Grand Deepavali celebrations

Oct 13 (InfoLanka) In the prevailing atmosphere of peace and tranquillity in the country, elaborate arrangements are underway to celebrate the Hindu Deepavali Festival as a national festival on the direction of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

A mega function of the celebration is to be held at Galle Face Green on October 24 commencing from 4 p.m with a salient programme of violin concert by violin maestro Kunnakudi Vaithiyanathan with his orchestra of 10 artistes.

Minister Maheswaran at a press briefing held at his ministry yesterday said Prime Minister's official residence 'Temple Trees' and government buildings would be decorated with illumination of Hindu traditional oil lamps.

Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe would be the chief guest while prelates of Nallai Adhinam and Tamilnadu Peroor Adhinam, Colombo Ramakrishna Mission, Swami Athmaganananthaaji Maharaj as well as Ministers Karu Jayasuriya, Lokubandara, John Amaratunga, Rauff Hakeem, Arumugam Thondaman and P. Chandrasekeran, Central Province Minister V. Radhakrishnan would grace the occasion.

The postal department would issue a special commemorative stamp and the Ministry's newsletter 'Sivan Oli' too would be launched on this day. Stage arrangements at the Galle Face Green would be made by Ports Authority while the road between Wellawatte and Galle Face would be decorated by the Colombo Municipal Council.

At the Galle Face function, new clothes would be distributed among 25 Hindu priests in accordance with the Hindu tradition as a token by the Ministry while arrangements have been made to distribute the same to 2000 families of Hindu priests. Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation is scheduled to telecast the Galle Face events live.

The Hindu Affairs Ministry is to disburse a sum of money to 14 institutions, orphanages and homes for elders and invalid persons as a sort of gift of Rs. 500 each for 2,000 persons particularly those who have been rendered