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February 19, 2018

High Commission of Sri Lanka in London commemorates 70th Independence Day
The High Commission of Sri Lanka in London commemorated the 70th Anniversary of Independence with the participation of more than 250 Sri Lankans representing all communities of Sri Lanka on 04 February 2018 at the High Commission premises. The event commenced with the hoisting of the National Flag by Sri Lanka's High Commissioner H.E. Amari Wijewandene, and the playing of the National Anthem in Sinhala followed by two minutes' silence in remembrance of all those who sacrificed their lives for the nation.

Religious observances were conducted by Ven. Bogoda Seelawimala Nayaka Thero, Ramanathan Kurukkal, Rev. Fr Ashley Vincent and Moulavi Anas.

The Independence Day messages of H.E. the President, Hon Prime Minister and Hon Minister of Foreign Affairs were made available to the participants in all three languages; Sinhala, Tamil, and English. The event was attended by an unprecedented number of guests representing a wide cross section of the Sri Lankan community in the United Kingdom.

The High Commissioner, in her address to the gathering, stated the importance of the commemoration of our Independence this year and its significance to all in many ways as we all celebrate and assess the path that Sri Lanka has under gone over the past 70 years. Further, she stated that all communities must come forward together to build a better and peaceful Sri Lanka, where everyone can coexist in harmony and emphasized on the importance of sustainable agricultural growth in Sri Lanka.

The event concluded with playing of the National Anthem in Tamil followed by traditional Sri Lankan refreshments.

On 07th February 2018, the High Commissioner hosted a diplomatic reception at her official residence inviting more than 300 dignitaries from London based diplomatic community, Members of Parliament of the House of Commons and House of Lords, officials of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, other government officials, Honorary Consuls for Sri Lanka, business community members etc. The Rt Hon Mark Field MP, Minister of State.

for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was the Chief Guest of the event. The presence of the Minister, Members of Parliaments and high ranking officials of the UK government together in attendance emphasized the commitment of the UK government to further strengthen the existing relations between the two countries.

The High Commissioner in her welcome address, highlighted the importance of the 70th Independence Day and the significant achievements made in the journey. She also underlined the strong relations between the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka, and briefed the invitees on the developments and achievements of Sri Lanka during the past 70 years and its geopolitical significance to the global community as an active partner.

The Chief Guest, in his address, stated that the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka have enjoyed strong bilateral relations and stressed on the importance of improving those relations further. The High Commissioner concluded her address with a toast to Her Majesty The Queen and this was followed by the Chief Guest proposing a toast to His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka.

Guests in attendance were entertained with traditional Kandyan and Bharatanatyam dance performances and cello performance by Rohan de Seram. The guests were also served with an array of cuisine in keeping with the warm tradition of Sri Lankan hospitality

High Commision of Sri Lanka
London
09 February 2018
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