Sri Lankan community in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia gathered at the Embassy’s premises on 04 February 2020 to celebrate the 72nd anniversary of the independence of Sri Lanka.
The event commenced with Charge d’ Affaires of the Embassy Madhuka Wickramarachchi hoisting the National Flag and the gathering singing the National Anthem. A two-minute silence was observed, paying tribute to the national heroes, which was followed by the lightning of the traditional oil lamp and multi-religious observances, blessing the occasion and the country. The Independence Day messages of the President, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Relations were read out in Sinhala, Tamil, and English respectively by the Embassy staff.
While addressing the gathering, Mr. Wickramarachchi said this event provides a stage to reflect on the challenges of today and address them from lessons learnt from the past. While positing on the constructions of the Sri Lankan social-political psyche in the pre-independent era he underlined how the ideology of one united nation gradually changed within a few decades and how it further fragmented after the Independence. He emphasized that, in our contemporary time, one of the most pressing needs is to strengthen the ideology of unity in diversity in Sri Lankan psyche and establishing a stronger ‘Sri Lankanness’ amongst all among the communities. He said this ideology is being reflected in the call of the Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to all Sri Lankans in the overseas to join with the Government to build a strong nation, and uniting to achieve the vision of a safe, prosperous and stable future for the country which is the cornerstone of the nation-building campaign spearheaded by the current government. He also appreciated the Sri Lankan community in Saudi Arabia for their tireless support of the Embassy’s work and expressed confidence in further strengthening this cooperation for attaining the best for their Motherland.
Guests who attended the event were hosted with traditional Sri Lankan cuisine of the country’s respective communities by the Embassy staff.