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February 06, 2018
Sinha 2018 - 70th Sri Lankan Independence Day Celebration
in London, United Kingdom
For the 6th consecutive year The Athula Dassana Multi-cultural Buddhist Community Centre proudly celebrated the 70th Sri Lankan Independence Day on Saturday the 3rd of February at Lampton School, Hounslow, Middlesex.

This special event was organised under the patronage of Ven Wanduramba Kassapa Thero, Chief Sanganayake of Amarapura Sri Saddhamma Wansa Niyaka of Great Britain, the head of the Athula Dassana International Buddhist Vihara.

The celebrations began at 5.00pm with the hoisting of the Sri Lankan national flag and singing the national anthem, which was followed by the lighting of the traditional oil lamp ceremony.

The event was graced with attendance of Her Excellency Mrs Amari Mandika Wijewardane, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom as the Chief Guest. Many other dignitaries including Deputy Mayor of London Borough of Hounslow - Councillor Mukesh Malhotra, Dr Sunil Kariyakarawana - Buddhist Chaplain to Her Majesty's Armed Forces and Dr.Nishanie Bajramovic (BDS) - Estetica Dental Clinic attended the event. Co- sponsor for this year's Independence Day event was Mrs Mahesi Kokila, Bhuddi Ambepitiya and Mr Abhishanka Gamage, Directors\Partners of Marrage.lk.

The event attracted over 300 Sri Lankans and expatriates from different ethnic, religious, political and social groups livening in London.

More than 60 dancers and musicians performed a mix of multi-cultural dances and music of Sri Lanka including over 40 children from the Athula Dassana Dhamma School participated in a cultural show which illustrated the cultural richness, beauty and the diversity of Sri Lanka. One of the key highlight of the event was the dramatic reenactment of Veera Puran Appu by Mr. Raju Bandara, Mr. Nilantha Kuruppuarachchi. Mrs. Teela Ranjani, Mr. Priyalal Silva, Mr Crishath Boteju, Mr Crishath Boteju, was among the musicians performed at the event. Rangasara Dance Academy (Italy), Dilini Seneviratne, Tharushi Wanigarathna and Akila Sulakkana performed Sri Lankan folk dances depicting rites and rituals associated with folk belief of our country for over centuries.

While appreciating the solidarity extended by Sri Lankans with their participation at the National Day Celebration, in his welcome address, Ven Kassapa Thero also thanked all those who helped to make this event possible including Dhamma School children, their parents, Dhamma School Dance Teacher - Mekhala Madubhashini, Dhamma School development committee, all the invited performers and volunteers who helped in various ways, and the financial support of various event sponsors.

Addressing the gathered audience, The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom H.E. Mrs Wijewardane thanked Ven Kassapa Thero for organising this colourful event and highlighted the importance of celebrating such significant events overseas, helping to further enrich the society by introducing people to Sri Lankan culture and traditions. Mrs Wijewardane specifically acknowledge and appreciated our Dhamma School Children's performance and assured her continued support for the development of our Dhamma School.

In his speech, Deputy Mayor of London Borough of Hounslow - Councillor Mukesh Malhotra referred to the vibrant and robust relationship between Sri Lankan Community and other communities in his Borough and referenced the valuable contribution they make. Councillor Malhotra also thanked Ven Kassapa Thero for his tireless efforts and positive contributions he makes to enrich the Sri Lankan Community in Hounslow.

Miss Maheshi Kokila, Mrs Nuresha Lakmini and Mr Chanaka Samarakoon were the commentators of the event. Photography Mr Asanka Wanniarachige, Videography by Kirana TV and the stage manager was Mr Seevali Liyadipita.
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