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At the Opening Ceremony of Sinhala Tamil New Year, Dr. Saj Mendis addressing the gathering in the presence of Professor Ananda Kumara and Dr. Arunasiri Iddamalgoda

The Sri Lanka Association Central Japan (SLACJ) in Nagoya, in close co-ordination with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan, celebrated the Sinhala Tamil New Year on 5th April 2015 in Nagoya in the presence of a large number of Sri Lankans domiciled in the Prefectures of Aichi, Gifu and Mie as well as Japanese and foreign nationals. The Charge d’ Affaires of the Embassy, Dr. Saj Mendis, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.

In the opening remarks of the President of the SLACJ, Dr. Arunasiri Iddamalgoda, stated that the Sri Lankan community domiciled in the vicinity of the city of Nagoya, unstintingly and tenaciously, worked in order to make the Sinhala Tamil New Year a resounding success. He further added that every year, the community and the Association of Sri Lankans in the Central Japan organized the Sinhala Tamil New Year in order to celebrate the New Year since they live thousands of miles away from Sri Lanka. In his brief address, he thanked all who had worked in order to make the celebration a success including that of the generous sponsors, among others.

Dr. Saj Mendis, in his address stated that one of the unique features of Sinhala Tamil New Year is that the two key ethnicities of Sri Lanka celebrate the New Year, together, adhering to the traditional customs, beliefs and ethos. He further stated that the Sri Lankans consider the New Year Festival as an auspicious and propitious occasion to commence the functionaries of the newly dawned year. He further added that, today, Sri Lanka has entered a new era and a new chapter and the expatriates of Sri Lanka, domiciled in Japan, could make a potent and significant contribution and impingement on the economic and political landscape and tapestry of the country, thus fructifying and realizing the national objectives of the country.

Professor Ananda Kumara, former President of the SLACJ and a senior professor holding dual positions at the prestigious Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT) and the Mejjo University, stated that Sri Lanka is blessed with abundant natural resources and treasures, which could be unleashed to elevate Sri Lanka as a rapidly developing nation. He accentuated the fact that Sri Lanka, historically, has an imposing and highly impressive past and he broached the question why Sri Lanka cannot have an impressive present, given the highly dexterous human resources, educated workforce, geographic and strategic location and natural resources as well as entrenched with democratic norms and tenets, rule of law and justice and good governance, among others. Professor Kumara has conducted extensive research, particularly, on the benefits on health of the vegetable “Snake Gourd (Pathola)”, which was renamed as “Ceylon Gourd”, now the latest new vegetable for Japan from Sri Lanka. At the Celebration, Professor Kumara presented a copy of his new publication titled “Ceylon Gourd Recipe Book” to Charge d’Affaires, Dr. Mendis.

The Sinhala Tamil New Year celebrations had a number of traditional and customary games both for the adults as well as for the children. The entire crowd was entertained by a Sri Lankan musical group as well as by traditional Sri Lankan dancers. The highlights of the celebration were the tug-of-war and the Avurudu Kumari beauty pageant. The Sri Lanka based Hiru electronic media was present to extend coverage to the Sinhala Tamil New Year celebrations in Nagoya. It was heartening to note that a large number of Sri Lankans as well as Japanese and non-Sri Lankans did participate at the said celebrations despite the inclement weather condition in Nagoya.

Embassy of Sri Lanka

Tokyo

8th April 2015


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