• Many religious and cultural programs planned throughout the country on the instructions of the President
COLOMBO: The government has decided to celebrate the 75th National Independence Day with pride together with the new reformist program for the next 25 years.
During this celebration held with pride under the theme “Namo Namo Matha – A Step towards a Century”, the government will announce its new reformist course for the next 25 years for the implementation of a stable government policy right until the 100th Independence Day celebrations in 2048.
The main ceremony of the National Independence Day Celebrations will be held on the 04th of February at 8.30 am at Galle Face Green under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.
The festivities are scheduled to begin after the offering of floral tributes at the statue of Mahamanya D.S. Senanayake at Independence Square and the statue of the war heroes at the Presidential Secretariat.
It is also of significance that many cultural and religious programs have been organized throughout the country in conjunction with the 75th National Independence Festival.
Accordingly, the Buddhist religious rites will be performed on the evening of February 02 at Sri Dalada Maligawa, and on the same night, the Dhamma sermon will begin at Victoria Dam at 9:00 PM. The following morning, an alms giving has also been planned.
The Catholic religious services will be held at Maradana Fatima Church on February 04 at 6.30 am, while Christian religious services will be held at the same time at Galle Face Christian Church. Hindu religious rituals will be held on the morning of February 03 at Trincomalee Dakshina Kailash or Koneswaram Temple. Arrangements have been made to hold Muslim religious services on February 4th at 10.00 am at the Colombo Grand Mosque.
Meanwhile, Buddhist and Hindu religious programs have also been organized in Colombo, and accordingly, on February 04 at 6.30 a.m., a Buddhist religious program has been organized at Dharmakirtyarama Temple, Polwatta, Colombo 03, and Hindu religious programs have also been organized at New Kadireshan Temple, Colombo 04.
A Sri Dalada exhibition is to be held at the historic Temple of the Tooth Relic premises in March, exhibition of Kapila Vastu Buddhist Relics to be held in Colombo in May, the sacred Buddhist relics from China exposition and exhibition to be held in Anuradhapura in June, exhibition of the sacred Buddhist relics from Pakistan is scheduled to be held in the Southern Province in July.
In addition, the special cultural arts festival “LankaraLanka” organized in conjunction with the 75th Independence Day will be held on February 03 at 7.30 pm at Independence Square in Colombo with the participation of 750 artists from the public and private sectors.
The Jaffna Cultural Center will be opened on February 11th morning under the patronage of the President, and the cultural procession will commence opposite the Jaffna Cultural Center and will travel through the streets of Jaffna culminating near the Jaffna Fort (the old bus station site). A cultural concert will also be held there and a special music concert is also planned to be held at the same venue that night.
On the 19th of February, the Republican Rally is scheduled to parade the streets of Kandy under the full sponsorship of the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth Relic) representing all dance traditions of the country.
It is also planned to air a 30-minute short film on Sri Lanka’s freedom at all cinemas and performing theatres while a Design competition including short dramas, patriotic songs, and art competitions has also been planned to target the youth on the theme of “freedom” in May.
A massive art competition and exhibition showcasing the pride of the country has also been organized by veteran artist H.S. Sarath.
The exhibition of artifacts reflecting the history of the country, organized by the Ministry of Buddhasasana Religious and Cultural Affairs, the National Museum Department, the Central Cultural Fund, and the Department of Archaeology, is also scheduled to be held from February 4th to the 10th.
A book containing newspaper reports and other articles about independence is also expected to be launched at the Independence Day National Festival and a special stamp with the image of the first Prime Minister of independent Sri Lanka Mahamanya D.S. Senanayake is also scheduled including a special commemorative stamp of a rare type which includes portraits of Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India and Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the first Prime Minister of independent Pakistan. In addition, a Rs. 1000 special commemorative coin is also expected to be released.
The concept of “Urban Forests” will be implemented from January 1st throughout the island, and the Independence Day celebration bicycle ride from Point Pedro to Dondra Point sponsored by Sri Lanka Telecom will also be held from January 28th to February 1st.
In addition, arrangements have been made to hold Independence Day commemorations at the provincial and district level and public parks, National Parks owned by the National Zoology Department National Parks owned by the Department of Wildlife and Forest Conservation and National Parks owned by the National Botanical Gardens Department will be opened to the public free of charge on National Independence Day.
A program to provide rice for 02 million low-income families at the rate of 10 kilos per family per month for 02 months is to be implemented and the related program will be implemented by the District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries.
It is the aim of President Ranil Wickremesinghe to make the government’s new reformist journey commencing with the celebration of the 75th Independence Day in 2023 a stable state policy until the 100th Independence Day in 2048 and the plan for the next 25 years will also be implemented in conjunction with this year’s National Independence Day.
Accordingly, several new institutions and laws are planned to be introduced and an Institute of History, an Institute of Economics and Trade, and an Institute of Women and Gender will be established for the study and research of the history of Sri Lanka.
Government and Public Policy University, Agricultural Research University, Climate Change University, and Sports University are also expected to be established.
The National Commission on Women’s Act, Gender Equality Act, Women’s Empowerment Act, Child Care Act, Climate Change Act, Social Justice Commission Act, Reforestation and Tree Cover Act are also to be introduced.
In addition, for the safety and security of natural resources including the Mahaweli river, Sinharajaya, Sripada Site (Zero Peak), Horton Plains, Knuckles, and Adam’s Bridge, the Living Entity Act is to be introduced. New laws for the exploration and management of marine resources as well as an Act for the conservation of Muthurajawela are also scheduled to be introduced.
The Independence Day activities also include a project of 75 urban forests and a project of 1996 houses for low-income families in Colombo and many projects and programs on the National Youth Platform.