Melbourne mark’s Sri Lanka’s Independence Day

Saturday, 21 February 2015 01:23 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne celebrated the 67th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence on 4 February, at an official ceremony held at St. Kilda Towers where the Sri Lankan Consulate General is located. This was followed by an event held at the Grand Reception Hall which was attended by over 650 guests drawn from the expatriate Sri Lankan community in Victoria, Commonwealth and State Government Parliamentarians, senior government officials, members of the Consular Corps and community leaders. Celebrations commenced with the hoisting of the national flag in the presence of children representing the four major communities of Sri Lanka. One minute’s silence was observed as a mark of respect to all those who had made sacrifices for Sri Lanka’s independence. Following multi-religious observances, the lighting of the traditional oil lamp took place with the chanting of Jaya Mangala Gatha. The Independence Day message of President Maithripala Siriserna was read out in Sinhala, Tamil and English. Consul General H.G.U. Pushpakumara, while welcoming the gathering, highlighted the peace and stability enjoyed by Sri Lankans in all parts of the country, initiatives in place for national reconciliation and the abiding friendship and strengthening relations between Australia and Sri Lanka. An awards ceremony for students of expatriate Sri Lankan parents, in recognition of their high academic achievements at the Victorian Certificate of Education 2014, was also held. In all, there were 23 students who were recognised. The ceremony included a cultural performance by several groups of Sri Lankan dancers, displaying the country’s cultural diversity.