The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Manila celebrated the 73rd anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence in a solemn ceremony giving due consideration to the health protocols imposed by the Government of the Philippines as the country is still under community quarantine.
The ceremony commenced with the singing of the national anthem followed by the lighting of the oil lamp and the observance of two minutes silence in remembrance of all who sacrificed their lives for the nation. Multi-faith religious rites were conducted in accordance with Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian practices, to invoke blessings for the country.
The excerpt of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s manifesto “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor” was read followed by the messages of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of the Republic of the Philippines, and Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., conveyed their felicitation messages on account of the Independence Day to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena respectively.
In her speech, Ambassador Shobini Gunasekera highlighted the admirable feats of Sri Lanka throughout its history as well as in its current drive towards a technology-based and people-centric society. She commended the enduring relations between Sri Lanka and the Philippines and expressed her commitment to pursue opportunities to strengthen it further in line with the celebration of sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2021.
In recognition of this significant milestone, a symbolic logo has been designed by the Embassy to signify the year-long activities that will be undertaken to commemorate this event.
As a gesture of further solidarity, Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, Nathaniel G. Imperial, delivered a recorded message expressing his admiration for Sri Lanka and committing to further strengthen and consolidate the long-standing friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
Subsequently, Trade Officer Gerald Nuñez, presented the highlights of the Embassy’s economic diplomacy initiatives to provide a glimpse of its efforts to deepen ties with the Philippines.
The ceremony concluded with the rendition of a Sri Lankan song by the Embassy staff and a sumptuous buffet of Sri Lankan cuisine including Kiribat and sweetmeats.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
08 February 2021