Sri Lanka celebrated the 69th Independence Day at Galle Face Green, Colombo yesterday. It is the celebration of gaining independence from colonial rule with pageantry and the spirit of patriotism resonating in every street corner.
The tribute to the forefathers of the motherland for their glorious feat was paid by hoisting the national flag and singing the national anthem. The traditional lamp was lit and the processions began with perfectly coordinated military parades, firing of canons, and various religious and cultural performances.
The Independence Day of Sri Lanka is celebrated annually on February 4. Sri Lanka gained Independence from the British on February 4, 1948. The day is a national holiday. It is celebrated all over the country with flag-hoisting ceremonies, dances, parades and cultural performances.
The main celebrations take place in Colombo every year. The President raises the national flag and delivers a speech at a nationally televised event.
Many struggles were made in the history of Sri Lanka for the cause of freedom.
On Independence Day, all of those who fought for this are remembered and celebrated. But the independence movement against the British is especially recalled.
In the President’s speech, he highlights the achievements of the government during the past year, raises important issues and requests the people to join together in commemorating this historic day.
The President also pays tribute to the national heroes of Sri Lanka, observing two minutes of silence in their memory. A great military parade is also performed. In recent years, it showcased the power of the army, navy, air force, police and the civil defence force.
And the commitment, bravery, national unity and determination to achieve peace is recollected in the minds of the Sri Lankan people. D.S. Senanayake became the first Prime Minister of Sri Lanka after Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948.
He emerged as the leader of the Sri Lankan independence movement that lead to the establishment of self-rule in Sri Lanka.
The legal Head of State was Queen Elizabeth’s governor at that time.
The first President of Sri Lanka was William Gopallawa in 1972. This replaced the Governor’s role.
Until 1972, Ceylon was a Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II as the Head of State and Queen of Ceylon.