Historic Independence Day celebrations in Italy

Thursday, 21 February 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Held at Main Buddhist Viharaya in Rome

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Rome commemorated the 65th anniversary of Independence at the Rome Buddhist Viharaya, on Monday 4 February 2013.

On a request made by Ambassador Asitha Perera, the Chief Incumbent of the Rome Buddhist Viharaya Ven. Molligoda Dheerananda Nayaka Thero cooperated fully with the Embassy and most of the staff to make this historic event a success.

Some of the distinguished dignitaries at this event were the most Ven. Pasyala Weerasooriya Kanda Sethwehera Viharadhipathi Deshiyawaidiya Amithirigala Palitha Dhammanayaka Chief Priest, Ven. Molligoda Dheerananda Nayaka Thero – Chief Incumbent of the Rome Buddhist Viharaya, Ven. Wagegoda Seelananda Nayaka Thero – Chief Sanganayaka of Italy and Chief Incumbent of the Sicily Buddhist Viharaya and Ven. Panangala

The lighting of the traditional oil lamp by the clergy and other distinguished guests and Nilantha Pathirana on behalf of the Embassy of Sri Lanka and other Sri Lankans representing the numerous cities of Italy. This was followed by singing of the National Anthem and Jayamangala Gatha


Vajiragnana Thero from the temple in Naples. Other religious dignitaries were Rev. Fr. Hemantha Perera and Rev. Fr. Pradeep, Prof. Ponnambalam – Chief Kurukkal of the Palermo Hindu Kovil, and Waliullah Khan Moulana (Muslim)

Among the other distinguished invitees were Antonio Inferera – President of Interreligious Dialogue, Lalith Peiris – Manager Srilankan Airlines, and Upendra Saputantri, Manager (Branch Operations) Commercial Bank – Rome.

The day’s proceedings commenced with the hoisting of the National Flag by Asitha Perera, Ambassador of Sri Lanka. Two minutes of silence were observed in honour of the war heroes who sacrificed their lives, to protect the integrity and sovereignty of our motherland.

Ambassador Perera addressing the gathering stated it would do well for all Sri Lankans when they go back home to read/study and understand the very precise and pertinent message of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He appealed to all Sri Lankans present, to unite and work for the betterment of their motherland. The Ambassador also thanked the Sri Lankans who had braved many challenges, to attend this event from far flung cities of Italy.

The Independence Day messages of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka were read in Sinhala, English and Tamil.

Pansil and blessings were administered by Ven. Panangala Vajiragnana Thero – Chief Incumbent of the temple in Naples. Other religious observances were conducted by Rev. Fr. Hemantha Perera, Rev. Fr. Pradeep (Christian) Prof. Ponnambalam (Hindu) and Waliullah Khan Moulana (Muslim). Alms were offered to the religious dignitaries.

The guests and numerous Sri Lankan expatriates from Catania, Florence, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Verona, Rome and other parts of Italy, who attended the celebrations, were treated to a traditional Sri Lankan brunch and sweets.