Celebration of 66th Independence Day of Sri Lanka in Stockholm, Sweden
Friday, 14 February 2014 00:00
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm held the 66th Independence Day celebration at the Embassy premises on Saturday, 8 February.
The official ceremony commenced with the National Flag being hoisted by Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma amidst the beating of ‘magul bera’ followed by the recital of the national anthem. The traditional oil lamp was lit by the Ambassador, staff members and members of the Sri Lankan community. The program was moderated by Rashika Gunathilake, Attaché of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm.
Two minutes of silence was observed in remembrance of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Sri Lanka. Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma held a welcome speech, after which Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious observances were conducted. Most Venerable Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Nayaka Thero, the Chief incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara and the Nayaka Thero of Scandinavian countries, Venerable Watapana Pannarathana Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Stockholm Tapovana Temple, Venerable Mathale Dammakanda Thero and Burma Sobana Thero of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara conducted the Buddhist religious observances.
They also spoke about the significance and value of independence and the responsibility of the citizen. B. Mohan, Chief priest of Sweden Ganesha Temple, Imam Abdul Haq and Fredrik Emanuelsson, Acting Bishop of Stockholm Church respectively conducted the Hindu, Muslim and Christian observances.
Adressing the gathering, Ambassador Alahapperuma stated that Sri Lanka is heading towards a new era of development under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and emphasised the importance of reconciliation within the communities. He said that responsibility lies on all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their ethnicity, to protect and keep Sri Lanka united. The national day message of President Mahinda Rajapaksa was read by the Ambassador. The Tamil translations of the messages were read by Dharcica Sinniah.