Embassy and the Sri Lankan community in the Greater Washington area celebrated Christmas at a colorful ceremony at the Embassy on December 10, 2010. Those attending included members of the Sri Lanka-America Catholic Association and representatives of other Sri Lankan associations.
The Embassy of Sri Lanka hosts Christmas ceremony as it does all the important religious holidays of the religions of Sri Lanka, recognizing the traditions of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians.
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya opened the ceremony by noting the importance of holding multi-religious events to celebrate Sri Lanka’s harmony and diversity. Today especially, he said, Christmas holds a special significance to everyone in Sri Lanka as the nation works toward peace and reconciliation.
The ambassador said that during the holidays, we talk a great deal about peace and goodwill, and that finally, after a lengthy conflict, Sri Lanka has found peace and goodwill. Calm is omnipresent–in Colombo, Galle, Kandy, Trincomalee, Vavuniya, and Jaffna.
Ambassador Wickramasuriya also invited all Sri Lankans residing in the United States to visit Sri Lanka. Once there, he said, they will recognize the rapid pace of development under President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
During the Christmas celebration, Father Percy De Silva of Kensington spoke of the significance of Christmas and delivered a Christmas prayer. Afterwards, guests sang popular Christmas carols, led by Mrs. Melita Ethelbert.
In the tradition of Christmas, the embassy was decorated with beautiful lights, holiday wreaths and a large Christmas tree. After a brief program, the guests enjoyed Sri Lankan food and tea and exchanged holiday pleasantries.
The Ambassador wished all present a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Embassy of Sri Lanka
14 December 2010