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Independence Day

Sri Lanka’s Independence and 59th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Russia celebrated in Moscow


A cultural event titled “Sri Lanka Night 2016” was held in Moscow on 19 February 2016 to commemorate Sri Lanka’s 68th National Day and the 59th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the Russian Federation.

The event, which was organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Russian Federation in collaboration with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, was attended by more than 250 guests including  important personalities in the Russian Government, business community, academics, diplomats in Moscow, media personnel, among others, participated,.


Hon. John Amaratunga, Minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs was the Chief Guest on the occasion, while Hon. Ilya Shestakov, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation represented the Russian Government. Amongst other dignitaries that graced the occasion was Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman cosmonaut of the world and Deputy Chairman of the Committee on International Relations of the State Duma of the Russian Federation. 

A Sri Lankan Dancing Troupe led by Mrs. Rajini Selvanayagam performed at the cultural event showcasing Sri Lanka’s rich culture. Participants at the event highly appreciated the opportunity to see a glimpse of Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage and what Sri Lanka has to offer to its visitors particularly in the backdrop of Russian tourists seeking new destinations.  A short film in Russian language, specially produced by the Embassy for the occasion, was also screened. Moreover, a photo exhibition depicting Sri Lanka’s culture, heritage sites, pristine beaches, hotels, scenic beauty, people and cuisine etc. was held parallel to the cultural event while the guests also had the opportunity to taste Ceylon tea. 

Welcoming the guests, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation DrSamanWeerasinghe said that though official diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Russia began on 19 February 1957, the history of Russia - Sri Lanka relations went back much earlier. A Russian Consulate was established in Galle in 1891 and the first Russians arrived in Ceylon in mid-19th century. He added that at present Sri Lanka has entered an era of consensual politics with a new Government whose main task is to achieve rapid economic development and reconciliation. He pointed out that having been a destination for family tourism, religious pilgrims and beach lovers for decades, Sri Lanka is now building high-end hotels and tourism infrastructure to attract tourists from all over the world. As an island with an abundant options for tourists, Sri Lanka has unparalleled diversity within a small land area of 65,610 square kilometers, giving the opportunity to a visitor spending ten days on average in the country to fully enjoy it.


Minister Amaratunga addressing the guests explained the positive developments in Sri Lanka after the election of a new administration following the Presidential and General Elections. He invited Russian tourists also to spend their holidays in Sri Lanka pointing out that Sri Lanka was becoming very popular amongst European tourists as well as from nations in Asia for reasons including political stability, absence of health hazards, safety of visitors, cost factor etc. The Island has much to offer to its guests such as best beaches in Asia, rich wildlife, whale and dolphin watching, tea industry, cultural heritage, the environment and the hospitality of its friendly people, to name a few. Deputy Minister Ilya Shestakov said that February was a historical month for the bilateral relations between Russia and Sri Lanka dueto marking the National Day of Sri Lanka and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations, as well as for holding the first session of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation in February this year, which he had had the honour to co-chair, representing the Russian Government.

The event was highly admired by the participants who described it as one of the most successful and attractively organized event by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in recent history.


Embassy of Sri Lanka

25 February 2016

Media Release in Sinhala




The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Mumbai celebrated the 68th Anniversary of the Independence Day at the official residence of the Consul General on Thursday, 04 February 2016, followed by a reception on 17 February 2016 at the Trident Hotel, Mumbai.

The official ceremony commenced with the hoisting of the National Flag by Saroja Sirisena, Consul General, followed by the National Anthem and lighting of the Traditional Oil Lamp.


Two minutes of silence was observed in remembrance of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Sri Lanka.

Multi-faith religious observances were conducted by the religious dignitaries representing the Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Islamic faiths.

The National Day Messages of H. E. the President, Hon. Prime Minister and Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs were read.

Over 500 guests, including the Diplomatic community, Government dignitaries, Captains of industry, Sri Lankan community in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa and members of the Sri Lanka armed forces undergoing training in India participated at the evening reception.

Addressing the gathering, the Consul General stated that, the Mumbai Mission established to further trade and economic relations, remains to date a pillar in bilateral relations with India. She also emphasised that, this Mission will focus on deepening ties in all areas, including political, social and cultural ties with the three states that fall under its purview; Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa.


The guests at the reception were entertained by the ‘Budawatta Dance Troupe’ and Indian singer Gaurav Dagaonkar who also sang the Indian and Sri Lankan national anthems.

The reception was followed by a buffet of Sri Lankan cuisine by the chefs of Cinnamon Lakeside hotel, Colombo.


