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The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC marked 72ndAnniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence by conducting an official ceremony at the Chancery premises in Washington DC on 04th February 2020.

The ceremony commenced with the hoisting of the National Flag by Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Rodney Perera, amidst the chanting of sethpirith by the Venerable Maha Sangha.  The National Anthem of Sri Lanka was sung thereafter, followed by the observance of two-minutes silence in remembrance of all patriots who sacrificed their lives to preserve and protect the freedom, unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the motherland.  The lighting of the traditional oil lamp took place afterwards, following which venerable Maha Sangha and members of clergy belonging to Hindu, Islam and Christian faiths conducted religious observances.  Most Venerable Rajakeeya Panditha Wehihene Pagnaloka Nayaka Thero, Ven. Maharagama Dhammasiri Nayaka Thero, Ven. Katugastota Uparatana Nayaka Thero, Ven. Thanthirimale Mahanama Thero, Rev. Swami Mani Kurukkal, Mr. Seyed Rizwan Mowlana and Rev. Father Dilantha Arachchilage offered prayers and invoked blessings.

The Independence Day Messages of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena were read out by mission staff In Sinhala, Tamil and English.

Delivering brief remarks, Ambassador Rodney Perera extended a very warm welcome and his sincere gratitude to all religious dignitaries who joined the Independence Day celebrations this morning.  Reflecting on the vision and essence of Independence Day Messages of President, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Relations, Ambassador Perera emphasized the importance of unity, steadfastness and commitment of all Sri Lankans in the nation building campaign spearheaded by the current government under the stewardship of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to usher a new era of peace, stability and prosperity for all transcending religious, communal and political differences.  The Ambassador also sought guidance and blessings of the multi–faith religious dignitaries in the audience for grooming of Sri Lankan youth in the United States to become worthy citizens and role models for communities they represent, with self confidence, self esteem and self reliance. Ambassador Perera also briefed the gathering with regard to Embassy’s continued endeavors and commitment to support the Sri Lankan communities in the United States with their service needs and future aspirations.  He also extended an appeal to members of Sri Lankan communities to rally round the Embassy for further consolidation of friendship and promotion new vistas of opportunities to further enhance the relations between Sri Lanka and the United States in the years to follow.

The ceremony came to a close with the serving of traditional milk rice and Sri Lankan sweetmeats.

Embassy of Sri Lanka

Washington, DC

04 February 2020