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High Commission in New Delhi celebrates 69th Anniversary of Independence

(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – High Commission of Sri Lanka celebrated the 69th anniversary of the independence of Sri Lanka with the official ceremony held in the morning of 4th of February followed by an evening reception at the High Commission premises on the 6th of February, 2017.

The official ceremony was commenced with the hoisting of the national flag by High Commissioner Chitranganee Wagiswara. Following the rendering of the National Anthem, religious dignitaries representing 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 by the High Commissioner and members of the diplomatic staff. An alms giving was held prior to the official ceremony at the official residence for the Buddhist clergy representing all major Sri Lankan Buddhist institutes in India.

The Diplomatic reception on the 6th of February was graced by the Minister of State for External Affairs of India, M.J. Akbar, as the Chief Guest and other prominent guests who included Foreign Secretary S Jaishanker and the National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party Ram Madhav. The representative gathering of over 700 guests comprised political dignitaries, diplomats, government officials, business leaders, Sri Lankan expatriates and media personnel. Addressing the invitees High Commissioner Wagiswara highlighted the excellent relations between Sri Lanka and India. High Commissioner Wagiswara also referred to the strengthening of the bilateral ties after the assumption of office of the National Unity Government in Sri Lanka, adding that “today we are moving together in partnership in building and further strengthening our traditionally close relations”.

The guests at the reception were entertained to a cultural program which included Sri Lankan classical music with Bhagesri Fonseka from the University of Colombo and also, Sri Lankan contemporary music with the winner of the first Ranawiru Real Star Award, Captain Damien Fernando of the Sri Lanka Navy.

The guests were also entertained to a wide array of Sri Lankan cuisine by the chefs of Blue Waters Wadduwa Beach Hotel in Sri Lanka as well as to Indian and Western cuisine. The audience was informed of the great potential for enhanced Indo – Sri Lanka trade and economic partnership, with the leading Sri Lankan investments and business ventures in India. The national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, conducted a raffle draw offering two free air-tickets for the winners to travel to Sri Lanka.

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