The first day of the Vesak Zone was declared open by Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Development Douglas Devanada. A massive crowd over 100,000 thronged the venue on the very first day to see the splendor of hundreds of illuminated creations. Soldiers of all battalions based in Jaffna contributed making different items to the Vesak Zone.
Prior to the opening of the Vesak Zone, Commander Security Forces Jaffna Major General Udaya Perera and all ranks attended a Bodhi Pooja Pinkama at Sri Naga Vihara.
Out of the items, the giant Pandol lit with 60000 electric bulbs using modern technology attracted the spectators. The Veska Pandol, first ever exhibited in Jaffna teaches the moral lesson Hatred cannot Cease by Hatred (Nahi Verena Verani) taught in Dhammapada in Buddhism. The Pandol will be on exhibition for seven days until 20th May. This is a result of the labour of the 5th Corps of Engineer Services soldiers. A special technical room operated by them to educate schoolchildren and others on the modern technology of illuminating system is open day and night near the Pandol. Meanwhile, over 10000 enjoyed free vegetable dinner at the Dansala organized by the Army.
Another significant feature of the festival is Vesak Bhakthi Gee (devotional songs) sung in Tamil and Sinhala by children of Manippay Nandarama Tamil Buddhist Dhama school, students of Jaffna schools and soldiers.
Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Police based in Jaffna, philanthropists and business community assisted the Army in making this grand festival a success. Jaffna Municipal Council and a number of government and private institutions cooperated with the Security Force Jaffna in this genuine effort of Jaffna soldiers which definitely espouse religious co-existence and mutual relationship between the North and the South.
Religious leaders,Governor Northern Province Major General (Retd) G.A. Chandrasiri, Commander Security Force (Jaffna) Major General Udaya Perera, Government Agent Jaffna S. Arumainayagam and Mayoress Jaffna Mrs. Y. Pathgunarasa were present.(cimicjaffna)