Sri Lanka’s Independence Day in New Delhi | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka’s Independence Day in New Delhi

The High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi organised celebrations to mark the 71st anniversary of independence.

The ceremony on February 4 commenced with the hoisting of the national flag amidst the sounds of the ceremonial beating of drums. After the rendering of the National Anthem in Sinhala and Tamil, Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian religious dignitaries blessed the country, the leaders and the people of Sri Lanka.

The program included the reading of Independence Day messages by President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana.

Two dance items were performed by the Sri Lanka Navy Dance Troupe bringing colour to the event. The invitees, including Sri Lankan expatriates in New Delhi were hosted to a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast.

An alms-giving was held prior to the ceremony at the official residence, for bhikkhus representing major Sri Lankan Buddhist Institutes in India.

A diplomatic reception for 800 guests, including political dignitaries, Senior Government Officials of India, members of the diplomatic corp, business leaders and members of the Sri Lankan community in India, was held at the Residence of the High Commissioner in the evening. Indian Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu was the Chief Guest.

High Commissioner Austin Fernando told the gathering that as neighbours, friends, and relatives, Sri Lanka has had close relationship with India in many spheres. Buddhism has played a seminal role that binds us together, which is a significant factor that contributes to the celebration of Independence Day in India. Indian Minister Suresh Prabhu said India and Sri Lanka must explore expanding cooperation in multitude of areas.

The High Commission arranged for the guests to savour Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine by Sri Lankan chefs.