It is a historic triumph for all of us to be able to celebrate the 68th Independence Day as a nation that prizes the values of democracy, bringing all its citizens together in a spirit of unity and strength.

Just as everyone stood together to set the country free from the grip of colonialism back then, on January 08th, Sri Lankans came together to set the nation free from the tyranny of dictatorship, corruption, nepotism and familial rule; ensuring our return to the hallowed community of democratic nations that assure its people freedom and justice.

And now, the task before us is to ensure that the hard won freedom retains its meaning and significance; it is a task that calls for all of us to be united, irrespective of religious, ethnic and political affiliations. This indeed is the vision of the Government.

In the eyes of the world, Sri Lanka has been restored to it’s a position as a country that abides by the revered principles of democracy. Yet, before us is a formidable task of ensuring lasting peace and co-existence for all citizens while building on the concept of social economic development for the country.

On this Independence Day, let us strive to understand the challenges before us as a nation and determine to give of ourselves wholeheartedly to a noble vision of taking our country forward.

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister

21st January, 2016