Celebration of 70 years of Sri Lanka’s Independence in Manila
Sri Lanka’s 70th National Independence Day was celebrated in Manila on Sunday 4 February joined by the Sri Lankan community in the Philippines and friends of Sri Lanka at the Sri Lanka Residence.
The official ceremony commenced with hoisting of the national flag by the Sri Lanka Ambassador to the Philippines, Mrs. Aruni Ranaraja followed by singing of the national anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil languages. Two minutes silence was observed in remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives for the motherland followed by lighting the traditional oil lamp by Sri Lankans representing all communities.Multi faith religious observances were conducted in accordance with Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian practices.
The National Day messages of His Excellency the President, Hon. Prime Minister and Hon. Foreign Minister were read out in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages.
Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Ranaraja outlined the significant achievements Sri Lanka has made since independence and the renewed orientation of the Unity Government focused on principals of democracy, unity, inclusivity and reconciliation. Ambassador further stated that for the past two years Sri Lanka’s engagement with the Philippines have blossomed into a vibrant relationship covering political, economic, education, agriculture, capacity building, tourism and cultural related spheres. She also pointed to the significant elevation of Sri Lanka’s relations with Multilateral Organizations based in the Philippines. The event also featured an exhibition on “Wonder of Asia” and variety of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine and Ceylon Teas.
To mark the momentous occasion, an evening reception under the theme “Strengthening Relations through Cultural Diplomacy” was hosted, showcasing Sri Lanka’s vibrant multicultural character through cuisine, culture and music. Symbolizing Sri Lanka’s engagement across the globe, Representatives of the Government of the Philippines, Head of the Diplomatic Corps and Heads of Missions representing all regions joined the Ambassador in lighting the traditional oil lamp.
Representing the Government of the Philippines, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Millicent Cruz-Paredes, while conveying the greetings of His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Philippines, to His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President and the people of Sri Lanka, reaffirmed Philippines commitment to continue working with Sri Lanka to strengthen cooperative ties and exploring new areas of partnership.
A large number of guests including the Senior Government officials of the Philippines , members of the Diplomatic Corps, Representatives of the International organizations , Honorary Consuls, Business Personalities including the Representatives of the Chambers, Media,Tour operators and Travel Agents, cross section of Sri Lankans based in the Philippines and friends of Sri Lanka attended the occasion.
Sri Lanka Embassy
14th February 2018