65th Independence Day of Sri Lanka: Celebrations in Chennai
Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission for Southern India in Chennai had organized a series of events to celebrate Sri Lanka's 65th Anniversary of Independence.
The celebrations also marked the first ever Independence Day celebrations to be held at the new Chancery premises of the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission which portray Sri Lankan architectural aspects in the heart of the City of Chennai.
On the 4th of February early morning, the staff of the Deputy High Commission offered Maha Sangika Dakshina to 15 Buddhist Monks. The first ceremony of the National Day Celebration at the new Chancery premises commenced with the hoisting of National Flag by the Acting Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. O.L. Ameerajwad joined with the staff of the Deputy High Commission. The Clergy representing all four main faiths in Sri Lanka invoked blessings for the country and the People of Sri Lanka.
A large number of Sri Lankan expatriates living in Southern India participated at the ceremony.
Addressing the Sri Lankan community, the Actg. Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. O.L. Ameerajwad stated that the opening of the new Chancery of the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission for Southern India in Chennai was a milestone in the history of Sri Lanka's relationship with South India and that the 65th Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka was historically significance for the Mission, since it celebrates this national event for the first time in its own Chancery premises. Reading the 65th Independence Day Message of Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of Sri Lanka, Mr. Ameerajwad invited members of the Sri Lankan community in Southern India to join hands to work together for the national unity and to contribute to the socio-economic advancement of the country.
The expatriates were thrilled to witness a glimpse of Sri Lanka when the “Sri Lanka Youth” dancing troupe and versatile singer Suriyakumar Muttalegu gave a cultural performance which was followed by a typical Sri Lankan lunch.
The Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission also organized a reception on 5th February evening at the new Chancery premises where around 300 invitees including Tamil Nadu Government officials, members of the diplomatic Corp, members of the business community, media, academics, Think Tanks and friends of Sri Lanka in Southern India had attended.
A video documentary on the development process in the North & East was shown during the event. The audience were kept spellbound and enchanted by the performance of the “Sri Lanka Youth” dancing troupe when they exhibited the traditional forms of dancing in Sri Lanka such as “Gini Sisila, Ves, Thelme, Gajaga Wannama and Kapringnga”. The culinary talents of the Sri Lanka Chefs from Aitken Spence Group of Hotels also added ‘spice” to the event. The action station where hoppers, kotthu roti and coconut roti were made attracted a long queue of guests.
The event was supported by the Sri Lankan companies based in Chennai such as Bank of Ceylon, Srilankan Airlines, Damro, Expo Freight, and LSR Lanka.
Sri Lankan Airlines and Aitken Spence put-up stall and provided with complementary travel vouchers to the guests to visit Sri Lanka as a part of tourism promotion. Guests also left with a gift pack of tea provided by the Sri Lanka Tea Board.
- Asian Tribune -