69th Sri Lankan Independence Day Celebration in London, United Kingdom
Press Release

For the 5th consecutive year The Athula Dassana Multi-cultural Buddhist Community Centre proudly celebrated the 69th Sri Lankan Independence Day on Saturday the 4th 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 4.00pm 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 Mayor of London Borough of Hounslow – Councillor Ajmer Grewal, Councillor Pritam Grewal – London Borough Hounslow,
Councillor Kairul Kareema Marikar – London Borough of Harrow, Dr Sunil Kariyakarawana - Buddhist Chaplain to Her Majesty's Armed Forces and Dr.Nishanie Bajramovic (BDS) - Estetica Dental Clinic attended the event.

Main sponsor for this year’s Independence Day event was Mr and Mrs Hemachandra. The event attracted over 350 Sri Lankans and expatriates from different ethnic, religious, political and social groups livening in London.

More than 60 performers including children from the Athula Dassana Dhamma School participated in a cultural show which illustrated the cultural richness, beauty and the diversity of Sri Lanka. The Athula Dassana Dance Group, Ranganee Dance Academy and Aththanayaka Dance Group 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 and their parents, Dhamma School development committee, Mrs. Mekhala Warnasooriya, Mrs Nirma Dhamawardene, Mrs. Maheshi Kokila, Mr. Bandara Wannaku Mr. Chanuka Samarakoon, Mr Dharshana Arrangha, Mr Seevali Liyadipita and Mr Asanka Hemachandra.

Ven Kassapa Thero briefly disclosed one of the main purposes of the event; to educate younger generation about their mother land, focusing on the historical aspects whilst allowing children to experience and learn about the culture. The experience gained through such participation will enhances their development, learn valuable life skills, be productive and active members of the community, and will empower and create a lasting influence well into their adulthood.

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.

In her speech, Mayor of London Borough of Hounslow – Councillor Ajmer Grewal referred to the vibrant and robust relationship between Sri Lankan Community and other communities in her Borough and referenced the valuable contribution they make.

The keynote speech was delivered by Dr Sunil Kariyakarawana. He highlighted the importance of this celebration; gaining Independence from being under the British rule for 133 years. In his speech he reminded us the history of gaining our freedom and also reminded the importance of remembering leaders, soldiers and citizens of the country who had shed their blood and lives to gain our freedom.


SESATHA - The Sri Lankan Event Portal in UK