The 64 th Independence Day of Sri Lanka was celebrated in New Delhi on Saturday 4 th February at the Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi. The day long celebrations commenced with High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam, joined by the staff of the High Commission, offering alms (the morning meal) to Buddhist priests representing the Sri Lankan Buddhist temples located in India including the recently established Jambudvipa-Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Sarnath. The offering of alms was followed by the Flag Hoisting Ceremony with the participation of the Sri Lankan expatriate community. The Ceremony included the reading of the Message of the President of Sri Lanka, H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa. Addressing the Sri Lankan community, High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam stressed the important role that the Sri Lankan community must play in supporting the vision of H.E. the President in consolidating the hard won peace in the country. Highlighting the exchange of high-level visits between Sri Lanka and India in the recent past, the High Commissioner apprised the gathering of the successful implementation of programmes and projects that had been agreed during the State Visit of President Rajapaksa to India in June 2010, including the construction of 50,000 houses, the Sampur Power Plant, the Kankasanthurai Harbour, and the railway lines in Northern as well as Southern Sri Lanka.
Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Rural Development and Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation represented the Government of India at the Reception hosted by the High Commissioner at his Residence in the evening. The Reception, attended by over eight hundred guests, included Indian Foreign Secretary Shri Ranjan Mathai, members of the Indian Parliament, diplomats, senior government officials, and media personnel. The Indian and Sri Lankan National Anthems were sung on the occasion by Sri Lankan students of music at the Benaras Hindu University.
High Commission of Sri Lanka in India
5 February 2012