Commemoration of the 68th Independence Day of Sri Lanka in New Delhi,
4th February 2016
The High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi commemorated the 68th Independence Day through a day-long celebration on 4th February 2016.
The official ceremony in the morning commenced with the hoisting of the national flag by High Commissioner Esala Weerakoon in the backdrop of the sound of the ceremonial drums (magul bera). Following the rendering of the national anthem, religious dignitaries representing all four major religions in Sri Lanka – Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity - blessed the country, the leaders and the people. A two minute silence was observed in respect of national heroes of Sri Lanka and the messages of President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera were read. The invitees, who also included the Sri Lankan expatriates in New Delhi, were hosted to a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast.
The Luncheon Reception which followed was graced by the Foreign Secretary of India Dr Subramanyam Jaishankar as the Chief Guest and was attended by a representative gathering of political dignitaries, diplomats, government officials, business leaders, Sri Lankan expatriates and media personnel. Addressing the invitees, High Commissioner Weerakoon said that the heritage of Sri Lanka and India is as old as civilization itself and that the past year has seen the bilateral relations to be of a truly transformative nature. He expressed confidence that the year 2016 will see the further enhancement of the time-tested friendship between the two countries.
The guests at the Reception were entertained to Sri Lankan traditional dance performances by Sri Lankan students of the University of Calcutta, while having the opportunity to experience the distinctive culinary skills of the renowned Sri Lankan restaurateur Chef Dharshan Munidasa and his team and also a wide array of Indian and Western cuisine by reputed chefs from ITC Maurya in New Delhi. Sri Lankan exhibits and products as well as Sri Lankan investments and business ventures in India, namely Brandix Lanka Ltd, Dankotuwa Porcelain, Damro and Sri Lankan Airlines were showcased to enlighten the guests and provided a glimpse of the potential for greater bilateral trade and enhanced economic partnership.
In the evening the High Commission in collaboration with ITC Maurya in New Delhi inaugurated a Sri Lankan food festival titled “Flavours from the Spice Island – Sri Lanka” by Chef Dharshan Munidasa and his team. The food festival will continue till 7th February.
Sri Lanka High Commission, New Delhi, 5th February 2016