Committed to build an egalitarian society – President Maithripala
67th National Independence Day was celebrated in grand scale at the Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte parliamentary grounds today.
The Independence Day has been organized under the patronage of President Maithreepala Sirisena and several other distinguished guests.
IGP N.K. Ilangakone, Air Force Commander Air Martial Kolitha Gunathilake, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera, Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake and Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya were first to reach the festival venue.
According to our correspondent, the Secretary to the President, the Western Provincial Chief Minister, the Western Provincial Governor and Minister of Home Affairs were next to reach the venue.
Later, Chief Justice K. Sripavan, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike also arrived.
President Maithreepala Sirisena arrived the venue later and was welcomed by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Home Affairs.
Government State Ministers and MPs, the opposition leader, several opposition MPs and foreign dignitaries participated in the event.
A 2 minute silence was observed to commemorate the heroes who sacrificed themselves for the country, 21 gun salutes were accorded in honour of the President.
President Maithreepala Sirisena addressed the nation after 3 school students announced the Statement of Peace in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages.
Expressing his views during his speech, the President said that it is essential to resolve the current income disparity in the society.
The President also stated that he would be committed to steer the country to achieve wide development goals while building friendly ties with all nations.
The Independence Day parade was held thereafter with the participation of 6000 soldiers representing the three forces, police, civil defence force, cadets and the youth corps.
The parade also included a special cultural segment comprising items from all communities.
Meanwhile Independence Day Celebrations were organized throughout the country parallel to the main cerebration at Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte.
The annual Independence Day celebration was held as usual at the historical Maha Maluwa in Kandy while 25 gun salutes were accorded by Sri Lanka Navy at the Light House of Colombo Fort.
At the same time, a floral tribute was held in front of the Statue of the first Prime Minister of Independent Sri Lanka Right Honourable D.S. Senanayake at Independence Square in Colombo.
Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Musammil and several government ministers participated in the floral tribute.