May 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka is celebrating the most important Buddhist event that commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha today.
This year the State Vesak festival will be held at the historic Watadageya premises in Medirigiriya in the Polonnaruwa Sacred Area under the patronage of the Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne who is also the Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Minister..
Authorities have prepared the Gal Vihare Sacred Area with all the facilities to accommodate over 5,000 devotees arriving in early hours of today to observe Sil while special religious observances will be held in all Buddhist temples in the island.
The police had deployed 30,000 police officers to beef up security in the country during the Vesak holidays.
The sale of liquor and meat is prohibited in Supermarkets on the Vesak days and the officials are instructed to ensure that slaughter houses, bookies, casinos, nightclubs and fish and meat stalls as well closed on these two days. The Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs has instructed all Provincial Secretaries and District Secretaries to take necessary action against violators.
The stock and exchange markets are closed Wednesday and Thursday and trading will resume Friday.