Washington Embassy Celebrates Christmas

December 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC celebrated the dawn of the Christmas season with participation from the Sri Lankan expatriate Christian community, officials from the US Department of State and community leaders.

Addressing the gathering Ambassador Kariyawasam said that Christmas in Sri Lanka is a national holiday where all communities come together to celebrate a joyous occasion in manifestation of the inclusive character of the nation. He highlighted the contribution made by Christian communities in Sri Lanka over the years towards the education system in Sri Lanka and the country’s social emancipation.

The Ambassador briefed the participants about the impending State visit of His Holiness Pope Francis, which will take place January 2015, during which he will canonize the Blessed Joseph Vaz, who was beatified during the visit of Pope John Paul II to the country twenty years ago. He said that the visit is an important event not only for Catholics in Sri Lanka but for all Sri Lankans, who eagerly await the Pope’s arrival. The Pope’s visit to the church in Madhu in Mannar will be an important occasion for the Christian communities in the North and the North Central provinces.

Briefing the audience on current developments in Sri Lanka, Ambassador Kariyawasam said that the country has been on a forward march since the dawn of peace in 2009 with immense achievements in resettlement, reconstruction and reconciliation under the leadership of President Rajapaksa.

Rev. Father Percival de Silva who conducted the Christian prayers at the celebrations recalled the teachings of the Buddha and Jesus Christ as the antidote for the suffering that mankind is going through, especially in a world where man’s inhumanity to man has become commonplace. He said that together we must and can strive for peace.

Dr. Greg Fernandopulle delivered the vote of thanks and Christmas carols were sung by the gathering led by Ms. Melita Ethelbert.