Consulate General of Sri Lanka

Mumbai, India

22nd February 2016


Representative Office of Sri Lanka in Palestine celebrates 68th Independence Day of Sri Lanka


The 68th Independence Day of Sri Lanka was celebrated by the Representative Office of Sri Lanka in Palestine  on 4th February 2016   at Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah with the participation of the large gathering of invitees.  Representative Mr. M. Fawzan Anver,  presided the function.  Hon. Dr. Ibrahim   Al- Shaer, Minister of Social Affairs of the Government of Palestine was a Chief Guest at this occasion.

Diplomats, High Officials from the President’s Office, Office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Foreign Affairs  of Palestine, Representatives of Political Parties, members of the NGO’s organizations ,  Members of the Chamber of Commerce,  Tea Importers, Travel Agents,  Sri Lankan workers  in Palestine  , members of  Palestine – Sri Lanka Friendship Society  and well wishes graced the occasion.

Function commenced with lighting of traditional oil Lamp  amidst the playing of ‘Magul Bera ‘  and  followed by singing of the National Anthems of both countries.  Then the religious observances were conducted.


  Mr. Fawzan Anver,  the Representative in  his welcome speech highlighted   the longstanding  solidarity and friendship  that exist between Sri Lanka and Palestine. He also recalled the support of the Government and the people of Sri  Lanka to Palestine cause  for two State Solutions on the basis of relevant UN resolutions.  He also  explained the development activities taking place under the leadership of H. E. President Maithripala Sirisena and mentioned the remarkable achievements gained in economic, social and cultural activities of Sri Lanka. The Representative also said  that the audience can see the  National Flag of Sri Lanka  at the event , in the meantime, all Palestinians are having Crest of Sri Lanka at their homes  because they are consuming Ceylon Tea in a large scale. He further said that the event has also been organized to promote Trade, Tourism and investment activities of Sri Lanka . Finally he thanked the Government and  people of Palestine for their felicitations and greetings.

 Independence Day messages of the President, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs were read to the gathering.

The Chief Guest - Dr. Ibrahim Al- shaer, Minister of Social Affairs in his speech conveyed the greetings and best wishes to H.E. the President and the people of Sri Lanka. He also thanked  for Sri Lanka’s  consistent support to the Palestinian cause  which  had been expressed  in  national and international ways.  Also he valued the long standing friendship and solidarity between Sri Lanka and Palestine and thanked the Representative for organizing this colorful function.

Finally a unique feature at this function was the award of “ Lanka Pranama “ ( salutation of Sri Lanka ) by Sri Lanka – Palestine Friendship Society  to   Dr. Nabeel  Shaath,  a  highly educated and a  distinguished citizen of Palestine.

Dr. Nabeel Shaath has been maintaining longstanding relation with Sri Lankan Former Prime Minister  late Madam Sirimavo Bandaraniake. In 1971 he attended AFRO – ASIA Solidarity Moment Conference held in Cairo along with the Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike, former Prime Minister.

Mr. Fawzan Anver, Representative of Sri Lanka in Palestine also met with Dr. Nabeel Shaath in Iraq at the BAATH – Party Conference held in 2000.

Dr. Nabeel Shaath was one of the Senior Politicians of the Middle East Countries during the period of 1970.

Dr. Nabeel Shaathah in his address thanked the Representative and the Sri Lanka – Palestine Friendship Society  for  organizing the event . He recalled the longstanding friendly relation between Madam Srimaavo Bandaranaike and the political leaders of Sri Lanka. He also remembered the support given by the Government and people of Sri Lanka for Palestinian cause and appreciated the services rendered by the Representative-  Mr. Fawzan Anver.

 Information on  Sri Lanka  including development activities  and opportunities in the trade , tourism and other economic spheres for the business community through electronic media also was disseminated during the event.  A news item of the event was also telecasted on Palestine Television.

Also a Palestinian girl wearing Kandyan Dress was an attractive of the gathering.

The function concluded with the refreshments included traditional food items of Sri Lanka such as Egg Hoppers, “Katta sambol” etc; which were enjoyed by participants.

All participants were gifted with pure Ceylon Tea in a special bag printed as “Pearl of Asia – Sri Lanka”.



Representative Office of Sri Lanka




Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tokyo celebrates 68th Anniversary of Independence Day


The 68th Independence Day of Sri Lanka was held on Thursday, 4th February 2016 at the Reiyukai Hall in Tokyo organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka.

