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Embassy of Sri Lanka Paris

Professor Karunaratne Hangawatte, new Ambassador of Sri Lanka to France, was welcomed as the guest of honor at the annual Feast organized by the Sri Lankan Catholic Community of “Our Lady of Lanka” at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Osny, France.

The annual Feast which is traditionally celebrated in Sri Lanka by the Catholics, is of fundamental value to Catholic communities around the world. In line with such religious and cultural traditions, the Sri Lankan Catholic community in Paris congregates each year in the celebration of Jesus Christ and their Saint patron, bringing a message of love, peace and harmony to the world.

The celebration began with a procession led by Reverend Father Clarence Roy, special guest Reverend Father Indunil Janakaratne, Under Secretary for the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue in Vatican and Ambassador Hangawatte. Having hoisted the Sri Lanka’s National flag, the Ambassador was invited to light the traditional oil lamp along with other representatives of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris.

In his address to the congregation, Ambassador Hangawatte expressed his joy and enthusiasm to participate in the Feast and extended best wishes to the Sri Lankan Catholic community in France. He further welcomed the efforts undertaken by Reverend Father Clarence Roy in bringing unity to the community of Sri Lankans in Paris while commending Reverend Father Indunil Janakaratne for the significant contributions he has made to the advancement of interfaith-dialogue.

The “hoisting of the flag ceremony” which consists of the raising of the traditional flag pole decorated with strands of multi-colored flags, was conducted next with the participation of the Ambassador, his family and everyone gathered. As described by Reverend Father Clarence Roy, the flags are a symbolic representation of the love of Jesus Christ which reaches out and spreads to all mankind.

In celebration of·Solemnity of Corpus Christi, (Feast of the Most Precious Body and Blood of Jesus) coinciding with the Feast this year, a moving and eloquent mass was conducted at the grotto by Chief Celebrant Reverend Father Indunil Janakaratne·in which he delivered a message of tolerance and concluded on a note of peace, unity and reconciliation for the people of Sri Lanka. Ambassador Hangawatte attended the mass with members of his family.

Feasting and merriment began thereafter with food stalls serving·hoppers, kottu, rice and their spicy accompaniments. Families took part in activities and games which were held for the entertainment of the children. As in the past, proceeds from the annual Feast celebration are expected to be allocated to the betterment of the patients and wards at the Maharagama Cancer hospital in Sri Lanka.

Embassy of Sri Lanka, Paris, 13th·June 2013

Sri Express
Embassy of Sri Lanka Paris

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