Sri Lanka’s Independence Day
February 4 th
Sri Lanka’s Independence Day (Sinhala:නිදහස් දිනය,Tamil: சுதந்திர தினம்/விடுதலை நாள்) is celebrated on February 4 to commemorate its internal political independence from British rule on that day in 1948. The day is a national holiday in Sri Lanka. It is celebrated all over the country through flag-hoisting ceremony, dances, parades and performances.
A Navy sailor raises the national flag as Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (R) and Commander of the Navy Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe (C) look on, during celebrations of Sri Lanka’s 62nd Independence Day, in Kandy, 72 miles (116 km) from Colombo February 4, 2010. The country achieved independence from the British crown in 1948 and officially become the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. (*******) PHOTO: http://www.militaryphotos.net/
Usually, the main celebration takes place in Colombo, where the President raises the national flag and delivers a nationally televised speech. Many national struggles were made in the history of Sri Lanka. And on the independence day all of these are remembered and celebrated. But the freedom struggle made against the British is especially recalled.
In the President’s speech, he highlights the achievements of the government during the past year, raises important issues and gives a call for further development. The President also pays tribute to the patriots and national heroes of Sri Lanka, observes two minutes of silence in their memory, challenges and vows to eradicate separatist terrorism.
A great military parade is also made.
In recent years it show cases the power of the army, navy, air force, police and the civil defense force. And the commitment, bravery, national unity and determination to achieve peace is recollected in the minds of people.
There are also dances, singing and performances that showcase national unity and culture. Religious observances are also made in many palaces of worship around the country, wishing for peace and prosperity to the country, people and the tri-forces.
The national media also try to promote ideas such as bravery, confidence, dedication, national unity, patriotism, nationalism, peace, national responsibility and awareness of national history in the minds of people as independence is very important to every one.
2012, Sri Lanka’s Independence Day commemorates its internal political independence from British rule on this day in 1948.
The day is a national holiday in Sri Lanka celebrated all over the country through flag-hoisting ceremony, dances, parades and performances. Usually, the main celebration takes place in Colombo, where the President raises the national flag and delivers a nationally televised speech. Many national struggles were made in the history of Sri Lanka. And on the independence day all of these are remembered and celebrated. But the freedom struggle made against the British is especially recalled.
In a far-sighted, visionary move the state under the guidance and unwavering commitment of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has launched the Ten Year Programme for a Trilingual Sri Lanka; a much awaited initiative which could be easily described as historic. Accordingly, year 2012 has been proclaimed by the government as the Year for a Trilingual Sri Lanka and the hope and prayer of the well meaning and thoughtful of Sri Lanka is likely to be that this ground-breaking project would succeed fully and be a boon to the citizenry of this country.
We join the progressives of this country in wishing the Trilingual project all the very best. It should be plain to see that the initiative, if implemented flawlessly and enthusiastically, would deliver this country from some historic and tragic blunders which contributed in no small way towards the explosive emergence of the blighting 30 year conflict which bled Sri Lanka white and steadily undermined its well being.
It was fitting that the project was flagged off on Saturday by no less a person than the legendary former President of India and scientist of universal fame Prof. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. If there is one public figure of note who has been promoting increasing connectivity between peoples for the purpose of ushering greater world harmony, it has been Prof. Kalam and we hope the words of wisdom he expressed at the launch of the Trilingual initiative and at the public lecture he electrifyingly delivered to mainly the youth of this country subsequently at the SBMEC auditorium, under the aegis of the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, would be deeply reflected upon by one and all.
It would be also fitting to place on record that besides the tremendous zeal for the project evinced by President Rajapaksa and the continuous ‘push’ provided by him, the Trilingual project would not have seen the light of day if not for also the continuous exertions of Presidential Advisor Sunimal Fernando and the officials led by him, who spared no pains to make the venture a reality. It is indeed a great moment for them all.
It is habitual for some sections to dwell obsessively on the ‘Sinhala Only’ Act and other legislative and executive blunders which helped in fomenting the ‘National Question’ but what was right along needed was some visionary zeal to put things right in the country and this is being provided right now in the language policy sphere by the Trilingual initiative.
Through the focus on making the public of this country knowledgeable in Sinhala, Tamil and English, what is being aimed at is the bridging of all language barriers which have been keeping our communities in separate language cocoons and preventing them from communicating meaningfully and empathetically with each other.
Ideally, every citizen of this country must be knowledgeable in Sinhala, Tamil and English; the latter being an important link language as well as a medium of universal discourse. For decades, the main communities of this country were not in a position to communicate freely with each other because the majority of their members did not know each others languages. This factor enabled a separation wall of suspicion and distrust to come in between them, resulting in the emergence of friction between some sections of both communities. Needless to say, this situation and the resultant conflict could have been avoided if both communities were talking freely to each other in each others Mother Tongues and discoursing in depth on the issues of the day. The mutual understanding which would have been gained by the communities would have prevented suspicion and doubt from blighting their relations.
Considering the foregoing, the Trilingual initiative should be seen as one of the most far-seeing public sector projects to have been put in place in post-independence Sri Lanka in the conflict-resolution sphere. We call for its swift and effective implementation. We also call on all sections of the local polity to wholeheartedly support this project which, clearly, has the national interest in view. There ought not to be any divisive sentiments in any quarter that could rouse and nurture prejudice and doubt about the project, for, the aim of the initiative is the public good.
The Trilingual initiative should be valued greatly be cause it also rejects in full language chauvinism which has played a highly divisive role in post-independence Sri Lanka. In fact it is a resounding rebuff of all language chauvinists and other purveyors of division. If effectively implemented, the project could prove a great instrument of healing and reconciliation.
A series of mega development projects have already been completed in the Eastern Province under Dayata Kirula event organized to coincide with the Independence Day celebrations under the theme prosperous tomorrow – Glorious mtherland.This is the second time that the country’s main Independence Day celebrations are being held in Trincomalee after a lapse of 60 years.
It was way back in 1953 that Trincomalee hosted the Independence Day celebrations.The slogan for the Independence Day celebrations at the Fredric Fort Avenue complex is “A prosperous tomorrow in a glorious motherland”.
The President is scheduled to tour Batticaloa on Tuesday to inspect development projects in the area. Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne will also attend the Independence Day celebrations. The Government has called upon public and state sector institutions to hoist the National Flag today and tomorrow to mark the 65th Independence Day celebrations.
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