Colombo, Feb 4 (NIA) – Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena, on Saturday called on the country to unite and work together in order to win the support and assistance of the international community.
Speaking just before a grand Independence Day parade organised by the tri forces to celebrate the country’s Independence from British rule, Sirisena paid his tribute to the thousands of brave men who sacrificed their lives to achieve freedom in 1948 as well as to the thousands of soldiers who lost their live or had become disabled by fighting for the country against terrorism.
Sirisena said it was at a challenging and decisive moment that the country celebrated the 69th Independence Day. “It is the responsibility of the nation to strengthening the recently secured democratic freedom as well as ensuring that, enriched by indigenous wisdom, so that all communities could live with dignity, lies on our shoulders. We have been able to overcome a dark era and reillumine our unsurmountable aspirations for democracy, freedom, and human dignity,” he said.
“We are a nation that deserves to live a prosperous life in a country where peace and justice and equality prevail,” he added.
He further said the country’s commitment was to achieve economic freedom and requested all politicians and state officials to be honest and committed.
A grand parade was held in the Galle Face Green to celebrate the Independence Day with the participation of the international community and the government and opposition legislators.
Following the President’s address to the nation, which was also read in Tamil, the Independence Day Parade commenced with the participation of over 8,000 armed forces personnel.
The military parade included 183 officers and 3,973 soldiers from Army, 32 officers and 878 sailors from Navy, 70 officers and 1055 airmen from Air Force, 18 officers and 470 policeman, 37 officers and 496 personnel from STF, 24 officers and 684 other ranks from Civil Security Department and more than100 personnel from National Cadet Corps.
A special parachute display was also held during the ceremony with the participation of tri forces and the event also included a 25-gun salute to the nation.
(Pics By Ajith Perera)