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Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto celebrates 70th Anniversary of Independence

Media Release 

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The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Toronto organized many events in connection with the 70th Anniversary celebrations of Independence of Sri Lanka. The first event, a flag hoisting ceremony, was held at the Toronto City Hall on 4th February 2018, followed by a cultural evening at the Ontario Science Center Auditorium with the participation of expatriate Sri Lankans residing in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and adjacent cities. Many leaders from federal and provincial governments as well as from the Toronto city graced the occasion. Arrangements are being made to hold events at other municipalities in the GTA in this regard.

The cultural evening commenced with hoisting of the national flag, singing the national anthem in Sinhala and Tamil languages and the Canadian national anthem, followed by lighting the traditional oil lamp and observance of one-minute silence in memory of those who sacrificed their lives for the motherland.  The message of President Maithripala Sirisena was read by Consul General in Toronto, U.L. Mohammed Jauhar, while those of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana were read by Deputy Consul General Ms. Priyangika Wijegunasekera, and Consul Mr. Geshan Dissanayake.  Multi-faith religious observances were conducted by the clergy who invoked blessing for Sri Lanka and its people.

Addressing the gathering, Consul General Mohammed Jauhar appreciated the cooperation of the Sri Lankan community towards realization of objectives of the Consulate as well as on the reconciliation process among Sri Lankans in Canada. He observed that trade relations between the two countries continue to grow and the visit of the business delegation to Sri Lanka further strengthened them. Reiterating the salient points of messages of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Consul General called upon Sri Lankans to show unity in diversity and to face challenges with courage.

In her message, sent to the Consulate General, Premier Kathleen Wynne of the Ontario Province extended her warm greetings to Sri Lanka and its people and highlighted the valued contributions of the Sri Lankan community to the province of Ontario. Member of Federal Parliament Yasmin Ratansi who is also the Chairperson of the Canada-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science of the Ontario Provincial Government Reza Moridi, Parliamentary Assistant to the Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration  Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, Member of Ontario Provincial Parliament Vic Dhillon, and many Consuls General based in Toronto graced the occasion as special guests and extended their greetings to Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan origin residents in Canada.  City councillors, senior government officials, professionals, members of business chambers and Sri Lanka associations were also in attendance. Highlights of the event were the splendid cultural performances, presented by children of the Sri Lankan community in Toronto, which showcased the rich cultural heritage and diversity of Sri Lanka. Delicious Sri Lankan dinner was served at the end of the programme.

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Consulate General of Sri Lanka

Toronto

07.02.2018

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