“Sri Lanka 70” : Sri Lanka Independence in Los Angeles, USA | Sunday Observer

“Sri Lanka 70” : Sri Lanka Independence in Los Angeles, USA

The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Los Angeles in collaboration with the Sri Lanka community in the 11 Western States of USA presented the event “Sri Lanka 70” on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary Celebration of Independence of Sri Lanka. The event was held at the “Royce Hall” of the University of California, Los Angeles on February 10, 2018.

The formal ceremony commenced with the hoisting of the National Flag of Sri Lanka followed by the singing of the National Anthem of Sri Lanka both in Sinhala and Tamil by a group of children accompanied by community members who sang the National Anthem of USA. A two minute silence was then observed in remembrance of the fallen heroes.

In addition to the Consul General and the Deputy Consul General, ceremonial lighting of the traditional oil lamp was joined by special invitees from the US Federal Government, State Governments in Western USA, City Administrations, and special guests from the Hollywood movie industry together with Julian Sands, renowned Hollywood film actor.

Most Venerable Maha Sangha representing 15 temples and other religious dignitaries from Hindu, Islam and Christian faiths conducted religious observances and blessings at the celebration.

The Independence Day Messages of the President, the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs were read as part of the formal celebration.

The event carried special significance as diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and USA reached its 70th Anniversary; having established these relations in 1948, the year Sri Lanka gained Independence. A short film on these cordial relationships was also screened to the audience.

During the welcome address, Swarna Gunaratne, Consul General, thanking the organizing committee, event sponsors, special invitees and participants highlighted Sri Lanka’s achievements during the past years and development initiatives by the Government to uplift the living standard of the masses. She invited the US West Coast based entrepreneurs and businessmen to establish their future projects in Sri Lanka to operate, thrive and progress in the entire Asia region.

The Consulate General also got down a well reputed 10-member dancing troupe from Sri Lanka “Rivega Dance Academy” who presented a specially produced 45 minute Ballet under the theme “Nidahas Yathra – Road to Independence.” It was the first time in our history that Sri Lanka presented a ballet of this nature in this global entertainment city. It was well received by the audience and created wider awareness about the rich culture and the talents of Sri Lankans in art, music and dance.

The Consulate General ensured that USA West Coast based professional Sri Lankan artistes and children who excelled in the field joined in the ballet production. In addition, several other Sri Lankan dancing academies based in California presented independent performances.

The Consulate General also hosted a pre- event reception for special invitees including event sponsors, US Government Officials, and the business community, totalling 250 guests. The guests enjoyed Sri Lankan food, sweetmeat and warm hospitality during the reception.

Sri Lanka 70 undoubtedly made a milestone as one of the historical landmark events held in Los Angeles presented by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka.