Up-country Tour by 500 Trainees prior to their reintegration in society

On a proposal made by the Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, Chandrasiri Gajadheera, a special tour of the up-country was organized for 500 trainees who are due to be reintegrated in to society in the near future, having successfully completed their rehabilitation program. The tour was scheduled for 10 -12 march.

The tour commenced from the Senapura Rehabilitation Centre in Welikanda with the participation of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Brigadier D.D.U.K. Hettiarachchi. The trainees set off in ten passenger buses for Mahiyanganaya following a religious ceremony at the Manampitiya Kovil to invoke blessings on the participants. On arrival at Mahiyanganaya, the trainees were accorded a warm welcome. Small children provided them with lotus flowers to make offerings at the Mahiyanganaya Vihara. The visitors were conducted to the viharaya in a procession organized specially for the occasion.

Thereafter, the group visited Dambana to meet the Veddah community. Uruwarilage Vannileatto, the chief of the veddah community and his group welcomed Secretary Mr. A. Dissanayke and the visitors amidst a display of their traditional songs and dances. The visitors were then conducted to the village where the veddah community had organized a cultural event in their honour. The Veddah chief addressed the visitors and offered them a medicinal drink prepared by them. All were treated to lunch at the same venue. The trainees presented the Veddah Chief with two souvenirs they had specially made to mark their historic visit.

The trainees then proceeded to Badulla. A special procession had been organized by the Badulla Prison to welcome the visitors. The Hon. Minister and the other visitors were all taken around the town in procession. The visitors were conducted in procession to the Badulla Hindu Kovil where religious ceremonies were held. The procession thereafter wound its way back to the historic Mahiyangana Rajamaha Viharaya. Mahiyanganaya Provincial Secretariat officials and the Provincial Political Leaders hosted the visitors to tea and refreshments. This was followed by a Dhamma sermon. The visitors were briefed regarding the historical significance of the Mahiyanganaya viharaya.

The first day of the tour concluded with the visit to the Mahiyanganaya viharaya. All visitors were entertained to dinner at the Uva Vidyalaya.