Under a concept of His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the government has planned to erect nine monumental Stupas in each province as a symbol of victory and a token of appreciation to the noble service and sacrifices made by the valiant personnel of the armed forces and Police during the Humanitarian Operations to defeat the ruthless LTTE terrorism and bring about lasting peace to the country. The first of these Stupas was planned to be built in the historical city of Anuradhapura.
A suitable place was decided up on at Balagalawatte in Anuradhapura and foundation stone was laid on two different occasions. Even by September 2009 work on the project had not taken off the ground and on seeing the lack of progress in erecting the Stupa, former President handed over the task of completing the project to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development.
Therefore a preliminary meeting was held on 23rd September 2010 at the Ministry of Defence. There, matters relating to clearing up and ground preparation, soil sampling/ testing, preparation of auspicious time, religious obligations on offerings, customs and rights, supply of machinery, sand and bricks were taken up for discussion. The Military Liaison Officer and the Coordinating Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development were present at the discussion.
Thereafter at the meeting held on 04th October 2010, the following two suitable sites were nominated,
1. Bagalawatte site near the Jetawanarama
2. Site near the Sarananda Pirivena
A special committee including the Government agent/district secretary of Anuradhapura, Security Forces Commander (V), Commander Area Headquarters (Anu), Chief Field Engineer of the Sri Lanka Army, Mr. Muditha Jayakody, Ven. Vitarandeniye Nanda thero, Ven. Omalpe Sobitha thero, Ven. Ahungalle Amarawansha thero, Major General WR Wasantha Kumara USP, Public Trustee NSAS Senavirathna, Coordinating Secretary of the ministry of Defence and Urban Development Lesley Rupesinghe, Lt Col SM Athukorala, and Lt Col KSM Kumara was named to study the suitability of the sites. In addition the chief prelates of the Atamastana were also informed to join the committee.
Date was set as 08th October 2010 to inspect the sites in Anuradhapura. After deliberations the committee concluded that the 10 acre site near the Sarananda Pirivena is the most appropriate place and thus it was recommended for the construction of the maiden Stupa on this place.
In regard to the meeting held on 15th September 2010 presided over by the Military liaison officer of the Ministry of at the Ministry premises it was decided that the recommended site be adopted with the permission of the Survey Department and the Archaeological Department. A date was set on 18th October 2010 for another field visit to Anuradhapura in order to mark the exact place for the Stupa to be built. The following decisions were also taken by the committee.
1. The ground preparation was to be done manually (without the use of machinery) before 18th October 2010 and the task be delegated to Training Headquarters in Anuradhapura.
2. Soil sampling/ testing be conducted within 5 days from 18. 10. 2010- Chief Engineer of the State Engineering Corporation, representatives of the Army Engineering Service Regiment and Astrologist Mr. Sumanadasa were named for this purpose.
3. Preparation of Pooojas- . Coordinating Secretary of the ministry of Defence and Urban Development Lesley Rupesinghe, Sri Lanka Army Buddhist Association, Commander Security Forces Headquarters (Anu).
4. Preparing of Nekath (Auspicious period) - The Public Trustee/ Astrologist Mr. Sumanadasa.
5. Preparation for seeking of ‘Pathal Anjanam’- Commander Area Headquarters (Anu).
6. Preparation of all offering in keeping with set customs and traditions- Mr. Lesley Rupesinghe, Sri Lanka Army Buddhist Association and Commander Area Headquarters (Anu).
7. Preparation of the foundation stone. Five model samples be prepared and handed over to Ven. Vitarandeniye Nanda thero before the 25th in order to be blessed as required- Ven. Vitarandeniye Nanda thero/ Sri Lanka Army Buddhist Association.
8. Preparation and presenting of supply plan of machinery/material – Chief Engineer, Director, Engineering Service SLA.
9. Transportation of 1000 cubes of sand for the preliminary phase before 15th November- Commander of the Navy.
10. 500 cubes of granite stones before 15th November- Commander of the Air Force, Area Headquarters (Anu).
11. Manual labour/ brick production –The 51 personnel that the Civil Security Department has made available be attached to the Central Cultural Fund in order to be properly trained and also recommend places/ areas which can be reached by rail.
12. Construction/design/planning- Commander, Area Headquarters (J).
13. Construction of security fence- Director, Engineering Services Regiment, Security Forces Headquarters (V).
In order to bear the cost of production of solid bricks, tickets were printed to be sold at temples all over the island. The number of bricks produced was printed on the ticket. The responsibility is vested with DIG Wakishta.
When printing the tickets following procedure to be adopted
The tickets to be printed on good quality paper and should carry a protective sticker similar to the tickets sold at Olympic Games – final day tickets.
If a sponsor is willing to sponsor the printing of tickets, on the back side of the ticket a small space to allocated for them to print their logo.
The printing of tickets to be done by a good quality printing company.Every ticket to carry a picture of the stupa.
If a person purchases a ticket on behalf of another space should be provided to print the same with the ticket number.
The total estimated number of bricks required is 11 million and tickets to be printed to cover the cost of 2,5,10,50 bricks.
The tickets are to be distributed by police stations to all nine provinces and in each province 25 temples.
A report to be obtained from every province DIG once in every 05 days period regarding the sale of tickets.
The final decision regarding the donations:
1. No requests to be made for donations from any institution and donations only to be accepted which are made on their own will.
2. Any person wishes could donate a one day’s pay in one or two installments.
3. A thanking not to be prepared for each donation for a sum of Rs 50/= for a solid brick and Rs 700/= for a pack of cement.
Donations can be made in following ways
1. Cash - Can be deposited to the following account
"Sandahiru Seya Trust" A/C Number 204-1-001-8-0004467 of People's Bank - Headquarters Branch
2. Cheque - drawing to the A/C Number 204-1-001-8-0004467 of People's Bank - Headquarters Branch
3. Buying tickets (for bricks and cements) from ticketing counters at the site, all police stations, Bank of Ceylon and Peoples Bank branches island wide.
When excavating the ground to lay the foundation for the stupa, in certain locations the ground was not with the rock on the bottom and therefore, having tested soil samples of the ground, as per advice of the professors (Professor Tennekoon and Prof DK de Silva) the rocks in the size of 9”x6” to be laid and filled with rocks and upto the level of the foundation stone, the entire area to be leveled.
Sri Lanka Army to provide a 10 ton Steam Roller and engineering support required, one water bowser, one tractor.For the filling, the debris to be obtained from building reconstruction sites in North and East.Rocks for the filling to be obtained from Sri Lanka Navy. Rocks to the size of 9”x6” have to be obtained from Sri Lanka Air Force.
Area Commander (ANP) and Capt Rajapaksha tasked search for possible locations to obtain rocks for the filling and inform the same to Sri Lanka Air Force.
Secretary Defence Visits 'Sandahiru Seya'
Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa made a inspection visit at 'Sandahiru Seya', the triumphant Stupa at Anuradhapura today. (19th November)
A religious ceremony is scheduled to be held to place an omniscient sacred relic in the hemispherical dome of the Sandahiru Seya (The Victory Stupa) on 23rd November under the patronage of His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Anuradhapura.
During the visit Mr. Rajapaksa inquired into the current position of the preparations and extensively discussed on the progression with officials.
The ceremony will take place with the participation of six thousand five hundred members of the venerable Maha Sangha. A seven day pirith chanting ceremony will also take place at the venue to invoke blessings for the Placing of Omnificent Secret Relics at Sandahiru Seya.