Buddhist monks in Chennai. The Deputy High Commissioner had organised this event.