The morning ceremony which was held at the Official Residence of the High Commissioner, with the participation of the Sri Lankan community in Singapore and the Singaporean well-wishers, began with the hoisting of the National Flag by High Commissioner Nimal Weeraratne followed by the singing of the National Anthem, observing two minutes silence paying tribute to the national heroes, lighting of the traditional oil lamp and the religious observances to bless the people, the Government and the country. A meal of traditional kiribath and Sri Lankan sweetmeats was served to the gathering.
The Independence Day messages of H.E. the President, the Hon. Prime Minister and the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs were read in Sinhala and Tamil official languages. Addressing the gathering, High Commissioner Weeraratne reiterated the importance of preserving the unity and freedom that all Sri Lankans now enjoy, and made a special note of thanks to the participants for their good-will, continued support and patronage with the High Commission at all occasions.
In the evening, a formal reception was held with the participation of the high-level dignitaries from the Government of Singapore, diplomatic community, leaders of business community, academia, and the Sri Lankan diaspora in Singapore. The evening reception was attended by over 250 guests.
The High Commissioner addressing the gathering highlighted the determination exhibited and sacrifices made by the country’s forefathers irrespective of ethnicities and religions for the realization of our independence, which really demonstrates the way that the different communities in the country showed promise of being able to live and work towards common national goals in peace, harmony and unity. Thus, he requested to make a resolve on this auspicious occasion to strengthen our efforts for a new Sri Lanka in which ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity is respected, celebrated and valued. While thanking the Singaporean Government for its assistance for several Sri Lanka’s development initiatives, he also urged the Sri Lankan community in Singapore, Singaporean and foreign friends for their continued strong support for Sri Lanka’s development efforts in his remarks.
The evening ceremony also featured the singing of the national anthems of the two countries by a group of Sri Lankan students and a dinner served with the Sri Lankan cuisine.