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MEDIA RELEASE - 67th Independence Day Celebrations in the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris.

The 67th Independence Day was celebrated in Paris on 4th February 2015, according priority to interfaith religious observances and the offering of alms to the Buddhist prelates and the other religious dignitaries representing the Hindu, Christian and the Muslim communities. The ceremony commenced at 7.00 hrs in the morning with Buddha Pooja being offered which was followed by a sanghika dhane.

Thereafter, the day’s formal proceedings commenced with the hoisting of the national flag and the singing of the national anthem. After the observance of two minutes silence in honour of the war heroes who sacrificed their lives to protect the integrity and the sovereignty of the motherland, the inter-faith religious observances commenced. Ven. Kongasdeniya Ananda thero of the Dhammachakka Buddhist Association in Paris administered pancha seela while Ven Chandrarathana thero from the International Buddhist Centre, Paris delivered the sermon. The Chief Priest from the Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam, temple conducted the Hindu religious observances followed by the Christian sermon delivered by Rev. Fr. Nimantha Peiris and the Muslim religious observances being conducted by Mr Mohamed Nawaz, the Mawlawi.

The Independence Day messages of the President, Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka were read in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages by the Embassy Staff.  Prof Karunaratne Hangawatte, the Ambassador, thereafter delivered a brief speech highlighting the significance of the Independence celebrations in Sri Lanka and the importance of preserving unity in diversity in the country. Giving an illustration of the national flag, he   spoke in depth about the hallmarks of history symbolically represented in the national flag and reflected on the core principles of loving kindness, compassion, equanimity & happiness as a key driver promoting ethnic reconciliation and sustainable peace.   

At the conclusion of the main ceremony, those attending the event were treated to a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast.  Thereafter on 24th February, a separate dinner reception was held to the Sri Lanka community in Paris, in celebration of the Independence Day. The Ambassador, on this occasion addressing the gathering, requested continued assistance of the community in contributing to the broad objectives of the Government in the overall development agenda. 

Embassy of Sri Lanka

Paris - 28th February 2015

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