The Northern Naval Area Command celebrated Vesak, the thrice blessed Day commemorating Lord Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Passing-away, on the 19th May 2008 with a number of Buddhist religious activities. Tamil civilians living on Northern Islands joined hands with the naval personnel to participate in the celebrations with equal devotion and enthusiasm.
The Vesak celebrations, which brought some solace to the war-weary Northern inhabitants yearning for peaceful coexistence, commenced with the religious activities conducted at the historic Nagadeepa Purana Raja Maha Vihara (Ancient Royal Buddhist Temple at Nagadeepa). In appreciation of the great service rendered to the people, a statute of the Late Most Venerable Randombe Somasiri Tissa Thero, Founder of the Nagadeepa Reawakening Movement, was unveiled by Rear Admiral TSG Samarasinghe, Commander of the Northern Naval Area.
Dhamma Deshanas (Buddhist sermons), Bodhi Poojas (venerations of the Sacred Bo Tree), Sil campaigns (Buddhist religious observances), singing of Buddhist devotional songs, display of Vesak lanterns, Buddhist religious dramas, donations of food and drinks and Shramadana (self-help) campaigns were among the highlights of the celebrations which drew large crowds of diverse faiths belonging to all walks of life. The Vesak Pandol erected on the Mandathivu Island captivated the audiences who thronged to see its beautiful portrayal of a Buddhist religious story and its colourful illuminations. The whole atmosphere was one of peace and serenity and the public felt much relieved of their daily encumbrances though they were transitory as all things on earth are.
SLNS Elara based at Karainagar, SLNS Uttara based at Kankasanthurai, SLNS Vasaba based at Delft, SLNS Gotaimbara based at Punguduthivu, SLNS Kanchadeva based at Kayts and Velani, SLNS Agbo based at Madangal, SLNS Velusumana based at Mandathivu spearheaded the Vesak celebrations with contributions from the compliments of all ships and craft coming under the purview of the Northern Naval Area.