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Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.

Sri Lanka expects genuine & meaningful support for reconciliation from international community  - Ambassador Wickramasuriya.

Sri Lankan Cultural Spectacle at Kennedy Center Millennium Stage Captivates US audience  
 
The Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC has organized a series of events to celebrate the 66thAnniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence in Washington DC.
 
The Official Ceremony  was  held at the chancery on February 4th  with the participation of representatives of the Sri Lankan-American community.
 
The event commenced with Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya ceremonially hoisting the National Flag amidst the beating of traditional drums of Magul Bera followed by the National Anthem of Sri Lanka.  After observing two minutes of silence for fallen heroes, the traditional oil lamp was lit prior to the religious observances.
 
Chief Incumbent of the Washington Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Maharagama Dhammasiri Nayake Thero and Chief Incumbent of the Maryland Buddhist Vihara, Ven. Katugastota Uparatana Nayake Thero conducted the Buddhist religious observances and blessings. Mrs. Kanaga Ranganathan conducted the Hindu blessings followed by Christian prayers by Dr. Greg Fernandopulle. Brother Abaasse  led the Islamic religious observances.
 
Ambassador Wickramasuriya read the Independence Day message from His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Ceremony  at the chancery concluded with the guests enjoying a traditional breakfast  with milk rice and sweetmeat including Kewum and Kokkis .
 
On the same day, the Embassy hosted an evening reception at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (The Kennedy Center) in Washington.
 
In his welcome remarks at the reception, the Ambassador underscored that Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country where people have lived peacefully for thousands of years.

He recalled that Sri Lanka had to face many challenges in recent history, including separatist terrorism, and the nation has successfully overcome them under the visionary leadership of His Excellency  President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
 
 "I am proud to say - for the last four years there has been not a single loss of life due to terrorism in Sri Lanka. ", he added.
 
Ambassador Wickramasuriya further noted that the most important interest of Sri Lanka at this crucial juncture  is to further consolidate lasting  peace through reconciliation.
 
 "We are determined to reconcile and build a peaceful and prosperous country and what we expect from our true friends in the international community is genuine and meaningful support towards this process" he said.
 
Among the large and representative audience were senior US government officials, ambassadors, senior diplomats, business leaders,  journalists and  scholars.
 
 The highlight of the evening was the grand Sri Lankan cultural spectacle presented by world-renowned Channa-Upuli Performing Arts  Foundation on the prestigious Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.
 
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts joined hands with the Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington this year to present the opulence of Sri Lankan culture to the US audience.

Eight-year-old Inuki Wettasinghe, representing the Sri Lankan-American community welcomed the packed audience.
Ambassador Wickramasuriya briefly enlightened the audience about the history of Sri Lanka and US-Sri Lankan ties, and thanked the Kennedy Center and the spectators for their support.

The dance artists led by Channa Wijewardene, the traditional drummers  led by  percussionist Jananath Warakagoda and the performance of violinist Ruwan Weerasekara captivated  the crowd  drawing tumultuous rounds of applause for each act.

The show was streamed live on the Kennedy Center website.

 The Embassy organized another Sri Lankan cultural performance  at the World Bank Preston Auditorium on February 6th . The main Independence Day celebration with the Sri Lankan-American community was held on February 8th at the University of District of Columbia Auditorium.

YourTube Video

Watch the full video of the Sri Lanka Cultural Performance on the Kennedy Center Website

Pictures:

  1. Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya hoists the National Flag at the Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC , on the 66th Independence Day of Sri Lanka (February 4, 2014 )- Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel. 
  2. The staff members of the Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC , and the representatives of the Sri Lankan – American community sing the National Anthem on the 66th Independence Day of Sri Lanka (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  3. Ambassador Wickramasuriya lights the traditional oil lamp at the official celebration of the 66th Independence Day of Sri Lanka organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC , (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.  
  4. Buddhist Religious observances conducted at the Embassy of Sri Lanka , Washington DC on the 66th Independence Day of Sri Lanka (February 4, 2014 )  Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.  
  5. Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya welcomes the guests at the reception hosted at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (The Kennedy Center) in Washington. Mrs. Priyanga Wickramasuriya is also in the photograph, (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  6. Mrs. Priyanga Wickramasuriya with a guest at the reception hosted by the Embassy of Sri Lanka , Washington DC . (The Kennedy Center , February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  7. Minister Commercial of the Embassy of Sri Lanka Mr. Bandula Somasiri with guests at the reception hosted by the Embassy of Sri Lanka , Washington DC .
  8. (The Kennedy Center , February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  9. Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya addresses the audience attending the Sri Lankan Cultural Performance held at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage , Washington DC, (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  10. Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya and Mrs. Priyanga Wickramasuriya with visiting Channa-Upuli Dance Ensemble at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage , Washington DC, (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  11. Ms. Inuki Wettasinghe representing Sri Lankan- American community welcomes the audience attending the Sri Lankan Cultural Performance held at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage , Washington DC, (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  12. Artists of the Channa- Upuli Dance Foundation of Sri Lanka performing at the Sri Lankan Cultural Performance held at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage , Washington DC, (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  13. A group of Sri Lankan- American children performing with master Sri Lankan choreographer Channa Wijewardene at the Sri Lankan Cultural Performance held at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage , Washington DC, (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  14. Artists of the Channa- Upuli Dance Foundation of Sri Lanka performing at the Sri Lankan Cultural Performance held at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Washington DC, (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  15. Artists of the Channa- Upuli Dance Foundation of Sri Lanka performing at the Sri Lankan Cultural Performance held at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage , Washington DC, (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  16. Leading Sri Lankan violinist Ruwan Weerasekera performingperforming at the Sri Lankan Cultural Performance held at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage , Washington DC, (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  17. Sri Lankan master percussionist Jananath Warakagoda (Left) performing at the Sri Lankan Cultural Performance held at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage , Washington DC, (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.
  18. Artists of the Channa- Upuli Dance Foundation of Sri Lanka performing at the Sri Lankan Cultural Performance held at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage , Washington DC, (February 4, 2014 ) Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.

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Photo by Sagara Lakmal De Mel.

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