The Office of the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne with the assistance of the Sri Lankan expatriate community and the State Government of Victoria organised the celebration of the 71st anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka in the evening of 4 February at the Box Hill Town Hall, Box Hill, Melbourne. The official flag hoisting ceremony was held at the Office of the Consulate General in the morning.
The celebration commenced with the singing of the national anthem in Sinhala and Tamil and observance of two minutes silence in memory of those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation, lighting of the traditional oil lamp followed by multi faith religious observances conducted by the clergy of all four religions who blessed Sri Lanka and its people.
Josh Bull, Member of Legislative Assembly and Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs represented the Premier of Victoria while Craig Ondarchie, Member of Legislative Council, represented the Leader of the Opposition of the Victorian Parliament who proffered felicitations of the Government and the Opposition to Sri Lanka and its people.
Bruce Atkinson, the President of the Legislative Council of Victoria (Upper House of the State Parliament), Jason Wood and Julian Hill, Members of Australian Federal Parliament and number of other political dignitaries of Victoria, mayors and city councillors, senior government officials, commissioners of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, university academics and members of the consular corps were in attendance at the event.
One of the highlights of the event was the splendid cultural performances, presented before 600 strong audience, which depicted rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka and performed by children of Sri Lankan origin in Melbourne.
One of the most significant items of the event was the felicitation of group of 12 brilliant students of Sri Lankan origin who achieved highest academic excellence in their Victoria Certificate of Education Examination of last year. Political dignitaries of Victoria and several academics of Sri Lankan origin who hold very senior academic positions in the best universities in Melbourne joined the Consul General in felicitating these students.
Courtesy of http://www.ft.lk