A multi-faceted programme to reflect pride in our sovereignty | Daily News
75th National Independence Day celebrations

A multi-faceted programme to reflect pride in our sovereignty

State Ministers Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon, Suren Raghavan and Ashoka Priyantha with other officials at the media briefing on the 75th anniversary of Independence.   Picture by Sudath Malaweera
State Ministers Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon, Suren Raghavan and Ashoka Priyantha with other officials at the media briefing on the 75th anniversary of Independence. Picture by Sudath Malaweera

The country’s 75th National Independence Day celebration will be held with pride under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, with the new reformist programme for the next 25 years.

Addressing the media at the Government Information Department, State Defence Minister Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon said that parallel to the 75th Independence Day celebrations which will be held under the theme ‘Namo Namo Matha – A Step towards a Century’, it has been planned to implement a national development plan for the next 25 years.

This will be a 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 State Minister said.

The main ceremony of the National Independence Day Celebrations will be held on February 4 at 8.30 am at Galle Face Green under the patronage of President 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 significant that religious and cultural events will be held parallel to the Independence Day celebrations, including an exposition of the Sacred Tooth Relic. It will be held at the historic Temple of the Tooth Relic premises in March. An exposition of the Kapila Vastu Buddhist Relics will be held in Colombo in May, the exposition of the Sacred Buddhist Relics from China will be held in Anuradhapura in June, and an exposition of the Sacred Buddhist Relics from Pakistan is scheduled to be held in the Southern Province in July.

The Jaffna Cultural Centre will be opened on February 11 morning under the patronage of the President, and the cultural procession will commence opposite the Jaffna Cultural Centre and will travel through the streets of Jaffna culminating near the Jaffna Fort. It will be followed by a cultural concert and a special music concert, which held at the same venue that night, Higher Education State Minister Suren Raghavan said.

On February 19, 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. The exhibition of artifacts reflecting the history of the country, organized by the Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Ministry, the National Museum Department, the Central Cultural Fund, and the Department of Archaeology, is also scheduled to be held from February 4 to 10.

Home Affairs State Minister Ashoka Priyantha said that the concept of ‘urban forests’ will be implemented from January 1 throughout the island, and the Independence Day celebration bicycle ride from Point Pedro to Dondra sponsored by Sri Lanka Telecom will also be held from January 28 to February 1. 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, the Department of Wildlife and Forest Conservation and the National Botanical Gardens Department will be opened to the public free of charge on National Independence Day.

A programme to provide rice for two million low-income families at the rate of 10 kilos per family per month for two months is to be implemented and the related programme will be implemented by the District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries.

It is the aim of President 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, State Minister Ashoka Priyantha said.

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, State Minister Raghavan said.

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, Public Administration and Local Government Ministry Additional Secretary K.G. Dharmathilaka said.

In addition, for the safety and security of natural resources including the Mahaweli River, Sinharaja forest, Sripada site, 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 the Muthurajawela reserve are also scheduled to be introduced.

The Independence Day activities also include a project of 75 urban forests and a project of 1,996 houses for low-income families in Colombo and many projects and programmes on the National Youth platform.

Many programmes on behalf of youth will be carried out commencing from Independence Day, Randula Abeyweera, a coordinator to the President said.

When asked, all the Government representatives highlighted that the Independence Day ceremonies will be held with limited funds as all government institutions have been strongly advised to limit funds. Accordingly only Rs. 200 million will be spend for the entire Independence Day ceremony.


Add new comment