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The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Pretoria, South Africa Celebrates the 69th Anniversary of Independence of Sri Lanka

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The importance of striving for the twin objectives of reconciliation and development, set out by the Government of Sri Lanka, was the key in the brief speech delivered by H.E. Sunil De Silva, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Pretoria, at the 69th anniversary of independence of  Sri Lanka celebrations, held at the chancery premises. The main event to mark this special occasion was held on 4th February, in the presence of Sri Lankan expatriate community belonging to all ethnic groups.

In the brief remarks, the High Commissioner also highlighted on the long standing friendship between South Africa, Sri Lanka which spans even beyond the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in 1994, where Sri Lanka extended its fullest support towards the freedom struggle of ANC through the Non-aligned Movement. Further, it was also mentioned that  Sri Lanka, similar to South Africa, faces the uphill task of reconciliation and economic development in a nation of diverse cultures.

In keeping with the multi ethnic, multi religious nature of Sri Lanka, the national anthem was played in both Sinhala and Tamil languages and multi faith observances were made representing all four religions of Sri Lanka. Further, the messages of President, Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs were read in all 3 languages. The significant positive development in this year’s celebrations was the presence of a much larger number of Sri Lankan expatriates, representing all communities. The due recognition given to the national languages at the Independence Day Ceremony was well received by all those who participated.

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A function was also held for the diplomatic community in Pretoria, to mark the Independence Day, with the presence of Hon. Susan Shabangu, Minister of Women in the Presidency as the guest of honour, representing the Government of South Africa. The Minister elaborated on the vibrant bilateral ties between the two countries and stated that Sri Lanka and South Africa have remained steadfast friends through the years, reflected by the high level exchanges and the diverse sectors of cooperation. Hon. Susan Shabangu concluded her remarks by toasting for the good health of the President of Sri Lanka and for the longstanding bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and South Africa.

 

High Commission of Sri Lanka

Pretoria

15 February 2017

 

 

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