In news- Sri Lanka recently released 93 prisoners, including 16 LTTE terror suspects held without charges, on the presidential pardon on the occasion of Poson Poya.
About the festival-
- Poson poya annual festival celebrates the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC.
- Poson, held on the full moon day of June, commemorates the occasion over 2,000 years ago when Arahat Mahinda, son of Emperor Asoka of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism.
- The main center of celebration is Mihintale, the ancient monastic complex where the royal missionary monk Mahinda perched the first sermon to the ruling king.
- Anuradhapura, is the ancient capital, to which a large crowd of pilgrims converge.
- Mihinthalaya is called the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
- For Buddhists, this hallowed day of Poson is second only to Vesak in terms of importance.