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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2867

Sri Lanka 61st Anniversary of Independence was celebrated in Lebanon on two occasions

Beirut, February 27, The Sri Lanka Embassy of Lebanon celebrated 61st Independence on two occasions with a participation of vast Sri Lankan community and Lebanese community as well.

The official ceremony was held at the Embassy premises on 4th February with nearly 200 participants of Sri Lankan expatriates amidst being a working day in Lebanon except Embassy staff members where officials from UN-Beirut, Financial institutions such as CashUnited, Western Union along with Cargo Company owners and some Lebanese community also participated.

As a tradition M Mahroof, Ambassador hoisted the National Flag while playing Magul Bera. After hoisting the National Flag, the National Anthem was sung by selected children of Sri Lankan expatriates.

Followed by the observance of two minute silence in honor of National Heroes, traditional oil lamp was lit by the Ambassador along with Madam Jezeema Mahroof. Selected dignitaries joined at the lighting of the oil lamp while playing Jayamangala Gatha.

Religious observances were performed by Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian devotees presently living in Lebanon.

The National Day Message of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa was read by the Ambassador while other messages of the Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Rohitha Bogollagama were read by other officers of the Embassy.

While the Ambassador addressing the ceremony “Today is a very special day for all of us. This is not only for celebrating the 61st Annivesary of Independence Day. As you are aware, our heroic troops have achieved a great victory. This is truly an incomparable victory. As our President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said, “it was the constant dream of all Sri Lankans, whether Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim, who are opposed to separatism, racism, and terrorism, and have always, sought peace, freedom and democracy. Today our heroic troops have made that dream a reality.

Ambassador made the special speech as his first address to the Sri Lankan community both in English and Sinhala languages.

Since most of the Sri Lankan community is unable to attend any ceremony or function as usual during week days, the Embassy held a special ceremony on Sunday 8th February with immense co-operation of the Sri Lankan community. This ceremony also began with the same traditional customs that were performed on the 4th of February at the official function.

However, the remarkable event at the ceremony was the procession held where thousands of Sri Lankans holding Sri Lanka flags moved forward to the Embassy premises, which was a very rare opportunity for Lebanese community to watch such a special event as an honor to the great and brave Sri Lankan soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. The area Police Officers extended their fullest cooperation from the beginning of the procession and even till the end of the entire programme which lasted nearly six hours.

Function included performances by young talented Sri Lankans including children and the Ambassador wished them to be best artistes and stars in our motherland.

The main programme consisted of eighteen varieties of elegant cultural items held with the assistance of Sri Lankan community including children.

The cultural programme where some of the Sri Lankans performed their talents were highly appreciated and commendable by every one including Lebanese community as well. This was a rare opportunity for them to perform their hiding talents before such a vast audience. Each item depicted patriotism for their motherland and honored to the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country and the nation.

As a part of this programme, few families were also honored by the Sri Lankan community whose relatives lost their lives in the battle field as brave soldiers offering red coloured roses while tears poured from their eyes.

At the end of the programme Ambassador and Madam Jezeema Mahroof presented valuable gift items for all the participants who performed at the cultural programme sponsored by the Western Union in Lebanon.

At the end of the programme, Ambassador invited all the participants to enjoy the traditional Sri Lankan refreshments.

- Asian Tribune -

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