President Attended Thalawila Feast
Posted on August 3rd, 2009

By Janaka Alahapperuma

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President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa paid homage to the Holy Statue of St Annes and attended a Special Religious ceremony at Thalawila Church on Saturday 1st July. Bishop of Chilaw Rt Rev Valence Mendis officiated at the Mass with the participation of resident priests, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, many politicians and large crowd of Catholic devotees and locals.

Apart from the Easter festival during the holy week, Thalawila Church organises another main festival scheduled to be celebrated annually in the first Sunday in August. President and First lady’s Saturday visit came as a surprise prior to Sunday main festival mass which follows by a procession carrying the statue of St Anne with the participation of large crowds from various parts of Sri Lanka.

Chilaw has a very diversed community. As of December 2004, there were out of 705,342 total population and 231,205 of them were Catholics representing all the Dioces. There are 44 Parishes with 99 resident priests servining the Chilaw territory. Majority of the community representing Sinhala and most of them are Buddhists.

However present Bishop of Chilaw diocese Rt Rev Warnakulasuriya Devsritha Valence Mendis (51) who is highly qualified and talented Catholic priest holding many high profile posts working tirelessly to promote peace and harmony among the diverse Chilaw community.

One Response to “President Attended Thalawila Feast”

  1. cassandra Says:

    Especially at a time when the need for reconciliation and reunion among different sections of the Sri Lankan community is paramount, President Rajapakse’s visit to the shrine of St Anne in Talawila is a fine demonstration of inter religious harmony. It sends a powerful message to the whole nation, a message more eloquent and more effective than mere words can convey. As the President has demonstrated with this gesture, we can respect each other’s religious beliefs without surrendering our own. Thank you, Mr President.

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