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February 10, 2017
The 69th Anniversary of Sri Lanka's Independence Celebrated in Milan, Italy
The Sri Lanka Consulate General in Milan marked the 69th Anniversary of Sri Lanka's Independence on 04th February 2017, with an official ceremony at the Consulate premises. Over 100 Sri Lankan expatriate community members representing all communities attended the event.

The official ceremony commenced with the hoisting of the National Flag by the Consul General, which was then followed by the singing of the National Anthem by the Sri Lankan children living in Milan. The National Anthem was sung in both Sinhala and Tamil exemplifying the government's efforts towards national reconciliation and ethnic harmony. The traditional oil lamp was lit by children belong to all communities.

Religious dignitaries representing Buddhists, Hindu, Islam and Christian faiths blessed the Nation and the people of Sri Lanka and the two-minute silence was observed to commemorate war heroes and others who sacrificed their lives for the motherland. The Independence Day messages of H.E. the President, Hon. Prime Minister and Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs were read out in all three languages respectively.

Addressing the gathering, Consul General Pradeepa Saram highlighted the importance of the event and noted that the celebrations were particularly meaningful because of the positive changes taking place in Sri Lanka under the leadership of H.E. the President and his Unity Government.

She stated that, the Milan Consulate established in 2016 to further bilateral relations with Italy and serve the large Sri Lankan expatriate community.

"It is particularly a matter of pride that the Sri Lankan expatriate community in Northern Italy have made a tremendous contribution to the strengthening of the relations between Sri Lanka and Italy. I take this opportunity to recognize their invaluable contribution during difficult times in our recent history" She said. "Their remittances make a significant contribution to Sri Lanka's economy."

A brief cultural programme was organized including a song by the Sri Lankan children living in Milan. The event concluded with a special meal organized by the Consulate.

On 04th February evening Consul General attended an event organized by the Comune di Baranzate in Milan to celebrate the 69th Anniversary of Sri Lanka's Independence. The event was attended by large number of Sri Lankans residing in Baranzate and Italian well-wishers.
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