Sri Lanka Independence Day celebrations in Sweden
Press Release: The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm
The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm, Sweden held the 66th Independence Day celebrations at the Embassy premises on Saturday, 08th February.
The official ceremony commenced with the National Flag being hoisted by H.E. Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma amidst the beating of ‘Magul Bera’ followed by the recital of the National Anthem. The Traditional Oil Lamp was lit by the Ambassador, staff members and members of the Sri Lankan community. The programme was moderated by Mrs. Rashika Gunathilake, Attaché of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Stockholm.
Two minutes of silence was observed in remembrance of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Sri Lanka. H.E. Ambassador Oshadhi Alahapperuma delivered the welcome speech, after which Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious observances were conducted. Most Venerable Kirindigalle Dhammaratana Nayaka Thero, the Chief incumbent of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara and the Chief Sangha Nayaka of Scandinavian countries, Venerable Watapana Pannarathana Thero, the Chief Incumbent of the Stockholm Tapovana Temple, Venerable Mathale Dhammakanda Thero and Burma Sobana Thero of the Stockholm Buddhist Vihara conducted the Buddhist religious observances. They also spoke about the significance and value of independence and the responsibility of the citizen. Mr B. Mohan, Chief priest of Sweden Ganesha Temple, Imam Abdul Haq and H.E. Fredrik Emanuelsson, Acting Bishop of Stockholm Church conducted the Hindu, Muslim and Christian observances respectively.
Addressing the gathering, Ambassador Alahapperuma stated that Sri Lanka is heading towards a new era of development under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and emphasized the importance of reconciliation within the communities. He said that responsibility lies on all Sri Lankans, irrespective of their ethnicity, to protect and keep united Mother Sri Lanka. The National Day Messages of President Mahinda Rajapaksa was read by the Ambassador. The Tamil translations of the messages were read by Ms. Dharcica Sinniah.
Photographs by: Janaka Alahapperuma