President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday (Aug. 31), acknowledging the importance of elephant protection, has underscored the need to preserve and uphold our ancient customs.
He called for the resolution of challenges such as acquiring tame elephants for the Perahera through constructive negotiations.
Wickremesinghe made these remarks at a ceremony during which Diyawadana Nilame of Sri Dalada Maligawa Pradeep Nilanga Dela handed over the Esala Perahera Scroll of Memorandum (‘Sannasa’), marking the successful conclusion of the prestigious festival.
The scroll highlights the meticulous execution of the annual Esala Perahera at Kandy’s Sri Dalanda Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic), a magnificent cultural festival celebrated with great reverence for ancient traditions, the PMD said.
In accordance with custom, the Diyawadana Nilame has formally presented the ‘Sannasa’ to the President. As a symbolic gesture, Wickremesinghe offered a fruit treat to the baby elephant “Sindu”, reminiscent of the elephants that graced the procession.
Expressing his deep gratitude to all those who supported the Perahera, including the Diyawadana Nilame and led by the Nilames of the Sathara Devala, Wickremesinghe emphasized the significance of safeguarding the historical Kandy Esala Perahera.
He highlighted that this event was not only a religious and national celebration but also a grand cultural festival that showcased Sri Lankan heritage on the global stage.
The Head of State stressed the importance of carrying this legacy forward.
Wickremesinghe also noted that Kandy’s esteemed Esala Maha Perahera would hold a special place in a program designed to enhance progress in Sri Lanka’s tourism sector by the upcoming year.