The Independence Day Ceremony was celebrated in the presence of Ambassador Yasushi Akashi, Representative of the Government of Japan on Peace-Building, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka, former Ambassadors to Sri Lanka and senior officials representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan as well as a large gathering of Japanese nationals and Sri Lankan expatriates in Japan.


The official ceremony of the Independence Day Celebrations was commenced with the hoisting of  National Flag followed by the National Anthem in Sinhala and Tamil. Two minutes silence was observed to commemorate the national heroes who have sacrificed their lives on behalf of the country. The religious observances on this occasion were conducted by the representatives of Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian Clergy with the blessings for the peace and prosperity of the country.  As customary, the National Day Messages of H.E. the President, Hon. Prime Minister and the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs were read out in all three languages. In addressing the gathering Ambassador Professor Dammika Ganganath Disanayake emphasized that the Government of Sri Lanka is committed to move forward to be a progressive and democratic nation to embark the political, economic and social freedom of the country.

The Emeritus Professor Sunil Ariyaratne also delivered the Memorial Speech illuminating the gathering on “Nidahas Aragalaye Mahajana Bhoomikawa” depicting the efforts of the people of Sri Lanka at the National Independence Movement of the country. Mr. Saman Athaudahetti, Additional Secretary/Media to Honorable Prime Minister also attended the celebrations. 


On this day, a musical concert had been organized by the Mission to coincide with the official celebrations. The Veteran Sri Lankan Musicians and Singers Amarasiri Peiris and Nawaratne Gamage participated at the Musical concert with the rendition of patriotic songs thus entertaining the audience.  

A large number of Japanese nationals and members of the Sri Lankan community in Japan were gathered at the occasion and enjoyed traditional Sri Lankan cuisine. 







The 68th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence Day celebrated in Geneva


The 68th Anniversary of Sri Lanka’s Independence was celebrated at an event organized by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva on 6 February 2016 (Saturday) at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) New Building. Over 250 members of the Sri Lankan community attended the event.

Addressing the gathering, Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya, Charge d’Affaires a.i. said this solemn event was a celebration of Sri Lankan identity and the rich ethno-religious diversity that all Sri Lankans share. She noted that the Independence Day this year was celebrated at a time when the national unity government under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, “has presented to the world a Sri Lanka that is seeking to be a prosperous and peaceful nation, with equal opportunities for all its peoples, irrespective of their cast, creed or ethnicity”. Mrs. Jayasuriya, also highlighted the contribution made by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva through  actively engaging with a wide range of UN and international agencies, on human rights, trade, migration, disarmament, sustainable development, intellectual property, scientific research, environment and humanitarian work, over the last year, accruing tangible benefits to Sri Lanka. In this context she commended the Sri Lankan experts who have worked and are working in these organizations for their dedication as well as for their assistance to Sri Lanka over the years, and recalling Ambassador Aryasinha’s call on expatriate Sri Lankans and organizations to help in making the 'Declaration of Peace' pledge a reality abroad in practical ways she invited the overseas Sri Lankans and their associations to continue their good efforts to promote peace, prosperity and harmony in Sri Lanka.

The proceedings commenced with the hoisting of the national flag followed by the singing of the National Anthem. Two minutes silence was observed in honor of all patriots who have laid down their lives to preserve and protect the freedom, unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

Following the lighting of the traditional oil lamp, multi-religious observances were conducted. Ven. Thawalama Dhammika Thero, Ven. Halyale Wimalarathana Thero and Ven. Halwitigala Sujatha Thero invoked blessings according to the Buddhist religious tradition. Rev. Uma Shankar Kurukkal and Rev. Karthik Ragavan Kurukkal conducted the Hindu religious observances. Mr. A.M. Zawahir conducted the Islamic religious observances. Rev. Vincent Schmid conducted the Christian religious observances.

The 68th Independence Day message of H.E. the President was read by Mr. Saman Ganiachchi, Attaché (Consular), while Mrs. Mafusa Lafir, Second Secretary read the Message of Hon. Prime Minister and Ms. Sarasi de Silva, Attaché (Research Officer) read the Message of Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.


H.E. Mr. R.D.S. Kumararatne, Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO) delivered the Vote of Thanks. The official ceremony concluded with the playing of the National Anthem in Tamil.

The hosts of the evening were Mr. Nalinda Wijerathna, First Secretary in Sinhala, Mrs. Asha Neeliya, Management Assistant in Tamil and Ms. Dilini Gunasekera, Second Secretary in English.

The ceremonial segment of the Programme was followed by a Sri Lankan dinner hosted by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
08 February 2016

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