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High Commissioner Asoka Girihagama graces Thai Pongal celebrations in Montréal

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Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Canada, Asoka Girihagama was the Special Guest at the Thai Pongal celebrations organized by the Thamillor Oli Association of Quebec in collaboration with the Montréal Tamil Schools and Fine Arts Schools on 12th January 2019 at the Ecolé Lucien Page Auditorium in Montréal, Quebec.

 High Commissioner Girihagama and Mrs. Sudarma Girihagama were welcomed by the organizers on their arrival.

Addressing the large gathering, which consisted of prominent dignitaries including MPs, MNAs the Mayor, City Counsellors and representatives of different cultural communities, High Commissioner Girihagama spoke of the prominence according to all religious festivals in the Sri Lankan calendar and stated that the festivities begin for the year with the celebration of Thai Pongal. Speaking of the significance of the celebrations, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner stated that the celebrations bring families together and is a time when old enmities, personal animosities and rivalries are forgotten. He said that estrangements are healed and reconciliation effected on this festive occasion.

High Commissioner Girihagama also commended the community members for following their cultural practices and traditions although they live thousands of miles away from their motherland for many years, which he said, proved the popular saying that “culture has no boundaries and limits”.

The Thamillor Oli Association was established in 1984 and has been working towards uniting Tamil community throughout Montréal and helping them to integrate into the Canadian society. The Association has also been in the forefront of keeping the community’s heritage and culture alive through language development and fine arts including music, art, dance and poetry.

The celebrations included many cultural items performed by the members of the community.

 High Commissioner Girihagama was accompanied by his spouse, Mrs. Sudarma Girihagama.

 

Sri Lanka High Commission

Ottawa

14th January 2019

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