(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – The ‘Jalanimna-Haritha Arana’ Tree Planting Programme implemented under the guidance of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau in parallel to the ‘Wana Ropa’ National Tree Planting Programme was commenced under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena in the historic Somawathiya sacred area,today (02).
The river margins and banks bulge with lush vegetation,considered as different types of forests. Riverbank trees and shrubs play an important role in preventing soil erosion. The main objective of the ‘ Jalanimna-Haritha Arana’ programme is to restore this structural measures that help to prevent the erosion of riverbanks.
President Sirisena planting a Karanda tree in the premises of the Somawathiya sacred area launched this programme officially.
The Chairman of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, Asela Iddawela, Director General C.H.G.R.Siriwardena,Director General of the Mahaweli Authority Sarath Chandrasiri Vithana and others participated in this event.
Then, the President who visited the Somawathi Raja Maha Viharaya engaged in religious observances.
The Chief Incumbent of Somawathi Raja Maha Viharaya Ven. Pahamune Sri Sumangala Nayaka Thero conducted the religious rituals and invoked the blessings on the President.
Meanwhile, the President also opened the newly build three-storey Vishramashalawa (Pilgrims Rest) at the Somawathiya sacred area, to provide accommodation facilities to the Maha Sangha and devotees who come to worship the Somawathi Raja Maha Viharaya.
This new Vishramashalawa built at a cost of Rs.30 million and the financial assistance was given by Mr. Sudath Thennakoon, the Managing Director of the Central Bearings & Machinery and the Dayaka Sabawa.
Former Minister Siripala Gamlath and others were present in this event.